Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

Emily at I Love Farm Weddings left me a sweet comment this week – she featured my DIY Anniversary Subway Art on her blog!

This has been one of my most popular posts and is getting some serious love on Pinterest. Someone pinned it (nope, didn’t know the person and nope, it wasn’t me) and I keep seeing it repinned by others – wow! It is so exciting and really crazy to me! This was something I did purely for Conner and the love of “our” song. It makes me happy that this project has resonated with so many people!

Please take a moment to visit Emily’s site and show her some love!

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Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick recently featured a moss letter wreath that I have been wanting to do. After her very easy instructions, I got my supplies together and made one myself!

The inspiration came from Pottery Barn. While I love PB and its merchandise, the price isn’t always right. One letter will set you back $79. Thanks, but no thanks.

What I used: a glue gun (already had on hand), sheet moss from Hobby Lobby ($1.99 after the 50% discount), wood letter from Hobby Lobby ($1.99), yellow and white ribbon from Hobby Lobby ($1.99 after the 50% discount). PB = $79. LS = $5.98. LS = winner!

(P.S. Sarah said her project got a little messy, so I laid out newspaper before I started mine!)

I started by unwrapping the moss and laying it with the front side facing down. I laid the wood letter its front side facing down, on top of the moss. Using a pair of scissors and the glue gun, I cut little strips in the sheet moss and glued the cut moss on to the back of the letter. I gradually worked my way around the letter, cutting and gluing as needed.

Some parts were easier (the outside curves) and some were really difficult to get attached (the inside curves). I had pieces that were too thick on the back, so I would cut those off and set aside to use as filler after I finished gluing everything the first time. This letter fit perfectly on to the piece of sheet moss!

Here is the finished project, hanging on the mirror in our entryway! I cut two pieces of the yellow and white ribbon and glued it to the back of the letter. I used clear tape to attach the ribbon to the top of the mirror. It is the easiest way for me to hang things on this mirror each season.

I am so happy with how it turned out and how easy it was for me to do this! This took me about thirty minutes from start to finish, such a small amount of time for such a cute project! I think this would be a great gift to give to friends or family. Maybe the Easter Bunny should bring it to you?

Here is another view of our new entryway decor. I love how it turned out and love how cheap it was to replicate! It brings a little cheer and happy to the buffet. This will definitely be up through the spring and summer seasons in our house!

Linking up to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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Anthropologie is one of the greatest stores ever! Not only do they have some of the best clothing and home goods, they always have amazing front window displays.

This month, Anthropologie teamed up with the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance and Kendall-Jackson to help recycle wine corks and celebrate Earth Day! It is so impressive to see what they could do with the plain, brown corks.

Each store across the country has a different display. Anthropologie’s page on Facebook highlights some of the best of the best. The colors of this one are so impressive and gorgeous!

I spy lots of orange! I know I’m going to love this one.

Incredible! I love the way the cork display colors and patterns are tied into the outfits on display in front.

This one is beautiful! They used things from nature (plants, etc) mixed in with the corks to create the pattern and texture.

I want to make this one!! I wonder how I could do it? It gives me something to look forward to once we have collected enough corks. We’re starting over on our collection since I finished our cork mirror in the kitchen.

The smaller spheres combined with the bigger ones plus the plant life spilling out is over the top! I love the dress they have in front of it, too. Such a show-stopping display!

If you have an Anthropologie near you, what does your display look like? Send me a picture, I would love to see it!

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For our anniversary, I gave Conner two presents to represent the leather and metal aspects of the traditional anniversary gifts. I gave him a set of monogrammed cufflinks (metal) and a customized canvas (leather). This is the story of an almost craft fail turned DIY Subway Art.

My idea started when I saw Ashley from Lil Blue Boo and her New Year’s resolutions subway art. I loved it and immediately thought this would be perfect as a gift for Conner! I wanted to make this using the song that Conner played while proposing to me as well as our first dance after our wedding. It is Ben Harper’s, “Forever,” and now one of my favorite songs ever.

Ashley made the wood frame that she used but I wanted to shortcut that step and used a 30″ x 40″ canvas instead. I had a 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby so this canvas was $46.99 but I paid $28.19! I wanted the thickest they had so it would look like her frame and wouldn’t be flimsy on the wall.

I followed all of her steps. I wrote out the song lyrics using PowerPoint, adjusting the text as necessary to fill the space from left to right evenly and then took it to Kinko’s to blow up to the size I needed. It was only $6 so I thought I was doing great for this project! I went home, used spray adhesive I already had and sprayed the paper to contact paper I also had on hand. I cut the large paper into strips and then marked off where I would need to line up the words.

In Ashley’s piece, she only had several lines with a lot less words and the letters were a lot thicker than mine. I cut only one line of text and it took me 25 minutes! I also had a nasty claw and couldn’t move my right hand for a minute because I had been gripping the scissors for so long, making such little cuts. I was exasperated and frustrated. I had 24 more lines of text to cut and then adhere to the canvas before spray painting it several times and pulling the letters back up to expose the white canvas underneath – no way was this going to be a feasible project! On to plan B…

Luckily I remembered the You Are My Sunshine painting that I had wanted to knock-off a long time ago. Perfect!! This is exactly what I needed to do with my supplies I had on hand.

I spray painted the canvas with two coats of Rustoleum’s Winter Grey spray paint.

I used a pen and with a light mark, measured down the length of the canvas and made marks to allow for each line of text. I held the yardstick on each of the lines and used my white paint pen to write each line of the song, making sure the words were straight thanks to the yardstick. The first line wasn’t my best. The last word is crowded together. I love Oprah and her ‘ah-ha’ moments…I had my own and started using my original pre-cut strips to help guide my words from left to right. It was perfect! I knew how much space I had and what I should be writing and where.

Love it! Once I was finished writing the words, I used some antiquing glaze and started just rubbing it on and rubbing it off at random. You can definitely see a line of glaze in this picture, that was not intentional at all. I think this will take some tweaking over time. Is anyone ever completely happy with how something like this turns out? Maybe I’m alone in the fact that I always go back and change ‘just one more thing.’

I had made this to put in our bedroom but after hanging it, hated it on the wall! The colors were way too similar so I went (again) to plan B and moved it to the hallway outside of our room.

So much better!! I really want to start a gallery wall of pictures, fabrics, etc so this piece will be a great starting-off point. (Please note the boob light will go, the ceilings will be painted white and crown molding will be added in due time. These three things are on my never-ending to-do list!)

Here is another close-up of our new artwork on the hallway wall. I love that we can see this as we go into our bedroom. It is so special to me and I was so happy to make it for Conner since he chose this song for us. I hope this art helps us remember how special the song is!

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DIY: Lima Bean Wreath

This weekend I finally made a project I’ve had waiting for a while, a lima bean wreath for our front door! I’ve had the supplies since January. Some things just take a while, right?

I used the directions supplied by Brooke at All Things Thrify. She has a wonderful site, you should definitely check her out! I started with the same materials she used: a Styrofoam wreath form from JoAnn’s, a glue gun with plenty of sticks and a bag of dried lima beans from the grocery store. Brooke used the small ones but I grabbed the big ones. I don’t think I did it on purpose but that’s what I had so that is what I used!

To begin, you warm up your glue gun. And then, you start gluing. Literally just glue. There is no wrong or right, just take a bean and glue it to your wreath. I started in a semi-diagonal pattern and just went with it. It wasn’t always the same and it wasn’t always right but there is no wrong or right to this – just glue.

Here is the finished gluing part! It took several hours to get to this part so there were many potty, laundry and water breaks in between the gluing. Once I was finished, I spray painted it white. While this may seem stupid since it was already sort of white, it gave it a glossy finish and just made everything look more cohesive.

Here it is, hanging on the front door! The wreath hanger I had catches in the door so I wanted to make the ribbon extra long to work as the hanger and decorative accent. I actually had pink ribbon for Valentine’s Day but since that has long since passed, I figured the pink was perfect for Easter!

I’m terrible at tying bows that look good and make something hang straight, so I did a simple loopy-loo around the wreath and taped (yes, you heard correctly. I taped) the ribbon to the top of the door. I think I need to get one of those 3M command thingys to make the wreath lay flat on the door. You should be impressed with my technical terms and hanging solutions. Hah!

So there is my new lima bean wreath for our front door. If I get bored with the white, I may spray paint it a different color. Or I’ll change out the ribbon color according to the season. I may get festive and get some patriotic ribbon for Memorial Day. Watch out now!

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So after posting about these awesome pillows from Ballard Designs and their ridiculous price tag of $59/each, I got several comments and e-mails about how fun this would be as a DIY project. And you know what? You were right!

Here is my version – only $32! They aren’t the exact replica, but I like the lighter color of the burlap and the simplicity of them. This was a very easy project and did not take long at all.

I purchased the burlap ($3.99/yd!), a set of 4″ letter stencils, brown fabric paint and two 18″ pillow inserts all from Hobby Lobby. I love a one-stop shop! These pillows were $59 each with the insert included. Since you have to have the Mr. AND the Mrs., I would have spent $118 before tax or shipping! For my version, I spent $32 and had fabric, paint and the stencils to use on another project. Unbelievable!

I followed the instructions I found online at Suite101 for an 18″ pillow. I started the project and my mom finished it for me when it came to the sewing part. I guess one of these days I need to buy a sewing machine and take some lessons!

Fabric Dimensions for Popular Pillow Sizes
•14” x 14” pillow: Front 16” x 16”. Back, 2 pieces, 16” x 10½” each
•18” x 18”pillow: Front 20” x 20”. Back, 2 pieces, 20” x 12½” each
•24” x 24” pillow: Front 26” x 26”. Back, 2 pieces, 26” x 15½” each

1.Cut the fabric for front and back to the size that fits your pillow form. (18” x 18”pillow: Front 20” x 20”. Back, 2 pieces, 20” x 12½” each)

2.(Optional) Quilt the front panel, add appliqué, or add buttons, ribbons, or other embellishments. It’s much easier to do this before you assemble the pillow than afterwards.

****Laura’s Note: I measured the center point of the pillow and spaced out the stencils. Once they were placed where I wanted, I used Scotch tape to hold them in place.

I didn’t have a stencil brush, so I used one of my regular crafting paint brushes. I alternated between brushing and dabbing the paint on. I held down the inside parts of the letters with my fingers so that there wasn’t any paint bleeding underneath the stencil.

And after I removed the stencils….I realized I placed them too far apart and didn’t like the way they looked. Time to start over! (repeat all steps above and place stencils right next to each other…whoopsies…)

3.Finish the top edge of each back panel piece by folding over ½” to the wrong side, pressing, then folding again to completely hide the top raw edge. Stitch along the folded edge. An alternate way to finish the edges is to bind each top edge like a quilt, using an extra piece of double-fold binding.

4.Lay the front panel right side up on a flat surface. Lay the two back panel pieces right side down on top of the front panel, aligning them all around the outside edges. The back pieces should overlap in the middle. Pin all around the outside edges.

5.Sew around the outside edge of the pillow, using a ½” seam for strength. Remove the pins as you sew to avoid hitting a pin with your needle.

6.Clip the seam allowance in the corners to make turning easier. (Optional: stitch around all the raw edges with a zigzag stitch to neaten the seams and prevent raveling.)

7.Turn the pillow cover right side out, using a chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil to poke out the corners.

8.Insert the pillow form into the opening on the back side.

And here is another shot of my final version. A little more whimsical, because of the stencil type, but pretty similar! I love it and am now playing with where to place them. I tried to layer it in front of this pillow I had from Pottery Barn, but maybe too much? So many options and possibilities!!

Linking up to:

handmade projects

Transformation Thursday

The Lettered Cottage

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Two years ago, I was at a local store and they were selling really pretty silver trays that were also a chalkboard! I loved them but hated the price tag – the cheapest one was $35! I mean, really. I knew I needed to make my own.

This really is the easiest and cheapest gift you can give someone! I started with a silver tray from the Dollar Tree (in the housewares section). I taped it off with painter’s tape. It helps to use short little strips since the tape is square and the tray is round. When that was finished, I sprayed the inside with two coats of chalkboard spray paint and let it dry.

And this is the finished result! So simple, so easy and super cheap! I currently have mine displayed in our kitchen and love it. Before you write for the first time – shade the whole tray with the chalk and then wipe it off. If not, the first message you ever write will always show behind your new messages! You can also get little magnets and use this as a little magnet reminder board.

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