Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ugly jars wanted { DIY vases }

{ cool mason jar vases }
Have a bunch of those unattractive and generic bud vases hanging around?  Are you like me always finding old mason jars at thrift stores and picking them up, just because they're so cheap?  Finally here is a cool idea to make those objects functional { and beautiful } again! 

Brooke from Pure and Noble took some matte spray paint and painted some "throw away" vases and old mason jars.  She even made custom messages using a glue gun to write out her words { Remember "puffy paint"?  Do they still make that? }  Pop on over to Pure and Noble for the full tutorial.  Love this idea!

What I'd really like to do next is find a great tutorial to make one of those lovely, outdoorsy mason jar chandeliers!  Hooray for the discarded & topless mason jar!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas ornament weekend { DIY Christmas ornaments }

This past weekend I kept my Christmas ornament workshop going.  This time, I layered two Graphics Fairy images together { birds and sheet music } and decoupaged the image on some three inch wood circles.  Here is how I did it.

First I went to the Graphic Fairy site and downloaded the following images:
I made the bird images into transparent graphics and layered the images on top of the sheet music in MS publisher.  I then printed them out on my color inkjet.

I gathered my supplies - 3 inch wood circles { found at Michaels }, ribbon, Mod Podge, card stock, glue gun, and the printouts.

I decoupaged the back of the paper and put it on the wood circles { below }.  When that dried, I put a top coat of Mod Podge on the ornaments.

To make the hanger, I took 13 inches of ribbon and taped it to the back of the circle.  I then hot glued a scalloped piece I punched out of card stock { below }.

Here are the finished three designs { below }.  I need a nicer picture of these hanging on a tree!


I'm linking this up to:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday flameless candles gift idea { easy candle DIY }

Here is a super-simple idea to jazz up some flameless candles for the holidays.  My friend first made these for Halloween with some vintage dictionary pages { the ones with the scary pictures } and she just made a bunch for her shop for the Christmas season.   I think they'd make a great gift too!

So you know the flameless candles you can buy?  They're very pretty plain white, but you can easily add vintage papers to make them extra special for the holidays.  I found mine at COSTCO, but I've also seen them everywhere, including WalMart.

{ source }

All you need to do is go in to your stash of vintage papers and cut the paper to size.  If you don't want to use vintage papers, you can made a photocopy of your favorites, use some printed tissue paper, or find some great graphics online.  Next, all you need to do is put a coat of Mod Podge on the candle { don't worry, the candle won't ever get hot enough to melt the Podge }.  When dry, give the paper another coat to seal your work.  And you're done!

My friend resized the paper so it only covered half of the candle.  This way she could turn it around and still have a regular side when it wasn't the holiday season.  It's your choice.

Friday, November 25, 2011

This week I'm thankful for...

This past week has been amazing!  Lots to be thankful for, including new followers, lots of great comments on my new blog and a few features, crazy!

1.  On Monday, my printable canvas project { where I tried to copy some artwork I saw at HomeGoods } made it in to Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy!!!  


2.  I was super-excited to be the featured blogger on the Hop Along Friday blog hop.  I encourage anyone interested in meeting new people and finding new blogs & ideas, to try the Friday Hop, hosted by Kim at Chubby Cheeks Thinks:

3.  And then on two days ago, I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award from Libby at A Perfectly Crazy Life!  Please visit her blog for some great ideas and inspiration!

There are 3 rules about when you accept this award:
(1) Thank the person who gave you this award and make sure to link back to their blog

(2) Share 7 things about yourself
(3) Pass this award onto 7 recently discovered blogs
Seven Things About Myself
1) I recently left the corporate world to stay home with my two kids - 4yrs & 18 mos.
2) I iron, but only if a craft project requires it!
3) If I'm excited about something, I can work for days straight without sleeping.
4) I love all the old Christmas specials from the 1960s (Frosty, Rudolph etc.) and watch them year round.
5) I just started a new blog and I'm excited to share my projects.  Photographing them in progress is a killer!
6) About the "stuff I collect & repurpose" - my husband constantly says, "really, someone really likes that stuff and would pay money for that?"
7) My favorite shows right now are Enchanted and Work of Art 

I'm passing this award on to:

It's been a crazy seven days.  So much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

5 tips for finding frames on the cheap

{ picture source }
First off, so everyone doesn't think I only give gifts that cost $5 or less, let me say that if you're buying or making a gift for someone, I wouldn't adhere to all of these tips below.  However, if you need to save money or if the recipient would be pleased at your frugality, then by all means, read on...

The biggest tip I can tell you is to look beyond what you see on the shelf in front of you.  You have to have a little imagination and be willing to rethink how you shop from "I need a black 8"x10" frame with 1 1/2" molding in an ornate pattern" to "I need a frame; around 8"x10" works best."

Here are some of my tips for saving money and rethinking frames:

1.  Paint = new life.  Going to paint it anyway?  Look for frames in colors or finishes you normally wouldn't like.  They are likely on sale and with a coat of paint, who cares what they look like now?  That hot pink ornate frame on clearance could be killer with a coat of paint { in a color you actually like }.

2.  Look for clearance frames.  You may find some with small chips or finish flaws that can easily be disguised again with paint. Heck, you may be even going for a distressed look anyway.  I've found a few great frames on clearance only because they had odd-sized mats inside.  People rarely need an 8x10 frame with a mat for two separate photos.  If you don't necessarily need a mat, just look at the overall frame size, not the odd mat inside and I promise you'll find some nice things. 

3.  Rethink.  Think about what you're really using it for and who is really going to inspect it.  If you want a wall of frames only { no pictures, no glass } and no one is going to come up and touch everything, then you can go with some lower end finishes { read plastic }.  Your wedding picture on the mantel...stick with high end.  The free turkey printable you got online that will sit with a bunch of other turkey accessories for only a few weeks during the holidays...couldn't a $5 frame suffice? 

4.  Don't discriminate.  A few years ago I thought I would never step foot inside a discount store { read Dollar stores, WalMart, Big Lots, etc. } to buy a frame for a project.  Yes, there are poorly made pieces that fall apart when you touch them.  But if you look carefully and shop often, there are pieces that are fairly well made and will stand up to your needs; really!

5.  Repurpose.  I had a really cute bee etching I bought from John Furches, a North Carolina artist { love his work! }  The etching was reasonably priced, and then I went to get it framed....groan.  Even with my 50% off coupon, my local crafts store and frame shop wouldn't quote me anything less than $50 for any 8"x8" frame I liked.  I just couldn't do it.  One day while wandering the clearance aisles of Michaels, I saw a hideous print all framed up.  The frame was beautiful; the print literally detracted from the frame... I'm serious.  I just removed the other print, backed my etching with some acid free scrapbook paper I had on hand and put the frame back together.  Oh yeah, and it cost me a whopping $3.50 for the frame!

So next time you need a frame, don't forget to rescue, reimagine, refurbish, recycle, & repurpose.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend projects { Image Transfer Coasters DIY }

My Saturday night was quite busy.  I started the weekend with four projects in mind to get a jump on Christmas gifts, but quickly realized I was in over my head.  After a day of fun, the kids went to bed, and I got to work.  My two projects this weekend were glass horse ornaments and image transfer coasters.

The Graphics Fairy had a tutorial a while back on making coasters using Omni Gel transfer medium.  Her tutorial really covers everything you need to know so I'm just linking to it { here }.  I'll share some pictures of my project in process and add a few details that I think may be helpful if you attempt this project.

For my crown coasters, I layered crown images from the Graphics Fairy found here, here, here, and here with script text I had.

Here are the supplies you'll need { below }.  Tips:  I went to three Michaels and finally found Omni Gel.  I highly recommend you call them first or purchase the product online.  I've done about 50 coasters using one 8 oz. bottle.  I found my tiles at Home Depot, nine for $3.99.  There are two styles I like for this project, Noce and Chiaro travertine. I've found you really need to inspect the Chiaro tiles though, as they tend to get larger pits in them; Noce not as much.  As mentioned in the Graphics Fairy tutorial, you need to go to your copy shop and have a color laser jet print of your images.  No need to reverse the image for this transfer technique.  The cork is contact paper from Home Depot.

I wanted to share a quick picture of the Omni gel bushed on the paper { below }.  Even when dry, there is a sheen on the images.

Here is me wiping the paper off the back of the gel transfer { below }.  This always takes longer than I expect!  Tip:  I use an old toothbrush to help get all the paper off the transfer.

Image transfers drying on paper towels pre-tile coaster { below }.

My coaster assembly line { below } from the weekend.  I adhered the gel transfer with another coat of Omni Gel and smoothed down with a brayer and my fingers.

Here is a closeup of my coasters drying { below }.  I'm really excited about how the coasters turned out!

On to project #2!  I covered how to make these horse ornaments earlier on my blog { here }.  Here is a picture of my assembly line of ornaments drying and pre-ribbon { below }.

Here is a closeup of my favorite horse ornament from this weekend { below }.

Thanks for stopping by.   Have a great week!   I'm linking this one up to:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Coffee table rescue

{ coffee table rescue from Crafted Niche }
One of my favorite new blogs is the Crafted Niche.  Dana has some great finds { she found an old wooden card catalog on Craig's List! } and a great gift for sharing her projects.

On Friday, Dana posted a great coffee table project where she rescued this baby from the trash, added some paint and a new top, and voila!  If only it were that simple.  I'm sure it took a lot more vision and sweat to get the table to look this good.

You can follow along Dana's post as she rescues this table and creates this beauty.  There are a ton of pictures too, so check out this rescue!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hop Along Friday!

I'm so very excited to say that my blog is the spotlight blog in this week's Hop Along Friday!  I encourage anyone reading this to check out and follow each of the hostesses and to participate in this great blog hop.  It's great to meet new people and blogs, see what other people are doing, and get new ideas for your projects.

Thanks ladies for spotlighting me!  Here are the details for the blog hop below.  I'll be hopping around later tonight  : )


Welcome to the Hop Along Friday! As always, we welcome you to each hop and hope you have a great time participating. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any one of the other hostesses.
Before we begin, we would like to share a few simple rules for our hop.   
1. Please only link up blogs, only. Once you link up with other bloggers, please feel free to follow them on other social media outlets, but we ask you to leave this link up for blogs, only. 

2. Please remember to return every week as the link list will start over each week. With that being said, the link list will be open from Thursday evening through Friday night at 11:49pst, but will be visible indefinitely.
3. We do not require that you follow each and every person on the hop, but we do ask that you take your time, have fun and follow the blogs that stick out to you. We will do the same.

1. Follow each of our hostesses: 
Chubby Cheeks Thinks
2. Add your blog link to our link list.
3. Place our button on your sidebar!

Our spotlight blog this week is:

Monday, November 14, 2011

French inspired printed fabric on canvas { DIY Art }

{ My French inspired printed canvas }

I saw this butterfly canvas at my local Home Goods.  The canvas has some simple, but beautiful, vintage butterfly and postage images.  At $39, I figured I could recreate the piece on my own, and I had wanted to try a new technique of printing on larger pieces of fabric.

My first step was to stop by The Graphics Fairy and grab some vintage graphics.  I used vintage postcards, antique butterflies, more butterflies, and a letter.  I then used Adobe Photoshop Elements to create pure black and white images, crop the pictures, and make the backgrounds transparent { so I could layer the images }.  I arranged the pictures in Microsoft Publisher { shown below }.

I printed the image out on some off white fabric { below }.  I posted a few more details on how I printed out the fabric in this post.

I prepped my fabric by cutting it down to exactly 8" x 10".  I prepped my 8" x 10" canvas by painting the sides with black acrylic paint.  After the sides dried, I then put down a generous coat of matte Mod Podge { below }.

I laid the fabric down and used a brayer to smooth out the fabric.  Here is my version!

Here is the $39 version...

And here is my version, made for less than $7!

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking this one up to:


For real????!!!!  When I saw this I was so excited! 
Holey Moley! What an honor!  Thank you!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Printing on fabric { craft techniques }

There are a many different ways to print on fabric.  You're going to want to think about a few things before you decide the method to use:
  • Do I want to do this myself at home or do I want spend money on a professional?
  • Does the fabric need to be washed?
  • What size piece of printed fabric do I need?
  • Will the fabric be exposed to heavy use (e.g., like a tote bag)?
In this post, I'm just going to cover two ways to make printed fabric at home with an ink jet printer to use in decorative projects that don't need to be washed.  I'll try to post other ways to print addressing some of the other variables in future blog posts.
One of the easiest ways to print on fabric is to run the fabric through your printer.  There are two ways you can do this 1) using a full size sheet label and adhering the sticky label to your fabric, or 2) using repositionable spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to card stock.

For both methods, you just want to trim up your fabric to the size of the paper { 8.5" x 11" }. 

  Now just run it through your ink jet printer.  Peel the fabric off and use it in your project.

A little about fabrics:  I have been successful using synthetic or cotton blends.  I usually use the cheapest fabric I can find, so it's light and flexible.  I have personally not tried to print on heavier fabrics like canvas, but I have seen other tutorials that have had success { like this one from The Little Brown House who successfully ran canvas through her ink jet printer }.

Here was my finished printed fabric adhered to a canvas to create some quick artwork.

And here is a another example of words I printed on fabric for a mixed media collage.

I hope you'll try this easy technique in your art work too!