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Archive for the ‘Craft’ Category

Happy Haunting …

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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My girlfriend and I co-hosted a surprise birthday party for our husbands last weekend.  (They are friends from college and celebrated milestone birthdays within a week of each other.)  So much fun!!!  But, the planning started months in advance.

As we discussed the theme and decor for the party, we decided to use chalkboards on all of the food and drink tables.

It was too expensive to buy vintage chalkboards, so I decided to make them.  It turned out to be a fairly easy project.

After reading many blogs and talking to several people that make & sell vintage chalkboards, here are my “comprehensive” directions for DIY Chalkboards

Materials:

  • Empty picture frames
  • MDF (1/4 inch) – available at hardware stores
  • Chalkboard Paint – also available at hardware stores
  • Primer (recommended;  I used gray spray primer)
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Glazing Push Points
  • Chalk & Soft Rags

Directions:

  1. Select the frames you wish to use.  I picked up four frames at our monthly flea market for a total of $12.   Most of us can probably re-purpose old picture frames we have around the house.
  2. Have the MDF cut to fit the size of your frames.  (Measure carefully!  You want to make sure your boards will fit snugly in the frames.  If your frames still have the glass or cardboard back, these make great patterns.)  Most hardware stores will custom cut for free.  I even went back to Home Depot twice to have the large boards cut into smaller pieces. 
  3. It’s best to prime the MDF.  I used a gray primer spray paint, since I was using black chalkboard paint.  Once the primer is dry, lightly sand the MDF with very fine grit sandpaper.  Use a soft cloth to wipe away all dust.
  4. Paint the primed MDF with chalkboard paint.  I used a disposable sponge roller and painted three coats.  (I wrapped the sponge roller and paint tray in Saran Wrap and placed them in the refrigerator between coats.  This way I only needed 1 roller and didn’t need to clean out my paint tray.)
  5. When the boards are completely dry, you need to “season” them, so you can wipe off the chalk writing and reuse your chalkboards.  Season the boards by using the side of your chalk and rubbing chalk all over the entire surface of your chalkboard.  Wipe off all chalk dust with a soft cloth.
  6. Paint, distress, wax or glaze your frames, depending on the desired look you want to achieve.  (I sprayed my frames white, using white spray paint that I had on hand.)  Be sure to paint in a well ventilated area if you are using spray paint.
  7. To secure the chalkboard MDF into the picture frames, you can use Push Points to secure the board to wood frames using a large screw driver or metal putty knife.

I ended up with four large framed chalkboards and several other non-framed boards (including a very large board that we used at the party to display messages from guests that couldn’t be with us for the party and a long skinny board with a “thank you” message).

I spent $41 on the entire project … I couldn’t have purchased one framed chalkboard for that price!

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I usually have Easter eggs and bunnies all throughout our house at this time of year.  We usually host Easter brunch or dinner at our home, but this year we will be away.  So … since I didn’t decorate much this year, I thought I’d share some of my favorite home decor ideas using Easter Eggs.

Most pictures are on my Pinterest board called “Happy Easter“.   You can follow any of my boards on Pinterest.  (Picture above from Talia Audenart).

Using eggs as containers (or vases) for flowers can add so much to an Easter tablescape.  You can dye the raw eggs first in desired colors.  Crack open the eggs (on the pointed side of egg) and clean out the egg shell.

Small flowers work best (Pansies, lily of the valley, lillac).  I have several old silver egg cups that I found at antique flea markets.  I also have found white, glass egg cups (like upper, left picture) at HomeGoods and online.

For the artistic, handpainted eggs make beautiful decorations.  (Martha Stewart, left and Censational Girl, right).

I found these eggs above at Roger’s Gardens.  They come with ribbons attached — making them adorable hanging from a window or chandelier.

There are many cute egg crafts for kids.  Get out your scrapbooking supplies and decorate colored eggs with ribbons, rhinestones and more.  Or display decorated eggs in the cute muffin/cupcake papers.  (The grass papers are available at Michael’s Craft Store).

You can make beautifully decorated eggs using punched paper.  These eggs above are decorated with flower-punched paper.  Get ready to glue …

And there are many cute Easter desserts and treats to make in the shapes of eggs.  I’ll do a separate post of Easter treats.  Stay tuned…

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With our crazy, busy lives these days, it’s nice to see a boxed, hand-wrapped gift.  I know I’m one to grab the cute gift bags and tissue as we’re out the door off to a birthday party.  But, I do appreciate a paper-wrapped gift tied with ribbon.

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating my step daughter’s 13th birthday.  I went with a pink, teal and black theme … gotta love that zebra wrap!!!  Natalie and I have used it on many presents with bright colored ribbon.

I love the narrow wired, sparkly ribbon in teal and pink.  I’ve used it on many packages and handmade cards (Michael’s).  And I love the teal & white cheetah wrap (HomeGoods).

Craft supplies can come in handy when wrapping presents.  We often make handmade gift tags using paper punches.

We never run out of ribbon at our house!  🙂

Happy wrapping!

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Here are a few last minute valentine crafts to add some Valentine cheer for your special day.

These handmade valentines are originally from a Paper Crafts magazine.  Scrapbook Girl made these adorable hearts with scrapbook papers, buttons and beads.  Step by step instructions are available  here.

These fans made of scrapbooking paper look great hanging in windows or from chandeliers … or tucked between decorative items on a fireplace mantel or bookshelf.  Pictures are from EAB Designs.

This adorable heart wreath by Craftberry Bush makes for a cute display with the simple candles and jars of sand.

And this beautiful newspaper heart wreath, also by Craftberry Bush.

These adorable valentine vases and votive holders from Rhonna Designs are made from mason jars, decorative papers, lace and ribbons.

These cute bon-bon filled hearts are easy to make.  Instructions by Martha Stewart can be found here.

Happy decorating!

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Looking for a fun holiday craft project you can do with the kids?

These lollipop yard stakes go together in an afternoon.  And, the kids can do so much of the project themselves (actually all of the project, if they are pre-teen or older).

Natalie and I painted the paperplates in traditional mint candy fashion (plus one with polka dots).  We actually painted them last year, but never got around to finishing them until this year.  The nice thing about this holiday craft is that they are easy to store — and take up very little space if you unassemble them before packing them away.

Here’s what you need:

  • Paperplates – the thicker kind works best (2 needed for each lollipop)
  • Paint – we used the inexpensive acrylic paint from the craft store
  • Brushes
  • Scissors & Hot glue gun
  • Cellophane Wrap
  • Ribbon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 inch wood dowls (in desired length for lollipop sticks)

Here are the steps:

1.  Paint the backs of the paper plates with your desired design.  Remember to paint two plates for each lollipop.  We painted our designs in pairs, so each lollipop would look the same on both sides.

2.  Once the paint has dried, you cut a notch in each paper plate the width of the wood dowl.  When the plates are glued together, this will create a hole for the dowl.

3.  Glue the paperplates together (facing each other, with the painted design on the outside).  Be sure to align the notches to make the hole for the dowl.  Once glue is dry/hardened, insert wood dowl in notched hole.

4.  Cut a sheet of cellophane about 24 by 24 inches.  You may need to adjust the size if your plates are larger or smaller.  Place the cellophane over the two plates that are glued together and gather it together at the bottom so that the end of the dowel sticks out.

5.  Tie the cellophane with a ribbon where it is gathered, making a bow.

Lollipops can be used in your yard, in potted plants, in planters … or like Natalie — she has one in her bedroom.

Happy Crafting!

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Christmas gift tagsA few weeks ago, I took over the family room coffee table with my Christmas papers, paper punches and ribbon.  My husband grumbled when I left my “Christmas crafting stuff” out (for a couple of nights),  but it was for a good cause!   I was making Christmas gift cards and tags for a P.E.O. boutique.  (P.E.O. is a philanthropic educational organization that raises scholarship money to help women further their education).

Holiday gift tags

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few pics, as they were so easy to make!  Besides paper, ribbon, glue and rhinestones, I used:

  • My Circle punches
  • A Scalloped punch
  • Martha Stewart’s Holly, Snowflake & Wreath punches

The finished gift tags were packaged in clear cellophane bags and tied with ribbon.

Holiday gift cards

I also made sets of holiday gift cards — using pre-folded placecards that I found at Michael’s.  I used smaller cello bags for packaging and folded a piece of red or green craft paper to seal (staple) the cello bag closed.  Very easy!

Holiday gift cards

Happy Christmas Crafting!

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