DIY Make a Bow Bandeau Bikini Top Tutorial

Bandeau tops are everywhere right now, they are a hugely popular.  My daughter has been ogling bandeau tops on the internet for a couple of months and she kept telling me that she really really liked one she saw that had a giant bow on the front.  I off-handedly retorted that in my day they were called Tube Tops to which she rolled her eyes and reminded me that I’m old and in the same breath asked me if I could make her one for the 4th of  July.   She showed me a photo of a bandeau she found at this Etsy.com shop and asked me to duplicate it.   Long story short, I did duplicate it; it was easy and I’m going to show you how to duplicate it in this DIY bandeau tutorial.

bandeau1

Once my daughter showed me this photo she ran off to Joann’s and picked up the fabric for the bow, dropped it off in my craft room and ran out the door to spend time with Loverboy.  (The nickname is used with love.  We like Loverboy, he’s good to our daughter and he’s a sweet boy…I almost pity him) Luckily for both my daughter, Acacia and I, I still have the duct tape dress form I made from Acacia’s body that will from here on out be dubbed Acacia2.  Having Acacia2 allows me to sew for her when she’s not home…which is all the time now that she’s a wizened old college girl.  World, meet Acacia2.

acacia2
Click the photo for a tutorial on how to make your own duct tape dress form

 

To make this bow bandeau you will need 3 pieces of fabric.  My daughter bought half a yard of red striped fabric and half a yard of blue and white stars fabric.  I happen to have some scrap white knit fabric that I used to make the bra part of the bandeau.  If I were buying the fabric I would probably go ahead and grab a half a yard just to be sure.  If you make this top once you won’t use up the whole half yard but its good to have enough to make two just in case something goes wrong.  And believe you me, when you don’t use patterns to make clothes things can go horribly wrong.  I promised to never talk about the crooked crotch again so I won’t bring up those pants I once screwed up….

material

Fabric aside you are going to need a pair of good scissors, sewing pins, thread and a sewing needle.

 

The first thing I did to create a bow bandeau was to take my white knit fabric and fold it in half lengthwise so that I had a double piece of narrow fabric.  Like so..

white_fabric

 

I wanted my bandeau to have doubled fabric so that my daughter felt covered, comfortable and secure.   Plus it made me feel better to know if I was going to help my daughter wear as little clothes as possible I was going to make sure she was as covered as I could get her.  She’s almost 19 and has a killer body so I can’t blame her for showing it off but as long as I can help it there will be no  No see through, nipple showing white tops here!   I took the white knit and wrapped it around the chest of Acacia2 with the fold being at the top.

body1

 

From the back I simply pinned it together so that it was tight.  A word to the wise here – make sure you pull your fabric as tight as you can.  In order for a bandeau made like this with no top or bottom elastic to stay up on the body,  the fabric has to be pulled as tight as it will go.

body3

 

When I had my fabric pinned as tight as I could get it I cut a slit, horizontally in the side about 1 inch BELOW where I wanted the bottom of my bandeau to be.    This will be where I’m going to cut off the excess fabric and sew together the tube part of this.  I gave myself an inch which is more than needed for a seam allowance but again, it’s all about leaving myself room to maneuver.  I can always make it smaller but it’s a hell of a lot harder to add fabric back once it’s been whacked off.

body2

Next I unpinned the fabric and removed it from Acacia2.  I laid it flat and made sure the slits were lined up.    Like below..

white_fabric2

This was the only white knit scrap fabric I had but I figured there wasn’t any use being a chicken about it, might as well just chop it up and call it a day.  If I was wrong, I was wrong and i’d have to run to the store and get some knit fabric.    Now I had 2 pieces of white fabric.  One fat and one skinny.

 

white_fabric3

 

Next, I flipped my fabric so that I had right sides together (the sides that everyone sees on the outside.) and I pinned it together along the lengthwise edges.  You won’t be sewing the ends together just yet so there’s no need to pin the ends unless you just like to pin the shit out of things and then by all means, pin away; don’t let me stand in your way of good pinning.

white_fabric4

After you get the bandeau pinned go ahead and sew it together. For the sewing newbie this means you are going to sew down the edge you just pinned.  Give yourself about half an inch of seam allowance.  Then remove the pins.  For the long time seamstress – you know what to do.

Once the piece is sewn together I had a tube of white material.  Flip it inside out so that the seam is on the bottom and wrap it around whoever’s chest it is that will be wearing the bandeau.  Since the real Acacia was still out and about with Loverboy I wrapped mine around Acacia2 to see if I had measured right and got it wide enough to cover any escaping boobage.  Well, good ol’ Acacia2 spared me, my material was okay and my size was alright.  I think it could have been maybe an inch or so wider but it was okay.

body4

If you like a simple white (or whatever color) bandeau you could stop there, sew up the back and call it finished but if you want to know how to make this a bow bandeau then read more of my nonesense.  (I do appreciate it when you read my nonesense btw)

One simple way of adding a bow to this bandeau is to take the leftover swatch of white knit fabric that we cut off and tie it into a bow on the front like this..

white_bow1

After step 4 in the above mini-pictorial tutorial you just fluff a bit and you end up with this:

white_bow2

To make a bow like the one on the etsy store you need to cut your stars and stripes  fabric into rectangles. For my daughter’s chest size I cut my fabric to 15 inches by 13 inches or 15″X13″.  To determine what your measurements will be you will need to measure from the center of your chest  (towards your armpit) to where you want the bow edge to be.  For my daughter this was 7 inches.  I doubled that and then gave myself again 1 inch for seam allowance so thus my width at 15″.  the same applies for the height of the bow.  Here’s what mine looked like:

stars1

You will need to cut both pieces of your bow fabric this way.  Once you have them cut to size you will fold them in half, lengthwise with right sides together like such:

stars2

Just like we pinned the white bandeau fabric together we need to make sure we pin along the edges of our folded bow material.  Once it’s pinned sew it together and flip the insides out again so that we have the following.stars3

If you look very closely at that photo you will see that the seam runs down the length of the center of the fabric.  That’s because when we fold our bow we don’t want heavy, bulky, ugly seams to show, so we hide them inside the middle.

Next you’re going to need to fold your fabric in half again but this time you won’t be folding it lengthwise and you need to make sure that the seam you see in that photo is on the OUTSIDE when you fold it.  look at the next photo to see what I mean.

stars4

 

Now sew along that edge this edge:

stars5

 

 

stars6

 

Flip it back inside out.  Do this for both pieces of fabric and you will have two pieces that look like this:

bow1

 

Stack these two bow pieces on top of each other so that the seams are arranged on the ends.

bow2

Sew one end together.  This will create your middle seam.

bow3

 

Unfold your newly sewn pieces and you should have one large tube with stripes on one side and stars on the other.  Use your fingers and thumb and pinch the center together tightly so that it looks like a bow.  Using a sewing needle (the hand kind, not the machine kind) sew the center together .  The easiest way to do this is to shove the needle right up the center of all that bunched up fabric and pull tight.  Still holding the center pinched between your fingers wrap the thread -with the needle still intact – around the pinched center.  Wrap around and around about 10 times and then tie it off with the needle.

bow5

Now that you have the bow made somebody has to put the bandeau back on so we can figure out placement.  By this time Loverboy brought Acacia home so I made her stay put for fittings.  I had her put the bandeau on and hold the bow where she wanted it to be.  I pinned both sides of the bow in place.

bow6

I sewed the sides down so that the center of the bow hung freely for the moment.  A quick note here – when you sew the sides of your bow down be sure not to sew through all the layers of fabric because then your bow will look funky!  Your bow should be hollow so even though it takes some maneuvering and cussing you should be able to get just the inside layers onto your sewing machine.  If you are following this tutorial and hand sewing then you should have no problems hiding your stitches.  Sew both sides down and then it’s time to work on the center.

I used leftover white knit fabric for the center of my bow.  You can use leftover stars or striped material or whatever you chose.  Simple hold the pinched bow in place and tie your fabric around the center of the bow being sure to tie it around the bandeau and the bow.  Tuck your knot inside and all should be secured.  this is what the inside of your center should look like.

bow7

Once you have your bow in place the last thing you need to do is close up the back.  simply sew a straight seam right down the back.  My daughter expressed a serious dislike of the seam down the back and when I make another one of these I will be sure to spin the bandeau around so that the seam is either in the front hidden by my center piece or under the arms but for a quick project at the last minute, sewing it down the center served its purpose.   Here’s what the completed bow bandeau looked like.

bow8

 

bow9

That’s Acacia.  Didn’t I tell you she has an awesome figure?  Yeah, well, she’s almost 19 so pfft.  Anyhow, Acacia felt very naked in this little top because she’s not accustomed to running around in public like that.  Inside the house is a different story but anyhow, she asked me to make it again only this time with a bigger bow and tails.   Normally Acacia would wear something like this over her bathing suit but its summer and she always wears something cute for the 4th of July.  She celebrates it with fashion LOL!  I have to say I like the first version better but if she feels more covered up by the second version then so be it, who am I to enforce nudity?  Here’s the second version with tails.

bow10

 

We didn’t want to waste the first bow so I folded it in half again and made a smaller bow that she stuck on the back of her belt loop.

bow12

 

And then she begged for me to make one more piece.  She just had to have a matching headband so in about 15 minutes I whipped up this elastic headband with the rest of the red striped fabric.  I’ll write a tutorial for that another day.

bow11

Paper Mache Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat Tea Cup

IMG_0947

Check out my Alice in Wonderland Paper Mache Tea Cup.  I made 3 of them that were able to stack on top of each other.  I also made a saucer for each tea cup.    Here’s the the other cup, 2 saucers and a stand.  Notice the keys hanging from the edge?  Those are scrapbooking embellishments.  All of this is made from simple paper mache.  I used balloons to create my shapes and tin foil and newspaper.  I covered the top Cheshire Cat in duct tape and painted it.  I covered a small urn style vase in tin foil and saran wrap and paper mached it to create the white and red stand below.  I used a simple paper mache glue made by mixing flour and water and I used old newspaper  to make the actual forms.

teacup

How To Make Your Own Rhinestone iPhone Case

Everyone wants a personalized iPhone case.  I’ve seen Hello Kitty designs, Music Notes, Skulls, Monograms, Cupcakes, you name it.  Since I work at a craft store I see a lot of people buying gems and glue and heat tools and resin and all sorts of supplies so they can bling up their cell phone case.  I figured  it would be fairly easy so I designed my own case and for about $10 I made my own awesome and shiny bejeweled iPhone case.   I used a metal Bookmark charm in the shape of the letter K and a package of metal flowers that had clear rhinestone centers, a green acrylic 4 leaf clover and a sprinkle of tiny 2mm green rhinestones as well as a ton of clear flatback rhinestones to design my case.   I love the sparkle of the clear rhinestones and it looks amazing with a handful of green sparkles amidst the clear.   Here’s what mine looks like and how I made it.

 

 

phone1

phone2

phone3

phone4

DIY Instructions: BeJeweled Cell Phone Case

Summary: Easy steps to adding jewels, gems and bling to your cell phone case

Supplies Needed

  • A few thousand 5mm flatback crystal gems
  • Assortment of gems, jewels, flatback resin pieces, jewlery charms etc.
  • E6000 Glue
  • 1 Silicon or hard plastic cell phone case
  • 1 wooden skewer
  • 1 Q-tip

Instructions

  1. Before you start gluing things to your sell phone case take the time to design your case and sketch it out. Your sketch doesn’t have to be a Picasso it just has to somewhat resemble what your case will look like. I free-handed mine and placed everything as I went along but I found that if you want a particular style like a skull and crossbones then you have to plan for the placement of each gem because boys and girls,  we will be laying down each and every gem by hand.
  2. Once you have your design finished set your supplies up in front of you because you will be spending some time in the same position.  Having your supplies at your fingertips makes the process faster.
  3. Have a paper plate in front of you so that you can rest your skewer on it and drop any loose gems on it. It also gives you something to wipe excess glue on.
  4. Cut your wooden skewer in two. One half should come with a pointed end, use scissors to trim the tip of the other half into a point. Now you have two wooden skewers.
  5. Squeeze a dollop of E600 onto the paperplate and immediately plug the tube with the Q-tip. This will keep your E600 from drying up on you. Air is what sets the glue up.
  6. Drag the pointed tip of only 1 wooden skewer through the dollop of E600. Wipe off the excess onto the paper plate. Allow skewer to sit until the adhesive begins to set and the tip is sticky to the touch or slightly tacky.
  7. Remove the Q-tip from the tube of E600 and gently squeeze the tube until you can see the glue coming out but it does not drip out. dip the 2nd wooden skewer into the glue oozing out of the E600 tube and rub it off onto the cell phone case. Immediately re-plug tube with Q-tip.
  8. *Tip – you must work quickly because E600 sets very quickly.
  9. Going back to the first wooden skewer that is tacky, press the tacky pointed end onto the top of one of your gems. It should be tacky enough to pick up the gem. Place the gem into the E600 you rubbed onto the cell phone case. Press and hold for a few seconds. The gem should stay put and be set in place.
  10. Continue applying gems, jewels, resin flatbacks and other jewelry design elements until you have achieve the look you are after.

Quick notes

You can order 3,000 gems from China on eBay for about $3 with free shipping. You’ll need at least a minimum of 1 set to completely cover your case like I did mine.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Production time:  It took me 2 days to place every single gem on my case.

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

DIY Palette Furniture, Homemade Coffee Table

I saw a really cool homemade coffee table on Pinterest made from a palette.  I liked the idea because it costs next to nothing to make and its so family friendly its ridiculous.  No need for coasters, no worries about dings and dents because with a palette that’s all part of the look.   So I asked the truck crew at work to save me a palette.  Here’s what my palette looked like when I drug it home.

Notice it isn’t square? Look at how gross that black grime is.

 

The first thing I did was to remove some of those slats.  For the table I had in mind I didn’t need all those extra boards so I grabbed a hammer and got busy pulling out nails.  Needless to say it was exhausting because the ends of the nails were hammered over and some of them were even twisted.  getting them out was no easy feat!

Once I got my slats pulled out I hauled the monster into my garage and started the sanding process.  The sanding process took a very long time because what started out as a “rustic table” turned into a masterpiece in my mind and I ended up sanding every single piece of wood.  I also decided I was going to put a top and a bottom on my table so I needed to sand down both sides of that and the legs and the palette if it were to be soft to the touch.  Lots and lots of sanding occurred and 1 shoulder was killed in the making of this table.  Look at how soft the wood looks when it has been sanded.  If you decide to try this project I highly recommend getting yourself a palm sander.  Without it I probably would have abandoned this project.

I used 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted a fine sand paper because I was looking for that smoothness. Choose your sandpaper according to your own needs.

 

Once I got all the wood sanded I gave my wood a vinegar bath.  I used plain old white vinegar and a soft cotton cloth to wipe down the wood.  The vinegar helps to remove any oils the wood picked up from contact with my skin or anything else that could leave residue behind.  It also helps the stain to go on more evenly.  The vinegar dries fairly quickly so within an hour or so I was able to start applying the stain.  I used a dark walnut stain by Minwax.  If you aren’t familiar with staining wood you can find some excellent videos from the Minwax experts on how to properly apply stain.

Don’t be worried by how dark the stain looks. I ended up sanding between stain applications to get my desired color. I applied 2 layers of stain.  The unstained planks you see are not part of the table, they are keeping my palette from resting directly on my workbench.  

I decided to rub my wood out with a beeswax and olive oil combination.    I know that some people will question that choice because typically the mixture of those two things will seal the wood but I felt it was important because it gave my wood a warmth and depth of color that I wouldn’t have gotten had I skipped this step. The act of rubbing down the wood and the moisture that comes from the beeswax-olive oil ointment makes the wood supple and gives it a warm glow.

Take note that I have not assembled any of the pieces of my table at this point.  The whole thing was disjointed and sitting all over the garage in pieces.  I did that on purpose.  I find it is far easier and looks better to attend to each and every piece individually than it is to put it together and then do all the sanding and staining.

At this point I started sealing the wood with a water based rub-on polyurethane by Minwax.  This product was amazing.  It was thin so I was able to control the coverage.  I applied the first coat a bit too thin.  No problem, I did a light sanding which ended up making my finish even smoother, and applied a second coat.  The second coat I applied considerably heavier than the first and when it dried I was ecstatic.

I forgot to take a pic of what it looked like in between coats of polyurethane and i don’t know if this shows the finish very well but this is what the top looked like after I had it sealed and finished.

 

This was the time to assemble all my pieces.  Like I mentioned earlier I added more to my table than just palettes.  I wanted a flat top instead of the slats and I wanted a solid bottom so my table surface consisted of 3 parts; a top, a bottom and a palette.  What I did to assemble my table was I bought a 4X4X8 chunk of wood and cut it into 11′ pieces – Of course I sanded and stained them when I did the other pieces – and mounted each of them to a piece of 6X6X1/2″ piece of wood by coating one end with liquid nails wood glue and then screwing the 6X6 down to the post.    Once all 4 leg posts were mounted to a 6X6 I flipped my palette upside down and screwed my bottom piece to the palette.  Then I screwed down my posts to my bottom piece.  When I say that I mean I used 4 screws – 1 screw per corner, and screwed the 6X6 directly down to the bottom piece.  Almost complete, I turn my table back upright.  At this point it has no top   Again, using liquid nails wood glue at each of the corners and along each cross plank I screwed the top to the palette.

I like how you can see through the table. this is why I put a bottom on it. also, on a side note, I did add rope-looking trim around my top piece before I stained it.

 

 

The final product.  I’m pretty darn proud of it actually.  It’s sturdy, it’s heavy, it’s massive and it’s beautiful.

 

 

To make a coffee table like mine here’s what you will need,

1 piece of plywood 1/2″ thick and 8′ long.  Cut it into two pieces. One should be larger than the other.  One will serve as the top and one as the bottom.  The top piece should be 2 inches larger than you palette on all 4 sides.  The bottom piece should be 1 inch smaller than the palette on all 4 sides.

1 junked palette

1  4X4X8 wood post to make legs

1 6X24X1/2″ piece of pine cut into 4 pieces each one being 6X6

Liquid Nails Wood Glue or other adhesive of your choice

220 grit sandpaper

Wood Stain (mine is dark walnut)

polyurethane

Sponge brushes to apply stain and polyurethane  with

 

To make Beeswax and Olive Oil ointment

1 block of all natural beeswax (sold at Michael’s or store that sells all natural products)

Olive oil

To make:

Combine 1 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of shredded beeswax in a small pot.

Cook on low until beeswax is melted.

Let mixture sit and cool for a few hours stirring at least once per hour.  When mixture is set it will be the consistency of butter.  mix together one final time and then rub on wood surfaces with a soft cotton cloth.

My First Failed Mod Podge Project

So, I was browsing through that ever so addictive website Pinterest.com and I came across this really cool idea for turning photos into wall art at a ridiculously low cost.    Right away I got excited and wanted to try it out.  I knew exactly which photo I wanted to use and what size I wanted it to be.  I found this photo of my son and daughter to be so sweet and almost etheral looking that it had to be this one.

I downloaded a copy of it on to a memory card and took it to Staples.  When I got to the counter I very nicely asked the girl for an engineering print 24X36.  She says okay and shoves the memory card into the slot and when the contents loaded she looked up at me and said, “These are pictures.”   I nodded, thinking guess what genius?  They’re in jpg format too.  Instead I said, “yes I know.  It’s for a project”

She must have some crafter DNA in her somewhere because after that the chip she had on her shoulder and the boredom she carried in her step disappeared and we started chit-chatting about how I was going to Mod Podge this engineering print to a piece of foamboard and hang it up on the wall.  She expressed an interest in Pinterest (lol!) and it was a generally pleasant visit.

Anyway, I get the print home, I have the foamboard and a fresh jar of Mod Podge.  What I didn’t have was time so it had to wait about a week or so before I could get to it.  When I did get back to this project I had been up all night because my brain couldn’t get out of work mode.  I think I did about 50 projects in my head that night.  At 5:30 a.m. I gave up and got out of bed.  Since I was up so early I took the opportunity to Mod Podge my print.

I got all my supplies ready, the foam brushes, mod podge, foamboard, print and ribbon for edge decorating.  The instructions from the website seemed pretty simple except that I must have been delirious from lack of sleep because I missed the part about using spray adhesive to glue down your print first and THEN mod podge over the top.  What did I do, in my zombie-like state?  I tried to mod podge the back of the print to the foamboard and then mod podge the front too so that it was soaked in  mod podge.  Not a good idea.  My paper was so thin and so soaked that trying to work out the air bubbles caused tearing and the photo was disappearing.

I decided to let it be and dry while I went to work and hopefully if all went well it would be just fine that evening.  Uh, no it wasn’t.   Without some kind of weight being on the foamboard to keep it flat it curled up and dried that way; cracked and curled.  Oh, and it’s f’n huge.  When I tried to see if I could flatten it, it cracked on me.  You can see it curl in the photo.

This is a closer look at the wrinkles in the paper.  Clearly I used way too much Mod Podge for this flimsy paper.  I was so disappointed in how this turned out I haven’t even trimmed the foamboard.  And ignore the date because I didn’t set the date on the camera.  I took the photos today, just now not in 2007.  🙂

I’ll have to see if I can do anything with it but so far it looks dark and unusable.  A Mod Podge mess.  This is one project that goes back to the drawing board before a second attempt.

Get Organized Quick – 20 Minute Message Board

Is your office full of clutter, your desk stacked with bills and every conceivable empty space littered with notes, memos and receipts?  Then what you need is a message board to pin all that stuff to.  Rather than shove all those things into a drawer or sort into bins make yourself a message board, pin it up and forget about it until you need to retreive it.  Here’s a simple way to make your own message board in just 20 minutes.

 

Message Board Tutorial

Supplies Needed

  • 1 piece of foamboard (size is of your chosing)
  • wrapping paper
  • Mod Podge or craft glue
  • Ribbon
  • Rhinestones with pokey backing (not flatbacks)
  • hot glue
  • Cardboard Letters

Instructions

  1. Cut a piece of wrapping paper the same size as your foamboard.
  2. Coat one side of your foamboard with Mod Podge or craft glue.
  3. Smooth wrapping paper onto coated foamboard. Press out any airbubbles with a towel or squeegee. Wrapping a towel around a rolling pin works too.
  4. Hot glue ribbon around the edges of your board.
  5. Hot glue cardboard letters onto board.
  6. Press rhinestones into the ribbon and foamboard with your fingers.
  7. Hang

Variations

If you have rhinestones on hand that are flatbacks you can still use them; it just takes longer to glue them on.

I used rhinestones made for the Bedazzler because you literally just push them in like a thumbtack.

If you don’t have cardboard letters you can paint on letters, cut letters out of decorative paper or not have letters at all. Embellish your board however you like with whatever embellishments you have.

One quick tip is to hot glue a thumbtack to the back of a clothespin so that you can keep blank notecards or pieces of paper on hand to take messages.

I also put an ink pen on ribbon cording so that we aren’t having to hunt for something to write with.

Homemade flour and water glue mixture also works as an adhesive for this project.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Upcycled Chester Cheeto Shoulder Bag

Turn Plastic into Purses and Shoulder Bags

My Niece collected Cheeto bags and gave them to me to make her a purse with. It took me a while to get one made for her but this is what I came up with. I lined the inside of the Chester Cheetos shoulder bag with a dark green, satin fabric, backed with a cotton knit panel. There are pockets on both sides, each with a zipper. D-rings connect two braided straps to the bag. The straps are made of large elastic, cotton, knit, bands braided together. The bag closes with an 18 inch plastic zipper. Satin, double ruffle ribbon line the edges of the bag, a finishing touch that adds contrast and punch. The Cheetos shoulder bag is roomy enough to make it the perfect overnight bag. I was able to stuff a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, make up bag, hair brush, flip flops, pajamas and some other random stuff inside and there was still plenty of room. Here’s what it looks like.

paper lantern

DIY Homemade Mod Podge Paper Lantern

paper lantern
Photo take in the daylight. Natural light is shining through the lantern.

This DIY paper lantern was incredibly easy to make.   The original idea came from someone on Pintrest and Facebook showing a paper lanternn made with cloth doilies.  When I saw how cool it was I had to make one; the only problem was I don’t have any doilies.  I’ve never really cared for doilies.  They just aren’t my thing.  So I got to wondering how I could accomplish the same thing with a different media and the lantern in the photo is what I ended up with.  I was pretty pleased with it for my first attempt.

After making this lantern I got inspired and now I’m making several lanterns using several different mediums.  Even my youngest daughter – who never wants to make anything wants to make one.  She’s 17 and too cool for school so that’s sayin’ something.

This craft is so easy you can even get kids making these when they’re bored and looking for something different to do.  I imagine these lanterns lining my patio or dangling from the roof at a party.  I could literally go wild making all sorts of these things and I think it’s sort of addicting so if you’re into making stuff out of Mod Podge this craft is for you and here’s how you do it.

 

What You Need:

  • Mod Podge
  • 4 Sheets of Lace Scrapbooking Paper
  • 1 Balloon
  • A couple of Paintbrushes
  • E600 Adhesive (you can get this at any craft store or hardware store)
  • Various gems or beading enhancements
  • A length of Ribbon
  • 1 battery powered tealight candle
  • Newspaper or craft paper to cover your surface while working

Instructions

  1. Blow up a balloon and tie it off.
  2. Attach ribbon or string to balloon and secure one end to the top of your table with tape or a weight. This makes the project easier to hold on to while you’re working on it.
  3. Drape a piece of the lace scrapbooking paper around the balloon. Notice how parts of it stick out when you try to mold it to the balloon.  As a square piece of paper it will be a little hard to get it to conform.  Scrapbooking paper is cardstock so its sturdy.  Cut the paper into large shapes that will easily take the shape of the balloon. I cut my first piece into a large circle and wrapped it around the bottom of the ballon. Then I cut the other pieces into large strips and wrapped horizontally around the balloon, making sure to overlap all the edges. Then I cut another set of strips much smaller to fit around the top of the balloon where it gets smaller again. I made sure to leave a hole in the top large enough for my hand to fit through and put the light inside.
  4. Coat the back of all of your paper pieces with Mod Podge using the paintbrush.
  5. Wrap the large circle around the bottom of the balloon and liberally paint Mod Podge over the top of it so that the paper is soaked.
  6. Put the rest of your lace scrapbooking paper pieces on the balloon in the same fashion making sure to overlap edges and paint over the top with Mod Podge.
  7. Allow the paper to completely dry by letting it dangle from the ribbon or string we anchored it with earlier. This is where it can get tricky. if the temperature of the room gets to hot the balloon will deflate and take the lace paper with it. If the temperature gets too cold it can pop and you lose your lantern. Try to keep the room at a level temperature. This could take a couple of hours.
  8. Once the balloon is dry, give it another really good liberal painting of Mod Podge. Don’t be stingy on the Mod Podge. it will dry and all the white stuff will turn clear. Just don’t be tempted to play with it in this stage. Don’t try to peel the paper off the balloon or anything. Go watch a movie or something.
  9. Once this second coat is dry you are ready to pop the balloon. Don’t have a heart attack when it implodes. Gather the kids around to watch, it’s kinda cool. It will fold in on itself and if you did everything right the balloon will pop to the top and the lantern will pop back into shape and it will be a hollow empty bowl.
  10. All the clear spots between the lace “holes” will be like a clear plastic. Poke a hold on four sides around the top hole and thread a length of ribbon through it, tie together in the center and hang from the rest of the ribbon length.
  11. Use E600 and add gems or other embellishments to your lantern and allow to sit for about half an hour or so.
  12. Drop in battery operated tea light, hang, turn out the lights and enjoy.

Quick notes

I find that it is easier to work on these if they are filled with helium because they float instead of bob around. The only problem is that it’s even harder than normal to keep the balloon from popping or deflating in the middle of the night.

I also found it a good idea to wear latex gloves because that’s alot of Mod Podge on your hands.  :lol

Homemade Girl Robot Craft Project


girl robot
Lulu the Girl Robot

  Make Your Own Girl Robot

 

Lulu Ann is what we named our homemade girl robot.  The story we made up about her as we put her together was a bit unsavory but that’s what happens when you get a group of older girls together for such a fun and silly project.  Regardless of whether or not you need to build your own homemade girl robot for a school project, as a means to occupy a smaller child or as a group project this little robot craft idea is perfect.  It’s cheap, simple and fun to do.

Recommended Age: 6 to grown up women

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Hot Glue and Cool Glue (LOTS of it!)
  • Duct Tape
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Modge Podge
  • Sponge Paint Brush
  • Craft foam in various shapes or in sheets to make your own shapes
  • Maribou and Feather Trim
  • Fake Eyelashes
  • Acrylic Gems
  • Ribbon
  • 1 Balloon
  • a  6×6″ box
  • 2 boxes 3x2x1
  • Handful of pebbles, rocks, acrylic rocks
  • Tule

How You Make it:

Making Lulu the girl robot is pretty simple.  You can figure out most of it just by looking at her but here are the specifics.

Cut enough wrapping paper to wrap the 6×6 box in the same way you wrap a present.  As you wrap the box use the sponge paint brush to coat the sides, top and bottom of the box with modge podge.  It’s important to modge podge the paper to the box so that it won’t rip off when you start gluing other body parts to it.

Pull the carboard tube from inside the wrapping paper and use it to make arms and legs.  Cut the tube into 4 pieces about 5 inches long and another piece about an inch and a half long for the neck.

Fill the insides of the 3x2x1 boxes with rocks and wrap completely covered in duct tape.  These will be your robot’s shoes and the weight will keep her from toppling over.

Stand one of the 5 inch long tubes on top of a small rock-filled box and trace around the tube with a pen or marker.  Place the tube so that it is towards the back of the box.  Think of robot feet.  Then cut along the tracing and cut out a hole in the top of the box.  Push one end of a cardboard tube into the hole and use hot glue to attach them.  Glue inside the edge of the hole and seal it up nice and tight.   Repeat with the other rock-filled box and a 5 inch long tube.   You should now have both legs and feet attached.

Place the bigger box that you wrapped on top of the legs.  Balance it until she can stand without falling over.  Trace around the top of the legs and then flip the box upside down and cut out those holes.  Push about an inch of each leg into the hole and seal around the edges with hot glue.

lulu

Repeat the last step with the arms.  Trace the tube on the sides of the box, cut out the hole, insert tube and hot glue sealed.  Craft foam circles glued to the ends make a great cap so there’s no need for hands.

For the head blow up a balloon.  Use craft foam circles for eyes and glue acrylic gems to the center of the eyes to add personality.  Use feather and maribou trim to give it some hair and add a hairbow.  We used a single feather to create a mustache (there’s great scandal about how our Lulu robot came to have a mustache!).  Get creative when it comes to making your robot’s face.   A tip for decorating a balloon is to use cool glue instead of hot glue.  You can find cool glue at any craft store and it’s more safe for little fingers.  We tried regular Elmers glue and a couple of scrapbooking adhesives but cool glue works the best and dries the fastest.

Once you have her head decorated you need to glue the end piece of the balloon to the inside of the neck piece.  This is the trickiest part of the project.  First make a ball of duct tape in the shape of a cork.  make it small enough to fit inside the 1 1/2 piece of cardboard tube you cut earlier.  Duct tape the cork shape to the end piece of the balloon. Insert the cork shape (now attached to the balloon) inside the 1 1/2 inch tube.  Use cool glue to make a bead of glue between the base of the balloon and the tube.  When it dries add an extra bead around the edge of the tube.  You won’t really see this bead of glue because it will essentially be tucked under her chin, this is the base of her head.  You are in essence caulking the balloon to the tube.  Flip upside down and fill up the remaining space inside the tube with cool glue.  We wrapped our neck in purple duct tape and added a few Swarvosky gems for decoration.

To mount the head to the box, use the same process you did for the arms and legs.  Place it on top of the box where you want it and trace it.  Cut out the hole, shove about half an inch of the tube inside the hole and seal up with hot glue.  You will need to add quite a bit of hot glue around the base of this for it to be good and sturdy.  Add gems or ribbon or glitter so that the glue looks like a necklace rather than just a bunch of hot glue.

Lulu’s Pretty Face! 

Hot glue tule in a ruffled fashion.  Cut the tule as long or as short as you like.  The more tule you use the fuller her tutu will be.  Glue a ribbon over that to hide the edges, add a bow and voila!  your robot has a tutu.

Lulu and Her Owner on the way to school. Awwww!

 

First Day of School!

 

 

Trash Bag Costume

I am at it again.  I’ve sketched out a design for a costume made out of trash bags.  This one won’t be a cute little dress.  I can’t wait to get started.  If you were me, and you were going to make a costume out of trash bags what would you make?

Paint Splatter Duct Tape Hairbow

A friend of mine brought me a roll of really cool paint splatter pattern duct tape.  She wanted me to make her a hairbow out of it since she liked my tie-dye pattern duct tape hairbow.  What do you think of Leigh-Ann’s new duct tape hair bow?

Decoupage Craft Pumpkins – Craft Chic

Working at Michael’s Arts & Crafts gives me the inside scoop on lots of new and interesting craft techniques and the products that go into them.  One of those products is the carvable craft pumpkins.  In a punkin shell they are glorified styrofoam which makes them easy to paint and easy to use as a craft project foundation.

I saw on a website that a woman is using a basic decoupage technique to decorate these craft pumpkins and I thought, “Hey!  I can do that!”  and so I set about giving it a go.  Mine came out okay but I learned that there is better technique so the next pumpkin I decoupage will be done in an entirely different way.

 

 

Decoupaging a craft pumpkin got me to thinking about the other things I could do with a simple jar of Modge podge and some paper.  That led to me digging 2 saltine cracker boxes out of the trash and this cute little box.  Come back soon because I’ll be posting an instructional for how to make your own cute little decoupaged saltine box.

 

Jean Crafts – Turn Old Denim Blue Jeans into a Purse

This is a really simple craft that allows you to recycle your old blue jeans and give them new use.  All you need is an old pair of jeans that you don’t mind cutting up, some velcro, sewing needles, thread, hot glue gun and sticks, scissors and a few embellishments.

jeans1
what you need

Once you have all your supplies, you need to cut the legs off of the jeans.  You can cut them lower down on the leg than the crotch for a deeper purse or you can cut the legs in a U shape to make your jean purse hobo style.

jeans2

After you get the legs cut off turn the pants inside out, pin the bottom together and sew it closed.  Don’t forget to reinforce your seam by using a zig-zag edging stitch afterwards.

jean2

Below is what your jean purse should look like depending on the way you cut the legs off.  If you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand sew the bottom or hot glue it.  You could probably even use no-sew liquid stitch but it would take a lot longer because you’d have to wait for it to dry.

jean4

Next you need to sew the crotch shut.   The easiest way to do this is to sew along the already existing crotch seams.  Don’t forget to zip up the pants first.  I don’t bother to sew around the button because I sew all the way to the waistline and that’s good enough.  The idea is to encase the zipper by sewing the flap closed as well.  In the following image I’m pointing out the two places to sew.

jean5

Now pin velcro to the waistband.  I pinned mine right underneath the edge of the front of the waistband and then underneath the waistband itself on the back edge of the pants.  When I laid out my pants in the beginning I let the waistband fall where it normally falls without pulling or manipulating the denim.  These pants are low on the wait so the front waistband falls lower than the back but on some jeans the waistband is at the same height all the way around.  It’s pretty easy to eyeball where the velcro should go and once you get it in place either sew it down or hot glue it down.  I sewed all the way up to the button and then hot glued the velcro over where the button is and then continued sewing the rest of the way.

jean6

All that’s left to do now is to put a strap on it and decorate it a bit.  To make a strap for your purse cut the legs of the jeans into strips and braid 3 of them together.  Sew the bottom of  the braid together and then sew each end to the waistband of your jean purse.  You can make your braid as thick or thin as you like.  Try mixing it up by using a belt for a strap or a bandanna or thick ribbon etc.

jean7

jean8
I added a ribbon around the waist, acrylic gems and the word love in a swarovski elements design and one of my bows to dress it all up.

What’s really cool is that the pockets still function as pockets.

jean9

jean10

New Show Bows Hair Bows for Girls

Here’s a few of the latest hair bows I made.  There are more of course but these are the newest.  I’ve been taking pictures of the bows as I make them and enter them into my inventory so that I can put together some sort of catalog.  The other good news is that I have a couple of samples of sewn monograms which means I can now show you what it would look like to put your little girl’s initials on a hair bow.  As soon as I get some pictures of the monogramming I’ll post them.  In the meantime don’t forget to check out the few bows I have listed at Etsy by Clicking Here

hello kitty bow
This Hello Kitty bow is mounted on a crocheted pink headband. The headband fits all sizes from newborn to adult.
Hello Kitty 2
A simple tuxedo style black with red polka dotted Hello Kitty hair bow.
Hello Kitty 3
This bow is from the Creepy Cat line. It features a houndstooth print ribbon and a creepy Hello Kitty cat face.
Hello Kitty 4
This is another bow from the Creepy Cat line. Only this bow is stacked with multiple loops including the ever popular pink and black zebra striped loops.
Hello Kitty 5
A simple stacked polka dotted black and pink Hello Kitty hair bow.
Oakland Raiders Hairbow
This is one of the team sports custom orders I made for an Oakland Raider's fan.
Oakland Raiders Hairbow
The other Oakland Raiders Hair Bow I made as a custom order.

Make Your Own Ribbon Dispenser for Free

ribbon dispenser box
Click to Enlarge

I have so much ribbon it just makes a mess everywhere.  I stack them 4 or 5 spools high and make rows out of the stacks.  It might sound like this is a matso-matso method of organization but in all reality it’s much worse than it sounds; it’s a downright  lousy method.

When I’m making a hair bow I end up spending a good 5 minutes or so hunting through the rows of stacks in search of just the right ribbon.  Last night while looking for a certain spool of white and black polka dotted grosgrain I accidentally knocked over my glass of water. and let’s just say several spools of ribbon got washed.

I was pretty pissed off while I was trying to dry out my ribbon and make sure none of the fabric was ruined.  First I yelled at the ribbon, “Damnit!” then I yelled at the water, “What the hell!”  and then I turned and yelled at my husband, “You were supposed to build me a ribbon box 3 weeks ago!  If I had a ribbon box my ribbon wouldn’t be all wet!”

At Michael’s craft store there are these white, wooden, ribbon dispensers that cost $29.  I like them and I’d buy a few if they weren’t $29 because they only hold a few spools of ribbon and well, that just ain’t gonna work for me.  I asked Mr. Suburbanwife if he would build me one since he has more time on his hands than I do.  I’m still waiting.

After my husband left me to mop up the water it dawned on me that I didn’t have to have a fancy wooden ribbon dispenser box; basically all I needed was something efficient.  Who cares what it looks like.  Besides, by  the time he builds me one I’ll probably be out of the hair bow business.  So on the fly, spur of the moment I came up with a quick idea for a ribbon dispenser using crap I already have on hand.  It turned out pretty cool, being cheap and all, so I thought I’d share my idea.  Here’s the instructions for building your own free, cheap and cool ribbon dispenser box that holds as many spools of ribbon as you want it to.

Supplies Needed

1 cardboard box

wooden dowel rods, floral wire, coat hangers or any other thing you can use through the middle of your spools of ribbon.  I had some fabric coated floral wire on hand that I used.  You could even use a length of rope or ribbon if you have to – it’ll just sag a tad bit.

Duct tape

Buttons or toggles if you have them.

Instructions:

1.  Remove the flaps from the top of the box so that your box is open from the top.  If you want to decorate your box this would be the right time.  You can decorate it with contact adhesive shelf paper, wrapping paper, paint, crayons, makers etc.

2.  Place as many spools of ribbon in the box as will fit.  Stand them up like in the photo of my box.  Organize them according to size so the fit coherently inside your box.

3.  Take out all the ribbon except for one spool.

ribbon dispenser box
Click to Enlarge In this box there are two spools of ribbon standing up. Depending on the size of your box you can stack as many rows as will fit. As an option you can also leave the top flaps on so you can close your box.

4.  Stick an ink pen through the hole in the center of the spool of ribbon and make a little mark.  Repeat this on the other side of the box.

5.  Jab something sharp through the mark you made.  (I used the ink pen)

6.  Insert the dowel rod, floral wire, coat hanger or whatever you’re using to hold the ribbon in place, through one of the holes you just made.

7.  thread ribbon spools onto the “rod” and then push the “rod” (or whatever you’re using) through the hole in the other end.

ribbon dispenser box
Click to Enlarge IT's a little hard to see (and I do apologize for my lack of photography skills) but there is a dark green fabric coated floral wire pinched between my thumb and forefinger. The wire is threaded through those spools of ribbon and through a hole in the box.

8.  If you’re using a coat hanger or floral wire then you’ll need to bend the ends up a bit so it will all stay in place.  I threaded the end of the floral wire through a button and then bent the end over.  If you’re using ribbon just tie a knot at the end that is larger than the hole. You can also simply duct tape the ends to the box.

ribbon dispenser box
Click to Enlarge This is the side of my box You can see the floral wire that is fed through the flower buttons. It ain't pretty but it holds my ribbon nice and snug while still letting it roll out.

9.  Start a new row of ribbon by repeating the steps above.

To Make it Stand Up

1.  Use two of the flaps you cut from the top.

2.  Lay the box down face first and duct tape about an inch of the top of one of the flaps to the back of your box.

3.  Duct tape the other flap to the bottom of the box and to about an inch of the bottom of the first flap already attached to the box.  See photos for explanation.

ribbon dispenser box2
Click to Enlarge My lighting is really bad but if you can, see that line of tape at the top of the back kickstand? The kickstand is one of the top flaps I cut off the box. I duct taped it to the back of the box so that it swung free. Then I taped another flap to the bottom of the flap and the bottom of the box.

ribbon dispenser box 4
Click to Enlarge the bottom flap goes all the way under the box to the front edge of the box. duct tape secures the kickstand flap on both the front and back sides of the flap. That sucker ain't coming apart!

When all else fails you could just thread some ribbon through the center of your spools and dangle it from the edge of your table by hot gluing the ribbon to the surface.  Like this:

ribbon dispenser box
Click to Enlarge
ribbon dispenser box
Finished Product

Rice Krispies Wrapper Hair Bow

rice krispies wrapper hair bow

I’ve been sitting on these Rice Krispies wrappers since the summer.  I couldn’t help myself.  The blue is so shiny and pretty.  I knew they’d make really cool bows so I made one.

I used 4 Rice Krispies wrappers so that the bow would be strong and durable enough for a child to own.  This bow can take being crushed in the bottom of a backpack, stuffed in a drawer or smooshed under the bed.  Plus it’s pretty.

To dress up  the bow I added some white loopy loops and pretty flower centerpiece.  You can find this bow and some of my other bows at my Etsy shop by clicking HERE.

Plastic Trash Bag Wreath

plastic trash bag wreath
This wreath took me several hours to make. Not bad considering I must have tied a few hundred pieces of plastic to the coat hanger.

Trash bag wreaths have been around for ages and ages.  They are made in the same way that a rag wreath is made.  Simply make some strips and tie them around a circular form.  Decorate, fluff and viola!  You have a wreath.

Over the summer I developed a love for trash bags when I realized that they have the potential to be turned into something beautiful.  If you haven’t seen it already then let me point you to the trash bag dress I made and the trash bag Chester Cheetah purses I’ve made.

Back to the topic of trash bags…Now that I’ve made one of these wreaths I decided I’m going to give them away as gifts.  It only takes a few hours to make and the supplies are so cheap it would be stupid to pass up the opportunity.  For my youngest daughter I’m going to make a purple trash bag wreath to match her purple flocked christmas tree. For my oldest daughter I’m going to make a black and red wreath to match her little bitty black tree and for my other daughter I”m going to go red and white and do a candy cane theme wreath to match her personality.

While I”m on the subject of trash bags have you seen these amazing decorative trash bags by Designer Liners??  I just bought a box of them and no I will not actually be using them for trash but rather for crafting.

designer liners

As for my trash bag wreath the instructions are pretty simple.

Supplies:

1 wire coat hanger

4-5 trash bags

scissors

Instructions:

1.   Bend and manipulate the wire coat hanger until you have something that resembles a circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it should look round-ish.  Or if you want, you can make it into a heart shape.  For that matter you can make it whatever shape you want.

2.  This is the tricky part.  Unfold the trash bag but don’t open it.  Fold it in half so that the bottom edge is lined up with the top edge.  Now fold it in half again only this time lengthwise so the sides are together.

3.  Now fold the trash bag in half again from the bottom up.

4.  Make one last fold lengthwise.  Your trash bag should now be in a small square of around 8 inches on all sides.

5.  Use scissors (or a rotary blade which is awesome for plastic crafting) to cut off the edges all the way around.  You should now have a square of plastic that’s about 6X6X6X6

6.  Using your scissors cut the square of plastic into 2 inch strips.

7.  Once all your trash bags are cut into strips gather all your supplies and plop down in front of the television.

8.  Begin tying the strips onto the wire coat hanger form.  Be sure to open both ends of the plastic and situate the pieces the way you like so that they are nice and fluffy.  I’m a tad bit meticulous so I literally turned every piece of my plastic in a different direction and I made sure all the ends were opened fully but if you aren’t as meticulous you could just tie them and moosh them together I suppose.  The more plastic strips you use the fluffier your wreath will be.

8.  Bend the neck part of the wire hanger into a nice firm loop.

9.  Decorate as you like.  I used holiday picks from Michael’s for the sides and then I made a bow to hide my loop.

Happy crafting!