Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family Scrabble Portraits

This had to be my FAVORITE "Christmas Gift To Do" List items!!  I got the inspiration from Pinterest-of course! They showed a frame with the words Love You in scrabble tiles with the letters sharing the "o".  I started thinking how cute would this be to use the same concept, but with the whole family?!?!  Of course, after I started brainstorming, I realized a couple of things.  First, a Scrabble game only has so many tiles of certain letters.  While there are several letter S's, there are less Z's :)  So, I used a game that I currently had and then I did have to buy one more game (9.99 at Walmart).  I purchased matted 11x14 frames from Walmart (5.00) each.  I ended up with 3 gifts altogether and I did share tiles with my co-worker who was creating the same project for her family members.  (She did lend me a S tile-Thanks Jenny! :)  So, that is $8 per gift. I just used a glue gun to adhere them to the cardstock.  With the tiles, you can't put the glass in front of the frame like you do a picture, but it needs the glass for stability.  I create the pic and then put it in the frame and put the glass in behind the pic so that it provides the structure needed to hold the paper and tiles in the frame.

This is a project that you need to lay out ahead of time to make sure that the names will work with each other.  For example, by brother in laws name is Tim, but Tim wouldn't work with what we had.  My sister always likes to call him Timmy and Timmy WOULD work-so guess what is on the frame :) Which he is just fine with.  I did want the names to all go off of the familys last name, so that was my goal.

The first pic is of my sister in law's and her family.  After using cardstock as the background, we realized that the frames just looked like they were missing something, so after talking to my dear hubby he suggested putting a vinyl saying of Family at the bottom-he is much more creative than I am. So, I did and I really like how it turned out.  Granted, could have added other stuff around the frame, but I really do like the simplicity of it and that the vinyl doesn't take away from the overall focus of the family tiles.

For the second scrabble tiles, I did change the background paper to match my sisters colors in her home.  Because of how tall their names were in the frame, they wouldn't fit within the mat.  So, I got out my trusty paper trimmer and took about an inch off the top and the bottom of the mat.  Because of this trim, the words Family would not fit.  Since they just got married this past summer, I put their Est 2011 on the bottom of their mat, which worked out will since it has a smaller width.

Needless to say, they both truly enjoyed their gifts.  My sister in law immediately sat down and started planning out how she could do the same with her babysitters family.  And of course, you know that lets you know they truly liked it when they started planning on how to create it for someone else! This project took 2 hours to glue down, cut, and frame!! That is 2 hours for both of them!

Christmas Canvas

A lady I work with had a group of friends that played Dirty Santa-but it must be with something you personally make!  So, she came up with the idea of a canvas and I helped out by cutting out the Merry Christmas with my Cricut and using it on the canvas. I think it turned out great!

One of the parents of my students messaged me with an idea of a door decorating contest-this was my idea and she went with it.  I think it turned out great!  I just look door decorating contests! :)

Bow Holder

One of my "Christmas To Do Gifts" was a bow holder for my new niece.  I have never done one before, nor have I ever even attempted, but I thought-surely it won't be TOO bad...and it wasn't!  I saw one I loved on Etsy, but I knew I didn't have the skills nor the resources to do one like that, and I am too cheap frugal to buy it. I love being a "maker" compared to being a "buyer".  It turned out to be so SUPER EASY!!!

I stated off with a wood plaque from Hobby Lobby, originally 1.99 and hit the 40% off coupon :) I bought some brown, green, white, and purple craft paint.  These are the Folk Art brand from HL and were .97 each, and then were the weekly sale at 30% off.  Whoo Hoo!  I went to the ribbon section and picked out a solid purple and a brown polka dot ribbon to match the paint.  The ribbon was the usual weekly 50% off ribbon by the roll sale.  So, altogether the total cost of materials was paint-$2.71, wood- $1.94, ribbon - $3.99, with is $8.64 altogether - and there is enough of everything, except the plaque, to make several more!! Now, that is a good deal!! (And I didn't even end up using the purple paint)

I began with painting the plaque outer edges with brown paint.  Once that dried, I painted the top part with white paint.  I only did one coat of the brown since it covered so well, but I did apply 2 coats of the white to make sure it had good coverage.  I then traced the paint bottles with a pencil to make the polka dots, and then of course, I painted them green.

 After it all dried, I applied my niece's name in purple vinyl.  I left it to sit overnight-I don't really think this step is absolutely necessary, but I have noticed that with some of my vinyls it works best if I allow time to let them truly stick to an object, so I am just cautious and do this regardless of the vinyl brand or quality.  Afterwards I did apply a layer of Shellac to seal it off and add shine that really gives it a kick.  The last step was just the ribbon.  I used a staple gun and applied three layers of ribbon to the bottom of the plaque to hold the bows and I put a small loop at the top for hanging on the wall.  I love the look of putting a door knob on the wall instead of a nail for hanging items such as this.  So, maybe my sister will do something like that when hanging it :) As you can see, it is super easy and I think that it turned out great-especially for a first time bow holder creation!  I could see this being super cute in pink or blue with zebra print, but my niece is just not the big girly girl.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pillow Boxes

So I saw TONS of posts on Pinterest of these pillow boxes for Christmas.  So, of course, I wanna try!  The household begins saving up toilet paper rolls so we can experiment-Anthony was getting very tired of seeing these in piles everywhere.  Finally, I tried it out today.  Since it was my first time to make them, I truly went the easy route and didn't do anything fancy.  I used a small Christmas glittered paper pack that I picked up from Joann's.  It covered the rolls, with like 1/8" on each side.  I didn't trim this down or anything since the sides are going to be folded in anyways.  I applied my ATG on all 4 sides of the paper and then just started rolling it onto the roll.  I did press down from the inside through the rolling to make sure the paper was going to adhere. 

I didn't have a template for the folding in or anything.  I just pushed down one of the ends a little bit and it will automatically start folding itself in.  Once one side was done, I just did the other.  I applied some ATG on the ends just to make sure that they stayed in place, but after a couple of them I realized that the tape wasn't really needed.  I think this is because of the thick quality of the paper, so if you are using thin paper, it may be a good idea to use some tape to seal the edges. 

Once it is done, it has more of a curvature to the box, even if this pick looks like a flat fold.  I think they turned out pretty cute.  I went ahead and did them in various colors and wrote the names of my kids on each one to put in their Christmas goody bags.  They were just big enough to hold 2 mini Hersheys and 2 mini Reeses.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's That Time of Year...

Totally and completley love the holiday season!!  I have tons to post, but only time to post this quick one for today.  This is a project that I found on Pinterest (I can hear the angels sing each time I think of that site) and so I knew I would just HAVE to try it!  It is just a simple picture frame made into an advent calendar-or frankly whatever you would like to use it for! 

I started off with just a plain black picture frame.  I think that a flat frame would be ideal-not sure that you would want to do it with a frame that had edges or any kind of decorative to the outside. I cut various sizes of circles out with my cricut-from 1/4 up to 1.5 inch circles.  I did this with both red and green circles and then I just put them scattered throughout the frame.  I just love the outcome!  My goal was to be an advent calendar, but really, this is cute as is for a frame.  But, of course, I had to stick with the goal in mind, so keep on reading! :)

I then took the glass out of the frame and applied about 3 layers of chalkboard paint on the glass.  Once that dried this is the finished product!!  I love it.  I could see taking the green circles off and using white or red and putting it in my kitchen for a "notes" board or a running grocery list.  I just loved the look, though.  I will say that afterwards I noticed that the chalk left a residue when I cleaned it, so I applied another 3 layers of chalkboard spray paint and that solved the problem.  I guess because it is a glass base it took a little more than a wood base would take.

Hope you can add this item to your Christmas Cheap Frugal Homemade Lists! :)