Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stamped Flower Pot

This is a nice, quick and easy project that you can do with your kids!  We made this:

Out of this:

It's a cheap terra cotta pot from WalMart.  Paint it with your acrylic paints.  We mixed a bunch of blues together to make a "custom color" because, somehow, that was much cooler than buying the perfect blue!

Pick out a stamp that would work well for your flower pot.  You don't want anything with too much detail.  The stamp can be big or small but remember that a lot of little lines will be harder to get right.  We picked a flower that had big scribble lines.

Dab on your paint with a round or foam brush to the stamp.  Don't overload it because it will get gloppy.

Now roll it on to your stamp.  I like to hold the pot steady and push the stamp directly on the pot.  Carefully rock the stamp one way to the edge and then back to the other side.  Don't slide the stamp or it will smear.

The really neat thing about this project is that you can always wipe off your mess up and paint over it with your original color.  We did that a few times!

Almost done. . . . . but wait!  We want to splatter this pot!  Mix up some paint with an equal part of water so that it's really runny.  Take it outside.  We took off our shoes, socks and put on old shorts.  It got messy!

Dip a long bristled brush in the paint mixture and use your fingers to flick it at the pot, making a fine paint spray.  This is why you do it outside!  Spin the pot and cover all sides.

Let it dry and then spray a coat of sealer on the outside so that this pot is functional as a flower pot.  This one will go to Grammy with a few gardening goodies inside. . . a set of nice gardening gloves, a trowel and a variety of bulbs.

If I do it again:

I would take the pot out on to the grass to spatter.  We did it on the back porch.  I had thought the rain would take care of the bit of paint on the concrete but I was wrong. . . . it was observed by my youngest that it looked like a bunch of birds pooped on our back porch.  Whoops.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cracked Marble Jewelry

We visited the Marble Factory over spring break and watched the artists make some homemade marbles.  That was incredibly educational but WAY out of my creative league.  Perhaps someday when the kids aren't around and open flames aren't tempting fate.

I did purchase some neat marbles and a few odd shapes.  I turned them into cracked marble jewelry.

Cracking your marbles is quite easy but here's my disclaimer.  The marbles get hot.  Really, really hot.  Don't touch them.  Don't burn yourself.  Don't let kids touch them.  Don't let kids play around them.  If you get hurt or burned or something else bad happens, don't blame me.  I warned you.  Be smart!

And on with it!  Take your selection of marbles, with a few extras, and put them on a cookie sheet.

Put them in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Yes, 450 degrees.  Yes, 20 minutes.  They will be HOT!

Take them out but DON'T TOUCH THEM.  Immediately dump them all into a bowl full of ice water.  You will hear sizzling and crackling.  Resist all temptation to pull one out and look.  It's still hot!!!  Leave in the bowl for at least ten minutes.

After the time is up, carefully drain the water and test a marble.  It should be cooled but MAKE SURE.  They should be cracked on the inside!  The outside will still be smooth but the inside is webbed with little and big cracks!

Make sure to inspect all your marbles.  I had a nice variety of round and flat marbles.  Some of the flat marbles had cracks on the inside that went all the way from top to bottom (or side to side!)  You want to take those out of the mix because they are weaker than you want them to be.  You only want marbles that the cracks don't go all the way down.

Gather a few supplies to make your jewelry.

I grabbed my pliers (round nose, nippers and regular pliers), some headpins, a few bead caps and my E6000 glue.  I use E6000 glue and it's great stuff. . . . I've only had it fail once (sorry Claire!).

You will want to make some tops for your marbles.  First put a headpin through a bead cap with the pin extending through the top.  Bend it at a 90 degree angle.

Take your round nose pliers and add a little loop right at the 90 degree bend.

 Another view. . . .
 Grab your loop with your round nose pliers and use the regular pair of pliers to grab the long end of the wire.  Wrap it around the base of the loop several times.  Your end will get mangled but that's okay.

 Straighten your loop with the pliers. . . .

 And clip the end.  Now you have a top for your marble!

Use the E6000 glue and put a small dollop inside the cap.  Place the cap on the marble and hold for a few minutes.  It should be set enough that you can put it down after that.

E6000 glue takes about 48 hours to cure.  You can either wait for it to be cured or do what I do. . . I put the jewelry together and then wait for it to be cured before wearing it.

To put the jewelry together, either add a snap bail to the piece to make it a pendant. . .

. . . . or add ear wires to turn it into earrings.  They are a little heavy but not too bad.

You can also add a regular glue on bail to larger pieces to make pendants.  Use the E6000 glue and glue the pad to the wrong (flat) side of the marble.

This is probably the easiest way to make your jewelry!  Add a chain and you are done!

If I do it again:

1.  I would do a few more of the large, flat marbles.  I love this huge pendant!

Shared here:

Friday, March 23, 2012

CD Case Tag Holder

I was garage saleing and came across a box of twelve extra long CD holders for a dollar.  Of course I bought them!

This is what one of them looks like:

And this is what I turned it into:

Inside is filled with gift tags and little gift cards.  This is a gift to give. . . perhaps as a hostess gift, a housewarming or a "just because".

This is how I did it!

I first took out the insert that holds the CD steady.

We won't be using that part so make sure to recycle it!

Make some cute little gift cards and gift tags with leftover scraps.  I used my sizzix machine to cut out the tag shapes and then embellished them.  The cards fit inside the little envelopes florist cards come in.

Cram Place them gently inside your CD case.  Make sure it closes!

Now decorate the top!  I used some scrapbook paper, ribbon and a fake flower.  I used my Xyron sticker machine to stick the scrapbook paper to the top without having to glue. 

To do the flower, cut it off the stem and take the center out.

Start gluing the layers on to your piece.  Start with the bottom layer and work up.  I use a good fabric glue for this.

My rhinestone center was too small and looked weird so I took a large, clear button.  I rubbed it in a layer of glue and then dipped it into glitter.  I would have a photo or two to show you of this process but I got glue all over my fingers and I refused to touch the camera until they were clean again!  While they were messy, I went ahead and glued the glitter covered button to the center of the flower and then added the rhinestone gem to the top of that.

A pen fit perfectly in the space to the left of the flower and the lid holds it to the ribbon nicely.  

This is a great gift to give and could be customized with a theme or holiday.  I will make a few more of these.  Another great way to give these as a gift would be to stack two or more together, tied with ribbon. You could have these in themes, holidays and occasions or colors.  You could also do one with just cards and one with just tags.  Oh, the possibilities!

If I do it again:

1.  I will do a few with just tags.  I think that the tags are more versatile. . . you could tape them to a gift box or add ribbons and hang from a gift bag.

2.  I will also make one with three different cases stacked together.  One will hold birthday, one will hold Christmas and one will be a general case. 

3.  I will keep an eye out for narrow pens that are a bit more decorative than the black and white one I used. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wrapping Paper Mailing Envelopes

I found myself in a situation where I needed a bubble mailer and I didn't have one.  I hate buying them and tend to recycle ones that I've received in the mail but I was out.  So I made one!

These are very easy and turned out quite nice!  Here's what you need:

*Wrapping Paper (use some of your thicker stuff. . . the super thin stuff will tear.)
* Bubble Wrap
*Spray adhesive
*Sewing Machine

Start out by cutting off a piece of wrapping paper that is about two inches larger than you want your envelope to be.  Cut a second piece with an additional two inches on one end.  Cut two pieces of bubble wrap that are the exact size you want the envelope to be.  Don't worry about measuring or being exact. . . you will fix everything later and it's more trouble than it's worth to be precise here.

Add a layer of spray adhesive to one side of your bubble wrap and to the backside of the shorter piece of paper.  Stick the bubble wrap to the middle.  Repeat with the second piece of bubble wrap but leave a bit of extra space on the top for the flap.  I sprayed the sides that had the bubbles sticking up because that's what the real envelopes do!  

See how the piece on the right is a bit longer?  That's to accommodate for the flap.  Match up your bubble wrap and stick the two pieces of paper together.  Cut the paper down to the bubble wrap on the piece that's on the back.  You can see that I did that on the left side of the photo below.  The other sides are stuck together and the bubble wrap matches.

Now sew!  I used a really wide zig zag stitch but a wider straight stitch would work, too.  Sew only the three sides.

Here's a close up. . . .

Trim it.  You could use some fancy scrapbook scissors and make a pretty edge or you could go the lazy way and use your paper cutter (yes, that's what I did).  Stuff the bag and fold the flap over.  The spray adhesive holds it but I added a little tape, too.

Much nicer than what is sold at the stores!  Add a coordinating label and it's ready for the mail!

The nice thing is that it took about ten minutes from start to finish and it take a lot longer than that to drive to the store to buy one.  Plus, I did this with stuff I had on hand so it was free. Yeah!!!

If I do it again:

1.  I will put something down on my table to take care of the spray adhesive over spray.  Clean up was not fun.
2.  I will make a bunch at a time and I will not make them so big!  I didn't need one this big but I was playing with the design, trying to decide how I was going to make it and I allowed too much extra space.
3.  I will also use up some of my old gift bags to make these.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fabric Journal Cover

I was having one of those days where the dishes were not done, the laundry needed folding and the floors could use a good vacuuming and I didn't feel like doing any of it.  So, I didn't.  I made this instead.

It's a notebook cover.  I ran across the notebooks at Target on clearance so I bought a half dozen, of course.

The problem is that these don't have paper that tears out very easily.  It's more suited as a journal than an actual notebook.  So I decided to make a pretty cover for it and turn it into a journal.

First, I used some very cheap muslin.  It's so cheap and so thin that I had to use two layers.  Cut it out a little larger than your notebook held open.

If you are going to do any sort of sewing on your the front, you should do this now.  It will all be covered up on the back so don't worry about your seams showing.

Now cut some more fabric for the inside.  You need three pieces.  Piece number one will measure the same height as your first cut but only measure half as wide.  The second and third pieces will measure the same height but 1/3 the width of your first piece.

Sew the first cut piece, right sides together, in the center of the back of the cover.  Flip it right side out.

Hem the long edges (one side on each) of piece two and three. . . .

. . . . and pin to the front of the cover, on the edges, right sides together.

Sew it down on three sides.  Leave the hemmed side open.

Clip your corners and flip out.  You can top stitch if you would like.

Slide in your notebook.   

And that's it!  I sewed this ribbon of fabric on before I put the lining of the cover in.

Yes, I know it's not straight.  No, it was not intentional.  That's what happens when you don't listen to your mom when she's trying to teach you the correct way to sew.

It worked out, though.  I added some felt I cut out and some rhinestones and you can hardly tell that I didn't measure my fabric!

If I do it again:

Yeah, the somewhat obvious on this one. . . I'd make sure any sort of sewn on decoration was straight.  Ha!