Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Super Easy Picture Frame

I have wanted to create a photo wall for a long time. Well, that's not completely true, I have a photo wall, but it's your everyday frames that anyone can have. I want something with personality. So I looked into having all my favorite pictures turned into canvas prints (too pricey) and I looked into the transferring photos to wood tutorials (kind of pricey and my printer is always on the fritz); nothing seemed to be what I wanted. So, I give you my quick and easy way of turning your photo wall into something unique (with a pop of color).

So first, you'll need your favorite pictures and a wood blank of some sort. I sell some of these shapes on facebook (here).

Trace the shape onto your photo and cut inside the pen line as close as possible. If you cut right on the line, you'll be able to see a shadow of the line.

Then, you'll need your pop of color paint, sponge brush (I actually used a sponge for both brushes) and some Mod Podge. I use the gloss for everything. But there are tons of different Mod Podge finishes and it's not really important for this project.

Paint the edges of your shape. It's okay if it gets on the top, just make sure you smooth it out so there aren't lumps under your picture.

After the edges are mostly dry, cover the surface with Mod Podge. I used a pretty thick layer, but not too much or it'll drip out the side. You don't want to get any on the painted edge.

Pop your picture on and press it out. I used a pan scraper (dedicated to my craft room) to get it really pressed down. You could also set a heavy book on it for a while. Add a saw tooth hanger to the back and hang it on your wall. We will hopefully be moving in the next year, so when I have my new space, my wall will be covered in these unique shapes with a pop of color. I'll come back and update!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to do a Chevron Stencil without any bleeds

I've been asked to do a chevron stenciling tutorial a couple times and I'm just now getting around to actually doing it. When I first started painting things more complex than just solid or distressed, I was constantly running into bleeds. It's so silly because this is really really easy; I promise!
First I painted the front, back, and sides with 3 coats of my base color. Do this with the lighter color of the two shades you plan to use. You could do this with more than one color too, so just paint the base color the color you want to have every other stripe. Wait for the base coat to be really dry. You can test this by pressing your finger nail into a small area; if it leaves a dent, it's not dry enough yet. Mine dried for about 3 hours.
I then cut a full 12x12 sheet of contact paper in a chevron pattern on my Silhouette Cameo. I also just heard they have chevron Frog tape. I googled it quick, and I like my chevron to be a little taller, but the tape will work the same way if you don't have a machine to cut contact paper with.
Then you just place your contact paper. I don't use any transfer tape. Contact paper is pretty forgiving. If it sticks to itself, it usually peels away from itself pretty easy. To keep them evenly spaced, I temporarily place a piece where I don't want it.

Then I take my scraper make sure the edges are pressed on really well. Now, I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the most important part! After you have your chevron on, you are going to paint the base color again over the entire thing. This seals the stencil and if there were any places not quite pressed down enough, it won't bleed through with your next color. This can be a very thin coat. Just enough to cover and seal the edges of your stencil.

I wait till the sealing coat is mostly dry and move quickly through the next couple of steps. I paint my next color(s) on letting them dry slightly in between each coat. This time I did three coats of the brown to get a good coverage. Maybe 5 minutes of dry time between each coat. While it's still tacky, peel your stencil off...

...and you should be left with beautiful, bleed free, chevron!

To pick up an already painted bunny, head on over to The Sensory Emporium!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Another Quilt with Lots of Meaning AKA Brick Quilt Part 1

I have a confession to make. I'm not a quilter. I only pretend to be because it gives me opportunities to make beautiful and memorable gifts. Like the time I cut up my bridesmaids dress to make my best friend the most amazing quilt.

Or twice that I've cut up my kids' first year of clothes to make them a blanket. But as I thought about this blog and took pictures for the next tutorial, I thought, does quilting really have to be about skill? Do you really have to know all the terms and techniques to make a really cute blanket? I have came to the conclusion that no, no you do not. I make memories. I make blankets that help the receiver hang on to the last few memories of one special day, year, or person. So, now that we've established that I might be a quilter, lets move on...just know, you probably aren't getting the right terms and there is most likely a tutorial out there better suited for you, but these are my blankets and I love them.

So my sister's grandpa passed away a few months ago (don't ask how he isn't also my grandpa, it's a really long story). She approached me shortly after to see if I could make a quilt out of his old button up shirts and jeans. Knowing that I love to make these types of quilts, I said yes. Then they got here and I kind of freaked out a little bit. If I mess this up, I have no way to replace these shirts. And then I thought, I can't just do the regular old squares and stitch them together. This quilt has to be epic because I'm a little crazy like that and think I can do awesome things.

So I started with this pile of shirts. Irreplaceable button up shirts. That still smell like her grandpa's closet. And I researched quilt patterns. Lets keep in mind that I'm not really a quilter. I can't do all those fancy things. I finally decided a brick quilt would be easy and different from the traditional squares I usually do.
I started by cutting along all the seams. So I ended up with the back piece, two front pieces and two sleeves. I got rid of all the collars and pleats.
Then I squared all my pieces up. It was really nice because I had lines to follow. Cut off cuffs and buttons and any area that is thicker.
 Then I started cutting the bricks. I cut them 4.5x7.5. I also preserved the pockets by cutting them 7.5 by 9 so they were the same as two bricks. Make sense?

I ended up with 138 bricks. Some shirts I got more and some a little less. The average amount of bricks was 23 from each shirt.
Stay tuned for assembly and to see if this quilt turns out the way I'm imagining.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Laminante Table Top Makeover

Our dinning room table was a garage sale find 6 years ago. It's served us well, but it was falling apart! So I had two choices, make it over or buy a new one. Option 2 really wasn't even in the running. We'll be moving soon and I don't know what my dining room will look like. What if I have a huge dining room and I purchase one for the size I have now. Plus, I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old; I'm just not ready to invest in a forever table.

See, it's sad. And that taped area, gross! I felt like food and grossness was getting under the tape. Ewww! Something needed to be done.
See ya later old icky table. We've seen some happy crafting together (paint splotches) and some happy family memories (more to come), but it's time for you to go!
The happy tools I used for the job. I used my iron to heat it up, the knife to get under the laminate in tougher spots, and the sanding block after it was all off.

For the most part, it peeled right off. The edges caused me a bit of trouble. There is a lot of glue on the edges. Heat just seemed to make it stick. Uh-oh, did I just start a project I can't finish?

 Not happy with the edges, but I came up with a'll see.
On to the next step. My table was particle board underneath. So I sanded it. Tools for this step are a paint pan (I used a plate), mini roller, and satin paint. I did three coats. I sanded between every coat.

After one coat.

Next step is the fun part! Figuring out what you want the top of your table to look like. I wanted fun, bright colors. I got 4 colors of acrylic paint, 4 brushes, masking tape, and duct tape (that's for later).

Tape off your design. I'm just doing stripes, so I taped off straight lines and labeled each section with what color it'll be.

Paint again! So bright and fun!

My favorite part is the reveal. I love peeling the tape off and seeing the result. Now, remember those pesky edges that the laminate just wouldn't come off? Duct tape! There are so many fun duct tapes out there. No more ugly edges!

Looking good, but I just needed a little more something.

Painted placemats of course! And the best part, the kids' placemats are chalkboards!

All done! And so much nicer. No more ugly tape, no germs getting stuck under tape. I'm so in love! Maybe this will be my forever table.