Friday, December 28, 2012

Nail Art with Salon Express Nail Stamping

I've seen the Salon Express nail stamping kit on tv and have always wondered if they work.  Amazon was selling them for only 7 dollars so I decided to give it a try.  They did not come with nail polish so I used nail art polish that I bought from the Japanese dollar store.  From the reviews online people say the Konad nail polish is the best, but it cost just as much as the stamping kit so I decided to just go with the cheapie polish.  Overall I was impressed by the stamping.  I did buy other plates off ebay, that were only a couple of bucks.  My daughter loves Hello Kitty so I bought that one for her.  The patterns are pretty cool and it works well.  Nail stamping is also strangely addicting.  I normally don't paint my nails that often but found myself painting them every week just to try new patterns.

The round nail plates are from salon express, the octagon plates are from ebay.  They were shipped from China and took about 2 weeks to arrive.

Dollar store winwax nail polish.  I opened the cap for a couple of days and dried it out a bit to get it to stamp better.

Apply polish to plate

Use a credit card to swipe off.  The kit comes with a metal scraper, but I found that the credit card works better.

After you swipe off the polish the image can be seen clearly.

Use the rubber stamper to pick up the polish and then stamp on nail.  You have to do this relatively fast or else the polish will dry on the stamper and will not stamp.
Hello Kitty nails that my daughter loves.

If you do patterns you will have to remove the polish from your cuticles.  I use a concealer brush and nail polish remove to do this.  That makes it easier so you don't mess up your existing polish on your other hand.

I normally wouldn't paint my nails in Hello Kitty, but it really entertains my daughter when I do.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Record Your Childs Voice to Make a Custom Ornament

This is a simple tutorial of something that I love.  I made this custom voice ornament this Christmas.  I love it because it has my daughter's voice on it and I'll be able to cherish it for years to come.  To make this you need an fabric, felt or knitted ornament  (mine is from Target), recordable device (Amazon or Consumer Crafts has them), seam ripper, needle and thread and cotton balls (to fill the sides back of the ornament).

You want to pick an ornament that can be taken apart with a seam ripper and that is
large enough to hold the recordable device.  Record the message onto the device before you sew it in the ornament.

Using the seam ripper find a seam to remove that will fit the recordable device.  Remove the existing filling.
Mine had foam in it so I broke off the body part but left the foam in the head of the lion ornament.

Insert recordable device in (I added a little cotton to keep it fluffy.
Using a blind stitch sew back up the ornament.
Hang your ornament on the tree and enjoy it for years to come.

Here is a video of the ornament with my daughters voice:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY Custom Iphone Case (Cheap and Easy)

I love the custom iphone cases from Shutterfly, but at 35 dollars each they are on the pricey side.  I found a way to replicate this look for only 4 dollars.  I purchased a clear TPU iphone case off ebay but you can also get it off amazon.  The case was only $3.18 and it was delivered within three days.  To customize the case just cut out a image using the case as a template and slip it into the case.  Couldn't be easier.  And the best part?  It's interchangeable, if you get tired of one picture just cut out another.

This would make a great present for grandparents, relatives or friends.  I'm thinking of making one for a friend who recently got married.  If you have photoshop you could create some awesome designs.
Custom Iphone case for less than 4 dollars.

I used printer printed pictures, but you could also develop images or
even use magazine clippings or anything you wanted.

Trace the case template.

Cut out the image and the trace the camera opening.

Use a craft knife and cut out the opening, then slip image into case.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Custom Personalized Shrink Plastic Name Tag

I love personalized things.  It's because growing up, when my relatives would buy me souvenirs, I would always get the one that said  "# 1 Girl" or sometimes  "Renee"(which apparently was close enough), because Rena is not a common name.  

I made these personalized name tags for the holidays for all the kids in the family.  The name tags can be  attached to a lunch box, back pack or a jacket or anything that needs some identification.  

To make these tags you needs shrink plastic, 1/8 inch hole punch, a jump ring, a key chain loop, sharpie (optional) and a die cut machine (or if you are really good with a craft knife you can use that too).

Cut out your the name on shrink plastic using a die cut machine. You do want to use a thicker font and
make sure all the letters are overlapped with good thickness, or the tag may break at the thin areas.

Punch a hole at one end of the shrink plastic.  I used a 1/8 inch hole punch which when shrunk makes
a very small hold (smaller than 1/16 inch) just large enough for the jump ring.  If you have a bigger jump ring
 you should use a larger hole punch.
To draw on polka dots I used a pattern as a template and just followed the dots with a sharpie.
 My shrink plastic was semi transparent so I could
see the pattern through the plastic.

Follow the instruction on the shrink plastic to shrink.  After plastic is cooled attach key chain. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

How to Make a Lanyard Bracelet with Metal Finishing

A few weeks ago I was at the mall and saw a young woman wearing a lanyard bracelet.  It wasn't like the fourth grade lanyard bracelets that was tied to a keychain ring, it was more elegant, with metal finishing. I really liked it because it reminded me of childhood, but with a sophisticated touch.  I remember making these lanyard bracelets for months on end in the third and fourth grade.  There was the box stitch, barrel stitch, rope, Chinese staircase, butterfly, cobra and extensions like the double barrel and double box etc.  I asked the women where she bought the bracelet and she said that her sister bought it online somewhere, but she did not know where.  I searched but could not find it so I decided to try to make it. I loved making these back then so making it again wouldn't be that hard.

It wasn't until after I finished my video tutorial and was uploading it onto youtube that I found out that the bracelet was by a company called Helloberry.  I googled "lanyard bracelet" so many times and couldn't find it.  So here is my tutorial on the Helloberry Inspired bracelet.  I changed it up a little, instead of putting links, I put an existing gold bracelet in place.  I like this better because you can make one lanyard and change up the color of the finishing. I even put a silver necklace or a ribbon there to mix it up a little.

Here is the video tutorial: Part 1 and Part 2 (Part 2 is how to finish the bracelet neatly, I really wanted to make it one video, but was having technical difficulty)

Lanyard can be purchased at Michaels or online at amazon.

Put any existing bracelet on the end.

I made the blue ribbon one for my daughter, because she always loses things and
 I didn't want her to lose my silver bracelets.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Christmas Wrapping Ideas: Burlap

My sister gave me a bunch of extra burlap scraps from her burlap wreath project.  They have been sitting in my closet for over a year, so I finally dug them out and decided to use as embellishments for wrapping my gifts.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I love using craft paper as wrapping paper.  It provides such a neutral base for wrapping.

I used ribbon and my salt dough gift tags to dress up the burlap.  I even attempted to make a burlap rose for one of the gifts.  All in all I love the way it turned out.

This one is my favorite wrapping.  Simply fold over the burlap and secure in the middle with bakers twine to make
 a big bow.  Add the salt dough gift tag, and viola, how cute is that?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to Make a Faux Hand Blown Glass Ornament

I hate buying new materials for crafts.  Not only is it expensive, but my house is gets filled with clutter of items that I only use once or twice.  I wanted to paint my glass ornaments, but did not want to buy specialty glass paint for them.  From my previous water marble tutorials, here and here,  I know that nail polish works great on these ornaments.  The best nail polishes to use are the more translucent colors, and from my experimenting, the cheaper the polish the better it works (probably because it isn't as pigmented and lets more light shine through).

To make these faux hand blown glass ornaments, I just used nail polish and painted small to medium sized circles all around in a random pattern.  You don't really have to be neat, it gives it more of the hand blown glass look if your circles aren't perfect.

For the blue ornament I used Wet n Wild 415 A (this nail polish is at least 10 years old) and Revlon's Nail Art French Mix.  For the red ornament I used Elizabeth Arden glitter polish (this is also at least 10 years old, didn't Elizabeth Arden go out of business years ago?) and  Essie's Bone Chilling White (which is pretty translucent for Essie, I was highly disappointed when I used it on my nails, it takes at least 4 coats to get it opaque).

Use any nail polish, the more translucent the better.

Randomly paint on circle shapes of various sizes.  If you are putting colors on top of each other
 wait for one color to dry before applying another.

For the red ornament I did big splotches of white first and then small spots of red.
As always the best thing about working with nail polish is that if you do not like your design, just use nail polish remover and wipe it off.

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to Make a Space Invaders Ornament

It's so hard to find something that my husband would like.  It's especially hard to make something for him (other than food) that he finds cool, until I made hims this Space Invaders ornament.

I have a Cricut Mini, but as I said before, its not very useful when you want to cut your own designs.  To cut this space invaders vinyl I printed out this image that I found on the internet.  I did multiple sizes because I wasn't sure which one would fit the best.  After finding the best fit I cut out the image and taped it onto a piece of black contact paper.  Then I used and exacto knife to hand cut the image (which isn't as hard as it sounds).  You do want to shift the pixels over a little on some of the diagonal pieces so the image is attached on a small corner.

Print out image.

Tape on top of contact paper and cut out.

Stick on ornament.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Make Book Page Wrapping Tags

I have a love hate relationship with my Cricut Cut Mini.  I like it because it's nice to have a cutting machine to cut out letters, but the fact that I have to use cartridges makes it very restricting.  If I had to go back I would probably get a Silhouette.  None the less I can't go back so I just have to make due.

For the most part I use the Cricut to cut out letters.  I only have one cartridge so I only have one font, its a nice font so I don't mind so much.

To spice up my craft paper wrapping I decided to cut out the names using old book pages.  I love the look. it really adds something personal to the wrapping paper.


Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Upcycle a Leather Belt

This is an old post that I wrote for Craftzine, but just in case you didn't get to view it I am posting it on my blog.

While cleaning out our closet to find items suitable for donation, my husband found a huge pile of old clothes that no longer fit us.  Experts say that after the age of twenty, the average person gains a pound a year.  By the foreboding stack of clothing that he managed to collect, I knew that we were no exception to the rule.  While bagging up our bounty, I noticed that my husband was donating some nice leather belts that could no longer accommodate his waistline.  I snatched up a couple of them, figuring that I could repurpose them for myself.  I just loved the worn leather look of them, but the belts were in need of a feminine touch.

Step 1:  Lay out the belt flat.  Using a utility knife and a ruler cut the belt into three strips lengthwise. The left strip should be one quarter of the width of the belt, middle strip is on half of width, and right strip is one quarter of width.  Cut the strips up until you reach the belt buckle (strips should still be attached to each other as well as buckle). To cut the leather, it is easier to score it slowly and go over several times.
Step 2:  Loop left strand over middle strand (figure a), then loop right strand over the left strand, under middle strand and then between the left most strand and middle strand (figure b), and tighten (figure c).

Step 3:  Loop right strand over middle strand (figure a), then loop left strand over the right strand, under middle strand and then between the right most strand and middle strand (figure b), and tighten (figure c).

Step 4: (Same as step 2) Loop left strand over middle strand (figure a), then loop right strand over the left strand, under middle strand and then between the left most strand and middle strand (figure b), and tighten (figure c).

Step 5: Continue with 2-4 (next step would be step 3), alternating the starting strand until there is not enough of the left or right strand to make a tight weave.  Turn the belt over.
Step 6:  Take the left strand and tuck it under the middle weaved part all the way up until strand is hidden.  Do the same for the right strand.

Step 7:  If the belt is too long, punch a new hole and cut the extra length of the belt.  You can also tuck in the extra belt length as seen in the diagram (the belt leather is actually going through two holes and looped back).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Make Your Own Wrapping Paper with Craft Paper

I love simple wrapping paper.  I especially love brown paper bags or craft paper as wrapping.  It has such a rustic feel to it.  Using one of my daughters stamps I embellished the craft paper by stamping the pattern on semi randomly.  It turned out marvelous, but still simple and rustic.  This is also a great way to get your kids helping in the wrapping of gifts during the holidays, or at least occupied so you can get gifts wrapped.

This was an Easter stamp that my daughter had.  

I eyeballed the stamps and placed them in a stripped pattern.  It doesn't have to be perfect (makes it look more rustic).

A little bakers twine and viola easy wrapping!  I also used my favorite set of stamp letters to make a simple gift tag (which I bought at Michael's but they also sell a similar one on Amazon).  These stamp letters are great if you hate your handwriting (like I do).

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