Sunday, February 17, 2013

Craft Project #11 - Decor Balls

Where has the time gone? I have just realized it has been over six months since my last post. Yikes!


I love decorating, but my home decor has not changed in over 12 years. This is partly because I had children and partly due to the cost involved in re-decorating. My kids are a little more self sufficient now, and I'm so tired of looking at my boring out-dated decor that I finally decided to do something about it. Decor balls are everywhere in home stores and there are so many different styles that catch my eye but they are always priced a bit high in my opinion, so I've never considered buying any. Now that decorating has been on my mind, I decided to just make my own set. I completed a set of 6 for less than $6.

1/2 water & 1/2 white school glue.

Seriously, that's it. Yes, it works great. Just one 4 oz bottle of glue (under $2) and 4 oz of water.
I believe you can add a little bit of clear varnish for a shiny finish, but I haven't tried that yet.

The only other purchase I made was a set of 6 Styrofoam balls (4" diam) in the craft section.

Now, on to the 'How To' part....

Get your stuff together on a clean work surface.
-Make the Mod Podge (above) or use the store brand.

-Find some simple, wallpaper type clip art image online (print it), or use scrap booking paper, newspaper, or maybe even a brown paper bag.(I printed the Italian hand writing from the internet onto regular copy paper and used roughly about one full 8.5" x 11" sheet per ball.)

-Tear or cut the paper with your pattern into long strips.

-Dip each strip into the Mod Podge mixture, covering it completely. Use your fingers to 'squeegee' off the excess so it's not too drippy.

-Wrap the strips around one of the balls overlapping the ends. Continue wrapping strips until each ball is covered.

Lay them out to dry overnight. I rotated mine several times because they wanted to stick and it would pull off a bit of the paper design.

That's it!

These are so easy to make and a lot less expensive than buying them. Plus you can use your imagination and come up with your own design that will go with your existing home decor. I made mine to fill a cute little wine cork box on my new fireplace mantel.

Good luck with your project and happy crafting!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Craft Project #10- Cinch Sack

Beginning in April, spring definitely put some bounce in my business. Orders picked up almost overnight, most of them local, and I've been hopping from one job to the next ever since. My day job has also kept me just a notch under hectic with deadlines looming in my near future. Needless to say my poor blog and my Etsy shop have both suffered some negligence because of it, and it's not over yet. My family vacation is coming up soon (taking the kids to DISNEY!!)and I was debating what to carry my necessities in while walking all day at the parks. I have one of the old 'fanny packs' but I think I will need a bit more room for this trip. I tried searching Etsy for small totes and came across one of those really cute light weight drawstring bags that you can wear on your back and thought - this is perfect! But, the creative voice in me said "Hey, why buy it when you can probably make it for free using some of that scrap material you have shoved in a drawer?" Ok, so I searched tutorials and found this one for a toddler sized cinch bag. I briefly thought to make one for my daughter, but she has several small bags already. So, I readjusted the measurements to what I thought would work for an adult size bag and started digging through my material scraps.

After about an hour, this is what I ended up with.

It was really easy and this is how I made it....
The original measurements from the tutorial I found were for a toddler sized bag, so I increased the material length and width by 4" both ways for a small adult size, but you can adjust measurements however you like.

Here's what you'll need...
- 2 blocks of material each approx 15" x 17" (I used some left over scraps I had)
- 2 thin (1/8" wide)ribbons approx 62" long
- Sewing machine, thread & scissors

place the two pieces of material right sides facing each other so you can sew the stitching from the inside. Sew down each side and across the bottom leaving aprox 1 1/2" open on each side at the top and a small 1/2" open space at the bottom corners. (If you forget, you can always use a seam ripper to pull out a few stitches where needed.)

Fold over approx 1/4" on the top of each piece and sew the hem. Then fold again approx 3/4" and sew in place. This creates the sleeve for the drawstrings.

I found it easier to feed the ribbon through while the bag was still inside out. So, attach a stick pin to the end of one ribbon and stick it in the eraser of a pencil ( a safety pin works too) to feed it through the casing. When it comes out the opposite side, continue to feed it through the back side of the bag as well.

Repeat this step with the other ribbon, starting at the opposite side. Make sure your ribbon lengths are even and then flip the bag right side out.(I made the mistake of cutting my ribbon too short initially, so I knotted a bit of blue ribbon on the end to lengthen it to the needed 62")

Now, if you left the little holes at the bottom corners, feed just the tip ends of your ribbon into the holes on the corresponding sides and secure with a pin. If you forgot to leave the holes, just use a seam ripper or scissors to rip out a few stitches at the bottom to insert the ribbon ends.

Flip the bag inside out one more time to sew the corner ribbons into place and its done in a cinch! If you need reinforcement, you can sew a zig-zag stitch around the sides and bottom to secure the seams.

This project was quick, easy and a lot of fun to make. It's light weight, soft and can hold several necessities for our vacation without breaking my back, so I am very happy with it. I may go back and add a small velcro pocket to the outside, if I can find time. If you want a simple sewing project, this one is a cinch!

Until next time, happy crafting!