Tuesday Tutorial: Christmas Canvas

OK, So this will NOT be the best tutorial ever!  I didn’t take very good step by step pictures along the way.  1) I just was really excited to get this done and 2) It was around 11pm in the evening when I STARTED working on this!

So here you go!  I’m going to give you the run down of what I did.

 

Christmas Canvas Tutorial

Materials:

- artist canvas – mine was a 22″ x 28″ canvas from JoAnn’s that I snagged for 60% off!

- black acrylic paint

- foam brush

- white indoor vinyl (I get ALL my vinyl from Expressions Vinyl)

I started by painting my entire canvas with my black.

Wait for it to try and then paint on a thin layer of Mod Podge over the paint.  A pin on Pinterest said that this would help the vinyl to adhere to the canvas easier.  This was NOT the case for me.  It *might* have had something to do with the fact that I was dying to get this project finished and didn’t allow it to dry overnight!

While the paint was drying, I cut the vinyl on my Cricut.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and that was the inspiration for this project.  For the vinyl, I used the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge for the stable, the Opposites Attract cartridge for the ADORE, and then Lyrical Letters for all the other lettering.  I can’t remember which cartridge I found the star on.

Mom's Busy Crafting - Christmas Canvas materials

Since I didn’t wait for the Mod Podge to fully dry I had to fight with the vinyl a lot to make it get onto the canvas.  Almost wished I hadn’t put the layer of Mod Podge on.

Here is the final product, all lit up by my Christmas tree.  I am in LOVE with how it turned out!

Mom's Busy Crafting - Christmas Canvas

Mom's Busy Crafting - Christmas Canvas close up

Tuesday Tutorial: Candy Cane Yarn Wreath

We all love Pinterest for holiday decorating ideas.  Since I was now in need of TWO wreaths for my front door I started searching for wreath ideas.  That is when I found this wreath!

Source: etsy.com via Allison

Isn’t it beautiful!  It looked super simple and easy so with my Pinterest App on my iphone in hand, off to JoAnns I went in search of the wreath form, yarn, and the sprigs to add for decoration.  Much to my dismay,  I found the yarn and the perfect sprigs but NO wreath form large enough.  I have two very TALL front doors to two little 12 inch straw wreaths weren’t going to do it.

Again, being a big fan of Pinterest, I had seen MANY times over the pin about using pipe insulation from the hardware store (or a pool noodle – not easy to come by in November!) as a wreath form.  I was trying to save some money and still get a HUGE wreaths for my front door (remember I need TWO now).

I bought some pipe insulation at the hardware store and with the help of a friend’s hubby (I was crafting at her house for a wreath making night and came TOTALLY unprepared – mama just needed to get out of the house ASAP! haha) shaped the circle.  All was good, I was happily wrapping the red and white yarn while chatting with friends.  I didn’t have enough white to start on my next wreath so I decided to leave with at least one finished.  I had bought an assortment of decorations to add to the side of the wreath so with my friend’s help I added a bow and the sprigs I purchased.  THEN the problem was discovered…  the weight from the decorations was totally making the very light foam and yarn wreath hang completely crooked! Notice in the picture that my son’s hand is holding the up the right way.  OPPS!

Candy Cane Wreath FAIL

So back to the drawing board I went.  After sadly pouting over my wreath for a couple of weeks, I finally went to Michael’s in search of two larger straw wreaths (since JoAnns is apparently agains having large straw wreaths in stock).  That evening while my hubby sat beside me watching his “man” shows as I call them, I sat for several hours unwrapping the pipe insulation and rewrapping my  18″ straw wreaths.  Every so often my husband, who loves me dearly and smiles at my crafty quirks, would look over at the and say, “That looks boring.”  Well thanks Babe ;)

After about 3 hours, my wreath was complete.  This time with a much heavier weight to hold the decorations I have added to the side.  Now to complete one more.  This time I took pictures along the way so you could make one too if you like!

Candy Cane Yarn Wreath Tutorial

Candy Cane Yarn Wreath Supplies

Materials Needed:

- straw wreath

-red and white yarn (I made mine into balls so it would be easier to wrap them around and around)

- ribbon

-picks and sprigs for decoration

- zip ties

To begin, I just took the yarn and began wrapping it around the wreath.  There was no need for a knot, I just wrapped over where I began to hold it in place.  I wrapped about 4 inch sections at a time moving all over the section (You could wrap it super tight and make all the strands line up next to each other, but I wanted it to look more “rustic”).  When I would finish a section I would just tuck that color against the back of the wreath and wrap over that yarn with the next color.  By doing this I didn’t have to keep cutting my yarn, I just had a really long piece.

Wrapping the yarn

This part will take you an hour or two so make sure to settle down on your couch with your favorite Christmas movie or TV show while you work!

Once your wreath is done, just decide on where you want to place your decorations.  I wanted mine on the sides like the one I pinned from Pinterest.  I found some berries and snowflakes that were just perfect and then I was given some fun ribbon by my friend to use to hide where all the picks were placed into the yarn (I just shoved them all in!).  To hold them in place I used zip ties.  These babies are amazing and I found them at Dollar Tree in a pack of 60!!!

Zip ties

Sprigs zip tied on

Then it was all finished!  Time to hang it up (and finish the other one – I ran out of white yarn! opps)  LOVE the way these turned out and I can’t wait to hang them up year after year!

Mom's Busy Crafting - Candy Cane Wreath Tutorial

I’m still crafting… just been busy

Have you been wondering where I have been?  Blogging has had to be pushed to the side thanks to life getting a bit hectic.  I have been working on orders, getting fabrics cut and ready for orders and for my own Christmas presents that need to be created, and just trying to stay on top of homeschooling (one of my sons got a bit behind).

I have still been creating some projects for you.  Here is one that I am STILL working on thanks to a major FAIL.

Foam Wreath FAIL

I have a couple other recent projects to show you but you will have to wait until I can write a post about them!

December will be here on Saturday so stay turned for  my December Celebrating Fun post!!!

Tuesday Tutorial: Napkin Pillows

In an effort to do a simple update to our family room decor, I have been on the hunt for new pillows for the couch.  The ones we have are VERY old and have been washed and rewashed hundreds of times.  Needless to say, they have seen better days.

However, in seaching for the perfect pillows I discovered a big problem!  The price of pillows is OUTRAGEOUS!  Seriously, $20 for a pillow, ONE???  Really?!?!  I don’t think so.  Even the “clearance” prices were not something I was willing to pay.  So I had to come up with a better solution.

By now I am sure you are all thinking, “Ummm, hello Allison!  You sew!  Make your own!”  Well, yes I could make some, but home decor fabric isn’t cheap (especially the ones I end up loving).  I do have some put away for Spring and Summer pillows but since it is currently fall, they just won’t work.

So when I came across an idea for making pillows from napkins I was thrilled.  After seeing this post on House of Smiths about using napkins to make simple and easy pillows, I was on the hunt for napkins that I could transform.  So one evening while strolling the aisles of Target I found these!  They went perfect with family room colors and were only $7!

Mom's Busy Crafting: Napkin Pillows

Napkin Pillows Tutorial

Materials needed:

  • napkins
  • coordinating thread
  • Poly-fil – for stuffing the pillow

Sew seams

I didn’t want to fight with the already hemmed edges on the pillow, I kinda liked the idea of the flat edges going all around the pillow, and I really don’t like hand sewing things closed.  So I simply pinned two of the napkins – wrong sides together – and sewed along the existing seam.  Make sure you leave about a 3″ opening so you can stuff your pillow.

Leave an opening to stuff your pillow

Now it was time to stuff!  I had almost a full bag of the poly-fil left over from a previous project so I used that.  It took up the entire bag which is why I only got one pillow done.  Will need to make another trip to the fabric store for more to make the second pillow!

Add stuffing

Pillow all stuffed

Once the pillow was stuffed, I sewed the opening closed.  Now I had to do something about the hemmed edges that I left exposed.  To make them lay flat as one piece I decided to sew them together with a zig zag stitch.  I made my stitches wide so the zig zags would look a bit more decorative.

Need to sew closed

Zig Zagged edges

And there you have it.  A quick and easy (not to mention CHEAP) way to liven up your couch in a matter of just a few minutes!  Can’t wait to get more stuffing and make the second pillow.  Now to keep hunting for home decor fabric to make winter / Christmas pillows!  Or maybe I will just find more napkins ;)

Finished pillow

Happy Sewing!!!

Mom’s been BUSY… Crafting!

I was given the opportunity to have a vendor booth at a Fall Festival this weekend. Since I don’t usually do “this sort of thing” I took some time to pray, talk to my hubby, and decide whether or not it would be good for my little business. Ultimately we decided it would, so I got busy. And I mean BUSY! Lots of shirts, vinyl, sewing and tiles later I am almost ready.

The show is this Saturday from 11am-2pm at a local preschool. I have NO clue what to expect, no idea what is going to sell and what isn’t, but I am trying to be as prepared as I can be. Samples of shirts have been made so customers can see my designs, several “grab-able” products have been sewn or made, and I am working on getting my inventory up with Christmas gift options.

I will let you know how it goes and show you pictures of my booth (It is afterall something with MY name and reputation on it, therefore it MUST look cute too). Pray I do well and if you can, please swing by.

To check out what I have been making and to see what I will have for sale, click on over to my Facebook page to see what I have been up to!

Finally my OWN Burlap Wreath

A few years ago I bought the supplies to make a fabric Christmas wreath.  With pinking shears in hand, I proceeded to cut LOTS of little squares of fabric.  After what seemed like hours there were two red and green piles.  So I started pinning away.  I ran out of fabric squares LONG before I ran out of straw wreath that needed to be covered.  Sure I had more fabric, but I was DONE!  So there it sat… and sat… and sat.

Burlap Wreath: beginning

Fast forward several years…  Having just moved the wreath surfaced again.  Well, I now knew just what I wanted to do with it!  My friend, Laurie of Gallamore West, had posted a while back about the burlap wreath that she made for her son’s birthday party.  As soon as I saw it I was in love!  I mean we are talking serious wreath envy!  Ever since I have wanted to make one of my own, but I dreaded the cutting squares and pinning.

With fall fast approaching, I decided I wanted to tackle so kind of burlap project so with coupon in hand off to JoAnn’s Fabrics I went.  My purchase of 2 yards of burlap sat for several weeks as I went back and forth on what I wanted to make until one day once again Laurie inspired me!  This time she had whipped up (seriously, like in a naptime crafting session no less – and she also has 4 young boys!!!) TWO burlap wreaths – one for fall and one for Halloween!

If she could do it so could I!  One night once the boys were in bed, off to my craft space I went determined to get my wreath made.  I started by taking out all the pins and fabric squares that were already in the wreath from my last attempt.  Don’t worry, I will still use all the fabric squares I spent so much time cutting out.

Burlap Wreath: Supplies

I cut about 5 strips of 3″ wide burlap (selvage to selvage).  I pinned one end into place and wrapped the straw wreath until it was completely covered.  Now it was time to cut the dreaded squares.  Thankfully, since I was now equipped with a cutting mat and rotary cutter this step went SO MUCH faster!!!  Within just a few minutes I had several 3″x3″ squares of burlap (but boy do those fibers of burlap get everywhere!  I was so itchy – not a good thing when you are crafting in your jammies! OPPS).

After folding each square into fourths I pinned them onto the wreath making sure to pin in all different directions so my wreath would look full. I didn’t really count how many squares I ended up using.  I just cut about 3 strips at a time and then would cut more when I needed.  In the end, it was probably about 10 or so strips.  All together it took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete (find something good on TV or throw in a movie and fold and pin away).

Burlap Wreath: Pinning the squares

To finish it off, since this is a wreath for fall – at least for now- I added in the red fabric squares from the old wreath. {please excuse the horrible picture of the end product, it was 10:30pm and this was taken hanging on the door of the bathroom in the loft area where my craft space is.}

I’m not quite done with it yet.  Need to add a ribbon hanger and probably will throw in some ribbon accents.

Burlap Wreath: All done

Can’t wait to find the perfect spot to hang this!

I am thinking I need a mirror for over our mantel and then I can hang it in front of the mirror!  {squeal}

Tuesday Tutorial: Magnetic Board with Vinyl

Before I was blessed to be a stay at home mama, I was a 6th grade teacher.  Let me just say that if Pinterest had been around when I was teaching, my classroom would have ROCKED!  Not that it wasn’t pretty darn cute or very organized (because it totally was) but there are just so many great ideas to steal emm, copy on there.

Well my dear friend (and practically family) Stacy asked me to help her get ready for the upcoming school year with some Pinterest inspired projects.  She got on Pinterest over the summer and started pinning away.  After texting me several times to ask for help on certain projects she finally just created an entire board called “Things Allison Can Help Me Make : )“.  LOVE IT!  I always feel so honored and special when people ask me to help them and I just love doing it.  So after several conversations via text message on what supplies to bring and what I already had on hand, our crafting day was set.

One of the classroom items Stacy wanted to make for her class was a Where Am I? board.  Using that same type of style we also made a magnetic board for her students to use as the take Accelerated Reader tests (online reading comprehension tests that are done once a book is completed).  Below are the finished projects.  Since I still don’t have a cable for my camera, I can’t show you the step by step pictures I took of the project. I know that you guys are really smart though so this tutorial is a breeze ;)

 

Magnetic Board Tutorial

Supplies:

  • cookie sheets (Dollar Store $1 for 2)
  • spray paint
  • Cricut or similar vinyl cutting machine
  • vinyl
Begin by spray painting the cookie sheets in the desired color.  After it has dried completely, apply the vinyl you cut to the cookie sheet where you want it.
Mom's Busy Crafting: Where Are You? Board
(note: originally the words were all going to be on the cookie sheet like bathroom in the picture above but after I put the vinyl on I realized it wasn’t going to fit that way.  So that is when I turned the other words.  I went back and took bathroom off, recut it and applied it so the words were all going the same direction.)

Mom's Busy Crafting: Teaching Tool

From there you can drill small holes in the top or corners of the cookie sheet to thread ribbon or wire through as a hanger or you can display your new magnetic board using a decorative plate stand.  There are SO many uses for these boards that go beyond the classroom:
  • Chore charts
  • Menu board
  • Calendar
  • and more…

To dress it up even more you can add ribbon to divide each section of your board or even put decorative scrapbook paper over the spray painted cookie sheet to make it even more adorable. Just use Mod Podge to stick the paper on and as a sealer over the top so your paper doesn’t get all scratched up.

What kind of magnetic board will you make???

 

Celebrating Fun: September 2012

Our family LOVES to celebrate fun holidays like National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, Cousin Day, and World Card Making Day.  One of my friends and fan of my Facebook Page suggested that I post a list of holidays each month that I will be celebrating, that way you can celebrate along with us!  What a fabulous idea!!!

So here is a short list of the fun and unique holidays that my family will be celebrating in September.  This month is a fabulous month to start these posts since there are so many fun holidays to celebrate!  We are really looking forward to all the fun we will have this month!

September Holidays

5th –  Cheese Pizza Day (guess what we had for lunch!)

9th – Grandparents Day – I have some great gift ideas on my Pinterest board, like THIS and THIS!

12th – Chocolate Milkshake Day

16th – Play-Doh Day  - try making some Kool-Aid Play-Doh with the kiddos!  The bright colors are so fun and the smell is AMAZING!

Play-Doh Fun

18th – Cheeseburger Day (can you say In-N-Out for dinner AKA Mama doesn’t have to cook night!)

19th – Talk like a Pirate Day – my boys will LOVE this day. Costumes are a must!

Littlest Pirate

21st – Mini Golf Day – (off to Mulligans we will go!)

23rd – Checkers Day – Perfect game for after church

26th – Johnny Appleseed Day – read a book about Johnny Appleseed and have a yummy snack!

 

Here is the calendar I have gone to for years to tell me what holidays are in each month!

 

Check back in October for more Celebrating Fun ideas!!!

Tuesday Tutorial: Bow Board

There is nothing I love more than organization.  So it will come to no shock to you that I LOVE giving little girls bow boards for baby shower and birthday gifts.  If I had a little girl, this would definitely be one of the first items I would make her.  First of all, who wouldn’t want to organize their hairbows to make them easier to grab as you are furiously running out the door late once again for wherever you are headed that day. And second, bows are either 1. time consuming to make yourself or 2. quite expensive to purchase, so who wouldn’t want to have a place to proudly show them off!

After 4 boys of my own and 3 nephews, I am finally going to have a niece!  This is one happy auntie!  So of course, what is a crafty Auntie going to do…  pin EVERYTHING girly on Pinterest so I can create adorable things for her.  {There could be a VERY good reason that God hasn’t given me a girl! LOL We would be broke!}

Since I was creating this bow board for her I decided I would type up a quick tutorial for you as well.  These are seriously easy to make and take you just a few minutes.   No craftiness required here folks!  So if you need a quick and simple, yet fabulous and homemade present for a little girl…  you have come to just the right place!

Bow Board Tutorial

Bow Board Tutorial

Bow Board Supplies

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas {pictured is a 16×20, but you can use any size you want}
  • fabric – I used a fat quarter that was $1.99 at JoAnn’s.  In the past I have always bought a 1/2 yard of fabric but this was a cheaper option AND I found just the color I was needing.
  • 1-1 1/2 inch spool of grosgrain ribbon
  • Staple gun

Bow Board: center canvas on the back of fabric

Iron the fabric to get out any creases from being folded or on the bolt.  Place fabric face down on a hard surface and then center the canvas on top. Using the fat quarter was PERFECT for my 16×20 canvas but if you are using a 1/2 yard of fabric off the bolt you will need to trim it down adding about 2 inches on each side of the canvas.

Bow Board: stapling the fabric on

Start at one end and staple the edge of the fabric down.  Next go to the opposite end and pull the fabric tight and staple in place.  Then staple the other sides the same way.  You want the fabric tight so that it doesn’t droop when it is hanging on the wall.

Bow Board: folding the corners

Here is a close up of how I make the corners look neat.  First fold the edge straight down.  Next bring the side (the left in the picture above) over to the right (making it even to the edge of the canvas).  Finally pull the bottom up and staple it into place.  It should look like the picture below when you are done.

Bow Board: corners done

Bow Board: Measuring the ribbon spacing

The next step is to measure the spacing for your ribbons that the bows will hang on.  My marks {for 7 vertical ribbons} were each 2 1/2 inches apart starting at 1 1/2 inches from the edge.  Mark both the top and the bottom to make sure your ribbons hang straight.

Bow Board: Marking where to put the ribbons

 Above are what my marks look like.  Just some small pencil marks will work.

Bow Board: Attaching the ribbon

Now you will attach the ribbons.  Center it on your mark and staple it down.  Pull the ribbon very tight across the front and then staple it on the opposite end.  Continue that all the way across until all your ribbons are stapled in place.  At this point I typically also weave a ribbon across the top just to add an extra little accent.

Bow Board: ribbons attached

Now fill it up with BOWS and hang it on the wall!

Bow Board Tutorial

Tuesday Tutorial: Iron-on Vinyl

My obsession with iron-on vinyl started when I needed sibling shirts for my boys.  I searched all over and couldn’t find what I wanted.  So once I saw that my favorite vinyl supplier, Expressions Vinyl, was carrying iron-on vinyl  I decided to give it a try!  {NOTE: they call it T-shirt vinyl}To be honest, I was VERY nervous the first time I cut the iron-on vinyl, but the Expression Vinyl website has a great video tutorial that make it almost impossible to mess up.

Iron-On Vinyl Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  • iron-on vinyl {See all the colors and sizes available here}
  • Cricut machine or Silouette
  • a plain t-shirt
  • an iron
  • multi-use paper sheets – a must if you are layering your vinyl creations!

 

Start by washing your t-shirt if possible.  Don’t use fabric softener!  I don’t always do this step but when I am making shirts for my boys I do just to make sure the vinyl adheres well.  You can cut the vinyl while the shirts are washing so you are ready to put it on once they are dry.

To cut the vinyl, begin by designing what you want to make.  I have a Gypsy that I hook up to my Cricut and it makes designing ANYTHING on my Cricut SO much easier!!!

If I am layering my design I make sure that I put my shadow and the layer on separate “pages” in my design file.

Once your design is complete and you are ready to cut there is one VERY IMPORTANT step left!  YOU  NEED TO FLIP THE IMAGE SO IT IS BACKWARDS! The reason for this is you are going to cut the design from the back of the vinyl.  The iron-on vinyl comes already adhered to the “transfer tape” that you iron directly on.

See the button on the right where my stylus is (above)

If you don’t have a Gypsy, you push this button to reverse the image.

To put the iron-on vinyl on your mat be sure to place the shiny side DOWN onto the mat.  Remember you are cutting the design from the back of the vinyl.

See how you can see what was cut through the clear “transfer tape” once it is cut.

That is why you put that side down and flip the image.

 

Load the mat into the Cricut and start cutting. Make sure to change your cut settings on your Cricut before cutting.

Cut settings:

  • blade depth: 2 (The Expression Vinyl site says 3, but I always put mine on 2)
  • pressure: medium
  • speed: high
 Once the cutting is done, it is time to weed the unnecessary vinyl away from the design.  The iron-on vinyl is VERY easy to weed if it has been cut on the correct settings. Be sure to heat up your iron before you weed so it is ready once you have finished weeding.

Place your shirt on a hard surface (not an ironing board but maybe a table with a towel on it).  Heat up the area on the shirt where you are going to adhere the vinyl.  Place your cut vinyl where you want it (it will stick to the shirt since the “transfer tape” that it comes on it sticky.  Put your iron over part of the design and press down firmly for 15 seconds.

Move the iron to another part of the design and continue ironing your design 15 seconds at a time until you have ironed all the vinyl down.

Once it is cooled for a few seconds, pull up the clear sheet that the vinyl was on.  If any part of the design isn’t ironed on well, just put the clear sheet (or a multi-use paper sheet) back over the design and iron it again.

At this point, if you are layering your iron-on vinyl then place your layer where you want it and iron again like before {When layering designs you NEED the multi-use paper sheets so that your don’t accidentally iron directly on the previous vinyl.}

I “try” to line up the layers so that I can just place one right on the other, but that doesn’t always work out. If it doesn’t line up right that just means that I have to cut each individual letter  apart and place it where I need it.

There you have it!  Now you know how to make your very own t-shirts!  You don’t have to use iron on vinyl on shirts only!  I have put it on my boys baseball bags (so I know whose is whose).  The possibilities are endless: backpacks, lunchboxes, fabric bins, fabric banners, tote bags, aprons!

What are you going to make first with iron-on vinyl???