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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?

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Tutorial: Heart Chicken Wire Memo Board

Today, I’m excited to be sharing the first of two tutorials for projects that I made that were on display at the Creativation show last month in the Buttons Galore booth. This heart chicken wire memo board was so fun to make, and I so enjoyed sharing it with so many people at the show!

[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.]

How to Make A Heart Chicken Wire Memo Board

Chicken wire is so hot for home decor, but using it doesn’t mean you have to create a design that is “farmhouse” looking. This bright, colorful heart chicken wire memo board will fit right in when it is hung up in my teenage daughter’s bright pink bedroom, and will be a great place to hang cards and pictures.

Supplies Needed:

This chicken wire memo board project is entirely made from scratch, cut from a sheet of plywood. The great thing about doing it that way is that it can be made to exactly the size that will work for the space that you have! (My heart is about 17″ high.)

To start this project, I needed a template to work from. If you have a steady hand, you could hand draw your cutting outlines on the plywood, but I prefer working with a template. To create my template, I used the basic shape tool in my Cricut Design Space Software to draw two hearts and merged them. Then, since my template was larger than the cut area on my Cricut, I used the rectangle tool to slice my heart into sections. Then I cut out all of the pieces and taped them back together to make my template!

heart template

After I made my template, I used it to trace an outline on my sheet of plywood. Then I cut out the heart outline with my jigsaw. To cut out the inside of the heart, I drilled a hole first with my largest drill bit. That gave me a place to insert my jigsaw blade as a starting point, and then I worked my way along the inside of the outline.

The 1/4″ plywood is surprisingly easy to cut and a heart is just gentle curves and straight lines – don’t be intimidated! (Don’t forget your safety glasses!)

Once the shape was cut out, I cleaned up the edges and the surface with sandpaper. Then I painted it with a beautiful shade of pink called “Vintage Victorian” from the Plaid FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint line.

buttons on heart memo board

After the paint was dry, I started on the button collage. It’s time consuming to do a collage like this, kind of like doing a jigsaw puzzle that you don’t have a picture for, but I find it kind of zen and relaxing. Having the background be painted is a little cheat – it gives room for error and allows the project to still look right if an area of buttons doesn’t quite fit together correctly. Working in short sections and then letting the glue dry before going further is best to minimize the risk of inadvertently shifting buttons out of position while you work.

Let the front dry completely before starting to work on attaching the chicken wire, to make sure everything is secure!

chicken wire

The chicken wire is a bit stabby to work with but if you are careful it’s possible to get it applied without too much trouble. The most important thing in this step to getting a nice finished piece is making sure that the chicken wire is pulled nice and flat and tight.

I started by cutting a piece of chicken wire that was just a bit larger than my heart. Then I worked in small sections attaching it to the back with hot glue, and pressing masking tape down over the hot glue immediately. (Thanks to Teryn at Vintage Romance Style for the no staple technique!)

Once I did one area, I went across to the opposite side and pulled the wire tight and did that area. Then I picked another spot and went opposite it. I worked my way around the whole heart by going back and forth.

applying chicken wire to frame

After all the glue was dry and cool, then I clipped off as much as I could of the wire pieces that were hanging out, leaving one loop of wire at the top of each curve of the heart to attach a hanger to.

I could have stopped there on my chicken wire memo board, and just attached a hanger, but my perfectionist side wasn’t happy with the messy looking back and wanted to make it look a bit prettier. So I got out a roll of Duck Tape I had on hand (conveniently in pink that matched my project). Laid down in short sections on the back of the heart, it both covered the masking tape & hot glue mess and sealed in stray ends of wire that could poke.

applying duct tape

For the final touch, I cut a piece of ribbon from the 28 Lilac Lane kit to use as a hanger and looped it around the wire I had left exposed. A drop of hot glue adhered the ribbon loops in place.

This same technique can be applied to any shape or size chicken wire memo board….just draw or create a template for the design that you want! What shape do you want to make?

how to make a chicken wire memo board

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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?

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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 →

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.

 

Decor | Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Letter

I’ve been engaged in a massive makeover of my craft room in 2015, and that includes all of the room’s decor. That means I’ve had an excuse to make a lot of fun projects to decorate my walls and shelves!

One of the things I wanted to add to my room was some personalization, like monograms to the decor. A Heidi Swapp Marquee Love letter was the perfect solution!

Heidi Swapp Marquee Letter home decor project in progress

The first step of the project was that I used Martha Stewart Crafts Pearl Paint to paint the inside edge of the letter that would show. I extended the paint into the front and sides of the letter, so none of the white would show if my covering in those areas wasn’t aligned properly. Continue Reading →

Make A Travel Shadow Box with Graphic 45 Artisan Style!

I’ve been doing a lot of travel this year for work that has taken me to new places. The result has been (virtual) stacks of photos that I really want to do something with to remember all of the exciting places that I have been. Albums are great, but sometimes it is nice to have the memories out where you can enjoy them everyday. I decided to make a home for some of my favorite San Francisco memories in a Graphic 45 shadow box!

Shadow Box Graphic 45 Artisan StyleAs soon as I saw the recent Graphic 45 Artisan Style collection, I just knew it was perfect for my San Francisco photos. I had taken some Instagram photos I was especially proud of on the trip. The vintage filters and warm colors in the photos matched beautifully with the Artisan Style collection!  Continue Reading →