DIY: Mosaic Tray

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a tutorial for you today from Sand and Sisal to make a sea glass mosaic serving tray. You can find the original post here.  What I love about this tutorial is that it’s a basic tutorial that doesn’t have to be applied to only sea glass. You can use tiles, flat stones, flat glass tiles, or broken plates. This process can be applied to anything you’d like to turn into a mosaic, which is possibly why I love being able to write about a process like this.

For this you do need some specific supplies, but they are things that you might have lying around, or they’re easy to find at any hardware store. You’ll need a wood serving tray (you can buy one new or you can check second hand and vintage stores to see what’s around), spray paint, enough sea glass or tile to cover the area of your tray, some ready to use tile adhesive, premixed grout, a toothed trowel, a pallet knife, a rubber tile float, and a sponge.

Your first step – if your tray has been finished, is to sand the tray with 100 grit sand paper to remove any shiny lacquer.

Your next step is to give the try a couple coats of the (wood suitable) spray paint in the colour of your choice.

With a toothed trowel, apply a thin coat of adhesive to a small part of the tray base and comb the teeth through the adhesive. If you’re using a large trowel, you can use a pallet knife to spread the adhesive into the small corners and edges, and then comb it afterwards.

For the best result, try to work in small sections. It’s important that the adhesive is applied in a thin layer. you don’t want it oozing over the tiles. Start pressing your sea glass (or other tiles) into the adhesive. The tile should sit about half way in the adhesive.  Follow the package directions for the adhesive to set up.

After you’ve placed all your tiles, you can pull out the grout. Put some grout on the float (the rubber scraper thing) and start pressing  and smearing it into the sea  glass so that it gets into all the crevasses and into the edges. Don’t worry about smearing it on top of the glass – it will be smoothed and wiped off the top later.

Once your tray is covered, scrape any excess grout off the top with your float.

Your last step is to clean up that mess! Use a wet sponge to clean up the edges of your tray and to remove the layer of grout from the top of the sea glass or tile. When it looks mostly clean, let it dry. When it’s dry, the glass will look a little dusty, and this is when you can take a clean, damp sponge and buff the glaze off the glass to let it shine.

Et, voila! Your tray is done and ready to be used, or gifted to some lucky friend.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Recommended Knitting Tutorials

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Grandest of Mondays to you, fellow Hackers!

I hope that all of you enjoyed a restful and enjoyable weekend and that most importantly, you fit in a little crafting time. This week, I wanted to share with the knitters out there some of my favorite places to learn more about knitting. Most are YouTube channels and I highly recommend subscribing so that you can get alerted to when there are new videos up. But there are also a couple websites that I check out occasionally to learn new stitches or find out the latest about new yarns on the market.

One of my favorite YouTube channels to follow is Joanne’s Web. There is something really lovely about Joanne’s tutorials. She is very good about going slowly through each step so as not to confuse newer/beginning knitters. She is also the adorable older lady and from the very first of her videos that I watched, I just loved her. It felt like sitting down and learning to knit with one’s grandma (who is ironically who originally taught me how to knit when I was just a preteen). She not only teaches things like how to actually do different types of stitches, but she also has specific patterns she teaches you. I use her fingerless glove pattern all the time because they are quick and easy to make. Another benefit is that a number of her videos are in Spanish as well.

Wool And The Gang is another fun channel to subscribe to. They also offer easy-to-follow tutorials so it is great for beginning knitters and novices. They also have a number of free patterns that they offer. Wool And The Gang is an actual company so in addition to their YouTube channel with wonderful tutorials, they have a website and blog. You know what else they have? A mascot… Meet Al The Alpaca.

Those are my main go-to YouTube channels when I’m either looking at learning a new stitch or trying to find a new pattern to try out. Some others that I subscribe to are RJ Knits and Sheep & Stitch.

Most of us are not only aware of Craftsy, we practically LIVE on their site. This is fabulous place to find patterns (they offer free and priced, but I have yet to see a bad pattern on that site). I also am a fan of LoveKnitting because they also sell yarn (like Craftsy and Wool and the Gang) and offer coupons and special pricing almost daily. (I recommend signing up for their email list to see what’s new and what specials they’re offering that day).

I hope that, for any beginners or skilled knitters out there, these resources not only help to continue your ever-expanding knitting knowledge but also provide you with a bevy of new projects for your horizons.

Happy Knitting!

 

~Scribe Sarah~


DIY: Vintage Light Fixture Revamp

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

I found a DIY that looks much more complicated than it is, and it is a great way to bring vintage into your home  – or your apartment. The best part is, is that it uses the base of light fixtures that I see in almost every apartment that I’ve been in, and they’re in my apartment right now.

You can find the original tutorial here on A Beautiful Mess, and you really can do any colour you prefer, given that you can use spray paint to either match the pieces to each other or do do it in another colour entirely. You do need some supplies and tools, though. You’ll need a sunburst mirror frame, like this one. You can use any mirror frame as long as it’s easy to remove the mirror so you can use the base. You’ll need a ceiling flush mount light small enough to sit inside your mirror frame, like this one. You will also need gold (or your choice of colour) spray paint, painter’s tape as well as screws and a drill.

As always, we recommend safety first, so since we’re getting into working with light fixtures, you can do this project together with an electrician or a friend with experience, or you can use this guide to help guide your experience. Please make sure that your power is off whenever you’re working on a light fixture. We don’t want any mishaps.

So, depending on what method you choose, you may need to remove the existing light fixture. Since this tutorial uses a light that is a few inches smaller than the mirror frame, paint was added to the ceiling area that would be showing in between the fixture and the mirror. All you need to do is place each fixture where it will go, trace around them and tape off the area that you’re not painting. If you’re worried about using spray paint and the fact that it is airborne and can go anywhere, you can use a liquid paint and brush. Remove the tape when dry (see above).

Using the same paint, paint the base of the light fixture. Just make sure to tape off the back so that there’s no electrical parts that get painted. Add your light bulb and globe shade.

On the mirror frame, you can bend back any tabs that hold the mirror in place and remove the mirror and any backing material from the middle. Just give this frame a coat of the same paint that you used for the rest of the project so that it looks like one unit and there’s no odd colour difference. You can just use 4 screws and wedge them between the spokes of the frame to hold it in place.

When your light fixture is secure, you’re done! It looks fabulous in the gold, but if you’re going for a different kind of retro vibe, you could use a beautiful teal spray paint, or copper. Whatever colour suits your mood and decor!

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Crushed Glass Coasters

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

 

I have a super easy but really beautiful tutorial for you. If you were looking to make these as a gift, or decorate your own coffee table, they’re pretty simple and super impressive. The original tutorial can be found here.

You will need some supplies. You’ll need some cork coasters. I would recommend trying to find ones that have a small lip, like these from IKEA.  You will also need a decorative filler (you can explore a local craft store or even the garden/aquarium sections of a dollar store to find something you like).  The filler doesn’t have to be crushed glass, it can be anything you find that you like. Small stones, wee crystals, beads of varying sizes… really whatever you like.

You’ll need whatever colour spray paint you’d like your coasters to be, and some  Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glue. This type of glue is recommended for the effect that it gives. Most crafting stores will carry this brand of glue or you can ask your helpful salesperson what they would recommend.

Your first step is to spray paint your coasters and let them dry. Next, take your decorative filler and fill your coasters. You just want to use a thin layer, you don’t want to actually fill your coasters. Use your dimensional magic and fill in the coasters. You’ll want to make sure that all of your filler is submerged in the glue so nothing is sticking out. One container of the glue in the size linked above will fill 4 coasters, FYI.

Let them dry for 24 hours, and you have an impressive gift, or addition to your room.

 

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY: Lap Desks

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a great no-sew DIY for a great lap desk that can be used to have a solid, hard surface for laptops, homework, reading, colouring, or whatever you’d like to use it for. The original tutorial can be found here at A Beautiful Mess.

You will need some supplies: A wooden lap desk top (You can buy one like this, or if you’re super crafty with wood and wood tools, you could make one), a foam square – fabric stores will often carry this, and craft stores might as well. You’ll need some fabric (1/3 – 1/2 a yard, depending on the size of your lap desk top), and trim. As for tools, you’ll need a few. Scissors, fabric glue, staple gun and staples (make sure they’re shorter than the lap desk top), wood stain and brushes (optional).

Your first step is to place the lap desk on the foam and trace the pattern. When you cut the foam though, cut it a little smaller than the top. You can use the scissors to cut the foam, and if your edges aren’t perfect, don’t panic. You’ll hide them. 🙂

If you’re choosing to stain the desk, now is the time. You can stain the tops and the sides of the lap desks. Let them fully dry.

Next, place the foam over the bottom side of the lap desk top (you might want to glue part of it down in the centre so that it stays put) and lay your fabric over top of the foam.  Try to make the edges look clean and pull the fabric tight as you staple the fabric to the desk top, stapling the fabric just underneath the foam to hold it in place – don’t fear stapling some of the foam down as well – this will just attach it more firmly. If any of your staple ends poke through the top of the desk, remove them and try again. No one wants to be bitten by rogue staples when trying to do work. It’s very distracting.

Trim any excess fabric and if you so choose to make a nice clean line at the seam where the fabric was stapled in place, glue some trim at the seam, and wait for it to dry.

And you’re done! Customizable lap desks that are great not just for laptop users, but for kids that like to colour and draw.

Happy back to school!

~ Megan


DIY: Marbled Planters.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a beautiful, easy tutorial for you to spice up your balcony garden, or any place where you’ve got plants. Actually, what I love the most about this tutorial is that it can be used on more than just planters. You could use it on almost anything you can dip. You can find the original tutorial here, and check out how cool this looks…

The best part is that you can walk into any dollar store or craft store and find something you can dip. These can make amazing gifts for birthdays, bridal showers, or even just to give your home a little colour. Just remember that with this particular technique, you’re using spray paint, and so you will want to make sure this all stays on the outside of whatever project you’re doing. I wouldn’t say this is food safe.

So, your first step is to get spray paints of the colurs you would like to marble. RustOleum is recommended if you’re looking for metallics, but the rest is up to you! You will also need a container deep enough for whatever you want to dip. So a bucket or a tote would work very well. You might also want to test your dips before actually working on your piece, so some paper cups would come in handy. You’ll also need some painters tape, if you’re wanting to have some sharp edges. And that will be your first step (see above), to tape off any areas you do not want dipped,  or not, as you prefer.

Start to add your spray paint to the water filled tub. You will need to do this quickly, so read everything first and then start. Make sure to hold your spray can about 10 inches from the water, so you don’t get bubbles that will show up on your finished piece.

Add as many colours as you’d like, and spray them in in different places.

When you’ve added all of your colours, give your bucket a very gentle couple of taps on the side to make waves (not bubbles) to swirl the paint around.

Slowly dip your project into the water. If you go too fast or if your paint is too dry (see my comment about working fast above), the paint surface will break and you will have gaps with uneven edges.

Dip the planter into the water as far as you’d like and hold it there for about 30 seconds while you lightly fan the paint surface to quicken drying. If you used painters tape, it will make it so that any wiggling that would put more paint on in that area, will be removable.

Use a spoon to wipe away all the remaining paint floating on the surface of the water (you might want to use a plastic spoon for that). This will allow your project to come out with a clean design.

Let everything dry completely before you remove your painter’s tape. And voila! You’re done. You might want to give a spray with a sealant if you’re planning on using these outside, so that inclement weather doesn’t have any ill effects on your work of art. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Happy Crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY Travel Checkers

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Good morning, Friday Crafthackers!

We are in the middle of road trip season,  and you know what that means? It means keeping people entertained. In a car. For hours on end. So I bring for you a beautiful little diy that can be brought with you anywhere! You can find the full tutorial here for how to make a travel checkers kit.

You’ll need some supplies: Felt – two colours, 1 piece each at 8″x 8″ for the board. Two colours, one piece each for the tokens at 4″ x 5″. You’ll need one colour of  8.5″ x 8.5″ for the board, and one more colour, two pieces of 9″ x 11″ for the bag, if you’d like to make one. Cotton:  1 piece of 10″ x 23″, to line the bag so it can slip easily in and out. You’ll also need thread, a hot glue gun and glue (optional), buttons (12 of each of two different colours), 2 one yard measured drawstrings that can be made from whatever you like. 2 Pony beads.

To make your checkerboard, cut 8 strips of each colour for your board at 1″ wide and 8″ long. Cut the background piece of felt to 8.5″ x 8.5″. On a flat surface, lay background piece flat and weave the strips together to form the board on top of the background. This can be done by weaving over and under, and centre the board on the background piece so that you have a background border of about half an inch.

Stich the pieces down with a wide zigzag strip, going around the pieces that have been woven to make the board. Make sure to test each strip when you’re done to make sure they won’t pull up, especially ones hidden by the edge strips. Give the edges a second go over if you’re finding anything pulling.

For your tokens, use a quarter or another 1″ circle and trace 12 circles on each of the two different colours of felt you chose for your pieces. Cut the circles just on the inside of your traced lines so you don’t see the ink. Attach your buttons to the circles either sewing by hand or using hot glue. The felt tokens will cling to the board and when they are kinged, you can flip them over and put the two felt sides together and they should cling there as well.

You can follow the directions on the page for a drawstring bag, and there are directions here for a fabric bag. You might also just want to stick this in a little ziplock bag, and be done with it, if you’re anything like me.

Another interesting take on something like this would be to print symbols for chess, and glue them to round buttons (instead of anything else) on the pieces. You could even make two sets of tokens, one for chess, one for checkers.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY Personalized Mouse Pads

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you a DIY for he men in your life. Whether it’s a birthday or a groomsmen gift, finding hand made gifts that work for men can be a challenge. What I love about this tutorial, as the original writer states (who is a gentleman), is that it’s gender neutral. So you can customize it for whomever you’d like to give it to, but that makes it perfect for a gift for a gentleman.

This is a tutorial for a hand printed mouse pad (you can find the original here). Perfect for gamers, tech lovers, and people who work at a computer. You’ll need some supplies for this. You’ll of course need an 8″ round, blank mouse pad. For your own ease of work, I would probably choose ones that don’t have the wrist rests, and I would probably choose white, so you can do whatever other colour you would like, and it will show up easily. You will also need 8.5 x 11 full sheet labels, a computer and printer, a craft knife/box cutter and cutting surface, a textile acrylic paint and stencil brush (which is available at craft stores, and iron and wax paper.

Your first step is to choose your design from a template that you can find online (check out this website here) or you can design your own if you’re artsy that way, and print it onto the label paper. Secoondly, you’ll need to choose your colour palate, and a lighter colour for the background is recommended, and a darker one for the foreground image. You will need to use the stencil brush to apply a base layer of colour.

While this coat dries, you can use this time to cut out the grey images of your template.

Make sure to keep the white images that you cut out though, as they will be the resist for the top layer of colour.

Peel the backing layer off the largest piece, and carefully adhere it to where you would like it to be on the mousepad. Using the template to refer back to, place the other pieces on the mousepad so that you have a replica of the original image on the mousepad.

Mix your top colour to your satisfaction and using a stencil brush, use quick dabs to apply the paint. Wish stencilling, you don’t want to have massive quantities of paint on your brush. It’s better to go with less to get the sharper lines. Remember, you can always go over the design a second time to make sure the area is covered.

When the paint is dry, cover the mouse pad with two layers of wax paper and iron on medium high heat (or follow the package directions) to set the ink.

And that’s it! Now, keep in mind that if you’re wanting to add other colours, that you can do that in any of the negative spaces. You’re not limited to one colour.

Hope you enjoyed this cool tutorial. Happy crafting!

~Megan


Burlap Candle DIY

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers.

I’ve found a lovely DIY for you that’s a lovely little gift that you can personalize for any occasion. I’ve used this tutorial as a reference from DIY Beautify.

You will need a few basic supplies that you can find at any craft store. You’ll need a large cylindrical glass vase that is large enough to showcase your ribbon and be an appropriate size for a candle holder. Remember you can make them big enough for pillars, or small enough for tea lights. You’ll need some wide burlap ribbon. You might be able to find this edged in something pretty, and if not, you can beautify it yourself with some inspired trim and a glue gun. You’ll also need some black acrylic paint, a stiff stencil brush, craft vinyl and transfer paper.

The original poster does this tutorial with a die cut machine or silhouette machine that’s often used for scrapbooking and other paper crafts. If you don’t have one though, you can always cut a stencil that’s a little less delicate and easier to work with and use that instead.

First. you will need to create your design. You can do this yourself or if you’re not super digitally crafty, you can use Pic Monkey. You can also use other programs online or find a design you are fond of. Keep in mind if you’re wanting to do a wedding specific monogram, there’s an order to the initials. It should be the wife’s first name initial, the husband’s last name initial, then the husband’s first name initial.

Your next step is to cut your design out on craft vinyl. This will mean that you’ve measured, saved and printed your image to cut it out on the vinyl, or that you’ve done your own creative work. The vinyl will be discarded as it’s just a stencil, but the transfer paper is what’s important, and if you’re unsure of how to use it, here’s a tutorial. Use the transfer paper. Please keep in mind this isn’t a necessity, but it does help make it easier to keep everything centred and where you want it to be. It also allows  you to keep all the small pieces where they need to be for the very fine stenciling.

The colour of the vinyl doesn’t matter as we’re creating a stencil that will get discarded. This is a super easy way to get the design transfered to the burlap all in one piece. Using the photos above, 1. Use transfer paper to remove your design from the cuting matt. peel all the positive space away from your vinyl, leaving the negative space to give you a stencil. 2. Lay the stencil (which is still on the transfer paper so you can centre it with ease) on the burlap and burnish well. Gently and slowly peel the transfer paper away from the vinyl while making sure all the pieces stay behind. 3. Using the acrilic paint and brush, stencil the design. Use minimal paint for a crisp design. 4. Make sure the whole area is covered with paint before you peel and discard.

When your paint is dry, use a glue gun to affix your ribbon to the vase.

You can fill the vase with whatever you’d like to make it beautiful. Sand, rocks, coffee beans, fish tank pebbles. Whatever you think will look nice. Coffee beans and a vanilla candle can make some beautiful aromas though.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Happy crafting!

~megan


DIY: Birdseed Wedding Favours

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Hello Thursday Crafthackers!

Wedding season is coming up and if you’re getting married, and haven’t taken care of your favours yet, not to worry! Here’s a DIY from Intimate Weddings that is simple, easy and super sweet.

All you’ll need is 3/4 cup of flour, 1/2 cup water, an envelope of unflavoured gelatin (2.5 teaspoons), 3 tbsp corn syrup, 4 cups of birdseed. You will also need some tools. A large mixing bowl, a heart shaped cookie cutter (or whatever shape you would like), nonstick spray, a chopstick or bamboo baking skewer (for hole poking), parchment paper, a cookie sheet and jute or raffia or whatever string/ribbon you’d like to use to hang your feeders (you can go rustic or match your colours). You’ll also need some card stock, a rubber stamp (with your message on it), ink, a rounded corner punch and a hole punch. Be aware, this will make approximately 20 two inch hearts.

 

Mix flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup. Add birdseed and mix well.

Lubricate the inside of the cookie cutter with your spray (or wipe it with oil), Place the cookie cutter on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and spoon the mixture inside of the cookie cutter and press the mixture firmly with greased fingers. Make sure it’s tightly packed, as the tighter it is, the less shedding you will have.

 

Use your skewer or chopstick to poke a hole near the top of the heart to thread your string through.

Carefully pull cookie cutter away from birdseed heart.  Repeat until all the mixture is used up.You should respray the cookie cutter after every six hearts, that way it won’t stick.

 

Let them dry for 6-8 hours or overnight. Cut 10-12 inches of jute/whatever you chose for each heart. String the jute through the heart and add your tag. You can use the rubber stamp (your choice), your card stock, and the rounded corner punch to create your tags. Tie the jute into a knot after you have added the tag. They’re ready to be hung from branches at the wedding or you can put them on the table inside bags or boxes. It’s useful to note you should make these no more than a few days ahead of time, otherwise they may molder if they’re left for long periods of time.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan.