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Blog Tutorial

Handmade Gift DIY – Wood Plaque Photo Transfer

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My mom knows that she is probably going to get some kind of handmade gift from her artist daughter for just about every occasion and she is fine with it. But i won’t give gifts that aren’t useful and/or memorable. Believe me, there are a lot of weird and random craft ideas out there that I would never give as a gift. This project passes the “great gift” test with flying colors.

 

It’s a very easy project, unfortunately, you will most likely have to make a trip to the craft store before you start. Unless you are an artist, it is doubtful you have gel medium on hand, and nobody I’ve ever met keeps a supply of blank wooden plaques hanging around. But if you are anything like me, you are at the craft store at least once a week (who am I kidding, I am there almost daily). No need to use your good art supplies on this one. The regular brand of gel medium available at the craft store is great for this.

red scorpio mothers day craft

red scorpio mothers day craft

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also you will need a laser print or photo copy of the photo you are transferring. Ink jet prints will not work. When you print your image, do not forget to reverse it so that when it’s transferred onto the plaque it’s the right way. This is especially important if your image includes lettering, or is a photo of your childhood home which you are giving to your mother as a gift.

red scorpio mothers day craft

 

 

 

 

Trim the image to fit the plaque. Paint both the printed image and the plaque with a nice, even coating of gel medium. Carefully lay the image face down on the plaque, making sure there are no bubbles, and smooth it down. Try not to press the paper over the edge of the plaque, and wipe up any gel medium that oozes over the edge. That stuff dries as hard as plastic and is a real pain to get off without marring the edges of your image. Let it dry completely.

red scorpio mothers day craftred scorpio mothers day craft

 

Once it’s dry, soak the paper well with water and let it set for a minute, then rub the paper off with your fingers, rinsing occasionally. PRO TIP: don’t let the paper go down the drain. Just like magic, the image will be transferred onto the wood. After it dries, you will notice that there is still some paper left and you’ll have to wet it and rub it some more. You’ll probably have to do this a few times before all of the paper is gone. Tiny bits of the image will get rubbed off too, but it just adds to the hand-made coolness of the project.

 

red scorpio mothers day craftred scorpio mothers day craft

red scorpio mothers day craft

 

 

 

 

 

I finished this one with a couple of eye screws and some wire i had on hand, and it looks gorgeous. Mom is going to love it!

 

red scorpio mothers day craft

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Blog Tutorial

Fun and Easy Crackle Finish Technique

Everyone is getting their Easter craft on right about now and I’ve seen some pretty cool thing. My crafty hero, Mark Montano, posted a tutorial for these adorable “Matryoshka” eggs.  I have also seen a couple of tutorials for crackle finish eggs using a special crackle finish medium. I am super 90s so crackle finish is near and dear to me. When we bought our house in ’98, we painted our bedroom with a crackle finish. Ralph Lauren had just come out with a line of fancy faux finish paints like Suede and River Rock and Crackle Finish for about $40 a gallon. Yikes! Regular paint was like ten bucks a gallon way back then, but we wanted our first home to be super fancy so we went for it. Our room is still painted blood red crackle finish over a grey base coat and because it’s still the 90s in my heart, I love it.

But you don’t really need special paint to get to get this look. All you need is white glue. Regular old Elmer’s.

Here’s how:

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

Flower pots and crackle finish are a match made in heaven. If you plan to actually put a plant in your pot, i recommend sealing it with a couple coats of latex paint. Acrylic will also work, but ould house paint is perfect for this. Paint on two coats of the base color and let it dry. The top color needs to be a little on the thin side. Not watery, but thin enough that it will spread very easily. I would say the consistency should be like ranch dressing. Also, the paint brushes you use are important. I would recommend a stiff brush for applying the glue and a soft fluffy brush for the top coat. The base coat doesn’t matter.

 

Alright, you ready? You have to work kind of fast, so squirt a good amount of glue onto your project. You need a thick even coat, but not like dripping off.

redscorpiomade crackle finish

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

Then immediately float the top coat on over the glue. I don’t know if that’s a real painting term but I mean gently apply it over the glue, do not put any pressure on the brush. You don’t want to blend the two layers. Wait and watch as the cracks materialize before your very eyes.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

See? So simple! I bet you will be crackling your little hearts out now. Let me know how it works for you in the comments.

Categories
Blog Tutorial

“Leaves of Gratitude” Centerpiece – Craft Tutorial

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US, and it’s my favorite Holiday. It combines many of the things I love: eating comfort foods, being thankful, and taking naps on the couch. Also, I am in love with leftovers, and Thanksgiving pretty much rules at that. Remember Ross’ sandwich? You know you are winning at leftovers when the best show ever writes a whole episode about it. 

 

[Tweet “Thanksgiving is pretty much unscathed by commercialism, although that is a losing battle.”]

Cheesy handmade decorations are still acceptable, encouraged even, and sometimes, very cool. That is the case with this easy and family friendly centerpiece craft, “Leaves of Gratitude”.

 

I wanted to make something that wasn’t complicated, because this time of the year is bananas for makers, but that would look really nice on the Thanksgiving table, and I wanted it to be interactive, but all the messy stuff could be done beforehand.

 

To make this craft, you need colorful paper, white glue, and bamboo skewers. First, I downloaded a free leaf template from the internet. It is, of course, possible to draw your own leaf, but I needed 26 identical leaves, and that’s just too hard to draw. At least, for me it is. I made a sheet of leaf outlines in Keynote. You could also use Powerpoint or Illustrator or something similar to do this step. If you don’t have a program like that, or don’t know how to do such a thing, you are going to have to trace your leaves by hand. Sorry!

 

printed leaves

 

 

Cut out your leaves. This is the hardest part, really. Unless you have to trace them by hand, then that is the hardest part. Still, it’s not rocket science. Because you are going to glue two leaves back to back, take a minute to match them up for the best fit.

 

matched leaves

 

Apply a little bit of glue at each point, and a lot of glue in the middle where you’re going to stick the skewer.

 

leaf and glue

 

Make a leaf sandwich.

 

leaf sandwich

 

When your family arrives on Thanksgiving day, ask them to take a leaf and write on it what they are grateful for, then display the leaves of gratitude on your table.

 

 

gratitude inscription

 

I used some glass pebbles to help the leaves stand up, but if you don’t happen to have them, they aren’t super necessary. I really wanted to use dried beans, because I thought that would look cool, but I didn’t have any.

 

 

leaf bouquet

 

I can’t wait to take this sentimental centerpiece to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner next week. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone writes on their leaves.

Have a wonderful week and a very happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

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Blog Tutorial

Super Quick Shrink Plastic Tutorial

All of my writing mojo was exhausted earlier this week when I had to write six paragraphs for my Martha Stewart’s American Made nomination, so I am cheating and posting a video I made on Periscope. Have you guys tried Periscope? It’s so fun! Even if you don’t ‘scope yourself (what the kids are calling it), it’s super cool to watch other people’s’ scopes. Check it out here.

 

And here’s the tutorial. Sorry for the poor audio quality. I had a fan on because it’s hot hot hot in my house, and also the plastic smells when you heat it.

 

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Blog Tutorial

Terra Cotta Pot Makeover

Are you ready to spring forward? Not me. Setting the clock ahead an hour is not my favorite thing. But what choice do I have? I guess I’ll just embrace the change, and prepare for Spring with this easy as pie way to spruce up a flower-pot. Prepare to be amazed.

 

Spring is just around the corner, and I know it can’t get here fast enough for my East coast friends. When you are surrounded by a blanket of white, it’s nice to have a happy little houseplant or pot of herbs on a sunny windowsill to brighten your day. This simple faux finish tutorial will show you how to paint a plain pot to match your decor.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Super Simple Fancy Faux Finish

 

Pro Tip: If you are planning on potting a plant directly in the flower pot (and not using a plastic pot as a liner), prime it first with latex paint. This will seal the pot and prevent the terra cotta pot from absorbing moisture and damaging the painted finish. If you are making the “Family Tree Centerpiece” from my book, Handmade Gifts That Don’t Suck, there’s no need to prime the pot.

 

 

You will need:

♥ White glue

♥ Craft paint, thinned to the consistency of ranch dressing

♥ Pot, as described above

♥ Two paint brushes

 

Brush on a generous coat of regular old white school glue onto the pot. Then, immediately apply a coat of craft paint over the glue with a very soft brush. Don’t blend the paint with the glue, but just float it on top. Watch and wait as the magic happens right before your very eyes. Let it dry completely before putting a plant into it, but if you’re making the centerpiece from Handmade Gifts That Don’t Suck it should be good to go as soon as it’s dry to the touch.

Check out the video: