Sunday, November 27, 2011

Project 9: Shabby-Chic Framed Sticks

If you know me, you know that I adore plants.  Trees, shrubs, flowers, big, small, anything!  So when I found these framed sticks on Pinterest, I knew I had to do this!  Check out the inspiration here at Cleverly Inspired!

Here's what you need:

1. A picture frame (We got ours at Goodwill for dirt-cheap!)
2. Sticks (Willow branches were 50% off at Hobby Lobby)
3. Spray paint - if you want to paint your sticks or frame
4. Hot glue gun

Here's what you do:

1. Spray paint your sticks or frame if you would like.  Meredith wanted her frame and sticks to be all black.  I found a pretty green frame that looked great with the natural colored sticks, so I didn't paint mine.

2. Turn your frame over on the ground.  Lay your sticks out on the frame the way you like it.  Trim the sticks to the right size.

3.  Hot glue the sticks at the top and the bottom of the frame.

4.  When the hot glue is dry, turn the frame back over and, SHAZAM!  You're done!

Now I just need to figure out where to put this in my house! :)

What next?

Project 8: Leather-bound Journals

My husband is an obsessive list maker.  So I thought, what a better gift for him than a personalized leather-bound journal!  If you have every priced these before, you'll understand my shock at the insane price.  But, luckily, Pinterest came through again!  Check out these fun journals that I found at mufn inc: handcrafted and sewn.  It seems like a lot of steps, but it really doesn't take too long.  Especially if you get the glue we bought; it dries very quickly!

Here's what you need:
1. A hard back journal
2. A piece of sheet leather or suede large enough to cover your journal front and back
3. PVC book glue or good fabric glue (I used Fabri-Fix from Hobby Lobby, and it works wonders!)
4. A sheet or two of scrapbook paper (If you have a small journal, you may only need one sheet.  But the larger the journal the more paper you will use.)
5. Scissors

Here's what you do:

1. Line up your journal in the center of your leather or suede.  Begin gluing the fabric to the journal at one-inch strips at a time.  Put the glue on the journal, not the fabric. 

 2.Smooth out the fabric carefully by rubbing your fingers across the journal in one direction.  You don't want to pull the fabric in too many ways and cause wrinkles.

3. Once you have glued the fabric to one side of the journal, flip it over and do the same thing for the back side.  Be sure to pull any wrinkles or folds out of the fabric before you glue it down.

4. Open the front cover of the journal.  Using one blade of your scissors, cut a 1-inch slit along the spine, starting at the top.  Do the same thing at the bottom, and on the back cover.  This is where you will fold down the fabric into the spine.

 5. Put a drop of glue on the top of the spine.  Fold the fabric into the slits that you cut on either side of the spine.  Then press against the spine to set the glue.  Do the same for the bottom of the spine.

6. Open your journal to the front cover.  You now need to glue down the flaps of fabric around the edge of the journal.  First, cut the corners off of the fabric.  Don't cut too close to the corner of the journal, though.  You want to be able to cover all of the journal.
7. Run a thin strip of glue along the top edge of the journal, and fold the fabric down onto the glue.  Do the same for the bottom edge, and the side edge.  Then, do the same for the back cover.

8. Now you need to glue the scrapbook paper to the inside covers to clean up the fabric edge.  Measure the inside of the journal, making sure to cover any ragged edges of fabric.  Leave the "paper side" of the scrapbook paper a little long, so there will be enough paper to fold into the spine.
9.  Begin gluing the scrapbook paper down just like you did the fabric on the covers.  Glue strips at a time and press out any wrinkles.  Stop at the spine.

10.  Once you get to the spine, fold in a crease and close the journal.  Creating this crease will ensure that your journal will open once it is finished.

11.  Open the journal again and run a thin strip of glue along the spine.  Press the creased scrapbook paper into the spine.  Continue gluing the paper down.

12. When you have glued the paper all the way to the edge of the journal pages, you may have extra paper to cut off.  Turn the paper over and trim the extra away.

13. Now glue a piece of scrapbook paper to the back cover, like you did for the front cover.

And, ta-da!  You have leather-bound journals!  I think I'm going to add a ribbon along the spine to hold your page and attach some embellishments to the front.  They look great, though!

Next, shabby-chic framed sticks!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Project 7: Birds' Nest Necklaces

It's getting closer to Christmas, so I searched through Pinterest to find a few DIY gift ideas for my friends.  I found the cutest little birds' nest necklaces to make, where the beads in the center represented your children.  So precious!  However, the nests looked very intricate.  But, with a can-do attitude - and a week off of work - I threw myself at this project!  Turns out, these little nests are super easy!  Check them out here at Sarah Ortega: diy {bird nest necklaces}.

So here's what you need:
1. 20 or 24 gauge jewelry wire - Don't use plain "craft wire", because it will tarnish and mar as you work with it.  I use Argentium wire from Hobby Lobby.
2. Any bead (or beads) of your choice.  Pearls are nice, since they kind of look like eggs already.
3. Needle-nose jewelry pliers
4. Jewelry wire cutters
5. Jewelry chain
6. Small jump ring mandrel

Here's how to do it:

1. Place the bead or beads onto the end of the wire.  Bend the wire over the bead to keep it in place.

2. Then begin wrapping the bead in the wire.

3. So far, so good, right?  Just keep winding the wire around the bead until you get to the desired nest size. 

4. You'll notice that the nest feels a bit loose around your bead egg.  When this happens, weave the end of the wire through the back of the nest a few times.  This will tighten up the wraps.

5. Twist the wire around the jump ring mandrel to make a small ring and the top of the nest.  This is where you will attach the nest to the chain.

6. Cut the extra wire and weave it into the nest so it doesn't scratch or hang on anything.  And there you have your cute little nest!

Just attach the nest to some jewelry chain using a jump ring and you have a beautiful, and meaningful gift!

Don't know quite yet what's up next.  Any suggestions??

Have a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Project 6: T-shirt Headbands!

Have you made our three t-shirt scarves?  Are you wondering what you can do with the leftover scraps?  Well, we wondered the same thing!  So, I found an adorable (and very easy) headband to make with the scrap t-shirts!  Check out the inspiration here at Craft Snob.

The directions say that you will need:
1. A strip of jersey knit fabric from an old t-shirt the length of the diameter of your head minus 2 inches
2. Another strip of the t-shirt, like the bottom seam
3. Hot glue gun
4. Needle and thread
5. Scissors

Here's what I say:
Keep numbers 2-5.  Instead of measuring the diameter of your head and subtracting two inches, just use the opening of the sleeve!

Anyway, here's how to do it:
1. Cut the seam off of one sleeve of the t-shirt.  Then cut a 1 1/2 to 2 inch strip from the sleeve.  There's your headband!

2. Cut the bottom seam of the shirt in half.  Twist the seam very tightly, until it will braid itself when folded in half.  I know it sounds neanderthal-like, but the easiest way to do this is with your teeth...

3. Hot glue the two ends together so the twist does not come out.

4 Once the hot glue has dried, begin rolling the twist, applying a small amount of hot glue every few centimeters.  Here is your decorative flower!

5. Once the hot glue has dried, sew the flower onto the seam of the headband.  Since I only know how to sew on buttons, Mer did this step... :)

And, voila, you have a precious t-shirt scrap headband!

You can add smaller flowers to your headband, add buttons to your flowers, or any other adorable ideas you can think of! We added buttons, because they're cute. :)

Next up, bird's nest necklaces!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Project 5: Three T-shirt Scarves!

As my husband will tell you, I have plenty of clothes to wear.  But I hate to wear the same things over and over again.  Like any girl, I want my outfits to look new and different everyday!  That's why I love easy accessories.  We decided to try out these three scarves made from t-shirts.  Check it out here: Scarf Video.

Scarf One: Simple Infinity Scarf

Scarf one materials needed:
1. Old t-shirt of your choice color (We got ours from the local Goodwill store.)
2. Scissors

Here's what to do:

1. Cut the shirt right under the arms and cut off the bottom seam.

 2. Open the t-shirt ring and pull.

Simple as that!  You can wear this scarf a couple of ways.  Just hang around your neck and floof it out a bit.  Or twist it around your neck  twice and floof.  Fun!

Scarf Two: String Infinity Scarf

Materials needed for scarf two:
1. Old t-shirt (Again, Goodwill)
2. Scissors
Here's what to do:

1. Just like with scarf one, cut the shirt under the arms and the bottom seam.
2. This time, cut smaller strips of the t-shirt.  I cut mine about 1 1/2 inches.  Mer's was a bit smaller.

3. Once the strips are cut, open them up and pull them.

4. Gather all of the loops together.  Tie a small piece of scrap fabric around the loops.
And done!  Again, you can wear this by just hanging it around your neck, or by looping it twice.

Meredith cut a few of her loops to let some rugged edges show.  Cute!

Scarf Three: Spiral Ruffle Scarf

Materials needed for scarf three:
1. Old t-shirt (We actually used leftover jersey knit fabric from our DIY wraps!)
2. Scissors
3. 9- or 10-inch paper plate
4. Fabric glue

Here's what to do:

1. Trace as many plates as you can onto the fabric.  Try to get at least 10.  The more circles you have, the fuller your scarf will be.
2. Cut out your circles.

3. Once all of your circles are cut out, cut them into spirals.  Try to keep them between 1 and 2 inches wide.

4. Pull the spirals and run your hand over them a few times.

5. Using a small dot of fabric glue, connect two of the spirals together at the ends.  Do this for all of your spirals.  Set them aside to allow the glue to dry.
6. Once the fabric glue has dried, tie all of the spirals together with a piece of scrap fabric.

Voila!  So cute!

Wow!  So many projects just using old t-shirts!  Tune in next time for a project for all of the leftover fabric scraps: flower headbands!

Ta-ta! Amy