one last boo…

I started this over a week ago, but got side tracked when the baby and I both got sick.  Now that we’re better I had time to finish, even though I finished it today–halloween!  But it’s never too late, right?  Right. 

I picked up wooden “BOO” letters from Joann’s craft store as well as halloween themed scrapbook paper and black paint. 

First I painted the letters black.  I painted the sides, a small bit in the front since the letters had a beveled front edge, and the backs.  Even though you don’t see the backs, I painted them because I can picture my dad telling me his mother would say something like, “you wear underwear even though people don’t see that.”

Now if you make something like this, please please please, don’t be like me…be patient and wait until the paint completely dries before the next step.  I couldn’t control myself and put on the mod podge on the front before the paint was dry so if you look closely, especially on the orange O, you can see black paint smeared on the front of the paper.  Because I didn’t want to start over, I convinced myself that it looked okay and gave it a certain effect that worked.  Note to self: next time let dry overnight.

I picked out the decorative paper that I wanted to use and roughly traced out the letters then cut them out.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Then I applied mod podge to the letter fronts and put the decorative paper on.  Using a credit card, I smoothed out the paper and let dry. 

You’ll notice that I didn’t cut out the openings in the B.  After the mod podge dried I used my razor and cut them out.  You can do it either way and next time I’ll probably just cut it out before hand but I was worried the holes wouldn’t be centered.  Once dry I applied more mod podge to the top of the paper.  Let sit overnight to dry completely.  I used a sanding block to distress the edges a little; I also hit the side of the paper, which is why it’s okay if your paper is not perfect as you cut it out.

I wasn’t sure how to display the letters, but then I came across this post where the letters are tied together and hanging, so that’s what I did.  I used ribbon to tie the letters together to hang. 

Above is the back and below is the front.

Here is the finished product.

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halloween paper garland

Posted On October 23, 2010

Filed under halloween, paper crafting, Projects, ribbon

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I’ve been getting in the spirit of halloween the past few weeks; making decorations always does that to me.  Most of the things I’ve made ended up on the mantle above the fireplace. 

While I liked the way it looked, I thought it needed something.  I pulled out my halloween scrapbook paper and some ribbon, used the cricut and xyron sticker maker and about 20 minutes later, it was done.

And now the mantle looks complete.

along came a spider

Posted On October 22, 2010

Filed under halloween, paper crafting, Projects, Wall Art

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Looking to make more halloween decorations for less money, I was fortunate to come across this project.  With the exception of the frame, which was in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 dollars from Joann’s, it was free because I had all the other supplies on hand. 

The original project was one that you could just download, print out and frame, but I like to do things the hard way, so I used scrapbook paper, the cricut, and a spider punch.  I also pulled out a few pieces of ribbon that I had on hand before I was able to pick one.

After cutting out the letters with the cricut and cutting out the spider, I used my sticker maker to make the letters and spider into stickers, secured them to the page and here you go…a quick, cheap halloween decoration.  It would also work in a nursery rhyme themed room. 

You may notice that in some pictures there is a dot over the I in spider and some there is not.  I didn’t realize I had neglected to include it until I started posting pictures here so I quickly added it, but didn’t bother to retake all the pictures. 

If you’re looking for a quick easy project, this is a good option.  You also may want to try the halloween button wreath, little mummies, and quick halloween pic.  I’m really starting to get in the spirit of halloween!

little mummies

Posted On October 22, 2010

Filed under halloween, Projects

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Perusing the craft blogs, as usual, I came across a really fun looking project.  It appeared to be quick and easy, and with a one man stunt show (aka my almost 14 month old) running around, quick and easy is about all I can handle.   

I got two different size pieces of styrofoam from the craft store, along with a fat quarter of white fabric, though my inspiration was made with cardboard boxes from food products and an old sheet.

Here’s the fabric.  Notice I didn’t even iron it.

That last picture is a sneak peek at what I did next.  I used the scissors to cut small slits of different widths in the fabric and ripped them apart.  I love ripping fabric because I can never cut straight and fabric always rips in a straight line. 

I then used a hot glue gun to secure the end of the fabric strip to my styrofoam and then began to wrap it around.  I secured the end with glue and then repeated the process until I’ve covered the whole thing.  Then I glued on the googlie eyes (PS, how do you spell googlie?).  And it’s done. 

I love it! 

Here it is with my halloween button wreath and a quick halloween pic.

There was some extra strips of fabric left over…so I did some easy and free childproofing.

quick halloween pic

Posted On October 22, 2010

Filed under halloween, paper crafting, Projects, Wall Art

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I bought a frame at the local Home Goods store and needed something to put in it.  I had a blank spot above the fireplace so I put a piece of fabric in it and that was fine for the time being.  See…okay for a short period of time.

With Halloween coming up, I thought I needed to update it.  I was able to use supplies that I already had on hand.

Two bat punches.

My medium and small circle punch. 

And less than five minutes later, viola! 

Here’s a close up.

And here’s what my mantle now looks like.

What’s else is there, you ask?  My Halloween Button Wreath and little mummies…stay tuned for the mummies post.

School Days

Posted On October 19, 2010

Filed under school

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Some days I love my job; other days I do not love my job.  Today I do not love it, but yesterday I did.  Yesterday a student gave me a heart necklace that he made.  He cut the heart out of construction paper and treaded some string through it so I could wear it.  So cute.  Here it is.

Here are some other things my students gave me yesterday. 

Two silly banz, a lucky penny and not pictured is a picture from summer vacation. 

I also got this in my mailbox this afternoon…

I think it’s from the student who invited me over yesterday.  He told me that he was going to have his mom call me and maybe I could come over and we could draw and write stuff together at his house.  When I changed the subject he said, “excuse me, you still haven’t told me if you would come over and if you do we can maybe carve pumpkins because we bought pumpkins and there is an extra one that you can have.”  So cute. 

In other work news, I’m still working on getting the kids folders together.  For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to create an alphabet chart and a frequently used words list and glue them to the front and back of each folder; in addition, print out small signs that said “still working” and “finished” for inside the folder.  And on top of that, laminate each folder while it’s open and cut a slit where the pocket is so they can still use it.  They are coming out great but it is a lot of work.  Did I mention that I see about 300 kids?  That’s a ton of work!

Here’s the pile of them as I’m trying to cut them out after they’ve all been lamintated.  This is only a small piece of it.

Here’s the front, the alphabet chart I made.

Here’s the back, the list of common words the kids use in their writing.

And here’s the middle. 

While the folders are taking me forever, I finally did get something accomplished that’s been on my list since the start of school.  In September I was given Reading Strategy signs that all teachers were supposed to hang in their classrooms.  The problem is that I don’t have a classroom; I move all my stuff around by cart.  I decided that if I was ever going to use these I’d have to think of a way to hang them from one of my carts.  How to do that was the question.

Here are all the signs:

I bought large metal eyelets from the craft store and decided they would be perfect. 

I traced the inside of the smallest part, cut a hole, and put the barrel through the hole. 

The back piece went on and my darling husband volunteered (kind of) to use the hammer and secure the fasteners.

Although it looks like he’s about to bang his finger, don’t worry…he did not. 

And they’re done.

Here they are hanging on one of my carts.  Perfect to come with me wherever I go!

silhouette picture

Posted On October 15, 2010

Filed under baby, mod podge, paper crafting

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I happened across a blog with a silhouette picture tutorial  and fell in love.  I feel like I keep coming across crafts that involve silhouettes so I decided that it was time for me to make one.  I followed the basic steps on the tutorial with one major difference…I did it low tech.  The tutorial has you editing the picture and playing with contrast and I don’t know how to do any of those things.  Here’s how I did it.

I found a picture I loved and wanted to use…the problem, you’ll see below, is that my baby is throwing his head back so if I was to use that as it is, he’d look like the headless horseman minus the horse.  So I looked for a picture that I can use for his head.  I wanted one that showed a profile.  Once I found one I printed them out on my computer, both sized 5×7. 

Once I had them printed out, I cut them out by hand.  I used small sharp scissors that I use only for scrapbooking.  My baby has crazy hair and I wanted that to show up in the picture, so I exaggerated it as I cut it out.  I also made sure that I paid close attention to the detail on the shorts.  I then realized that my picture I was using for the head was too large, so I scrapped it and printed one out 4×6.  Much better. 

I positioned and then taped the head and body together, flipped it over, and used that as my template. 

I happened to have some black paper on hand, used to cut out the bats on my halloween button wreath.  I traced my template and then cut out my figure.

Meanwhile I pulled apart an old book that I had and started to decide what pages I wanted to use. 

After I decide which pages to used and where, I put a layer of decoupage glue on the back of the pages and layered them on by one on the glass of the frame I was using.  I used a credit card to smooth out each page after I applied it to the glass.  I put a layer of glue on the front and let it dry.

After the glue dried as I was planning where I was going to put my figure, disaster struck…kind of.  Our power went out.  Don’t let these pictures fool you, it was dark in our house. 

Above are candles I lit and below are my dogs trying to figure out what was going on.  I’m going to blame the mess on the blackout. 

Since the power didn’t come back on until somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:30 am, that was all for the night. 

The next night after work and after the baby was alseep for the night, I returned to work.  After laying the silhouette out on the glass on top of the pages already decoupaged down, I thought that it needed something so I turned again to my cricut machine.  I used this cartridge to cut out the word son and a heart. 

I didn’t like the first ones, so I cut out  new, thinner letters and a solid heart.

The next morning before work I added a layer of glue to my silhouette, letters, and heart and attached them to the paper covered glass.  After smoothing them out with a credit card, I put another layer of glue to the entire front of the glass.

By the time I got home from work, it had dried completely so I turned the glass over and used a razor to cut off the excess paper.

Don’t mind the mess in the background.  I’m going to blame that on the blackout.

Now I was ready to pop it into a frame!  And it’s done! 

In case you can’t tell, he’s holding my husband and my hands in the picture.  My husband asked, “what is he holding?  Bats?”  Of course he claimed he was kidding when he saw my face. 

Next time I might use the matte mod podge because it came out pretty shiny, which makes it really hard to get a good picture.

Here are some close ups. 

 

You can see that some parts of the paper got saturated and became a gray color.  I was ready to start over but my husband liked the effect (or at least that’s what he told me so I wouldn’t start over), because it was black, white, and gray.  If you wanted to prevent this, you could put another layer of paper on the glass (you’ll notice it’s not gray in the places where the paper overlaps).

Crib Rail Guard

Posted On October 13, 2010

Filed under baby, Fabric, polka dots, Projects, ribbon, sewing
Tags: ,

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A couple of months ago I thought my baby might have been half human, half termite.  If your baby is anything like mine, you know what I’m talking about.  He’d crawl over to the end table, side table and just about anything else, pull himself up, and start chewing.  My husband and I were always there to redirect him during the day, but we were not in the room with him when he was in his crib during naps and at night.  And it wasn’t long before we noticed teeth marks on the crib rail.  I believe I mentioned my obsession with craft blogs.  I love Craft Gossip and knew that I could find the solution to my problem there, mainly because you can find almost anything there.  I typed “crib rail guard” into their search box and found it…a homemade crib rail guard.  Click on the link for detailed instructions. 

Here’s my take…polka dotted, of course.

 

First I knotted the ribbons together then I tied them into a bow.  This way, when my baby learned to untie the bows, the guards stayed on.  I also took a lighter and held it close to the ends of the ribbons one by one to melt them slightly and prevent them from fraying.

Opps…I forgot to point out the crib skirt I made with the left over fabric, though you don’t really get a good view of it from these pictures.  I had another crib skirt and I used the middle part of that as my base.  I then added panels of the polka dotted fabric.

Family name wall art

I’m working on a project right now that I’m so excited about…but it’s not done yet.  We lost power for a few hours tonight and though I was tempted to work by candle light, I didn’t think that would yield the best results.  So new project will have to wait until tomorrow and I’ll show you another thing I made this past summer today.  Since this was in my pre-blogging days, there are no progress pictures, just the finish product.

Here’s the finished product and a few close ups.  Below you’ll see that my scrapbook paper was just a touch too short, so I used ribbon to hide the end.  I then layered ric rac on top of the plain white ribbon.  I like the effect that only letting half the ric rac show made; it reminds me of clouds.

Above you’ll see the bottom ribbon.  It was thick so it helped hide the fact that the paper was too short to fully fit the frame.  I have tons of the green ribbon.  When I got married, the department store where we registered prewrapped all the gifts bought there and used this ribbon to tie the bow.  Being the pack rat that I am, of course I saved it all.  I knew it would some day come in handy!  Now if I could only find a use for the rest of it!  I also layered a thin piece of brown ric rac on top.

Did I mention I love my cricuit?  Here it is along with the cartridge that I used to make this.

family picture garland

Posted On October 11, 2010

Filed under buttons, Fabric, Projects, ribbon, sewing, Wall Art

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Last Christmas I hung a Merry Christmas garland on the window over the kitchen sink.  The garland had colorful mini clothespins to display cards.  I had this hanging up for an embarrassingly long time, well past New Years, Valentines Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.  Okay, you got me…I had it up until mid August.  I liked it there, especially because it held the picture cards sent by family and friends.  With my baby’s first birthday approaching, I knew it was time to find something new for that window.  Eventually I’ll probably make curtains, but with fabric as expensive as it is, I didn’t want to rush and pick something out when I’m not sure exactly what I want to do. 

I looked through my fabric stash and pulled out a few favorites, hopped on the computer and played around with fonts and sizes and printed out the word family, and got to work.  I used the letters I printed out as a template to cut out the word family from my fabric.  I made a sandwich of the fabric in front, stabilizer in the middle, and felt I had on hand in the back.  In retrospect, I probably should have used a stiffer fabric.  I sewed each letter together, then on to the ribbon.  On the front of the ribbons down the sides I hand stitched buttons and on the back I used small clothespins, which can hold pictures. 

Here’s the results:

 

Here’s a close up of one of the pictures: my husband and baby last halloween. 

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