Thursday, June 23, 2011

4th of July Firecrackers


- 3 pieces of 2x2 (or larger i.e. 3x3 or 4x4) wood. Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and find the wood you like. I opted to go a little smaller than what I originally intended. You need 3 pieces at varying heights. I did 6", 8", and 10". I wanted to do them a little taller but I wanted to make more than one set so in order to get the number of sets I wanted from one piece of wood I cut the size of each piece down. Find the guy who cuts wood. He will probably be hiding from you because he already spotted you in the lumber section and is thinking "not her again"! When you find him smile big for him as you are telling him how to cut each piece. All the while you are totally embarrassed because the wood guy now knows you by name!
(I paid $3.33 per set)

- 3 coordinating scrapbook papers (you will only use 1/2 of each piece)
( 1 buck each but you only use half so 50 cents each)

- paint
(you can get a bottle of paint for JoAnn's for 59 cents- you won't even use 1/3 of it for this project)

- sandpaper
(a pack of this at Lowe's or Home Depot will be about $3, but it will last a long time)

- distress ink
(A distress ink pad is about $4.99 so use a coupon or get it when it's on sale like right now at JoAnn's. I have had my pad for a loooooong time.)

- paintbrush
(these are like 25-35 cents each)

- embellishments: tulle, buttons, jute, etc

- wire for the top. I used 20 gauge black jewelry wire.

-mod podge
(Mod podge is about 5 bucks for a small container of it, but it will last you a long time too!)

The How To:

1. Sand your wood pieces.

2. Give them a quick coat of white paint. Most of the wood will be covered in paper.

3. Cut your paper down to size.
4 pieces for each wood block. 12 pieces all together.

4. Now that your blocks are dry sand edges and apply distress ink. I do this with a foam brush.

5. Add distress ink to edges of paper.

6. Mod Podge paper onto blocks. Here is the trick to "mod podge-ing". Put mod podge on wood first. Then on paper. Smooth the paper onto the wood and use the mod podge tools below to prevent bubbles and wrinkles from occuring. Let your mod podge dry for 15-20 minutes. Then add another layer of mod podge to the top of your paper. YOU MUST WAIT THE 20 MINUTES! If you do not wait you will probably have wrinkles or bubbles.

7. Add the wire. Take a push pin to the top of your wood to make a hole for the wire. Cut your wire using an appropriate cutting tool, I used my appigator. Wrap you wire around the handle of your foam paint brush to create a curl in it. Add a tiny amount of hot glue to the end of the wire and stick it into the hole your created using the push pin. Repeat for all 3 firecrackers.

8. Embellish.
- I actually glued my firecrackers together with hot glue before tying them up with the jute. Then, I made the paper flower you see below and here's how I did it: 1. Find 3 different scrapbook papers. 2. Draw a large, medium, and small circle onto the back of the papers (1 circle on each paper scrap). 3. Then tear, yes I said tear, the circle shape out. 4. Add distress ink to the edges. 5. Layer the pieces and hot glue them together. 6. Add a button or brad to the center of the flower! Easy! You can also use stickers or vinyl and add a word like freedom, liberty, USA, etc. going up the side of one of the firecrackers. I might add that to mine! The possibilities for embellishing are endless!
9. Display and enjoy. My firecrackers are displayed next to my 4th of July subway art which you can download here at my blog.

How Much $ did I Spend?
The wood cost $3.33 per set. The paper I bought was a dollar a piece, but I used about 1/2 or less of each piece so it cost me about $1.50 for the paper. I had the mod podge, paint, brushes, distress ink, sandpaper, jute, button, tulle, and wire on hand from previous projects. I would give a rough guesstimate and say the I used at the most $1.50 worth of these things to complete the project. It is hard to make an inexpensive craft when you don't have a large stash of on-hand materials. But use coupons for things like your mod podge, a bag of assorted buttons, and ribbons. These things will usually last a long time!!! Or get a large group of friends together and split the cost! Also, a great alternative to using paper would be to paint each block. You can paint one blue with white stars, the second white with red stripes, and then the last white with a patriotic word going up the side. This will eliminate the cost of the paper and mod podge.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

USA Frames

I am little behind in the 4th of July crafts. The past couple of weeks were miserable for me to say the least! But I am feeling better physically and mentally and so I got back into crafting today. Here is a quick supply list and tutorial to make these USA frames.

-3 frames. My frames have a 3.5 x 3.5 inch opening. They are from Michael's. I got them on sale in December for $1. I don't know how much they are regularly. For all I know they could be a $1 and it wasn't an actual sale! :)
- 3 coordinating Fourth of July scrapbook papers/pieces (or any red, white, and blue paper). You will only need 3.5 x 3.5 inch square of each one. I think it would be fine to use the same paper for each frame too.
- 3 USA wood letters. I bought mine at JoAnns. They were 1.99 each and of course Sam threw away my coupons so I paid full price (ouch), but at least you only need 3 letters.
-Paint. I had the white paint on hand. I bought the blue paint from JoAnns. It is there brand so it was only like 60 cents.
-Glue gun
-Embellishments (not pictured). i.e. Jute, ribbon, tulle, buttons, etc.

The How To:
1. Put your baby/child/children down for a nap, or turn on Mickey Mouse ;).

2. Paint your frames blue. (or red)

3. Paint your letters white.

4. Play with your child while it dries so you don't feel like you are a terrible mother/cut your paper down to 3.5x3.5" squares. Round the edges if needed (this just depends on what frames you are using.)

5. Sand edges of frames and letters.

6. Glue letters onto frames. Hot glue is very unforgiving. It dries instantly so you better get your letters right the first time- unlike me. BUT I just did NOT want to use gorilla glue today. I had not patience for it! So this is my consequence. And just so you know I did want my letters tilted to the side! :)

7. Ink edges (optional) I used distress ink for mine. I used a foam brush to put on the ink. It is easier to get in the corners that way. You can also use a paper towel or an old rag.
Sorry for the sideways picture-- just tilt your head a little! :)

8. Put paper into frame opening.

9. Embellish.

10. Put on display and sit down and have a diet coke! Or make dinner because it is already 4:30 and you haven't even started it!

P.S. I saw a craft out in blog land that inspired me to make these. I just don't want anyone thinking I am more than a "copy cat crafter"! :) Go here to see it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sneak Peek of Jack's New Room

We are redoing (and by we I mean me) Jackson's nursery! It's time to say goodbye to the nursery and hello to the big boy toddler room. It will definitely be a work in progress seeing how funds are limited these days! But I made these printables to go with his new bedding. I am printing them as 11x14s and hanging them on each side of the window in his room. One over his tiny little toddler bed and the other over his dresser. Can you not tell that I am obsessed with Subway Art? Especially digital subway art. So cheap and easy! Now all need I need to do is find coupons so I can purchase wood frames to put these bad boys in! :) And if I can't find coupons there is always IKEA!

For those of who you are unfamiliar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints most 19 year old males (and some 21 yr old females) choose to serve a mission for 2 years. This means they leave their families for 2 whole years with the only communication being letters and 2 phone calls home each year! Yes folks this means I will be saying goodbye to my baby boy in just 17 1/2 short years and I am already dreading it! ha! To learn more about my church and what I believe go here or please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I would be happy to answer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

4th of July Subway Art Printable!

This decoration is cheap and simple! 1. Click on the subway art below. When it pops up into a new window right click and hit save as. 2. Print it from your home computer or send it to a nearby photo lab 3. Frame it - I bought my frame at JoAnns in December for 4 bucks! 4. Put it on display (which I have yet to do!). FYI: I printed mine from home using the standard US Letter size and then used my paper slicer to trim it down to fit my 8x10 frame. If you print it as an 8x10 from your printer it will be too small.

I am working on a wreath and USA wood letters! So stay tuned!