Jute Wrapped Eggs

Jute Wrapped Eggs

Jute Wrapped Eggs

Hello! It’s Jessica here from Decor Adventures. I’m so happy to be back again with a creative and easy project for you to do this spring season. I’m usually a fall person, but find myself very excited for spring this year. It’s nature at its best and so I thought some natural texture would be a perfect connection to the warm days ahead. Jute wrapped eggs are a twist on the traditional dyed eggs and can decorate your home well past the Easter season.

Materials

  • Jute – Some people say you can find this at the dollar store, but you can get it at a craft or home improvement store too.
  • Plastic eggs – I got mine at the thrift store for only $1.00. Now is a perfect time of year to find spring craft materials.
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

Materials for Jute Wrapped Eggs

Instructions

First, you’ll hot glue the two sides of the eggs together, assuming you have the plastic ones that come in two parts. This is to keep the egg together so after you’ve done all that work to wrap it, it doesn’t break open. Put a bead of glue around the one edge, then close the two sides together. [Read more...]

Beach Themed Succulent Garden

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

You like the beach right? Who doesn’t?! Come December I long for the feeling of burying my toes in the warm sand. Bring back those memories by having a Beach-Themed Desktop Succulent Garden nearby. The idea for this garden came as I sat looking at all the shells I’ve collected that were hidden away in the attic. I chose a big conch shell that had few holes and decided it would make a great little planter.

Material:

  • Succulents
  • Conch shell
  • Smaller shells, beach glass or colored glass filler
  • Play sand
  • Potting soil
  • Plant tray

Optional: Hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, felt pads

Instructions: [Read more...]

Easiest Fall Wreath EVER!

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Who’s too busy to spend more than 5 minutes creating a new wreath for Fall? {Raising my hand high!} Well, I’m about to give you the Easiest Fall Wreath tutorial…EVER!

Do you have one of these store bought wreaths? Pretty, but maybe a little lacking in color. Or maybe you’re just sick of looking at the same store bought wreath going on ohhhh six years now?

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Quick! Go grab these five things:

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial [Read more...]

Book Page Rose Wreath

close_view_of_book_page_rose

Are you drawn to the amber color of aging book pages? Do you love the scrolling detail on an ornate ceiling medallion? Do you like roses? Yes, yes, and yes?! Well, this post has your name written all over it!

I must say, I really enjoyed photographing this tutorial. The dimensions and shadows in the rose and medallion lend themselves so nicely to photography.

Before we start, I need to give credit where credit is due. I saw a beautiful  paper rose bouquet on 100 Layer Cake the other day, and knew I wanted to make one giant one. The bouquet was created by Valerie Lloyd for a wedding.  So beautiful and unique!

I had not taken down our Christmas decorations on the mantle (I know, slacker that I am.) But, this project propelled my desire to create a Valentine’s Day themed mantle.

Material:

  • Old book
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Ceiling medallion
  • Small piece of cardboard
  • Ribbon
Difficulty: Easy
Step 1. Start by tearing a dozen pages out of an old book. (Check Goodwill and thrift stores. You’re bound to find some for this project.)

Step 2. Cut out petal shapes from the book pages. Make some slightly larger and some smaller for the insides of the rose.

Step 3. Curl the top edges of the petal back.

Step 4. Fold the petal in half lengthwise. The curled edges will be on the outside of the fold.

Step 5. Roll several of the smaller petals into a tube shape for the center of the rose.

You should have a decent pile of petals collected before proceeding.

Step 6. Cut a long piece of ribbon to feed through the center of the medallion. It is important to add the ribbon now before you build out your rose and cover the hole.

Plug in your glue gun and let it warm up.

Step 7. Cut a piece of cardboard large enough to cover the center of the medallion. Run a line of hot glue around the center hole on the back of the medallion. Place the cardboard over the hole.

Step 8. Squeeze a large dollop of glue into the center of the cardboard (on the front side of the medallion.) Press one of the small petal tubes into the center of the glue. Hold it until the glue hardens and sets.

Squeeze more glue around the base of the first petal. Wrap a few more of the small petal tubes around the first one.

Experiment with folding the base of each petal or leave them open (your choice.) Variety will make your rose look more “real.”

Step 9.  Continue working around the rose from the center out until you have a very full paper rose.

Step 10. Let the hot glue cool. Fluff the rose and add any petals where you think your rose might need more.

Tie a bow at the top of the ribbon and hang your beautiful wreath!

Stand back and admire your new romantic book page wreath.

What did I tell you? This rose is so beautiful and fun to photograph.

I’d love to hear from you if you make your own! Very rewarding and a relatively easy project.

I hope you are having a fabulous week!

Vintage Map Lampshade

cut_out_map_shade_shape

Have you been on a unique vacation lately that you want to remember? Do you want to update a plain vanilla lamp shade? Guess what, you can do both with this vintage map lamp shade!

Recently I revamped a shade by hot gluing paint chips to the shade. The result was a beautiful ombre lamp that was fun and colorful.

The process to create it was easy, especially because the shade was a perfect cylinder. But, what do you do when you have a cone shape shade? The instructions are a little more complex, but it really isn’t difficult. Come pull up a seat and I’ll show you how I created a warm vintage map lampshade that reminds me of our getaway to Scotland.


Materials:

  • Lampshade
  • Maps, wrapping paper, or decorative paper
  • Craft paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • X-acto knife
  • Masking or artists tape (low tack tape)
  • Clear packing tape
  • 2 clothespins
  • Rubber cement
  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • Hot glue gun

 

To add a vintage glaze you will also need:

  • Paint brush
  • Mod podge
  • Cocoa or dark yellow acrylic paint
  • Metallic antique gold paint (optional)
  • Cup to stir paint in
  • Stirring stick or palette knife

On my last trip to Goodwill, I discovered an old atlas and just knew that I could use it for oodles of projects. As I walked out of the store a flood of ideas came to me (which means you will be seeing this photo more on my blog.)

 

Start by selecting the pages you want to use. Carefully cut them out along the spine using a fresh x-acto blade — don’t let your blade get dull. (FYI, I end up using a new one for each project. Your cuts are much cleaner when working with a fresh blade.)

 

Set your pages aside for now.

 

To make a template for your shade, roll out a large piece of craft paper. Lay your lampshade on the craft paper. Start at the vertical seam on the shade (so you know where to stop) and set your pencil along the bottom edge of the lampshade.

 

Gently roll the shade on the paper and mark along the bottom edge of the shade.

When you reach the end, reverse your shade and draw along the top edge. At the end, add an inch or two for overlap. Cut along the outlines to create your lampshade template.

Tape the template onto your lamp shade using the low tack tape. Make sure it fits snugly. You may want to trim some excess from the edge of your template. I took about 1/4″  off so my map wouldn’t bump at the trim on the lampshade. Plus, I plan to cover the edges with the grosgrain ribbon.

 

Make sure your template fits perfectly “like a glove” lest you be throwing a temper tantrum later when you realize it doesn’t fit and have ruined your precious map pages. Just sayin’.

 

Lay out your craft paper template on top of the map pages. Make any adjustments to the pages.

 

Tape your map pages together with clear packing tape on the inside only.

 

Trace the template on top of the map pages.

 

Cut out the shape traced onto your map pages.

 

Line up your map pages with the lamp shade and clip the edges with clothes pins.

 

Working in small 8″ sections, brush rubber cement onto the map and the lamp shade. Wait a minute or two for the glues to dry. Then press them together. This is the best way to get maximum adhesion when using regular rubber cement. It creates a stronger bond than just one coat applied and joined while it is still wet.

 

Continue by gluing another section until you reach the end. To finish the seams on the outside, brush some rubber cement under the seams where your maps meet. Press and hold them down until the glue dries. You can try gluing both sides and letting them dry, but in my experience it wasn’t worth the risk of bending the seams and the pages want to lay together anyway.

 

Time to give your maps a vintage aged look! Pour some mod podge into an empty cup. Add some of the cocoa colored paint and the aged gold. Mix it up. Test some on a scrap piece of paper. If you like the glaze color, start brushing it onto the lamp shade. Be careful not to use too much of the glaze or the paper will start to wrinkle. (If it does, no worries, some will come out when it dries. The remaining wrinkles make it look old.)

 

Let the glaze dry.

Cut two strips of grosgrain ribbon the circumference of your lamp shade plus a few inches for overlap.

Hot glue the ribbon onto the top and bottom edges of your lamp shade. (Please, please, protect your fingers, read my hot glue gun safety post before working with hot glue!)

 

Put your lampshade on your favorite lamp.

 

And admire your unique lamp shade that brings back fond memories. ;-)

If you make one of these, what map would be on yours? Your home state? The place you were born? Where your family’s heritage resides? Or something completely different? I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

Sharing this tutorial with:

Tip Junkie handmade projects Home Stories A to Z – Tips and Tutorials

 

Hot Glue Gun Safety and Making Moss Balls

acorn_gluing_with_pliers

According to my facebook and twitter friends, I am not the only one who gets burned EVERYTIME I use a hot glue gun. For this reason, I typically will hand sew, nail, or E-6000 something before I will use a hot glue gun. But, every once in a while, there is just no substitute for hot glue. For example, when working with faux flowers and moss, nothing beats hot glue.

So, this week I decided to put an end to hot glue gun burns!  I googled “Hot Glue Gun Safety” last week and learned a few tips about using a glue gun. If you are like me, you may do a head slap and feel pretty stupid after reading this post. If you are already the intelligent being who never gets burned when using hot glue, well then you can close your browser and I now bequeath you with a “genius” award. Now scram! For the rest of us, keep reading.

Dedication: I dedicate this blog post to my dear friend Sarah VMK! She and I were discussing all the burns I tend to get while using a glue gun and she remarked, “You really need to do a post about this.” So, here it is Sarah!

Remember to use EXTREME caution:

The most important thing to know about using a hot glue gun is that it is dangerous! Nevermind that you can buy one for $5 or less and some of them look like they were made by the same company that makes McDonald’s happy meal toys.

Or that most of them do not come with instruction manuals. Treat this little “gun” like a power tool and use extreme caution when using it. Don’t let those dual temp glue guns fool you. “Low” temperature is still hot enough to burn you. Listen up y’all so we can say goodbye to glue gun burns FOREVER!

photo courtesy of HelloHayley

Proper tools:


When you get ready to use a hot glue gun, be sure you have these things close at hand.

  • Heat resistant mat - a foil wrapped piece of cardboard, silicone mat or a cookie sheet will work fine
  • Needle-nosed pliers or tweezers for holding small objects
  • Popsicle sticks for pressing the glue down - Keep the popsicle stick in your hand so you won’t be tempted to use your finger
  • Bowl of ice water
  • Clean dry washcloth
  • Hot glue gun
  • Extra glue sticks

There is also a comprehensive kit sold under the name of “Hot Glue Gun Helpers” that has finger cots and additional supplies to protect you from burns. If you use a hot glue gun a lot, this might be worth the $20 price tag.

hot glue gun helpers

 

Long vs. short power cord:


The power cord on my glue gun is not very long. It barely reaches to the nearest outlet. Don’t allow your cord to dangle in mid-air for someone to snag or trip on. Get an extension cord so that it can lay flat on the floor while you are working. This will also give you more reach while working with the glue gun.

If the cord does get snagged and your glue gun starts to fall over, resist all the temptations to grab it. Just let it fall (and hopefully it won’t land on you or anyone else.)

 

Your glue gun at rest:

Ideally, you want to rest your glue gun upright on a flat heat resistance surface. I use mine on this foil wrapped piece of cardboard. But, inevitably the gun falls over sideways. I used to instinctively try to stop it from falling. But, that is a burn hazard waiting to happen.

Now I just lay the glue gun on its side making sure that the hot tip is not touching anything. No more tipping glue gun.

 

Working with your hot glue gun:

Gather all your craft pieces together and make sure that they are within reach so you don’t have to lean over your glue gun to retrieve anything. Make sure all distractions, children, pets, etc. are out of your way. Remember, this is a dangerous tool!

Think about your project before you start. Are you going to put glue on the object or press the object into glue. What is the best procedure that keeps your fingers the furthest from the hot glue.

Squeeze hot glue onto the object you want to glue. For decorative moss balls, I decided it was best to drizzle hot glue onto a piece of moss.

Roll your ball or light bulb onto the moss. (That’s right, I mossed a light bulb! Hey, I had to find something to do with these bulbs leftover from the hollywood light fixture.) Be very careful to keep hands away from the moss.

Use a popsicle stick to press the moss to the ball (or lightbulb.)

As the bare spots get smaller, you may decide to add hot glue to the ball (err, light bulb.)

Lightly set the moss into the glue, then use a popsicle stick to press it firmly into the glue.

 

As long as you face the bulb base away from the viewer, no one would ever guess that it was actually a light bulb!

When working with smaller objects, DO NOT hold them with your fingers. It is best to put glue on the larger object and press the smaller ones into the glue. Pick up your small object with needle-nosed pliers or tweezers.

Place it, then use your popsicle stick to firmly press the small object into the glue.

If you absolutely have to put glue on a smaller object. Do not use your fingers or hands! Use the tweezers or pliers to hold it while you add the glue.

Okay – and I know – sometimes there is no substitute for using your fingers. If you decide to take the risk of putting your fingers in mortal danger, let the glue cool for a few seconds, then you can gently reposition the object as long as there is NO glue near your flesh.

 

If you do get burned:

Even the most careful preparation and concentration will not protect you from an occasional accident. So, think like the Boy Scouts, be prepared.

Keep a bowl of ice water nearby. If you burn your finger tips, dunk them in the ice water as soon as possible. Keep a washcloth at hand in case you burn your arm, leg or something that can’t be dunked in the bowl. Then you can wet the washcloth and apply it to the burn. It is crucial to cool down a burn as soon as possible to reduce the damage.

 

After your project:

Unplug your hot glue gun as soon as you are done with your project. Pick the cord up off the floor so no one can accidentally tug on it. Let your gun cool COMPLETELY before storing it away.

Inspect your glue gun periodically for signs of splits or breaks or signs of wear and tear. As soon as you discover any problems, discontinue using the hot glue gun and discard it. Remember, they are cheap and can be easily replaced! Your fingers will thank you.

 

 

 

Spreading Glue Gun Safety to these Fabulous Others: The Frugal Girls, Home Stories A2Z