Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Egg Wreath

After seeing the adorable Easter Egg Wreath all over Pinterest I decided I wanted to make one. I had been talking to my mom about it and she decided she wanted to make one too. She called me up one day and asked if I wanted her to pick up the eggs and grass for it and she brought them over a few days later.
I had a LOT of fun making this wreath. The circle for the back was a bit harder to cut than anticipated, but not bad.

This is the blog that I used as a reference for making the wreath: Kennedy Klan News

First off I want to say that I very loosely followed the directions, but this is such a simple project you don't really need them.


Cardboard and something to cut it with
a few dozen medium sized plastic eggs
1 package large plastic eggs
1 package small plastic eggs (optional)
plastic easter basket grass
small piece of ribbon (5-6 inches) for hanging the wreath
spring-ish wire ribbon
hot glue

First cut a circle out of the cardboard. My cardboard backing is 18" in diameter rather than 12" like in the example. It doesn't have to be perfect as no one will really see the back.

You'll need to leave an area of about 3-4 inches where the ribbon will go. Mark out this area so you don't forget and accidentally put eggs around the whole thing. You'll also want to go ahead and tie your hanging ribbon around the cardboard and glue it down making sure it is secure for hanging your wreath.

Next, glue the medium eggs onto the cardboard. I placed them "butt to butt" and went around the wreath with two circles. Don't worry about being able to see the cardboard in between. You'll go back and fill the holes with easter grass.

Speaking of easter grass, after you finish gluing the medium sized eggs to the cardboard, start filling in the open spaces between the eggs with easter grass. I put a big hunk of hot glue down in between and on the sides of the eggs and used the wrong end of a colored pencil to stuff grass down in between them (colored pencil makes sure you avoid unnecessary hot glue blisters!). I also used the same colored pencil technique to place easter grass on the outside edges of the eggs where you could see card board sticking out.

Next, you'll want to decide how many eggs you want for your top layer. I used the large eggs and a couple small eggs for my top layer. I recommend doing a dry fit before you start hot gluing them down.

The last step is to make a pretty bow (or cheat like I did and have your mom make it for you "Thanks Mom!") and glue the bow to the cardboard where you didn't put any eggs. If necessary, fill in any peeking cardboard with more hot glue and easter grass.

There you have it! I think this project took maybe 30 minutes over a couple days (hard to craft with the baby awake!) and I really enjoyed it. I just put it up today and already have gotten complements.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kid's Crafts: Valentine's head piece and "Stained Glass" Heart

I am involved with a Mommy & Me meetup group that meets once a week and does little activities for the kiddos and gives the moms a chance to chat and exchange ideas. Recently, I volunteered to be an Activities Coordinator (fancy title, I know). I help the organizer come up with different games, crafts, and activities for the pre-school aged kids to do to keep them entertained.

We are having our Valentine's party tomorrow, so I spent a couple hours today getting two crafts ready. I'm sick of cutting out hearts! I found both of these ideas on Pinterest, but just looked at the picture for inspiration and didn't actually follow any tutorial.

Valentine's Head Piece

The first craft the kiddos will do is make their Valentine's Day headpiece. As you can see it's very simple, made of paper and pipe cleaners, but I think the kids will enjoy making them and running around wearing them.


   2 strips of white card stock about 1 inch x 11 1/2 inch (the length of the paper)
   2 short pipe cleaners
   2 paper hearts (I made some out of construction paper and some out of scrapbook paper scraps I had)
   scotch tape
   crayons or other coloring tools

First, we will tell the kiddos to create a masterpiece with crayons on the white strips of card stock. This will eventually be the head band, so it might be cute to put their name somewhere on it. After the artwork is complete tape together the two pieces of card stock into a circle that fits the kiddos head.

Next tape the hearts to one end of each pipe cleaner. Tape the other end of the pipe cleaner to the inside of the head band, making sure to evenly space them around whatever side is the "front". Easy!

 "Stained Glass" Heart

 Craft #2 is very easy as well. After I had all of the pieces cut out and to the point where a kiddo would actually be participating, this craft was quick and easy. Cutting out the hearts, measuring and cutting the contact paper to size, and cutting all the tissue paper felt like it took forever, but then I did have to do enough for 15 or so kids.

Materials you will need:

   2 paper hearts (I used card stock. You could use any type of paper though)
   Small squares of tissue paper in whatever colors you want to use (I used light pink, dark pink, and red)
   2 pieces of contact paper just big enough to cover your paper hearts
   a hole punch
   a piece of ribbon or string

First peel off the backing of one of the pieces of contact paper and face sticky side up. Place one of the paper hearts on the contact paper. Make sure that all the edges of the heart are on the contact paper and not hanging off.

Begin randomly placing tissue paper squares inside the perimeter of the heart. I started on one side and worked my way across, but I know the kids will be sticking them where ever and it will look just as good in a random pattern. Try to cover all the contact paper with tissue paper, but if you don't it won't hurt anything.

After you are happy with the tissue paper coverage, take your second heart cut out and place it on top of the first heart with the tissue paper in between. Now peel the backing off of your remaining piece of contact paper and place it sticky side down on top of your heart and smooth out any bubbles. 

Cut off the contact paper that is sticking out around the heart. Use a hole punch to create a hole at the top of your heart and thread a piece of ribbon or string so that you can hang your new "stained glass" heart in a window or you can leave it without a hole and ribbon and just tape it to a window.

You could also use this same process with other shapes for any holiday. I'm thinking a shamrock for St Patty's Day, an Easter egg, a Star for the 4th of July, or just a square or circle for any time of year.

If you like the bag in the background of most of the pictures, feel free to look through the Thirty-One Catalog here.

Update 2/15: We did our crafts with the kids today and they went over pretty well! The kids really enjoyed the stained glass project. They weren't really into the head piece, but they enjoyed coloring the head band. I don't think any of them wore them at all, but we did have some prissy little girls who don't like messing up their hair!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

No Knit Scarf

I made this scarf based on the scarf found on Martha Stewart Craft. You just gotta love Martha... or her people that come up with all the stuff that gets her name put on it. Let me make one thing clear before I get into how I made this scarf: I have never knitted, crocheted, or anything involving yarn (other than maybe those little kits they sell for kids to "knit"). This scarf requires nothing but making lots and lots of knots, and a lot of patience (otherwise you'll end up all tangled)!


On Martha's site they used a much thicker "bulky-weight" yarn, which I honestly like the look of better, but when I went to Joann's to look for yarn I fell in love with a very soft, light-weight yarn. I live in Texas, so there really aren't very many days that you could use a super heavy weight scarf anyway, so the lighter yarn works out in my case. The yarn is actually a really pretty blue, but you wouldn't know it by my picture.

I started by cutting 16 pieces of yarn about 5 feet long each. The yarn that I bought has stretch to it, so I ended up with some pieces longer than others and had to cut them down to match. I couldn't really tell you how long they ended up being by the time I evened them up. After seeing how the scarf came out when I was finished I wish I would have made it much longer (probably 2 or 3 feet longer) to begin with.

I gathered the pieces into groups of 4 and tied a little knot at the end of each group to keep them together. From there I followed Martha's tutorial until I got to the end. I tied knots at the end of each group again so it would match the knots I made in the beginning.

This project was a lot more difficult than I anticipated based on the tutorial. The thing that made it so difficult for me was the fact that the yarn is really long and I had to move it and manipulate it without getting it all tangled. Part of my problem was I did this project while sitting on the couch watching TV, so I didn't have a lot of room to spread out my groups. If you did your knotting in a long hallway or somewhere that allowed you to spread out the groups after each knot, you would probably have an easier time than I did.

Overall, I do like the scarf I made. I still have LOTS of yarn leftover and while I'm sure I will find other yarn projects, I do want to try this project again with the same yarn, only make it much longer. I'll let you know if/when I ever get around to that.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Wreath

I am currently in the middle of making a rosette wreath (blog post to come) but it is very time consuming and I'm betting that at the rate I'm going it is going to take over a month to make... So in the mean time there is nothing hanging on my front door and the house just looks kind of sad.

I decided that while I'm still working on the rosette wreath that I would make a simple (super cheap!) wreath for the nearest holiday, Valentine's Day.

I found the tutorial for this wreath on The Hybrid Chick's blog (through Pinterest). Her wreath is considerably more glamorous than mine, but I am pleased with the outcome of my wreath considering the time I put into it and the materials I used. Plus, Valentine's day is in 4 days, so the wreath isn't going to be hanging long. It took me about 25 minutes start to finish (including gathering the supplies, creating the wreath, taking a picture, hanging the wreath, and cleaning up!) and I used all materials that were leftover from other projects. This one didn't cost me anything (free is my favorite!) but a little time.

For this project I used the following:

   4 different colors of scrapbook paper (you don't need much, all of mine were long scrap pieces)
   mini stapler (but I suppose a full size stapler would work too)
   a piece of ribbon

On The Hybrid Chick's example she printed out cool designs on both sides of photopaper to use for her wreath. Well, quite frankly, ink is too expensive for me to print double sided on photopaper (which also isn't cheap!) so I dug through my scrapbook papers and found a few pages that I had cut off of but still had a long section left untouched. I used two pieces of 2x11" of each color (4 colors, 8 strips of paper total). I cut the strips to the right size (2x11) and folded each in half.

Next, I found my mini stapler that I used to keep in my backpack in college. I had a couple of professors that would knock 10 points off of your assignment if the pages weren't stapled together, so that little stapler saved me many times! Plus, I charged people a dime to use it last minute if they forgot to staple their papers... Good ole mini stapler... good times...
Anywho! I grabbed my mini stapler and put two little staples in each strip making them into heart shapes. (see Hybrid Chick's example, she's got a great picture of what the hearts should look like). In the tutorial, she used mini glue dots. I don't have any of those (I've never heard of them actually), but if you wanted to use glue rather than staples, you could just use a hot glue gun to get the job done.

After I finished forming all the hearts I laid them out on the floor in a circle until I got them to look roughly how I wanted. Then I grabbed my handy dandy mini stapler again and stapled the hearts together in a circle.

Lastly, I attached the ribbon hanger by tying knots in each end of the ribbon, sliding the ribbon in between two hearts and stapling the other side to make sure the ribbon couldn't slip from side to side. Based on The Hybrid Chick's recommendation, I put 3 hearts between the ribbons and found that it hangs quite nicely.

Not too bad for 25 minutes and no cost out of pocket! 

Update: I hung this wreath on my door for 3 days... and it didn't do so well! I can't really be surprised though because the weather has been crazy with almost constant wind, some rain, and even a little snow. The wreath didn't get wet, but all the moisture in the air made the paper lose its stiffness and the whole thing went limp. Lesson learned: This is an indoor only wreath!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Painting Pumpkins

Who needs to deal with the mess of carving pumpkins at Halloween when you can just paint them?
Pick what you want to paint, do an outline in pencil first, then have at it! I used fabric paint pens so it was just like coloring with a marker.
I painted one and the husband painted one... Can you guess who did which one?

Scrapbook Paper and Foam Board Wall Decor

This project was another that was inspired by Sabrina Soto on "Get It Sold" on HGTV. In her example, rather than make the project square with two layers in the middle, she did it as a random collage that was the length of a couch. It was a cute project the way she did it, but I don't have a wall behind a couch for such a wide project, so I adapted it for the space I had.

The materials I used for this project:

   a foam core poster board (found at Walmart or Hobby Lobby next to the regular poster board)
   coordinating pages of scrapbook material
   spray adhesive
   an exact-o knife
   picture hanger

I started by deciding what shape I wanted the project to end up as. To be honest, the shape I ended up with is not what I originally set out to do, but I really like it. My thought was to measure the foam core board and make the most same sized squares possible. It ended up I was able to make 6 squares (I believe they are 8x8). I cut the foam core board with the exact-o knife into the 6 squares.

Next I cut the scrapbook pages down to fit the 8x8 foam core board squares and used the spray adhesive to stick them together. The next step is what took me the longest, because I hadn't decided what shape I wanted the finished project to be, so I played with the squares for a long time making lots of different collages until I decided on what you see in the picture. It turns out I could have left the 4 squares of the back layer as one big square, but I didn't know what the end was going to look like until I got to this point.

Now, I'm sure there is a much classier way of sticking the pieces of foam core together, but I used packing tape on the back, haha! I rolled the packing tape into a circle to adhere the middle squares to the back layer.

Lastly, I put some more packing tape on the back of the project in the middle. This is where I put the picture hanger (the little jagged metal piece you normally use to push into a wooden picture frame to hang).

Total cost for this project would be around $6 or so. I probably could have found the foam core board cheaper, but I just grabbed some from Hobby Lobby. Same with the scrapbook pages.

I'm not sure this project will travel well if we ever move, but for now, I really like it! I keep thinking that maybe I'll modge podge it to try and make it last a little longer, but so far it hasn't happened.

Sockman - Christmas Decoration

 I like to call this little guy a SockMan. It was the first project I ever did off of Pinterest (you can find the tutorial I used here at Then She Made... - but I changed a few things to make it my own). Obviously, it's a Christmas decoration, but it was so easy and fun. This little guy lived on our mantle for the entire Christmas season this year and you better believe he'll be back next year!

For this project you will need the following:
A crew or knee high white sock (you only need the tall part, so if there are holes in the toes it doesn't matter)
A colored sock of any style
2 rubber bands
a toothpick (I colored mine with an orange marker)
2 buttons
2 sequins
straight pins with balls in the color of your choice for the mouth and eyes

I followed the instructions on Then She Made...'s blog until I got to the fine details.

Here is my Sockman pre-embellishments. Isn't he cute!

I chose to paint the toothpick I used for the nose orange (I just used a scrapbooking marker to paint it)
I used a couple of buttons from my husband's button down shirts (you know the little buttons they sew on the inside of the shirt in case you lose a collar button)
I found two medium sized sequins and two white tipped straight pins for the eyes (I actually had to ask my friend's on facebook for advice on what to use for eyes, and I'm glad I did!)
And lastly I used blue straight pins for the mouth

On Then She Made...'s example, she really girlied up her sockmen (or sockwomen) which are very cute, but I wanted something a little less girly. I'm very happy with how he came out. I saved the left over pieces of blue sock (it was a knee high stocking) and the sock that I didn't cut up, so I might make my Sockman a little Sockwoman next year.