DIY Picture Stand

This is an original by me. (I’m sure other people have done something similar, but what I mean by “original by me” is that I came up with this on my own and made it without getting ideas elsewhere.) It’s so simple! It all started when my kids’ pictures came in and we needed 2 small easels for the storyboard collages we ordered. Could I find any little tiny artist-looking easels? Nope. Seen them all the time before, but, as always, they were not to be found when I actually needed to buy them. So after being disappointed in Hobby Lobby, I went over to the wood stuff and bought what I needed to make my own creation to hold the storyboards. I spent a grand total of $7, and that let me make 2 picture stands with tons of materials left over for other projects. To buy 2 of the cheapest plate stands as an alternative to the easels would have been $8, and I wouldn’t have anything left over for other stuff.

What you will need:

  • Toy wooden wheel
  • Finial cap
  • Dowel that fits snug into both the wheel and cap
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Tiny clothespin
  • Hot glue gun or wood glue
  • Ruler
  • Pen or pencil
  • Saw (I used a hacksaw)

What to do:

  1. Place your wheel in front of you and hold the dowel and ruler together so that you can read the numbers on the ruler. Hold your picture up and figure out about where you want to picture to be when you finish. Measure enough room on the dowel above the picture for the finial cap and clothespin.
  2. Mark for your cut. Remember, “Measure twice, cut once!” Cut the dowel to your desired length.
  3. Assemble the stand. Squeeze a dab of glue into the hole in the center of the wheel. Push the dowel in so that it is snug and secure. Squeeze another drop of glue into the whole in the finial cap and press the cap on the top of the dowel.
  4. Spray paint the stand if you wish to do so.
  5. Attach the clothespin with hot glue or wood glue.
  6. Clip on your picture and admire your handiwork!

Tips & Variations:

  • Tie ribbon, raffia, or yarn around the top. The colors should complement¬†either your decor or the picture.
  • Beads, sequins, glitter, or metal lief add extra appeal.
  • Make a small tag with a title, caption, or the names of people in the picture and clip it along with the picture to the stand.

Fabric Flowers: Tutorial #1 – “Fold and Layer”

It is not enough to say that I love fabric flowers; I am bordering on obsession with them! I pin every new tutorial for them that I find on Pinterest and am impatient to try any I haven’t tried yet. Unfortunately, since the last three months of the year are insanely busy for us (more so than most people’s as many people on both sides of our family have birthdays at the end of the year, plus holidays), I haven’t gotten around to trying out several of them. I tried a new-to-me one last night and took step-by-step pictures along the way. I will have to go back and do the same for others that I’ve already tried, so stay tuned for those!

What you will need:

  • Old t-shirt, cut into
    ~  8 flowers
    ~  1 circle, slightly smaller in diameter than the flowers
  • Flower template (for cutting flowers out of t-shirt)
  • Pen/pencil (for cutting flowers out of t-shirt)
  • Fabric scissors (for cutting flowers out of t-shirt)
  • Fabric or craft glue
  • Button or bead
  • Needle and thread

(ignore the second shirt and extra buttons ~ I was going to make 2 but afterward decided to stick with 1)

What to do:

  1. Fold 4 flower shapes in half then in half again. Glue them to the fabric circle, corners in the middle.
  2. Fold 3 more flower shapes in the same way. Layer these over the four and glue.
  3. Fold the last flower shape in half and pinch and bend it so that it forms a sort of ring on the top, as pictured. Glue only in the center so as not to stick any of the edges of the “petals” down.
  4. Sew a bead or button into the center, as shown in the finished product at the top of this post.

Tips & Variations:

  • When sewing the bead/button in the center, sew all the way through the fabric circle at the bottom. This will leave a short section of exposed thread with which you can attach a bobby pin or safety pin to the flower, making it usable for your hair or clothing.
  • You can glue or sew a strip of fabric to the bottom of the flower and tie it to clothing, scarves, purses, etc.
  • These can be attached to headbands and hair ties to create easy hair accessories.
  • Layering two pieces of different fabric together adds visual impact. The fabrics can be different colors, types, textures, whatever sparks your fancy. To do this, simply cut out 8 flower shapes of the same size from each of two types of fabrics. Layer one of each flower shape, fold, and assemble as directed. The second layer will peek through in the edges of the petals.

DIY Plug-ins

I love a nicely scented room, but buying plug-in after plug-in adds up. I never knew you could refill them yourself and that you can get 3-4 plug-ins for the cost of one by doing so! A little bottle of $2.50 potpourri oil will fill about 4 plug-ins. A bigger bottle is about $5 and will fill at least twice as many, if not a little more. And it only takes about 2 minutes to do. Another good reason to do this is that the store-bought plug-ins contain VOC’s whereas essential oils do not, so refilling these with essential oils means you are not releasing pretty-smelling toxic chemicals into your home.

What you will need:

  • Empty plug-in
  • Potpourri or essential oil
  • Pliers
  • Small funnel

What do do:

~ I actually have step-by-step pictures this time!

1. Hold onto your plug-in securely. You can use any plug-in as far as I am aware. I’ve refilled Bath & Body Works Wallflowers and Glade.

2. Using pliers, pull the wick from the plug-in. You may have to pull hard to get it out, but it will come out.

3. Insert the funnel into the plug-in and add your oil. Only fill it 2/3 – 3/4 full so as to leave room for the wick. Think about how full they are when you buy them–that’s your goal (or a little more because, honestly, they aren’t that full brand new!).

4. Reinsert the wick and plug it in!

Tips & Variations:

  • If there is any remaining oil in the plug-in before you add more, you can either dump it out or reuse it. Since my refill oil was close to the same scent as what was originally in there, I just left it in and added mine to it.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix oils if you have single scents. Say for example you have a cinnamon scented oil and an apple scented oil. Put a little of each in to make a combined scent.

Printed Burlap Signs

This is something I found on Pinterest (site I saw it on: http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2010/09/burlap-laundry-signhow-to.html). It’s using your home printer to make an image on burlap, then pinning it to foam poster board, and framing it. Genius, right?

Printed burlap sign

I followed the directions on Domestically Speaking, except that I could not find freezer paper (and, no, wax paper or parchment paper will not work–I tried), so instead I used a very light coat of spray adhesive on regular copy paper and ran it through the printer that way. I am providing both sets of directions for printing.

What you will need:

  • Burlap
  • Printer
  • Iron
  • Foam poster board
  • Freezer paper ~ OR ~ copy paper & spray adhesive
  • Empty frame
  • Various bits for decorations (I used upholstery tacks and fabric rosettes)

What to do:

  1. Iron your burlap so that it is completely flat.
  2. Place the waxy, shiny side of the freezer paper against the burlap, and using a dry iron, press it on. It should stick. (I say should because I have not tried this as I could not find freezer paper). ~ OR ~ Spray a very light coat of spray adhesive onto a sheet of copy paper. Lay the ironed burlap over it, making sure it stays smooth and flat. Trim the burlap to fit the paper if you have not already done so. Let it sit for a few minutes before printing.
  3. Create your image. Keep in mind simpler fonts and images will show up better than ornate fonts or detailed images (a lesson I learned the hard way). Make sure your image is the correct size for your frame.
  4. Print the image onto the burlap. Trim to size and remove from the paper. It should peel right off whether you used freezer paper or copy paper.
  5. Trim the foam board to fit into the frame if you have not already done so. You will probably not be able to keep the glass in the frame. Place the printed burlap on the foam board and adhere it as desired (spray adhesive, upholstery tacks, whatever you decide).
  6. Insert into frame.
  7. Apply any desired decorations and hang!

Tips & Variations:

  • If you use fabric rosettes like I did, keep in mind you will need to offset the weight of them so that the frame will hang level. You could glue a little piece of a magnet strip to the back opposite corner, or whatever else is thin and weighs little. I ended up using a plastic knife! Whatever works, right?
  • You could cover the foam board in scrapbook paper or fabric before adhering the burlap.
  • Print text or images! Get creative!
  • You can pull a couple of loose threads on the sides of the burlap to give it a ragged edge.