Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

I’ve had several canvas art projects pinned to my Pinterest craft board for MONTHS. My favorites involved silhouettes, but the instructions invariably called for purchasing vinyl cutouts. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just PAINT a silhouette onto the canvas, because, you know, paint is cheap. And in my garage.

Finally, I painted a clearance-rack canvas with a couple of coats of red that I had left from another project. (The canvas had cost like $2 at Target, and featured a starfish, which I somehow thought would look good in my guest bedroom, only no.)

Silhouette time. I can’t tell you exactly where I found the stencil, but if you make sure your virus protection is updated and  google “free stencils,” you’ll find tons of candidates.

I chose a bird, partly because it looked easy to cut out and partly because of Porlandia’s “put a bird on it” spoof.

I printed out the stencil and carefully cut out the design with scissors. I debated whether to try to transfer the stencil to wax paper or foil for cleaner painting, but decided that the paint likely wouldn’t go through the paper. And if it did, I could just paint everything black and make silver birds later.

Accidental Craftiness 101: Plan for Failure.

The design fit almost PERFECTLY on the canvas. I only had to cut out a 2-inch slip of paper to extend the branch all the way across. I folded over the ends of the branch and taped them down on the sides of the canvas.

After squeezing some black paint onto a Styrofoam plate (I know: paint in a tube – fancy, right?), I got to the messy part. Since I didn’t want to tape the edges of the design down on the front of the canvas (more from a fear of having the red paint lift off with the tape than concerns about the final design), I held down the edges of the paper as I painted around them. I made sure to move the brush out from the edges of the paper, rather than toward the edges, to avoid pushing paint underneath the paper. (And I’m not even sure how I knew to do that. It’s like the time I knew to stick straight pins in the drooping flowers at my future sister-in-law’s wedding shower and I was certain I had been possessed by Martha Stewart.)

I call this the messy part because HOW MUCH black paint did I get on my fingers?

A LOT. I probably should have taken a picture of THAT, only it wouldn’t be that much different from a picture of the normal state of my hands. Today, for example, I have eyeliner under two of my left fingernails. EYELINER.

After completely surrounding the silhouette pattern with black paint, I carefully pulled away the tape and lifted the paper off of the canvas. Voila … a sharp bird silhouette. My next decision was whether to try to leave a subtle black aura around the silhouette or fill in the rest of the canvas. I’m not good at subtlety, and even as I was telling the husband about my decision-making process I was filling the canvas with black paint.

A completed craft project with no cuts, bruises, broken fingernails or glue-gun injuries? WIN. Now I just have to decide where to hang it.

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I finally got around to turning my Metropolitan Museum of Art admission buttons into useful souvenir refrigerator magnets. I simply glued a small, round magnet onto the back of each button. Yes, they’re metal and the magnets would have stayed attached without glue, but they would have also popped right off the magnets when anyone picked them up off the fridge.

Points for using junk-drawer souvenirs that would have eventually been thrown away.

And more points for using the glue gun without incident.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 24: I realize that some people have an entire room dedicated to their crafting supplies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I yearn to be craftier. But I also associate crafts with stuff, and I don’t need more stuff.

So, my craft supplies consist of magnets, Mod Podge, a few rolls of post-Christmas-sale ribbon, colored pencils, a hole-punch, an X-acto knife and embroidery supplies.

Wait. Embroidery supplies? I know. Because I was TRASH at embroidery when I attempted to take it up a couple of years ago. Trust me: The embroidery supplies are just biding their time until their turn comes on the circle of thrift store donations.

Anyway, today’s Do One Thing activity was to organize all my craft supplies into two stacked storage units that I got on super clearance last year at Michael’s. Yeah, yeah — a couple of corners are kind of weathered, and one of the smaller drawers is a slightly different color, but I got them both for less than $20.

The storage units are currently serving as a nightstand in the guest bedroom; at the rate I buy new furniture, they’re likely to be serving in that capacity for a while.

Really, the embroidery supplies were the only thing that needed moving. They were hanging in a bag in my office closet, and I’m trying to take down everything that’s hanging in that closet to make it neater.

All crafting supplies in one place, and a closet that I could walk into, assuming I could actually get both bifold doors open (grrr). I’m nearing neatnik nirvana.

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I finished a crafting project and only blistered one finger with the glue gun! This is epic, you guys.

My mom brought me several of my late grandmother’s pins earlier this summer. I have my doubts that my grandmother actually ever wore most of these pins, as they lean toward the sparkly and the offbeat, while my grandmother leaned in the opposite direction.

Still, they were hers. Or, at least, they were given to her and she kept them for a long time and now they’re mine.

I’ve gotten tired lately of hiding my treasures in boxes. Fun jewelry deserves a fun display. One day in early August, I was walking through my favorite thrift store, A New Leash on Life Marketplace, and while I was digging through a box of old, beat-up frames, it hit me: 3D pin frames. My husband would later call this wondrous idea a “pin cushion.”

I purchased a few of the smaller frames and went to work. First, the frames had to be painted, because I do not get along with gold and bronze accessories. Black seemed like the color to best offset bright silver jewelry. I had fun with a wooden frame that features highly stylized scrollwork, layering red, then silver, then black for a unique finish.

Before: blah.

The hard part was next. I bought your garden-variety pillow stuffing and some black cloth. I glued three edges of the cloth to the little piece of cardboard that goes between the frame and the glass, stuffed it with stuffing until it reached my visualized shape and glued the fourth side down. Finally, I crammed the cushion into the frame opening.

It took more maneuvering to get the pins into the cushions than I had imagined, and I had to thread a tiny piece of invisible thread around the tops of the pins to keep them from tilting forward, but overall I’m calling it a successful project. Glue gun injuries aside.

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