Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rach Makes St. Patrick's Day Decorations

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day!!! One of these days I will post about a holiday before it actually happens. Neither my husband or I are Irish but there has always been something appealing to me about Ireland and St. Patrick's day. I guess I have Irish envy!

This year I decided that we should make corned beef and cabbage and invite some friends over for St. Patrick's Day. Hubby had never even had corned beef! And to make it feel festive (and because I need the tiniest of excuses to craft), I decorated the new fireplace mantle to be festive!

Here it is:

Here's a close up

It's not too different from the Valentine's Day Mantle I made. I was lazy this time and just wrote the chalkboard. I filled one apothecary jar with corks that I have been collecting. Someday I will have enough to do something fun with. The other one has mini cupcake liners just like the other one.

You can find the free printable at Designs By CP. I liked that it had the word rainbow. I am a sucker for a rainbow.
I swapped out the candlesticks I used for these darker ones and actually used candles! I wrapped the candles in some leftover burlap from the banner and a piece of gold ribbon I had. I added a clover made following the directions that Flamingo Toes did when she created her beautiful wreath. 

I even went about and did my own wreath following her tutorial. It was just too cute to resist. Here's mine:

To make the banner, I cut out printed the word lucky and cut it out on cardstock. Then I just traced the letters and painted them in using some gold glitter. After it dried I outlined the letters with a black sharpie. I folded the top of each flag over and attached it to a piece of twine using my hot glue gun. 

I added the shamrock garland after everything else because I thought it just needed something. I used my handy cricut but didn't know if I had a cartridge that had a shamrock shape. Luckily I know of a great website that tells you this information. If you have a cricut and don't know this site you will be so excited. Its call My Cut Search. You type in what shape you are looking for and it tells you every cricut cartridge that has that shape on it. I found out pretty quick that Paper Doll Dress Up had them and I actually had that cartridge. I cut out the large shamrocks at 2 1/2" height and the smaller dark ones at 1 3/4". Then I cut out some gold circles and ran everything through my sewing machine in a pattern. I have made these before for my sister-in-law's mother-in-law's birthday party at this post Rach Makes Ombre Purple 60th Birthday. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of them, but she hung them from her fireplace and they looked great. Its a super easy way to make garland that looks great.

The last piece of my mantle was the rainbow and pot of gold in my empty oval frame. This is just paper I cut up and glued together. Nothing fancy, but the hubby said its his favorite piece of the mantle decorations.

Hopefully this inspires you to be creative and decorate your house. I am already thinking of all things I should do for Easter. I just wish it wasn't only 2 weeks away! Happy crafting :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Rach Makes Old Cricut Mats Like New

I love my Cricut. I use it for a ton of crafts in all different way. What I don't love is that the mats are expensive to replace. A couple years ago, I came across some information on how to take your old mats and make them just like brand new! Here's my very used mats...
First step you want to wash your mats in the sink with something you can scrape everything including the glue off with.
An old credit card, plastic scraper for putting on vinyl or my personal choice - the scraper from my pampered chef baking stone.
Scrape, scrape all that gunk off. I usually wait until I have bunch so I can do them all at the same time.
Once you have them good and clean, let them out to dry. (I guess I should have cleared my counter before taking this picture... oh well!)
Once dry, you will need repositionable glue. It is very important you do NOT buy permanent. You want to be able to sticks things to it and peel them off. I like this stick of Scotch Repositionable Craft Glue.
Just rub on enough to cover the whole mat and you are good to go. Keep it fresh by always replacing your plastic over when done with working on it. This lasts just as long as when they are brand new but a bargain of the cost. One stick of glue will cover all my mats you see here without even using half the stick! Not bad for less than $5.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rach Makes Tissue Paper Flower Balls

As promised, here is the how to on making the tissue paper balls. I created them for the candle holders on my Valentine's Day Mantle

Here's a close up:

I apologize that the below pictures aren't great. I took them with my phone while crafting at night - bad blogger!

Anyway, I saw these tissue paper flower balls on pinterest and was inspired but couldn't find a good tutorial for them anywhere so I figured I should make one for you!

Here's what you need:
  • Tissue Paper
  • Styrofoam balls
  • Floral wire
  • Scissors
Ok, so hopefully the pictures are worth a thousand words, but if not here's how you make these.

First cut a small square of paper. I used the fold in my paper as a starting point so they were about 3x3 squares. You want your squares to be consistently the same size otherwise your flower will look lumpy.

Fold the paper in an accordion style - back and forth opposite directions.

Next cut the ends so the are round.

Wrap a small piece of floral wire around the middle of your paper. I folded my slightly in half to see where the middle was. Twist the wire at the bottom to stay in place and have a stem. Then gently, and I mean gently pull each layer up towards the middle.


Keep pulling the layers up till you have done all of them and have a pretty flower.

Then trim the stem to 1-1 1/2" and shove them stem into your Styrofoam ball. 

My Styrofoam ball was about 3" and I needed about 20 flowers to cover it. Just keep making them and shoving them into you can't see the white anymore.



That's all there is too it! These would be great on tall candelabras for a wedding or even in a basket on the table, or possibly even hanging from a doorway or chandelier. My sister in law is thinking of making red ones in trophies for a Kentucky Derby Party - Great idea!

Tissue Paper Flower Balls


Supplies:
Styrofoam Ball
Tissue Paper
Floral Wire

Tools:
Scissors

Directions:
  1. Cut tissue paper into a sqaure
  2. Accordion fold the paper
  3. Trim edges so they are rounded
  4. Cut a small piece of floral wire and wrap once around the center of the paper.
  5. Twist the wire to keep it in place
  6. Gently pull each layer up
  7. Trim wire so the tail is 1 to 1 1/2" long
  8. Push the tail into the Styrofoam ball
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 until the ball is covered in flowers.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rach Makes it Feel Like Valentine's Day

It has been too long since I blogged! I have been too busy doing projects and irresponsible about blogging those projects. In August we went and visited my lovely sister in law and she inspired me to redo the living room. One day I will post photos of that.

Anywho, the redo had me moving the TV off the fireplace to a different wall leaving my fireplace very sad. I found a mantle second hand on one of those tag sale facebook sites and sweet talked my father in law and husband into putting it up for me right before Christmas. When the Christmas decorations went down I decided my mantle would be the place where I could decorate for all the holidays. So what was the next holiday after Christmas but Valentine's Day!

Below is the finished mantle! I really love it. I meant to share it in February when it was the right month but hey better late than never. I am currently working on redoing it for St. Patty's day. Hopefully it will inspire you for next year!
Here's the whole fireplace, floor to ceiling with the decorations:


Most of the items on my mantle where already in my house. I found the 8x10 frame and found this awesome website with a free printable to put in it. You can find it at Eighteen25 Blog at http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2011/01/valentine-subway-art.html Her's is for a 16x20 but I didn't have a frame that big so I just put it in word and sized it to 8x10 to fit.

The chalkboard in the middle I had from a wedding that I had done for my girlfriend. I used this free printable at the blog Setting for Four at http://www.settingforfour.com/2013/01/free-printable-for-valentines-day.html

I saved the image and then printed it out large on 4 different sheets of paper. Then I taped the paper together and used this tutorial from Sincerely Sarah D at http://sincerelysarad.com/2014/01/21/diy-chalkboard-art-get-perfect-lettering-every-time/#_a5y_p=1457856 to transfer the image. It didn't take any artistic skills but it was a little time consuming - which led to me sitting on the couch with a giant corkboard while watching tv after the munchkin had gone to sleep.


I filled one apothecary jar with cupcake liners that I bought for a $1 from Walmart and the other one has a ton of heart shaped cookie cutters I just happen to have. I have a serious cookie cutter problem that the hubby encourages. Don't judge - but I have over 400.... 

Anyway moving on, the oval frame is new. I bought it off another facebook tag sale site for only $7! I am in serious love with it but thought by itself it was a little too plain so to jazz up I cut out a bunch of hearts from my felt stock and just sewed them together to make a garland. Then wrapped the garland around the frame. Voila! Pretty and easy.

I love the candelabras but didn't want candles, why you might ask? I dunno, I just wasn't feeling it. I saw these tissue balls on pinterest somewhere and fell in love with them and decided I needed to make some! I promise I will post a how to soon since I couldn't find any good ones and my other sister in law is eager to make some for a party she is hosting soon. Be warned they are time consuming. No artsy or even crafting skills needed, just time.

Finally the banner was made with an old book. I cut the pages out and used my cricut to cut some letters from black paper. Then I cut a heart out of red paper. Glued the pieces on, punched holes in the corners and hung them up using these handy brick clips I bought recently off Amazon. They are super easy to put up and can take down pretty quick too.


Hopefully this blog inspires you to decorate somewhere in your house for the holidays. You don't need a whole mantle, maybe just one bookshelf on a wall. Use your imagination and some inspiration!

UPDATE: I forgot to tell you I posted the how to on how to make the tissue paper balls. You can find them here Rach Makes Tissue Paper Flower Balls