DIY Ornaments & Home for the Holidays pt.4

This is just another one of those, “you already know about this but maybe you forgot and thanks for the reminder” kinda projects.

Hey, I never claimed to be a genius…just helpful.

Pine cone Ornament

 

Get dressed. Go outside. Find this:

Actually, you should find more than one..then take them home…
(even though they are beautiful in their natural habitat.)

then you need some of this…
(spray paint. any kind. I buy this because it’s tiny and cheap.)
Gold, silver, white, whatever…

and

some glue, glitter and some nice ribbon or string.

DRUMROLL PUHLEEASE!

I mean, I know it’s not rocket science but it doesn’t have to be. When these have pretty little lights surrounding them they will look like you snatched ’em right out of a Pottery Barn catalog. As Ina would say, “How easy is that?”

 

 

November 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. Leave a comment.

DIY Ornaments & Home for the Holidays pt.3

One: This one is for kids depending upon supervision and age.

Two: I don’t have great photos because these are particularly difficult to photograph. You are going to have to use your imagination.

Frosted/Etched Ornaments

O.K. Yes. Get some of these


…and some of this. This brand is called Armour Etch and it’s glass etching cream and unless you live in a sketchy neighborhood, you should be able to get it at your local craft store.
Yours will also look better than this as it won’t be 50 years old.
I actually keep this on hand because it’s awesome for personalizing gifts. I like to buy plain wine glasses and use this to personalize them for gifts and such. That way, you can put nicknames or dirty messages or whatever on them.
You’ll also want a paintbrush and maybe also some stickers and gloves are only needed if you have extra sensitive skin.

Paint (with your Armour Etch) incredibly sweet and romantic things on your ornament all by yourself so that your wife goes, “Awwww. Oh my gawd, I love you, you’re so sweet! Let’s make out.”

Or you could use your stickers or stencils or pretty handwriting and do initials and monograms and whatnot. Those little white stickers that you can buy at the office supply place for your holes in your notebook paper…Yeah. Those make great polka dots. Just look around. If you use stickers, say you have a bunch of stars, you’ll be using them to mask the glass so you will end up with a frosty ornament with clear stars. This uses more cream so decide ahead of time what you will prefer to make sure you buy the right size. Also, don’t spread the cream thinly. I recommend painting it on generously.

Then, read the directions and let it sit. It’s only a few minutes or so.

Then you will rinse off the cream and you will have some beautiful fancy ornaments! IF your etching is not as evenly frosted as you would like, you can simply go over it again. Make sure to wash your hands and brushes as well.

November 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. 2 comments.

DIY Ornaments & Home for the Holidays pt.2

Glittery Ornaments

I am a cliché’ of a woman in one way; I like things that sparkle.
I take that back.
I LOVE things that sparkle.

 

I especially love sparkly things on Christmas trees surrounded by lights. Here’s to things that glitter and shine.

 

Get some of these again…

and some spray glue and some glitter…

and some regular glue.
No, you don’t have to give Martha your money.
This seemed just like Elmer’s to me.

And maybe some paintbrushes if you want.

Draw some designs with your glue on the outside…
(You could write names, dates, messages or even use stencils!)

Sprinkle and set aside to dry.

OR…

Spray the inside of your ornament with the spray glue…

Errr…That’s a little too much.
If you make a whoopsie, just drop a little bit of water in there.
You’ll swoosh it around and then pour out the excess.
This just thins out your glue a bit.
It will still work.

Pour in some glitter. Tape over the hole and shake. Pour out the excess glitter.

And now you have:

For the ones you set aside, allow those to dry for a day and then take them outside and brush off the excess glitter. I used a soft bristled paintbrush and it worked really well. It’s easy to drop them when you do this so I suggest sticking a finger into the hole at the top as opposed to holding it.

Stay tuned! There’s more!

 

November 14, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. 1 comment.

DIY Ornaments & Home for the Holidays pt.1

So this year is going to be quite different for RPK and I. Not only are we having turkey day alone together but we are doing the same for Christmas as well. Last T-day, I cooked for 6 people and the one before that, I cooked for just he and I. That was our first Thanksgiving together in our own home. We have also usually traveled to North Carolina for Christmas minus last year. Our trip was canceled at the last minute due to the pilots being scared to land in Providence (where we were) because the weather was so crazy. We ended up having an impromptu Christmas in our own place. This meant buying one of the last packages of tiny ornaments they had at Michael’s and placing beads on hooks as opposed to ornaments and using a rosemary bush as our tree. (How ’bout that pile of presents, ‘eh?)
Oh yeah. We totally used socks for our stockings too. They looked completely ridiculous.

Of course, it was a beautiful thing. But as I said, this year is different. This year we will have a tree. A real one. In our house.  With decorations and real ornaments. And real stockings. In a city that we will live in for a very long time. However, you can’t just go out and buy all the ornaments you want right away.
(Or maybe you can. What do I know? You very well could be a millionaire.)
These are things that must be gifted and collected over time. But you don’t want your first tree looking naked or repetitive either so here are some ideas for making some of your own ornaments. They are inexpensive and since you made them, you can choose when and if they should get scrapped and replaced with a nicer one down the road.
This was also a really nice craft date for me and RPK. I’m going to really love seeing the ornaments, year after year, we made together for our last Christmas alone, before we have this wee one.

Here are some ideas for those super neat blank and plain ornaments. You can find them at all the craft stores now a days. They come in 4 or five different sizes. They don’t come with ideas on how to make them pretty though and staring at all those DIY glass balls can get kind of intimidating. You can also totally do this with your kids. I think it’s nice to let them make “real” ornaments instead of just things made out of popsicle sticks. If you are uncomfortable with glass, they are also selling ornaments exactly like these but plastic. No one will ever know the difference.

For marbled ornaments:

Go get some of these guys.

and get some of this. It doesn't have to be this brand. Just any old cheap acrylic paint will do. It MUST be acrylic though. These were 2 for a dollar. I bought 4. I chose red and white but obviously there are many more options. Some metallics might be pretty too!

Squeeze some of your paint into the ornament. There's not really a right or wrong way. You can pool the colors on top of each other at the bottom or pour it onto the sides. Remember, it would take a LOT of agitation to actually mix your colors into pink so don't be afraid!

Concentrate very hard.

Make sure you have enough paint in there. Put a piece of tape over the top.

Shake vigorously! The more you shake, the more marbled it will get. If you shake waaaaay too much, it will just mix and turn pink.

(Oops, I forgot to mention an old egg carton is good to have around. I accidentally threw mine out.) When you've achieved the desired look, turn upside down and pour the super excess paint out. Then sit them upright on a clean surface. Since I forgot my egg carton, we used the clear plastic top to rest them in after dumping the paint.

Get creative! RPK used a toothpick to swirl his paint around and got a beautiful super marbled look:

You may have to work the paint around the ornament slowly depending upon the effect you want.

OR you can this effect by NOT shaking and just slowly swirling the paint around.

O.K. The hard part is letting them dry. They will take a week, sometimes even two or three, depending on how much paint is still in them. Leave the caps off and just let them sit upright for that time. After a week, stick a toothpick into the bottom of one to see if it’s totally dry or not. This will be the thickest part of the paint accumulation and when that’s dry, you can put the tops on.

 

 


 

November 14, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff, Me and Mine. 9 comments.

Freezer Paper to the Rescue!

Now it’s o.k. to be a slob or keep your kid’s favorite t-shirt even though it has a mustard stain on it. An easy way to cover a stain or make a boring shirt not so boring is to stencil it. I have a bad habit of buying clothes because I like the material and not necessarily the way it looks so I do this a lot. I also do this when I’m totally bored with everything I own but can’t afford to go shopping! This is how to get a good, crisp stencil and is easier and cheaper than contact paper. This works so well because it has a very light coat of plastic which helps it adhere to your fabric. It then peels right off with no trace.

You will need:

  • an exact-o knife
  • a design (printed out or drawn on paper)
  • your fabric
  • a cutting board
  • freezer paper (not wax paper but you can find it NEAR the wax paper)
  • a Sharpie
  • an iron
  • either spray paint for apparel (AKA “silkscreen in a can”) or regular spray paint works (I promise!)
  • scrap pieces of paper

First, lay a piece of your freezer paper on top of your design “waxy/shiny” side down, and trace on the dull side with your Sharpie. Next, put the freezer paper on a good cutting surface and cut out your image with the razor.

Be sure to save any small pieces you may need to block any paint such as:

Set your iron to cotton with NO steam. Place your main stencil on your fabric (leaving aside any small blocking pieces) where you want the image. Now press the freezer paper with your iron for about 10-15 seconds all the while, making sure to press all corners and edges well and moving the iron smoothly. If you have any smaller pieces, you can add them easier now and iron over each one to make it stick.

If there is fabric behind your stencil (such as a t-shirt) be sure to put scrap papers inside so the paint does not bleed through to the back.

Tape scrap papers over the rest of your fabric being careful to overlap them well.

In a work room or outside, hold your can 8-10 inches from your stencil and spray. IF YOU ARE USING REGULAR SPRAY PAINT, be sure to begin with light coatings. The thicker this paint is, the stiffer your fabric will be because it is enamel. I usually do light coats and my shirts are never stiff and have that “worn” look. The one below is very black because I used the apparel paint.

Let your fabric and stencil dry. Peel off your freezer paper and any plastic that helped it stick will come off with it. You don’t even have to wash it afterward! Use tweezers for small pieces.

♥VOILA!♥

A crisp image to hide any sloppiness!

February 16, 2010. Tags: , , , . Art and Neat stuff. 5 comments.

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