This is a replica of a favorite project I did a while ago. I call it Leaf Poetry. Why? because you use the leaf templates or you can trace leaves and paint them anyway you desire. Then you are going to write some very simple poetry on your leaves. You can use as many leaves as you want but I chose three. See…Leaf Poetry.
I often get inspired by projects I see on Pinterest. About two weeks ago, I saw a DIY post of pressed leaves in clear glass picture frames. I thought it looked like fun. I had picked up some frames from the dollar store, my go-to when the budget is tight, and thought I might just use some clovers for St. Patricks Day. Well, St. Patricks Day came and went, and I didn’t get a chance to do it, and besides the clovers were too small. However, a couple of days ago, I discovered a couple of roses on the bushes in my side yard and I knew I could so something with them.
Roses in their full form are difficult to press and preserve. However, rose petals could be pretty awesome to work with as well. So, I popped the petals off and pressed them between the two pieces of glass and laid a very heavy text book on top. I left them that way for twenty-four hours. This morning, I woke to beautifully pressed flower petals. Now at first I thought I was going to make a mandala shape from the two colors but another idea had been playing in my mind overnight: Why not turn them into Butterflies? The petals remind me of butterfly wings. The idea of drawing on the glass with permanent marker came from a picture frame I saw at Joann’s where you color in the picture.
I took the petals from between the glass and cleaned both pieces of glass. Then, carefully, I drew on Butterfly bodies, one at a time, placing the “wings” as I went. I didn’t want any overlapping. There you have it. A fun and simple pressed flower petal craft DIY. This is something that even children could do with adult supervision. Oh! How I did the glass. I dissected two picture frames, taking out all the paper and filler stuff. Once the butterflies were done, I pressed the second piece of glass over it, lining it up carefully with the other one. Then, very carefully put the two pieces of glass into one frame. I had to make sure the brackets that hold the glass in were all the way open, and slowly maneuvering them into the frame until they lay flat. Then just pressed the bracket firmly against the glass. Done! Check out some of the pictures below to see the process.
March is National Craft Month. A favorite Month of mine as it gives me an excuse to try out all kinds of crafty projects. I have more projects coming over the next week and a half just for you. However today, I thought I would round-up some of my favorite crafts that I have done over the last year. Plus a few cool bonus ones.
This first one is about painting and seashells. I love making stuff with seashells or painting them. I have collected them my whole life. In this project, I made a flower from a piece of driftwood, beach rock and seashell. It was a simple craft, one that could be done with children about six and older. It was also just plain fun to do.
This next one was a fun Ten Minute Tuesday Craft that I did while drinking my morning coffee and under the jealous eyes of my nineteen year old who wanted to make one too. It is the Mood Jar. This simple craft was made with just a few ingredients: Elmers glitter gel glue, hot water, and glitter. They are great for calming down an anxious child or even adult ( I discovered), or an alternative to using a timer for a time out. It gives the child to something to focus on while gaining back control. Also…they are just pretty.
Another favorite was the Glue Batiking that I did. It took a couple of tries to get it right but when I did, I loved it. It is still hanging on my wall. It is one of the projects I am really proud of. In fact, I plan to head to the craft store at the beginning of next month to get a slightly bigger piece of fabric and try a more elaborate design. I really enjoyed the process. This would be fun to do with school age kids, six or older as well. You could even hand draw the design first with a fabric pencil that washes out then trace with the glue. This one does take some time though. You have to allow for the glue to dry and then for the paint to dry.
My Magnet tutorial is a nostalgic one, as with the arthritis in my hands makes it so difficult to do this project anymore. I really loved making the magnets and pendants, as they use very similar techniques. However, it isn’t hard to get the supplies and make them. The glass I order from Sun and Moon Craft Kits online. Though sometimes you can find them at the craft stores, the consistency of quality isn’t nearly as good. I love this web site. It has all kinds of tips and tricks and videos. You can make earrings, keychains and necklaces.
Finally, I am in love with making magic wands. I have done a few different kinds, from Harry Potter style for a birthday party to the kind shown here, that are more like talismans. You need just a few supplies: drift wood is what I use but you can use dowels as well, ribbons, crystals or stones, and something to write an intention on or you could simply write on the wood. I have two different wands that sit on my desk. This would also be fun to do with kids; younger than five would need a lot of extra help though.
Bonus project: See all the stars hanging from the ceiling. My friend Rebecca and I spend nearly a week cutting out stars from cardboard boxes and then painting them. The whole purpose was the build an full room blanket fort and then hang the stars and moons from the ceiling too. We held an art blanket fort party and it was a blast. As far as I am concerned a good blanket fort needs stars. We used templates we found online, traced them onto flattened out cardboard boxes. Then painted and glittered the heck out of them.
And I loved them so much, I couldn’t get ride of them. I keep them hanging in the corner of my little office space at home.
So there you have it, some of my favorite crafts from the last year. Like I said in the beginning, there are more crafts to come for this month. What are you doing for National Craft Month?
Photo transfers to wood: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this project. I have done it a few times now. I thoroughly enjoy the results of the rustic look of the picture on wood. I am keeping the post simple. Several pictures with instructions under each one. Now you can follow this easy step by step tutorial of transferring awesome photo’s to wood.
I love mood jars or relaxation jars, like the ones pictured here. I have made them for kids where I used to work using plastic water bottles as well but I think the mason jars are much prettier and a little more sturdy. They do not take long to make at all and only require a few simple ingredients. They are a great distraction if you just need to focus your mind on something else for a little while. They also make great calming down jars when a kid is upset.
The basic set up is a mason jar, I just got mine at the dollar store, glitter glue ( I like Elmer’s gel Glitter glue), and hot water. Of course, I couldn’t help but add in some fine pink glitter and some large flake iridescent blue glitter. Why? Because you really can’t have too much glitter, if anyone tells you that you can, they are Wrong! Thanks to the lid getting stuck on the pink glitter, I am now wearing it for the rest of the day. So, back to the jar. I just used hot water from my coffee pot. You can heat up in the microwave as well. You don’t want it boiling, just hot enough to mix the glue. Set everything up in one place and you are ready to go. Now, if you are going to let a child use it, I would also recommend using a glue gun to seal the lid on to prevent glitter glue catastrophes. Just follow the pictures step by step. PS. Cool Tip: I buy cheap dowels in the package for about .99 cents at JoAnn’s and use those for stir sticks with craft projects.
The holiday season has arrived. For creatives it is a time of crafting, creating, and giving. In some form or another, you will probably do at least one or two projects, and possibly six or seven. You will probably make a gift or two, create some yummy treat for a party or your office. It is the time of year for being extra crafty and creative. However, this can also lead to burn out as you try to fit time for all your regularly planned activities as well as extra projects. Here are 8 magical tips to help you have a peaceful crafting holiday season.
- Plan Ahead. Try not to burn yourself out making a bunch of stuff at one time. This can seem like a great idea at the moment but leads to, what I call, a crafting hangover. A crafting hangover can lead you to not wanting to touch a single creating item for a while and pure exhaustion. So, plan out your month of projects in ways that are not overwhelming. Maybe combining a simple and a complex project for the same day. This leads us to…
- Combine like projects. Still planning ahead, for example do kitchen and food products on one or two shifts, and maybe ornaments or mantle decorating on another. If you are doing a bunch of foodstuff combined all the chocolate things or all the cookies or the breads based on ingredients. For non-food projects playing them around whether the use similar products.
- Prepare. Know what you have and what you need to get right down to tape or glue or the smallest piece. This will keep stress away because you will not be running around at the last minute wondering where something is or freaking out because you have don’t have enough glue sticks to finish your project.
- Make a list. Know what you’re making for the home for gifting for parties or for work. I am bad at this but working on it and can tell you that a list just makes planning so much easier. It keeps me from focusing on a project I don’t mean for three weeks and focused on the project I need this weekend.
- Take a break. Crafters put their heart and soul into their work. Give yourself time to recuperate after a crafting shift. If you burnout you will want to make anything else.
- Breathe. This seems like a basic concept but you know how it can go. Time is running out so hurry as you start to rush you tend to tense up and not to breathe deeply. Tell yourself to breathe and you will feel the tension begin to lead the body.
- Perfection is not required. Even in gift giving there is room for little mistakes. The beauty of crafting is that there are just ways of discovering working around the mistakes you make driving give a disastrous a project away? No, but I do know an accidental dot of paint here or miss flower ribbon there is not the end of a gift. Do your best. That is all you can do. Do not be mean to yourself over a simple mistake.
- Have fun. You craft because you love to. It makes you happy. Try not to get so caught up with feeling the rush of the holidays you forget to have fun with whatever projects you’re taking on.
My post is coming a bit late today. Getting ready for two kids birthday parties this weekend has me running behind. I still wanted to send you into the weekend with something fun to try. In my post, Creative Soul Revealed, I talk about the pendants that I make. I also make magnets and keychains. This is just one technique I use for making them. I use all my own photographs but some people buy sheets specifically designed for the one inch glass. So come play along and make a magnet or two.
A popular unification ceremony at weddings these days is to pour sand from two separate containers into a glass vase, sometimes shaped like a heart, or a cylinder engraved with the couples names and wedding date. I have also sen the ceremony done as kids are combined in a marriage. Recently, a good friend reunified with her child and I wanted to honor that unification and celebrate it. So I took I made her a Unification set for to include both her children and herself.
- First step: Dollar Store! Hey, I am a woman on a VERY tight budget. I picked up sand and vases. I already had acrylic paint and watercolor paint and glitter.
2. Next I used my water color paints to dye the sand the colors I wanted. Not the teal already had some nice fine glittery sand for me to mix once it was dyed.
3. While the sand was drying, I took my vases and painted them, using the colors on the vase to match the sand.
4. After the sand was dry, I mixed in the glitter because of course things need to sparkle. Then filled each of the vases.
5. Finally I wrapped them all in newspaper so they would tip or break in the gift bag and tied them with ribbons. Finally they were put in a pretty bag and given to my friend.
It really is a simple project. Here are a couple of tips: 1) I used liquid water color tubes BUT the color does not always stay. You can use food coloring but I was out 2) I wrote the names on with marker first as I am not the greatest painter. It was much easier to paint over the permanent marker 3) You can just use already colored sand but dyeing it was part of the fun. 4) Make sure the sand dries all the way or you will have a clumpy mess when it’s poured.
I have seen several “fake” batiks on Pinterest. They were bright and colorful and used Elmer’s Glue as a resist instead of wax. I read a few of tutorials and felt ready to try. The following pictures describe my adventure through this process.
The reason for some of my warnings comes from the mistakes I made this first time around. 1) I used the wrong glue. Originally I see Elmer’s gel glue being used and on a couple of pictures it was just “No Run”School glue. I thought that Elmers Extreme craft glue would work. This was before the salt mandala attempt from last week. 2) I didn’t let it DRY ALL THE WAY! So when I added 3) WATERCOLORS I had a runny kind of mess. 4) Even though I finished letting it all dry once it was painted, I soaked it but since I used Water colors it faded out. You can see my mistakes below. Let them be a warning to you.
Also, a note about the glue. The “no Run” school glue seemed to work fine but still ran a little, hence the blobby heart on the bottom. I have done some more reading and the Gel is supposed to work the best. Happy painting!