Saturday, September 29, 2012

Creating a Fall Burlap Wreath

I bow my head in shame!  It has been so very long since I blogged.  Have no fear....after many months I am back in my craft room and hopefully will have more projects to come!  Today I have a Fall Burlap Wreath to  show you.



Supplies Needed:
- 1 foam or straw wreath 
- 1 yard of burlap
- Hot glue gun
-Glue sticks
- Scissors
- Various pieces of fabric
- Felt or cardboard
- Wooden letter
- Acrylic paint
- Paintbrush
- Ribbon


The very first thing you need to do is to paint your wooden letter with acrylic paint.  I chose to paint mine chocolate brown.  I painted mine the night before to allow plenty of time to dry since it always takes several coats to get the wood completely covered.


Let's start getting our wreath together.  I took the plastic off of my wreath since I figured that the hot glue would probably just melt through it and cause me some problems.  I next cut some of the burlap into 2 inch strips.  I would cut a couple at a time as I went along wrapping the wreath.  Don't cut your entire piece of burlap at once!  Glue the start of a strip to your wreath and then wrap it around the wreath until you have the entire wreath covered in burlap. Secure the end of your last piece so that it will be on the back of your wreath.  Now take a moment and use your scissors to clean up the little burlap threads that are sticking up all over your wreath.

Now that we have burlap wreath base, it's now time to add that letter you painted to it.  Decide the best position for your particular letter before you put any glue on it.  The correct positioning will be different for each letter.  Just remember that the more parts of the letter that are glued to the wreath, the more secure it will be.







Now that you have your wreath base all done, put it aside for a while.  It's now time to make all those fabric rosettes.  I know that they look intimidating, but they are really easy to make.  Take your fabric and cut it into 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips.  Don't worry about making perfect cuts.  You can even cut it in strips as you go....I should have taken that advice myself. ha ha!  Each rosette will need a "base" to glue it to.  I found some black felt in my stash that worked perfect.  You could also use thin cardboard or something similar.  Cut out a 3 inch square of felt.  Take your strip of fabric and fold the strip in half and then fold that half in half.  I glued all that together at the end just to keep it all together and make starting it easier. You will now glue that gathered end to the center of your felt. 



The next part is when it can get tricky.  You will constantly be twisting the fabric and wrapping it around and around in a circle and gluing it down to the felt as you go.  When the rosette is the right size is your decision. I made a couple of different sized ones.  When you get to the size you want and when you have about a half inch of fabric left, stop and trim your felt backing so that it is no longer seen.  Take the fabric tail and fold it over to the back and secure it with glue.  


You now have a cute little collection of fabric and burlap rosettes.  


The next step is to glue all of those rosettes to your wreath.  You may be wondering just how many rosettes that you need to make.  I can't really answer that.  As I went along making them, I would stop occasionally and lay the ones I had made on my wreath to see how many more I needed and what sizes.  I had to make a couple more even after I had the rest glued on the wreath to fill in some holes.  How many rosettes you will need is your personal preference.

To hang my wreath, I simply wrapped a piece of brown ribbon around the top and then attached it to my hook on my front door with a bow.


There you have it....a fun Fall Burlap Wreath to add to your front door and I made it for about $15!

Thanks for reading!

Alicia

Monday, September 24, 2012

From Blah to Fun!

 

Last week, I picked up a filing cabinet at a business that was closing down.  All of the other cabinets the same size were $75, but the one I chose was only $25.  The lock is missing, a drawer slides came unwelded, there was some rust, but it just screamed “PROJECT” to me, so I grabbed it and ran.

This is the sad filing cabinet, before it got some style:

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Add some fabric, Mod Podge, knobs, etc and this is the result:

 

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I may add some ribbon details, but I haven’t decided quite yet.  I did learn one important thing when taking on a project like this one – SAND OR SEAL ANY RUST!  Don’t ask how I know this, but it might play into why I may or may not add ribbon trim. ;)

Until next time!

Leah

Sunday, September 16, 2012

From Window Panes to Wall Art

Hubby and I took on a rather fun project today that made a huge difference in our hallway and perked our living room up a bit, as well.  

Hubby was perusing Craigslist (as always) and ran across an add for free snap-together window panes.  Now, we do not need faux snap-together window panes, but we are always up for project materials, so off to Nashville we went to pick up the goodies.

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(Actual photo from the Craigslist ad)

Normally, I am the crafty one in the house, but today, Hubby really showed me up!  He used the window panes and came up with some fantastic wall art to really dress up our boring hallway.

We had done nothing to the hallway since moving in a year ago, except toss down a couple of throw rugs. This is a photo of our ├╝ber-boring hallway, before we moved in:

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A few hours later, a bit of paint on a few of the pieces, and we have some unique art work that really fits our style.  The paintings were picked up on clearance at Old Time Pottery several years ago and had been hanging in other parts of the house until this weekend. 

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The moral of the story is if you see a box of materials, think OUTSIDE the box!  There is no rule that says they can only exist as one specific thing in their lifetime! ;)

 

Until next time! 

Leah

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flowers & Food Coloring

Even though my husband wouldn't admit it, he has a soft side to his manly man demeanor. He sometimes surprises me with his sweetness.Today he shared an idea with with me from his childhood. We passed by some Queen Anne's Lace flowers on the side of the road and he said, "We need to pick some of these flowers and put them in a vase with water and food coloring". He and his family used to do this when he was younger, and over several days, the flowers would change colors. I told him I would really enjoy this so he pulls over and picks the Queen Anne's Lace flowers for me. I picked two vases for this project and filled one with red and yellow coloring (to make orange), and the other with blue and red coloring (to make purple). I will post the progression of the color changes over the next few days.

Step 1: Fill your vases with water and insert flowers.



Step 2: Add food coloring of your choice. I used 4-5 drops of each color for an even balance. I will have to experiment with how to adjust the colors in the future for different shades.


Step 3: Wait for it... 






Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Word Art

A couple of months ago, I was browsing through some of my favorite blogs when I came across this post at Antsi-Pants.  I love the color red and the little sign she did for Valentine's Day caught my eye.  I really LOVE the praise & worship song that has these words in it and what a blessing to see this reminder of just how much God loves us every single day!  I knew that I wanted to make my own version of it for my entryway wall.....just a little bigger.  Here is how I did it....

First of all,  I bought an 18x24 inch canvas (it was 30% off already and I was also able to use a 50% off coupon), and then painted it bright red with acrylic paint.  I ended up having to put 3 coats of paint on it to get it covered, but that is to be expected with the color red.


 Next, with my Silhouette I cut out the words I wanted to use in white vinyl.  I then applied the letters to the painted canvas.  Unfortunately, this was NOT easy.  ha ha!  The vinyl did not want to stick to the canvas very well at all....no matter how much I tried to make it.  That led me to my next step...


Thank goodness for Mod Podge!  I applied 2 coats of Mod Podge over the entire surface (allowing each coat to try thoroughly before applying the next).


Here is the finished product!  I actually really like how the Mod Podge finished it up.  It really makes the red pop and most importantly, the vinyl won't fall off now.  ha ha!
 

I can't wait to get this hung in my entryway.  Wordart like this is such a fun way to display a favorite quote, saying, etc.... without costing a fortune!  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

$6.75 Wreath

 

Each season, I try to change out whatever is hanging on my front door, but this year, it’s been bare since December.  B-O-R-I-N-G.  I was lacking inspiration, but then I walked into my local “everything’s $1” store…

I brought home some simple treasures….

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…but after ten minutes, I had come up with a wreath that I love!!

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The base of the wreath is a pool noodle.  I just put the ends together and taped the bejeezus out of it to make sure it holds for a good while.  I picked a green wreath so if it peeked through the flowers, it would not be blaringly obvious.

The flowers are just flower leis.  They come in packs of 3 for $1.  I used 9 leis total, but I might end up adding another 3, just to fill it in a bit more.

To wrap the leis, I first attached one to the noodle with a straight pin, just to keep it in place, then began wrapping.  when I got to the end of a lei, I use tiny safety pins to attach it to the next lei and kept wrapping.  When I got to the end of the last lei, I removed the straight pin holding the first lei, pinned the first and last together, then moved the flowers around the noodle until I liked the way they were laying.  I did not glue the leis for two reasons – so I can reuse the leis and so I can reuse the noodle.

The whirlygig came on a stick but I did not want that ugly black stick hanging down.  So, I did the next best thing – I cut the stick off so there was a post sticking straight back out of the whirlygig.  I picked the perfect spot on the wreath and stuck it straight into the foam.  If I have problems with it staying in, I’ll put a bit of glue in the hold.

I decided the center needed some flair, so I added a simple metal piece I’d picked up at another local discount store for $1.75.

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The noodle is a bit larger around than my wreath hanger is deep, so to keep it from falling off, I cut a slit in the underside of the foam, and pushed the bottom of the hanger into the hole. 

Keep crafting!

Leah

Friday, March 16, 2012

Refilling Wet Mop Bottles

I promised you guys a tutorial for refilling Wet Mop spray bottles and here it is - finally.  I'm a little late. ;)

The concept of the cleaner in a bottle is great, but it's not so great for the wallet.  I also like the idea of being able to mix my own cleaners, should I choose to do so.  That led me to search the internet for a way to pop off that *mumble* stupid *swear* bottle with the cap that just wouldn't *grr* budge.

Sorry about the lack of pics!

The first step is to loosen the plastic cap so you can easily pop it off of the bottle.  To do this, put a small pot of water on the stove and heat to boiling.  Once the water is boiling, hold the bottle upside down in the pan so that just the cap is submerged.  After about 90 seconds, lift the bottle out of the water, grab onto the lid with a towel, and twist the cap.  It should pop right off.

The second step is to make the cap permanently removable.  If you flip it over and look inside, there are little teeth all the way around the rim.  Get rid of them.  Clip them off using nail clippers, small scissors, a Dremel, whatever you have handy, but please be careful to not cut yourself if you get too creative!

Now you're ready to refill the bottle.  I personally like to use Pine Sol in my bottle but you can certainly use any cleaner.  Just be sure to rinse your bottle out completely if you change from one chemical to the next so you do not create a science experiment!

Happy mopping!

Leah

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Inexpensive Baby Gift Idea

Here lately, it seems that lots of my friends and family are having babies and I am always looking for an inexpensive and personalized baby gift.  Subway art is very popular right now and this goes right along those lines.  I love the impact that words can make visually and this project showcases that. 

I designed my birth stats print below in Photoshop Elements, but you could easily do this in Word, Publisher, or some other similar program.  I have sized it to fit an 8x10 inch frame and I had it printed on photo paper with a matte finish.  All the colors match the bedding used in the babies nursery.

My next step was to get an inexpensive frame. I bought a dark stained wood one to go with the cowboy themed nursery.  I took out the backing and glass so that I could just work the frame itself.  I wanted to make it look more cowboyish.


Please excuse my mess in this picture below, but my craft room pretty much always looks that way when I have a project going on.  Like my lava lamp?  ha ha! 
I next took some jute twine (this can be found at Walmart and is just a few dollars for a large roll) and hot glued it around the frame.  I went around it twice to make a bigger impact.  


Here is the finished frame with the birth stat print in it.  The jute added to the frame gives it just a little extra something to tie into the nurseries rustic cowboy theme.  The overall price of this project was less than $10 and I think it's worth so much more than that since it is so personalized.

I also like to make cards (I rarely ever buy a greeting card).  Below is the card that I included with the framed birth stats print and the Mod Podged letters (yep, the ones from my last post).  This card was very distressed in order to keep with the rustic theme.  Lots of layers, lots of distressing ink, and lots of paper scraping (that's how you get the edges to look so rough).   Just like the birth stats prints, I love to personalize a card when I can and new baby cards are perfect for that.  I like to include the new baby's picture because then the card ends up being a keepsake. 


I hope that you design your own birth stats print for your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren.   Try making your own cards too.  Keep it simple or as complicated as you want...whoever you send it to will just love that you took the time to handmake it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wallet-friendly Wet Mop Pads

 

I love love love my Wet Mop (made by a very popular company), but I hate hate hate the cost of pads and fluid.  So I found a cheaper option for both.  For now, I’ll show you how I get around buying the expensive pads.  I’ll show you how the fluid workaround in a later post.

Aside from the price, I hate how the pads made by the company do not pick up animal hair very well.  With four animals in the house, this is a big deal.  I checked Etsy for washable pads I could purchase, and realized I could make them myself! 

I found a five pack of microfiber towels at Dollar General for $4 and realized the fabric would be perfect!  Microfiber is super absorbent and I knew it would pick up the animal hair.

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I folded each towel into thirds, making each section as close to the same size as possible. 

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Using a regular straight stitch, I stitched around each side, then made three stitches down the length of the pad.  If you are a perfectionist, LET GO OF IT for this project.  Microfiber gets a little wonky and doesn’t always allow you to sew perfectly straight, flat projects!

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That’s it.  Because the pads are made of microfiber, they stick to the bottom of the Wet Mop without having to attach velcro.  You will have to push a little harder to move them across the floor, but when you see how much they pickup, you will not mind that extra bit of work.  When you’re finished, throw them in the wash!

Note: If you do not use dryer sheets or fabric softener, the pads will keep their maximum absorbency for a longer period of time. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Mod Podging Lesson

If there is any one craft that I love the most, it would definitely be Mod Podging.  I have been doing it for at least 10 plus years.  In college, I used to Mod Podge picture frames with words and pictures for all my pictures of friends and family. That's how it all got started.  Now, I mostly alter wooden letters for myself or for others.  This past week, I Mod Podged a set of letters for a friend who is having a baby boy named Tanner very soon.  I decided to document the process this time and post it on Scissors and Hot Glue.  Mod Podging is not a quick process...just a warning.  It can take several days because everything does have to dry thoroughly.  So, don't expect Mod Podging to be a quick project.  Ok, here we go...

Materials List:
Wooden  Letters (smooth front)
Mod Podge
Cardstock
Pencil
Scissors
Paintbrush or Spongebrush
Acrylic paint
Sandpaper (optional)


First you need to cover your work surface (newspaper is not a good idea since the paint will stick to it as well as the Mod Podge).  I used some freezer paper that I had...shiny side up and it was perfect.   So, lay out your letters on your work surface and let's get started.


Step one is to trace the FRONT side of each of your letters.  To make sure that you keep everything in order, it's a good idea to mark the back sides of all your wooden letters and the cardstock that you have just traced and then cut out.  That should help you know which side is which.


Now that all our cardstock is traced and cut out, we can now get the backs and sides of the letters painted.  This step is optional is you want to keep the natural color or if your letters come painted.  I wanted to go with a tan color for my letters though since the front will be done in chocolate brown.  You may be fine with just one coat of paint or you may end up having to do 3 coats like I did.


Now that the paint on the back and sides have dried overnight, it's time to do some Mod Podging.  Now you may notice in the picture below that I do have paint around the edges of the front.  It's not totally required, but I bring the paint around to the front just so that if there is a place where the letter shows through, it will blend with the rest of it.  Just my personal preference.  Ok, back to the actual Mod Podging.  Take a clean paintbrush and brush a thin coat of Mod Podge onto the entire front of your letter.  Then once you have it all covered, place your cardstock cutout letter onto the wooden letter and smooth it down until it's all stuck down. Let all of the letters dry for an hour or two.




Next, is where the real Mod Podging starts.  You will brush the Mod Podge all over the surface.  I try to keep all my brush marks going in the same direction, but that could just be my perfectionism...ha ha!   I typically put about 3 coats of Mod Podge on everything I do.  You will need to allow drying time between each coat.  Like I said, this is not a fast process.  I typically just let each coat dry overnight before I attempt another one.


As you are applying the Mod Podge, there will be drips down the sides.  Take q-tips to clean that up.  I buy the cheap ones for crafting purposes.


Here are the finished letters!




I put together a little collage of different things I have Mod Podged over the past several years.  Some were gifts, some were requested, and some are hanging in my own house.


Thanks for sticking with this one.  I know it was pretty picture heavy, but I know that I can better understand something if I can see it too.  I hope that you all go out and get all your supplies for your first Mod Podge project.  I am sure that you'll get hooked too!

Alicia