String Art

String Art Tutorial

ANNOUNCEMENTIt’s been a while since I’ve shared a craft with you! Not that I haven’t been making any, but I forget to document them throughout the process. I made a bunch of stuff for the Holidays including all the crafts I did that were sponsored by JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store for the TV Segment back in December, but never really got around t0 posting them.

One of the things I did make for a Christmas gift for a friend of mine was a little cute string art heart. It was small (like 6 inches by 6 inches) but it turned out really good! When I gave it to her she decided we should have a crafting weekend (that is our “thing” we do together) so she could make something else for herself too! And of course I was up for it to actually make myself something too!

I brought the supplies and told her all she needed to do was print off the image or pattern she wanted to do. I show up at her house and with no discussion about it, we both printed the exact same thing to do our string art with. The great state of Wisconsin! 🙂 At first I had plans to do a heart around the Madison area but then I decided I just wanted a plain jane one, which is more my style.

It’s really not hard to do it takes a little time and you need to do the whole “stringing” part in one sitting, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of “skill”.
STRINGARTTUTORIALString Art Tutorial
Materials:

  • Soft (non hardwood) wood
  • Shape print out
  • Hammer
  • Short Nails ( I used ones similar to these)
  • String/thread (I used something similar to this)
  • *Optional small needle nose pliers

Instructions/Steps:

  • First things first, you need to find a piece of wood. Obviously whatever size you want but it’s also important to find a piece that’s not too hard as you’re nailing in a million little nails, you want to make it easy on yourself. Lots of craft stores actually sell cheap low quality (which is ok in this case) wood that is soft and perfect for these types of projects.
  • Next you need to find whatever shape you want to do. The first time I did a simple heart shape. For this one, I did the outline of Wisconsin. It’s really up to you. Pinterest is filled with ideas for this. Some of my faves right now are this, this, and this. Print out whatever shape or words you choose and then cut your image out.
  • Using one small piece of tape, place your paper shape cut outs on your wood. Begin pounding in nails just along the outer edge of your chosen shape. You want to try to space them as evenly as you can, but no need to drive yourself crazy.

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  • Sometimes it does get hard to pound in all the nails without pounding your fingers, especially when you get into tight areas (like the Door County of Wisconsin). If that is the case, you can use a needle nose pliers to hold the nail steady and in place while you hammer it in.
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  • You want to pound the nails in far enough that they’re really “in there” but leave enough of the nail exposed so you a) don’t poke through the back of your wood, depending how thick your piece is and b) have enough nail to wrap your string around it several times.
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  • Once you have surrounded your entire shape with nails, carefully remove the paper shape and tape. You’ll be left with just the nail outline of your shape(s).
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  • Now comes the part that once you start, you can’t stop until you’re done. So take a bathroom break and get a snack 🙂 But for real, because you’re really just wrapping the string around the nails over and over and over again, pulling it tight(not tooooo tight) throughout the whole time, you can’t stop or it will all unravel.
  • Start by just tying a double knot with the string around one of the nails. Any nail, doesn’t matter, and you just cut the “tail” of the string off close to the nail rather than trying to get the end knotted perfectly around the nail. Now just start wrapping the string up, down, across, sideways, backwards, upside-down (kidding just running out of directions here) around the nails. Basically just weaving it all around the nails. Here’s a close up:
    20160109_19111120160109_191106*As you can see, I’m not tying anything off, just continuously wrapping the string around and back and forth between the nails. You want to keep the string tight so it doesn’t unravel or come off the nails but not soooo tight that it puts too much pressure on the nails that they pull out. This will make more sense once you’re doing it.
  • Just keep going until it looks “full” enough and even to your liking. Once you are done just tie off the string on one of the nail and again, don’t worry about the “tail” just double knot and then cut off very close to the nail.
  • Then you’re done!! Hang on your wall and admire your handy work 🙂
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This is a really fun and pretty simple craft that can be done in an afternoon and produces such a cute and customized finished product. If you have kids who you are worried about them with nails and a hammer, you could even do the outline of a shape in nails and then let them do the “stringing”.

I hope this tutorial was easy to follow but if you have any questions, feel free to ask away and I’ll do my best to help!

We will have a few other crafts to share soon as we were asked again by JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores and Madison ABC affiliate WKOW 27  to come back and do another on air spring crafting special! Could not be happier to be asked again and have the great opportunity to make some really adorable stuff again!!! If you’re in the area tune in on the morning of Sunday, March 6th to WKOW 27 Madison. I mean if you don’t want to wake up early for that, or if you’re not in the area, I’ll make sure to post a link to the video!

Thanks for checking out our string art tutorial!

xoxo

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Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Rosemary Spiced Nuts

These little nuggets of flavor are perfect for gifts or perfect for snacks at your holiday party!20151222_183823I am sitting here writing this looking at these nuts and wishing I hadn’t given them all away as gifts!!

Since cooking, trying new recipes, and posting about it is such a big part of my life, I love to be able to share some homemade food gift with my friends and family. In the past I’ve made THESE , THESE, THIS as well as flavored salts (including Sriracha, Rosemary, Lemon, Chili Lime, Porcini Mushroom, to name a few) for gifts in the past. They’re always a big hit because I think people really appreciate the time, energy and love that goes into homemade gifts!3This year while browsing Pinterest, I kept seeing so many recipes for different flavors of nuts. I’ve tried a few in the past but for some reason I was really digging the rosemary this year. They turned out great and the sugar in this recipe really helps create a great glaze that helps the little pieces of rosemary and salt stick so each nuts is packed with flavor.

Even if you’re gifts are already given and your parties are all over, you definitely should give these a try!
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ALWAYSSUMMER1It’s as simple as that. You can totally use any type of nuts that you like too. These are just what I had on hand.

I hope you all have a wonderful and very merry Christmas today! My plans for the rest of the day looks like it will contain yoga pants, a top knot, coffee, a nap or two, and enjoying the company of those I love most. In other words, the most perfect day ever.

xoxo

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

 

“Sharpie” Mugs

“Sharpie” Mugs

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Hi all!

So I’m sure a lot of you have probably seen these “sharpie” mug craft ideas floating around the internet lately. Don’t be fooled, you cannot use regular old sharpies and have this work. This craft isn’t really as simple as just writing on a mug and voila! Lucky for you the first time I totally biffed it and failed BIG TIME at this but learned from my mistakes and perfected it the 2nd time around. 🙂

Key points to remember are: 
Oil based PAINT Sharpie Markers (or any oil based PAINT pen)
– Clean your surface with rubbing alcohol!
– Only one layer of paint
– HOT oven

Let’s get started and I’ll take you through step by step. If you know these steps it’s really an easy and fun craft!

Supplies:

  • Cheap ceramic mugs (the cheaper the better)
  • Oil-based Sharpie marker (NOT regular sharpies!)
  • Cotton balls and 1-2 Q-Tips
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A pencil

Instructions:
Wash your mugs with soap and warm water. Dry completely. Then use a cotton pad or swab to clean your surface with rubbing alcohol. This will take any residual soap or other things off the surface and insure your paid will hold better. Let that dry too (takes like 2 seconds).

Use a pencil to sketch your design on each mug. There are some really cute ideas out there but you could make up your own, draw a picture, or whatever your heart desires. Once you are happy with your sketch, trace over it with your paint pen. It’s not an easy task drawing on a curved surface but that’s where the extra rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips come in! You’re going to mess up. Trust me. Probably like 5 times and if you’re a perfectionist like me, then probably like 50 times. Once you are happy with your design you have to let the paint dry.

I let my mugs air dry for a good 24 hours before I baked them and I think that is a crucial step, based on my first mishap. To bake, all you need to do is put your mugs on a cookie sheet and place in a COLD oven and turn the heat on to 425. You want the mugs to heat up with the oven to prevent cracking and allow it to seep into the glaze of the mugs. Once your oven is preheated, bake the mugs for 40 minutes. Once the 40 minutes is up, turn the oven off but leave the mugs in the oven with the door closed and allow them to cool completely. This will also help prevent cracking by avoiding fast temperature changes. After about 2 hours they were cool and I took them out.

As far as care for the mugs after they are complete, I’ve heard some people say they are fine in the dishwasher but I don’t risk it, I just wash them by hand and they still look as good as new! I’ve washed them probably about 20 times so far.

This is such a great simple and easy gift to make. The possibilities are literally endless. I want to make more but a girl can only use so many coffee mugs. But this is definitely on my list for Christmas time 🙂 Here are a few of my favorite ones I’ve seen and ones that I want to try and ones I just like!

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*None of these pictures are my own

  Yay! Hope yours turn out perfect and fun. Stop back and show me some of your designs. I’d love to see them.

xoxo

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* Update. Since doing this craft the colored paint has chipped off a bit, but the black is still perfect. I just went over the colored part again and baked and so far so good. Let me know if you have any tips to keep this from happening 🙂 

Glitter State Artwork

Glitter State Artwork

So here is another one of my Christmas presents I made. I have had my eye on this craft for a while. I actually love state artwork, there are so many fun ones I want to try but how many pictures of  states can a girl have in her house, I believe the answer is too many. What better way to have fun making them and not look like a hoarder- than making them as gifts! 🙂 This one took a little bit more time simply for the fact that I a) needed daylight (to trace the state outline on my paper) since I don’t have a lightbox I needed daylight and as sad as it is, that is hard to come by in the winter during the hours I’m at home. and b) I wanted the glue and glitter to completely dry and set before framing.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • a print out of your state of choice. I obviously chose the best state in existance, Wisconin.
  •  Thicker paper, like cardstock, poster board, this really depends on how big of a state or picture you are making
  • Scissors
  • Plain ole regular modge podge (mine in honestly still from when I was like 17 years old. still works, but I’m running low and need more soon!
  • Glitter. I got mine in the card making section at Micheals(you can see the pic below for deets) but really any craft glitter will work.
  • Paint brush
  • Containter to coat your cut out in to avoid a glitter catastrophe 🙂
  • Double stick tape
  • Frame and if you want, colored paper to line your frame.

Optional:

  • You can use a sticker of a heart or if you don’t have on I just painted a heart in red/pink paint on a peice of paper and cut it out and stuck in on.

Here is a picture of some of my supplies:

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Clockwise: My modge podge and glitter I used- an illustration that you really want to not be shy with the modge podge in order to get a good coating of glitter to stay on the paper, my cutout in a glass container covered in glitter, then once it had dried a little and the exess glitter shaken off.

Here is what I did:

1)  Print out an outline of your state. I mean I guess you can freehand it but I would suggest printing 😉

2) I taped my thicker cardstock over the outline and held up to my patio door (this is where that daylight is needed) and just traced the shape. then untape the sheets.

3) Use scissors and carefully cut out your state from your thicker cardstock.

4) place the outline in your container and use a paintbrush or spongebrush thingy, to coat your paper in modge podge. See my picture above about how you should really put a good coat on. Otherwise the glitter won’t stick nicely and it will be alittle thin, but be careful to not overcoat otherwise it will probably never dry. No harm in doing a little test run on a peice of scrap paper like I did above too.

5) When modge podge is still wet, coat generously with glitter, making sure to get a nice even coat and no “bald” spots.

6) Let the glitter and modge podge set for a while, probably like an hour and then pick up carefully(as it’s not all the way dry yet) and shake excess glitter from the cutout. Then I placed the glitter state on a piece of scrap paper and allowed to dry completely. I waited 4 days because I went out of town but I’m sure it doesn’t really take that long, but I’d for sure wait a full day.

7) You can pour your excess glitter back into it’s container and save for another glitter craft 🙂

8) This isn’t a necessary step but once my state was dry I took it outside and sprayed it with a high gloss arcylic sealer. Basically just because I wanted to set the glitter a little more. I didn’t want to have specs of glitter coming “free” and getting all over the glass of the frame because that would be a pain in the ass to deal with. I had purchased it for a different craft and thought, “hey why not try it”. Like I said, it’s not necessary but if you have anything similar lying around it worked great. ( Here is a link to the product that I used)

9) Once dry, if you choose you can place a heart over a particular locatiaon of the state that holds any significance to you. Then I put a couple peices of double stick tape on the back and taped it to a peice of black paper and placed in the frame.

TA DA!

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Ignore the reflection in the glass of the frame. It was nearly impossible to not get my hands or face ! 🙂

I was so pleased with this craft! I made it for my best friend who is originally from Wisconsin but moved to Minnesota. I told her this was so she could always see “home” 🙂  I miss you B!That’s pretty much it. I mean this had so many endless possibilities not just in states but any shape you could think of. I think an outline of a stag head and antlers or something like that would be really cool too. Experiment and let me know what awesome things you all create 🙂

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

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Cork Letters

Cork Letter Craft

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Sooo- I LOVE making homemade gifts for Christmas. Throughout the year I will save ideas for certain people and usually on December 20th I start working on them….. Kidding. Well sort of- my plan is usually to get started wayyyy earlier than I do.

This year one of the gifts I made for a friend was a cork letter of her new last name (she recently got married and decided to take her husbands last name) the idea came from something I saw on Etsy selling for about $100. Um no. And plus I could make that! Soo I did. And you totally can too.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • hot glue (duh- craft staple)
  • burlap or some fabric to wrap your letter
  • knife (be careful 🙂 )
  • corks , the real wine corks made from you know, cork. Not the plastic ones.

Here is how to do it:
I went to Michaels (but any craft store has these) and bought a wood letter, in this case a ‘C’ . It was really inexpensive, I’m talking like $4, PLUS those places always have coupons.

I basically just wrapped the letter in burlap- my thought with this was that the hot glue and corks would stick better to the burlap than the plain letter and my letter was white instead of a wood color and I was going for more of a natural look- anyway, uses some hot glue and wrap the letter. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re covering it.

Then I honestly just cut up corks in a random fashion in tons of different shapes and glued them on! I tried to get them pretty tight to one another and overlapped a lot. Um seriously that’s it! It turned out perfect. I was soo proud of it. Haha. I am totally going to make more.

I feel like I should share that somehow my family came into a trillion corks. So no I’m not boozing on wine every day to save up- though I do have my own little collection started, if only boxed wine had corks, then I’d have a lot 🙂 hahaha- my dad probably isn’t too thrilled about that comment 😉 anyway I am fortunate enough to be able to have TONS of corks at my disposal. Someone we know had asked a restaurant to save them and then realized they didn’t have anything to do with them so they passed them to us. No complaints here!

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Um, yeah thats a 55+ gallon drum filled with corks. loveeeeee

So anyway, this is actually a pretty easy and lower cost project. Hope you have fun and experiment with this! The possibilities are endless.

Thanks for checking out my blog!!

Xo

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