Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Making Progress on the Craft Office

The smallest room in our home – the room with the most windows per square feet, with the best lighting – has totally not been used to its potential. Disappointing, isn’t it? It’s the dumping ground. In the last month I’ve alluded on the Facebook page to redoing one of our rooms into an actual, usable craft space. (Yeah, we’ve only lived here for 8-1/2 years?) The room was originally earmarked for a shared home office between my husband and myself. I think I had visions of the kids working at the table. That didn’t happen.

I’m happy to report that in the last few weeks I moved a lot of things around, got rid of a lot, too. I lost some momentum last week because I needed to focus on a workshop my husband and I were presenting at our church, not to mention family stuff. BUT, I’m still encouraged that I’ve made a few more papercrafty things in the last couple of weeks just by having this space available to me! It’s actually a room I’m starting to want to spend time in.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared pictures of this room because I’ve been too embarrassed about the state of it… and, you know what? Who cares?! It’s coming around, and it’ll be awesome.

The mess that is becoming my craft office.

The mess that is becoming my craft office.

This will all come together, I know...

This will all come together, I know…

Have a great Monday, and a great week everyone!

Working on: Prepping for Spring Break, Easter cards, my planner pages, more house clean up.

Developing: A lesson plan for a Zen drawing workshop I’m giving this week at a local art center, and hopefully an Easter article for GeekMom.

Contributing: At Monday Mugshots.

Planning: My son’s First Holy Communion reception for family and friends.

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One Way to Recycle Glass Jars into a Fun Party Favor

So I’ve established that I’m sort of a hoarder, and my poor husband was so nice turning the other cheek when he saw I had a crazy amount of glass jars stashed away… in the basement, under the stairs. I explained to him that I had every intention to use up the glass jars – well, I thought I had a craft for them. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I’ve seen a lot of recycled glass jar projects around Pinterest, some of them leading to non-English tutorials, but pretty easy to figure out.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

Friends, grab your glue gun (Note: Super Glue did not work well), miscellaneous plastic animals from the party store (or your kid’s collection from the dentist’s treasure box), and clean, empty glass jars. Get a can of spray paint. I have metallic silver, so that’s what I used.

Wash the lids well. After your lids are clean, you can swipe them with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to make sure they’re really clean. Using your glue gun, adhere your little critters of choice to the lids. They should all be secure after a minute. If you’re a good crafter, you’ll wipe away the hot glue “strings” before painting, I didn’t bother since it didn’t look too bad.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Spray Paint

Now for spray paint… Make sure you have good ventilation and a spray box (optional). If you can head outside and spray them, kudos to you. It’s freezing here, so I ended up spraying them in my (heated) garage. I gave the lids and animals three coats, 15-20 minutes in between. And, I still have a little touch-up to do.

You could wash all the glass jars while you’re waiting for the lids to dry. I took the labels off the same way I take off wine bottle or beer labels. And if the label adhesive doesn’t come off easily, grab some Goo Gone (Just follow manufacturer’s directions on the bottle.).

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

I let them dry overnight, and now my daughter will fill them up candy for her buddies.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals

I’d love to know if you end up making this project!

Click for more party ideas!

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Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Prepping for Paint

My son's wooden toy shield with Chinese name

This past weekend, my son asked An-kong (Grandpa) if he would draw his Chinese name on his wooden shield. It turned out better than I could’ve imagined. Now it’s up to me to paint it. Wish I gesso-ed* before my father-in-law drew the characters, but no worries. I’ll make it work… (Hehe, “make it work”. I’ve been watching too much Tim Gunn and Project Runway! HA!)

Work in progress: gesso layer on brown paper bag

I’ve also started a brown paper bag journal – made it with three lunch-size paper bags from our take-out dinner the other night. (Upcycled product project, yay!) This has been something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I totally want to break out all my paint… and if you’d like to follow the journal journey, hop over to the my Facebook page where I’m winging it, as usual.

*Acrylic gesso (jess-o), in case you’re not familiar, is a basically a primer you can use on canvas, fabric, paper, wood, etc. It makes the surface nice and smooth for painting or drawing.

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Completed Project: the hexie pillow

Hexie Pillow tutorial

Here it is! My pillow evolved from practicing and messing around with hexie shapes. (I posted yesterday how I cut my hexies.) Maybe it should be called “Molecule pillow” or “The Game Board pillow”, because that’s what I think of when I look at it. And, I’m not a gamer by any means, but I know that hex shapes are found in a lot of board games.

By the way, if you’ve played Settlers of Catan (or other similar games), then you know what I’m talking about. Check it out if you haven’t.

Hexie shapes for pillow

So… how are hexies put together anyway? I researched on Google for some answers. It all boiled down to : By hand, and carefully.

I found a few websites that show machine-pieced hexagons. Then I found a lot of information about paper piecing techniques, but I was looking for something that wouldn’t require cutting paper shapes for each fabric hex. Finally, I stumbled upon a tutorial for piecing hex shapes without paper. It worked for me, even if I didn’t print on my fabric. I’m pretty good at eyeballing distance and level lines.

I kept with neutral colors so I could gift the pillow to anyone – male, female, kid, adult. (In the middle of sewing the hexies together, I learned about some fabric printed with grass and rock graphics. Could be so awesome for a “Settlers of Catan” inspired project.)< Continue for what you need to make this pillow!

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How to use an easy hexagon cutting template for fabric shapes

I’m smitten with hexies, fabric cut in the shape of a hexagon. They have been a big trend in the sewing and quilting world for probably four years now. You can even buy precut fabric hex shapes at the fabric store, in-person and online. People are using hexies in their sewing projects like crazy! Just do a Google image search or Instagram search and you’ll see. So, I bought this cool template to try my hand at hexie shapes – an EZ Quilting Tool 5″ Hexagon acrylic tool by Simplicity.

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Let’s try cutting a 2″ finished hexagon. I’ll use paper to demonstrate.

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1) Cut your fabric in a strip to the width you want. (1/2″ is added for your seam allowance.) Place the template over your strip of fabric, all the way to the edge, and using a rotary cutter, make cuts at the edge as shown by my dotted lines.

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Note: I’ve heard that the smaller rotary cutter is much easier to use. Guess I’ll have to run out and get one of those too.

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2) Flip your fabric over, and line up your cut edge with the template at the desired size. Now cut the other side of your hex shape.

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3) You’re done! You can continue cutting down the fabric strip by just lining up your template edge with the corner…

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…You’ll have cute triangular pieces to add to your scrap bin. (And I’m sure all the avid sewists have scrap bins.)

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Short of owning my own die-cutting machine, I can make all sorts of sizes with this simple tool. *grin* And, it stores very easily.

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Stay tuned for a pillow project that uses the hex shapes in an applique. THANKS!

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Painting Rocks Shoe Style

Rock painting with acrylic | materials

My family and I had so much fun on vacation and even made time to craft. With a few river rocks and some acrylic paint, paint pens and imagination, we made a bunch of cute desktop doo-dads. The “fairy house” I painted (upper lefthand corner) will end up in a miniature fairy garden that my daughter and I have yet to make.

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My sis-in-law found a flip-flop rock – ridges in the right spot for the “thong” part. The Converse-inspired rock for my nephew might be my favorite.

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