Hello friends. It’s Suzanne, Rebecca’s Momma, and I’m happy to be back with you on the PPP this week.
I work with a great group of ladies and gentlemen in the Registrar’s Office at a local university. Many of us have hobbies and we occasionally get together for an after hours craft session. It’s a great way for us to share our hobbies and for people who are not otherwise crafty to try out new things and perhaps find a new passion. We’ve made Swedish snowflakes, stamped cards, crocheted coasters and “faux quilted” Christmas ornaments. Last week, I led a “Beat the Winter Blues” craft night and we made cute little starburst wreaths. They are suitable for all skill levels and can be personalized for any occasion and taste. I was pleased to share my paper stash so that everyone could find something that appealed to him or her.
You’ll need, at minimum, a wreath form, patterned paper and a glue stick to make the basic wreath. I’ll also be using a paper cutter to cut my paper and some paper punches and a glue gun to embellish it. Embellishment is where you can really personalize the wreath, so you can use whatever you have at hand.
Let’s talk about the wreath form. I’m using one that I picked up in a two pack from the Dollar Tree. It has an 8 inch opening in the center. You can make your own from a piece of a cardboard box or foam core board. Simply draw two concentric circles and cut out the shape. You could also cut out the center of a paper plate, using just the rim as your form. I would not recommend using something with a center opening larger than 7 to 8 inches, so the center of the wreath doesn’t look too empty and the finished product isn’t too unwieldy.
Now let’s talk about paper. I’m using a coordinated paper pad, which guarantees that everything will match. You can select paper for any holiday or occasion. You could even use old maps or sheet music. Your paper just needs to have a little body, to keep it straight out from the wreath form. If you want to use thin paper, double it up to get the needed thickness.
For a wreath with a 7 to 8 inch opening, you’ll need 16 to 18 strips of paper. That keeps the center from being too bulky and ensures your starburst is not too crowded.
Before cutting your paper, you’ll need to decide what sort of pattern you want. This requires a little simple math. If you want to repeat 4 patterns of paper, you’ll need 16 strips -- 4 strips of each paper (16 / 4 = 4). If you want to repeat 3 patterns of paper, you’ll need 18 strips -- 6 strips of each paper (18 / 3 = 6). If you want to repeat 2 patterns of paper, you’ll need 8 or 9 strips of each paper to get to 16 or 18 strips total. When you have decided, use scissors or a paper cutter to cut your strips. Each will need to be 10.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. I decided to use 4 patterns of paper, so I cut 4 strips of each pattern.
OK! Let’s start building the wreath. For each strip of paper, you will cover the back completely with the glue stick and wrap it over the form, gluing the paper to itself. Be sure to push the paper onto itself right up tight against the form and keep the strip of paper perpendicular to (straight out from the center of) the form. You may feel a little wiggle in the paper along the form, but as you add more strips, everything will tighten up.
For 16 strips of paper, we will divide the wreath into quarters. Working around the wreath makes sure that the strips stay straight and an equal distance apart.
That’s it! That’s the basic wreath done. Your paper still has a little wiggle, so you can shrug each strip a little to the left or right to even out the spacing, if needed. If you are done and don’t want to add any embellishments to your wreath, I suggest adding a small piece of Scotch tape over each intersection, on the back side, to keep everything in place. If you are going to embellish, the additional adhesive needed to hold the extras on will hold everything else in place.
You can add anything – punched shapes, silk flowers, stickers, pom-poms – that coordinates with your chosen papers. For any additional embellishment, use a hot glue gun. That will make everything nice and sturdy.
To start my embellishment, I used a paper punch to notch out the end of each strip. If you don’t have a punch like this, you can make a notch by cutting up the middle of the strip about an inch deep, then in from each corner to meet the end of the snip. That will make an even notch.
I then added the pieces that my paper punch notched out between each of the strips. This adds an extra little detail and serves to hold the strips in place. This is also a good time to see if you need to trim any of the strips. As you may be able to see in the picture below, one of my strips wasn’t perfectly even and I had a little of the white backside showing when I glued them together. I just trimmed that up and now the white is gone.
I used a number of flower and leaf shaped paper punches to add a circle of flowers to the center of the wreath. My paper pack had some sheets with phrases, so I selected one, used a piece of chipboard (a cereal box!) to back it up for sturdiness and glued that on as a focal image.
Finally, a paper clip in a bit of hot glue, covered with a small square of paper, serves as a hanger. The wreath weighs next to nothing, so I’m not worried about the paperclip not being strong enough to hold.
Here is the completed wreath, in all its tropical glory. It’s a fun burst of color. I gave it to Rebecca and she hung it up in her cubicle at work!
Here is a blue and green one which is much more subtle. This is an 18 strip version, where I repeated three patterns of paper. On that one, I used butterflies around the center and a little grouping of daisies with grey pearls in the center, all punched from the same paper.
In addition to being inexpensive, these wreaths are quick, fun and easy to make. I hope you’ll give one a try! Happy crafting!
Hello there crafty friends! I hope your 2020 has been treating you well so far. Today’s blog will be the first part of a multiple part blog series devoted to working on my wedding table centerpieces. As I mentioned in my last blog post, this year will be heavy on wedding crafts!
We had a very warm day here in NH about a week ago so I took the opportunity to do some spray painting and got started on my table numbers. For a while now, I have had an idea in my head of what I have wanted the table numbers to look like and now am finally getting started on them! As some of you may know, I am a huge Harry Potter nerd and have converted my fiancé into a pretty large fan as well. We want to have a few little Harry Potter touches throughout the wedding without it being an aggressively themed wedding. I also want to preface this blog post by saying that all of the ideas for wedding crafts are supported by my fiance as well! I am not just going rogue without input from him as well!
So for the table numbers, each table will have a frame with a title page from the first Harry Potter novel inside of it. Table 1 will have the book page of chapter 1 in it and so on; there will also be a larger decorative number on each frame to make it clear from farther away which table is which. The first big step with this process was to purchase everything needed! I got spray paint, acrylic craft paint and gold shimmer paint at Michaels, as well as 12 mismatched 4 by 6 frames at both the Dollar Tree and at Goodwill. I already had some chipboard numbers and decorations so did not need to buy anything else there.
Our wedding colors are navy blue and burgundy so I decided that I would spray paint 6 of the frames navy blue and the other 6 burgundy, with the chipboard numbers on each frame being painted in the alternating color. That sentence may not make sense yet, but it will later on! I gave all of the frames about 2 coats of spray paint. I will need to go back and give the frames another 1-2 coats of spray paint, but will need to wait for some warmer weather because I will not be going outside to spray paint when it is 20 degrees outside.
As I mentioned above, I also painted 6 numbers burgundy and 6 navy blue to put on the frame of the alternating color. We will have small gold accents throughout our wedding decorations as well, so I used the gold paint to add a bit of gold shimmer to the numbers. I also painted some little chipboard decorations completely gold to add to the frames in addition to the numbers.
I have an extra copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (because I'm crazy) so I cut out the title pages from that book to use in the frames. My creative consultant, also know as my mother, and I thought that the pages needed to be antiqued up a bit so I used some watered down brown acrylic paint to age the pages slighty.
Putting watery paint on the pages made them crumple up slightly as they dried, so I took out the iron and ironed each book page under a piece of parchment paper. This flattened out the pages, but ensured that the iron did not burn the paper.
And that is what I have right now! We have frames that need another coat of paint, numbers fully painted and book pages ready to be put inside the frames. I feel like this blog seemed a little scatterbrained, but everything will make sense once we get to the finished centerpiece. I swear. Bear with me.
What crafts are you all working on in the new year?
Hello everyone! Happy 2020!
I hope that you all had wonderful holiday seasons and enjoyed whatever you celebrate. We are easing back into the New Year with a shorter post about what you can be expecting from me this year.
In November of this year, I will be getting married so you can be expecting quite a few wedding related crafts coming your way. If that is not your thing, I totally get it, but just be warned. Some bigger projects I know I will be doing blog posts on is wedding favors and centerpieces, and I may also be doing a post about bouquets as I am making mine (with the help of my crafty mother) out of fake flowers. Other projects may pop up that I decide to do posts on as well, but these are the bigger ones that you can be expecting.
I also am going to make an effort to try and do more videos this year. I know I said that last year and it never really came to fruition, but I am going to make an effort to come out of my comfort zone a little more and make the PPP a little more interactive.
I also wanted to share some of the goals that I personally have this year for my craftiness. I have come to realize that I am not a big person for huge New Year’s resolutions as I find them daunting and more stressful than helpful, but I do have some smaller things I want to work on in my crafty life this year.
1. Keep my craft area clean. I was much better about this in the latter part of 2019 and would love to continue this into 2020.
2. Use my craft space more. This ties in with Number 1. I have a nice craft space that I am actively working to keep cleaner and more organized so I need to utilize it better and more often.
3. Have crafty days with some friends. I have a few friends from work that enjoy crafting like I do and we have been wanting to get together for a craft day so I want to make that happen several times over in the New Year.
Thank you all for checking in every other week and reading the blog and I hope that you are excited for what I have coming in this year!
What crafty plans does everyone else have for the upcoming year? Leave it in the comments below!
Why hello everyone! This week we are back with a blog post about a cute and easy Christmas baking project. This treat can be simplified so that you can whip it up last minute or can be more detailed if you are looking to spend a little more time on it. We are making reindeer brownies! This idea is not new and you have probably seen pictures of similar brownies scattered across Pinterest, but here is my take on the fun treat.
I used a box brownie mix. If you have a favorite homemade brownie recipe, that you would rather use instead, please go ahead! I went for the easy choice and just doctored up a box mix. For this recipe you will also need some pretzels (I went with chocolate covered, but you could also just use plain ones), red and green M&Ms, some candy eye balls, and some cupcake pan liners.
To start off this treat, I cut up some chocolate covered pretzels to resemble reindeer antlers. To do this I gingerly cut the pretzels in half and then chopped away a little more to get something that vaguely resembled a number 3 or letter E. As I’m sure you can imagine, there were a lot of pretzels shattered in this process, so I kept all of the fragments to add into the brownie batter. I cut 12 pairs of antlers as I planned on cutting 12 brownies from the pan.
I also added some green M&Ms to the brownie batter for color and chocolatey goodness. I splashed in a bit of cinnamon and vanilla as well and the brownies were all set to go into the oven. Once the brownies were cooled, I cut them into 12 squares. I pushed the antlers into the top of the brownies so that they hung over the edge of the brownie a bit. I then pushed in the candy eyes (I honestly do not remember what brand these are as I had them leftover from a previous project) and a red M&M as the reindeer nose. These brownies were for a work party so I put each brownie in a cupcake liner to make them easier to grab. And then they were done!
A few ways to simplify this even more would be to buy mini pretzels and just use 2 whole pretzels as the antlers. This would cut out the time spent meticulously cutting apart pretzels. You could also forgo the candy eyes entirely and just use any red candy you have on hand for the reindeer nose. If you have antlers and a red nose, I assume people will be able to understand that it’s a reindeer.
Some ways to fancy these treats up even more would be to use homemade brownies as I mentioned before and/or to cut the brownies into the shape of a reindeer head rather than leaving them in squares. You could also add frosting to the top of the brownies. If using frosting you could cover the entire brownie surface so that the nose, eyes and antlers could be stuck in the frosting instead of being pushed into the brownie itself or the frosting could be piped out in a more detailed way to give the reindeer face some shape and definition.
What holiday baking projects have you been doing? Let me know in the comments below!
Hii All. Guest blogger time again here on the PPP. It’s Suzanne, Rebecca’s Momma, with a cute idea for a last minute gift or decoration. I’ve wanted to try a reverse canvas, which I’ve been seeing on Pinterest and some crafty blogs I follow (but none as good as the PPP, of course). I also recently pinned a quilted Christmas tree that was very cute. I’m not a quilter, but I thought I could reproduce the look with my preferred crafting medium – paper. The two ideas seemed like a good match to combine, so we are going to make a Reverse Canvas Paper Christmas Tree décor piece. Catchy, no?
For this, you’ll need an 8 by 10 inch stretched canvas, some Christmas themed, double sided scrapbook paper and a piece of chipboard (heavy cardboard) that is 7.75 X 9.75 inches – just shy of the 8 by 10 of the canvas. You’ll also need some basic crafting supplies – paints and brushes, adhesives, scissors or a paper cutter, and a box cutter or craft knife.
First, you need to take the canvas off the wooden stretcher. The stretcher will become the frame of the piece. Using the box cutter or craft knife, cut along the back of the canvas, to the outside of the staples, to release the canvas. Clean up the remaining leftover canvas and any staples that are popping up. You can try to remove the staples, but if they aren’t already loose, don’t struggle, because it’s not necessary. The cut side with the staples will be the back of the frame and covered.
Now it’s time to paint the wood stretcher to turn it into a frame. Chose whatever color would complement your selected paper. I used brown with a little olive over it to pick up the olive color in my paper.
While that dries, start working on the canvas. First, glue the chipboard to the back side of the canvas piece. The chipboard will stiffen the canvas so it stays straight across the frame. You can use Mod Podge or any other permanent wet glue. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with Mod Podge -- I’d love to be able to use it, but I always hate the way it comes out – so I used a glue called Tombow Mono Multi. Finally, trim away the extra canvas around the chipboard.
You’ll need to decide what color you’d like to paint the right side of the canvas. Because there was white in the paper I chose, I used white chalk paint and grubby-ed it up a little with brown.
Once that’s dry, run a bead of hot glue around the back of the frame and glue on the canvas. The reverse canvas part of the project is done.
For the Christmas tree, you’ll need 5 squares of double sided decorative paper. The squares should be 4, 3.5, 3, 2.5 and 2 inches square.
Fold the squares not quite in half to make a kind of wonky triangle. You want both sides of the paper to show when folded. I folded using the following measurements, but it’s not an exact science – do what is pleasing to your eye. I imagined a line down the center of the paper from point to point. For the 4 inch and 3.5 inch square, I folded 3/4s of an inch from that line. For the 3 inch and 2.5 inch square, I folded 1/2 an inch from that imaginary center line. And finally, for the 2 inch square, I folded 3/8ths of inch from that imaginary line. Working inside of the frame for size reference, stack the folded paper squares, largest on the bottom and smallest on the top, to form the tree. Adhere them together and you have your tree. I wanted my piece to have a little dimension, so I cut a triangle of corrugated cardboard to back the tree.
All trees need a trunk, so I used a tiny piece of wood that just happened to be in my craft room. (It’s one piece from a tiny tumbling tower game sold at the dollar store, painted brown.)
You’ll notice that I notched out the cardboard so everything would be flush when glued to the back of the tree. I also used my not quite dry sponge brush to add a little brown shadow around the edges of the tree. Once everything was dry and secured, the whole she-bang got glued onto the canvas.
Since this tree was inspired by a quilted one, I thought sewing notions would make the perfect decorations. I tied a small bow with a scrap of lace for the topper and added buttons down the center. I don’t like the look of a “naked” button so before I glued them down, I ran olive embroidery floss through the holes. Since I didn’t want to cover too much of the paper, three down the middle seemed enough for me. Use your imagination to decorate the tree with whatever compliments the paper you’ve used - sequins, pearls, small punched shapes are all options.
Thanks for reading! May your holidays, however you celebrate, be filled with joy! As for me, I will say Merry Christmas!
Hello everyone! This week we don’t have a craft or baking tutorial, but instead we are going to have a little chat about craft fair season! For those of you that do not know, November through early December is peak craft fair season here in New England. I did a post around this time last year about some rules for craft fair season and today’s post will be somewhat similar, but more of a general commentary on the pros and cons of the craft fair experience for the customer and the crafter.
My mother and I typically do craft fairs together and either buy two tables next to each other or share one table. Since nearly every craft fair will require that you pay for your table, I recommend that you only buy one table for yourself (even if you have a lot of stuff) or to share with someone else unless you have been to the craft fair before. My mother and I’s first craft fair this year was one that we have been to for several years which we knew that we would sell quite a bit at so it wasn’t bad for each of us to buy our own table. The two other crafts fairs of this season, we decided to share a table as we were not sure how much we would end up selling.
Here is a little snapshot of my full table at the first craft fair we did!
I think it is important to mention that there are both negatives and positives to craft fairs as a crafter trying to sell. The major positives are exposure for your cratiness and the ability to make a little money for yourself. If you plan on being a regular craft-fairer who wants exposure through the entire year I would recommend making yourself some business cards. I do have some business cards which have info about my blog, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube channel (which I only have 2 underwhelming videos on) so that people can learn more about me if they want to. Even if you don’t have a website, a business card with your name and email is helpful if you are interested in being contacted throughout the year about potential craft projects. If you want people to leave you alone and are only interested in selling what you have once a year, then skip the business card.
The negatives are how tiring the day can be and the often unwanted commentary from customers. Craft fairs are usually around 5-6 hours so it can be a lot to lug in all your stuff, set it up, be pleasant all day, take everything down and then lug it back to your car. There is also the tiring aspect of interaction with sassy humans. You will be asked more than a few times, “what is this?” Some people just don’t understand the crafty vision! Or people may try to haggle on the price, but don’t forget that you are there to make money!
Finally, if you are reading this and have never been a customer at a craft fair, please consider shopping at a few this year or next. I’m not saying that you can’t find some nice gifts at department stores, but there is something nice about buying something that you know someone put their time and heart into. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, take the time to talk to the crafter and let them know that their craft skills are appreciated. I do understand that sometimes it may feel awkward to look someone in the eye and then not decide to buy their products, but if you approach it in a polite way, they will most likely be fine. Many crafters will understand that their style of crafting is not for everyone, but do appreciate being acknowledged and not simply walked past without a glance.
If you have any questions about craft fairs, feel free to ask in the comments below and I will happy to answer as best I can!
Why hello everyone! I am back at it this week with something I have not done in a while: a baking project! As someone who likes to bake, but doesn’t really enjoy following recipes precisely, I had never tried to make macarons which are notoriously difficult cookies. However, my fiancé, Sean, thought it was time for another baking project on the blog and agreed to help me out.
We followed this Macaron Recipe from a blog called Preppy Kitchen: https://preppykitchen.com/french-macarons/. Overall, it was a great recipe so I would recommend giving it a try!
To start off, I wouldn’t say that this recipe is something you can just make on a whim as I did have to buy a few things specifically for this recipe. Maybe other people have more sophisticated pantries than we do, but we did not already have almond flour or cream of tartar. I also want to say right here that anything that went slightly wrong with this recipe is almost certainly because Sean and I did not follow it closely enough so the blame definitely lies on us and not the recipe.
We needed three egg whites at room temperature so we took some eggs out of the fridge to warm up a bit. I will admit that they were still slightly chilled when we ended up using them, but were not fridge cold. The first step was sifting almond flour and powdered sugar and we forgot that we had a decent sifter so we used this slightly rusty one that wasn’t that functional which led to our dry ingredients not being the smoothest. We then proceeded to find our better sifter so we would definitely use that going forward and probably would sift the ingredients twice just to be safe.
We then whipped the eggs whites as instructed and added in the sugar, cream of tartar and dry ingredients. We decided to make these into pumpkin spice macarons so added some pumpkin spice and food coloring to the batter. The directions said that the batter was supposed to flow like lava and I think our batter was slightly chunkier than lava might be, but it wasn’t too bad. We originally forgot to add the vanilla and the batter definitely improved in texture upon adding that.
We put the batter into a piping bag with a round tip and then piped small-ish circles of batter onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. We banged the trays on the table to release air bubbles and let the batter sit for about 40 minutes per the instructions. I also proceeded to add sprinkles to a few of the macaron tops even though Sean and I had agreed to not add any sprinkles. I live life on the wild side.
While the macaron cookies were sitting out we started working on the buttercream filling. I will say that the buttercream filling, while delicious, did not have the best viscosity. I am also not sure if viscosity is the correct word here but I'm trying to say that the filling was somehow too thick and too melty at the same time. But again I will admit that we did not follow the recipe exactly. We were supposed to heat a water and sugar syrup up to precisely 240 degrees, but we do not have a candy thermometer so I kind of just guesstimated what I thought that temperature would be.
We were also supposed to use unsalted butter and then add a small amount of salt, but we instead used salted butter. So those deviations from the recipe may have changed the filling. It was delicious, but the filing couldn’t be out of the fridge for more than about 5 minutes or it would just start melting.
Once the cookies had sat out for 40 minutes we baked them for about 14 minutes and turned the trays halfway. The cookies came out really well! They had a pretty smooth, hard top and chewy center which is what you are looking for with a macaron cookie.
We let the cookies cool and the filling harden in the fridge a bit and then assembled our macarons.
And here they are!
Sean and I were both pretty impressed with how these came out. They were delicious when we first assembled the cookies, but were even better the next few days once the filling had soaked into the cookie a bit. The main takeaways from this baking experience were that macarons are actually not as difficult to make as we thought, but that accuracy in following the recipe is key. Happy baking everyone!
Hello friends! It’s guest blogger time again on the PPP. It’s me, Suzanne (Rebecca’s mom), and today I am going to show you how to make a couple of sweet little trees with some different materials – vintage sheet music and ribbon. Depending on the paper, ribbon and embellishments used, these trees would be suitable for a holiday decoration any time of the year.
First, we have to prepare bases for our trees so they can stand proud and tall. I’m going to repurpose wooden blocks from rubber stamps. [Slight aside with additional craft information - In an effort to save space in my craft room, I have been removing rubber stamps from their wooden blocks. The stamps can them be temporarily mounted on reusable acrylic blocks and stored in acetate envelopes more compactly than when permanently mounted on the wooden blocks. I hate to throw away a potential craft supply, so I have a basket of these blocks waiting to be repurposed. A little Goo-Gone or acetone nail polish remove cleans up the adhesive residue and makes them ready for paint.]
For the base of the tree to be made with paper, I glued an old thread spool to a block and added a thin kebab skewer in the hole of the spool.
For the base of the ribbon tree, I glued two blocks atop one another (I have a number of these in the works, as I am making these for sale at an upcoming craft fair). Once the glue was dry, I gave both types of bases a coat of slightly watered down brown acrylic paint. I let that set a couple of minutes then wiped the paint down. I then gave them some dimension by dry brushing on a little black paint and going over that with a little more brown until I was satisfied with the depth of color.
Time now to work on the body of the sheet music tree. I removed the staples from the center of a vintage book and glued in half a full two page spread, to give the paper a bit more body. I marked the center of the top of the sheet and marked three inches to the left and right of the center of the bottom of the sheet (to make the bottom six inches wide) and cut the triangular shape. My sheet is eleven inches tall.
I then gently scored the width of the triangle every inch and gently folded the paper accordion style. These two steps, when using vintage paper, need to be done carefully, because it’s easy to break the paper. If you make these trees with new scrapbook paper (another cute option), the paper will be less fragile.
I prepped the base with a little ribbon bow around the spool and made a small ribbon knot that will be used later at the top of the tree. I then punched a hole in the center of the accordion folded paper triangle and fed the skewer through that hole.
Working carefully again, I spread the folds of the paper out evenly along the length of the wooden skewer and glued the top tip to the skewer, making sure I was lined up with the flat side of the base and the bow I’d tied around the spool. I made sure that the bottom and top of the paper triangle were to the front of the tree.
I decided to top the tree with a small wooden star, so I held that in place and trimmed the end of the skewer off just below where the star would end. I glued the star in place and added the ribbon knot just below it. Embellishment options are many. I liked the simplicity of these, so I added just a few red pearls up the center, on the “trunk” of the tree. Buttons, sequins or pompoms would also be good options, depending on the type of paper used for the body of the tree.
For the ribbon tree, I drilled a small hole in the base, about a ½ inch deep, to insert some glue and a thin dowel. I wasn’t worried about doing this before painting because with these trees, the “trunk” will be fully covered by both the ribbon and some beads. To start, I threaded a long bead onto the dowel and added some glue in the hole to hold it in place.
I put the base aside for a moment and worked on the body of this tree. Starting with a measurement of approximately 7 inches, I folded the wire edged ribbon back and forth on itself, drawing it in a little more with each layer of folding, until the top layer of ribbon was approximately 1 inch wide. There is no exact measurement to the length of ribbon needed – it will depend on how much each layer is shortened as it is folded.
When I got to the 1 inch mark, I cut the stack of ribbon free from the spool. Then, with a pair of pointy scissors, I poked the middle of the stack of ribbon and twisted the scissors to make a hole to accommodate the dowel.
It was time now to add the ribbon to the dowel, separating each layer with a wooden bead or two (depending on the size of the bead) to give the tree its height. I added a touch of hot glue to the start of the ribbon at the bottom (to keep it from flopping down) and made a little triangle fold at the top (to neaten up that end). I also added a touch of glue under the bead at each level to keep the bead in place and the tree solid.
The last bead at the top of the tree holds the last bit in place. To finish this little guy off, I “fluffed” each layer of the tree to be sure it wasn’t folded flat onto itself. I then added a sprig of greenery with some red beads and pine cones to the base and an iridescent snowflake with a red jewel in the center as a tree topper. In the last photo, you can see a fall version of the ribbon tree with a pumpkin embellishment on the bottom and a burlap bow as a tree topper. I think the ruffle and pattern of the ribbon is enough for the body of the tree, but you can add buttons, sequins or pompoms to these as well.
Hello friends!! I’m back at it again with a fun craft, some homemade coasters. I saw this idea on one of those Five Minute Craft-type videos that pop up on everyone’s Facebook feed and decided to try this on my own with a few adjustments. I started with some oven bake clay in white.
The coasters from the video I saw were marbled with different colors and I only have white oven-bake clay so I thought I would try my hand at dyeing the clay myself. I have quite a few of these Stampin’ Up re-inkers which are bottles of highly pigmented dye that you are supposed to use when your stamp pads are drying up which I thought would work well enough for dyeing the clay.
I put on some latex gloves and then got to work on dyeing. I had made a test run of this coaster idea earlier and had not put on gloves and dyed my hands magenta for a few days so I would highly recommend springing for some gloves. I took a small amount of clay and squirted a few drops of dye onto it and then just worked the dye throughout the clay with my fingers until the color was fully incorporated. I dyed some clay blues and greens for one set of coasters and then purples and pinks for another set. I rolled the colored clay into logs and then lined up a few colors with a log of plain white clay as well.
To get the marbled look, I started twisting and folding the different colors of clay together until they were intertwined, but the colors had not yet started to bleed into one another.
Then I put the clay between two sheets of parchment paper and rolled in out using a rolling pin. Once I had it rolled out thin enough (about ¼ inch), I used a paper template of a hexagon that I had printed out to cut out the coaster shapes. My hexagon was about 4 inches wide and tall, but you could make your coaster smaller or bigger if you wanted to.
I was able to make 2 blue/green coasters and 2 pink/purple coaters and then use the scraps to make a fifth multicolored one. I cooked the clay according to the direction and then let it cool for a few hours so it could harden completely.
Once the coasters were hardened, I used some fine sandpaper to sand away any rough edges on the sides or top of the coaster. Once I was done sanding, I went in with a thin paintbrush and some gold nail polish to create some gold accents in the marbled design of the coasters. I also painted the edges of the coasters with the gold nail polish as well just using the nail polish brush in the bottle.
Once the gold nail polish was dry, I went over the top of the coasters with two coats of my favorite clear varnish to seal them and give them some nice shine. Here's a fun picture to show how shiny they are!
Once the varnish was dry, I got the glue gun heated up and glued the back of the coasters to some felt in a coordinating color and cut the felt away around the edges to give the coasters a nice soft base.
And here are the coasters are all done and in action! They were holding my delicious alcoholic beverage for the evening.
I really love how these came out, but don't think they are viable to make for craft fairs because of the work it took to just get 5 coasters. I may keep these for myself or give them as a gift.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments below!
Hello crafty friends I am back again! Today I am showing you a decorative tray I made with some leftover bits and pieces from previous crafty experiences. So I started with an old Walmart frame that my parents had on their porch for who knows how long:
Then I picked a pretty paper that I wanted to base the color scheme of the whole tray on.
I then sanded down the frame lightly so that it would soak up the paint better. I painted it a rich red color to match the darker flowers in the paper and then cut down the paper to fit inside the frame.
I went ahead and removed the stand attached to the back of the frame so that it could lie flat. I pried it off with some scissors which I do not recommend. Safety first kids.
I also put a few coats of varnish on the painted frame to give it some nice shine. My plan for handles for the tray was leftover drawer pulls I had from my dresser makeover I did over the summer. I wanted to just hot glue the handles on the frame, but the frame is not flat (I don't know how else to explain that but look at a picture of the frame to see) so it wasn't working to just attach the handles to the frame itself. My idea to fix it was to cut some small pieces of wood that I could attach the handles to and then attach the wood to the frame. Did I cut the pieces of wood using a steak knife because my little saw is broken? Yes. Do I suggest that you do that? No. Once again, safety first everyone.
I painted the pieces of wood a green to match the leaves in the paper and then used gorilla glue hot glue to attach the handles to the wood. I could then glue the wood to the frame and secure the handles in place. And here it is!
I think this came out really cute! Obviously it is not a tray meant to hold extremely heavy objects, but it is like the cute decorative tray you have on a coffee table or on a vanity that doesn't really have any purpose besides being cute. I think I will make a few more of these for the craft fair with various papers and colors. What do you guys think?
I am a 23-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!