Monday, June 25, 2012

Mod Podge Monday - Monogram Heart Canvas

It's Monday again.... and I've got another quick and easy mod podge project for you!

This week, my sweet baby sister turns sixteen years old, so I'm showing you how to make your very own version of a little present I put together for her.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 12" x 16" canvas panel
  • paint chips
  • heart-shaped craft punch
  • spray paint
  • Mod Podge

Instructions? Simple!

First, you spray paint your canvas. Then, you use your craft punch on your paint chips. Arrange them however you want them (I placed them in a lower-cased "t" for my sister's initial) and mod podge them down!

Finished product! Apologies again for terrible camera quality, but you get the idea. It's not fantastic or anything, but I think she'll like it!

Quick heads up that I'll be out of commission for probably the next week or so while I'll be home visiting family for the holiday. Hope everyone has a fantastic 4th of July!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Feature: A Few of My Favorite Things

Wow! It's been quite the busy week. I have been spending a lot of time at the hospital as of late, but I still wanted to check in and hopefully pass along a little inspiration by sharing a few of the things that have me itching to craft again once this white coat comes off!

1. Paint Chips

I can't even begin to touch on all the ways that these versatile little swatches can be creatively incorporated into your repertoire. Seriously, just Google "paint chip crafts" and you will be met with an overwhelming search response that is sure to keep you happily crafting to your heart's content. This blog in particular had a lot of great ideas to get you started.

The only hard part about crafting with paint chips, in my opinion, is acquiring them. I know they are technically there for taking, but I can't help but feel like I'm committing a felony in doing so. Not to mention that clandestine affairs are by no means my forte, so I end up drawing even more attention to myself in my vain attempts to be covert.

Nevertheless, even if you're like me and have no potential for a future in the CIA, it's well worth the effort to swipe a few of these and have a go at making your own colorful crafts!

2. Craft Punches

This may seem slightly excessive since I now own a Cricut and all, but regardless, these are pretty sweet! If you have a specific shape that you know you're going to need dozens of--especially if they are in different colors--the convenience of these is well worth the cost, which is a mere $10 at Hobby Lobby ( or less if you use the weekly 40% Off coupon like me!) Paper Studio has an excellent line with lots of shape options available in different sizes. I'm a big fan of the heart punch I bought last week for an upcoming project I'm working on. Definitely a worthwhile investment!

3. Scrapbook Embellishments

I have been dedicating a great deal of time and effort to my scrapbook as of late. The one I'm working on is only my second one ever, so I'm still very much in the learning stages (even though I'm proud of the first one I made!), and until recently I have been incredibly hesitant to branch out into the unknown as far as what to add to my layouts to make them truly striking. But after a certain crafts store had a Scrapbooking Blow-Out Sale a few weeks ago, I came home stocked up on supplies and filled with the confidence to finally use everything I have at my disposal. Brads, buttons, flowers, 3D stickers, borders, the works. I'm ready to scrap like never before. On that note, I'll hopefully have pictures to follow very soon!


That's all for now..... have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mod Podge Monday - Quotable Canvas Art

If you read one of my previous Friday Feature posts, you got a little sneak preview of today's Mod Podge Monday project! I was so excited to make one of my own, and now I am delighted to share it with all of you. It's by no means perfect, but the little imperfections give it that personal touch (which is one reason I so prefer using puffy paint to wooden letters). Plus it's so simple and bright, it's hard not to love!

Here's what you need to make your own:
  •  12" x 12" canvas
  • puffy paint (in any color, but I just used white for the sake of simplicity)
  • wax paper
  • your quote - printed out in whatever font you like so you can trace it!
  • Mod Podge and brush
  • white spray paint  

The steps for this project are pretty straightforward. You place a sheet of wax paper over your quote and then trace it on to the paper using your delightful puffy paint.

I'm no expert, but I found out (the hard way...) that relatively thicker and more dimensional lettering ended up being better for the most part.

As you can tell from the amount of times I had to trace and re-trace, I had a few....issues. I once again reaffirmed that I pretty much lack all capacity for being visually artistic. If detailed work is involved, my hands will shake exorbitantly--guaranteed! Guess it's a good thing I don't want to be a surgeon...

Once your letters dry, gently peel them off of your wax paper and arrange them on your canvas. When you've got things how you want them, all you have to do is whip out your trusty mod podge to glue them down! Once that has dried, you add a few coats of white spray paint and.....

....voila! You're finished! Yes, it can be a bit tedious if you're a perfectionist (guilty!) but I think it's still well worth the invesment of time and puffy paint, wouldn't you agree?

Hope everyone's week is off to a lovely start... Happy Monday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Feature: A Few of My Favorite Things

I'm back again, paying tribute to some of my favorite finds this week. Enjoy!

1. Mason Jars

Now I'm no stranger to the mason jar movement by any means, but I have yet to make them a part of my DIY decorating. Truth be told, I was worried that the charming rustic feeling evoked by using them was a little too Southern Living to jive with my established decor. But I think this blog post may have made me a bit of a believer.
Photo Credit: Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
Having seen the light, I think I'm ready to embrace mason jars, if for no other reason than their versatility. And hey, who says I can't incorporate some country-inspired pieces in my home. I am, after all, a southern girl... and proud of it!

2. Scrabble Letters

Just for the record, I am a Scrabble beast. I absolutely love the game. So seeing all the fabulous ways the letters are being used in crafts and decorating is a real treat for this aficionado.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:
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Pillows, picture frames, wall art, coasters--they are just so neat! And for future reference, check out these two cute ideas for using them in engagement photos...

3. Painted Glass

Until now, I had never heard of enamel paint. But boy am I psyched to try it out! From what I've gathered reading all these tutorials, the process is ridiculously simple, so long as you have the patience to wait for them to dry. This project is definitely on my to-do list for the near future.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

That's all I've got for you this week. I'm heading out of town this weekend.... but don't worry, I plan to do lots of intense research using the Pinterest app on my iPhone during the car ride tomorrow. Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Sunburst Mirror

Phew! That is my sigh of relief that I am finally able to post this project! It's certainly been a long time coming considering I hinted at the fact that it was "in the works" nearly two and a half weeks ago. And, in truth, it was! I even finished it arguably on schedule. The problem was essentially that I am a ditz.

See, I didn't want to post the finished project until I could hang it somewhere, because on my floor it just looked quite sad and very un-sunburst like.  But, I was reluctant to hang it because I'm leaving my apartment in a little over a month and that would have been just one more hole to mend in my  rented walls (which will, no doubt, resemble swiss cheese once I take down the pictures I already have hanging everywhere).

Now, I'm a ditz because it only dawned on me yesterday that it would be perfectly simple and consequence-free to move one of my pictures long enough to photograph my sunburst mirror hanging in its place. I know, I'm a moron. My cheeks are ablaze with embarrassment as I write this, but I figured I should own up to that rather than mislead you by having you assume the project itself actually took that long.

There is no shortage of tutorials for sunburst mirrors in the blog world, and you can pretty much take your pick of the litter as to which one you'd like to follow. Some of the bloggers out there made their mirrors with the wood shims turned sideways, which was a very cool look indeed, but was considerably more involved and time-consuming. I happened to like the look of the simpler version where the shims are laid flat and arranged in a circle, so that's the one I made.

Here's what you'll need:

  •  8" wood shims from Lowe's
  • Elmer's wood glue
  • Gorilla glue
  • 12" mirror
  • 12" flat circular form

The first thing you'll need to do is arrange your shims. I saw on some of the tutorials that people used shims of different lengths to get the look they wanted. Well, being the newbie that I am, I didn't have the foresight for that when I was at Lowe's and I bought shims that were all the same length. So, my solution was to arrange my first layer of shims lined up on the circle's inner edge, then to insert the second layer offset about an inch from the first layer and stagger them in the holes. I glued it all down using the wood glue.

Here's how it looked as it was drying, just so you can get an idea of my amateur design process.

After it had sufficiently dried (and it was surprisingly sturdy once it had, I might add!) I got to work on painting it, first with the trusty grey primer, then with color. I semi-agonized over which color to use because, as I've mentioned before, my color scheme for my home decor is red and black, and I wasn't entirely sure how either of those would look. But in the end, I went with black. I figured it can generally pass as chic and modern on most surfaces, why not on a sunburst mirror, too?

Once the paint dried, it was time to add the mirror, which I did using magical Gorilla glue. I weighted it down for added adhesion with some of my favorite text books from undergrad (seriously.... why hasn't a sarcasm font been instated yet?)

I let that dry overnight and it was finished! Then, finally, after my embarassingly-long lapse in intelligent cognitive reasoning, I hung my mirror for all to (temporarily) see!

Judging by this trial run, I think it will look great in my new house! It's not too fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but I still like it and think it will look at least moderately snazzy on a wall in my new bedroom. That about wraps up this long overdue post....until next time, friends!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For the Love of the Game

I have been seeing a lot of really neat baseball-inspired crafts on Pinterest lately in honor of all the summer fun there is to be had these few short blissful months. Particularly pin-worthy were some baseball wreaths, of which there are many variations on the theme, all cute and creative.

And, well, with my newly cultivated love for the Atlanta Braves, I figured I had to throw my baseball hat into the ring and make my own!

As you learned from one of my previous posts, my boyfriend is a die-hard Braves fan. And my darling, my love, peg o' my heart, well... he made a bit of a fatal error as of late. I was boring him again showing him all the baseball crafts on Pinterest that I was enamored with when suddenly he uttered the most beautiful sentence ever spoken to a do-it-yourself dame...

"Hey, if it's baseball, I'll help you craft all day."

They may have been his famous last words, but I swear I've never loved him more than in that moment! So last night after root-root-rooting for our team against the nefarious New York Yankees, we bought my beloved some drill bits and got to work.
I found the tutorial for my wreath here, on a fellow Braves fan's blog. Here's what you'll need to make your own snazzy wreath proudly portraying your team loyalty:
  • baseballs (the tutorial used twelve balls... but I used the nine I had!)
  • wire clothes hanger (...much to Mommy Dearest's dismay)
  • wire cutters
  • ribbon
  • drill and 11/64" drill bit
My only regret about my wreath is that, since I don't play baseball or anything (shocking, I know!), my balls are brand spankin' new while many of the balls used in other wreaths I've seen on Pinterest were used, giving them an enviable kind of character. But, oh well. I still like mine.

Brent pretty much took charge on this craft; in fact, it should probably be him posting! He started by straightening out the hanger with some pliers so that we could line everything up and make sure the wire was long enough for nine balls (it was!), then he began drilling holes through them. Granted, I didn't operate the heavy machinery, but from my vantage point it looked fairly straightforward, so long as you possess the wherewithal to keep from drilling a hole through your hand.

Laurie helped out with this project, too!

Brent drilled the holes through the balls and strung them onto the wire one by one.

Laurie was thoroughly confused as to why we were ruining all those perfectly good fetching balls!

After the tough part was over, I stepped in to finish things off (think of me as Brent's relief pitcher) by adding the ribbon to yield the finished product!

I have to admit, I think it looks fantastic! Which really is okay for me to say without any trace of misplaced vanity since Brent (and Laurie) put in the majority of the work. Great job, guys... I absolutely love the new accessory adorning the doorway of my humble abode!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mod Podge Monday

I'm posting something different today, a weekly series to keep things interesting and to keep myself to motivated to find new projects to try. I can be incredibly verbose when it comes to praising the wonders of Mod Podge. In my humble opinion, it reigns supreme at the apex of the hierarchy of craft supplies. Honestly don't know what I'd do without it. In view of its indispensability, I'm devoting my Mondays to crafts that showcase its fantastic functionality in all its glory.

Today I'm showing two quick little crafts that have been done for so long and are so exceedingly simple the tutorials could be found somewhere in Genesis of the crafting bible. Seriously, doing these two crafts should be some sort of ceremonial rite of passage into the crafting world. But, whatever. They are done and overdone because people love them so much. And I do, too!

1. Mod Podge Canvas Art

I already showed you the quote canvas I made for my bathroom in a previous post, and this is quite similar. Not a full quote, but I'm giving myself far too much credit and calling it "artsy" (an insult to all genuine artistic pieces everywhere, I know). 

This is my feeble attempt at an homage to 1 Corinthians 13:13 ("And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.") and it makes a lovely addition to my living room decor! Cricut cut the scrapbook paper, Sure Cuts a Lot made the font possible, and Mod Podge made it art!

2. Mod Podge Chip Board Letters

The possibilities here are truly endless. I don't have any algorithm or mathematical formula to use to prove it, but the alphabet letters and scrapbook paper combinations alone could keep you busy crafting with Mod Podge for a good long time. Here's how I did mine, which I have proudly displayed in my bedroom. Four different black and white scrapbook paper variations Mod Podged on to chip board letters that spell out my name. 

Even with these four letters, I'm far from sated in my love for them. When I move out of my apartment and into my much more spacious abode, I'll be on the look out for aesthetic ways to integrate new ones for sure.


I apologize that today's projects aren't the most exciting, but I hope you like the concept. And if you promise to come back again I guarantee to make next week's Mod Podge Monday project worth your while! Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bottle It Up

Today's project is actually two-fold and involves a room in my home that still remains largely foreign to me since I hate, loathe, and despise cooking. But, so long as I'm not asked to slice, stir, or saute, I am more than happy to follow recipes that help me serve up some delightful decorations for my kitchen.

So what's the project? Making decorative bottles! No, really, it's adorable. I promise. These initially caught my eye on Pinterest, and I found the tutorial for them on this blog. She made them as part of her Valentine's Day decor, but I think they will be super cute in my kitchen year-round.

1. Glittered Bottle

For this project, you'll need your glass bottle, glitter, and Pledge Floor Care Finish (which oddly enough smells amazing...)

My cookie sheet magnetic memo board made a cameo appearance....
Literally all you have to do is carefully pour some of the Pledge into the bottle (doing your best to avoid any bubbles!), swirl it around so that it's reached all the inside surface, then pour the excess back into the bottle. After that, you pour in lots of glitter and carefully swirl that around, too. Pour the excess glitter back into its container (this is a very efficient project), and you're done!

I spray painted the top of my bottle black, too. Jus' cuz!

....but wait! There's more!

2. Decorated Glass Bottle

This one is another easy DIY! But I will say it was definitely harder for me, simply because I have to work really hard sometimes to make my cursive not look like the handwriting of a serial killer, especially when using a writing utensil that's even remotely cumbersome which, in this case, was a bottle of dimensional fabric paint on a glass bottle. I probably looked like a kindergarten kid with one of those over-sized pencils  concentrating really hard while struggling to write on that paper that still has the dotted guideline.....

Yeah, yeah, I know.... my script has already begun its inevitable regression to the chicken scratch characteristic of most doctors' signatures. Oh well.... I tried.

The next part was a breeze! Lately, I have had more spray paint all over my hands than a juvenile delinquent graffiti-ing an urban alleyway. Spray paint primer.... gosh, I just love this stuff. Really, I do. Torrid affair levels of love for the primer. It just works so darn well I can't help myself. But I digress....

I then spray painted it white! Ideally, I should have used white primer but Hobby Lobby only had grey and I had a 40% off coupon and a life-long habit of being impatient, so I bought it. I believe I ended up doing three coats of white for good measure, but it was almost completely covered after the first. 

Side note: I undoubtedly have one of the worst cameras still in regular use, but until I can afford something better, I'm stuck with it. Regardless, here are my two new additions in all their glory, even if the photo doesn't do them justice.

BONUS! I am so sorry! I completely forgot I had these to show in this post as well. These are for my kitchen sink. I originally wasn't even planning on making them (which is probably why I forgot I wanted to add them to this post...) but once I saw how fantastic spray paint primer is and realized I already had some black and red spray paint and some alphabet stickers on hand, I just had to go ahead and give them a quick makeover.

Originally these were just three bottles from Bath & Body Works that people have given me over the years. But with the right ingredients, these boring basics underwent a transformation!

There! Nothing fancy, but more than sufficient until I get some vinyl to use with my Cricut for the lettering.

Until next time, happy crafting, everyone!