Crafts, Decorated

Instructions for Creating a Seashell Frame: What to do with Seashells from the Beach

Create a unique picture frame or mirror frame loaded with seashells easily and inexpensively. It is an easy craft for all ages to work on together. Make it simple or create more intricate designs. Use white and natural colours of seashells and even dyed seashells to assemble this one-of-a-kind memento. you don’t need a fancy craft studio, this can be done at home.

Collecting Seashells

The best part of this project is finding all of the seashells to work with. Shelling is a fun activity for all ages. Collect a variety of sizes and shapes of seashells to take home from the beach.

Seashells collected at the beach can get a strong odour unless they are washed and dried properly. To clean seashells, soak them in a water and bleach mixture, rinse thoroughly, and let dry completely before using shells for any crafts.

Seashells, huge selections of them, are available online in bulk and individually. These shells are ready to use for crafting purposes, they could even be used for a Seashell Sand Art Jar.

Choose a variety of shapes and sizes. A frame using all white shells will look gorgeous. Add some pearlised, shiny seashells to create shimmer. Another option is to use seashells with a variety of natural colours. There are even dyed seashells available in all the colours of the rainbow.

Supplies for Craft Making

Find a flat frame. This will make it easier for the shells to stay in place. More seashells can be used on a frame that is larger and has more surface area.

A wooden frame can be painted or unpainted. The style is up to the person making the frame. Whitewashing the frame with paint looks nice and gives it a shabby chic appearance. For more durability, give the frame a coat or two of a water-based sealer.

Glue is essential. An all-purpose glue will work just fine. Craft stores are an abundant source of glue, as are hardware stores. Other options are using a hot glue gun or glue recommended for non-porous surfaces.

Assembling Art

When the shells, frame and glue are ready, it is time to start putting together this masterpiece. Lay out some of the shells in the shape of the frame to get an idea of spacing and placement. Or just start in anywhere.

Use enough glue so that as much as possible of the shells can stick to the frame. Put a big dollop right where the shell will go or cover a small space with a thick layer of glue for multiple shells.

Wipe off any excess glue that gets on the front of the shells or drips onto the sides of the frame. The glue will dry clear so it won’t matter if some get around the sides of the shells. To create a grouping or to pile seashells on top of each other, glue one base layer of shells, allow it to dry a little, then go back and apply more glue and more shells right on top of what you already have. This will make it more sturdy and less likely to slide around.

Allow to dry completely according to the glue’s instructions, usually about 24 hours.

A beautiful, unique work of seashell art is ready to go. Put in a picture to remember the beach, hang it on the wall, place it on a shelf, or put it on a table and enjoy. Also makes a great personalised homemade gift.

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Crafts, Decorated

How To Create A Seashell Sand Art Jar: Turn Childs Play Into Gorgeous Home Decor

Sand art is not just for children. Enhance the seashell theme in your home or make wonderful gifts with a little creativity.

Supplies Needed To Make Seashell Sand Art Jar

  • Various seashells
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Sand in a variety of colours
  • Drinking straws
  • Mason jar
  • Kitchen knife
  • Funnel
  • Spoon

Mixing The Sand

  1. Using a clear glass mason jar, either plain or patterned, decide what colours you would like in the jar. There are many ways to create patterns in the sand using a few basic household tools. Pour the sand into the jar a little at a time using a spoon, funnel or both. This is a very easy way to create coloured layers of sand.
  2. Once you have the layers completed, you can try making patterns within them by pushing a straw slowly in, then out of the sand, causing small areas to mix. A kitchen knife works for this as well or even toothpicks, depending on how big you would like the effect to be.
  3. You can also use the straws to leave gaps in the sand which you will fill with a new colour later. Hold the straws up against the glass as you pour the base layers of sand into the jar. If you are using many straws, grab a friend to help out. When the layers are done, pour a different sand colour into the straw opening, using the funnel for accuracy. Once the straw is filled, lift it slowly to release the new colour and angle the straw opening towards the glass.
  4. Try swirling a knife around the outer-most area of the design to create waves and larger mixtures of colour. Keep in mind though, once the sand is mixed, there is no going back. And if you plan on adding seashells to the inside of the jar atop the sand, be sure to leave room.

Adding the Seashells

  1. You can add shells to both the inside and outside of the jar. Place enough shells on top of the sand so that they touch the edges of the jar and will not shift around too much. Once this is done, close the jar and secure the lid.
  2. Using the hot glue gun, attach a few shells to the top of the lid in the center. Once the glue has dried, tidy up any loose glue strands and your jar is complete.

When your jar is ready for display, remember to place it on a flat surface where it will not get knocked around. Bookshelves, coffee tables and window ledges are all wonderful choices. Use your imagination!

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Crafts, Decorated

Canopy of Netting: Create a Bed for a Princess or Romance

Today’s project is a double ring tulle canopy for over a bed. You can simplify the directions by adding only one ring or personalise your canopy by adding trim or other embellishments.

Materials Needed:

  • 2-Two foot metal rings
  • 1-Two foot piece of ribbon
  • 2-Seven foot pieces of ribbon about 1 1/2 inches wide.
  • Netting-18 yards for an 8 foot ceiling
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Pencil
  • 1-Safety pin

These can be recycled craft materials.

Preparation

  1. Measure eight feet from the salvage end and mark or pin.
  2. From the mark, measure the next eight feet and mark or pin.
  3. Repeat until you have measured eight feet lengths six times.
  4. Cut apart each of the eight foot lengths.

Sewing the Panel Together

  1. Take two of the eight foot panels and lay them one on top of the other.
  2. Sew down one side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  3. Repeat until all of the panels are stitched together side by side.
  4. Fold one of the salvage ends of the whole piece in six inches and pin.
  5. Fold the salvage end in again two inches to create a hem. (See figure 1)
  6. Sew the hem in place all the way across.
  7. Hem the upper salvage end by folding over the fabric three inches and fold the top of the three inches in about 1/2 to 1 inch. Sew into place.

Prepping for the Rings

  1. Measure down one foot from the top hem and pin every foot across the fabric.
  2. Measure down two feet from the top hem and pin every foot across the fabric.
  3. Sew a gathered stitch across each of the lines you created at the one foot and two foot measures.
  4. The circumference of a two foot ring is 75.39 inches. Cut two pieces of ribbon 76 inches each.
  5. Pin the one piece of ribbon to the tulle along the one foot gathered line. To do this pin the ribbon at one end of the tulle and overlapping one inch on the other end of the tulle. Find the centre of the tulle and pin to the centre of the ribbon. Find the centre of the tulle between pins and pin to the centre of the ribbon. Gather the fabric up where needed to fit. Sew The upper side of the ribbon to the tulle along gathered line using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  6. Repeat with two foot gathered line.

Adding the Rings

  1. Tuck the one ring under the ribbon and tack the bottom of the ribbon in place.
  2. Repeat for second ring.
  3. At the opening pull the fabric together so that the one inch over hang of ribbon lays onto the ribbon on the opposite end of the fabric and tack.

Finishing Off

  1. Attach the safety pin to one end of the two foot length of ribbon.
  2. Push the safety pin through the small upper hem until you come out the other side.
  3. Gather the fabric tight on the ribbon and tie into a knot.
  4. Knot the ends of the ribbon together.
  5. Securely attach a hook to the ceiling and hook the ribbon onto the hook so that the opening is facing outward.

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Crafts, Decorated

Decorate With the Beauty of Autumn Leaves: How to Use Real Leaves for Fall Decor, an Easy Craft

Capturing real fall beauty indoors is simple and fun. Easy crafts like this are also inexpensive. Kids will love helping with this project. Individual leaves or branches with multiple leaves can be treated for indoor use. Treated leaves are obviously much more realistic than artificial ones, and it costs so little. Fall colours quickly flee, so gather you leaves while you may. Here is a silly rhyme to repeat while you gather.

Fall Limerick

Yellow perched by green on a tree, / Splendid in colour for all to see, / The tree was lush, / Making leaves blush / and dive to the ground with a wheee!

Materials Needed for Treating Leaves

  • Paraffin – Paraffin can be purchased where canning supplies are sold.
  • Leaves
  • Waxed paper or parchment

How to Treat Fall Leaves for Indoor Decorating

Place 1 block of paraffin in a 4 cup heatproof measuring cup. Place the cup in the oven, and place a baking sheet that has sides between the cup and the heating element. Paraffin is flammable, the sheet will prevent any spills from reaching the heating element. It’s also a good idea to avoid possible spills by having the cup no more than 1/2 full. Heat at 225 degrees until the paraffin is completely melted. The wax can also be melted in a double boiler on top of the stove. Never place a container of paraffin directly on a burner. Heat the wax slowly at a low heat to avoid over heating.

Remove the cup from the heat and dip each leaf in the melted paraffin, letting the excess drip off and back into the cup. Place the leaves on either parchment or wax paper to finish cooling. If using a branch with multiple leaves, dip each leaf individually, there’s no need to dip the branch itself.

Suggestions for Using Treated Leaves

Dipped leaves will hold their shape and colour nicely. To hold waxed leaves into place, use drops of melted wax. Tilt a lighted candle so that it drips onto the leaf and secure. 

  • Add to a wreath
  • Secure to a ribbon to hang on a wall
  • Make a drift in a corner
  • Use under the Thanksgiving turkey platter
  • Scatter on a shelf
  • Fill a glass bowl
  • Hang a branch on a wall
  • Place around a punchbowl of pumpkin juice

The paraffin keeps the leaves from drying out and crumbling. Just as Joyce Kilmer wrote “I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree”, capturing the real beauty of tree leaves, even for a moment, is so much lovelier than pale imitations.

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Crafts, Decorated

Decorating Ideas – Places to Use Ribbon: Crafty Ways to Use Pretty Trim Around the House

Looking to add a little decorative punch to a room but don’t want to make a big commitment? Try using ribbon to spruce up some different areas in your home. It’s easy, inexpensive, and can be easily changed if you tire of it.

When decorating with ribbon try to use one that is of good quality. There are tons available at craft, art, and sewing stores. There are many that look great, although most people agree that grosgrain is the best.

Decorate Lampshades

Adding ribbon to lampshades is easy and it looks great. Whether it’s a table lamp, hanging pendant, or tiny chandelier and sconce shades, a ribbon detail will spruce it up. Use double-sided tape to attach pieces around the circumference of the top and bottom. Either place the ribbon so that it wraps around the top and bottom (folding over onto the underside) or leave a small space between the ribbon and the edge of the shade.

For a more bold look, place the ribbon vertically (from top to bottom) all the way around the shade to create a striped effect. What’s great about these ideas are that the ribbons can be changed with the seasons to create a whole new look.

Dress Up Curtains with Ribbon

Add a ribbon border to curtains and drapes for a tailored look. While it’s possible to use double-sided tape, it might eventually start to become unstuck (as drapes are opened and closed). A better idea is to use wide ribbon and actually sew it on. This is a great way to embellish a plain window treatment. It’ll look like you spent a fortune.

Accent Glass Doors

Glass doors that are either on pieces of furniture or a part of cupboards can benefit from a ribbon embellishment. Tape two pieces to the inside of the door, stretching them out diagonally from corner to corner to create an X pattern. Tape them in place. If desired, a sticker or medallion of some sort can be placed in the middle where the ribbons cross for a more finished look.

Place Ribbon Around Windows and Doors

Create a ribbon trim all around a room using double-sided tape. It’s a little unconventional, but that’s what makes it fun! Place the ribbon around the outside of windows and doors. Be sure to use a fairly wide ribbon so that it makes a statement. Thin ribbon will get lost.

Use Ribbon to Embellish Accessories

  • Tie ribbons around candlesticks to add a pretty touch.
  • Crisscross pieces of ribbon on a fabric-covered bulletin board for added sophistication.
  • Glue ribbon around a plain picture frame.
  • Sew ribbons to pillows in any number of patterns and designs.
  • Tie ribbons around plain plant holders.
  • During the holidays tie a piece of wide, seasonally coloured ribbon around the backs of chairs.

Ideas abound, so use your imagination and add ribbon anywhere you can think of.

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Crafts, Decorated

How to Make a Photo Ornament: Fun Framed Christmas Decorations for the Tree

Making photo frame ornaments is a simple and inexpensive project that adds a meaningful touch to your Christmas tree. Photo frame ornaments also add an element of memory and history to your Christmas tree. They can be a record of how your children and family change from year to year.

Supplies

  • wallet-sized photos of children or family
  • picture frames for wallet sized photos
  • drill
  • ribbon (Red or green for the holidays is nice. Alternatively, use ribbon that matches the color scheme that you or the recipient decorates in.)

Optional Supplies

  • pair of pliers

Instructions

  1. Remove the kickstand for the photo. The easiest way to remove the stand is by using the drill to drill out the rivets that hold the kickstand in place. A pair of pliers may be necessary to finish the work.
  2. Drill two holes in the backing board for the photo.
  3. Clean the glass.
  4. Place a photo in the frame.
  5. String ribbon through the holes then replace backing board in frame.
  6. Tie a bow at the top of the ribbon
  7. Hang the finished ornament on the Christmas tree and you have a unique and inexpensive ornament that will be treasured for years to come.

Ideas and Suggestions

By the time people are grandparents, they seldom want things. However, they usually adore anything related to their grandchildren. Therefore, anything with a photo of their beloved grandchild is usually welcomed. Give photo ornaments as an annual Christmas gift. Make an ornament of each child for the grandparents every year. Give yourself the gift of a family portrait ornament or an ornament with a group portrait of your children for your tree. Someday, your children will have a rich inheritance of ornaments and memories from both you and their grandparents. They will be able to share their past with their own children by sharing the memories evoked by the photo ornaments.

Save money. Keep your eye open for beautiful or unique frames throughout the year. See if you can find suitable frames on sale.

Do not try to use matching frames. The ornaments will be more memorable from year to year if you use different frames for each holiday. It is, however, nice to use the same frame for all the ornaments you make in a given year. Using matching frames for your ornaments in a given year but different frames from year to year will strengthen the memory associations with the ornaments.

A fun gift for a schoolteacher or Sunday schoolteacher is to make ornaments of all the children in the class and hang them on a tree in the classroom.

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Crafts, Decorated

Make a Wall Pocket: A Special Place for Noteworthy Letters

Handwritten letters are rare in this age of electronic communication. Why not celebrate the noteworthy event by storing and displaying you letters in this fun wall pocket. This wall pocket would make a great house warming gift for a close friend or relative with whom you exchange letters.

Supplies

  • a small wooden wall pocket (thrift stores are a good place to find them cheap)
  • old sheet music (thrift stores are great for old sheet music purchases)
  • images
  • text
  • large sheet of white paper to make patterns
  • scissors or X-acto knife
  • paint or water-based stain
  • decoupage medium
  • sand paper
  • acrylic or polyurethane finish

Instructions

  1. Sand and clean the wall pocket.
  2. Lay the wall pocket down on the paper. Trace each side of the pocket, in order to make patterns for the sheet music.
  3. Cut out the patterns. Lay each pattern piece against the pocket so that you know where to trim. Trim edges that extend beyond the edge of the pocket. Keep trimming down the pattern until the pattern fills the side it was created for with a few millimetres of wood edging all the way around.
  4. Paint or stain the wall pocket to the tone desired. Allow the paint or stain to dry. (The example uses a dark brown water-based wood stain.)
  5. Use the pattern to cut out sheet music to fit the wall pocket. Trim sheet music as necessary to fit (similar to how you trimmed the pattern).
  6. Print out an image you like to decorate your wall pocket.
  7. Create text to glue over the sheet music (use a font and words that appeal to you).
  8. Using decoupage medium (thinning it down with two parts water to one part medium is helpful), glue the sheet music to all sides of the pocket.
  9. When the sheet music is dried on, add the text and images where you want them. Allow to dry.
  10. Cover with several coats of full-weight medium (do not thin with water).
  11. Sand if necessary.
  12. Seal with an acrylic or polyurethane finish to protect it from water.

Helpful Hints and Suggestions

If the papers you are using are different shades of white try tea staining them to create a more uniform look. The colour will not necessarily be even but the papers will all share the same shadings.

Tea Stain

  1. Lay papers (do not allow them to overlap) in a shallow tray.
  2. Cover the papers with a strong tea.
  3. Allow the papers to soak in the tea for at least half an hour.
  4. Remove papers from the tray and place on paper towels to dry.

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Crafts, Decorated

Customising your cushions: Stencilling throw pillows and cushions

I recently bought new cushions for the dining room chairs. They were nice and green. Just solid green, nothing special cushions. In reading the package I found they were made of canvas fabric. If this isn’t an invitation for embellishment, I don’t know what is.

We recently created our own stencils.

Stencilling seat cushions or throw pillows is a small job with a big pay off.

Materials needed:

  • Stencil
  • acrylic paint (oil based paint if for the bathroom or outdoors)
  • stencil brush or sponge
  • tape or pins

Tape or pin your stencil in place. Pinning is more secure but may buckle. Tape will not buckle but you need to use strong tape. If you use tape that is too strong it could leave yuck(tape residue) on the cushion.

Before you decide on colour think about how bold or subdued you want the stencil to be. For example on a light sage green seat cushions:

for a subtle accent use one or two shades darker sage than the cushion or go lighter such as ivory or very light sage.

for a medium intensity accent, use a colour in the same tone such as dusty blue depending on the other colours in the room or a dark version of the sage.

For a bold accent, use a contrasting colour or a very dark colour, such as orange/red or dark hunter green.

Stencilling is tricky because you don’t want any paint to get underneath the stencil edges. When stencilling something soft, it is a good idea to hold the edges down as you work.

Whatever brushes or sponges you use, do not brush the paint on. Daub it on. If you brush, you will not get the same effect and risk moving the stencil or getting paint under the edges.

You can use more than one colour. Try blending one colour edge into another by putting colour on your sponge or brush sparingly. You want so little you should even brush it onto a scrap paper first to get even more paint off. Then daub the area. Now repeat with the second colour. Now go back to the first colour and continue to repeat until it is the desired coverage. This take patience but is worth it in the end.

Once you have completed the pillows or cushions allow them to dry completely. There are fabric sealers you can spray on or just use it as is.

You can also use layers of stencils. To get a more intricate design create a different stencil for the background, distance, midrange, foreground and main object. Then starting from the back, stencil one on top of the other. Allow drying time in between.

Now comes the really fun part. Look around and see what else you can tie into this design. You can stencil the floor to look like a rug. It also will make the chair cushions look like they were purchase in an exclusive line to match the rug.

Keep in mind that you can make these for gifts and personalise them to the recipient.

You can stencil the wall, the door, the table, or the drapes. The list goes on and on. Enjoy and email me what you did. I love to hear from you.

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