Archive for the ‘crafting secrets’ Category

Create a Unique Bowl Using Old Buttons

Got a lot of old buttons laying around the house? I sure did. So I decided to make a fantastic button bowl using a balloon and glue- I know it sounds crazy but stick with me here! Turn those piles, bags, drawersΒ  (I had a lot of buttons too, no judgement) full of old buttons into something beautiful and functional.

These bowls are easy to make and the supplies are very cheap. Button bowls would be a fun craft to make with your kids on a rainy day, or as a one-of-a-kind gift for that someone who has it all. πŸ™‚

 

 

What you will need:

flat buttons of desired colors and sizes (I have found that smaller buttons tend to stick better)

balloons

white glue- Elmer’s white glue works well, or Tacky glue, anything that dries clear

large paint brush

scissors

news paper

cup or can to balance balloon on while it dries (see photos)

patience

 

 

1. Blow up a balloon to the desired size you want your bowl to be and place it knot side down into a cup, can or jar that you don’t mind getting a little glue on

 

2. Cover half of the balloon with glue using a paintbrush (or your finger, works for me). You might have to alternate holding the balloon by the knot for a few minutes then setting it knot-side-down in your jar in order for the glue to have an even coat and not drip off.

3. Let the glue dry completely forming a layer of rubber-like protection between the balloon and your layer of buttons

 

4. After this first layer is completely dry, apply a second coat of glue using your brush (or finger) starting at the top of the balloon and working your way down toward the knot. Attach buttons to this layer as close together as you can fit them.

5. Continue adding the second layer of glue and attaching buttons until your half a balloon is covered with beautiful buttons.

6. Once all the desired buttons are attached turn your button covered balloon upside down in your cup so that the knot is in the air and the buttons are balanced on the lip of the cup- this is to keep your buttons from sliding down the balloon while they dry.

 

7. Let the layer of glue and buttons dry completely- usually requires about 4 or 5 hours.

 

8. Once the second layer of glue and buttons is completely dry, coat the buttons over again with a third layer of glue.

9. Allow this third layer of glue to dry completely- I usually let it sit overnight- and if desired you can apply a fourth layer of glue to strengthen your bowl even more.

 

10. When your bowl is entirely dry use a scissor and cut the knot on the balloon to slowly let the air out. Sometimes glue will drip down, just peel it back and use the scissor to snip any unwanted glue bits away from the button edge.

 

11. Admire your hard work and patience!

These bowls are a lot of fun to make and each one comes out unique! It is important to note that these bowls are NOT WATER RESISTANT, unless you choose to use a water resistant form of glue. They are for decorative purposes only and should not be used for food (unless, of course,Β  the food is decorative as well).

Here are a few other button bowls I have made using this technique:

Create Your Own Watercolor Photo Bookmarks

I discovered the design for these bookmarks by accident one day while sorting through old photos where I had cut someone out of a garden scene and thought, “Hmm, if only there were some way to USE all these fragments of old photos…” Then I came across some ‘Make Your Own Bookmark’ kits at Michaels Craft Store (Heaven) and one plus one made two. Instead of using the kit I bought it, took it apart and used their bookmark as a stencil to make my own- now you can do it too! These watercolor photo bookmarks are a lot of fun to design and make a wonderful personalized gift πŸ™‚

What you will need:

watercolor paints and painting supplies (brushes, containers, etc)

bristol paper or watercolor paper

pencil

photos

x-acto knife

ruler

scissors

ribbon

hole puncher

glue

1. Make your bookmark stencil ( use a heavy paper or cardboard to lengthen stencil life):

The measurements for this stencil are 12 inches by 1.5 inches, with two triangle notches at 6inches where the bookmark will be folded. The window for the photo is 4 inches from the bottom, with .25 inches on both sides and 1.5 inches on top where a hole will be punched for ribbon.

2. Trace your stencil on the back of bristol or watercolor paper you wish to paint on- make sure you trace them close together to not waste paper πŸ™‚

3. Get ready to paint! I choose watercolors for these bookmarks because the colors are so vibrant and it is a lot of fun to experiment with textures. Try using different techniques like wetting the paper a little before applying paint to make more blended look, or splattering a different color over wet paint to create a tie-dye effect. Go crazy! Have fun!

4. When paint is dry cut out bookmark strips following the lines you traced before painting.

5. Use an x-acto knife to cut out windows for photos and fold bookmarks in half at 6 inch line

6. Now it is time to select your photos!I lean toward nature photos, but faces would be lovely as well πŸ™‚

Photo measurements are 3.5 cm by 5 cm

7. To attach photos into bookmarks put a small amount of glue around the edge of the photo square and center it in the photo window. When photo is dry fold bookmark in half and glue insides together. I usually press the bookmarks under a stack of books while they dry to keep them nice and flat

8. When your beautiful bookmarks are dry you can use a hole puncher to punch a hole above the photo window and tie a little ribbon on for a finishing touch.

Grab your favorite book and keep your pages in style! πŸ™‚

Recycled Crayons!

Recycled crayons are super fun and easy to make.I’ve kind of become obsessed with them recently, regular crayons are just too boring after these spruced-up recycled ones!

What you need:

silicone ice cube/ bake tray in desired shapes (make SURE they are bake-safe)

crayons (not to brand name drop, but Crayola crayons work the best for colorfastness after re-melting)

an oven

1. Peel paper off the crayons- this can be a time consuming step, i recommend popping in your favorite movie and peeling while you watch

2. Break or cut crayons into small pieces (small enough to fit IN molds but not hang over the edges too much), with the Lego people crayons I had to smash the crayons into tiny bits using a hammer in order to fill the mold without overflowing.

3. Cover a cookie sheet in foil and place crayon-bit filled silicone trays on top to catch any wax drips and keep them from smelling up your oven.

3. ‘Bake’ on low heat- about 300 degrees- for 10-15 minutes or until crayons are entirely melted

* If the molds seem only half-full of melted crayon after 10 minutes you can always add more small bits during melting process to fill them to the brim.

4. Let crayons cool COMPLETELY (anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the density of the crayon mold) then press on the back of the molds to pop out your new- improved- crayons!

Amazon.com has about a million different shapes of silicone molds available- some shapes work better for crayon making than others. Look for shapes without too many small, fragile parts to avoid breaking. I’ve had luck with these Lego bricks and men, as well as larger pistol shapes.

**Make SURE you are using bake-safe molds- made of silicone, other ice cube trays will melt in your oven and make an awful mess (learning from mistakes here)

Have fun!

Lego men&bricks:

Crayon Pistols- bringing new meaning to, “Draw!”