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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Take Out Box Diorama

Empty Chinese take out boxes are great.  You can use them for leftovers.  They make great gift boxes for small presents.  I like to use them to give away cookies during Christmas time.  I get my supply from Smart and Final, but unfortunately I have to get them in packs of 100, so I have lots and lots of extras.

I came up with this craft for my daughter's Girl Scout troop because I wanted to use up some of these boxes.  

This is a really, really simple craft.  I just cut out a square in front of the box to create the opening.

Then I just went through some old magazines and created a collage inside the box.  I used a glue stick to paste the pictures inside the box - easy!

Here's the trick to get cutouts to stand up in the box.  Cut out a little rectangle of paper and bend it in half.  Glue one side to the cutout and the bottom side to the bottom of the box.

The box itself is just the stage for lots and lots of other possibilities.  Decorate the sides of the box with other materials like cloth or ribbon.  Do a series of boxes or create different themes for each box.  You can make these boxes as simple or as complicated as you want so it can be adapted for all ages.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Silver Cups

I've always wanted to start a collection of silver trophies.  I always thought they would look fabulous on a fireplace mantel, clustered together.  However, whenever I found one on ebay or in a flea market, they were super, super expensive. 

So, I decided to scale down my collecting ambitions and started to collect little silver cups, say not more than 4 inches high.  I love these little cups because they're the perfect size for small flower arrangements and they don't take up hardly any room.  Ok, so my collection is only limited to 3 of these cups, but I'm kind of particular to which ones I like and also I refuse to pay no more than $5.

I bought this little cup at the Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves in Paris.  This flea market was fantastic, but because of the exchange rate, it really limited me to what I could buy.  Fortunately, this little treasure was really cheap.  I did some research and think this is a christening cup.  I love that it says, "Jean-Michel", it's tres Francais!

 This cup silver cup has a wonderful dog design on it.  I bought this one at the Alameda Flea Market in the SF Bay Area.  It was really tarnished and black, so I guess that's why the vendor sold it really cheap.  I really lucked out because when I cleaned it, the really cute design of dogs and geese came through.  I tried to do some research on this cup, but so far haven't found any information on it. 
detail on cup