Friday, September 12, 2014

DIY Chalkboard Labels & Pimped Jars

Hello my Dears,

I fear I have got so much to do right now that the posts will keep on coming sparringly the next couple of month. But in return, I have a favourite project to share today!

First thing are the awesome DIY chalkboard labels. They are super easy and cheap to make, and you can create every shape you want.

You need:
- simple paper
-chalkboard paint
-double sided tape
- chalk pencil

You just cover the paper in one or two layers of chalkboard paint. I had some leftover from years ago (surprisingly, it was still good to use!) but it isn´t all that expensive to buy. And chalkboards are awesome!

Once the paper is dry, cover the backside with double sided tape. I checked what was better - taping before painting or after - and after is better, because the paper gets crinkles otherwise.

Now, cut out the shape you want - circle, oval, rectangle.... If you have more patience than I do and create a stencil, it will turn out even better!

Put the label wherever you need one. Using a chalk pencil makes writing and drawing easier and a little tidier. I think adding an outline makes the labels so much prettier!

I tried if the paper could withstand wiping the chalk off again - no problem! The paint protects it wonderfully!

So to the kitchen jars:

I love to use things that would otherwise be ´waste`. So I adore these kitchen jars made of pickle jars. They close tightly, so they keep moths and other nasty stuff out of my food. And they look so cute.

I just painted the caps with a couple of layers of acrylic paint. Pastels always remind me of sweets - they just look good enough to eat! So what´s better for the kitchen! The DIY chalkboard labels did the rest.

What can I say? I like!

I hope you do, too, and you will come by now and then even if I don´t get around to a weekly post - something cool is coming the next time, too!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pimp Your Dishtowel

As I have such a small apartment, most of my DIY projects have to be on the smaller scale as well. That has the big advantage that slowly, every part of my home contains personal details. My kitchen got a real splash of color with my latest project - painted dishtowels.

You need:
- towels (I got the cheap Ikea kind)
- neon fabric paint that is washable up to 60 ° C/ 140° F
- a small brush

I did a typo towel and a plant silhouette so far, and they both worked out fine.

Don´t worry too much - the towels cost less than a buck, you can´t waste that much money!

I taped my towels to a big piece of cardboard to keep it straight and even - worked wonders!

For the typo towel, I did a draft first, where I considered what I wanted to write and how to space it.
If you need inspiration, check out the cool fonts on your computer and online.

Then, I just started painting free handed.
My towel has a slight pattern that helped me keep my lines straight - like a grid. The curlicues I added spontaneously, but that could have gone wrong...

For the plant silhouette, I looked for pictures of dill online and did a quick sketch.

The silhouette is pretty much made up of dots and lines - no trouble. Go with your gut and add details as you like.

After your paint has dried, fix it as needed. Mine needed to be ironed for five minutes. I have already washed it at 140° F - and the paint kept perfectly!

I think these would make wonderful housewarming gifts. Cute dishtowels are often so expensive for something that sees a lot of wear and tear. Here is the cheap and super personal alternative!

Monday, July 21, 2014

At long last: Kindle Cover

So I´ve been skipping posts for a while - so much going on this summer - but today, I have a quick turtorial on how to create a protective cover for your e-reader. Takes about 10 minutes and is a lot cheaper than the commercial options out there!

1. Buy some cute fabric (I got mine during my holidays in southern france - so it is a kind of memorabilia, too) and some fleece. Cut both so it is twice as big as your kindle and add 2 in /5 cm in the width and 3 in / 7 cm in the height.

2. Sew the two fabrics together left on left.

3. Fold in the upper edge and stitch it down.

4. Fold the fabric in half, so that the fleece is on top, and sew the bag closed on the other three sides.

5. Turn the right side out and cut off the superfluous fabric near the seam.

6. Now cut two stripes off the pretty fabric, 3 in/ 7cm long and 2 in/ 4 cm wide. Fold the long sides to the middle, slightly overlapping, so you get neat edges.  Now sew the stripe closed.

7. Now fix a stripe on each side of the open side of the cover, so you can knot it shut.

8. Finally, go and read something romantic fitting the fabric of your cover ; )

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summertime "Frosted" Glass Votives

 These votives were a present for my grandma. She loves a straight and modern look in her home, but sometimes struggles with making it still seem warm and comfy. I thought these votives might be simplistic enough for her while adding the atmosphere of candle light.

To create something similar, you need:
- straight glass jars (these were old mustard jars)
- thick transparent paper
- glue, printer, computer, scotch tape

1. The writing, I created in Word. For the left jar, I wrote down words I connect with summer - like
´strawberry icecream` or ´hammock dreams`, splitting them when they met the line break. Some I turned light, some middle, some dark grey. For the right jar, I wrote down only the word ´summertime` in light grey.

2. Next, I printed the page, put my jar on top and figured out if the text needed to be smaller or larger.

I did that a couple of times, until I finally got it right.

3. Next came the most difficult part, printing on the transparent paper. My printer accepted it only if I
printed in the fast option, but tended to rip the paper. So I fixed it on top of a normal piece of paper using scotch tape. I lost about two or three pages before I figured it out, but I payed 3 $ for a block, so that was ok.

4. Once that was finally done, I cut the transparent paper to the right size, put it around the jar and glued it shut. It forms a tunnel now, so I can switch between motifs if I create more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Easy Art: Wire Fish

I have a very cool, easy-peasy art project for you today!

Making wall decoration yourself can be difficult - personally, my drawings often turned out way less cool then I hoped for. This is why I was super happy when this fish ended up being pretty awesome.

Best thing, it was very easy to make. So if you aren´t able to sketch a straight line THIS IS YOUR PROJECT!

1. First thing you need to do is look for a picture displaying a cool fish. Google image search really is an artist´s best friend! My fish is a gilt-head, which I chose because I wanted that roundish form.

2. Print the picture and trace the most important lines using a marker. All lines have to connect somewhere, so cheat a little if needed!

3.Now, take some wire. It should be thin enough to be easily bent by your fingers, but thick enough to give the fish some stability. I chose copper wire, cause of my never ending copper crush.

4. Put the wire on top of your picture one stretch at a time and bent it so it follows the marked lines.
For the fins, eye, mouth and so on you might have to cover the same line twice. In that instance, twist
the wires slightly together.

Small detail: The eye is a spirally form.

It is important not to cut the wire, but use only one long piece. I kept the wire on the spool, because I wasn´t sure what lenght I needed.

If you compare the photo to the wire, you can see that it doesn´t overlap perfectly. The tail fin for example, I wrapped with wire where it´s closest to the body, to give it some stability. I don´t think
anyone notices it when they see only the wire fish. So don´t worry if fish and picture aren´t identical!

5. Finally, connect beginning and end of your wire by twisting them together

6. Flatten the wire sculpture and hang it up.

I think it took me thirty minutes max to create the fish. I can´t stop thinking of the possibilities - I would love to do some more animals, or try my hand at wire portraits.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Modern Baroque Armchair

About two years ago, I bought an old armchair for about 25 $. Unfortunatly, I don´t have a "before" picture, or any pictures taken in progress. But this is a special piece for me, because it stands for my personal return to crafting.

When I first went to college, I had so much going on, I kind of forgot to do creative stuff.
In school, I took a lot of art classes, but then I just pretty much stopped. It was only in my final year in university - which was really stressful - that I started to craft again. And I remembered how happy and relaxed it makes me. I think drawing or crafting is a lot like meditating - I get lost in the moment, but am still very much with myself.

This was when I decided I had to keep crafting. That is also one of the main reasons I write this blog. It gives me one more motivation to create something fun today!

This chair was one of the first pieces I upcycled. It was all dark wood and a nasty old beige fabric before.

If you want to create something similar, you need:

- an old armchair (obviously)
- thick fabric - if you want it really sturdy, buy the stuff especially made for upholstery
- cord for the piping
- white acrylic paint
- stapler
- glue gun

1.Take off the old fabric, and use it as a pattern for your new fabric.

Fortunatly, the padding of my chair was still decent. It is possible to cut new padding from foam, but for the first time, I was very happy to keep the old one.

2. Sand the wooden parts and put on one or two layers of white acrylic paint. I am always impressed with other bloggers professionalism when it comes to painting furniture, but in the end, I am slightly lazy and quite cheap. So I always go with simple acrylic paint, and it hasn´t really failed me yet. However, if a perfectly even shiny finish is what you want, go with laquer!

3. Staple the fabric to the chair.
It is important to keep it well stretched, or you will end up with wrinkles! Best fix it carefully with one staple at every side before stapling it every 5 cm/ 2 in. Remember to fold the fabric to get a clean finish before stapling it.

4. The staples don´t look all that good, and that is what the drawstring is for! Use the glue gun to fix the cord on top of the staples, creating a pretty piping.

Baroque chairs are awesome! Everybody sitting in it immediatly looks very regal, kind of queen-momish  - even the guys ; )!

I am linking to these cool parties:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

French Style Laundry Bag

Dirty laundry isn´t all that pretty. It is even less pretty if you live in a one room apartement, it is stuffed in a corner of your closet and spills out every time you open the door.

While vacationing in southern France, I saw some very cute laundry bags, but they were very small and very expensive. That is what I am a DIYer for!

You need:
- Linnen
- Simple white cotton
- White cotton with a embroidered flower pattern.
- White, pretty drawstring
 - Lace braid