Tag Archives: tutorial

Welcome, Spring!

Finally, some warmer weather. It’s so nice to see and feel the sun. Around here, we relish in Spring, because by the time Summer gets here, it’s pretty miserable.

It’s time to list new things in the shop and sign up for any shows we’d like to participate in this season. The pop-up market in Fort Worth is coming to Arlington, so we may see what that’s all about! Things are busy here at the center where the hubs and I live, what with our new management, and all the seasonal activities coming up. The big event is our annual Spring Banquet to celebrate our students, and, to honor our new staff and all of the changes being made, I chose the theme “new beginnings.” For the past couple of years, it’s been my job to come up with a theme, buy and make all the decorations, and put them up the day of. Fortunately, we started a little sooner than we did in years past, so I have plenty of time to focus on making things look spiffy!

For our buffet table, I decided to create a display inspired by this tutorial: DollarStoreCrafts: Make A Floral Monogram. As you know, I love me some Dollar Tree, so I knew I would be able to find exactly what I needed to create what I had in mind. Here’s what I have so far:

005S-R-N- What does that spell?!?

… “Nothing, Chelsea, that spells nothing. What are you talking about?”

Never fear, “PIG” is here:

006

For you word scramble enthusiasts, you’ve already figured out that when you alternate the floral and moss letters, that spells “spring.” The moss letters are another dollar store creation. Right now, they have tons of moss on sale of different kinds. I chose the Reindeer Moss for it’s pretty green color, which matches our color palette of grassy green, yellow, white, and pops of red and blue.

It’s not “Make It Monday,” but I thought I’d go ahead and share how to make the moss letters:

What you need

Foam board

Moss (about one Dollar Tree package will cover the front and edges of a 12″ letter)

Blade (box cutter, exacto knife, etc.)

Hot glue gun

How to make it

1. I used some leftover foam board (that I also bought from the dollar store,) to cut out letters that were relatively the same height and width of my floral letters.  They measure about 12″ tall and 5″ wide. If you’re not confident in your free-handing skills, you can always print out letters in your desired font to create stencils to trace onto your foam board.

2. Once the letters are cut out, warm up your glue gun and open your package of moss. Begin separating the moss into chunks so that it’s easier to handle.

3. Spread glue over a small section of your letter, and quickly grab a chunk of moss and press down. You’ll find that there’s probably excess moss that doesn’t attach, but that’s OK. It’s better to have that extra to keep you from burning your fingers as you press down. Continue spreading glue on small sections of the top of your letter and adding moss.

4. Once you’ve covered your letter, tilt it and shake any excess moss off of it (as if you were working with glitter.) You may see that you have a couple of “bald” spots, in which case, just add a drop or two of glue, and use that excess moss to patch it.

5. Now it’s time to cover your edges. Use the same technique, this time, laying glue down the line of the edge for several inches, then covering with moss until you’ve covered the entire edge of the letter.

6. Depending on what you’re doing with your monogram or word, you may want to cover the back of the letter in moss as well. If you’ll be hanging the letter on a door or wall, it’s not necessary, but it gives it a nice, finished look.

7. Now you decide how to display it. You can glue a ribbon to the letter to hang it, glue a dowel or two to the back of the letter to “plant” it in a pot or vase, or leave it as-is to prop against a nook in your home.

There you have it! I’ll be sure to post pictures of my finished “spring” display once it’s done, and some pictures of the rest of the decorations for the banquet.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Make It Monday

Handmade Holidays 2012 & What I’m Making

So excited to be a part of Etsy817’s Handmade Holidays again this year! Last year we had the show in one of the gyms in the UTA activity center, but this year it’s in Arlington’s Lincoln Square, which is a large shopping center on the north side of the city. The team leaders were able to find a couple of spaces available for rent, and are currently hoping to upgrade to the larger space due to the massive amounts of vendor applications sent in this year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bigger space comes through, because it’s going to be an awesome show already. If you’re in the area and interested in more info, check out the Etsy817 blog here.

Since the show is going to be here before we know it (in early December,) Mom and I are both in serious creative mode. I’ve been hanging on to some pretty crocheted pieces my grandmother made and left to us, wondering what I should do with them, when it hit me. I’ve been into the trend of body harnesses and jewelry for a long time now. In fact, one of my favorite treasures is a beaded hand harness (ring/bracelet combo) that my grandmother gave me for Christmas years and years ago. Now, of course, it’s this huge trend, and I’ve been thinking of ways I could make the trend my own to sell in the shop. Enter the crocheted squares, hearts, teardrops, flowers, and circles that have been taking up space in one of my many plastic storage containers! So, I started hand beaded each of them, adding charms and buttons, picturing how each piece would lay as jewelry. Add chain, and you have very fall & winter appropriate shoulder and body harnesses.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, what do you think? It takes a certain person to brave body harnesses, I think, but I’m one of those people! I hope that these pieces are distinct enough that people will want to wear them over sweaters and blazers as the weather gets cooler. If you’d like to make your own, easy and understated chain body harness, take a look at this easy to follow tutorial.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

DIY Steampunk Tophat Tutorial

As promised, here’s the step-by-step to my mini steampunk tophat!

Tadaa! The finished product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at several different tutorials (check out threadbanger.com for a great start,) then made my own frankentutorial based on supplies I already had to make my hat.

What You’ll Need:

A plastic cup that is slightly graduated in shape (smaller at the bottom, larger at the top)

Scrap of foam board or cardboard

Ribbon and/or trim

Feathers

Lace

Buttons and trinkets

1 or 2 hair clips

Low-temp hot glue gun & glue sticks

Electrical or masking tape

Sturdy wire

Good scissors

Wire cutters

Feathers

Fabric scraps

How To Make It

1.) Take your plastic cup and place it upside down on your piece of foam board or cardboard. Trace the opening of the cup onto the board, then cut out on the inside of the line you just drew. The idea is for the round piece to fit snugly in the opening of the cup after both the cup and the circle are covered in fabric.

2.) Place your circle on the fabric of your choice. (I chose velvet to coordinate with the gold and red silk I used for the tall part of my hat.) Trace the circle onto your fabric, then draw another circle about an inch out from the original circle onto your fabric.

3.) Cut slits in your circle from the outside edge nearly to the edge of the inside circle you traced. Cut several slits around the circle so that your fabric will lay flat when you cover your circle.

4.) Place your foamboard/cardboard circle back on the fabric you just cut slits in, and start folding the fabric “tabs” you created when cutting onto the circle, and glue them down with hot glue. Go slowly, doing one tab at a time, and stretching your fabric over the circle so that it lays flat. (FYI, your tabs will probably overlap. That’s good! It means the fabric will be smooth on the opposite side.)

5.) Place your plastic cup on its side on top of the “wrong” side of the fabric of your choice. (Be sure there’s enough fabric so that you have at least an inch of overlap at the top and bottom of your cup. Place a short line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the cup (the opening and the base of the cup,) and begin to roll your cup onto the back side of the fabric. Repeat until you’ve rolled the cup all the way around, at which point the sides of the cup should be covered in fabric. Again, go slowly, making sure your glue adheres, and tighten the fabric so that it lays flat on your cup.

6.) When you’ve covered the cup, cut a straight line at the end of your fabric, and fold it over to create a seam. Glue the fabric seam down, then glue the neat edge of your fabric onto the cup.

7.) Using the same technique you used to cover your foam board/cardboard circle, cut slits in the fabric that overlaps the top and bottom of your cup. Glue the tabs you create inside the cup, and onto the bottom of the cup.

8.) Quickly create a ring of glue about 1/2 inch inside the opening of your cup, and place your covered foam board/cardboard circle inside to secure. The base for your tophat is finished.

9.) Stand your cup upright, and, taking your wire, create a circle around the base, at least a few inches out from the edge of the cup. This will be the base for the brim of your hat, so you can make it as small or as large as you like. Cut the wire with about 1/2 inch to spare when you’ve found the right length.

10.) Overlap the two ends of your wire and connect by covering with electric or masking tape to create a circle. Try not to get too bulky with your tape, since you’ll be covering the wire with fabric.

11.) Using the same technique you used to cover your foam board/cardboard circle, trace a circle around your wire about 1/2 inch from the edge of the wire. You may or may not need to cut slits in your fabric for this step, since you’ll be gluing your fabric directly to the edge of the wire. Glue your fabric down and cut off any excess fabric around the inside edge.

12.) To attach your brim to your hat, apply a liberal amount of glue around the edge of the bottom of your cup, and place in the center of the finished side of your circular brim. (The side without raw fabric edges showing.) Now stitch the fabric to the bottom of the cup. This doesn’t have to look pretty – you’ll finish your brim and hide any stitches you make.

14.) Cut another circle of fabric, this time the same size as your wire circle, to cover the unfinished side of your brim. You can either fold the edges of this fabric over and glue down to creat a seam, or just glue the circle down, raw edges and all, then cover the edge by gluing down a pretty trim. Your brim is finished.

15.) Bend the wire of your brim any way you like to create an authentic tophat look.

16.) Stitch hair clips and/or ribbon to the bottom center of your brim to secure to your head. If you choose to use ribbon, wrap the ribbon around your head like a headband, then cut lots of extra ribbon to tie a pretty bow. (You could also tie the ribbon under your chin.)

17.) Now you can add your embellishments! You can add feathers by cutting them to the desired length, then taping together and gluing onto the hat. Metal buttons and beads, gears, and pretty baubles can be stitched onto your ribbon and glued around the bottom of your tophat to hide the tape on your feathers. I created a pretty lace pinwheel by cutting a length of lace ribbon, then making a running stich along the edge to pull and gather the lace. Using a matching thread, stitch the raw edges of the lace together to create a circle, and sew a button in the center to finish. I also added some organza ribbon to give the illusion of a prize ribbon. You can get really creative here, adding any kind of embellishments you choose. Just be careful not to make the hat too heavy!

Back view of the hat. Notice the "seam" and various trinkets sewn to the ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, wear your hat with steampunk pride! Stay tuned for more fun and simple steampunk tutorials.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Make It Monday – Puppet Shows and Superheroes

Life is funny when you’re a professional “crafter.” After painting a couple of nursery name sets as baby shower gifts, a friend from church asked if I would paint letters for her son and daughter as a custom order! I’ve never thought of myself as a painter, even though I love to dabble, so it’s flattering and exciting to have someone pay me to do it. I have thought of myself as a draw-er (is that a word, other than one of a “chest of …?”) so I sketch the layout of the design on the letters to give me a little more confidence when painting. It’s kind of like paint by number. I lucked out with these kids in particular, besides the fact that they’re both precious, because the girl is in love with all things Disney princess, and the boy is a superhero buff! I get the best of both worlds; one set will be pink and sparkly with Disney fairytale characters and pink organza ribbon, and the other will be black and superhero colors (and hopefully glow-in-the-dark paint) with emblems and old-school onomatopoeia bubbles like “bam!” and “pow!” It’s a challenge, but I’m so up to it.

Meanwhile, I was asked by another friend to help with our new children’s ministry, which is going to include regularly featured puppets and skits with zany characters. Right up my alley. We brainstormed, going down the list of lesson topics that our children’s minister smartly listed from A-Z. So far, we’ve come up with ideas for a time machine, a few characters and puppets, and what props and costumes we’ll need to use over and over again. I really feel like this is God’s answer to so many prayers to involve the congregation with what the kids are doing, and really get the kids excited about learning what the Bible has to teach! I was so excited that I stayed up until 2 o’clock in the morning working on my first project, a snake puppet:

Tom and Mr. Snake meet for the first time.
 
Now, we don’t have any kids yet, but we have lots of nieces and nephews, kids of friends, and, let’s face it, we’re just big kids, too. Every kid that saw the puppet, or saw pictures of the puppet got so excited! Puppets are relatively easy to make, and there are so many different ways to make them. Mr. Snake is made from a shirt sleeve, cardboard, felt, and google eyes, but you can make puppets from socks or paper, and make them little enough to fit on fingers or big enough to fit on both hands. I encourage you to try it out, even host a puppet workshop with your kids and their friends, because it’s so much fun, and can be catered to any skill level. First, I’ll attempt to give you the step-by-step for Mr. Snake, then I’ll share some helpful links with tutorials on other kinds of puppets so you can find your favorite flavor.
 
How To Make Mr. Snake
 
What you’ll need:
 
A sock or long sleeve made from stretchy material (stripes or solids are snake-y, but you can go with any pattern you like)
Black felt
Red felt
Yellow felt
White felt
Two google eyes
Cardboard scraps
Pencil
Scissors
Your preferred glue (hot, tacky, E6000 …)
 
How to make it:
 
1. Cut off the end of your sock, or cut off the desired length of the sleeve. I used a shirt a friend gave me that suffered a DIY project gone wrong. Oops.
 
2. Fold the edges of the end you just cut inward, as if you’re going to hem the raw edge. Use an iron to press the edges if you’d like help keeping things even. I folded my edge inward about 1/2 inch.
 
3. Fold your piece of cardboard in half. Place your hand on the fold so that your thumb is on the bottom, and your other four fingers are on top, sandwiching the folded piece in your hand. With a pencil, trace an oval about 1/4 inch out around your four fingers on top. This will create the mouth of your puppet.
 
4. Keeping the cardboard folded, cut out the oval shape.
 
5. Unfold the cardboard (which should look kind of like a giant hot dog now) or open the mouth, and place it on your black felt. Cut out the felt in the shape of the cardboard mouth, and repeat to create two identical felt ovals.
 
6. Glue the felt to each side of your cardboard. This will be the black inside of the snake’s mouth, and will give you a nice, soft but easy-to-grip surface on the inside of the puppet.
 
7. Once the glue dries, take your sleeve or sock and begin stretching the folded end over the edge of your felt-covered cardboard, keeping the oval unfolded (or the mouth open.) This is the tricky part. I stretched the fabric over the mouth so that the folded edge lay flat on the cardboard, creating a 1/2 inch border around the oval. Then I lifted up the fabric in small sections and glued them down to the felt-covered cardboard mouth. Once you’ve glued all the way around the fabric opening, you’ve made the snake’s mouth!
 
8. Once the glue has dried, slip your hand inside the puppet and fold the cardboard mouth in half with your hand. Open and close your hand a few times to open and close the mouth, and re-establish the fold in the cardboard.
 
9. Cut a long tongue with a forked end from your red felt and glue it to the bottom half of the mouth.
 
10. Cut two fang shapes from your white felt and glue them to the top half of the mouth.
 
11. Cut two nostrils from your leftover black felt. Set them aside.
 
12. Place your google eyes on top of your yellow felt, and cut around them, leaving a border of at least 1/4 inch. Glue the eyes onto the yellow circles.
 
13. You can stop here if you want, glue the eyes and nostrils to the top of the snake’s head and be done.  The result will be a cool sock-puppet snake. If you’d like to add more dimension to the snake’s head, read on.
 
I’m not going to number these steps, because I’ll have a hard time explaining exactly what I did to creat the snake’s head. I’m going to try! Take a look at a house slipper, and you’ll see where I got the idea. I cut a half-circle the length of the top of the mouth from cardboard and cut two triangular notches (like darts in a blouse) on the rounded side. I carefully curved the shape by folding it like the bill of a baseball cap. Then I pulled the edges of each notch toward each other, overlapping them and gluing them down. Once they were glued, each notch created the space for the nostrils of the snake. I turned the puppet inside out, gluing my new cardboard snout to the top half of the mouth piece. While the glue was drying, I created a brow by tracing the yellow eyes on the cardboard, about 1/4 inch apart, then drew a brow shape on top of the eyes. I drew several tabs around the edges of the brow shape, and cut the whole shape out. I folded the tabs back to create a kind of easel for the eyes to stand on, then glued those tabs to the snout. I turned the puppet right side out, then glued the yellow eyes and black nostrils onto the fabric on top of the new head structure.
 
If you’re having a hard time making heads or tails of my snake tutorial, and I don’t blame you if you are, here are some other puppet tutorial links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have a picture of a puppet you’ve made? Share in the comments below!
 
Share the Love,
Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Make It Monday – T-Shirt Necklace From My Top 3 Project Picks

Happy Monday!

Last week, I blogged about my top 3 craft picks. (Click for links to tutorials.) My goal is to make them within a month’s time and move on to my next top 3 crafts.

Here’s the first of the 3:

The t-shirt necklace.

 It turned out pretty well! This is an easy to make craft, and you only have to use about 5-6 inches of a t-shirt. So, the rest of this shirt became a shrug:

The sleeves were too cute to sacrifice, but the rest of the shirt was a little irregular. Perfect for this project!

 This shirt is from a friend who recently cleaned out her closet, and who, coincidentally, gave me this awesome new ‘do last night! It’s actually short on both sides with a long strip down the middle (a “flophawk.”) I’m super excited!

Overall, I’m really happy with the way both projects turned out. I may have to replace the strip of jersey fabric that serves as the “chain” for the necklace with something a little sturdier, or shorten it. It stretched out pretty quickly after wearing it for a few hours. Other than that, I got lots of compliments on it!

Share the Love,

Chelsea

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Make It Monday – A Cheap, In-Home Art Installment

Hey guys, it’s good to be back! The break has been great so far, and I’ve also gotten a lot done.

I was browsing through design*sponge’s DIY section (again) when I stumbled on the clothespin mirror that had caught my eye before.

Click here for the mirror tutorial!

I’ve always had a fascination with the simplicity of design in utilitarian things like clothespins and paper clips. We didn’t necessarily need another mirror in the apartment, although I looked for one just in case, so I decided to create a funky art installment in the newly empty entryway (RIP Bandit & Rogue, our little mischevious rats.) After buying about 150 clothespins for $4 at Dollar Tree, I came home and grabbed some steel wire I already had lying around. If you don’t have steel wire just “lying around,” you can pick a spool up at a hardware store for a few dollars. Then, I created circular shapes with the wire and covered the shapes in hot-glued clothespins. Et viola! A less-than-ten-dollar, funky, retro collection of what looks to me like clothespin “bubbles” in mid-pop.

The first of a collection of clothespin "bubbles."

They’re not perfect, but I like them. I can’t wait to add a few more (I still have clothespins left,) wrapping onto the adjoining wall. By the way, aren’t our cinderblocks just lovely? The brown plastic baseboards add a nice touch, I think. 😉 Hence the attempt to warm things up a bit and make the place feel like home! This is a great, quick, weekend or evening project that you can do by yourself or easily get kids involved.

Tell me what you think – do you/would you use office supplies to decorate your place?

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Make It Monday – (Fairy) Makeup Magic

Okay, so, in case you didn’t know this about me, it’s Halloween in my head pretty much year round. 🙂 I love costume design and makeup (warning – I’m not an expert!) so I love the freedom of expression Halloween promotes. This week, Tom and I decided we’re going to Scarborough Faire, the renaissance festival in Waxahachie, again this year. We’ve been several times, but don’t get to go every year because of time and money constraints. We also decided to do something we haven’t done yet, and that’s dress the part! This is a pretty last-minute decision, so we’re working with what we have. I’m going to be a faerie, and Tom’s going to go either Celtic or pirate, we haven’t decided yet.

Now, I understand if you’re not into dressing up for renaissance festivals, or even Halloween, but it’s a great hobby to have if you’re looking for an something artsy to do in your free time, or if you’re looking for a project to keep your kids busy. I’ve found some amazing tutorials on making wings, doing makeup, and costuming, so I just thought I’d share my faerie costume with you guys!

This is the dress I’m going to use for the base of the costume:

I stole it from Tinkerbell's closet. She'll never notice - she's got a million of 'em!

I lucked out and found this at a thrift store. Of course, it was instantly in plans for a costume. I’ll probably add some fabric pieces cut from scarves around the waist and hem to create more dimension and give it a flowy, ethereal feel that’s indicative of the Renaissance period.

Then, I’m going to find some large leaves (hopefully at the dollar store!) to create a waist cincher. I’ll also need smaller leaves and/or flowers for my hair, which I’ll wear in a messy updo – it’s going to be warm – and maybe some little forest friends, like bugs or butterflies.

Obviously, I’ll need some wings! This is one of the better tutorials I’ve found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YAUxeopgNw

I think I’ll make mine smaller so that they don’t get in the way of all the fun to be had at the faire.

There are TONS of fairy makeup tutorials to choose from, but I think this one by kandeejohnson is great because you can modify it to match your outfit:

http://www.youtube.com/user/kandeejohnson#p/search/4/pjqLqJbgars

I have plenty of gold and green makeup that I could use, but I haven’t decided how sparkly I want to be. Earthy or sparkly? Decisions, decisions.

Anyway, that’s my inspiration for the costume! I’ll post pics of the finished product and do a real tutorial.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday