My New Obsession

My mom introduced me to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint last week and I’m completely hooked. I want to paint everything! I see Annie Sloan potential everywhere I look.  I’ve already identified five pieces of furniture in my living room that I want to Annie Sloan (yes, I use her name as a verb…).

I almost don’t want to tell you about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because I know how easy it is to become consumed by the painting bug. But, it’s just too awesome not to share. Visit her website to learn all the details about this glorious paint. Then, YouTube Annie Sloan, Pinterest Annie Sloan, and prepare to be inspired.

Here’s one reason why I’m obsessed with this paint:

Annie Sloan

My mom and I transformed this old step stool in a few hours. We had to sand down some puffy paint, but you don’t generally have to prep the piece before painting. Two coats of Duck Egg, a little distressing (that’s optional), and some wax turned a battered step into a pretty piece of furniture. The process is really fun and each piece turns out unique. I love that we were able to do this all in a day.

Reasons why I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

  • The gorgeous array of colors.
  • You can paint inside because it doesn’t smell!
  • Infinite possibilities for customization of colors, distressing, and wax.
  • Indoor and outdoor uses.
  • Without wax, you can use chalk (like a chalkboard) on the paint.
  • Before you wax the paint you could wash it all off with water.
  • No wood prep needed. Just start painting.

My mom graciously shared her paint with me, so I now have Duck Egg, Old White, and Coco to start painting everything within reach. My next task is to get TIm obsessed, too :)

 

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Paper Bag Valentine

VDay

Brown paper bags, aka the common lunch sack, are a combination of some of my favorite things: natural fibers, utility, and endless crafty possibilities.

I made Christmas cards from paper bags this holiday season and couldn’t wait for another occasion to create more. Valentines Day seemed like the perfect venue for a sweet, simple card.

VDay collage

Help your kids make a batch for classmates. Use them as place cards for a Valentines dinner party. Surprise your spouse with a gift card to a favorite store tucked inside.

Not only are the uses endless, the design is totally customizable. The look is totally up to you and your taste. Gather your paper scraps or go to a craft store to get a pack of matching scrapbook pa

VDay OpenMy favorite part of the design is the little pocket created by folding the bottom of the bag inward and gluing the sides. It’s the best little nook for a gift card or love note, even a mini Hershey’

VDay DimensionsPaper Bag Valentine’s Day Card

Here’s a list of dimensions for the paper scraps:

  • 1 (3″ x 4 3/4″)
  • 1 (2 3/4″ x 4 3/4″)
  • 1 (3 1/2″ square)
  • 2 (3 1/4″ square)

You’ll need:

  • Brown paper bag
  • Paper scaps – patterned or plain to your taste and design
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Please excuse the patch of carpet showing in the video – I’m new to this video thing :)

Refer to the Christmas Card post if you want written instructions.

Toilet Paper Roll Star

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Judging by the Paper Bag Christmas Cards I made earlier this week, I like to use household items to make pretty things.

Hang it on a tree, tie it on a package, or set it on a bookshelf.  However you display it, these stars (flower, maybe?) are lovely. and sparkly. and use book pages. and toilet paper rolls.

DSC_0487You’ll need:

  • 1 toilet paper roll
  • ruler, pencil, scissors
  • glue – preferably with a pointed applicator
  • 1-2 old book pages
  • glitter [optional]
  • button/pearl for the center [optional]

Toilet Paper Roll Star:

Flatten each roll and mark off 1/2″ segments along both sides of its length.

Cut across the roll using the marks as guidelines to make pointed oval (marquise) segments. You only need 6 pieces to create this star.  Use leftovers for more stars or some other crafty project.

Place a dot of glue about 1/8″ from the tip of one oval and press it into the same spot of another oval.  Wait 30 seconds or so for the glue to dry and continue the process until all the ovals are glued together (creating the star/flower shape).

As you continue to glue, the marquise shape will spread out to create the “petals”.  You may have to help them along a bit so they don’t tear apart.

Let the star dry while you work on the book page center.

Book Page Medallion:

My method for making the book page medallion was very experimental.  I’ll tell you how I did the one above, but would encourage you to check out any tutorial online for making paper medallions for a clear explanation of how you SHOULD make paper medallions.

I decided how wide I wanted my medallion and cut two strips of book page to that width.

Each strip was folded accordion style, about 1/4″ (ish) wide and then folded in half to create a middle crease.

The pieces of paper closest to each other in the crease were glued together, giving me two semi-circles of accordion book page.  Glue the semi circles together and voila!

starStar Construction:

I created a placket to attach the star and medallion because there are so many thin edges on both pieces.

Cut a square of card stock and glue to center of the star.  Glue the medallion to the card stock.

Use a toothpick to apply glue to random edges and sprinkle glitter liberally over the glue. Let dry for a minute then tap off excess glitter.  Tap over a piece of paper so you can recycle the glitter.

Add a button or pearl to the center.

photo (16)I tied mine on to a package of gingerbread granola for a hostess gift.

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Fabric-Covered Christmas Balls

DSC_0504Since you have your fabric stash out after making some Christmas garland, why not use it to make these decorative fabric-covered Christmas balls?

  • Rip fabric into strips about 1/2″ to 1″ wide. The length doesn’t matter too much, but the longer they are, the less glue you will have to apply.
  • Use a dot of glue to secure one end to a styrofoam ball.
  • Wrap fabric around the ball until all the styrofoam is covered.
  • Cut excess fabric off and glue the fabric end to the ball.

The method is simple and can be repeated on different size balls (which can be found at craft supply stores).

My fabric-covered balls are in a ceramic bowl on the coffee table. Using the same fabric patterns as the garland ties the colorful decor together, creating nice Christmas cohesiveness in your house.

balls

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Christmas Garland

DSC_0323I inherited my Gramma’s sewing skills.  In other words, I can sew straight lines and that’s about it.  I look up the directions for threading my little, purple sewing machine every time I sew something.

I saw some adorable fabric scrap bunting on Pinterest a couple months ago and immediately saw visions of this Christmas garland in my head.  Even my basic sewing skills wouldn’t keep me from making this vision a reality.  Heck, even hand-stitching would be an acceptable, albeit slower, option for those who are completely allergic to sewing machines.

DSC_0317Twine seemed like a sturdy stringing option and I always have a spool on hand.  My mom, creator of my beautiful wedding ornaments, brought her stash of Christmas fabric when she visited last month.  We ended up making three garlands.

The process is simple.

  • Create a template with the size flag (for lack of a better descriptor) you’d like.  Mine are 4″ wide and 6″ tall (with the triangle point coming up about 1 1/2″ from the bottom).
  • Cut, cut, cut! Fold your fabric to cut out more than one at a time. Vary the fabric to your taste.
  • Fold down the top edge to create a 1/4″ opening.  Iron the flags and the fold.

DSC_0308Now, the sewing part.  I’ll admit it.  My mom did all the sewing, which turned out great because my sewing machine had some needle issue that would have made me throw it all out the window before I got even one hem sewn on these cute flags.

  • Sew along the raw edge of your fold.
  • Keep feeding your flags through the sewing machine, until all of the hems are closed. You’ll end up with a string of flags connected by thread.
  • Cut each flag from the thread string.
  • Arrange the flags in a fabric pattern you find aesthetically pleasing.
  • Use a paper clip or safety pin  to pull twine through each flag.

DSC_0313Spread the flags out along the twine and hang the garland.  Stand back and admire your handiwork!

I draped mine behind the couch to give our normal display some Christmas cheer.  I sent one to my sis and bro (in-law) and they hung it on a mirror in their dining room.

I love the folky aspects of this garland – no need to have clean edges or cookie-cutter flags.  The imperfections add to it’s primitive charm.

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