Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Canvas Art

During this time of year, I thought this might be a nice way to use up/recycle scraps of wrapping paper and holiday cards.  This is a variation on the ribbon canvas I made a few months ago.

For this craft, I just used the following:

  • small canvas
  • wrapping paper
  • Christmas cards
  • tape
  • scissors

I used packing tape because it's stronger than regular tape
 (and I happen to be using it to mail something)!

Cut strips of wrapping paper (whatever width you want).  I folded the strips length-wise to create a clean edge.  Tape each end of the wrapping paper strip securely to the back of the canvas, as shown below.

I like the idea of taping the strips down because if you want to reuse the canvas, it's easy to remove.
If you want to make this more permanent, staple the strips down.

Once you've taped the strips of wrapping paper down, you're almost done!

Play around on how you would like to lay out the strips.
You can spread them out so you have some space between them or have them overlap as shown.

Next, just get some Christmas cards and cut out some of the pictures to use on your canvas.

 Play around with laying out the different cut outs.  I like having them poke out of the strips.
Just tape or glue the cut outs to the canvas and you're done!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wrapped Christmas Frames

I'm busily trying to decorate for the Holidays!  I did this same thing last year to make the house festive and all it took was some wrapping paper and ribbon.

This is a picture of how my fireplace mantel looks pretty much year-round.

So, I wrapped the frames in some coordinating wrapping paper and ribbon and viola - a Christmas display that was cheap, quick and easy to do!  

I didn't wrap each frame completely, just mainly the front of the frame and left the back pretty much uncovered in order to save on paper.  I also used strips of wrapping paper to make a "ribbon" for some of the frames.  Basically I just folded strips of paper and taped them to the back of the frame. I hung a fake Christmas wreath to one of the frames because I wanted to add a little something differernt to the display.

Also, since I already had the frames laid out like this year-round, I didn't need to rearrange anything or make any new nail holes.

 I guess the hardest part of this project was just choosing the wrapping paper, but luckily for me I have a 99 Cent store near me and now I have a ton of extra wrapping paper to wrap presents.

So after the Holidays, all I have to do is "unwrap" the frames for a quick and easy clean up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wrapping Baked Goods

The Holiday season is coming up and that means making lots of baked goodies for my family and friends!  I hate wrapping cookies and other pastries in plain old plastic wrap.  Further, I refuse to spend money on expensive cookie tins, so here are a few cheap and easy ideas I've come up with to present these treats.

I just used a regular resealable sandwich bag, but I cut out some scrapbooking paper to size to fit inside the bag.  For Christmas, this would look really cute with some Holiday paper and a gingerbread man cookie!
Use the sandwich bag as a template to cut the scrapbooking paper.  
I took a regular envelope and printed out the word "cookie" on it (or print out the words on a label, etc).
I then glued on some scrap ribbon to dress it up.  All I need to do now is seal up cookies in the envelope and I'm done!

I cut scrapbooking paper in a square and used that as my base.
I then wrapped the whole thing in wax paper.  
I cut out one of the flowers from the scrapbook paper and taped it on top to close up the package.
I could also have used a cute sticker or a blank label and written a message on it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Button / Badge Art

I have seen many examples of this craft on the web and thought this was a great way to display all those small button / badges that I seem to collect from different craft fairs and other events.

This is great way to display your buttons!

For this craft all you need is the following:

  • cheap embroidery hoop (the one I used is 7 1/4 in diameter)
  • cloth
  • lots and lots of button / badges
  • ribbon
  • cardboard & glue or tape 
1.  Cut a piece of fabric in a square about 2-3 inches larger than the hoop and press the fabric in between the outer and inner hoops.  Stretch out the fabric to ensure that it is taut inside the hoop.

Here's your blank canvas!

2.  Now all you have to do is stick the buttons into the fabric in any formation you like - it's really that simple and easy!
In this version, I laid out the buttons like a clock.

In this version, I just randomly placed the buttons inside the hope.
In this version, I just used 9 buttons and placed them in a square formation.
3.  If you want to finish off the back of the hoop, cut a piece of cardboard to fit the back of the hoop.  Use the inner hoop as a template to make the cardboard circle (do this before you start placing the fabric and buttons).  Tuck the fabric inside the hoop and glue the cardboard directly to the back of the hoop.

Tuck the fabric in back.

Glue the cardboard onto the back of the hoop.

If you don't want to cover the back (maybe you want to switch out the fabric or reuse the hoop someday), just tuck the fabric inside and use tape to keep it in place.

I used painter's tape to hold everything together.

Just tie some ribbon to the top of the hoop and now you're ready to hang it.

Other suggestions:

  • try different fabric
  • theme your buttons / badges (i.e. - use all blue buttons or animal buttons)
  • mix sewing buttons or other types of pins to your piece

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ribbon Heart Ornament

I have a lot of ribbon and am constantly figuring out ways to use them (other ways to use scrap ribbon).  This little craft is a great way to use some of those ribbon scrap and is quick and easy to do.

For this craft, all you need is the following:

  • cardboard 
  • scissors
  • glue / glue stick
  • ribbon scraps

1.   The first thing you need to do is draw a shape onto a piece of cardboard (you could use a recycled box or the card back of an old note book).  I printed out a heart on my computer and traced the shape on the cardboard. My heart is 5" across, but you can make yours a little smaller or larger; it all depends on the size of cardboard you have.

Trim the cardboard close to the shape, this will help when you glue down the ribbons.

2.  Now, all you have to do is cut small scraps of ribbon and glue them to the opposite side of the drawn shape.  Don't glue anything to the side with the shape, because you'll need that side to guide you when you cut it out.  

Glue the ribbon next to each other on one side of the cardboard
Do not glue anything on the side with the shape. 

3.  Once the glue has dried, cut out the shape - you're almost done!

4.  I thought the cutout needed a little something extra, so I sewed on a button to the top.  I also used this button to attach the ribbon, but you can also just hole punch the cutout to hang a ribbon.  

 Other ideas:

  • You don't have to use a heart shape - cut out a circle, square, etc.
  • Decorate the cutout with buttons, other little trinkets, etc.
  • Cover the back of the shape with craft paper
  • Glue the shape onto a card or place it in a frame

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cute Scrap Cards

Using just some fabric and paper scraps, I made these really easy and cute cards!

For this project you just need the following:

  • blank cards / card stock / construction paper
  • fabric or paper scraps
  • buttons, ribbons or whatever you want to use to decorate your cards
  • scissors
  • glue

  1. I bought these blank cards, but you could also just cut some card stock to the size of an envelope to create your own card. 
  2. On my blank "canvas", I free hand drew a picture of a little girl.  I suggest practicing on another paper first, or drawing your picture in pencil, then drawing over it in pen.  In some versions, I drew out the whole picture, including the dress, and in other I tried drawing the picture without a dress.

In this drawing, I drew here whole dress.

In this version, I left out her dress.

3.  Now all you have to do is decorate your card.  I cut a scrap of cloth to make her dress, but you can also use paper, felt, etc. to make her dress.  You may need to keep trimming the cloth to fit just right.

Glue down the scrap of cloth to make her dress.

Really, the only thing that limits you on these cards are your imagination. I used ribbon scraps and buttons to decorate my cards.

Other ideas:  
  • add a ribbon border around the card
  • add a background to the card - draw the little girl on a separate piece of paper and cut her out and paste her onto the background
  • change it up - draw a little boy, add a boy and girl together, etc.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Take Out Box House

Last month, I showed how to make a take out box diorama.  Well, since I still have a lot of these boxes left over I came up with a new craft project - a take out box house!

For this craft all you need is the following:
Empty take out box (I bought a whole bag of these at Smart & Final)
Craft paper (construction paper, card stock, etc.)
Tape / Gluestick
Cut outs (stickers, magazines, etc.)

STEP 1 - carefully cut out a "small door" at the bottom of one side of the box as shown.

Once you've cut open a door, fold the door as shown.

STEP 2 - carefully cut out 2 small square "windows" above the door.

After you have cut the door and cut out the windows, the front of the box should look like this.

STEP 3 - Tape or glue images on the inside of the box so they peak outside the windows and door.  Once you're done, just close up the box.

View from inside the box

STEP 4 - To create the "roof", you will need to measure a piece of paper against the box you are using.  Basically, I folded a piece of paper on top of the box and cut it to a size that I thought looked good. 

You can color/draw details to the roof or glue cutouts to it.

Fold that paper in half and tape the paper to the wire attached to the box as shown.  This creates the perfect pitched roof.

Tape the "roof" to the wire handle

So, here you go, now have the basics of a house.  Add some cutouts to decorate the outside of the house or use markers to decorate it.  Just use your imagination on how you would like it to look.  Simple, easy and a great craft for kids!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decoupage Lightswitch Cover

This is a an easy, quick craft to do if you want to add a little color to a room.  Decoupaging a lightswitch cover only requires a few tools and some time, but the end result can be pretty cute.  The other advantage to this craft is because it's so cheap to do, you can make several of them and "switch" them when you want a change.

For this craft all you need are the following:

* Lightswitch cover (if you want a new one, they only cost like 60 cents at most hardware store.  If you're using an old one, make sure you clean it first)
* White glue (Modge Podge, Elmers white glue, Aleen's Tacky Glue)
* Small brush
* Magazine cutouts/ stickers / stamps / anything that will fit onto the lightswitch cover

Layout the differnt cutouts onto the cover and see what works for you.  This can be the longest part of the project because it takes time to find just the perfect things to put on your cover. 

For my cover, I wanted to do a little vignette utilizing a small cutout I got from a children's greeting card and added some other small pieces with similar colors. 

Once you've got your layout, glue the pieces directly onto the cover.  Make sure you press/rub out any air bubbles that might form.  Smaller cutouts work better because they're easier to glue down. 

A nice effect is to wrap the cutout around the edge of the cover, like I did with the watch cutout shown in the picture.

I like to water down the glue just a little bit, so you get a medium "soupy" consistency.  You don't want the glue too thick because it's hard to get an even coverage, but you don't want it too thin because the glue will "bead" up.  Keep adding glue/water until you get a consistency that gives you a nice even and smooth coverage.

Once the cutouts are glued down, then you need to cover the entire front side of the cover with glue.  Brush on the glue in straight strokes, make sure you go in one direction to get an even look. 

Be careful of air bubbles.  Just lightly brush over the air bubbles if they form.

Don't glue the backside of the cover.

Wait for the first coat to dry, then add a coat of glue again and repeat.  I like to add 3 coats of glue, however if you want a thicker covering, add a couple more layers of glue.  If you get too many streaks, you can add another coat of glue or you can lightly sand it down. 

Once the cover is dry, just screw it to the wall and you're done!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ribbon Canvas

I have a lot of cute ribbon in my sewing box.  The only problem is that I never know what to do with them.  This little craft was a great way to use up some of my ribbon scraps. 

For this project I used the following: 

a small canvas (the one I used was 8" x 6")
stapler / staple gun
ribbon scraps (I also used ric rac)
some "little something extra "

The first thing I did was paint the canvas, but it could work with a white background.  Then choose your ribbon and start stapling.  Note - if you are using a regular stapler, you really need to slam it down, so that the staple will go straight into the wood.  This might take a couple of tries.

Staple one end of the ribbon to the frame

 I discovered that I didn't need to pre-measure the ribbon.  All I needed to do was stretch the ribbon to the other side of the canvas, staple it down, then trim the ribbon.

Stretch out the ribbon to the other side of the canvas, staple it down, then trim.
 Keep stapling the ribbon on the canvas until you're done.  However, once I was finished, I just felt it need a little something extra.

Almost done!

So I drew some little kids on card stock and had them peak out of the ribbon.  You could also cut out some small photos for the same effect.  You could keep changing out the pictures and use the canvas like a little memo board.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Girl Scout Swaps

Have you ever heard of a swap?  Well, if you familar with the Girl Scouts, a swap is a small keepsake that Girl Scouts make and exchange with other troops.  When our troop leader mentioned that we'd need a swap for an upcoming Girl Scout event, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  This cute, little swap is just a simple origami craft project.

To make the little white shirt, you'll need a 5" x 5" square piece of white paper. 

1) Fold the paper in half and unfold.
2) Fold just the edges of the two sides out, as shown below.

3) Fold the sides into the middle.

4. Fold in half, top to bottom, so that the seams are on the outside front and back.

5.  Fold the top two seams out, as shown. 

6.  Filp the paper over.  Fold the corners at the top out to form a small collar.
7.  Cut a piece of green paper in a rectangle, about the same size as the shirt.  Cut out a "Y" shape on the green paper, as shown.

8.  Use a glue stick to glue the green pieces directly on to the front of the shirt to make the vest.

Viola - you have your very own mini origami Girl Scout shirt and vest!  Just finish off the swap by writing the name of the troop on the vest and using a safety pin to pin it onto the vest.