About Me

Texas, United States
I am a stay at home Mom from Oregon who has landed in Texas.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I {heart} yarn wreaths

When it comes to crafting sometimes I want something that is mindless, yet yields a fantastic project. Wrapping Styrofoam wreath forms in yarn fits that bill to a tee! There are so many pictures out there for inspiration. Googling yarn wreath brings thousands of images to choose from.

A few tips to make it easier on you.

1. Start with a basic plan of what you want your finished product to look like. I can't tell you how many forms I've wrapped in a pretty color of yarn thinking I could make something of nothing only to unwrap the whole thing because I couldn't figure out how to finish the darn thing! which leads to #2...

2. Don't be afraid to unwrap your wreath if you don't like how it looks!

3. Wrap that yarn TIGHT. I always do a nice tight layer and then go over it with a "sloppy" layer to give it a more textured look. This ensures that the form is nice and covered, and it gives the finished look a little character.
 4. Have fun and experiment. I saw a picture of this fourth of July wreath and I just went for it. No tutorial to guide me. I'm thrilled with how it turned out. (I wrapped 3/4 in white, 1/4 in blue, and did the red stripes on top, finishing off with buttons). With my ombre style wreath I knew what I wanted it to look like and I just tried different ways to create a fading effect that I was happy with. Next time I will do a few more single strands to symbolize the blending of the colors.
 5. Don't be afraid to accessorize! Hot glue is your friend (as well as how I start and stop my yarn wraps), it can help you put all sorts of baubles and trinkets, banners and flowers, whatever your heart desires on your wreath. The possibilities are seriously endless. Again google or pinterest are great for finding ideas!
6. Different textures create visual interest. I've found that using different thicknesses of yarn, and different fibers for my embellishments helps create depth and makes it fun!

7. Make something that makes you happy! Wreaths are pretty much only there for decoration, and why hang up something unless you love how it looks! Everyones tastes are different, so don't be afraid to make a custom wreath just for you. I love seeing a happy little wreath on my door every time I come home. Makes me smile!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Go bold, or go home!

I don't consider myself to be a tutorial crafter. I find that I create best when I see a picture for inspiration and then I go forth and try to recreate the basic idea, along the way infusing the project with my own spin and tastes. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not!

In the case of my giant chalkboard I had to use others expertise, and a bit of my own trial and error to make a finished product that I adore! It all started with a HUGE, I mean HUGE empty white picture frame that I found for a steal at a garage sale. I'm talking $2.00 for this bad boy! (I know! I couldn't believe my luck!) I immediately knew it had to come home with me and become some sort of family sign.
After a lot of work, mess ups, and a little heartache, that white frame turned into one of my favorite pieces of art in our home. I don't have any step by step instructions on how to create a chalkboard, but if you google chalkboard tutorials you get a ton of hits: here. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. First I painted and glazed my frame. I wanted a nice bold teal, with a dark grey glaze. Well, dark grey glaze translated into a dirty brown glaze, which ended up being a good antique look. Not what I was hoping for, but it has grown on me. So, word of advice, if you are going to glaze something, just use black. Lots of tips on how to glaze things here.

The first wood I chose for the chalkboard ended up being too lumpy. I painted the wood and tried to put chalk on it, and it ate my chalk right up. I couldn't get any of my words to look smooth and it was just a giant mess. So I removed the board and went back to square one. A friend of mine happened to be remaking an empty frame at the same time, and she had some spare wood that worked well, and created a nice smooth finish for her girls to draw on, and she just so happened to have enough extra that she was willing to donate to me! And it turned out fabulously. For those of you wanting to make a chalkboard my advice would be to go to your local hardware store and find the smoothest, thinnest wood for your base. If you have measured your frame (twice to make sure it's accurate!) most places will cut your wood right down to your perfect size! Slap your paint on there (according to the package directions), and you are good to go!

After I was finished I promptly leaned it up against the wall, and left it there for months because I was too scared to draw on it! But hello? The best part about a chalkboard is that nothing is permanent! I don't know what I was so scared of, because I finally worked up the courage and wrote on my board and I love it! To get this look I hopped on the computer and typed up what I wanted to say, messed around with the fonts until I was happy with how it looked, and printed it out as a basic template for my final board. Through more trial and error, doing the best I could to "copy" the look of the specific font (and plenty of erasing) I ended up with a finished product that looks great on the wall, and is a piece the whole family can enjoy! After summer I plan on putting a family quote or some other inspirational saying that we can see every day. I love the idea of easily interchangeable art, and a giant chalkboard gives me just that!
I hope this rambling post can inspire you to be bold! Find an idea that you love and try to make it work for you. Don't be afraid to mess up, because in the crafting world I've found not many things are permanent, and  most mistakes can be fixed (or painted over!).