October 13, 2012

Gold Paper Mâché Bowls

I came across this brilliant project by Kelli Murray via Craft Gawker and knew I had to make one of these gold paper mâché bowls immediately.  I love when I find crafty projects that I literally would NEVER have thought of on my own.  It blows my mind.  Who would ever conceive a shiny gold bowl using a balloon, newspaper and Mod Podge?!

I won't attempted to re-create her blog post because it's fantastic.  The only thing I modified for my version was that I used gold spray paint + Martha Stewart's liquid gilding instead of the gold leaf (shit is expensive).  I then added the polka dots using a pencil eraser and some paint.  

My newest little creation is already sitting on my nightstand holding some of my jewelry. :)

Paper Clip & Button Bookmarks

I've always been an avid reader and remember eagerly looking forward to school book fairs as a child so I could binge on latest Judy Blume, Roald Dahl or Beverly Cleary. 

There's some wonderfully grounding about turning the pages of a paperback book, earmarking the corner where you left off.  I love seeing a stack of them on my nightstand as a reminder of what I'm reading and being able to loan or give to a friend when I'm done.  I refuse to read on a Kindle for these very reasons.

Despite my love for physical reading materials, I never seem to have a bookmark handy to mark the point where I invariably passed out in bed reading late at night.  I decided to make some of my own for this very reason so ventured to my favorite, sacred crafting venue: Michaels. 

They had these adorable, vintage-y looking buttons...roses, nautical anchors and shiny crystals.  With about 5 minutes worth of work, I hot glued them to jumbo paper clips and covered the back with a little piece of cream felt.  Piece. Of. Cake. 

How To Make An Envelope Pillow

Last year, Ryan bought me a sewing machine as a gift.  Although I've only used it a handful of times, it's one of my most prized possessions.  I've been on a mission to improve my sewing skills these past few months so have been taking lessons, including the envelope pillow class I took last weekend at Sew Modern.  I'm obsessed with this place.  They have the cutest, most stylish fabrics and their amazing owner, Lauren, is pretty much living my dream: running her own business and getting to craft/create stuff all day long. 

Although the envelope pillow was so ridiculously easy to make, I have never been more proud of a project in my life!  Here's how you can make one too...

  • Measure your pillow!  Mine was 17" so all the measurements below are based on that size.
  • Cut one 17x17" piece.  This will be the front of your pillow (grey chevron for mine) so if you want to use two different fabrics, make sure the large piece is the piece you want facing front.
  • Next, you'll cut two smaller pieces that will overlap on the back side to make your envelope.  To calculate your measurements for these pieces, divide the size of your pillow in half.  In this case, 8½".  Add 4" to get 12½". This extra 4" on each piece will provide enough fabric to make a hem and then overlap to make your 'envelope' opening.  For this pillow you'll cut two smaller 12½ x17" pieces.

  • Take one of your 12½x17" pieces.  You want to make a hem on one of the longer edges.  To do this, fold the black line below to the first red line (½") and then again to the second red line (½").

  • You should now have a ½" fold of fabric.  Sew down the middle to create your hem.  Repeat on your other piece of 12½x17" fabric. 

  • Now, you're almost ready to finish you pillow!  Place your 17x17" piece right side up (the side of your fabric that you'll want showing on the front of your finished pillow).  Place your two smaller pieces of fabric right side down with the hemmed edges overlapping.  In the picture below, the blue/green lines represent the hemmed edges of the blue/green fabric pieces.

  • Sew around all four edges, about ¼" in.  Use pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric and to prevent fraying.  You can also snip a triangle of fabric off each corner to help make the corners less bulky.  
  • Turn your finished piece inside out and then stuff it with your pillow!

October 6, 2012

Spray Painted Animal Ornaments

Growing up, my sisters and I each had one of those jumbo holiday popcorn tins filled with the Christmas ornaments we had collected over the years.  Conspicuously absent were the shiny bulbs, candy canes and felted reindeer.  The thing I loved most about our ornaments was how random they were: mini porcelain dolls, Radio Flyer wagons, glittery pine cones, carousal horses, musical instruments and sets of skis.  

When my 2-year-old niece Charlotte came to visit a few months ago, she was obsessed with these little rubber toy animals we found at the craft store.  They come in a long tube of roughly a dozen in themes like Farm Animals, Dogs & Cats, Dinosaurs and Sea Creatures.

After seeing a similar set on Pinterest, I decided to make my own Christmas trinkets using...wait for it...the rubber animals!  It was ridiculously easy and they definitely fit with my vision of having my own set of random ass ornaments as an adult.  Here's how you can make your own.

Step 1 - Grab a teeny eye bolt.  The rubber in your animal should be soft enough that you can literally just screw it right in.  If not, poke a little hole first using a push pin or thumbtack.  If you're using larger animals (they sell ones that are about 4"...these are about 2") you may need to drill a hole first and use a larger eye bolt. 

Step 2 - Spray paint them!  I went for silver and gold but am thinking of doing another batch with bright, shiny reds and greens or even neons.

Step 3 - Loop a thin piece of ribbon through the hook, tie off in a bow, knot or with a few sewn stitches to secure and you're done!