Friday, June 29, 2012

Personalized Picture Frame

My neighbor ( dear Christmas tree light Goddess) was looking for a gift for a baby shower and was inspired to make a personlized picture frame using my marble magnet idea that I had posted about earlier (My Own Magnets).  We bought the supplies and went to work.  The frames turned out to be really cute so I thought I'd share it with you. 

Unfinished wood frame
Flat marbles
Scrapbooking paper
Glue - liquid, stick & glue gun
Paint & brush (if you wish to paint the frame edges)
Craft knife


We first created the personalization by spelling the name out using my marble magnets...minus the magnet.  You can find those instructions at the My Own Magnets page.

  • Paint the visible edges of your frame.  You can either match the color scheme of the papers you are using or can select any complimentary color.  For this project I went with the standard beige.

  • Once you have choosen your frame paper, cover the entire working surface of your frame with glue using a glue stick.  Be very careful to completely cover all the edges along both the outside of the frame as well as the inside edge along the picture window.

  • Place your background paper onto your glued surface and rub out any air pockets. 

  • Turn your frame upside down and carefully trim the outside edge with a craft knife.
  • I prefer to cut the window pane out by during the frame right side up.  I then carefully cut along the inside edge of the opening.  I find that doing this cut from the front keeps the edge of the paper from looking torn.

  • Then glue on the letter marbles to the frame.  I used my hot glue gun for this job be be sure that they all stayed in place.  You may also find other fun things to add such as bows, flowers, etc.  Continue to personlize it to make it a one of a kind gift.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Project Wedding: Message Bottles

My little brother is getting married in July and I have been given (or volunteered) the task of decorating for the wedding.  I've been preparing a lot of things for the event and decided to share what I've been up to (since it's taken most of my time and kept me from my normal blog projects.

Here's a little background on what's happening.  My brother would have really loved to have had the wedding on a beach in Florida.  While that sounds great, it wasn't so realistic if they wanted many of their friends and family to attend.  We were able to find a venue that has a year-round tent for functions.  We've decided to do the ceremony and reception dinner theater style.  This saves us on paying for a seperate spot set up with chairs for the ceremony and then a space set for the reception.  The guests will arrive, find their places at the tables and watch the ceremony from there.  The buffet reception will begin directly following.

The centerpieces for the wedding have many parts.  I'll eventually share all of the parts one at a time and show them put together when it's all done.  For starters I decided to place a bottle on the table with paper and pencils so that guests could leave the happy couple "messages in a bottle."  Here's my bottle project.

Wine bottles
Razor blade
Goo Gone

Scotch tape
Hemp (or jute) rope

  • Soak bottles in a sink (or large container) to loosen the label.

  • After soaking I removed the labels with a razor blade.  Be very careful while using a blade, especially on a slick, wet surface.

  • Many of the labels left a residue from the adhesive.  I set the bottles out to dry before tackling the removal of the glue.

  • Attack the glue residue with some Goo Gone.  I simply sprayed the area with Goo Gone and then rubbed away the adhesive with a paper towel.  This makes the bottle greasy and requires that you wash it.  I dunked it into the sink and gave them a quick wash over and then set them out again to dry (I do not have pics of this step)
Then I went one step further...
  • I decided that the bottle was too plain all by itself so I wrapped some hemp cord around the top to give it a little more rustic/beachy look.
  • I taped my cord to the neck of the bottle.  I left a small tail of cord hanging at the bottom in order to tie the ends.  I used two pieces of tape, one at the top and the bottom of the area of where I wanted to cord to cover.

  • Next I started wrapping the cord around the neck, starting at the top and working my way down.  Be sure to push the cord tight up against the other layers as you round the neck.

  • When you get to the bottom of your taped area, tie the two ends of the cord together and knot them.  Trim away the excess and your bottle is ready. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Transitional Wreath

Last fall a friend of mine asked me if I'd help her with a wreath for her front door.  We went shopping and I convinced her that it would be easy and cheap to pick pieces she liked and create a wreath from scratch.  Here is the fall wreath that I blogged about early.

This spring (I know I'm late) she asked me if I'd make another one for her with spring flowers.  I got to thinking that it might be easier to take the one we made back in the fall and turn it into a transitional wreath.  You see, when I made the fall wreath I attached all of the florals to the grapevine wreath.  I decided that I could make her a tie on piece for each season that was made with a styrofoam block.  This meanth we would only needed one wreath.   So I took the fall wreath apart and started creating the spring arrangement.  I'll remake the arrangement portion for fall on styrofoam later.

  • I have laid out all of my materials and tools.  I needed a styrofoam block this time so that I could make an arrangement that could be put on and taken off with the seasons.
  • I needed to be able to attach the styrofoam to the wreath so I poked wholes through it with my screwdriver.  I did two holes thru the sides at each end and then two holes thru the top...those holes close together so i could thread one wire thru it.
  • Next I threaded my floral wire thru the holes so that the block could be fastened to the wreath.  I ran it thru twice to keep the wire from moving through the block.
  • I cut all of the individual stems off of the bunches we had purchased.
  • I always start arranging with the longest pieces first with the exception of the really long whispy things we purchased.  Instead I started layering the light pink filler pieces into the foam.

  • I moved on to inserting the next size in which happened to be the cream flowers...the main flower of the piece.

  • I should've first covered the styrofoam block with dried moss but I didn't have any and was in a hurry to get the wreath completed.  I needed to fill in the gaps where you could see the block so I made do with leftover leaf sections.
  • I took stem pieces and curled the end down in order to keep the leaf pieces from sliding off.  Then I slid the leave up to the curl and stuck them into the arrangment.

  • I finished the floral portion by adding the longest, whispy pieces I saved from the beginning.  I wanted to wait and put those in place after seeing how they would hang on the completed wreath.
  • I made a bow using a wired edge ribbon and attached it using the floral wire i used to tie the bow together. 
  • Now I need to start picking out the pieces for her summer piece.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Even More Moss...The Cone

I've shared earilier that moss is one of my new favorite mediums to work with.  I made some pretty cool moss covered ornaments and letters BUT...I didn't stop there.  I love the moss and so this means that no surface is safe.  Ha ha ha!

I had a cardboard (aka paper mache) cone that I had intended to use at Christmas to make a second Sheet Music Cone Tree.  While I was in one of my moods to moss, I decided to cover this cone and incorporate it into my spring living room decor.  It was a really simply project and very inexpensive. 

Paper mache cone
Moss sheeting (you can use the clumped moss but this is so much easier)
Glue gun and glue

  • Simply glue moss sheeting to the cone.

  • If you don't have one solid piece big enough then you simply need to cut and piece the pieces together necessary to cover the entire cone.
  • Trim any excess moss with scissors.

The ornaments that I posted about early are also in the picture.  I'll post pics of how I used all of these in my living room a little later on.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs...Literally With Ties

As I guy, I often have numerious occassions when it's necessary for me to wear a tie.  I really enjoy dressing up and I'm intrigued by the fun patterns and prints of mens neck ties.   One day I decided to do a search for ways to incorporate the use of mens ties into home decor.  While doing so I ran across the oddest post in which they dyed Easter eggs with old silk neck ties.  I was really curious and pretty skeptical that this crazy process actually worked.  That meant that I had to try it...LOL. 

I made a quick trip to Goodwill and purchased a few ties in which to test this silly Easter project.  They cost me $0.99 a piece and the selection was pretty good.  The cashier and lady in line behind me bonded in fits of laughter as I explained what I was not going to be wearing these ties, rather using them to color Easter eggs.  It was a good time...LOL

After a little experimentation I was shocked to have had successfully dyed Easter eggs with silk neck ties.  I'm so glad that I decided to try this one out and highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for a fun, new way to color Easter eggs this year.

Uncooked eggs
Glass or enamel cook pan (see note below)
  • Note: The original instructions I found for this project stated that only a glass or enamel pan would work for this dying process to occur.  I assumed it had something to do with the materials of the pan and the chemical exchange between the fabric and vinegar.  I'm always curious about the limitations so I did a second batch using my plain old saucepan.  The results were the same.
Silk ties (or anything made from silk)
Plain white fabric (I used and old t-shirt)
String or twist ties (I had the best luck with jute string)

  • Prepare your tie for dying by cutting it open and apart.  Simply start on the backside of the tie and do some cutting and deconstructing.  It isn't terribly difficult to do. Remove all lining and tags from the main fabric.

  • Once you've prepared your fabric, cut a piece large enough to completely cover your egg, gathering it at the top or the bottom.

  • Wrap an uncooked egg with the printed side of the silk fabric facing the egg. I found that jute string was the easiest type of string to use.  It often held itself in the tied position with just one pass through and didn't need to be knotted.

  • Cut a similar sized piece (enough to wrap the egg) from your white fabric.
  • Wrap the silk covered egg with your plain white fabric and secure it with another piece of jute string.
    • The purpose of the white fabric is to cinch your silk as close as possible to the egg, reducing the amount of possible untouched spots on the egg.  Any of those spots that do not have silk touching them will result in no print.  You can use almost any kind of white fabric BUT I suggest using an old white t-shirt.  This fabric was perfect for cinching because of it's ability to be tugged and stretched tightly.  I was even able to tug and manipulate the fabric further after having tied the jute string.  I highly recommend the t-shirt!

  • Place wrapped eggs into a pan and fill pan with enough water to completely cover eggs.
  • Add four tablespoons of vinegar to the water.
  • Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat.  Allow water to simmer for 20 minutes. 
    • Please note you may need to cook the eggs longer if you plan on eating them.  I do not eat eggs (yuck) and am uncertain as to how much time is required if they will be eatten.
  • Remove your eggs from water and allow to cool.
  • Gently untie and remove both fabrics from your eggs.

I had read that you can rub your eggs with vegetable oil to make them shiny.  I was originally planning to do that but then decided to give it a try and really liked how much better it made the eggs look.  Of course I'm an impatient guy so rather than drag out the bottle of oil and mess with it I grabbed my can of pan spray, gave each egg a shot of spray and then gently rubbed it around the entire egg with a piece of paper towel.  LOL

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Moss That Inspires...Through Words

    I was serious in my first moss blog when I said that I had intentions to moss anything and everything.  I absolutely LOVE these sheets of moss.  I have spent some weeks looking at my mantel...which always looks so bare and empty after I take Christmas down.  I've been thinking spring as I decide what to do next around the house and my obsession with moss keeps kicking in.

    I decided to do something different with the mantel and went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a bunch of the large chip board letters.  I got letters to spell a few different words so I had options to choose from.  The word that won (for the time being at least) was FAMILY.  I have a large family picture on the mantel that helped me choose my word.

    Other great word, laugh, love, grin, hope, dream, smile, believe,

    Chip board letters
    Ruler or straight edge
    Scissors and utility knife
    Paint brush

    • Paint the edges of your letters so that they match the covering you are putting on the front.  I made sure that I also painted a small part of the front edge of the letter so that it blended in just in case the moss didn't cover exactly.
    • I took a yard stick and precut strips from my moss sheet.  There were only two different widths with the letters I had chosen for my word.  I took those strips and started applying them to my letters with regular white glue.

    • After gluing on one piece, I'd flip the letter upside down and trim off any excess moss with my craft knife.
    • Repeat the same steps for the next uncovered spot on your letter.  This sheeting is so pliable.  You can easily lay one piece next to another and manipulate it with your fingers to hide any seem marks.

    • Seam spots with tricky angles were easy.  I simply glued the newest strip of moss into place and then used my ruler as a guide to make a clean cut where the pieces overlapped and a seam should be.  Your craft knife will be very helpful for this trimming.

    • Flip your letters upside down and do any necessary trimming with your craft knife. 
    If you have any bare spots, just grab some of the pieces of moss laying around on your workstation and glue them in.  This material is very forgiving and is easy to work with.  Messy...but easy.  LOL

    I still have some things I'd like to do to finish dressing up the mantel for spring but here's a peek at what I've got going right now...along with my new moss letters.