“Om” bracelet

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I don’t wear jewelry too often, mostly because I find it to be expensive. Also, I do not possess the talent of accessorizing myself very well. Despite my lack of style, I have wanted to try my hand at making my own jewelry for a while and I think this was a good starting point!

Materials needed:

A charm- I chose the “Om” symbol because I love yoga and the word’s meaning. It’s a healing word and we could all use a little more health!

A chain- I bought a 30″ necklace for my bracelet. I wanted plenty of chain in case I screwed up.

Small lobster claw- my charm is very small and I wanted the charm to be the center. My necklace came with a large clasp so I bought a small one and kept the large one for later use.

Jewelry pliers- I used round tip pliers, needle nose, and chain pliers.

Extra connecter rings- I bent 2 of these so extras are a good thing.

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1. I removed the link that came on the charm.

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2. Next, I clipped a link in the necklace chain to create 2 halves. I knew I wanted my bracelet to have two chains connected and that I wanted it all attached to the symbol itself. Ideally, I wanted the bracelet to be all one chain that slipped through the “o” of the charm and clipped on the ring attached to it. The chain however was too thick, so I adapted what I had. If you have a solid charm with only the attached ring, you’ll have to use a different method or adjust how you want your bracelet to look.

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(cutting the necklace in two)

3. I attached the two separate chains to one connector ring.

4. Then I attached the connector ring with the chains on it to the “o” part of the charm.

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5. Then, I measured the chains to the length I wanted. I like bracelets that move a little so I made my chains about 6″ long. I made it easy by putting the chains around my wrist and cutting where it looked good.

6. I attached the ends of the two chains to a connector ring, then connected the small lobster claw. I closed the connector rings with the needle nose pliers, then slipped the ring on the round tip pliers. I was able to make sure all the ends were curved and that the connectors somewhat resembled something that may have been round at one time in the past 🙂

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7. Now, just put it on and check out your handy work. This would be when you can see if any wire ends are sticking out or if the chain is too long, etc.

Things to keep in mind:

1. My materials were all very small. Be careful you don’t lose parts and that everything is big enough to work with. You can see below I used a penny for scale.

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2. Make sure you have the right sizes for your materials. My original connector rings were too thick for the chain to attach to. This turned Mikes ice cream trip into an ice cream/jewelry parts trip to Wal Mart.

3. The steps are easy, but take your time and be patient. Small parts can be frustrating but don’t give up!

4. Know what you want. I have wanted an anchor and Om bracelet for awhile and I waited and looked everywhere for what I want. I’ve yet to find the anchor charm I want.

I’m happy with how this turned out. A I said I’ve wanted one for a while and it’s pretty much how I pictured it except for a few things.
Thanks for stopping by!
L&L
Missy

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Chalkboard Placemats

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This was such a fun craft to make and it didn’t take too long! I was inspired with this through pinterest. I saw a pin of a bag with the menu on it and held the utensils. I thought it was a cute idea but it was only a one time use. So, I thought why not make a place mat with a chalk board. Then I saw this on pinterest,

http://milkbottles.com.au/products/Chalk_Board_Place_mats-447-0.html

You could buy them on that site, but what fun it that!? My boyfriend and I were cooking dinner for some of our friends and we thought that would be the perfect time to unveil them!

Materials Needed:

Plastic place mats- I bought mine from the dollar tree for, what a surprise, a dollar. I made sure they were flexible and thin enough to stick a needle through easily.

Fabric Place mats- Again I bought mine from dollar tree. I made sure they were about 1/2″ bigger than the plastic mats on all sides

Sandpaper- I used a scrap piece that was, I believe, 280 grit

Sewing Machine

Seam Ripper (aka Jack)

Pins

Paper clips

Spray Adhesive

Application sponge or paint brush

Iron

Chalkboard paint or:

non-sanded grout- Value Home center for about $12. I was price gouged on this because they were out of the cheap stuff, but I’m not too worried about it There are plenty of opportunities to use this.

Paint- any type or color will work. I used dirt resistant flat interior paint. I wanted it to look like a chalk board so I had it mixed to a charcoal color. I saw this after I mixed the paint, but there are sample quarts you can buy for about $5. Next time I will try that. You only need a little bit so don’t buy a whole gallon unless you’re mass producing place mats.

Container to mix pain in

Stir stick

Something to cover your work space. I used a drop cloth

How to fashion a Chalkboard place mat

1. The first thing I did was remove all the tags. This sounds like an obvious step but if you don’t do it and you sand over a label it will be a pain to get off.

2. Sand the plastic place mats. You don’t need to evenly sand every bit, just rough it up so the paint will stick. Run your hand over the place mat after you’re done sanding and if you feel any smooth spots, hit that part again. I’m not sure this is entirely necessary but I wasn’t about to start painting and have it all peel off.

3. Next, I mixed the paint. If you bought chalkboard paint skip this step, if not here’s what I did. 8oz of paint mixed with 2 tablespoons of grout. Mix it together well. It won’t look smooth, but it shouldn’t have big lumps in it either. Mine bubbled up and you can tell it has a lot of texture. I made one cup at a time. I didn’t even use a full two cups so don’t waste your paint! Make it as you go.

(8oz = 1 cup)

2 Tablespoons of grout

4. Paint a thin layer of the chalkboard paint onto the sanded side of your plastic placemats. You may not completely cover the mat but that’s okay. you want to build up coats of the paint.

5. While your first coat is drying, grab your seam ripper (I named mine Jack) and rip the seams on the cloth place mats. Now, I wasn’t thinking when I bought my mats and purchased 7 of each. As it should turn out, when you rip out the seams of the cloth place mats you get two sides! Mind-boggling right? So if you are doing say 6 mats, just buy 3 cloth mats.

6. Remove all the extra threads from the cloth mats. An easy way to do this is make a packing tape donut, slip it on your hand and let the tape pull out the threads!

Mike joined in on the thread removal.

7. Iron the cloth flat. I was lucky and my place mats had a stabilizer on the inside so I ironed both sides to keep the stabilizer fused. Remove all creases as best you can. When you go to sew you may move the seams around from where they originally were and you don’t want a big crease to throw you off.

8. With the fabric all ready, it’s just time to paint the plastic mats with coats and coats of paint. Mike and I painted 3 coats, then let them dry over night. The next day we did 3 more.

9. If you have perfectly shaped plastic mats, you can do this while you are waiting for the paint to dry. However, if your mats are from the dollar tree like mine and come in all kinds of sizes, wait until your paint is dry. Cut the cloth place mat 1″ larger than the plastic mat on each side. This will allow for a 1/2″ seam and 1/2″ to fold over on to the mat. I lined my mats up matching at the corner and cut 2″ extra on two sides. I originally wanted 1/4″ seams but it was just a bit too small to work with.

Two cuts instead of four! 1″ all around

1/4″ seam vs. 1/2″ seam. you can see why I chose 1/2″

10. Pin and sew your 1/2″ seam on all four sides of the cloth place mat and iron. Double check the size of the plastic mat to make sure it will fit.

Mike was nice enough to help me with the pinning.

11. Spray a light coat of spray adhesive on the back of the plastic mat. Center the plastic mat onto the cloth mat and press.

12. Flip the mat cloth side up and smooth out the wrinkles. You can lift and readjust the mats. The spray adhesive allows a lot of movement so don’t worry if you’re off center a bit. Just pull it off and try again!

Wrinkles! Smooth ’em out!

13. Fold over excess 1/2″ of the cloth place mat on to the chalkboard mat. I didn’t want to use pins because that would make my chalkboard holey, so I used paper clips and pulled them as I sewed.

Smaller clips seemed to work better

14. Sew Place mats together. This will take patience as its a lot of layers to go through. I found a new needle and going slowly made a big difference. I moved my needle all the way to the left. Then I lined up the inside edge of the fold along the left edge of my presser foot. I had a few bobbin and tension issues with one mat but I just ripped some seams and sewed them again. There were no issues with any of the other mats. When I came to the corners I clipped and folded them to lie flat. My cloth fabric frayed a little so I went back and threw a few hand stitches on to keep it in check.

15. Press the back and edges of place mat

14. Try out the chalkboard! It should work great and wipe off with a damp cloth. I found a towel works best.

I was really excited about this and they came out great! It took a few nights to complete this project, and I even had some help! It’s a simple process, however. I love these for entertaining and maybe in years to come I’ll pack them to restaurants to occupy my future kids!

Some things to keep in mind…

-I tested the chalkboard after 3 coats and it worked really well. Mike tested its durability and pressed really hard on the chalk and scratched off the paint. We decided to do more coats just in case. If you aren’t the Hulk 3-4 coats will work just fine.
– When pinning the seams I found it easier to place the pins parallel to the seam then after it was to the right size I flipped the pins perpendicular.
– I was lucky with my cloth fabric. If you have some extra stabilizer lying around you may want to add some for more durability.
– clean your sponge or brush after each application, even if you are doing another coat in an hour. The sponge will get hard and the grout will chunk up and it can scratch the paint or leave lines.

– if the paint were to scratch or rub off, touch ups are very easy. This paint doesn’t really streak like on the walls. When Mike scratched our test mat it was very easy to cover and I had to look pretty hard to see where we touched up. Just be careful near the fabric if you need to add some paint eventually.

– The paint dries pretty quickly but I would give it a full day before you write on it just to be safe.

– all in all each place mat probably cost about $5 each. The paint was the most expensive thing but that’s because I didn’t shop around and the store was out of the cheap stuff. Compared to $16 each this is way better! Plus you can buy any fabric to match your decor.

Happy drawing and dining! Thank you again for stopping by!

L&L
Missy

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Stairway to Heaven Lyrics Wall Art

I made this wall art for my boyfriend as a surprise. Lyrics wall art been around for a while but I was inspired to change up the fonts from Pinterest at this link:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/81835989/wedding-lyrics-wall-art?ref=sr_gallery_33&ga_ref=auto7&ga_search_query=wall+art&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_ship_to=US&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmadewall+art.

This was done pre-blog so I don’t have all the pictures but I reproduced some of them because it was a bit difficult explaining what I had to do.

Materials needed:

Canvases- I bought a pack of nine 4 x 4 canvases from Michael’s they were about $20 but I had a 40% off coupon so I bought it for $12.

Fabric- I used muslin because I like the antique look at it gave. Plus it’s cheap and I had a bunch laying around.

Iron on transfer paper – I had this transfer paper already, but you can get this at hobby lobby or any craft store

Iron

Computer and printer

Staple gun

Steps for making the art

1. You want to find lyrics or quotes that you really like. My boyfriend’s favorite song lyric is in Stairway to Heaven and my favorite part of the song follows shortly. We are both big LZ fans as well so it all really worked out to find meaningful lyrics for him.

2. Format the lyrics into a printable form of the computer. This was a bit tricky. I knew I wanted the lyrics to go across the the canvases with out stopping. So instead of having 3 blocks of words, they would start and finish on different canvases.

My formatting only will work for 9 blocks that are 4″x4″.

I set my paper to legal size which is 8.5×14.

I set the orientation to land scape then set 1″ margins on the sides, 1″ on the top, and 3.5 on the bottom. This gave me a 12″x4″ area to type in.

I typed in from mikes favorite lyrics to the end of the song.

I decided on the fonts that I liked and changed all the words and lines that stood out to me to script. I knew I wanted 4 lines per row of blocks so I enlarged the font to have 4 lines on each page. The script was smaller at the same point size as the type so I enlarged all the scripted words until all the letters were about the same size.

Then I adjusted the line spacing to make sure it all fit in 4″. I then deleted all words from 4 pages on. I have 3 rows so I only needed three pages.

Then I formatted the paragraph to justify.

My transfer paper was 8.5×11 so I had to tape two of them together to get the page to be 14″ long.

3. I printed out each page one at a time. You want to make sure that it is a mirror image that you print! When you go to iron it on it’ll reverse the font to read correctly.

Because I was only using 4 inches of the transfer paper I didn’t want to waste it. I took the bottom half of a paper and taped it to regular paper and have it printed it that way so I didn’t throw out perfectly useable paper.

With all three pages printed in mirror image I was ready to start cutting out the lyrics.

4. I cut the lyrics every 4 inches. Thus, I ended up with nine 4 x 4″ pieces of transfer paper with lyrics on them.

(in theory I cut at the red lines)

5. Then I cut out nine 11×11″ squares of muslin. This was more than I needed but again I’m terrible at centering.

6. I ironed on the lyrics to the middle of each piece of muslin. I had a little trouble with the paper that was taped together at first, but I found just a little more pressure for a few seconds more fixed any problems.

7. After everything was transferred I began attaching the muslin to the canvases. I centered the lyrics and stapled the top and bottom. Then I pulled the fabric tight and stapled all along the back making hospital folds at each corner. I made all my corners fold the same way on every canvas for aesthetics. It doesn’t really matter how they are folded.

8. Then I trimmed off the excess fabric so the blocks would lay nicely against the wall. It’s supposed to be hung spread out but you get the effect with them together. Spreading them out will help make them look even as well. You can see where some lyrics are higher than the other like the bottom right corner and bottom middle. It gives it character 🙂


Lastly, I gave him his gift. Mike loved it! For some reason he couldn’t believe I remembered his favorite part of the song. I’m not that bad of a girlfriend! They came out great and we are looking for the right place to hang them. Right now they are being displayed on his coffee table.
I hope this can add to your house in some way!

Thank you!

L&L

Missy

Office Banner

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This was done pre-blog times, so again no step by step pictures. However, this was very quick and easy and I made it in about 15 minutes!

Materials Needed
Iron on Transfer paper- you can buy this at any craft store, I had some already so it was free for me! When you go to buy this, look for the paper that is made for your fabric. They have light fabric and dark fabric options.

Two patterns of fabric- I used muslin and an extra fat quarter I had laying around

Sewing machine

Dowel rod (I used an unsharpened pencil)

Ribbon

Computer and printer

Iron

And so it begins…
1. Find a quote or picture that you like. I stumbled across mine in a store. It’s by Mother Theresa and I felt it was very appropriate for what was going on around me at the time.
2. Format your quote or picture in a printable form. Play with fonts and sizes until you get something you really like.
3. Print your quote as a mirror image! This is really important or else you’ll iron on a quote that’s backwards. I used best quality to make sure it transferred nicely.
4. Iron image onto the middle fabric (Muslin) Read the directions on your package as each requires different heat. My iron was on cotton, no steam, and I pressed down firmly for about 15-20 seconds. It was a bit long as some residue stayed on my muslin.
5. You can cut your muslin before or after. I’m terrible at centering things so I always try to mistake proof my projects. I cut out my muslin centering the quote. I allowed 1/4″ for the seam on the top and bottom.
6. Next I cut the top and bottom pieces of fabric. I gave an extra 1/4″ for a seam on the bottom and 1 1/4″ on the top. 1/4″ for the seam 1″ for the rod.
7. I pinned the muslin and bottom piece right sides together, lining up the top of the blue and the bottom of the muslin.
8. Sew with 1/4″ seam and unpin.
9. Pin the muslin and top piece right sides together then sew.
10. For the flap for the dowel I folded the top over so the wrong side of the fabric touched. I pinned it and sewed straight across creating a loop a bit smaller than 1/2″.
11. Iron banner pressing the seams in to lay flat.

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12. If you use a dowel rod you have a few options! You can cut the rod to fit inside the banner or you can have it hang outside of the loop. If you leave excess you can buy decorative knobs for the ends if you want to make it fancier. I could only find 2″ dowel rods at home so I used an unsharpened pencil. Insert rod (or pencil) in loop.
13. Feed ribbon through the loop or tie ribbon on ends of rod. I fed mine through so a knot wouldn’t bulge out. Then I tied a bow at the top an adjusted the ribbon so it was even.
14. Hang it up!

I chose to leave the edges unfinished because I liked it but if you want a cleaner look, create a small seam around the whole banner before you fold the top for the loop.

This one was easy, but it really made a difference in my office! Thanks again!

L&L
Missy