You will need:
- Trader Joe’s bags
- Paint – I used white, gold, copper, and black to decorate mine
- Foam brushes
Step 1: Make your pattern by marking the center of your piece of paper, and using your ruler to measure up the sides of the paper and connect the dots to mark the triangle sections you’ll cut off.
Step 2: Fold your fabric over so that you can cut out two identical pieces at the same time, and place your banner pattern on top. Then, cut out the two pieces.
Step 3: Glue the two pieces together, staying very close to the edges. Glue all the edges together except for the top – leave the top of banner open, so that when the glue dries, you can turn the whole thing inside out. Yes, you could sew the edges, but ain’t nobody got time for that.
Step 4: While the glue is drying, make some tassels! These are super easy. Just wrap some thread around your fingers until you have the thickness you’d like.
Slide the thread off your hand, and tie a small piece of thread around it, like so. This will be the top of your tassel.
Then, wrap thread around the tassel a small distance from the top, and tie the ends of the thread together to secure it.
Cut the loop at the bottom of the tassel, and fluff up the threads.
Super easy! Here’s another tutorial, just in case.
Step 5: Now that your glue hem has dried, turn the banner inside out to have nice finished edges. Add some glue to the top edge, and fold it over. This will be the back of the banner.
Step 7: Now for the fun part! Write your message or draw your design on the front of your banner. I drew mine on paper first, and traced it onto the fabric with the light from a window. I used a water soluble pen, so I could just dab off the blue after I was finished with the painting.
I traced the letters on one banner with my copper fabric marker, and use my gold Sharpie paint pen on the other. I LOVE how both turned out!
Step 8: I did break out the needle and thread to sew on the tassels. Just a couple stitches through the top should do it.
Step 9: Then I slid one banner onto a wooden skewer, after cutting off the pointy end. I hung the other one from a stick from the backyard – a stick that had a previous life as a wizard wand. I tied some embroidery thread to the stick and the skewer for hanging.
Can I wax contemplative for a minute? Home is both where I’m from and also where I am now. My Midwestern roots feel less like home in some ways, now that I’ve lived in a major city for almost seven years. I’ve found that living in a city changes you – the way you see the world shifts to a wider angle lens as you come into contact with a vast variety of perspectives. At the same time, I’ve felt more homesick for the Midwest over the last couple years than I have in the entire time we’ve lived in Arizona, because once I had Edison, I realized just how important roots are for support. Sometimes I feel like a branch with a heavy burden tied to it, that’s just been stuck in the dirt, struggling to stay upright.
But as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m working on this whole “rooted” thing by reading This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live. One of the practical takeaways so far has been that people who love where they live act like they love it – just think of “Don’t mess with Texas” pride. People who love where they live do things to take care of their place and show a sense of ownership. I’m pretty sure that Texans are the only people to get tattoos of their state on their bodies.
I’m not ready for that level of commitment yet, but I did want to pay tribute to my roots as well as all the amazing experiences and adventures Arizona has brought me in the last seven years – pretty much all of which I’ve documented on this blog, in fact!
At a local mom-made craft and business fair (side note: another habit of people who love where they live is shopping locally) I bought this wooden outline of Iowa for about $6. As soon as I got home, I started kicking myself for not getting a matching one of Arizona. But then, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to figure out how to DIY one – no scroll saw required! And, it only cost a few cents to make!
Step 4: Google “*Your state here* outline” and print off one of the options. I found one of Arizona that matched the size of the Iowa one perfectly.
Step 6: Carefully sand the edges if they’re a bit rough. Balsa wood is extremely soft, so proceed with caution. Glue your pieces together if you’re doubling up like I did. I used Elmer’s glue, and put a book on top of the state while it was drying so that it didn’t bow.
Step 7: Now it’s time to break out the watercolors. Make a dark brown mixture, and paint the edges of your state. This gives it a lovely wood-burned effect.
Smudge the edges with your brush to mimic the effect of wood-burning, basically allowing the super dark edges to bleed over a bit. Then, wet the surface of the state with your brush, and go over it with a light brown wash.
It looks a little dark initially, but it will dry lighter. Place a book, or something flat and heavy, on top to prevent bowing while it dries.
This is what I started with: a $20 light fixture from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. I bought this originally for the insides of the light fixture, to DIY my own light fixture for the dining room, but I was able to put the glass to good use!
Put on a coat of spray paint primer. This will help the paint adhere to the metal. Notice in the photo above, the top of the glass is not covered. I didn’t realize how much spray paint would actually get inside, and guess what – it’s A LOT. So make sure you do cover the opening.
Also a tip I learned from watching DIY videos on YouTube – spray painting inside a cardboard box helps keep the paint contained, and protects what you’re painting from wind and dust.
Follow up with a coat or two of copper spray paint.
Once it’s dry to the touch, start carefully peeling off your painters tape. The sooner you remove the tape, the easier it will be to have a good clean edge. This step is super satisfying!
When you work full time and have a one and a half year old, crafting time happens in pockets at night and on weekends. Which means that projects I can start on a Saturday morning and actually complete by evening are super satisfying. Times that by three, and you’ll feel like you rule the craft world!
Up-cycle your old fridge magnets! For this super simple project, you’ll need:
I love the little touch of elegance they add!
This is one of those crafts I’d pinned ages ago, bought the supplies, made an attempt, and failed. The straws cluttered up my craft supplies drawer for months. Then one day, after watching some DIY videos on YouTube completely unrelated, I had a flash of inspiration and realized I could do this in an easier way – hot glue.
Here’s my original inspiration, from Sugar and Cloth:
This is what I started with – a tangled mess of straws tied together.
Here’s what you need:
As described in the original tutorial linked above, for various sizes of diamonds, you’ll need different sized pieces. I ended up adding to the pieces you see here, so there were a total of:
Here’s the premise: instead of stringing the straws together, we’re going to hot glue them. Hot glue dries so fast, and is malleable for a minute, it seemed plausible that this would work.
Start by gluing together a triangle with two long pieces and one medium piece.
Yay! The top section is done!
Step Three: Turn the pieces so the right sides are together. Then, sew a quarter inch seam around the pant legs.
Step 4: Fold over your waistband, and sew down the edge, leaving a gap of a couple inches for putting in the elastic.
Once you have the elastic all the way through, you’ll need to sew the ends of the elastic together. fold them over each other, and sew a few lines up and down to tack them together. Above, I’ve done it on a second pair of pants. Getting the elastic under the sewing machine is probably the most tricky part of this whole thing.
Then you need to season your board. If you skip this step, your fresh chalkboard paint will retain the outline of whatever you write on it first. To avoid ghosting, rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the surface of your chalkboard, and then rub it in before erasing it.
Hang it up, and get to work!
And that means you’ll have to repeat the steps above to paint over it.
It may not look as pretty, but it will come off!
Do you have an inspirational message or message board chalkboard anywhere in your house? If you haven’t joined that bandwagon yet, what would you write on one? Share in the comments below or on Facebook!
Happy Friday! Just a handful of things/blogs/shops/articles that I found inspiring, encouraging, or entertaining:
1. The Happy Hour Podcast with Jamie Ivey. Disclaimer: I’ve only listened to one episode so far. Disclaimer to my disclaimer: that’s all it took for me to know that this podcast is excellent. It really is like sitting with your best girlfriends for happy hour, except that in this case your girlfriends are all the authors, bloggers, artists, and creative women you admire from around the whole internet. So you should gather the real life girlfriends you admire, and tell them to listen to this podcast with you, during happy hour.
2. 4 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes and 3 Easy DIY Princess Costumes from Merrick’s Art. The Elsa dress! You guys! And the modest Ariel outfit! And don’t even get me started on the Kate Middleton costume – I could wear that every day of the year, not just for Halloween.
3. “Make Room” Advent Calendar and Devotional from Naptime Diaries. I love Advent. Well, I should say, I love the idea of Advent. Don’t we all want to slow down and savor the true meaning of the Christmas season? I’m just really bad at it. This advent calendar and devotional would provide that motivation and accountability. Plus, it’s just pretty.
4. Life Lived Beautifully Fashion Week with Gretchen. I so enjoyed Gretchen’s series last week on fashion from a Biblical perspective. This post especially, Fashion and Real Life, is chock full of practical advice. Gretchen has a four month old, and I have an almost three month old, so if she can get dressed every day, I can too! She introduced me to several new ethical fashion brands that I’m excited to check out.
5. New and improved Decor and Storage Ideas for Your Dorm Room (And Other Small Spaces) Part one and Part 2. Can you believe that Pinterest wasn’t even really a thing when I first wrote those posts?! I’m almost considered old in blogging years. So this week I took some time (actually, a TON of time, like, days) to fix all the broken links and images for things that no longer existed, and added brand new thrifty decorating and storage ideas that you can try out really anywhere you need to maximize your storage or add a little flair.
That’s what I found this week! What about you? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.
If it’s confusing from the pictures, try watching youtube videos of the blanket stitch. You’re just modifying the shape so that instead of going at a right angle, you’re creating the “Y” shape.
For this one, I sketched the design using the fabric maker. I wasn’t concerned about making the letters perfect; I like the hand-written look.