Tutorial: Making a Chalkboard Frame

Chalkboard frames seem to be all the rage right now, but they also can be very pricey. So I set out to make my own. This craft is pretty simple and once you buy the basic supplies, you’ll be able to make several frames of your own. Then the frames can display menus on your sweets table, welcome guests, or invite them to take a gift bag.

Supplies Needed

Frame

Paint (optional)

Sanding block

Mod Podge (optional)

Foam brush

Chalkboard vinyl (I used Contact brand purchased from Amazon; you can use paint pens for chalk boards on this vinyl)

Squeegee

Chalk

Instructions

1. If your frame is not the color you want it to be, use the sanding block to roughen the surface and paint it the color you want. My frame needed two coats. (On Saturday, I saw several frames at Ikea with a vintage look — all for under $5.)

2. Once the frame is completely dry, use your sanding block to reveal some of the original color (if you want a weathered look).

3. I wanted to protect the frame and add a little sheen, so I used the foam brush to coat the frame in Mod Podge. Let this dry overnight.

4. Read the instructions on the back of the chalkboard vinyl. You will apply the vinyl to the glass from the frame.

5. Place the glass on the back of the chalkboard vinyl and mark the area you want to cut with a marker. You’ll want to cut the vinyl just slightly larger than the glass.

6. Peel the backing off the vinyl and carefully apply it to the glass. Smooth it from the center out. You’ll probably see air bubbles (like those below). Use your squeegee to smooth out the bubbles. Again, work from the center out.

7. Use chalk to prime the vinyl.

8. Erase the chalk.

9. Reinsert the vinyl covered glass in the frame and you’re done!

If making your own chalkboard frame isn’t your thing, but you love the look, check out Shugabee Lane on Etsy.

Enjoy! Jennifer

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Tutorial: Sparkling, Tick-Tocking New Year’s Eve Wreath

I know you all love your wreaths … so here’s my New Year’s Eve wreath for you. Yes, New Year’s is still a month away, but you need some Christmas supplies to make this wreath, so I wanted to give you enough advance notice. This wreath meets my two favorite criteria: cheap and cute! You can make this for only $20!! (I love all the light reflecting on my door from the sun hitting the tinsel.)

Supplies

14-inch foam circle wreath

50-foot tinsel garland in silver (I got mine at Big Lots for $3 – the brand was Santa’s Boutique)

3 floral pins

4 silver bows (I got mine at WalMart, 4 for $3 – the brand was Holiday Time)

Silver-toned old fashioned alarm clock (Big Lots for $8 – mine looks gold-ish in some photos but it’s silver)

2 glue dots

Door hanger

Instructions

This is super easy and you can make the wreath in about 30 minutes.

1 – Unwrap just enough of the garland to start wrapping the wreath. (It’s easier to keep most of tinsel on the roll.) Pin the end of the tinsel to the inside of the wreath.

2 – Continue wrapping the garland around the wreath by passing the entire roll of tinsel through the wreath. As you go, tuck each roll of the garland tightly against the previous roll.

3 – When you get all the way around the wreath, pin the garland on the inside of the wreath. Do not cut off the garland.

4 – Set the alarm clock. Pass the remaining garland through the arched handle on the top of the alarm clock so that it will hang from the center top of the wreath.

5 – Wrap the garland around the wreath again and secure with another floral pin. Do not cut off the garland.

6 – Peel the sticky back off the four bows and apply them to the top of the wreath over the alarm clock. (I thought I would need to hot glue the bows to the garland, but the bow’s own stickum did the trick.)

7 – Put a wreath hanger over your door. Pull the garland through the back of the wreath and up over the hanger. I used a glue dot to secure the garland to the front of the hanger and another to back of the hanger. Now cut off the garland.

And here’s your finished wreath.

Enjoy! Jennifer

Guest Post: How to Make Your Own Party Invitations {1st Birthday} | Easy Made Invitations

Today I’m so happy to welcome Lindsay from Easy Made Invitations as a guest blogger. Lindsay’s site is dedicated to teaching you how to make your own, beautiful homemade invitations.

What I love about Lindsay’s work is that she totally gets that while you want great invitations, and you may love some DIY crafting, you probably don’t have hours to devote to these projects. Just like her, you probably have a lot of other demands on your time — most importantly, your children.

Here is Lindsay with the instructions for making your own oh-so-sweet first birthday invitation.

Hi! I’m Lindsay with really easy steps for making your own colorful striped birthday invitation. If you’d like to make this invitation, then just follow these simple steps…

Supply List…

The first step is to cut out all the paper possible, other than the text sheet, and put them into piles. This makes the assembly process much faster. Cut the striped (or other fun print paper) to a size of 8-1/2″x 5-1/2″. Next, cut the yellow cardstock to a size of 7-1/2″x 4-1/2″.

Now you will need to determine a text layout. I like to use my printshop program for my invitations. Start by choosing a vertical page layout. Create a text box near the top. You can then type in your information for your party. For this 1st birthday invitation, I thought it would be fun to add a cute saying…

“Sweets and treats and lots of fun,

let’s celebrate as

Emma Claire

turns 1!”

Then continue by adding the rest of your party information. I used a fairly plain print font for the main body, but a cute italicized font for the name. I also printed the main body in orange and the name in red, to help blend all the colors together.

To make sure that your text is positioned correctly, you may need to use trial and error printing until you have it correct. Print one out and compare it to your other pages to determine if it will fit well. Remember to leave a larger margin on the left side for the candle.  Once you have a good position, copy and paste the text box to the bottom of the page too. This will give you two text sheets per one sheet of paper.

Now, just print out the text on the white cardstock. Once it’s printed, cut it to a size of 7″x 4″.

For the next step, cut a length of ribbon and tie a bow around one birthday candle.

Finally is the assembly process, which is really simple! Using scrapbook mounting squares, attach the white cardstock to the yellow cardstock, then attach those two layers to the striped layer. Finally, using either mounting squares or a hot glue gun, attach the candle to the white cardstock. Be sure to keep everything centered!

You’re done! I love making super easy, super cute homemade invitations, especially for birthdays and I really enjoyed sharing this tutorial with you!

What if you love Lindsay’s invitations but don’t have any DIY time? You’re in luck! Lindsay also offers her invitations in her Etsy shop, Easy Made Invitations.

If you give this invitation a try, we’d love to see photos of your results.

Enjoy, 

Jennifer

Tutorial: Altering Starbucks Frappuccino Bottles

For our Christmas Card Writing Party, I wanted to serve the children milk to offset the sweet treats. But I also didn’t want milk accidently spilled all over the table. This was the perfect excuse to buy myself some Starbucks Frappuccinos!

For this project, I recruited my husband (or as I now call him “Vice President of Special Projects, Packaging and Shipping”) and Don gets the credit for knowing how to punch a hole in the Frappuccino cap. (He also gets extra points for coming up with this idea the morning of the party.)

Supplies

Frappuccino bottles

Awl

Hammer

Empty orange juice jug

Printable bottle wrap (purchase through our Etsy shop as part of our Christmas Card Writing Party Kit)

Plastic straws

Scrapbooking paper

Scissors

Circle hole punch

Power Glue Stick

Scotch tape

Instructions

1 – Decant the Frappuccino from the bottles. Peel off the front and back labels. Wash the bottles and caps in your dishwasher.

2 – Wash the awl.

3 – Take the lid off your empty OJ bottle. Cover the opening with a bit of paper towel. Place your Starbucks cap over the OJ bottle opening. Place the awl in the center of the Starbucks cap and hammer it until you have a straw-sized hole.

4 – Rewash and dry your Starbucks cap.

5 – Turn a cap facedown on your scrapbook paper and trace as many circles as you need to cover the caps.

6 – Cut out the circles well within the line.

7 – Use your hole punch to punch a circle in the center of your circles.

8 – Apply Power Glue Stick to the outside of the cap and to the underside of the scrapbook paper circles. Press the circles onto the caps.

9 – Print and trim the printable bottle labels. Use Scotch tape to apply the labels to your bottles.

10 – Fill your bottles most of the way with milk. Attach the caps and insert the straws.

Enjoy!

Tutorial: Embellished Christmas Mailbox

I embellished this paper mache mailbox for our Christmas Card Writing Party. After our little guests wrote their letters to Santa, they addressed their envelopes and put them in our special mailbox so they could go straight to Santa at the North Pole.

This was an easy, one night project. Here’s how to make your own mailbox.

Supplies

Paper mache mailbox (from your local craft store)

Pencil

Acrylic paint

Paint brush

Scrapbooking cardstock paper (2 different size patterns)

Ribbon

Buttons

Santa embellishment (from your local scrapbooking store; mine was by Jolee’s)

Glue Dots

Double sided tape

Mod Podge

Instructions

1 – Paint the bottom of your mailbox and the edges. (These are the parts you will not cover with paper.) Extend your paint over the sides that will be covered with paper so you will not have any brown gaps. Also paint your flag.

2 – On the inside of the mailbox, you will see a little piece of brown tape. Peel that off to reveal the prongs of the brad that holds the flag in place. Straighten the prongs and remove the brad and flag.

3 – Select the piece of scrapbook paper with the larger pattern. Shape it over the body of your mailbox. Mark the reverse side of the paper where you need to trim it to fit the mailbox.

4 – Apply double stick tape to the reverse side of the trimmed paper. I put my tape at the edges of the paper (closest to the bottom of the mailbox) and two pieces evenly spaced between the edges.

5 – Find something small, pointy, and sharp (like an ice pick, but all I had was a meat fork). Insert the pointy part in the hole where the brad prong was. Slowly twist the point while pressing through the scrapbook paper. Then move your pointy thing to the outside of the mailbox and slowly twist and press the rest of the way through the paper. Using the brad, reattach the flag.

6 – Take your other piece of scrapbook paper and lay it face down on your table. Trace the front door of the mailbox and mark it with an “F.” Then trace the back of the mailbox and mark it with a “B.”

7 – Cut out the front and back doors, cutting somewhat inside your lines.

8 – Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the front door and the back of the paper cut to fit the front door. Apply the paper, smoothing and pressing down as you go. Repeat for the back.

9 – Trim a piece of ribbon and tie it around your flag. Add a Glue Dot to the center and attach a large button. (I used a star shape.) Add another Glue Dot and top it with a smaller button.

Enjoy!

Tutorial: Grosgrain Polka Dot Christmas Wreath

On Sunday, we had our Christmas Card Writing Party, and I’ll be sharing photos with you later this week. In the meantime, I wanted you to see the wreath I made for the party and share the tutorial I used.

This wreath is so easy. My only caution to you is that it requires a LOT of ribbon, so it gets a little pricey. (I ordered the pink/red ribbon from the site recommended in the tutorial I used and didn’t think it was such a great deal. Then, I ordered the green ribbon from Cousin Gigi on Etsy and the price was half was I paid for the same amount of pink/red ribbon. If I had it to do over, I also would have ordered Cousin Gigi’s white with red polka dot ribbon.)

I used this tutorial from The Long Thread. The instructions were so easy to follow, and I made this wreath in no time.

Thanks to P Is for Party for including the original wreath in her round up of Halloween wreaths and providing the inspiration. What I love about this wreath is that is beautiful in a solid color, or in any number of color combinations. You could make a great Thanksgiving wreath or a college football wreath to use year after year.

If you try this, I’d love to see your photos.

Tutorial: Tea Party Polka Dot Doily Pom

Lucky you… I wound up not using my doily poms during our tea party on Sunday and so I won’t put them in the party plan… which means: free tutorial for you!

My poms were based on doily poms in the Halloween special issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. (Great issue: run out and buy it.) Theirs used unbleached coffee filters for a great aged look. But I wanted mine to be cute instead of spooky, so I added a pink polka dot cupcake liner and used bleached coffee filters. I also  found part of the BHG instructions hard to replicate, so I found my own work around. These are really pretty easy.

You’ll Need:

3 sizes of round doilies

2 sizes of coffee filters

Polka dot cupcake wrappers

Safety pins

Instructions:

1. Flatten your coffee filters.

2. Alternate your coffee filters, doilies and cupcake wrapper in order from biggest to smallest.

3. Fold your layers in half.

4.  Fold your layers in half again (into a quarter of the original size).

5. Softly fold the bottom point and twist the point as much as you can. It will be thick enough that it will be hard to fold.

6. BHG says to wrap the twisted point with florist wire. I couldn’t get florist wire to stay in place, so I whipped out my handy dandy safety pins and they got the job done.

7. Carefully fluff out your pom from the center. Don’t pull the edges of your doily or it will rip. (Not that I learned this the hard way or anything.)

8. Your pom will not be ball-shaped; it will be a flat on the back side. So, to create a fuller pom, tie three together by inserting ribbon in the safety pins. You pom will have a very full front and still a flat back, which is great for hanging against a flat backdrop. If you want a ball shaped pom, just keep adding more poms.

9. And here’s your finished, three-pom product.

This would be a great project to work on with your kids (as long as you handle the safety pin and fluffing). Enjoy!

Tutorial: Tea Party Fabric Backing

Sunday is our Vintage Tea Party, so I hope to share photos with you in about a week. You’ll be able to purchase the full party plan and party kit in our Etsy shop. But until then, here’s a free tutorial for you!

I’ve cleaned out my china cabinet and will be using it to serve tea and goodies. The cabinet has a mirrored back, which would be a pain to work around in photos, so I decided to cover the mirrors with fabric. I chose a pink and yellow (our party colors) rose pattern. Two yards was plenty. Just be sure to choose a light-weight fabric.

You will need:

  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Power Glue Stick
  • Scotch Double-Stick Tape (choose the wider option)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Iron

Here are the steps:

1. Measure the back of your cabinet. Mine was divided into six sections. For each section, add one inch to the width and one inch to the length.

2. Cut out your first section of fabric.

3. Run your glue stick along one edge of the fabric. (You could use hem tape, but you don’t really need such a permanent solution. Plus the glue stick is faster.)

4.  Fold a half-inch of fabric over the glue stick line and press down. Repeat around the other three sides.

5. Apply the double stick tape to the top and bottom of the mirror. I used a series of approximately six inch strips with an inch or so in between sections.

6. Position the fabric along the top line of tape and press to adhere. Smooth the fabric down the bottom line of tape and press.

7. Repeat until all your mirrors are covered.

And here’s the finished look! This is so easy and inexpensive (the fabric was only $12) that you could dress up your china cabinet for holidays or other celebrations. If you try this, I’d love to see your photos!

Tutorial: Polka Dot Spider Halloween Wreath

Maybe it’s because I have two girls, but I like a cute Halloween instead of a spooky one. Of course, for me, that means polka dots! So I decided to try making my own Halloween door wreath this year. My six-year-old assistant and I whipped this together in no time.

Supplies

Foam wreath (mine is 14″ across)

Floral pins

Hot glue gun

1.5″ wide orange polka dot grosgrain ribbon (2 rolls at 3 yards each)

2.5″ wide sheer black ribbon

5″ long glitter spider (WalMart)

Door hanger

How-To

  1. Pin one end of your grosgrain ribbon to the wreath. Insert your pin at an angle.
  2. Wrap the ribbon around the wreath. Slightly overlap each wrap and hold the ribbon taut to keep it smooth against the wreath.
  3. You’ll get about half-way around the wreath with your first roll of ribbon.
  4. If you need to, trim your ribbon so that all your pins will be on one side of the wreath.
  5. Pin the end in place.
  6. Start pinning your second roll of ribbon to the wreath, beginning where the last roll of ribbon ended.
  7. Take your sheer black ribbon and cut 6 lengths of about 16″ each. Cut the ends at an angle or in points.
  8. Stack the black ribbons together and tie all in one knot.
  9. Fluff out the ends of your black ribbon.
  10. Add a generous amount of hot glue to the spot you want the black ribbon to go on your wreath.
  11. Put the black ribbon knot on the hot glue and press to adhere.
  12. Add a generous amount of glue to the underside of the spider’s head.
  13. Put the spider’s head in the center of your black knot and press to adhere.
  14. Trim the black ribbon as desired.

And here’s your finished product.