Hipster's Tea Party Is A Place Where Modern Style Meets Good Ole' Fashioned Arts and Crafts.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Animal Bookends

 I found these Baltic Birch wood animal cutouts on Ebay, and just knew I had to create something with them.  I wanted them displayed in a funky, childlike kind of way, but not just as decoration.  Book ends!  Perfect functional art!  And, so adorable in my new baby's nursery.  Super simple, but a bit time consuming I must say.  A perfect weekend project. 

You'll need:
  • Animal Cutouts- You can find them on Ebay if you search "Unfinished wood shapes."  You want them at least 4" high, but no taller than 6". 
  • A couple of 24 x 3 1/2" Poplar wood beams.  I got mine at the lumber store and cut them into 3's with a saw.  If you don't have a saw, most lumber yards will cut them for you.  You'll need 4 - 3 1/2 x 6 pieces.  (I made 3 sets at a time and am planning on giving a couple sets away to friends) 
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue
  • Drill and small drill bit
  • 1"nails
  • Acryllic paint
  • Decorative paper - Handmade paper, or even tissue paper works best.  Don't use card stock, it's too thick. 
  • Scissors
  • Spray glue
  • Epoxy glue
Once you have your 3 1/2 x 6" pieces, sand them nicely so there aren't any rough spots.  Once they are nice and clean, wood glue them together in a 45 degree angle.  Set aside to dry completely.
Now, drill 3 pilot holes on the bottom of the wood, and hammer in your nails to super secure the ends together. 

Now paint!  Sounds simple, but this was the most labor intensive part.  I did 3 coats on each end, allowing to dry in between.  It took a whole afternoon.  

Next, take your decorative paper and trace the animal on the back side.  You'll do this twice.  Make sure to put your animal down the opposite way for the other end.  Cut out carefully.  Little, sharp scissors and a steady hand help. ;)

Now paint the backside of the animal cutouts a coordinating color.  3 coats. Drying, drying, drying...
Yay!  They're finally dry! 
 Spray glue the paper cutout to the unfinished side of the animal cutout.  You can shape any excess paper around the edges of the animal with your fingers.  Press the paper firmly onto the wood. 
Now, mix up a little epoxy (outside) and carefully dab it at the points where the animal touches the wooden blocks.  
Allow to dry the time recommended on your epoxy.  If your animal is tipping at all, use some painters tape to secure it to the block  while it dries. You can add a slip mat under the bottoms to keep the ends secure.  I got mine at the dollar store and cut about 1/2" smaller than the bottom size.  That way you wont see it.  

These little ends are great gifts!  I made a few sets to give out to good friends.  Enjoy!  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Art Memory Book

My eldest daughter is now in Kindergarten.  The preschool days are behind her. Sniff, sniff.  I kept every scribble, every restaurant coloring place mat, every Froot loop necklace in a box.  A BIG box. I love her art!  I celebrate her art!  Someday I'll have to give that giant box to her, plus another 10, full of Elementary school art. And then there is the awkward Junior High Art...  And those boxes will most likely sit in her garage until she has to tearfully throw them all away because she's moving to an apartment in New York.  SO sad.  

But wait!  Back up!  What if I photograph all of the contents of the boxes and start a series of books for her!  That way, all her art will be well documented and kept nice and tidy on her coffee table!  AWESOME!  I'm brilliant!!

Here it is!  "The Preschool Years" Art by Cassidy.  Volume I 

Hints to a successful book ;)

Take overhead pictures during the day, outside in the shade or in a well lit area of your home.  Natural light is best.  Just put them on the ground or floor, and stand above.  Make sure your own shadow is out of the way.  
Using your favorite photo application, crop and enhance the photos.  I also lightened several of them.  If you don't have an application that does this, many online companies do.  Snapfish, Shutterfly, Apple... You choose.  
I used Snapfish and made a 12x12 book about 150 pages.  Yes, it's nice and thick.  And no, I didn't pay full price.  I got everything uploaded and then waited for a 50% off deal.  Many online photo companies run promotional deals all of the time.  You've pretty much got until your child goes off to college, gets married, or joins the circus until you hand the books over, so I suggest you wait for a deal.  
Uploading advice.  Upload high resolution photos.  You'll be much happier.  At least 2000 Kg.  Worth the afternoon it takes.  

Don't be afraid to use the "autofill" button on the layout.  I did this, and then just went through and tweaked the art I wanted to showcase.  If you use Snapfish, try their "Freestyler" option.  it allows you to change the position and size of any photo or text.

Now, you can thank me for clearing your clutter.  Happy book making!!!  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Potato Print Valentines

Did you know you can make a stamp out of a potato?  Well, you can!  This craft is a wonderful family or group activity.  I made mine with my kids, and we had a lovely time cutting and stamping Valentines for one another.  

You need:
Large russet potatoes
Knife and cutting board
Cookie cutters
Tempra paint- Washable if you are making them with your little ones
Paper towels
bamboo skewers
lots and lots of wipes ;)
Card stock

You want to start by cutting a potato into 1/2" or so strips the long way.  Then, use your cookie cutters to cut the strips into shapes.  I used a few different heart cutters and I got these adorable alphabet cutters at the craft store.  You can use them to spell out cute sayings.  Just use a bamboo skewer to hold the letters together into word stamps.  
My kindergartner spelled out her name and stamped it on all her cards, so she wouldn't have to write it 25 times.  Smarty pants.  

Once you get your stamps made, blot off the excess potato water with a paper towel and paint it with any color you fancy.  Then, just stamp them onto a card!  Easy breezy!  

A few hints.  Brush on thin layers of paint rather than thick.  Press firmly and evenly.  make sure every part of the potato is making contact with the paper. You can reuse your potato stamp over and over.  Just wipe off the excess paint between colors.  You can even store them wrapped up in the fridge for a few days.  
Happy Valentine's day!!  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Be Mine Valentine - Vintage Inspired Homemade Valentines

I made these adorable vintage valentines by downloading royalty free Valentine images.  I googled "Royalty Free Vintage Valentines" and took the images from a few different sites.  Then, I enhanced them a bit in photo shop.  You don't have to do that, but that's what I did.  I printed them out on Matte photo paper and then spruced them up a bit with gold paint and glitter.  I cut out cute frames for them, and spray glued them onto card stock.  I used Martha Stewart's floral edge hole punch to make the frame here.  I also think a scalloped edge would be cute too.  Here are a few more pics.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Make your own Snow Globes

Snow globes have always intrigued my curiosity.  Ever since I was little, I've loved peaking in on little worlds through gingerbread house windows and tiny menageries. That's what makes this one of my favorite holiday crafts.  Unlike a snow globe, there is no water in the jars of these globes, leaving a world of crafting possibilities!  Epoxy and waterproof materials not necessary!  I like to think of them as Display globes.

You need:
A handful of glass jars - Whatever is in cupboard.  I used a jelly jar, a mason jar and a baby food jar. 
Gold spray paint or enamel paint for the lids
White felting wool or cotton balls
White glue
Assorted figurines, small trees, little forest animals, small mirrors, jewelry - Whatever you want to display!

Start by painting the lids and let dry completely.  Overnight if necessary.
Start with one jar and 1 lid.  Practice setting up little scenes in the lid.  I did this over and over until I figured out what was going in each jar, on each lid.  Have fun!  Get detailed or stay simple! 
Once you have your scene, trace your lid onto the cardboard 3 times or more.  This is to build your scenes up a bit so you can see it nicely through the jar.  I learned this crucial step the hard way.  Cut your cardboard circles out about 1/4 - 1/2" smaller than your tracing.  You want them to fit in the bottom of the lid, leaving a generous space between cardboard and lid lip, so you can get your jar on with ease.  Another "learned the hard way" step.  Stack a few to reach the appropriate height for your particular scene and jar.
Make sure your jar fits over everything!  You don't want squashed tree tops.  Once again, learned the hard way.  Yeah, these were pretty much a big 'ole pain in the rear to figure out, I must admit.  Easy breezy now though!  Next, glue the cardboard stack in your lid.
Tip: Use white cardboard if you've got it, or paint your little cardboard stack white.  This will keep the snow nice and clean and will keep you from using too much. I learned this the... just kidding!
Now you can start reassembling your scene using lots of glue!  Hot glue works great if you've got a glue gun.  Take wisps of felting wool and layer over the cardboard.  Glue down and add another layer.  Start with just a little and build as you go. 
Tip: You can take the mirrors out of old makeup compacts for little lakes in you scenes ;).  I know you've got those lying around.  I sure did!  I used a little polar bear I found in my kids junk drawer, a red and white paper clip to make a candy cane, a little tree I glued glitter to, and compact mirror in one.  Then I let my 4 year old dump glitter over the whole thing.  So cute and sparkelly!  In another, I painted one single tree pink in honor of my daughter who practically insisted we get a pink flocked Christmas tree.  Sorry honey, but your momma's not that hip.  I finished it off with sequins and a scrapbooking embellishment for the top.

The little baby food jar I displayed one single piece. It's an old broach of my grandmothers.  It was the perfect tree shape and reminds me of her.
  Assemble your jars and that's it!  Enjoy!

How to Make Paper Snowflakes

 It's official!  Winter is here!  I'm celebrating winter by making paper snowflakes.  Want to join me?  These snowflakes are made from old book pages and finished with a vintage pin to give them a little vintage charm.  You can use an old book, colored paper, white paper or even an old Hymn book (dang!  I wish I would have done that!) to personalize them to you.  This is a great craft to do with your older kids over winter break to get them away from the television ;). 

You need:
6 book pages per flake cut down to 5" x 5"
glue- I used Yes! paste because that's what I had. I'm all about using what I've got.  A glue stick would have been better. Hot glue if you're doing these with out kids.
A vintage pin if you've got a collection like I do.  If not, A pretty button hot glued in the center would do the trick.

Okay, let's start!  Take a 5x5 page and fold it diagonal so it makes a triangle.  Crease the edge well.   I'll refer to this edge as the "hard edge."

Fold your triangle in half to make a smaller triangle, but don't crease it too hard.  This is your "soft edge." Take your ruler and line it up on the bottom of your soft edge.  It should be 3 1/2".  The 3 1/2 mark on the ruler should be at your hard edge.  Mark 1", 2" and 3" off on the soft edge.
 Cut from your mark diagonally towards your hard edge, stopping about an 1/8" from the hard edge.  Don't cut all the way through!

Open your page and it should look like this.

Take the center small diamond shape and pull the edges up and glue together overlapping one on top of the other.  It helps to do this over a thin brush handle or pencil. 

Turn the whole page over and do the same to the next diamond.  Turn over again, and finish with the largest diamond. 

You should get a cute little paper swirly thing that looks like this:

Do this 5 more times, a total of 6 swirly things.
Stack all 6 of the bottom points together on top of each other and staple together.
It will open up into your snowflake.  To secure it together, glue the middle points together where they touch. 
Finish by pinning a pretty pin tn the center. 

Happy winter solstice!

How to make Glittered Christmas Trees

I was trying to figure out what to do with a leftover bag of corn husks I had from my Thanksgiving crafting.  Make tamales?  Sounds okay.  Make corn husk glittered trees?  Sounds great!  These actually turned out way cuter than my vision, and the best part is, they are super easy to make!  Here is what you'll need:

A bag of corn husks
Paper birthday hats
Glue gun
Acryllic paint
Glitter to match your paint
White glue
Paint brush

Start by disassembling a paper hat.  Then, reshape the cone to a thinner, taller cone, and hot glue shut.  I tried a tree with out thinning the cone, and it looked like a birthday hat tree. Not so great.  You can make smaller trees by disassembling a hat, lying flat and trimming the bottom edge staying with the curve.  I trimmed one down about an inch, and another about two inches.  If you want a taller tree, you can trim about 3" off one hat and glue it to the base of another hat.
Next, Cut up your corn husks into 2" x 1 1/2" rectangles with the grain of the husk running long. Then, round the bottom of the rectangles with scissors into a scallop shape.  Don't worry about being perfect.  They don't all have to match.  For the smaller trees, cut the rectangles a bit smaller.  about 1 1/2" x 1".
 Take one long corn husk strip and glue it around the base of your tree form, and trim off any extra so your tree sits upright properly.  This is to hide your hat once the tree is finished. I figured this out after the fact, that's why it isn't in the next photo.

Then, start at the base of your tree hot gluing corn husk strips so the scallops just touch the edge of the bottom.  Continue all the way around.  Next, start another circle up about 1/2 an inch up and stagger the strips like you are laying bricks.  Keep going until you reach the top! You can take a pencil and turn out the edges of your "boughs" just a bit if you'd like.  Your finished, unpainted tree should look like this:
Then, paint it whatever holiday color you fancy! I decided to go retro with white, hot pink and teal blue.  Let dry completely.  You may have to apply two layers, drying completely between coats.  Once your tree is colorful and dry, brush with a thin layer of white glue and sprinkle with glitter.  This will help hold the glitter in place extra well and sturdy up your tree a bit.  The glue will give your tree a glossy shine too.  If you are more of a matte kind of crafter, skip the glue step and apply the glitter directly too the wet paint. ;)  
Now, set your tree right up on the mantle where it belongs!  Enjoy!