Easy scrapbook paper art

We are doing a bit of redecorating around here and I wanted get some new art pieces for my little Stella’s room. I couldn’t find anything I loved, so I decided to make something myself. I copied this idea from an ad for a craft store.

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You will need:

A blank canvas (I used 20 x 20)
A mix of 10-12 different scrapbook papers
Scissors
Glue
Mod Podge

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 I found this cute collection of scrapbook paper for $5.99 and the canvas was half off. So, I only spent $16 total and have some leftover paper to use for something else. Aren’t the scrapbook paper patterns cute? Love.

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I started by making a couple of templates for my flower petals. I am not big on perfection for stuff like this, so I just eyeballed it using the cover of a magazine so the template was a bit thicker than the scrapbook paper. I also cut out a circle for the center, just by tracing the bottom of a wine glass to get a nice, round circle.

Then I started cutting the petals out. I used an exacto knife because it is faster for me than scissors.

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Once I had enough petals, I started laying them out in random order to make a big bloom on the canvas. Once I was happy with the layout, I glued each piece down with a glue stick.

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I added this in the corner, so cute.

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After that, I painted on a couple coats of Mod Podge over the whole thing to seal everything and I was done!

What do you think?

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DIY Burlap Wreath

I’m not what I’d call a crafty person, but I occasionally try my hand at making something when I get suckered into all the ideas I get from the craft store.

I have wanted a wreath for our front door that is more seasonal, not just for a specific holiday. And I happen to love the burlap that’s popping up everywhere. So, here is my version of a very imperfect burlap wreath.

Here’s how I did it…

I took a wire wreath form that I had and started out by wrapping batting around it. I think you could use most kinds of wreath forms and other kinds of materials to give you a base. Even paper would work.

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Just glue the end, wrap, and then glue on the other end once you’ve made your way around. Then you have this:

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I bought a bundle of burlap for this project, and I chose an ivory color because I wanted it to pop on my black front door. It’s a 1/2 yard and was plenty. Take your burlap and cut it into squares, mine were about 4″ x 4″.

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Then you’re going to start gluing on your pieces of burlap with your glue gun. For the first layer, don’t worry about it if they look too flat, just glue them on randomly and it will eventually come together.

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After you’ve got your first layer, start creating some texture with the pieces. Take a square and fold it with your hand, leaving the center in a bit of a point. Glue down the point and hold while the glue dries. Like this:

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Do this all the way around and until you have everything covered. You should end up with a nice, ruffled texture.

Then, embellish with a lil’ something. I chose a red fabric flower that I picked up at the craft store.

And you’re done! A perfectly imperfect wreath that will work through fall and winter.

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Displaying kids art

I am SOOO excited about this finished project and can’t wait to share it with you!

You know the drill…you’ve got your kids adorable art sprinkled all over the house and car. I think it’s important to honor their creativity and display their prized artwork, but I was struggling with a way to contain it all. So I came up with the idea to once a year scan the pieces onto my computer and make a mosaic collage to hang on the wall. I had Cole go through his art and pick out his favorites for the mosaic and other favorites to keep in a file. Now he can proudly show off his work and I don’t have projects all over the place.

This is so easy to do, you don’t need a fancy program. I searched for a free program to make a mosaic using his first day of school picture as the master image, and found mosaickr.com. This is a free program and worked great, you just upload your photos and they put it together for you. The only problem I had was that this looks the best when you use 300-500 photos, and I had around 50.

I ended up using Picasa (also free) to put together the collage. After uploading your images and editing, you simply select all the photos you want to include and click on the “Create Photo Collage” button at the top.  I also included his first day of school photo in the collage to put in the center.

Then select “mosaic” from the collage options and rearrange until you are happy with the layout. I was able to put his school picture in the middle and put the year in text over the picture as well. Then, just save and have it printed and that’s it!

And I framed it. Now I just have to figure out where to hang it up!

How to get the mercury glass look

Mercury glass decor items are popping up everywhere. It adds a nice grown up sparkle without looking stuffy. And when you can get away with adding sparkle in your home without demasculizing your husband, by all means – do it.

My inspiration:

Photo Credit: Vases, Lamp, Hurricane

I picked up the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint at Craft Warehouse, gasped at the price and put it back. Then I remembered I had my 50% coupon so I went for it. Finding glass pieces wasn’t hard, I LOVE collecting different glass items and who doesn’t love the good ole mason jar. So while baby was sleeping and my four-year old was treated to some Angry Birds time on the computer, I set out to get this project done.

I started by spraying the items with 3-4 very light coats of the paint, giving five minutes of dry time or so in between each coat. Tip: spray on very, very light coats, and spray the inside of your item. When the paint dries, the mirror side will be on the outside – and the inside will be matte.

And then things got interesting. When I went back out to check on them, our sprinkler system was going full-bore in the backyard and they were dripping wet. Why the sprinklers were on at two in the afternoon I do not know…what is it with men and constantly working on their perfect lawns? It’s like they are an extension of their…well you know.

Anyway, I brought them inside and tried to dry them off but the paint started coming off in patches. Lovely. So I tried painting again even though there were still some areas of paint on them that I couldn’t get off.

After the second attempt at painting them, I put together a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and gave them a thorough spray.

After sitting for a few minutes I started to gently wipe off the vinegar mixture, leaving behind the scratched and bubbled imperfections.

What do you think?

All natural cleaning scrub recipe

This is one of the easiest cleaning recipes but one of my favorites. If you’ve made my homemade laundry soap, you should have Borax and baking soda around. The recipe is simple: 2 parts Borax to 1 part baking soda. (If you don’t have the items already, Borax can be found in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores.)

First, take a large nail and a hammer, and punch holes in the top of your mason jar. This will be your container for your scrub.

Then mix your Borax and baking soda together and a bada bing!

Use in showers, tubs, sinks and tile for a simple, non-toxic and non-abrasive cleaner. You can also sprinkle in your garbage disposal and drain, let stand for 15 minutes and rinse to clean and deodorize.

Homemade dry shampoo for brunettes

Dry shampoo is one of my absolute beauty must haves. It freshens up your locks after a workout or in between washings, and gives your roots a little lift from bed head. It can be a spendy product, but my main issue is that it can leave your hair with an ashy grey look if you have brown or other dark-colored hair. Dry shampoo is basically made of cornstarch and fragrance. So, I got to mixing in my kitchen and came up with a nice homemade version that works great for us non-blonds.

Just take equal amounts of unsweetened cocoa powder and cornstarch and mix together. Store the mixture and sprinkle (not too much!) on roots when you need a little hair refresher and some body.

I’m wondering if you could use cinnamon or something to make a version for red-heads? Hmmmmm…

How to paint a chevron wall

Chevron! (Say it like Oprah. Chev-roooooooonnn!)

I saw a lovely grey and white chevron wall over on pinterest and had to have my own. You see, my husband had just finished building a fabulous murphy bed in our bonus room (more on that later), but I kept thinking it needed something more. Too sterile. Guest beds need to feel cozy, super soft sheets and be adorned with some kind of headboard. But, I knew with a four month old and a four year old running around, I needed to do something quick and easy, with big visual impact.

The walls in this room are already painted a lovely shade of grey and I had leftover cream paint that matched the trim and cabinets, so I did this on the cheap. Before I started painting, I took measurements and made a little drawing of my design to double check everything. I first measured the length and width of the wall, and formed my pattern working from the middle out. I picked the middle point and made a square grid; then I made the chevron pattern using the points of the squares. I wanted a big, dramatic pattern (and I didn’t want to have to tape too much), but you could do it whatever scale you want.

Once I was happy with my pattern, I started measuring out my grid and used small pins to mark the points of the squares. Then the final and most laborious step before getting out the paint roller was to tape the chevron pattern.

Save some time and buy the Frog tape. It seals wonderfully and you will get a nice clean line.

Then paint a couple of coats, remove your tape and a bada bing – serious chevron fabulousness!

Footstool makeover

Think twice when you see something that looks like junk at a garage sale or Goodwill.

This sad little footstool was at a friend’s garage sale last weekend and I snatched it up to give it a makeover for my friend who is a photographer. I thought it would make the perfect little prop for her photos of little ones.

To give it a fresh look, I removed the fabric top part where it was attached with four screws. Then I gave the wood a quick sand and gave it two coats of black paint with a can of spray paint. I had some leftover fabric (I’m obsessed with chevron, this is Premier Prints) so I eye-balled it and cut out enough to leave a couple of inches of overlap around the edges. I wrapped the fabric around starting on one side, tucking the raw edge under then used a staple gun to hold it in place. I worked my way around being sure to hold it really tight to keep the fabric smooth and the print lined up across the edge.

Turned out pretty darn cute. What do you think? (I am loving my models :))

GAK

Gak: A popular Nickolodeon slime, available in many variations such as glow in the dark, speckled, coconut smelling, etc. Useful for making fart noises and grossing out friends. (via Urban Dictionary)

We made our own. So easy, best $3 project ever.

Homemade Gak

  • Empty two 4 ounce bottles of Elmer’s glue into a big bowl.
  • Add 8 ounces of water and mix (you can just refill the Elmer’s bottles with water)
  • Add desired food coloring.
  • Dissolve 1 tsp Borax into 1/2 cup of warm water.
  • Add the Borax mixture to the glue mixture.
  • Watch it turn into the slimey fun we call Gak!

See, wasn’t that easy??

Glass etching

Glass etching is one of those things that becomes completely addicting. I already have a tendency to collect cool glass dishes, glasses and things, and now I want to etch everything! Here are the simple steps on how to do it, I put a friend’s last name on a 9 x 13 in baking dish. I love it because you will always get your dishes returned when you’ve got your name smack dab in the middle.

If you have one of those machines that cut out paper or vinyl, you could certainly save some time using it. But, I am not that crafy so I found a fun font and printed out my design. Did you know there are a TON of free fonts out there? Check out Free Scrapbook Fonts 

I used layers of painter’s tape and then taped the template over the top. Then you get out your little friendly exactor knife and get to it. Trace around the letters and then remove the tape so it looks like this:

Carefully remove the template and attach where you want it on your project. I made sure it was sealed well, using my fingernail to smooth over bubbles.

Then you take etching cream (you can find it by the paints at craft stores, I got mine at Craft Warehouse) and glop (a technical term) it on making sure the area you want etched has a thick coating. I just used a small craft paint brush. I left it on for about 30 minutes, then rinsed well with water. Don’t get it on your hands, this stuff is potent. Then you peel off the tape and you are done!