Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Impromptu wood “frame”

My daughter is a lucky girl. She is so loved by our family and our friends and you can feel it in her nursery. Her walls are adorned with pieces of art that loved ones have made for her. It warms my soul.

flamingo-painting

Our friend Kate just painted a sweet flamingo painting for her, so I made an impromptu frame for it (if you can call it that).

wood

I found a piece of scrap wood in our basement and cut it down to size with a jigsaw. Then, I sanded down the edges.

tacks

After centering the painting on the wood, I tacked it down with, yes, tacks.

drillmarks

Then I drilled two holes for twine so I could hang the frame on the wall. It was a quick and easy way to display her beautiful new piece of art.

flamingoframe

Check out some of Kate’s other beautiful artwork.

 

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Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Floral Mason Jar Wall Vases

I never really hung up all of our photos and artwork in our bedroom since I painted it, oh, a year or two ago. I love our wedding pictures, but I wanted more color on the walls. And it’s basically taken me forever to do so.

This is what our bedroom looked like in February of 2015.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

We slapped some brighter paint on the walls and got a new bed frame…

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

Redid the hardwoods and moved around furniture….

Bedroom_final2

And that’s where it’s been since March of this year.

I’ve moved photos around to different walls and our floral painting that used to live in our room now hangs beautifully above our new sideboard.

It was time to make something to fill the empty walls on either side of the window behind our bed. I have wanted to make my own version of these glass bottle wall vases for quite some time, but I didn’t want them white, I didn’t want to use plumbing hardware and I don’t drink Starbucks bottled drinks…. 

So I made up my own. I started with scrap wood that I cut to similar sizes on my mitre saw. I eye-balled the sizes because perfection is overrated.

masonjarflorals_scraps

Once I had the pieces cut, I drilled two different sets of holes in each piece: Two at the top for the hanger and two toward the middle to secure my jars.

masonjarflorals_holes

Then I smoothed each piece down with some sandpaper before throwing a quick coat of stain on them.

masonjarflorals_stain

I let these dry for a hot sec, then started adding hangers to each mason jar floral.

masonjarflorals_twinehanger

Once all six had hangers attached (just some knotted twine), I threaded twine through an upholstery needle and stared attaching the mason jars.

masonjarflorals_twineloops

To do so, I looped the twine through the pre-drilled holes so I ended up with four loops.

masonjarflorals_twinejar

Then I stuck my jelly jar into the loops and started tightening the twine. I am only planning on using these for faux florals, so they don’t have to be able to hold anything heavy. The twine keeps them taught to the wood and they don’t seem to have much risk of coming loose. I’ll let you know if they come crashing out in the middle of the night (that would suck!).

masonjarflorals_twine

Once I got the jar settled, I tightened and knotted the heck out of the twine on the back side.

masonjarflorals_knot

The first one I did wasn’t tight enough, so when it hung I could wobble the jar. I got all of them tight enough so when I wiggle the board, no jars move around. If you have a curved upholstery needle, I think you’d be able to actually do this easier because you could tighten the twine as you loop through the drilled holes. But I wasn’t able to do that with my straight needle.

Once I had all six of these made, I took a bunch of leftover florals and cut them down to make six jar fillers. I made three sets of matching florals for my set of 6 wall vases. I found it was helpful to tie each floral bunch with twine at the base to keep things together since mason jars aren’t really vases.

masonjarflorals_2

Then B and I hung them up on either side of our bed!

masonjarflorals_3

I think they are adorable! Brian had the idea of putting tea lights in them instead, but I don’t think we’d light them often enough to make it worth it. Plus, I like the pop of color.

masonjarflorals_4

Since I had all of these supplies on hand, these didn’t cost me a penny. It took me about 2 hours to make all six, including staining them and making the florals. Not bad!

masonjarflorals_5

Now I just need to find a few more spots in our room to add in some extra color! These little wall vases were a great place to start for sure.

Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Eve Craft: Wooden Tree

Last year, err 2012, my dad and I did a craft on Christmas Eve. It was one of the highlights of my Christmas break and I was looking forward to doing one again this holiday season. My family loves traditions, and when you do something awesome, why not do it every year?!

meanddad

Well, turns out my dad scheduled carpal tunnel surgery the Thursday before Christmas Eve. ON BOTH HANDS! He is crazy, and tough, and did I mention crazy?

If I had asked him to Christmas craft with me on Christmas Eve, he probably would have said yes. So I didn’t ask. Sometimes the kid has to play parent.

Instead, I set out to make a craft as a final Christmas gift for him.

When we made our Christmas Tree craft in 2012, we cut out one extra base for this year — we had grand plans to make a light up tree!

Tree stencil

With the base already cut, I got out my supplies for my craft: shims, paint sticks, Minwax stain cloths, wood glue and battery operated lights.

First, I cut off the “tree stand” from the tree we created last year. Basically, I trimmed down the tree so it was a triangle with an itty bitty rectangle stump.

Then, I lined my shims and paint sticks in rows to see how many I had and if I wanted to cut any down to size.

Christmas Craft Shims

I definitely had a few to trim and sand, but first I got to staining.

Speaking of stain, I was fortunate to receive a few Minwax goodies before the holidays. One of the goodies I got was a new product I hadn’t heard about. Minwax now makes stain cloth wipes! They look kinda gross (OK, really gross), but they are awesome.

Christmas Craft Shims minwax wipes

I wanted two different tones of wood on the tree, so I opened both pouches. Each wipe is soaked in stain and each pouch comes with a handy set of gloves (it’s like they know I won’t wear gloves if they aren’t taped to the package!)… use a wipe, toss wipe, toss gloves, you are clean! I am pretty sure this product was designed for me…

Christmas Craft minwax wipesAwesome, huh?

Christmas Craft Shims stained dark

I let the stained shims dry for about an hour before moving on with the project.

Christmas Craft Shims Stained

Dry stain meant time to get moving. I was doing all of this on Christmas Eve after all. I used wood glue to adhere the shims to the tree base (after trimming down a few here and there with a hand saw). When all of the shims and paint sticks were in place, I smushed the entire tree under a heavy bin to put pressure on the shims to help them stay in place.

Christmas Craft Assembly

With the three dried and holding up well, I moved onto the lights. I bought battery-operated LED lights from Target. The strand had 18 itty bitty lights on it, so 18 itty bitty holes I drilled. I taped all of the wired down against the back of the tree and added the battery pack to the back with velcro command strips. Last, I drilled a hole in the top and wove a ribbon through the top.

Unfortunately, this next picture doesn’t do the tree justice. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I didn’t really care to get the perfect picture. Forgive me?

Christmas Craft Complete

 

 

 

 

 

All that really matters is that my dad loved the tree. He hung it up immediately 🙂 In 2014, we are definitely crafting together though. That was just better, even if my tree is pretty darn cool.

Did I mention the lights twinkle, too? Light-up tree? Mission accomplished!