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Paint a Patriotic Flower Pot for the Porch!

I’m so excited to be sharing my patriotic flower pot project today to help kick off the annual Red, White & Blue series at Sugar Bee Crafts, which is being run as a sort of month long blog hop this year! I look forward to seeing what all the other talented bloggers who are taking part will contribute.

[Some links in this article are affiliate links which pay a commission if a purchase is made after a click. I am part of blogger programs at Cricut and Plaid, who each provided me some products used in this article.]

patriotic flower pot

Supplies Needed:

To start my patriotic flower pot, I used the white paint and a foam paintbrush to put two coats on the rim of the pot.

painting flower pot

While my white paint was drying, I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine to cut out five stars from Cricut stencil vinyl. I used the Cricut Design Space basic shape tool to do this, and sized the stars so they would fit nicely on the rim of the pot.

Once the paint was dry on the rim of my patriotic flower pot, I stuck down the stars, I used a tape measure to get them evenly spaced around the rim. I measured the rim, divided it by 5 to get the spacing. I then stuck down a star, and measured from the left side of it to get to the starting point for the next star. I made sure to rub the stars down really firmly, especially at the edges, to avoid paint seeping under the edge.

star masks on flower pot

The next step once the stars were in place was to paint over the white with the Apple Red paint. While I had only put the white on the exterior of the pot, I carried the red over the rim down a distance into the interior of the pot so that the pot would be red above the soil line. This detail helps make the pot look “finished” no matter what angle it is viewed from.

It took three coats of paint for me to get solid color coverage over the bright white color. Remember when brushing your paint on to brush out from the center of the star masks so you aren’t pushing paint under the edges of them! (If you do find paint under the masks when you remove them, the areas can be touched up with a small brush and the white paint.) Once the red paint was dry, I peeled off the star masks and my white stars were showing through the red paint!

To finish my patriotic flower pot, I used painter’s masking tape to tape around the bottom of the red rim of the pot. Then I painted the bottom of the flower pot in two coats of cobalt blue, and removed the painter’s tape.

patriotic flower pot

Once all of my paint was dry, I added a few cute annual flowers that I bought at the local garden center. My patriotic flower pot was ready to beautify the table on my back porch. Now, if only I can remember to water my poor flowers regularly!

Would you like to see more fun patriotic crafts? Visit the Red, White & Blue series at Sugar Bee Crafts, or my Easy Melt & Pour Patriotic Soap!

How to Mod Podge a Travel Shadow Box!

You take that vacation of a lifetime, take thousands of wonderful pictures, and then come back home to the real world. You dive into the hustle and bustle of real life, and those wonderful memories stay hidden away on your computer hard drive, only to be seen when they pop up randomly on your computer’s screen saver.

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Plaid, the maker of Mod Podge, but all opinions expressed are my own.]

It happens to all of us, right?

In January, I got the opportunity to do something that I’ve dreamed of for decades – go to Paris! I’d longed to go back as an adult and truly appreciate it, having been when I was in grade school and lacked appreciation for the city’s art treasures and history. I came home from my two days in the city with several thousand pictures, and a determination that they would not waste away in dusty obscurity in the nether regions of my computer.

Part one of that process is creating a shadow box of my trip, with a few highlight photos from those two days. But for a trip this special, it couldn’t be just any shadow box. So, with some help from Mod Podge, I turned a plain white shadow box into a fabulous custom piece that lives up to my vision of housing memories from my trip.

Paris Shadowbox with Mod Podge

Supplies Needed:

This shadow box started with a simple – and very modern style – white shadow box that I purchased for less than $10 at a craft chain store. It was the perfect size for the project I had in mind with my Paris pictures, but far from the right style. But a little Mod Podge and artisan paper I purchased from etsy fixed that right up!

White Shadowbox

The shadow box has a soft fabric covered back in it that is designed to be used with thumb tacks or pins to attach photos and memorabilia. I opted not to use that and instead I cut a 9×9 piece of my craft paper to use as a background. I did this first thing when I started working on this project, to make sure that I could cut it from exactly the area of pattern of the paper that I wanted.

Before beginning to work on my travel shadow box project, I took apart the shadow box completely, the same as if I was putting new contents into it, and then also removed the glass. This meant that I could work without having to worry about breaking the glass, or smudging or gluing it.

The paper I used for this decoupage project, from etsy artisan artanlei is a very heavy paper, more like a heavy gift wrap than the tissue weight that is typically sold as decoupage paper. This weight to the paper is important to being able to easily fit the fit these relatively complex pieces for the frame – creases hold where you put them and the paper holds up well to being handled and marked with pencil for cut lines. Choose your paper carefully to ensure success (and fewer headaches) on a project like this!

Using a ruler, scissors, a pencil, and other tools, I dry fitted pieces to cover the four sides of the frame.(Notice how the pieces are holding the creases for the frame’s corners? Those nice creases made it super easy to fit the pieces once I starting gluing!) My pieces wrap from the front of the frame, around the side, and onto the back.

Paris Shadowbox Decoupage Paper

To glue down my paper pieces to my shadow box, I reached for most crafters’ go-to for decoupage: Mod Podge Matte. It goes on smooth, and it dries fast – but not so fast that I can’t adjust the placement of pieces as I put them on. And most importantly, it dries clear and matte, meaning that it wouldn’t leave behind tell-tale shiny spots from accidental glue smudges and smears on my paper.

Since there wasn’t enough time for my brushes to dry between cleanings in doing my gluing steps, I chose to use foam brushes for this instead of my much-loved Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes. (Note to self: Get more decoupage brushes!)

Mod Podge Matte

I glued down the pieces for the sides of my box first, by putting Mod Podge on the box surface and the paper surface. I pressed the paper into place, starting by lining up the edge of the paper along the edge on the front by the glass and smoothing it towards the first crease, bending around the corner to the sides of the box and then finally to the back edge.  To make sure that I got nice smooth adhesion, I used a brayer to roll the pieces as I pressed them on each surface.

Tip: Be sure to get your Mod Podge all the way to the edges of the paper so that you won’t have to go back and tack down edges later!

Notice how the corners of these pieces are square, even though the finished front will appear that the paper pieces have angled corners? By leaving the pieces square on the first pieces that I laid down, I didn’t have to worry about cutting two angled pieces for each corner and making them match perfectly. I could just lay the second, angled piece, over the first piece and it would create the illusion of beautifully mitred corners!

Paris Shadowbox in progress

Once the glue was dry on the first pieces that I had glued down, then I repeated the decoupage process with the pieces for the bottom and top of the shadowbox. See my nice “mitred” corner?

Notice the nice placement of that phrase along the top, and how on the sides the text is going the same direction as on the top and bottom? That’s no accident! I carefully chose the areas of the paper that I cut each piece from so that it would create the look that I wanted for my box. The “de la Republique francaise” – which translates to “of the French Republic” – seemed the perfect title for the top of my box! The positioning of the graphic elements in the bottom right corner of the box was also deliberate as well.

Paris Shadowbox in progress

Here’s a close-up look at how my corners look with the overlap that creates the mitred look.

Paris Shadowbox corner close-up

The paper extends onto the back of the shadowbox. I didn’t bother to mitre the corners on the backside. The extension of the paper to the rear of the box is simply to avoid rough or unmatched edges where the box will meet the wall. Instead, there is a nice fold, and the paper stops on the back.

Paris Shadowbox reverse

Once the box itself was done, then I turned to its contents. First I printed some of my photos from my trip as 2″ by 3″ photos, with a small border on them, and then adhered them to the background paper using Mod Podge Paper and the largest of the Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes.

Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes

Next, I wanted to embellish my box. There wasn’t a lot of room left to work with but the box needed a little something more than just my photos. I had a set of Graphic 45 Cityscapes stamps that have some small Paris themed designs in them, but how to make them dimensional? Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes to the rescue!

Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes

I stamped several of the Cityscapes 2 images on natural colored cardstock with waterproof ink that is almost exactly the same color as part of the design on my decoupage paper that I bought from etsy. Then I used some of the smaller decoupage brushes to paint Mod Podge onto the back of some of the glass domes and pressed them onto place on top of the stamped designs. Once the Mod Podge was dry, I used a craft knife to cut around the edges of the glass domes to remove them from rest of the paper, and glued them in place (with more Mod Podge, of course) on the shadowbox’s photo layout.

Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Dome

Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes

I still needed a few more embellishments, though. See that Eiffel Tower in the close-up above? I just knew that I had to include it in this shadow box – and it’s Mod Podge too! It’s made from the Mod Melts system of colored meltable sticks that can be used in a hot glue gun or better yet a Mod Melter to fill silicone molds to create custom embellishments. For my Paris shadowbox project, of course, I just had to use the metallic pack that contained gold Mod Melts! I used several different Mod Melts molds for my shadowbox, including the Travel and Royal Icons pictured below.

When my Mod Melts were done, I adhered them to my shadowbox by using my Mod Melter like a hot glue gun, so the glue matched the objects that I was adhering.

Mod Melts

For the last touch, I wanted to put the title “PARIS” on my box. I used wooden letters and painted them with the new FolkArt Brushed Metal paint in Brushed Gold. The paint’s color and texture almost perfectly matches the Mod Melts that I made, as well as coordinating nicely with some of the highlight tones in the paper that I used. Once they were dry I attached them to the front of the box with Mod Podge Matte.

Paris Shadowbox embellishments

The last step was to reassemble the box and put the backer in it. I just laid the sheet of paper on top of the fabric back of the shadow box and it held fine when reassembled.
Paris Shadowbox

And now, for some exciting news! Tomorrow is Mod Podge’s 50th birthday! And to celebrate, Plaid will be doing an entire day of live streams, projects and giveaways starting at 10am eastern! Don’t miss it!

Oh, and if you love Mod Podge…be sure to stop by Craft Critique tomorrow as well…hint, hint! [Update: It’s a Giveaway!!!]

National Mod Podge Day

 

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?

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

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?

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.