Friday, July 29, 2011

A Chair To Remember

Turn an old wooden chair into an instant antique. The secret is to use amazing resin appliques that are exact copies of woodcarvings from the 1800s. Heirloom chic!

Wooden flea market chair with removable seat
Posh by Chez Moi for Moda 100% cotton fabric, Posh Floral Seaweed, 30"x30"
3" thick batting, 16"x16"
Bella Cottage resin appliques: one #A1013, four #A1025
Krylon spray paint, Indoor/Outdoor White Primer #51315
Krylon spray paint, Satin Hunter Green #3502
Amazing Goop all-purpose contact adhesive
Masking tape
Staple gun and staples

Before: Choose a wooden flea market chair with removable seat.

1. Flip the chair over and remove the seat. (Ours was held on by 4 screws.) Be sure to save the screws!

2. Center the large applique on the back of the chair so the ends of the swag curve down. Mark the location on the chair with the chalk.

3. Apply a generous amount of Goop over the back of the applique. Press the applique into place on the back of the chair. To hold the applique in place while the glue dries, secure it with masking tape. Remove any excess glue with a toothpick.

4. Repeat this process to attach the four smaller appliques around the seat frame. Again secure the glued appliques with masking tape. Let the glue cure for 1 hour.

5. Sand the wooden frame of the chair, then brush off any dust. Paint the chair and appliques with the Krylon White Primer. Let dry for 10 minutes, then paint the chair with the Hunter Green spray paint. Let dry for 1 hour.

6. Remove any old fabric and foam from the seat. Lay the wooden seat on top of the batting and trim the batting to fit.

7. Iron the fabric. Lay the fabric over the chair seat and batting. Line up the pattern so the prettiest part is showing on the seat. Flip the batting, fabric, and seat over, keeping the fabric centered where you want it. Measure 4" from the seat edge and cut all the way around the fabric. (Our final fabric measurement was 25"x27".)

8. Pull the edge of the fabric up and over the batting and seat and staple it to the underside of the seat. Repeat for the opposite side, then the remaining sides. To make the corners neat and tidy, fold the fabric at the corners like you are wrapping a present.

9. Set the cushion on the chair frame and screw it into place. Then sit on another chair so you can admire your handiwork!

Apply Yourself: These shabby chic appliques work so well on any wooden furniture you can dress up a dresser, spruce up a sideboard, and even embellish an armoire!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moving Pictures Photo Blocks

Create a clever conversation piece with family photo blocks.

Turn six favorite photos into infinite fun! Simply cut pictures into squares and mount them onto wooden cubes. Then rearrange them to create a coffee table puzzle that's also an interactive scrapbook.

6 family photos
9 wooden blocks, 2 inches by 2 inches each
Sandpaper, fine grit
Red spray paint
Tack cloth
Mod Podge decoupage glue
Foam paintbrush
X-Acto knife
Cutting mat
Computer and laser printer

Step One
To smooth the raw wooden blocks, rub the edges with fine grit sandpaper. Remove any dust with the tack cloth, then spray paint the blocks red on all sides. When the cubes have dried, clean them once again with the tack cloth to remove any paint dust.

Step Two Crop a favorite photo so it is square, then enlarge it to 6 inches by 6 inches. Print the photo in black and white on a laser printer (inkjet prints will run). Using the X-Acto knife, ruler, and cutting mat, cut the enlarged photo into three 2-inch wide strips. Then cut each strip into 2-inch squares. You should end up with nine 2-inch squares.

Step Three
Glue one 2-inch photo square onto one side of a wooden block using the Mod Podge decoupage glue and the foam paintbrush. Apply a coat of Mod Podge on top of the photo as well (it dries clear). Glue the next 2-inch photo square onto a different wooden cube. Repeat until each wooden cube has one segment of the photo mounted on one side. Repeat steps two and three until all six family photos are cut and mounted to the cubes. When you are done, every cube will have one square of each photo. Arrange the photo blocks three-by-three on your coffee table, then flip and turn each cube to recreate the original photos.

Chroma Zones: To give your puzzle an artsy touch, use your computer to tint the black and white photos in different colors so one picture ends up red, another blue, and so on.

Makin' Copies: Don't have a laser printer in your home office? Just take your images on a CD to Kinko's and they'll print them for you! And by the way, black and white pictures print best on the color printer. Who knew?

Big Little Tip: You can make this puzzle big or small depending on the cubes you choose. offers wood blocks ranging from ½ inches to 3½ inches. (Just think how cute a set of ½-inch cubes would be on your desk!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Room With A View Etched Window

Fashion a stylish room divider out of an old weathered window.

Junk windows are available everywhere, from salvage yards to flea markets. (You might even have one under your house!) These architectural castoffs are do-it-yourself projects just waiting to happen. And why wait when you can turn any old window into a fabulous etched room divider in no time? Armour Etch, available at craft stores, actually etches glass with just one application. So you can put away your sand blaster!

Creating a beautiful design for your etched window is simple when you use spectacular stencils. Large templates, often used for decorative wall painting, are the perfect size for panes of glass. But for artier designs with bold graphics, look for scrapbooking stencils. We found 12" by 12" doodling templates from that feature stylish swirls and paisleys. Gorgeous!

Old wooden window
Con-Tact paper
Large stencil
10 oz Armour Etch cream
Steel chain
4 Screw hooks
Drop cloth
Window cleaner
Paper towels
Sharpie marker
Craft knife
Sponge paintbrush
Protective gloves

Step 1

To create the design, trace the stencils onto the Con-Tact paper with the Sharpie. Cut out the Con-Tact paper with the craft knife. Wipe the window thoroughly with window cleaner, then stick the Con-Tact paper cutouts to the glass and rub the edges down carefully. (Positioning the cutouts on the glass is much easier if you tape the stencil to the other side of the window.) Clean the exposed glass one more time to ensure the best results.

Step 2
To etch the glass, apply the Armour Etch cream with the sponge brush, painting a thick layer of etch cream over the glass and the Con-Tact paper cutouts (don't forget to don your gloves first!). Let the etch cream set for 5 minutes, then rinse the window in the bathtub with lukewarm water, peel off the cut-outs, and continue rinsing until clean. As the window dries, the pattern will reveal itself. Amazing!

Step 3
To hang the etched window room divider, attach 2 hooks to the top of the window and 2 hooks to the ceiling the same distance apart. Hang with equal lengths of steel chain.

Brushstroke of Genius: With this technique, the brushstrokes tend to show, so use it to your advantage. Apply the etch cream with a swirling motion and any brush marks will look like part of the design.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Souvenir Style

Little treasures -- from antique spoons to unique flea-market finds -- can be a decorating windfall.

Global chic is everywhere. Walk through your local home decorating store and you're bound to see motifs with international roots. Accessories like hand-carved bowls from Thailand, hand-woven kilims from Morocco, and hand-hammered tin mirrors from the Mayan Riviera infuse your decor with texture and color. But why buy the same picture frames and candleholders as your neighbors when you can add spice from your own personal travels? As you hit the road this summer, keep an eye out for decorator touches posing as souvenirs. Look for items your destination is famous for, such as linen from Ireland, pottery from Portugal, and baskets from the Bahamas. Then give those mementos a place of honor in your home and every time you see them, you'll think of your trip to another country, not your trip to Pier One.

Fabrics from exotic locales pack well in your suitcase and pack a big punch in your decor. Look for locally crafted textiles like French country tablecloths in Provence, batik bedspreads in Bali, and raw-silk runners in India. Reverse applique Molas from Panama make bright and beautiful wall hangings. A cushion cover from Peru adds a touch of South America to any room. If your trip doesn't take you abroad, you can still bring home fabulous fabric furnishings. Think quilts from the Amish country and wool from Pendleton, or visit a sidewalk art show for one-of-a kind pieces by local fiber artists. With such striking fabric accents, even your home will feel refreshed after your holiday.

To get a taste of jet-set style, seek out exciting objets d'art while you explore your destination. Don't be daunted by large items or breakable pieces--many places will ship the item to your home. Taking a voyage to Venice? A hand-blown glass vase will look stunning on your credenza. Exploring Kenya? Hand-carved wooden animals will remind you of your wildlife safari (and seeing the Big Five!). How about a matte black rice bowl from Hong Kong? It will look like a modern work of art on your coffee table, and the prices in the markets are so good, why not get three? Get a Chinese Chop with a hand-carved puppy and you'll never forget you went to China in the Year of the Dog.

For more global flair, mix color and character into your decor with folk art. You can buy original works right from the source while you're on vacation. Visit the Huichol Indians in Mexico, learn about their culture, then bring home a colorful yarn painting made by the very same artists. Headed to the big city? You can buy "local folk" art there, too. Just watch for street artists selling watercolors of scenic hotspots. What exemplifies a trip to the Big Apple better than a painting of The Brooklyn Bridge? Once you decorate your home with real art from your travels, you'll never hang mass-produced art on your walls again.

Smaller souvenirs can make a big statement when arranged into travel vignettes. Russian Matryoshka dolls look like priceless collectibles when you showcase them with handpainted lacquer boxes. Buy postcards or take photos to serve as backdrops for your displays. Show petrified wood from Arizona in front of a postcard of the Grand Canyon. Exhibit evil eyes from Istanbul with a picture of you buying them at the bazaar. These vignettes are ideal if you already have lots of little mementos from past trips. On their own they might be hodgepodge, but displayed with your best snapshots, they become a three-dimensional vacation scrapbook that is a custom decorator touch.

Kitschy keepsakes are inexpensive and irresistible! And if you love this look but think it isn't decorator-chic, think again. Vintage state map fabrics are showing up in decorator showrooms, and you can get your own as tea towels on your next trip to a roadside Stuckey's! Other classic souvenirs, like snow globes, floaty pens, and magnets, can make a big statement grouped together in a big collection. Thirty snow globes side-by-side make a whimsical conversation piece. One hundred matchbooks from around the world add spark to a plain vase. State spoons, teacups, and plates look charming together--and these silly souvenirs are practical, too. Next time you have the book club over, break out the teacups and lighten the mood with Key Lime Pie served on a Florida state plate. Now that's souvenir style!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Diamond Jubilee

Who knew forgotten earrings and mismatched buttons could make such a glamorous opera necklace?

Flea Market Finds
Pearls, 8 mm, 21.
Vintage rhinestone and crystal clip-on earrings, 18.
Gold and silver metal shank buttons, 18.

Silver-plated filigree findings, round, 15 mm, 9.
Silver-plated filigree findings, round, 22 mm, 9.
Silver-plated wire, 24 gauge, 84".
Clear crystal bicone beads, 4 mm, 42.
Crystazzi crystal floral clasp, silver, 12 mm, 1.

Tools & Supplies
Wire cutters.
Round-nosed pliers.
Chain-nosed pliers or wire straightener.
Beacon Adhesives Quick Grip glue.

1. If your filigree findings have a curved surface, flatten them with the wire straightener or chain-nosed pliers. Using the wire cutters, snip the shanks and clips off the backs of the buttons and earrings.

2. Cut a 4" piece of silver-plated wire and feed it through one end of the clasp. Secure with a wrapped loop. Slide one crystal bicone, a pearl, and another crystal bicone onto the wire. Feed the end of the wire through a hole in a small filigree finding and secure with a wrapped loop.

3. Use the same technique to make a bicone and pearl component to connect the small filigree finding to a large one. Continue in this fashion alternating between large and small filigree findings until you have 9 large and 9 small connected by bicone and pearl components.

4. After the last filigree finding, use a bicone and pearl component to connect the necklace to the other end of the clasp.

5. Cover your work surface with newspaper and stretch the necklace out on the paper. Before you start gluing, lay out the earrings and buttons in the order you want them on your necklace. Keep in mind you will use two for each finding, one for the front and one for the back. Use the larger findings for the larger earrings and buttons.

6. Glue the earrings and buttons to the findings using Quick Grip. It is helpful to glue both sides of the filigree finding at the same time, sandwiching the finding between an earring and a button. Let dry. Now put on your little black dress and take your glitzy revamp out for a night on the town!

Bijou Bonanza: Look for grab bags of broken jewelry at the flea market. For just a few dollars you can get all the earrings for this project and some inspiration for your next!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fashionista Flip-Flops

Wanna hit the beach in high style? Then gather the girls together for a night of sparkling Swarovskis and trendy flip-flops!

Flip-flops, turquoise.
Swarovski Flat Back rhinestones, Hyacinth Orange, 2.6mm, 86.
Swarovski Flat Back rhinestones, Light Topaz, 2.6mm, 96.
Beacon Adhesives Flip-Flop glue.
Sticky putty or clay, pea-sized ball.

1. Stick a pea-sized ball of putty on the end of the toothpick to create a tool for picking up the rhinestones.

2. Using the pick-up tool, tap the glitzy side of a Hyacinth Orange rhinestone and pick it up. Place a drop of flip-flop glue on the back of the rhinestone, then center the rhinestone on the point of the flip-flop thong. Surround the orange rhinestone with 6 Light Topaz rhinestones to create a flower.

3. Repeat the process to create a flower on each side of the first one, but use the Light Topaz for the center and the Hyacinth Orange for the petals.

4. Continue on, alternating the colors of the flowers, until you have 6 flowers on each strap.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 to embellish the second flip-flop.

Beachy Brights: Flip-flops come in dozens of colors, so try these crystal combos for a little bit of fun.

  • Orange flip-flops: blue & lime rhinestones
  • Yellow flip-flops: fuchsia & orange rhinestones
  • Fuchsia flip-flops: lime & yellow rhinestones
  • Red flip-flops: blue & yellow rhinestones
  • Lime flip-flops: fuchsia & red rhinestones

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Something Old Something New Keepsake Box

Dress up a cigar box with flea market gems like an old strand of pearls and a swatch from a beaded gown.

When we are looking for creative inspiration, we just head to the flea market! On a recent trip, all it took was seeing a booth filled with scraps and appliques from old wedding dresses to get the ideas flowing. One cigar box, a broken necklace, and dozens of vintage beads later, we found ourselves creating a jewelry box featuring something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

Flea Market Materials
1 Wooden cigar box
1 Dupioni wedding dress scrap
1 Beaded lace wedding veil scrap
44 Pearl beads from broken necklace
1 Broken necklace (Ours had pearls and chain.)
1 Murano glass heart charm, white and silver
4 15mm Resin beads, peach
5 6mm Vintage faceted beads, blue and gold
8 5mm Faceted glass beads, peach

8½ in. x 11 in. Heavy cardstock
10 Straight pins
1/3 yd. 6 oz poly batting
1/3 yd. Silk dupioni, blue
1 yd. Rosebud trim, pink and blue
4 ft. Wrights velvet ribbon, 5/8 in. wide, celadon
4 ft. 1/8 in. Polyester ribbon, olive
40 5mm Freshwater pearl nugget beads, light blue
2 spools Thread, pink, celadon
20 in. 28-ga. Wire, copper
7 4mm Bicone crystals, peach
6 4mm Bicone crystals, crystal
60 Seed beads, gold
3 5½ in. x 5½ in. Gold leafing sheets
Gold leaf adhesive
Gold leaf sealer

Tools & Supplies
4¾ in. Flat head nails
Beacon Adhesives Quick Grip glue
4 Binder clips
Wire cutters
Chain-nose pliers
Scotch tape
X-Acto knife
Sewing needle (thin enough to go through the pearls)
Craft paintbrush

1. Start by making a pillow to line the jewelry box. To do this, cut a piece of the cardstock to fit inside the bottom of the box using the X-Acto knife and ruler. Use the scissors to cut a piece of poly batting the same size as the cardstock. Sandwich the batting between the wedding dress fabric and the cardstock. Cut the wedding dress fabric one inch larger on each side. Wrap the fabric up and around the batting and cardstock, folding the corners like a wrapped present. Use the Quick Grip glue to adhere the fabric to the cardstock. Set the pillow insert in the box.

2. To pad the lid, create a tufted pillow top on a piece of cardstock. Use the same technique as the pillow insert to cover the cardstock with batting and the blue silk dupioni (but don't glue yet). Lay the wedding veil scrap over the padded blue lid so the lace lies in an interesting way. Trim the lace 1½ inches larger on each side and fold the ends under. Secure the fabric and lace to the cardstock with a binder clip on each side.

3. To tuft the pillow top, draw a grid of nine equally spaced dots on the underside of the cardstock. Feed one bicone and one vintage gold bead onto a straight pin and, starting from the lace side of the pillow top and using the grid on the other side as a guide, push the pin through the padding into the center dot of the grid. Use the chain-nose pliers to grab the pointy end of the pin from the underside of the pillow top. Pull the beaded pinhead tight so the fabric tufts. Bend the pin 90 degrees flat against the underside of the pillow top and secure to the cardstock with tape. 

4. Repeat to tuft the four outer corners of the grid. For the four remaining dots of the grid, use the same technique, but feed one crystal bicone and one peach faceted bead onto each straight pin. Next, remove the binder clips from the pillow top and use the Quick Grip glue to adhere the fabric to the underside of the cardstock. Glue the tufted pillow top to the lid of the cigar box with a generous amount of Quick Grip. Hold in place for a few minutes while the glue dries. Glue a strip of thin olive ribbon under the tufted lid around the top of the box.

5. To gold leaf the sides of the box, paint them with the gold leaf adhesive and the craft paintbrush. Let the adhesive set for one hour. It will remain tacky. Apply the gold leaf sheets and brush away the excess with a dry paintbrush. If any spots remain uncovered, place a scrap of gold leaf sheet onto them and press, then brush away any excess. Finish it with a coat of gold leaf sealer. Let dry for 30 minutes.
6. To make feet for the jewelry box, use the hammer and nails to attach the four large peach resin beads to the bottom of the box at each corner.

7. To create the beaded ribbon embellishment, lay the rose bud trim over the celadon ribbon and pin one end into place. Using the pink thread and thin sewing needle, sew up through a rose on the trim, add one pearl, and then one gold seed bead. Go around the seed bead and sew back through the pearl, the rose, and the ribbon. When you come back up, go between the roses and add a blue freshwater nugget, then sew back through the ribbon. Repeat until you have beaded 24 inches of ribbon or enough to go around the cigar box. Glue the beaded ribbon around the box with the seam in the back.

8. Use the wire cutters to cut a piece of the broken pearl and chain necklace the length of the box plus 2 inches. Sew the ends to the beaded trim at the front corners of the box using the pink thread. Sew the center of the chain to the center of the ribbon to create swags. Use the chain-nose pliers to hook the heart charm through a center link in the chain between the swags.

9. To craft a white flower for the top of the jewelry box, lay the wedding dress scrap over the lace wedding veil scrap and cut them into a 5-inch diameter circle. To create the beaded stamens, cut an 8-inch piece of copper wire and fold it in half. Feed five gold seed beads onto the wire, then one peach faceted bead, one pearl, and one bicone bead. Bend the wire around the bicone and feed it back through the pearl, then snip the end. Repeat on the other end of the wire. Then make a second set of beaded stamens. Twist the folded ends together and place in the center of the layered fabric circle. Pinch the fabric around the wire to form a flower shape, then tie the pinched end tightly with a piece of thin olive ribbon. Tie a pretty bow with the velvet celadon ribbon around the pinched end. Finally, sew the flower onto the lid with the celadon thread.

Big Box Store: If you can't find the right cigar box at the flea market, try your local tobacconist. They usually sell empty boxes for a dollar or two. And they smell great!

Midas Touch: If a gold leafing kit is just outside your budget, use gold spray paint instead. Just do it as the first step.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Personalized Photo Plate

Create the purrfect set of dessert plates using images of your pet!

4 glass dessert plates, 8" diameter
4 photographs, 3"x3"
2 Lazertran waterslide decal transfer sheets (for laser color copier/printers), 8.5"x11"
Paper cutter
Casserole dish, 9"x12"
Paper towels
Oven mitts

Step 1
To create the art for the plates, have your pet's photos copied onto the Lazertran sheets using one of the Lazertran-approved printer/copiers listed on the package.

Step 2
Skip the package instruction to pre-bake the Lazertran sheet. Instead, remove the Lazertran decal from the backing paper by soaking it in a casserole dish filled with water. Slide the backing off, being careful not to rip the decal.

Step 3
Carefully apply the Lazertran decal to the back of the plate with the toner-side touching the plate. Squeegee out all the air bubbles and water from under the decal. (Use a paper towel to keep the water from seeping back under the decal.) Sprinkle more water on top of the decal to keep the squeegee moving. Smooth out any wrinkles. Finally, clean the decal and the edges of plate with a damp cloth so no slimy adhesive residue remains. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to transfer the images onto the rest of the glass plates.

Step 4
To fuse the image to the surface, heat each plate decal-side-up in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, then increase the temperature to 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Finally, raise the temperature to 300 degrees and watch the decal closely. If a few bubbles appear on the surface, continue baking until they disappear. Remove the plate when the image "melts" and the finish has a hard, glazed appearance. Let the platter cool and wash it with warm soapy water.

Tableware Tip:
While it's tempting to place the photo-decal on the front of the plate, it could get worn down after use. So make your hard work last by putting the image on the back. That way you can clearly see the photo through the plate, but your fork and knife won’t scratch your cute pet pic!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Extreme Makeover

Take a flea market vase from dull to dazzling!

Flea market vase with a porous surface, like pottery.
Plaid Folk Art acrylic paint,
Wicker White #901.
Plaid Folk Art acrylic paint,
Fresh Foliage #954.
Plaid Folk Art acrylic paint,
Azure Blue #643.
Plaid Folk Art Extreme Glitter,
Peridot #2776.
Plaid Folk Art Extreme Glitter,
Turquoise #2778.
Lasercut stickers, leaves and bees.

Tools & Supplies:
Fine sandpaper.
Foam paintbrush.
Stir stick.

Before: Choose a flea market vase with a porous surface, like pottery.

1. Rough up the surface of the vase with fine sandpaper. Be sure to sand any raised or glossy areas. Wash and dry the vase.

2. Prime the vase with a coat of Wicker White paint. Paint inside the mouth of the vase where it will show. Let dry. Apply a second coat if needed.

3. When the vase is dry, paint it with the Fresh Foliage paint. Be sure to paint inside the mouth of the vase. Let dry. Apply a second coat if needed.

4. Stir the Peridot Extreme Glitter thoroughly. Using the foam paintbrush, paint the vase with a coat of Peridot Extreme Glitter, leaving the inside of the mouth unglittered for contrast. Let dry for one hour.

5. Some stickers curl when wet, so test a sticker by painting it with the Extreme Glitter. Only use stickers that will not curl up. Arrange the stickers on the surface of the vase to create an all over pattern. Rub the edges of the stickers to keep the paint from seeping under the edges.

6. Using the foam paintbrush, paint the vase Azure Blue. Use a dabbing motion rather than a brushing technique over the stickers so the edges don't pull up. Cover the entire vase, including inside the mouth. Be sure to get paint into all the open areas of the stickers. Let dry.

7. Stir the Turquoise Extreme Glitter thoroughly. Using the same dabbing technique as before, apply a coat of Turquoise Extreme Glitter to the vase. Do not paint the glitter inside the mouth. Let the vase dry for one hour.

8. Carefully peel the stickers off the vase to reveal your makeover magic!

Stylish Silhouette: This project is all about masking, so when picking out stickers, consider their silhouette and do not focus on the printed designs.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ephemeral Beauty Brooch

Flea market treasures, like a tiny elephant charm, make this brooch unforgettable.

Wooden craft circle, 1" to 2" diameter.
Silver-plated wire, 20 gauge.
Silver-plated jump ring.
Swarovski flatback rhinestones.
Pin back.

From The Flea Market
Old maps.
Watch faces.
Postage stamps.
Pages from a book.
Small springs.
Broken rhinestone necklaces.
Flat charms.
Plastic animal charms.

Tools & Supplies
Wire cutters.
Round-nose pliers.
Chain-nose pliers.
Jeweler's bench block.
Hole punch pliers.
Amazing Goop contact adhesive.

1. To make a background for your brooch, find an interesting section of a map and cut out a circle using the wooden craft circle as a template. Glue the map piece to the wooden craft circle with Amazing Goop.

2. Use the wire cutters to snip off any metal pegs from the back of a large watch face. Glue a postage stamp to the watch face so it sits slightly off-center.

3. Glue a button to the large watch face. If your button has a shank on the back, snip it off with the wire cutters. Center a flat charm on top of the button and glue it into place.

4. Use the wire cutters to cut off any metal pegs from the back of a small watch face and glue it on the large watch face. Glue a rhinestone in the center of the small watch face.

5. Using the hole punch pliers, punch a hole at the bottom of the large watch face (ours already had one there). Take a snap apart and flatten the socket side of the snap using a hammer and a jeweler's bench block. Glue it over the hole you just made in the large watch face.

6. Create a wrapped-loop link with the silver-plated wire by forming a simple loop with the round-nose pliers ½" from the end. Wrap the tail twice around the base of the loop. Trim the end with the wire cutters. Feed the straight end of the wire through the hole in the snap and large watch face. Then finish the link with a second wrapped loop.

7. Open a jump ring with the chain-nose pliers, and use it to attach an animal charm to the bottom loop of the wrapped-loop link.

8. Glue a small spring just below the snap on the large watch face. Scan a book page for a three-word phrase you like and cut it out, leaving 1" above and below the phrase. Roll the top and bottom edges of the clipping back like a scroll with the phrase facing out, then slide it into the spring. 

9. Glue the embellished watch face to the bottom center of the wooden craft circle.

10. Wrap a broken rhinestone necklace around the edge of the brooch with the rhinestones facing up. Use the wire cutters to snip the necklace to fit, then glue it into place.

11. Glue the pin back to the reverse side of the brooch a little above the center.

Hammer Time: Don't have a jeweler's bench block? You can hammer on a brick instead.

Magic Touch: To give your brooch a glossy finish, coat it with Lisa Pavelka's Magic-Glos. It's a pour-on resin that cures in the sunlight in just five minutes! (Remove the paper scroll from the spring first, so it doesn't get wet.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Creative Spaces

10 Tricks To Make Your Studio Inspiring On The Cheap

Flip Your Lids
Put papercrafting embellishments in little containers like recycled baby food jars. They're not only the perfect size for rhinestones, sequins, and watch faces, but they're also free! Label the tops with circle-punched paper and drop them in a drawer for easy access.

Foxy Boxes
If you're the kind of crafter who dabbles in everything, try photo storage boxes to get your interests in order. Buy boxes with a pattern that's pleasing, or decorate plain ones with a rubberstamp design. Neatly label each bin on the end, and add a number system so each box will have a permanent address.

Ribbon Round-Up
If rolls of ribbon have you unraveled, rein them in with a ribbon crate. Drill two holes big enough for a dowel in the sides of a wine crate, then skewer your organdy and grosgrain. Attach a ruler and a pair of scissors, and you'll always be ribbon-ready!

Through The Looking Glass
Colorful balls of yarn are too pretty to keep in a cabinet, so showcase their beauty in glass containers. Stash skeins in apothecary canisters and classic candy jars. You'll be able to see your yarn at a glance and keep the kittens out!

Budding Artist
Cultivate ideas by setting up your studio as a creativity garden. Start by bringing in a potting bench to use as a counter-height worktable complete with shelves. Then plant your art supplies in terra cotta pots with scientific-sounding labels, like "paintus acrylicana" and "colorica pencilaria."

Memory Baker
Cook up a scrapboooking station with some handy kitchen helpers. Make a paper sorter by stacking cookie sheets on 1½-inch hex nuts and securing them with Amazing Goop. Sort brads and die-cuts into a mini-muffin pan and store Souffle pens in kitchen canisters. You'll be ready to cook up something good!

Moodboard Masterpiece
Turn sewing-table clutter into a fancy mood board with a gilded flea market frame. Hang notions and trims from ornate hooks on a velvet-covered board. Use it to display your prettiest buttons and a rainbow of thread. Sew chic!

The Quicker Clipper-Upper
Don't save magazine clippings in a folder where you can't see them! Clip them up in your studio to make idea streamers. Use clothespins to attach pictures and swatches onto strands of ribbon. Then hang them all over your studio until it's overflowing with inspiration!

Space Case
Even if you live in a tiny apartment, no artist should be without a studio. So carve out a creative nook with the help of a thrift-store suitcase. Open it up and arrange your bead bins, tools, and findings in the bottom. Then display finished pieces and works-in-progress inside the lid. To make your mini-studio complete, hang up a sign to remind yourself that a studio is a studio no matter how small.

Make projects portable by stowing them in crafty carriers. Look for paperboard boxes in funky shapes like a tubular wine box. Dress it up with scrapbook paper and add a loop of ribbon for a handle. Then tuck the materials you need inside, and you can craft anywhere!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

La-di-da Looking Glass

Who's the fairest of them all? This haute hat rack made from flea market finds!

From the Flea Market
11" x 16" Oval mirrored vanity tray
13½" x 18" Tin serving tray
17¼" x 26½" Wood cabinet door
8 Hat hooks, various sizes
2 Wooden drawer knobs
12 Gold shank buttons

12 oz. Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer spray paint, 1315 White 
12 oz. Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss spray paint, 1512 Blue Ocean Breeze 
8 oz. Krylon Premium Metallic spray paint, 1000 18kt. Gold Plate
2 Wooden craft circles, 2½" diameter
White organza ribbon, 1½" wide, 2 yards
Gold leaf adhesive size
Gold leafing sheets
2 Heavy-duty D-ring picture hangers
Screws to mount flea market hat hooks and knobs
2 Machine screws, size #10, 1" long with nuts
Drill and drill bits to match hat hook screws and machine screws
1 16-penny nail
Liquid Nails adhesive
Spray Cleaner

Phillips-head screwdriver
Heavy-duty wire cutters

Before you begin, clean everything with spray cleaner. Remove any hardware (hinges and pulls) from the cabinet door and any hardware or feet from the underside of the vanity tray. Set the vanity tray aside for later. 

1. Apply a coat of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer to the cabinet door, serving tray, hooks, knobs, and craft circles. Let dry. Spray paint the door with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss in Blue Ocean Breeze. Then spray paint the serving tray, hooks, knobs, and wooden craft circles with the Krylon Premium Metallic spray paint in 18kt. Gold. Let dry.

2. Gold leaf the outside edge of the door by painting the edge with the adhesive size. Let dry for 60 minutes. Lay sheets of gold leaf onto the tacky surface. Brush away any excess with a dry paintbrush.

3. Turn the door sideways and draw a vertical line through the center with chalk. Make two chalk marks 5" from the top and 5" up from the bottom. Using a drill bit that is the same diameter as the machine screws, drill a hole at each mark. Center the serving tray on the door, then shift it up enough vertically to reveal the lower cabinet trim. While holding the tray in place, flip the door and tray over. Create guide marks on the tray by tapping the 16-penny nail through both holes in the door. Remove the door. Punch a hole at each mark in the tray with the hammer and nail. Attach the serving tray to the door with the machine screws and secure with nuts.

4. Pre-drill, and then screw your two largest hooks into the bottom corners of the door. Arrange the rest of the hooks equally spaced along the bottom edge. Pre-drill, then attach the hooks.

5. Drill a hole in the center of the craft circles using a drill bit the same diameter as the knob screws. Pre-drill, then attach the knobs on either side of the mirror by feeding the screws through the back of the door, through the craft circles, and into the knobs.

6. Snip the backs off the shank buttons using the wire cutters. Lay the hat rack flat and glue the buttons evenly spaced around the outside door trim with the Liquid Nails. Attach the mirrored vanity tray to the serving tray using a generous amount of Liquid Nails. Let cure for 24 hours.

7. Attach the picture hangers to the back. Cut the ribbon in half and tie a piece to each hanger. Tie the other ends of the ribbon together in a knot, finish with a bow, and hang your new hat rack in your entryway. Ooh la la!

Get Hooked: If you can't find enough hat hooks at the flea market, buy some chandelier swag hooks at the hardware store. They are often ornate, and they come with their own hardware!

Snip Tip: Don't worry if the hat hook screws come through the back of the cabinet door. You can cut off the ends using a hacksaw.

Before: This haute hat rack started life as a cast-off
tin serving tray, a cabinet door, and a vanity mirror. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...