Sunday, July 29, 2012

10. Fixing a Bleach Pen Failure

I still think the idea was a good one and I will try again. I used foam letters from Dollar Tree. I added bleach around them. (A friend at work helped with the idea, I must give credit where it is due!)

Decorating with bleach pens is very risky business! I'm pretty sure the problem was that the gel had separated so when I used it, it was runny. I'm trying to store it upright and see if that will correct the problem. Also, I will test it on a scrap next time.

However, I fixed this failure by drawing on the garment with permanent marker. This is not the first time I've used this method, but this time it was not optional. Without the marker - this project would have been a complete failure!

Here is my before and after:

See project number 5 for more helpful hints!

9. Novice Recliner Redo

I decided to recover a recliner we had when my kids were growing up. The youngest hopes to use it, but I told her it will come with a glue gun and if something starts to come loose - glue it fast!

I can't begin to explain what I did, I'm sure I didn't do it the "right way." However, for a beginner with no real  instruction, it's not bad. It was affordable because we used corduroy we purchased with a coupon from JoAnn's.

First I cleaned it, sprayed it with Lysol and let it sit in the sun for several hours.

Although, this chair had "our" dirt, it had been stored in a shed for a year or more.

The back comes off - it's actually very helpful.

This shows wear and tear, previously repaired.

I worked on the back first, it had several pieces of fabric sewn together in an intricate pattern. I used one for the front and one for the back. I added more buttons instead of the pillow look the back originally had at the top. I used a little glue and a lot of staples.

This is the frame after everything was stripped.

Stuffing! I reused it, remember this is my family's dirt.

The pink is canvas I used for support. I did this because the original had support in this  area.

Buttons were held on with clumps of fabric, so I did that also.

Here is where I decided to add extra buttons.
I felt confident in the way this turned out.

The bottom half was more difficult, there aren't too many pictures because I became discouraged. I was tired and tempted to take shortcuts, but I stopped and waited for a new day...

I decided I must sew, I had hoped to avoid it but it was necessary for the arms. Basically, i just glued and stapled  everything on the bottom. I padded the arms and the seat with quilt batting since it was old and the cushy feeling was gone.

Yay! It's done, good or bad, it's done!

8. Easiest Headboard Ever!

I don't know if this really qualifies as a craft. However, I think it is a great idea especially for those on the go like my kids who were in college, grad school and just starting their first jobs. This headboard is easy to do, easy on the budget and best of all - easy to move.

I just took a bamboo mat I purchased on sale and cut it in half. It made 2 queen size headboards! We used tiny nails to hang it and that's it. A lovely, very mobile headboard.

7. Yarn, Lace and Ribbon Frame

This doesn't need much explanation. I used a variety of yarn, lace, ribbon and hot glue to attach them to the frame.  The main problem was burning my fingers and not letting the glue clump to much in the area where the photo is attached. (I think you could used strips of poster board on the back. That way you could push down on the poster board and it might protect your fingers. I thought of this too late!) I used wooden frames from Hobby Lobby and a variety of white and off white yarn and ribbon. Any colors would work, but this matched some other items I had in the room.

This is the type of frame I used.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

6. Plastic Bag Pumpkins (Very Affordable!)

One Halloween I needed a lot of pumpkins for Trunk or Treat. I didn't want to spend much, so this is how I made pumpkins  from plastic bags.

1. I stuffed a big newspaper ball into a plastic bag. (I used bags from my grocery store.)

2. I took 8-12 additional bags and poked holes in the bottoms. Using long twist ties from a box of trash bags, I gathered those bags and wired them together.

3. I spread the bags out on the floor with the twist tie in the middle and all the bags sticking out in a circle.

4. I placed my bag of newspaper in the middle on top of the twist tie.

5. Next, I pulled the bags up around the bag of newspaper and gathered them at the top.

6. Then, I wrapped duck tape around the bags at the top as a stem. I arranged the bags on the sides of the pumpkin and put duck tape on the bottom to keep everything in place. (On the bottom, I put it on flat.)

7. I cut off excess bags above the duck tape.

8. Next I used spray paint. I used a variety of yellow, red and of course mostly orange.

9. I painted the stems with a small brush. (Brown or a dull green are good choices.)

These pumpkins make nice decorations for an event, but the paint I used tended to chip off so I wouldn't plan on keeping them. On the plus side, they were almost free. All I purchased was spray paint and I had some of it already.

Here are the pumpkins in the Halloween scene.  Linus and Sally are waiting for the "Great Pumpkin". I can't take credit for them, I only helped a little.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

5. Bleach Pen and Marker Combo T-Shirt

I've been seeing a lot of bleach pen shirts on the internet lately. However, most of them seemed a little crude.  Only a few people were talented enough to do intricate designs.  I suspected I wasn't one of those.  While I do have some artistic ability, I don't like to try to be perfect.  It frustrates me.

Then I stumbled onto an online post about drawing on clothing with permanent markers.  That gave me the idea of combining the two!

So that's what I've done.  Here is one of my earliest shirts (the 2nd one actually.)

The thing I learned on the first shirt was to either work fast or move around on the design.  On my first try, there was a lot of contrast on one side and not much on the other since the bleach was there for an unequal amount of time.

Here are the steps I've been using:

1. Put something inside the shirt.  It must be smooth and it's nice if it's waterproof.  A cookie sheet is great depending on the size.  I have been using a drawing board at times but smooth cardboard might work.
2. Arrange the shirt so it's straight on your board and you can tell where you want your design.  You will need to be able to tell if your design is straight - unless you are going for a really random look.
3. Some people may want to sketch a design with chalk or a disappearing marker.  I skipped this, just had an idea in my mind.
4. Start drawing with the gel bleach pen.  As I mentioned above, work fast or skip around on your design.  You don't want one area to look completely different.

5. Rinse when the color changes.  Don't leave the bleach on too long or it may weaken the fabric (before long there will be a hole). It's nice if you can leave the shirt on the board or cookie sheet.  I have rinsed some of mine with the water hose.  If you do have to remove the board before rinsing, be very careful.  If the fabric folds over, you will have a light spot in an unwanted area.  (Actually that's what happened to my example so I added more bleached areas than I originally intended.)

6. Dry the shirt.  I usually spin mine in the washer and hang it to dry, but if you are doing laundry it won't hurt to throw it in and let it wash and dry.

7. Put your shirt back on the board. Now you can start drawing with a permanent marker.
8. When done, iron the design. Use a hot setting since it seems to set the marker.
9. Wash and dry the shirt. (It will smell weird if you don't, from the marker and ironing.)
10. Wear your shirt and tell everyone where you learned how to make such wonderful designs!

Below is one more example.

4. Hide a Broken Thermostat

We have an older house. Each room has an ancient thermostat.  They vary from outdated to completely broken. We didn't want to spend money to update them since they still function.

This is the original look of the thermostats.

Some of the thermostats were in pretty good shape but just looked outdated. I was able to take some of the pieces off without completely disconnecting them. I spray painted those parts and put them back together.

I liked this look much better.

However, some of the thermostats were beyond repair. For these,I needed to completely hide them but didn't want to cut off all the air flow. Here is a photo of one of the worst. I used black tape to keep some of the parts together so we could still turn the dial and see the temperature guide.

I found a hanging basket at the $1 Shop. It was in the Christmas items and was green - not the color I wanted. I cut a hole in the back to fit the thermostat, and spray painted it black. I had to stand on a chair to get this photo so you can see the thermostat. Normally you can't see the thermostat.

Just in case, I added some fake vines but you may have a better idea of what to put in yours. 

Huge improvement? I think so!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

3. Branches in a Dark Frame

My daughter loved the "Branches in a Frame" from the following website:

She wanted me to make one for her but wanted a dark frame. I used hot glue rather than a staple gun, but basically followed the same procedure. Here's a photo.

Not bad, but my problem was finding appropriate branches.  Anyway, my daughter is pleased with it and it gave me an afternoon project.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2. Seashell Frame

At the office where I work, everyone used to have a small cross stitch of their name.  However, many of the people who made them have retired or have gotten too farsighted to make them.  Now we have new employees without name plaques.  (Oh My!)

One of my co-workers loves the beach, so we thought she needed a beach theme name plaque. I made this frame for her name. We will write her name in the sand and take a photo! I think it will be cute.

Here is what I used. I got the shells at the $1 Shop and used hot glue to attach them to this wooden frame.  I'm sure I purchased it at Hobby Lobby, probably with a 40% off coupon. I've had it a while but I always print coupons before I go to my favorite store!

Anyway, here are photos and it is pretty self-explanatory. I did use a little Elmer's glue and sand to cover a spot where the hot glue showed.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

1. Customized Magnetic Marker Board

I've seen marker boards in a frame on Pinterest. I wanted one that coordinates with my kitchen but I wanted to put it on my refrigerator. 

Here is a link to an example:

I found these Magnetic Photo Pockets at Dollar General and used them the same way. I inserted scrape-book paper and vellum in this one. I used the vellum because the paper I choose was too distracting. I added black tape because my refrigerator is almond and I didn't like the white edges. You may not need the tape if you have white, stainless steel, etc.

The markers made for this purpose wipe off just as well as on actual marker boards. I tested before I even started to be sure.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Love My Glue Gun (or at least I REALLY like it)

My favorite craft tool is my glue gun.  I actually have 3.  I purchased my favorite at one of the home remodeling stores.  It is a heavy duty model and takes larger sticks. I purchased some "super strong" glue sticks. They REALLY stick and I use them when I want something to stick permanently.

Try these links:

I also have 2 smaller ones, the normal hot glue and the low temperature one. The glue for these isn't as permanent but it is often all I need. It's also great if I'm not sure what I want to do and may need to take things apart again later.