Arts & Crafts

DIY Polymer Clay Hearts

DIY- Polymer Clay Valentine’s Day Ornaments

I have a small ornament tree that is perfect for year round holiday decorating. I love the idea of hanging small ornaments on it, but hate buying them for all of the various holidays. So, I wondered how could I make Valentine’s ornaments for a nominal cost. Perusing the holy grail of craft ideas, Pinterest, I found polymer clay. That’s all I needed for inspiration.

So, after a quick trip to my favorite craft store, I was ready to get my hands a little dirty.  I set out to create these super cute Valentine’s Day ornaments.

Supplies 

To make them you will need one small package of Sculpey III ®, a heart shaped cookie cutter, a doily, ribbon, a knife and a small dowel for rolling out the clay. I bought the starter tool set for polymer clay, it was all of $10 bucks and I figured I would get a lot of use out of it.  I also picked up wax paper to roll the clay out on.

polymer_clay_hearts

Directions for Polymer Clay Ornaments

Take a little of the clay in your hand and warm it up by playing with it. Think of it as play dough.  Then, place it on the wax paper and roll it out to about a ¼-inch thickness.  Next, place the doily on top of the clay and press it into the clay with the dowel.  This will leave a pattern on the clay.  When you have the pattern the way you want it, cut out a heart with the cookie cutter.  Once I had the heart cut out, I took one of the tools to place two small holes in the tops of the heart to run a ribbon through.

To finish the ornament, bake it in a 250-degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Any longer and it may burn; any less and it may not cure properly.

polymer clay ornaments

Notes

Polymer clay is durable and does not necessarily need to be sealed. It’s plastic clay and is said to hold up to the wear, weathering and washing.  Still, you may choose to seal your polymer clay creations.  To seal it, brush it with a thin layer of a product called Varathane. I would recommend not letting your kids do this part.

For more info check out these resources:  The Blue Bottle Tree and Waterlily Charms

DIY Painted Mugs

DIY Painted Mugs: Glass Paint or Sharpies

I recently picked up the Day Designer ® by Whitney English and as luck would have it, the planner came in either black and white or gold and white.  You can guess which one I opted for.  As it became more apparent that gold was a prominent accent in my new office, I went searching for a gold and white coffee mug for my morning latte as I prep for my day.  I stumbled across a DIY project that looked pretty fun and easy.  Painted mugs…. the question then became glass paint or Sharpie oil based paint.

day_designer_planner

I opted to try both methods to see which I liked better.  I started with plain white mugs and saucers from Target and then set out create my own DIY painted mugs.  The whole project took a mere 2 hours to complete, including baking time.

Using the Sharpie was easy. I had great control over the paint and was able to coat the handle relatively evenly.  There were a few places where it just wouldn’t take, but it is hardly noticeable after drying and baking.  The color is a little dull for my liking, but the finish looks smoother.

 

set_up_to_paint

Next, I tried Martha Stewart’s Glass Paint by Plaid.  I like the color of the glass paint much better. It’s brighter and looks truly gold. Using a paintbrush to apply the paint wasn’t an easy task. It went on a little goopy and was not as smooth as I would have liked. ( it doesn’t help that my hand could be a lot steadier too)

gold_latte_mug

After I finished the painting, I let them dry. Once they dried, I baked the pieces at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

DIY painted mugs is such an easy project and would be fabulous to do as a  gift or as a favor for a bridal shower.  The color options are endless as are the design options.  Scribble a favorite saying, stencil a pretty picture, or free hand a pattern. Have fun and let your style shine.

The Gilded Egg Project

As a child, I loved to decorate Easter eggs.  It was always a rite of spring. I recall my brother and I sitting at the kitchen table with the Paas eggs dyes set up in front of us and eagerly waiting for mom to bring over the hard-boiled eggs for us to decorate. We would fight over the colors, with each of us wanting to dip our eggs into the same color at, of course, the same time. Siblings behaving badly….. oh well.

Today, there are a myriad of new ways to decorate eggs for Easter. Some methods seem crazy expensive considering eggs are perishable. Recently, I discovered gold gilded eggs but the project used hard boil eggs or empty eggshells.  Gold leaf is not a cheap supply. A package of 25 sheets is roughly $8.00. It seemed to me there had to be a way to get the same look and still be able to use the eggs the following year.

Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Joanne’s carry other egg shaped materials that let you decorate eggs for Easter and keep them from year to year.  I popped into Hobby Lobby and picked up six plaster of Paris eggs, some fun paint colors and a package of gold leaf.

The results weren’t too bad for the first time using gold leaf. I will tell you though, I got it all over me.

See the tutorial I was inspired by at Little Inspiration via Casa Sugar.

gilded Easter Eggs

gold gilded Easter eggs

Creating Custom Pony Tail Holders

I purchased a few supplies to make buttons for a project I am working on, and it occurred to me the buttons could be turned into custom pony tail holders.

finished_hair_tie

You will need the following:

A scrap of material, enough for a 3 inch circle

A pony tail elastic

Scissors

Buttons

A 3 inch round pattern

button_hair_tie

Start by cutting the circle out of the fabric,  then using the button tool, lay the fabric in the mold, then insert the first part of the button over the fabric.

button_cover

 

Fold over the fabric and secure with the button backing, snap it in place and remove from the mold. Using the metal loop on the back, thread the elastic through the loop and pull one end through the other, securing it tightly.

covered_button

 

This is a great project for elementary school girls, or one for mom to do to create custom hair ties for a daughter with longer hair.  I love the idea of matching the button to the color in an outfit, or sweater.

As I was putting this together I ran into a few small hitches. The fabric you use needs to be a medium weight, quilter squares would work well, but a slightly thicker fabric would be best. I had to play with the circle size and found a 3 inch circle worked best.

 

An Inspiring Love Affair With The Wreath

Can I tell you about my love affair with wreaths?  I adore how they dress up a door and add character to a house.  Wreaths aren’t just for your front door.  This time of year festive wreaths can adorn a wall or perhaps the back of chairs. They can add elegance to your mantel or provide an unexpected pop hanging from a door handle.  The options are limited only by your imagination.  Here are a few ideas to inspire.

On the back of a chair……. 

This delicate wreath hung with a red and white checkerboard ribbon is perfect for that spring tea with friends.  Use a larger wreath in holiday greenery and  tie it with a wider satin or velvet ribbon and you have quite the dressed up chair.

Elegantly Framed……

Framing a wreath really does create a work of art.  I love the texture and visual appeal of using a fancy frame while pairing it with the more casual use of grosgrain ribbon and rick rack ribbon.  As an alternative try a plain frame with a more ornate wreath or pair a grape vine wreath with a visually heavier frame.

Who says a wreath has to be round…..

Think out side the box and go for a square wreath. It’s unexpected and has quite an angular appeal. Other shapes to think about, your initial.  How welcoming would it be to “monogram” your front door for the holidays?

Or made from greenery……

Every year I tell myself I will finally make a wreath made with sparkly glass ornament balls. The best thing about this wreath is that you can make it out of any color scheme; match it to your holiday decor or draw from your year round colors.   It’s a beautiful option to the usual green pine wreaths.  In a southern climate, it’s a little weird to have a pine wreath gracing the front door, don’t you think?