Posts tagged ‘diy’

March 5, 2012

diy kitchen towels

I seem to hoard fabric. I see a print I love and I buy a metre before I even know what to do with it.

I have been storing this fabric for over a year now. Originally I bought it to make a quilt for the new baby (who is turning 1 very shortly) but never got around to using it for that purpose. When we cleaned our yellow couch and I began adding pops of yellow in our home decor I remembered I had this stuff and decided to pair it up with my left over terry cloth (originally purchased to make a million burp clothes when we were expecting our first…and I made a million burp clothes but I still have at least 4 metres of this stuff leftover).

February 16, 2012

diy topiaries

Now that valentine’s day is over, its time to revamp my mantel (again). This time I wanted to do something fresh and springlike, even though it’s still technically February and not yet “spring”.

I have always loved and wanted topiaries (both real and faux). I love them flanking a doorway, on mantels pretty much everywhere I see them but I have always hesitated because they are pretty expensive. Well, I came up with a $4 solution (for 2 of them, yes I said $4).

I headed over to Dollarama and picked up my supplies.

– styrofoam balls

-2 – 5′ lengths of wired fake ivy

– a bag of moss

– 2 small terracotta pots

February 10, 2012

Bear Hugs and Kisses – a toddler valentine’s treat

I love my kids going to a home daycare for several reasons but one of my favorite reasons is sending them with holiday treats for every holiday that seems to roll around. I always wanted an excuse to make cute little packets of goodies to give away (and a couple of birthday parties a year isn’t enough to squelch my need to make them).

I mostly try to make the goodies I give away edible, as a mom of 2 boys (under 3) I personally can only tolerate so many tiny trinket toys that just end up being slobbered on by my 10 month old (and that’s only if it’s not a choking hazard), so I would like to think an edible give-away is preferred by everyone.

So this is what I came up with for a valentine’s day treat for the kiddies at daycare.

bear hugs & kisses treat bags

I used zip close baggies I found in the valentine’s section of Dollarama, and filled them with teddy grahams and Hershey’s kisses. I then made my hand stamped labels (last years valentine’s dsp, curly label punch backed in pool party dsp) and of course, added some very cute baker’s twinein a pretty little bow.

I know the little tots at the boys daycare will love the treats, you can’t go wrong when you give a group of toddlers cookies and some chocolate.

February 6, 2012

paper heart wreath tutorial

As part of my valentine’s day decor, I made a heart-shaped wreath out of last year’s Stampin’ Up! valentine’s designer series paper. I bought the paper from the clearance rack and quickly started thinking of ways to use it. Pinterest seems to be my inspiration for most things these days, and of course the heart-shaped wreath was a pin I came across and I knew the wreath would look great in the dsp I had purchased.

I first cut strips of the paper out, 1 inch wide and about 5 inches long. With my score board I scored a line at 2.5 inches, for the bottom point of the heart. I then folded in the 2 ends to shape a heart and taped them together with a piece of scotch tape. I made 12 hearts ( I would use more if I were to make one for the door, this one was just a tad too small in scale).

I then placed them in a circle, making sure to vary the pattern and color of the paper hearts, and began taping them together with a little piece of tape. You’ll see where the tape should go once you create a circle shape out of the paper hearts.

I then placed a coordinating ribbon in between 2 hearts at the half way mark (I left 6 hearts in between the ribbon), making sure it was the right length to hang on the door (at the time). I adhered the ribbon with another piece of tape. I liked using the scotch tape because it’s essentially clear, without being shiny and its easier to use then messing around with a scrapbook tape roll. The wreath will fall into an oval shape naturally after you hang it up, unless you use a pretty stiff paper, in which case it might stay a circle.

Once done, I sat back and smiled on how simple, fast and pretty this valentine’s day wreath was to make. When it comes to crafts, I like quick and simple. I need the instant gratification of a pretty craft.

January 28, 2012

ombre kitchen art

I recently jumped on the ombre bandwagon and created myself some kitchen art with the effect. Just to clarify, “ombre” literally means graduation in French and refers to the dark to light fade of color. It seems most popular in hair coloring right now, but you can see the color fade effect in home decor, cake decorating, pretty much everywhere. If your really curious, just check out pinterest, it’s littered with images of wedding cakes, ruffled skirts, throw pillows….it goes on and on.

I started out with a 12×16 canvas that I picked up from Dollarama. I spelled out words with chipboard that I purchased from Stampin’ Up!‘s clearance rack and glued them down with regular craft glue. I admit I liked the look of just the plain chipboard letters on the canvas and thought about just leaving it at this stage but I pressed on.

I then pulled out my acrylic paint (yellow and white) and started from the bottom, painting the word EAT in white and moved my way up, each word got a squeeze more of yellow paint until I reached the top. Bon appetit was painted in just the straight yellow.

The chipboard absorbed quite a bit of the paint so I ended up doing 3 coats before moving onto the next word and I also had to touch up the canvas where my brush accidentally touched the canvas, but once dry you can’t see any of the touch ups from the floor looking up at the artwork (even though it seems apparent in the photos…oops).

It’s exactly what the kitchen needed to infuse a little more color and a great start to me introducing teal and yellow as accents on the main floor.

January 26, 2012

family message center

When I first came upon pinterest, like many newbies, I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed at the same time I hardly knew what to do with myself. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, fantastic diy ideas, home decor, great recipes, beautiful things in general. My mini mental vacation.

One of the first ideas I ever pinned was a diy dry erase message board made out of a picture frame. My jaw literally dropped at the simple idea of using the glass as the dry erase board. Why hadn’t I ever thought of that before? Well, that’s what pinterest is for. A place where great minds share great ideas.

So I went out to Dollarama, bought myself a black frame (for an 8×10 matted pic) and made myself a dry erase board.  I had originally backed it with some christmas themed scrapbook paper for the holidays and that’s the magic of a picture frame, you can change it as often as you like.

Once it was up I didn’t love the shape of the frame, in black next to the new paint color on the walls, so I sprayed it with an antique white spray paint. Instead of going for a 3rd coat I decided I liked the “antique” look of the black just showing through on the edges so I only did 3 coats. I then backed it with a natural canvas (from the scrapbook paper section in Michaels) and put it up.

I stood back and looked at it and it was still missing something. Inspired by a card (this years christmas card, cased from Heather Summers) I made myself some bunting out of leftover teal, and yellow scrapbook paper and my favorite Stampin’ Up product right now, Pool Party bakers twine. The pennants were punched out with my pennant punch and strung up. So pretty.

Thank you pinterest:)

January 23, 2012

another feathery friend

So along with my poultry art love, I have fallen in love with the ever so popular Owl. If you haven’t noticed, they are everywhere from nursery decor to mantels and we too have a couple in our home now.

One has been with us for a couple of years. I loved him instantly. It was given to us(actually our oldest son, when he was only a couple months old) when my husband’s beloved Aunt Ruth passed. It was a ceramic art piece (actually a piggy bank) she had made many many years before. He is just perfect and was the inspiration for the colors we chose for Spencer’s “big boy” room (bright blue with orange, brown and green accents).

When I saw Teal and Lime’s Ceremic Owl Makeover I said to myself ” I have to have one”. Being frugal like I am, I briefly entertained the thought of repurposing the owl in Spencer’s room, but it does have sentimental value (not that I am terribly sentimental, but still) so I nixed that idea. Besides, he would have been too small in scale for our mantel.

I kept my eyes peeled and after a fun afternoon at a flee market with some freinds I found “my owl”. He was hideous and actually quite scary but I remembered the quote “But I saw past his flaws to what he could be” from Teal and Lime’s post.

A few sprays from a can of antique white spray paint later, he’s fabulous and looks great on our mantel. Much better then the horrific emerald green glaze that he wore before. Its amazing what spray paint can do…or paint in general.


January 19, 2012

I heart my kitchen rooster

I am not sure when my obsession for chickens and roosters started but I’ve been fond of them for a long time…especially in kitchen decor.

If it wasn’t for my level-headed husband who quite often “pulls me back” in the decor area I am sure that my kitchen would be littered with statues, serving dishes, and pictures of my fine feathered friend. I will also admit I have romanticized the notion of having my own live collection of chickens, at my French countryside cottage….along with some goats and sheep.

I do try to sneak in some poultry decor items every once in a while, my white porcelain chicken & rooster salt and pepper shakers  are so cute and no matter the occasion they are always welcome to adorn my table. Prior to painting the house Driftwood Grey , I had painted picture of a few chickens and a rooster pecking at some grass in very Van Gogh style, but after the paint job the colors in the painting just didn’t flatter the paint on the wall.

While browsing Apartment Therapy one morning I found an article on kitchen art and came across my new love. Le Coq. He was perfect and I quickly thought of how I could recreate him.

I recreated him using cardstock, cutting out all the pieces and assembled them to make him the size I needed (poster sized). Instead of cutting out the white rectangular pieces for his chest I used an exacto knife and cut out the rectangular pieces out of the red cardstock. He turned out better than I thought and is a welcome addition to my kitchen.

I knew I didn’t want to back him onto just white paper, I envisioned a linen or some sort of textured fabric but in my laziness I never made it to the fabric store. So as an experiment I simply turned over the poster frame insert and to my delight it was the same shade as linen. He looked fantastic against the linen shade so I closed it up and my husband mounted him into the wall.

I am so happy with the end result and with the money saved. All in (supplies and poster frame, which I got on sale 55% off) I spent $25. A steal for a substantial piece of art for a kitchen.

December 19, 2011

Apple Cider Mulling Spices…in homemade teabags!

I recently rediscovered my love of apple cider. It’s funny how you can forget how much you truly enjoy something until you come across it again and it reignited your love of it. This is especially true of apple cider for me, I guess because it is a seasonal drink and ’tis the season’.

So I took my “apple cider love” as inspiration for another homemade gift. I decided to create apple cider mulling spices packets. I took a look online and on pinterest (I heart pinterest) for recipes and packaging ideas and came up with some tasty sounding recipes for the mulling spices but lacked any cute packaging ideas. Most recipes I found had the spices just loosely tossed into a container and you had to strain the cider once it was done cooking.

I decided to make apple cider “tea bags”. Each tea bag has 1/2 recipe of the required mulling spices for the recipe below and is easy to remove from the cider once it’s done. Leaving you with a yummy pot of goodness.

Stuff needed to make the individual mulling spice packets:

– cheese cloth tea bag

I sewed a 2.5″x3″ square, 2 ply, and left the top end open for filling. When filled, I sewed the end closed, folding  the opposite way, creating a triangular-shaped tea bag. I trimmed the excess edges off.

-12 cloves

-12 allspice berries

-1/2 ” piece of orange rind

-1 star anise

-1 cinnamon stick (broken in 1/2)

– 12 pink peppercorns

Once filled and closed, I loaded the spice packets into a decorative jar (8 packets/ jar fit nicely) that seals closed ,to preserve the freshness of the spices, and created a label card with the recipe for Apple Cranberry Cider.

Apple Cranberry Cider Recipe

2 mulling spice packets

4 cups apple juice

2 cups cranberry juice

simmer on med. heat for 30-45 minutes. Remove spice packets and serve. Enjoy!

The Apple Cranberry Cider is delicious, perfectly spicy and sweet and very pretty served with some fresh cranberries floating in the cup. Bonus: the intoxicating smell that fills your home while it simmers….to die for.

This is going to be wonderful to sip while watching the kids tear through gifts on christmas:)

Love & Thanks

December 14, 2011

yummy christmas smells…diy trivets

The christmas before my wedding (we got married on news years eve) I recieved the most useful handmade gift from a co-worker at my last job. Its a holiday scented trivet (cinnamon and cloves) and to this day I pull this baby out as soon as the weather gets crisp. I have a weakness for spicy christmas scents…anything with even a faint smell of cloves or cinnamon makes me melt.

So this year, as hostess gifts for some wonderful friends who host holiday parties, I decided to make some scented trivets with my left over Candy Cane Christmas fabric. I’ve really stretched this stuff out, not only making stockings but now 4 trivets…best deal ever.

I cut out an 8”x8” square (from both the candy cane christmas and the red fabric), put right sides together and sewed the 3 edges closed. I also finished the seams on the last edge, but left it open, for filling. I flipped the pocket inside out and sewed it into 3 compartments.

I filled my trivets with a spice mixture of whole cloves, crushed cinnamon sticks, dried orange rind and rice (approx. 4 tbsp spice mix with 1/2 c. rice). Once filled (I filled the pockets 3/4 full) I sewed the 2 seams closed.

The smell is amazing, and once you put a hot pot on it, the whole room fills with the devine smell of holiday spices. I hope my hostess friends enjoy them as much as I do, 3 years later I’m still using mine and I’ve kept one of the 4 I made for myself…teehee.