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

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

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DIY Vine Decor Ball Garden Art

Do you know how much a 12" vine ball costs? I know how much it costs because I decided I wanted a big vine ball for my urn planter. So I started shopping for one.

A foot across, made from dried vines, how expensive could it be? 

Hey, locally the price was $28! Online the price was $22. Plus shipping!
Well, shoot, that's not going to stop me from getting a big ol' vine ball for my empty urn planter.

Time to DIY.

Pink Panther theme music goes here....




Ta da! 
And it didn't cost anywhere near the twenty dollars plus.  
Here's how I worked it out.


I already had the totally plastic but painted and repainted urn planter that looks like a priceless iron antique. But it's really just plastic from Kmart and cost $2.50 on clearance. It was a bronzey tan and it now has so many layers of spray paint and outdoor craft paint that it looks like an old old metal planter. Every year it gets more beat up and vintage looking. I love it!

Ahem.

I shopped in my stash for the embroidery hoops and the spray paint AND the wire, so no new dollars spent there.

I found the bundle of twisted vines at a thrift store for $1.99.



I wired two painted embroidery hoops to make a good base for my sphere. Then I unraveled the vines into smaller strands. Note-soaking them in water overnight would have made them much more pliable to work with but I persevered and made them work for me. Even though they were stiff and brittle and seemed determined to try my patience. 

So, here's the start. And the middle. And basically the finish.
I wrapped those vines round and round the hoops. And then wrapped some more. And then added more. 

You see where this is going.


I used short lengths of fine floral wire at many different places to hold the vines in the round shape and basically make the whole shebang look like a rustic globe.

Lordy Lordy I love the way this came out!

So of course I had to take pictures and gaze at it and add the creeping jenny birdhouse and then take more pictures and make The Welding Man come out and look at it and then take more pictures.

Be very glad I'm only posting these few.


Oooh aaah!

With the plastic urn that totally does NOT look like a plastic urn but looks like a vintage iron planter. And the tiny curly tendrils of dried vines. And the extremely low cost of my new garden vine ball...

I love everything about this little DIY.



Extreme close up! 

I should just start saying that the urn is a vintage iron thrift shop find that cost me an arm and a leg. But nah. Plastic and paint and more paint and some weather and then the big ol' decorative vine ball on top.

It hits all the bases for my favorite projects...it has color, texture, age and low cost. Plus, it went together in no time, about an hour.

I have other urns with plants in them...and more of those twisted vines....and embroidery hoops...and wire, and spray paint. I see more gorgeous vine balls in my garden future!




Friday, August 14, 2015

Faux Antique Book Storage Boxes


I saw a project on Pinterest where a crafter cut apart actual good books so she could glue the spines to a storage box. She chose the books for the look of their spines. To be clear, I've cut up and recycled books when they are so decrepit that they won't hold together for reading but it makes me sad.

BUT, I truly do like the idea of some nice book themed storage, so here's what I came up with. And not one book was destroyed in the creation of this project!



Ooooh aaaaah!


And here's the best part....I didn't need to buy anything to do this project. I already had everything on hand and you probably do, too!

Here's the list of materials you will need-
A good sturdy cardboard box that will fit your shelves.
Inside rolls from gift wrap, paper towels or toilet paper, depending on your box size.
Hot glue
Tissue paper or printed napkins for texture.
Mod Podge.
Craft paint.
Sharpie marker.
Spray sealer.

Cut the cardboard tubes into roughly thirds. Flatten slightly so that they measure about 2" across. These will form your faux book "spines."


Measure the height of your box. In this photo I've covered the box with crumpled tissue and painted it white.

Cut off the flattened tubes to the correct height. At this point start fitting your  spines across the front of your box. Cut some narrower to make the design more interesting or you can keep them all the same size, it is up to you!


Use hot glue to make dimensional stitching and decor across the fake spines. Look at photos of old books for spine ideas.  You can also add other designs with the hot glue, such as  fleur de lis, capital letters or numbers.


Tear the tissue or printed napkins in small pieces and crumple up tightly then smooth out. Spread  Mod Podge on the spines you have made. You can paint the spines or cover them with printed paper as I have done.


Hot glue your finished spines to your chosen box. Remember not to glue them down flat but leave them a bit curved for the realistic book look. Here are two of my book spines glued to the box. As you can see I ended up painting the box black on this side so if it showed between the books it would blend in..

Cover the sides of your faux book storage box with glue and crumpled tissue or printed napkins to match the books on each end. Smooth with a soft brush but not too much, as the crumpled tissue will tear. It will give you a wonderful antique texture so it's worth it. Let dry completely.

I

 Dry brush the edges and spines black contrast color sparingly until you get the look you want. If you get too much on your project just wait for it to dry and do a coat of white over it to tone it down. Remember you are going for an antique look to your fake books!

You can use the Sharpie to add more details if you wish. 

 Ta da! Look, you've made a clever storage box for your shelves that looks like you've collected a set of antique books! You can also choose to make your book box look like a set of matched books. It is entirely up to you.

My faux book box looks great with this shelf of restyled books I've made. Yay for saving old books in new ways and making your own book themed decor!


 I tell you, the possibilities are endless with this project and the best part is, you probably have everything you need to go do this RIGHT NOW. You'll have fun doing it, I know!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Succulent Wall Art

Succulents are everywhere these days. I have loads of them in my garden plus I have a stash of fake succulents in my studio Here's what I made with those faux plants, a wooden frame and a little ingenuity.

 I love how it turned out!



I got the idea from a gift catalog which listed art like this at a hefty price. I was able to make my version much more affordably.


I started out with a wooden frame that had just the one inch depth I needed. I cut the Oregon state shape out of foam board. 

The BEAUTIFUL planks are scrapbook paper! 

How I wish I'd bought alot more of this paper. On the reverse side it has the painted boards you see on the left side of this project.


I covered the foam board with that gorgeous paper then cut out the Oregon state shape.


Using thin cardboard, I hot glued a one inch strip all around the inside of the Oregon shape on the back side of the foam board.


Here's how it looks from the front. Now I have a place to  put my fake succulents!



I cut florist foam from my stash and hot glued it into the space I'd just made.

Then came the fun part!

I selected a nice variety of fake succulents and put them in place. I hot glued them into the florist foam once I liked the placement. The Oregon state shape got harder to recognize when it was done, but as a pretty art piece with beautiful contrasting colors and textures,

 I call this a win win!

This became a Christmas gift for my daughter and her little family to remind them of home. It turned out so sweetly that I'm going to make another one just for myself!

Come join me at these Linky parties.

http://akadesign.ca/weekend-retreat-link-party-116/

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Repainted Dollar Store Butterflies

I just couldn't leave well enough alone...so I repainted this metal butterfly for my garden!


Before.......................................and after.


I found these metal butterfly stakes at the local Dollar Store and immediately made plans to repaint them for my garden.


I used two colors of spray paint to give me more of a turquoise color to complement our front deck.


 I used the turquoise  nail polish to add a bit of glamour and shine to the wings.


And I added just a little bit of the glitter nail polish to give the wings some sparkle.


Using a fine paint brush I followed the contours of the stamped metal. I added the tiny vein details to each wing then added some white dots. You can see the veins in this close up but not so much when it's outside in the yard.


Wow! I love the pop of color against the bright green. Notice you can't really see the glitter when it's outside. But in my colorful colorful garden this blue butterfly really holds it own!

And here is the Monarch version of my Dollar Store butterflies. What a fun project this has turned out to be!



Come join me at these fun linky parties!

http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2015/04/pj-275-upcycled-link-party.html

http://akadesign.ca/weekend-retreat-link-party-116/

Sunday, March 15, 2015

THAT Dollar Store Contact Paper

Here's the contact paper I'm talking about.

That one print in the Dollar Store's inventory of faux wood and fruit and boring looking contact paper. It's been a regular item there for years, even tho the rolls are not quite as big as they used to be. The black and white toile print  looks a bit vintage, a bit shabby chic. It's a nice clean graphic and goes with just about any style.


See? You DO recognize it! 



I've discovered it goes so well with my book paper and black and white printed craft room boxes, and I've gone a bit crazy using it. 


So many labels are printed on the plastic containers now that covering them up is the best option. ALSO, if you cover them up you do not have to deal with the mess of removing the labels and the sticky residue.



No container goes uncovered in my craft room. Especially if they have red or black lids.



I try to have a couple of rolls handy all the time, especially since I rearrange my supplies as I use them up. Here's an important tip that will save you no end of frustration... 

LABEL EVERY CONTAINER!

Chalkboard labels are cheap and hey, I just found chalkboard contact paper at our local Dollar Store.

That's what I call a win win!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

DIY Garden Art Glass Garden Balls

I LOVE blue glass of all kinds but especially in my garden.


Years ago my family got me a big cobalt blue gazing ball for my daisy flowerbed and I knew I wanted more, more, more! But hey, those gazing balls are surprisingly fragile. Basically they are just giant glass Christmas balls and they break if they fall over. Also, they only come in solid colors. Plus, $$$$$!!

What to do?



I made my own original garden ball using a thrift store bowling ball and glass gems from the Dollar Store.

I LOVE how this came out!

 I used Silicone II adhesive for half of the ball and E6000 jewelry adhesive for the other half. I prefer the jewelry adhesive.  The bowling ball cost me $4 at a thrift store and I used about 6 bags of glass marbles, more or less. A 40% off coupon from Michael's snagged the E6000 and voila!!! My first blue glass garden ball for about $14. I was hooked!


 

I snagged this round glass light fixture for 25 cents and knew it would be my next ball project. Dollar Store half marbles and garage sale finds gave me the blue glass I needed. I decided to go with this Amazing Goop silicone adhesive because it was CHEAP. It is basically the same formula as the E 6000 and the Silicone II. The total cost on this pretty ball is less than $10.



This is definitely an OUTSIDE project since all the glues I've mentioned are incredibly smelly. 

Even outside I have a fan blowing across my work area to avoid the fumes. I settled on my front porch and started gluing. Put a small blob of glue on each individual marble, you do not have to goop it on. Smear a layer on your big ball and put your marble in place. I twist them a bit to make sure they stick together.


IMPORTANT! The adhesive does not set up quickly so you will have to do small areas of your ball and let it dry for several hours then turn it over to do the other sides. Try to skip this step and you'll have glass marbles falling off all over the place! Don't ask me how I know.


And DONE!


Here she is (of course she's a lady! LOL!) nestled in a soft bed of creeping Jenny. A hot pink petunia will join her soon. I love the bright blue glass against my blue deck railings and house color.



Oooh aaah!


I've found loads of half marbles at thrift stores and yard sales so my garden ball projects are getting cheaper and cheaper to make. 



Friday, March 13, 2015

Pallet Wood Planter Covers DIY Part 1

Gardening season is almost here and I was eagerly looking for some big vintage style wooden planters for my garden.

Dang! Big planters are SPENDY!

So look what we did...


Here's our solution using FREE wood salvaged from pallets and really cheap tree pots from our local nursery.



This 23 gallon planter is 24" across and 14" high. It was only $6 and it is plenty big enough for loads of flowers or veggies.

But yikes! It was ugly.


But here it is NOW.

Oooh aaaah!

It has just the perfect vintage vibe I was hoping for!

Look at this lovely FREE wood we salvaged from old pallets. 

We did not have to pull the pallets apart. Some of them were already falling apart and the others we just cut between the support boards. Two old pallets gave us got plenty of lumber pieces long enough for this project. 

Ahem. The Welding Man cut them to length with his big manly saw.

The boards are a mix of fir and cedar and have not been chemically treated, so the sawdust was not a hazard.


For this project we decided to go under the rim around the top of the planter. We laid out a few boards  and marked them before cutting off any of the ends that had nails sticking out.


Laying the planter on its side, we fastened the boards with a slight gap between them at the top because of the angle on the pot. We totally eyeballed the spacing so it isn't perfect. Then we used my favorite power tool of all time...the handy dandy air powered brad nailer.

 Kachunk! LOVE that brad nailer!


Ahhhh! Loving how this project is coming together As you can see the brads are sticking through to the inside of the plastic. The ends are easily bent down by hand or with a pair of pliers. If you cut them off you lose some of the fastening power of the brads and the boards could come loose.


 

The cost for these two vintage style beauties? $12 total for both of the pots. The pallet wood was free and we already had the tools and the brads.

We didn't even have to sand the boards!





I like them alot! Tomorrow I will do a tiny bit of dry brushing to the boards with the turquoise blue paint from the deck and maybe a bit of white. Don't know yet if I want to paint the black rims at the tops. I'll let you know and post photos if I do.

Don't you love it when an idea becomes a project and it works and it's just so darn CHEAP?

I call that a win win!

I'll be joining these linky parties, come visit and check out all the creativity online.