How to Glue: Going from Gloomy to Glamorous

fullsizerender-9On my DIY and crafting journey,  I discovered the art of decoupage. Decoupage can range anywhere from basic crafts to a full-blown household project. This is basically the art of applying paper products such as cutouts to other objects. My favorite medium to use in this application is called Mod Podge. Mod Podge can be found at your local store or if you’re looking for more variety, in an arts and crafts store. This substance is used as a sealer and a finish, as well as a glue.

Currently, there are around 17 different formulas available on the market. However, all the formulas do essentially the same thing, finish, glue and seal. To me, this is a great way to cut down on the bill while crafting and to be able to create while saving money. Options include classic, brush stroke, antique and many more. For my coffee table example, I use the classic matte to adhere and after the application I cover with a classic gloss. Keep in mind that if furniture will be outside you may use the outdoor version of Mod Podge to project your creation from the elements.

To begin my project, I gathered the following:

  • Classic Mod Podge (Matte and Gloss Finish)
  • A Few Pieces of Sandpaper
  • A Damp Cloth
  • Magazines, Photos, Posters, Construction Paper (Anything You Wish To Adhere To Your Table)
  • A Foam Brush
  • Scissors
  • An Old Credit Card
  • A Craft Knife
  1. Prepare to decorate the table by sanding down the surface. This helps the Mod Podge to adhere to the exterior.
  2. To remove the paint from sanding, wipe the table down with a damp cloth. Make sure that the table has dried completely before trying to continue your project.
  3. Next, cut out pictures from the magazines chosen. Sometimes, I wouldn’t use the entire picture, instead just grabbing color from different sections and images I found beautiful. For my example, I also used old posters from concerts, pictures and grabbed quotes from articles I enjoyed. This is essentially up to you and your creativity.
  4. After cutting out the paper, assemble your cutouts into a layout that appeals to you across the surface.
  5. Apply the Mod Podge with the foam brush across the table. (Hint: It’s easier to adhere one section or piece at a time because the glue dries quickly.)
  6. Once each section is attached, apply more Mod Podge over top of each piece and smooth out bubbles with the old credit card.
  7. If some pieces do not line up with the edge of the table, use the craft knife to trim.
  8. Once the table has completely dried (no longer sticky), apply a second coat of gloss across the surface. This seals in your art and gives it a stunning shine!

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Once the decoupage is complete, the table legs can be painted to complement your creation. I went with bright and vibrant colors! My advice to you, grab that boring living room table and get to gluing!

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Confessions of a Sharpie Addict

As everyone following along with my blog can disclose by now, I am an avid DIY advocate. Personally, I believe in one essential that a DIY fanatic cannot live without. The sharpie permanent marker. Now most people have at least one sharpie in their home at any given time, but what they don’t realize is how many extensive uses this little pen can have. From labeling boxes to decor, sharpies are one of the most versatile objects in the art world. The pens are perfect for permanent use on just about any object in the home. Lucky for us, as Sharpie has grown as a company so have their selections. Their pens can now be purchased in fine point, neon, highlighter, metallic, oil based and even fabric paint. Here are some of my favorite ways to utilize these markers.

Sharpies are known for their permanent ability to write on just about any surface. This makes them perfect for decorating mugs, plates or any ceramic decorative piece. This is a great way to give your own personal touch to a gift or to embellish around the house. To achieve this simply clean your mug with rubbing alcohol, wait 3 days to let the paint dry and bake at 425 for 1 hour. Make sure to let the mug cool in the oven before removal and remember your decorative piece will never be dishwasher safe!

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Previously, when someone wanted to make their own design on clothing it was subject to smudging and fading from regular markers. Sharpie put an end to this with the creation of the permanent fabric pen. The brushed tip make these the best choice for hand designed fabric crafts. To achieve this look, sketch your design and wash and dry the material. The ink won’t fade and I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.

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One of my preferred projects using Sharpies is tie-dying. I found this idea online a couple of years ago and was shocked at the simplicity. Although this can be achieved on any kind of fabric, I’m going to describe how to tie-dye shoes.

You will need:

  • Medicine Dropper
  • 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Sharpie Permanent Markers
  • Masking Tape
  • White Shoes

First, apply your tape around the sole of the shoes to prevent running. Next, begin to apply dots of the color selection of your choosing. The closer together, darker and larger the dots the better.

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After you finish coloring the entirety of the shoe, fill the dropper with alcohol and go nuts! You can move the shoes in any direction to promote spreading and even repeat the process if you’re unhappy with the results. The more alcohol you add the more the colors will blend!

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I’ll leave you with some of my personal artwork using Sharpies as my medium. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my favored uses of Sharpies. Maybe you’d like to share some of your own?

 

 

 

Renew and Reuse: Picture Frame Jewelry Display

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This week I am going to steer away from delicious treats and focus on crafts. Don’t worry! The food will make a comeback! One of the things I prefer in life is organization. I believe things having a proper place is the best way to find peace and comfort in the home. Not only does this make your residence pleasing to the eye, it makes day-to-day living easier. A properly functioning living space can benefit you in various ways.

Organization has been known to reduce stress and depression. Clutter is notorious for being a significant factor in stressors of the brain. Chaos around the household can deter from relaxation and the tasks at hand. It’s hard to remember to pay that certain bill on time or even find your bills in a disorganized home. So, I’ll give you some tips about what I do to declutter and how things lying around the house can be reused to aid in organization.

Instead of going out and buying all new organizational tools, some of your mess can be reused to clean up your act. Almost anything around the house can be repurposed and used for your tidying effort. For my example, I’m going to explain how to transform an old picture frame (possibly one that won’t stand on  its own anymore) into a classic way to arrange jewelry.

I’m going to do my best to break down the steps into sections but a lot of creativity and personal preference goes into this project.

  1. After selecting you picture frame, determine whether you would like to replace the picture behind the glass to something of your liking. If you choose not to do this, an open frame will work just as well. If a background is chosen, simply cut it to shape and replace it behind the glass.
  2. Next, stones, seashells or anything of your choosing can be glued to the outer working of the frame. Once again the frame can be left plain or panted. It’s all up to you!
  3. When the frame is complete. A wooden dowel can be attached across the frame to hang bracelets and the like. The best way to make this removable is to use command strips to attach the dowel. Lace, sticks and many other things can be used as well.
  4. Finally, gluing on old wine corks is a great way to display and store earrings. It looks beautiful and is quite practical. Bows and other decorations can be added at your discretion.

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial. Once again, it’s quite easy to accomplish and you can’t go wrong with your own creativity.

Happy Crafting Bloggers!

Cookie Coma

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To continue with my theme of completely unhealthy holiday goodies, I’ve decided to share another one of my favorite baked goods to make around this time of year. If your family is like mine in any way, then you bake and decorate cookies as a tradition every holiday season. For me, this began by showing appreciation to Santa for his hard work in bringing joy to so many people in one solitary night. Although now these treats aren’t made for the same reason, I still hold this tradition very near to my heart. I hope to continue it for generations of my family to come.

Sugar cookies have been enjoyed by inhabitants of the United States since the early 17th century. Slowly people began to use cookie cutters to hang the cookies on the tree as decoration and from that our own modern traditions were born. In fact, children have been leaving cookies for Santa Claus since the 1930s!

I personally like to use a homemade sugar cookie recipe over store-bought because I find they simple taste better. However, boxed cookies will work just as well and can be doctered up to resemble homemade cookies by adding custom flavors such as vanilla or peppermint.

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of butter (softened)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  1. In a large bowl, blend together the sugar and butter with a mixer until smooth.
  2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Next, the salt, baking powder and flour should be stirred into the mixture (stirred by hand).
  4. Dough should then be refrigerated for at least an hour to firm (covered).
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Make sure rolling-pin and cookie cutters have been thoroughly floured prior to use to avoid sticking. Dough should be 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Use selected cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
  8. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes or until edges begin to golden.
  10. Cool completely before applying icing.

When decorating, whether you use store-bought icing or you decide to make it at home, here is a tip to make the process a little easier. I don’t have professional decorating tools so instead I use sandwich bags to get my desired look. Colored icing can be distributed into sandwich bags on which the tips can be cut off to substitute for professional piping bags. This can help to get the more detailed look out of your frosting and quite honestly it’s a lot of fun!

Happy decorating!