Sunday, April 25, 2010

Personalized Baby Gift

I love the idea of giving a gift that shows that you took your time with choosing it or that you actually made something yourself. When I got married 20 something years ago I received a set of dish towels that were hand embroidered with the days of the week. Even though they weren't the "style" I was going for back in the 80's I loved them! I loved the idea that the person took the time to make something just for me. Now that I've been working on some homemade gifts myself, I realize that the fun & joy is in the giving as well as the receiving.

So with that introduction I announce that the newest member of our family has been born! Alexah Brooke came into this world on tuesday morning and is doing very well. I knew I wanted to make something for Alexah's nursery, but her mama hadn't picked a name until she was born. So I started working on this project a few weeks ago and just finished it with the personalization.

Here is what I started with:

I found this picture for $3 when I went to a farmers market/swap meet at the coast. I was looking for some frames for another project and this one turned out to work great for this baby gift. I took it apart and painted the frame and the matte black. I took this picture before I painted the frame, but wanted you to see what I'm talking about when I said I painted the matte part. There is no need to waste your paint where it isn't needed so just leave the other part unpainted.

The next thing I did was find some scrapbook paper that matched the baby's nursery. I found my paper at Michael's and ended up using 4 pieces. The hard part was matching up the pattern, but I'm particular and wanted it to look seamless. After I got the scrapbook paper on, I noticed the edges closest to the inner frame didn't look clean, so I glued some pink ribbon all around it. For the inner framed part, I wrapped a light pink piece of paper cut to fit the opening with pink cotton fabric. I attached it with spray adhesive, which by the way, I'm falling in love with. This stuff works fantastic and makes projects go so quickly. So now all we need is the name so I just waited and waited and waited for the baby to arrive and get named.

After Alexah arrived, I cut her name out with my Cricut machine. I used black vinyl and the setting "FLIP" on the cricut because I knew that I wanted it to stick on the glass, not on the pink background. I thought that it would give it more dimension and I was right. The pictures really don't show how cute it is in person. I LOVE how it turned out. I can't wait to see it hanging in Baby Alexah's room. I also made her one of the plaques that I blogged about recently.
I added a few extras on this plaque because it was for a girl and lets face it... girls like bling! How about that button??? I already had that and it matched the paper perfectly!

Here you can see the vinyl on the glass and kind of see the dimension it gives. I think I'm going to be making something with just glass and a frame very soon!!

Here is the finished product. I hope my niece is too busy taking care of Alexah in the next few days to look at my blog so that she'll be surprised when I give her this.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Canvas Art

This is by no means a new idea. I've seen it around blogland many times..... so many times that I can't remember where I originally saw it. So I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due.

The good thing about ideas that you find on blogs like mine and on the internet is that they are just that: IDEAS! So when you see something you like, you can copy it exactly or make your own version. I love that about crafting. I basically did this first go around just like I've seen from other bloggers. I'll give you the basic rundown and then at the end I'll let you know some new ways I've tweaked the process.

Supplies needed:
canvas (any size you want) for this project I used 12 x 12
scrapbook paper
Mod Podge
Craft Paint
foam paint brushes

You'll want to choose your craft paint to coordinate with the paper you choose. If you are doing a similar project, I recommend a scrapbook store instead of a chain craft store. The scrapbook stores will have more product to choose from and if you like a certain theme, they are more likely to have several instead just a few in the category.

This canvas art was for my sister in law Rachel. She has this beautiful painting that used to hang above her bed, but she felt that it was too big and wanted something different. (Remember Rachel; I got dibs on that old piece when you tire of it) So she picked out 4 different papers that she liked and we got 2 of each. We painted the edges of the canvases dark brown/espresso bringing it up on the top of the canvas just slightly and let it dry. The papers had to be trimmed a tiny bit so that you could see a little of the dark brown paint. It gives it a matted effect that I really like. Once dry, paint Mod Podge onto the canvas evenly and completely. Lay the scrapbook paper down making sure its centered. You'll have a little bit of time to move it around to get it right. Once its in place, smooth with your hand or a credit card to get out any air bubbles. Don't worry if you see little bubbles, when it dries it should be smooth. Once it is dried completely, paint another thin, even coat of Mod Podge on top of it to give it a smooth finish. I use Matte finish, but there are so many other choices; glossy, glitter, etc. This was a really easy process and I think you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Since this project I've found some other options instead of using the canvases. I was at Dollar Mania and they had some 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 frameless pictures. They were basically a cheap piece of paper on some particle board. But they will work great for doing something like this... and just like the name implies, they are only $1 each as opposed to $4.50 on sale for the canvas. So when you are out shopping, don't limit yourself to color or what something is meant to be or do. Like the saying goes, "There's more than 1 way to skin a cat" (sorry pet lovers and for the record I would never skin a cat) Just another way of repurposing something on purpose! LOL-sorry I couldn't help myself. Until next time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Princess Shelf

I keep forgetting to take true "before" pictures of the items I make over. Probably because I get so excited over the potential I see in some of these items... I just can't wait. And as you already know---- I LOVE TO SPRAYPAINT!! So when I found this little scrolly shelf in the 5 for $1 section at Neighborhood Thrift I thought of my niece Monica who is ready to have her little girl any day now. It caught my eye right away because of the scrolly design, but then I realized it was a crown. It started out plain light wicker color, so I gave it a coat of Sweet Pea paint. It took about 4 coats because it was dry and it kept absorbing the paint. This would have been a good time to use my primer, but I forgot and kept thinking, "oh, this coat will do it". This is how it looked after I finished painting it.

As usual, I thought it looked a little plain and needed a little somethin' somethin'--- rhinestones of course! It is for a little princess after all.
Here is the finished product:

I can just see that on a dresser with the baby's powder and lotions..... so cute. So as we wait for the yet to be named newest blessing to our family.. I'll keep on repurposing items so that when ____________ arrives, she'll have the cutest room ever. I have 2 other creations in the works for the nursery, but won't be able to complete one of them until the baby is named. So stay tuned! Until next time!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Birthday Shopping

Hi everyone! Tomorrow is my birthday and even though I'm getting older, I still get excited about it. I don't know why; but I just like birthdays. Not just mine, I lovvvveeee my kids birthdays. It always makes me reminisce about my pregnancies and then the actual birth of each of them. Not that I particularly enjoyed either part, but I did enjoy getting a brand new baby boy to smell and hold in my arms.

Normally, we don't do much for the adult birthdays in my house. Probably because mine falls during baseball season and that is usually where I spend my special day... at the ballpark. I always say to myself, "Its a good thing I like baseball"


This year is different. I'm going to go shopping in L.A. with my niece Jacklyn and friend Julie. I can't wait. They are going to take me to the L.A. Fashion District and I'm sooooooooooo excited! I really don't even know what to expect, but thats ok. I'm excited anyway. So I hope to come back with some great items that I can repurpose into something beautiful for you to copy. It will be a few days before I post again. I'm also going to Disneyland on tuesday. I can hardly wait! Happy Birthday to me:)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Making it personal!

So I have this song that just gets stuck in my head sometimes... its called "The Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets and I LOVE it! I could listen to it over and over again. Its basically advice/encouragement from one person to another for when they are going through something difficult. As I listened to it the first time, I thought to myself "thats good advice for anytime". It goes like this:
*Be strong in the Lord
*Never give up hope
*You’re gonna do great things
*I already know!
*God’s got His hand on you
*So don’t live life in fear
*Forgive and forget
*But don’t’ forget why you’re here
*Take your time to pray
*Thank God for each day

I wanted to make something for my kids room that had those lyrics so I made these:

and this

I typed up the words for the plaque first. I used different fonts for each line and centered it. You can play with the different styles to make it to your liking. I want to do some more for my niece's rooms so I'll change the fonts to make them look more girly. After you get the fonts you like, print it out in whatever color ink you want. I made one for each of my boys rooms so one was in black and one in brown. I inked the edges of the brown one because I thought it needed more contrast to the paper I was putting it on. I cut some scrapbook paper to cover the metal art hanging thing-a-ma-jiggy that I bought from the Dollar store. This was another one of those things that I saw and even though it was somewhat ugly, I felt like it had potential because it was a good size (8 x 10) and it already had a hangar on the back of it. I used spray adhesive to attach the scrapbook paper and the quote. I wanted to make it a little less plain, so I added ribbon to match each one. I've put them in the boys rooms and the older one hasn't mentioned it yet. But the younger one said, "that's the song I always hear you singing" So I'll take that as he really likes it!

For the candle, I just changed the font color to a really light gray so that it would look subdued. I changed the margins to 0" so that the writing went all the way to the edges and removed all of the spacing and centering so that it was just continuous. I had to repeat the lyrics so that it would fill an entire page. I also changed the orientation of the paper to landscape. After I printed it out, I cut it to wrap around the plain $1 candle. I used some ribbon and a wood fleur de lis that I painted black. I just attached those with my trusty little hot glue gun and it was finished. Very easy and very cute!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"M" is for......

I found this hideously painted "M" at Bargain Boutique for a whopping $.50 and just had to have it. I wasn't sure what I would do with an M, but I liked the font of it. My maiden name starts with an M, so maybe that was why I was drawn to it. And then it hit me.... I'll make it for my brother! His last name still starts with an M!!!! Plus I knew my sister in law would love getting a treat, who doesn't? Right??? So this is what it looked like before I started repurposing it.

I didn't take pictures of the process I went through to get it how I wanted it, but it basically went like this: I spray painted it black and when it dried I realized you could see the raised polka dots. I sanded those down and while doing that I kind of liked the gold that was showing through. I thought it would look good with the gold and some red too, so I spray painted it Colonial Red mainly covering the edges. When that dried, I spray painted a coat of black again. After it completely dried, I sanded it to distress it. I loved how it looked, but thought it was a little plain. So I decided I would attach it to a canvas. When I went to the Dollar Tree in the Tower District the other day they had these canvases that weren't all that great to look at. But for $1 each, they are much cheaper than you can get from Joann's or Michaels (even on sale)! So I stocked up on them. Here is a picture of the supplies I used.

I painted the edging of the canvas with my Espresso craft paint. Cut my scrapbook paper to cover the canvas and inked the edges to give it more of a vintage/distressed look. Inking is super easy. You just run your ink pad along the edge of the paper until you get the look you want, there is seriously no way to do this wrong. I attached the paper to the canvas with plain craft glue. No Mod Podge this time since I was leaving the front of the scrapbook paper plain. I didn't want to even bother getting it out so instead I poured some glue on the canvas and spread it all out with my finger until it was evenly and completely covered... attached the paper and smoothed that out and that was it. After that dried, I tied a brown ribbon around the "M" and attached it to the canvas with hot glue. I thought it turned out pretty cute. Here are some pictures of it at my house and then at its final destination.

What do you think??? Not bad for $1.50 huh?