Frosted glass jar

Maria Romvari, a former guest nester, returns for another tutorial! I mentioned glass etching in another post recently, and it reminded of these instructions that Maria sent me a while ago. This is the frosted glass spray paint method. You could also use etching cream for longer-lasting and more durable results. Maria’s process varies from mine because I’ve only used flat surfaces. Her jar turned out beautifully. It makes me want to frost every jar in the house.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Decoupage plates

Last week, I blogged about Carol Endler Sterbenz’s new book Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts. This week, I’m honored to welcome Carol as a guest nester! This decoupage plate tutorial is just one of the many fabulous projects in her book. Carol writes, “Of all the DIY techniques I have learned or been inspired to try, few have equaled the beauty and ease of potichemanie, a form of decoupage where prints are glued behind glass so that they gleam like fine porcelain.

“This straightforward technique can be used to decorate plain glass plates in any style or size you want. Begin by decorating a small dessert-size plate and then, when you are ready, decorate larger pieces, such as a platter or other serving piece. The top surface of the decorated plates can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Do not submerge the plates in water.”

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

HOMEMADE by Carol Sterbenz

When I first picked up Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts, I was skeptical that a 773-page craft book with a retro cover and no color photographs would be worth my time. Then I started reading it. I’m happy to report that I was wrong.

Homemade is an illustrated encyclopedia of handcrafts written by Carol Endler Sterbenz, whose unique voice, lifetime of experience, and passion for crafting infuse every page of this book.

In the introduction, which is a charming read, by the way, we discover that Carol learned to love crafting at a young age. She was tutored by a carpenter father and a mother who was such an accomplished handcrafter she makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur. Read more »

Making custom stencils

X-Acto sent me a few of their latest craft knives, which I love. Especially the fat pink Designer Series #11 craft knife in the photo above. In exchange, they asked me to show you how I use X-Acto around my home. Considering that crafting is mostly what happens in my home, I decided to share three of my top craft uses for X-Acto knives.

1. Creating custom stencils

The first time I ever picked up an X-Acto knife was in junior high (grade 7). I took a stained glass class. We started out etching mirrors with our own drawings, which we made into stencils with Con-Tact paper and an X-Acto knife. I was hooked. I made more than a dozen etched mirrors. (I still have some of them. I’ll show you someday.)

Since then, I’ve made many more stencils. Jess Chamberlain and I made the stencil above to paint onto a roman shade for Sunset magazine. Read more »

The Bust DIY Guide To Life coverCrafty Nest has appeared in other publications in the last couple months, and I wanted to share them with you.

First, two editors of Bust magazine included my craft-stick snowflakes in their new book called The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day. My tutorial appears on page 66 of a 368-page-thick hardcover volume of DIY advice from hundreds of contributors. Laurie Henzel and Debbie Stoller include everything from home decorating and beauty to health and money. I’m honored to have been included in such an ambitious compilation.

Crafty Nest in Bust book

Crafty Nest also appeared in the August 2011 issue of Singapore’s Home & Decor magazine. It’s a small blurb about me and Crafty Nest. While I’m flattered to be mentioned in such a great magazine, I humbly suggest they hire a fact-checker. They wrote that I was a designer at O, The Oprah Magazine. However, the reality is that I only interned there one summer. I was a designer for Real Simple and Sunset though.

Home & Decor magazine

I had never heard of Home & Decor magazine before they contacted me. It’s a glossy decorating magazine with a young, hip design. It almost has a Design*Sponge feel to it. If you can get your hands on a copy, I’d recommend a browse. If you do peek inside, you’ll notice that H&D and I have an affinity for the same fonts.

DIY Kitchens and Paint Projects

I’ve always been a fan of BH&G’s Do-It-Yourself magazine, so when I heard about two of their new books, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Do It Yourself Kitchens: Stunning Spaces on a Shoestring Budget and Do It Yourself: 100+ Paint Projects didn’t disappoint.

DIY Kitchens

Budget kitchen

I’ll start with DIY Kitchens. It’s a handy—and beautiful—resource if you are contemplating a kitchen remodel, large or small. With big pictures of gorgeous kitchens for nearly every budget, I had fun picking my favorite one (pictured above). Even the kitchens that I didn’t like had great storage and decorating ideas I can steal. Read more »

Teardrop jewelry holder

Heart jewelry holder

These jewelry holders were the one original camp craft idea I had this year. When I discovered the different types of hardware cloth and chicken wire stacked in the back of The Home Depot, my mind started churning out all kinds of projects I could make with them. Baskets and suncatchers were my first notions, but jewelry holders were more economical, practical, and fun for teenage girls.

Four girls making jewelry holders

I tried to make the project as easy as I could for the girls by pre-cutting the hardware cloth into squares and providing templates for the heart shape, but it was still a challenging craft. They stuck with it, though. And I’m happy to report that although working with wire has the potential for injury, no one got hurt. Except for me.

FYI: I’m planning four more projects using hardware mesh: a decorative light fixture (excited about this one!), a Christmas ornament, a basket, and a dispenser.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

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