Monday, December 20, 2010
I've continued to play around with wood, paint, crackling medium, and Cricut vinyl letters, and came up with this Christmas decoration. I like it so much that I want to make one that isn't in seasonal colors because of what it says about God and how I relate to Him. To me, He is my source of hope, joy, peace, and so much more, and He is definitely my Saviour. I used leftover pieces of 2 x 4's cut from the wood photo holders posted recently (from the http://www.howdoesshe.com/ site). I used a narrower piece of wood cut from a long board purchased and cut at Home Depot. I was originally going to put "Believe" on the long piece of wood as a separate decoration for Christmas, but then decided to use it with the 3 smaller pieces of wood. The whole thing was an experiment- I was going to put holiday words on the smaller pieces, and wasn't sure what all I was going to do. I'd also run out of the green and red paint, so I couldn't use the eight inch piece cut from the 2 x 4's that I had left over to put "Saviour" on, so I tried the one I'd originally intended for "Believe".. I'm really happy with how this turned out, and I can arrange the wood pieces however I want. I don't think my infatuation with wood, paint, and crackling medium is over yet... :)
Monday, December 13, 2010
These are just a slightly bigger version of the "joy" block photo holders I posted recently. I made them the same way- paint, crackling medium, more paint, then I used a metal stem wire wrapped around the edge of needlenose pliers to make the spiral of sorts. I sanded slightly around the edges to distress it a little bit more. I used a finishing nail to make a hole the same diameter of the wire in the center of the wood, then pushed the wire in. Ta-da! Super easy secretary gifts for the ladies in the office at the boys' school. :)
I bought these large square votive holders at the Dollar Store, then used Cricut vinyl to cut out the letter C- (both of the ladies who are co-leading our Bible Study at church have names that start with C). I used Armour Etching Paste to etch the glass. It's a little spendy, but it goes a long way, and when you scrape it off, you just put it back in the jar. Running your object under running water deactivates it, so it doesn't damage your pipes (just in case you wonder about things like that... ) I'm filling these with a candle and a little blank tag book- (paper cut as tags, then hole punched and held together with a book ring- I added ribbon to the book ring to pretty it up just a bit..) I think it will be a nice little gift, in which the recipients can use the glass holder as they wish, and fill the book with Scripture verses or quotes that they like. Easy peasy, and super fast!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I think I was inspired by http://www.howdoesshe.com/ for these with all their wood crafts, I can't remember anymore.. but I know at the very least that's what triggered my thinking... I happened upon these handy little blocks out of the generosity of my best buddy (also a very crafty buddy at that :) ) I decided to try and paint then crackle them with holiday colors, and add the word "joy" on them (since it's short and sweet, and these are small blocks). The crackling worked, and then I sanded a bit around the edges of them, to add even more detail to them. I used Weathered Wood Crackling Medium by Americana- I mentioned in my previous post with my wood signs that I have figured out how to make it work for me for the most part without it dragging and ruining the whole look.. I found it at Michaels for under three dollars, and it goes pretty far. Anyhow, I used my Cricut to cut out vinyl letters and stuck them on there- but you could paint them on there or use stickers, whatever you want. The next point of the experiment was to see if I could manage to get a wire photo holder in the wood without mangling everything. I used metal stem wire- found in the floral arrangement dept. in JoAnn's- it was a package of about 20, and I cut them in half. I wrapped one of the ends around the end of a pair of needle nose pliers to make the spiral holder, then added another loop in the middle by wrapping it around my finger. I used a finishing nail the same width as the stem wire to make a hole. I dabbed the ends of the stem wire in E-6000 glue before pushing them into the hole, and to my happiness, it fit tightly and securely. Woohoo! These were totally inexpensive- you could use scraps of wood for anything. I highly recommend using crackling medium to instantly make something a little fancier. I'm excited that this actually worked out- those ideas in my head don't often have success :) ..
Friday, November 26, 2010
I got to playing with 2 x 4's after getting them cut, and then fiddled around with paint and crackling medium. In a previous post regarding my breadbox, I talked about my struggles with crackling medium. I think I've found a kind that I like- the Weathered Wood crackling medium. You allow it to dry completely before you put your top coat of paint on. I have discovered that the biggest trick to it not dragging when you brush the paint on, is to thin down your top color of paint with water so that you can get it on without dragging the brush- for once you don't want super thick coverage of paint. I also figured out that the other trick for me was to use a bigger brush, so the combination of the thinner paint with being able to brush it on fast, before it interacts with the crackling medium (and then drags.. and frustrates you quite a bit) and the bigger brush so that you are done faster, it seemed to work really, really well.. Yes, this makes me very happy, because it's very aggravating to work so hard on something, having it look like it's got great potential, and then have the last details snag up on you... So I painted and crackled the wood, then distressed it a bit more around the edges with sandpaper- which also reveals the base coat.. I'm really enjoying how this looks.. :) (yes, my inner craft geek comes out big time here...). All that was left was cutting out vinyl with my Cricut. The "Keep CALM and CARRY on" quote I found on a talented lady's blog (which I can't remember or find at the moment)- only she also added a crown on there, which totally adds more to the look, but alas, I have no crown- only the ones in my mouth, and those won't do me any good here.. Add a metal hanger on the back and some ribbon to finish it off.... The "Est." idea for the last name I also found in several places in blog land. I'm glad I finally got around to making it. Oh, and for the record- the Gratitude sign, I didn't crackle, I just distressed, but I'm lumping it in with all my signs for the day...
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This is a project I was asked to help with by a friend of mine. The wood pieces are 12" long- I had them cut from a larger piece purchased at Home Depot, and they cut it down for me. I used eye screws to link the pieces together. I hammered a nail into the wood to make a hole to screw the eye screws in. The only thing that is missing is that I recommended my friend to use some ribbon at the top to act as a hanger- and add a bit of pretty to offset the dark colors. You basically nail a regular picture hanger in the back of the wood to hang it by, and then glue ribbon to the back and attach it to the wall with a small pin so it looks like it's hanging by the ribbon but it's not. She chose the words "smile, relax, home" because they had significant meaning to her. The colors match the colors of her bedroom- I don't think I'd normally use a dark color to have writing on it because it's hard to see. I painted the wood and then used Cricut vinyl letters to trace around, then peeled them off and filled it in with black paint. I used a piece of sand paper to distress it, then sealed with a clear top coat. So, she's happy with the colors- personally I might have used black vinyl letters, but it's not for me, and I'm always critical of things I've made. I took pictures of the steps, probably not necessary, but I personally like seeing pictures, so maybe somebody else might too.
Have I mentioned that I love what you can do with a piece of wood? What I did: took a piece of wood and painted a base coat (bottom), then crackling medium, then a white top coat. I then used my Cricut to cut out vinyl words to go on the sign- this idea I've gotten from several blogs, so I can't specifically say which one, because I've seen it done in a variety of ways. How could you make it easier? Forget the crackling step, and just paint your wood the color you want. You could sand it a little to distress it, but that's not even necessary unless you really want to. I think I might donate this to our MOPS auction that we have in the spring.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I found this can of sorts in Craft Warehouse- there are varieties that are completely metal (more traditional paint can, versus the shape, but not the function of this particular kind). I've had this sitting in my craft stash for a couple of years now, and I've been seeing versions of them all over the internet, I just hadn't had the motivation to do it, until not. Instead of covering the outside with paper, I placed it on the inside instead, and didn't need adhesive. You can switch it out to whatever you want inside. I measured around the outside with my measuring tape to see how long I'd need the paper, and also measured how high the can was too. I took about a 1/2 inch off of the height measurement so I wouldn't have to try and jam it under the lip of the can. I needed 2 pieces of paper to fit the inside, since my 12 inch paper was not long enough, so I just stuck a shorter piece onto the longer one and rolled the entire piece up, then popped it inside the can. As it unrolls you can push it along the sides to fit better. If you'd like you can add more adhesive at the ends to keep it still, but I don't mind how it looks. I used a corner rounder to make a scallop at the top, then inked it. I like how it turned out, it makes it a little prettier to me. I used my Cricut to cut out an initial out of vinyl, then stuck it on the outside, and added a few simple pretties to it, along with some flowers and buttons. I tied ribbon scraps to the handle to color it up just a little more. At that point, I just filled it with scrapping goodies for a friend. We made a simpler version of this for our MOPS table centerpieces this year. I cut out paper in the same fashion, then added a little cut out with this year's theme on it. We tied coordinating ribbon to the handles, then made flower pens and put them in the inside of the can for the ladies to take notes with during the meetings. We'll be able to reuse the containers with other papers if we want to, since we didn't stick anything on the outside (unlike this present for a friend in which I used the vinyl and the flowers/buttons.). Sooo, the moral of this story is: don't be daunted, these can be fun and simple little goodie containers, and easy enough to make. OOh, and I now apologize for the ugly dirty window tracks behind the can in the pictures, ICK! Note to self: clean those window sills and tracks!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I played around with another set of these today, for a second example for the MOPS craft coming up a week from Thursday. I set the blocks horizontally instead of vertically, but they can be set however you want. I will mention the site, again, that I found this idea from, because I know that if this is something that appeals to you, you'll love the 2x4's section of craft ideas on http://www.howdoesshe.com/ . I think I like this set better than the first one I did :)
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I decided to try this out in the same manner I did the wood blocks for the photo holder craft, it was all looking good ( to me) until I inked.. now I'm not so thrilled with it, even though it does add a bit more to it. Don't you just hate it when you are making something and you're liking the way it looks, and add just ONE more detail, and it's a commitment detail that you can't really undo, and then you don't like it much after that point. Bah!!! Anyway, I used extra scraps of wood left over from the wood photo holder project. I can use it for early Fall and then around Thanksgiving too...
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Well, I finally finished it- the new sign we'll be using for our MOPS group (if you want to know more, check out http://www.mops.org/ ). I used a 24" x 30" frame. I used spray glue to attach fabric to the back of the frame, ribbon with Terrifically Tacky Tape, and used my Cricut to cut out the vinyl for it. I tell ya, trying to make sure everything was even and not all wonky was a challenge ( I did not use the Transfer Paper they recommend using with vinyl, I'm cheap... ) It was intimidating working on such a big scale, and I've only used vinyl on a very small glass frame. I want to do a lot more now that I've tried it. I think making just a welcome sign or a sign with our last name and "est. 1994" (when we were married) would be cool too, especially with a fabric background. Lots of fun! If I had the room, something of this size could be cool for a daily schedule... lots of possibilities!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I found this idea on http://www.howdoesshe.com/ - a really cool blog, there's lots of fun wood projects on there. I want to try more. We'll be doing this for October's craft in the MOPS group I'm involved in. If you're interested in MOPS, you can check it out at http://www.mops.org/ - MOPS is a great opportunity for support and connection with other moms. This picture shows what I did for the example for the group, and therefore can be finished in the given time we have for crafts for that meeting. I plan on doing another one (or more :) for gifts), and I think I'll maybe paint the blocks and sand and ink around the edges, but I didn't want to add too many extra steps for the meeting. It felt good to craft again, I've been busy with summer and kids and such, along with working on another mini album for a friend, so it felt good to whip this out. It comes together really fast!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
As you can probably see by the pictures of my recipe boxes (the brown, torn, sun faded ones), they're kind of hurting in the "appeal" department. I've had them forever, and they've served me well. The other day I was looking at them though, and thinking, gosh those things look ratty! I had several more in my closet being used for pictures (which I think is their original "purpose"- but since my recipe cards are bigger than the average recipe box, I went for the picture boxes), and since these are on their last legs, I took some of the ones in better shape and lightly sanded them (since the paper was glossy), and then took my trusty acrylic paint and went at them. I used crackling medium with one, and went for a "plainer" look on the second, thinking a) if the crackling doesn't go as I liked, I didn't do the work on 2 boxes for naught, and b) it's a nice 'contrast' to the crackling to have the eyes rest on. I played around with the lids, and I think I like using the crackled lid on the solid colored box... The beauty of it is that I can switch them around if it starts bugging me. I used my Cricut to cut out some red vinyl numbers for the boxes, just for whimsy. Anyhow, I didn't spend a thing- I already had the supplies that I needed right here at home, and now my kitchen is starting to look a little more coordinated with the colors. I don't know why I'm on that color combo kick right now of that aqua-ish with red... I think scrapbooking paper has inspired me. I suppose the bonus of painted things like that is that if I want to change things up, I'm not committed to those colors, I can just repaint or cover with paper....anyway, I hope you might have gotten an idea or two about changing something up without having to go out and spend money to do so...
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I found the idea for this from I think it was Dollar Store Crafts- a site/blog, something like that. She spray painted the frames (they started out this oogly brown...) and then added neato things to be framed. I did basically the same thing, except I used my monogram acrylic stamps and stamped two Fs and an H. I then used one of my Cricut cartridges to cut out "home" "family" and "faith"- a few handy little bonuses on the cartridge. I put the vinyl on the OUTSIDE of the glass, and the stamped images on the inside. I really like how it looks... they're now on my mantle. What took the longest was having to spray a couple of coats (separately) of the spray paint on the frames. I think I need to invest in a can of spray primer. Anyhow, here's to having vision to overlook the initial "ugh" of something, and to spray paint! And to the ladies who inspired me to find these frames in the first place from the Dollar Store. :)
I found this breadbox in a thrift store near our house, and it was 2.99, and a lime-ish green. Not particularly shabby, but I knew it had potential. I played around with some paint- a Caribbean blue color, with some crackling and an undercoat of brown paint. I decided it was a bit too bright for me, not to mention the crackling medium was dragging in places and didn't look good. I think the problem was that the paint was too thick. So, I mixed a bottle of the blue with a bottle of white and it was a bit lighter, and then added some water to thin it down enough so I could get full coverage with one stroke of the brush across and not have the brush drag and mess up the crackling medium. On this project, I tried a different brand- Americana weathered wood crackling medium, in which you allow it to dry. I had previously used DecoArt brand crackling medium which requires you to NOT allow it to fully dry. I think I'm just getting aggravated with crackling at this point (at least on bigger projects), but I have figured out that the thickness of the paint used on the top coat can make a big diference in the success of the attempt. I haven't yet tried the spray crackling medium from Valspar- I so want to try it, but it's 6.50 a can and you need a base coat and top coat color, meaning, a little chunk of change for something you've never tried before and not sure what success you'll have with or like. The advantage of the spray would be that you don't have a brush dragging through the medium and smearing it..... Okay, I'm seriously rambling here. So after repainting/crackling the whole thing, I'm happy enough with it to put in my kitchen, but NOT for bread- I'm going to use it for my dish towels. I'm glad I changed out the knob too, those suckers are expensive though! I have a little set of wood drawers that I need to switch 3 knobs out by the time I'm done and I don't want to spend that money on them, and I need smaller knobs.. but I'm digressing again... Anyhow, I think my distressed little breadbox is a happy distressed at this point...
Saturday, June 19, 2010
So just to clarify on the Frosting spray- it's the Valspar variety I used on my Mason jars, not the Betty Crocker kind for cupcakes and cookies and such . ( Just clarifying because of the mystified expression on my 8 year old's face when I said the words "frosting spray" and "glass".) Anyhow, I bought these glass containers at the Dollar Store in their craft/candle section, and I used my Cricut to cut out letters for the toothbrush holders and a pretty little design for the Q-tip holder, from vinyl. It is quite handy (but completely unnecessary), if you revisit my post on the Mason jar teacher gifts, you'll see why, and the link to the original poster of this idea- who didn't use a Cricut, or vinyl. I needed two holders for toothbrushes since we now have 2 bathrooms. I still have more plans for the Frosting spray....
As I was making my Menu board, I thought about how handy it would be to have a "to-do" board, to jot down my notes for what I needed to do that day. I'm always writing notes down for what I need to do on any given day, and this is so much easier (at least for around the house). So I just made a little bit smaller of a "to-do" board in the same way I made the Menu board- with a picture frame and vinyl cut outs. I really like how it's practical and looks nice on the wall with the Menu board at the same time. Are you feeling a little urge yet to make something like this? :) They're very easy... anyhow, I suppose it depends mostly on what appeals to you, but I'm enjoying (and using) my latest creations.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I found these the other day whilst ( I like that word- a little more interesting than "while" ) perusing craft blogs and some of their links to other blogs... I've been finding the neatest ideas that way! I was able to track down the original post and blog for this craft- since I don't always know where I found the pictures I save for future crafts, this is very cool. I don't want to ever take credit (or be given it for that matter) for somebody else's great idea, that is NOT cool. Okay, so I found this idea here: http://www.recapturedcharm.com/2010/05/mason-jar-tea-lights.html on a blog called Recaptured Charm. I'm going to have to spend more time perusing her blog. I showed my best friend and we both made these using apples, so we could give them as teacher gifts. We used vinyl die-cuts made with the Cricut die cutting machine, but as you will see if you check out this talented lady's tutorial at Recaptured Charm, she did not have a Cricut and still found a way around that little (in)convenience- she made her own- yep, she's just that good! While I'm at it, I'm going to give the link to my best buddy's blog too, so you can check out her cool stuff, and her take on these little gems : http://dlemmascraftsbykatherine.blogspot.com/
I used the wide mouth Mason pint jars, my buddy used the half pint wide mouth jars- which I happen to think are adorable.. gush.... :) After making these, I have become a big fan of the Frosting spray- I used Valspar brand, and found it at Lowe's home improvement store for $4.98, you can find it at Michael's too, but it was several dollars more. Anyway, check out the link, and you can see how she did it. Easy peasy. I'm thinking this technique would be fabulous with Dollar Store glass plates on the underside- think of all the possibilities. The next thing I try with this will surely get posted here :) Thanks for checking it out, I hope you got some fun ideas to try!