From scratch category

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Studded mirror

I have a history with tile mirrors. The house in which I grew up had a rustic fireplace with 1970s tile mirrors glued to the wall above it. Painted in the center of the grouping of mirrors was a tall ship. It had a face. I swear I could see eyes and a mouth peering out at me through the sails of that ship. As a child, I was afraid of it. You wouldn’t catch me alone in that room at night. (I’ll show you a picture as soon as my mother finds one.)

As a teenager, I discovered glass etching. I bought boxes of mirror tiles and used etching cream to transfer my designs onto each mirror. I etched everything from roses and ’34 Fords to the Statue of Liberty. My older brother, Aaron, was taking woodshop at school, so he built square frames for them. Together, we gave them as gifts to family members. I still have a stack of etched mirrors that never got framed.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Magnet boardIn the photo: blue glass lamp bases, aluminum wall clock.

This giant riveted sheet metal magnet board was the centerpiece of my office makeover that SYLVANIA sponsored. And now I’m going to show you how to make it. This is the first of five tutorials from the SYLVANIA blogger makeover challenge. Next week, I will show you how to make the studded mirror.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Moss and log centerpieces

My friend Holly and I spent last week making centerpieces for our church women’s conference. What an undertaking! We had 20 round tables, 3 food tables, and 2 registration tables to decorate. Our theme was “In this life I shall have joy,” and the colors were magenta and yellow. I wanted to think beyond standard bouquets, so I searched the web for springtime centerpiece ideas. When I saw these moss centerpieces at The Handiwork Chronicles, I became obsessed with moss.

Two moss centerpieces

We wanted the centerpieces to be as natural and earthy as the inspiration photos, so we used a burlap fabric overlay, logs, and rocks. We added the “joy” flags and bright mums to bring in color. We wanted to use what Moss Mountain calls cupcake moss, also known as pillow moss or cushion moss. But heavy snow storms on the East Coast delayed its availability. So we bought the next best thing: a mixture of cupcake moss and mood moss, also known as bear fur moss, from Patrick’s Floral Studios. Mood moss grows in larger clumps than cupcake moss, but it worked well enough for our purposes.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Purse kit

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. This year I made myself my own Valentine’s gift. I loved the feel of this reversible fabric scrap that I got from FabMo. It’s woven but soft and thick like knit. The beauty of this craft project is it takes very little fabric. I started with a 15-inch x 17-inch piece, and I still have leftovers.

This purse set solves three common handbag problems: 1) I hate stuff rattling around loosely in my purse, 2) Digging things out of myriad purse pockets makes switching purses a chore, and 3) I own handbags that are perfect but utterly lack pockets.

At first I set out to make just a soft eyeglass case because my hard case is too bulky and heavy, but then the project grew as I thought of more and more cases I could make. BTW: I don’t actually use the change purse for coins (my wallet has one of those). I fill it instead with travel essentials: lip gloss, hair elastics, nail clippers, etc.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Star sheet music ornaments

Homemade ornaments are so much more fun, rewarding, and cheaper than buying them. Especially when they’re made of paper—in this case, sheet music. That’s why I included so many paper ornaments in my handmade holiday gift list. For this project, I made stars, but you can use nearly any symmetrical shape to make these ornaments (tree, wreath, heart, bell, angel, ball, snowflake, etc.). I made four patterns for you to download to make your own ornaments: star, bell, angel, and ball. Click here to download the patterns.

The song printed on the star is a little-known Christmas hymn titled “With Wondering Awe.” I chose it because it mentions the star more often than any other Christmas carol I found. Bell: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Ball: “Silent Night.” Angel: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” As long as you have a sewing machine, these ornaments are super easy to make. Read more »

Blue and white tablecloth

I own blue and white dishes. Normally this isn’t a problem—until I try to find a cute tablecloth that looks good with my dishes. Apparently, blue as a kitchen or dining color has been out for several seasons. The market is flooded with red, green, and aqua. Instead of waiting for blue to come back in, I took matters into my own hands. First I checked the standard tablecloth size for my 36- x 60-inch table. Turns out, a 60- x 84-inch cloth fits tables 36 x 60 to 48 x 72. Then I found this lovely blue indoor/outdoor fabric at Fabric.com. At 56 inches wide, I figured it would work fine because my table was on the smaller end of that range. After that, hemming the fabric and adding pom-pom trim was a cinch. Final dimensions (pom-pom to pom-pom): 57 x 81 inches. Read more »

Top 10 gift certificates

You missed it, didn’t you? Admit it. I didn’t expect everyone to actually read all 137 handmade Christmas gift ideas anyway. So I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on No. 124. Having experienced a death in the family this year, the thought occurred to me that one should not wait until a funeral to share one’s fondest memories of a certain someone. So I designed the “Top 10 Fondest Memories” certificate for you to download, print (on legal size paper), fill out, tie with a ribbon, and give to a loved one for Christmas.

Then I was having so much fun with the idea that I designed three more Top 10 certificates: “Top 10 Reasons I Love You,” “Top 10 Favorite Things About You,” and “Top 10 Gifts I’d Buy You If I Had a Million Dollars.” (Got the BNL song stuck in your head now?) Click the links to download the certificates, or get them all at the downloads page. If I think of another Top 10 idea, I’ll make a certificate. And if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, have fun strolling down memory lane.

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