Tagged: Crafting

Paper Flowers 2.0

Paper Flowers 2.0

About time, right?

Materials

  • Scissors
  • Craft scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • Book to cut up

Creating the Pieces

Paper Flowers 2

  1. Trim up your book page.  I like to cut all the margins off, that way there aren’t any weird blank spaces.
  2. Cut out a circle, this will become your flower center.  The easiest way to do it is just to cut a square and then cut out the corners.
  3. Cut a straight line into the center of the circle and create a smaller circle on the inside.
  4. Finish up your center.  Use the craft scissors along the outside edges and create a more pedal like shape out of the line going to the center.
  5. For the pedals, I like to use three sizes.  The skinniest pedals should be slightly longer than the distance between the inner circle to the outer circle of the flower center.  The next size up should be wider, and a little longer and so on.
  6. Grab your floral wire and cut about 6 inches off to use.  Bend one end into a tear shape, to help the flower grasp it.

Assembly

Paper Flowers 21

  1. Tightly roll the flower center.
  2. Release it and make sure it holds its shape fairly well.  If not roll it again for good measure.
  3. Put a good sized dot of glue on the bottom inside corner of the flower center (the inside of the roll).  You’ll have to fight the paper a bit since it’s become fond of its new shape, but you show it who’s boss!  Place the tear shaped side of the floral wire on the glue spot and roll.  Keep rolling the center again, placing glue spots every so often until your center is sturdy.
  4. To add the pedals, put a spot of glue on the bottom and press pedal to the bottom of the flower.
  5. Shape your pedal.  Roll the top and corners in.  Repeat.  I usually do 6 of each size pedal.

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Tips and Finds for Spring Organizing on The Cheap

I’m really not a clean freak in the least, but I do love to organize and organizing definitely makes me feel more inspired to keep my apartment clean. I wanted to share a couple of little easy organizing projects I’ve been doing around the apartment.

Bathroom

My bathroom is a bit weird because the only covered storage built into the bathroom is the medicine cabinet above the sink.  Other than that, there are no drawers or cabinets.  To cope with that there were a couple of things we employed when we first moved in two years ago.  First we got one of those around-the-toilet shelving units that is a great place to throw all the bathroom stuff, but it’s pretty ugly.  I will definitely be tackling that soon, but that’s going to be saved for another post.  The second thing we used for storage in the bathroom is actually a night stand table that Tawnya had.  I bought one of those cheap plastic drawers to put on it for all of my stuff.  It works really well, but the drawers are ugly (I mentioned them in another post) and have been getting messier and messier.  Last weekend, I created a couple solutions.

Solutions found:

  • Container for hair odds and ends:  One of my drawers where I was housing my hair stuff had all of these little clips, bobby pins, and hair ties.  I could never actually find one when I needed it though because they were all so small they would just get buried under my hair scarves.  I had a cute Fossil tin lying around from the last time I bought a watch and kept because I’d knew I’d find a use for it.  It’s cute enough to just leave out in the open and has a lid to keep the cats out (for some reason Lex loves bobby pins and hair ties).

  • Dividers for the top drawer:  This is really easy to do, and I just used cardboard from the back of a newsprint drawing pad, so it was totally free.  You can use whatever cardboard you have hanging out in your house, just try to make sure it’s a fairly sturdy cardboard so it doesn’t lose shape easily.

1. Cut your strips to size.  Measure the height of your drawers and cut strips of cardboard to the same height.  You may want to use a straight edge to draw a line to use as your guide, but I’m impatient so I didn’t.  The straighter they are the better they’ll fit.  Next, measure the depth and width of your drawers and cut the strips lengthwise to match those measurements.  You may want to make them just a hair longer so they’ll be nice and snug.

2.  Working with either the width or the length strips first, figure out how big you want each section.  Make a vertical cut to mark it that goes halfway down the strip.

3.  Turn the cuts into notches, about as wide as the cardboard is thick.

4.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 except we’ll be making the notches on the bottom of the cardboard instead of the top.

5.  Fit the notches together.

6.  Place in the drawer and fill with all your stuff!

  • Containing head scarves:  I don’t know why, but my headscarves are always getting caught up in the drawers.  They start oozing out of the sides and back trying to escape.  I killed two birds with one stone and found how to keep my scarves folded nicely and what to do with my hair separating clip things.  It was pretty simple, I just folded one scarf at a time and clipped it to keep it folded.

Kitchen

Hooks are super versatile and awesome!  I try to get as many things as I can from the dollar store, but in this case I learned my lesson.  I have had really bad luck with dollar store adhesive hooks and those little adhesive pad things (the ones I used on the bookshelf didn’t work so well, more on that in a little bit).  Right now I still have just the dollar store hooks, but I am going to be buying some of the 3M ones next time I get a chance, as they keep just falling off.

  • Hooks:  Keep things in a handy spot by hanging them.  I used a hook right on the side of my stove to hang my oven mitts.  As a total aside, my spice racks and towel hanger are from Camping World which is actually a great place to get things geared for small spaces, since they cater to RV owners.  I used to work there so I got an employee discount, score!

  • Hooks are also great for storing things vertically, leaving more shelf space.  I have really a wonky cabinet with a pipe that goes through it for pot and pan storage.  By hanging the lids to the cabinet drawers I was able to clear up a lot more space.

  • Prettifying food stuffs:  I love the glass air tight containers I got from Ikea.  I bought two big ones and put my sugar in them to keep them extra secure from ants.  I found some smaller ones at the dollar store for other miscellaneous dry goods.  I need to pick up some more and make the whole shelf pretty, but I have a good start!  I used some clear tape and a sharpie on the front to label them.

  • Organizing grocery lists and dinner planning:  Every kitchen needs to employ some kind of note taker, imo.  I have a dry erase/magnet board that I hung on the side of my cabinets for this.

Other Odds and Ends

  • Pretty storage boxes:  I use these a in a couple different places, but I especially like how they look on my bookshelf.  You may recognize Billy from before!  Back to what I was saying before about dollar store adhesive… the picture of the flower hanging there used to be a mirror, but it couldn’t hang on with the adhesive strips from the dollar store and fell and broke and 40 yrs bad luck ensued…  Anyway, back to the boxes.  The ones on top I picked up on sale at Michael’s for 2.50 each.  I used some red vellum for the labels for a nice pop of color.  The green one is from Ikea, and I have no idea how much it was since I got it a couple of years ago.

  • Tension shower curtain rod for hang drying clothes:  I had been strewing damp clothes up all over my apartment on any ledge that would support a hanger and it wasn’t working so well for me.  I found a super easy solution and picked up a tension shower curtain rod at Ross for $5 and installed it in my closet.  When the clothes are done drying I can just tuck it away in the closet.

  • Tray for the coffee table:  The coffee table quite often ends up with a lot of stuff on it.  A lot of stuff actually makes sense to keep there, at easy access, but I bought a tray to at least contain it all in one spot.  This was my big splurge, but it’s so pretty!  Another find from Ross for $9.

  • Mini accordion folder for coupons and seeds:  From dollar store.  

To change direction just a little bit, I also wanted to mention how awesome having an organized budget is to help detangle monetary knots.   I use Mint.com, but there are a lot of ways to make your own budget both on the computer and with good ol’ fashioned pencil and paper. I like Mint because it’s attached to my bank accounts and keeps track of what I spend and in which category it’s in. I’ve had friends that budget by putting cash in separate envelopes for each expense (ie. Groceries, Rent, Shopping, etc). Do whatever works for you!

Don’t forget to organize your computer too! Make and organize your folders and run your antivirus program regularly. I just found AVG, a free antivirus program that I’m liking so far and seems to have pretty good reviews in case you need one.

A bit of an overload on this post, but it’s been a while and I missed you!

 

What are your organizing tips?

Eraser turned stamp

I’m really dedicated to making as many things as possible for my wedding myself to give it a totally personal feel.  I actually have just over a year before the big day, but I figure if I start now I won’t have any Bridezilla worthy freak outs later down the road.

I drew inspiration from Indian henna designs for this stamp.  I just love how they seem to marry organic and geometric so you end up with something that is both beautiful and strong looking.

I stayed up way past my bedtime last night working on this sucker.  As Tawnya calls it “my zone,” when she knows once I start there is no distracting me and I’ll ignore everything else I need to do.  Who knew it took so long to carve such a tiny surface?  I’m sure it didn’t help that I carved the other side first, and then realized I had forgotten to do mirror image so that the letters would be in the correct direction once it was stamped (trial and error!)

I like the imperfections in it and I was super happy that I was able to put in that amount of detail.  I’m not sure I’ll end up using it though, because I was going for a more abstract flower and this ended up being more in-your-face flower, which isn’t really Tawnya’s and my style.  Awesome practice though, and I got a set of 3 erasers at the dollar store, so I don’t feel bad having to go through a couple of attempts.  And, you can use both sides of them so really, it’s like 6 potential stamps!

I used an x-acto knife to carve, and I’m thinking it might go faster with an actual carving tool which is kind of what I was expecting anyway, but I wanted to see if it were feasible to not have to buy one.  I think what I’ll end up doing is just buying a carving tip without the handle which should save me some dinero.

 

Paper Flowers 1.0

I’m getting married in a little bit over a year, and I spent a ridiculous amount of money on my caterer and venue, so I’m trying to spend as little money as possible on everything else.  I’ve convinced myself that I don’t need to buy flowers, a cake, or decorations and that I’ll be able to make all of these things myself.  We’ll see how that ends up. (Update: Check out how my part DIY wedding turned out!)

I really want to use book pages in my wedding, and I love the idea of making flowers out of book pages.  We will call this Paper Flowers 1.0 since I’m sure I’ll keep tweaking it.

To create these flowers you will need:

  • Book page
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Craft scissors (I used the wave pattern)
  • Stamp pad
Step 1:  Get all of your shapes assembled.  Rip out a book page and cut out a circle shape with your craft scissors.
 
Still using your craft scissors, create a spiral with the circle.
Cut out your outer petals (I used 7) and shape the outside edges with the crafting scissors.
Step 2:  Color the outside edges of your shapes with your ink pad.  Conversely, I’m sure you could paint the outer edges with an actual paint brush and paint.  I tried to make it darkest on the very edge and fade as it goes down.
 
Step 3:  Start the center of the flower with your spiral.  Roll up the spiral upon itself as tight as you can, then release it to let it relax and you’ll be left with your inner flower.  Glue the end on.
To make it look a little more natural, I scrunched the bottom a bunch to create some ripples.  To make it extra secure, I made a small lake of glue and set the inner flower on it.
 
At this point it’d probably be a good idea to let this dry most of the way before trying to attach on your petals.  I didn’t, it was dicey.
Step 4:  Shape and then attach your petals.  Curl the outer edge by rolling it around a Q-tip or something similar.
With the inner side of the petal, fold in both edges a bit.
Put a dollop of glue on the bottom of the petal and attach it to the spiral.  Keep gluing the petals on one at a time, rotating the flower as you go so they each overlap a tiny bit.
I really like they way they turned out!  A kitten that I’m babysitting decided to make a guest appearance and show his love for them too.  Isn’t he a cutie?  I’m not sure I’ll be able to give him back!

————————————————-Update————————————————-

Check out a more recent post!  New and improved paper flowers!

Paper Flowers 2.0

Dananananananana nananananananana BATMAN

I totally stole the name of this post from my friend’s Facebook post.  She just recently got a Batman themed tattoo right before her birthday this year and I decided to keep up the theme by making her Batman pillows!

Sweet, right?

Materials:

  • Fabric (I got away with a yard of each of the Batman fabrics and they’re an awesome super soft fleece)
  • 2 Pillows
  • Seam Ripper
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing Pins
  • Sewing Needle
  • Iron

I found it was actually cheaper to buy couch pillows from Ross than it was to buy uncovered pillows.  It doesn’t matter if they’re super ugly, because you’re going to take off the outside anyway.

Step 1:  Strip that ugly pillow!  Find where it’s sewn shut and use your seam ripper to gently take out the seam.

I feel like this whole stripping and nekkifying thing is becoming a theme…

Once the opening is big enough, yank out the innards.  Lex was trying to be especially helpful on this project, which I thought was funny because my friend is not a huge cat fan.  I think he knows it and was doing it on purpose.

I know you’re going to want to toss that ugly fabric right away, but resist!  We need it for the next step.

Step 2:  Lay your fabric under the ugly pillow cover so you can use it as your pattern.  (Yay!  No measuring!)  Now you can just trim any of the Batman fabric that’s sticking out.

Step 3:  I know you’re getting anxious to use the sewing machine, but slow down cowgirl!  First we need to make sure all of our fabric is ready.  I wanted to make my pillows two sided, so I used one Batman fabric for one side, and the other for the back.  This way my friend can mix and match them.  Stack your two fabrics on top of each other right side facing in.

Now you get to pin all around the edges.  And don’t forget to put a mark where you need to stop so you can turn it inside out and fit the pillow through!  I would say that I left about a ten inch opening.  I hate pinning and try to put in as few pins as possible.  Remember in Family and Consumer Science class you learned to always pin the middle before pinning the outsides?  Totally didn’t do that.  Things didn’t match up quite as well when I sewed and I ended up with some unwanted pleats.  Listen to your teachers from middle school, seriously.

Step 4:  Time for sewing, finally!

To make a really clean corner what you’ll want to do is, while the needle is in through the fabric, lift up your presser foot and turn the fabric 90 degrees.  Then you can continue sewing without having to break the line.

Before proceeding any further, make sure your pillow fits inside your new casing.  Make any adjustments as needed.

Step 5:  Now that we know everything fits it’s time to take care of that opening.  You can take the pillow out of the casing again for this part (I’m not sure why I didn’t, it really would have made it easier…

At the opening, fold the excess fabric inside of the pillow case and pin it.  You’re not pinning the opening closed yet, just pinning it back in on itself.  Do both sides.  Once it’s pinned, go ahead and iron the whole thing, making sure to crease the folds at the opening.

 Sooooooo… I tried a couple different things to close the opening that we left…  Let’s say the first attempt didn’t work out too well.

I thought I’d be clever and save some time and just use my sewing machine to sew over the opening.  The ugly pillow did it and it looked okay!

Yeah… it’s pretty frackin’ terrible looking.

Pull out your trusty seam ripper and take 20 minutes to undo what you did to try to save time.  Face it, you need to hand sew the opening.  This is why they have marathons of 16 & Pregnant on MTV for you to sit in front of today.  Use a hidden stitch so that the seam won’t be visible.

Much prettier.

Voila!  You’re done and have an awesome home-made birthday present to give to your friend!

She loved them! ❤

Yarn Pom Pom Flowers

My niece came over a week ago and we had some fun making pom poms out of yarn.  I turned mine into some bright and cheery flowers to put in my bud vase using sticks, floral wire, and a couple of leaves cut out of paper and glued on.

I think it really helps bring some light and color into the bathroom.

I’m thinking about decoupaging the plastic drawers next.  They gross me out for some reason.  Also!  Look at how cute my little brother’s paintings are, I love seeing them everyday.  You’re awesome Jack!

There are a ton of tutorials out there on how to make yarn pom poms.  You can check out the one we followed at made, though, if you don’t want to have to google it.

Bookshelf!

Bookshelf makeover

Considering all the work I put into this, it’s not really that dramatic of a change.  But I’m still happy with the results, and even just respacing the shelves and all the crap on them gave me some space to move some stuff that previously didn’t have a home onto the shelf.  Better organization is awesome!

This project actually ended up having a couple of small projects in it that I tacked on, so it ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would.  If you look carefully at the before and after photo you’ll notice that I added a mirror and painted the book end, so I’ll include photos of that as well.

Tools used:

  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Masking tape (because I ran out of painter’s tape)
  • Pliers (you may not need these depending on your bookshelf)

Step 1:  Nekkify!!!  (your bookshelf, not yourself!)  Take off all of your crap, remove your shelves, and those little metal peg thingers.  In case you’re wondering, my bookshelf is the Billy bookshelf from Ikea.  I may or may not refer to it as Billy in daily life.  If you don’t talk to your furniture, you may disregard that comment.  Wipe down the back to get rid of any dust (and cat hair since your cat has been exploring this new monstrosity on the floor) to make sure the paint will go on nicely.

You can tell I have a hard time finishing projects.  Notice the two unfinished paintings in the background.  The big one has been there at least 2 years in that same exact state.  (I’ll finish them someday!)

This is where your pliers might come in handy to remove the shelving pegs.

Step 2:  Tape up that suckah!  Make sure it’s right against the bottom without any bubbles.

Step 3:  I can’t tell you how excited I was for this part.  PAINT!  I couldn’t wait to open my can of paint (which I got free from Ace Hardware!) to see how the color turned out.

Lex was excited to see the color too!

Pretty!  But it needed to be stirred, something that I hadn’t thought of ahead of time.  I opened the paint to see it all oily on top and almost smacked myself in the forehead.  Whenever people use cans of paint they always have stir sticks!  It’s okay, don’t panic.  You’re creative.  How about a chop stick?  Perfect!

Neither you or your cat are going to be pleased if he jumps in the wet paint… so keep an eye on him.  (You’re welcome for the pro tip).

So guilty!  Caught blue bellied.  Luckily I was able to grab him before he started running around all over the floor with his blue paws.  He was so NOT happy with me when I scrubbed his paws.

Step 4:  Wait for the paint to dry.  It might take a while, so keep your paintbrush damp by wrapping a wet paper towel around it and placing it in a plastic bag.

Go do that laundry that you’ve been trying to avoid doing while you wait.  Or not…

Once the paint is dry, throw on a second coat.  My first coat of paint took about 3 hours to dry.  I waited overnight after the second coat, just to be on the safe side.  Second coats always take longer.

Step 5:  Denekkify.  Throw everything back on the shelf!  But do it with more consideration this time.  Now that you know exactly what you’re going to have on your bookshelf, you can base where you put your shelves on the height of the books and crap that you’ve got.

It’s a little more interesting now.  But still not quite special enough.

Step 6:  Add points of interest.  I’ve been wanting to hang things on the shelves to hang over in front of it, I’ve always thought it’s looked pretty neat when I’ve seen other people do it.  I immediately thought back on a mirror that I saw at the dollar store that I didn’t have a reason to buy at the time.  Luckily, they still had it when I dropped back in.

It was this awesome tacky plastic mirror with a gold finish.  It was perfect!  It had these awesome inlays just like you always see people age and distress on those home decorating shows you watch all of the time.  I couldn’t just leave it as is though, that’s not very DIY.  I really wanted it to stand out so I decided to paint it red.  First, tape up the mirror around the inside and maybe a piece of paper depending on how crazy of a painter you are.  Paint a dark base coat.  I just added a bunch of black to my red paint to use.  With the base coat, paint everything and make sure you get into all of the crevices.  Once that drys, put on the your lighter color, in this case, red.  Paint the top coat on lightly just on the highest parts, you want the mirror to have a nice sense of depth, so leave all the crevices that darker shade.

I applied mounting pads to the back of the mirror to stick it to the bookshelf with (also picked up from the dollar store).  I managed to unintentionally match the mirror to the basket I use to store my yarn into, which was a neat surprise.

The last touch I made on the bookshelf is I wanted to make sure the bookend that I had really popped out.  I’ve had it forever, my mom gave it to me when I was younger.  As it was the wood was a little bit too dark and it just ended up blending in.  I decided to paint it a lighter color.

For now, it’s all done.  I would like to eventually tack on some more things in the front though…