Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tutorial: Paper Embellished Clothes Pins

Have you missed me?! Well, I've missed you. I enjoyed my little Memorial Day hiatus but I've got a bunch of projects I've been working on that I can't wait to share with you. If there is one thing I'm thankful for, it's that you guys can't see my house right now! My kitchen table is covered with enamel paint and twine (intrigued?!), our guest bedroom in hundreds of tiny quilting squares, and my desk in a thousand slivers of paper. The paper, as you may have guessed, is for these super cute clothes pins!

In my quest to find some fun and interesting ways to display some of the numerous photos I have yet to frame and put on the walls, I took notice of a couple adorned clothes pins that I saw somewhere and a little light bulb went off. I thought it would be really cute to extend some some ribbon or twine along the wall and use clothes pins to fasten pictures to it. I just happened to have a bunch of mini clothes pins left over from our wedding, so I dug them out and used some of the scrap paper pieces I've been saving. I think they turned out great and wanted to share this super simple tutorial with you.

How to Make

Materials Needed 
Small paint brush 
Scraps of patterned paper
Xacto Knife

1) Measure out the width of your clothes pins and using your ruler and your Xacto knife, cut out strips from the different papers.
2) To get the proper length, place a strip on the table with the clothes pin over top of it. Slice the strip of paper where the clothes pin ends.
3) Using the paint brush, brush on a bit of Mod Podge on one flat side of the clothes pin.
4) Place the paper strip on the glued section and smooth out.
5) Repeat on other side if desired.
6) Wait until it dries and you're ready to use them!

Notes: Feel free to go wild decorating these. Hot glue buttons, ribbon, magnets, etc to them. The sky's the limit so be creative!!

Where to Buy

I love Etsy. Where else can you find a site that connects you with such creative and talented people?! It took me about 5 seconds to locate this wonderful seller who happens to have, among other things, a great selection of pretty little embellished clothes pin sets. TrinkArts is based in Australia but don't let that scare you, US shipping is only $1 more than our Aussie friends have to pay! 

Here's a nice little collage of some of her stuff:

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tutorial: Business Card Envelopes

So, you may remember my recent tutorial on mini envelop gift tags. Weren't they cute?! I fell so in love with those tiny little envelopes that I couldn't stop making them! A couple weeks later, and about 50 mini envelopes later, I started thinking of other things I could make envelopes for. The list was pretty long actually, but the one I thought I'd make first was an envelope for my new business cards, which I'm also in love with. Check them out!

Deciding upon my project, I then hopped on the internet and searched for a good template. I searched, and searched and searched but couldn't find anything to tuck these suckers in! I was baffled at how this was possible. So instead of crying about it I upped my crafty meter and made my own! I have happily included the PDF'd template in the instructions below!

How to Make

Materials Needed:8" x 11" Patterned Paper (I used Digital Paper!)
Glue Stick
Hot Glue Gun
Scoring Tool

1) If you're using digital paper, you'll want to print the patterns out you want first. If you're using scrapbooking paper, skip this step.
2) Load the patterned paper so that it'll print on the wrong side.
3) Print the business card template on the wrong side of the paper.
4) Cut out forms and fold and glue as per instructions on the template.
5) Decorate! Or don't. Either way they'll be super cute.
6) Stuff with your business cards and share!!

Score and fold template
Glue Edges and Seal

Adorn back with button and thread
for closure.

Adorn Envelope!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tutorial: D.I.Y. Mason Jar Vellum Luminary

Looking for a quick and beautiful tutorial? I have the perfect project for you! All you need is a printer, a piece of vellum, a mason jar and a favorite photo. End result?

For our wedding we took engagement pictures of the two of us holding numbers 1 through 15. We printed up a bunch of each, framed one of each number and used them as table numbers. Then we labeled envelops with each of our guests names on them and stuck in the photo that belonged to the table they were assigned to. I see these luminaries being used instead of the framed picture on the tables! How cute would that be?!

How to Make:

Materials Needed:
Mason Jar

1) Pick out your favorite Picture. 
2) Print to the desired size. I printed a 5x7 for my quart sized jar
3) Cut out picture
4) Drop in the mason jar.
5) Drop in the candle, light, and enjoy!!

Where to Buy:
It didn't take me long to find a number of great options for purchasing vellum luminaries. Here are a few of my favorites!

ThePaperyNook originally drew my attention because of the fun fonts she used in her luminaries, turns out she also makes my other favorite escort card theme, river rocks! If you're planning a wedding, you must check out her store! 

Poppy Seed Station incorporates beautiful colors and other images such as flowers and trees into her luminaries. Check out her wonderful variety and browse her wide selection!

KLRDesigns creates luminaries with a wonderful flurry of words, symbols and patterns. You're guarenteed to love them!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

D.I.Y. Photo Feature!!

I recently made a birthday banner for my cousin Ella's first birthday and was completely blown away when her mom sent me this picture of Ella and my birthday banner! How cute is this?!

I feel so honored to be part of Ella's special day and would like to send a special thank you to Emily (Ella's Mommy) for being such a terrific supporter of the blog and of all my little "crafts" :)

For the D.I.Y. tutorial on how I made this banner, click here!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tutorial: Tissue Paper Flowers

You thought I was done with tissue paper tutorials? No way! I couldn't not share a tutorial on how to make tissue paper flowers! Have you seen some of the beautiful bouquets made with tissue paper flowers?

Of course, bouquets are the first thing I think of when I envision loads of delicate and pretty tissue paper flowers, but there are plenty of things you can do with them. Take a look at this beautiful centerpiece designed by the talented Hilary over at Lovely and Gracious.

How pretty is that?! Well, you'll be happy to know that she shared the entire tutorial on how to duplicate this beautiful piece of art here. She did such a great job with photographing the process, I thought I'd share some of the photo documented steps she gave on how to create each of the flowers. 

A huge "Thank You" to Hilary, for her amazing creativity and for sharing it with the crafting world at large!! 

I don't know about you, but I couldn't wait to get started! Based on Hilary's tutorial I decided to try her simple carnation tutorial. Here's my first try (I colored the edges with a marker before I unfolded the paper, it was a pretty little touch):

So easy! Why don't you guys try and email me pics of your results? I'll post the submissions and we can admire each others work:)

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Friday, May 20, 2011

{Do It Like a Pro} Pom-Poms!

As a special treat for all of you today, I reached out to one of the most successful pom makers on Etsy to see if she had any secrets of success to creating great Poms. I wasn't disappointed with her response, and you won't be either! Kirsten from PomLove graciously responded with the following:

My trick would be "don't skimp on paper"... :) A lot of pom-making tutorials out there give the wrong instructions. 

Try to buy good quality tissue paper - the thicker the better - preferable 20x30". For large poms, use 12 sheets - no less, otherwise your pom will not look very full. 

When folding accordion-style, make the folds no thinner than 2.5 inches - this will make your petals look bigger and more flower-like - adding to the overall fullness of the pom.

Who knew?! I must have read about 16 different tutorials and none of them mentioned any of these great tips! Even Martha Stewart called for only 8 sheets and 1.5" folds! A great big "Thank You!" to Kirsten for sharing these great secrets with us; they will for sure take my pom creations to a whole new level!

Should you be a lover of poms, but not a maker of poms check out PomLove's shop! Her wonderful store is just FULL of poms in all sorts of colors and sizes!

Happy Pom Making!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tutorial: DIY Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

If you've seen a wedding website in the past year or so, you've probably seen these tissue paper Pom-Poms. They're easy and inexpensive to make, colorful and fun! I decided the other day while making my Tissue Paper Mini Wreath Centerpiece that I couldn't in good conscience share tissue paper tutorials without covering the most popular of them all, so here you go!

Generally, when it comes to crafts, I'm all for redesigning the proverbial wheel (as long as it includes more ruffles, pretty colors, adding some glitter, etc) but in this case, Martha Stewart's pics were better than my own, so I'm sharing her tutorial instead of creating one of my own. Here's how to create a tissue paper pom-pom.

1) Stack eight 20-by-30-inch sheets of tissue. Make 1 1/2-inch-wide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.

2) Fold an 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, and slip over center of folded tissue; twist. With scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.

3) Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

4) Bend wire into a loop to fit around napkin, and twist end around loop to secure

Just "Don't!": TROHV

There is no denying that I look at the majority of things and think "I could make that," but, every once in awhile, us crafters have to reluctantly toss aside that instinct to D.I.Y. and just Don't!. This is actually how the D.I.Y. or Don't! concept came to life! While planning my wedding and creating a loooong list of all the stuff I wanted to create for the wedding, there came a point when I realized it wasn't all possible and I needed to pick. But how do you decide what personal touches you want to leave out? I couldn't! So, I became best friends with Etsy and realized that I Don't! have to do everything myself but that I could rely on others in the crafting community to chip in. I even realized that often times they were even better at it than I would have been!

This new blog series "Just Don't!" is an opportunity for me to share with you vendors I've come across that make it worth turning off that urge to D.I.Y. The truth is, sometimes awesomeness doesn't need to be recreated, it can just be enjoyed... and purchased!

My first featured vendor is TROHV. It's probably not the best vendor to start out with because they don't have their online store set up yet and they're local to me, not the majority of you, but they are what inspired the series, so I figure it only fair. This home store opened up just a couple miles from me in the middle of Takoma Park, MD. I've been peering through their window for weeks now (my attention first caught by the plethora of paper accordion circles in yellow and gray hanging in their window) and I'm swooning over their style.

TROHV makes my crafting and nesting urges go into overdrive! With a bunch on locally crafted items scattered in with new and vintage goods, it's like Restoration Hardware meets Flea Market/Craft Fair. I LOVE IT! This location is their second, the first having opened in Baltimore, MD. I urge you to visit their site, and keep an eye out for their online shop because it's guaranteed to be amazing!! Here's a sample of their inventory:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tutorial: Tissue Paper Mini Wreath Centerpiece

Did you know that tissue paper has more uses than WD-40? Me neither, until recently. You think I'm lying? You've obviously never crafted with it! I can't get enough of the stuff! In the 2 weeks since I picked up a package at my local craft store, I've just been cutting, folding, gluing and binding my little heart out and about a hundred more ideas popped into my head while doing it. I may write a book titled "TP Is Not Just for A*s Holes Anymore!" What do you think? It's a work in progress.

Anywho, speaking of TP, first project I want to share with you was made from TP rolls, tissue paper, tape and hot glue. And, it's awesome. Don't believe me? Take a look at this:

I wish I had a taller candle for display, but all I had was a votive.

How to Make:

Materials Needed:
2 toilet paper rolls
Masking tape (duct tape and painters tape also work)
4 sheets 20x30 tissue paper
1 AAA Battery (optional)
Hot Glue
Scissors or Xacto knife for cutting paper

1) Cut toilet paper rolls into rings 1.5" thick.
2) Tape rings together so that they form a wreath (see picture).
3) Tape over all gaps between cardboard.
4) Use scissors or Xacto knife to cut paper into 3"x4" squares. I used 2 sheets each of two different colors.
5) Plug in the hot glue gun.
6) Take 1 cut piece of tissue paper, put the bottom of the battery into the middle of the tissue paper and wrap the edges up around it (see picture). Put a drop of the hot glue on the tissue paper that is over the flat bottom part of the battery.
7) Holding onto the battery push the glued section of the tissue paper to the cardboard wreath. Remove battery.
8) Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you've covered the all visible portions of the cardboard.
9) Stick a candle or votive in the center and enjoy!

*Note: If you're worried about the heat from the candle setting the tissue paper on fire, use a battery operated tea light instead!

Where to Buy
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a seller of toilet paper roll centerpieces (weird huh?) and there doesn't appear to be anyone selling tissue paper crafts that aren't Pom related but if you are truly disappointed about this, message me and I can make you some (provided I can acquire enough toilet paper rolls ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

{Do It Like a Pro Tip} Painting Rugs

There was quite a bit of interest expressed for the painted rug tutorial I posted the other day, which I think is great because it was an awesome project! It got me thinking. The little wheels started turning and the bulbs flickered on and off and in the end, I had this idea for a new blog series entitled "Do It Like A Pro." The goal for the series would be to reach out to experienced crafters (those who've demonstrated themselves good enough to actually sell something) and ask them to provide a tip or a "secret of the trade" for those of us who like to absorb random best practices. As a test I reached out to the seller I featured in the painted rug post, RumbleInc, and asked if she would be willing to be the first to participate. She agreed!

Janet Rumble shared the following:

My trick of the trade in designing floorcloths is to skip the gesso.

Typically, floorcloth designers prime a heavyweight canvas with one or two coats of artist's gesso before applying base coats of paint. As I understand it, the gesso is meant to soak into and bind the fabric, which creates a smoother surface that allows paints and brushes to move along with ease.

This is all well and good for a painted canvas you do not walk upon. However, floorcloths must stand up to a great deal of wear and tear, and I find that it helps to skip the gesso and go right to painting the base coats. This way, the background color is drawn into the fabric—instead of sitting on top of the gesso—and this makes my floorcloths more resistant to cracks and chips.

How awesome is that?! What a great tip! Janet is an experienced designer and architect so if you have any follow up questions or are in the market for a custom rug, feel free to reach out to her on her Etsy store. Here are a couple examples of her great work:

Thank you Janet for sharing that "Do It Like A Pro" tip with us!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Painted Garden Sign

In my last post I mentioned that I was working on a few "painted projects". Today I finished the second of the projects and I'm pretty happy with the results! After planting our container garden last weekend I realized that the wall space above it looked really blank and boring. I decided to make a sign with some of the leftover paint we had lying around. Here's how it turned out!

I usually follow each project with a tutorial, but I won't assume that you guys don't know how to paint a piece of wood:) I will share a couple of the details though. Instead of going out and getting wood and cutting it down to size, I used an unpainted shelf from Ikea. It cost $3. I primed and painted it white, then added the design. I drew the lettering freehand (as you can probably tell) in pencil first, and then went over it with paint. To hang the sign, I used two screws in the top and wrapped wire around the screws at the desired length. That's it! I was an easy and fun afternoon project!

Where to Buy
If you'd like a family sign of your own, but aren't in the mood to drag out all the paints, let Bosheree handle your signage needs. Not only do they have a wide array of custom "family decor," it's of a much better quality and design than my little sign:)

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tutorial: DIY Painted Rug

It's been a few days since I've posted anything, but I assure you it's because I've been busy busy! Starting this blog has really pushed me to look beyond the quilting and fabric and find other types of mediums and crafts. Last weekend I started a bunch of projects involving paint.

First off, I may be crafty, but I'm not and artist. It's pitiful what I'm capable of with a paintbrush, but instead of being discouraged by this limitation, I decided to push my boundaries. The first paint oriented project that I've completed is my welcome mat.

I noticed one day that everyone in the hall of our condo building had a welcome mat, while our door remained empty of such a greeting. I didn't want to be perceived as unwelcoming, so the next time we were out at Target I picked one up. I must have been in a festive mood because without much foresight, I picked up a Christmas themed mat with a jolly snowman. Three months later, I was in the market for another mat.

I could have purchased one and stored the other one for next year, but I already have too much in storage, and I didn't really want to go back on the welcome mat hunt. I figured I could craft out of the situation. My first thought was paint, but didn't know if it was possible to successfully paint a rug. A quick Google search and was surprised to see that I was far from alone in my quest to paint a rug. Here are a couple of other examples of painted rugs:

Each of the above sites provided some great tutorials and instruction on how to paint my rug, but despite the recommendation of taping and stenciling, I went commando. Well, maybe "Free hand" would be more appropriate. Take a peak at the before and after!

Since the hubs and I just recently painted our condo, I had lots of leftover paint. I used the dining room and living room accent colors to tie the rug to the apartment. It may not be artistic, but I'm pretty happy with the results! If you've got a rug you're looking to paint, here's how I did it:

Materials Needed:
Paint (I used eggshell finish wall paint)
Paint brushes in a couple different sizes
drop cloth
Painters tape (optional)

1) Place your mat over the drop cloth. If you have pets, I recommend painting your rug where they can't walk all over it during the drying process. I unfortunately didn't have this luxury since my cat gets all the elevated places and the dog the floor. But, the up side is that I now have their footprints eternally preserved all over my  UN painted rug:)

2) Coat the rug with a layer of primer and let dry overnight.

3) Coat again with another layer of primer. My rug took two coats of primer and a coat of paint to cover the pattern underneath. The fabric just soaks up the moisture of the paint, which I guess is what a welcome should do.

4) Paint your top coat and let dry.

5) Tape up the rug in the desired pattern (optional)

6) Paint away!

7) Let dry completely and set out!

Where to Buy:
There are a number of sellers out there that make rugs of varying styles, but I tend to be drawn to bright colors and simple patterns that are geometric in nature. I was drawn to RumbleInc immediately. Their shop has painted rugs in small and medium sizes, so you can pick what's appropriate for the space you intend it for. Added bonus? They're local! Talk about a small world! It wasn't until after I'd written this that I noticed they are based out of Takoma Park, MD, just like me! I love keeping it local :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Free Digital Paper Promotional Code!!

Who said reading my post wouldn't pay off? If my quick wit, frequent use of sarcasm and overuse of exclamation points aren't enough to keep you coming back, how about some FREE digital paper? MooandPuppy has generously offered to extend an exclusive promotion for all DIYOD readers! From the time her current promotion ends (after the first 25 sales) the end of time (or until her shop closes) MooandPuppy has offered readers a Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion to all my readers. That's right, NO EXPIRATION DATE!!

Here's what you need to do:
1) Visit my site and "Follow" my page. Actually, this step isn't necessary to take advantage of the promotion, but it would make me happy :)
2) Link to MooandPuppy's shop.
3) Pick out two digital paper packs that you like and add ONE to your cart, making note of what the other one is named.
4) In the notes section during checkout, let Jodi know which FREE paper pack you want, and the promotional code DIYORDONT.
5) Pass on the promotion to ALL your friends, and then return often to stock up on her latest designs.

How cool is that?! A great big thank you to Jodi of MooandPuppy for her generosity, and awesome digital papers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Paper. DIGITAL Paper!?!

This is a "Quote Tag" I made with "digital" paper. How awesome is that?!
Last week I shared with you all my very first "paper project." My birthday banner was the beginning of what I fear will be a very long and healthy relationship with the paper medium. I'm super excited about exploring this mostly unknown world, and have spent the past week or so digging around the web for paper inspiration.

I'll be honest with you, I'm not really interested in the whole "scrapbooking" thing. I mean, I like to print a picture here and there, but I haven't looked at the photo albums I currently own in years, so I can't see myself dedicating a whole lot of time to making them any prettier. However, I LOVE paper, and I empathize with the general love for crafting so I "get it." That being said, I'm AMAZED at this huge world of Scrapbooking that has developed and all the cool toys you guys have! You Paper Peeps have machines called Cricuts, which cut paper in all sorts of shapes (provided you pay through the nose for the necessary software), hardware attachments like the Gypsy that allow you to scrapbook without picking up a piece of paper, website upon website of clipart, paper punches, markers, various embellishments, etc. But perhaps my favorite find, the discovery that had me thinking perhaps I'd lost my ever-crafting mind, was digital paper. Digital. Paper. What?! Possibly the best kept secret EVER!

Apparently the graphic and digitally inclined have decided that it's much more efficient, earth friendly, and cost effective to create paper graphics as digital images and let people print them off from their own printer. Over and over and over again. BRILLIANT!! I just wish someone had told me about this a week ago before I managed to acquire a small library (of Congress) full of pretty papers :) Here's what I've learned so far.

How to Make
1) Print on a good card stock, or matted photo paper.
2) It appears any photo editing software will print these things. I use Picasa and it works awesome.
That's it...Give me a break. I didn't say I'd learned much. 
As for creating digital papers, I have no idea. Yet. But there are a bunch of great sites out there claiming that they can teach me how. One of these sites is Scrapgirls.com. I've also read a couple things on scrapbooking.lovetoknowhow.com. I'm a long way off from taking the time to develop my own papers, so in the mean time, I'm going to take advantage of some of the amazing designers I've come across!

Where to Buy
So far, my favorites include:

A very large inventory of beautiful papers, as well as an entire website full of helpful information. 
Note that this shop is mostly just for personal use.

I couldn't love her designs any more than I already do. Her style is clean, fresh and fun with crisp vibrant colors. I have about 6 of her products in my cart already, and they're buy 2 get 1 free!! Added bonus (as if that wasn't enough) most of her items are for personal and corporate use!!

This new Etsy seller has some great designs! Fun patterns, great colors, and a GREAT promotion going on for the first 25 customers. Hurry though, only 5 deals left! (There were 6, but I fixed that:)

I'll be sure to keep you guys up to speed on my paper adventures, but in the mean time, would you guys mind helping me along? If there are any other awesome details (like digital paper for example) that I just have to know, please share!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tutorial: Ribbon Embellished Kraft Paper Runner

When I was planning the table presentation for our wedding last year, I instantly fell in love with the thought of crisp white tablecloths and burlap table runners. At the time there weren't many, if any, vendors selling burlap table runners, so I figured I'd make them. Soon after that thought crossed my mind, I realized that I didn't have nearly enough time to make 15 table runners. My next thought was that I'd just cut the burlap lengthwise and leave it looking extra rustic (it was in a barn after all) but a quick look at burlap prices and I was rethinking the whole idea. We tried really hard to keep all of our food and decorations within the realm of recyclable, sustainable, organic etc. and while searching for the bamboo plates we used, I found rolls of recycled kraft paper for sale. Bingo! A little idea light went off and I realized that the kraft paper would provide a similar look as the burlap (granted without the texture), it was recyclable, and there was no need for ironing or folding on the day of. In the end, I think it was one of my better decisions.

Our Table Set-Up!
My love for these paper table runners was renewed when I found this Martha Stewart Edger Threader while searching for fun paper punches. The minute I saw it, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I broke out the left over roll of kraft paper from the wedding, and went to work. Here's the tutorial!

How to Make:

Materials Needed:
Kraft paper, 12" - 18" wide, cut 2 feet longer than the length of your table
1/4" ribbon (you'll need about 2.25 times the length of your paper)
Scotch Tape
1. Cut the paper to your desired length. Hint: Most tables at rental venues use 6' tables (requiring an 8' runner)
2. Using the paper punch, punch holes along both sides of the paper.
3. Without cutting the ribbon, thread it through the punches. When you get to the end, pull the ribbon through about an inch past the paper. When you cut the ribbon on the other side, also leave about an inch from the edge of the paper.
4. Repeat ribbon threading on the other side.
5. Tape the ribbon down on the underside of the runner.
6. Throw it over your table and enjoy!
Note: I like the basic look, but feel free to stamp, draw, stencil, etc until you're heart's content and you've make it uniquely yours!


Where to Buy:
To my knowledge, currently there's only one place to buy these fantastic runners from. Me! Though I'm sure I'll have competitors soon enough:) If you'd like to order some runners for your next event, you may access my diyordont etsy page here.

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