Wednesday, 20 November 2013

DIY: Christmas Gift/Cookie/Candy Jar!

Good day everyone! Today I will be sharing a very easy and affordable holiday DIY! It can make a great gift with some candy, trail mix or cookies! Or you can just admire it placed on your beautiful mantle. Everything about it spells C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S!!!

It looks so festive, really got me into the holiday decorating/creating mood!

First start with taping the jar, (it looks great when you can see the goodies inside)

I did not want symetric stripes, so went with broad and narrow ones. Then began the spray painting.

You will need to coat twice so the white is evenly painted. After thoroughly dry, begin to take off the tape carefully.

 I was a bit hasty thus explaining the staining at the back, need to keep patient and my hand steady!

Then I made my roses and leaves using colored crepe paper. First cut out about 2-3 inches and then begin rolling away.

 Keep the glue handy as the flower may just decide to undo itself, and you will need it to stick perfectly

Don't worry if you don't get it perfect the first time, practice will give finesse to the flowers!

 Voila! My beautiful rose!

 Cut out the leaves to go with the roses.

After you are happy with the flower and leave arrangement, begin gluing it together.

I also covered the lid, so the color and texture would match.

 Then I assembled my flowers and this is how it turned out. Really happy with the final look. All festive and calls out for celebration time!

 No holiday is complete without sweets, so fill in your favorite goodies.

So get crafty and make this great jar, gift it to your loved ones who will LOVE the effort and Christmas spirit or keep it for yourself. In any case this holiday DIY craft will be admired by all!

Happy Creating Everyone!


Monday, 18 November 2013

DIY: Coat Rack for Children's Room

DIY: A Fun Coat Rack for Children

I’ve never been one for boring, but was assigned to work on a coat rack to hang miscellaneous items in my 6 year old niece’s room.  So I decided to take the DIY route, and make one.  As always, I’m most inspired by natural materials, and found the branches for this coat rack in my neighborhood. I always found such elements interesting and fairytale like!

And yes we chopped off an old drawer cabinet we had lying around at home. My niece and I decided on the design and colors together. Boy, did she feel like little red riding hood, getting all adventurous, then we finally agreed upon something she liked and I could manage beautifully too. Mosy of the materials we had at home.  A couple hours of delightful family crafting later voila – a coat rack!

Materials Needed: 
  • Base wood Branches 
  • Leather Scraps 
  • Paint 
  • Colorful paper 
  • Modge Podge 
  • Foam Brush 
  • Hammer 
  • Screws 
  • Power drill
  • Exacto knife 
  • Wooden backboard (you may use something lying at home, like I did) 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Hand saw
 How To:

Sand your wooden backboard first. 
TIP: Always sand with the grain until all edges are smooth.  You don’t want anyone getting a splinter.

Cut out your colorful paper into the shape you’d like using a ruler, pencil and scissors.  We went to Blicks to get this special waxed, dried flower paper.

Apply the Modge Podge evenly to the back of your paper with the foam brush.  Apply paper to the wooden backboard.  Smooth out any wrinkles.

Apply Modge Podge over the paper, at least an inch beyond the edge of the paper onto the wood.  This will secure the paper to the wood with an overcoat preventing tears, and allowing you to wipe the item with a damp cloth to clean it.  Follow the bottles instructions for drying, many times you have to let it dry overnight.

Here is the interesting bit, where we went out to the ‘woods’ to gather the most artistic branches we could find! I cut the branches off the larger branch in such a way that they can be nailed to the backboard and provide the protruding branch to hang things off of.

Cut your leather to size using an exacto knife.  We continued with the triangle theme. Leather added a very nice texture and contributed to the overall look I was wanting to achieve.

Hammer short nails into the edges of the leather to keep it in place.

Make a stencil to paint over.  Use cardboard, or in this case an old poster.  Grab your exacto knife again and after drawing your design use the knife to cut it out.

Place your stencil in the area you’d like the design.  Use a paint brush to paint over the stencil.  The most important thing is to hold the edges of the stencil down when you’re painting over it to ensure the paint doesn’t get underneath the stencil smearing your design.

The designs are done, now it’s time to hammer in the branches!  Mark the backboard with a pencil where you would like the branches.  Secure the branches at 2 points – one at the top, and one at the bottom with nails.  Hammer slow and steady so as not to crack the wood.  Finish both branches, and you’re done….almost!

Now it’s power tool time! We’re going to secure the rack to the wall.  Use a power drill to drill holes in the rack and the wall.  Then insert screws into the rack with the power drill.  Finish them into the wall through the holes you drilled.  First make sure to ensure your rack isn’t crooked with a level.  The bubble should be in the middle of the two lines in the middle.

Enjoy!  Note, I made sure to mount the rack high enough so there are no potential injuries to children in our household.

If you enjoyed this you will surely love my Decoupage Coffee Table :)
Happy creating folks!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hogwarts’ themed Halloween Decor

Halloween is such a fun time of year and there's nothing I enjoy more than an excuse to dress up! Also, being a hardcore Potter fan, this time of the year brings back all those Hogwart memories. So we're planning a bit of a party and plenty of (adult-supervised) trick or treating.
But our tired orange-and-black decos needed a bit of updating, so this year we've looked to Harry Potter for a little inspiration.

I used my home office desk and transformed it into something special from Hogwarts.

Step 1: Tea painting
I'm starting here because this is a really simple and fun activity and if you know any toddlers it is a great one to get them involved with! Steep a few teabags in some warm water. When the water is a nice dark brown, paint directly on to your sheets of paper using the teabags. Be gentle, so the teabags don't split, but really anything goes! Once they are dry you have some lovely old parchment to turn into Harry-Potter-style props! Also you could brew coffee and use a brush, that works wonders too!
Step 2: What you will need

Now you've made your 'parchment' , gather together the rest of your props. The great thing about using Harry Potter as a theme is it gives you a great deal of flexibility - JK Rowling imagined such a rich and detailed world, you can adapt the theme to suit what you already have lying around.
Make use of the usual Halloween paraphernalia - pumpkins, plastic spiders, cotton wool cobwebs etc. These broomsticks were picked up very cheaply in our local Supermarket.
Claret and Gold are good colours for table cloths and drapes as these are the colours of Harry Potter's house at Hogwarts: Gryffindor. Luckily I found a great Sparkle Table runner. And if you happen to have a birdcage with an owl inside...(that would be perfect!) ;)

Step 3: The Hogwarts Parcels
Wrapping up some empty boxes with brown paper and string is a really simple idea to create the Hogwarts look. What has Harry bought in Diagon Alley this year?
Step 4: Harry's Text Books

The 'parchment' you painted earlier is great for using as dust covers on books, spells, maps and other manuscripts. We've gone for The Standard Book of Spells, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Defence Against the Dark Arts here, but you could get a whole lot more creative if you wanted to - a great activity for older children to get involved with perhaps?
Step 5: Potion Bottles

These potion jars are a really simple, cheap idea that looks great in a Harry Potter theme. Wash out a selection of old bottles and jars and make some labels using the 'parchment' you made earlier like I did, or go for this amazing free printable from Over the Moon.

They can be filled with bits of twigs and leaves from the garden or maybe some jelly worms or gobstopper eyeballs. To age them, drizzle a little kitchen oil around the top of the bottles and then dust with talcum powder. Wine corks make for good lids or try greaseproof paper tied on with string.
Step 6: Novelty treats
These apothecary jars also make for great little treats. Fill baby food jars (as shown here) or small jam jars or sauce bottles with a few scary-looking treats. It keeps unwrapped sweets from being handled by two many little fingers prior to eating and makes it a bit easier to monitor how many everyone's eaten! Seal the tops with greaseproof paper and string and they are really convenient to distribute at the door or take home at the end of the party. These little jars would also be a great way to serve up fruit jellies.
Step 7: Wands and branches

In the world of Harry Potter no two wands are the same - so wand creation is a great opportunity to go for a forage for twigs in your local park or garden! If you're lucky enough to have access to some twisted hazel, these unusual branches also make for a great table decoration. Strip the leaves. You can then either fashion your twigs into wands or use them as a Halloween table decoration.
Step 8: Lighting

The lighting at Hogwarts is fab inspiration for a Halloween theme - when it comes to candles, lanterns and scones more is more!
There are so many ways to develop this theme. Thanks to the imagination of JK Rowling, the world of Harry Potter is rich in inspiration - just let your imagination run riot! Happy Halloween!