Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Craft: Sewing on Paper





Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques.  Sometimes you stumble upon ideas that are really satisfying and pleasing to the eye.  And then it opens up a whole new door of creativity.

I’ve seen some photos of sewing on paper, but wasn’t sure how it would work on this particular item I was constructing.  It’s just a simple stretcher strip frame with lace washed with acrylic and water, then the paper doily was used for a stencil overlapping in white atop the painted lace.  Two paint sticks put together to write the words on and glued to the inside of the frame.

My daughter has a cricket and I confiscated some butterflies she had left over from a project.  I am having a ball with them.  But I have actually used some of them as stencils and have hand cut with a craft knife some others using her butterflies as patterns.

But the main thing is that the butterflies, after being painted, were hand sewn on top of the lace.  It was intricate work, for fear I’d tear the paper after going this far with the project.  But I would almost think it would have to be done this way to keep everything centered.  I might try the machine next time and do the sewing first.

Well, I just wanted to share this with you today.

I hope you can see that you can try to do whatever you want and don’t have to stay within someone else’s guidelines.  We are all free to create!  And you should see the pile of craft bloopers I have.



You can get stretcher strips here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Craft: All Things Bright and Beautiful




As I was working on this piece, I was thinking about God’s Creation.  We try to duplicate It’s beauty, It’s “awe” factor, It’s breathtaking moment, but it’s really not possible.  There is only One Creator and He is the Perfectionist. 

I couldn’t help but think of all the beauty in His creation while attempting to make something beautiful myself.  I stood back and looked at it and decided I liked it and it is pretty, but it is just not ever going to take your breath away like God’s Creation does.  It’s a combination of so many little things He included in His Creation to accentuate the obvious.  I love to look at the little bits of this and that He included everywhere.

If you would like to recreate this wood wall decoration, start with the basic wood plaque and go from there.  You can see how to make the wood plaque by clicking here.

To make a similar plaque to this one, use paper doilies, paper butterflies, buttons, one sewing hoop section, glue, wire and paint.

When your wood plaque is constructed and painted in the colors of your choice, do this to decorate it: 

1.  Paint the sewing hoop section, the buttons and the paper embellishments you are going to use.

2.  When dry, position the sewing hoop where you would like it to be on the wood plaque.  Mark the wood lightly with a pencil inside the sewing hoop at the inside top and bottom and again on each side.  (This is so as you are attaching it with the wire you will be able to keep the sewing hoop in the position you had originally decided on.)

3.  Poke wire up through the space between two of the wood paint sticks and slide it close to the sewing hoop.  Go over the hoop with your wire and back down through the  opening between the same two paint sticks.  On the back side of the plaque, twist the wire.  Direct the two wires in the opposite directions.

4.  Using one wire, push it up through two different wood sticks and slide on a button if you like.  Take the wire and go over the sewing hoop and then back down through the opening between two paint sticks (the same ones or move on around the sewing hoop).  Wrap the wire around the sewing hoop only if you are going to skip quite a bit of area, add a button here and there as you go.  No need to worry about not cutting your wire long enough, just join wires together behind the plaque.  Continue going in and out between openings of paint sticks and over and under the sewing hoops adding buttons here and there until you can connect the wire to the area where you first began on the backside of the plaque.

5.  Using the paper doily, I cut out several small areas and glued them inside the sewing hoop onto the wood sticks.  Lay out your whole design before you start gluing to get an idea of what you want it to look like.  I used a butterfly for my focal point.  What will yours be?

6.  Once your pieces are glued into place seal with a light coat of Mod-Podge or other water based glue sealer you might have on hand.

7.  Using the colors of your choice, make small dots of color with your brush in areas that look empty to you or add more paper cut outs.

I hope you enjoy this craft.  It’s a bit different with the wired on sewing hoop and buttons.  Get creative, come up with other different kinds of things you can do with this.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Craft: Decorating Stars for Christmas




Been dying to try painting on screen wire.  It’s great!  I tried scratching it off and it didn’t move.  Yay!


This is the basic star made from paint sticks.

All you need is:

Five 12” long paint sticks

Wood buttons (as many or as few as you desire)


Screen wire

Acrylic paint (cobalt blue and white or colors of your choice)

Paper doily for stencil (one large for outer circle and one medium for inner circle)

Staples and staple gun (tacks or small nails will also work)


This is all you have to do:

Build your star………………

1.  Saw the five 12” paint sticks in half = Ten 6” paint sticks.

2.  Design the star and glue each touching point together.

3.  When dry, staple from the top side.  I only stapled on the outside star points.

Prepare the screen wire…………..

1.  Lay the screen wire underneath your star and trace around the outside of the shape.

2.  Paint the star being careful to get the outside edges too.

3.  While your star is drying, cut out your star shape from the screen wire.

4.  Lay the medium size paper doily on top of your wire, lay the paint stick star on top of doily.  Make sure you have the doily positioned on the area you want to paint.  I just tried to center mine.  Once you are sure where you want it, remove the paint stick star.

5.  With the color of your choice blot paint around the holes in the doily and the outer edge.

6.  Remove the doily from the screen wire.

7.  Repeat the painting process with the smaller doily.

Buttons and finishing touches……………………..

1.  In a small bowl mix up the color of acrylic paint with water you are going to paint the buttons. Drop the buttons in the paint and stir with a brush.  Let them sit in the paint.

2.  Lay the paint stick star on top of the screen wire, position to your liking, reach around the back keeping the screen positioned and poke the wire over the staple ends.  Once the screen wire is stretched over the top of the staples and the doily design is still like you want it, turn the star over with the screen wire attached.

3.  Bend staple ends toward each other with wire pliers, then hammer down gently.  Once every staple is closed on top of the screen wire, turn the star over.  Raise the star up a bit with some extra paint sticks so the screen wire is not laying directly against the table avoiding the area where you are going to place your buttons.

4.  With tweezers or wire pliers , pick buttons up one at a time out of the bowl of paint, place a small dot of glue on the back of the button and lay gently on the screen wire.  (I put mine in a circle along the border of the painted doily design.)

5.  Put glue on top of staples on front of the star and place the remaining painted buttons on top of them.  Glue buttons on in a few more areas on the star if you like.

6.  Once everything is dry, turn the star over and glue the loose edges on the screen wire to the paint stick.

I just thought it was really neat how we can paint on screen wire.  I’ll be trying some more things with this idea.

Hope you enjoyed making this star.  Happy Crafting.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crazy Easy Christmas Stars with Paint Sticks



I’ve gone mad with these paint sticks.  I’m making everything from A to Z.  I like that I can saw them to the size I want easily.  The way the paint reacts to the raw wood is very pleasing to the eye.  The grain of the wood shows through.  They are extremely economical to use, because I bought quite a few at one time, they came out to be around 12 cents per stick.

Here’s a star you can make for Christmas or other star related holidays that is easy.

All you need is:

Five 12” long paint sticks

staples and staple gun or strong craft glue

Acrylic paint (the color used here is Chromium Oxide Green)

Wood buttons (optional)

Screen wire (optional)


All you have to do is:

1.  Lay  out your paint sticks in this order:









2.  Staple the paint sticks together at the points and at the areas where the sticks overlap each other.  Staple from the front side of the star.

3.  Paint the star being careful to coat the edges as you go.  Wash with a watered down acrylic mixture until you have created the depth you desire.

4.  Lay the star face down on the screen wire.  Trace around the star with a sharpie or chalk and cut the star pattern out of the wire.

5.  Lay the back side of the star face down. (ends of the staples will be facing up)  Lay the screen wire on the paint stick star and push down on to the staple ends.  Pull the screen wire snug.

6.  With a wire tool, bend the staple ends down, then hammer lightly. (So no one will rip a finger open)  Trim the screen wire close to the edges of the star.




7.  Paint the wood buttons any color you like or keep them natural.  Glue on to the front of the star over the staples.




8.  Run a wire, string or ribbon through the screen wire from the point you want to hang your star.  Twist wire ends together and hang.


Hope you enjoyed making this star.  Happy crafting!




Monday, October 21, 2013

Make your own Burlap Canvas

This simple idea can be used many different ways.  Burlap coated with gesso can be used for collage, paintings or you can even stencil words on it.  You can sew on it too.
It’s quite easy.  Here’s what you need:
An old frame
Enough burlap to cover the front and wrap around the back to staple
acrylic paints
paper doily
staples and staple gun
paint brush

Easy steps to complete this project:

1.  Cover your frame with the burlap, stapling the edges to the back and pulling as tight as you can.
2.  Apply a coat of gesso to the front of the burlap.  Wait for this coat to dry then apply another coat or two if you like.
3.  Once dry, you can paint on your canvas with the colors of acrylic paint you love.  You don’t have to paint a scene.  Use the paper doilies as stencils and dab paint all around the edges and within the design of the doily.
Using stencils, put words on your canvas.
Sew a little bird or butterfly on your canvas by hand.
Sew buttons on the canvas.
Don’t forget the hanger.
Hang and admire!
Hope you enjoy this craft, have a blast with it.  And thanks again for reading.

Monday, October 14, 2013

DIY Calendar Holder


I was anxious to show you this idea.  Do you get tired of fighting your calendar when you go to change to the next month.    I had been wanting to find something to hang my calendar by, but wasn’t willing to spend the money for something that could be made easily and save money at the same time.  When I did a search I was unable to find one I liked for less than $10.  So I worked on this idea today.

All you need is:
Two, 12" paint sticks    
3 regular size wooden clothes pins
wood buttons (optional)
miniature clothes pins (optional)
You might have 2 to 3 dollars in this project!

All you have to do is:

      1.  Glue 3 clothes pins on to one of the paint sticks.  Glue one pin at  1/2”,    one at 5  1 /4” and the last one at 11 1/2”.  
DSCF1351 (640x331)

2.  When the glue dries slide another paint stick right underneath the first stick and glue to the back side of the clothes pins.
DSCF1365 (640x174)
3.  Once dry, paint with your favorite color and glue on buttons or any other kind of embellishments you might like.
4.  Cut your wire long enough to go all the way across the front and the back with 2” extra.
5.  Run the wire through the holes in the springs of the clothes pins across the front and then around to the back and join the wire.
DSCF1366 (630x640)
Hang the calendar holder on the wall with the wire you ran across the back.  Hang the calendar with the regular size clothes pins and hang cards, stamps, photos or notes with the miniature clothes pins if you opted to use those.
I had a blast coming up with this.  It was thrilling to come up with something I liked and saved money by making it myself.
                                   Here's your finished project in use.

And don't forget the miniature clothespins can be used to hold other important things like this:

Experiment with this craft, here's another way to make the calendar holder if you'd rather not hang it by a wire.

                                                   All you need is:

one 12" long paint stick
two picture hangers with small nails
three regular size clothes pins
four buttons
glue, hammer
three embellishments (optional)
paint (your color choice)

                                               All you have to do is:

1.  Start by marking on the front and back of the paint stick where you will place the clothes pins later.  One at 1/2", one at 5 3/4" and the last one at 11 1/2".    Just for an example............ don't glue them on yet.

2. On the back side of your paint stick nail one picture hanger placing the center on your mark on the left and right sides of the paint stick.

3.  On the front of your paint stick, snip off the part of the nails that came through the wood flush with the stick.

4.  If you are going to paint your clothespins and paint stick the same color you can go ahead and glue your pins on now, if not then paint all your pieces before gluing together.  Once you are ready to glue on your clothespins, glue them to the marks we made earlier in step #1.

5.  Paint your holder your favorite color.
6.  Glue on embellishments.  The four buttons are to be glued over the top of the snipped nails.

Hang your calendar holder, put your calendar in it by putting the center in first, then the two sides.


Just so you know, Aleene's Tacky Glue is a great glue to use, it's some pretty strong stuff.

Have fun crafting!  And please don’t forget to join me on facebook or sign up here for emails so you can enjoy money saving crafts.  If you make a calendar holder, I’d like to see it.  Share it with me.