Month: September 2015

DIY Shower Decor Project: Fabric Tassel Banner

DSC_3024-753x1024

To prepare for my brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law’s upcoming nuptials, Nick and I hosted a couples shower towards the end of summer. I love all the crafty projects that come along with hosting events, and the fabric tassel banner is one of my new favorites. See below for supplies and step by step instructions on how to make your own!

Tassle Banner Supplies

The supply list for this project is fairly short, which I love. All you need are a few different fabric patterns, scissors, twine or string, and something to use to hang it (tape, pins, etc.). I got a 1/4 yard of fabric for each fabric, except the burlap which I got a 1/2 a yard of. I ended up using burlap elsewhere for decor, so I estimate I used around a 1/4 of it for this project.

DSC_2831

When I host bridal showers, I always try to align with the wedding colors. Sarah and Dan had a neutral color palette for their wedding, so I went with neutral colors for their fabric tassels. Rather than getting larger quantities of 1 or 2 fabrics, I got small quantities of 5 different fabric patterns. I wanted somewhat of a color scale, going from light to dark, white to gray to brown. I chose subtle colors and patterns, which fit with the rest of the shower decor and their wedding decor.

Before I started making the tassels I cut each piece of fabric into four equals parts. I ended it up cutting the burlap into slightly smaller parts, and ended up with five. I wanted to start and end with the burlap, and I liked having an odd number mixed in with all the even number tassels. Because the burlap is so thick, you can easily cut less of it and get an equally full looking fabric tassel.

After I cut the fabric up, I laid out the patterns and planned out the sequence of them.

DSC_2838

Once I had the fabric ready to go, I began cutting them as if I were making fringe. First, I folded each piece of fabric in half. Next, I cut vertical strips, almost all the way to the fold line, but stopping about an inch before I hit it. DSC_2846

“Fringe” all your sections of fabric, then un-fold them and lay them flat.

DSC_2849

Next, starting from one edge of the fabric, start rolling the fabric. If you have a pattern, make sure the pattern ends up on the outside.

DSC_2860

After the fabric is rolled up, fold it in half, and tie the top with a piece of string or twine to hold it in place. Leave a loop at the top big enough to put string through it in order to hang it.

DSC_2869

Continue rolling, folding, tying off, and stringing your fabric tassels until they are all finished. As you thread them onto the twine or string, make sure you maintain the fabric sequence, if you planned one.

DSC_2895

If you want your fabric tassels spread out from one another when it is hung, use the excess string from tying off the loop of the tassel to tie the tassel to the string it is hung on. I placed about an inch of space between each of my fabric tassels. If you skip this step, you may have to make more tassels to create a full look. They tend to bunch together when the string is hung up.

IMG_1078

Here is another recent fabric tassel banner I made for a friend’s bridal shower. Rather than keeping it all neutral, I introduced a dark navy color to match her wedding colors. The fireplace was polished off with tea lights in mason jars and their initials, found for just a few dollars each at Hobby Lobby, painted gold.

Tassle Banner

Hang your fabric tassel banner up and enjoy the fruits of your labor! I love the vintage feel it creates. I think it automatically gives any room a sense of festivity after it’s hung.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my craft project and my blog! Help me spread the word by sharing with others and on your social networking site of choice. Subscribe below to get more craft project how tos straight to your inbox.

[subscribe2]

DIY Shower Craft Project: Personalized Photo Banners

Hanging Phot Banners

It has been a summer of showers. Really, it has been a few years of showers, but I don’t mind because I love hosting them and having the opportunity to celebrate my nearest and dearest. Most recently, I threw a shower for my newest sister-in-law, a couples shower cook out. It was non-traditional, filled with grilled meats, yard games, and a lot of booze, one of the more fun showers I have hosted. Although it was non-traditional, I still wanted a shower feel with sweet decorations and personal touches. These photo banners are one of the many crafts I completed for the big day, find out how I did it below!

Photo Banner Supplies

In order to create the banner you have to pick up a few supplies:

  1. Either cut out a banner shape from cardboard or thick card stock or purchase a pre-made set from your local arts and crafts store. I opted for option B, it saved me time, and at 50% off, it only cost a few extra dollars.
  2. Scissors to cut out your pictures and trim the string.
  3. A paintbrush to use to apply Mod Podge
  4. Picture print outs. Since the photo banners were going to hang in doorways I printed enough to do them front and back. I highly recommend printing on heavier paper. I had issues with the standard printer paper bubbling and trying to rip when I painted them with Mod Podge.
  5. Mod Podge or some type of adhesive.
  6. String, twine, yarn, hemp, whatever look you likes best to string the banner sections together.

HOW TO:

Step one: First thing you have to do is pick up the supplies. All of these items can be found at your local arts and crafts store.

Step two: Print out your pictures. size them all to the backing size, mine were 5″x8″ and 4″x6.” As I mentioned above, I recommend using a heavier paper and a high quality printer if you have access to one. I used my standard printer and standard printer paper, and had a few issues come up. Despite some bubbled images, once hung, they looked great.
Step 3

Step three: Trace the banner shape onto the picture print out, and trim as needed. Typically, I recommend doing this on the back of the image, to prevent pencil marks showing up on the front, but with this project I needed to see if any part of their faces were caught in the triangle cut out. Erase visible pencil marks when you are finished.

Step 4

Step four: Lay the image on top of the banner section, and make sure everything lines up. Use a pencil, pen, or sharp tool to punch holes through the picture, and the banner piece if holes aren’t already punched. Since mine were pre-made, the holes were pre-punched.

Step 5

Step five: Coat the back of the picture with Mod Podge (or a type of adhesive) and press it to the banner backing. I chose to coat the front with Mod Podge to give it a more polished look. This picture shows first hand the bubbling I experienced with a few images. Be as gentle as you can when applying the Mod Podge. If a section does bubble, lightly press it down. It is better to leave it alone, once it dries, you couldn’t tell unless you were close up.

Step six: Allow all the pieces to dry.

Step seven: Add string to connect all the sections together, leave extra on either side to hang them up.

DSC_2984

Tie your completed banners up, use tape to tack them to walls, or place the ends under heavy objects. I completed four in total, and hung them in the doorways of my front and back door as well as the opening between my kitchen, living room, and dining room. Every banner was double sided, allowing me to include a wide range of pictures of the couple, from formal engagement pictures to Instagram snapshots.

This project didn’t take longer than an hour and it added a personal touch to the shower.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my latest DIY craft project. Help me spread the word by following and sharing on your social networking site (or sites) of choice. I would love to hear how your version of this project went, feel free to share pictures and comment below[subscribe2]

Visual Journal Page 12: Fall

Visual Journal Page 12-Fall

I love every season of the year, but my favorite has to be fall. I have made many past visual journal pages about fall. I can’t help but be inspired by the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, crisp smells, the cool twinge that appears in the air.

Nick and I are incredibly lucky to have a massive, old ginkgo tree in front of our house. Every fall it reminds me why I love the season so much. I watch as the fan shaped leaves transition from green to yellow. Sometimes it feels like it happens overnight. I wake up in the morning to a beaming, glowing tree, covered in golden yellow leaves.

This ginkgo tree has not only inspired my visual journal, but also my artwork. Every year I find myself in my front yard, crawling around on my hands and knees, collecting the best specimens of fall ginkgo leaves. I press them in my sketchbooks, allow them to dry, then layer them into my encaustic works of art. I love having this piece of the year captured forever, preserved between layers of paper and wax.

Check out last year’s fall post here. Check out a few of my ginkgo inspired works of art here.

SUPPLIES:

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie

HOW TO:

This visual journal page was fairly simple to make. I have to admit, it isn’t one of my favorites. I aimed for simple in order to put focus on the leaves, but I think I missed the mark in portraying the beauty of the leaves. Although it isn’t the page I am post proud of, I still wanted to share the image, story, and process. After all, both our failures and successes are all important steps in the learning and creating process.

I started by sketching out the ginkgo leaf shapes on watercolor paper. I wanted them to transition from large to small, to look almost like a single leaf floating in the wind, moving away from the viewer. Once I had the outline roughly (and lightly) drawn out, I began adding color with watercolor pencils. I wanted a sense of fluidity to the leaves, but I still wanted them to be defined. The watercolor pencil was a good solution, because it allowed me to emphasize certain areas, while allowing other areas to be loose.

After I marked out color, I went in with a wet paintbrush, painted over the colored edges, and moved the pigment toward the center of the leaves. I kept going back and forth between adding color with the pencil, and smoothing it out with the water. I did hit points here and there where I would have to be careful with the damp surface. The tip of the watercolor pencil would periodically want to melt into the water, and add a large, dark spot. It is always best to start light and build color to avoid this.

After getting a base of color, I allowed my leaves to dry. I added more detail, various shades of yellows and oranges with the pencils, and added more water. I kept the process going until I was satisfied. Once the leaves dried for the final time, I cut them out using scissors. I used rubber cement to glue them in the book.

Once I finished placing and gluing the leaves, I took a step back, and decided it still looked empty. To try to fill space I added “fall” with sharpie and a few watercolor pencil lines bled out underneath the text. I decided I was satisfied and stopped. Looking back, I still think the page looks incomplete. I haven’t yet decided how to improve it, and until I figure that out, it will stay as is.

CHALLENGE:

Create a visual journal page about your favorite season. Try out your own set of watercolor pencils in the page.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Help me spread the word about visual journals by sharing with others, I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by![subscribe2]

Visual Journal Page 11: Take Responsibility

Visual Journal Page 11-Take Respondsibility

It was the time of year when hot sticky summer nights transition into the cool crisp fall. It’s my favorite time of year, witnessing the changing season through every sense. The air smells crisp, the air moves from warm to cool, the leaves crunch under toe, and goosebumps come and go as the changing atmosphere tickles my skin. It was the perfect fall evening, and I decided the best way to fall asleep was to the sound of the great outdoors, with a cool breeze coming through a slightly cracked window. Or so I thought.

As I finally began to settle and felt the first drifting of dreams coming in, a low howl rose to our second story window and in through the crack. It gradually pulled me from the brink of sleep to full awake, until I could no longer focus on anything but the howl. I tried my best to ignore the sound, to cover my ears, and once again find sleep, but it kept finding a way in.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that poor dog. While it was a beautiful night, not a bad night to be sleeping outdoors, I knew exactly which dog it was, and this wasn’t the only night they would be spending outside. A sweet pup down the street, on the corner, confined to a backyard wrapped in a chain link fence. Whenever my pups and I walk past the house, we stop for a moment and visit. Tails wagging, huffing and sniffing sounds exchanged, everyone excited to see a new face. I have never walked past that house without seeing her outside. Whether it’s in the dead heat of summer or the frigid chill of winter, there the dog sits. I have never seen another human interacting with her. I have never seen another dog playing with her. She is all alone, most likely kept only to keep others out.

Why spend the money to have a dog? Why spend the money to feed a dog? Why have a dog if you aren’t going to enjoy the amazing company they can provide? If you are concerned about security, make a one time purchase of an extra bolt for your door, a fence for your yard, a sign advertising an alarm system, whether or not that system exists. Why subject a living being to a lonely existence? Even if said dog was well feed and watered (which was questionable in this situation) they are still lacking the basic need of interaction, contact with another living, breathing being.

That howl haunted me all night, until I had no choice but shut the window, and attempt to ignore the situation down the street. I wasn’t able to sleep with the window open again, the howls continued, and continued to break my heart, until one day my pups and I passed the house, paused for a visit, and she was gone, never to return again. I can only hope she was taken to a loving, happy home. We have very active neighbors who rescue stray and abused dogs in the area, and this particular situation had been a recent topic. I choose to believe my neighbor was able to take action, and rescue the sweet girl. I need to believe that in order to maintain some belief in the existence of humanity, and to be able to walk past that house everyday. At the very least, she hasn’t been replaced by another “security system” doomed to the loneliness of an empty backyard.

When you choose to own a pet you choose to be responsible for their physical and mental well being. Your animals rely on you to meet their needs. They need food, water, and play. They need love, snuggles, and kisses. They need to be pet and held as much as they need physical sustenance. There is nothing like the connection between a dog and their owner in a happy home. I would recommend it to anyone, I think my life would be a little emptier without my babies in it. As much as I give to them, they give right back in every wag of the tail and desire to be near me. But, you must take responsibility.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Tissue paper (black, blue, white)
  • Silver sharpie
  • Book page paper
  • Pencil
  • Prisma markers
  • Fine and extra fine sharpie

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I decided to use a variety of material. Other than sharpie, I hadn’t experimented with art markers, and decided this could be a good opportunity. Living with a landscape architect husband means I have a whole separate set of art materials to test out, and his Prisma colored markers were just what I was looking for.

I decided to draw the back of my house, focusing on the left side, second story where our bedroom is. I sketched it out in pencil first, then went in with the markers. To maintain an even look, I applied one layer at a time, and always continued my lines off the page, rather than stopping in the middle, and accidentally crossing marker lines, creating a darker color where they cross. Once I filled the drawing in with color, I went back over the detail lines with an extra fine sharpie.

Once I completed my marker house, I cut it out. I decided to cut out the window of our bedroom, to emphasize the fact that it was open. To create the background I decided to layer strips of tissue paper. I love the texture it creates, and by including both blue and black, I hoped to show it was dusk, just after sunset, but before total darkness fell.

Once I glued down the strips of tissue paper and the house cut out, it felt a little empty. To add interest, I drew a tree silhouette on white tissue paper with sharpie. I carefully cut the tree out, leaving a thin white outline around the tree. I glued it to the left side of my visual journal.

To visually represent the howling, I used a silver sharpie to write “howl” all over the page. To complete the visual journal page I wrote “take responsibility” on a ripped out piece of book page, and layered it on a cut out piece of black tissue paper.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about something you want to take action on. It could be as small as helping your elderly  neighbor or solving world hunger.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about visual journals by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

[subscribe2]