Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my creativity and DIY projects. I'm four years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

DIY Earring Cubbyhole Display

Thanks to a family Pinterest board about Christmas gifts, I picked this pretty and colorful earring display to make for my daughter.

And also thanks to Pinterest, I knew she wanted colors like these in her bathroom decor.


And voila! 

It has so many of my favorite things....turquoise color, shabby funky wood, metal accents and dangly, pretty earrings!


Originally I had remade this shabby cubbyhole box for storage in my craft room. Here's the link for that DIY.



That was a fun project! I add new storage to my craft room all the time using the same basic DIY...turquoise paint and book pages and Mod Podge.

I chose one of the cubbyhole shelves for this Christmas project and my new favorite scrapbook paper of all time...it is printed with shabby painted boards in beautiful colors on one side and natural aged boards on the other. LOVE IT!


This DIY is so simple and with such neat results. I repainted the shelf with the same color and fitted each cubby with that pretty paper then sealed the whole shelf with clear acrylic spray.

I used the cup hooks from my stash for each space. I marked then made pilot holes using a small drill bit to make screwing the hooks in easier. I tried different sizes of brass hooks for this project and liked the scale of these bigger ones.

Oooh aaaah!


I also made the pretty dangly earrings using beads and findings from my stash so this project was a home run from the start.

PLUS, the total cost was minimal since I already had almost everything I needed in my huge hoard of supplies. 

Win win!

I'll be sharing this at these blog parties this week. Come check them out for some great ideas...






Thursday, January 1, 2015

Colorful Leaf Pillows

Best most colorful leaf pillows EVER!

I made these for my daughter's new home and I love the way they came out!


 These are two of the four I've made her so far, and they are perfect for her red, gold and brown leather living room.



Her drapes are very similar to this fabric. I knew I didn't have coordinating fabric in my stash but I always have canvas and felt. 

And I loves me some nice curvy trees so I went full speed ahead. First I cut the square pillow tops of light colored canvas and added a backing of felt for stability and "heft."
  
From dark brown felt, I cut a tree trunk and curving branches design then sewed it down with machine  straight stitching in black thread.


From red, burgundy and gold colored felt I cut several dozen leaf shapes (enough for all four pillows) then pinned them in place. I sewed them down with black thread also. I added veins and small stems to each leaf and even added a few curving branch tips tin some places.


My aim was not a totally neat outline but lines like an ink sketch. I really like how the stitching gives the felt some neat dimension!


Ooh, I really like how bright and colorful these are! And the machine embroidery gives the leaves and trees such neat texture!
In this pair the trees and leaves are smaller and centered on the pillow cover.


She likes them. She likes them ALOT!

Now I need to make some for my own living room. I think some colorful turquoise and red leaf pillows would be perfect in there!

                                 
And the family is telling me I should add these to my Etsy shop. I've already developed a line of sweet shabby chic rosette pillow covers in there, so these pillow covers will be a nice addition!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Simple DIY Family Photo Gallery Hallway

I have always had a family photo gallery wall and I figured after four years in this house it was time to JUST DO IT. 

If you go to Pinterest or Google images or anywhere online looking for inspiration you could get bogged down with the overwhelming creativity and ideas. Trust me on this.

I know from experience that it is almost impossible to keep all the framed photos on a gallery wall straight. So frustrating! But we came up with this design a few years ago and we've been doing it this way ever since.

So we keep it simple and with a bare bones budget, really CHEAP. 

Like, less than $18 cheap.


Here's one end of our project. It's a GOOD start!

For this really simple gallery wall I chose three - 1" x 3" x 8' molding boards for $2 each. They are made of a lightweight wood, usually pine or poplar. It is important that you peer down the long side and make sure the boards you pick are STRAIGHT. Turn them over and look at them from all angles. This will make your project much much simpler, trust me on this. 

Then I had the lumber guy cut them off at 5', so I now had six pieces. Three five footers and three that were three foot long. The store will cut your lumber for free!


Just as important as the straight boards are the bulls eye  rosette blocks I got for each seam. They look just like what they are called and they are IMPORTANT to give your project visual interest and style.

I paid less than $2 apiece for the 6 blocks we needed. What a deal!

I painted all the boards and bulls eye blocks white before we put them up. I know in the photos they look unpainted but they are not.

We laid out our shelves based on the basic framed photo sizes we were using plus we had to work around a smoke detector and the furnace thermostat/controls. Measure twice and make sure your marks are accurate because now the fun stuff starts!


Use a level. Use a level. Use a level. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do it.

We used wood glue and our handy dandy favorite brad nailer to attach the boards to the wall. Easy. Simple. Accurate. And the nail gun makes a really satisfying 'kachunk' sound.

Kachunk! Yes, you can have a turn. 

You can also use regular nails or screws and just fill in any holes with wood filler when you're done.


And here you see how the bulls eye blocks give our gallery wall just a bit of punch and visual style. We staggered the joints on each run for some interest. And even though they look like plain wood here, the blocks and boards are all painted. Though if you choose to leave them plain or even paint them a fun color, that is up to you on your own wall!



I like this alot! There is room up there for dozens more framed photos!

Oooh aaaah. One of my favorite projects, EVER.

Did I mention the neat kachunk sound the brad nailer makes?

A family photo gallery wall doesn't have to be a huge complicated project. Keep it simple, keep it cheap and just DO IT. 




       






DIY Chair Rescue With a $4 Sheet

Here's my FREE wing back chair next to her sister, the Red Velvet Throne Chair. They both look good in red, no? 

They didn't cost an arm and a leg. The throne chair was only $7 at the tail end of a local yard sale. The wing back was given to me by my mom. She knew I wanted it and she threw it my way. You rock, mom!


Both chairs started out that marvelous 90s mauve. Pink. Almost lavender. NOT the best fit for my red, brown, turquoise, blue and gold living room.

Here's the throne chair before. See?

               

The wing back was similar to the pic below but not as pretty and certainly more worn. Lots more worn. Okay, really worn and old looking.


So I had enough red velvet to finish the throne chair. I added some antiqued brass finish upholstery tacks and look at her now. She is secksy!

                                                                                                                                                                           

But I didn't have enough red velvet for her sister chair, so I went to my favorite cheap fabric alternative - a twin flat sheet from Walmart for only $4! There is several yards of fabric for about $1 a yard. That's my kind of bargain.


I got to work with my pins and scissors and easy touch staple gun and look how the sisters in red are doing now!

There are dozens of DIYs and videos online telling how to pin fit a cover for a chair. I always check out a few before I start a project like this just to refresh the details in my mind.



Ladies, you look marvelous!

I shirred the front of the cushion to give it some softness...and also because I didn't have what I needed to make piping. Truth be told, it will take at least half of another flat sheet to finish the back and one side which is still naked, but hey, for $4 I love how she's turning out! And even on my budget I can afford that. I'll be adding some brass upholstery tacks when I'm almost done.

Eventually I'll have enough red velvet to make them truly twinners. But for now I am LOVING the bright red vibe in my living room.

Because life is too short to live without bright colors!

And besides being thrifty and fairly easy, a big plus is that I can do both chairs all over again in a DIFFERENT color just for the cost of a couple of flat sheets from Walmart. That's a cheap thrill and I love it!

Projects Projects Projects

I am not going to give you alot of excuses but I will give you lots of pictures. It has been a busy year. Baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, reunions, holidays, plus my Etsy shop....Lol. You get the idea and most of you are also living it. And so.... 

Look, shiny!






Restyling books to look like vintage editions...

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-to-restyle-books-to-look-like.html


























......and in January, another big family wedding!

But you know, it is life and I'll take it!

I'll try to post more in the new year but know that I am still here and boy, do I have projects!

Faux Stacked Books Card Box

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and this is no less true than on the eve of a family wedding. 

We needed a card box, stat! 

So, I made one out of stacked boxes made to look like a pile of big books.



I had some boxes in my stash that were just the right dimensions so I proceeded to make them look like books. I used the same techniques that I show in this the link to my DIY on making vintage style editions....



I added front and back "covers" to each box using pieces of cardboard. I added spines to each book with hot glue. Then, using watered down school glue I covered each book shaped box in Dollar Store tissue paper. I used three silvery/wedding style patterns so they would complement each other.

Starting with the bottom book box, I cut a rectangular hole in the top cover. I cut holes through BOTH covers of the middle box then stacked it and secured it with hot glue on the bottom book. The top book only needed a hole in the bottom cover and a slit in the top cover so cards could be slipped inside. Don't be shy with the hot glue. Use plenty to make sure all three book boxes are secure.


I had the labels in my stash and they were perfect for these books!

I dry brushed all the edges with silvery grey paint and also a tiny bit of black to bring out all the textures in the spines and in the crinkly tissues. I faked some pages with sharpie marker then dry brushed those edges, too.


The big book stack measured 12" tall x 14" wide and looked elegant and REAL. Touch up your edges with additional glued tissue paper and a bit more paint to blend your stack together. Remember that in dry brushing, a little paint goes a long way!



Two wine corks and skewers and a handmade banner completed the project. We didn't have to run out and spend money on a card box for the wedding and the fake book stack looked great. I call that a win win, and that's my favorite kind of project!