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Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

As I have mentioned previously on this blog, I am a total craft junkie.  Crafting is my therapy.  There is something very soothing to me about the act of creating something new and letting my creative juices flow.

I also recently had an absolutely AMAZING experience at a local yard sale.  I had been drawn by all of the advertisements suggesting that the sale would predominantly feature a large amount of craft supplies for cheap.  If there’s anything I like better than making crafts, it’s buying craft supplies.  As it turned out, the sale was being run by the stars of Creative Juice on the DIY Network, selling excess supplies from their studio to make room for new product.  It was so fun to meet them, and I picked up 6 or 7 different varieties of Mod Podge to play with (along with some fabric paints, acrylic paints, chalkboard paints, and a few new rubber stamps) – all on the cheap!

I’ve only recently discovered that awesomeness that is Mod Podge.  In working on craft ideas for my MOPS group next year, I’ve started experimenting with it.  Today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Mod Podge projects to date – photo coasters.

To give credit where credit is due, I first saw this idea on Frugal Girls:

Frugal Girls – How to Make Photo Coasters

Basically, all you need are some photos, some single ceramic tiles from any home improvement store (usually less than $0.16 each), paint for the edges, mod podge, a brush, some acrylic sealer, and felt and a glue gun.  This is a ridiculously easy and inexpensive project to do.  I recommend starting with painting the edges of the tile to give it a more finished look, then cut and hot glue a piece of felt to the back side of the tile.  This will prevent your coaster from scratching the furniture.  Then, paint a layer of Mod Podge on the front of the tile and center your photo on top.  Paint over that with a layer of Mod Podge and allow to dry.  Finish with a generous coat of acrylic sealer (to keep the moisture from glasses from ruining your coaster).

The process sounds a bit long and drawn out in that tutorial, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  I found that a single medium-thick layer of Mod Podge on the picture was sufficient.  It takes a little while to dry, but it doesn’t necessarily need multiple coats over multiple days.  I do recommend painting the edges of the tiles first and allowing it to dry.

Here’s a photo of the coaster I made featuring a waterfall on the Big Island of Hawaii (ignore the unpainted edge there – I failed to follow my own advice…):

Enjoy!  Hope this inspires you to get creating (if that’s your thing)!

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Today I decided to try out making a floral hair accessory as another trial run for a potential MOPS project.  I had bought some spring floral stems at a 75% off sale at Michael’s – so about $0.50 each – and I thought that with a few modifications they would make a super-cute barrette.

I rummaged around in my bathroom until I found this sad, worn, and tarnished hair clip:

Yay for recycling!  This can be a good way to give old items some new life.

It’s really up to the individual crafter what style of hair barrette to use for this project.  I know craft stores generally stock barrette bases with the other jewelry-making supplies.  I opted for a smaller size barrette because that was what I had on hand.  Smaller barrettes will work better for single, small flowers, while a larger barette will give you space to play with arranging multiple flowers or to use larger silk flowers like roses.

I was really inspired by this post at Salty Pineapple on modifying floral stems into layered fabric flower masterpieces.

I selected a couple of inexpensive floral stems that I liked and that had complimentary colors:

From those stems, I removed a couple of individual flowers, being careful to remove all plastic stems from the petals:

Then, I layered the flowers the way I liked and secured the layers together with a flower-shaped brad in the middle:

I cut a small piece of white ribbon to match the length of my barrette and cut the ends at an angle to prevent fraying.  I then heated my glue gun to low and attached the ribbon to the metal barrette.  I decided to use a low setting because the ribbon is fairly delicate.  After some trial and error, I discovered that it worked best to place a small amount of glue on one end of the barrette and attach the ribbon at that spot.  I then continued alternately applying glue and smoothing the ribbon along the barrette.  I found that if I applied too much glue all at once, it dried before I could get my ribbon attached.  Working in segments produced a much nicer and more secure result.

After the ribbon was dry, I applied a small amount of hot glue to the back of my flower and adhered it to the ribbon on my barrette.  Here is the finished project:

All in all, this project took 15 minutes or less and resulted in a cute bow that any little (or big!) girl would be excited to wear!

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I decided to get in on the marble magnet craze and make some for myself.  After reading a couple of different tutorials around the web, I thought that this looked like a good craft to try for our MOPS group next year.  Really, I just wanted to find an excuse to buy some Mod Podge and play.

I primarily used the tutorial at Frugal Girls.  There’s also a good tutorial at not martha, although she uses a different adhesive.  I’m sure there are tons of other tutorials for this project on the internet, but I thought I would share what I did and learned in the process of trying out this project.

This is an incredibly easy and inexpensive project to do.  Here is the supply list:

  • Flat, round marbles – usually stocked with the floral supplies.  I found a bag of 20-25 clear marbles at the dollar store.  Craft stores also carry these, but they may be more expensive there.
  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ round magnets (depending on the size of your marbles) – I bought mine at the hardware store, but I found them to be cheaper at Michael’s.
  • Scrapbooking paper scraps, magazine clippings, stamped paper – whatever you want to use as the background for the magnet.  Small, bright prints and pictures work best – especially images and prints with high contrast, although it depends on the look you want.  Photo paper does not work well with the Mod Podge, but another type of adhesive may work better.
  • Mod Podge – I used matte, but glossy would also work.  The large 16-ounce jars run about $10 regular price at our local crafting stores, so around $6 with the usual 40% off coupon.  Smaller jars are naturally cheaper.
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Foam brush

These are generally the steps that I followed to create my marble magnets:

  1. Select the paper you wish to use as the background for your magnet.  Lay the marble on the paper and center over the design as you want it to appear on the finished magnet. 
  2. Use a pencil to trace the shape of the marble onto the paper.  Cut slightly inside the lines.  Trim down your paper as needed to fit the shape of the marble.  It doesn’t really matter if the edges of your paper are perfectly round because you won’t really be able to see them from the front of the magnet.  As I made several, I found it was just as easy to hold the marble and paper together and cut free-hand around the perimeter. 
  3. Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the flat side of the marble.  This is about how much I applied:
  4. Adhere the right side of your paper circle to the marble, adjusting the paper to the orientation you prefer while wet.  Wipe up any excess Mod Podge on the marble.  It’s okay if a little bit dries on there – it’s pretty easy to scrape off with a fingernail.
  5. Allow the marble to dry before attaching the magnet.  I found that it generally took around 10 minutes for the paper to be set enough to glue on the magnet.  Without time constraints, it’s probably preferable to allow the marble to dry for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Using a glue gun set to “hot,” attach the magnet to the back of the marble.  Allow ample time for the glue to harden before using your new magnet. 

Here are some pictures of magnets I completed:

I really liked the pink paper, but the pattern is almost a little too subtle to be viewed from a distance.  Ultimately, I thought that the high contrast of the black & white paper worked the best for my refrigerator magnets.

A note of warning with images printed on photo paper: For some reason, the Mod Podge does not seem to want to dry and harden on coated photo paper with this project.  I tried a photo paper magnet, and it still looks like it hasn’t dried 24 hours later.  I’m still waiting to see if it will completely harden over time or if the coating on the paper is going to completely prevent the Mod Podge from hardening correctly.

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