Tagged with " diy"
18 Nov
2012
Posted in: DIY Projects
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Snowman Ornament

This year I wanted to challenge myself to create 5 different types of ornaments from those clear glass ornaments you can find at craft stores. I spent this past weekend trying to be creative and think of some new ideas. I wouldn’t normally share Christmas projects before Thanksgiving but I know Black Friday will have some deals at Michaels and other craft stores so I wanted to share some ideas with you before you hit the sales.

snowman ornament

Today’s idea is one perfect for having your grade school aged kids help you put together. Just fill a clear glass ornament with some fake snow. You might want to use a funnel to help pack it in. Set up some black and orange craft paint and let the kids go wild painting on a carrot nose and some eyes and a mouth made out of “coal”. Your end result will look something like this.

snowman ornament

It’s an easy way to dress up some ornaments. I’ll be sharing some more ideas for jazzing up clear ornaments over the next week or so. They’ll vary in difficulty so you can find a style at every skill level.

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12 Jun
2012
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Birdhouse

michaels birdhouse makeover

I had wanted to build a birdhouse for quite a while. And by “build a birdhouse” I really meant decorate one so when Michaels had a sale on their plain wood birdhouses, I picked one up and got started on the decorating part.

My goal was to make the birdhouse coordinate both with my house, which is red, white and blue, and my garden, which has a lot of copper pieces in it. First up was spray painting the house white. I wanted just a light coat to let the wood grain shine through so I used a spray primer. Next was my plan to tie in those copper influences. I found some kitchen backplash tiles at Lowes.

I bought a whole sheet and used only 2 panels so I have plenty leftover for another project up my sleeve. You see those extra inches on the left without any detailing on them? I used them to make a nice front for the birdhouse’s roof while I used the actual panels to cover the roof. I just used some scissors to cut and hot glue to adhere it all to the birdhouse.

I decided to paint some red accents on with some basic acrylic paint. I just painted the perch and the base. Now the next most important part was to drill a hole in the top of the birdhouse so I could hang it outdoors. I just drilled a hole directly across the top with a small bit. To help it stay more decorative, I added some grommets to cover the holes but I needed a larger bit to make sure it fit. I just hot glued them in place when I got the hole the right size.

Now I wanted to protect all my hard work so I sprayed on a clear lacquer before putting it outside. I let it dry 24 hours because of the high humidity here. I didn’t want any haze in my topcoat. Here’s the final look.

Don’t you just love how well it matches my new windchime? I also included a secret pop of red right at the entrance. While I don’t really expect many birds to make this their home, I do think I’ll drill some small holes in the bottom just in case so rain can drain out.

How have your projects been going?

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8 Jun
2012
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Shower Curtain Pillows

I recently bought some resin Adirondack chairs (in blue) for my front porch. My house is white and my front door is red so I wanted to tie the color palette together with some Americana influences. I decided that pillows would be the easiest way to do this. My shopping trip left me disappointed. I could only find really expensive pillows or those with an old fashioned feel so I decided I’d just have to make my own pillow covers. I bought some waterproof outdoor pillows from Michaels with a coupon but when I went to the fabric store I found myself in the same conundrum– everything was too old-fashioned or too expensive.

pillow tutorial

The solution: a Target shower curtain. The modern rugby stripes matched my color scheme, the size of the fabric meant I’d have fabric leftover for future projects, and the shower curtain would add some waterproofing making the pillows more durable. I also came up with a pillowcase design that resembles a sham. That way you get a seamless look from the front but you can just pop the cover off and throw it in the wash.

Supplies

This design can be made in under an hour. The main skills you need are measuring skills and the ability to sew in a straight line. You’ll sew 4 straight lines per pillow. You’ll need a flat surface, yardstick or ruler, a cutting device (rotary or scissors), washable fabric marker, an iron or pins (check under “making the hems” to see which you need), matching thread, and a fully stocked sewing machine.

Cutting the Fabric

First up, you’ll need to make the cut. Well, cuts. I have 2-16 inch square pillows so I used a simple bit of math to calculate the size of fabric I needed to cut out.

pillow height + 1 inch = fabric height
pillow width + pillow width + 8 inches = fabric width

If you want to cheat and avoid some grade school math, just get 16 inch pillows like I did. My fabric height was 17 inches (16+1=height) and my fabric length was 40 inches (16+16+8=40). I marked the first 17×40 inch section on the fabric and cut it with a rotary cutter, though scissors will work just fine.

pillowcase cuts

Since I was using striped fabric and I wanted the pillows to match, I cut off some excess fabric before cutting out my second pillowcase section so the stripes would start at the same position for both fabrics.

Making the Hems

You’ll want a finished edge on these pillows so step #2 is to hem some edges. If you use a normal fabric you can use your iron to hold your seams but since my polyester wasn’t holding an ironed hem, I used pins to hold the edge.

hemming pillows

Place your fabric right-side down. You’ll first want to fold over both of your short edges 1 inch and iron or pin it in place, then fold that same edge over 1 more inch and iron or pin this edge securely. You’ll want to sew each of these hems in place by topstitching through all three layers of fabric. I sewed about 3/4 of an inch from the right (folded) edge. Make sure to repeat this step for all the short edges on your pillows.

Creating the Pillow

Place your fabric right-side up. You should have something resembling a placemat in front of you right about now. You’ll want to measure out the halfway point on the long side of your fabric. I started with a 40-inch length of fabric and used up 4 inches making the seams (2 inches per side) so my fabric should be at 36 inches long now. I’ll want to make my center mark at 18 inches.

This next part is a little counter-intuitive so make sure to read it twice before attempting. My pillow is 16 inches in length so half of that is 8 inches. Place a ruler next to the edge with the 8 inch mark (or half the pillow length) of the ruler at the center mark on the fabric. Make sure your ruler is facing with 0 on the right end of the ruler for this part. Watch the images for clarification.

center of pillow

You’ll want to take the left (short) edge of your fabric and pull it toward the center. Pull the fabric until the folded edge lines up with the 16 inch mark (or your pillow’s length) on your ruler.

pillow fold-1

Now take the right (short) edge of your fabric and pull it toward the center. Pull the fabric until the folded edge lines up with the 0 inch mark on your ruler. Your fabric will overlap near the center.

pillow folds

Now you’ll need to pin the bottom raw edges together. Repeat with the top raw edges.

pinning pillows

Sew a half inch seam along the bottom edge. Then sew a half inch seam along the top edge. Repeat with your second pillow.

inside out pillow

Turn your pillow case inside out, pushing out the corners firmly.

pillowcase

Now you can just slide the pillows into the pillowcases and you are set! The hardest part of this project is just the measuring. With 4 straight lines even a beginner can sew these pillows. See how they add that pop of color my front porch needed.

porch pillows

porch

Linking up:

Thrifty Decor Chick
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28 May
2012
Posted in: Household
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May Centerpiece

I realized just today that I haven’t shown my May centerpiece and tablescape to you all yet. I went simple this month since our table seems to be taken over by projects these day. April showers bring May flowers so my table is covered in bright flowers.

May centerpiece

May centerpiece

Check out my napkin rings. Can you guess the secret item I used to make them?

Napkin rings

Shower curtain rings! For $1.50 I bought 10 shower curtain rings and used them as the base for these napkin rings. Throw in a $1 set of flowers on sale at Michaels and some floral tape leftover from another project and I have a cheap napkin ring with plenty of leftover supplies for another month.

napkin rings tutorial

To make these super easy napkin rings, you’ll want to cut off your silk flower’s stem and wrap it around the shower curtain ring. Wrap the floral tape around the stem to secure it and continue your way around the entire shower curtain ring. Then just slide your napkin inside your ring and enjoy your work!

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8 May
2012
Posted in: DIY Projects, Gardening
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Rain Barrel Base

Part of my front flower bed makeover called for finding a home for my rain barrel. I have 65-gallon rain barrels that I bought from Amazon. The price has since increased but most hardware stores seem to be carrying rain barrels these days. We use rain barrels for 2 reasons, one to prevent water from collecting around the foundation of our house and the other is to water the plants.

rain barrel base

From our experience, we discovered that a rain barrel needs to be about a foot off the ground. The barrel uses a gravity based hose system and there’s a bottom spigot that needs to be raised to fit a watering can underneath. We wanted to build a base with pavers that was big enough to support the rain barrel without tipping over when it was full. We needed a bottom base that would hold the watering can without it falling over either.

rain barrel base

After we found a setup we liked, we mixed up some concrete and filled in the rain barrel base with it. That base will not be going anywhere. Then we adhered the bricks for the watering can base to the ground with more concrete. Then there was some mortar used to attach a flat surface to the rain barrel base. Finally we used some extra concrete to fill in the watering can base like a grout.

rain barrel base

After doing a test run to make sure everything fit, we let the blocks and concrete harden for 48 hours. We put the rain barrel onto its new home and decided to let the rain collect. We had several days of rain after that and the base held up beautifully, with our angled watering can base preventing rain from pooling up around the foundation, just as we’d hoped. Stick around this week and I’ll show you the full front flower bed makeover.

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28 Mar
2012
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Watercolor Easter Art

Looking for a simple Easter art project? This one can be done with supplies from the Dollar Store and it’s a great project to do with kids.

Watercolor Easter art

Supplies

You’ll need:

  • watercolor paper
  • watercolor paints and paintbrush
  • white crayon
  • glass filled with water
  • pen and ruler
  • frame
  • tape and scissors

easter egg art supplies

How To Do It

1. Split your watercolor paper into 9 sections using a pen and ruler. You want the sections to be taller than they are wide.

watercolor Easter art

2. In each section, draw a pattern using your white crayon. It’ll be hard to see so use simple patterns or try to look at an angle in the light to see where you’ve drawn.

3. Wet your paintbrush and dip it in the paint until wet. Use one color per section of your grid and paint it up.

watercolor Easter art

4. After the paint dries, draw a template of an egg and trace it onto each section. Cut out the egg shape.

5. Use your frame to determine how your eggs will be laid out. I had made 9 eggs but used my favorite 6 for my final design. When you find a layout you like, attach them to a background with an adhesive like mod podge or double-sided tape. Once you like the look, close up the frame and admire your work.

Easter Egg Art

It’s not quite the watercolor masterpieces I showed off yesterday but it’s a simple way to add some color to your Easter decorations.

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1 Mar
2012
Posted in: DIY Projects, Household
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In like a lion

For my March centerpiece I wanted to imply some movement. The zig zag lollies in these centerpieces remind me of pinwheels and windy days. Missouri is really seeing March come in like a lion. Yesterday we had crazy storms, tornadoes to our south and east and the winds keep gusting between 50-60 miles an hour. I’m just thankful we’ve been safe so far and I hope the rest of spring isn’t had like last year.

To make this centerpieces I primed and painted some garden pots in silver. Michaels is having a sale on them this week if you want some of your own. I mixed and matched some papers leftover from my lollies and cut it to fit around the rim of each pot, applying it with mod podge. At the dollar store I found some floral foam and some marbles. I plopped the foam into each pot, added some spray painted kabob sticks attached to my lollies (instructions in yesterday’s post) and covered up the base with marbles.

It looks like spring to me! What have you been working on for March?

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27 Feb
2012
Posted in: DIY Projects
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Doily Art

Remember last week’s contribution to the 1% {P}Inspiration challenge? Well, I’ve done it again.

Before I show you the piece that inspired my latest piece of art, I’d like to mention that the plea for one of my friends to have a baby boy in that post was clearly desperate. It also worked. One of my dearest friends from college put out the word that she’s expecting and it’s a boy, not 24 hours after I made my post. Since that was so successful you’ll be seeing more pleas in here that will surely be answered by the gods of blogging. I’d like a cruise around Europe and plenty of cash to pay for everything ever. Hello? Is it done yet? Well, I’ve got about 24 hours so moving on to that art that inspired this project.

Source: etsy.com via Julie on Pinterest

 

I loved the art made by this etsy artist. You can’t see it in the photo but she attaches plexiglass to the doily art she makes and these are freestanding forms that you can use to decorate your home. I saw the bunny though and thought it would be better behind glass so I started on a little project.

I first cut out some shapes, one of a rabbit and one of some ducklings. I recycled a little from my trip to the DaVinci Exhibit in St. Louis. I had bought some cute cutout paper from JoAnn’s ($1.99) that worked in place of doilies. I placed the cutout reverse-side-down on the paper and taped down just the edges. Then I flipped over the lace paper and used matte tape to completely cover the stenciled area. The result you’re looking for is something like this once you do all your cutting.

See how you can still see the tape? That’s very important in holding these little guys together. I chose some spring colored paper ($1 at Michaels) and placed it in a $1 frame from the Dollar Store.

And here’s the bunny

bunny art

All together these two pieces of Easter art cost me $5 or $2.50 per frame. They’re a cute way to decorate for spring and having an Easter bunny and ducklings look quite nice in my kitchen.

$5 Easter Art

What signs of spring are hopping into your home?

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20 Feb
2012
Posted in: DIY Projects
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Put a Cactus in it

I love cacti. That is, I love every cactus because they are basically impossible to kill. Every one of those “impossible to kill” indoor plants like succulents or jade has always died on me but the cacti of the world are willing to live for me. I won’t admit which plants I originally created this project for but let’s just say they’ve gone off to plant heaven and a cactus has taken their place. Thankfully it’s a great fit.

To start off the project, I went to Home Goods and bought a candle lantern that was marked on clearance because the paint had been scraped off in a spot. This was perfect because I wanted a copper color anyway. Here’s the step-by-step changes.

lantern makeover

Step 1: Buy an Awesome Lantern

 

Step 2: Take out all the glass and spray paint it

 

Step 3: Put glass back in, admire work

 

Step 4: Put a Cactus in It

So to give a few more details, I used Rustoleum Hammered Copper Spray Paint. It ended up taking 2 complete coats so I have plenty of paint left for other projects. After I let it dry 24 hours I put the glass back in. Then I lined the bottom of the lantern with damp sand, some pebbles and potting soil. I added the cactus, spread some more soil in to secure it nicely, and then closed the door. Keeping the soil and sand damp is the key so everything doesn’t spill out the open door.

What projects have you been working on?

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5 Jan
2012
Posted in: DIY Projects
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Warm Fuzzies Centerpiece

To go along with my warm candlelight from yesterday, I also wanted my centerpiece to have some warm fuzzies. I went to Michaels for their New Year’s sales and bought some styrofoam balls and some yarn. I don’t do any real crafting with yarn so I didn’t have any on hand but if you do you’ll want to use a wider strand for the best results. I also had much better luck with the acrylic fibers over those from an alpaca.

Warm Fuzzies Yarn Centerpiece

First up, you’ll want to grab some tacky glue and a foam brush. Coat one half of your styrofoam ball with tacky glue and brush it until it forms a thin coat. Then take your yarn and start winding. You’ll want to make small circles from the center of the top and just keep wrapping horizontally for the best effect. Nice and easy. When you finish the first half, give the glue some time to dry (I rotated 3 at a time so my warm fuzzies were always drying) and then repeat this method on the second half where you left off, holding onto the newly covered yarn side. When you get to the end just cut off the excess yarn and tuck the tail in.

yarn balls

I made 12 different yarn balls in 2 different sizes. 11 of them fit inside my apothecary jar for the centerpiece of the month. I have another space in the house where these will look pretty so I think I may make more. To do all 12 it took me 2 episodes of Downton Abbey (2 hours) and I still have 5 episodes to watch if I want to be caught up before Season 2 airs on PBS this Sunday.

Here’s the final effect:

January Centerpiece

Tomorrow I should FINALLY have up the dining room makeover. There have been some slight delays thanks to crazy circumstances but we’ve finally been able to eat in there this week so it feels like progress has been made. I can’t wait to show it off in its current state.

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