Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hollow Macrame Balls Gone Wrong!

Not all projects I start turn out exactly like I envisioned them so I thought I would share with you a project that went a different direction along the way. I was so inspired by Maryann's Hollow Jute Twine Balls over at Domestically Speaking , that I decided to try to create my own version.
Instead of using jute, I spotted this macrame braid cord at Hobby Lobby and I thought the colors would be perfect in my Family Room. Initially, I had concerns about the thickness of this cord, but I figured enough glue should harden it - Right?

So, I went about using the same process Maryann described and blew up a balloon and wrapped the macrame cord that had been soaking in Shimmer Mod Podge mixed with a little water around the balloon. I also repeated the same process using some tiny leather strips I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I then set it aside to dry. I still had a nagging concern that the macrame ball might not shape correctly because of the thickness of the cord, but it thought enough glue should harden it - Right?

WRONG! I popped the balloon, let it deflate and pulled it through the side. I then tried to arrange the macrame ball on the glass tray and it started to disassemble in my hands! I was left with a pile of shimmering, slightly stiff macrame cord. By the way, the leather ball turned out perfectly because the strips are so thin and lightweight that they took the shape of the balloon without a problem.

Not one to easily give up on a project and considering the fact that I bought 100 yards of macrame cord, I had to find a way to make this project work! Maryann mentioned in her post that she wrapped some jute around a styrofoam ball. I remembered that I had some styrofoam balls left over from another project gone wrong. Last Christmas, I decided I wanted to make large glittered Christmas tree ornaments from styrofoam balls. I didn't know at the time that some spray adhesives would melt foam! I still tried to glitter the half melted balls and they turned out horribly. I didn't totally give up on this project though - I just suspended it until the next year and I didn't throw away the balls because I thought they might come in useful one day. So, I used my low temp glue gun and glued the macrame cord tightly around the styrofoam ball.

As an added bonus, I loved the texture and color that the Shimmer Mod Podge gave the macrame ball that I am going to brush it on the other balls that hadn't been soaked in glue. In the above picture the one of the right is covered in Shimmer Mod Podge and on the left isn't. But in all actuality, Maryann's hollow jute twine balls are a very easy and fun project to do - if you use lighter materials than I did.

Monday, September 28, 2009

DIY Vinyl Art on Glass Platter

I created this glass platter to display on my entryway console using inkjet vinyl and gold leaf. I wish the edges of the vinyl wasn't so apparent but I'll try using a thinner vinyl next time.

I was inspired by this Christmas ornament I spotted at Kohl's recently and an expensive glass platter that I saw in a local home decor store. I didn't get a picture of the platter, but it was beautiful. I always seem to break my glass ornaments, so I knew the platter would be the route to take.

I started with an inexpensive glass square plate from Wal-mart. My first thought was that I could use my letter stamps and stamp the platter with StazOn ink which is made for non-porous surfaces. But since I wanted all of the decor on the underside of the plate, all of my lettering would appear backwards. Then I remembered some sample papers I had bought from an online store. This paper was clear cling vinyl and clear adhesive vinyl that was made to be used with inkjet printers. I had bought it weeks ago with the intention of making my own vinyl wall art, but I had never got around to that project. I thought that this was the perfect time to try out my sample sheets, but I knew I had to be extra careful because I only had a few sample sheets to try and make this work.

So I used Microsoft Word to create the layout for the saying and I printed it in Mirror image on the vinyl cling sheet using the Transparency setting. I then cut it out and placed it in the center of the plate.

I thought I would then stamp the decorative flourishes on the plate using the StazOn ink. I tried one edge and determined that I didn't like it very much so I immediately wiped it out and went another route. I had used my only sheet of cling vinyl, but I still had a sheet of adhesive vinyl left so I used that sheet to print out some flourishes in color. I then cut them out and applied them to the plate also.

At this point, I could have probably stopped and proudly displayed my plate as is. But I decided to gold leaf the entire plate. I had never tried gold leafing before.

First I brushed the antiquing glaze on the underside of the plate and then I added the adhesive for the gold leaf.

I have to admit - gold leaf was not an easy project for me. Those little thin sheets of leaf had a mind of their own - or I just didn't know what I was doing. But I completed it and I noticed that the gold leaf accented the vinyl edges more than I liked, but that is okay. Practice makes perfect and I will be practicing on a decorative Thanksgiving platter soon.

I am linking up to Kimba's DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. I am also linking up to my very first Make Your Monday party @ Twice Remembered.
I am also joining my first Celebrate the Holidays party at It So Very Cheri.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bargain Find of the Week

This week's bargain find comes from Target for $4.24! After posting the pictures from last week's pumpkin topiary and Fall wreath projects, I really noticed how incomplete my front door looked without a welcome mat. I had been on the lookout for an inexpensive one since then and I was pleasantly surprised when I ran across this very nice Fall themed mat today.


I think it completes the space very nicely.
I am linking up to Rhoda's It's Fall, Y'all! party at Southern Hospitality.
I am also joining my very first Frugalicious Friday party over at Finding Fabulous. Go check out all of the over frugal finds!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Wreath

After completing my pumpkin topiary, I wanted a Fall wreath to go along with it. With the exception of the Dollar Tree ribbon used to hang the wreath, I created the wreath using Fall clearance items I purchased last year from Garden Ridge.

I used a large wire wreath form like the one above and used floral wire to add various strings of garland and ribbon to it. I then stuck some Fall picks through the wire. I wanted to make it so that I could easily deconstruct it and redo it for next year (or next month for that matter).

I knew that I had to hang the wreath so that I could still see through the peephole, so the Nester's method of hanging a wreath was the perfect solution for me.

Now I just need to find the perfect welcome mat to complete my Fall outdoor decor.

I am also linking up to my very first Fall Festival Party at the DIY Show Off!

I am also linking up to my very first Celebrate the Holidays Party at Its So Very Cheri.

I am linking up to Rhoda's It's" Fall, Y'all! party at Southern Hospitality.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pumpkin Topiary w/ House Numbers

This is my very first outdoor decor project for my new home! I saw a similar project online a couple of years ago and I have wanted to recreate my version for some time now, but I never had the appropriate outdoor space in my previous apartments to properly display the topiary.

When I saw that Michael's had their foam pumpkins on sale for 50% off last week, I knew that it was finally time to get this project rolling. I bought 5 of the white pumpkins and used this metallic glaze on them to give them an aged look.

I used the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon from last week to purchase this hot knife tool kit. This kit has interchangeable tips and can also be used for wood burning, embossing and soldering. Umm yeah, I don't think I will be venturing into soldering anytime soon. I then printed my house numbers in Microsoft Word and traced each one onto a pumpkin. I used the hot knife to carve out the number. I carved "Welcome" onto the smaller pumpkin to sit atop the larger pumpkins. I also cut a circle into the top and bottom of each larger pumpkin and a circle into the bottom of the smaller pumpkin.

After carving the pumpkins, I sat a Styrofoam disk inside the urn and stuck a wooden dowel through it and threaded a set of Christmas lights onto the dowel. I then stacked the pumpkins on the dowel and pulled the string of lights through the pumpkins. I used my hot glue gun and added a small dab of glue between each pumpkin to secure it.

I then added some Fall garland I purchased from Garden Ridge on clearance last year. I also had some glittered mini pumpkins and gourds I made last year using some glitter from the Martha Stewart collection. The Fall ribbon came from the Dollar Tree. Also, I didn't glue anything to the urn because I plan to take the Fall decor out and reuse the urn for Christmas decor.

I love how my slightly askew pumpkin topiary turned out! Please stop by Kimba's DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land to see other DIY projects.

I am also linking up to my very first Fall Festival Party at the DIY Show Off!

I am linking up to Rhoda's It's" Fall, Y'all! party at Southern Hospitality.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bargain Find of the Week!

This week's bargain find of the week is this 21" fiberglass urn from Garden Ridge. Regularly priced at $59.99, I bought this for $15 after a 75% off discount. It is lightweight enough so that I won't sprain my back trying to lift it and heavy enough so that I won't wake up one morning to find it blown across my yard into the street. As an added bonus, it is the perfect color for holiday decor. Come back this week to see the house number pumpkin topiary project I am currently working on that will fill this urn.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DIY Embossed Candles

I love to display decorated candles. And I love to switch out the candles as the seasons change. But obviously, this can get pretty expensive. This is why I was overjoyed when I learned last year that you can use wrapping tissue paper and stamps to create your own custom candles.

I bought plain inexpensive pillar candles for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. I used stamps I purchased through my Stampin' Up Demonstrator Barbara Raffman. The rest of my supplies were purchased at Hobby Lobby.

I then cut a piece of tissue paper to the size of the candle and stamped it with the embossing ink. Next, I sprinkled the embossing powder on the stamped image and tapped the excess powder off (just like using glitter). I then used my heat gun on the tissue paper until the powder became a raised image. After the entire image was embossed, I wrapped the tissue around the candle and then held a piece of wax paper tightly around the entire candle and used my heat gun on the candle to slightly melt the wax to adhere the tissue paper to the candle. This step takes a little practice because if you keep the heat gun too long in one spot, you will end up with hot wax running down your arm. Been there, done that. Not a pleasant experience. If you don't melt the wax enough, the tissue paper doesn't adhere to the candle. The key to start off small. I started learning to do this with small votive candles until I proficient enough to move to larger candles. Note: I use these candles for strictly decorative use only. I did light these for a few minutes to get a burned wick, but I can't attest to their safety.

I then wrapped a piece of ribbon around the candles and secured two with a stick pin and tied the other one in a knot. I added a cross to one and refrigerator magnet initials to the others. A & J are me and my significant other's initials. And coincidentally, all of our three children also share these same initials even though they were all named before we even met.

I am sharing this project over at Kimba's A Soft Place to Land for DIY Day. Go check out the other great projects.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bargain Find of the Week!

I am starting a new weekly (hopefully) series to showcase my best bargain purchase of the week. Yesterday, I found this 72" - 144" inch long, 1 1/4 " diameter metal drapery rod at Target on clearance for $17.48. When I was searching for a drapery rod a few months ago for my living room windows, Target had the least expensive option at $34.99 for a large diameter 144" rod. I could have actually found less expensive options at 120" and a smaller diameter, but the windows I was buying the rod for measured greater than 120" and needed a substantial diameter sized rod. So, if you are looking for a drapery rod for a very large set of windows, I think $17.48 for a 144" long, 1 1/4" diameter rod is a great buy.

If the metallic bronze color is not your style, grab a can of inexpensive spray paint. This rod would look great spray painted black or silver.

I plan to use this rod in my bedroom, which brings me to another dilemma. How many curtain panels would you hang on this window - 2 total on just the ends or 4 total with 2 on the ends and 2 surrounding the middle window? Also, these drapes will probably be unlined and strictly for decorative purposes. Blocking out the sunlight is not a priority for me because I enjoy it coming in through the windows - even when I am napping.

Please visit The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday party for more terrific bargains.


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