Sunday, August 28, 2011

DIY Crayon Art

I had a couple more boxes of crayons and a billion ideas pinned on my Pinterest boards.  So of course I had to make something else today!!!

It all started with this inspiration:
Via Pinterest
A seller on Etsy makes these for $75 bucks a pop.  I knew I would be able to easily make one of my own.  I had a couple canvases in the basement that I had been saving to paint some art work for our bedroom.  I never got around to doing that and since we decided to sell the house later this year, I figured I could re-purpose the canvases.  We've lived this long without art in the bedroom.  What's a couple more months, right??

I googled "melted crayon art" and found this tutorial.  She also used the Etsy piece as an inspiration.  Great minds think alike!  She peeled all the wrappers off her crayons, though, which is a step I didn't do.  Mainly because peeling crayons sucks.  Once of the commenters on her blog, however, said that if you soak the crayons in water first, they peel off easier.  Great tip for when I make melted crayon shapes!
Via Unsimple Living
I got out the trusty glue gun and a couple more boxes of crayons that were left over from the crayon wreath project.  I lined the crayons up on the canvas in an order that I liked and started gluing away.  I omitted the gray, white, brown, and black crayons since I wanted it to be bright and colorful.
After they were all glued on, I let it dry over night.  I didn't want to risk having the hot glue heat up during the next process and have crayons falling off the canvas. 

The next morning I taped up an old piece of painter's plastic (we used it over Audrey's crib when we painted the ceiling in the kids room a couple of weeks ago) above the mirror and placed the canvas on top of it.  In the tutorial above, it looked like there was some splatter behind.  I definitely did not want melted crayons splattering on our gorgeous bathroom countertops!
I then got out my hair dryer and blasted the crayons at full speed, to soften them up.  This worked well, but the force of the dryer caused a couple of colors to splatter across the canvas.  Ruh row.

The effect was working well, though.

Ben mentioned that he had a heat gun.  Would I like to try it?  Yes, please!  Enter Ace Hardware's heat gun:
I used the low setting, since this is significantly hotter than a hair dryer.  And I did not want splatters all over the canvas.  It worked much faster than my hair dryer.  I had to be careful of the plastic behind, though, since it liked to melt under the heat gun.  No melted plastic is allowed on our bathroom mirrors.  I guess that is an unwritten rule of the house.  :)

I love how the crayons melted all the way to the bottom, filling up the entire canvas.  The heat gun made it a quick project and I'm super happy with how it turned out.

I can't wait to show it to you in my completed classroom!  It will look so cute with all the other colorful elements I am adding. 

Cost Breakdown:
3 boxes of crayons ($0.40 a piece at Walmart) - $1.20
White Canvas (40% off at Michael's) - already owned
Hot glue - already owned
Hair dryer and Heat gun - already owned
Total cost - $1.20 - Smokin' deal!!
Do you have any Pinterest projects you are working on?  What about back to school?  I'd love to hear about them!  Maybe you have some other DIY art ideas that you've been dying to try.  Let me know!

Pinterest Craft - Crayon Wreath

Like I said in my previous post, I love Pinterest!  I get so many awesome ideas for my home and classroom.  It's great. 

For my latest Pinterest-obsession craft, I made a crayon wreath.  Here's how it turned out!

I started off with these projects as inspiration:
Via Pinterest
I really liked the ruler sign with the teacher's name.  I was afraid the lollipops would get gross after awhile, though.  And I didn't like that you could see the styrofoam wreath behind it.  

Via Moms Party Cafe
This one uses embroidery hoops instead of a wreath form.  I liked that you couldn't really see them from behind.  I also really liked the dressmaker's ruler as the ribbon, but could only find bright yellow at Michael's so I ended up getting regular ribbon instead.

Via The Ballard Bunch

 I loved the fabric flowers on this one.  I made some fabric flowers for my earring holder that I just finished, so I knew I'd be able to make these ones pretty easily.

Via Scrapping West
This one also uses embroidery hoops and has a good description of how it's done.

Armed with confidence from trusty, old Pinterest, I gather my supplies and got to work.
I actually started this project when we were in Sunriver a couple of weeks ago.  I love doing projects in Sunriver because I don't have to worry about weeding the front yard, finishing painting the ceilings, running errands.  I get to spend time with the family during the day and craft away after the kids go to bed.  I wish I could live there!

Anywho, I went to Michael's in Bend and got the glue gun, ribbon, and embroidery hoops.  I ended up leaving the glue gun at the house in Sunriver so it will be there for next time I decide to craft up a storm while on vacation!  I went school supply shopping for my classroom at Walmart and picked up a couple extra boxes of crayons and a wooden ruler.

I set the crayons on the embroidery hoops and decided how I wanted them arranged.  I ended up going in rainbow order twice.  After I was happy with the arrangement, I glued them all on with the hot glue.  I glued them on label side down, because I thought it could get too busy with all the labels facing up.  And then you can read the color names. 
I then made my fabric flowers, using this tutorial, and glued them on.  I laced the ribbon through the top, near the clasp that holds the embroidery hoops together, and glued the ruler on.  I'm not super happy with my handwriting on the ruler.  I might replace it with some sticker letters or enlist the help of an artsy friend.  Or I might just get lazy and leave it the way it is. 

I love it and can't wait to show you where it lands in my classroom after I'm all done setting it up!

Here's the breakdown of costs:
3 boxes of crayons ($0.40 each at Walmart) - $1.20
1 wooden ruler - $0.97
2 embroidery hoops ($2.50 each at Michael's Crafts) - $5.00
Ribbon, on sale at Michael's - $0.99
Fabric - already had
Total: $8.16

Do you know of any teachers who would love something like this?  What do you like to do to get ready for the beginning of school?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Earring Holder

While perusing Pinterest, I've noticed so many adorable earring holders lately.  I decided to make myself one! 

Here's one I loved, originally from I Heart Organizing:
And another one from A Girl and a Glue Gun:

I really liked the use of radiator screens from the top one and the fabric rosettes from the second one.  I decided to use a silver frame Ben's dad had given us that was sitting unused in our basement.  I then went to Home Depot and got a decorative radiator grate.  I had a guy at the store cut it into the dimensions I needed for my frame.  There was enough for him to cut two pieces.  I plan to use the second piece to make an earring holder for a friend as a gift.
I spray painted it white, since I thought this color would look ugly with my silver frame.  We already had a can of spray paint in the garage left over from painting little bird houses for my friend Carla's baby shower.  All I did was spray the grate white and pop it in the frame.

I then got to work making the fabric rosettes.  Here are my supplies:
I started off with this tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets.  She has you use fabric glue and 1 inch wide strips of fabric.  She suggested ripping the fabric to create long pieces of threads coming off the fabric.  I tried that, but it didn't rip very well.  I ended up washing and drying my strips, then ironing them flat.  This made it look a little more rugged.  As per the tutorial, you tie a knot in the end of a strip of fabric, and twist and wind around itself to create the flower, gluing every few centimeters as you go.  I made two flowers with this technique, one a little bigger than the other.

I then switched over to a tutorial from Lillyella: Uniquely You.  In the directions, you wrap your fabric strip around a skinny piece of cardboard.  I used the side of an empty spaghetti box - work with what you got!  You then iron the fabric to get creases in it.  Then, you remove the cardboard and wrap the fabric around a pencil.  When you remove the pencil, you can form it into a rosette.  Go to the original blog for better pictures and directions.  Lillyella does a much better job at explaining this than I do!

The next step was hot gluing the rosettes to my frame, adding earrings, and hanging it in my bathroom! 
 I love how it turned out!  I layered the last rosette on top of the first two, since it was poufier (is that a word??) 

 Here is a close up of the flowers.  You can see the raw edges of the fabric, which I like.  It would be cute to add a little pearl bead in the middle of the biggest rosette, too.  I think I'll stop here, though.

Here is a close up of another corner, so you can see the pattern of the metal sheet and the thin frame I used. 

Here is a breakdown of cost:
Frame - free
Metal sheet - $18 (a little steep, but there was enough to make two frames)
White spray paint - already had
Fabric rosettes - already had the glue and fabric

Total cost: $9, since I plan to make another one as a gift for a friend.

How do you store your earrings?  Would you use an earring holder like this?