Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Foam Pine Tabletop Xmas Tree - Christmas in July

Welcome to the final week of our Christmas in July Blog Hop where a group of talented ladies featured awesome holiday ideas every Wednesday of this month. I've truly enjoyed participating and having all of you share with us in this event!

The Christmas project I'm sharing with you this week is quite easy and inexpensive to make! It's what I call a faux pine xmas tree made out of foam sheets! Yes, foam sheets!  I love making crafts using foam sheets. You can easily manipulate the foam into something beautiful!

Here's how I made it:

The base is a 14" cone shaped cardboard you can either buy or make, like here. I already had one on hand, so I just painted it with green acrylic and let dry.

I used two - 12"x18" foam sheets that I divided into 8 - two inch wide strips and cut out.

Then I made small slits in the strips, leaving a border at the top.

To speed the cutting process up, because it can get drawn out, instead of cutting eight, 2" strips, I cut four, 4" strips and folded over each one and cut the slits toward the fold. Once finished cutting the slits, cut along the fold, separating into two inch strips.

Lay the strips on a medium warm flat griddle or an iron propped up for a flat surface, just for a few seconds for the slits to curl.
If the strip is too long, lay on partially and lift up each section once curled, until complete.
*If there is too much curl, turn strip over on opposite side for a few seconds to relax the curl a bit.

Begin hot gluing the strips on the bottom of the cone, going round and round .  .  .

moving toward the top.

Stop about three rows from the top and begin gluing on strips curling in the opposite direction or upside down .  . . 

continue until the top is filled in and the tree is completely covered into a frilly little pine!  Hot dang!!!!

For a festive look, randomly add stick-on rhinestones!  

Makes for a lovely tabletop holiday accessory!  And only for a few dollars!

Be sure to check out the rest of the group's awesome Christmas projects:


And join the party by linking up your favorite Christmas post!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Decoupage Napkins on Paper Mache Vases

I was so excited to make paper mache vases and decoupage them with purple paper napkins. I wanted to imitate porcelain vases. You know the kind you see everywhere in blue and white.  Why don't they come in purple and white?   I looked all over the net,  no such luck. So I decided to make my own. 

I thought it would be easy with awesome results. I've decoupage before. Most of the time my projects turn out okay, but not this time.  All I can say is ugh, ugh, and ugh for the texture! Too many wrinkles! But I love, love, love the design!

Lets start from the beginning.  I blew up two balloons. One, into a regular oval balloon shape. The other balloon, I pushed the center into the balloon to grab the bottom end, pulling it up and tying both ends off with a string .  .  .

making for a cute round donut shape.
Next, I painted mod podge over the balloons and began adding strips of newspapers .  .  .


until the entire balloons were covered. I applied seven layers, using different types of paper, and drying between each layer to make it very sturdy.

Once all of the layers were applied and dried, I popped the balloons.

Then I centered cardboard tubes over the middle knot and traced the vase opening. Carefully cutting out the opening, and attaching the tube with masking tape.

Then I applied mode podge and newspaper strips over the tubes, as before, making sure to cover the rims. 


I cut off a portion of the cardboard tube for a shorter neck on this one.

For the donut shaped vase, I added twine to the rim to make a lip .  .  .

and covered it with paper and glue.

Then, I spray painted both with a white primer and let dry.

You can see that the finish is not smooth, although I did try to sand the lumps out.

I decided that the flaws were part of the finish and continued on. I started tearing the straight edges from the napkins .  .  .  since torn edges blend in better in decoupage.

The white backing layers of the napkin pattern were separated .  .  .

and a light layer of mod podge was applied to the vase and the napkin pattern was patted in place using a brush dipped in water. 

I used plastic wrap to help smooth out the wrinkles (like I did here) but that didn't help this time.

And I continued on .  .  .  out of frustration.

After covering the entire vases with napkins and mod podge, and allowing them to dry, I applied a final coat of mod podge to seal.  Then I applied a layer of Tripe Thick Glaze to give it a hard glossy look, wrinkles and all.

The vases blend in with my d├ęcor. And look great from a distance!

BUT .  .  .  Lesson learned! Flaws and all! But great designs!

I think next time I might try stenciling on the paper mache instead!
What do you think?

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!     

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Christmas in July - Bow Ribbon Bell Ornament

Welcome to week three of Christmas in July where a group of talented ladies have gotten together for a Blog Hop featuring awesome holiday ideas every Wednesday of the month.

I love Christmas in July!  It's a marvelous time to get a head start on your holiday crafting. And the best part is you can actually enjoy making things  without having that rushed feeling. 

This week I'm sharing a lovely Bow Ribbon Bell Ornament that was first featured a couple of days ago on Bowdabrablog where I'm on the design team. This post contains affiliate links.

Here's a quick rundown on how this ornament was put together.  The  bottom portion of the Bow Ribbon Bell Ornament is made with folded and glued ribbon shaped into a bell that's topped with an adorable Bowdabra bow.  And the bow wire securing the bow is adorned with colorful beads for the hanger.  

Briefly, begin by cutting 2.5" wide ribbon into fifteen - 2.5" squares.  It was quick and easy to cut and seal the ribbon at the same time using my Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter.

Next, with a series of folds - folding a square piece of ribbon into triangles and gluing at the tip, as pictured, the ribbon was glued and shaped into petals that were hot glued together to form a bell.

To make the Bowdabra bow, insert a 24" piece of bow wire folded in half into the Mini Bowdabra, tucking ends under.

Then, make a crease in the ribbon and place into the Mini Bowdabra.

To make your first loop, fold and crease the ribbon and press into the Mini Bowdabra.

Next, fold the other side at the same loop width. Continue folding loops one at a time down through the center of the Mini Bowdabra. I made eight loops on each side.

Scrunch down with the Mini Bowdabra Wand.  While the bow is still in the Mini Bowdabra, thread the two loose ends of the bow wire through the loop at the other end pulling tightly, tie in a knot and gently pull bow out.

Separate the bow wires - one on top and the other on the bottom of the bow.

Insert the bottom bow wire into and through the center of the bell ribbon and string the decorative beads onto the wire, sealing the end with hot glue. 

String the top bow wire with beads, gluing the larger bead first to the center of the bow.  Loop the bow wire back through the opening of the beads for a hanger and secure with hot glue.

Please visit Bowdabrablog for a complete step by step tutorial.

Be sure to check out the rest of the ladies' Christmas projects and join the Christmas in July Blog Hop by linking up and sharing your favorite Christmas ideas - new or old!

Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Christmas in July Crafting!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bow Ribbon Bell Ornament

Still celebrating Christmas in July this week! I'm over on Bowdabrablog showing you how to make a gorgeous Bow Ribbon Bell Ornament for the holidays!

Head on over and give it a try.  It's really easy to make and a fabulous way to create Christmas ornaments!

Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Christmas Crafting!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Flowering Prickly Pear Cactus - DIY

Succulents and cacti are all the rage and one of the most popular decorating trends today. You find mostly smaller versions used in almost every type of settings, from elaborate weddings to everyday surroundings. I love the simplicity of these plants and wanted something larger and impactful to display. So being the crafter that I am, decided to make my own faux prickly pear cactus arrangement.

Here's how:
Materials Used:
Foam board - 24"x24" project panels (HomeDepot)
Proxxon hot wire cutter
Sanding block
Acrylic craft paint
Magic marker
Hot glue
Bristles (dollarstore brush)
Foam sheets (flowers)
Display Container/dried moss

First, create freehand patterns for the cactus pads/fruit, and trace onto foam boards. 

Cutting out the foam pads and fruit was so easy using my Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter.  But you can also use a foam cutter, electric knife, small saw - anything handy that will cut foam! 

Next, smooth out and round off the edges and sides of the foam pieces using a sanding block.

It really didn't take long to sand these!

Next, paint all of the pieces. Use a variety of green colors to blend.

To mimic the areoles of cactus, place random dots all over the pads with a marker.  Next, remove bristles from a brush and then add a dab of hot glue over the dots.   Wait a few seconds for the glue to set up and then insert the bristles into the hot glue randomly to represent the spines. 

You might have to hold up the bristles for a few seconds to dry erect,
and then, once completely dry, cut down the bristles for a uniform overall look.

Place leftover pieces of foam into the bottom of a display container and cover with dried moss and or mulch.

Randomly arrange the pads into a cactus plant in the container, connecting each one with toothpicks and hot glue.

For the flowers, cut petal shapes out of foam sheets and paint both sides. Let dry.

Imagine how a cactus flower looks.
Place petals on a hot griddle for a few seconds, remove and shape with fingers. 

Glue shaped petals around a foam painted circle, clockwise, to form flower, leaving center clear.

To form center stamens, cut a one inch strip from foam sheet .  .  .

and cut thin strips three quarters the width the entire length.

Lay on top of griddle until ends curl and then coil the piece, gluing end to secure.

Fluff and .  .  .

hot glue in center of flower.

And finally, insert toothpicks to connect and randomly glue on fruit and flowers.

Ta Da!  What an attention grabbing design!

Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!