06 October 2015

Sign from Old Window

After my Great Aunt passed away and the loan for the gentleman who had won it at auction fell through my parents decided to buy her homestead, which was the house my grandmother grew up in.  Among some of the awesome finds throughout the house were some old windows that I begged him to leave there in the shed to continue to patina and get gross until I came up with something brilliant to do with them...here is my first project.

DIY Sign from Window
The original
(actually this is after a thorough cleaning--clearly not of the floor though)
You can't really tell in most of the pictures but the "top" and "bottom" of the frame are not even, which is why I decided it should be a vertical sign rather than horizontal.  I painted it with the same paint/stain combo I used in the DIY Table-Top Greenhouse project.  

Then, I had these thick vinyl sticker letters I had purchased long ago at Hobby Lobby.  So I decided to use these rather than create letters with my Silhouette.  

Letters for DIY sign

Even though I measured and tried to get the letters fairly centered, I felt like there was more of a gap at the end of the word than at the beginning.  

Which of course you cannot even see in this photo.

So I decided on a simple heart to put underneath.  So I hopped onto my Silhouette program and spent FOREVER fooling around, looking at heart shapes, deciding how big I wanted it, looking at other things I could make with my Silhouette on Facebook....FINALLY got ready to plug it into the cutting machine to make my heart and realized...I had no black vinyl.  

So, I improvised. 

I had noticed earlier that the flowy font I was using made some very pretty numbers, so I cut apart the number 2 and number 3 to make a heart.  

I promise to work on my photos 

So we have a finished product!

What do you think?  This is a really simple way to do it if you don't have something that can cut vinyl, I think if I do it with the Silhouette in the future I would do reverse cuts and put the letters on the "wrong side" so that the front would be easier to clean. Also, these stickers had really fine edges that didn't want to stick, so I had to glue some of those down, maybe some higher quality stuff than stickers would work a little better on glass.  

24 September 2015

DIY Wedding Flowers-Take 1

I think I always knew I was going to have a DIY wedding.  Its who I am...not only do I love to craft...I tend to micromanage so at the end of the day, I'd rather just do it the way I want.

My wedding flowers are no exception, not only do I love arranging flowers, but I knew I wanted real flowers, and so I did some research and found a local flower farm that sells mixed blooms by the bucket.  So, to see what sort of blooms they would have in season, what sort of colors and mixtures we could come up with and most importantly, what sort of tools and time we needed, I drove to Elida, picked up a bucket and got to play.

Here are some shots of the flower adventure.


Our bouquet attempts: I really wanted to focus on the brightest flowers in pinks and oranges.


So the two examples above I took zinnas and dahlias and combined them with this really pretty filler flower for little accents (which of course I don't know the name of) and we were pretty happy with the results.

My major recommendation is get good tools, I had a good pair of gardening shears which were great, but I think I'm going to invest in a stem stripper before the big day, and do not...I mean it DO NOT, use floral tape from the Dollar Store, seriously that stuff stuck all over me and NOT on the flowers.  

We also tried our hand at a few boutonniere designs to see if it was difficult or if we needed to call in the experts...please not my fiance wrinkled his nose at basically all of these.  Please note my mom's non-existent lapel for scale.  


My fiance didn't like the ones that "looked like thistle" so we'll probably end up with something more simple and natural like this (with orange flowers of course). 

So my biggest notes for DIY flowers, try before you commit, Mom and I took apart and rearranged the above bouquet and these boutineeres 5-6 times in the span of just two hours, so I think I'm going to be doing some "fun" downtime flower arrangements the next few months just for practice. 

Buy what's in season, you get the cheapest flowers this way, I love peonies but there is no way I'm going to be able to get them in September, accept this and move on, your flowers will be beautiful and everyone is looking at you (the bride) anyway. 

Remember that flowers are natural, that means they're not perfect.  The flowers are NOT going to match the exact shade you picked out for your bridesmaids and they're not going to be perfectly round or full.  In this case, they might also come with bugs (we found a huge stinkbug in one) cause they're organic...so be prepared. 

Admit it if its too much, for example, I know I'm not going to end up doing all these flowers myself, I'm going to accept some help, which means that some of them aren't going to be QUITE as perfect as mine...and that's ok too.  People want to help because they love you and they're excited to share your day with you....so smile, nod, and pop the champagne!

17 September 2015

DIY table-top greenhouse from picture frames

If you know me you know I have a problem...a plants problem.  So naturally a greenhouse DIY is the best thing to ever happen to my Pinterest board.  The original link I found lead me to Country Living Magazine's tutorial which you can find here.  Its pretty good, but doesn't accurately express the amount of frustration which I experienced with this project.

Step 1: Find picture frames

This seems incredibly easy, I decided that it would be simple to just go to our local Dollar Store and get $1 picture frames.  The problem: $1 picture frames are not wooden so attempting to nail or screw them results in them falling apart.  So then naturally you would just go to the thrift store, but then I was unable to find enough frames in sizes that would create what I was looking for.  Finally, I found a large pile of frames while I was at the Habitat ReStore where I could find enough (wood) frames for my purposes.  
DIY picture frames for do-it-yourself greenhouse
Pile of frames in my yard....pre creative juices

Step 2: Remove Glass

This seems like a step that does not need listing, but in my case the picture frames I had selected had the piece of art STAPLED to the frame, so not only did I remove the glass of all the frames, I also spent time and curse words removing a gazillion (technical term) staples and those annoying hold-the-picture-in metal bendy things from the frames.

Pulling out soooo many staples

Step 3: Build a House

The Country Living Magazine example drills holes and uses screws, but I was having trouble holding them all together that way, so I bought L brackets to put the sides together.  I then used a small hinge to attach the roof.  In one of the examples I gave my roof to steep of a pitch for the roof to hinge the way I wanted, so I skipped it entirely and decided to just allow the roof to sit loosely on top.  I also decided to go without the triangle pieces they added in the Country Living example, mostly because I was lazy, but I also liked the idea of keeping lots of air flow in for my plant friends.

DIY Greenhouse base and roof
All you need to build a house is a square and triangle

Step 4: Paint

I actually made the mistake of spray painting my frames BEFORE putting them together.  After I put them together I ended up filling in some extra screw holes I created when I moved the roof over (I didn't think it was centered at first) so of course, it was the wrong color, so I ended up painting the whole thing again.  I didn't have any white paint so I just bought a sample size white paint from the hardware store.

Painted DIY tabletop greenhouse
Painting on my patio table

Step 5: Antique

The paint sample I bought turned out to be WHITE.  It didn't really give the worn feel I was going for so I took some old stain I had and antiqued the surfaces.  At first I was putting a thick layer of stain on and then wiping it off to leave a residue, but as more and more stain soaked into my rag I was able to just rub my rag onto the frames for a nice rustic effect.

color difference between white and antiqued paint
Here's the difference a little antiquing makes

Step 6: Return Glass

I did a layer of E-6000 epoxy on the ledge where the glass sits and then "sealed" them in with another layer along the inside of the glass just to be certain.

glass in DIY tabletop picture frame greenhouse
Glass goes back in

Step 7: Enjoy!