Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shadow box/Drawer organizer

Who has leftover wood boxes from those Melissa And Doug stamp sets? You know what I mean. These stamp sets, and other wood sets they sell, come in divided boxes that the kids either make really messy or eventually lose enough pieces to warrant the disuse of the box. In our case, I was tired of the stamps never fitting back in the box the right way.

I decided that a can of spray paint was in order to revive these and make a new use for them.

Once the paint was dry I thought about maybe putting scrapbook paper in the back of the compartments to create some interesting effects. I still might one day. But I like the stark brown look right now.

It made my 'treasures' pop and who cares about what goes behind the makeup in a drawer organizer like this?

Can you think of other ways to use these? I'm sure you can! Don't expect perfection in these boxes tho. If you look closely you'll notice the compartments aren't completely square and the wood not totally smooth. That is because they are hastily put together with soft woods that can bend and mold to the task. This probably saves the manufacturer time since the wood doesn't have to be cut at a precise measurement but it didn't bother me that much. In essence, I bought my kids stamp sets and got a free shadow box/drawer organizer. Win win!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Repurpose Apothecary Jars

We all have candles and such to make the house smell pretty. What do we do with the jars when we are done with them though? Well, my suggestion is melt down the wax in your microwave, clean out the jars, and find a new use for them. I use one for our q-tips and one for cotton balls. Consider using them to hold candy on the counter or even popping corn. Maybe buy some paint markers and draw a beautiful pattern on the side! (Hmmm, zentangle even?) The possibilities are endless.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thrifty Repair

At our summer camp we have alot of fun. I especially enjoy making cakes for the staff. It is a way to say thank you for all you do and help them enjoy their special day at camp.

Our camp animal 'friend' is Chad Raccoon, a raccoon we saw at camp several years ago who is very friendly. Haha. So when I saw this little guy at a thrift store last summer I just couldn't resist! One, my husband's family has a bear that they put at your plate when it is your birthday, and two, this little raccoon would fit camp very well. But he had nothing in his hands and it was obvious that something had been there at some point in time.

We are collecting buttons for a craft this summer and while going through them I found these two little buttons. Hot glue made it complete! So cute! Happy Birthday from Chad Raccoon! I can hardly wait to make use of him this summer!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DIY Book Look 3 (A how to for a secret craft travel kit)

I recently read in one of my latest Zentangle books that the author really loved her Zentangle kit. The picture she shared looked like a little box with a button closure. She likened carrying around and using her kit to having a beloved old book with you all the time. This sparked an idea. I wanted to make my essential zentangle tools portable as well. I had seen on Pinterest where you can take an old book and create hidden storage within. Armed with this knowledge and an idea, I set out to create!

My first step was to gather supplies. An old book, mod podge, the tools I wanted to fit inside, and an xacto knife.

The first thing I did was take off the cover. It was only taped in place so this was simple.

I then marked on the inside with a pencil where I wanted to make my incision. Using the tools I was hoping to fit inside as a guide, I was able to mark the lines accordingly.

No pic here, but first mod podge the outside of the pages and let dry. This will cause them to stick together and stay in place while you cut.

Then, start cutting along your lines on the inside. This is a tedious process as you only get a few pages at a time but well worth it.

Now, mod podge along the inside edge. You want to make sure to get a good solid coating. It may also be a good idea to mod podge the top edge as well to be sure all the pages stay down.

To make sure it all sticks well, put a layer of seran wrap over the glue nice and taut. Be sure to weight it down with something solid. Behold the readily handy applesauce! ;)

Now was the time to choose my paper. I had this stack of K&Company papers which I just loved! They had such fun bright colors!

Tissue paper was next. I thought this pink would suit it well.

You'll be cutting your 12x12 paper in half. Note the direction of your paper before you cut. Also, I want to make a note that for this book an 8x8 paper would have worked as well. Just be sure to use the right size paper for your book: enough so you have flaps to glue down.

Fold the tissue paper in half...

You will now mod podge first the layers of tissue paper, being sure to fit the paper in the grooves of the binding, and then the paper for the cover over top.

(I confess I got so caught up in my project I had to take step by step pictures afterward. Bear with me here.)
When the paper is glued down, flip open the book cover and mark where to cut, as shown. You want to create a space for the corner to form naturally and fold over flaps to glue down.

Once you have glued down your flaps, grab some elastic. In my other posts on book looks, I used my daughter's old headband at one point. I have since bought some 1/4 inch elastic. I cut it to the length of the book plus a little to glue down. This is really just sort of a 'how solid it feels to you' on holding the book closed sort of thing. In the back of the book, use hot glue to first glue your strap (be careful of twisting) and then I hot glued the entire back cover to the book pages.

On the inside, I improvised. I first picked a paper for the left side. This covered my flaps and made a fun background. I also used a fun paper for the background of the book pages where I would be storing my tools. I used hot glue and a pipe cleaner or chenille stem to make holders for my pencil and other tools I didn't want loose in the 'book'. On the left, for my zentangle papers, I had some paper photo corners available and thought they would satisfy the need. Hot glue and voila!

The last step was to come up with a title for my book. A title is not necessary but I thought it would suit my purpose. Zentangle is called 'tangling' when used as a verb. I searched for an old book with the word 'Tangle' in it and after looking through several titles, (some of which I did not want to be associated with) I finally chose this one: 'Tanglewood Tales' by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I proceeded with my fine tip black sharpie to write my title. Highlights were added with a DecoColor extra fine liquid silver opaque paint marker.

I am really pleased with this. It will travel well and be very convenient for when I need it.

My other book look was for an Ereader. Check it out. Jane Austen! Love her!

They certainly look like books on the shelf....

And no one will suspect! Try your hand at it and let me know how it turns out. Mine was geared towards a zentangle kit but any size book (especially a thicker one) will suit the purpose and you don't have to create spots for things to fit so they don't move. Maybe a larger book will allow for more specific compartments for things. The possibilities are endless! Be flexible and explore! Good luck!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Zentangle craft

Inspired by a fellow tangler from a post she did on ztforkids I questioned her in the comments seeking ideas to make zentangle simpler for kids at camp and she replied! Wow! Amazing to get a response like that. And she was so helpful and had many neat suggestions to my query. Thus I share with you now a simple way to tangle, or kids:

Use a leaf and a graphite stick for rubbing the outline of the leaf. Once you have your basic lines, use your micron, (in this case because it is a summer camp craft I experimented with a fine tip black sharpie the kids will use) and trace the lines that form the veins in the leaf. Now, tangle in the spaces, and use an eraser to clean of all the graphite when finished. Here is the result.

Think kids will like it?

So this is an update although a little late. 
These are the finished projects of some of the kids! We tangled on the paper and then mod podged and tangled on a tile. The last picture is the one I did as an example. The finished product looked really nice and the kids really enjoyed it! 

The second day we cut out the leaves and mod podged both under the leaf to adhere it, then over top to seal it. They were then able to draw on the tile I embellish it with more tangles or just their cabin name. We mod podged the entire thing then. Our supplies were copy paper, leaves, charcoal, fine sharpies (because they are kids) tiles and mod podge.

 To make it waterproof for a trivet, simply spray clear spraypaint over the mod podge. . These were unique and a wonderful momento of their time at camp. Now it's your turn! Have fun! 

What coloring tools should I use in a coloring book?

YOU : So Chelsea, what coloring tools should I use?  ME :  I'm glad you asked that random blog reader. The answer is, whatever o...