Tag Archives: tutorial

Upcycled Denim Roads

I have some of the most darling little nephews. One of them happened to turn two recently. I stumbled across this project shortly after he was born and I’ve been anxiously waiting for him to get old enough to actually play with them.

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Missy from How Does She shared a tutorial on how to make roads from old denim jeans.

Thankfully, we’ve been on a cleaning spree and I had a handful of my husband’s jeans available to be chopped into road sized pieces. A quick trip to Wal-mart provided a roll of kitchen drawer liner. I had mod podge and yellow paint on hand.

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To begin, I created pattern pieces for the 4 shapes I wanted to make.

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Using the patterns, I traced and cut out road pieces from 2 pairs of jeans and the kitchen drawer liner. Making certain that I had the same pieces cut from both materials.

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To join the jeans and liner, I spread mod podge on the liner and carefully placed the denim pieces over the liner.

 

For added durability, I zigzag stitched around the outside of each road piece. The original tutorial used hot glue to secure the edges. I couldn’t find my glue gun or I would have tried that method too.

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Finally, I painted yellow lines down the center of each piece.

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Of course, I couldn’t send it off without testing it.

 

 

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Books Planter

As I’ve alluded to, we used many books in our decorations. Specifically, we use Reader’s Digest condensed books. You know the ones, they are everywhere, until you need them. Through random connections over the year, we managed to collect a fair few. Then the crafting inspiration began. We chose these books specifically for the reason that they are all the same size.

Photo Credit: Candi Holden

I had seen at one point, a succulent planter made from a book. I liked the idea, but didn’t relish the idea of having to use an Exacto knife to cut out the insides of 35-ish books. I brought my husband on board for ideas. He immediately suggested using the drill with a 2-in hole saw. The man is brilliant!

After a couple of test runs, he decided the drill was tearing up the paper too much and the project needed tweaking. While I was crafting some other wedding related item (or watching a movie, I don’t really remember), he created a template. He took a piece of 3/4-inch plywood and cut it down to the size of the book pages. He then drilled two overlapping circles into the middle of the board (You’ll see it in a photo below).

The process went a little something like this:

1. Open book to roughly the middle, so the pages are even on both sides. This helps the book lay flat. Then clamp the template onto the book.

2. Using a drill with a 2 in hole saw, drill out the pages using the template as your guide. You will notice that the drill does not tear up the top most pages. You may need to alternate between the two spaces on thicker books.

3. Remove template. Use clamps to hold pages in place for gluing.

4. Glue to seal pages. We used wood glue. First, squeeze a good amount around the edges and bottom of opening. Second, use your finger to spread the glue around, covering the entire drilled out space. I discovered that wood glue stains your fingers a bit yellow. Since I only used one finger to spread the glue, I cut the fingers off of disposable gloves to make them last longer. Allow the glue to dry before removing the clamps. We usually allowed 30-40 minutes. Due to our limited number of clamps, we worked in groups of 5.

If you’d rather not spend the time to make your own book planters. I will have a few available in my Etsy shop quite soon.

 

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Halloween Treats

Halloween Treats

Just in time for Halloween, I have a quick cupcake treat for you to mix up for the kids. They went over well with my students after a long character day walk during school. They were delighted to kick their shoes off and settle into this brightly coloured treat.

I am not one to turn to box mixes, 99% of the time I bake from scratch. Every now and then, a box mix is needed for a quick project. Particularly when the crowd isn’t particular about the taste. Seven-year-olds would be happy with a scoop of frosting!

Halloween Treats

This isn’t a new trick, there are dozens of tutorials on how to make multi-coloured cupcakes. Essentially, you mix together a white cake recipe (I used a box for this project), separate into bowls (one for each colour), and mix in food coloring. Then you scoop a little of each color into your cupcake pan and bake away.

I will give this warning, if you are using a box mix, remember to only fill each cup about half full. Otherwise you end up with towering cupcakes. Which I ended up trimming down before adding the frosting.

Halloween Treats

I used a basic buttercream frosting tinted bright orange. I believe that was my favourite part!

Supplies:

  • White cake mix (or recipe) plus ingredients listed on back
  • Food colouring
  • Cupcake pan and liners
  • 3 bowls
  • Frosting

Directions:

  1. Mix cake according to directions.
  2. Separate into 3 bowls.
  3. Add desired food coloring to bowls (I used purple, yellow, and green)
  4. Scoop each color into cupcake pan.
  5. Bake according to box (or recipe) directions.
  6. When cupcakes are cooled, decorate with frosting.

Halloween Treats

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Will you be my…

Will you be my...

There are any number of ways to ask someone to join your bridal party. I wanted to set the tone for the wedding from the beginning. I toyed with loads of options before settling on how our wedding ultimately looked. I wanted to pull into the mix many of the things that were important to us and play into a large portion of our lives. We have many varied interests, I managed to narrow it down to sewing, video games, and reading. While I tried really hard to work in photography, I never found a way to get it in. There were also many ideas I didn’t manage to make happen. Nevertheless, the day turned out amazingly! If anything went wrong, I have no idea. I managed to surround myself with people who kept everything going without needing to consult with me.

Back to the topic at hand, bridal party invites. I hadn’t planned on making my own, but I just couldn’t find the perfect invite to use. I found many parts and pieces of invites that I liked (Etsy.com is an amazing source), so I decided to cobble them together and create my own.

I started out wanting to copy a few ideas I had found, but no one had quite the right supplies. I had about given up, when inspiration struck. I was in the midst of making my wedding dress. Why not use wooden spools (sewing) as the base? I could then wrap the message around the middle like a secret message.

Supplies:

  • wooden spool
  • book pages
  • washi tape
  • paint
  • card stock
  • silhouette
  • baker’s twine

Steps:

First, paint your spools in your desired color. I used a wine color.

Will you be my...

Second, while the paint is drying, cut strips from the book pages that are just wide enough to fit on the flat part of the spool. I had to glue a couple strips together to make them long enough.

Will you be my...

Third,  using your silhouette, create a design to print your “Will you be my bridesmaid/maid of honor/bridesman?” strips. Using the pen option, trace the design onto your card stock. Alternatively, you can also hand write your message or print them on a printer. Cut out the strips.

Will you be my...

Fourth,  carefully glue the card stock onto the book page stripes. Give them a minute to dry.

Will you be my...

Fifth, using washi tape, cover the outside end of the paper strips and punch a hole into the middle. This will give you a place to secure your string to keep the paper wrapped tightly. Tie a length of baker’s twine through the hole.

Will you be my...

Sixth, using another piece of washi tape, attach the beginning end of your paper strips to the middle of the painted spools. You may need to use a little glue to keep the tape secure.

Will you be my...

Seventh, wrap the paper around the spool. Use the baker’s twine to secure it in place.

They are ready to be sent or hand delivered. I shipped mine out in a padded envelope since most of my bridal party lived a considerable distance away. If everyone lives close, this would be a great reason for a small party!

Will you be my...

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Just another Limmoncello

As I mentioned the other day, we were able to pick the lemons from our neighbour’s lemon tree. He no longer eats them and didn’t want them to go to waste. We gladly accepted them and picked them ourselves. This also opened a great opportunity to try out a few new recipes I’ve wanted to test.

Limoncello is the project I was the most excited to test. It is still a work in progress, but I couldn’t wait to share. Limoncello is a lemon liqueur made from the rinds of lemons, vodka, and sugar. It is fairly simple to make, though it does require days to steep.

To begin, you scrub the skin of your lemons to remove any pesticides, dirt, and any other outdoor debris. Thankfully, my neighbour doesn’t spray for bugs. Then, using a peeler or small knife, you carefully remove the peel of the lemons. You want to try to only get the yellow part and leave the white pith behind. I will need a bit of practice to perfect this skill. 

Once you have peeled about 12 lemons (I did a few more since some of the lemons had part of the skins nibbled on), you place the lemon peels in a jar large enough to hold a 750-mil bottle of vodka. Then pour the vodka over the lemon peels and seal the jar.

This jar now needs to sit in a cool dark place for anywhere from 10-30 days. Ten days appear to be the recommended shortest number of days. Though I did see a few that said 4 days. The longer you let it sit, the darker yellow your liqueur will become.

We have shaken oursa couple of times, but there also appears to be mixed suggestions on that instruction as well. Some say it isn’t necessary and others recommend it. We have been picking it up every couple of days to inspect the colour; it gets a little shake then. It appears to be doing just fine.

I plan on soaking the lemon peels for the maximum number of days. It will be a couple more weeks before we get to see the final product. I can’t wait!

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Subway Art Pledge…a Tutorial

I know traditionally red, white, & blue are used with decorations pertaining being patriotic, but those colours didn’t match my classroom. I stood in the paint aisle for 15 minutes debating between traditional and coordinating. In the end, I went with coordinating, otherwise the finished product would have bothered me all year long.

This project was inspired by a post from Infarrantly Creative and a July 4th post on how to make a distressed wood subway art pledge of allegiance sign. Since stumbling across the post, I’ve spent a little time exploring the blog and have found some interesting projects.  I was spurred into action by Michael’s Crafts Create 2 Educate sweepstakes. I probably won’t win, but at least I completed a project for my classroom.

Supplies Needed:

  • Stretched Canvas 12×24
  • Acrylic Paint in Blue, Pink, Purple, and Green (or your preferred colours)
  • Paint brushes (I used foam brushes)
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Silhouette Studio
  • Contact Paper
  • Transfer Paper

To begin, create a studio file using various fonts to type out the pledge of allegiance (make certain to spell the words correctly!). Or if you contact me, I’ll gladly email you my file.

Next, begin to cut the contact paper, I set my speed to 2 and my blade to 2. I ended up dividing the file into 4 sections to do the cutting. I also discovered that you need to select cut not cut edge when choosing a specific portion of the design. If you select cut edge, you are telling the machine to cut the edges of the lines, so it will cut inside and outside your letters. We don’t want that!

Once a section is cut, you can attach it to the canvas. This takes a little bit of work. First, stick the transfer paper to the non-sticky side of the contact paper. Second, peel the backing off of the contact paper and any part of the design you want painted. You will be left with what looks like a stencil. Third, using the grid on the transfer paper, place the contact paper on your canvas. Fourth, carefully peel off the transfer paper making sure the contact paper stays firmly adhered to the canvas.

Before painting, make certain there are no air bubbles in the contact paper. I used my fingers to smooth around the edges. Just before painting, I smoothed the edges again.

Now the fun begins. I began at the top and painted all of the pink first, then blue, then green, and finally purple. Where the words are close together, be careful not to mix the paint colors. Let the paint dry and determine if you need another coat of paint. I think I did about 3 coats.

Let the canvas sit for a few hours before peeling off the contact paper. If you pull it off before the paint is completely dry, you may accidentally pull up the paint as well. I wish I had a photo of this step, my fiance looked cute doing this step for me!

Finally, spray a clear coating over the entire canvas to help protect your wonderful work of art!

I think I have a little touch up work to do, a few of my o’s and a’s lost their center during the weeding process.

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I now Pronounce…

We recently attended a wedding for a very dear couple. It was a small, private event, and we were delighted to be included. Due to the smallness of the occasion, there wasn’t a registry, but we wanted to give a gift. This allowed me to create a gift that would be special to the couple. It took me a few days to narrow down my final project. I needed to find something that would travel, my original idea of kitchen knives didn’t make it! Inspiration hit while I was wandering around Target looking for a card and other ideas. I saw the pyjamas and thought personalised boxers! Having just completed the Farkle tray for my mum, I knew the iron-on vinyl would be perfect.

I knew I had red vinyl at home, so I found what I thought were black and white checked boxers (to go with the wedding theme); turns out they were navy, don’t tell anyone! Follow along for a quick tutorial on how to create your own.

Items Needed:

  • 2 pairs of cotton boxers in the proper sizes ( I used a med and XL)
  • Heat Transfer (Iron -on) Vinyl ( I bought mine from Pick Your Plum)
  • Iron
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Silhouette Studio

Directions:

First, open up your Silhouette software (or whatever program you use). Create a new document the size of your heat transfer vinyl. My sheet was 8″x11″. Choose the Pacifico font.

Second: Measure your boxer shorts to find how much space you have to place your cut-outs. I had a pair of medium and x-large shorts. Using the medium’s measurements, I made my cut-outs 4 inches high and just over 6 inches wide. The Mr. was a little bit wider.

Third: Using the text tool, type Mr. onto your file. Select the typing so it is adjustable. Click on the Modify button and weld the letters together. Resize the text to the desired size. Select the replicate button and choose mirror left. Delete the first Mr. and position the mirrored image so it ready to cut. Repeat these steps to create a Mrs. image.

Fourth: Place your transfer vinyl on your cutting mat so the vinyl side is up and the plastic backing is stuck to the mat. I always use a slow cutting setting; usually 2 or 3. And for this project, I set the blade to 4; you only want to cut the vinyl and not the plastic backing. Once cut, weed the design, making certain to get the center of the s. Cut the plastic so the Mr. and Mrs. are separated.

Fifth: Heat up your iron to the cotton setting. I gave mine about 5 minutes to heat up. Take a few minutes to press the boxers, you don’t want to accidentally iron over a fold.

Sixth: Position the cut-out on the shorts where you want them to be ironed on. I placed mine about an inch and a half above the hem and had the end about 4 inches from the side seam. I wanted the image visible on the front of the leg, not on the side, so I didn’t place it right next to the side seam. Now is the time to play around with different locations, once you start to iron, you won’t be able to move it.

  

Seventh: Let’s Iron! I iron directly on the plastic backing. I found that even a piece of muslin stopped too much heat. I keep the iron moving. After about 30 seconds, I do a quick test by pulling up a corner of the plastic. The vinyl should stick to the fabric. Continue ironing until the plastic comes up with ease. (I did find that you can go back later, just hang on to the plastic backing.)

You now have an awesome pair of Mr. & Mrs. boxers!

 

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Plus Logo Hoodie a Tutorial

This project was intended to be a Christmas present for my fiance. I never finished it, until now! I’ve had the supplies, just not the time to complete it. The plain black hoodie hung around for six months, he even wore it a few times before I was able to make it cool.

To complete this project yourself (though I recommend using a logo or picture of something you like), you will need:

  • zip-front hoodie
  • contact paper
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • acrylic paint
  • foam brush
  • cardboard

Let me explain the acrylic paint. I know there is fabric paint available, you may even prefer to use it. I, however, don’t like to spend $4.00 for a small bottle of paint. I have found that acrylic paint holds up quite well on t-shirts, even after many washings. The Binary Love T-shirt is a great example. The paint does fade just a little after the first washing, but after that I haven’t noticed any problems. My fiance wears this shirt on a weekly basis.

If you haven’t already, wash your hoodie. This will make sure there isn’t any dirt or other things that may keep the paint from sticking properly. It will also take care of any shrinking that may happen.

While you are waiting, open up your Silhouette software and create a file of the design you are painting on the hoodie. You will not need to mirror the design since we will be using the contact paper as a stencil.

Once your design is complete, take your contact paper or transfer paper and affix it to your cutting mat with the paper side down. You will be cutting the sticky part. Send the design to the machine to cut your design. I use the speed setting 3 (Anything faster seems to create problems) and a cutting depth of 2 or 3.

Once the hoodie is washed and dried and you have your design cut, it’s time for the fun part. Slide the cardboard between the layers of the hoodie just in case the paint bleeds through. Now carefully pull the outline of the design off the paper. You should be left holding the sticky part of the contact paper. This is your stencil.

Position the stencil on the hoodie where you want to paint it. Press it down really well around the edges to keep the paint from seeping under the contact paper. Make certain you have it positioned exactly how you want it before you start painting.

Using the foam brush, apply paint to the hoodie inside your stencil. I usually do a thin first coat. Then apply thicker second and third coats. Let the paint dry before removing the stencil.

When the paint is completely dry, I recommend washing the hoodie before wearing.

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Farkle Tray a Tutorial

When visiting my parents back in May, I was subjected to many games of Farkle. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it is a dice game played with 6 dice. The person to 10,000 points first, wins. (Go here for further details.) It is the only game I’ve ever seen my dad enjoy and play on a regular basis. While playing, my mum has a habit of saying “That’s almost doubles!” after everyone’s first roll. This became the inspiration for this project.  The second part of my inspiration came from my parents using a dish towel to dull the noise of the dice as they hit the table. I thought I would surprise them with a tray to play on.

The most difficult part of this project was finding the right tray. I wanted to find an unfinished wood tray with straight sides and a flat bottom. I checked a couple local craft stores, but didn’t really find anything. I finally found just the right tray at my friend Melissa’s shop Deja Vu Treasures when I went to visit.

Farkle (Game) Tray Tutorial

Items needed:

  • Wooden Tray
  • Paint (I used plum acrylic paint from JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl (I used apple green)
  • Iron
  • Duck Cloth (I used unbleached)
  • Low Loft Batting
  • Spray Adhesive

Directions:

I started by sanding the tray. The one I found was painted blue, so I needed to sand off as much paint as possible.

Paint the tray. I used a foam brush and applied 3 coats. You could finish with a sealer, but I forgot until it was too late.

Create a design using your Silhouette software with your quote or chosen design. You could also use pre-cut iron-on letters or draw your design by hand. Using your Silhouette, cut out your quote. Remember to mirror your image or you will be ironing everything on in reverse. Weed around your design. Make certain to get out the centers of all the letters. Anything left, will be ironed on to your fabric.

If you haven’t already, make sure to iron your fabric flat and trim to the exact size you need. My tray was 18×13, so I cut my fabric 22×17 so I could fold the edges over. Place your design on the fabric. This is the time to make any adjustments. Once it’s ironed on, it’s not going anywhere! Set your iron to the cotton setting. Since my vinyl had a plastic backing, I used that as a buffer between the vinyl and the iron. (I did start with a piece of cotton fabric, but the vinyl wasn’t sticking.) I started by ironing the center piece down first. The plastic backing on my vinyl overlapped, so I chose to do one piece at a time.

  
Cut a piece of batting to the size of your tray. Mine was 18×13. Wrap your canvas around the batting. I then hand sewed the flaps down using a slip stitch. You could also use spray adhesive. Set the pad into the tray to make certain it fits properly. Spray the tray with your spray adhesive. Then very carefully set the pad into the tray. Depending on the strength of your adhesive, you may only get one try.


Enjoy your dice game!

A few notes:

I bought my iron-on vinyl from Pick Your Plum, but you can also buy it here.

I used the font Slick Wave, which you can find here.

My mum was also going to add felt pads to the bottom so she didn’t scratch any table tops.

If you would like a copy of my Silhouette file, please e-mail me.

I did add an apostrophe to the word that’s.

 

Added to Made by you Monday’s List.

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Framed Washi Tape

Washi Tape Storage

Way back in March, just before the end-of-the-school year craziness began, I participated in a crafty package pal swap. It is a yearly event hosted by Stars & Sunshine and a few other blogging ladies. The premise is simple, you sign up, they pair you with another crafter, then the rest is up to you. You should spend some time getting to know your pal by emailing, checking out their blog, etc. Then at the end of the month, you send them a package with a surprise you think they will enjoy.

This is a great activity, but I wasn’t a very good pal this round. I didn’t contact my pal until she emailed me and even then it took a few days. With a few emails and a little blog stalking, I discovered her love for Washi Tape (really, who doesn’t love Washi?).

My bolt of inspiration came when I stumbled across a marvelous tutorial on how to organise baker’s twine by Damask Love. I thought, with a few adjustments, it would also be a good way to store Washi Tape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After making my shopping list, I grabbed my backpack and hopped on my motorcycle to Michael’s craft store for supplies. I was delighted to discover that they had a smaller frame available  for two reasons. First, the smaller frame would be suitable for the Washi tape. Second, the larger frame wouldn’t fit in my backpack! I made a second stop at Lowe’s for dowel rods and cup hooks.

My final supply list included:

  • 4 Laser cut frames from Michael’s
  • 3/4″ brass plated cup hooks (4 packages)
  • Square Dowels
  • 1/2″ circular dowels
  • small nails
  • pink spray paint and sealer

To begin, I sanded the edges of the frames just a bit. Then I attached the square dowels to the back of the frame. I was a little confused about this part, but then realised it is to keep the frame away from the wall to make space for the rolls of tape.

I first spray painted a white base coat on the frames. This is the color I left my package pal’s frames so she could paint them a different color later. Then I painted my frames bright pink! This took a few coats to get the color just right. Finally, I sprayed a clear coat sealer.

To attach the cup hooks, I first measured where to put the hooks. Then I drilled starter holes with our tiny hand powered drill. I’m a bit scared to use the electric drill and I didn’t want to mess up the frames. By hand, I screwed in the cup hooks and made sure they were all facing the same way.

Finally, I had my boyfriend cut the dowel rods into 6 inch long pieces. I slid them through the cup hooks. I then hung them in my crafting room with thumbtacks and ribbon.

Now that I have my Washi tape on display, that means I’ll remember to use it! As an aside, all of my Washi tape has come from Pick Your Plum. If you don’t already know about this site, you should check it out!

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