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Tutorial: Sun Mosaic Wall Art

I love making wall art pieces – they are so fun to make, and they let you look at your art all the time when you display them! This sun mosaic wall art was made for the Buttons Galore booth at Creativation, but now has a permanent home in my home for me to enjoy.

[Disclaimer: My company, Nally Studios, is the social media & blog manager for Buttons Galore. I am also part of blogger programs for Cricut and Plaid, who provided some product used in this article. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking.]

Sun Mosaic Wall ARt

Supplies:

This project is somewhat time consuming, but none of the techniques are especially difficult. The most challenging part is doing the cutting with the jigsaw, but if you aren’t too intimidated by power tools and take your time, that is very manageable.

To start my sun, I needed to make a pattern to cut my wood with. I found a sun cut file in my Cricut Design Space software, and sized it to 17″ across. This is too large to cut out on the Cricut, of course, so I use the rectangle basic shape tool to cut the design into quarters. Then I cut each quarter of the design out, and taped them back together to make my pattern!

Once the pattern was assembled, I taped it in place on my plywood and drew around it with a pencil. I removed the template and set it aside to use again.

sun template

To cut the sun out, I worked from the points down towards the center of the sun for each cut. Then I used the jigsaw to round off the tip of each ray.

Cutting Out Wall Art Background

After all of the cutting was done I was left with a rough sun shape. I cleaned up the edges and smoothed out the shape by sanding it with various grits of sandpaper until I got it to the shape that I wanted and it was smooth.

Wood Sun Cut Out

I wanted to seal and cover up the bare wood despite the fact that it would mostly be covered by the button mosaic, so before I started putting buttons down I painted the surface and the sides with Plaid chalk pain in a nice mustard color. This way, if any of the surface shows through (and all of it will on the sides), it will be a color that coordinates with the design and it won’t look unfinished.

The next step was to draw pencil lines approximately down the center of each of the rays. Before I started putting down the buttons, I sorted the “Mango Madness” buttons to remove the darkest orange ones. Then, using these dark colored buttons, I started gluing buttons along the lines I had drawn, stopping where the rays met the center area of the sun.

Mosaic Sun Construction

Once I did the lines on the rays with the dark buttons, then I started on filling in around them with the lighter buttons from the Mango Madness color blend.

Mosaic Sun Construction

For some of the smaller areas near the points of the sun’s rays, I used flat back pearls from the Candy Corn embellishment bottle instead of buttons. When I was done filling in the rays with buttons I was left with this:

Mosaic Sun Construction

The next step was to use more of the dark orange buttons to create a small circle in the middle of the sun. After that was done, I began filling in around it with the rest of the mango buttons. I worked one small area at a time so that my buttons wouldn’t get pushed and moved too much while the glue was drying.

Mosaic Sun center construction

To make it look more finished, I added beads and sequins to my sun mosaic. I sorted the seed beads from the candy cane embellishment bottles by color before I started. Next I started putting dots of glue into the small open areas between buttons, and pushing beads into it as filler. The orange beads went into any opening that touched a dark orange button, and the lighter seed beads went into other openings.A few openings between buttons were big enough for flat back pearls so I used those.

I also added beads to fill in along the edges of the rays in the gaps between the buttons. I used my fingers to mold the beads into shape along the edge after pushing them into a bed of glue to hold them.

Button Mosaic Sun

I thought my sun needed a little more sparkle, so for a finishing touch I added some of the dark orange sequins on top of the darker buttons using Glossy Accents.

To hang this on the wall, I plan to use Command Hook picture hangers, which will remove any need for me to attach a hanger to the back of my wall art piece.

This same technique of creating a pattern and cutting it out with your jigsaw to create a button mosaic base could be applied to any shape that you can make with your Cricut…what shape would you like to make?

11

How To Sew Your Own Traveler’s Journal Cover

Traveler’s journals are hot right now, and they are perfect for creating mini scrapbooks while you are actually on your trip. But did you know that it is surprisingly easy to create your own cover that is themed to your trip? In only a few steps, you can learn how to sew your own traveler’s journal cover!

[Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links to Amazon.com that pay this site a commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase after clicking.]

How to sew your own traveler's journal cover

Since I was anticipating spending a few days in Paris as part of my trip to Creativeworld in Frankfurt, I decided to make myself a Paris themed journal to record this long-awaited trip. My traveler’s journal cover holds three Midori Traveler’s Notebook refills – just enough to have one for each day in Paris, and one for my time in Frankfurt at the show.

How To Sew Your Own Traveler's Journal Cover

You do not have to be an advanced skill sewist to learn how to sew your own traveler’s journal cover. There are no fancy techniques in this project. It’s about choosing the right materials and tools. If you can use an iron and an eyelet setter, and sew a straight line, you can make your own traveler’s journal cover for your next trip!

DIY Traveler’s Journal Supplies:

How To Sew Your Own Traveler’s Journal Cover:

1) To begin, cut your fabric and interfacing to sizes indicated in supply list.

I selected a Paris themed fabric for my journal, to fit my theme, and used the same fabric for the inside and outside of the journal. If you’d like to have different colors or patterns on the inside and outside of your journal, just cut each 10″ x 12″ fabric panel from different fabrics. This project is great for using up leftover fabric!

ByAnnie’s Soft & Stable, if you have never used it, is what is known as “headliner” fabric – an extremely thick sewable interfacing that is perfect for giving structure to projects like bags and totes. Using it adds a whole new level of professionalism to your sewing, and it makes a great shortcut to stiffen this traveler’s journal cover.

2) Following the package instructions, iron a piece of the Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Lite onto one side of each of the pieces of Soft & Stable. Center each of the pieces of Soft & Stable on top of the back side of a piece of the fabric with the Heat’n Bond side down, and iron to adhere.

3) You should now have two pieces of fabric with a piece of Soft & Stable adhered to the center of the back of them, with a half inch of fabric showing all around it.

4) Fold the corners of the seam allowance in diagonally and iron in place. Then fold over the sides and iron in place as well. (By folding the corners in first, this will leave you with nice clean mitred corners!)

5) After trimming it down slightly, iron the remaining sheet of Heat’n Bond Lite onto the back of one of the cover pieces. Then lay the other cover piece back to back with it, make sure they are correctly aligned, and iron to adhere them together with the Heat’n Bond.

6) Sew around the outside edge of the covers with a sewing machine, stitching approximately 1/8″ from the edge. If necessary, pin the two covers together to keep the edges aligned while sewing.

How to sew your own traveler's journal cover

Now you have the structure of a cover, but it needs attachments for the journal books. My finished cover looked like the photo above. It has two loops of elastic cord, anchored in different ways to hold the three journal books.

First, you need to create the eyelets that are the anchors of the whole cord system.

7) Using a tool like a CropADile or a leather punch, make two holes 5/32″ or slightly smaller that are centered 1/4″ in from the edge along the center fold of your traveler’s journal cover.

8) Place the 5/32″ two part eyelets in the holes and firmly set them using the Dritz 2 Part Eyelet Tool.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

9) Cut a piece of round elastic cord that is slightly more than twice the height of your traveler’s journal cover. Thread it snugly through the eyelet holes and knot it at the bottom of the outside of the cover’s spine. Snip off the excess cord and apply Dritz Fray Check to keep the ends from fraying.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

10) For the second cord, cut a piece of cord just slightly longer than the distance between the two eyelets. Fold the cord in half and holding both strands together, tie a half knot to create a loop. Trim the ends and apply Dritz Fray Check to secure them.

11) Thread the loop through the eyelet at the top of the traveler’s journal cover, leaving the knot on the outside of the cover. Pull the loop so that it lays underneath the elastic that is threaded through both eyelets. (See picture after #6 above for reference.)

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

12) Open a journal book to the center staples and slide it under the loop that goes through both eyelets. Close the journal book, capturing the elastic in the center page. This book is now your center of the three journal books.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

13) Insert the center page of a journal book through each of the elastics on either side of the center journal book.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

14) To keep your journal closed, cut a piece of round elastic cord that fits snugly around the closed journal and tie it. snip the ends and treat with Dritz Fray Check to protect from fraying.

Your journal is complete! I chose three blank books for my journal, but there are lined, graph, and plenty other types of Midori journal books available. Mix and match to create space for writing and drawing, or whatever else you can imagine!

Once you know how to sew your own traveler’s journal cover, it is easy! You won’t be able to stop making them! I’m already planning my next one!

0

Customize Your Mini Heidi Swapp Lightbox!

As soon as I saw the new Heidi Swapp Mini Lightbox, I knew I had to have one for my studio! I love the larger original Heidi Swapp Lightbox – my daughter has one in her room – but didn’t have the space for it in my jam packed craft room. The mini Lightbox is the perfect solution!

[Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you when a purchase is made after a click.]

Mini Heidi Swapp Lightbox

If you aren’t familiar yet with the Heidi Swapp Mini Lightbox, here’s a photo for comparison of how it looks next to the larger original Heidi Swapp Lightbox:

Heidi Swapp Lightbox Comparison

The mini box is about 2/3 of the height of the original box, and has four tracks instead of three. The smaller size is great for desks at work, tabletop displays at parties, and a variety of other applications where space is at a premium!

Like the original Lightbox, there are alphabets, words, emojis and backgrounds available for the Heidi Swapp Mini Lightbox. But see that word “Create” on my Mini Lightbox? That is a custom piece that I created!

Thanks to the availability of the Blank Mini Word Strips for the Mini Lightbox, it is easy to create your own words or design elements.

Heidi Swapp Mini Lightbox Blanks

To make this project, you just need:

The available design area on the Mini Lightbox Blank Word Strips is 1″ by 6″. To make a design, just open a file (or type a word) in your machine’s design software, and resize it to less than 1″ by 6″. Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cutting the vinyl, and use the transfer tape to adhere it to one of the blank word strips.

Die Cut Vinyl for Heidi Swapp Lightbox Words

By combining your die cut machine with blank word strips for Mini Lightbox, the possibilities are endless for designs! Make quotes, decorative elements like swirls, use different colors for words, or different fonts.

What do you want to make for your lightbox?

0

DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

We are continuing the dollar store holiday craft ideas this year with this quick and easy Thanksgiving place setting craft project! Our Thanksgiving place card holder project is easy to make and only requires a small amount of materials.
DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

Supplies purchased at dollar store:

  • 2 -Pumpkin décor pieces                 1.00
  • 2 scarecrows on a stick                     1.00
  • Bag of decorative die cut leaves      1.00
  • Stem of fall flowers and leaves        1.00
  • Mini chalkboard                                1.00

Supplies on hand:

  • Glue gun or A6000 glue
  • Scissors

DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

Step 1:

Cut the scarecrow stick down to 3 to 5 inches. The height you need will depend on the flowers you find at your local dollar store.

Step 2:

Remove the flowers and leaves from the stem.

step-3-diy-place-card-or-setting-tutorial

Step 3:

Using a glue gun or A6000 glue, adhere the flowers to the pumpkin. Make sure to leave a spot to add the chalkboard!

Step 4:

To finish, all you need to do is adhere the chalkboard to the pumpkins.

step-4-add-the-chalkboard

Tip:  If your pumpkin or squash does not stay up well on a flat surface, just glue a piece of wood to it. Below is a picture of one with wood, and one without the piece of wood on it. You can’t even see the little piece of wood I put on it, unless you tip it over a bit.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy dollar store project to make a Thanksgiving place setting! Let us know what fun projects you have created from your dollar store finds by leaving a comment below!

Easy Thanksgiving Layout with Falling Leaves

We all get nostalgic this time of year…so what better time of year to pull out some old photos and get them in your albums? For this easy Thanksgiving layout, I pulled out some 25 year old photos from the first Thanksgiving after my husband and I were engaged.

[Disclosure: Some product used in today’s layout was provided by Photo Play Paper at my request for this project, and I am the social media manager for Buttons Galore. Links in the supply list are courtesy links to partners or affiliate links that earn the site a small commission when a purchase is made after a reader clicks.]

Thanksgiving layout

Supplies:

[ACOT=acherryontop.com, Sb.com=scrapbook.com, BGM=buttonsgaloreandmore.com]

This easy Thanksgiving layout is created using a basic color blocked background and a few embellishments, most of which are from the Photo Play Paper “Falling Leaves” collection.

I used the bright orange block of pattern paper as an “anchor” on which to hang most of the other elements. Most of the rest of the layout is green and brown, so the paper adds a splash of traditional fall color to the layout, and it also provides some warmth that highlights the turkey in the bottom photo.

After I layered the patterned papers, then I next moved to adding on the photos. After that, I added the embellishments one at a time, working with the largest elements first.

Thanksgiving Layout title

The “gratitude changes everything” tag was created by cutting the tag out of patterned paper using a Sizzix die. The gratitude sentiment is a cut out from a sheet of 3″ x 4″ journal cards that are in collection. The card had to be trimmed down a bit to fit on the tag with a nice border on the sides.

Thanksgiving Layout Journaling

The “Happy Thanksgiving Day” element is a cardstock sticker that I adhered with foam dot adhesive to stand a bit off of the surface of the layout. This sticker forms a visual triangle with the leaf sticker at the top and the “autumn joy” label on the left side.

I had a lot of space left at the bottom to put my journaling in and the layout was in danger of feeling unbalanced. So to add my journaling, I used my computer to type up my journaling with large spacing between the lines. Then I trimmed it into strips, adding the date at the end in stickers to emphasize it and add a pop of the rusty orange.

Simple layouts like this easy Thanksgiving layout are a fast way to get those old pictures in albums. These weren’t the only pictures I had from this Thanksgiving. To see the layout I did with the rest of them with this same Photo Play Paper “Falling Leaves” collection, visit Scrapbook Update!

DIY Halloween Pumpkin Diorama Tutorial

DIY Halloween Pumpkin Diorama

I work on Dioramas at my local Renaissance Faire and thought it would be fun to create an easy DIY Halloween Pumpkin Diorama inside one of the Michaels Halloween Diorama Craft Pumpkins.  I used supplies from Michaels and the dollar store to make this project more budget friendly. (Bonus – it’s clearance time for the Halloween supplies at the craft stores right now – great for making last minute projects!)

Disclaimer: Plaid sent me a sample of their paints and some Mod Podge to test out so I decided to use it in this project. Thank you to the folks at Plaid for their generosity in sending me these supplies to use in my Halloween decorations.

Materials Needed:

  • Harvest Market – Craft Pumpkins (Michaels Craft Stores) in black or white
  • Battery Powered Flameless Tea Light Candle (Dollar Store)
  • Black Crow (Michaels)
  • Day of the Dead Bobbles (Dollar Store)
  • Wood Grave Markers
  • Fabric Leaves and flowers (dollar store)
  • Mini pumpkins (dollar store or Michaels)
  • Glittered pumpkins (dollar store )

Supplies Needed:

  • Folk Art Home Décor Chalk Paint in Rich Black
  • Folk Art Metallic Copper Acrylic Paint
  • Copper Glitter
  • Mod Podge or White glue (that dries clear)
  • Paint Brush
  • 1 “ Sponge Brush
  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Dots

Step 1:

Remove tags from the pumpkin and dust any particles off. Clean out the interior with moist cloth to remove any oils.

Halloween Pumpkin Diorama Blank

Halloween Pumpkin Diorama Blank

Step 2:

Using the Folk Art Metallic Copper Acrylic Paint, paint the interior of the pumpkin and then set it aside to dry.

Step 3:

Once the paint has dried, use the sponge brush to coat the interior of the pumpkin with the Mod Podge or white glue (that dries clear). Before it dries, coat it with copper colored glitter.

Step 4 (Optional):

If you cannot find a black pumpkin at Michaels, then use the black chalk paint to paint the outside of the pumpkin black. Set it aside to allow it to dry.

Step 5:

Paint the grave marker black with the chalk paint. Once it has dried, write a saying or draw a picture on it with some chalk.

Grave Markers - Step 5

Grave Markers – Step 5

Step 6:

Using a glue gun, adhere the leaves and crow to the top of the outside of the pumpkin.

Step 7:

Using the Glue Dots, adhere the bobbles and the grave markers to the interior of the pumpkin.

Step 8:

Turn the tea lights on and add to the pumpkin. Then fill in the empty space with the mini pumpkins.

Step 9 (Optional):

If you can’t find glittered mini pumpkins, just coat some mini pumpkins with Mod Podge or white glue and coat with some glitter. Allow to dry before using.

Step 10:

Finish the project by adding some glittered pumpkins to the interior of the diorama.

Interior of the Pumpkin Diorama

Interior of the Pumpkin Diorama

It’s not too late to decorate your porch for Halloween…this quick and easy Halloween diorama will make a great weekend project!

Fall Half Pumpkin Craft for a Fun DIY Door Project

DIY Half Pumpkin Fall Outdoor Decoration Tutorial

My family loves fall! We look forward to decorating indoors and outdoors using the beautiful rich warm fall tones of pumpkins, falls leaves, scarecrows, and other harvest themed items. Since we live in southern California, we do not have the change of seasons that many other areas enjoy. We have to create our own fall season decorations and decorate to make it feel more like the traditional image of fall. Planning craft projects like this fall half pumpkin craft with the beautiful colors of leaves as they change from green to brown is always fun, but we have to purchase ours at the craft stores (there is a lack of trees in my area of the city) to decorate with.

Fall Flowers and Leaves

Each year we look forward to crafting in the fall as a family. We plan and work together to make easy pumpkin themed decorations for our home. Usually we shop at the dollar store to keep within our budget but when my local Michaels store put their half pumpkins on sale for 60% off, we realized we could have some fun crafting with those too. We picked up a few, and this is the project I created with mine.

Michaels Stores Half Pumpkins

Michaels Stores Half Pumpkins

**Disclaimer: Deco Foil sent me a sample of their foils and one of their adhesive pens to test out so I decided to use it in this project. My thanks to the folks at Deco Foil for their generosity in sending me these supplies to use. Some links below may be affiliate links that support the operation of this site by paying a commission when you make a purchase.

Materials Needed:

Deco Foil Adhesive Pens and Foils

Step 1:

Remove tags from the pumpkin and clean it off. Then, using the pencil, either freehand or use a stencil to write your greeting across the front of the pumpkin. (I like using a pencil because I can erase my work and do it over if I do not like it.)

Start by writing your message in pencil.

Start by writing your message in pencil.

Step 2:

Using the Déco Foil Adhesive Pen, trace over your lettering. Allow the adhesive to dry for 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

Step 3:

Apply the Déco Foil Transfer Sheet onto the adhesive. Using your fingers burnish the foil onto the adhesive. Press firmly to allow it to transfer. (Tip: You can see below what happened when I did not burnish it enough. To fix it, I just put another piece of the foil over it and burnished it again.)

Step 3 - using the foils

Step 4:

I like using glue dots with foils because they are an easy way to add accents to projects. To use them, just take the glue dots and adhere them to the pumpkin. You can create a pattern or place them wherever you like. If your glue dot doesn’t stick well, just remove it and try again with another one.

Step 5:

Apply the Déco Foil Transfer Sheet onto the adhesive. Press firmly and burnish it with your fingers to allow it to transfer fully. If you find any empty spots, just cover the dot with a different piece of the Déco Foil and burnish it gently onto the spot. Do not burnish the foil as hard as the first time because it may create a cracked effect on the dot (unless that is something you are trying to achieve).

Use glue dots with the foil to add accents to your projects.

Step 6:

Using a glue gun, adhere the leaves and flowers to the top of the pumpkin. Once you are happy with the arrangement, hang up the fall half pumpkin craft.

 How do you decorate for the fall? Do you go scary Halloween or more autumn seasonal?

Leave a comment below and let us know!