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Archive for the ‘DIY projects’ Category

During my summer vacation, I’ve been slowly working on some handmade decor for the baby’s room. I really wanted to make a decorative letter for her room and as always Pinterest is a great resource. I decided to give it a weathered look and used what I had in my stash.

Here’s how I made mine: 1) I first painted a base coat of wicker white (2 coats) and then hand-stamped “Homemade with Love” with black ink over the dried base coat. 2) Once the stamping is completely dry, I brushed a heavy layer of crackle medium over the letter (let it dry ’til it has a tacky consistency). 3) I evenly painted one top coat* of Martha Stewart’s “Beach Glass” (love this color!). * Note: do not re-paint or try to go over certain areas, you’ll end up smudging the crackle medium and undoing the crackling effect. 4) For the border of the letter I inversed the colors – Beach Glass base coat, crackle layer, white top coat  5) To help prevent chipping and yellowing, I sealed the paint using Liquidex Satin Varnish (3 thin coats).   DSC05743On the inside of the “P” I cut and glued a strip of pink gingham fabric as a contrasting accent to the seafoam color. I also recycled a crochet rosette I had leftover from my baby shower (I had made them as brooches for my guests). I’m so happy with the result, the crackling effect came out great . . . DSC05745
So great, I wanted to replicate the same weathered look on my birdhouses. I followed the same painting process and covered the roof tops with calico fabric. I highly recommend using Martha Stewart acrylics for this project (other brands did not work as well with the crackle medium). My color palette was Beach Glass, Raspberry Ice, and Chamomile.

DSC05746 I really loved working on these projects; they were fairly easy to do, came out so cute and were affordable to make. This a testament that decorating a room doesn’t always require you to go out and spend tons of money. Being resourceful can go along way, don’t ya think?   Sue

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My all-time favorite holiday has been Halloween. Forget Christmas, if I could have Halloween repeat itself on December 25th, I’d do it (sorry Santa). Of course when I was younger, it was all about the costumes and dressing up. Now, at least for me, it’s shifted to the decorations. The whole concept of turning your home dark and dreary can be really fun. The amount of inspiring ideas are overwhelming on-line, but here are some of my favorite DIY halloween decor.

this DIY ghost wreath is adorable!These Halloween Luminaries are easy to make and look great!

DIY Halloween/ Nevermore Tree decor

    This Poe-inspired tree is pretty cool!

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These broomstick lollipop favors are great for trick or treaters, or if you’re a teacher like me, as favors for your students!

Spooky Bat Chandelier

I’m definitely making this spooky bat chandelier; it’s incredible!

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I’ve accumulated a lot diys on my Pinterest boards and thought that as I try out some of the projects, I could also offer some insight on how well the diy came out here. Whenever I work on a diy, I’ve always noticed that there are always things I’d want to do differently the next time around. There are many Paint Chip Coasters diys circulating the internet, but the crafty cpa has a very easy to follow tutorial. Here are some notes I jotted down . . .
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I made a big mistake by not allowing the acrylic spray to dry completely, so one of my tiles has a round indentation on its surface from the glass I propped on it. Note to self: diys are more successful when you’re patient!

Coasters

Another thing I noticed is that the acrylic coating does crack once it dries, so it’s important to add several coats so your coasters can withstand the perspiration from your glasses. PS. the cracks will show even after several coats, so just roll with the punches! One more thing to consider, the lighter the paint chip color the more debris and stains show up on its surface, so you may want to consider picking darker hues for this project.
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Coasters2Overall, this project was easy to follow, budget-friendly and quick to make (all done in one afternoon). Hope these tips helped and have fun creating! Sue

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Bias6I love adding pretty trims to my sewing projects. I quickly realized that even though store-bought bias tape is convenient, the color choices are a bit limited. By making my own bias tape, I could give a very personalized style to my projects. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy ready-made tape, but when I want something extra special I make my own!
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Let me give you a rundown on how I recently made bias tape using my fabric scraps. This trim is part of a bigger sewing project that I’m finishing up that also involves fabric leftovers. Now with scraps the conventional way of making bias tape doesn’t apply (at least for me). What I mean by this is that I can’t cut the fabric at a diagonal since I’m using small odds and ends rather than a yard of fabric. To make my trim, I gathered up scraps that were approx. 2″ wide (the length of the scraps doesn’t matter). Some of the scraps were cut to 2″ so they’d fit evenly.
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Once I had gathered enough 2″ scraps/strips, I joined them right sides together until I had a 70″ long strip.
BiasMy scraps are all connected in this pic. Now comes the fun part: ironing! All seams were ironed opened before folding my long fabric strip. The easiest way is using a bias tape maker. However, I did it by folding the strip length-wise, ironing to fix the crease, folding in the unfinished ends (1/2″ on each side) and ironing again. I only use this method when I’m in a rush.
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Unfolded, the strip is 2″ wide. Once you fold in the unfinished ends, the tape should measure 1″ wide, and after it’s folded over again, the tape goes down to 1/2″ in width.
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Here’s my scrappy tape on a tea towel. Cute right?  Here are some more pics with handmade bias tape:Tea1

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I do want to say that this is far from a tutorial, so if you’re up to learning the ins and outs of bias-tape making, I highly recommended this site. It’s extremely informative and uses lots of photographs with it’s step-by-step instructions.

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I love baby showers . . . maybe it’s because I get a chance to make cute little gifts for an adorable little being. These projects took me an afternoon . . . seriously. When I thought about it, it would’ve taken me longer to drive to the mall, park, walk around and debate on overpriced baby items than to create something I’m absolutely happy with, so hurray for handmade once again!

Baby-BlanketBabyBlanketburpclothsburpclothsbabyshoes

These baby shoes did give me a bit a trouble, but it was mostly my fault because I used a smaller hook and they turned out too small, so I’ll be reworking them with a larger hook.

Here are the links to making these easy baby gifts:

Simple Baby Blanket

DIY Burp Cloths

Two Girls Mary Janes Crochet Pattern

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I think the hardest thing about making resolutions is actually starting them. Three and a half years ago when I made the New Year’s resolution to learn how to crochet, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Thankfully, I found some great sites that helped me tremendously. With this in mind, I want to share some great links to get you stitching away!

leran to crochet

I found that the easiest way to practice was by making granny squares which I later stitched together to make my 1st blanket. At the beginning, you’ll feel a bit awkward with the crochet hook but don’t get discouraged; you’ll start to notice that every square you stitch will look better than your last!

Granny Square

Granny Squares

I’m very visual, so books have never worked for me. These first two sites have great pics and go step by step with creating granny squares:

Things to make and do

Carina’s Craftblog

The 3rd site is a youtube video that was helpful to me; it’s short but sweet!

Crochet Granny Square Video

This last site is amazing. The blog’s author created a series of how-to videos which is very detailed and easy to follow (I wish I had had this!).

Crafty Minx’s Crochet School

Now that you have the resources, don’t delay. “Make” your resolution come true! Sue

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I had always wanted to make a slouchy hat, so I decided to take the plunge and make one as a Christmas gift for my niece. After doing much research on the internet and several disappointing attempts, I felt a bit flustered. How difficult is it to find a free pattern for a slouchy hat? It turned out harder than I thought, until I stumbled upon this site (thank you Pinterest!) and I was  hooked . . . literally! The pattern was very easy to follow and the end result was awesome! Not only did I make two for my niece (she loved them), but I also made one for myself.

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I used worsted yarn from KnitPicks in Cobblestone Heather and Calypso Heather

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Two things that I did change from the original pattern was instead of working only 2 rounds in Rounds 9-10, I worked 5 to 6 rounds so my hat would come out slouchier, and the final 4 rounds which make the band I didn’t work just 4 rounds but 6 rounds. Other than that, it’s a great pattern, so try it out!

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