Tag Archive: crafting


Holiday Greeting Card Wreath

Everyone likes to display all the lovely Christmas cards they get during the season, but what do you do once Christmas is over? Put them in a box somewhere? Throw them out?

Why not make them into a wreath to be displayed the next year?

Holiday Greeting Card Wreath

I love Christmas cards, so I decided to upcycle them into a fun wreath. All you really need is the cards, a flat wreath form, and a glue stick. I found this 12″ wreath at Michael’s for $2 – you could also cut cardboard into a circle, but I decided to go the simpler route.

You’ll also need to find some round objects of varying sizes to trace circles around. I used a reindeer coaster, snowflake glass, and a large glue stick for the little circles.

It’s best to pick a theme of colors. My cards definitely weren’t all uniform or anything, but I went with a blue/white theme with accents of red and green, so it wouldn’t all clash.

Greeting Card Wreath Supplies

Then just start tracing and cutting.

Cutting Circles out of Cards

Arrange your circles in the pattern you want them, then glue them on a section at a time.

Gluing on Circles

Finally, add a ribbon for hanging.

Holiday Greeting Card Wreath

I have been playing with the idea of upcycling other cards, too, like birthdays. You could make other forms of art, not just wreaths. I’ll let you know if I make any more upcycled card crafts. 🙂

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Movable Mini Mummies

I loved this idea from Camilla Fabbri for movable mini mummies and thought they were so cute that I wanted to make one. It was tough tracking down the supplies, but this weekend I ended up making two.

Poseable Mini Mummy

What I used:

  • muslin (a type of fabric – ordered a scrap from ebay)
  • flexible plant tie wire (found this at Lowe’s)
  • wire clippers (the boyfriend had these, which was handy)

Wire Clippers, Muslin, and Flexible WIre

First, I shaped the wire into a person-like frame. If you can find thicker wire or wire covered in more rubber/plastic, I recommend using that, but I had to work with what I could find. I just ended up with a skinner mummy. (Also, I ended up giving my mummy more of a torso after I took the below picture, but you get the idea.)

Shaping WIre Mummy

Then, I cut my muslin into strips about half an inch wide (in some spots more and others less). I started out cutting a little ways and then ripped the rest of the strip to speed up the process, as Camilla suggested. With those I began to wrap my mummy, tying the strips’ together as I went and trimming off the ends.

Wrapping Mini Mummy

The wrapping process was kind of trial and error for me. I learned that the tighter you go, the better, and if I ended up with wider strips I cut them down more so they could better wrap the small frame. When I was done, I just dabbed on some hot glue to finish it off (but you could use another strong glue) and dabbed some more hot glue in spots that looked looser.

My finished mummy is very charismatic and was ready for a photo shoot.

Poseable Mini Mummy

He can do all kinds of yoga poses.

Mini Mummy Yoga Pose

I also made a tall, dark, and handsome chummy mummy friend for him.

Poseable Mini Mummy Buddles

Their names are Yummy Mummy and Mummy’s the Word.

Poseable Mini Mummy

I brought them to work, and I think I’m going to give one to a friend once she gets back from vacation. Here’s Mummy’s the Word hanging out at my cubicle.

I’ve gotten multiple comments that they look like they’re made out of medical or masking tape, but nope – they’re real fabric. Dummy mummies. 🙂

Tea Variety Wreath

Tea! My friend Aryn loves it even more than I do. And I saw this great idea by kojo designs to make a tea wreath for your kitchen, allowing you and your guests to see all at once all the different kinds of tea you have. I pretty much had to make this for Aryn for her birthday.

Tea Kitchen Wreath

I used:

  • about 12×12 in. of cardboard (for mine it was a cardboard amazon package)
  • scissors
  • enough clothespins to cover it
  • various kinds of decorative paper (I used 3 sheets of one kind to cover the wreath and about half a sheet of two other designs for the clothespins)
  • tape
  • hot glue
  • glue stick
  • tea

First, I cut my cardboard into a roundish shape that measured fairly evenly across, then used a bowl to trace a circle for the middle and cut that out as well. Then I taped some decorative paper over that. The back looks rather messy with various paper taped all over it, but that doesn’t particularly matter since you will be hanging it to only show the front.Covered Tea Wreath

Next, take a different design of decorative paper and measure it to be about the same width as the clothespins, then cut them into strips.Measuring Paper for Clothespins

Then, glue the strips onto your clothespins with your glue stick. I cut the strips to be slightly longer, glued them on and let them dry, and then finally trimmed them to the edge of the clip to be more precise.Gluing paper to clothespins

Use hot glue to attach the clothespins to the wheel. I arranged mine how I wanted them before starting to glue.Tea Wreath with Clothespins

Another thing I’ve realized with hot glue is that you often don’t need very much. I started out doing a line of hot glue on each one, but soon found that just 3 small dabs on each clothespin make them stick great.Tea variety wheel

Finally, hot glue on a ribbon, attach your tea, and hang it up to display your goodies. I added a bunch of tea I had, but left space for Aryn to add hers too.

Tea Variety Kitchen Wreath

And now I shall leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Mary Poppins.

Mr. Dawes Jr.: In seventeen hundred and seventy-three, an official of this bank unwisely loaned a large
sum of money to finance a shipment of tea to the American Colonies… Do you know what happened?

Mr. Banks:  Yes sir, yes I think I do.  As the ship lay in Boston harbor, a party of colonists,
dressed as red Indians, boarded the vessel, behaved rudely, and threw all the tea overboard.  This
made the tea unsuitable for drinking – – even for Americans!

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

I’ve already been buying/making/planning for Christmas gifts for a month or two now. My grandparents love anything with photos of their grandchildren, so when I saw an idea for photo coasters from Lee Lala, I thought it was perfect. I ended up combining it with ideas from two girls being crafty, as well. And heck, everyone else in the craft blog community is doing it, so why shouldn’t I? (Just don’t tell my grandparents until Christmas!)

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

My supplies were:

  • Digital pictures edited to black and white
  • White tissue paper
  • Ceramic or sandstone tiles (I couldn’t find sandstone even though I liked that idea, so I got some super cheap ceramic tiles from Home Depot that were like 10-20 cents apiece)
  • Printer (Many tutorials say to only use a laser printer, but I used an inkjet and just made sure to print in black ink/grayscale ONLY, not the color combination that creates black, so that the colors wouldn’t get all weird.)
  • Mod Podge and foam brush
  • Spray sealant
  • Black felt
  • Hot glue
  • O Magazine (or other easy-cleanup work surface… I had this free copy from years ago to use 🙂 )

The first two steps using the tissue paper are the hardest, because tissue paper is so fragile. First, I printed out each photo on tissue paper in a size to match my 4″ish by 4″ish inch tile. It had to be carefully taped to a sheet of cardstock so it wouldn’t get all bunched up in the printer.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Next, I applied a thin layer of mod podge with the foam brush and quickly but carefully placed the photo on top. There will be wrinkles, as is the nature of tissue paper, but do your best to smooth them out very carefully so the paper doesn’t tear. The wrinkles aren’t as obvious once the coasters are done, but they still help give the photos a worn, unique look.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Then, apply a thin layer of mod podge on top

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

And let dry for at least fifteen minutes, then add another coat. Wait an hour or two more, and add a coat of spray sealant to help make them waterproof.

Sealing Photo Coasters

Once that dries after a few hours, the main part of the coaster done, so you just need to glue on the felt.

I measured the tiles (since they aren’t exactly 4×4) and cut the felt to the same size, one piece for each coaster.

Measuring Felt

Then, I placed hot glue on each coaster, one side at a time, and stuck on the felt before it dried.

Gluing Felt to CoastersGluing Felt Onto Photo Coasters

Add some ribbon, and you have cute personalized coasters!

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

For an easier version, you could just use regular paper or photo paper since it doesn’t wrinkle, or just use scrapbook paper for cute ones if you don’t want to put your glass on someone’s face. I know a lot of people have done this, and for some reason I decided to go with the harder-to-work-with tissue paper. But these coasters have character. 😉

Dishwasher Clean/Dirty Sign

I know I’ve been away for a while – I tend to get into something like crafting for a while and then turn my attention to something else (like games or tv or traveling), and come back to it later. But I have some new stuff to show you guys!

Ever have problems telling whether the dishes are dirty or clean? The boyfriend and I sometimes have trouble coordinating the dishes, especially since he washes them before putting them in the dishwasher. So when I saw this cute tutorial on making a sign for your dishwasher, I thought it was a great idea.

First, I tried the method in the tutorial – saved cottage cheese lids, printed out the awesome printable the original poster made onto cardstock, cut them out and got the rest of my supplies together.

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I glued the magnet on the backside of one lid and the lids to each other with hot glue.

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However, when I tried to put it on the dishwasher, my magnet wasn’t strong enough, and it kept falling off. So, I gave up on that altogether and just ended up Elmer’s gluing the clean/dirty pieces of cardstock together with the magnet between them, and it worked.

If you have a stronger magnet than me, feel free to try the lid method, since that would be a more durable sign. But hey, sometimes you just have to use trial-and-error and work with what you have. 🙂

Invitation Ornament

Toward the beginning of my interest in Pinterest, I found this tutorial on making an ornament out of a wedding invitation, which inspired me to make one for my friends Matt and Aryn as a keepsake for their wedding. I also made a similar one out of lines of binary code for a geeky ornament as a holiday contest at the office (which didn’t win because mine didn’t light up, of course).

It’s super simple; here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wedding invitation or other keepsake on paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Empty, clear plastic or glass ornament

First, cut the invitation into strips – I stuck to one line per strip. Then (and this is my ingenious addition to this, haha) slide a strip across either scissors or the corner of a surface (as I did below with my glass table) just like you would do to make ribbon curly. This only makes the strips slightly curly, but it kind of primes the paper to make it much easier to curl later.

Then, wrap the strip tightly around your pen or pencil and hold it there for a few seconds.

When you take them off, they will look like this:

I tried some without the scissors-or-corner step and they didn’t curl nearly as tightly. Once you are done, stuff the strips into the ornament, add some ribbon, and there you have it! I love how you can see bits and pieces of the text by turning it different ways.

This particular ornament was for my friend Corinna, which I gave to her last week before her wedding and she loved it! It’s a nice personalized keepsake that can be used for years and display the invitation at the same time. Because really, can you have too many holiday ornaments?

Butterfly Window Clings

I painted these! And it took a few hours, but it was fun. I found an old kit for painting butterfly window clings, and I just decided to tackle it and make some colorful butterflies for my window.

What was interesting was how with this kind of paint, there’s a scooper tool. You scoop the paint on to each section, then use the pointy end to spread it out evenly. There was a paint-by-number guide in the instruction manual. I took a little bit of creative liberty in adding blue to the brown-and-red butterfly, but I probably should have just left it as is; these kit people seem to know what they’re doing. 🙂

You have to wait for it to dry for at least 24 hours, and then take them off the paper backing, carefully cut them out, and voila! You have a lovely clingaling.

I’m giving a couple of these to a friend who loves butterflies, and the rest are colorfying my living room in the mornings!

Bottle Cap Magnets

I saw this great project from Martha Stewart on bottle cap magnets. Because of a beer-loving boyfriend, I have access to an abundance of bottle caps, and I love really customizable things like this, because you can really use whatever pictures you want.

Here are the supplies required:

  • Bottle caps
  • Pictures that can fit on bottle caps
  • Clear casting resin (usually used for jewelry or paper weights)
  • Measuring device
  • 2 plastic cups
  • 2 disposable mixing devices (like plastic dinnerware or chopsticks)
  • Small magnets and/or tacks
  • Super glue or other strong glue
  • Craft glue or double-stick tape
  • Wax paper for work area

Here are my supplies for the casting phase:

To get my pictures to fit on bottle caps, I shrunk and cropped them down to a print size of 1”x1” (the exact size of a bottle cap) using a photo editing program, and drew a circle onto it so that it would be more uniform than my free-hand attempt at cutting a circle.

After printing and cutting out each picture (onto photo paper, because I think regular paper might get smeared/discolored by the resin), I stuck them to the bottle caps with double-stick tape. This wasn’t sticky enough for some of the bottle caps, so I would recommend a good glue maybe next time, in which case you’ll have to wait for it to dry before pouring the resin. You can also used small stickers – I had a few stickers that I cut to fit the bottle caps.

Then, I opened up the resin and read and followed the instructions for mixing the resin. I had never used casting resin before, so it was an interesting learning experience. First, I measured the resin exactly (using a measuring cup that will be crafts and non-food things only from now on), poured it into the cup, measured the hardener to the same amount (this is super important), and poured it in. I used 1/8 cup each of resin and hardener for each batch, and that was enough for 10 bottle caps with a little left over.

I mixed for 2 minutes, then poured it all into another cup and mixed for another minute with a different mixing device. (I don’t know why this is required, but that’s what the instructions say.)

Finally, it was time to pour it into the bottle caps.

I made 2 batches, 19 in total. The resin was apparently not quite warm enough in the second batch (it said 75 degrees would be warm enough, but I would probably up it to 80), which caused the tiny bubbles to stay in several, so watch out for that.

(The Doctor looks kind of evil in this picture!) Once the resin was poured, I let them set overnight, and they were all hardened. I then used super glue to glue on my tiny magnets, and I stuck tacks on a few of them.

Ta-da! Despite the bubbles, I still like them and might make more in the future, and make sure the resin is warm enough next time.

SMASHbooking

There is this fantastic product called a SMASHbook that is basically a more casual, quicker, easier way to scrapbook for those of us lazier types. You just smash whatever you want into your book, and the pages come pre-decorated, so you don’t have to worry about it too much. I collect bits and pieces from all the events, shows, and places I travel to, and then I don’t end up doing anything with them. So when I first saw this, I loved it.

I got a kit for my birthday with a retro blue book.

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(I haven’t decorated the cover yet.) The kit also included decorative tape, pockets. a mini notepad, a pen that has a glue stick at the other end, and a few other things, and I’ve been smashing in it enthusiastically ever since. Here are a few of the pages from my SMASHbook so far:

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Just some of  the bunches of stuff I had  to smash in from my trip to London and Cardiff.

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I also smashed about my job:

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and my kitty cat!

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I also have pages about the weddings/showers I’ve been going to this season, my trip to Detroit a couple weeks ago, and other random stuff. I may post more about smashing at some point since I have so much fun with it, but I wanted to share a bit about it with you all now. 🙂

K&Company says it well on the SMASH website:

“For all the things that matter,

And for all the things that don’t.

For all the stuff that’s too good to forget.

For any reason and for no good reason at all.

For all the good ideas, life lists,

Conversations & happenings…

Live it up, glue it down, and SMASH it in.

Vellum Paper Votives

I found this tutorial on Film Candle Holders and thought it was a great idea. I don’t have any film negatives anymore with the digital age, but I did like another idea they had about printing off pictures using vellum paper, which is a translucent kind of paper. So, I found some vellum paper at the craft store, along with a couple little candle holders, and got my supplies together. This was simpler than I thought it would be – the hardest part for me was figuring out how to get the right size of photo printed.

To do this, you will need:

  • A black-and-white landscape photo
  • Vellum paper
  • Tape measure
  • Votive holder
  • Tea light or tiny candle to fit in holder
  • Double-stick tape
  • Computer and Printer

To start, I gathered my initial supplies:

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I measured my votive holder with the measuring tape to see how big my photo should be. I printed out a photo (of me in London that I had made black and white) on the vellum paper, cut it out, and stuck double-stick tape on both ends of the paper.
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I then attached one end of the picture to the votive holder, wrapped it around, and attached the second end. I stuck a tea light in, and this is the finished product:
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I like how it turned out, considering how easy it was. I’m sure it would look even better with a better quality photo and laser printer. This is the only one I’ve made so far, but I plan on making at least one more. I haven’t decided what picture I will use yet – maybe pretty flowers, or something more geeky. This would also be a great gift with photos of kids for parents or grandparents.