Monday, January 16, 2012

Project Eight: Menu Board

Here's the thing...I suck at being an adult.  I rarely have the necessary groceries to make a full meal, and when I do, usually the meat portion of the meal is frozen and requires thawing, which of course I forget to do until it's 6:45 and we're staring.  So...time for project eight...the menu board.

The menu board is by no means an original project, there are multiple versions floating around pinterest, but here's my take on a menu board that cost me next to nothing.  Basically I went from this:

To this:

In about an hour or two.  Here's how:

I started by taking apart my cereal box and getting a good solid piece of it from one of the large panels as my base.  I used a cereal box because it was free and it's nice a lightweight so I could hang this whole thing on my fridge when complete.

I covered my cereal box with a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper:

Then I cut the word "menu" out of two coordinating colors of scrapbooking paper with my Cricut.  I used a lighter green for the top "menu" and then used a darker green and cut out the shadow version so that the word would stand out a little more against my background.  I used Mod Podge to adhere the letters and also did a nice coat over the whole thing.  I figured if it's hanging in the kitchen, it may last a little longer with glossy Mod Podge over it.

Once I got the base ready, I started working on my clothespins.  I used different coordinating papers and mod podged them onto the clothespins so they'd be a little prettier than plain 'ol clothespins.

Pretty  huh?  Minus my gross hot glue covered cutting mat (which after this project FINALLY made its way into the garbage).

Next I worked on a little pocket to hold all the menu items that we won't be eating for the week.  I used coordinating scrapbook paper and cut out a square.  I scored a line an inch in on both of the sides and the bottom of the square so that I could fold those sides back and glue that portion onto my mat.  I then cut out the two squares formed in the bottom left and bottom right hand corners of my square.  So it looked like this:

Then I folded each of those tabs I created under and glued them onto my board, creating a little pocket.  I should also note that I put mod podge on the front of my pocket just so that it was glossy and had the same appearance as the rest of the board.

Next I hot glued my clothespins onto the side of the menu board - measuring their distance apart as I went so they were even and lined up.

I used my Cricut and cut out some little labels (from the essentials cartridge) out of an ivory cardstock.  I cut .50" sized labels for my clothes pins to mark the days.  I then used stamps to stamp the first letter of each day and glued the labels onto my clothespins. I just used good 'ol elmers to attach those to my clothes pins.

After that, I cut out 1.25" labels to hold all of my menu items.  My fiance lovingly wrote out the menu selections because his handwriting always looks so much neater than mine.

See, that boy can write.

Finally, I glued some heavy duty magnet action onto the back and slapped this puppy onto my fridge.  I'm hopeful that we'll actually use it.  If not, I think it still looks pretty good :)

TA DA!!!  One more project down and I had a ton of fun with this one!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project Seven: Car Sticker

First thing's first...this project is once again 100% stolen, borrowed,, it's really stolen from my new fav crafting blog, a girl and a glue gun:  As you'll see, about half of my projects come from her blog.  I promise I will be branching out (as I did yesterday with my birdcage and felt flowers) but I already had the materials for this project and really really needed it! was a need, not just a want.  Plus I've got to keep crafting on if I'm going to hit my new year's resolution!

Here's the thing.  Where I work...there are about 3 other identical vehicles (down to similar license plates) that park in the same lot as I do.  So, on more than one occasion, I have literally walked up to someone else's car and spent a good minute trying to figure out why the door won't unlock.  It's embarassing and I may get hauled in for questioning soon.  So..time for a car sticker!

I needed something that would embrace my love of all things crafty. it is:

That's right...this should be something all too familiar for my fellow crafters.  It's a glue gun.  I had the vinyl from my other Cricut projects, and while parting with this much vinyl was tough (although I saved every possible scrap for future small Cricut projects), it was well worth it.  Now you may ask, am I really that talented as to have drawn such a realistic, in fact life sized, glue gun?  Of course not!

That's right...I simply traced my glue gun (in all actuality, it's my mom's glue gun that I stole from her about 15 years ago and have grown awful attached to...sorry mom!) on the reverse side of the vinyl.  Make sure to lay it in the opposite direction of how you want it to go on your car. 

Now..I'm seriously contemplating adding some Cricut letters underneath like, "Crafter For Life" or "Keep Calm and Craft On" or "I'd rather be crafting" but I feel like I'm already on the verge of looking like a crazy person (maybe over that line) so I don't want to push it too much further or my fiance may refuse to ride in my car all together!

Happy Crafting, folks!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Project Six: Bird Cage Card Holder

Today my fiance said "I just feel like we're really behind on all this wedding planning."  Mind you the wedding is about 8 months away and we've booked nearly everything, I've got a dress, etc. heart immediately started pounding and I realized it was time for some wedding crafting.  So here goes...our wedding card holder for the gift table.
Our reception is in a barn.  Have I mentioned that I live in Kansas?  So, the barn just felt right.  I'm trying to do as much of this wedding DIY as possible, so this will not be the last you'll see of the wedding projects (just prepare yourself now if you hate even thinking about weddings...sorry 'bout that).

The other day I was at hobby lobby (buying 25 boxes of Christmas lights to decorate said barn) and I saw this great bird cage that looks rustic/antique and was half price (only $25).  So, of course, I immediately purchased.  Do I have a picture of the birdcage by itself?  Why yes, thanks for asking.  Can I get to it?  This blog is a comedy of errors.  Now my computer is working...but my camera battery died halfway through the birdcage project.  So, I moved to iphone pictures and have not yet found the camera charger.

Anyhow, I printed off a couple of signs for the birdcage on some ivory cardstock.  Is it printer paper?  Oh no, I'm a rebel.

One big one explaining why there's a birdcage on the gift table:

And another smaller card to explain how to get into the cage (since it's not one of those traditional card has a normal door...hopefull it will work ok!)

What was that?  Oh, you said you like my font???  Why thank you.  You sure know how to flatter a girl.  I found both of these awesome fonts on and they are COMPLETELY FREE.  The CARDS sign font is called Romantiques and the Open Me card's font is called A Yummy Apology.  I plan to use both fonts on other stuff at the you'll be seeing them in the near crafting future.

This evening at Michaels (when purchasing my new SMASH if you haven't heard of it...your life will be changed) I found these wonderful paper flowers.

They looks a little darker green and brown in thsi picture than they acually are...they are really kind of light and soft and pretty.  Anyway, I originally planned to make my own paper flowers, however I wasn't exactly prepared to spend $40+ on a new cricut cartridge so I tried googling some patterns.  Martha Stewart's website has a great tutorial for making beautiful peonies.  HOWEVER...homegirl is serioulsy making her own paper which takes like two hours then taking another two hours to hand cut these damn things.  I mean...seriously...lady I've got some Real Housewives on DVR so I ain't got the time for that crap.

Anyway, I started hot gluing away....and here's how it turned out.

 I added a gromet to the open me tag and used a ribbon to tie it onto the door.

Project 1 of 24896314682357 for the wedding done...

Project Five: Felt Flowers

The other night I was laying out my clothes for work the next day and came to the conclusion that my wardrobe really needed a pop of color.  So what is a girl to do when this happens at 10 o'clock at night...pull out the felt and glue gun of course!  I saw theses great felt flowers online and decided it would make a great pin. 

You'll need:
hot glue gun
something circular to trace
pin backing

So here's how I did it:

(1) Find some circular to use as a pattern (for a larger flower I used a mason jar lid, for a smaller one I used something about the size of a spool of thread).

(2) Start tracing yourself some circles on felt.  Both of these flowers used one circle for the base (side not here - for the smaller flower all of my circles were the same size, but for my larger flower I made the base circle smaller so I wouldn't have something quite so huge).  Then I probably used another 6 or so circles for the petals.

(3) Now for the petals.  Take a circle and fold it in half.

Then fold it in half again.

Then snip the corner off (the part that's the center of your flower).

Then glue that part onto the center of your base circle.  You'll have to hold it there for a bit as your hot glue dries.

Then just start gluing (is that a word?  it doesn't look right, does it?) your other petals next to it.  Try to change up the way you are gluing them so that they aren't all facing the same direction and it looks more natural.  In the end, this is how my flower came out.

Now glue your pin backing onto the back side.

Then wear 'em!  TA DA!

Project Four - Glass Etching

MY CRICUT IS HERE!!!!  I was like a kid on Christmas morning opening it up.'s time for the first Cricut project.  This project is entirely stolen from a girl and a glue gun  I would pretend to be ashamed..but who are we kidding?  I LOVED her idea (and her entire blog for that me, you'll find many more projects that I've...uh...borrowed from her site.  I'll always give her credit though because that girl can craft!).

Anyway, here's how mine turned out...

Basically, you  just get yourself some vinyl at JoAnn's or Michaels and Hobby Lobby or pretty much any craft store.  Then you make yourself some stencils.  I used my Cricut but you could also make your own stencils with an xacto.  The hardest, hands down hardest, part about this project was figuring out how to get my lettering all backwards.  I'm no Cricut expert, being that it's brand new, so that took a lot of trial and error.  Basically, I typed in all of my words backwards but since I wanted two lines, I would basically type the words for the first line in backwards (aka for this is NOT I typed in "TON si siht) then hit the return button and do the same thing for your second line.  Then you have to go in and make all of the letters print out in reverse.  I learned that it seemed to just reverse each individual character, and not the phrase as a whole, hence the reason to type the letters in reverse order.

Then I cut my vinyl, slapped it on the bottom of my pyrex, and used my Armor Etch (I found this at Hobby Lobby but not at JoAnns, I'm not sure if Michaels has it).

Then follow the directions and apply a nice thick coat over your stencil (you can see mine up there in the background).  The one word of advice...the directions say to let it sit for 5 minutes but that really didn't seem to do much for me so I let mine sit more like 30 or 45 minutes and then washed it off really well and peeled my stencil off.  Oh, and make sure to be careful with this stuff...keep away from eyes, don't use with kids, etc.

I love how my pyrex dishes came out and I can't wait to personalize some more.  I also feel like these would make great gifts!

Project Three - A Big R!

This is yet another project that I finished a while ago and took pictures of but then simply couldn't post online.  How frustrating!  Anyhow...this was a really simply project that added a little bit of life and personalization to my craft room.  The big R!  (for Rae of course...oh yeah, by the way, my name is Rae)

The other day I was walking through JoAnn's and saw those large cardboard/chipboard/whateverboard letters and just had to buy one.  Like it was a requirement.  Couldn't leave the store without it.

So I got home and gathered some other supplies.  Mod Podge and scrapbooking paper (pretty much staples around my house).

Then I basically just traced the R on my paper, cut it out, and Mod Podged it onto the R.  Here is is still all goopy and Mod Podgy...

Now it's all dry and pretty and on the shelf!  (the little girl in the picture is my mom as a it)

Project Two - Yo Yo Bouquet!

I need to preface this ENTIRE post by explaining that I started this post about a week ago (at least) and basically have had MAJOR Internet problems at my house.  Making posting...well a complete nightmare.  So, I think I may finally have enough patience to sit down and try again.  Here goes!!!

Well clearly my whole 300 projects this year thing is going to be tough considering I haven't done crap this week...well up until this morning that is!  That's right - project two ladies and gentlemen (or probably more like singular lady that reads the blog)...yo yo flowers!  I saw such a cute idea for a yo yo bouquet on Pinterest and I knew I had to steal it, copy it, create my own!  It also gave me the opportunity to create yo yos for the first time ever.

This project is a great way to use some of your extra fabric scraps and buttons...and I have plenty of both!  Here's my fabric and yarn storage...

Label makers clearly are one of man's greatest inventions.  (keep in mind, this is just a very small portion of my crafting supplies.  one of these days I'll post some pictures of my craft room on here...for bragging purposes of course).

Anyway, back to the yo yo bouquet.  You'll need the following materials to create your own super cute yo yo flowers:

(1) Coordinating fabric pieces - aren't these cute!

(2) Circle Stencils - You could use a compass but I grabbed a couple of bowls out of my kitchen and used those.  You'll want two sizes of circles so that you have a smaller and larger yo yo that you can layer.

(3) Chalk - for tracing your stencil onto your fabric

(4) Needle and coordinating thread - use a heavy duty thread or double up your thread; also be careful when you're tightening up your yo yo and tying it off.  Breaking the thread and having to re-do the yo yo = no fun (said from experience)!

(5) Buttons!  I know for a FACT that every single crafter/sewer has some type of button collection.  Mine was much larger but I begrudgingly reduced it to just one larger (very large) jar of buttons (as opposed to the shoebox full I once had).  I personally love the button grab bags that most craft stores sell.  Sometimes, you just need some buttons.

(6) Thick wire for the flower stems.  I went and grabbed the thickest wire I could find in the jewelry section of Michaels.  You'll also need wire cutters to trim it so you don't ruin any scissors trying to cut your big 'ol thick wire with some scissors.

(8) Hot glue gun.  What project is complete without some hot glue???

(9) Container for your flowers - I used a mason jar and hot glued some ribbon onto it to make it a little prettier.

Alright, time to start crafting. 

First thing's first...cut out your fabric.  I traced around my bowls with chalk to create my circles, then cut them out.  I had 5 different fabrics I wanted to use, so I basically traced a large and small cicle on each type, then mixed and matched my yo yo's to create my flowers.

Once you get your circles cut out - make your yo yo's.  I found a really great yo yo making tutorial and I'm here here to reinvent the check this out if you've never made a yo yo before (I hadn't!)

Now get to yo yo-ing.  Once you have all your yo yo's created, start combining the large and small yo yos so that you have 5 flowers - each have a large yo yo in back with a small yo yo in front.  Then I basically just sewed the two yo yo's together and added a button in front of the smaller yo yo.  See...

Once I made all five flowers, I started on my stems.  I cut pieces of wire about 8 inches long or so (you can always trim them up later for shorter stems).  Then I curled the top of the wire around my needle nose wire trimmers (I think that's what they are anyway...that's what I use them as).  Don't wrap the wire too tight or you'll have a real heck of a time getting it off!

Once i pulled it off, I sort of flattened out the spiral so I had a nice flat base to glue to the bottom of my flower.

Now I used a good amount of hot glue and just hot glued the bottoms of my flowers to the wire base I created on the stem.  I'm sure you could also sew them on, but I was really sick of sewing at this point AND hot glue was really fast AND it seems to have held on pretty good so far.

TA DA!  I put my bouquet in a mason jar that I had hot glued a few pieces of ribbon onto.  I also think they'd look great in an old milk jug as well.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Project One - Felt Playmat

I love love love crafts for children. Bright colors, usually minimal measuring, and perfection is never required! Right up my alley.

My niece is turning 3 later this month and I've realized homemade gifts seem to be the best kind for her. There's always the trouble of getting something store bought and finding out someone else already got it for her. She also, like most of nearly 3 year olds, has a ton of toys already. So..homemade it is.

I will start by saying that I certainly didn't come up with this project all by myself. I stumbled upon a crafter blog - A Girl and a Glue Gun.  She created the cutest felt playmats and inspired me to create one for my niece.

I started by getting a few knockoff matchbox cars from Wal Mart.  And can I just say, it's disturbing how many grown men are looking at matchbox cars at Wal Mart, clearly for themselves.  Yes, I am judging you, grown men.  Anyway, I found some great cars that I knew she'd love (firetruck, police car, school bus, etc) to get me started.  Then, I headed off to JoAnn's to grab some felt.  Their felt by the yard was on sale for $2.29/yd and the pre-cut sheets were 4 for $1, so I got a ton of felt for 16 dollars.  Needless to say I still have a ton left, but I do love me some felt.

Once I got my felt, I started by cutting a square in the blue/green color.  The felt from JoAnn's is 72" wide and I bought a yard and a half.  I ended up making my square about 48".

After I got my square laid out, I cut 4" wide strips from the hot pink felt.  I then used those as binding around the edge of the felt square to give it a more finished look.  Oh, and by the way, this project is entirely sewless - I used a hot glue gun for everything!  I have blisters on my thumb to prove it.

Once I got the binding on, I started with a road, then begin glue in houses, etc. in around it.  I noticed that the hot glue sometimes leaked through some of the thinner or lighter color felt, especially on the road.  I think if I make another one of these, I'll make the roads in black instead.  For this one, I just used other colors of felt and glued random buildings and bushes, etc. over the hot glue marks.

Here's the mat halfway through.  I was still playing with where I wanted to put the buildings so most of them moved at some point.  I knew my niece would want certain buildings for sure - a police station, a big girl school, her house, and of course, a McDonalds :)

I ended up working on this throughout the evening last night (January 1 - first project of the new year) but I'm really happy with the finished project!

And I've added a few pieces of ribbon to the outside so she can take it with her on the go!

I hope that my niece enjoys playing with this mat as much as I enjoyed making it!  I know I would have loved it when I was her age!

January 1 - Project One down!  299 more to go!

Well, here goes nothing.

I have a confession, I am a crafter. Not a cute etsy crafter that always has a cute little house full of homemade projects. No, I'm the cluttered craft room full of unfinished projects kind of crafter. I've tried my hand at everything, from making paper to making soap. I have a half-finished dollhouse in my house. I have also started about 50 baby blankets in my lifetime and I think I've maybe finished one. It's becoming a little atrocious.

So, the goal of this blog: not to become recognized, make millions, have my own movie. Let's be honest, whoever heard of a movie about crafting? Which is really an untapped market...I mean I'd be watching that in a heartbeat. But perhaps I'm alone? Clearly, I'm no writer so the last thing I'm expecting is a book deal out of this poorly edited, grammatical error laced blog. This blog is simply a way for me to learn to start, and FINISH my projects. It's probably no shocker that I came up with this idea while watching Julie and Julia and pondering over my new year's resolution. Do I want to get in shape? Hell yes. Is that going to happen this year? Well that would be lovely, but a girl needs some obtainable goals as well. So here it is: 300 projects in 365 days. One year to complete 365 projects. Some may be projects I have already started, but the whole goal here is to finish things, not just start them.

Alright, are you unimpressed yet? 300 projects is nothing, right? Well, if it helps, I'm an attorney with a full-time job and I'm planning my wedding in September. Clearly I'm not as busy as any person with children, but I still manage to lose time for my hobby.

So here goes...300 projects, 365 days. Wish me luck!