DIY Citrus Collage Canvases – When Life Gives you Lemons

San Francisco’s fog is not the best climate for gardening, but my little lemon tree is getting established, and I wanted to create something citrus-inspired! I had some old canvases lying around (let’s just say that for me, paint-with-wine events are more about the experience than the product!), so I decided to transform them into something new!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Stretched canvases
  • Paint in background color
  • Craft paper in a variety of oranges, yellows, pinks, light greens, and dark greens
  • Mod-Podge

Here’s how to do it:

Paint the canvases in your background color:

ezy watermark_05-07-2019_06-19-21pm

Cut out your shapes:

  • pink blossoms
  • yellow lemons
  • light green limes
  • orange oranges (duh!)
  • green stems and leaves (I started with straight stems, but I recommend adding some curved ones as well)

ezy-watermark_05-07-2019_06-20-01pm.jpg

Start arranging your citrus into branches:ezy watermark_05-07-2019_06-20-42pm

For ideas on how to arrange your shapes, you can look at these inspiration images I found, as well as my finished product.

I am thinking of eventually putting these canvases in my office at work, but for now, I like the feeling of going to sleep in a garden here!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Marbled Clay Ring Dishes

Here is version two of these DIY clay ring dishes! First, I made some in white with stamped designs. I love how those look, but keeping the white clay as clean as possible is a bit stressful. The marbled dishes, on the other hand, are so addictive and relaxing!

ezy watermark_24-05-2019_05-33-05pm

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in a coordinating colors (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Gold paint
  • Clear glossy varnish

Here’s how to do it:

  • Make strips of clay in each color you want to include. Twist and roll them together until you get the amount of mixing you want.
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, roll the marbled clay flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Cut out the circle – you can take the cut-off edges and add them to your next marbled bowl, so each one is unique!
  • Place your circle on your mold – I tried it on the outside of a bowl, but I think inside would be better, if you have the right size, because the mold indented the surface slightly
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

Here are some progress shots and the final products!

Here is how to start the marbling process:ezy watermark_13-05-2019_06-01-26pm

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven.

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Next step: gold paint on the rim!

Last step: clear gloss varnish!

 

I’m seriously addicted to making these bowls… can you guess what’s up next?!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Stamped Ring Dishes in White and Gold

These little pretty and versatile trinket dishes have been catching my eye for some time now, and I just needed an occasion to try them!

I’ve been so lucky to have a lot of fun dinners/ brunches/ weekends with my girlfriends recently. (See the moms’ brunch I hosted here.) I thought these dishes would be fun to make as party favors/ souvenirs.

I tried making a few different styles of dishes, and I’ll post the variations here soon. While I love the results of all of them, the white bowls are a bit stressful to make (hard to keep clean!), and the marble is really relaxing, so choose your project accordingly!!

There are so many different kids of polymer clay, and when I found myself overwhelmed standing in Michael’s, I appreciated this overview of the different clays and their uses. After reading this summary, I ended up choosing Premo Sculpey.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in white (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Stencils and stamps
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush

Here’s how to do it:

  • This white clay collects and shows dust and lint very easily, so try to keep your hands, tools, and work surface as clean as possible
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, knead your clay and roll it flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Cut out the circle
  • Stamp your designs in the center
  • Place your circle on your mold – I tried it on the outside of a bowl, but I think inside would be better, if you have the right size, because the mold indented the surface slightly
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

Here are some progress shots and the final products!

Clay rolled out, stamped, and ready to mold

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven, before paint and varnish. I like the matte look, but I suspect they’d get dirty over time.

Next step: gold paint on the rim!

Last step: clear gloss varnish!

Here’s a sneak peak at the marble bowls. I’ll get the post up some time (soon?)!

I’m seriously addicted to making these bowls…

Julie aka “Jewels”

Recipe Tea Towels

If you’re already familiar with Spoonflower, then you know how amazing their site is. If you haven’t been introduced to them yet, be prepared to be completely addicted! They can custom print anything on fabric, and you can design your … Continue reading

DIY Hand-Painted Chinoiserie Christmas Ornaments

For this year’s Chinoiserie Christmas, I mostly used decorations I already had from our “white and woodsy Christmas,” with the addition of these hand-drawn ornaments! This post is coming late, because it took me all month to finish these ornaments, … Continue reading

DIY Decoupaged Tile Coasters

I have a lot of craft projects “incubating” – I get excited, I buy supplies, and then… I wait for the perfect moment to create them! We could also call this hoarding of craft supplies, but that’s not in the spirit of the season!

We’ve got an enthusiastic new social committee at work, and they organized a “Secret Snowflake” exchange for the holidays. “Handmade is encouraged,” they instructed. Now that’s my kind of challenge. My gift recipient loves to host dinner parties, so I found her a cute serving bowl, some holiday dish towels, and I am finishing off the package with these DIY coasters!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White 4″ square tiles – very inexpensive at the hardware store, or you can order online
  • Decorative paper – choose thinner paper that absorbs the adhesive and molds to the tile
  • Mod Podge
  • Water-based varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Silicon bumpers

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut paper to fit tiles
  • Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on tile
  • Lay down paper and smooth out
  • Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge over paper
  • Letting dry between layers, add one or two more coats of Mod Podge
  • Add three or more coats of varnish, for a more durable finish
  • Add silicon bumpers to bottom

Here they are in my home and getting ready to go spread cheer in my friend’s home!

Next time, I’d like to try making these coasters, with the paper sandwiched between glass, because I think they’ll hold up even better. Next year’s teacher and coworker gift? Maybe!

Hope you are having fun sharing treats and gifts this season!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Macrame Cord Hanging Light

You might know that I caught the macrame bug last summer. There is just something so magical about transforming a simple piece of rope! Once I figured out the basics, I wanted to be able to create some more original designs as well. Here are my posts on macrame plant hangers:

Even with my love of plants and hanging planters, I was running low on things to make with rope, so I was very excited to see this I discovered macrame pendant lights. I first caught sight of Windy Chien’s Helix light in the Apartment 34’s One Room Challenge:

And then, I began spotting it everywhere, like in this beautiful bedroom from Katie Monkhouse:

Mandi Gruber (my idol!) also has a funky version of this simple and gorgeous idea, as does Holly Wade on Curbly.

I was looking for bedside lamps for our guest room and teen’s room, and I knew that I just had to try my own version of these lights!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Light bulb: looks great with an LED Edison bulb or G40 frosted LED bulb
  • For the hanger, I used my favorite Ikea Ekby Valter brackets (I’ve used them as plant hangers, as well as, as intended, shelf brackets). I stained the unfinished brackets with walnut stain. The 9mm rope light is hanging from the larger size bracket, and the 5mm rope light is hanging from the smaller bracket.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Test your light kit! It’s probably fine, but you’ll be spending several hours on it, so you want to make sure you didn’t get a lemon
  • find the midpoint of your rope and lay it behind your cord, next to the light fixture. With the two long ends of rope, start tying a wave knot
  • Tips: it can get unwieldy working with so much rope. I used a kitchen scale to help me divide the rope in half. I also used rubber bands to hold together the balls of rope, so they would not unravel.

  • Keep going
  • (Turn on a movie or podcast)
  • Keep going
  • When you get to the switch, neatly line the rope along the sides of the switch and then resume your wave knot
  • When you’ve almost reached the plug, use a gathering knot to finish off the ends

Here are some pictures of the hanging lights – the navy cord was made with 5mm cord and the denim cord with 9mm rope.

I don’t know about you, but I want to make another one (or ten) soon.

Happy knotting!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Custom Scrapbook Luggage Tags

These little luggage tags make wonderful gifts that are quick to make and practical!

Every kids loves having something with their name on it, and every adult fears taking the wrong bag at the airport. I’ve actually done this – and it was a huge pain, because I had to spend hours and $$ going back to LAX to exchange the bag, but I was relieved that at least the woman whose bag I accidentally took was really nice about it.

I love all the ways you can customize these luggage tags. I am showing these with scrapbook paper, but I’ve also made some out of wedding invitations to give as a gift to the couple, and you could use photos or lots of other ideas!

I’ve made tags with two different types of lamination:

img_5487

There’s really nothing better than a beautiful combination of scrapbook paper and stickers, is there? … Well, maybe dark chocolate and red wine… or world peace… okay, but these are really fun and pretty, so go and make some, because world peace may take a while to achieve.

“Jewels”

The Neutral Pillow Project

Whether you lean towards Scandinavian-inspired, Modern Farmhouse, or California Casual, everything light, white, and wood is in right now – and I love it!

While I’m always excited to incorporate new looks into my home, it takes some creativity to do this – we’ve had most of our major furniture pieces for a decade or more.

One strategy that’s easy on the budget and environment is to change out accessories like pillows. Here are some light and bright ideas that you can use to give your room a new look!

Admittedly, my “things I have in the house already” is rather extensive, but I’m still proud that I managed to make all these pillows with them.

Here are the links to a tutorial on making simple throw pillows and tutorials for the window seat pillows, including bolster and flanged pillows.

Starting with: Ribbon-embellished geometric pillows:

  • I started by sewing lengths of ivory ribbon onto a linen-like fabric in diagonal stripes
  • I then cut out panels to create a chevron or herringbone pattern for two bolster pillows to add a neutral accent to my teal armchairs
  • With the leftover sections of ribbon-embellished fabric, I created one more throw pillow for our living room loveseat

Mudcloth-inspired contrast stitching:

Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! I took some plain canvas fabric I had and, inspired by the oh-so-popular mudcloth trend, cut it into panels and sewed it together with contrasting navy thread:

There are a million more ideas for sewing simple pillows to change the look of your space – and when I try them all, you’ll see it here!

“Jewels”