Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Make the neighbors jealous!

Hi there! Been a few weeks and we're sorry! This silly thing called life keeps getting in the way of making coolio stuffs for you to read about! However, I have told life to sit down and shut up for a few hours while I get this done. It seems that the millisecond Trick or Treating ends, Christmas shows up. Last year, Christmas didn't exist for me since I was due Christmas Eve to have my daughter. This year? Oh my. This year is a WHOLE different story. In our first installment of Christmas-decorating-has-possessed-Katey, we learn how to make some fancy, funky felt wreaths!

Prepare yourself for amazement.

No, really. Do some breathing exercises or something. Ready? Good.

So, I've made a few of these now, and I love each one more. This is the one I showed my friend Jen how to make today.

It hasn't made it to a door yet because she isn't quite ready to let go of fall. I digress... Here's how to do the damn thang!

First, hunt and gather all of your supplies. I find machetes work wonders when gathering in a craft store during a sale. Seriously. Take a weapon.

Or, take this list:
1 foam ring in your chosen wreath size
1 1/2 yards TOTAL of felt...Divide the colors up however you like
Decorations for the theme of the wreath. I use things on sticks from the floral dept.
1 small, pointy object. Think skewer or cuticle scissors.
a measuring tool
a cutting tool
a piece of scrap cardboard or foam board
glue and/or mod podge

Now that you have fought your way through that AND managed to make it out with everything, let's get started! First things first...Trace the outline of the foam circle onto the scrap cardboard, cut it out and glue it to the back of the foam. It just gives it a little bit more strength. While you let that dry, we will move on to the ever so thrilling task of cutting the felt into squares, I have found that 2"x 2" gives a nice fullness without looking too puffy.

Understand that no matter how many you cut and think are enough, you're wrong and will have to cut more before you're done. I really have come to love my rotary cutter since I've started making these. Anywho, here is what you should have now that you are ready to start!

I used Mod Podge because it's here and I keep forgetting to buy tacky glue....and it sticks to EVERYTHING. So, now we are going to take our squares, put the pokey end of whatever it is you're using in the center, fold it over once, then gather it up on the sides to make a little felt covered pointy thing! Confused? Lucky for YOU, I took pictures!

Just like that! Don't worry about getting it perfect because this isn't one of those color inside the lines kind of project...mainly because I don't do those kinds, but whatever...Dip the point in to the glue. Just enough to hold it in the foam. Now, you are going to stab away your frustrations of the day ~ GENTLY! Push it in just far enough that it doesn't come out when you remove your chosen pokey thing. This is what you should have....

Fantastic! Now we are going to do it about 400 more times! This is where it helps to have a little bit of a plan. You can do stripes, color blocks, a solid color, or randomly place colors. This one was a randomly placed color one. I would recommend to do one color at a time if you are doing it randomly. For now, just work on the front of the wreath. We will get to the sides in a moment. I SAID WE WILL DO IT IN A MOMENT. Stop being so pushy. I will turn this blog around RIGHT NOW.

Are you going to settle down? Ok. Good. Since you have decided to keep at the task of pushing felt squares into some styrofoam, let's see where we are at.

Great! Now, you don't want to crowd them together too much. You run the risk of spliting the foam and no one likes broken foam. The foam will also fluff out a bit to cover the white. Now that you have the front all covered just the way you want it, NOW we will move to the outside of the foam. Fill it in the same way you did the front. Here's what you should have after another 300 stabs with your pokey thingie.

Now, we will move on and do the same to the inside. Only 200 more pokes!! You can do it! ...There's a joke in here somewhere...So, now you should have an AWESOME looking wreath!

Now we get to decorate it! I am really digging the cheap glitter floral decorations that Joanns Fabric is carrying for Christmas. They are funky and you can really make this wreath pop! For this one, we went with a simple spiral and a snowflake. All you have to do is trim the metal post its on, bend it right under the decoration, and stab that baby right into the foam.


This awesomeness is what shall adorn you entrance of your domicile.

You can hang this any way you please using ribbon or a wreath hanger. Seriously, go put this on your door. It's beautiful and different and people will seriously be jealous.

You're welcome!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let's Get This Party "Star-ted"

Sorry about the pun, but I couldn't help myself! This is not a project to start and finish while your child sleeps. Well, unless you have a child that sleeps for several hours in a row. If you do, I am jealous. I have always wanted a Starburst mirror. I just never wanted to pay for one. Hmmm...not a good combination. Fortunately, I like to do things myself, so I decided to try to make one. Here it goes!

First, inspiration. Thank you, Potterybarn...

Now let's get to deuxplicating! Here's the materials list:

  • 1 Wooden Disc (for the body). This can be any size, just make sure you find a mirror to fit in the center! My disc is 6" in diameter

  • Wooden Craft Circles in various sizes. These come mixed in a bag, and I only needed one bag.

  • Assortment of round mirrors. Each bag is size specific. I used 14 small, 27 medium and 14 large.

  • 1 Large Mirror for the body. Mine is 5' in diameter

  • Wooden dowels, 1/8". The number you need will depend on the number of rays you will have. I have 16 long rays and 16 short rays. The long rays are 10" long, the short are 5" long. Multiply the length times the number of each size arms, and that will give you the over all length needed, hence the number of dowels to get. If you're a math person, you'll have no trouble figuring this out. Or just buy some dowels, they were only 9 cents, use what you need, and take the rest back!

  • Wood Stain, any color. I got lucky and found this nice dark brown in the "oops" section for only $1

  • Glue Gun

  • Wood Glue

  • Picture Claw to hang your finished piece of art

Okay! Time for preparation and assembly. This is what is known as the boring part, or the part you wish you could skip to get to the final product. But this is DYI!!! You have to do this part, so get to it...

1. Cut the dowels iinto the desired lengths. Then stain ALL the wooden pieces: wooden disc for the body, the wooden circles and the dowels. Leave to dry.

2. Draw a "grid" on the back of the body to mark the position of the rays. To get placement, meaure the length around the disc, and divide it by the number of arms. Then make little marks on the back around the circle. Draw lines from one mark to it's coordinating mark on the other side (passing through the center). This will tell you where to drill the holes for the rays. Just to be sure you've done it right, arrange the precut dowels around the body, alternating between long and short. If you have 2 long or short next to each other once you're done, OOPS! There's an error somewhere. Re-do the grid in another color if needed. Make sure this is right before moving onto the next step.

3. Attach the picture claw onto the back of the body. Most of these are tacked into the back. If you don't do it now, you may ruin the piece if you have to do it once it is finished.

4. Using a drill bit, drill holes the size of the dowels around the rim of the body. Don't forget that the placement of the dowels was determined in step 2! Drill the holes in the center of the edge (if your disc is 1/2" deep, then your hole will be 1/4" from the top and bottom of the disc). Wrap a piece of masking tape around the drill bit, 1/4" from the end of the bit. Once you've drilled into the edge until the tape touches the disc's body, you know you've gone the same depth all the way around! This will keep your arms the same length!!

5. Arrange a pattern that you like along the dowels. Start with the larger size on one end, and then use the medium then the small as you get towards the other end. Once you get them arranged, hot glue the wooden discs and mirrors on the dowels. Alternate mirrors and dowels for a unique touch. Get all your dowels done, then go to the next step.

6. Put some wood glue on a paper plate or in a small holder. It won't take much!! Dip the end of the dowel into the wood glue and then slide into one of the holes you drilled into the body. It doesn't matter where you sart, but then alternate between long and short arms.

7. Lay the piece down and allow the glue to set.

Finally, hang that bad boy on your wall and make your friends jealous. No, really. DO it.

Now for the cost run down. Afterall, this is about getting THAT look for less. You know, champagne taste on a beer budget. The wooden craft circles, dowels, disc and mirrors were 50% off at Hobby Lobby, due to a sale they were running. I didn't need it, but they often have a printable coupon for 40% off any regularly priced item on their website. The picture claw was something I already had, but you can get them at any hardward store. As mentioned earlier, the stain was only $1. So after supplies, I spent about $10. What a bargain! Of course, that doesn't include my time invested, and as we all moms know, that's priceless!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Embroidery hoop wall art

Welcome to my new rainy day / nap time / super scrap busting project! This is another super easy and quick craft you can do when you just need to see something new on the walls. I am making these for my daughters room because, well, to be honest, there's a lot of bare space up in there. I have all these fat quarters of awesome, fun fabrics that I just keep around because I knew SOMEDAY there's going to be a perfect project for them.

Guess what? This is it.

I found some lovely (i.e. awful) embroidery wall hangings in the hoops at Goodwill for $2 for 7 hoops....much cheaper than buying them new! I know someone, somewhere, wishes I hadn't defaced these pieces of artwork, but what's done is done. Here's a look at a few of the hoops I started with.

Lovely, yes?

So, all while being sad about destroying the lace Cabbage Patch Kid art, I methodically ripped apart the pieces of their once glorious fabric lives. There are no pictures of this part because it wasn't pretty. After cleaning up the evidence from my fabric massacre, I laid out the new fabric that was going to slip in and assume the Cabbage Patch Kids lacey life.

Now, at this point, it was still early enough into nap time that I decided to get all fancy and trace around my hoop. You are more than welcome to do that if it makes you happy, but it really isn't necessary. Just for poops and laughs, I will show you the pictures of it in case you need photographic instructions of how to trace. Ready? Pay attention!

Now, you are going to cut around your fancy circle! Don't cut too close to your traced circle though because you need enough fabric to cover the whole inner hoop.

So now you have your fabric cut out. Good job! CELEBRATE! Now, get ready to buckle down. Here comes the hard part. Lay your inner hoop on your work surface and line up your fabric on top of it.

Got it? Good. Push the outer hoop over the fabric and inner hoop. Make sure the fabric pulls tight and even! Tighten the screw at the top to keep everything nice and secure.

From this point on, I stopped being fancy and just cut out a square to use. It made this go even faster than it already was. After you have all your fabrics put into your hoops, trim the excess fabric from the back.

This is what you should have now...

Hang those bad boys up anywhere you decide they need to go! I will most likely rearrange these before I am totally happy and I can change them whenever I get tired of looking at the same prints! The awesome quilt you see underneath the hoop art was made by our good friend Felicia M.!

Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy project!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nap time project!

Hello world! Welcome to the first this-is-super-cute-but-I'm-way-too-cheap-to-buy-it project! Everyone could use a wipe-off board. I know I walk out of the house every single day forgetting SOMETHING. Seriously, we are here to make your life better. This is where it starts. This is a great project to use that fabric scrap that is just too awesome to get rid of but too small to make anything with. Let's get down to it (because the Creature is still asleep!) and see what we need to do this...

So, you have your dirt cheap frame from the thrift store and your piece of pretty fabric. The only thing you need to make sure of with whatever frame you choose is that it has glass. Marker doesn't wipe off fabric very well. See? Still helping with that better life thing... I digress..

Take the frame apart. Lay the fabric face down and put the frame back on top of it. I'm sure that measuring would be what most people would tell you to do. However, it's nap time and I don't have time for silly measuring. I just cut around the backing and it worked famously!

Now comes the hard part! Put the fabric and the backing back into the frame.

WHEW! Go have a cup of coffee and rest from all that work. No, really. Go. You deserve it. I'll wait. All better? Awesome! This should be what you have to show for the fruits of all your labor.

After all this hard work, I realized I didn't have a stand on the back of my frame so I attached a ribbon to the staples so I can hang this by the front door. I hot glued some ribbon scraps together to make a bow to hide the nail.

And then add a little scrap around the middle to hide the glue.
WOO! Pretty, yes?

Now, either beg a man to do the man-work of hammering a nail into the wall or pull up your big girl panties and do it yourself. Hang that thing up, lady! I put mine right next to the door so I have no reason to forget everything. Positive thinking, right?

Confused about the Sharpie? Good news! Sharpie is easily removed from glass with a scrubbie! Then you won't wipe it off by mistake like you can with a dry erase marker...Not that I've done that and ended up with it on a white shirt. Nope, never happened. Now go make this!