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How to make this vibrant unique Spring Wreath (from book pages!)

Posted in CRAFTS, CREATE WITH ME, CRICUT, DIY, WALL ART
on March 7, 2017

Are you, like me, starting to think about Spring decor? For me,  spring decor always starts with inexpensively updating the front door with a shot of color in the form of something floral.

I have a wreath for nearly every season and emotion – I have a very cute Spring Wreath that I’ve put out for the past few years. However, I get bored so easily that I need to change things up every few years and I was ready for something different. I’ve been eyeing up the gorgeous spring wreaths that seem to be everywhere these days, although I can never bring myself to buy one. I always seem to have that internal conversation going on that says, “I could make that.” because in my head I can make anything. #IthinkImMcGyverbutneverMartha

So, for the March Create with Me DIY Challenge I decided to prove that fact – that I could make oneThis fun challenge is where you, our readers, vote on the materials we’ll use for next month’s projects, so be sure to scroll to the very last bit of this post to vote for your favorite and get a peek at what my friends came up with before you go. For past challenges, check out the Create with Me menu. This month’s challenge was to create something using book pages. How can wreaths and book pages coincide, you ask? Let me show you!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Book pages of your choice – I used the preview pages at the back of a few books so I wasn’t destroying anything good – but make sure your pages are no heavier than newspaper weight so they’ll bend easily
  • Flower pattern  – I used this one from WhileSheNaps.com
  • Watercolors or watered down acrylics
  • Aluminum foil
  • Florists wires
  • Green Twine or Florists tape
  • Twig Wreath form
  • Hot Glue and Glue gun
  • Clear spray paint

Print out and cut your flower pattern, then trace your pattern onto the book pages. I used my Cricut for this but it’s really and truly not necessary.. I’m just lazy. The pages are so thin you could easily cut multiple pages at one time. You’ll need two flowers and two leaves per flower.

Paint the leaf cut-outs – you’ll paint the flowers shortly. I used watercolors because I wanted the colors to be vibrant but still sheer enough that the text would be visible.

While the leaves dry, begin assembling your flowers following these instructions:

Step 1: Create the stem

Bend a hook in a 9″ piece of floral wire and cut a 2″x2″ square from the foil. Place a hot glue dot into the center of the foil and wrap the foil around the hook in the wire, creating a bulb on the end.

Step 2: Add petals

Gently curl the edges of two flower petals up, then putting a dab of glue along the bottom edge of the foil bulb, press the stem through the center of the smaller of the two flower petals, pushing up to adhere the petal to the bottom of the flower bulb.

Step 3: Shape flower

Attach the petals up and around the bulb, alternating petals as you go around, securing underneath with glue. Add larger petal in the same fashion, pressing the stem through the center and repeat attaching the petals.

Your flowers are now ready for painting. I painted my flowers with watercolor shades of orange, reds, pinks and yellows and stood them to dry in a cup before winding and gluing twine to cover the metal stem and attaching the leaves.

Lay your flowers out on your wreath form, bending to follow the curve of the twig branches and secure with glue. The flowers are so light that I did not wire them to the wreath, but you may wish to do this.

Give the entire wreath and flowers a light coat of clear to protect everything from the elements.

Hang and enjoy!

I love how vibrant the colors of the flowers are. The print showing through gives what could be an ordinary wreath so much uniqueness – I’m so excited by how it turned out and can’t wait to hang it on the door. It’s the perfect start to my spring decor!

Now, we need YOUR help! Take the survey below and tell me what you want to Create with Me for March!

Images via Amazon.com & Michaels.com

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DIY Planter from Book pages via Making Joy and Pretty Things

Book Page Flowers via Two Purple Couches

Easy Book Page Art via Little Bits of Home

Paper Tulip Wreath via Knock it Off Kim

Easter Book Page Banner via My Life from Home

Book Page Easter Egg Wreath via Our Crafty Mom

St. Patrick’s Day Watercolor Painted Pillow Cover

Posted in CRAFTS, DECOR, DIY, HOLIDAYS, St. Patrick's Day
on February 27, 2017

Top O’ the mornin’ to ya! Are you looking to do a bit of decorating for St. Patrick’s Day? One of the easiest ways to dress up a room with a theme is with a throw pillow. “Lucky” for you, I’ve got a fun idea for a painted watercolor 4-leaf clover pillow cover to share! #seewhatididthere

 

I didn’t use to do a lot of decorating or anything else for St.Patrick’s Day, but my family loves to celebrate it in some way every year. When I met Shay, I had no idea how much he loved St. Patrick’s Day. Little did I know that we would become the people eating corned beef and cabbage every year and drinking green beer. Well, I probably knew that we’d be drinking green beer, because Shay does like beer, but I had no idea on the corned beef and cabbage. I don’t like corned beef, and I’m indifferent to cabbage. I mean, I like cabbage in cabbage rolls, and of course, in coleslaw, but by itself, especially boiled, cabbage is just kinda.. eww. My man loves it – at least on St. Patrick’s Day. We once had an entire conversation about corned beef and cabbage that ended with Puff the Magic Dragon. True story. The point to my story is, over the years, I’ve had to up my St. Patrick’s Day decor and celebration game. A few years ago I whipped up these fun rainbow frosted brownie bites. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do this year, so you can bet I was super excited when my friend Meg of Green with Decor invited me to share a St. Patrick’s Day project idea, along with a group of fun and talented bloggers! Instant plan! Well, save for what we’ll be eating… but you work with what you have! On to the pillow cover!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pillow form – Mine was a 10″x10″ form I already had. I wish I’d had a down filled form, but I didn’t have one the size I needed! If I’d had time, I’d have ordered this one.
  • Fabric to cover pillow – I had a package of white cotton napkins that were the perfect size for my pillow form, so I used that for the front of my pillow, and some velvet that I had in my fabric stock for the back.
  • Watercolor paints – Any type will do – they do not need to be fabric paints. I used this cake set, and I’ve also used this liquid version as well. You could potentially use your kids Crayola paints, but the colors won’t be as vibrant.
  • -Fine-tip black sharpie
  • -Iron
  •  -Fabric Medium –  This bottle of magic, when added to paint, allows you to use any type paint on fabric without leaving the fabric feeling stiff. I found this FolkArt brand at JoAnn’s, and was happy with the results, but could only find the small bottle there. If you’re using this for a larger pillow, it’s cheaper for the larger bottle on Amazon.
  • -Two small containers for water
  • -Two brushes

To begin, transfer the clover and text pattern onto your pillow using the marker. (Right-click on the link and save to your computer). I used my Cricut to do this, drawing it directly on the fabric with the fine tip pen. Because I wasn’t cutting the fabric, I was able to write onto the fabric without applying Wonder-under first.

If you don’t have a die-cut machine,  you can also apply the design with a fine point sharpie pen using one of these transfer methods, printing on fabric using printable fabric, or if your fabric is sheer enough, tracing the design by hand.

Whichever method you choose to use, you’ll need to heat-set your design before adding watercolor to the fabric. Do this by applying dry heat to the drawing from the highest setting of your iron.

Once your design is sealed, you can add your watercolor accents – the fun part! Fill your two containers with water – one for cleaning your brush and one for the fabric medium. You don’t need alot.. probably about 1/4 cup. Add about a 1/8 of a cup of fabric medium to one of the water cups.

Use one of the brushes dipped in water to wet your paint, keeping in mind, the less water you use, the more color your brush will pick up, the less water, the lighter the color and the more it will spread on your fabric.

Begin applying the color to your fabric, filling in the design, staying in the lines.. just like kindergarten! I used various colors of green to give the drawing dimension – there isn’t a right or wrong way to do this.

Once you have painted your fabric as desired, use the water with the paint medium added to it and paint over the entire surface. You may see a slight amount of run from the outline, but it should be minimal if you’ve heat set the marker.

Your fabric will be quite wet at this point. Allow your fabric to dry – My fabric took a few hours to dry in the air.  Once dry, carefully go over your lines if necessary, then again, heat set the design using a dry, very hot iron.

You’re ready to create your cover! I like a pillow cover with a zipper, but an envelope style pillow cover would also work here. Until I get around to writing a tutorial on how to create one, I like this one for creating a cover with a zipper a lot – it’s very thorough and easy to understand.

I added handmade pompoms in the corners of my pillow cover for just a little bit extra – I pinned the pompom strings from the inside to each corner before stitching.

I love how this cute little pillow turned out, and despite the fact that we’ll likely be eating the dreaded corned-beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, adding this to our decor means at least we’ll be doing it in style! How about you? How will you be celebrating St. Paddy’s Day? Do you do any decorating? Do you have any “authentic” Irish dishes to share?

Before you go, be sure to drop by and visit these talented ladies for a peek at their St. Patrick’s Day projects!

Don’t forget it, Pin It!

Get Started With Cricut Explore Air 2 and Brighten Up Winter

Posted in CRAFTS, CRICUT, DIY, KITCHEN
on February 15, 2017

So, you just brought your new Cricut Explore Air 2 home. You’ve opened up the box, taken your shiny, gorgeous new machine out – I’m dying to know what color you chose  – you’ve plugged it in, and then… Well, that’s where you start asking yourself, “What am I going to DO with this thing?” Amiright? I was right there with you a few weeks ago when I opened up my new machine! But don’t fret! I’m here today to share some tips and a simple beginner project to get you started.

This project was born out of a need for green and a gentle reminder that Winter isn’t going to last forever.  The skies seem always to be gray, the ground hard, and covered in winter debris – twigs, dead leaves, it’s like nature’s litter out there! The days, while lengthening, are still short and dark. My lips are chapped. My skin is dry, and I’m itchy. I’m sick of sweaters. I might even be tired of boots – oh, the blasphemy! I’m irritated with coats that make me look like a linebacker. Since it’ll be a while before we see any real green on the ground, I decided to take matters into my hands.

I had these adorable faux herb planters that I’d picked up at Joann’s last spring. Yes, I know, faux is passe` bu let’s face it, even if it were spring, I’m a plant-killer which makes faux the only plants for me. They were cute on their own, but I thought it would be fun to add a bit of an embellishment with a wee bit of color.

Let’s get started. First things first, if you’ve not done so already,  and if you’ve not signed up for a login with Cricut in the past, you’ll need to create an account at Cricut.com. If you already have an account,  you’ll login using this account by clicking the login link in the top left corner.

Next, you’ll want to download the plugin and go through the New Machine Setup. Connect your machine using the provided cables, or you can also connect using blue tooth. To do that, set your Ipad or Iphone’s blue tooth settings to your Cricut Explore Air 2 and enter the provided pin. Just like that, you’re connected!

No matter how you choose to connect, you’ll want to go through the “Getting Started” rubric which will automatically walk you through your very first project, which is an excellent way to get a feel for what the Cricut Explore Air 2 can do.

Now that you’re logged in take a look at the Cricut Design Space. The Design Space is where all of the magic happens.

When you log in, you’ll see a list of projects. These projects are what are called “Make it Now” projects. In these projects, Cricut has done all of the work for you. Clicking on a project will show you a list of materials you’ll use, the cost to purchase the project, as well as the directions to create a project. I would encourage you to look around as there is a project for every need and check back often as they are always adding to the library.

Our project today uses the Southwest Pottery Wraps “Make it Now” project. To get started, you’ll click on the picture of the project. First, you’ll see the details of the project, the supplies required and you’ll also see the “Customize” button. Clicking this would allow you to change the design to your preferences – we aren’t going to do that with this project, but it’s good to know that it’s possible to do if you’d like!

I decided to change up the design slightly, using vinyl instead of the leather. The vinyl is self-adhesive, so I also didn’t need the spray adhesive. So, for my version we’ll need the following materials:

Let’s get started! Clicking on the ” Make it Now” button takes us directly to the mat window.

To use your mat, remove the plastic sheet – put it aside to protect your mat when you’re done. Load your vinyl sheet by lining it up to the top left corner and smoothing it with your hand.

Load your machine, aligning and feeding the mat through the guides, then pressing the feed button.

 

Be sure to set your blade to the correct material setting, in this case, vinyl.

 

In the Design Space, push the go button, then press the flashing Cricut button on your Cricut Explore Air 2 to begin cutting.

 

I decided to layer two colors of vinyl and therefore cut the design twice. What I love is that you can just reload your material, reload the mat and it will automatically reset, allowing you to cut by just pressing the Cricut button rather than having to resend from Design Space.

When you’ve finished cutting, press the Finish button in Design Space.

The vinyl is self-adhesive and comes with a backing. Remove the backing from around the cut design, leaving the design on the backing. Use the weeding tool to remove the center of the design that did not come away when you removed the backing.

For this project, I found it easiest to peel the design and place it by hand rather than to use transfer paper.

Once completed, the pots made their way to their new home – my kitchen window sill!

I love the little bit of green and the contrast between gold and stainless steel, giving them a bit of a modern/industrial look and is a great reminder that Winter is only temporary. The fact that my Cricut Explore Air 2 makes this such a simple and quick project makes me love it even more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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