Mixed media book art: The easy way to DIY an altered book

No more pencils, no more books . . . It’s the end of the school year, and I’m making an exception to “no more books” to show you how to DIY an Altered Book the easy way. You can use an old textbook, or other hardback book to make your Mixed Media, Altered Book. The thicker the book, the deeper your “pocket” for displaying treasures. The shortcut for making an easy Altered Book is to remove all of the pages and replace them with a piece of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. It’s so much easier than carefully and precisely cutting through hundreds of pages. Here’s another idea – wouldn’t a custom, Altered Book make a special graduation gift?

Genius technique for creating an altered book. This is so much easier than cutting through each and every page!  Tear out all pages and replace them with a block of Styrofoam brand foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Mixed Media, Altered Book by Becca Malone.

To make a Mixed Media, Altered Book, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1-1/2” x 12” x 36” (or other thickness to match the thickness of your book)
  • Old book, approximately 1-1/2” thick between the covers (if you don’t have one handy, your local dollar store should have a nice selection)
  • Antique-finish parchment paper, three sheets
  • Acrylic spackling or premixed tile grout
  • Sand paper, fine grit
  • Acrylic paint to match parchment paper
  • Gel stain medium
  • Embellishments, 1-1/2” wide or smaller: Charms, game pieces, sewing notions, old photos, silk flowers, postage stamps, etc.
  • Glue dots
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors: straight edge and deckle edge; serrated knife; old candle or bar of soap; fine-line, permanent marker; ruler; disposable mixing bowl, spoon & palette; medium flat paintbrush.

To make a Mixed Media, Altered Book:

1. Carefully remove pages from the book while preserving the binding. Use a page as a template, and trace around it on the foam sheet with the ruler and marker. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin, and cut out the foam rectangle. Mark a 1” border on each side, and cut the center from the rectangle. Use scrap foam to sand all cut edges smooth.

2. Slightly thin the spackling or tile grout with water. Paint the inside and outside edges of the foam “frame” with the thinned tile grout. Let dry and sand smooth. Repeat.

DIY an easy Altered Book. These pages look real! CraftsnCoffee.com.

Use the tip of a knife to create lines that mimic pages of a book.

3. Paint the top, bottom and right-hand edges with spackling or grout that has not been thinned. These are the edges that will appear to be pages when placed in the book. Use the edge of a knife to create “page” lines on the three edges. Let dry.

4. Paint the foam frame and let dry. Apply gel stain, wiping away to create the desired effect. Let dry.

5. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the foam frame. Place the parchment “page” on the frame, and carefully cut out the opening to match the frame. Glue the parchment page to the foam frame, aligning all edges.

6. Cut two more book pages from the parchment paper, adding an extra ½” on the left-hand side. Barely trim all edges on the top, bottom and right-hand side with deckle-edge scissors. Don’t cut too deeply, to keep the pages close to full size.

7. Make a ½” fold along the left-hand side of the two pages. Glue pages along the left-hand edge of the foam frame. Insert the frame into the book cover, gluing it to the inside back cover and the binding. Close book, weight down and let dry completely.

8. Thin gel stain slightly with water and apply around window opening. Apply mixture to pages and inside front cover to give a vintage look.

9. Using glue dots, adhere the two extra pages to the left-hand book cover.

Mixed media, altered book -- super-easy tutorial. No more cutting through hundreds of pages! CraftsnCoffee.com.

What would you display in the little nook? Charms, sewing notions, ticket stubs, photos, or??

10. Arrange and glue embellishments, quotes, photos or other desired memorabilia inside book.

Genius technique for creating an altered book. This is so much easier than cutting through each and every page!  Tear out all pages and replace them with a block of Styrofoam brand foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

This would make a very special graduation gift!

Now, what do you do with the leftover book pages? How about making a Vintage, Book Page Wreath?

Gorgeous! Love this wreath. Complete tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com

Or, DIY the Springtime Book Page Roses Wreath.

Beautiful, DIY spring wreath made with scrapbook papers and book page roses. DIY on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Patty Schaffer has one more idea for you — a Valentine’s Day Wall Hanging made with book page hearts.

Book page hearts + LOVE letters = this pretty, Valentine's Day Wall Hanging. CraftsnCoffee.com

Love Letters Wall Hanging by Patty Schaffer

I really love the idea of making an Altered Book. For one, it’s unexpected, and it’s fun to plan the display you’ll tuck into the little, surprise nook in the center of the book. And two, this technique makes it easy to do. In fact, I made my own variation which I’ll share later this week. See you then!

Happy crafting.

Sharon

 

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Mixed Media, Paper Crafts, Recycle Crafts, Vintage Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

20 Star-spangled, red, white and blue, patriotic crafts

How do you like the new, star-spangled photo above? Thanks to our recent photo shoot, I’m having fun dressing up Crafts ‘n Coffee for the seasons and holidays. Summer starts early this year, and can you believe that we’re heading into the first holiday weekend of the summer? It’s been a few years since I’ve done a roundup of patriotic crafts, and I’ve added quite a few red, white and blue crafts since then. Today I have a new and updated roundup of 20 Patriotic DIYs, from wreaths and flags to centerpieces.

Patriotic Wreaths

Quick & Easy Bandanna Wreath

Nothing hard about this wreath -- it uses bandanas and a Styrofoam brand wreath. Super easy and super cute! CraftsnCoffee.com

This Quick & Easy Bandanna Wreath is perfect for kids to make, too.

Patriotic Deco Mesh Wreath

Fun & festive wreath made with Deco Mesh. Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Flashes of silver ribbon add sparkle to this Patriotic Deco Mesh Wreath.

Wrap & Roll Patriotic Wreath

Wrap up this easy, in expensive July 4th wreath using craft bandanas.

Wrap & Roll Patriotic Wreath by Patty Schaffer

Patriotic Fringed Bandanna Wreath

fast & easy patriotic wreath for July 4th. CraftsnCoffee.com

Patriotic, Fringed Bandana Wreath by Patty Schaffer.

Stars & Stripes Patriotic Wreath

how to make a quick & easy July 4th wreath

Whip up this wreath in less than an hour!

All-American Denim & Rosettes Wreath

How to make a fast, denim wreath with ruffled, flower rosettes.

All-American Denim & Rosettes Wreath

All-American Flags

Duct Tape Flag

Super-easy way to make a Duct Tape Flag. This one should hold up to the rain and the elements. #PatrioticCrafts #FlagCrafts

DIY this flag with duct tape, making it an easy for kids & adults.

Vintage Ruffled Flag

Easy tutorial to make a Vintage Ruffled Flag for your door, a window, or just about anywhere. #PatrioticCrafts #FlagCrafts

Hang the Vintage Ruffled Flag on your front door, in the kitchen, or even in a window.

America the Beautiful Flag

Adorable button heart on this quick & easy flag craft. I "heart" this one! CraftsnCoffee.com.

Make this flag in an hour or two and display it all summer long.

Punched Flag Wallhanging

Craft tutorial: Flag craft for July 4th. CraftsnCoffee.com

Punched Flag Wallhanging is made with a classic (and easy) technique.

Punch Quilt Flag

July 4th flag tutorial: kid's punch quilt flag. CraftsnCoffee.com.

This is an easy technique, and one that kids can make.

Patriotic Heart

Patriotic craft tutorial: Patriotic heart

A flag with heart — and shooting stars.

Topiaries & Centerpieces

Patriotic Fringed Bandanna Topiaries

Fourth of July crafts & easy centerpiece ideas

Patriotic, Fringed Bandana Topiaries by Patty Schaffer.

Ruffled Patriotic Topiaries

how to make DIY ruffled topiary trees

Denim, bandannas and calico prints make these all-American.

All-American Denim & Ruffles Topiary

Repurpose your old jeans to make these denim crafts.

Repurpose your old jeans to make these denim crafts.

 Patriotic Rag Balls

Rag Balls are super easy to make, and a fun heritage craft for kids. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Super-easy Patriotic Rag Balls.

Patriotic Star Spangled Squares

Super-easy to make for summertime bashes. Star Spangled Centerpiece Squares on CraftsnCoffee.com. ,

These Star Spangled Squares are super easy and super festive.

Prim & Proper Americana Flag & Crow 

A patriotic prim to make for July 4th. CraftsnCoffee.com

Prim & Proper Americana Flag & Crow by Debra Quartermain

Patriotic Folk Art Bird

Adorable, folk art bird made by Rebekah Meier. Follow her tutorial and you really can make this yourself! #PatrioticCrafts

Patriotic Folk Art Bird by Rebekah Meier.

And for the grand finale, it’s Uncle Sam, of course!

Uncle Sam is a no-sew, patriotic felt craft. CraftsnCoffee.com.

No-Sew Uncle Sam by Debi Schmitz.

I’m scheming a new, patriotic craft for July 4th, and I hope to share it soon (if it all comes together as planned . . .) I’ll keep you posted!

Do you have fun plans for the weekend? Picnics, roadtrips, or just a little R&R at home? I’m looking forward to a class in macaron making with a friend – not your traditional Memorial Day activity, but yummy nonetheless.

Enjoy the holiday, and happy crafting.

P.S. What do you think of the shade of blue all around the page? I’ve changed the color about ten times today and I’m still not sure I’m happy with it. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Sharon

Posted in Deco Spheres, Entertaining, Fabric Craft, Home Decor, Kid's Crafts, Needle Felting, Paper Crafts, Recycle Crafts, Summer Crafts, Vintage Crafts, Wall Art, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

DIY wall art: How to make a family photo garden

How does your family grow? Document it and display your family photos in a lush and beautiful way with This Blooming Family Photo Garden. It’s pretty enough to display on its own, or you can add it to your photo gallery wall. If you like, get creative and spell out other words, too, like HOME, LOVE, HEART, FAMILY or even your last name. Or, if your last name is really long, you can keep it short with a monogram instead.

A beautiful way to display family photos. It would be pretty as part of a gallery wall, too. CraftsnCoffee.com.

 To make a Blooming Family Photo Garden, you will need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: Two, 1” x 12” x 18” sheets
  • Grosgrain ribbon in green, 1” wide x 10 yd.
  • Sheet moss
  • Assorted silk flowers
  • Craft wire, heavy gage
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife or utility knife with sharp blade; candle or bar of soap; ruler; sharp pencil; marker; floral u-pins; knippers or wire cutters; needle-nose pliers; Velcro strips (for hanging)
Here's how to make a beautiful family monogram as a photo display. CraftsnCoffee.com.

If you’re tight on space, or time, make it a monogram instead.

To make a Blooming Family Photo Garden:

1. Following the cutting diagram, trace the letters onto the foam sheets. Each letter is 6” wide, except the “M”, which is 12” wide. Use the ruler, and score your lines with a sharp pencil. Trace over the lines with a marker, so that you can more clearly see them.

2. Wax the knife blade with an old candle or bar of soap, and cut out the letters. Sand rough edges with another piece of foam, and use your fingers to smooth edges.

3. Glue the green grosgrain ribbon all around the outside and inside edges of the letters.

4. Glue sheet moss onto the front of each letter.

A pretty way to display family photos. DIY it on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Embellish each letter with a mini bouquet.

5. Determine how you would like to arrange the flowers on each letter. Trim the flower stems to 1”. Insert the stems into the foam, and use glue and u-pins as needed to help secure them in place.

DIY coiled photo holders. It's not hard! CraftsnCoffee.com.

Using the needle-nose pliers, form spirals in your length of craft wire.

6. Make the wire photo holders:

  • Wind a tight spiral at the end of an 8” length of craft wire.
  • Push the other end of the wire into the foam letter.
  • If needed, start the hole first with a needle tool or the tip of nail scissors.
  • Insert a photo into the spiral.
  1. Glue Velcro strips to the back, and attach the companion strips on the wall. Hang and enjoy!

You know how I like a project that you can change up, right? Not only can you use this technique to create other words, but you can mix and match your flowers, too.

DIY a Blooming Family Photo Garden. Such a pretty addition for a family photo gallery wall. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Blooming Family Photo Garden by Kathleen George.

Have you done much gardening outside this year? I’ve picked up my annuals, but don’t have them planted and potted yet. Maybe I’ll do that later this week. How about you? How are your gardens faring this year?

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Flower Designs, Gift Ideas, Spring Crafts, Summer Crafts, Wall Art | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Happy Day: A bluebird & mushroom to DIY and winners announced

How do you make a whimsical mushroom craft even better? Pair a big, polka dot mushroom with the bluebird of happiness and you get Rebekah Meier’s Springtime Bluebird & Mushroom. Rebekah has shared her paper clay creations with us before, and I always call them heirloom crafts. This sweet, spring craft project will take some time to make, but it’s a keepsake that you’ll always treasure. Speaking of happiness, I’m also announcing the winners of the SNAP swag giveaway today. Read on!

So sweet. DIY this paperclay spring craft on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Springtime Bluebird & Mushroom by Rebekah Meier.

To make a Springtime Bluebird & Mushroom, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Balls: 4”, 1 1/2”, 2
    • Cone: 6”
  • Paper clay, one package (Rebekah uses Creative Paperclay®)
  • Acrylic craft paint: Moon Yellow, Baby Pink, Raw Umber, Canyon Orange, Tapioca, Sky Blue, Coral
  • Gel stain in maple
  • Staining & antiquing medium
  • Acrylic satin varnish
  • Glitter glue
  • Ribbon, 1/4″ x 12″
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; waxed dental floss; fine sanding block or sandpaper; clay knife; acrylic clay roller; bamboo skewers or round toothpicks; powder; pencil; ruler; ¼” & ½” flat, liner paintbrushes; plastic water bottle cap

To make a Springtime Bluebird & Mushroom:

Make the mushroom

Cute, polka dot mushroom! I'd add a few to a terrarium or wreath. Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

You can make the mushroom and bluebird at the same time. Don’t worry about the number of steps — there’s lots of drying time involved, so you can work at your own pace for a few days till it’s done.

1. Measure 2-1/2” down from the narrow end of the cone, and with a pencil, score a line at this point all around the cone. Place the dental floss on this scored line and pull, cutting the cone in two pieces. (If you prefer, you can use a serrated knife to cut the foam.)

2. Cut the 4” foam ball in half.

3. Place glue on the ends of several toothpicks or bamboo skewers and insert into the top of the cone. Pick and glue a half ball onto the top of the cone, creating a mushroom.

4. Sprinkle a hard surface with powder and roll out a 3” piece of paper clay to 1/8” thickness.

5. Cover the mushroom with clay, smoothing it with wet fingertips till the surface and the seams are smooth and blended. Let dry completely.

6. Sand the mushroom with fine sandpaper and wipe clean with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Glittering polka dot mushroom. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Each polka dot is outlined in glitter glue for a little subtle sparkle.

7. Paint mushroom Tapioca and let dry. Paint 1/2” polka dots on the mushroom cap using Sky Blue, Moon Yellow, and Coral. Let dry.

8. Mix equal parts gel stain with the Staining & antiquing Medium. Apply mixture with a paper towel, and then wipe off immediately.

9. Brush on a coat of varnish.

10. Outline polka dots with glitter glue.

Make the Bluebird

DIY your own bluebird of happiness! Cute! Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

She is so cute! You’ll make the hat from paperclay, too.

11. Pick and glue together the 1-1/2” and 2” balls.

12. Following Steps 4 & 5 above, cover the two balls with clay. Add extra clay to the 2” ball and shape it into a tail.

13. Shape two, pea-size clay balls into small, 1/8” thick wings. Wet clay with a small amount of water and apply to the sides of the 2” ball.

14. Shape a small piece of clay into a beak and apply to the face of bird.  Let clay dry.

15. Make the hat:

  • Flatten a pea-size clay ball and smooth the surface.
  • Roll flat another ball to 1/8” thick and cut out a circle with a water bottle cap. This will be the brim.
  • Attach the flattened ball to the brim with a dab of water. Let dry.

16. Make the flower from six, tiny, pin-head size clay balls.

Let each color dry before adding another.

17. Paint the bird:

  • Bird: Sky Blue. After it’s dry, gently sand with sandpaper.
  • Eyes: Paint on a dot of Tapioca, let dry. Add a dot of Raw Umber using a pencil point, and when dry, add a small fleck of Tapioca. Using liner brush, line the top of each eye with Raw Umber.
  • Beak: Canyon Orange
  • Cheeks: Baby Pink.
  • Hat: Coral
  • Flower: Moon Yellow petals & Coral center

18. Glue the flower to the hat, and the hat to the bird’s head.

19. Following Step 8 & 9 above, antique and varnish the bird.

20. Tie ribbon around the bird’s neck.

21. Attach the bird to the mushroom with picks and glue.

Here’s another keepsake craft designed by Rebekah. Her Patriotic Folk Art Bird celebrates the coming summer holidays.

Adorable, folk art bird made by Rebekah Meier. Follow her tutorial and you really can make this yourself! #PatrioticCrafts

Patriotic Folk Art Bird by Rebekah Meier.

And now, our winners! Thank you all for stopping in leaving comments about your favorite blogs. I’ve checked them all out and you should, too. You can never have too much inspiration, right? Winners of the two goodie bags packed with SNAP swag and the materials needed to make a Decorative Mesh Flower Topiary are Pam and Katiria. Congratulations, ladies. Please contact me to arrange for your prizes.

Happy crafting.

Sharon  

 

 

 

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Spring Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How to make a whimsical terrarium

In my mind, springtime is mushroom season. When I was a kid, we’d search the woods around my grandparents’ house for morel mushrooms. In honor of spring mushrooms, I’m sharing a few mushroom crafts this week, like this Mushroom Terrarium. I love the whimsical, polka dot mushroom in this DIY terrarium. Part of the fun is accessorizing it with miniatures like butterflies, fairies and gnomes. After all, when you make a terrarium, you’re really making your own little world, right? (Don’t forget this week’s giveaway, too.)

Cute, DIY Terrarium made with an old container. The mushroom is such a cute accent! CraftsnCoffee.com.

This is so cute! DIY this faux mushroom on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Mushroom Terrarium designed by Kathleen George.

To make a Mushroom Terrarium, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 2” ball and 3” egg
  • Clear glass or plastic container, about 6” x 4”
  • Red & white polka dot cupcake liner, lightweight paper, or fabric
  • Miniature critters, such as a butterfly, other insects, fairies, etc.
  • Sheet moss
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife; bar of soap or old candle; teaspoon; optional: iron

Don't throw out that old container -- here's how to turn it into a cute Mushroom Terrarium. CraftsnCoffee.com.

To make a Mushroom Terrarium:

  1. Make the mushroom stem:
  • Wax the knife blade with an old candle or bar of soap for easier cutting.
  • Cut a small slice from the top and bottom of the 3” foam egg.
  • Firmly roll the egg on a flat surface to shape it. You want the narrow end to be significantly thinner (refer to photo), so compress it more along the narrow end.
  • Smooth the sides firmly with the back of a teaspoon.
  1. Cut the 2” foam ball in half. Glue one half ball onto the mushroom stem. Test fit to be sure the mushroom will fit inside your container.
  1. Smooth out the cupcake liner. Optional: lightly press with a warm iron. Make ½” – ¾” cuts all around the outside edge.
  1. Center the paper circle on the mushroom cap and glue in place, smoothing the paper over the top of the mushroom, and folding the tabs to the underside. Trim away any excess paper.
  1. Assemble the terrarium:
  • Cut a piece of moss to fit inside the lid, and glue in place.
  • Glue the mushroom to the center of the lid.
  • Add your faux insects or other embellishments. (I recently saw a miniature unicorn that I’d love to add!)
  • Place the lid on the jar and display.

Here’s another favorite mushroom craft – the Moss Rock Wreath with Felted Mushrooms.

Pretty wreath made with (dollar store) moss rocks. Not hard to do. CraftsnCoffee.com

The moss rocks are a dollar store find, and Rebekah Meier used corks for the mushroom stems.

Even more whimsical is this Red Daisy Mushroom that you’ll find over on StyrofoamCrafts.com.

Cute spring centerpiece -- a whimsical mushroom made with silk daisies and carnations. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Red Daisy Mushroom by Kathleen George.

Every once in a while when I’m out for a walk, I’ll find morel mushrooms in random places. I’ll pick them for my dad to fry up and enjoy, the same way he’s done it since he was a kid. How about you? Have you ever hunted for wild mushrooms?

Remember to enter the big SNAP swag giveaway this week. I’m giving away two prize packages packed with awesome craft goodies. Trust me, you don’t want to miss your chance to win!

Happy crafting.

Sharon 

 

 

 

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Recycle Crafts, Spring Crafts | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

3 in 1: SNAP conference recap; a swag giveaway; and how to make a Decorative Mesh Flower Topiary

There is so much going on today! Last week I returned from my third SNAP conference with SNAP sponsor FloraCraft, and I have a few highlights to share. FloraCraft is also sharing its tutorial to make a beautiful, Decorative Mesh Flower Topiary. And finally, I brought home so many crafty goodies that I’m giving away two bags packed with SNAP swag. (If you’d like to know more about SNAP, don’t miss my 2013 and 2014 recaps, too.)

Welcome to SNAP! CraftsnCoffee.com.

Welcome to SNAP! (Photo credit: Alex Adams Photography)

First, a quick note about FloraCraft. FloraCraft is the world’s largest fabricator of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. They are the experts in cutting and packaging the foam shapes, which you’ll find it in the stores with the label “Make It: Fun® Foam”.

One more shout out and a “thank you” to Alex Adams Photography. Alex was the official photographer for SNAP, and she graciously shared her photos. Her photos are fabulous, and so much better than mine, so wherever possible, I’ve used her photos. Thanks, Alex.

The FloraCraft booth at SNAP 2015. CraftsnCoffee.com.

The booth is set up and ready for SNAP.

Every year, SNAP is bigger and better. This year, 500 creative, DIY & craft bloggers attended SNAP to learn, connect, and be inspired. FloraCraft’s marketing manager Jamie and I met up for the conference at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. We spent a long day unpacking and setting up our booth.

That’s me. And look closer — those letters are made with string art on a sheet of foam. How cool is that? (Photo credit: Alex Adams Photography)

FloraCraft’s designer Dondi Richardson made a wall of colorful decorative mesh flowers for the back of the booth. We used the setting to stage a selfie contest. Dondi also made the “FloraCraft” sign by creating string art on a foam sheet. (Here’s a tutorial for creating string art the easy way — without hammers, nails and pounding.)

I can’t forget the beautiful flowers that were outside, too. I saw this springtime garden at Temple Square.

Beautiful spring gardens at Temple Square. CraftsnCoffee.com.

The gardens at Temple Square were beautiful.

FloraCraft also made six-foot tall, gold and glittering SNAP letters for the ballroom stage. Look at that sparkle!

Getting ready for SNAP 2015! CraftsnCoffee.com.

A hard working, volunteer team of bloggers helped set the stage for SNAP.

SNAP stage, 2015. So pretty! CraftsnCoffee.com.

The beautiful stage — and sparkling letters — at SNAP 2015.

Here are just a few of the people who we saw up on this fabulous stage: Elsie and Emma, the sisters behind the lifestyle blog A Beautiful Mess; celebrity wedding planner and fashion designer David Tutera; and scrapbooker/trendsetter extraordinaire, Heidi Swapp.

A Beautiful Mess presenting at SNAP 2015. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Elsie & Emma from A Beautiful Mess shared their story. (Photo credit: Alex Adams Photography)

David Tutera at SNAP 2015. CraftsnCoffee.com.

David Tutera told about his rise to fame, and encouraged everyone to be bold and have a plan. (Photo credit: Alex Adams Photography)

Heidi Swapp at SNAP 2015. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Heidi Swapp gave an amazing, closing speech at SNAP 2015. (Photo credit: Alex Adams Photography)

One highlight every year is the door decorating contest sponsored by 3M. Check out a few of these amazing doors.

Door decorating contest, SNAP 2015. CraftsnCoffee.com.

A few of the decorated doors at SNAP 2015.

Throughout the three-day conference, we invited the bloggers to make Decorative Mesh Flowers with us. These colorful, candy-filled pots are perfect for party centerpieces and favors, or maybe a sweet little teacher’s gift.

DIY Deco Mesh Flowers with FloraCraft at SNAP 2015. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Britni from Play.Party.Pin demonstrates how to make a decorative mesh flower.

FloraCraft wants you to try one, too, so here’s how to make your own Decorative Mesh Flower Pot.

This is a fun party centerpiece! Really easy to DIY, too. CraftsnCoffee.com.

This is an excellent party craft! And maybe you can win the supplies to make one . . .

To make a Decorative Mesh Flower Pot, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam/FloraCraft® Make it: Fun® Foam: two, 3” discs; 4” foam ball
  • Design it:® Simple Style® Decorative Mesh in orange and pink, 10” wide
  • Terra cotta flower pot
  • Small tree branches, three
  • Acrylic craft paint in white
  • Wrapped candies
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; stem wire; paintbrush
Love this decorative mesh flower! Easy tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

You’ll make two of the Decorative Mesh Flowers, so the topiary looks pretty from any angle.

To make a Decorative Mesh Flower Pot:

  1. Paint the foam discs, flower pot, and branches white, and set aside to dry.
  2. Layer together 18” lengths of pink and orange decorative mesh. Starting along one 10” end, pleat and gather the length along the center; tie off with stem wire. Repeat to make a second decorative mesh “bow”.
  3. Place the gathered mesh “bows” side by side, and secure together at the center with stem wire. Fluff the mesh layers, creating a full, round flower.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 to make a second decorative mesh flower.
  5. Wrap a square of decorative mesh around each painted disc, and glue the mesh to the back. Glue a disc to the center of each flower.
  6. Glue the 4” ball into the flower pot. Trim the ball, if needed, to make it fit. Insert the three branches into the foam ball. Sandwich the stems between the two flowers, and glue the flowers together.
  7. Add candies to cover the top of the foam ball.

Another big part of the SNAP experience is the serious swag everyone gets to take home! If you’re in the craft industry, you definitely want these creative bloggers to take home a sample or two and try out your products. I came home with quite a collection of goodies, and I am giving away two, swag-filled prize packages. Each prize includes a different assortment, and might have goodies from Jo-Ann Stores, Heidi Swapp, Play Dough, Elmer’s, Aleene’s, McDonald’s, 3M, Laura Kelly, and more.

Plus, FloraCraft has graciously sweetened the swag and is providing each winner with decorative mesh and foam so you can make your own Decorative Mesh Flower Pot.

If you’d like a chance to win one of these goodie bags, tell me about the other blogs you follow. Who are your favorite, go-to bloggers and why? I’d love to hear, and maybe I’ll follow your favorites, too. Please enter by midnight on Thursday, May 14, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, May 15.

I know it’s already been a long post today, but I really can’t close without a “thank you” to the amazing Tauni Everett and her team. Tauni is the creative and gracious mastermind behind SNAP, and her tireless energy and tireless smile are always inspiring.

Tauni Everett, the amazing powerhouse behind SNAP. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Tauni Everett, the founder of SNAP. (Photo credit: Alex Adams Photography)

Happy crafting!

Sharon

 

 

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Home Decor, Road Trip Recap | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

How would you make this DIY spring wreath or wall art?

When I shared the Framed Orchids last week, I couldn’t wait to make this DIY wall art/spring wreath my own. Here’s how I made my Framed Flowers, along with tips to make your own Framed Flowers. First, pick a bouquet of your favorite faux flowers – violets, pansies, daffodils, gerbera daisies, whatever you like.  Then, cut out a custom frame that’s just the right size for your bouquet. I thought I’d make mine smaller, but then decided to use the same size frame as the original. I also debated between covering my frame with moss cloth or a birch bark wrapping paper, and opted for the paper. Here’s how to DIY Framed Flowers Your Way — in two hours or less!

So pretty for spring! Hang it as a wreath or as wall art. CraftsnCoffee.com.

How would you change up this design?

Once you cover your frame, you arrange your bouquet right in the frame of Styrofoam brand foam. Love this look! CraftsnCoffee.com.

I made a sweet, spring bouquet from several stems of silk flowers.

To make Framed Flowers Your Way, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1” x 12” x 18” or 1” x 12” x 36” sheet (the larger sheet will make at least two frames)
  • Wrapping paper (I also thought about using moss cloth, so take a look at that, too. Or, how about fabric?)
  • Silk flowers, 2 – 3 stems
  • Moss & lichens, small amount
  • Faux butterfly
  • Paper glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; ruler; sharp pencil; knippers; serrated knife; old candle or bar of soap; straight pins
Materials needed to make a beautiful, custom frame with flowers. CraftsnCoffee.com.

I chose a purple bouquet and birch bark wrapping paper for my Framed Flowers.

To make Framed Flowers Your Way:

1. Determine the size frame you’d like to use. I used a 1” x 12” x 18” size, but you can go smaller or larger, depending on the flowers you’re using. You can even make it square, if you prefer. Measure and mark your frame on the foam sheet, and cut out with the serrated knife. Rub the serrated knife blade with an old candle or bar of soap for easier cutting.

2. Measure and score 2” sides all around the inside of your foam rectangle or square, and cut out the center.

How to make any size frame from a sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Once you cut out your foam square or rectangle, draw another square or rectangle inside, leaving 2″ sides all around. Cut out the inside of the frame.

3. Cut from the wrapping paper:

  • A rectangle or square the size of your foam frame, plus 2” on each side.
  • Four, 1″ x 6″ strips.
DIY your own custom, foam frame. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Add 1″ strips to each inside corner to cover any gaps that might occur when you wrap the frame.

4. Wrap the frame:

  • Fold each 1″ paper strip in half, and glue to the inside corners of the frame.
  • Using paper glue, attach the wrapping paper to the front of the foam frame.
  • You’ll wrap the outside edges first. Neatly fold the paper at each corner and cut away any excess paper so it lays flat.
  • Wrap the paper around the outside edges and glue to the back of the frame. If needed, use straight pins to hold the paper in place while the glue dries. (I skipped the pins and used low-temp glue on the back of the frame for a faster hold).
  • Cut a 4″ x 10″ rectangle from the paper in the center of the frame (or a size that works for your frame, leaving a good 2” to wrap to the back).
  • Cut on the diagonal to each corner.
  • Wrap the paper to the back of the frame.
  • Let glue dry.
Creating a custom picture frame. Easy tutorial. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Wrap the outside edges first, gluing the paper to the back of the frame. Then, cut on the diagonal to each corner, and wrap the inside edges.

5. Determine how you want to arrange your flower stems, and trim to about 2”. Insert the stems into the inside bottom edge of the foam frame. Remove the stems, add a dab of glue to the holes, and place the stems back in the holes. Arrange moss and small pieces of lichen around the stems and along the edge of the frame.

6. Glue lichens and the butterfly to a corner of the frame.

Sweet details on a spring wreath. CraftsnCoffee.com.

I added a small piece of dried lichen and a butterfly in the corner.

Pretty wreath or wall art can you DIY in an evening! CraftsnCoffee.com.

From start to finish, this project took me less than two hours. Love that!

So pretty, and it's a quick, five-step DIY, too. Make it for Mother's Day (or for you!). CraftsnCoffee.com.

The faux bois paper and orchids made the original design very elegant. combination.

These are both so pretty, and it's such an easy idea. Easy to customize and make your own, too. CraftsnCoffee.com. i

One idea — two different styles. How would you make your Framed Flowers?

And there you have it, one tutorial and two different interpretations. Diane’s Framed Orchids are classic and more formal. I think they could even grace the doors of a church for a wedding, or maybe hang from the chairs for the bride and groom. My Framed Flowers have a more casual, woodland theme.

Now, how would you make your own version of the Framed Flowers Your Way?

P.S. The day after I published this post, I saw the very same inspiration flowers on my walk! Sweet coincidence. They were so pretty, so I decided to add them here. I hope your spring is blooming, too.

Spring is in bloom! CraftsnCoffee.com.

The inspiration flowers in real life.

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Bridal Showers, Craft Tutorial, Flower Designs, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Paper Crafts, Spring Crafts, Wall Art, Weddings, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Elegant orchids & a faux bois frame – is it wall art or a wreath?

Is it wall art? Or a spring wreath? I’m not really sure, but I do know that these Framed Orchids are an easy, elegant home accent made in just five steps. I stopped in at Jo-Ann Stores and Michaels yesterday, and they both have beautiful orchids in various colors, so you can easily change this up. Why not make two — one for you and one for a quick, DIY Mother’s Day gift.

So pretty, and it's a quick, five-step DIY, too. Make it for Mother's Day (or for you!). CraftsnCoffee.com.

Framed Orchids by Diane Flowers.

To make Framed Orchids, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1” x 12” x 18” or 1” x 12” x 36” sheet (the larger sheet will make two frames)
  • Faux bois (wood grain) wrapping paper
  • Orchid stems, two
  • Moss, tiny amount
  • Paper glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; ruler; sharp pencil; knippers; serrated knife; old candle or bar of soap; straight pins

To make Framed Orchids:

1. If you’re using a 1” x 12” x 36” foam sheet, cut it in half. You’ll use one 1” x 12” x 18” piece for one frame.

2. Measure and score an 8” x 14” rectangle in the center of the foam sheet. Rub the knife blade with an old candle or bar of soap. Cut the 8” x 14” rectangle from the center of the foam sheet, leaving a 12” x 18” frame with 2” sides.

How to make any size frame from a sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Measure and mark an 8″ x 14″ rectangle in the center of your foam rectangle, and cut it out. You should have a 12″ x 18″ frame with 2″ sides.

3. Cut one 16″ x 22″ rectangle and four, 1″ x 6″ strips from wrapping paper.

4. Wrap the frame:

  • Fold each 1″ paper strip in half, and glue to the inside corners of the frame.
  • Using paper glue, attach the wrapping paper to the front of the foam frame.
  • You’ll wrap the outside edges first. Neatly fold the paper at each corner and cut away any excess paper so it lays flat.
  • Wrap the paper around the outside edges and glue to the back of the frame.
  • Use straight pins, if needed, to hold the paper in place while the glue dries.
  • Cut a 4″ x 10″ rectangle from the paper in the center of the frame.
  • Cut on the diagonal to each corner.
  • Wrap the paper to the back of the frame.
  • Let glue dry.

5. Trim the orchid stems to about 2” and insert them at angles into the inside bottom edge of the foam frame. Remove the stems, add a dab of glue to the holes, and place the stems back in the holes. Add a tiny amount of moss around the stems.

So pretty, and it's a quick, five-step DIY, too. Make it for Mother's Day (or for you!). CraftsnCoffee.com.

The faux bois paper and orchids make a very elegant combination.

When I was at Jo-Anns and Michaels earlier this week, I was shopping so that I could make my own variation on this wreath/wall art. I think you could create this project in endless ways, and I hope to share my variation on a theme next week. (Fingers crossed it turns out like what I’ve pictured in my mind – you know how that goes, right?)

So, would you call this a wreath, or wall art, or simply pretty enough to hang just about anywhere?

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Bridal Showers, Craft Tutorial, Flower Designs, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Paper Crafts, Wall Art, Wreaths | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Carnation Cupcake Centerpiece celebrates special times

Oftentimes, when we have good news to celebrate, I head to the cupcake store for a special treat. Cupcakes make it festive, and these adorable, Carnation Cupcakes kick it up a notch, too. If you need a special occasion centerpiece for Mother’s Day, a birthday, a bridal shower, or any other celebration, DIY this quick & easy Cupcake Centerpiece.

Easy centerpiece idea for Mother's Day, bridal showers, birthdays, etc. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Carnation Cupcakes by Diane Flowers.

To make a Carnation Cupcake, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Large cupcake: 4” ball and 9” cone
    • Small cupcake: 3” ball and 6” cone
  • Silk carnations in white or other color, about 20 for both, depending on size
  • Wrapping paper, heavier weight
  • Curling ribbon
  • Wire, 20-gauge
  • Adhesive dots
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Optional: Candle & candle cup
  • Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife; bar of soap or old candle; ruler; floral shears; wire cutters

To make a Carnation Cupcake:

1. Wax the serrated knife with an old candle or bar of soap for easier cutting. Cut the foam shapes as follows:

  • 9” cone: Measure 5-1/2” up from the base, and cut the top from the cone. You should have a 5-1/2” cone with a flat top.
  • 6” cone: Measure 4” up from the base, and cut the top from the cone. You should have a 4” cone with a flat top.
  • 4” & 3” balls: Cut in half.

2. Turn over the cones, so they stand on the narrow end. Glue the 4” half ball to the wide end of the 5-1/2” cone. Glue the 3” half ball to the wide end of the 4” cone.

3. Trim the carnation stems to approximately 2” and insert them into the half balls, “frosting” the cupcakes. STYROFOAM Brand Foam has an excellent grip and should hold the stems in place. If you prefer, you can add a dab of glue to the stems.

4. Bend a 6” length of wire at one end, creating a place card holder. Insert into the smaller cupcake.

5. Optional: To add a candle, insert and glue a candle cup to the top of the large cupcake. Insert the candle into the holder.

6. Cut and curl ribbon streamers, and glue to the half balls between the carnations.

7. Create the cupcake holders from wrapping paper:

  • Large cupcake: Fanfold in 1” increments a 24” x 5” length of wrapping paper.
  • Small cupcake: Fanfold in 1” increments a 22” x 3-1/2” length of wrapping paper.

8. Using adhesive dots, glue together the ends of the folded paper strips, creating a free-standing tube. Insert the “cupcakes” into each tube. Arrange the paper “cupcake holder” around each cupcake, using glue dots or a dab of low temp glue as needed to help hold it in place.

Easy centerpiece idea for Mother's Day, bridal showers, birthdays, etc. CraftsnCoffee.com.

“Frost” these in other colors of carnations, and change up the papers, too.

If you’d like a few more, mouthwatering cupcake crafts, take a look at these yummy ideas.

No-Cal Cupcakes

Cute cupcake craft. No calories! CraftsnCoffee.com

Lollipop Cupcake

Cute Dum Dum Tree decorated for Valentine's Day to look like a cupcake. CraftsnCoffee.com.

I made this Lollipop Cupcake for Valentine’s Day, and it’s an easy craft for birthdays, classrooms, and other group festivities.

Ruffled Felt Cupcakes

DIY easy felt cupcakes -- great for kids, scouts, or a party craft. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Doesn’t the ruffled felt look like real, whipped frosting?

Cupcake Pencil Holder 

I want this for my desk! A Cupcake Pencil Holder. CraftsnCoffee.com

With a cherry on top, this pencil holder looks good enough to eat!

Yesterday, we broke with tradition and celebrated happy news with a slice of sour cherry pie instead of cupcakes. How do you celebrate good news in your family? Do you have a go-to treat to herald good news and special days?

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Bridal Showers, Craft Tutorial, Entertaining, Flower Designs, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Paper Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Science Fair Salvation: How to make a double-helix DNA Model

Tomorrow is National DNA Day. Who knew! I can’t think of a better time to share this tutorial to make a DNA model. If you have a child in school, grandchildren, a young neighbor, or maybe you’re friends with a few teachers, pin this DIY DNA tutorial. The next time you hear about a last-minute science fair project, designer Kathleen George has you covered! I’m also sharing the results of my dog’s official DNA test.

Pin this for later! How to make a double-helix DNA Model for a school project or science fair. CraftsnCoffee.com.

First, a little DNA humor:

Q. What did one DNA say to the other?

A. Stop copying me!

And now, here’s how to make your own double-helix DNA model.

To make a DNA Model, you will need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 46, 1” balls; scrap piece
  • Wooden skewers, eight
  • Acrylic craft paint: yellow, white, orange, pink, bright green and dark green (or six different colors of your choice)
  • String
  • Chopsticks or ¼” wood dowel
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; toothpicks; stiff bristle paintbrush; knippers

Finished size: The DNA Model is approximately 17” long, including the hangers.

Pin this for science class projects and science fairs. Step-by-step tutorial to DIY a double-helix DNA Model. CraftsnCoffee.com.

DNA Model by Kathleen George.

To make a DNA Model:

1. Insert a wood skewer through the center of each 1” foam ball. Rotate the skewer to smooth out the inside and the edges around each hole. This will make it easier to string the balls.

2. Insert a toothpick into each ball, which you’ll use as a handle when you paint the balls.

3. Paint the balls:

  • Paint 16 balls yellow. These will represent sugar.
  • Paint 14 balls white. These will represent phosphate.
  • Make four groups of four balls each for the nitrogenous bases.  Paint each group of four a different color (Kathleen used bright green, dark green, pink and orange paint). Four balls will represent cytosine; four will be guanine; four will be thymine; and the last four are adenine.
  • Once the balls are painted, insert the toothpicks into a scrap of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to hold the balls upright while the paint dries.
  • Let the paint dry thoroughly.

4. Cut two, 28” lengths of string. Spread white glue to cover 2-1/2” on one end of each string. Roll the ends between your fingertips to work the glue into the string. Hang the strings over the edge of your work surface to dry. When dry, the stiffened ends will make it easier to thread on the balls.

5. Prepare the pairs of nitrogenous bases. Using knippers, cut the wood skewers into eight, 3” lengths. Thread two balls onto the center of each skewer:

  • Make four pairs of one cytosine with one guanine
  • Make four pairs of one thymine and one adenine.
Super helpful tutorial to construct a DNA model. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Follow this diagram as you build your DNA model.

6. Thread eight yellow sugar balls and seven white phosphate balls onto a string, starting and ending with a yellow sugar ball and alternating the colors as you go. Tie a large knot 3” from the end, and glue the knot in the hole at the bottom of the ball at the end of the string. Don’t cut off the excess string. Squeeze a drop of glue at the top of each hole to secure the balls. Repeat, creating a second string with the balls in matching order.

7. Add the pairs of nitrogenous bases, inserting the skewers into the yellow sugar balls. Be sure to insert the skewers firmly into the balls; add a drop of glue if needed to help hold it in place.

Detail of a DIY DNA Model. Great for science class! Pin and save this one. CraftsnCoffee.com.

insert the skewers into the yellow sugar balls.

8. Cut a chopstick or ¼” wood dowel into two, 8” lengths to create the hangers. Tie the strings onto hangers and add a dab of glue to hold the strings in place. Trim off the extra string. To create the look of the double helix, twist the double strands in a counterclockwise direction.

How to test your dog's DNA. CraftsnCoffee.com

JoJo is an all-American mutt.

I shared the story about our pup’s DNA test a few years ago, but I imagine most of you didn’t see it. My daughter fell head-over-heels when she saw JoJo at the shelter, and he’s been our best buddy ever since. When my daughter studied DNA in science class, we decided to officially test JoJo’s DNA. It’s an easy process – we swabbed his cheek and sent the swab to the lab. The results confirmed that JoJo is an all-American mutt with traces of Chihuahua and Maltese. Most of JoJo’s DNA is so mixed up that it’s too hard to identify.

And that’s o.k. with us. I’ve always had mutts and they’re my favorite kind of dog. How about you – is there a breed that holds a soft spot in your heart? Or are your furry friends mutts, too?

Happy crafting.

Sharon

 

 

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Kid's Crafts | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments