Tag Archives: DIY

Ahhh…summer crafts!

Ahhh…the lazy days of summer. The cicadas are singing, the sprinklers are running and the sun is shining. We just returned from a wonderful early summer vacation and the girls and I had some time this afternoon to root through the craft cupboard and rediscover the joy of a button box. My mother had one when I was little and I remember hours spent sorting, examining and just the tactile sense of picking up a handful of shiny buttons.

I am a bit obsessed. I have been known to do a happy dance when finding a bag of new buttons…seriously – ask my kids!

I wanted a cheerful necklace to go with a plain t-shirt I was wearing so why not use buttons? Here are a few we came up with:

I had some stretchy elastic and added a few beads. Pretty simple with a bit of pop? At least that is what we were hoping for.

Next up was a card with a stitched button. I have seen them all over Pinterest and wanted to try out one for myself. Here is what I used:

I want to make a bunch now! Super easy and the kids are all over it. Ahhh…summer!

Stay tuned for more creative crafts to honour the summer. Happy creating.

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Nail Polish Art

Its been a little psychedelic around here. I was inspired to pull out the polish and get creating by the amazing Carla Sonheim. She was watching a tutorial on a marbling technique for painting your nails here  and came up with this great technique using watercolour paper.

Soooo…grab your nail polish, watercolour paper, a disposable cup, a rubber glove, some newspaper and get going!

I must warn you though, that this is definitely an outdoor activity. My girl’s and I did it this weekend inside and I ended up with a horrible headache…go outside to avoid the fumes.

  1. Fill a disposable cup with water almost to the very top.
  2. Have a few colours of nail polish open and ready to apply.
  3. Simply place a drop of nail polish on the water and add different colours. If you want a marble effect use the end of a paper clip and drag it through the colours. ****Work fast as the polish dries fairly quickly and will become gummy and unworkable. It takes a bit of practise and experimenting to get it just right, have fun with it.****
  4. Cut a circle of watercolour paper that is slightly smaller than your disposable cup and drop it on top of the polish. Press it down and bit and use your paper clip or finger to pull it out. Place it on a newspaper to dry. And voila…

After you have removed your paper from the cup use your paper clip to drag across the surface of the water to clear away any nail polish residue.

After the paper dries (20 minutes should do it) you can arrange a few on a your choice of coloured paper. I love the way they turned out and I have to say we had an absolute blast making them, aside from the migraine that is.

We went a little crazy…

Check out Carla’s amazing blog to see her creations. Stick around and become inspired by her amazing work, I know it always works for me!

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Create Some Colour with DIY Tulips



I need some colour in my life! The grey days of February are getting me down…anyone else? Mother Nature isn’t providing a colour break so I rolled up my sleeves and created my own.

I knew I wanted to use bright coloured paper with variation, not  flat coloured card stock.  I didn’t have any so I grabbed my sketch book, some ink in pink, blue and plum and painted a few sheets. Nothing is quite as therapeutic as spreading colour around a white piece of paper. Try it and I guarantee an instant mood lift.

Let your colourful papers dry while you make a few templates for the petals. I used an old cracker box and drew a vaguely heart-shaped petal.

The large petal measured 5cm wide and 5cm high and about 2cm at the bottom. The smaller petal was about 4cm x 4cm.

Now its time to cut, cut, cut. For each tulip you will need 6 large and 2 small petals.

After the petals are finished cut a small slit in the bottom and glue the ends folded over. Either hold the ends together until the glue is dry (could take forever) or use a clothes pin to keep it together like this:

For the base of the flower cut out a quarter sized circle of paper and glue three of the large petals to the circle leaving a small space between each one. Then take the last three large petals and glue them on top of the first three filling in the spaces in between. Lastly, take the two smaller petals and glue them on top. For the center I cut out a spiral shape from a piece of yellow paper and rolled it up and glued it on. I used flower wire taped to the bottom of the tulip as a stem.

Ahhh…colour. That feels better already.

For this post I was inspired by fellow blogger, Patricia Zapata, at A Little Hut. She is an amazing graphic designer, crafter and author. Please check out her tutorial for a paper flower gift topper.

Happy creating everyone…

I am linking up to:  makingtheworldcuter.com, Skip To My Lou, Type A, Katie’s Nesting Spot, Crafty, Scrappy, Happy,

 

 

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Art for Kids: Inspired by Gustav Klimt

 

The other day I was driving through my neighborhood when a bright orange sign caught my attention. I slammed on the brakes (after quickly checking my rear view mirror – safety first!) pulled into a parking space and just sat staring at a new store. An art supply store. Cue dramatic music…

Although I live in a huge city, Toronto, our neighborhood was totally lacking in a good quality store to buy my favourite things in, art supplies of course! Before this lovely location opened I would go on an epic trek downtown, stock up on supplies and fight the traffic or hop on the subway home. This is a life changer for an arts and crafter like me. And it helped me gather the supplies I needed for my next ‘test project’.

I have been working my way through  The Print and Stamp Lab by Traci Bunkers.

It’s a great book for beginners (like me) and shows you how to turn just about anything into a stamp tool or printing block. I scooped up a brayer and block printing ink at the art supply store and quickly got to work.

Gather your supplies:

  • foam plate (this is a recycled meat tray)
  • black paper, (use a good quality paper, I used Artagain)
  • brayer
  • block printing ink
  • metallic pens
  • ballpoint pen to carve the foam with your design

I have had a Gustav Klimt project on my to-do list for a few months. I found it at Panther’s Palette, a great blog by Pam, an art teacher.

I started by using a ball point pen to carve a whimsical tree onto the foam. I then squeezed out a dollop of printing ink onto the back of a baking tray and rolled my brayer across it.  Then I rolled the brayer across my carved foam and tested it a few times to see how it worked.

I was disappointed with the foam tray I was using. It was quite uneven and it was difficult to smooth the paint across. The next time I try this project I might use a linoleum block and carve it or just try to find a smoother foam. Also, I tried regular acrylic ink and it was too runny and filled the carved lines.

And there you go:

I have fallen in love with my new brayer and can’t wait to try a million more projects. Kids from about the age of 6 onwards would be able to complete this project. There are so many variations to try.

Let me know what you think…comments totally make my day!

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Art for Kids: Inspired by Georgia O’Keefe

I have been inspired lately by the amazing works of Georgia O’Keefe. What a master she was! I found a great book at the library to show to my kids, Through Georgia’s Eyes.

I can’t wait to go through it together and roll up our sleeves and try a few projects.

My one absolute rule when doing any art project with children is that I must try the project myself first. I like to it out because it is just darn fun and to see if it works and what I might need to change or tweak to get it to work really well.

The first project I found was on the amazing art teacher’s blog, Brightest Crayon in the Blog. She has so many creative ideas posted and I fell in love with her take on a Georgia O’Keefe painting project. She didn’t provide any instructions other than using black glue at the end so I knew (to keep my sanity) I would have to try it first.

I didn’t take any pictures of the process, sorry! It really is an easy project.

I used:

  • watercolor paper
  •  liquid watercolor paint (pink, purple, blue, green)
  • acrylic paint (purple, black)
  • white craft glue

First, I used painters tape to tape my watercolor paper to the table. I then sketched a loose flower with pencil. Pink and purple watercolors were used to fill the flowers with a wet-on-wet technique. After the flower had dried I used blue/green to paint the background. I then used a fairly wet acylic paint to add some texture and depth to the flower. I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

I mixed a small quantity of white craft glue with black paint and added a touch of water (to make it easier to squeeze out). I outlined the flower and made a few swirly additions. I had a blast and I liked the end result.

My next project came from another great blog, Artopotomaus. Please check it out by clicking on the name. Here is what I made:

For supplies gather:

  • watercolor paper
  • assorted colors of tissue paper
  • black sharpie
  • white glue (watered down)

I sketched out another loose flower with a pencil and then went over my lines with a black sharpie. Next I used tissue paper to ‘paint’ the flower with color. I just ripped and applied with watered down white glue. After everything was dry I filled in any white gaps with oil pastels, and voila, another great project!

I am just itching to try these out with my kids and see what they create. I will post a few pictures of their ‘take’ on the project. Happy creating everyone…

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The Fun of Paper Paste

Oh – the fun of playing! We should all do it more. I spent my  morning playing with paper paste. A little bit messy, easy and the best part…fun to do with kids. Wouldn’t you like to try?

I have a goal for my valentine’s day projects this year, I want to include as many handmade materials as I can create. Using paper paste and paint together on paper allows you to make your own decorative paper with texture and designs.

I found a great tutorial at My Handbound Books – Book Making Blog on how to make the paste and use it to paint the papers. The recipe is simple, just water and flour, cooked over a double boiler. After it has cooled you add your paint and away you go!

Grab your supplies: heavy paper (I used watercolour paper), paper paste, paint (I used crafter’s acrylic), paint brushes and water.

I also used crayons and oil pastels to make a few designs on the paper before layering on the paint and paste. You can skip this step if you want to.

Now all you need is a few items to drag through your paste and paint. I chose a cork, popsicle sticks, a serving fork and a toilet roll.

Oh and a cup of tea is always an option. This is fun right?

First I started doodling some designs over the paper. This helps create a layered effect. I tried some with the layering and some without. Kids love doing this part.

Add a dollop of paste to a container and add a bit of paint, mix really well.

Paint on the paste paint mixture and grab a tool to make some designs. Sorry for the picture quality…

Now set your paper aside to dry, preferably away from your cat. A few of my papers have kitty cat paw prints on them from curious felines. If you paper really curls up just turn it over and iron with a low iron to make it flat.

And then it is up to you, cut, paste, collage, make cards, a garland or just a pile of pretty hearts.

If you are looking for a few more ideas for Valentine’s Day projects check out a few of my other posts: Valentine’s Eye Candy, DIY Valentine’s Cards Using Collage, and DIY Valentine’s Cards.

Thanks for stopping by…

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Valentine’s Eye Candy

Well hello there. I have been very busy today in my workshop working on new Valentine’s Day projects. They are coming along but still have a little way to go. In the meantime here is a little eye candy to gaze at:

I love this abstract rose print from Martha Stewart. So whimsical, creative and looks totally doable as  well. I like the idea of using it on wrapping paper too.

That Artist Woman is one of my favourite art resource blogs. Take some time to check it out. I really want to try this Valentine book that she created. I love the layers of paper in the middle and the text. She is a treasure trove of creativity.

Ooooh, where do I start with this little project? Just looking at it makes me want to run out to the nearest dollar store and get a bag full of match boxes. Too cute. Check it out at Inchmark.

There are so many creative projects out there I wish I could squeeze a few more hours out of the day to try them. What do you think? Do you want to try any? Leave a comment with a link to your Valentine’s Day project, I would love to see it. Keep crafting.

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