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Get Ready for July 4th with a Pallet Flag!

Pallet projects are very trendy right now in home decor. Pallets make the perfect base for rustic style flag projects. This pallet flag provides a twist on the usual flag design by replacing the blue field of stars with a cutout map of the United States with a string art star! Perfect for the 4th of July, this pallet flag will bring flea market style to your patriotic celebration!

[Disclosure: Products used in this project were supplied to Craft Critique by Plaid for promotional purposes but we maintain full editorial control of this content. Some links in this article are affiliate links that compensate Craft Critique when visitors make a purchase after clicking on them. Thank you for supporting Craft Critique when using our links!]

Pallet Flag

This pallet flag is created from two Plaid products – a 12″ x 16″ unfinished wood pallet, and a brand new wood string art cut out from their Bucilla String Creations brand.

Pallet Flag supplies

I started by painting the pallet base in two coats of White Adirondack chalk paint. Once that was dry, I taped off my stripes using painter’s tape. I wanted three white stripes and four red ones so I divided the vertical dimension by 7 and then started measuring in from the edge and filling in the tape.

Pallet Flag stripe painting

(Make sure to press the edges of the tape down securely to prevent the paint seeping under it. If it doesn’t seal properly you will find yourself having to do touch-ups after the tape is removed.)

After the tape was in place I painted the red paint over it to create the red stripes.

While waiting for the red paint to dry, I painted the map blue. Then the clear wax went onto both items after they were dry, and I buffed it to a nice soft sheen.

I die cut a star of approximately the size I wanted to string on my die cut machine to use as a template, but you can skip this step if you are confident free handing the stringing. I was careful when threading my string to not have any threads on the back pass anywhere but directly underneath threads on the front. With a bit of forethought to the pattern of stringing, it can be done.

The finished map was attached to the pallet background with hot glue. And my flag was all ready to hang to celebrate the 4th of July, or any patriotic occasion!

Supplies:

Make a pallet flag with a U.S. map on it!

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DIY Jewelry Fun with Michaels “Pemberley” Collection

A few weeks ago, I attended SNAP Conference in Salt Lake City. It’s an annual event that brings together creative and lifestyle bloggers to learn, meet with sponsors, and network. Since I normally work at home either banging on a keyboard or throwing paint and ink around, my typical daily wardrobe is decidedly un-glamourous. (Think sweatpants and souvenir t-shirts.) So attending an event that is populated partially by fashion bloggers? Well, that had me hyperventilating. The pressure was on to step up my game!

Accessories are a big part of finishing any outfit, and I decided to wear my portfolio by making some of my own jewelry for the event. I had fallen in love with the new Pemberley collection from Michaels’ house brand Bead Landing the moment I saw it. It turned out to be a perfect match for some of my new SNAP outfits, and after a shopping spree at my local Michaels store, I got down to creating.

Pemberley necklace

For this necklace to go with a lace top,  I wanted a romantic look. I mixed the Pemberley collection with another recent Michaels jewelry collection, a boho chic collection called “Gypsy Desert”. A lot of the elements mix surprisingly well with the heavily vintage Pemberley.

Pemberley necklace close-up

Supplies:

  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Chain
  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Charms (rose & green drop)
  • Bead Landing “Gypsy Desert” feather charm
  • Bead Landing “Gypsy Desert” quote charm
  • Bead Landing magnetic clasp
  • Bead Landing jump rings (7mm)

The necklace design is easy to assemble. It’s just a collection of charms that are arranged in various lengths of cascade. I made the rose charm into a drop pendant by attaching it to the end of some leftover chain before attaching it partway down the green drop pendant.

Pemberley necklace construction

Opening and closing jump rings (and chain link) is the only skill required to make this project!

May is National Arthritis Month, and you may have noticed a special kind of clasp on the supply list above. I suffer from minor arthritis-like symptoms due to my lupus. Traditional jewelry clasps are difficult for me to do as a result. Magnetic clasps, like the one below, are much easier. If you are a crafter with a loved one struggling with arthritis, you might consider offering to use your skills to replace their jewelry clasps with easier to fasten magnetic ones!

Magnetic necklace clasp

I loved the Pemberley collection so much, though, that I couldn’t stop with making one piece! I also used it to make a gift for my SNAP secret sister. For this Pemberley necklace project, I used two different kinds of chain to make a double stranded necklace.

Pemberley double strand necklace

Like the necklace above, the charms on this one are just an arrangement of cascades of varying lengths. The only skills needed to assemble this are the ability to open and close jump rings.

Pemberley double strand close-up

Supplies:

  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Chain
  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Pearl Chain
  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Charms (rose, drop & sewing themed)
  • Bead Landing “dream” charm
  • Bead Landing magnetic clasp
  • Bead Landing jump rings (7mm, 4mm)

For a beginning jewelry maker (or anyone looking to make a quick and easy project) working with a coordinated collection of jewelry findings is a perfect way to create a beautiful project. I have plenty of leftover elements from these projects. What will I make next? I can’t wait to decide! Maybe a matching bracelet…

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Celebrate Star Wars with Frozen Han Solo Soap!

Today is May the 4th – Star Wars Day – and we’re celebrating with a gift for Dad (or your favorite geek).  Frozen Han Solo soap is a fun way to get clean!

[Some links is this article are Amazon affiliate links that support the ongoing operations of Craft Critique when you make purchases after clicking on them. Thanks!]

Han Solo Soap

Our soap of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite is made from a Melt & Pour Shaving Soap base from popular soap making supply site Brambleberry. While the base is excellent by itself, a few additives like vitamin e oil and bentonite clay make it even more nourishing and gentle on the skin. Continue Reading →

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Make A Chicken Wire Memo Board

Chicken wire is all the rage right now in home decor. It’s part of the vintage farmhouse decor trend. Especially popular are chicken wire memo boards.

Purchasing chicken wire memo boards in home decor stores can be very pricey, but the supplies needed to make one are extremely affordable:

  • Chicken wire (available at home improvement & garden centers)
  • Poster Frame
  • Wire cutters
  • Staple Gun

Not only is making a DIY version saving money, but it provides the chance to match the project to any decor. The possibilities for frame options are virtually limitless! The frame I am using is a very inexpensive faux barn wood frame from Michaels Stores.

Chicken Wire Memo Board assembly Continue Reading →

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A look at the Krylon 2016 Product Line

This year Krylon is introducing some fabulous new products for both indoor and outdoor home decor projects. They will still offer their traditional spray paints that we all know and love, but this year Krylon has added some fun new paints that allow crafters like me to be a bit more creative both indoors and out. The Krylon booth at a trade show I attended displayed some fun home decor project ideas.

The booth was created to look like a home with DIY home decor projects displayed booth inside the home and outside the home. When you first entered their booth, you were greeted by this creative display of DIY outdoor home decor projects that were done using various Krylon products.

The Krylon House

One of my favorite products is their textured spray paint line. The planters below are painted with the Krylon “Stone Coarse Texture” Spray Paint. I love how they make the planters “pop”.

Krylon Planters

The texture is hard to see in this picture, but it looks amazing in person. It feels like sand but with a slightly rougher texture.

Close up of the Planter decorated with Krylon Stone Coarse Texture Spray Paint

I found the best way to use the textured spray paint is to apply even coats and allow the piece to dry for around six to eight hours between coats. I found two to three coats gave me the best results. You may find that waiting for the paint to completely dry between coats (instead of just a few hours) will give you a much nicer result.

I used the textured paint to spray paint a plastic garden statue to make it look like metal. It worked really well for me.

Water cans painted with Krylon's Chalky Finish Spray Paint

Krylon is right on top of home decor trends in both their products and their color offerings. I have seen so many fun home decor projects on Pinterest featuring various chalky paints. I loved the DIY outdoor home decor watering can project displayed at the base of the garden that also does double duty displaying the house (booth number) address. It is a really fun outdoor home decor project that uses the Krylon “Chalky Finish” spray paint.

Being able to paint metal and get a similar “Chalky Paint” result is a real bonus and time saver for me. I am going to borrow the watering can idea and paint some of the planters that line the front of my house. I think I will also place some light-reflecting address numbers (which are easier to see at night) on them to make it easier for family and friends to find my house when they visit.

Outdoor Wicker Chair DIY Project by Krylon using the Colormaster Spray Paints.

If you have some outdoor furniture you want to give a face lift, then the Krylon “Colormaster Paint + Primer”series of spray paints is a great tool.

A close up of the finish on the Wicker chair painted with the Krylon Colormaster Spray Paint.

It adheres really well to a variety of materials and gives a nice opaque coverage. The wicker chair in the photo above was originally blue and was painted using the Krylon Colormaster paint. The Krylon Colormaster line is available in a wide selection of colors and is fairly easy to find in stores.

Wicker Baskets Painted with Krylon Spray Paint.

The Krylon Colormaster “Paint & Primer” line is perfect for use in indoor DIY home decor projects too. It adheres to a variety of materials, making it easy to use for accent colors in home decor projects. I have used this paint to cover a variety of objects in my home. I love how well the paint covers, and how it looks when used.

I have found that this paint can be layered to achieve a very opaque look. It depends on the base color. I have covered beige with only one coat but found dark blue to require a second coat to give full coverage.

The sprayer tip on this can is great. I found I did not have a sore finger after painting my project like I did with other spray paint products. Another thing that keeps me buying more cans of this paint is that I found I don’t have the worries of runs or drips with this paint.

This is wonderful paint to work with, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for use. Each paint has directions on the can, and you can also find more information on the Krylon website.

 

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7 Things I’ve Learned From Starting Soap Making

[Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links that support the continued operation of Craft Critique with a commission if readers make a purchase after clicking on them. Thanks for supporting this site!]

I’ve wanted to try making soap for quite awhile. About a week ago, I finally took the plunge and tried it! After making a couple of batches, I’ve learned a few lessons (some the hard way) and some tips about making melt and pour soap.

First Soap Batch

Watch a Video

Like with so many crafts, YouTube is your friend when it comes to learning to make soap.  Melt and pour soap, while not having the complications of handling chemicals that comes with cold processed soap, can still be tricky as you try to manage temperature and its quick setting properties. Before I ever tried to make a single bar of soap, I took what amounted to an immersion class in melt and pour soap making on YouTube by binge watching some of the best soap channels available. My favorites are Soap Queen, the channel run by popular online store Brambleberry, and Ariane Arsenault, a Canadian soap maker with an online store and a small shop on a tourist island off the Atlantic coast of Quebec. Watching a good number of episodes binge style was a great way to pick up a little tips that helped me deal with problems that came up during my first batches (or avoid them altogether). Continue Reading →

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Project | Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Butterfly

A few months ago, as part of the ongoing renovation of my craft studio, I made a Heidi Swapp Marquee Love monogram letter project for the new decor. The marquee monogram letter was a big hit with my 12 year old daughter. Since I am about to launch an overhaul of the decor in her room as well, I decided to make a Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Butterfly for her too!

For my studio I had gone with a vintage, antiqued look. But for my daughter’s room I wanted something fresher, and more fun. I chose the Heidi Swapp Marquee Butterfly that has been part of the spring collection available at Michaels Stores.

Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Butterfly project. Fun and easy decor for a kids room or a creative space.

To create this project, I paired the Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Butterfly with a Heidi Swapp 8×8 paper pad, pink glitter tape, white glitter tape, and a set of pink lights. Continue Reading →

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