Monday, February 28, 2011

Modern Mobile {DIY Discussion}

I saw this project for modern mobiles originally on Princess Lasertron then checked it out on Project Wedding and fell in love. I adore interesting chandeliers, pendants, mobiles, basically anything you hang from your ceiling that makes a decorative impact.

 I want to try my hand at creating these, but the instructions call for a sewing machine to sew all the strips of vellum paper together. This is a piece of equipment that I do not have nor have ever used. I'm not yet into creating garments, but I'm starting to see how useful a sewing machine could be for a slew of other projects. Is it time to invest?

Well before I make that leap, I'd still like to take a crack at creating this mobile. Any suggestions for creating this sans sewing machine? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Photos from Project Wedding

Friday, February 25, 2011

Handmade Journals

I continually revist projects that I love. Whether it's to create new items or try it in new or different ways. As such, you will see the same techniques over and over on this blog, but I hope to bring a variety to the style of each one. I detailed a scrapbook I made for my sister-in-law using a text block bookbinding technique here. My husband loved it and wanted me to make him a journal, so I decided it would be a great Valentine's Day gift.

I made a 6 3/4" x 9 1/2" tall journal with the decidedly "manly" paper my husband chose from Paper Source and winter white book cloth.

I also picked up a smaller journal for myself to record all those crafty ideas and inspiration that hit me at random. I made a more pocket-sized journal with a lined paper text block, a graphic floral patterned paper and winter white book cloth.

The more I create these text block bookbinding projects, the faster I get. It is a super project for a gift and my husband is already asking for another larger one to use as a scrapbook. Oh the demands of married life ;)

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Love with Letterpress

Now that you've been overloaded with decoupage crafts, we switch gears to another one of my new favorite techniques. Although the technique itself has been around for a looooong time, I have just recently been able to use it myself thanks to a fabulous Christmas gift.

What is this wonderful technique? Well, if the title of this post didn't completely give it away, it is the papercraft technique called letterpress. As you may already know, letterpress is a relief printing technique using text or images. The printing plates create an impression of the text or image into the paper. You can use inks in various colors or make the impression without ink. I have used the embossing technique in the past where text or images are raised, and this is the opposite, where the text or image is indented into the paper. My husband always gets these confused so I wanted to explain it as fully as possible.

I have been able to practice letterpress printing myself because I received an awesome new kit from Lifestyle Crafts for Christmas, along with a bunch of sets of printing plates and colored inks. It is not a difficult kit to use or master, but it does take some practice. I have found that gauging the right amount of ink so that it doesn't bleed or take too long to dry is the hardest part.

I recently made a few cards for various people/occasions and I thought I'd share them with you. The first one I made was a birthday card for my sister-in-law which unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of before gifting.

The second card I made was for my husband for Valentine's Day.

My sister recently landed a new job that she is very excited about, so I made her a "Congrats" card this past weekend.

I am so excited to use this kit, not only for card-making, but for a ton of other papercraft ideas. I highly recommend the L Letterpress Epic Combo Kit and Lifestyle Crafts has a lot of fun printing plates and ink colors.  If you are going to invest in this craft, you MUST purchase the cleaning cloths. It makes the process easier and more fun with less mess. The more I use the kit, the more elaborate I am getting with my designs and the more fun I'm having creating things.

Are you in love with letterpress too?

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Monday, February 21, 2011

Decoupage Wood Plaque

Another decoupage idea for your viewing pleasure. This time I found a 8 x 10 wood plaque and decided to create some art with a really special piece of paper. I painted the back and sides of the plaque in a powder blue color and decoupaged a section of the paper onto the front. The paper I used came from Paper Source and is a vintage collage of flowers, butterflies, background patterns and text. I call it Flora & Fauna for obvious reasons.

As you can see the paper has a texture to it kinda like fabric or wallpaper. You can also see where the paper wrinkled a bit in the bottom left corner (oops!), but I think it adds more to the vintage vibe.

You can hang this plaque on the wall or stand it on a table or bookshelf.

I love this paper so much and I'm trying to think of other ways to use it in all of its glory. Any ideas?

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Friday, February 18, 2011

Decoupage Wood Initial

You've seen my decoupage picture frames and you know how much I adore this technique, so I have been inspired to try it in different ways. I found these white letters at Michaels made from MDF that you can hang on your wall and decided it would be cute to decorate the front with fun patterned paper. I used the exact same process as the picture frame tutorial in my previous post, except I didn't have to paint it because it was already white. You could paint it a coordinating color if you wanted, but I like the contrast.

Our last name begins with the letter "E" so I was thinking it would be cute to hang on our living room wall, although I chose a very girly pattern. My husband doesn't seem to mind since he painted one of our living room lamps watermelon pink last year. Letters in this pattern would be really cute in a little girl's or teenager's room. You could use a more sophisticated pattern and create a monogram for a wedding as well. I will definitely repeat this project when we have the need for a nursery. Can you imagine a baby's name spelled out with these letters in a cute pattern or various patterns within a color scheme?

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Decoupage Picture Frame Tutorial

So you wanna experience the awesomeness of decoupage... I don't blame you. Quickly becoming one of my favorite crafting techniques, it's simple, straight-forward, fun and it delivers! Here is a tutorial on how I made the picture frame and believe me the process translates to so many other projects.

To start you will need the following supplies:

1. Wood Frame ($1 at Michaels, what?!)
2. Decorative Paper
3. Waterbase Sealer, Glue & Finish (Mod Podge as most people know it)
4. Sponge or Glue Brush
5. Paint
6. Paint Brush
7. Emory Boards or Sandpaper

Step 1: Paint the sides, back and inside edge of the wood frame in a coordinating or neutral color. (Or hey, any color you want!) I chose the same royal purple as the pattern on my fancy paper.

Step 2: Position the paper over the front of your frame until you have an idea of where you want the pattern to lie, then cut out a piece slightly bigger than the frame and cut out a square in the middle. It does not have to be exact by any means.

Step 3: Apply the Mod Podge to the front of the frame with your sponge or glue brush enough so that it is covered all over but not gloppy.

Step 4: Position your paper on the frame and press down to seal the glue. Sometimes I put a heavy book on top of it for a few minutes to weigh it down so there are less bubbles.

Step 5: Take your sandpaper or emory board and sand down the paper at the edge of the frame at a 45 degree angle. You will see that it starts to easily remove the paper that isn't glued to the frame. This gives you a very clean edge. (I got the idea to use an emory board from Craftily-Ever-After and it makes so much sense, it's a lot easier to handle and get around the tight inside corners. Plus you can get like 10 for less than a dollar!)

Step 6: Once you have sanded off the excess paper all around the edges. Apply another layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper to seal it. I used a gloss finish to give it a little shine.

Once it dries, I put a heavy book on top to weigh it down again and it usually works out any small bubbles. The Mod Podge is non-toxic too so you can use it on just about anything.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Up Next: More ways to use this awesome technique...

Monday, February 14, 2011


Vignette includes felt rosette heart wreath in red, yarn pom pom flower bouquet in hot pink, felt rosette flower bouquet in red and decoupage picture frame with red and purple damask pattern.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pom Pom Flower Tutorial

We take a break from the decoupage projects, to show you a tutorial for sweet pom pom flowers in preparation for Valentine's Day. If you recall, I made these flowers as part of our wedding centerpieces and now use them in my home decor. They are a simple, modern flower with a lovely texture, plus they're easy to make in any color you like.

To begin you will need the following supplies:

1. Yarn in your choice of color
2. Scissors
(simple, no?)

2. Wind the yarn around 2 or 3 of your fingers (number of fingers depends on the size of pom pom you want)

3. Continue to wrap the yarn around your fingers approximately 100 times (the more times you wrap, the larger the pom pom, a standard size pom pom is 100 times around 2 fingers)

4. Once you have finished wrapping, cut the end. Then cut an additional string of yarn (approx. 4-5 inches), slide the "tube" of yarn off your fingers and place it on top of the string so that the openings of the "tube" are facing the ends of the string.

5. Wrap the string around the tube of yarn so that it is centered and start to make a knot. Pull the string as tight as possible before completing the knot.

6. Once the string is as tight as you can get it, complete the knot.

7. Trim the ends of the string, take one side of the yarn and cut through the loops created by the center string.

8. Once you have cut through all the loops on one side you will have a bunch of fringe.

9. Cut through the loops on the other side to get the same fringe. Then begin to trim the fringe all around the ball.

10. Continue to trim the ends of the fringe evenly around the ball until you have created a pom pom to your liking.

Ta Da! Completed pom pom... you can do whatever you like with your little yarn pom. I like to make flowers by gluing the pom pom to a floral wire stem with a hot glue gun. Here is a bouquet of hot pink pom pom flowers in various sizes.

Simple and fun. Even our pup, Olive, likes it.


Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Decoupage Frame

I discovered decoupage about ten years ago and have recently renewed my love for it. If you're not familiar with this technique, it is the "art or technique of decorating something with cut-outs of paper, linoleum, plastic, or other flat material over which varnish or lacquer is applied".  I used to decorate items with pictures from magazines (I think all of my crafts started out this way), but I have come to find a much more modern and sophisticated way to use this process. I saw this project on Craftily-Ever-After and had to try it.

I made two frames for my friend for our secret santa gift swap this past December using the same type of frame, purple scrapbook paper and embellished them with silver owl pendants. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of those frames. But I used the same technique on a different shaped frame using scrapbook paper that matches our bedroom decor.

I painted the frame white and used a gloss varnish. The frame comes with a wooden dowel stand so you can set it on a side table, bookshelf or wardrobe. 

Side note: that's my wedding bouquet made by Meg @ Princess Lasertron next to the frame. Isn't is gorgeous?!

Anyways, I have so many more ideas for this wonderful technique, which of course I will share, as well as a tutorial for all of you crafters out there. I better sign off, I'm starting to rhyme. Happy Wednesday! 

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo