Saturday, October 26, 2013

Use Your Imagination, Not $$$$ To Decorate for Fall

I am just as dazzled as the next gal by all the beautiful bling and glittery decor in the stores this time of year. I want to buy it all! BUT, reality and our budget intrude and I have to pull back. Way back. What do I do when I want beautiful decor without spending any ducats? I use my imagination and what I have on hand.

I start out with some twiggy branches from our yard. Florist foam anchors them in a painted black planter and then I start adding....stuff.

 Fake leaves and pumpkins from my stash plus different containers and candlesticks got me going. Then I made the pumpkins from fabric scraps, string and stuffing with cinnamon sticks for stems. Easy and FREE.

Here's the same display area fixed up, on the cheap, for Halloween.

I used crepe paper for the fluttery bats and the rosettes on the wreath. The Halloween balls are recycled Christmas balls and mod podged tissue paper. Black spray paint made the plastic ferns appropriately Octoberish. I gathered together some other spooky elements plus my very own silver button blingy decor ball and it all came together nicely for no money.

I hot glued the leaves to the black branches and also used them on a twig wreath that had seen better days. I added some book page leaves for contrast and then painted a banner for the middle of the wreath saying, "Thankful." Painting the muslin with country white paint gave it enough body to curve and hold it's shape when I glued it in place. Simple, easy and again, free! A colorful spray of silk leaves is in the white vase now instead of the black ferns.

I've found that with a good pair of craft scissors you can cut 8 layers of paper at a time, so very quickly you can have LOTS of maple and oak leaves cut from book pages for your autumn decor. They are very versatile, I use them alot every year.

With just a bit of tweaking and more glossy black spray paint, the three candle holders got a face lift. The old candles were up cycled with jute twine, hot glue and little black bows. How beautiful! I love the way this display came together. It was fun to do and didn't cost me anything. I call that a win win!

 I'll be posting to the parties in my sidebar since they are so much fun. Come check them out, the creativity out in blogland is amazing.

Friday, October 25, 2013

DIY Oversize Acorns for Autumn Decor

Ah Pinterest, you font of ideas and things I MUST MAKE right now! LOL
I love the huge acorns I've been seeing  at some online shops but they are hugely expensive, so I was thrilled to find a way to make my own.

Here are my oversize burlap and twine acorns that were inspired by a Pin.

I like how they came out!

Here are the inspiration acorns.....

...posted by Dannyelle over at Life Is a Party.

Cute and clever, right? They are totally up my alley and I had everything I needed to do this on a Friday night. Here's a link to her DIY post for these neat acorns.


I spray painted some oversize plastic eggs brown and moved to the next step.

I hot glued the egg halves together, then glued on burlap circles to cover the pointy end. LOTS of pleating and glue makes this work. Then I took apart some pine cones and glued the bits around the top along with a twig stem to finish, just like Dannyelle.

Hmmmm. This resembles her acorns but not in a good way, LOL! She said in her post they were a bit fiddly and I agree. Plus my pine cone pieces did not give a neat look to the topper.
So, tweaking must occur.


I thought they looked a bit too long so I hot glued two of the fat ends together for a rounded shape. Already this looks more acorn-y. Is that a word? It is now. And instead of pine cone pieces I used twine. Lots and lots of twine, plus a shorter bit of stick for a stem.

Here's a shot of both kinds of my finished acorns....

I really like the short, round ones with a twine top. The other just does not look as good as Dannyelle's. Pinterest fail?

I used loads of wrapped twine for a fat top. Love it!

Ooh aah! It took me a little over an hour to make these, tweaking and all. And they were free since I crashed my stash for supplies. Love that!

I'll be joining the parties in my sidebar, come visit and have some fun.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

One Dollar Cabinet Redo

Don't you love it when you drive up to the local Salvation Army and they're just putting out a bunch of stuff on their sidewalk marked one dollar??? I tell you, for a cheapaholic like me, it was a thrill! I picked up lots of stuff. A TON. Filled my car up for less than ten dollars. 

So here she is, a sturdy all wood, not particleboard, cabinet with two tight doors and a neat little nook at the bottom. Yeah, she was dirty and had a bad paint job but her potential was so great that when my daughter, Insanely Creative Christy, came to visit and asked if I had any fun projects on tap, well, you know what happened next!

We love to use old book pages for our projects and this old, decrepit dictionary with brittle brittle pages was just the ticket. LOVE the old pen and ink illustrations in these old books. They are little works of art.

Christy painted the whole cabinet with the Country White latex I have in my stash. It goes perfectly with the vintage look of the book pages.

Here is the little nook with the start of the process. Mod Podge rocks! Tho we've learned to save money by using plain Elmer's school glue for the first phase then finish with 2 coats of Mod Podge for a nice sheen. Creative and CHEAP, that's us!

Here are the doors after their first coat of Mod Podge, drying overnight. Already they look so much better!

Ah, the details!! Christy finished the edges of the book page insets with jute twine, spray painted the fixtures with oil rubbed bronze and THEN added jute to the knobs for an extra kick of texture and interest. She sanded the the edges with The Welding Man's palm sander and VOILA! Beautiful! We don't call her Insanely Creative Christy for nothing!

Just look at how gorgeous Miss One Dollar Cabinet looks now. She's in the hallway bath for that extra bit of style and storage that every bathroom needs. We're still deciding whether to book page her side. What do you think?

I think Christy has given Pottery Barn a run for their money on this one, don't you? So creative and clever and CHEAP! This project is a win, win, win.

I'm hooking up to the fun parties on my sidebar. Please join me for some wonderful projects and a great group of bloggers. See you there!

The Camo Wedding Project

         Sewing for a wedding is daunting and this project was surely that! Most weddings involve lace, taffeta, silk, tuxedos and many little details. But THIS bride wanted a camouflage themed wedding and I worked with her to get a nice look without going overboard into Duck Dynasty country.    

I haven't received photos of the wedding yet, but here are the finished items.

Originally the bride wanted a camo print wedding dress with white satin details but after finding this beautiful gown locally we scaled it back to camo trim at bodice and waist. The sash trails down the back almost three foot and is pretty nice without screaming CAMO! I cut all the camo fabric on the bias so that it lay well and eased into the curves of the dress.

I made three camo print vests, two of which were for the men in the bridal party. But this little tiny vest was for the ring bearer and it turned out cute cute cute! As you can see by the ruler, it is less than twelve inches square. The little buckle on the back really ticked me.

And every bride needs a froufrou girly detail at her wedding, so this garter fits the bill! I layered narrow lace and wider lace and brown satin ribbon for the garter body, then made a pretty little rosette from her camo fabric and some shiny beads. More satin ribbon trims it up with a bow. We were both very pleased with it!

With the brown sash on the flower girl's dress, this project was complete. It was a challenge and fun and totally worth it when it was done! As soon as I receive photos I'll post them right here, but by all accounts it was a very nice and PRETTY wedding. 

And that's exactly the look we were going for.

I'll be joining the linky parties in my sidebar. Come visit!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Make Plastic Look Rusty This Easy Way

I like to use rusty accents for my primitive Santa dolls. The rusty look is perfect with the vintage quilts I use for their outfits. But it seems that anything rusty in the crafting world costs extra, so I came up with this easy, cheap and totally neat way to fake that old, rusty patina.

Here are some pastel plastic star buttons from The Dollar Store. Score! I knew I could work some rusty magic on these.

For this project I used spray paint in gloss brown and Dollar Store cinnamon. That's it!

We did this outside since the spray paint is stinky. I sprayed the buttons til the pastel colors were completely covered. While the paint was still tacky, my grandson and I sprinkled them  with cinnamon. Easy peasy! How wonderful authentic and rusty they look now! After the first few buttons we learned just how much cinnamon to dust on each one for this fabulous look. 

Next, I grabbed the favor star necklaces I'd found in the party section at Walmart. Four for ninety seven cents is a real deal! We hung them up and spray painted them brown, making sure we got all the  surfaces covered. Instead of sprinkling the cinnamon on each necklace, I put about two tablespoons of cinnamon in a plastic sandwich bag and dropped the sticky necklaces inside and shook them around thoroughly.

Then I took a bit of pumpkin orange craft paint and ran my paint brush down each string of stars, so the color hit the high spots. Ooh aah!

I also tried this with brown craft paint first and then the cinnamon, but it was too persnickety and slow for me. I love the convenience of the spray paint and it is much stickier for the cinnamon step. I call this a win win.

I spent $2 on the buttons and the cinnamon from the Dollar Store.
I already had the glossy brown spray paint in my stash.

And I am totally pleased with the way this come out! Now I'm considering a Christmas tree totally decked out in rusty, vintage style ornaments. How cool would a beaded garland look all rusted up like this? Gotta try it!

I'll be joining some link parties on my sidebar soon. Come visit and see where creativity reigns!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

For Gifting Season-Freezer Paper Stencil Custom Tee

I made this cute Yoda tee for my son's birthday. I decided to go for something a bit more complex than just a simple "nerd" tee shirt, and boy, do I LOVE how this came out!

First I  found two designs online that I knew he would like. The design on the left is from the movie Pacific Rim and it is the insignia for the Jaeger warrior robots. I decided to go for Yoda with the headphones.

I printed the design in black and white then taped a piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) over the top. Make sure your freezer paper is a generous size so you won't have any designs cut too close to the edge. I used a razor craft knife which gives me a new, sharp cutting edge just by breaking off the blade at pre marked sizes. I also tape my design and freezer paper to a mirror for good light and a nice sharp edge on my cuts.

I simplified the design a bit and premarked with an x for those parts which would be "free floating" and not attached to the rest of the design when I ironed it down. I prefer to do the floaters this way, other makers make narrow bridges to the rest of the design and then hand paint the bridges out on the tee shirt once the stencil painting is done. It is up to you!

Here is Yoda ironed to the tee shirt, using a hot iron on a padded surface and NO STEAM. The wax paper layer on the freezer paper adheres nicely to the tee shirt when it is ironed, giving you a clean and immovable stencil.

I prefer a mottled look to my tee shirt projects so here I have mixed black and white acrylic craft paint with  some textile medium (which is clear). I use a third of each and use a make up wedge to mix them up.

Place a piece of cardboard inside the tee shirt then straighten it out on your work surface. Here you go!
Pounce, or bounce, your painting sponge, or brush, straight up and down in each area of your stencil. Do NOT rub back and forth or you will lift the edges of the paper. Put on a light layer at first then go back and add more paint until you like the coverage you have. Remember, the paint will dry a lighter shade.

Do not wait until the paint is completely dry. Your stencil will stick to the paint! While your paint is still damp, carefully peel the freezer paper away from the tee shirt.  Oooh aaah!

I always add dry brushed high lights to give the designs a bit of dimension. This gives the already custom tee shirt design an even more unique look. As for laundry instructions? I wash these tees just like I do regular tee shirts but I turn them inside out. Cold wash, tumble dry. They hold up quite well and over the years the slight fading doesn't detract from the design. All in all this is one of my TOP favorite craft projects.

Our family gives out a TON of custom tee shirts at Christmas and this year will be no exception. In fact, I am starting to get special requests for sayings on tee shirts that will only have significance to the close family. Gotta love that! 
This is a simple and inexpensive project for gifts or home decor all year long. You should try it out. You can do it and then you'll be hooked!

Come check out the link parties on my sidebar. I'll be linking up there, you should be too!

Pretty Faux Wood Grain Glass Table Top? Yes, Please!

We have this corner on our front deck that needed a convenient table and I also wanted  it to be pretty. Here is what we came up with and m...