Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Halloween: Bats and Spiders, oh my!

A little late for a Halloween entry since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but these were too fun to wait until next year to post! My 2.5 year old had fun creating these with me, though she was a bit heavy handed with that fun black paint. Blackest bats, ever!

Materials (Bat)
  • Toilet tissue tube
  • Black tempera paint and brushes
  • Black poster board
  • Googly eyes
  • Black felt (optional)
  • Elastic cording
  • Stapler
Materials (Spider)
  • Two sizes of styrofoam balls
  • Black paint and brushes
  • Toothpicks
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Paper scraps
  • Thick gray yarn
  • Tape or tacks
Credit for these goes to the Disney Family Fun site. Full instructions can be found there:

Glass Etching with stencils

Glass etching sounded so intimidating to me until I tried it. It's actually very easy! I created this whimsical dragonfly-etched champagne flute in less than an hour.

The shape of your glass surface is important. Don't make my mistakes :)
  • Easy = Flat (mirror)
  • Harder = Curved (tube)
  • Hardest = Sphere

Materials (Michael's carries all the etching things):
  • Glass (get a few, you'll want to do lots!)
  • Etching Creme
  • Stencil (special for glass etching projects)
  • Popsicle stick (usually comes with stencil)
  • Masking tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paint brush

  1. Tape your stencil to the glass and rub it with a popsicle stick until it sticks. You can see in the picture where some of the upper right wing is sticking and the rest of the stencil (dark blue) still needs to be rubbed onto the glass.
  2. Gently pull off the stencil backing, trying not to tear the blue stuff
  3. Cover accidental tears with tape
  4. Mask all around the stencil again (to keep etching creme from getting on the nice part of the glass)
  5. Follow directions in the etching creme box: wear your gloves, paint on the creme, wait, then rinse in water.
  6. Peel off any remaining tape and clean your final piece with glass cleaner

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Padded hangers

I whipped three of these babies out while watching a movie--quick and easy! I hate it when my sweaters get those pokey-corners in the shoulders from my hangers. I know, I should probably fold them instead of hanging, but I dunno, I like to have all my clothes hung up. It makes them easier to see or something. Many times I've thought, 'Gee, I wish I had a padded hanger' but was too cheap (lazy) to go buy some. Little did I know they would be such a snap to make and the materials are things I have already.

  • Plastic hangers
  • Ribbon
  • Tape
  • Plastic bags

  • Wrap the plastic bags around the hanger (all except the hook part)
  • Use tape to secure the bags as you go and try to keep the padding even
  • When you begin wrapping, leave a foot-long tail hanging loose
  • Start at the top of the hanger just below the hook area and start wrapping your way around
  • When you get all the way around, cut the ribbon so there is another foot-long piece hanging off
  • Tie the two "tails" into a pretty bow and trim as needed

Some Tips:
  • I used wire ribbon, but you might prefer non-wired (wireless? hee hee) so there isn't risk of your clothes getting snagged
  • My spool of ribbon was too big to keep passing through the middle of the hanger, so I cut it before wrapping.
  • I estimated the length of ribbon by measuring the three sides of the hanger and doubling that, then adding another two feet for the tails.
    By "measure" I mean I held the ribbon up to each side of the hanger. Actual measuring is WAY too much work for me =)
These are great to make for yourself, or possibly as a gift. If you sew items (clothes, baby blankets, etc...) for friends and family, it might be nice to make a matching padded hanger as part of your presentation.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Card variety pack

My mother is the queen of card giving and Hallmark gets all her business. Last year at Christmas, I thought it would be nice to switch things up, so I created a "pack" of 6 handmade cards for her. She loved them, but hasn't used any because she claims they are "too pretty". That's my kind of complaint!

No instructions here, just some card layout ideas if you want some inspiration.

I didn't feel like making my own envelopes, so I created all these cards to fit envelopes I already owned. They may not be perfect color matches, but instant mail-ability is important to Mom!

Chip, chip, HOORAY! Baby shower book.

Do you love chipboard as much as I do? I can't get enough of it lately.

Here's an album I made for a friend's baby shower. The idea is that the guests each write in their well-wishes or wisdom and Mom and Dad save the book as a keepsake. You could even add photos later if there's room.

I think I did something extra to the cover, but for the life of me can't remember what and, alas, didn't take any photos of it...use your imagination :)

  • Chipboard album with rings (every page should be chipboard, not just the cover). I used 6x6 size.
  • Pretty coordinating papers
  • Embellishments (I bought one sheet of baby boy 3-dimensional stickers and used every single one)
  • Ribbon
  • Mod Podge or some other glue that dries clear
  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Sand paper
  • Hole punch
  • Chalk or ink (optional)

  1. Figure out where your paper will go and mark the spots where the holes will be. Punch these out.
  2. Glue paper to the pages however you wish and wait impatiently for it to dry :P
  3. Add ribbon to outside cover pages (and anywhere else you think is pretty)
  4. Sand edges of pages so the paper is smooth along all edges
  5. Use chalk or ink to color the edges and corners of the pages (optional)
  6. Add embellishments
  7. Put your pages in the album
  8. You're done! So cute.
Here are my less than stellar pictures, but you get the idea. I wish I had time to take photos in the day!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Can-o-plant -- gifts on the cheap

Well here you have it folks, my first crafty blog entry. Woohoo! Yes, I need to work on my photography skills, and yes, that is a kid table with visible scribbles on top, but hey, you gotta start somewhere!

My most creative and thrifty gifts are borne from - Oops I forgot to buy something so now I have to make something - circumstances. This was no exception.

A friend was grieving so a plant seemed like a symbolic choice of gifts. Life-affirming, pretty, calming, and created from items I had around the house already.

  • Cutting from a plant (I used an African Violet which I have in excess)
  • Potting soil
  • 1 can (thanks for your sacrifice, delicious mandarin oranges)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Double-stick tape (because I hate stinky glue)
  • A card or tag made from coordinating scrapbook paper*
  1. Find a can and clean it with soap and water, then dry thoroughly. I was going to use a baby-formula container but much to my dismay, a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper doesn't wrap all the way around it. So I chose a regular sized food can instead. Measure the can and cut a strip of paper to fit.
  2. Use double-stick tape to adhere your paper to the can. It's pretty already! You could make it into a pencil holder instead, or makeup brush container, or pipe-cleaner storer. Oh the possibilities! Stick to the plan, Sarah, stick to the plan. (yes I sometimes refer to myself in third person).
  3. Toss some dirt in the bottom, grab your plant cutting and put it on top, pack it in firmly and add a little water.
  4. Attach a tag or card of your choosing and you're done! The gift recipient will want to re-pot this on their own.
Props to The Hazel Bloom for inspiration on this project. Check it out for another take on this idea. Cheery wedding favors...and far better photography ;-)

*The card has a pretty leaf design cut-out on it, made with my Cricut. I barely know how to use that machine but boy is it awesome! Check back for future posts on Cricut projects.