Monday, April 23, 2012

Plastic Animal Crafts

Crafting with dollar/thrift store plastic animals is one of the many new crafting trends. You can buy a lot of these finished crafts online. But if you've got some spare time, why not just make your own? Google "plastic animal crafts" and you'll find a whole slew of tutorials. I decided to try a few on my own. I used small plastic figures but there are other crafts out there for using the larger ones. If you're going to do something such as bookends, you will probably want a larger, more sturdy toy.

Here is what I made:

magnetic necklace holder
ring holder
magnetic photo holder or fridge magnet
place card holder

Gather your supplies...I got a little crazy with mine! You probably won't want to do all of these projects in one day. It really did take a long time because of all the painting/waiting for paint to dry/cleaning up the glitter, etc ;)

Pick out acrylic paints in whatever color you choose. I did a couple of neons, gold, white and black. I also grabbed some glitter. I am not so great with glitter, it pretty much got onto every animal!

Here is a list of everything I used...

exacto knife
dremel multi max
E6000 glue
acrylic craft paint
miniature wood plaques/hearts
newspaper to protect the craft surface
Mod Podge Hard Coat

To make the place card holders use your exacto knife to carefully slice a line through your toy. For the zebra, I chose the mouth; for the lion, I cut in the middle of his back. Cut as deep as you want the cards to sit.

Use your Dremel tool  (or Exacto knife, but I promise that will take longer and your hand may get sore!) and slice the chosen animals in half. Be careful because the friction of the Dremel will cause the plastic to heat up quickly! Either clamp one end of the toy to your table or have someone carefully hold the toy down while you cut.

Once they are cut arrange them on your plaques and decide how you want to decorate them.

Start by painting the animals with a base of white for primer. Once dry, paint each animal with your choice of colors -- or if you're adventurous, try some glitter! That picture above is my poor hippo drowning in glitter!

You may want to use a couple of coats depending on how well the white covers the original color. Once all paint is dry, coat with some Mod Podge Hard Coat for a glossy shine. Also, paint your wooden plaques/hearts being used to mount the animals.

Once everything has dried, use your E6000 or hot glue gun to attach the animals to their base. Glue the magnets onto the back or use a picture frame hanger if you want to be able to mount it onto a wall.
Go crazy with colors -- my favorites are the polka dots!

There are so many fun colors and combos you can come up with! What do you think? Will you chop up your plastic animals and make something fun?! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter DIY | Tic Tac Toe Game

My apologies for posting this so late! I had wanted to share this before Easter but time got away from me. Maybe it's a crafty DIY you can make on Easter day! (You could also try all kinds of variations with holidays and special events!)

Without further ado, here is my Easter Tic Tac Toe game tutorial!

What you'll need:
  • a wood plaque (I got mine from Michael's for 99 cents)
  • polymer clay
  • acrylic paints in Easter colors
  • exacto knife
  • paint brushes
  • sandpaper or sanding block

Tip: You can make this kid-friendly by swapping the polymer clay for Crayola Magic (no baking required)

Start by sanding painting your wood plaque so it's smooth and won't leave splinters. Next, paint the plaque with your base color - I chose pink! Give it a couple coats to make sure it's covered well. You can paint a border to bring out the detail of the plaque and give it depth.

Once your plaque dries, it's time to add the Tic Tac Toe squares. I used a ruler and a pencil to get even spacing. Paint your squares with alternating colors. I also added some pearl green as a border for the squares (not pictured).

Roll out some white clay into a 1/2 inch thick log. Use your Exacto knife to cut 10 even sized pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball. Flatten one end on a hard surface and shape the top into an oval. 

Next, pinch 1/2 of the pieces at the top (these will be your bunnies).

Roll out a smaller log about 1/4 inch thick. Cut 10 even pieces and roll them into balls. 

Roll out each ball and flatten. Shape the flattened piece around your squished bunny heads -- now they have ears!

I chose to add a small pin in the bottom of each game piece. This makes it easier to paint them once cooked. But you could skip that step and just cook them on a flat surface.

Bake your pieces in the oven according to the instructions on your polymer clay wrapper.

Once they're baked and cooled, it's time to paint! I used yellow for my chicks and pink for the bunnies. You could paint them all different colors if you felt like it ;)

I added some darker pink as the insides of the bunny ears. 

Don't forget to add their cute little faces!

Tip: To make this a portable game, add a pin in the bottom before baking. Once cooled, put a dab of hot glue on some craft wire and insert it into the game piece. 

Use a Dremel tool to drill small holes into each square of the game board. Make sure it's just large enough to fit the wire, but not so big that it will fall out!

Once your painted pieces have dried - enjoy a quick game of Easter Tic Tac Toe!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Felt Necklace Tutorial

I made this little guy last year while I was working my booth at a craft fair. I had originally planned to turn it into a brooch. But then I never completed it; pushing it aside to work on other projects. So my little gray fox sat there, unfinished...until just last weekend when I finally turned it into a necklace! Here's a quick tutorial on how I did it.

I'm sure there are other ways to make this, including poking holes in the felt or using grommets. But I wanted to do something that wouldn't compromise the felt. So I chose to sew everything into the pendant. Once I had my felt piece, this project took less than 30 minutes!

Here's what I used:
  • jump rings
  • necklace chain
  • clasp/closure
  • stiff felt
  • eco felt
  • embroidery floss
  • needle
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • jewelry wire cutters

My felt fox was originally made with two layers of felt.

For the necklace, I decided to add a center piece of stiff felt and an extra layer of eco felt for the back. I chose to use the stiff felt in the center just to add a bit of structure. You could also use a piece of card stock paper. Just cut out the pattern and then size it down a bit so it doesn't peek out of your final piece.

Once you have all your pieces, sew two jump rings at the points where you want the chain to meet the pendant.

Then add a couple more jump rings on either side so they will hang outside of the pendant once it is sewn.

Next, use a basic stitch to sew all of your layers together. Be sure to sew around or through the jump rings. Don't lose them inside of your pendant!

Measure out the length of the chain you wish to use. Use your wire cutters to cut the chain in the center and add jump rings and clasps.

Add your chain to either end of your pendant and you're finished!

This is such a simple project! If you decide to try it out, post your link in the comments so I can check it out!

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

52 Reasons | Redux

This is one of the first crafts I'd ever posted online. I used to belong to a community called (waaaay back in the day). It's still around but I rarely remember to visit. However, it pops up on my radar about this time of year. One of my crafts was featured in their Valentine's Day collection on the forum. And now that Pinterest is here, my old post keeps resurfacing.

My problem is I took the pics and posted them in a bit of a rush. And seeing those photos back in circulation kinda makes me cringe. So I decided to re-take the photos and create a new post.

I am able to do it because 1) the boypiece still proudly displays my project and 2) he lives under the same roof. Which makes it simple to steal it back and retake the pics!

So here it is, back again, my "52 Reasons Valentine Deck of Cards"  (ps. If you want to check out the original post from 2008, you can find it HERE)

At the time when I made this, there were a few other versions out there. I decided to use the full deck of cards instead of just using cards as the "book cover" with cardstock pages. I also used ribbon instead of jump rings to bind the pages. There are still a few other versions out there, but this is just how I did it :) Oh and one other HUGE difference, mine says "like" instead of "love". And it's still relevant today, since we prefer not to use that other word (strange, I know).

Supply list:
  • 1 full deck of playing cards
  • 1 foot of red ribbon
  • paper hole punch
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • personal photos and clip art from the internet
  • computer

Quite possibly the most difficult part of this entire project was coming up with the 52 reasons! It probably wouldn't be so hard these days. But at the time I made this, we had only been dating a year and a half. Although, all the reasons are still true to this day :)

Step 1) Open up any word processing program on your computer and start typing out your reasons. They can be silly or sentimental...mix it up!

Step 2) Once you've got your reasons, it's time to figure out what pictures best compliment your words. I used a lot of clip art (yay, Google!) and a few personal photos from my computer

Step 3) Print everything out and cut down to size

Step 4) Spread out your deck and arrange your pics/text on the cards. Don't forget to leave the Joker cards for your front and back cover!

Step 5) Use your paper punch to add two holes to each card. I suggest punching the holes prior to gluing down your pages!

Step 6) Using your glue stick, secure each text/photo combo to their playing card

Step 7) Once the glue has dried, arrange the pages in the order you prefer

Step 8) Tie your ribbon through the holes and finish it off with a bow!

I also added a special Happy Valentine's Day message on the joker used as the back cover :)

The most time consuming part is finding the pics to use and coming up with the 52 reasons. If you can do that fairly quickly, you could throw this together as a last-minute gift! It's also great for birthdays or anniversaries if you don't really celebrate Valentine's ;)

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Have fun creating! And Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Boobs Were a Big Hit at the Office

You may not know this about me: I'm a big practical joker.

I also have the memory of an elephant. Those two things combined can equal a lot of trouble.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was working on a rap song. That was for a practical joke - and it was months in the making. I like to take my time; make sure it's perfect.

This recent joke was a bit more hurried so I wasn't sure how well it'd pan out. My co-worker came in to me on Wednesday and told me about her recent trip to the chiropractor.

She had been complaining of pains in her side. His diagnosis? She sprained a rib... from her bra... because her boobs are large.

I have ant hills on my chest.  So I think it's funny when girls complain about having "too much" boobage. But the grass is always greener, right?

Anyway, all pain aside, I thought it was hilarious. Especially since he'd suggested she switch to a sports bra. As any heavy-chested girl will know, that is NOT a flattering look. Nobody likes a uni-boob.

So I rushed home that night all inspired. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up the pieces of my plan.

$30 bucks, 2 hours, and quite the mess later, I had my masterpiece.

Boob-shaped sugar cookies. I used some artistic license with the icing to design some "fancy" bras.

They were delicious. And they were a hit with the ladies at the office. Even my bruised bosom co-worker got a good giggle out of them.


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday DIY: Custom Snow Globe

I've been checking out the cute DIY snow globe tutorials on the web lately. When Julie Ann Art posted her mason jar tutorial, I knew I had to try it myself.

I do have mason jars sitting around. But I decided to try using glass candy trees that I picked up at the thrift store for a buck each.

I used some miniature deer and polymer clay for my snow globe scenes. I made a little airstream trailer and some pink yard flamingos for one of the scenes. I even dressed it up with some xmas lights. My mom called dibs on it while I was still making it :)

The glass trees have a plastic lid. To secure it to the glass, I used an epoxy glue. Once it dried, I added "Snow-Tek" fake snow around the base (not pictured). Then I sprinkled on some more snow glitter before it dried for a little added touch.

Check out the full tutorial over at Julie Ann Art!

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