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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sticker Happy: Sweet and Simple Earrings

"Collecting is like eating peanuts; you just can't stop."
— Unknown

I collect things...stamps, fortune cookie fortunes, super bouncy balls from the 25 cent vending machine...Just the other day I was cleaning out my drawers and found a huge collection of stickers that I had packed into a handmade box and stuffed behind two broken slinkies.  It was at that exact moment when I realized I may be a borderline hoarder and had eerie flashbacks of Hoarders: Buried Alive episodes.  Two seconds later I resolved to dismiss the possibility and justified my pack-rat tendencies by creating these sweet and simple earrings.

Just recently I discovered Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, and we're pretty much BFFs now.  Seriously though, it's my new favorite craft product.  Originally I had planned to use clear square epoxy stickers to create the 3D effect for my earrings though.  I searched and searched for them all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but several sighs of disappointment later I gave up the hunt.  Then, on one last trip to Michaels for some hot glue sticks (hot glue will always be my first love), I met this 2oz. bottle of magic. One quick read of the directions and I was skipping out of the store.

After I attached the "stickers" (a long time ago they were snipped from an unused batch of stylish address labels) to some sturdy cardstock paper and laminated them, I carefully applied a layer of the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  At first I was a bit worried because it looked cloudy, but after a while it began to dry clear.  Once I let it dry completely for 24 hours, I glued a flat earring post to the back side of each square.  Now I have a half dozen new pairs of earrings to wear!

The whole project was fairly easy and inexpensive, and I love it because it can be done with any theme of stickers.  The two pairs above are my favorite so far, but I already have an idea for some Halloween stickers I found! Hope you like!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Craft Wars Inspired: Mini Holiday Wreaths

In last week's Christmas in July episode of TLC's Craft Wars the three contestants (Margot Potter, Cheryl Darrow, and Ivan Lopez) were challenged to create a holiday wreath using winter clothing.  After watching the show I felt inspired to make my own holiday wreath from two wire hangers, a couple old scarves, and some winter gloves. Well, once I went through my craft bin and realized the gloriously fanciful wreath I had planned out in my head would not come to fruition (I wish I had a Michaels craft closet!), I decided to create three mini wreaths.  When I think of the month of July, the first thing that pops in my head is Independence Day, so with a red, white, and blue theme, I combined two of my favorite holidays, the Fourth of July and Christmas! 

First, I placed a bowl onto a piece of cardboard and traced around the rim of the bowl to make a circle.  To create a smaller circle on the inside of the first one, I flipped the bowl over and traced around the edge.  After I cut the larger circle out, I cut out the inner circle to make a hole in the center like a doughnut (Mmmm... doughnuts...forgive me, it's past my usual snack time).  I repeated this process three times to make three wreaths. 

TIP: For all you crafty high schoolers and college students, I know throwing away your notes at the end of the year is the most liberating experience ever, but if you keep the cardboard cover and backing from your spiral notebooks, it can be useful for future projects.

Red Rose Wreath
First, I painted the cardboard doughnut with silver glitter paint. Next, inspired by Margot's beautiful creation on the show, I made rosettes out of an old red scarf.  Then I grabbed my handy dandy hot glue gun (Yes, I used hot glue! Sorry Tori...) to glue the rosettes around the edge of the circle leaving enough space to tie a cute bow with a scrap of fabric. 

Ribbon and Bows Wreath
I loved the layering in Cheryl's wreath, so for this one I cut long half-inch strips of fabric and tied them in bows around the entire cardboard doughnut one-by-one.

TIP: The more bows that are tied around the circle, the fuller the wreath will look.

As a finishing touch, I found two shades of blue curling ribbon and cut three equal lengths (two light blue, one royal blue) and tied them in a bow at the top of the wreath.

Swirls of Joy Wreath
In the challenge, Ivan used Scrabble letters to create a message on his wreath, and I knew instantly that I wanted to use some for my last wreath.  Continuing my red, white, and blue color scheme I wrapped the cardboard circle with baby blue yarn.  Then, I drew swirls on the surface using Christmas Red 3D fabric paint.  I cut a short piece of wire to attach the Scrabble pieces across the center of the wreath, and another piece of wire was formed into a loop for hanging purposes. 

If creating a large wreath feels like a daunting task, try creating these miniature wreaths.  It's also a great project for kids. They're super easy to make and they can make great tree ornaments! Enjoy!