Room for growth

Hey Everyone!

So I know its been a long time since I posted…. I’m not a very devoted blogger. My problem is not a lack of inspiration or creativity. The first problem is the time to do these crafts, the second is to find the time after to write the blog!!

Well lets get straight to it shall we! This craft was something I dreamed up probably 2yrs ago. The concept behind it was an old book that had been thrown out and started to decompose. As it started to rot a new tree started to grow out of the book-essentially a tree because of the paper. So it was based off the life cycle and products of a tree.

I got so many compliments on it, I have since made 2. One was for my sister as a present, and the other was for a charity raffle. The one I made for this blog was commissioned by my friend Courtney. 🙂

 

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(The one in the picture above is the very first necklace tree that I made for myself! 🙂

So to make this “Necklace tree” you will need:

  • Tin snips (or metal sheers)
  • Metal mesh (I found mine at Home Depot- its a type of subfloor 24″ x 48″??)
  • An old hard cover book
  • Some copper wire (I used 2 meters of 5 strand- if you want more branches than mine I would suggest 3 meters)
  • Some gloves
  • A screw gun (or something you can drill holes with)
  • Wire Cutters

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Step 1: Cut the metal mesh with the sheers into a strip approx 6″ x 24″ (24″ is automatically the width because of the sheet size)

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Step 2: Tightly roll the metal into a roll. I laid down a towel to protect the floor. I accidentally cut off a piece too big so I rolled it and cut off the excess.

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Step 3: Cut 4-5 slits in one end of the “tube” of metal and bend them out to create a base.

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Step 4: Cut a small strip of the mesh and wrap it around the top of the tree. Then cut slits in it and flare them out. This will create the “top” of the tree.

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Step 5: Using your glove squish the flared parts to create “mini” branches.

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Step 5: Cut varying lengths of the copper wire and folding back and forth and twisting it create branches. Leave enough copper at the end of the branch to be able to attach it to the tree, by bending it on.

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Step 6: Attach the branches to the top of the tree. There really isn’t a technique to this… its just kind of how ever you can mash them on there and get them to stay. Haha.

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Continue doing that until it looks something like this….

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I also added reinforcements aka copper wire that I ran up the tree and taped- just to give it some temporary stability. The hardest part about this stage is the tree is going to want to tip over because its top heavy without much of a base.

Step 7: Tear some pages out of your book and rip them in strips. As a note… don’t rip all the pages from one section of the book because it will look funny later. Just tear a couple of pages- skip a couple of pages- tear a couple of pages (You get the idea). You could use newspaper if you wanted… but the ink gets all “smeary” when you try to paper mache it. Plus I like the idea that this whole project came from one book.

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Step 8: Paper mache the crap out of the tree! (Mache is just flour and  warm water mixed together until its the consistency of pudding). For your first layer just wrap and twist the paper around the branches so you cover everything. Let that dry over night and then do a second layer. The second layer is where it gets its strength. I couldn’t take pics of this stage because my hands were all covered in goo. But heres what it should look like.

***Do not use mod podge!!!***

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Step 9: Stain your tree! Using an OIL based stain and a rag (or brush if you want) brush on a thin layer. I used Varathane’s Dark Walnut colour. I like these little jars of stain because they come in LOTS of colours and are about $5 (again another a Home Depot special). I would advise wearing gloves if your the type of person who wears more of their dinner then they do eat it. As well I laid down some plastic so I didn’t end up re-staining the table. Haha. Who knew that my go to craft shop was a hardware store.

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Step 10: Open your book to the middle. Drill 4 holes in your book- BEING careful not to drill through the cover. 2 holes on either side of the page.

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Step 11: Wire the pages shut using a smaller gauge copper wire. Hot glue the wired clump of pages to the inside of the hardcover. Essentially making the book into one solid platform.

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Step 12: Trim the excess paper around the bottom of your tree, and hot glue it into the book covering the wire in the pages.

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Step 13: Using some left over paper strips hot glue them on the base of the tree and book to make it look like the tree is growing out of book.

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Voila!!

Step 14: Decorate with your favourite jewellery! I works really well to help keep your jewellery untangled as well. Below is the picture of the one I made for my friend with all her jewellery. 🙂

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Well thats it! I also think they make great art, or book ends.

Let me know what you think below or if you have any other suggestions on how to use them! Keep it crafty guys!

-Pearl

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A new type of silhoutte

Hey guys!

Today I recreated my collage silhouette of the little bird seen in my blog “Not Your average Photo Collage!” Its fairly easy to do, and exceedingly cheap to make. It would make a good teen craft (lots of personalized art in any colour you want it!).

First things first. Materials:

-A bunch of magazines you can chop up

-Various paint brushes (You might need some precise tips depending on your design)

-Clear glue

-A fine point pen

-Acrylic paint any colour

-A cheap frame (I got mine for $2 at the dollar store)

-Scrap cardboard (To put your glue and paint on)

Step 1: Rip out some colourful pages with some fun patterns on it and glue them in the general location that you want. You can glue them on anything. The bird collage I glued right to the back of the frame. You could do it on an artist canvas if you wanted, or a piece of cardboard like I did for this tutorial.

Step 2: Let your glued down pages dry.

Step 3: Draw out your design on top of the magazine pages.

Step 4: Paint carefully around your design. Depending on the quality of the paint you might have to do multiple coats. Mine took about 2-3 coats.

Step 5: Let it dry and frame it!

See! Pretty easy! Other variations I’ve seen have included old music sheets, gift wrap, old maps, and newspaper. All the tutorials that I found used vinyl letters that were placed over top of the pages and then painted over and removed, so you could create saying. I found it hard to find vinyl letters in a font that I liked and in the size I was looking for so I improvised. I’ll leave a link to some other peoples ideas, to help get your creative juices flowing. Click here to see them.

Let me know what you think!

-Pearl

Ikea Hacker

Hey Everyone!

Well… here goes nothing! So here is the story… I bought this Ikea paper shade and light cord about a year ago for a school project that I never ended up using. I did plan on using it for just a plain old light source though- except of course my plans had nothing to do with looking “plain or old”. So here is what I did to make it a show stopper!

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You will need:

Approx 20 sheets of tissue paper (maybe coloured or white)

1/2 bottle of clear craft glue

something to spread the glue (I used dollarstore paint brushes)

some kind of circle template (Remember the smaller the circle the longer it will take)

a pencil

a pair of sharp scissors

Of course…. a paper shade (I bought mine at Ikea… but I’m sure you could find one at a dollar store)

Optional:

A light cord (I say optional because it would easily look just as nice without a light in it. Perhaps as just decor)

And an additional option is a dimmer switch. (I put on one just because it was easier than plugging and unplugging the cord every time I wanted light)

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Step 1: Cut out a million tissue paper circles. I did this by tracing and cutting through 10 sheets of tissue at a time- instead of one by one… other wise I would still be here! Try to draw the lightest line possible when tracing otherwise you will see the pencil marks on your lamp later. Either that or you could just throw out the top circle with the pencil marks.

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Step 2: The pinch- I say this literally because I put pinch marks in all of my circles before I glued them down because I wanted them to sit off of the lamp and not lay flat. You could just glue them on as is if you wanted but it wouldn’t look as fluffy as mine.

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Step 3: Place your lantern UPSIDE DOWN in a bowl or a dish (something to keep it still). The reason you need to start at the BOTTOM of your lantern is because you are going to overlap the circles. It would be harder to start at the top because then you are trying to glue circles UNDER other circles instead of just placing them on top.

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Step 4: Apply glue to the lantern and place a circle on top of the glue. It was easier and less messy for me to do it this way, than to individually apply it the circles. (Less likely to tear, or get all stuck to itself) It was also faster as I could spread a bunch of glue over a whole area and then stick a bunch of circle on at a time. Plus you don’t have to worry about the glue showing because its clear.

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Step 5: Overlapping- once you have done your first row, the second row should overlap by about 1/2- 1/4 of the first circles. Just keep it random, and as you go you will see how far apart you will have to space them. Also the bottom of the lap is a good place to learn spacing because it is the most forgiving.

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Step 6: Just continue gluing away until its all covered! I think I should have used a bigger size circle because to cover this lamp it must have taken me 6-7hrs of just cutting, pinching, and gluing to finish this beauty! Ugh! But I think I paid off.

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Optional- Step 7: Add a light cord and hang from the ceiling! As an extra added bonus- if your like me and don’t won’t to have to plug in a cord to turn it on you can add a dimmer. I got mine at Home Depot for about $15 (well worth it) Just follow the instruction on the package and you are good to go! The dimmer was actually REALLY easy to install- a bit intimidating… but easy.

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I think in the future I might spray paint it to co-ordinate with my living room… but we will see about that. If I do I will be sure to keep you updated with how it goes!

Let me know what you think down below in the comments! If there are any crafts you would like to see me do, just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

-Pearl