June 23, 2011

boy's 4th of July outfit

The 4th of July is still about 10 days away, and my son's holiday outfit is finished!  It's nothing special, just some festive plaid shorts (that kind of look like boxer shorts) and an embellished t-shirt.  
The fabric for the shorts is from a thrifted men's dress shirt.  I'm always on the lookout for a cute red, white, and blue shirt.  I cut the pieces so the shirt's front pocket becomes the short's back pocket.  The t-shirt is from Walmart, and I used Heat-n-Bond Lite to fuse fabric stars to the front.

I was going to make a freezer paper stencil and do a saying more related to the 4th, but I figured if I went with stars he could wear the shirt for more than just one day.   I also made a couple of wavy rows of contrasting red stitching around the hems on the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt for some added interest.

He's excited to wear it--I told him with the stars on his shirt he'll look like a superhero!

elastic, thread, and Heat-n-Bond from stash
blue t-shirt:  $3.50
thrifted dress shirt:  $0.99
total:  $4.49

June 13, 2011

painted wood signs (for Father's Day)

Father's Day is fast approaching and I actually made a gift for my husband.  My husband has been wanting some artwork for our newly-finished basement, so I decided to try my hand at some painted signs.

1.  Gather the pieces of wood you want to use.  I rescued mine from our trash (leftovers from one of my husband's project), and they measure approximately 16-1/4" long x 5-1/4" high x 1/4" thick.  I also picked up some mistint paints at Lowe's--only 50 cents each!

2.  Using a foam brush, I applied Ceramcoat acrylic paint around the edges of each board.  (barn red and brown velvet on the left; blue velvet and poppy orange/brown velvet on the right)

3.  Apply one coat of your main color paint to each board.  I used a putty-colored mistint.  (I also painted the back and sides of each board.  I know this isn't necessary, but I can't help it!)  Let dry completely.

4.  Sand your boards to distress them and let the paint underneath show through.  I used my palm sander.

5.  I used my Cricut to cut a freezer paper stencil.  (More info about how to make a stencil on this post.)  I should break down and buy some vinyl for these projects, but I am so cheap and freezer paper works pretty well if you're going for a distressed look.  I would not use your best iron to iron the freezer paper to the wood (my iron now has paint on it--I hope it comes off!).  I also recommend using a blank sheet of paper between your iron and the freezer paper/wood.  If you do not have a Cricut, you can use stencils or trace letters (great post here).  I also found this post that uses a computer and printer to generate the letters. 

I wanted to make two signs for my husband--one saying "free ice" and another saying "cold beer."  Here's the "cold beer" sign ready to be painted.

6.  Once the freezer paper is ironed to the wood, use a foam brush to paint the letters.  I tap the paint onto the board instead of brushing it on.  This helps prevent some seeping under the stencil, but it's still going to happen.  It's not a big deal since you sand over the letters, but if it seeps a little too much you can fix it by painting over the really bad areas with your main color.  Really bad areas:

Kind of fixed:

7.  I didn't do a good job of taking pictures of the next steps.  I sanded over the letters with a palm sander, used some Tim Holtz distress ink around the edges, sprayed the signs with an acrylic sealer and hammered an upholstry nail into each corner.  My nails were too long for the boards I used, so I had to clip the end of the nail with wire cutters.

7.  I stamped the back of each sign.

Wood, acrylic paint, freezer paper & ink already on hand. 
Mistint paint:  $0.50 (Lowes)
Upholstry nails:  $1.49 (JoAnns)
Total:  $1.99

June 12, 2011

vacation's over. . .back to the daily grind

I've been a bad blogger.  I think it's been 2 weeks since my last blog post.  At least it was a really awesome post about homemade sidewalk paint/chalk.  I have several half-done projects (some which aren't going so well), so I've got nothing crafty to share.  My family just got back from a nice, relaxing vacation at the lake.  So how 'bout some photos of that instead?

Pouring rain on the drive up to South Dakota.

Finally stopped raining so we could do a little fishing.

A super crabby 4-year-old boy who was bored most of the time and did not want his picture taken.  Some day he'll appreciate vacation and the fact that you don't have to do anything but relax.

Finally some clear blue skies and a beautiful sunset on the lake.

Lots of relaxation!

I love vacation.  I read 3 books in 4 days.  I didn't stress about work.  I didn't check my e-mail or Facebook the entire time.  I didn't take my iPod.  I kicked back and did nothing and didn't feel guilty about it.  I drank wine.  I enjoyed being with my family.  I need to go on vacation more often.