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painted onesie

Painted Onesies

Photo by Alisa Burke, http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/

I recently discovered Alisa Burke and was very inspired by her funky baby pants. I spent a while looking through her MANY awesome tutorials – she makes really cool art too. In her post, Messy Dress Tutorial, she talks a little about the Fabric Paint Cannon. The next day I was at Michaels, they had ONE left and it was on sale! YES! I’m not big into fancy tools but this is really neat, I’m already thinking of lots of different ways to use it.


Painted Onesie Tutorial

Supplies:

* Blank Onesie
* Fabric Paint Cannon
* Tulip Soft Fabric Paint
* Tulip Slick Fabric Paint, in black for outlining
* Sponge brush
* Cardboard
* Stencils and Stamps

First I laid the onesie out on my piece of cardboard (beer box, haha) and traced around it. I cut that out and placed the onesie on it, careful not to stretch it out to much. I put a little squirt of soft paint into the cannon, added some water and shook it up really well. The more water you add the more subtle your background will be. I love how it gives it a watercolor affect. I quickly framed where I wanted the background to be with cardboard to protect the rest of the fabric. Then I used the cannon and lightly misted the area.

I picked up a pack of animal stencils at Michaels too, so cute. I just placed the stencil where I wanted it and used the sponge brush to dab a light amount of paint inside. Then I used the black paint and outlined the animal – I chose this black because of the nice point it has for application built in. The letters were done with large foam stamps, I used the same soft paint and sponge brush to apply paint to them.

And that’s it, Ta-da! SO easy. I waited 24 hours and washed them inside out to set the paint and make sure it didn’t bleed. The two above were test runs. I have a new little buddy who had a birthday and wanted to make him something special, I think it turned out pretty cute. Yay for babies!

Pinterest has a ‘Pin It’ button available for websites in the ‘Goodies‘ section now. It’s much like the Twitter and Facebook buttons you see EVERYwhere. I added a bit so you can use it in your WordPress theme.

With the following code this button can go on your index, single or archive pages – anywhere the WordPress loop appears. It will automatically pull the first image from the post to be pinned and link to the post’s permalink. The title of the post along with the website url will appear in the description field but can be edited before it’s posted.

Place this code in your template where you want the ‘Pin It’ button to appear – it should be inside The Loop.

<a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=<?php the_permalink() ?>&media=<?php echo pinterest_image() ?>&description=<?php the_title(); ?> on <?php bloginfo('url'); ?>" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">Pin It</a>

Place this script in your footer.php file, just before the closing tag.

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script>

Put the following code in your functions.php file.

function pinterest_image() {
  global $post, $posts;
  $first_img = '';
  ob_start();
  ob_end_clean();
  $output = preg_match_all('/<img.+src=[\'"]([^\'"]+)[\'"].*>/i', $post->post_content, $matches);
  $first_img = $matches [1] [0];

  if(empty($first_img)){ //Defines a default image
    $first_img = "/images/default.jpg";
  }
  return $first_img;
}

You can change /images/default.jpg to whatever you’d like. This image will be pinned if there’s not an image in the post.

Be really careful in your functions.php file, it’s a little touchier than what you might be used to. The first thing I ever broke in one was putting a space after the closing ?> – it’ll break your whole site! Always back up your files before you start changing things.

Easy as that, happy pinning!

P.S. Before you ask a question about your WordPress theme please do a quick google or codex search – If you still can’t figure it out ask away and I’ll try my best to help when I can!

.

UPDATE!

Due to Pinterest’s huge popularity now, there are tons of plugins available that will do this for you. I just did a quick search and this one looks good. WP Beginner also shows a different method that doesn’t involve the function file.

4x6 Booklet Planner

A simple 4×6 index card folder tutorial to hold your monthly, weekly and meeting diy planner templates!

This folder is very similar to the DIY Cardboard Binder, just a little smaller with binder clips and velcro instead of binder rings and elastic.

Supplies

  • Two sheets of heavy decorative scrapbook paper
  • Sewing machine or glue
  • Two binder clips
  • Small piece of velcro

Plans

4x6 velcro Index Card binder dimensions

Directions

Because the length of the folder needs to be 17 inches, I sewed some cut up 12×12 scrapbook sheets together to get there. If you have a sheet of 17″ paper or cardboard skip the first 4 steps and just cut two pieces of 4×17 rectangles.

  1. Take the 12×12 scrap book paper and cut it into 2 strips of 4 by 12.
  2. Cut two more pieces to 4 x 6.
  3. Take one 4×12 and one 4×6 and lay it out so that it’s 4×17 – giving you an inch overlap for gluing or sewing. This will be the inside of your folder.
  4. Repeat for the outside.
  5. Attach the front and back with glue or by sewing around the edges. Sewing gives the paper a more flexible and sturdy feel, it’s also fun to use the stitches as part of the design.
  6. At this point, you should have a double sided 4×17 rectangle. Mark lightly where the folds will go – see the dimensions diagram above. Finish decorating by drawing, stitching, painting, adding stickers or sprinkling with fairy dust! Keep in mind that we still have to make the folds, so your decoration should hold up to this.
  7. Next, add the three folds – hold a ruler against the fold mark on your desk and push the flap up against it, this will give you a nice straight fold. My paper split on one side during folding so I went over the fold with a wide zig zag stitch to reinforce the edges.
  8. The last step is to add velcro. Stitch one piece onto the inside right flap, then close the folder and line up the other side on the outside flap.

And you’re done! Use the binder clips to hold two stacks of 4×6 index cards (or the booklet pictured, tutorial and download here!) on each side.

Had so much fun during the process of making this painting, thought I’d share!

Preparing the Surface

  • Start with a DIY Masonite Panel (or any hard surface) & stack of old leftover book pages (or any paper good for collaging).
  • Mod Podge pages to the board – in a pattern or not, just cover the whole thing. Use the mod podge as a glue, putting it directly on the board then smoothing the pages over the top.
  • Paint the board with white acrylic – use a big brush and not a lot of paint. You don’t want to cover the whole thing so the texture and color of the book pages come through.
  • Once the paint is dry use your handy putty knife to scrape at it a while to give it a warn look. Don’t be afraid to dig into the pages and tear up small edges and corners.
  • Paint over it again with the white acrylic if you’d like.
  • Then you have a wonderful texture-y surface to draw or paint on!

Painting with Tissue Paper

  • Sketch out the elephant or whatever shape/animal you’d like.
  • Find a sheet of tissue paper that will cover the whole shape you want to fill in.
  • Fill in the shape with a gluestick, it doesn’t have to be exact but it’s better to be a little out of the lines than inside.
  • Carefully smooth the tissue paper over the glue’d areas – using a tissue works well for smoothing.
  • Once it’s all covered and dry cut around the shape with an exacto and remove the extra tissue.
  • At that point I drew over the elephant again with a dark pencil line but do whatchya want!

I made a smaller version on paper with a cute little elephant stamp I found at Jo-Ann’s too!

Cardboard Binder

DIY Cardboard Binder

If you want to make a fast and easy binder this is it. You probably have all the parts to put it together just sitting around your house right now!

Supplies

  • Gluestick and hot glue gun
  • Flat Cardboard (not corrugated). Could be a cereal box, packaging or shoe box… get creative!
  • Cheap 2-ring 3×5 notecard binder, or any old small planner or binder
  • Pieces, parts, stickers, envelopes and scraps for collaging
  • File folders or thicker paper for dividers, heavy scrapbooking paper works great
  • DIY Planner Templates to fill the inside!

First, pull out the 2-ring binder clip from your 3×5 notebook. Directions for this and attaching the clip here. Decide what size paper you’d like, poke holes in it and hook it on the binder ring. Measure all the way around this – remember to measure for any tabs you’d like to include plus a little extra on the edges. This will be the width and height of Part A and Part C in the diagram above. The width of Part B should be as high as your binder clip plus a little extra. Part D can be whatever width you’d like really. It can be shorter and fold inside or outside, it can be wide as Part A and Part C or even a funky shape.

Once you figure out your sizes add the widths together and cut out one strip of cardboard. The cardboard I used was thinner than I would like so I cut out two pieces the same size and glued them together. Now make your folds, decorate and add the binder clip!

The pocket on Part A is optional. I cut out a piece of the same cardboard and attached it with hot glue on 3 sides. The closure is a piece of off-white elastic from Joann’s. Stretch it around the closed notebook to get the right length. Then cut two slits in the spine to feed it through. On the outside sew the ends together and you’re done.

Happy binding!

repurpose_12

The Repurposed Book Binder

This is part two of the ‘Binder Series‘ – View part one here: The Bee Planner

The Repurposed Book Binder

The toughest part of this project is finding the perfect book. The spine of the book has to be a bit bigger than the height of the 2-ring metal binder piece, in this case it was one inch tall. Make sure it’s wide enough for a paper size you’re comfortable with too, remember to add about half the width of the binder clip.

Materials

  • → An old book
  • → Cheap 2-ring 3×5 notecard binder from office supply store
  • → Spray adhesive
  • DIY Planner Templates to fill the inside!

First you want to remove the pages from the inside of the book. It’s important to keep the very first and very last pages that are attached to the covers intact – these are called the endpapers. Go a few pages into the first signature and spread the pages apart until you can see the stitching. Using an exacto knife carefully cut the thread.

Once you’ve cut all the threads look behind the first page, you should be able to pull the pages away from the endpaper. It will probably be attached with adhesive but should pull apart easily, especially if it’s an older book. Once the endpaper is released cut through the book tape with scissors to completely release the inside pages.

Do the same to the back of the book so that you’re left with only the cover and the endpapers.

Next, fold both endpapers open and mark/cut them so that they’re the width of the spine.

Use the spray adhesive and attach the endpapers to the spine. I put down the back section first then the front, but do whatever works best for you book. The white sheets of paper are to protect the rest of the book from the adhesive.

Attach a piece of extra endpaper to the spine to hide the seams. Depending on the construction of your book this may not be necessary.

Last I attached the 2-ring metal binder piece. Instructions for doing this are in The Bee Planner post.

Now the fun part, filling the binder up! Thanks for reading, now go make something.

z_binder

The Bee Planner

I’ve been doing a lot of research on binder-making techniques the last couple of weeks. In the ‘Binder Series‘ I’ll show you my take on ‘em and what I learned along the way.

First up is a quick tutorial on the first binder I ever made, The Bee Planner!


The Bee Planner

The Bee Planner

A few years ago I made my first binder, a gift for my brother ‘n law. I completely hacked it together but here’s what I can remember.

Materials

  • → Cheap 2-ring 3×5 notecard binder from office supply store
  • → Vinyl, from the uphostery section at JoAnns
  • → Bumble bee fabric**
  • → Photocopies of CD Artwork**
  • → Tissue Paper
  • → Cardboard or bookboard
  • → Short bolt with flat head, nut and 2 grommets. Might be a good idea to bring your metal binder clip with you to the hardware/craft store to make sure all the sizes match up.
  • DIY Planner Templates to fill the inside!

** These can be whatever, always remember to make it your own!

First, rip out the 2-ring metal binder piece from your cheapo 3×5 notecard binder. Once it’s off the plastic use pliers to pull out the little brads that were holding it in place so you’re left with two holes on each side. If the metal bends while pulling out the brads just straighten it out with the pliers.

Music is ‘Folly’ by Sam Squarewave

Put the paper you’d like in the metal binder clip and measure from the very left point to the very right. Your bottom board will need to be this big or wider. If you plan on having page dividers with tabs include those in the width as well. Measure the height of the binder rings, your spine will need to be this wide + the thickness of the bottom board + a little extra to be safe.

Mock-up

The front and spine are made of paper (photocopies, collages, drawings) or fabric. The back should be bookboard or cardboard to give it a little weight. All three pieces are covered with clear vinyl on both sides.

Covering with vinyl

Once everything is ready to sew pin it together and stitch around the edges. Also do a stitch up and down through the seems between the front, spine and back. Give yourself plenty of extra vinyl around the edges so sewing is simple… then trim the excess off after.

Vinyl sewing tips!

A sewing machine with a good strong needle will sew through a layer of paper/fabric and two pieces of vinyl easily. The problem is that the vinyl sticks to everything… the foot and the feed. This is where the tissue paper comes in. Put a sheet on the bottom and on the top before sewing:
tissue → vinyl → paper → vinyl → tissue
Once the sewing is done the tissue paper will rip off easily.

Attaching the binder rings

Once the front, spine and back are complete place the metal binder rings on the far left of the back board. Mark inside the holes on each side of the hardware. Use a sharp tool or hammer and nail to create a hole through the entire back piece the size of your grommet. It’s best to make it a little bit smaller and squeeze the grommet in, better than having a hole too big! Put it in so that the pretty side is on the outside of the binder.

Once the grommets are in place use the screws to secure the rings to the board with the flat head of the screw on the outside. Voila!

attaching the binder rings

Like I mentioned in the beginning, I really hacked this binder together. Plus I’m writing this from memory so if something doesn’t work out quite right I warned you! There are a few pictures of this planner on flickr, view ‘all sizes’ to see bigger versions for more detail.

Thanks for reading, hope its helpful!

chairs for christmas

Two weeks ago I was in our alley and saw three chairs a couple houses down, waiting to be picked up by the dump truck. Sure, they were an awful warn out metallic gold but so solid and sturdy! I needed to get a present for my sister and brother ‘n law (who just got a new house and need chairs) and had been looking for an excuse to use the hand-me-down sander I got from my folks. Chair refinishing!!

First I sanded down the chairs, cleaned them and spray painted them white.

Then, I scuffed ‘em back up and painted the back red to match C and Z’s red and frosty blue kitchen.

I cut out a piece of cardboard the shape of the seat and very quickly (and roughly) made up some little chair cushions.

And here it is, my very first before and after! :)

block ornaments

block-ornament ornaments07

Make your own!

These ornaments are super simple to make, you just need a wooden block, an eye hook, gluestick and whatever else you want to glue or stamp on!

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DIY Masonite Panels w/frame

I was never happy with canvas, my fourth year of art school I tried masonite and never looked back! I love digging into the wood through the paint and gesso to pull out wood colors and textures. One of my favorite painting tools is an old nail!

Supplies

Masonite (Hardboard), 1″ x 2″ Plywood, Wood Glue, Nails, Hammer, Saw, Safety Goggles & a pencil

Trip to hardware store!

Bought a piece of 4ft x 8ft masonite ($12) – and had them cut it into 8 2ft x 2ft pieces. Also bought goggles and a little jigsaw (only $45 total, worth it if you’ll be doing a lot of sawing – hand saws are cheaper but SO much more work and time)

Masonite Panel #1
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