Need a quick gift using scrap wood? A Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder is an easy and fun gift to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. Best of all, the kids can help with the painting step!

create_art_block_holders_sm

Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder

Mother’s Day is this coming weekend! Have you decided how to show her your appreciation and love?! I did! My mother is a professional artist. She creates amazing paintings that inspire others and brightens their homes. For Mother’s Day I wanted to brighten her studio with these art utensil holders. I call them “Creative Blocks.”

Go ahead and raid your scrap pile and join us as we make these colorful and fun Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holders.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials_wood_blocks_sm

Instructions:

1. Block assembly: Select two 2×4″ scraps cut to the same length. Spread glue on one board and sandwich them together.

glue_blocks_together_sm

Clamp the wood together and drill two small holes to countersink the heads of the screws. Drive two screws into the bottom of the wood to hold the pieces together.

drill_blocks_together_sm

Use a band saw, jigsaw, or table saw to trim off the rounded edges of the wood so you have a square block of wood with straight corners.

square_off_2x4s_bandsaw_sm

Putty any cracks or holes. Sand until smooth.

putty_and_sand_blocks_sm

2. Creating the mask:

If you have a craft cutter (Silhouette or Cricut) you can create a mask in vinyl easily. But, if you don’t you can use the computer to print out your words. Lay the print out on top of a strip of Painter’s Tape. Use a few pieces of tape to secure the corners.

create_art_printout

Trace around the words with the X-acto knife (be sure to have a few fresh blades on hand.) Transfer the resulting cut-out tape onto the block of wood. Press the edges of the tape mask to secure the tape.

add_scotch_blue_tape_letters

3. Painting the block: Paint a base color onto the block. Then use a brush and/or palette knife to dab thick paint over the block (minus the base.) Use the X-acto knife to gently peel off the tape mask. Let the paint dry thoroughly overnight.

lift_tape_up

4. Drilling Holes:  After the paint has dried completely, mark the location of the utensil holes with a pencil. Put a piece of painter’s tape on the drill bit to mark the depth of your holes. Clamp the block and drill holes at each pencil mark.

drill_holes

Dump sawdust out of the holes.

Wrap up the blocks in gift wrap and enjoy the look of joy as your Mom opens her Creative Block Mother’s Day gift!

create_pencil_holder_sm

art_brush_holder

You know, as an artist myself, I almost loved these too much to give them away. But, my Mom is worth it. (And I can make another set if I want ;-).)

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For more last-minute Mother’s Day gift ideas and many other creative projects, check out the Gift Ideas section here on the blog.

PHGFancySignIf you liked this project, you’ll love these floating picture frames using more 2×4 scrap wood.

wood-block-picture-frames

Make It May! A Stay at Home Series

My friends, I know with confidence that COVID-19 has changed your life. I truly hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this scary outbreak. While my entire family is home with me 24/7, I’ve been keeping busy with home and garden projects. All while also trying to keep up with cooking and caring for my family. But, I’m also trying to carve out time for myself to keep me sane. Personally, I know a little sunshine, sweat, and creativity will get me through this ordeal. Although I can get outside, I know many of you still have to work or don’t have the ability to get outside. Please share how you’re staying sane in this insane time! Specifically, what are you doing to “Make It” through?

With the goal of helping us all “Make It” through May, I’m going to be sharing some hand-picked tutorials with you that I know you can make while staying home and with limited supplies.

From Monday – Friday look for one “Make It May” project a day. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to subscribe to my email list to get each project delivered to your email. (Did you know if you subscribe to my email list you can simply reply to any email to chat with me? You can ask me questions, tell me how your project turned out, or just say Hi!)

This morning’s Make It May project was the recipe for making your own laundry detergent. You may wonder why anyone would want to make detergent when you can buy it at the store? I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for nine years now and one batch lasts us 6-9 months.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

We just ran out last week and luckily I didn’t have to “run out” to the store to buy more. Plus, did I mention the detergent I make costs us $1.25 per year? It’s true! If you missed that tutorial this morning, here it is again.

Next week I’ll be bringing you five tutorials you can make for yourself, make with the kids, or make as a last-minute Mother’s Day gift! I can’t wait to share all 21 projects with you!

Once the projects publish you can see All the Make It May Projects Here!

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to subscribe below.



With the world looking at impending quarantine and school closures, I bet you’re wondering how you’ll keep boredom at bay. Have no fear, I’m here to share a bunch of DIY art and craft ideas you can do with (or without) children. I hope some of these projects brighten your day. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these craft projects.

25+ Art & Craft Boredom Busters

25+ Art & Craft Boredom Busters to Keep You Entertained During Quarantine

If you’re on a quest to keep the kids entertained, I have more than 25 Boredom Buster DIY art and craft projects for you and your kids. This list should give you something to do over the next few weeks. Just a note that you may not have all the materials for these craft projects, but I urge you to think creatively about what you do have on hand and what you can substitute. If you find good substitutes, please share them in the comment section. Thanks and stay safe everyone.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Painting with Alcohol Inks has easily become my favorite mindless craft project. You don’t have to worry about perfection, just blow your stress away with this art.

 

DIY Leather Word Bracelet

I had a blast making these bracelets with my nieces. With some assistance, even little kids can make their own DIY Leather Word Bracelet.

 

Thumbprint Pillow | Pretty Handy Girl

Have some leftover plain fabric? Consider making beautiful Kids’ Thumbprint Envelope Pillows to keep or gift to someone special.

 

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s another sewing project sure to please the kids that love their stuffed animals. Let your child design their own Monster Dolls and then sew it.

 

diy sewing projects to help you learn to sew pinterest image

Speaking of sewing, if you’re trying to skip over these sewing crafts because you don’t know how to sew. I have 25 DIY Sewing Projects to Help You Learn to Sew.

 

cooling_crayon_hearts

Oh, what to do with all those broken crayons? Wait, don’t pitch them! Why not make Melted Heart Crayons and then use them after they cool to make fun and colorful designs?

 

Cute Sock Snowmen | Pretty Handy Girl

Have a bin of single socks? Time to use up those solos and make cute sock snowmen! My mom came up with this project and I love how adorable her snowmen turned out.

 

Sunprints | Pretty Handy Girl

This was one of my favorite art projects involving nature. Take the kids for a hike in the woods and collect items to make Sunprints.

 

close_up_pounded_flower_vase

While you’re on that hike in the woods, look for some blooming flowers to make Pounded Flower Art Paper.

 

how to make glass bead magnets horizontal photo

I still use these Glass Bead Magnets on our fridge. The best thing is they are so easy to make and the kids will love choosing their own pictures to use.

 

If you liked the Glass Bead Magnets, you might like this upcycled bottlecap flower magnet craft. Add photos of the kids or other images inside the flowers.

 

Make a Summer Garden Flag from a Dollar Store Placemat | Pretty Handy Girl

With summer just a season away, why not make a colorful Summer Garden Flag using a placemat (or leftover fabric.)

 

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

If you liked the summer garden flag, you might really like this state pride garden flag.

 

Sea Shell Memory Game | Pretty Handy Girl

Learn how you can make your own Sea Shell Memory Game with the kids and then let them play the game. This is an easy craft you can make using almost anything you have lying around if you don’t have seashells. Use bottle caps, or just cardstock paper.

 

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

This DIY Dragonfly from a Whisk and Skewer was a fun craft project to make with my friend’s kids. All it took was a skewer and a whisk.

 

block print tea towel

Have some plain pieces of fabric or tea towels lying around? Why not make Potato Block Prints to decorate plain tea towels or cover stained ones.

 

Easy_washi_tape_vases

If you have washi tape and a full recycling bin, you have at least an hour worth of time spent making these Easy Washi Tape Vases.

 

It's inevitable your little ones will get bump or bruise. Make them a Boo-Boo Bear to sweeten those tough times by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Little ones always seem to get bumps and bruises. This adorable Boo Boo Bear Ice and Heat Pack is a cute project you can make with your kids (and they can be comforted by it after their next fall.)

 

how to make a yardstick star

 If you have some extra yard sticks (or scrap lathe wood), you can make these stylish DIY Yardstick Stars.

 

Spring is here and this is the perfect opportunity to dress up a plain wreath you have lying in storage. All you need is some scrapbook paper and buttons to create this one-of-a-kind Spring Paper Flower and Button Wreath.

 

Spray-Dyed T-shirts | Pretty Handy Girl

This was a really fun project I created with the kids one summer. If you don’t have plain shirts or RIT dye, use fabric and watered down acrylic paint. Anything goes with this fun Spray-Dyed Shirts craft project. Best of all, you can get the kids outside (to keep the mess to a minimum.)

 

boy_playing_indoor_hopscotch

The weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor activities today? Why not create this temporary Indoor Hopscotch with Painter’s Tape.

 

wine_cork_reindeer

Sure the holidays are months away, but you can still make fun little Wine Cork Deer or other animals using this simple tutorial.

 

create_art_block_holders_sm

Want to get creative and make a storage solution at the same time? If so, you’ll love these creative block pen, pencil, or paintbrush storage blocks. The block construction is probably better left to an adult but the kids can safely decorate these blocks.

 

finished_shirt_first_image

Have a plain (or stained) shirt laying around? Why not let the kids go to town making Doodle Shirts.

 

PrettyHandyGirl_music_Votives_on_shelf

One of my favorite crafts that takes almost no effort are these Decorative Glass Jar Votives made with recycled jars and scrap paper and tissue paper. But, you can decorate them with anything you have on hand thin enough to be seen through.

 

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Still have some leftover jars? Why not paint them with chalk paint and add some fresh flowers to cheer up your day (or a friend’s day.)

 

Magnetic Mailbox Cover | Pretty Handy Girl

Mailbox looking a little dull? If you have car magnet material, you can make this Custom Painted Magnetic Mailbox Covers.

Still looking for more things to do? Why not organize those craft supplies with one or more of these Creative Art Supply Storage Solutions.

Do you have some great boredom buster ideas to share? Please share them in the comments below. I know we could all use some good ideas to keep busy over the next few weeks.

PHGFancySign

Share this post by pinning or sharing it on social media to help others keep their sanity during a quarantine event.

25+ Art & Craft Boredom Busters

 

Can you think of anything more spring-like than a nest full of blue eggs? Today I want to show you how to make Faux Blue Speckled Bird Eggs and a Nest!

Faux Blue Bird Eggs and Nest

Spring has arrived in North Carolina and I want to dance and sing and tiptoe through the tulips. Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it is the perfect time to start decorating for Easter! A nest of Blue Speckled Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece! Mother Robin sure does create beautiful blue eggs, but we’d never think of disturbing those precious eggs.

Instead, I’ll show you how to turn regular chicken eggs…

…into a beautiful nest of blue speckled eggs to decorate for Easter or Spring.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

It’s time to get messy. Put down a drop cloth or tarp to cover your work area (and beyond.) First, I’ll show you a magic trick! Learn how to remove the white and yolk out of eggs without breaking the shell. Rest an egg inside the empty carton. Gently tap a nail into the top of your egg.

Turn the egg upside down and put another hole into the other side. Typically you’ll need one hole slightly larger.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Pucker up and blow through the smaller hole until the egg white and yolk drain out the larger bottom hole. (Of course, you’ll probably want to save the eggs for omelets or scrambled eggs.)

Once you have emptied your eggs, clean them off. Then close your egg carton and flip it upside down to create a raised support for your eggs.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Gather your blue, black, and white acrylic paints. Paint the egg a robin’s egg blue color and allow them to dry.

Put on rubber gloves. Pour a small amount of black acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Add a little water to create a runny consistency. Dip the toothbrush into the paint mixture. Aim the toothbrush at the eggs and stroke your finger along the bristles to spatter black dots all over the eggs.

Allow the black speckles to dry and repeat the process using the white paint.

While the eggs are drying, pull out your pasta maker. (Am I the only one who never uses my pasta maker for making pasta?) Cut the paper bag into sections wide enough to fit into the pasta maker.

Feed the paper bag through the pasta maker to shred it. (You can shred the bag with a paper shredder or scissors if you don’t have a pasta maker.) Arrange the shreds into a nest form in a bowl, urn, or basket.

Set your faux blue bird eggs into the nest and admire your beautiful Spring décor!

This centerpiece can be left out until you are tired of looking at it. Then store the eggs in the carton and bring them out again next year.

 

Have a great week! I hope the weather is warming up where you are!

 

Pin for later!

This DIY nest of Blue Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter decor! | DIY Easter table centerpiece | Pretty Handy Girl #prettyhandygirl #easterdecor #tablecenterpiece

Want to give something the look of zinc metal without spending money on zinc metal? You can create the look with spray paint and this technique.

How to Create a Faux Zinc Texture (with Spray Paint)

A while ago I was thrifting with a few friends and stumbled across an ugly cabinet at our local Goodwill. The metal chest had extra wide and deep storage, but the worst colors imaginable! The hot pink and mint green were disguising the true potential of the chest. Like a color-blind dog, I was able to see beyond its garish appearance. In my mind, I pictured a vintage metal cabinet with a faux zinc side and chalkboard drawer fronts.

I scooped it up and brought it home. Then the poor chest sat in our garage for months and months until I had a chance to work a little spray paint magic and turned it into….this thing of beauty:

Yes, that is the same chest of drawers! You could do the same transformation. Let’s learn How to Create a Faux Zinc Texture!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Clean off your furniture piece really well. Remove any dirt or debris (I actually had to use a little Goo Gone to get rid of some sticky residue. But, lemon essential oil will also work for this task.)

Spray paint your object with automotive primer. (I prefer the automotive primer because it sticks to metal and can withstand a lot of abuse.)

Let the primer dry.

Adding a Faux Zinc Texture:

This is the most exciting part of the tutorial. I created this technique by trial and error and I’m excited by how well this method works for creating a faux zinc texture.

Getting a faux zinc texture is really easy. Just have some gloves on and use a crumpled up piece of craft paper. (A loose crumple works best.)

Spray paint your object with a thick coat of the hammered silver spray paint, (but not so thick that it runs). Let the paint get tacky by waiting a few seconds.

Then use the crumpled piece of craft paper to blot into the wet paint.

Work in small 1 foot sections and pounce the paper a few times. (Too much pouncing and you’ll lose the large textured pattern.)

Let the paint dry thoroughly. Then enjoy your beautiful faux zinc paint job!

Chalkboard Painted Metal Drawers:

For my cabinet, I chose to paint the drawer fronts with chalkboard paint for a nice contrast.

Remove the drawers from the chest. Tape over the drawer glides and slides. Mask off the drawer sides and insides by covering the drawers with tape and craft paper, leaving only the drawer fronts exposed.

Spray paint the drawers with chalkboard paint. (Use three fine coats of paint instead of one or two heavy coats.) Set them aside to dry.

Insert the chalkboard drawers back into the cabinet frame.

Add chalkboard art to your drawer fronts.

The thrifted cabinet has a wonderful texture now and the black and zinc colors work with any color scheme.

The chalkboard drawer fronts allow the flexibility for me to store and label other items inside.

I’m so thrilled with the results! I hope you try to transform your own object, now that you know how to Create a Faux Zinc Texture.

If you use this tutorial, I’d love to hear about it. Better yet, will you send me a picture?

Share this with a friend! Pin this image:

How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkinHow to Fake a Fake Pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean—get real—everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and fool your friends.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with Chalk Paint (use gray, white, green and blue paint.) Allow the pumpkins to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins:

It helps to look up some pictures of real pumpkins to refer to.

pure-white-country-grey

Using the stencil brush, paint a mixture of grey and white on one of the pumpkins.

paint-white-mixture

Before the paint dries, dab some of it off with the sea sponge. (Keep your sea sponge dry, not wet during the process.)

sponge-off-white

Dip the stencil brush into the white paint and add paint on the outer most bumps on the pumpkins. This is adding highlights.

highlights_on-white-pumpkin

Dab the highlights gently with the sea sponge to blend.

sponge-off-white-2

Use the fan brush dipped in a small amount of green paint inside the pumpkin ridges. Dab the ridges with the sea sponge to blend.

white-gourd-pumpkin

Have you ever seen a truly unblemished pumpkin? I think not. It’s time to add some spots or marks on the pumpkin to truly fool your friends. Dip the end of the paint brush into brown paint and dot it onto the pumpkin. Blot the spot with a sea sponge and maybe even transfer a few new spots with the sponge.

add-blemishes

Paint grey around the base of the stem and into the grooves with the round paint brush.

add-dark-depth-around-stem

Paint brown and green paint onto the pumpkin stem. Blend slightly with the sea sponge.

paint-sponge-stem

Can you spot my fake white pumpkin? Well, of course you can because I just showed you how to paint it. But, it will definitely fool your friends!

grouping_left_pumpkins

Painting Realistic Blue Pumpkins:

Painting blue pumpkins uses the same technique as painting the white pumpkins, only using a few different colors.

Use the stencil brush to paint blue onto another pumpkin. Dab the blue paint while it’s still wet with the sea sponge.

add-duck-egg-blue-sponge

Use the fan brush dipped in gray and brown craft paint to fill in the ridges.

darken-crevices

Dab the paint with the dry sea sponge to blend.

sponge-crevices

Add some highlights with a mixture of grey and white. This serves two purposes. 1) It adds dimension. 2) It tones down the excess blue on the pumpkin.

add-highlights

Paint the stem the same way you learned above.

To truly fool people, set up your fake pumpkins with some real pumpkins and real gourds. Sooo, can you spot the fakes?

guess-the-fakes

How many did you get right? The metallic gourd is simply spray-painted with copper spray paint. But, I did try my hand at faking a green and yellow gourd using the same technique as the pumpkins, but adding green to the top and yellow to the bottom.

the_fakes

Okay, I’ll give you a second shot. Guess the fakes:

vertical-fall-vignette

How did you do this time? Ha, you can now apply for a job as an art forgery detective ;-).

truth_fake_gourds
Now seriously, how many people will be viewing your pumpkins that close? Umm, next to no one. Normally they’ll view them from afar.

full-living-room-shot

Get your paints and palette out and go fake some fakes! It will be our little secret.

fall-vignette-grouping

PHGFancySignDid you like this painting post? Ahhh, then I know you’ll like this Ballard Pear painting tutorial:

Or if you’re feeling like taking on a larger scale project…how about Faux painted bricks!

Or perhaps you’d like to perform some faux zinc painting magic:

You can do it! I know you can.

DIY Leather Word Bracelet

DIY Leather Word Bracelets

With Valentine’s looming just around the corner, I’m sure you are looking for a fun DIY project to make for a friend. Or perhaps you participate in the challenge to choose one word for the year. Either way, this is the jewelry making tutorial for you! Why not embellish a leather bracelet with a word, a name, or be rebellious and add a date to your band? It’s easy and fun to make these DIY Leather Word Bracelets. Ready to learn how?

golden tan and dark tan leather bracelets with "creative", "hope", and "determined" stamped on them.

A big thank you to Arrow Fastener for sponsoring this tutorial. To be truthful, I’ve never owned a rivet tool before, but after making these bracelets I’m hooked! Not only is a rivet tool perfect for making leather jewelry, but it’s also great for gutter repairs, home decor projects, and more!  To make these bracelets you’ll want to invest in an Arrow Rivet Tool.

Materials:

tools for making stamped leather bracelets

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

  • Arrow Rivet Tool RH-200S
  • Leather Band
  • 1/8″ x 1/8″ Rivets
  • Safety Glasses
  • Ruler
  • X-acto Knife (or Scissors)
  • Cutting Surface
  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Needle-nosed Pliers
  • Jewelry Clasps
  • Scrap of Wood
  • Metal Leather Stamps
  • Paintbrushes (small and large)
  • Water
  • Enamel or Acrylic Paint

How to Make DIY Leather Word Bracelets:

Grab your coffee and watch this three minute video to learn how to make a stamped leather bracelet. Or keep reading for the step-by-step tutorial.

Instructions for Constructing the Leather Bracelet:

Step 1. Cut your leather into strips or bands approximately 1/2″ wide. (If you purchased pre-cut leather strips, skip this step.) Using a sharp x-acto knife, and a ruler as a guide, make several passes with your knife until the blade cuts through the leather.

cut leather strip

Step 2. Taper one end of your band by cutting off the corners.

cut end tapered

Step 3. Position your leather band on a scrap piece of wood. Using your awl, poke a hole into the leather band at the tapered end. Hammer the awl until it punctures the leather.

puncture first hole into leather band

Fold over the tapered end and poke the awl through the first hole and into the band again as shown below. Use the hammer to strike the awl and punch the second hole.

puncture second hole into leather band

Step 4. Feed your jewelry clasp through the tapered end.

insert clasp into leather band

Step 5. Insert the short end of the rivet through the two holes. If the rivet won’t fit, try widening the holes by working the awl through the holes.

puncture second hole into leather band

You can also try using pliers to help squeeze the leather over the rivet.

squeeze band over rivet with plyers

Step 6. Feed the long end of the rivet fully into the rivet tool.

insert rivet into rivet gun

Put on your safety glasses. Squeeze the rivet tool handles multiple times until…

insert rivet into rivet gun

…SNAP! The long end of the rivet will automatically snap off when the rivet is set.

rivet tail released

Step 7. Wrap the bracelet around your wrist, mark the length that’s comfortable for you. Subtract the length of your clasp from this mark then add 1/2″ back to account for the fold over.

measure band width

Now you can cut the band to length.

cut leather band to length

Repeat steps 2 – 6 above to secure a jump ring to the other end of your bracelet. 

Instructions for Stamping Leather:

Wet the leather to soften it. Let it sit a minute or two to allow the water to penetrate the leather.

painting water onto leather band

The easiest way to center a word on your bracelet is to start with the middle letter(s). Set the metal letter stamp in place and strike it lightly with a hammer. For a crisp letter, roll the stamp and hammer it lightly several times.

stamping letters into leather

Continue stamping letters to the left and right of the middle letter(s).

metal letter stamps

You don’t have to paint the letters, but I like how the word shows up better. You can use any acrylic or enamel paint to fill in the letters. The key to crisp letters is a steady hand, a good fine round brush (size 00 or smaller), and moving the band around to comfortably fill in each stroke (no need to be a contortionist). If you screw up, use the x-acto knife to lightly scrape up the paint.

painting gold letters on leather bracelet

If you want, you can paint the rivets with enamel paint.

painting rivet gold

Allow the paint to dry.

DIY Stamped leather bracelets make a great gift idea

What word would you put on a bracelet? Do you choose a word to define your year?

diy stamped leather bracelets

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Arrow Fastener. I was not told what to write. All words and ideas are my own. I am very particular about the brands I work with, and only partner with companies that provide quality materials and/or services.

 If you haven’t done so already, be sure to *subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

*My followers on YouTube get sneak peeks of some of the projects I’m working on, so subscribe today!

Thanks for joining me for this little jewelry making craft today. If you liked this tutorial, you’ll love these copper ring necklaces:

DIY copper ring jewelry

 

Make an inexpensive (but beautiful) Fall Leaves Garden Flag using a Dollar Store Placemat! Pull out your sewing machine (or skip the stitching and use your iron and some hem tape instead.) You can have a gorgeous fall garden flag in an hour or less. Plus, this is the perfect activity to do with the kids before school starts.

Sure, we’re in the thick of a heat wave here in Raleigh, NC. But luckily fall is around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about fall decorating! I like to create a beautiful garden flag for each season using a few simple supplies from the Dollar Store. Ready to make one? Great, let’s get to it.

Materials:

*Optional: hand sew or use hem tape if you don’t have a sewing machine

Instructions:

1. Fold over the top of your placemat 2 inches. Stitch across the edge. (I used a decorative stitch, but a straight stitch is fine too.)

2. Create a stencil using a Silhouette, other craft cutter, or use pre-cut letter stencils. Adhere the stencil to the placemat. (Place centers of letters if needed.)

3. Squeeze out a small amount of fabric paint onto a paper plate.

4.  Pounce or use a stencil brush to dab paint over the stencil. For more colorful letters, use yellow on one side and orange on the other. Let the colors overlap in the middle.

5. Remove stencil. Allow the fabric paint to dry.

6. Arrange and pin silk leaves onto garden flag.

7. Stitch leaves onto the flag along the “veins”.

8. Trim the excess threads off the flag.

9. Lay flag out on a flat surface.

10. Paint on glittery curly trails to simulate the path of a falling leaf.

When the flag is dry, thread it onto a garden flag stand and place it by your entryway. At the end of the season, store the flag flat to keep it looking fresh for many years to come.

If you liked this tutorial you may like my other garden flag tutorials:

Summer

 

Winter

 

Valentine’s Day

I hope you enjoy this fall season and experience beautiful fall weather soon!

DIY Pencil Vases

DIY Back to School Pencil Vase

Last year my son’s teachers asked for a pack of pre-sharpened pencils. Instead of just giving them a box of pencils, I wanted to give his teachers something prettier than a box of pencils. When I found a colorful package of pencils, I knew I was on to something. After some  sharpening pencils it was time to get creative.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Remove the label and clean your recycled glass bottle. Dry it thoroughly. Apply double-stick tape to the top and bottom edges of your bottle.

Lay one pencil onto the bottle vertically. Press it against the tape for a temporary hold.

Continue adding pencils around the bottle. At about 1/3 – 1/2 coverage, slip a rubber band around the middle of the bottle over the pencils. This will help hold the pencils in place.

Continue adding pencils until the bottle is completely covered.

Choose a coordinating washi tape and tape one end of the pencil stack.

Press the tape firmly against the pencils and repeat along the bottom edge of the pencils.

Remove the rubber band.

Fill the bottle with water and add some flowers.

Deliver this beautiful DIY Back to School Pencil Vase to the recipient.

You might have to convince them it’s okay to remove pencils as needed.

Either way they look cute on the desk for a while.

Here’s a video tutorial to show you how easy it is to make the back to school pencil vases:

Like this idea? Pin it for future reference (and to share the love):

DIY Pencil Vases

If you liked this idea, you’ll love some of these other teacher appreciation ideas:

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever wished you had a chalkboard wall in your home? But, those bumpy textured walls or damaged drywall are not smooth enough? Well, today I’m about to rock your world by showing you How to Make a SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall For Imperfect Walls!

SMOOTH Chalkboard WallHow to Make a SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall {For Imperfect Walls}

I feel your pain! We have a little wall between the kitchen and the dining room that was the perfect spot for a chalkboard wall. But the drywall was ripped from the removal of the beadboard. Sure, I could have ripped out the drywall and added new, but honestly I was beyond drywall in our kitchen renovation process and I didn’t want to back track.

I’m cringing at the photo below because the pantry looked like that long after we finished the kitchen. Luckily, I finished the pantry last year. You would not recognize it as the same space!

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

But enough about the kitchen renovation. I came up with a new solution for making the wall smooth enough for a chalkboard! You could also use this technique if you wanted to remove the chalkboard in the future if you live in a rental and aren’t allowed to paint walls.

Ready? Alright, let’s get this chalkboard party started now!

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional (if you have an outlet or switch to work around):

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall Instructions:

Cut Your Pieces:

Cut your masonite to size. (Or bring your measurements and ask the store to cut it to size for you.)

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Use a jigsaw, circular saw, table saw, or other power saw to cut each panel. Dry fit the panels on the wall and make any adjustments as necessary.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Plan your sections:

Use one large sheet to cover as much wall as possible. The fewer the seams the better.  Plan to hang a small piece for over any doors. (Note: The skinny little section on the left side of the door was left blank, no one has noticed after it was painted black.)

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

If you have an outlet or light switch, you need to cut a hole in the masonite to accommodate them.  To cut the hole, smear lipstick around the edges of the box (or you can smear it on an outlet as shown in this post.) Hold the masonite panel in place and push against the outlet box. When removed you should  see the lipstick impressions. (I used an extra outlet box to trace around for lines that were easier to see.)

marking_outlet_location_lipstick

Drill holes in the corner of the outlined shape. Use a jigsaw to cut from hole to hole. Test fit your panel.

drill_holes_for_outlet

Install Panels:

Time to hang the masonite panels. For a permanent hold, use construction glue and then secure with finish nails. If you want to be able to remove the panels later, skip the adhesive and use only finish nails.

glue_and_nail_board

Fill nail holes and seams with wood putty. Lightly sand smooth after the putty has dried.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Prime and Paint:

Using a foam roller, prime the chalkboard with tinted primer (ask your paint department to add as much black as they can to a small can of primer. This will reduce the number of coats of chalkboard paint needed.) My Lowe’s store was able to produce a 50% gray color.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

After the primer dries, lightly sand, and wipe clean. It’s important to sand between coats because this will give you the smoothest results and it gives a little tooth for the next layer to adhere to. You’ll need at least two coats of chalkboard paint.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Seasoning the Chalkboard:

After the paint has dried thoroughly, enlist the help of your son or daughter to help season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side over the entire surface.)

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Then wipe off the chalk using a completely dry rag.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

There is beauty in the gray movement on a chalkboard wall, wouldn’t you agree?

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Don’t forget to add  your outlet covers. You can paint them with chalkboard paint to match the wall.  (Important: Do not paint the actual outlet, this violates electrical codes.)

chalkboard_open_dining_rm

Christen your chalkboard with drawings or your to do list.

kitchen_to_do_list

Within two hours I had to erase the list because I was feeling a little stressed by all the things I needed to complete in our kitchen renovation.

This fun quote was a lot less stressful!

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

We added a chalkboard calendar a few years ago and this has been the best way for our family to stay organized (also the kids love seeing what’s coming up each week.)

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

What would you use a chalkboard wall for? I’d love to hear your ideas.

PHGFancySign