DIY Projects For Semi Crafty Non Perfectionists

I haven’t done one of these in six months, so I’m over due in making some semi-crafty stuff! Since part of Brent’s Mother’s Day gift to me included painting our front door bright red, I thought the kids and I would return the favor and paint him something too. Today, ladies and gentleman, we’re making these:image

We love homemade gifts in our family and I thought a funky tie painted by the kiddos would make a sweet, memorable gift that was equal parts traditional and quirky. Brent wears both regular and bow ties, so we made him one of each.

This project cost me a total of $40 to make both the standard tie and the bow tie. Any future fabric painted projects will be less expensive as I now have plenty of fabric dye paint left over. Here’s what you need:

  • White or light colored, solid ties. I ordered mine of Amazon here and here. I’ve also seen them locally at TJ Maxx and really any department store men’s section.
  • I really like Dye-Flow fabric dye paints. I bought the sample kit with a rainbow of colors at my local art store for $10, but found it online here for a few bucks more.
  • A fabric paint pen in black. I used this one.
  • Masking tape. I found tape in varying widths at my local art supply store
Step One: Tape off your design. I didn’t really know how this would turn out when I started doing it, but I wanted to add some sort of graphic element to the the tie. If you wanted to skip the step, you certainly could and would just have a solid watercolor effect.  These are not very good photos, but you can see here that I just taped off line designs on both ties. Get creative!

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(I wasn’t finished tapping off this design when I took the photo of the bow tie)

Step Two: Time to paint! We used our art easel to clip the ties up but a piece of cardboard on the ground would work well too. I wasn’t sure if the dye paint would permanently stain the children’s hands, so I insisted on gloves at first. I tested a little spot on my own hand, let it dry, then washed it with soap and water and it came right off, so we discarded the gloves halfway through. 

We used an empty plastic egg crate to hold our paint colors and decided to do one tie in warm colors and the other in cool colors. Everly insisted that both ties should have some pink (but of course!)

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Step Three: Let the ties dry for about 15 minutes. Because the paint is a similar consistency to watercolors, it dries quickly. Next take your black fabric marker and trace the sides of the masking tape to make your graphic design stand out. (Note: You could skip this step if you wanted. I found the the color still bled under the edges of the tape, but it still made some nice white areas)

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Step Four: Peel off the masking tape and heat set the ties. The directions on the package recommended putting a piece of paper between the fabric and the iron, so I just used a piece of grocery bag. Heat through for about 3 minutes with no steam.

The finished results:

I also used the craft paper that we painted the ties on as homemade wrapping paper. It was a nice touch that tied (TIED! get it!) the whole thing together.

The entire project took us 45 minutes start to finish. Now that we’ve got this under our belt, I’m already thinking of other fabric pieces we could paint - pillow cases, t-shirts, even fabric hair bows.

This gift for Brent was originally supposed to be a surprise, but Everly announced to him as soon as we were finished that he “better not come outside or he might see the ties we painted for him.” Oh well! We’re all still really excited for him to open these this Sunday for Father’s Day!

Love,

M

Check out previous semi-crafty posts here.



DIY Projects For Semi-Crafty, Non-Perfectionists

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Glitter Holiday Banner

It’s been awhile since I put up a DIY post so I thought I’d feature a super inexpensive and easy one today. I kept seeing these really pretty, glittery banners for sale on etsy for $25 bucks plus shipping and thinking, “I can so make that for way less money.”

I always wonder if my DIY’s are so completely obvious that they don’t warrant a post, but I figured I did learn a few tips and tricks with this project that were worthy of sharing. This banner cost me $12 to make and $8 of that was for an alphabet stencil kit that I will use on a dozen other projects in the future. Time wise, it took me about 30 minutes to make two banners.

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What you will need:

  • Glitter or design covered cardstock. You could always go the route of buying regular cardstock and then covering it in glue and glitter but I found these 12x12 sheets at Michael’s for  $0.99 a sheet and that is FAR easier and less messy.  This would also be perfect for a birthday or shower banner if you chose cardstock in pretty prints to match your occasion.
  • Scissors. I used big clunky kitchen shears. That was a mistake. Get yourself a pair of little nimble, pointed scissors. You can do it with regular scissors but you have to go slow to make it precise (something non perfectionists like myself have a hard time doing).
  • Ribbon - I chose a shimmery gold ribbon to compliment the silver letters
  • A glue gun & glue stick
  • A pen

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Once you decide what you want the banner to say, flip the cardstock over and line up your first letter. The trick here is making sure that the letter is traced backward so that when it is flipped over, the letters read appropriately. I was able to squeeze all but two of my letters for Merry and Bright onto one piece of cardstock. 

The stencil I used had separations between letters as it was intended for painting. I just use my pen to draw in the connection lines before I started to cut.

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The not so fun part - cut out all of the letters. Ouch! It made my hand hurt a little with those big bulky scissors.

Then line up your letters on the ribbon and eyeball it to make sure you like the spacing. I found it helpful to put a little slack in the ribbon before you line up the letters so that it mimics how it might hang once it is in place on a wall or fireplace.

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Using a glue gun, put a few dots of glue at the top of each letter and attach to the ribbon. I suppose you could use craft glue too, but I’m too impatient to wait for it to dry.

Ta dah! Here is your finished product:

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I added some garland and hung ours in the overpass between the living room and dining room.

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I also made a smaller NOEL banner that I initially put on the wreath over our fireplace

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But I decided that it was too much going on with the archway banner, so I pulled it down and ended up attaching it to a wreath on our front door instead:

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This is a really easy craft and one I plan to replicate many times in the future to make banners for other holidays and birthdays.  It would also look great if you cut the letters out of felt or attached each letter to a colorful square or triangle to make it a pennant instead of a banner.

And as I always like to do with posts in this series, it’s time to recommend a little beverage to keep you company while you cut out all of those dang letters. Get your non perfectionist craft on while sipping a Naughty Onyx. This drink is perfect to serve at your holiday gathering while people oooh and aaah over the unbelievable skill and craftsmanship of your glitter banner.

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What you’ll need:

  • Orange rind strip
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  • Superfine sugar
  • Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
Combine ingredients over ice and shake.  Pour into a tall glass and finish with club soda.
Merry Crafting!
Love,
M


DIY Projects For Semi Crafty Non Perfectionists

Well, here I am. Back with a new craft for you people itching to make something sort-of-cool. This one comes complete with awful instagram photos to document my process. I couldn’t even be bothered to break out my camera and take decent photos because of that convenient non perfectionist mentality that I use to approach these sort of projects. 

Today we are making a super cool branch and yarn wrapped thingy (official title, I’m having it trademarked)

While this particular project only requires craftiness on an average to slightly above average scale, it does however requires a large amount of patience which is not something I have a lot of when it comes to craft projects. I once started one of those yard wrapped wreaths I saw on Pinterest, got half way through it and said ENOUGH WITH THIS. I tossed it into a corner of our basement where it still lives today, only partially completed. 

I dug deep for the attention span to complete this. I HAD A VISION. It lived in my brain and I was determined to bring it to life. So this is basically my whimsical frankenstein. We used it as a back drop at Arlo’s party and then as soon as I attach some more secure hangers to the back of it, I hope to hang it above the crib in his nursery where he can admire the blood (I got a little tree branch scratch), sweat (a lot because it was hot outside), and tears (because whyyyyy is it taking so long to finish?!?) that I spent to make it.

Let’s get this craft started. 

Materials:

  • Some sticks! I pillaged these from my neighbors yard. Look for ones that are nice and branchy. 
  • Letters to spell something. I spelled Arlo but you could put whatever you want - LOVE ( a wedding decoration), EAT (to hang on your dining room wall), or your kiddos name. I found mine at Micheal’s crafts. They were white so we spray painted them orange. I’m not going to show you a picture of how to do that because I believe your semi crafty self is far too intelligent to be burdened by the obvious.
  • Masking tape
  • Yarn in as many different colors as your heart desires
  • There are feathers in this picture. I thought I might use them but decided not to add them. I may attempt it later if the mood strikes.

Decide how you want to arrange your sticks together. Make sure that there is a nice strong, secure stick in the middle to act as your base to attach the letters. Use masking tape to tightly wrap/tape them together. Without tearing it, I wound the tape through the sticks and around to make them secure.

Start wrapping! Cover up the masking tape with yarn and begin to wrap down the branches. I found it was easier to pull out a large bunch of yarn and maneuver that through the branches instead of the whole, large yarn ball. You can easily tie on more yarn if you run out. To change colors, just tie on the next yarn color to the existing thread. I snipped off the extra piece and started from there. In the part where I have stripes of two colors, I tied a new color on and then just wrapped both colors of string together, side by side around the branch.  This is the hard part - all of the wrapping. You could do more or less depending on your desired look.

I would tie off one wrapping and then start a new one further down the branch in a different color. I left a lot of the branch showing as I liked the more rugged, natural look of it. On some branches, I even kept the wrapping going up the smaller branches that split off from the main stick. It was a little awkward to maneuver and I had to be gentle so as not to break off any of the smaller branches (although I did break some anyway). I found that sitting in a chair with it across my lap worked best.

To attach the letters, use the same wrapping technique, making sure to pull the yarn tight to keep the letters in place. I anchored them to two different branches when possible (refer to completed projected photo to see a better shot of how the letters are attached. Sorry, I should have taken more photos of this) I first attempted to attach the letters with glue (both a liquid adhesive and then my glue gun) but neither of these held it as securely as I wanted. Wrapping the letters around the branches with yarn proved to be the most secure way to attach them.

Finally, I used a single piece of yard, wrapped around the branch in two places to make the “hanger” for the piece. It works ok, but my next plan is to attach small hangers with screws to the main stick so that it looks like it is floating on the wall instead. All total, this project took about 3 hours of dedicated time (or more realistically 7 hours of me starting and stopping, getting distracted by food, children, and other various household activities) 

I love the finished look of it and think you could reinterpret this so many different ways. If you don’t have the time to commit to it, consider making a mini version! Since I also promised to suggest a beverage to drink while you make things in my first craft of this series, this project pairs nicely with a cold hefe weissen to sip while you sweat your butt off on the front porch making this gorgeous monstrosity.

Looking for other Semi Crafty Non Perfectionist things to do? Here’s the first one I featured. Next up, I found a great use for a surplus of coffee filters that have been sitting in my kitchen cabinet ever since we discovered the joys of a french press! (Get your glue guns ready for that one ladies!)

Send me a picture if you make your own!

Love,

M

DIY Projects For Semi Crafty Non Perfectionists

I love reading blogs with these beautiful, well design do it yourself project tutorials. I’m always so impressed by other’s crafting/refurb abilities but my problem is I don’t have the patience or time to complete all the gorgeous DIY’s I keep pinning to Pinterest. I once started one of those yarn-wrap wreaths. I got halfway through, decided it was taking too long and banished the project to the basement where it still sits today.  Also, I don’t sew… so that cuts out like half of the available projects out there. So I’ve decided I want to start a series called DIY PROJECTS FOR SEMI CRAFTY NON PERFECTIONISTS.

Do you fit into this group? If so, I challenge you to put up your own “embrace the mistakes” how-tos and share your link here. If your idea of “sewing” is glueing the heck out of something with your glue gun, then come in my darling, this blog series is for you.

So to start things off… I said I would put up a how-to on Arlo’s wardrobe on the blog, but then I started thinking that just by looking at it, 99% of you smarty pants could figure out how to do this on your own. But, eh, here’s my tutorial anyway.

First things first - Let’s restate the obvious: I’m not a perfectionist. Like, at all. So I didn’t care if the lines were exactly the same degree of slant or if everything lined up exactly so. I’m a big fan of the “eye-ball it” method. Tape, stand back, if it looks right then move on, if it doesn’t then adjust.  I used zero measuring tapes for this project.

Materials: Furniture piece, painters tape, paint, screwdriver to remove handles

Total Project Time: 35 minutes of effort, 2 hours of waiting for paint to dry.

Pro tip: (ha! pro! ha!) Don’t use this kind of tape. Use painters tape. I didn’t have any and was too impatient to wait until I could pick some up. This masking tape allowed for a little bit of bleed that required me to do a touch up afterwards.

The fun part!!!

I was so impatient waiting for it to dry. I wanted to rip the paint off well sooner than I should have so to keep me from going in there to poke at it to see if it was dry a dozen times, we left and went to visit some friends. When we came home the paint was dry and my masterpiece was revealed. (Yes it’s slightly off… around this house, we call that “charm”)

Now I need a new project! I’ll be scouring Pinterest for stuff I can do without an art degree or ten hours of time (because basically I’ve got 30 minutes, 7 pipe cleaners, and some washi tape). I feel like I have the potential to be like the Semi-homemade lady on the Food Network who makes meals out of canned food & store bought cake mix - except with crafts and painting stuff.  I may embrace her mindset and add a signature cocktail drink to go along with these projects - the possibilities are endless.

Let’s make (easy) stuff together.

Love,

M

BLOG EDIT: Actually, let’s start that last idea now. This DIY pairs nicely with: A cold hefe-weissen with a lemon wedge. Go forth and paint something!

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