Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making memories

My front door patio is really plain. In fact, about the only things out there are a welcome sign and a bunch of bikes, scooters and skates. Over the next few weeks one of my new projects is remaking that space into something as interesting as I can for as little money as possible. Which means shopping home.

I started by making this very simple sign (that I found the quote for on Pinterest here)

Materials were:
- A board from the scrap pile
- Brown spray paint
- Clear spray poly
- Craft paint (white wicker)
- Stencil made on the Silhouette machine (I broke the computer cable last week (cry!) but figured out how to use the SD card)

Since I already had all of this it made the project FREE! (love that kind!)

After painting and before poly I sanded it off a little because it looked a little too perfect given the sentiment of the sign.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fish Heads

While I was weeding in the front yard rocks I saw this little rock hanging out and I thought it looked like a goldfish cracker. Or a smiling fish head anyway. But it must be hard for a fish to smile when it hasn't any body so...

I helped it out a bit. See? Looks kinda like a goldfish cracker.

So I suppose now he's got something to smile about. And on the plus side, this is a fish that won't end up belly up in my tank.

PS. Even after fimo clay cools, the rock is still really freakin' hot. So be careful on that. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kid Project: Super Simple 3D Stars

This weekend the kids and I played with craft punches a whole lot while I was working on the mantle decorations. One of the things I showed them was how to make 3D stars. I think this would be really fun to make a mobile with or to use decorative holiday paper and make 'em really big. I'm thinking something sparkly and white made from full size sheets (like 5 or 6 sides instead of just 3?) could be really pretty on a Christmas tree top, too. In this case, we found a really squirly branch while we were hiking and turned it into a mini-tree.

The materials are simple. Paper, scissors, thread, glue and an optional craft punch. Any shape will do as long as it's symmetrical.

Cut out your shapes and fold them in half.

Glue one half of the first two pieces together:

Put glue on the other halves and stick some thread in the middle for hanging:

Then cover with the third piece.

And that's it. I like this one because once the kids master the basic idea there are so many places they can take it from there, like making larger ones and punching smaller shapes out of it when it's done, putting pictures on the outside so you see new images as it turns, using more than 3 pages for more intricate designs, layering the paper, adding beads, etc. Have fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

182 Stars

I saw a really pretty image on Pinterest of white stars all sewn up in rows that I thought would be great for Christmas or 4th of July. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to put them up when I started punching the stars out but as I laid them out it just sort of turned into an American flag. Of course, for Christmas or other holidays you could do the same thing with random colors or all white for a very pretty display.

That is a whole lot of stars, 182 to be exact (49 Blue, 63 White and 70 Red). It's a really good workout for your arms if you're using a craft punch like I did.

This will give you an idea of how far apart I was spacing them. I stuck a piece of tape on the machine to give me an idea where to pull it to.

As I finished sewing each row I taped them onto the branch so that I could adjust them all at the same time when I finished.

They aren't at all straight but it gives it more character anyway.

And below is my new mantle for the 4th of July, including the Liberty raised paper art from yesterday and the white mantle I worked on last month. There's no tutorial for the star but I just hand drew it (and redrew and redrew) on a piece of plywood until I had what I liked and then cut it out. I can't decide if it should be painted, stained or left bare. What do you think?

Sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick and
Todays Creative Blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Raised Paper Art

I've been seeing quite a few images of art with raised wooden words and I'm really liking it (a couple favorites here and here). BUT, I didn't really want to spend a couple hundred on art and I don't like the idea of being limited in fonts to only what I could buy at the store in pre-cut letters. Then yesterday while I was working on another project it occurred to me that if my cuts are all exactly the same (like if I cut it out with a paper punch or with the Silhouette) then I could layer the papers for the same effect. Enter the test project:

Looks like the verdict is that it definitely works. I used 5 layers of watercolor paper for the letters and 9 layers of card stock for the center star, both to about the same height. So, for future simplicity, this project style will certainly be done with watercolor paper (less layers to glue together).

Simply cut out your text/image multiple times and use a trusty glue stick to put them together. Same effect as the wooden letters, at a much cheaper price, and now I have the start of my mantel finished for July 4th.

Sharing here: HouseofHepworths

Friday, June 3, 2011

How To: Cake and Cupcake Stand

First off I LOVE pinterest. I was resisting because I didn't want to transfer my massive idea folder that I already have but now that I have started I just love it. I have part of my idea folder up there now and slowly I'll get the rest up. No more will I have to transfer my idea folder between computers and my backup hard drive as I can just reference it from anywhere and so can any friends who are interested. LOVE!!! Anyway, I mentioned to someone that I could give them the dimensions to make a cupcake tower and then I figured why not just blog it and then I can put more info up on it.

So, this is the cupcake/cake stand I made for my wedding last October. My friend Selena (behind the stand) made all of my cupcakes and my cake and she was wonderful. They turned out so nice! My niece Julia was quite the helper for her as was my niece Brianna (Julia's cousin).

This is what it looked like before I painted it. I put it all together in the garage to check the fit and see if anything needed to be trimmed up at all.

The support pieces are pretty simple. Mostly you cut out some rectangles and notch the centers. When you cut the center notch you cut it slightly wider than your wood (so that even after painting it will slide smoothly) for half the height of the board. As you can see in the picture below most of the supports are 5 inches tall so the notch is about 2.5 inches so it will fit nicely together.

My support pieces are 7 x 5, 11 x 5, 16 x 5, 20 x 2.5. Most pieces are cut from MDF except for the short support (2.5 inch tall). For that I just used a 1x3 I had in the garage in the scrap pile.

When you are ready to assemble the whole thing this is how the supports fit. They just make an X (or + depending on how you look at it) and then the circle is set on top.

Here is what it will look like all put together. The circles I cut are 10, 14, 18 and 21.5 inches. You could probably make a couple more layers (maybe 24 and 28 inches?) but my reception was fairly small so I stopped at 4. The reason I went with 10 inches for the smallest layer is so that a 8" or 9" cake fits nicely on top. After that it's just a matter of sizing for cupcakes so I allowed a little room on either side for the next layer and then went up a little for each of the next.

My edges aren't perfect (after I drew the circles with pencil I cut it out with a jigsaw) so I trimmed the edges with ribbon. If you are going to use ribbon instead of sanding more I recommend that the ribbon be the same width as your board thickness but I didn't think about it and by the time we started gluing it was the morning of the wedding and there wasn't time to go to the store, haha. So my ribbon is a bit too wide.

The nice thing about building it this way is that you don't have to use all of the layers:

The layers can be separated into multiple towers:

And you don't even have to center anything so you really have a lot of flexibility.

When storing you can stack it flat which is what I did for quite a while.

But later I decided that it was more convenient to use a pan rack (this one was picked up at Walmart) to make it easier to get to the layers I wanted. It also takes up less shelf space (slightly) this way.

And to finish it off, how about a couple more action shots:

Project shared at:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Before and After: Powder Bathroom

Despite almost constant painting, there are 4 rooms in my home that have still been unpainted. The bathrooms. I've just never been itching to do them. I don't know why, maybe because I've never been inspired or possibly because there is just something about putting my face that close to a toilet, no matter how clean.

In any event, the paint bug bit again and I turned the bathroom into this:

From this (Sorry for the awkward pics but it is really hard to get pictures of a seriously tiny room. I actually took the door off of the hinges for most of these pictures):

Here's one more before shot. I still have no idea why the builder installed a full towel bar in a powder bathroom. Such overkill. The paint in here was truly awful before because, like the rest of the house originally did, it had flat builder paint. Builder paint being different than normal paint because they buy crap paint super cheap that the store who made it won't even sell to the general public. Seriously, the guy at the paint store that the builder paint came from actually sneered at the idea of selling it. This stuff is like chalk and just rubs right off the wall if you try to scrub at all. I can't tell you how well that works in a bathroom with 5 kids.

To set off the gray a little more I changed out the owls to a white felt background.

(Remember those?)

The paint color is Sherwin Williams Pewter Cast (though I had it mixed in Behr paint).

I really love how it brings out the colors in the floor. So much better than before.

And the white sink and toilet stand out, too, which I like. I'd still like to chuck the builder light fixture but for now it will do since leaving it made this redo super cheap. Like $35 dollars total cheap. Yay!