Friday, January 1, 2016

Folded Fabric Ornaments!

Wow! It's been a year and a half since I lasted posted! Hard to believe! But, life takes over and well, priorities change! I am so impressed with how many of you continue to find my older posts useful. I created this blog to share our projects and it's so fun to see how others are still enjoying our creations!

In the last year, my girls and I have ventured into fabric and sewing! They are now 10 and 12 years old! And so self-sufficient! They search for projects on Pinterest and watch tutorials on You Tube. It's been truly amazing to see what they come up with and create.

Last year, I taught myself to quilt and made each of the girls a new quilt for their bed (I'll try to post about those before another year and a half goes by). I'm in the middle of one for my son that I hope to finish yet this winter.

More than a year ago, I came across a super fun blog called The Ornament Girl and loved her creations. With my newfound interest in quilting, I revisited her site last month to take another look at her ornaments. On a whim, I bought her December Ornament kit. With my purchase, I received an e-book tutorial for how to make the ornaments and I immediately went to work before I ever even received Staci Ann's kit in the mail!

Here is my first ornament attempt!
I just used scraps of fabric I had from quilted hot pads I made last Christmas. I couldn't stop there so I made two more. Here's all three of my first creations:
Then, my 12 year old wanted to learn to make them. So we dug out her jelly roll of fabric she received last year. Soooo easy! It was already cut into strips so we only had to cut it into rectangles to use.

Here is her first attempt!
And then my 10 year old got in on it and here is her first ornament (front and back):
When my kit arrived from The Ornament Girl, I created this in no time at all!
You can see all of our folded fabric ornaments in this facebook photo here!

To learn how you can make these beautiful (and actually, super easy) ornaments, check out the Ornament Girl shop! Don't forget to click on "About" and learn how Staci Ann started her business. I love that I can help support her and her family.

Make your own quilted ornaments. 

Get a free no-sew fabric ornament pattern.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Alcohol Ink Stamped Candle Holders

We created alcohol ink stamped candle holders for Mother's Day and end-of-the-year teacher gifts this year. These were SOOOO easy to make! And took no time at all!

Here's what you will need:
--Adirondack Alcohol Inks
--Alcohol Ink stamp handle
--felt pads to stamp with
--clear glass candle holder (I got ours at Dollar Tree and Target)
--votive candle (or LED votive candle)

We first played around with alcohol inks a couple years ago when we made all kinds of coasters. Check out this post for more in-depth information about playing around with alcohol inks.

For this project, I purchased a bunch of glass candle holders from Dollar Tree and Target (for $1.69 each). We used up to three colors of ink on the alcohol ink stamp pad (similar to this photo from our initial coaster project):
Then we simply stamped the ink around the glass. Let it dry and you have AMAZING results! It took maybe 10 minutes for the girls to each make 3 candle holders. This is definitely something you could make in bulk for party favors or gifts!

Here are the dramatic results! Forgive the multiple photos. You know how I LOVE LOVE LOVE to photograph glass art. Unfortunately, it was a really cloudy day when I took these or they could have been even more fabulous. Oh well. ;-)

 Here are the smaller versions from Target that we also gave to people:

I also bought a clear glass plate from Kohl's (for $10) and used alcohol inks on the bottom of the plate and gave it to my mom for Mother's Day. I will have to make more of these because I think they are so pretty!

I did seal the bottom of the plate with a coat of polyurethane spray so that she could wash the plate if she used it for serving desserts or anything like that. I did not seal the candles. We just let the recipients know that they shouldn't leave them outside or get them wet.

Such an amazingly easy project!

Our Garden Art 2014

Our house is located on the corner of our subdivision. It's actually a really busy corner and one of just a few access points for our neighborhood, so MANY people turn in and drive by our front yard everyday (sometimes multiple times a day). I feel a certain amount of responsibility to represent our neighborhood well and always like our front landscape bed to look nice. Plus, I just enjoy making our yard look pretty! Here is this year's version of our garden art!

I feel I have finally discovered how to make a DURABLE painted flower pot! One of our pour-paint pots from last year did survive and I have that by our front door this year:
I didn't seal the inside or the outside of our flower pots last year with pottery sealer. And I didn't seal the outside right away with polyurethane spray so by the end of the summer the paint was bubbling up and peeling off. I learned from this and have improved our technique this year.

The paint we used this year would not be good for pour-paint unless thinned because it is too thick to run down the sides of the pot. You would also have to buy quite a bit of paint to achieve the pour paint look. HOWEVER, this paint is EXCELLENT for painting designs on the pot!

Photo credit: Decoart

Photo credit: Michaels
Both of these brands of paint worked great! And have withstood over 5 inches of rain in the month of June alone. The only difference is that the Folk Art covers more quickly and the Patio Paint requires multiple coats to cover completely.

Before we did anything this year, I sealed the inside and the outside of our pots with Pottery Sealer like this from Michaels:
Photo credit: Michaels
Here are our painted masterpieces for this year:
My painted pot

My 10 year old working on her pot. She came up with this absolutely AMAZING impressionist-type paint style that turned out just GORGEOUS! I cannot begin to tell you how much I love love love this pot! And how impressed I was with it!
Her work space!
Finished pot in the landscape bed.
After we painted the pots and they dried, I sealed them with the pottery sealer again and then one last protective coat of polyurethane spray. That seemed to do the trick as this paint has lasted amazingly well so far this summer!

I also used the paint above to paint this garden lantern:
It was white when I purchased it from Michael's. I used alcohol ink on the glass. You can see it partially done in the photo below:
I painted the lantern and then sealed the whole thing with polyurethane spray. The alcohol ink has stood up to the weather elements, but it has faded a bit from the sun. Overall, I'm pleased with how well it's standing up to nature.
The landscape bed when we first finished it this spring.
We also created a couple pots to gift to people. I think these turned out really fun!
My 8 year old's pot.
I used our "created by" stamps to label the bottom of the pots by painting the stamp with the patio paint and then spraying the bottom with polyurethane spray.
Happy Fourth of July! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday this week!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY Craft Project: Yes! You CAN make your own Valentines!

Okay, I get it. There are some people in the world who just aren't crafty (or THINK they aren't crafty). So they go to the store and buy character Valentines and send them to school with their kids. No problem! Not everyone has extra time to spend traipsing around buying craft supplies for Valentines. Some people would rather pull their hair out than supervise their children making handmade Valentines. I don't blame you sometimes! BUT. I am here to tell you, you really CAN make handmade Valentines! With minimal supplies too! And minimal cost! And if you have grade school age children, minimal help! Now, how does that sound?? Are you sold yet? Well, let me know show you what we did this year for our Valentines!

First of all, Pinterest is your friend! You can find a million EASY Valentines on Pinterest and most of them are just free printables, add the "treasure" (either candy or a pencil or whatever) and you're done! But I have crafty kids who wanted to take matters into their own hands! So off they went to search on the iPad.

My 10 year old Minion-obsessed fourth grader found these!
Isn't that cute! But, of course, she didn't want to just print these out. She wanted to draw it herself! So she drew her picture, we shrunk them down and printed four to a page. You can do this with ANY DRAWING! Even a toddler/preschooler can make a Valentine picture and you can turn it into a Valentine, just like that!
 Here's how she finished them:
All you need is your small printed drawings, some paper cut slightly bigger than the drawings (we used scrapbook paper, but you can use construction paper or anything really!), glue dots (or a glue stick, school glue, etc), and a paper cutter or scissors.
My daughter just put a glue dot in each corner of the drawing page.
She taped a pencil to the back (bought at the dollar area at Target for 50 or 75% off in the off season--8 pencils in a pack) and wrote her greeting.

Done and Done. Now, that was wasn't too hard, was it?? ;-) I hear all the time from people when they see some of our projects that they just aren't crafty and could never do what we do. Honestly, sometimes it's not difficult at all to do something handmade! And it always has such a great WOW factor when you give someone something you made yourself, versus something store-bought.

Okay, this next project maybe is for the bit more advanced crafter. But I have to brag. Ella made this ALL BY HERSELF! It's her valentine box to house her valentines at school. She saw something like it on Pinterest and created her own version. Isn't this the most adorable thing ever!!

I love all the details she put into it! The buttons glued on. The teeth taped in the mouth. The pipe cleaner hair. The three-dimensional quality of this is AMAZING! The only thing she had help with was cutting out the mouth because we had to use an Exacto knife.

Now, onto my 8 year old! She also created her own Valentines this year. She came up with this all on her own! I think she was inspired by this pin:
But really her end product was all her own!
She used Fabri-tac to glue two foam hearts together (you can get these at Michael's or Target). Then she stuck the Smarties on with glue-dots.
Finished it off by making little heads out of puff balls, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. She attached the puff ball to the tip of the Smarties with Fabri-tac--trying not to get the glue near the candy. ;-)
She wrote her greeting on the back. Pretty awesome that she did this without any supervision at all!

And finally, my son's preschool class is exchanging Valentines. I wanted to do something I could make quickly without a lot of effort. He isn't into crafting (yet) so I made these on my own. But you certainly could have your kids help you! I did find this on Pinterest here.
 All you need is some paper, bouncy balls, and favor bags.
 Cut out a heart shape, write, "You're out of this world" on it. I wrote my son's name on the back.
Because the bouncy balls are rubber, it is kind of difficult to actually attach them to the paper. So I put them in favor bags and it worked great. So easy! This took me maybe 30-45 minutes total to do.

Making your own Valentines definitely doesn't have to difficult! You just have to find an idea and run with it. Many of them aren't even time-consuming! Give it a try!