Thursday, December 22, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Apothecary Jar Winter Forest

This apothecary jar winter forest is great Christmas decor for your shelves, mantle or dining table. I partnered with Fairfield World, Oriental Trading and DecoArt for this holiday project. I combined some of their products with a few miniatures I had on hand. We recently switched out our old media cabinets for a new sleek dark brown set. The top of my record shelf is a great place to showcase my two vintage ceramic Christmas trees (thank great aunt Fran and Granannie) while creating a mini Winter forest. My ceramic house was a thrift store find, made over with DecoArt paints.


SUPPLIES:
Fairfield World, Oriental Trading, and DecoArt supplied me with their products for this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. All thoughts, opinions, photos, and instructions are my own. Some of these products use Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases using the Amazon Affiliate Links, will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. This goes to project supplies...like the book I just bought on crochet taxidermy. So thanks for making that possible.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Fill the jars halfway with Poly Pellets. Insert a tea light into the jars, shifting it under the Poly Pellets. Make sure to turn on the lights, if you're displaying these jars in dim light.

2) Arrange the sisal trees, Christmas miniatures, and mini gingerbread men into the jars, pushing their bottoms into the Poly Pellets.

3) Coat the ceramic house in layers of white gesso, to disguise any old paint.

4) Using small paintbrushes and DecoArt paint, carefully paint the house details. For the silver to shine well, paint slate grey as a base color.

5) Arrange the tabletop trees, jars, house, and extra Christmas miniatures on your chosen space. If you're doing a table centerpiece, I recommend putting the jars in a tray, with Poly Pellets poured around them. Place the tabletop trees on either side of the tray, or in the center with the jars around it.

To tie in with my mantel decor, I could have used a leftover piece of Hand Dyed Cotton Batting, but I wanted the record player to show. For more Christmas decor, check out my Christmas tutorials and Oriental Trading's Christmas Store. Whatever you are making, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

HOLIDAY DIY: Christmas OlyFun Rag Garland

Christmas is just a few days away, and everyone is scrambling to get ready. This Christmas OlyFun Rag Garland will keep the kiddos and relatives busy, while you go hide in your craft room wrapping presents and making things for yourself. You just need OlyFun in the colors and metallics of your choice and pinking shears (or regular scissors). There's no sewing or glue involved. I made mine to fit my holiday decor color palette and mantel size. You can customize this for any event and decor. Head over to Fairfield World to make a Christmas OlyFun Rag Garland.


I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They provided me with the OlyFun for this project. They paid me to create this project. All thoughts, opinions, photos, and instructions are my own.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Painted 3D Wood Star Tree Topper

This painted 3D wood star tree topper is a collaboration with DecoArt and Oriental Trading. I was in need of handmade tree topper for my Christmas tree. I love traditions, so of course a star was needed. At Michaels, I found laser cut 3D star kits. I noticed they made a one sided star, so I bought two kits, with the intention of putting them back to back for a topper. Thankfully, as you see, this worked out perfectly. DecoArt has lots of beautiful acrylic and metallic paints that will suit your decor color palette. I love bright colors for my artwork, so I chose some shades I'm into at this moment. I find that black, white, gold, and silver are great for adding details that contrast well. Oriental Trading reached out to me to become a brand ambassador, which I'm thrilled to do. DecoArt and Oriental Trading have lots of fantastic products, which you'll see in several projects this month. For this project, I chose Oriental Trading's LED Warm White Mini String Lights, so not only was my star colorful from DecoArt paint, but shined brightly. For more holiday decor, check out Oriental Trading's Christmas Store.


SUPPLIES:
DecoArt and Oriental Trading provided me with their products for this project. I was not paid to create this project. All thoughts, opinions, instructions, and photos are my own. I use Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases used through these links will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. This helps pay for more projects.
INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Open the two 3D star sets and sort the pieces. I put all of the side pieces together and painted them Whispering Turquoise. Paint the star pieces solid colors on all sides. Use black, white, silver, and gold to add simple line and dot designs to the fronts. Make lines with a thin liner paintbrush. Use the brush handle end for uniform dots. Complicated designs will quickly get lost within the layers and tree top placement.

2) Assemble the stars. Line up the side pieces. Squeeze thick craft glue onto the side pieces, and squish them gently together. Clean up any excess glue with your fingers. Let fully dry for a few hours before handling again.

3) Add 6 AA batteries to the light strand's battery pack. Untangle the lights. Divide the strand into 1/5 sections, leaving a little extra by the battery pack. Wind those sections into 2" coils. Insert the coils into the star through one middle section and arrange one coil per point section. For each star point, place one coil loop over a big star point, to prevent it from slipping inside the star. Gently place the star on the tree top, making sure not to tangle or break the light strand.

4) Place the battery pack at the tree back. Place a chenille stem around the tree and battery pack. Twist the chenille stem to secure the battery pack. If the battery pack won't stay still, use more chenille stems to secure it in place. This battery pack has On, Off, and Timer options. I haven't been able to determine how long Timer is, despite using it for hours.

Like I mentioned before...and every tutorial...you can adapt the colors to suit your decor. Personally, I'm big on bright colors and graphic details for artwork, but like neutrals and metallic for other decor items. I'm eclectic and it works for me. I mentioned there will be a few other projects with both DecoArt and Oriental Trading. If you haven't already seen my Colorful Hanging Tissue Fans Wall Decor with Oriental Trading, and my Wood Rainbow Love USA with DecoArt. Whatever you're making, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: Colorful Hanging Tissue Fans Wall Decor

I needed to change out my porch wall decor, so instead of the snowmen from last year, I chose these colorful hanging tissue fans from Oriental Trading. Their blogger coordinator reached out to me to collaborate on a post, but like with many companies I'm doing two posts. The 2nd project should go up later this week. This particular project is easy peasy...well if you're good with a hammer...but who isn't these days. I put this on my porch, and I know you're instantly thinking "Will this hold up to rain and snow?". My porch is covered AND it rained the next day after I hung these. Yes, they held up perfectly. So pick a space and grab your hammer.

SUPPLIES:
Oriental Trading provided me with the hanging fans for this project. All opinions, instructions, and photos are mine. I was not paid to create this project and tutorial.


INSTRUCTIONS:

1) One at a time, assemble the tissue fans. The Bright Tissue Hanging Fans have an adhesive strip, but the Bright Fiesta Party Tissue Fans did not. For the fans missing adhesive strips, I folded over a piece of tape and put it on one side of the paper board. Untie or cut the twine knot. Slip the twine through both holes, line up the ends, and double knot at the paper board. Make a slip knot with the twine, at the paper board.

2) I chose a corner of my porch, with my fans going around a white rocking chair. I started with a few large fans. Hold the fan up to the wall. Press a nail into the wall right above the fan's slip knot base. Remove the fan. Hammer the nail into the wall, until it's sticking out a little bit. Put the fan's slip knot loop over the nail. Pull the tail to close the loop over the nail. Finish hammering the nail in, to hold the fan in place. Tuck the tail behind the fan.

3) Use the medium and small fans to fill in the smaller wall spaces, while keeping the colors balanced. As you can see, I have a lot more hot pink than any other colors, because both sets have hot pink fans.

4) Some of the fans will have twine tails that extend beyond the fan bottom. Cut them to be about 2" above the fan bottom. Leaving them still long, lets the fans be easily reused later for ceiling hanging.

Obviously these fans are very bright and colorful. However, like always you can do this with any color scheme you want to. Oriental Trading has many ceiling decorations and paper lanterns that would work for this project. Look for things with the accordion fold. The accordion fold paper lanterns can be displayed half open, attached to a wall. Check out their party supplies for more things to make your celebration decor awesome.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: Wood Rainbow Love USA

I made this wood rainbow love USA art piece back in March, but keep forgetting to share it here. I forget what was going on newswise that inspired me to make it, but it was likely a LGBT related event. Anywho, our house is very supportive of human rights, so I wanted to make an art piece that symbolized unity. I figured with all the crazy political stuff happening now, that this would be a grand time to share a statement of love. DecoArt has these cool Media Misters that are a bit like spray dye and paint combined. They are fabulous for blending colors. This is a good project for working on blending skills. A little blending goes a long way, so don't get too crazy, or you won't have defined colors. I have to remind my art students about this, because often there's muddy colors, tears, frustrations, and starting over. But hey don't cry on this project, or your colors will get diluted...hehe.


SUPPLIES:
DecoArt provided me with their products for this project. Some of these supplies are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. This money goes to pay for projects.
INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Lay a plastic tablecloth on your work surface. Pour a little water into each of the bowls. Add a foam brush to each bowl. Wet the wood with a foam brush, to make the mister spread easier.

2) I worked right to left...light to dark colors. Spray the mister onto the wet wood. Work in and blend the color with the wet foam brush. The bright green along New England is a mix of Yellow Green and Turquoise. The orange is a mix of Yellow Green and Magenta. The dark purple is a mix of Violet and Cyan. I mixed the colors on the wood by blending them together. Let the wood dry completely.

3) Pour a little of each 6 rainbow acrylic paint colors onto the paper plate. Add a little water to each paint blob. Dip the stiff paintbrush into a paint color. Hold the brush in one hand. Using your other hand, rub a finger along the bristle end, flicking paint at the wood. Add more water to your paint if the paint isn't flicking well. Too much water makes the paint too sheer, so find a good paint to water ratio. Clean your brush after each paint color. I tried to flick contrasting colors onto the color sections, so the splatter would show well.

4) With the white pencil, write "Love" in cursive. I had mine end in a heart at Richmond, VA, where I live. Draw a heart wherever you live.

5) With the liner paintbrush and honey brown paint, go over the white pencil. I also painted the state of Virginia. You are probably thinking, "I could just skip this step and go straight to gold." Nope. To get an opaque gold, a brown undercoating it needed. Trust me, I've tried to just gold route, with endless coats that are still patchy and sheer. Save yourself tears, and do the brown undercoat. If you're doing silver, you need a grey undercoat. Slate Grey is great with Platinum Silver.

6) With the liner paintbrush and Champagne Gold paint, go over the brown paint.

7) Once the paint is dry, hammer two evenly spaced sawtooth hangers onto the back, along the bracer slat. Lay the piece on a wall and gentle rub it a little against the wall. This will mark where the sawtooth hangers are located. Hammer in a nail under each sawtooth hanger mark. I hung this up in the foyer of my home, with various paintings that my family and I have made. The lighting isn't good there for me to photograph the display.

That's all for this tutorial. Normally I'd say "Pick whatever colors you want", but this project is actually color specific for unity symbolism. Still you know, do what you want. You can pick WHERE you place colors, and what color you paint "Love". With all of this being said, you could alter the text and colors for a different meaning. For our house, we're very inclusive and full of love. Whatever you're making, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

HOME DECOR DIY: Painted Abstract Patchwork Floral Lampshade

I used DecoArt Americana Acrylic paint and some imagination, to create a painted abstract patchwork floral lampshade. Many years ago, I bought white drum lampshades for my mother's old shiny white curvy lamps. I'd had one of the lamps in my childhood bedroom, but found the mate when rummaging through my parents attic. Mom wasn't using those lamps, so I happily took them for my own home. Now while I bought these shades years ago, they literally still had the plastic on them, so they were pristine white. If you're using an old white lampshade, give it a cleaning before painting. You all know my design style caters to my personal wacky taste, but feel free to alter the colors to your own desires. This shade is quite bright and funky, to match my gallery wall.


SUPPLIES:
DecoArt supplied me with some of the paint for this project.

  • A white lampshade
  • A variety of DecoArt Americana Acrylic paints in any color combo
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic paint in Lamp Black
  • A wide flat artist paintbrush
  • A thin liner paintbrush
  • Paper plate
  • Cup of water
  • Paper towels

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) When picking out your colors, chose a few shades of each color tone you like. I picked soft blue greens, blues, pinks, salmons, and purples. My decor has a wall of colorful artwork, which my finished lamp now coordinates with. Pick any color combo that goes with your decor, including neutrals. You need a white lampshade, not one you've painted white, or the colors won't show well once the shade is lit.

2) Pour a few colors onto your paper plate. Add a few drops of water to each color, before painting with that color. Mix the water into the paint with the flat paint brush. Apply long strokes, overlapping the colors slightly. My process is using one color, painting patches around the lampshade, rinsing my brush, and repeating this painting technique with each color. With watered down paint, the drips will occur, but if they don't, add more water to the paint, flood the paintbrush, and press the brush against the paint patch, to cause a drip. Thinned paint not only helps with drips, but allows more light to come through the shade later.

3) Continue filling in the lampshade with a patchwork of paint.

4) With the black paint and liner paintbrush, paint a floral design around the lampshade. If you aren't comfortable with making floral designs, practice with paper and pencil first. I've been making floral designs for decades...gosh that makes me feel old. I recently found some old flower paintings, back when I was really into oil painting, from high school. I like to keep my designs loose and almost coloring book style.

5) When the lampshade is dry, put it onto the lamp. Turn on the light, to see the design differently. You can see that the colors appear darker, which I found interesting.

That's it for this project. The patchwork painting it something great for beginners, but the floral is a little more advanced. Like I mentioned before, practice. Also, if floral isn't your thing, pick a different motif to paint in black...or white...silver...gold...whatever you like. A city skyscape, skulls, circles, lines...whatever linework design you want. Whatever you're making, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: Black and Metallic Ottoman Makeover

I gave an out of style ottoman a makeover with a black and metallic update. The This End Up ottoman was a relic from the 70s, that my husband and I had purchased from a friend's aunts along with some other furniture, when we moved in together 15 years ago! It's made it through the 1st years of marriage and the childhood of our now teenage daughter. The old fabric was itchy and had seen better days. The wood was still as sturdy as ever, but sporting an odd honey colored wood, which well since we have a lot of This End Up Furniture, was ubiquitous in our house. I replaced the fabric with metallic hand painted black denim, backed with Fairfield World Smooth Fusible Fleece Interfacing. I painted the ottoman base with DecoArt Maxx Gloss Paint in Patent Leather. Feel free to adapt this tutorial to your own furniture pieces.


SUPPLIES:
Fairfield World provided me with their product for this project. They paid me to create this project.
TOOLS:
  • Wide high quality paintbrush
  • Smaller artist paintbrushes
  • Paper towels
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic tablecloth or dropcloth
  • Clear quilting ruler
  • White dressmaker's pencil
  • Fabric scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Paper plate - paint palette
  • Cup of water - wash artist brushes
  • Dressmakers ball head straight pins
  • Sewing machine
Psst...if you look closely, you might notice a few familiar projects...

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Remove the cushion from the wood ottoman, and set the cushion aside. Wipe down the wood ottoman with a wet paper towel or cloth, to remove any dirt. If the ottoman is beat up, use fine grain sandpaper to smooth any roughness. Wipe away any sanding dust with another wet paper towel or cloth. Dry off the ottoman.

2) Place a plastic tablecloth or dropcloth under the wood ottoman. Dip the paintbrush into the DecoArt Maxx Gloss Paint in Patent Leather. Using long strokes in the wood grain direction, paint the outside and inside of the ottoman. Use medium coats of paint. If paint is too heavy, it will cause drips. Use a small artist brush to paint cracks and crevices. Allow paint to dry fully. Give ottoman a 2nd coat of paint. This paint need 14 days to cure. Wash the brushes with soap and water.

3) Back to the cushion. Using scissors, cut off the old cover. My cushion had a horrid itchy upholstery fabric from the 70s. It was way past needing to be replaced, and I'd owned the ottoman for 15 years...sigh. My foam is in awesome condition. It just needed some smacking outside, to remove a mysterious layer of GLITTER!!! You all good and well that cushion still has glitter on it, making it fabulous inside and out.

4) Lay the cushion on the black denim. Wrap the cushion in denim to see how much you will need, plus 2" overlapping seam allowance all around. The fabric should wrap around one long cushion side, to have seams around the two short and other long side. Use the white dressmakers pencil to mark the denim if needed. Cut out the rectangle amount you need. Cut a piece of Smooth Fusible Fleece Interfacing to match the denim rectangle. At the ironing board, fuse the Smooth to the denim, with the iron set at cotton.

5) Along the denim rectangle, mark lines 3" apart, parallel to the short side, with the white dressmaker's pencil. At the sewing machine, length the stitch for topstitching. Topstitch along those drawn lines. This will quilt the denim enough for the Smooth to stay in place for years. Smooth helps well smooth out the foam and give the denim more durability.

6) Using the silver, white, and gold fabric paint, with different sized artist paint brushes, paint a simple abstract design on half of the denim. There's no reason to paint the whole denim piece, since the other half will be on the cushion bottom. Let the paint dry completely.

7) Wrap the denim around the cushion, with the seams running around the middle of three sides. Pull the denim tight, securing by pushing straight pins into the denim and foam.

8) At the corners, there will be bulky layers of denim. Cut the corners, to leave 1" seam allowance.

9) Fold the corners in, so the seam allowance is on the short cushion sides. Secure by pushing straight pins through the denim seam and into the foam.

10) Thread a hand sewing needle with black thread. Match up the thread ends and double knot. Using a blind hem/invisible seam stitch, sew the all the seams close. Remove the straight pins as you sew. To finish off a length of thread, knot the thread into the fabric. Push the needle under 2"-4" of the previous seam length, and pull up. Cut off the tail at this point. This hides and strengthens the knot better than clipping the tail at the knot.

11) Press the cushion down into the wood ottoman, with the painted denim facing up. For my ottoman, the denim seams sank below the wood edges, hiding them perfectly. If you feel like too much of the unpainted denim is showing on your ottoman, pull the covered cushion back out of the ottoman. Paint the remainder of the fabric, and place the covered cushion back into the ottoman setting, once the paint is dry.

This ottoman looks amazing now, with our decor that I'm still in the process of updating. I mentioned that we have a lot of This End Up furniture, of which all of it is getting an update. You'd think these peices would be thrift store finds only, but This End Up is still in business. Actually, they still sell this ottoman, but with canvas fabric. I have the matching armchair upstairs in my sewing room, so you'll get a good look at the itchy orange fabric...yeah ORANGE...before I give that chair a much needed update. I hope you all find these furniture update tutorials helpful. Sometimes it's easier to makeover our existing furniture than replace it. Whatever you're creating, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

HOME DECOR DIY: Herringbone Quilted Body Pillow

This Herringbone Quilted Body Pillow is a great scrap and stash buster. Though if you don't have enough coordinating fabric on hand, it's been suggested that jelly fabric rolls would be awesome for this too. They come precut into strips of coordinating fabrics. I used the new Fairfield World 16" by 38" Crafter's Choice basic pillow form, which is bench or body pillow size. I recently threw out a couple of old grungy body pillow, and my Fleece Bean Bag Body Pillow is my husband's favorite lounging pillow. This new body pillow is perfect for lower back support, but also good for cuddling. Head over to Fairfield World to make your own Herringbone Quilted Body Pillow.


I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They provided me with their products for this project. The project, tutorial, and opinions are my own. Fairfield World paid me to create this project.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: Gold and Black Geometric Pillow

I'm really into metallics lately, which seem to creep into a lot of my recent projects. Over on Fairfield World, I whipped up this Gold and Black Geometric Pillow with some fabrics I found at Walmart recently. This is a great project if you're comfortable going off grain and patternless sewing. Of course, you could use any matching fabrics you'd like. I'm working on several home decor projects all at once. You can see sneak peeks over on my Instagram.


I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. Fairfield World provided me with the OlyFun for this project. The project, tutorial, and thoughts are my own.

COSTUME DIY: Golden Unicorn Costume Mask

I know it's not Halloween anymore, but we're getting closer to end of year...or New Year's Eve, where there are many masquarade parties. Back in October, I made this Golden Unicorn Costume Mask over on Fairfield World, using lots of OlyFun and imagination. If your house is like mine, unicorns are very popular, even with the husband. We all know that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, made candy colored ponies, unicorn, and pegasus popular again. I was going to make a rainbow pony, but at the last minute, decided to make a unisex mask with lots of metallics. Feel free to customize this unicorn mask to fit your pony cosplay fantasy.


\I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. Fairfield World provided me with the OlyFun for this project. The project, tutorial, and thoughts are my own.

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