Project: Stamped Metal Key Chain

I purchased the mini hammer and metal alphabet stamp set at Harbor Freight for about $15 (together).  The washers I picked up a Lowes.  You can find just about any size you want, but remember…..the bigger they are, the heavier they are on your key chain.  😉  As for the key rings, I recommend if you don’t already have them, you purchase some at a craft store….NOT a hardware store.  I bought a whole bag of about 25 of them at Hobby Lobby for 1.99, vs. the same amount for a 2 pack at Lowes. Plus you can get colored ones if you want.

This is a project you are going to need to do on concrete (or similarly hard surface). Lay your washer down, and place the metal stamp where you want it on the washer, HOLD IT TIGHTLY, and give it 2-3 good hit’s with the hammer.  It’s REALLY important to hold it tight so it doesn’t wander on you.  You will “lose” the look of the letter if it does.  Also, once you center the stamp on the washer, hold very still.  This can be a bit of a challenge, and as you can see by the placement of the “G”, I didn’t do a great job of that.  Hopefully you can do better! 🙂 

Once you stamp all of your letters, use a Sharpie to color them in.  Wipe off the extra ink with rubbing alcohol or a baby wipe. I used a baby wipe, because as you know if you know me, or follow my blog, that baby wipes are good for just about EVERYTHING!!

Here is the finished key chain.  Grandma LOVED it.  🙂

 

Subway Art

I thought I would share some “Subway Art” that I created for my sis-in-law.  She gave me the “sayings” that she wanted, and told me what kind of colors she wanted…and this is what I came up with.

   

I sent her the finished file as a jpeg, so she could have them printed at her local(or online) photo store and put in the frames of her choice!  Here is what they look like framed and hung in her home. They are both 20×30. 

 

Project: Subway Art

I have seen “Subway Art” (as in the mode of transportation, not the sandwich place) all over the internet these days.  I am really starting to like it.  I decided to do a couple of my own.
I used Microsoft Publisher to create mine. In Publisher, you can specify the size you want your page to print out at. This was helpful in keeping it from becoming “pixely” (is that a word?) when you want to enlarge it. Publisher allows you to convert your file from a .pub file to a .jpg so you can upload it to your favorite photo printing place and have it printed that way. I chose large sizes that I knew I could have printed as a photo, and could find a frame for. I did one that was 11×14, and one 16×20. 
The first one I did was a coffee themed one.  Because I LOVE COFFEE.

I had it printed by Walmart.com as an 11×14. I also purchased a picutre frame for there, for $5 (cheeeap!).  I loved the color and finish of it, and it went well with the coffee theme, so I left it as is.


Here’s what it looks like framed….

I also did a beach themed one.

This one I had printed as a “poster”, 16×20. I went to Hobby Lobby for the frame for this one. They had 50% off all picture frames, and I knew I wanted a wood one so that I could paint it white. It cost me $13 which is $2 cheaper than Walmart sells their metal ones for, that cannot be re-finished.

I dismanlted the frame, and spraypainted (2 coats) it white. (Using the same paint I used on my wall picture collage).

Here it is all framed up….(I know it looks yellow in the photo, but it’s not, honest!)

This is the other one I did for my daughters bedroom, but I have not framed it yet…..

Project: Teachers Flower Pot

This is a really cute spring idea I saw on another blog, to show appreciattion for a teacher.  So many gorgeous flowers are starting to bloom, and appear in local nurseries.

 

Here is what you’ll need:

 Terra Cotta flower pot

Chalkboard paint (I used brush on, because I didn’t feel like taping things off, but you could also use the spray-paint)

Yellow acrylic paint

Paint brushes

Black paint pen (you could also use a black sharpie)

Chalk

Potting soil

Flowers

I started by painting a coat of the chalkboard paint on the flower pot, leaving the rim bare, using vertical brush strokes. Let that dry about an hour, and then applied another coat horizontally.  This makes sure you get everything well covered. (If you’re using spray chalkboard paint, just follow the directions on the can.) The instructions on the paint said to then let it cure for 24 hours. 

 

While I was waiting, I went ahead and painted the rim, and part of the inside yellow.  I painted partially down the inside, below where the dirt line will be when I plant the flower so you don’t see the paint line.

 

Once the yellow paint dried, I added the “ruler” lines all around the rim of the pot with my paint pen.

 

NOTE: I had a little trouble getting the ruler lines to be even on the rim of the pot.  It would be easier if the rim was totally flat, instead of grooved like this one.

Now it’s ready for planting. My daughter chose Marigolds….

Write your message to the teacher on the chalkboard with your chalk. (Again, I used Crayola).

Word Clouds

Here is a cool thing I thought I’d share.  Word clouds (or word mosaics as some refer to them) can make great wall art! I found two sites that seem to work the best (in my opinion), and have some versatility with what you can actually DO with your word cloud when your done, such as saving it as an image, posting it to your favorite social network, or even make a t-shirt out of it.  
Here are a couple that I made using Imagechef
This one I did with Emma in mind….maybe a cute framed wall hanging in her room.
This one is my favorite, and was created using Tagul The options on this site are limited but it does allow for the use of tagged words that can act as pointers to URL’s if embedded in a web page.

Project: Play Food – Doughnuts

I saw this idea on lil blue boo and couldn’t resist making some for Emma’s play food inventory.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Acrylic paints

Paint Brushes

Pipe cleaners (optional)

Wooden wheels

I purchased these unfinished wooden circles at Hobby Lobby. They are actually wheels. We don’t have a need for wooden wheels, but we DO have a need for doughnuts with NO CALORIES! Right?

Then I chose 3 colors of acrylic paint for the “cake” part of the doughnut.

Before I painted, I bent a pipecleaner in half, and pushed it through the middle of the doughnut.  This way, I could handle it to paint all the sides. This also allowed for them to dry, with the least amount of paint touching the table. There must be better ways of doing this, I just did the best with what I had on hand at the time.

Once you have a pipe cleaner through the center of each one, you’re ready to paint. 

You will need to do 2 coats of paint. This is what they look like after the first coat. Don’t panic (like I did). They will look MUCH better after the second coat. Promise.

Here they are after the second coat has dried.  See? Much better. 😉

Once they have dried completely, you can remove the pipe cleaners. 

Now they’re ready for frosting. You will need to 2 coats of the frosting as well. 

Once both layers of frosting dry, you can add sprinkles, glaze stripes, or whatever decorations you want.

Here is emma “frosting” hers.

She went with a little wilder color scheme than I did…..

Project: Crayon Rainbow

I decided to do the crayon rainbow on canvas that I’ve seen several times on Pinterest.  I thought it would look kinda cool to do it on a dark background instead of the plain white canvas that the others are done on. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Canvas (I used an 11×14)

Wide paint brush

Ruler (optional)

Hairdryer (or embossing heat tool)

Black acrylic paint (or whatever color you want)

Craft glue (make sure you get one that dries clear)

Crayons (I needed 39 to do my 11×14)

First step was to cover the entire canvas in back acrylic paint. Let that dry at least 2 hours.

Then I laid out an equal number of each color of crayon, that I wanted to include in my rainbow. (The best way to do that I thought was to lay them beside the canvas first, to make sure I have the right amount, and I don’t accidentally mark up the canvas with the crayons.)

Then, it’s time to start gluing. Put a line of your craft glue on each crayon, and lay it down on the canvas. (I prefer the look of not having all of the “Crayola” words facing out).

 

This is also where the ruler comes in if you choose to use it. I used it across the bottom of the crayons to make sure I’m gluing them on evenly. If you can just eyeball it, great!

Once you have them all the way across, let the glue dry overnight.  You don’t want it to melt when you apply the heat of the hairdryer on the next step!

 

Hold your canvas at an angle, turn on the heat on your hairdryer, and point it at the crayons.

 

Once they start to melt, it will go pretty fast, so be ready.  You can also stop the melting (obviously) by removing the heat.  The crayons set up almost instantly, so it’s easy to start and stop the process.  You can tilt the canvas different directions as it’s melting to change the direction of the melt.

Here’s what mine looked like all finished.

Then I decided to add a tiny bit of sparkle. 😉  

Project: Crayon Garden

This weekend I decided to take the whole crayon thing in a new direction. I have been meaning to do one of those melted crayon rainbows on canvas, that I have seen all over pinterest, but haven’t gotten to it yet.  This weekend, I felt like doing something similar, but different. I am hooked on painting right now, so I wanted to incorporate that as well. And of course, I HAD to add some bling (just a touch). 🙂

This is what I came up with.

 

You will need crafting glue, crayons, and a canvas (whatever size you want your “garden” to be). Because the crayons will be the “grass” and “stems”, I painted my canvas blue all over to become the sky, with acrylic paints. I used 3 different colors of blue on the same brush to give it some depth.

This is the brand of paint I like.

 

I let that dry a couple of hours. Then, put a strip of glue on each crayon, and lay it on the canvas like this.  I alternated light and dark greens, some browns, and a couple of yellows….

 

Once you have them all the way across the canvas, let the glue dry for a couple of hours.  You don’t want it melting on the next step. 

You will need a hairdryer (you can also use and embossing heat tool if you have that). 

Turn on the dryer and aim it at the crayons.  Once they start to melt, be ready, cuz it will go fast.  Make sure to hold the canvas at an angle so the wax will run down the canvas.

Once you take the heat off, the wax from the crayons solidifies almost instantly. Once you have your “grass” and “stems” how you want them, you can add your flowers. You can use any artificial flowers you want, I have way to many on hand already, so I used this daffodil that I had. Daisy’s would also be pretty.

You will need to take the flower apart, removing the stem, and the very inner peice that holds the flower together, in order for it to lay flat on the canvas.  Like this….

Once you have your flower apart, you can “re-assemble” it on the canvas, using glue between each layer. 

Anddd……Viola!   All done!

 

Project: Picture Wall Collage

UPDATE: I had a request for a little more detail on this.  So here it is!

This is the spray paint I used – It has primer and paint in one, so you can skip that first step, and perhaps not have hamstring and finger fatigue like I did.  😉

First I wiped down the frames with a damp cloth prior to painting.  Then, I did two coats of paint, allowing the first to dry completely (overnight) before applying the second.  Then I let that dry overnight. Make sure you get down close to the frames, getting them from EVERY angle.  It’s easy to miss the edges when your using spray paint.

Here are the close-ups….sorry the picture quality kinda sucks…. dark hallway + iPhone 3GS with no flash = not great pictures.

I laid out all the framed photos on the floor and arranged them as I wanted them.  Then I took the overall height and width, and marked them on the wall, so I knew the space I needed to stay within.  I took a photo of the arrangement on the floor, so I would have a schematic to work off of transferring them all to the wall.

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I finally finished changing the photos on the wall in the hallway.  I have learned my lesson on “upcycling” used frames.  Make SURE you pay attention to what is on the back of them.  A couple that I used, were meant to stand up on a desk or table, rather than hang on the wall.  This meant that to use them, I had to PRY off the hardware that the “stand up arm-thingy” (yes, that’s the technical term), attaches to the frame with, without destroying the particle board backing on the frame.  No bueno.  I won’t make that mistake again. 

Here is the wall before…. sorry the pictures are kind of dark….

Here is the “make-over” in progress….. 🙂

And here is the finished collage…..

Notice that I also turned some of Emma’s “artwork” into photo’s and mixed them in as well.  I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out! Seeing her silly face and her colorful art makes me smile everytime I walk by it.

Project: Butterfly Garden

Im looking forward to taking Emma to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle soon. I’m especially excited for her to go into the Butterfly garden there.  It’s sooooo cool. 

With that in mind, we decided to make her own butterfly garden that she could hang on her wall.  This project took a couple of days, just because of paint drying time.  Here’s what we did…

You can get canvas’s pretty cheap at the craft stores now, so we started by paining a canvas green with acrylic paint.  Emma was REALLY excited to paint on a REAL canvas for the first time.  🙂

Then she added some pom poms (not sure what those are, but I think it has some relation to Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax), mushrooms and flowers to her “garden”.

She set the canvas garden aside to dry overnight.  Next step called for watercolor paints.  We used Crayola.

She painted two peices of regular white card stock paper with them.  This is going to become your butterflies so make it colorful.

Paint one side, and let that dry an hour or so.  Then flip it over and do the same to the other side.  You want both sides painted so that both  the top and the bottom of the butterfly wings are colorful. 

Once both sides are dry, it’s time to punch out the butterflies. I didn’t already own a butterfly punch, so I purchased this one at Hobby Lobby (with my 40% off coupon – yay!.)  It ended up being about $7.

Once you punch them out, fold the wings up to give them kind of a 3D effext.

Emma got pretty creative on a couple of her butterflies but didnt have the patience to do all of them. (I have no idea where she gets her lack of patience…it can’t be from me).  😉

We used Tacky Glue on the “body” of the butterfly to glue them to canvas. Make sure you use a glue that dries clear.

I put the glue on, and Emma placed them where she wanted them on her garden.

Here is her finished butterfly garden, ready to hang on her wall.