Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cemetery Flowers

Well, I've already told you all that I can't imagine paying retail prices for monument arrangements.  So I have been making them myself.  My first arrangement was for Easter and it lasted 2 months and looked just as good when I took it down as when I put it up!!  You can see when I put them up here.  Those flowers I had purchased at Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale. 

A few weeks ago I was driving past a little place that sells monuments and I saw some flower arrangements.  I didn't stop because they were big and designed for a double stone, but I kept them in the back of my mind.  They were beautiful with big bright bold colors.  Well...I was at the Dollar Tree a few days later and saw some that matched the ones I had seen.  And here is what I came up with.

(I took this picture with my phone, so its not the best.  Sorry!)

They were out of rectangle styrofoam at the Dollar Tree, so I bought a round one.  I guess you're supposed to use them to make wreaths with.  I just started poking them in.  The greenery is simply one bunch on each side poked into the styrofoam.  I attached plastic knives to the bottom of the arrangement with wire.  This is what sticks to the "green sticky goo" and keeps the flowers from blowing away.  That stuff is AWESOME.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about or where I can get more??  I love how the flowers form to the stone.  I don't think I'll use another saddle.  It looks better without one.  I did dull the color of the flowers when I sprayed it with clear spray paint.  I did that to keep them from fading and getting mildew, but instead of using glossy paint I accidentally used matte finish.  Oh well, I still think they look pretty.  I've already got my flowers for a fourth of July arrangement.  So if you're interested, stay tuned.  I never thought I would be one to decorate at the cemetery, but it is actually very therapeutic for me.

Happy Crafting!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Sidewalk Paint

Since we are currently living in a duplex waiting on the completion of our house, the kids don't have much room to play outside. What they have come to love over the past few warm weeks is sidewalk chalk & paint. We emptied our last two bottles of sidewalk paint last night and I remembered seeing a post a few days ago on how to make your own sidewalk paint. I saw the idea at Come Together Kids. I had a different idea about what to use though. The kids already had bowls that came with a different kit. So I thought what if you put it in squirt bottles and then you could store the extra easily. So I got ketchup and mustard bottles at Walmart for $1.50.
Here is some pics of Heath & Payton mixing it up!

We initially used 1 cup water to 1 cup Cornstarch and a couple of drops of food coloring.

After we got outside and started playing with the paint, I decided it was too thin.  So I added some more cornstarch and extra food coloring.  The original recipe was drying all white.  She has been out there playing for 3 hours!!  And you can see Heath's race track in the background. Somehow everything relates to cars:)

So, my advice is
1 cup water to 1 1/2 cup cornstarch. 
Add food coloring until its a few shades darker than you want it to dry.
And have fun!

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Personalized Door Mats

Well, back in April I made my first trip to IKEA.  I did find some stuff, but all in all was very disappointed.  I KNOW, I KNOW, everyone in blog land thinks I'm crazy.  But I thought most of their stuff looked cheap.  My friend Tammy said it was the place to go if you had a kid going to college or getting their first apartment.  I don't have to worry about that anytime soon, but I could see where she was coming from.  I ended up coming home with some flower pots, kitchen utensils, glasses, scissors and two outdoor rugs.  I was pleased with my purchases, but very glad I didn't make the 2 hour drive to Cincinnatti just to go to IKEA.  I was actually at a conference in Covington.  So after we flopped at IKEA we went to the outlet malls and hit jackpot.  Or the outlet malls did because they got all of our money...either way you want to look at it.

My plan with the door mats was to personalize them.  They both only cost $2.99.  I hate paying close to or over $20 for something to wipe your feet on.  I made a stencil on my Silhouette machine.  The first time I had it a little off center.  So I ended up spray painting the whole thing with bronze spray paint.  Then I used black to make my letter.  But a COOL thing happened.  When I sprayed with the black, the inside turned gold.  I have no idea why, but some of you may know.   Anyway, the effect is cool.  And here is a pic.

 You can see the brands of spray paint I used.  I don't know if it would make the same effect if you used different paints or not.  The good thing about this rug was that I could follow the pattern and make a straight line.  That is how I made the border.  This has got to be one of the easiest upgrades I have ever made!  I love it.

The second rug was a little easier to line the letter up.  But I did learn one lesson.  If you use the textured spray paint, you need to cover up the rest of your mat, because it is very hard to control.  Regular spray paint you can control much better.  So here is the finished product.
You can see the overspray.  I think I will just spray the S with clear spray paint and wait for the other paint to wear off.  I think that will work.  But for $2.99 I think they both turned out well.  And we should only have about 6 weeks until we're in our new house so that I can display them!!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Covered Lampshade

I found a chandelier at Goodwill that I'm am in the process of re-doing for Payton's room in our new house.  But I couldn't find any cute lampshades to go with it.  The only ones that were cute enough cost about $10 a piece & I needed 5 of them.  So I found some green ones at Wal-mart for $2.50.

So I just took that ugly green material off and was left with a blank canvas!  I went to Hobby Lobby and found material that goes right along with her new bedding that I found at JC Penney.
I searched the internet for an actual pattern to make the cover for this lampshade.  BUT.... I never found one.  Just tips on how to make your own pattern.  So that is what I did.  You put your lampshade seam on a big piece of paper or cardboard and ROLL it around until you end up back at the same seam.  All the while you will be tracing it as it rolls, top & bottom. 

You can see where I started.

 And then you roll the shade &  trace the edge.

Until you get back to the seam.

Then I cut out my template and used it to trace onto my fabric.

Once I had my material cut out I used Elmer's Glue Spray Adhesive to attach the material to the original lamp shade.  This worked like a charm because it is initially repositionable so that you can smooth out any wrinkles.  Let me also say at this point that I originally tried to use scrapbook paper to cover the shade.  It was not nearly as giving as the material was and much harder to smooth out the edges.  It would work a lot better though if you were just making your own shade rather than covering an existing one. 
Once I had the lamp shade covered in fabric, I put ribbon around the top and bottom to cover the metal.
And there is the final project.  I think it turned out very cute.  So instead of spending $10 a piece,  I barely spent $15 for all five lampshades!  I don't have time today but I will scan in my pattern so that everyone can use it.  It is not as easy as you would think to trace a lampshade.  Did I mention that I can't wait to get into my new house!  We're supposed to be in by the end of June.  And I have SOO many projects to complete before then;)

Happy Crafting!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Hand-Carved Soap

I saw this idea over at The Idea Room .  And since I'm getting ready to make several creations to go along with my new guest bathroom (see what's going on here) I thought I would try to make my own hand-carved soap.  Let me just tell you that although it didn't take but about 5 minutes, I don't know if I'll be making any more carved soap.  I hate to clean & this is MESSY:)

Step One:

I used my Silouhette machine to cut out the monogram stencil seen on the left.  I had gotten some Zest soap on sale at Kroger about 2 months ago for 99 cents.  And when I opened it up,  its the same color as my bathroom!!

Step Two:
I then used a safety pin to trace around the monogram.  This particular soap is soft and it was very easy to trace and carve.  And in the second picture you can see what it looked liked after I removed my stencil.

Step Three:

Close your safety pin and use the small end to carve out around the letter, being very careful around the smaller sections.  You can then use a moist q-tip to smooth out the carving marks.  I learned all these tips from The Idea Room.  So check out her site if you haven't already.

Finished Project:

For a first attempt, I'll take it! 

Happy Crafting & stay tuned for more Guest Bathroom creations.

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