Category Archives: crafts

Cute spice jars to make for young Moms on a tight budget

Here’s an easy project for young Moms on tight budgets. Create a set of spice jars using baby food jars and a little bit of fabric. The spices remain fresh in the jars and the jars have an opening large enough to slide in a measuring spoon. They’re more cute than chic but they’re functional and stackable and oh, so easy and inexpensive.

 various 014

Materials:
baby food jars with lids
cotton fabric
cotton batting for quilting, (comes in a flat layer)
narrow silk ribbon
dimensional fabric paint (or adhesive labels)

 various 010

tools:
scissors or pinking shears
hot glue gun

 

 

directions:
1) trace around a jar lid on to paper and cut out
2) using scissors and the paper circle as a guide, cut out circles from a layer of cotton batting, batting circles should be the same size as the lid/paper circle
3) using pinking shears (or scissors) and the paper circle as a guide, cut out circles from the fabric, the fabric circles should be larger than the lid/paper circle by about 1 inch around each edge. The fabric circle should cover the top and sides of the lid and extend about 1 inch past the sides of the lid.
4) use a dab of hot glue to secure the cotton batting to the top of the lid
5) center the top of the lid over the wrong side of a fabric circle. Hot glue the fabric to a small area on the side of the lid. Stretch the fabric tightly across the lid from the original glued area and glue fabric in place. Then begin gluing the fabric to the sides of the lid working around the circle and keeping the fabric taut as you glue. There should be no fabric wrinkles across the top of the lid.
6) hot glue a band of narrow silk ribbon along the sides of the lid over the fabric. Keep the ribbon taut as you glue. If you want a bow use a length of ribbon long enough to tie the ends into a small bow.
7) using dimensional fabric paint, carefully print the name of the spice onto the glass jar. Allow paint to dry. (Do not wash in the dishwasher, or scrub directly over the fabric paint, gently sponge or wipe.)

 

various 007

The same concept can be used on larger jars to use as sugar bowls and/or dry food storage containers.

Advertisements

Pretty decorative eggs for Easter or an egg for all seasons

There are a gazillion ways to decorate Easter eggs; here are 3 ways to create easy, inexpensive, permanent eggs to display year after year.

 various 017

Materials:
-plastic eggs with a matte finish (I bought mine last year at Wal-mart for about $2.00  a dozen).
or wooden eggs (available at craft stores)
-acrylic paints or watercolors (use acrylic paint on wooden eggs)
-dimensional fabric paint (optional for eggs 1 & 2, available in craft stores and many  department stores)
-artists paint brush (can be inexpensive, like the one that comes with children’s watercolors
-napkin rings (to hold the eggs as they dry, laying them on a flat surface will mar the paint)
-Egg #1-paper doily and small stencil brush,
-Egg #2-paper doily, white glue, small scissors

Instructions:

 -Paint the plastic eggs using either acrylic paints or inexpensive children’s watercolors. Acrylics will give an even matte finish while watercolors will produce a less even but rather interesting, not as perfect finish. Use acrylic paints for wooden eggs.

-Paint ½ of the egg, let dry then paint the rest of the egg. Position the egg on a hard-surface napkin ring to dry. (I tried drying the eggs using the cardboard egg tray and found that the cardboard stuck to the egg and had to be scraped off.) Eggs may need more than one coat of paint. To achieve pastel hues add white paint to acrylic paints and for watercolors use more water.

 

various 021

Egg #1) use a paper doily as a stencil and a stencil brush to dab on the paint. The design will be made by painting through the negativevarious 022 spaces of the doily (the perforations in the doily). Because the egg and doily are small I didn’t bother to paste or tape the doily into place but just held it securely with one hand while I painted with the other. Paint is not put on with strokes as with regular paint brushes but is dabbed on using a stencil brush. Practice on a sheet of paper to get a feel for how much paint to load onto the brush. Finish the design by embellishing with dimensional fabric paint (optional).

various 020

Egg #2) from a paper doily cut out swags, trim, decorative circles, medallions, flowers, etc. (depending on the design of the doily). Mix white glue with a small amount of water. Dip the paper cut-out into the glue mixture and glue onto the egg. Create a design on the egg with the cut-outs, a band around the middle, or lengthwise across the egg, at both ends, or place cut-outs randomly. After gluing cut-out onto the egg, smooth flat with your finger, pressing gently so as not to tear the paper. With a damp cloth gently dab at the cut-out and the area around it to absorb excess glue. Allow to dry. Finish by embellishing with dimensional fabric paint (optional).

various 025

Egg #3) using dimensional fabric paint create daisy-shaped flowers i.e. 5 slender petals radiating from a central point. Allow space between each petal and between the petal and the center point. Fill the center point with a dot of paint of the same color as the petals or a contrasting color. Vary the size of the daisies. Paint the daisies in a chain, cascade, band, strip, spiral, or whatever design you choose. Paint a portion of the egg then allow the dimensional paint to dry before continuing onto the next portion. Do not smear the dimensional paint; it can be cleaned off but not easily. If you make a mistake allow the paint to dry and then gently peel away the “mistake”. If you’ve never used dimensional fabric paint, practice on paper before attempting to paint the egg.

various 023

Eggs, wooden or plastic, can be hung by inserting a very small screw at the top of the egg. Embellish with a small bow of organdy or silk ribbon.

After I finished the pastel Easter eggs I was curious how the daisy design would work against darker colors; could I create an egg that could be displayed year round in my kitchen or dining room? I used a wooden egg, green acrylic paint, and white dimensional paint. Imagine the design against jewel tones, royal blue, purple, deep red….

egg for all seasons 001

 

cropped    works for me!

inexpensive wall art: not so obvious sources 2

Greeting Cards

Greeting cards can make terrific wall art, especially for the holidays. Depending on the design, you can use the entire card as shown below or just a portion of it as shown in the second photo.

cropped

Above is a card glued to an inexpensive pre-cut pine-wood circle painted white with a tiny screw inserted at the top and a ribbon for hanging. I actually bought the card not to send but because I loved the image so much. I’m relatively certain the card design is by Mary Engelbreit.

cropped sled

The cute little guy on this sled was carefully cut out from a Christmas card (just look at his tail), glued to the wood sled, candy-cane stickers glued to each side, a peppermint candy sticker placed beneath his feet for him to dance upon, and red ribbon wrapped around the sled dowel to emulate a candy cane. Since I use a lot of candy canes, and candy-cane and peppermint-candy designs at Christmas, the sled works perfectly. And the cute little guy, who would have otherwise ended up in a trash bin, brings Christmas cheer every year.  


 

Greeting cards can have wonderful, fresh designs and are a great source for creating wall art and not just for the holidays. Consider how many holidays and different types of cards there are: Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween, birthday, get well… and just think about all the lovely floral designs and wonderful children’s designs that are available.

various 004 cropped

And don’t forget vintage greeting cards, especially if you love Victorian and Americana designs. Look for them in yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales, and on-line. Or check them out on Google images.

a pretty Valentine’s memento

Or, if you got really lucky and received roses for Valentine’s Day consider preserving them without chemicals and without expense.

cropped rose

Simply strip the leaves from the stalks and using string or even a rubber band, wrap the string around the flower stalk and then hang upside down in a cool, dark, dry, out of the way spot. Colorado has a dry climate and the roses dry within days. In a more humid climate, check them every few days.

The color will fade and the roses are brittle and must be handled with care but they are good for creating dried flower arrangements, bouquets, tussie-mussies, or wreathes. Or just lay a single one on a dressing table, dresser, or shelf. Or place one or two in a bud vase or container

cropped rosesThey can also be used, especially smaller ones and buds, in various craft projects.

To use in an arrangement, use just the roses, or add baby’s breath, German statice, heather, lavender, or other dried flowers or herbs, or add silk ferns or silk greens. Dried roses can last a long time if handled gently; a pretty reminder of a special someone or a special moment. 

from chocolate box to gift box: transforming Valentine candy boxes

various 004

If you were lucky enough to receive a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, consider transforming the empty box into a gift box, trinket box, or Valentine’s Day decoration.

 

various 016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      various 012  

Ideas for use:

Cut out white batting to fit the inside of the box and place a bracelet, a pair of earrings, or a ring inside and use as a gift box for next Valentine’s Day or any other romantic occasion.

Use as a trinket box on top of a dresser or dressing table to hold earrings, bracelets, or chains.

 Use as Valentine decorations, as the recently featured paper fans were used, scattered around the house in unexpected places. You can even team them up with the Valentine fans.

Consider transforming the candy box using Christmas fabric and use as a gift box(s) under the tree or as Christmas decorations…especially if you use hearts as a motif at Christmas time. Or fill with home-made candies and use again as a candy box. Home-made candy in a heart-shaped box would make a fun gift.

Use your imagination, be creative, and have fun with this inexpensive and easy craft project.

various 015

Materials:
Heart-shaped candy box
White batting
Fabric (inexpensive cotton works well)
Eyelet trim or lace
Scissors & small scissors for trimming
Hot glue gun
Embellishments-(optional) silk ribbon, small bows made of ribbon, crafting pearls, miniature silk roses or flowers, dimensional fabric paint to paint an initial or name across the top of the box,
Instructions:
1)  cut out a heart shape from the batting, the same size as the lid of the box
2)  cut out a heart shape from the fabric, larger than the lid of the box by ½ -1 inch all the way around the edges
3) glue batting to top of lid
4) place fabric heart over batting so there is ½ – 1 inch of fabric extending beyond the edges of the lid, cut a slit at the top of the heart where the two halves meet and at the bottom of the heart at the point. Cut the slits to the edge of the lid.
5) starting with one long side of the heart, glue fabric to the 1) underside of the top of the lid  and 2) side of the box where it joins with the lid. Work in short segments of 1-2 inches. Glue fabric around the entire heart, stretching the fabric and keeping it taut as you glue.
6) the bottom of the heart at the point will have a small amount of excess fabric, trim excess before gluing. Fabric should be stretched tightly across top of lid. Trim excess fabric from sides of lid with small scissors.
7) glue eyelet trim or lace to top edge of sides all around the box. To finish overlap eyelet or lace by 1 inch, and fold raw end underneath before gluing.
8)  leave plain or embellish 
Caution:
Be aware if the candy box is made of plastic,  the hot glue can actually melt the plastic especially if you touch it with the tip of the glue gun. It is doable, just be cautious. Once the fabric is glued to the box it is permanently glued, as though the plastic and fabric have fused.

 

Pretty paper fans for Valentine’s Day

various 003

Pretty paper fans to send messages, to decorate, or to embellish a package, box of candy or flowers, or use on or as a Valentine’s card. 

various 001

 

 

Write a personalized, sentimental, or funny message, a line of poetry or a lyric.

The night before Valentine’s Day place fans with messages around the house to surprise the family during their morning wake-up various 005routine, tape to a bathroom or dresser mirror, prop beside the alarm clock, stash in an underwear drawer, prop in a shoe, prop next to someone’s coffee cup on the kitchen counter or juice glass at the table…

 

Add a touch of Valentine color to your home by scattering various 006fans around the house in unexpected places, beside the tea pot, nestled in a plant, propped on a bookcase, kitchen shelf, table, or a stack of books, hanging on bulletin boards, message or jewelry boards.

 

various 011

various 010

 

 

 

 

Create a centerpiece by filling a basket with fans, or prop one in a basket of silk or dried flowers

various 014

Use them at place settings as name cards at a tea, lunch, or dinner.

Write a message on to the fan and tuck it into a child’s school lunch or backpack,

 Materials:
    Any stiff paper, (I used crafting paper with Valentine designs)
    Glue stick (white glue is wet and will wrinkle the paper)
Optional:
    -Pen or fine-tip marker
    -Needle and thread, floss, or fine cord for hanging
     Leave plain or embellish with:
    -1 inch wide lace or small paper doilies, (cut into the doily and then 1               inch around the outside edge creating a strip
   -Narrow silk ribbon
     -Small silk ribbon roses or small silk flowers
     -Strand of small crafting pearls
     -stickers or decals
 Instructions:
1) cut a strip of paper 12 inches long x 4 inches wide 
2) write a message (optional–markers will bleed through the paper so use marker on the front of fan, regular ink pen if you want the message on the back)
3) add stickers or decals to front of paper strip (optional)
4) pleat paper strip into ½ inch folds like an accordion
5) glue lace or paper doily strip along the back of a long edge of the paper strip, if using real lace use a glue gun (sparingly), if using paper doily use a glue stick
6) using a glue stick, place glue along both sides of the bottom of the fan, press the pleats together, wrap with ribbon and glue
7) use a needle to attach thread or cord to top of fan (optional)
8) embellish with small silk roses, ribbon, ribbon bows (optional)

From castles to paper dolls: the graphics fairy

castle

Vintage designs in over 80 categories including holidays, botanicals, animals, birds, travel, children’s illustrations, and paper dolls can be found at thegraphicsfairy.com

                                                     Kate Greenaway Illustration

vintage

                                                                                                               thegraphicsfairy

They offer over 4,000 images from vintage to contemporary design:                           great for crafts, cards, and small wall art.

free printable vintage valentine     thegraphicsfairy           

              This is another really fun site to explore. Just in time                                                             for Valentine;s Day.