Projects

Vintage Coffee Clock DIY

So by now I’m sure you know that I’m obsessed with coffee, and you may also remember I enjoy making clocks (remember that bicycle clock DIY?). It was only a matter of time before I decided to combine these two interests into one, creating a vintage coffee clock!

It all started when I stumbled across this royalty free vintage Zodiac Coffee advert online:

zodiac coffeeI immediately thought the image would be perfect for a clock, so I asked my dad to help rotate the circle so the twelve and six would be aligned properly. He kindly agreed, and we ended up with the image below (feel free to download it for your own clock-making delight!).

Zodiac Coffee ClockOnce I had the image printed, I bought my frame and clock parts from a local craft store and cut the image to size.IMG_0973Next up, I used Modge Podge to attach the image and to add a nice glossy look to the image as well.IMG_0974While my image was drying, I stained my frame…

IMG_0976…and once everything was dry, I assembled the clock! (I did make one minor mistake: I tried to smooth out a little bump and ended up creating a small tear in the image. I will probably reprint the image and try again, but for now, I am pretty happy with my result.)

IMG_0977I love the way this easy DIY turned out, and it took less than twenty minutes if you subtract the drying time for the Modge Podge and stain!   IMG_0979This is going to go perfectly in my craft room!

Take care!
xxCaitlyn

Projects

Easy Bottle Cap Craft

Hi everyone! We’ve been saving up bottle caps for a DIY my brother and Ariel want to work on together, and having so many saved up has led me to having bottle caps on the brain! It was only a matter of time before I stumbled upon this neat little frame at the craft store and an idea came to fruition.IMG_20140720_200426_223I started my project by laying out bottle caps in my frame to make a picture that I liked. I also decided at this time that I was not going to feel guilty about stealing from the bottle cap stash that was meant for other things. After all, I did contribute to a lot of the drinking that provided the caps. (…Right?)IMG_20140720_201504_660I decided to use bottle caps from my favorite beer, Ranger IPA from New Belgium Brewing Co., to make a heart in the middle of the frame. I surrounded the heart with black caps, but still thought the heart needed a boost. It was at this point my camera crapped out on me, but I ended up lightly tracing the bottle cap-heart before removing all the bottle caps. Then I stained the wood and filled in my traced heart with red paint. Once everything was dry, I modge podged the bottle caps onto the frame. IMG_20140721_104300_269

And voila! That was it. I put an extra layer of caps on the heart to fill it in and make it stand out a bit more, and used an orange cap from a different New Belgium beer as the cap in the center. I think I might do a few things differently with future bottle cap designs, but overall, I was happy with this easy little DIY. What would you like to try making with bottle caps?

xx Caitlyn

Projects

Fun with Lyddy: Flower Footprint Craft

I saw a super cute flower craft on pinterest the other day that I decided I absolutely had to make with my niece (who I’m sure you remember from a recent post as the most adorable little girl on the planet). I grabbed some finger paint and some construction paper, and we set to work. The first step was to make little flowers with the balls of her feet and her toes. I used my fingers to apply paint to her feet (which of course led to her sweet laugh), and then–at Lydia’s request–we pressed her feet down to make a blue, red, blue pattern.IMG_0707After that, we rinsed her feet off in the tub, and I asked her to use the green to draw half-circles under each “flower.” She did as instructed, filled in the half-circles with more paint, and then added stems and leaves. IMG_0710Next I had her write her name on a little flower pot that I cut out. (You could always add an extra step for fine motor skill practice and have the child cut out the pot if you wanted instead.) I also asked her to write her name on the pot. When I did similar crafts with my preschool kids in the past, I would often have them trace their names, but I thought it would be really cute to preserve the way Lydia writes her name independently for this craft. IMG_0711Once Lydia added her name, she was excited to finger paint freely on the flower pot.IMG_0712She finished decorating the flower pot, so we washed her hands and waited for the paint to dry a bit so we could glue it onto the bottom of her flower stems. IMG_0744 IMG_0745Didn’t it turn out cute?

xx

Bookspiration · Projects

Bookspiration: The Song of Hiawatha

Several years ago I received the book The Song of Hiawatha as a Christmas gift, and though I had read bits and pieces of the epic poem , a few weeks ago I finally got the chance to read the entire thing. It was difficult for me to decide what to make after finishing the book, but after much deliberation, I decided to put some of the text from The Song of Hiawatha over a picture from a recent walk at one of my favorite places in Michigan, Rosy Mound.

First, I chose my picture:

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Then, I spent what felt like three years trying to put text over it the way I wanted. I still didn’t quite achieve the look I was looking to create, but I decided the text was going to have to be good enough.

Live Together

It says:

“All your strength is in your union,

All your danger is in discord;

Therefore be at peace henceforward,

And as brothers live together.”

I printed an enlarged copy of the image at Walmart for about $6, and then modge podged it to an art board purchased for around $5 before a 40% off coupon at one of my local craft stores. Below you can sort of see how it turned out, though the lighting isn’t the best:

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I am not necessarily in love with how the project turned out, but I do love where the photo was taken, and I really like the passage from The Song of Hiawatha. I often think about the power of human connection when I go on walks through nature, and about how to I can be kinder and more loving to others. A message about unity totally seems fitting for a picture taken at Rosy Mound.

Here are some other pictures I took on the lovely spring day last week: IMG_0583

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Hope you got to enjoy some beautiful weather like we had in Michigan over the weekend 🙂

xx

Projects

Lovely Easter Ideas

In anticipation of Easter, I decided to give an easy DIY a try:

Easter Egg Strip ArtSource

This Easter egg made from paper strips on minted.com is apparently a craft for children, but I thought it looked cute so I made it anyway! 🙂 Here’s how mine turned out:

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And here are some other Easter-themed ideas I’d like to try:

bunny rollsMaking cute little bunny rolls… (Source)

DIY love eggs…making pretty DIY love eggs… (via thesweetestoccasion.com)

   pastel deviled eggs

…and making pastel-colored deviled eggs! (Source)

Are you going to make anything fun for Easter this week? Please share your ideas!

Projects

Delightful DIY Gift for a Newborn

Before moving to Japan, I loved the craft of wood burning. So, you can imagine how happy I was to come home and find my box of wood burning related tools waiting for me to use them again! One of my favorite projects for wood burning is making personalized boxes as gifts, and I recently made one for my friend’s newborn son named Junpei. I was really happy with the results, and thought I would share the process of making the box with you here!

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1. First, you’re going to want to choose your design and draw it (or print it from your computer) onto white paper. Then, using carbon tracing paper, trace your design onto your box–transferring the image. It might come out rather light, so you can pencil directly onto the box to make your lines more visible for when you burn them if you like. (If you’re comfortable, you can just draw your entire design onto the box–I did that with Junpei’s name, but practiced my other images on paper to transfer first as they were more difficult for me to draw).

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2. Then, begin burning your design into the wood. I often let my wood burner heat up while I’m transferring the design onto my box, and I practice a few lines on scrap wood first to make sure the tip is hot enough. I also tend to be careful as I go, not getting too confident with my lines and shading as–especially with boxes from a craft store–the density of the wood can change from spot to spot and change how quickly the wood burns (thus making your lines unintentionally thicker or darker than you want). It’s okay to make mistakes–remember that they can often be turned into something creative, or, if you are really unhappy with the way you’ve marked the wood, you can usually get away with a bit of sanding to clean up your lines. I always keep a piece of sandpaper on hand for that very reason!

20130821-072545.jpg3. Once you’re happy with your design, you can add a bit of water color to make some of the images pop. I usually make my colors pretty light so that they don’t overwhelm the pretty work I’ve done with wood burning, and remember that I can always add more color later (whereas it’s harder to take color away). I try to make the color visible, but subtle. If you accidentally drown out some of the design that you’ve burned with watercolors, you can blot the paint with a paper towel, and even go over the lines again with your wood burner after it’s dried.

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4. Lastly, put a light stain on your box to tie everything together. I often just use a glossy varnish, which I think gives the boxes a professional look. If you like, you can also burn a personal message on the box–I think I put something on the bottom just saying “to” and “from.”

20130821-072631.jpgOn the front of the box, I put Junpei’s name, date of birth, weight & height.

20130821-072652.jpgOnce your box has dried, you can put a small gift inside. Chad and I decided to put a little Burt’s Bees swaddling towel inside–we thought the bees on the towel matched the bees on the box 🙂

And that’s it! Pretty simple, yet lovely and personal, don’t you think?