Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stenciled Bangles

Once again I'm participating in the Craftaholics Anonymous Summer Gift Exchange. This time around I have been paired with a lovely mother of 4 from Tennessee. She is also a runner and will compete in her first half marathon this fall. While searching Pinterest for Inspirational Running Quotes I came up with an idea to make her something fashionable, fun, and running related.

A few months ago I Instagrammed this inspiration picture (via Real Simple) - follow me @mandyfarn. 

I looked for similar types of bangles at my favorite thrift stores, but only found a couple of smooth wooden bangles. While looking at quotes on Pinterest I recalled the bangles and thought it would be really cute to use my Silhouette Cameo to stencil "run and be happy" around one of the bangles and a pattern around the other.

First I cleaned sanded and primed the bangles. 

post cleaning and sanding 
Next I painted one a shade of pink Mystic Paint called Pretty Petals and the other a color called Iced Aqua. Both bangles required two coats of paint.

I used Silhouette Studio to layout my designs (measured to fit the height and circumference of the bangles)

After cutting out my designs in vinyl, I carefully transferred them to the bangles. Next, I painted a thin top coat in my base color (to seal the edges of the vinyl). Once it was dry I painted over the stencil with my second color. A warm grey called Calla Lilly (also Mystic Brand) on the blue and Iced Aqua over the pink. I did not paint the insides of the bangles.

The blue bangle has layer of paint over vinyl to seal the edges before the top coat,  pink does not. 
I let both bangles dry for a couple of hours before removing the stencil. As a final step I sealed both bracelets with a clear coat of poly spray. I did try to use the vinyl as a more traditional stencil (filling in the negative space of the stencil) but I couldn't get the letters or shapes to lay flat on the bracelets.

I love the soft color combinations and the hit of the base color that can be seen on the inside of the bangles. Wearing them together would be a bit much, but they work very well alone. Next time I might try spray paint or a thinner craft paint.

Both of these bracelets are going to my Summer Gift Exchange partner. I can't wait to make more - plus now I have an excuse to visit my favorite thrift stores.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Follow Me on Instagram

With my transition from an office job to the position of full-time Mommy, I naively thought I'd have more time to blog. Although I may not blog more than once a week, I am busy creating and making. Lately I've been sharing highlights of my adventures with my kiddos as well as crafty project updates, inspiration, etc. via Instagram.

Come follow me @mandyfarn.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

For the Golfer Dad

In my opinion, Father's Day should be a handmade holiday. After all, nothing says "I love and appreciate you" quite like a handmade gift.  In year's past I've made my husband pint glasses etched with neckties, a memory game with pictures of him and my son, and a shirt inspired by this post by Pink and Green Mama.

If you follow my blog, you know we are looking for our next home. One of the requirements for the house is an office/man den for my hubby. Although he doesn't have his office yet, I thought it would be fun to make him something for it.

I've always liked the look of the vintage black and white subway signs like these available at Restoration hardware for $649!

In honor of my hubby's love of golf I decided to make a similar sign listing his favorite courses (of those he has played).

There are an abundance of tutorials online for making your own signs. I used this tutorial to construct my sign then used my own technique for the letters.

After constructing my sign, I primed it and painted it white. The kids helped me with this step.

Next, I measured out my word placement and used my silhouette cameo to cut the course names out of vinyl. I used painter's tape to help space the course names and keep them straight. Admittedly, I did not do the best job of measuring and I had to hand place quite a few letters. I also wish I had left more space at the top of the sign.

After removing the painter's tape, I rolled on another coat of white paint over the letters. I did this to seal the edges around each letter to prevent black paint from seeping under the edges.

Once the white paint was dry, I spray painted the entire sign black. I let the spray paint dry over night before carefully peeling off the vinyl letters. I had a couple of areas that needed some touch up, but not many. I can't wait to present him with his gift on Sunday and I have the perfect place to hang it in the rental until we find our dream house.

I know Father's Day is in a couple of days, and this project may be hard to pull off with only a few days to go - but I think it could be achieved on a smaller scale, i.e. particle board in pre-made frame. The most time consuming part of this project was the drying time. To get around it you could paint the sign black and use white vinyl letters.

Has anyone else made something fun for Father's Day? I'd love to hear about other creative projects honoring Dads.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Maybe I Can Make it Into an Ottoman

When I dropped off the furniture at A Wider Circle last week, I brought home a few additional items to work on over the summer. I was so excited about the possible transformation of one piece that I started and finished it this past weekend.

It started as a pretty ho-hum coffee table.

I'm pretty sure someone made it. The top is made out of plywood that someone attempted to stain. The legs are permanently attached (there was no way to remove them without breaking them or the table) so I needed to make them work. The plywood was chipping on the top and was beyond painting or refinishing. When I saw it in the AWC warehouse I remarked, "Maybe I can make it into an ottoman."  Well, that's exactly what I did.

Here's the after:

After cleaning it, I turned it upside down to prime and paint the legs. I used the leftover grey from this project for the legs.

Once the legs were dry, I marked the top of the table to drill holes to tuft the ottoman. After drilling the holes I started the upholstering process. I turned my fabric (a large scrap of fabric from Ikea) upside down and draped it over the ottoman (wrong side facing out). I made sure there was enough fabric hanging over all four sides for the table to staple it to the underside of the table. I used pins to pull the fabric to define the corners then cut away the excess fabric. The result looked like a pinned fitted tablecloth. I sewed a straight stitch along the pinned areas (leaving about a centimeter on the outside of the pins - the fabric had to fit over foam and a layer of batting).

After sewing, I turned my sewn creation right-side out and set it side aside. Before attaching the fabric to the ottoman I added a soft layer of foam and batting. I cut a piece of 1.5" foam to fit the top of the ottoman I draped a large piece of medium weight batting over the foam and table base. I pulled the batting tight and stapled it to the ottoman. I trimmed the excess batting at the corned and stapled loose batting along the corner edges.

Next, I took my "fitted tablecloth" and put it over the foam and batting. I flipped the ottoman upside down and stapled the fabric edges to the underside of the ottoman. I started in the middle of each side and slowly worked my way out and around the ottoman - like this.

Next I tufted the ottoman. I used a button making kit to cover my own buttons. I sewed the buttons onto the ottoman using an extra large needle and polyester cord. I threaded my needle through the hole I drilled into the bottom of the ottoman; pushed it through the layers of foam, batting, and fabric; through my button hole and back through again to come out the same drilled hole. I pulled it tight and knotted it around a small washer - which I used to keep the knot in place.

The tufting isn't very dramatic, but I think makes the bench look more finished. I really love the way the ottoman turned out and I want to make something similar for my own home. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AWC Furniture Makeover Reveal

I finished up my first two pieces of furniture for A Wider Circle last week and I dropped them off this morning. I've already received word that both pieces have gone home with a very happy client. I am so thankful to be able to volunteer in this way and I love knowing that my efforts not only brightened some one's day but also their home.

Remember the cabinet/bookcase before?

Here's the after:

As you can see I added legs that I painted to look like they were dipped in yellow paint. I used Frog brand tape to give the doors an ombre look. The inside and handles were painted the same dark grey as the exterior.  

Remember the bench before? 

Here's the bench after:

This makeover was so simple. I simply spray painted the bench yellow and sewed a simple cushion for it with scrap fabric and ribbon. I love this color combination!

I brought home a few more pieces to makeover over the next couple of months. I plan to post before pictures next week.


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