Quiet sunrises, falling leaves and the smell of pine in the air… these cabin inspired home decor projects bring a little bit of what we love about the outdoors in! Handmade Charlotte’s Woodland stencil package, now available at Michaels, has a whopping 80+ stencils included, so you can pick your favorite combo. The fall color palette in these projects make these ideas fun for the little camper in your life or to bring a touch of woodlands to your home. See the full how-to for all six of these projects. And check out Handmade Charlotte’s Family Craft Challenge to win big!
Under fragrant shade trees with cool glasses of lemonade surrounded by friends is how we’d like to spend the last few weeks of summer. Let these three projects using the Martha Stewart Crafts® Decoupage line inspire your own end of the season soiree. Haven’t gotten to try the new Decoupage line yet? Grab a coupon to save 40% at Michaels.
- Decoupaged Floral Pitcher and Tumblers: Lemonade, or the beverage of your choosing, looks gorgeous in glass. The floral accents add the right amount of flair in this set crafted by Jaderbomb.
- Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe: This Tic-Tac-Toe set from C.R.A.F.T. would be such a fun centerpiece for your outdoor cocktail or dinner party. Love that it does double duty as a conversation sparking set.
- Floral Embellished Cloth Napkins: Machine washable fabric-to-fabric decoupage is perfect for these napkins for a truly striking table setting by One Dog Woof.
If you’re anything like me, you cringe when you hear the words “back to school.” It can only mean one thing—summer is coming to an end! As sad as it may be, it does create an opportunity for a cool DIY project or two as we ready our kids for school. Here are five fun & easy DIY bags and cases to get you ready for the fall.
DIY Quilted Computer Sleeve
visit the purl bee for the pattern & tutorial
Here’s a perfect project for the older kids with laptops (or for mom, for that matter!). A perfect disguise for toning down the tech!
Back-To-School Lunch Bag
visit the purl bee for the tutorial
Ditch the paper bags for a re-usable, washable, and totally awesome fabric lunch bag! Another gem from The Purl Bee that will bring smiles when you send your little one off to school every morning.
Felt Pencil Case
visit martha stewart for the tutorial
Keep all your child’s school supplies together in this stylish & easy to make felt pencil case. A perfect use for felt scraps and stray buttons lying around your craft studio!
visit kollabora for the tutorial
Your little gal will be the envy of her class with this stylish backpack. The pattern is easy to customize with your own choice of fabric, buttons, and straps.
DIY Chevron Army Backpack
visit elemental carbon for the tutorial
We had to include a project for the boys! They won’t be hiding this ruggedly cool pack in the back of their closet.
As much as my kids love summer, it’s not always easy to help them find ways to occupy their time. We all know that nothing breeds mischief like a child with too much time on their hands, so it’s always good to have a few quick & easy crafts ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Here are five of my recent favorite printable crafts & activities for kids…
Strawberry Treat Box Printable
visit oh happy day to download the free printable
Kate Lilley from Mini-eco is one of my favorite go-to sources for printables—the bold & colorful graphics are always a big hit with he kids. This strawberry treat box printable she created for Oh Happy Day is super cut and totally fun.
DIY Peg Dolls Summer Adventure with Cardboard Sea Creatures
Visit Mr Printables to download the template
Here’s a fab craft from another one of my favorites, Mr Printables. The six sea creatures (whale, dolphin, shark, octopus, jellyfish, and flying fish) are a snap to make: simply print the templates, cut some cardboard, and assemble by slotting the pieces (no glue required). They make perfect seaworthy companions for Mr Printables’ DIY peg dolls. Love!
visit mini-eco to download the free printable
Here’s another free printable gem recently shared on Mini-Eco. The 3D geometric creatures are super fun to fold & create, and your little one will gain a better understanding of basic shapes in the process.
Printable Sewing Card Activity
visit handmade charlotte to download the free printable
This printable activity that we shared on Handmade Charlotte a while back is always a big hit with the kids. Threading the funky hairdos is a perfect way to introduce your child to the joys of sewing.
Oscillating Bird Science Toy
visit made by joel to download the template
Joel Henriques’ DIY oscillating bird toy is a perfect tool for teaching kids the science of potential energy. The best part? Your child will be having way too much fun to ever realize that they’re learning something new!
Doesn’t food look even tastier when it’s all dolled up? Trade in your plastic cake dome for a personalized glass one to glam up the best part of any meal – dessert! Over at Eclectically Vintage, Kelly uses our Martha Stewart Crafts™ glass paint line to rework a glass cake dome to punch up the personality factor. She chose the oh-so appropriate “Let Them Eat Cake” to etch onto her dome, but choose whatever makes you smile. Or, this is a fun place to personalize with your monogram! A perfect hostess gift with your own sweet homemade creation inside – they’ll be doubly impressed! Ready for the (surprisingly easy) how-to? Jump on over to Kelly’s blog for the full details.
Oh, my monarch! Nature is such a special inspiration for creativity – let our beautiful Butterfly Trio land atop and adorn you with style. Using the Martha Stewart Crafts™ line of jewelry, our team created this gorgeous little family of butterflies to add a bit of pizzazz to your jewelry collection. The pieces look great paired with your favorite little black dress, or what about jazzing up your basic jeans and tee? The line is available exclusively at Michael’s.
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools – Chain Nose Pliers
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools – Flat Nose Pliers
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools – Silicone Tip Brush
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools – Jewelry Glue
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Tools – Silicone Work Mat
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Silicone Molds – Butterfly
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Epoxy Clay – Beetle Black
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Enamel Paint – Yellow Jacket
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Enamel Paint – Habanero Red
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Enamel Paint – Meringue White
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Beads – Brown 8mm Faceted Round
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Chains – Fat Oval Gold
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Findings – Jump Rings Twist Gold
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Findings – Lobster Butterfly
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Findings – Charms Woodland
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Cabochon Settings – Ring Blanks
- Martha Stewart Crafts™ Jewelry Enamel Blanks – Butterflies
- Gold ear wires
- Gold eye pins
- Mix equal amounts of beetle black epoxy clay and epoxy clay activator according to instructions in package. TIP: Use a very light coat of olive oil on your fingertips to prevent the clay from sticking to your skin.
- Press the mixed clay firmly into the silicone molds of the two black butterflies pictured. The silicone tip brush can help push clay into small, tight areas. After a few hours, use the silicone tip brush or a toothpick to make two holes in the tips of the large butterfly’s wings. The holes need to be large enough to loosely fit two gold jump rings.
- Allow the epoxy clay to dry thoroughly, about 24 hours.
- Once the clay is dry, remove the butterflies from the mold. Mix white enamel paint and the enamel activator on the silicone work mat according to instructions in package.
- While the enamel is curing, if there is any olive oil residue on your clay butterflies, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Dry thoroughly. Using the silicone tip brush or a toothpick, apply the white enamel to each indent in the butterflies’ wings. The enamel will have a liquid consistency and this will help it flow nicely into the crevices. Fill each indent enough so the black clay beneath does not show through. The white enamel will make a clean, bright base coat so the next layer of enamel colors show up vividly.
- Wait until the white enamel is mostly dry (about 24 hours). Apply yellow and red enamel paints to the silicone work mat and mix an orange and a yellow-orange color. Mix the appropriate amount of enamel activator separately with each shade of orange and some yellow enamel paint according to instructions in package. Allow the three colors to cure for about two hours.
- While waiting for the enamel to cure, you can make the earrings. Using an eye pin, slide one of the yellow or brown beads onto the pin and make a loop at the end so that there is a loop on either side of the bead. Attach one end of this bead connector to a gold ear wire and the other end to one of the gold enamel butterfly blanks. Repeat for other earring.
- While waiting for the enamel to cure, you can also make the chain for the necklace. Determine desired length of necklace and cut the gold chain to that length. Cut the chain in half.
- Attach the butterfly lobster clasp to one end of each chain with jump rings (not pictured).
- Attach the woodland charms to the other ends of the chain with jumprings as pictured.
- Once the yellow, light orange, and dark orange enamel paints have cured for about two hours, use the silicone tip brush or a toothpick to fill in the white spaces on both butterflies as pictured. Allow the enamel to dry completely (about 24-72 hours).
- When the enamel is fully dry, attach the large butterfly to the woodland charms on the chain with jump rings.
- For the ring, lay the small butterfly facedown, apply glue to the back of the butterfly, and press the ring blank into the glue. Allow glue to dry fully for 24 hours before wearing.
Tip: For additional color, try carefully adding enamel to the metal butterfly enamel blanks on the earrings (before you attach them to the ear wires and beads).
To make other types of butterflies, try using different colors of the Martha Stewart Crafts Jewelry Enamel. There are ten colors to choose from and they mix just like regular paint so you can achieve a wide variety of beautiful colors.
I was recently looking through a Ballard Designs catalog and saw a great wall decoration. What caught my eye was the soft color palette, which I immediately converted to Folk Art in my head! So, I got out some Folk Art paint chips and started referencing colors and design and came up with this!
I gathered my supplies, the Folk Art colors, a Plaid surface that’s a cute wood sign with nine squares set inside the wood frame, which, I thought, was a perfect match for the wall hanging I saw in the catalog, and a Peel & Stick painting stencil from Simply that had some great images on it to make patterns.
I basecoated everything and set the wood squares in order as I wanted them in the frame. Easy enough, right?
I also played a little with the stencils, and figured out where I wanted to place each image from the stencil. This made things much easier when I started the actual painting of the project.
I dipped my #10 flat brush into water and side loaded into the Cinnamon color. Then, I just followed the outside edge of the wood square and shaded the sides like this.
I used a very light touch with the stencil brush to basecoat the butterfly on the center square and lightly added the Cinnamon this way.
I also added a slight dry brushed edge to some of the squares on the outside edges and with an all over brushed effect on others, using Ivory White.
These Peel & Stick stencils make it very easy to make all over patterns with the smaller elements on the sheet.
I used a ruler to mark the half way point of the outer edge of the frame so I could center the stencils I used on it.
I tried to make everything look soft by using an almost dry brush to stencil with. I also shaded the images using this technique. This way, I kept a continuous look throughout the project. I love how it turned out, don’t you?
Finally, I used E6000 to place the wood squares back into the frame and let it dry for the day with a fan blowing on it to be sure everything stayed in place when it was hung on the wall.
Here they are side-by-side. What do you think?
Many crafters and painters are curious about sandpapers, sanding tools and why we sand a surface to begin with. I thought I would share a little of my Sanding 101 knowledge with you.
So, just what is sandpaper? Sandpaper as we know it today is made of these components: paper or fabric backing, grit, and the adhesive to hold the two together. When rubbed against a surface, sandpaper will smooth rough areas. Sandpaper can be purchased as flat paper, in rolls or belts. It can also be purchased in the form of a sanding block, disc or sponge. I found an article on eHow.com which states that sandpaper can be traced back to 13th century China where it was made of crushed shells, seeds and sand. It wasn’t until 1834 that a patent was processed for the first mass-production assembly, when finely crushed glass particles were used and the product was known as glasspaper! However in 1916, the 3M Company began developing different abrasives for different types of surfaces as well as improvements in backing.
Welcome to another installment of ASK PLAIDIE LADDIE!
Plaidie Laddie, loyal Plaid pooch and one of our blog contributors, wants to answer your most burning painting questions. Every week he’ll pick a question out of his virtual mailbag and answer it (with a little help from me, since he only has paws). This week’s question:
“Dear Plaidie Laddie, I’m learning how to paint. Can you give me some tips on painting items to look more realistic? ” -Darian S. from California
Dear Darian, thank you for your question! We have a blogger friend named Colleen from Mural Maker who loves painting realistic items with our FolkArt paint. She gives lessons on her blog, showing people how to paint items more realistically – the pot above only uses three paint colors! Colleen shows the step-by-step photos on her blog, and she has several more painting lessons here. Take a peek at her blog entry on the pot here when you have a chance. Painting realistic items is much easier than you think!
Sincerely, Plaidie Laddie