Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Upcycled Soda Can Flowers Wall Art

While looking through a very popular home d├ęcor catalog, I came across dimensional wall art mostly done in metal I knew I could re-create. 

 What a great upcycled craft to make using soda cans!

To make, gather the following supplies:

Soda cans - empty/clean
Craft scissors/old scissors
X-acto knife
Alcohol inks
Q-tips (for ink application)
Wire clothes hangers
Cardboard (vase)
Hot glue
Tacky glue
Acrylic paints
Foam brushes

  • Wash out soda cans to remove any sticky residue and let dry.  Using an x-acto knife on edge of can make a slice big enough for a scissor blade.  Using craft scissors, cut top and bottom off.  Cut through the length of can to open and finish sides, cutting off any metal slivers or jagged edges.  *CAUTION:  Be very careful with the sharp edges of cut cans.

  • Roll the cut aluminum in the opposite direction to help remove the curl of the can.  Next draw a shape of a flower and cut out or simply cut  flowers out free-hand.  Repeat steps for cutting cans and flowers.  You will need at least 10 flowers.

  • Place cut out flowers on soft surface and press in center to shape and manipulate. Edges can also be rolled using a pencil or pen.

  • Cut out a piece of cardboard the shape of a vase.  Lay cut out flowers and cardboard in position to determine placement layout.

Cut off straight metal pieces from wire hangers for the stems, shape into curves and place under flowers on canvas.

  • Begin coloring aluminum flowers with the alcohol inks.  Alcohol inks are great for adding colors to non-porous surfaces such as aluminum.  I used three colors - butterscotch, plum and blue to achieve so many different shades and hues just by dripping a drop or two onto the surface, swirling the ink around and using a q-tip to spread.

  • Paint the canvas background and cardboard vase similar to the artwork found in the catalog. Unfortunately, the wall art is no longer available.    Glue sides of vase using tacky glue and apply to canvas, lifting the cardboard so it doesn't lie flat and is open on top to allow for the wire stems. 

  • Add the wire stems by hot gluing ends and inserting into vase.
 Of course, I had to add some purple and switch it up a bit!

  • Add hot glue to underside of flowers and place on stems.

Wow, I'm loving this!!!
And it costs just a few dollars to create - as opposed to the high price tag for the original!

Don't you just love a knockoff?
Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Faux Silver Vase Bromeliad DIY

The Silver Vase (Aechmea Fasciata- native to Brazil) Bromeliad is one of my favorite tropical garden plants.  It's spikey pink flower is so striking and unusual.  This time of the year you'll see lots of silver vase bromeliad plants in garden centers and in commercial landscaping, both indoors and out.  The sad part about this plant is that once it blooms the plant slowly dies. But fortunately, after flowering, each plant produces offsets called pups which can grow into more mature plants.  But blooming again - that's a whole different story on what you need to do to make this happen, so I decided to make my own "forever silver vase bromeliad flower!" 

Here's how:

You will need the following materials
  •  Foam sheets - pink and white or green
  •  Scissors
  •  Newspaper
  •  Skewer stick
  • Hot glue gun
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Silver acrylic pain
  • Small Styrofoam ball
  • Foam paint brush
  • Pink acrylic paint
  • Purple puffy paint
  • Flat electric griddle or iron
  • Toothpicks
  • Floral foam/Container

To begin, I looked at several pictures of the silver vase bromeliad and decided to draw all of the flower bracts and leaves free-hand so each one would look different and unique. This was truly an experiment.

So I started by cutting a pink foam sheet into a 2" strip and then

cut vertical triangular shapes the length of the strip. These will be the bracts.

Next, paint a small foam ball pink and let dry.
While the ball is drying, roll a piece of newspaper into a rod using a skewer stick and glue as you roll so it won't unravel.

Cut off  12 inches or less of newspaper rod - depending on how tall you want your plant and insert rod into bottom of foam ball using hot glue.
Glue spikey foam strip (bracts) to ball, adding more strips for flower fullness.
Once the ball is wrapped completely, cut out free-hand triangular shaped larger bracts.
Place bracts on medium hot flat griddle or iron to soften, folding and curving the bracts. 

Glue the larger bracts onto the base of the smaller flower bracts, overlapping each bract. Between the bracts, small purple flowers appear so I stuck a few toothpicks into the foam ball and dropped puffy paint on the ends. 
Cover the rest of the rod by gluing on strips of pink foam.
Next, free-hand cut-out the bromeliad leaves, sponge painting them in variegated patterns using green and silver paint.  * I really had a hard time trying to mimic the colors of the leaf - almost to the point of giving up.  But then I said to myself to just paint the leaves and be done with them - fail or not.

Once dry, lay leaves on hot griddle until they "puff up." Remove, and shape leaves with fingers.
Glue floral foam in base of container and stick rod into foam.
Glue on the leaves, staggering each leaf .  .  . 
until satisfied with the fullness. 

So exotic looking!
In the end, my "forever" bromeliad was fun to create and I'm very pleased how it turned out! 

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!



Sunday, June 14, 2015

HomeMade Rose Petal Sachets Using Paper Towel Tubes

This post was featured in "10 Recycling Craft Blogs to Follow" 

It started with a rose .  .  .  my neighbor's rose.
I saw her out one morning cutting off her roses and I asked if I could have one.   She said, "take as many as you want."  Then I had an "ah-ha" moment!
I'll make rose petal sachets!

Thank you, Lena!
So I gathered some well past their prime roses and started pulling the petals from the flower heads.

Then, I lined a microwaved-safe plate with paper towels and placed the petals on top in a single layer.  Next, I microwaved the petals on high at one minute intervals until they were dry and crisp.

When dried, red rose petals turn a pretty shade of burgundy.

Next, put all the dried petals in a glass bowl, add a few drops of rose essential oil and gently mix together.

Now it's time to make the sachets.

Flatten a paper towel cardboard tube .  .  .

and cut it in half.

Draw an oval shape in the center of tube .  .  .

insert a piece of thick cardboard in the tube and cut out the oval pattern.

Next,  cut a piece of cardstock to cover the height and width of the tube. 

Fold the cardstock into three parts and insert it into the tube.

Trace the edges of the open oval pattern, remove from tube and cut out. 

Glue the cardstock pattern to the cardboard tube using tacky glue.

For the embellishments,  cut out a piece of foam sheet and trace and cut out the oval shape.
Using a pair of decorative edged scissors, cut 1/2 inch around the oval opening.  

Next, cut out a small piece of tulle, add tacky glue to the trim and place tulle on top cutting away excess material.  Place trim on tube.
(Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of adding the rest of the trim to this tube.)

Here, I used lace trim for the embellishments.
There are so many options!

Finally, make a Mini Bowdabra bow, small rose and hanging loop out of ribbon and glue on.

Glue the bottom opening with tacky glue and allow to dry.

Spoon rose petals into the tube, tapping down lightly.  Seal the top opening with tacky glue, using a clip to keep close until dry.

The rose petal sachets can be tucked into linen closets and drawers or hung on a knob for a lovely fresh scent.

And the best part is you can refresh the fragrance by adding drops of rose
essential oil through the tulle.

The rose petal sachets also make wonderful gifts for friends and loved ones for those special occasions.  And for almost next to nothing cost!

Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!