Friday, April 24, 2015

May Day Foam Basket DIY

As a child I loved May 1st and all the fun activities held on that day at school.  I especially loved dressing in white, dancing and wrapping the maypole. Unfortunately, I don't think today's kids experience any of those fun activities.  I just recently learned of another spring tradition from the past - of making baskets, filling them with fresh spring flowers or treats and anonymously placing them on neighbors' doorsteps in celebration of spring.  

I like the idea of making baskets, filling them with flowers, fresh or not, and giving them to friends and loved ones to spread the joys of spring.

For this, I have an easy adorable basket to make - one that can get kids or adults involved by helping weave their very own May Day basket using foam sheets, poster board, hot glue or super glue and scissors.  For the moment, I have become obsessed with using foam sheets.

So let's get started:
1. Cut out a poster board pattern that's 4 inches high x 3 1/2" wide with an oval bottom flap that's 1 1/2" high in the center, as pictured.   In addition to the poster board pattern, cut out:
  •       1 matching pattern in foam for covering the back and bottom
  •       7 strips, 1/2" wide x 6 1/2" long
  •       9 strips, 1/2" wide x 4 1/2" long
  •       1 strip,  1/2" wide x  9" long for the handle and
  •       1 strip,  1/4" wide x 14 1/2: long to wrap the handle
2.  Glue on the seven strips starting at the fold crease on the right side edge.
3.  Glue on the nine strips starting at the fold crease of the flap on the right side, then one on opposite left side, next, center bottom.
4.  Glue remaining strips in center between glued strips, as pictured.
5.  Turn piece over so that the longer glued strips are on the left. 

6.  Fold flap up and begin weaving each strip over and under until reaching the end, gluing the strip to the back (see #11 picture)
7.  Continue weaving strips, alternating each weave, over and under, until all strips are woven and glued to back.
8.  Straighten woven strips by pulling the vertical strips and pushing together the horizontal strips.  Once straightened, glue top strips together, in place.
9.  Cut off excess strips.
10. Even out the strips.

 11.  Apply glue to back and bottom.
 12-14.  Fold bottom foam flap and press and smooth on foam sheet to back and bottom. 
 15.  Wrap and glue 1/4" wide strip to the 1/2" wide strip for the handle and glue to the inside top of basket. 

And finally, add floral moss and faux flowers to the basket for a permanent cute arrangement. 

A magnet strip or button can be glued to the back .  .  .

to hang on the fridge.
Too cute!

Either way, making a May Day basket is an adorable idea!

The tradition of May Day baskets is very sweet and so easy to make and give! What a wonderful way to spread the arrival and joy of spring with loved ones and friends!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Recycle Veggie Can Into A Watering Can FlowerPot

I don't know about you but I've started hording a lot of things I usually throw in the trash or recycle bin.  I'm so afraid I can make something out of them.  Like a tin can that held greenbeans.  Somehow it reminded me of a watering can, so guess what, that's what I made.  It's not a real watering can - but a flowerpot for decorative purposes only.  With Mother's Day almost here, moms are sure to love getting something like this.  Just add a faux spout and handle, paint & decoupage using napkins into a lovely flower container.

Materials needed:
  • Cardboard tube (smaller and sturdier version from aluminum foil or plastic wrap)
  • E6000 glue
  • Hot glue
  • Galvanized metal strip (Michaels new Make Market)
  • White acrylic  or craft chalk paint
  • Copper acrylic paint
  • Decorative napkins
  • Mod podge
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • Small saw, snips for cutting metal and needle nose pliers

Let's get started:

1.  Take a clean empty veggie can .  .  .
and remove the label.
2.  Saw your cardboard tube diagonally across, using the angle on the tube as a guide.
3.  Place hot glue around the slanted edge of the spout and attach to can at bottom.
     (I forgot to take a picture of painting the can before adding the spout)
4.  Take a piece of galvanized strip and measure how you want the handle to look  (in a question mark pattern).  Cut the piece, allowing for turning the sharp edges under using needle nose pliers. 

5.  Apply E6000 to one edge at a time and on the can.  Hold in place using clips until dry (overnight).  I used masking tape to hold the bottom handle edge in place overnight.

6.  Paint entire watering can.

7.  Decide on the napkin flower pattern .  .  .
 .  .  . and tear it out  .  .  .
removing the white layers attached to the pattern.

8.  Lay pattern on can and dampen your brush with water.  Smooth the napkin onto can with an outward brush, being careful not to tear the napkin.
9.  Continue adding on your flower pattern with brush and water until satisfied with look.  *Unfortunately, I found out that some of the colors ran when wet.

10.  Next, apply mod podge to the entire can to seal the napkins.

So whimsical!

I added metallic copper paint mixed with water for a rusty look around the spout and edges of the can. 

Although this is a decorative watering can flowerpot, real flowers can be placed inside as the can will hold water.

What a simple, environmentally-friendly watering can that's sure to put a smile on anyone's face! 

                        Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cherry Blossom Foam Flowers - DIY

It's Cherry Blossom Festival time and the trees are bursting out all over!  They are so pretty - especially this year since old man winter roared and hung around way too long. 
Want to preserve those beautiful spring memories by re-creating a blossom look that will last forever?

It's really easy using foam sheets, eye shadow, scissors, faux stamen, a hot plate and hot glue.

Here's how:

1.  Draw a small and medium size petal template on cardstock or cardboard and use that to cut out petals from white foam sheets.  For a single flower, you need 5 petals per flower, small and medium.

2.  Use pink eye shadow from the dollar store to shade the white foam, pink, on both sides. Regular pink foam sheets are just too dark for this.

3.  Place petals on a medium temp hot plate or you can use an iron.  Petal will curl when ready. Use a skewer or tweezers to remove from heat.

4.  Gently shape petals by twisting and squeezing edges and lightly pulling foam into desired shapes.  You have to work quickly before the petals cool off completely. 

5.  Glue stamen in center of one petal.

6.  Glue another petal to edge of first petal, overlapping a bit.

7.  Continue adding additional petals, up to five, one at a time around stamen.

8.  Apply additional glue to edges to "cup" the flower.

Collect branches from nearby woods or gather some that were recently trimmed and hot glue the blossoms on.

These blossoms will surely last forever and add a splash of elegance and charm to any d├ęcor!
Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!




Saturday, April 4, 2015

April Showers, Flowing Flowers DIY

I recently found a couple of small pitcher and saucer sets at the thrift store and knew exactly what I wanted to make with them.  I'd seen a few floating cups with flowers cascading down to the saucers on the internet and thought using a pitcher would be a little different.  After all,  I can visualize flowers flowing from a pitcher more so than a cup.  But either way, I think they are adorable. 

To make, you will need:

Small pitcher and saucer
Faux flowers and heavy duty stem
E6000 or Loctite Stik'nSeal*
Needle nose wire cutters

First, cut a 6-8" thick stem from a faux flower using wire cutters.  Bend wire into a L shape on each end.  Place glue into the opening by the spout and allow it to get tacky before pressing the stem on it.  With this set, I glued the stem into the spout of the pitcher first . . . and allowed it to dry overnight.

Then I added a dollop of glue onto the saucer, allowing it to get tacky  .  .  . 
and pressed the stem onto the saucer. 
I used an inverted glass to support the pitcher while the glue dried overnight.

*You may want to use hot glue, but it has been my experience that hot glue does not have a permanent bond and can easily be pulled apart from glass.
Once dry, check the stability of the pitcher and saucer by adjusting the tilt of the pitcher by bending the stem slightly until all is balanced.
The pitcher "floats" without fear of falling. 
Start gluing on the leaves first and then the flowers, arranging them like they are flowing out of the pitcher onto the saucer.

For the second set, I used Loctite's Stick'nSeal to see if it had a quicker hold.  Both glues were about the same to me.

For this set, I twirled the stem wire into a type of "stand" before gluing to the saucer bowl.
The drying times were the same for both sets - overnight.

Wouldn't these be lovely in the kitchen or sunroom?

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!