Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How to Age Clay Pots

I wanted to make some little gifts for the Sunday school teachers who serve with me and thought a little flower or plant would be perfect for Easter.  I found these lovely Viola plants at our local nursery and some cute little terra cotta pots at the dollar store (3/1.00).  The pots were way too "new" looking so I decided to 'age' them.

I didn't really have a plan so I just looked online at "old" clay pots and tried to duplicate some of the features.  I started with what I had on hand which was a tub of joint compound that will probably never been used for 'joints'!  By dabbing this on with a piece of towel, I thought this was a good start. I would think you could use things like spackle or other 'construction' compounds too.

After the joint compound dried, I mixed some green, white and dark brown paints sponging on in random places with another piece of towel to give them a dirty, mossy look.

Next I decided I wanted to 'mute' the colors so I used sandpaper to go over certain areas to blend it together.  

Here's the finished product!  Now, IF I were going to actually use these outside (and if I make bigger ones to use outside), I would seal these because the joint compound and paints would probably wash off after time.  

The pots are ready for their little flowers!

I love how these turned out . . . no two are the same.
The nice thing is . . . you can't mess these up! If you don't like the look, just go back with more white paint to lighten areas, more joint compound, more sanding . . .

To finish off the gifts, I added some green, shredded paper to a little bag, put the pot in and tied with a ribbon and this tag.  I'm including little boxes of chocolate too :)

I have to share these photos before I go.  Two days ago it was of course, Palm Sunday . . . and we got a record-breaking snowstorm!  This is what it looked like when we came out of church as my husband began cleaning off the car!

Those who know me, know that after March, I do NOT wear anything related to cold weather, including boots.  No. Matter. What.

Now . . . I took THIS picture TODAY . . . just two days later.

It's true what they say: If you don't like the weather in Chicago, just wait a day and it'll change!

Have a wonderful Resurrection Sunday!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

EASY Fabric Flowers

When making a collar for a friend's dog, I wanted to add a fabric flower.  After playing around with some different ideas, I came up with this simple method.

Here's what you'll need:

Cotton fabric (To make 8 flowers I used 6 pieces of fabric, each 1/8 yard)
Pinking Shears (probably NOT a must but you'll get more fraying . . . which is what you want, with pinked edges)
Fabric scissors
Two sizes of circle patterns

You can use one fabric or several.  Find something for your pattern.  I used this plastic container's TOP edge for the larger circles and the BOTTOM edge for the smaller ones.  You can make these as big as you want though.  Cut 7-8 large and 7-8 small in any combination of fabrics. Layer your large pieces and then top with your small pieces.

I have to say that this part is a bit tedious with all the cutting so you definitely need sharp pinking shears or fabric scissors.  I just sat and watched a movie while I cut!

I have to say that I spent too much time making sure the pieces were in a repeating pattern.  Once the flowers are finished, I don't think it really shows or matters that the patterns were in a certain order.  Once you have your circles stacked (7-8 large topped with 7-8 small), stitch through all pieces in the center.

Now the fun part.  Wet each flower and crumple, crunch and smoosh into balls then . . . toss in the dryer.  They will come out like the center picture with frayed edges.  Next, dampen them (don't soak them this time or they'll take days to dry).  Gather them up and rubber band as shown in last picture.  Let them sit out to dry (overnight).

The next morning you can unwrap them and this is what you'll have!  I scrunched and wadded them up and peeled back each 'petal', fluffed and scrunched a bit more.

Just play around with them until you are satisfied with the look and amount of fraying.

I just placed these around my different Easter vignettes for a pop of color and softness.

I'm thinking these would make pretty hair accessories for a little (or big girl!) or a brooch.  I'm thinking of making some for a summer robe I'm making.  Lots of possibilities.

We are finally enjoying REAL springtime here in the Midwest! Hoping it's the same wherever you are!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

He Is Risen Easter Signs

I know  . . . you're thinking, wait, that looks like CHRISTMAS.  It is.  I used the reverse side of these same boards and painted them for EASTER.  It's a great way to get double duty out of your decorations when you do this!

It's a simple process.  I have a bunch of reclaimed fence boards I use for these projects.  A light coat of white chalk paint and sanding and they're ready.

I print the words out on paper playing with the size and font. Since you're going to paint these, you want to keep the font simple and clean.  

I highly recommend getting a roll of graphite paper.  I have this box for years.  You can use one piece of paper over and over and over.  It looks like a box of plastic wrap or foil and I got mine at an art supply store.  I put a piece under my paper and using a pen, trace the letters out onto the board.

You'll get a faint outline that is now ready to be painted.

I use a fine, round tip brush which I also highly recommend. This one was only about 8.00 and again, I've had it for years.  Important Tip:  I put a little bit of acrylic paint in a lid and have a lid of water.  Dip the tip of the brush in the water FIRST and then into the paint.  This makes the paint go on SO much easier and smoother!

Here is is painted and ready for a little distressing.

Carefully and using a very fine sandpaper, rub gently to get this distressed look (if that's the look you want).

Here are some more of my Easter/Spring decorations.  

I always have fun decorating this 'ledge' in the living room.

This year I decorated my ladder with a few of my mom's Easter hats and her hankies.  Remember the days when ladies wore their Easter hats to church on Easter Sunday? 

Hopefully it's beginning to feel like spring for all of us! I think it's ALMOST safe to put the snow shovels away . . .