Monday, March 26, 2018

Ribbon Decorated Egg DIY

 As a crafter, it's always amazing to me what can be created using ribbon and special techniques. The possibilities are almost unlimited for what you can make! And this beautiful decorative egg using ribbon is the perfect accent piece for Spring and Easter -  adding a special touch to any home décor! First of all, there were several techniques used in making this. Ribbon braiding, ribbon rose flowers, and ribbon leaves - each one quite easy to do! I'm sorry the tutorial seems so long, but once you get the hang of the steps, you'll really get into it and can't wait to finish.

 Materials needed:
  • Large paper mache or smooth Styrofoam egg
  • 3/8" ribbon - brown
  • 5/8" Ribbon - assorted colors
  • Hot glue gun. glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Lighter to seal ribbon ends
  • Needle nose pliers
Let's begin by braiding the brown ribbon to make the "container bowl" around the bottom of the egg.
 didn't know how much ribbon I would need to cover the bottom of this 8" egg that's 14 inches around, so I began with two, 72 inch strips. 

1.  Make a slip knot on one end of ribbon.

2.  Make a loop on one end of the other ribbon strip and push that loop through the loop on the slipknot.  Pull on the long ribbon end of the slipknot loop to tighten, keeping the ribbon snug and straight.

3.   Pick up the opposite longer ribbon strip, make a loop and insert into the loop that's there. 

4.  Tighten the ribbon by pulling the longer ribbon of the loops each time, adjusting the loops to keep snug and straight.

5.  Continue alternating the ribbon strips, making loops and pushing the ribbon loops through the opposite loop, braiding the ribbon.  You will notice a pretty pattern as you continue to braid.

6-7. Make sure you are tightening the ribbon loops as you loop and push the ribbon through the loops until you have braided most of the ribbon. Wrap braid around lower portion of egg to see how much more you might need to braid. Additional ribbon strips can be added just by gluing new ribbon on the ends  evenly, matching the ends.

8. Finish off the braid by tightening ribbon, leaving the loops flushed, tucking ends back into the braid, cutting off excess ribbon and gluing ends down.  

Next, I glued on strips of ribbon to cover the bottom of the egg just in case the braided portion didn't cover all of it. 

I then tried out where I wanted to start the braid  .  .  .

and began gluing it on.
Round .  .  .
and round until reaching .  .  .
the end.
Luckily, the egg could still stand on its' own.
Now it's time to make the ribbon rose flowers! The technique is basically folding and turning the ribbon to make the rose. It takes a bit of practice, so don't give up if your first few ribbon flowers aren't exactly what you like.

For this size flower, I cut 14 inch strips of ribbon. Then, depending on how comfortable you feel with which hand to use in folding, turning and adding hot glue to the ribbon - first, fold the ribbon for a tail. In this case, I like to use my right hand to fold the ribbon, so the tail is on the left, with the longer portion of the ribbon, on the right.
Roll the tail over a couple of times with your left hand .  .  
to form the center .  .  .
Place a small dab of glue onto the lower bud area - and not on the ribbon strip to avoid burning your fingers from the hot glue -  pressing the ribbon against the glue to hold and then fold the ribbon over, back onto itself and turn, forming the petal. 

Continue folding the ribbon back and turning and .  .  .
adding glue to the ribbon base, around, forming the flower petals.

Continue forming the petals until nearing the ribbon end, adding a dab of glue, folding the ribbon end back on itself, underneath.

Cut off the tail, sealing the ribbon with flame from lighter and you have .  .  .
a pretty ribbon rose!

 I made about sixteen flowers in each of the three colors that I used for a total of 48 flowers and hot glued them in place around the egg.

 After gluing all of the flowers on, I thought maybe the arrangement needed leaves at the base. So I cut tiny 1 1/2" strips of green 5/8' ribbon, and folded in half. Then I cut across the ribbon fold to the end at an angle.

Then, holding the slanted ribbon edge with needle nose pliers, sealed together with the flame from a lighter.

Some of the leaf ends were sealed together with the lighter .  .  .
and gently glue to base of flowers.
What a perfect ribbon floral arrangement .  .  .

to enhance any décor for Spring and Easter!

Thanks for stopping by

and take a little time to enjoy,

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Updating a Thrift Store Find with Soda Can Flowers

It's that time again - the fourth Thursday of the month, where a group of creative bloggers come together to share their lovely transformations of a thrift store item. Who doesn't love thrift store upcycle projects - whether it's actually creating one or admiring how an item from a thrift store was transformed!

This post contains links to products, if you purchase something after clicking on my link I may earn a small commission to help with my craft expenses (at no extra cost to you).Thank you!

The Rules:

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There's no monthly theme.
  • There's no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Make sure you follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!

I love being in this group! It's so exciting to see all the ideas and creativity in updating or transforming thrift store items and actually being involved, too! On my last visit to the Goodwill, things were looking a bit dismal  - with me going up and down the aisles trying to find something, anything for the thrift store challenge -  and then I saw this basket:
Cute, isn't it - as is, right!  But how on earth was I going to update it? I had an idea, though! With flowers - yes! Flowers made from soda cans! How cool is that!  Here's how -

You will need:
Soda cans
Craft scissors/old scissors
Craft knife
Flower punches - large and small sizes
Loctite super glue gel
Acrylic multi-surface paints/brushes
FolkArt Varnish Gloss
Silver beads

Begin by washing out the soda cans to remove any sticky residue and let dry. Using a craft or x-acto knife, make a slice near the edge of the can big enough for a scissor blade. Using craft or old scissors, cut around top and bottom to remove. Then cut through the length of can to open and finish sides by cutting off any slivers or jagged edges. Roll the aluminum in the opposite direction to help remove the curl of the can while smoothing and flattening it out.
*CAUTION:  Be very careful handling the sharp edges of cut cans.

Next, insert the aluminum can strips into flower punchers to punch-out two different sizes, one large and one small to make lots of flowers! 

 Next, paint flower petals with white multi-surface acrylic paint first to cover lettering, etc., and let dry.
Then, paint with different floral colors and let dry, again.  Apply gloss varnish to seal colors. The petals will take on a different feel and texture, almost like leather, by painting them!

Once dry, roll the flower petal edges with a pen, pencil or stick for a dimensional look. 
To assemble, layer a larger shaped petal with a smaller one, gluing together with Loctite super glue gel. Then glue-on a silver bead to the center of flower.

And finally, glue flowers onto basket in a colorful, decorative manner.
How cool does this look!

Just perfect for Easter, spring, or summer!
The tutorial for the paper mache bunny can be found here.

And now for more thrifty goodness! Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below! Thanks for stopping by!

An InLinkz Link-up

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DIY Shower Steamers for a Relaxing Bath Experience - Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop

 Welcome to the March Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My PinterventuresIf you aren't familiar with the Pinterest Challenge, it's a monthly event that challenges us to not just be pin hoarders, but to make it happen!
This post contains links to products, if you purchase something after clicking on my link I may earn a small commission to help with my craft expenses (at no extra cost to you).Thank you!

This month, I chose to make Shower Steamers for a Relaxing Bath Experience. I love taking relaxing hot baths, but haven't enjoyed one since we moved into this house over six years ago. When we had our home built, we elected to have the tub removed in the master bath and replaced it with a closet for the hubby.  We do have tubs in other bathrooms but I haven't had the urge to use them that way. It just wouldn't be the same for me. But I just love the theory behind turning your shower into an aromatherapy by using shower steamers!  And I've pinned and seen quite a few different ways to make them! After checking out a few on Pinterest and the comments I read, I like this pin the best :  It's easy to follow and right to the point! I even saw a tutorial on the Hallmark Channel that convinced me to make a few!

Shower Steamers
are a wonderful and easy way to relax and unwind in the shower! And there're so many ways to enjoy using them - just by adding different blends of essential oils in the mix!  There might be different reasons you'd want to use shower steamers, say, for instance -  if you just want to relax or need help in getting to sleep (lavender, geranium, sandalwood), or maybe ease congestion (eucalyptus, peppermint) or help you to get wide awake and energized for the day ( lemon, peppermint, bergamot, ylang ylang)!  There are so many usages just by adding certain essential oils!

Here's the basic recipe that I tweaked for my purpose of just relaxing in the shower with a fizzy, wonderful aroma:

2 cups baking soda
1 cup citric acid
1/2 cup cornstarch
3-5 Tbsp. water in a spray bottle
80+ drops essential oil (sandalwood, lavender)
30 drops soap colorant
Molds - silicone or plastic soap molds

  • Combine the baking soda, citric acid and cornstarch in a large bowl. Use gloved hands to diminish any lumps or clumps and mix well.
  • Slowly spritz the mixture all over with water, a little bit at a time, using your gloved hand to mix together while checking to see if the mix is holding together by squeezing it in your hand.  If it doesn't hold together, it's not ready. But if it looks like damp sand or a snowball and holds together, enough water has been added. You will probably hear a bit of fizzing as you mix the water or any liquid in, for that matter. The citric acid causes the fizzing. Just make sure to gently add the water and not pour it directly in.

  • Next, add the essential oils, blending in the drops all over the mixture with gloved hands.
  • If you'd like to have your steamers a bit colorful, add drops of soap colorant at this time. Remember this is liquid too and will affect the consistency. There is a dry colorant called mica powder that provides a deeper coloring if you'd like that.  Continue mixing the solution, and squeezing until ready.
  • Then take some of the mixture and press firmly into the molds, making sure there are no air pockets or gaps. Use the back of a spoon to press and smooth down.

  • If you're using metal molds, once you press the mixture firmly into the mold and the ingredients have taken shape, you'll notice it will easily slide out - which is a good thing. Slide the shaped steamers out and place on parchment paper and allow to dry completely and get hard. Unfortunately, I left both types of molds intact overnight and found the metal ones impossible to remove the next day - no matter what I did. The plastic filled soap molds released easily onto towels. And I'm sure using silicone molds would have easily released the forms, too.

  • Store in a jar with a tight top or inside a sealed bag. Decorate if giving as a gift. Keep in a dry, cool place.
To Use: Drop one shower steamer in the shower stall away from the stream of water. Relax and sit in your hot, steamy shower, breathing in the wonderful aromatherapy benefits of the essential oil blends you chose to use! The steamer will fizz and melt. Leave what's left on the floor of your shower for your next shower, if you like!

My take away from this pin:
  • The amount of essential oil drops used is just a guide. You can add more if you like. I love sandalwood fragrance and would have liked a bolder scent of it.
  • It's best to use silicone or plastic soap molds. They're so much easier to use and release the forms.
  • Don't let metal molds dry overnight - remove the forms from the molds as soon as they're formed and easily slide out intact. Let dry completely out of the molds.
  • Use dry mica powder instead of a liquid soap colorant for a more intense shade.
  • The shower steamers should be called fizzies and not steamers. More fizz - no steam, except from the hot water.
  • Love the overall experience - my shower was very relaxing and the aroma filled the bathroom - the fragrance permeated into the bedroom, too! And the best part - I felt great! Will make more to use and give as gifts! 

To join next month's challenge, click here to sign-up ⇒ April Pinterest Challenge

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop
Roseann - This Autoimmune Life • Kelli - The Olympic Nest
Lynne - My Family Thyme • Beverly - Across the Blvd.
Debra - Shoppe No. 5 • Pili - My Sweet Things
Julie - Sum of their StoriesGwen - Geez, Gwen!
T'onna - Sew Crafty Crochet • Kenyatta - My Design Rules
Cherryl - Farm Girl Reformed • Lisa - Blogghetti
Lauren - Mom Home Guide • Deborah - Salvage Sister & Mister
Gail - Purple Hues and Me • Terri - Our Good Life
Emily - Domestic Deadline - Maria - Tinseltown 

An InLinkz Link-up

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