Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reusable Bunting Notes Tutorial!

De-stashing. Again. [My stash isn't going to like me by the end of this year (month??)!] Reusable Bunting Notes!
So here is the inspiration. My computer. It's surrounded (engulfed!) in post-it notes. What can I say? I'm a writer/to-do-lister/noter! 
I will let you guys in on a little secret...I took down a few a lot...of the post-its before this picture. And I'm conveniently leaving out my stacks [STACKS] of various note sheets..
So I thought about it, I needed a system that would allow me to write notes and erase them. Dry erase board right? Ew. I HATE those. [Don't quote me on that, I might change my mind in 6 months...you never know!]
But I do LOVE me some chalkboard. But that's too obvious right? So I looked at my Pinterest and noticed a theme. Bunting. Cute, right? Chalkboard bunting? Even cuter. Chalkboard bunting that can be changed out for themes, colors and seasons in various sizes and shapes so I can carry them around when needed? AWESOME.
And thus it begins. Here is MY version of bunting flags. I have a list of different flag tutorials posted at the bottom!

Gather your materials. You will need:
fabric scraps
spray mount
a sewing machine (or needle and thread)
chalkboard paint
mini clothespins
Gesso canvas prime (optional)
First find a stash of cardboard boxes. [I feel like a cardboard hoarder]
Lay them out flat, and draw shapes! Be creative, use cookie cutters and stencils for fun shapes, or for simple shapes use vases and cups as templates! I kept my sizes somewhere between the itty bitty post it notes and the medium sized (2"x.5" and 3"x5"). Then cut them out. (If you have a cricut, this would be a good job for that!) I couldn't decide on one shape so I cut out 5 per shape.
Since I tend to have sooo many notes, I decided to make my flags double sided. Cut your fabric to fit over the shapes (I put different fabrics on each side). Then find a well ventilated space (outside if your Spring isn't full of snow like mine is!) and use the spray mount to attach the fabric to the cardboard.
Now the fun part. Get out your chalkboard paint, and tape off the area you don't want to get paint on. (or you can freehand it!) I suggest putting a coat of Gesso on first. It's a canvas primer and will keep the chalkboard paint from cracking. (See bottom of post).  After that's dry, follow the instructions on the can of chalkboard paint. OR if you want to be like me, make your own! Instructions for homemade chalkboard paint HERE at Craft At Home. Also posted in my blog HERE.
Let dry, and flip if you want to paint the other side as well. If not, once you have followed ALL of the instructions on the can, you're finished! (sand with fine sandpaper, wash off with a cloth, rub with chalkboard and wash again).
 At this point you may have noticed my ends are fraying. Now this is where you get creative. I liked the fray. So I decided to keep it. You could easily hem or bias it the edges though. I decided to sew the edge of the cardboard to keep the pieces from coming apart. Pin if you want it to be perfect. And sew as close to the cardboard, without going over it. After, you can trim the edges (if you'd like). I placed a piece of tape on the edges and frayed them.

I used ribbon to string up my flags upon my computer and the clothespins to pin them! Now I can change them out, edit them or bring them with me! De-stash AND eco friendly!
NOTE: I have better pictures of the end result, but I can't find them! I will update those ASAP though!

Want a more formal look to your flags? Try one of these tutorials! Just make sure you use cardboard in the center to give your flag support to write on!
Bunting Tutorials:
The Shabby Nest (mini paper version you could resize!)
Joyful Abode (easy sewn version!)
Robayre (Super easy hot glue version!)
All The Small Things (Using iron-on fusable fabric)
Girl City Gone Coastal (Laminated fabric version!)

-My first versions were done without priming. The chalkboard cracked in places. Still entirely usable (and actually really cool looking), but if you don't want it, I HIGHLY suggest you prime the fabric.
-This is not a 1 hour craft. More like 3 days. Make sure you let each step dry for a proper amount of time!
-This project can range from FREE to really expensive depending on what materials you have on hand, and your level of creativity. Keep that in mind. (Also keep in mind how much you're going to save on post-it notes!)
-I found out (the hard way) that light fabric placed on cardboard with graphics show through. Try to place graphics on dark fabric! See some of my mistakes below!
(Cracking in the chalkboard on the left, and see-thru fabric on the right)

Was your Bunting tutorial listed? Bragging rights! Grab a button!

Featured? Grab a button!
Total cost (for me) under $5 (for 30 2-sided flags!) [Only bought the paint (Joann's), chalk (Dollar Store), and mini clothespins (Joann's)!]
Have a question? Let me know! I'd be happy to answer it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SI Theme: Pop Tabs!

Welcome to Sunday Inspiration (installment #2!)
This weeks theme is Pop Tabs. (You know. Those tab...things...from soda cans?) Such an inspiring and yet useless item? Not from where I'm standing (eh..siting?) 

First we have this amazing; Pop Tab Tote Bag!
 (Picture from escama)
There's one at Escama for $250!
Or a homemade version for FREE at Trunity!

 Next looking for something a little smaller? Pop Tab Purse!

 (Picture from PopTablady (Flickr) )
Or a homemade version for FREE at Craftster!

And last, need even smaller? Pop Tab Clutch!

 (Picture from Sierra Club)
There's one at Supermarket for $40!
Or a homemade version for FREE at EHow! 

Made one of these? Post link to your blog in the comments, or send me an email! I'd love to show it off!

Congrats to those featured! Bragging rights! Grab a button!

Featured? Grab a button!

Have a knock off tutorial? Email me!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Homemade Chalkboard Paint!

I found this recipe by Martha Stewart for Homemade Chalkboard Paint.
(picture from Martha Stewart)
Which was part of my inspiration for the tutorial to be posted on Tuesday 
(aren't you excited to know what it is now?!)
 It's so simple! First I purchased a couple bottles of cheap paint 8 oz each (in Black and White). I got it at Joann's in the kids section and a 20% off coupon.
 Next I looked in my garage for Unsanded Grout
Simply mix 2 tbsp of the grout into 8oz of paint. 
Of course I made it difficult on myself, by pouring the grout directly into the bottle since there was PLENTY of room. If you go this route, pour in small amounts at a time so you can mix/shake as you go! I used a chopstick to stir as I went!
And wholah! You now have chalkboard paint! (By the way, it's not really that gross green/gray color pictured. It's definitely more of a black!!)
Better get on it so you can have it done by the time my tutorial comes up on Tuesday! ;)

Don't forget, there are additional instructions on using chalkboard paint! 
To summarize: Let paint dry COMPLETELY, then smooth over with Fine sandpaper. Wipe surface clean, rub a piece of chalk over it and clean again with a damp sponge! See Martha for full instructions!

Total cost (for me) $4.20 [Only bought the paint (Joann's) and chalk (Dollar Store)!]
Have a question? Let me know! I'd be happy to answer it!

Blog Design

Away from blogland, I'm a graphic designer. But the one thing I can't do, is design for myself. Too many options, colors, shapes and ideas to settle on one design! So I need your input. I'm trying (attempting) to redesign this blog without building a template because I don't have the time to do so. 
Is it too boring? Too much? 
Leave me some comments with how YOU chose to design your blog!
Let me see your inspiration!
I'm looking for knock-off tutorials to feature on my Sunday Inspiration blogs!
Right now I'm looking for FELT and LEATHER knock offs. Have one? Email me with the link! Have another one your dying to share? Email me that one too!

You guys are going to LOVE what I have coming up this week! Well, at least I love it! ;)
Stay tuned! Tutorials coming up tomorrow AND Tuesday!

And welcome again, to new followers and all of the wonderful comments I have received! I read every single one, and check out your blog, so keep them coming! =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Revised Tutorial!

Sad news indeed. My sweet little Drop Spindle had a horrible accident! An unknown force [OK either a massive cat, or a small dog] decided to test the poor Spindle's soccer skills. Needless to say, it wasn't very good.
After a few glue tests [hot glue vs gorilla glue vs carpenter glue] and suggestions from Craft sites, I figured out not only how to fix it, but to make it less fragile as well!
[No really. I did a 'drop' test. 3 times. On hardwood. It passed!!!]

Make sure you check out my brand new tutorial on making a Drop Spindle AND Newspaper Yarn! [If you can imagine it, it's even EASIER and FASTER than the previous one]!
I have another tutorial in the works for you, and I can't wait to share it! So stay tuned, and welcome all my new followers! Remember, if you have a "knock-off" tutorial you'd like featured on Sunday Inspiration, email me

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Drop Spindle and Newspaper Yarn Tutorial! (edited!)

This week I was inspired to try my hand at newspaper yarn. The only problem was I didn't have a drop spindle. And since I don't see myself using one for another project anytime I soon I couldn't justify the price! ($95?!)
As you probably have noticed, I like to destash items. So I ransacked the house and found some items.
A dowel rod 1/8"thick, a closed picture hook and a piece of coconut. (Ahem, I have a Macaw and this may or may not have been stolen from a toy...) BE CREATIVE! There's no need to go buy fancy materials. Once you add up the cost of those, you might as well buy a Drop Spindle! As you can see the hole already drilled into the coconut was too big for the dowel. [EDITED!]
So I did the next best thing. I took two of those plastic disks inside of soda bottles. Pry the closed picture hook open. I used a couple pairs of pliers and then simply screw the hook into the end of the dowel. Here's where things started changing. I found that a chopstick fit the hole better AND the size of the hook, so I switched my dowel for a chopstick!

After you've attached the hook, take your plastic disks, and cut tiny 'X' holes in center of them. Take the first one and poke the end of the chopstick into it. Slide it up until its placed where you want the [coconut] to be. Hot glue all over the disk, and press the coconut into it. Once dry, slide the second disk up, and glue into place.
Now you're ready to begin using it! First find some newspaper. Fold it in half going the longest way, and fold it over again. (so it makes a fourth!). Cut that into strips .5"-1" thick. So you have a giant pile of strips!
Take one strip and begin twisting it, when you have enough twisted, tie the end to the spindle. Continue twisting until it's long enough to wrap around the hook. Now your ready! Simply 'spin' the spindle against your leg while holding the OTHER end of the newspaper in your hand, and 'drop' the spindle. It will twist the paper when you let go!
For an AMAZING tutorial on it check out Lark Crafts!

Total cost (for me) $0 [had everything on hand!]
Have a question? Let me know! I'd be happy to answer it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Inspiration!

Sitting at home, bored and uninspired? How about recreating some of the beautiful [ahem. EXPENSIVE.] things you've been drooling over!

Every Sunday I will compile a list of tutorials based on inspiration pieces from popular stores! Maybe you've seen some of them, maybe not. Have a great inspiration tutorial you want to share? Email it to me to be featured!

First we have this beautiful; Ribbon and Pearl Necklace. 
 (Picture from Charlotte Russe)
There's one at Barneys for $790
Or a homemade version for FREE at Oh So Crafty

Next is this amazing; Accordian Strand Necklace
(Picture from Shopstyle)
Or a homemade version for less than $5 (depending on your material stash!)

And last but not least; the infamous Rhinestone and Satin Bib Necklace
(Picture from Yoox)
Or make your own version at Love Stitched!

Congrats to my first ever Sunday Inspiration Features! If you've been featured, grab a button!

Featured? Grab a button!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mail Organizer Tutorial!

This week has been soooo messed up! I couldn't post this on Tuesday because we had no power, and then I was out of town for the next few days! So a little late, but here is the Mail Organizer tutorial!

I'm sure I'm not the only one with piles of mail sitting in various positions throughout the [house]. I needed to be [semi] organized. Important mail HERE. Other mail HERE. Simple right? Well desk filing systems were out of the question, I don't have 3 inches of flat space ANYWHERE. The only way I could go, was up.

I spent a half a day surfing for inspiration. And the rest of it scrounging through boxes looking for something I could use. And thus I found this:

[AKA UGLY old frame, note its falling apart and lacking glass]
The first step is to lightly sand it, it has some weird varnish on it (not to mention its the fake wood laminate stuff) and you want it to soak in the paint. Then using new nails and wood glue, I put the frame back together. Then I took off the existing hook (since it was hung for a vertical picture) and reattached it to the side (because I wanted it to hang horizontal).
Paint (I chose white to match the room it was going in) + Frame + Hooks=Awesome. (The frame will need multiple coats and lots of drying time in between)

While that's drying, lets start on the inside. First measure the opening of the frame and cut a piece of cardboard or mat board**slightly** smaller. I used spray photomount to cover it with a piece of scrapbook paper. You could also use fabric instead!

Using the rest of the cardboard/mat board, I cut it down to make two pieces of identical size (specifically 3.5"x9", but it depends on your frame) You can eyeball it to see what sizes would look best in your frame. I spray mounted these cardboard pieces onto some left over scraps from quarters. (Cover both sizes, leaving about an inch on the bottom of leftover fabric, and on the sides. 

When the pieces are dry you can start assembling. First measure out on the mat board, where you want the files to go. Since my pieces were 3.5" high, I set the top one at about 3" from the bottom so it would be slightly inside the pocket. Using hot glue, I attached the 1" of left over fabric to the board above the line (so the bottom of the piece was laying on the line). The bottom piece will attach on the very bottom of the bigger board, with the 1" of fabric glued all the way around to the back. (See pictures).

Once the pieces are assembled, (and dry!) place it inside of your frame. Carefully pull the files out of the frame until they are where you want them. Cut the fabric down in the back, and glue into place. Close the back of your frame up and attach to the wall!

Now comes the fun part. Decorating! I haven't decided what I want to do with mine yet, but you could attach ribbon, or frames or buttons to label which section is for which.

Total cost (for me) $0 [had everything on hand!]
Have a question? Let me know! I'd be happy to answer it!