Welcome to Crafting Made Simple!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DIY purse notebook

I always like to have something in my purse to write notes or to keep track of things when I'm out. I think post-it's are great, but they get messy in a purse or bag getting bounced around so I covered some up with some card stock, added a monogram, and decoupaged a pen to match. Now I have a personalized notepad exactly the way I want it!
For this project I used:
Patterned cardstock
Pattern sissors
"W" cutout
Circle cutout
Post it's
Hot glue
Mod podge
Velcro dots

The first thing I did was cut my  cardstock down to size, this will be different depending on what paper you buy. For my post it's, I needed to cut mine to be 3.5" X 8. Place the post it with about 3.5" from the bottom and fold up and over from both ends. Make sure to make a crisp fold at each corner of your notepad.

Add a Velcro dot to the center and seal to adhere. As shown, I have a picture of a pen to match. I cut cardstock to match and covered the paper and pen with a thin layer of mod podge. This took some time to adhere. I rolled the pen to make the ends lay flat and applied a coat of mod podge to protect the paper. You may need to make your pen cap bigger to accommodate the paper, I did so using pliers. Below is a picture with no monogram, just to show that it looks nice without embellishment.

 I have seen something like this given out as a favor for a baby shower or a wedding shower with a rubber duck, rattles, or campaign glasses on the front. These are super easy and quick to make. A great idea for last minute Christmas gifts!

Happy crafting!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DIY Small gift box

This weekend we wrapped all of our presents at our house, and late Sunday night I realized I forgot to wrap my work secret Santa gift. I looked through all our leftover bags, and found nothing useful, aand my gift was too small to wrap. So I decided to make my own gift box!
I used an almost empty cold pill box, covered it with a thin layer of decoupage glue, and cut scrap wrapping paper to fit!

This ended up being the perfect size for what I needed. I work with kids and am perpetually fighting off a cold, so I have an infinite supply of boxes! These would be perfect for gift cards, jewellery, or other small gifts!

Happy crafting!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

DIY Thrift Store Chalk Board

At my last thrift store run I got a coat rack (Link to coat rack tutorial ), a mirror, and a few other things. I have wanted to make a chalk board for our kitchen for a while, but I couldn't find the right frame to make it in. The mirror I got was $10 and I got 2 cans of spray paint for about $6 each. The mirror started out looking like this:
I started out bu sanding the entire frame and mirror surface.Next, I painted the entire surface a high-gloss white, I needed about 3 coats. I waited a few days, then taped and used plastic to cover the white frame. I covered the mirror only part with the chalkboard paint and finished!
We use ours for grocery lists, notes, and reminders, not to mention it covers the fuse box!

For this project I used:
1 Large frame glass/mirror in
1 can of chalkboard spray paint (they also have available in brush on and is less expensive)
1 can of high-gloss white
Sand paper
Masking tape
Plastic grocery bags

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas stocking hangers DIY

I have been looking for ways to hang my Christmas stocking without damaging my walls, and I didn't want to use the command hooks. I came up with the idea of using door knobs! I went to Home Depot to look at knobs and not knowing if I want to keep the knobs up as picture hangers later, I was not looking to spend a fortune. I ended up with plain wooden door knobs that look like this:
I painted them black then applied a opalescent coat over the top and applied a small gem in the center. This is the finished product!

I fastened them to the wall with the smallest command strips! To make your own stocking hanger you need:
Wooden door knobs
Craft paint
Small gem or embelishment

This project took minutes to complete, but I think looks so nice with our color scheme. Best of all, it cost under $4!

Happy crafting!

Simple Christmas card ideas

My goal this year was to make all of my Christmas cards, however, I did not realize how lofty of a goal this was until I started! I had a hard time finding inspiration so I thought I'd upload some examples for those of you looking!
Happy crafting!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas for at Home Crafters

Do you like to make crafts at home? Are you searching for the perfect gift for your crafter? Here are a few gift ideas which will help you or your loved one decorate your home.

Thanks to electronic precision and easy-to-use design, the Cricut Expression personal cutting machine makes it a snap to create beautiful cards, displays, scrapbooks, signs, and labels. Great for home, office, or classroom use, the machine features a generous range for small or large shapes and can accommodate materials from vellum to cardstock to vinyl. Creating a cut requires simply inserting a cartridge, loading the machine, making a selection, and pressing “cut.”

This Cricut Essentials Kit lives up to its name, as it provides all the essential tools and accessories needed for creating successful paper crafts with one of Provo Craft's Cricut personal electronic cutting machines. The perfect companion to a brand new Cricut, the kit enables greater flexibility and dexterity for making unique paper scrapbook embellishments, fun bulletin board letters, and custom stationery.

Christmas Card Maker. From your heart to theirs — keepsake cards you create using your home computer and printer! This all-in-one set includes our exclusive Dover Design Studio software with over 250 images, patterns, fonts, and artful greetings; video lessons; and templates for bi-fold cards, a postcard, and envelopes. A gallery of finished cards provides inspiration. Cards and envelopes not included. Mac and PC compatible.

Card Making with Cricut. Demonstrating the endless assortment of shapes and styles that can be made using the Cricut from Provo Craft, this guide helps crafters create unique and sensational greeting cards with ease. With simple instructions, imaginative sample projects for occasions such as baby showers and birthdays, and unlimited design options, this helpful reference explains how to impress friends, coworkers, and family with personalized homemade cards.

Mod Podge is 40 years old, but this classic decoupage glue still has its cool. Crafters of any skill level can create anything from paper keepsakes to jewelry to home decor items. The original formula, all-in-one glue sealer and finish, can be used to decoupage on nearly any surface. Quick-drying formula allows for multiple coat build up and projects dry to a matte finish. Cleans up easily with soap and water. Certified AP non-toxic and water based. 

What are your craft holiday gift ideas?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

DIY Cricut and thrift store coat rack!

My husband recently sent me in search of a coat rack. My first thought was that Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond would have one; but I pass a "new uses" store on my way to work and I figured before spending $40 on one I'd hit the thrift store.
I walked around for a while letting all the possibilities set in. I picked up a few items including a mirror for $7 (blog to come) and a lamp base which I havent decided if I want to leave alone or decorate a lamp shade. The best find might be the coat rack for $3-all of the needed hardware included.
Before! I got a little excited and started to paint before taking a full picture, this is still a good idea of what the entire rack looked like.
Now by looking at the picture you can see why this was only $3, but like me you can probably see potential! I know my husband thought I was crazy when I pulled this out of the bag, but with some paint, a few letter, and some decoupage; my thrift store coat rack turned into one of the favorite parts of my entryways!
 For this project I used:
Sand paper
Black paint
paint brush (2)

I first sanded the entire piece, I found that on the areas I didn't sand well the paint didn't stick. I applied several coats of black paint. I used black craft paint, the kind they always have on sale at Michael's for around $0.50. I let this dry for about 30-45 minutes, this paint does dry fast. Using spray paint could work nicely too.
I used my Cricut to cut out the letters and phrases, however finding letters and/or phrases at craft stores is a good option. Because I used my Cricut to cut my letters/phrases out I could play with what size worked and the layout.
After I had all my letters cut out and the paint was dry I used my homemade decoupage to add my letters. I also gave the entire coat rack 2 coats to keep the letters secure and from scratches.

In total this project cost around $6! I think that is so awesome with Christmas right around the corner and Holiday travels too!
$3 coat rack
$0.20 decoupage
$0.50 Paint
$1 2 foam brishes
$1 2 sheets scrapbook paper (8"X11")

I also plan on making something like this for my wall as just a plaque, no knobs. You can purchase wood at a Home Depot or most craft stores. The possibilities for modifying this craft are endless!
Have fun and happy crafting!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is upon us! It's time to start thinking about what's on your shopping list. The easiest way to avoid all the inconveniences of holiday shopping lines and crowds is to order your gifts online. But what does this have to do with this blog? Well, why not help support this site and get your holiday shopping done at the same time? I would really appreciate it if you can help support this site by using our Amazon.com search box. It's simple to use: just type the name of the product you are looking for in the Amazon.com search box and it will automatically take you to the Amazon website of the product. Simply order the gift as normal and a (tiny) fraction of what you spend will go to this site. What am I going to do with the money? Put it all back into the site to make it even better! Help me help you.

How to: DIY Decoupage

Now if you follow my blog, you know how much I love Mod Modge. And if you have ever purchased Mod Podge, you know it can be expensive. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found a DIY recipe for decoupage, and it only has two ingredients!  
You need:
1 bottle of glue
equal parts water
1 jar +lid

Empty the entire bottle of glue into your jar, I used an empty salsa jar, but a mason jar or a spaghetti jar will do just fine. Fill your glue bottle with water, and empty into your jar. The first time I made this I emptied the entire bottle of water and I found my decoupage to be runny. I found it best to add about 3/4 of the water, put the lid on (tight) and shake. Add the rest of the water accordingly.
The last time I bought a bottle of Mod Podge it was about six dollars and it was a small bottle. When I made my decoupage, I bought a bottle of glue for twenty cents!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Super easy and cheap wall art!

This is an idea I got off another blog ( http://salvagedior.blogspot.com) that I fell in love with! It is so simple and cheap, but has such a nice finished look.
What you need:
1 rubber floor mat
1 can cream spray paint
1 can primer

When I made this I used krylon spray paint (color: Champagne Nouveau). They have a ton of color choices, and even have good project ideas on their website (http://www.krylon.com/projects/index.jsp).
I first sprayed my mat with primer just so my mat had a more even coverage. I'm sure this is optional, but I just wanted to be sure. I waited 30 minutes for my primer to dry then sprayed my top coat. 

These pictures are not from my home, only because my house is not this accessorized! I hope you love this idea as much as I did! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to: Fun and cute 'Let it snow' wall hanging.

I'm in no way ready for snow, but I'm slowly getting ready for the holiday season. It seems like every store you go into there is Christmas music playing and holiday decorations everywhere! I've decided since I can't escape it, I may as well embrace it and what better way than crafting!
Perfect wall hanging to keep or give as a gift!

For this project you will need:
1 Wooden wall plaque  16"X4"
Brown craft paint
Medium blue craft paint
Translucent opalescent white paint (optional)
Mod Podge (Matte) 
Sand paper
1-3 foam brushes
"Let it snow" phrase cutout
Snowflake cutouts (several)
Snowman cutout

First sand down any rough edges on your wall hanging, then mix the blue and opalescent paint. I mixed just enough to give the blue paint a shimmer, this is optional I liked the shimmer for a little depth. Cover the entire wall hanging (edges included) with the blue paint and wait for it to dry. Depending on the paint and wood you may need a few coats to cover completely. Once dry, paint the edges with the brown paint and let dry. Once dry, give the brown edges a light sanding to give a "worn" look".
With the frame long ways, apply the "Let it snow" phrase at the top of the frame. Be careful to wipe all access glue away, it will dry glossy. Place snowman at the bottom of the frame and glue on. Between the phrase and snowman place snowflakes to look like they are falling. Once you have everything glued on, apply 1-2 coats of Mod Podge to seal everything down and protect from scratches.

You can also use white (opalescent) puff paint for snow. Either add small to medium dots or make snowflake shapes!
I hope you have as much getting into the holiday spirit as I did! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How To: Easy to make Holiday luminaries

Today my sister-in-law and I went to a craft show and I was inspired. There were so many incredible things that I do not think I have time to make, but after a quick trip to Michaels and a lot of contemplation we decided to make luminaries.

I plan to make more in different sizes, and also square instead of a circle. I will post more as I make them!
Blurry, but a good idea of what it will look like light up.

Covered seam

What you will need:
  1. Flameless LED Tealights (1)
  2. Cardstock/scrapbook paper
  3. Vellum
  4. Christmas, winter, or holiday punch.
  5. Glue
  6. Scissors or paper cutter

You first need to cut your paper down to the size you want. I used 11X8.5 paper and cut it in half long ways (4.25") and then cut about 1" to make the final deminsions 4.25"X10".  As I have mentioned before, I have a Cricut and use it for most of my crafting, this project included. If you are using a Cricut make sure to move your blade down about 1.5" and over about 1" to center and allow room for overlapping. If you are using a paper punch, punch around paper, allowing room on both ends for overlapping to glue.

Flip your paper over after all designs are cut out and glue vellium to the back side of the paper. I found that my vellium wanted to curl up at the edges so I placed it under a book to dry for about 10 minutes, and it seemed about perfect. Be sure to get around the edges of your cutouts, or when you roll your paper the vellium will pull away.

 Once you have your design cut out and the vellium glued to the inside, bring the edges together and glue, making sure to wipe all access glue away. I used a hot glue gun to make sure I had a stron hold. If you do not have a hot glue gun, masking tape on the inside and outside to hgold the sides together while they dry may be a good idea. Another tip is to wrap it around something like a can or a peanut butter jar to dry. This way you can make sure you have a perfect circle!

I cut out trees, and glued red stars in the spaces between the trees. and a larger star to cover the seam where the sides are glued together. Other ideas are; gems, sequins, different punches, or bows.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to create a simple and elegant Christmas card

I have been quite busy lately working on my (gasp!) Christmas cards. I cannot hardly believe it is that time of year already. I have been trying to make each one different, and so far I have been successful!
Here is one of the first ones I have made. It’s pretty simple, but elegant; most impotaint-fast!
Here is what you need:
1 card/envelope-blank
1 ornament cutout
1 small star cutout
Christmas sheet music border stamp
Black ink
Ivory pearlescent paper

I use pre-made blank cards from the craft store for a few reasons, 1. I’m not sure how to make an envelope 2. if I did know, I’m not sure the post office would mail a self-made envelope, and 3. it saves so much time!

Cover the front of your card with the ivory pearlescent paper, I think the slight shimmer gives the card depth and the ornament stand out. Once the paper is glued on and dried, stamp your border with the music stamp. It is important to do this before placing the ornament on so you know where to place the ornament. Next center your ornament and place the star next to it; glue them both on.
It’s as simple as that! A easy and fast homemade Christmas card that takes little time, but comes out beautiful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cricut Expression 2! Christmas came early friends!

I'm sure I say this in all of my blog posts, but I have a Cricut. For the past few years I have been using the 6" Cricut--which I do not knock--I loved that Cricut and have made many many lovely things on it. However, my projects are getting better and so should my Cricut so for Christmas my parents got me the new Cricut Expression 2! So I though I would share some the awesome features.