Paper Mache Eggs: Part I

What started as a simple paper mache project, turned into some pretty fancy eggs!

I gotta admit that I was pretty pleased with myself! You see, I really only had intended on covering the eggs with a decorative scrapbook paper.

It all started like this. . .

Some plastic eggs, water, Decoupage (I ended up using Elmer’s glue), sponge brushes and bowls.

I mixed the glue and water {I didn’t measure, but I’d say 1 part glue to 3 parts water} and poured into smaller bowls. I guess I forgot to mention that I let the kids make some of these too. I gave them their brushes and bowls and let them go to town.

Anyway, I used some packaging paper as my base coat.

I tore it into pieces. . .

and soaked it in the glue mixture.

Then covered my egg using the traditional paper mache technique. I did have to shape and smooth some of the paper with my hands.

Next I took my Stampin Up! designer series paper and matching cardstock. . .

*If you are not familiar with Stampin’ Up! dsp, it’s double-sided with coordinating colors and patterns. They also have coordinating cardstock papers.

and tore it into pieces.

For the most part, I used one designer series paper and along with one color cardstock paper on each egg. I did a little at a time, letting each layer dry a little before adding the next. When they were completely covered, it took overnight to dry. I even had them under a heat lamp for several hours!

But in the morning they were finally dry! This was where I had anticipated being finished. BUT, it needed something else. {You’ve never heard me say that one before, have you?}  If you are a regular reader, I’m sure you could guess what I did.

Yes, I took out my Distress Ink pad and started inking it! To do this, you just lightly brush the ink pad against the paper in a back and forth motion.

Much better.

Then, I added one coat of pure Mod Podge because I like the little hint of shine in it’s finish.

And now, I thought I was done! But I wasn’t! I had another idea.

So I grabbed a few coordinating Stampin Up products and worked on the eggs some more.

But I’m going to share that with you tomorrow. For now, just take a sneak peek!

Dollar Store Bin Makeover

My creative space/office is beginning to look like an episode of Horders! You wonder why I haven’t shown you the full reveal yet? Because it’s never clean enough to take a photo! And the recent boom of my “Ready to Pop” favor boxes has turned my life and my organization upside down! NOT COMPLAINING! However, it’s one big fat piece of chaos in that room!

While trying to find items to help organize my “business,” I came across these bins at the Dollar Store. I looked at them briefly and kept walking. “I’ll get something cute at IKEA or HomeGoods, ” I thought.

But I immediately did a double-take when I realized that I could make these boxes cute! And so I did. . .

The total cost of this project was probably under $10 (for all three). Three bucks for the bins, $1.50 for the paper, and just a few dollars for the chalkboard vinyl (from Pick Your Plum).

I found some cute scrapbook paper at the craft store that matched perfectly with my craft room decor. I grabbed my bottle of Decoupage (same as Mod Podge but by Decoart. Both are great but I think it dries faster than MP which is perfect for an impatient person like me!) and a sponge brush.

First I cut the paper to fit the face of the box. Then I applied a good coat of Decoupage directly on the box and laid the paper on top. When it was dry I applied a heavy coat on top of the paper, smoothing out the bubbles with a flat edge {bone folders and old grocery cards are great for doing this}.

My original plan was to leave it like this and add the label. But after that second coat I had a different idea.

Screeeech!   {That’s the sound of me slamming on the brakes.} If you read my blog regularly, you know that I can’t leave anything along and that I often modify my idea mid-creation. It happens almost every time. This is probably because I really don’t know what I’m doing to begin with. I just have an idea and go with it, which often leads to new ideas. Anyway. . .

I decided to trim the edges a little so they didn’t completely cover the face.

Then I took one of my favorite things, sandpaper, and rubbed the edges of the paper to create a worn effect.

Next I used one of my other favorite things, Distress Ink. I brushed heavily around the edges and lightly across the face.

I brushed one last coat of Decoupage over the top, particularly around the edges.

I used chalkboard vinyl {if you can’t find sheets of chalkboard vinyl, you can use chalkboard spray paint on any regular vinyl} and cut out a pretty little label using my Silhouette CAMEO. I stuck it on the bin and labelled it!

And there you have it! For under $10 I created some pretty storage bins to help organize my mess!

These bins took care of the favor box chaos. Now what to do with the rest of it?

Whoop whoop! Partying here this week!

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Reinventing Fabulous with a Purdy Paintbrush

A couple months back I was contacted by a representative of Purdy asking if I would use and review their paintbrushes. I guess they had seen all my different painting projects and figured their brushes would come in handy. My response was, “Of course!” 
The funny thing is, back when hubby and I bought our very first house and started to paint it, my dad gave me a piece of advice. {My dad has done his fair share of painting because my mom re-decorates a lot.} “Always spend a little extra money and use good brushes and good rollers like Purdy.” Swear he did! Of course I told the Purdy rep this and she said to tell my dad thank you for giving me such good advice. Anyway, I was more than happy to write a review for Purdy because I almost always use their brushes anyways.

You might remember this table I bought from the thrift store early in the summer. Well, I finally pulled it out of the garage to make it into something beautiful.

I tried something new this time. Instead of the usual coat of latex primer, I used primer spray paint. It worked great and it was much faster! Plus, I didn’t have to sand it first!
So here is my fabulous Purdy XL angled brush and my favorite Heavy Cream paint.  
Purdy brushes are great. They are nice and stiff and the natural bristles hold a lot more paint than those value brushes. Even better, they wash clean as a whistle and the bristles remain perfectly intact! 

I almost didn’t have to put a second coat on because the Purdy brush went on so thick and so even. But I put a second coat on just in case there were any missed spots. Another great thing about Purdy is that the brushes apply paint perfectly flawless without brush strokes. The paint goes on smoothly and evenly. 
My original plan was to stencil lettering across the top of the table, but I got impatient because I couldn’t find what I wanted. So I modified my plan.

I had this scrapbook paper that was close enough to what I wanted so I decided to Mod Podge it to the tabletop. {See how clean and perfect this brush still looks? When I took this photo I’d used that brush at least a handful of times.}

I tore around the edges to make it an circular shape.

Then I decided to add some Distress Ink to the edges. I used the Walnut Stain color. 

Perfect!

I used my Purdy XL paintbrush and applied a coat to the back of the paper and then used a flat edge to smooth it across the table. Once that layer dried I applied on thick coat over the top of the paper and used my scraper to remove bubbles and any excess Mod Podge.
Ta-dah! 
My thrift store table made beautiful!
You know me, I love doing things as cheaply as I can. When painting furniture {or anything for that matter}, it really is worth it to spend a little extra money on quality brushes. Purdy has a variety of brushes and rollers to accommodate any painting task, and really they aren’t that much more expensive. Just a couple of dollars. But that couple extra is money well spent. I promise! 
If you are getting ready to do some painting stop by Save the Walls to get information on the right Purdy products for your task.

Every Gal Needs a Cute Summer Clutch!

You must have a handbag for all seasons and occasions!
{I learned that from my mom}
It’s hard to believe that summer is right around the corner! When the theme, Summer Fun was announced for this week’s American Crafter competition, I had so many ideas running through my head. But in the end, I knew this one was “it!” I have a couple weddings coming up this summer and I could really use a new clutch. Well, it just so happened that last weekend I picked up this brown, patent leather vintage clutch for a buck {yes, $1} at a garage sale.
I had a vision, an idea, a plan, but had no idea HOW or even IF it would work. So during my weekly trip to Hobby Lobby, I  picked out some super cute summery fabric and crossed my fingers, hoping for the best.
It was actually easier than I thought it would be! I just kind of figured it out as I went. And I think it turned out FABULOUS! Here is a peak. . . 
Now, here is how I did it. . .
First, I measured the fabric and cut it to size. I applied Mod Podge to the patent leather and placed the fabric on top to cover the purse {leaving a 1/2-inch bare at the top}, pulling tightly and smoothing out any bubbles. 

Now this was the tricky part. . . the sides and the top. I had no idea how to make the folds and edges look clean. But I did it! I applied the Mod Podge to the purse and really just wrapped it like a present, tucking and folding until it looked clean. 
After the fabric was secure and the undercoat of MP was dry, I applied a generous coat of MP on top of the fabric. It worked! Now to figure out how to decorate it. I had a couple of ideas in mind so while it was drying, I made the flowers.
Rosettes: {on the left} Cut a strip of fabric 3-inches wide. The length will depend on how large you want the flowers {the longer the strip, the larger the flower}. I used lengths between 1 and 2 feet. Twist the fabric somewhat tightly and wrap it around and around in a spiral fashion, securing with hot glue on the under side every other circle.
Layered Petal Flowers: {middle} Cut several flowers with 4 petals using different fabrics and sizes. Layer fabric flowers, beginning with the largest, a few at a time, securing with hot glue in the center and pinching to create shape. Basically you will “build” this flower, layer upon layer.
Arrangement: {far right} I then arranged the rosettes underneath and put the petal flower on top in the center.
A little measuring, cutting, Mod Podging {if that’s even a word}, folding, twisting and rolling and I had a FABULOUS summer clutch to take with me to those weddings! 
My new summer clutch! 
It turned out even better than I thought it would! And Mod Podging the fabric to the patent leather worked like a charm! The best part? It cost less than $5! You can’t find a price like that at any department store!
Now if you like my new purse, please, please, pretty please head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for round 3. Voting starts Friday night and ends Sunday night, so hurry! Next week is the FINAL ROUND!  I hope to make it!!
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Framed Hanging Silhouette Plaques

Happy Friday! The theme for round two of American Crafter was home decor. A pretty open theme. I decided to use a little something that I made my mom for Mother’s Day for my entry this week. She loved it and I hope you will too!
Framed Hanging Silhouette Plaques

Those profile silhouettes are my two brothers and myself. A couple weeks ago in my MOPS {Mothers of Preschoolers} group we learned how to make silhouettes using sweet Kristyn’s {I met her at GNO AZ} tutorial at Lil’ Luna. Here are the ones I cut of my boys during our craft session. 
Now I can remember my parents paying big bucks to an artist at Disney World to have our silhouettes made. Of course he could just look at us and cut a perfect profile silhouette! This method is much easier {and much more friendly on your wallet}! All you need is a camera, a printer and some scissors. 
Here are the steps for cutting the silhouette:
1. Take a close up profile photograph.
2. Print the photo on regular paper to the size you wish to cut. For these I printed 5×7.
3. Cut around the profile leaving a 1-2 inch border.
4. Using a pen, trace around the profile making sure to capture small details such as lips, hair lines, etc. At this point you can also add things like bows, collars, etc.
5. Using double-sided adhesive on ONLY the outer edges that will be discarded, secure the photo to card stock so it will not slip.
6. Use sharp scissors to cut around the traced line of the photo.
Easy enough, right? 
Ok, now for the plaques:

I started with three unfinished wooden plaques {$1.99 each} from Hobby Lobby.

I stained the wood using a dark colored stain. Mine is mocha but any dark wood stain will work fine.
I used one light coat of primer and two coats of Olympic Irish Cream latex paint.
After the paint was completely dry I used a low grit sandpaper to remove areas of paint around the plaque to let the dark stain show through. You can do this as much or as little as you like. It all depends on your preference. I like a lot of wood showing through. Then I used a template to cut ovals {slightly smaller then the face of the plaque} from an old book.
 I used Mod Podge to adhere them to the wood. One coat on the wood and two coats on top was plenty. *Note: the paper did bubble up in a few places. I used a plastic scraper to gently smooth out the bubbles. 
I used the same double-sided adhesive to attach the silhouettes to the plaques.

I used a glue gun to attach ribbon to the back of each plaque for hanging.

After hanging all three silhouette plaques I enclosed them in a large, open frame made out of some scrap trim pieces we had in the garage.
And that was {one of} my gifts to my awesome mom who put up with a lot of stuff from me over the years.
Thanks mom! 
If you have a minute, head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for round two!
Pretty, pretty please!

My Dryer Eats Our Socks!

I know I’m not alone when I say that my dryer’s favorite snack is a sock. Not a pair of socks, but one sock, leaving the other alone and without a partner.  Eventually I find the missing sock, but by then, it’s hard to remember what I did with the lonely one. I found a solution.
A place for misfit socks.
Here’s how I did it. . . 
My mom gave me this antique washboard a few years ago. I spray painted it black and it has hung in my black and ivory toile laundry room since. Plain and black, until now. 

I bought a few different black and ivory scrapbook prints .
I measured the length and  height inside the margin of the washboard frame, 

transfered the measurement to the paper,
and cut the paper to fit the measurements.

I grabbed my Mod Podge and a sponge brush.

I applied one coat of Mod Podge on the washboard then carefully laid the paper inside the margin and used a craft stick to smooth the paper over the board.
I put two coats of MP over the paper, letting the first coat dry 15 minutes before applying the second.
After another 15 minutes I laid the letters (which I cut using my Cricut) and applied one more coat of MP over the letters.

I took the clothespins apart and measured and cut the paper so that it would wrap around one side of each clothes pin. I used the same technique as described above to apply the Mod Podge, (1 coat under the paper, 2 coats on top with 15 minutes in between each coat) and wrapped the clothespin like a present.
After putting them back together they looked like this.

I used a hot glue gun to attach the clothespins to the washboard.
There ya have it! 
Lost and (hopefully) found.