Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentines Paper Crafting Ideas

When I pulled out my Valentines decor this year, the bird cage I made last year was ... squished and looked like a lot of work to fix.  Later I walked by a shelf that I had placed a red painted mailbox that I purchased at the DI a couple of years ago (and hadn't yet covered and decorated -although that was the plan :)  Suddenly the destroyed bird cage and the unfinished mailbox clicked in my head.  I covered the (already painted red) mailbox with some leftover paper.  I pulled all the pretty elements off of the bird cage (the flower, burlap bow, sparkle heart, butterfly, etc.) and rearranged them on my mailbox -then glued them down.  It took about 5-10 minutes.  Later that day (when I had 20 minutes) I made some cutsy envelopes with the scrap papers to go inside the mailbox.  Oh, and by the way the paper I used is from a Back to School collection (Graphic 45 ABC Primer) and has nothing to do with Valentines Day. LOL  Who knew!!!
Moral(s) of the story:  1) it's okay to reuse bits and pieces from past projects or décor (and it saves time).  2)  When inspiration strikes- go with it!  :)  3) use the paper and elements you have lying around to create new adorable things.

Of course this little project redue got my brain paper crafting, so I decided to make a few more bits with the other pieces of leftover paper I had lying around.  This frame was supper quick.  I cut the background piece the size of the frame (5x7), then I cut out enough hearts to fill the frame.  I bent them in half and adhered them down using only the center crease.  It is a perfect, coordinating element with my mailbox. 

Have a LOVEly Valentines Day weekend!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Valentines Pillows

As I looked around my Valentines décor, I realized that I was lacking some textiles.  After a short search on Pinterest to get some ideas (that means you have to limit your time looking at ideas or you could spend all day looking and no time creating), I found myself interested in pillows.  So I pulled out my red, black, and cream fabric stash.  The pillow embroidery (below) I had finished a couple of years ago, but hadn't decided how I wanted to display it yet.  My girls came in and quickly jumped on board wanting to make a fun project as well - so they joined me (I love it when they do that!!)   It takes longer, cause I end up helping them, oh, but it is totally worth the extra time to be with them, building a fun memories and loving relationships, as well as teaching them all these fun skills!!
To make the pillow above (and the one's my girls made) ...
1.  I simply cut a heart from a piece of scrap paper (we all have different heart patterns). 
2.  We took bits of scrap fabric and ironed them onto "Heat n Bond" iron on adhesive (can get it at     Walmart or JoAnns).  Then we traced our heart patterns onto the fabric bits and cut them out. 
3.  Remove the backing "Heat n Bond" from the hearts and lay them on the front panel of your pillow till they are where you want them and the order you want them (as you can see, we have different ideas about style :)  Iron the hearts into place. 
4.  Take a needle and embroidery thread and do a running stitch around each heart.  You can change it up for XXX's or other stitches as you desire. 
5.  Add any other elements to your pillow now(we used buttons). 
6.  Then place the back panel and decorated front pillow RIGHT sides together and sew the pillow together LEAVING a 3-4 inch hole in the center of one of the sides of your pillow. 
7.  Stuff your pillow, then stich the hole up using a blind hand stitch.  
Note: (insert this step between 5 and 6), if you want to add fringe to the edges of your pillow, pin the fringe into place between the to layers of fabric (the fringe on the inside of the pillow), then sew the pillow up.  If the fringe is a bit crazy (like mine is), base stitch it to front panel of your pillow before sewing the pillow together.
To make the pillow below...
1.  Sew a simple embroidery scene (make it up or find a pattern) on a 8x8 pieces of muslin with "warm and natural" (looks like felt). 
2.  Cut 2 1/2 - 3 inch strips of various fabric pieces for the different sides of your pillow.
3.  Sew the strips of fabric to the desired sides of your pillow. 
4.  Cut a back fabric for your pillow the same size as the pillow front. 
5.  Then place the back panel and decorated front pillow RIGHT sides together and sew the pillow together LEAVING a 3-4 inch hole in the center of one of the sides of your pillow. 
6.  Stuff your pillow, then stich the hole up using a blind hand stitch.  
Have a little fun with the ones you LOVE creating these HEART warming pillow ideas!!

Here are the pillows my girls made... they had so much fun and it didn't take too long (so they were able to stick with the project till it was done).  We laughed a lot, learned a new skill, and just enjoyed chatting with each other!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Coffee Filter Wreath for Valentines

I needed to fill a space in my home with a touch of color, but really didn't want to go to the store and get some supplies.  I found an idea on Pinterest to make a coffee filter wreath (filters make great preschool projects and we use them often around our house).  Then I visited you tube for some extra instructions (PS there are a lot of tutorials to make this, just pick a couple to watch for some tips).  
Here are the written instructions:
1. Cut a heart out of cardboard the size and shape you want.  (Mine was about 1 1/4 inch thick, but the heart was cut from a piece of 8.5x11 piece of paper, traced to cardboard and cut out).

2.   Then I just squished the coffee filters up in my hand with no specific folding technique, just very random.  A tip: Have all the outside edges meet up at the top somehow and the center of the filter a point at the bottom. 
3.  Then I bent the point at the bottom over 1/2 inch or so and adhered it to the edges of the wreath (outside and inside edges). 
Repeat squishing and folding the filters, and adhering them to the cardboard heart, until the wreath is full.

At this point you can leave the wreath as is, if you need a white one.  But I needed a pinkish one. :)

4.  So I mixed 3-4 drops of acrylic paint  (red makes a pinkish color) in a container and added 1/8 cup of water to it.  With a brush I mixed it up and proceeded to paint (carefully) the wreath lightly - as the filters soak the water in quickly.  This gave my wreath a more rugged and distressed feel.  I believe you could also dip the edges of your filters in the same mixture, then let them dry before squishing them and adhering them to the cardboard base.  But I really liked this imperfect shabby look :)

Voyla!  A splash of color to your home in a relaxing afternoon project!!

Quick & Easy Valentines Flower Vase

During this time of year, things around my house calm down a bit and I start to get crafty again.  I saw this idea while looking at facebook one evening and just fell in LOVE with it!  I had just picked up a little bouquet of flowers from the dollar store also, and knew it would be the perfect vase to go along with the Valentines color scheme for my house. 
I found a heart sticker from my stash of stickers and stuck it to the jar.  In the garage I gave it a quick coating of paint.  After it was dry I wrapped some twine around the top.  It needed a little more cream color to it, so I used a bit of lace.  I wanted to add a little red to the bottom portion of the vase so I punch a couple hearts from some scrap paper and glued them to the ends of my twine bow.  A little stitch marking to go around the heart to help see it better, some flowers in the vase, and quick, easy instant Valentines vase for your home décor!