Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Decor Mini Tutorials

Welcome to Spring!

Today let's do some mini tutorials on how to get your house looking Springy- with stuff you probably already have laying around!

Tutorial A: Floral boot hanging
This piece is both fun and sentimental because all of my kiddos have worn these bright red boots. It was perfect too because I already had scads of silk flowers hanging around from other projects, and of course apple tree clippings are in abundance this time of year. 

  • Boots- preferably the kind with loops sewn onto the backs, or double sided pull loops built into the sides (for hanging purposes) 
  • Silk flowers of your choice
  • Springy looking tree clippings
  • Ribbon
Okay- this is called my spring mini tutorials because these are quick and easy projects! So pay close attention because this one should be the shortest tutorial of them all.
  1. String your ribbon through the loops of the boots wherever they may be, and adjust the length with enough slack to tie a nice bow on top and still retain the length you're looking for. 
  2. Tie a bow, and cut surplus ribbon. Make sure the bow is tight so it doesn't slip loose when you hang the arrangement.
  3. Arrange your silk flowers until it has an aesthetically pleasing appearance to you and then place tree clippings behind in a scattered fashion. 
  4. Hang it up!!!! No really, you're done already. Told you it was simple!  :)
Tutorial B: Spring hanging sign
 This piece is slightly more involved as I did quite a bit of free hand painting on it. However, I think someone who wants the same effect and isn't artistically inclined could get the same outcome by decoupaging printed flowers, or tracing over printed flowers and then painting over that.

  • wood piece- mine is about 10X3 inches, but your can change that up to your fancy
  • Drill & small drill bit (just to make holes big enough to string jewelers wire through)
  • Bendy wire- I bought mine at Walmart in the jewelry crafting section
  • Pencil
  • Printed text (and or flowers according to if you are painting your own flowers like me or tracing some instead) 
  • Fine grit sand paper- unless your wood piece is already smooth enough to your taste
  • Acrylic sealer- OPTIONAL

  1. Sand your wood piece until smooth enough to be able to trace over and paint and not be too disturbed by excess bumpiness. 
  2.  Drill a hole on both top corners where you want the hanging wire to come out of. 


     3. Take your printed text and cut it roughly out- just like in the above pic- so that there's not too much excess paper to work around and then use a sharp pencil to trace the lettering around all the edges. It should look something like this when you're done: 
    4. Add your own flowers/details as you wish at this point to the piece to make it pretty. 
    5. Paint in the text and embellishments. I used acrylic paint for this.
   6. Since I am hanging my sign outdoors I chose to add acrylic sealer to make it a littler more weather resilient. This is an optional step that you can skip if you don't think you'll need it. 
   7. String the wire through the holes leaving a tail on each end for wrapping and making a cute little spring.
   8.  Wrap the tails of the wire around the pencil to create a uniform coil on each side. Then loop the coiled wire around the wire coming out the back of the hole once so that it's got a good attachment and won't come loose when hanging.

    9. Hang it up!!! :) I hung mine above my floral boot arrangement for a sweet little bit of spring emphasis.

Tutorial C: Felt flower wreath

  • Felt sheets in your desired colors, including felt for leaves if you want them
  • Wreath base of some sort- these felt flowers are hot glued, so you can use anything (including even just a cut out and felt covered ring of cardboard) that hot glue would stick to. 
  • Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks- I went through about 8 small glue sticks in my gun making this. 
  • Scissors
  1. Basically all you need to know to make this wreath is how to make felt flowers & leaves- so we'll start with that. 


  • Cut your felt sheets into round to semi-round circles according to the sizes of flowers you want to make. I made all different sizes to fill in the wreath nicely. 
  • Start on an edge and cut spirally into the circle creating a little coil. Cut off the last little circlet on the inner part of the circle. 
  • Start on the outer edge of the coil and start rolling for a broader flatter flower, or start rolling from the center of the coil outward for a taller skinnier flower. 
  • Hot glue the tail end back onto the flower roll. 
You just made a felt flower!! Now the cool part is, you can change these up in almost limitless ways- scallop, fringe, wedge, slice or do what you may to the edges of the coil once it's been cut out to change the overall look of the flower once rolled up. Play with it until you find some designs you love! Or stick with the simple to get the traditional rose look. Then you can use these versatile little things to adorn everything from gift wrapping to little girls headbands!   


  • Cut out rectangles in the sizes and colors desired to make your leaves. 
  • Just cut in a rounded arc from one corner to another on farthest sides of the rectangle, and then repeat, cutting with an opposite angled arc the other direction. Wala! Leaves.

    2. Prep your wreath base. I used a wire wreath base, so mine required hot gluing a ribbon to the bottom so that there was more for the hot glued flowers to cling to. If you're using something else, it might not require that step.
   3. Start making your felt flowers and leaves in bulk and arrange them to your fancy along your wreath! This is all to taste as to how you want your end product to look, so just have some fun! For the best result I recommend gluing down leaves first, then flowers, or tucking and gluing some leaves to the underside of the wreath in addition to under flowers.
Well, that's all folks! If you have any questions, or if you feel I didn't describe something well enough for you to replicate it, please leave me comments and I'll try to help you in any way I can!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Birds of a feather...or silhouette ;)

It's tutorial time again! 
Today I wanted to share how to make some fun mod art for those with bare walls and low budgets! Or just a bird fetish. :) The finished product will look like this:

Materials you will need: 
  • Canvas, canvas board, poster board or even thick poster paper would work.
  • Decoupage glue- I used Modge Podge
  • Paint brush- for decoupage glue
  • Scissors- for trimming 
  • Black permanent marker
  • Old book or papers that you don't mind tearing up 
  • Ribbon (for hanging it up) 
  • Printed bird pictures (see pictures posted later in tutorial) unless you'd like to free hand the birds like I did in the blue background picture.
  • Any little final touch accessories you may want, i.e. buttons
Step 1- Tear up some of the paper you'll be using and get the decoupage glue ready to stick the papers down to the base you've chosen to work with. You can choose to align the page edges with your base like I did in the two piece bird art picture, or you can lay your pages randomly to get a more scattered effect and then trim around the edges like I did in the three piece blue background pic.
Step 2- Once you have your pages glued down, decoupage over the entire surface- thick isn't necessary thin works great. Just make sure you get the whole surface leaving no blank spots because the marker will absorb and reflect funny in any bare spots. Let it dry completely.
While you're waiting for that to dry go print some birds! I just Googled "birds" under the images tab and got all I needed by copying and pasting to a word document and then resizing them to fit my project.
Step 3- Cut out the birds excluding their feet- those are easier to draw on after you position them on their branches.
Step 4- Draw out the basic sketch of your tree branches starting in a corner and stretching out across the canvases leading from one to the other so it appears to be one branch broken between two or three (or however many) canvases. Don't worry about details yet, those are easiest to add last after the branches are all there and colored in.

Step 5- Color in all your branches and add more details. I added leaves in my three piece project, and left the branches bare in my two piece. So, once again, it's up to your own personal taste here.

Branches all filled in- no details yet
Already looks so cool when you separate the pieces!

 Step 6- Decoupage your birds into place where you want them on the branches, and then decoupage over the top of them as well so they have a uniform gloss to the branches. Let dry completely.

Step 7- Color over top of the birds with the marker making sure to get all the edges.

You're done! Sign it, you're an artist! Now you can hot glue some ribbon to the back for hanging them like I did, put them in frames, or add hanging embellishments to your fancy!
Hope you had as much fun making yours as I did mine!