An Easy Table Centrepiece For All Occasions Using Picture Frames

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the Gorilla Glue products free of charge to use on craft projects, but this does not affect my opinions of them. All views are my own.

I love finding or making versatile items that can be used for lots of different things. One item to suit so many occasions. I recently made one such item, and it was so quick and easy to do, needing just a few things to make it.

There’s probably a name for this type of centrepiece but my brain isn’t telling me it so I’ll just call it a picture frame display. I have seen other people make square ones and stick photographs on each side, with a light inside to illuminate them gently. They are very pretty, but I wanted something that I could re-use at Christmas, barbecues, family get-togethers, birthdays, etc. I also wanted a different shape to the square ones I have seen, so decided to make a triangle one. You could of course make it any shape you want, but bear in mind that the more picture frames you use, the bigger it will be so the more space it will need on your table.

I mentioned already that it is easy to make, and that is thanks to using top quality products to hold the frames together. The people I have seen making the square ones have used hot glue to stick theirs together, but it is much easier to use a super adhesive tape instead. Gorilla Glue have a fantastic tape called Gorilla Tape Crystal Clear. It is a virtually invisible, super strong, waterproof, airtight, flexible tape, making it perfect for this project (and many others).

Depending on what you will be putting inside your centrepiece, you might need to glue a base on to the bottom. For this, I used Gorilla Glue Super Glue Precise Gel. It has a very thin nozzle, and the glue is a thick gel, making it much easier to control exactly where you apply it with no run. It dries rapidly too making it perfect for quick projects, and has a very strong hold. I only needed a base on my display for the one at the start of this post. I didn’t fancy trying to clear a pile of sand up at the end!!!

As well as the tape and glue, you will need 3 picture frames all the same size, a pen, strong thick cardboard, and a pair of scissors or craft knife. That is all. You can use elaborate looking frames or plain, but the edges will need to be straight so they can meet up perfectly to hold them together. You can paint your frames too if you prefer, to match the occasion. THIS CRACKLE EFFECT would look effective for this.

To begin, take any paper, pictures, mounts, and the backing from the picture frames. Keep the glass in though, and bend the fasteners down to hold it firmly in place.

Make sure the fasteners are not visible through the glass from the front. If they are, just bend them a bit more until you can no longer see them.

When you have done this, lie them on the table face down and position them side by side in a row. They need to be perfectly lined up so that there are no gaps at the bottom.

Cut a strip of tape long enough to completely stick 2 frames together without any gaps. You might need to cut the tape into a thinner strip depending on the thickness of your frames. Repeat to stick the second and third frames together. As you can see in the picture above, the tape is practically invisible.

To make the triangle shape, cut a strip of tape and stick it on either the left or the right open sides, so that it is half on the frame and half off. Stand the frames up, fold the overhanging tape back, and bring the frames together to form the triangle shape. Press the frames together well so that the overhanging strip perfectly joins them. If you can see any tape above the tops of the frames, carefully cut that off.

The tape is so strong that this will now hold together for multiple uses. If you want a base on yours, stand the frames on a strong piece of thick card and draw around it as close to the frames as possible.

Cut the shape out just inside the lines you have drawn, so that it doesn’t stick out when you glue it on to the frames. You can use scissors but I found it easier to use a craft knife. If using a knife, obviously make sure you have something underneath the card so you don’t cut your table!!

Squeeze a line of the Super Glue Gel on to the bottom of each frame.

Carefully place the cardboard cutout on to the frames, making sure it is lined up exactly, then press the edges down firmly.

Your display is now ready to use! You can fill it with decorative sand, as I did in the first picture. I added a candle and some shells. This would be perfect for beach themed wedding table centrepieces or Summer parties. Or use it as a terrarium to display small succulents or cacti.

How about some dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, and gourds for an Autumnal table?

Or filled to the top with baubles and beads for Christmas, You could add fairy lights to make it really pretty.

You could layer different coloured strings of beads and add a candle for a Christmas dinner table.

Or place a little posy of flowers inside to stop little fingers messing with them. For the display below, I just covered a shot measuring cup with copper twine, and used it to hold some forget-me-nots from the garden. This would make a fitting centrepiece for a funeral wake. (You won’t need a base for little flower arrangements).

These are just a few ideas. As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless!

Happy crafting 🙂

 

 

 

Brush Embroidery – Not Just For Cakes! A Gorilla Glue Project.

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post – Gorilla Glue provided the glue (and pen), but the idea is my own.

 

A few months ago I did a craft project for Gorilla Glue, where I turned plain objects into pretty ones with a crackle effect. (See HERE for that project). As I said in that post, I like decorating things to transform them into something more beautiful. Another thing I enjoy doing is cake making and decorating, although I only do them for friends and family. There is a gorgeously elegant technique which is used to decorate cakes and cookies, called brush embroidery. It involves piping a royal icing design on to the cake, and then using a small brush to gently pull the edge of the icing in to the design so it looks like delicate stitching on fabric. I wondered if it would be possible to achieve a similar result using glue. Obviously this is not intended for anything edible!!!

After a bit of experimenting I discovered that Gorilla Glue Wood Glue mixed with a bit of powder paint works best for this. I tried it with acrylic paint but it doesn’t have the correct consistency. It needs to be like whipped cream or thick yoghurt, and the only way I could achieve that was by mixing powder paint with the glue. You can use any colour powder paint you want, but I personally love the effect with white.

Brush embroidery is a wonderful way of transforming any plain surface into a thing of beauty. This is how to do it yourself.

For this project you will need:

  • Gorilla Glue Wood Glue
  • powder paint in the colour of your choice
  • some stiff-bristled thin paintbrushes for the details, and a bigger one for the main painting
  • acrylic paint in the colour of your choice (this will be the main colour of your object)
  • your object to transform (I used a plain box with a drawer, and a Kraft notebook)
  • a disposable piping bag
  • a piece of kitchen roll
  • 3 small pots – one for your acrlylic paint, one for the glue mixture, one for clean water
  • a pair of scissors
  • pearlescent craft mica powder (optional – it adds a slightly pearlescent finish to the design)

You can buy plain wooden boxes in lots of different shapes from Amazon, Hobbycraft, etc. If you want to decorate a notebook cover, it is best to buy Kraft notebooks. They have plain brown covers so perfect for jazzing up.

Paint your chosen object using the acrylic paint in the colour of your choice. If you are painting a notebook cover, do it with the cover open to prevent paint getting on to any pages.

Leave to dry completely for around 3-4 hours.

Mix together some glue with the powder paint. You don’t need much.

It needs to be the consistency of thick yoghurt, about 4 parts glue to 1 part paint. If it is too thick, just mix in a bit more glue until you get the correct consistency. If you would like a slightly pearlescent effect to your design, add a pinch of craft mica dust to the mixture too.

When you lift your brush (or whatever you use to mix it) it should leave a ribbony trail on the surface of the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the end of a disposable piping bag, then snip the tip off making a small hole at the bottom. Pipe a basic outline of your choice design on to the now dry painted object. The most common design used on cakes is of flowers, so I stuck with that for my box and notebook, but feel free to try different ones.

Dip a thin stiff brush into the clean water and dab the excess off on the piece of kitchen roll. It needs to be damp but not too wet. Place the brush on to the inside edge of the piping and stroke it towards the middle of the shape, so it thins and fades.

You must make sure you keep the outside edge complete though or the effect will be lost. Dampen your brush every few strokes, as if it is too dry it will just stick and pull too much of the line away. When you have finished the shape you piped, pipe another and repeat the process. Build up layers of petals by piping another set inside the set you have just completed. You can add leaves around them, and pipe centre lines after you have done the brush embroidery.

You can fill in spaces in between the flowers by piping small dots, 5 or 6 around a central one to represent flowers. You can place your damp brush on to the edge of the dot nearest the centre one and drag it towards the middle, making little petal shapes. You can see these on the box I decorated. I left some as dots and dragged some to make petals. If you are leaving some as just dots, the mixture will probable form little peaks as you pipe it. Just use the damp brush to gently press the peaks down.

Leave to dry.

 

As you can see it is a very effective way to make pretty designs on plain items. No matter how many times you do it, you will never get the exact result again, meaning every item will be perfectly unique.

These are perfect to give as gifts for Mother’s Day, or any other special occasion. You can literally do this on any plain object. How about trying it on a photo frame? I will be doing it on an indoor plant pot for a gift for a friend soon. The possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Woven Vase from Craftiosity – A Monthly Craft Subscription Box.

As you know, I love crafts. Any crafts. I just love being creative and having something beautiful at the end. I can spend hours on YouTube watching tutorials. One leads to another, and before you know it hours have passed. I want to try so many different projects, but buying supplies needed for them can be costly, and then there’s the risk you don’t enjoy it after all so the supplies go to waste. That is where Craftiosity comes in.

Craftiosity is a monthly subscription box which includes all the tools and materials needed to complete a modern craft project each month. You will need to provide your own scissors or a pencil, or other household basics (if needed), but I’m sure most (if not all) homes have those already. The projects are completely different every month. I joined 3 months ago. My first kit was a Needle Punch wall art project, the next was to make beautiful Felt Baubles (the Christmas kit), and this month’s was to make a lovely vase woven out of natural cotton twine and copper paper twine. I will tell you more about this one so you can see what a wonderful subscription Craftiosity is.

Craftiosity differs from many other subscription boxes in that there is no surprise factor. The next month’s project is revealed well in advance on social media and via email. I normally love the surprise element of such boxes, but I think with a craft one it is better to know beforehand what it is. It means you can only choose to have the kits that you most fancy trying, if money is a bit tight for example. I personally want to try as many different crafts as possible so will have every month’s kits regardless of what it is.

The kits come packed in a lovely box, which is perfect to keep afterwards to store any craft bits and bobs. This month’s box contained the wooden base, wooden sticks, copper paper twine, cotton twine, a very detailed instruction leaflet, and a beautiful blank card with envelope. I love the card idea too. If you want to give the finished project as a gift, you can write you message on that card. Or you could give the kit as a gift for a friend to do, and include your own message on the card.

The tools and materials are kept safely in the box with tissue paper. I always keep that too for future craft activities.

I was surprised at how much of each twine was included in the box. I had so much left over at the end! I will enjoy using them in other projects soon.

The instruction leaflet is fantastic. It includes tips to make sure nothing goes wrong, tells you what you need to provide (for this kit it was just scissors), how long it will take to complete, ideas for things you can do to make it different, and very detailed step-by-step instructions with photos to show you how to do the project. There is also a full video tutorial available online each month, which is very useful.

My woven vase in progress

This vase project was very enjoyable and very easy to make. I had never done any type of weaving before except for very basic patches with wool with children in primary school. This kit made me want to do more though, so I am really glad I had the chance to try it out.

My completed vase

It is so rewarding to make something beautiful to add to your home decor. That is another thing I love about Craftiosity. The projects are either practical or beautiful additions to your home, or both! Next month’s is a stunning decoupage wooden box with glass lid to display little treasures. I am so excited for that one to arrive!

You have to order your box by the end of the month to receive the next one. The boxes are then sent around the 14th of each month. If you want to just order a one-off box, it costs £22 plus £2.95 postage. If you want to subscribe (with the option to cancel or skip a box at any time provided you let them know by the end of the month), it costs just £20 plus £2.95 postage. Incredible value for what you get!

If you fancy starting a Craftiosity creative journey, click HERE to go to their website. Happy crafting!

 

 

Make Your Own Spooktacular Ghost From Cheese Cloth – Great for a Halloween Decoration

Halloween is my 11 year old son’s favourite time of year. He doesn’t go trick-or-treating but he does love to decorate inside our house with as many spooky things as he can and have a family party. He also loves the build up to the day, having fun with lots of different craft activities, carving pumpkins, and baking yummy spooky treats.

Last year we decided to have a go at making a free-standing ghost, and as we wanted it to be see-through we used cheese cloth. It worked better than we imagined, so this year we have made a smaller version to stand on the table. It is such an easy activity that I thought it would be good to share it with you. Children would love to get involved as you do get in a sticky mess with this one!

It doesn’t cost much to make one yet they look so effective!

You need:

  • large piece of cheese cloth
  • 3 bottles, one taller than the other 2
  • 3 balloons if making a large ghost, or 3 water balloons if making a small one
  • some tape to secure the balloons
  • PVA glue (I used Gorilla Glue Wood Glue)
  • black scrap material or paper

If your bottles are empty, fill them with water. They need to have some weight to them so they don’t just topple over. Blow up your balloons and use tape to secure them to the bottles.

Position the bottles so that the taller one is at the back and the smaller ones are placed in front at either side. These will form the head and arm shapes.

Mix some PVA glue with a small amount of water in a tub (a takeaway tray or margarine tub is perfect). You really don’t need much glue at all, and you should mix 3 parts glue to 1 part water. You want the glue to be just slightly watered down.

Place the cheese cloth in to the glue mixture and toss it around until it is completely covered in glue.

Pick up the cloth and squeeze as much of the glue off as you can. Now for the trickiest part…. carefully open out the cloth. This can be a bit tricky as it just wants to stick to itself! When you have opened it out, gently drape it over your bottles so that it entirely covers them.

This was for the small ghost:

 

This was for the large ghost:

Move the cloth or bottles around until you have got the exact shape you want your ghost to be. Cut out a mouth and 2 eyes from your black material or paper and press them into position on the head part.

Leave to dry completely. I made the large ghost using ordinary school-type PVA and the small ghost above using Gorilla Glue PVA (wood glue). The Gorilla Glue dried much quicker. The ends take the longest, so make sure you spread them out a bit to help them. They do like to bunch up, and then that part will take a lot longer to dry.

When the cloth is completely dry and crispy feeling, it is time to take it off the balloons. You can either pop the balloons and peel them away, or very carefully pinch the cloth away from the balloons bit by bit. That is the way I do it.

I always think it looks more effective if you gently push the bottom of it inwards a bit to give it a better shape. And there you have your very own ghost.

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

Making a Crackle Paint Effect Using Gorilla Glue – Transforming Plain Objects into Beautiful Ones

One of the things I love to do in my spare time is to turn ordinary objects into something wonderful. For example, plain tiles transformed into beautiful coasters in THIS POST.

The lovely team at GORILLA GLUE recently invited me to come up with a craft project using some of their product range. There is a glue or tape for every possible need in their range, all very high quality, so I was really excited to be part of this. I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I initially had one in mind, but it turned into 3 as I enjoyed making it so much.

I have often admired objects that have been painted with Crackle Paint, which cracks as it dries, creating a really pretty distressed effect. This special paint can be fairly expensive though. Luckily it is easy to achieve the same effect using just Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and some cheap acrylic paint. You only need a small amount of glue so it is a much more cost-effective way of obtaining the result. One bottle of glue will transform loads of objects!

For my project I decided to transform some plain wooden boxes into a beach-finds box and a buttons box. I wanted the beach box to look a bit like driftwood, fitting in with the theme of it. One of my happy memories from childhood was going through the buttons that my mum kept in an old biscuit tin. It used to fascinate me how many different shapes and designs there were, so I now have a tin of buttons too. I wanted a nicer way to store them though so decided to make a button box, using some of the buttons to decorate it. After I had made the 2 boxes I wanted to see if the same effect could be achieved on glass, so decided to try it on a clean empty jam jar. It worked! So that became a toothbrush holder for the bathroom. The beauty of this project is you can make boxes or storage jars for anything at all! Boxes for baby keepsakes, ribbons, beads, bits and bobs, small stationery items… endless possibilities. Likewise with the jar version. A holder for toothbrushes, pens and pencils, craft tools, straws, kitchen utensils… again endless uses.

For this project you will need Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and Gorilla Glue Super Glue (if you want to stick decorations on). They have thought of everything with their super glue. Super glue often comes in a little tube or bottle and you have to carefully squeeze a little bit out, trying not to get too much but often ending up with a blob of it oozing out from underneath whatever you have stuck down. To make sure you get the exact amount of glue you want in the exact place you want it, with no big blobs, Gorilla Glue have brought out a bottle with both a brush and a nozzle to apply it. You can choose whichever works best for you. I loved the brush, as it was so easy to control the amount I used and place it only where I needed it.

As well as the glue, you will need plain wooden boxes or clean glass jars, acrylic paint in 2 different colours, and paintbrushes. If you want to stick any decorations such as buttons on, obviously you will need those too.

You can buy plain wooden boxes in craft stores such as Hobbycraft, or from Amazon. You don’t need to use expensive acrylic paint. I’m pretty sure mine came from a shop such as The Works at a really cheap price.

To begin, you will need to completely paint your box with one colour of the paint. Bear in mind that this layer will be the colour that you see in the cracks, not the main colour. I chose a yellowy-brown colour for the beach one and a dark green for the buttons.

Paint your box in the first colour and leave to dry completely. I left mine overnight to make sure it was thoroughly dry, but you can leave it for around 4 hours. If you want the inside to be the same colour as the cracks you can paint this too. Make sure you use something to prop the lid open while it dries though so the paint doesn’t get ruined.

This is where the fun starts. When the box is dry, paint a layer of wood glue on to one small section. The glue still needs to be wet for the next stage, which is why you MUST do this one section at a time.

Don’t worry about the glue going over the hinges. It dries clear so won’t be noticed when it is all complete. If you want thick cracks, paint the glue on in a thick layer. If you want fine cracks, paint a thin layer of glue on. If you want a mixture, paint it thinly with the glue but with a couple of thicker patches.

While the glue is still wet, use a different paintbrush to paint your main acrylic colour on top. (I used white for the beach box and lilac for the buttons). Make sure you do this gently but quickly in one layer, before the glue dries. If you apply too much pressure or paint the same area over and over you will end up mixing the paint into the glue, and it won’t crack at all. It doesn’t matter if it looks a bit uneven or patchy, as the cracks will hide that.

You will notice the paint start to crack almost immediately. As the glue dries it slightly contracts, pulling the paint layer apart and causing the cracks. You can let it dry naturally, but that will be time-consuming so it is best to help it along with a hair dryer on the coolest setting. This will speed up the process and let you move on to the next section within a minute or two. It is lovely to watch the cracks appear before your eyes!

Repeat this process on another section. Glue, paint while wet, then dry. Keep doing this until the whole box is complete.

I then painted the inside of my beach box in white to match the main colour on the outside.

When dry, you can fill it with whatever you choose.

If you want to add decorations, I would recommend using the superglue with the brush.

Simply brush a small amount of glue on to your decoration, and position it where you want it! Press it for a few seconds to make sure it has bonded, although it dries very quickly.

I glued buttons on to my button box, sticking some on top of others, until I got the design I wanted.

You can use the same method to paint your glass jar, although I managed to do each stage in one go rather with the glass. It was a lot quicker to do! Paint the whole jar in one colour and let it dry completely. I chose white for my bottom layer.

I couldn’t photograph the next stage as it had to be done super quick, but I then painted the jar in a layer of wood glue and quickly added a layer of dark blue on top. I used the hair dryer to dry it and finished the look with a matching blue ribbon tied into a bow around the top.

(Quick tip: if you have some sticky residue left on your jar from the old label, this is easily removed with just normal glass cleaner. Simply spray it on your jar then use the back of a dinner knife to softly scrape it off. It comes off so easily)!

Don’t they all look so pretty and effective? If you decide to have a go at this easy craft, I’d love to hear what you make! Have fun transforming the plain into the beautiful.

 

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the Gorilla Glue at no cost to be used in a craft project of my choice. All views and opinions are my own honest thoughts.

 

 

 

 

How to Make Beautiful Glass Pebble Magnets – An Easy Craft Activity for the Whole Family

I recently had a wonderful subscription box called the Sunshine Box (see my review HERE) and part of that was a little craft activity, making glass pebble magnets. I had never heard of or seen these before, but my son and I had so much fun making them! The supplies in The Sunshine Box were enough to make 20 magnets, and one was included ready made as an example. As soon as we had made the 20, Luke asked if it would be easy to find the supplies to make more. Luckily it is very easy and very cheap, so now we make them whenever we have free time.

These were the ones we made from the supplies in The Sunshine Box:

Photographing them clearly is a bit tricky with reflections, but you can see how lovely they are. The beauty of these is you can make them in any design you fancy. They would make gorgeous wedding favours if you used the same colour and design as is being used on the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards. We love geocaching, and part of the fun of that is swapping little treasures. These are perfect for geocaches as they fit in most sized containers. They also make beautiful token gifts as you can choose the design to suit the individual person. They are perfect for rainy days to keep your children occupied, or as an activity for childminders (as long as young children are supervised so they don’t put them in their mouths). It is also such a therapeutic activity for yourself, just to unwind and feel creative.

Here is a list of what you need:

  • a selection of magazines, old cards, brochures, catalogues, wrapping paper, or anything with a design you like the look of,
  • PVA glue,
  • a small paintbrush,
  • a pen,
  • a pair of scissors,
  • self-adhesive small round magnets/magnetic dots (I bought 132 which were 12.5mm across from Amazon for £3.49)
  • clear round decorative glass pebbles/stones (I bought 100 which were 18mm across from Amazon for £3.99)

Look through the brochures or whatever paper materials you have and find a small design you like. It doesn’t matter if it is tiny, the glass magnifies things slightly. Place a pebble on top of it to check it fits, and if it does draw around the pebble. We found lovely designs on a letter from Morrisons:

and a Lakeland brochure:

as well as book brochures and magazines:

When you have drawn around your pebble, cut the design out just inside the circle you have drawn so it fits perfectly. Brush a thin layer of PVA glue on the back of the pebble (the flat side) and press it down on to the cut out design. Make sure it is perfectly positioned – you might need to trim a tiny bit more off from around the edge. Brush another thin layer of PVA over the back of the design and leave the pebble face down to let it dry.

When it is dry, simply peel the backing off one of the magnets and press it on to the back of the pebble. Polish the front with a cloth to make sure there are no glue smudges or marks, and there you have your beautiful personally chosen pebble magnet! It really is that easy! If you prefer you can paint the back of the design before you stick the magnet on so that you can’t see any other print if you turn it over, but we didn’t bother with that.

Here are a selection of ones we have made so far:

I also had the idea to maybe try using some pressed flowers we had to see if they would work. I hadn’t got many small enough but I did have a few:

For these, I drew around a pebble on to plain paper and cut out the shape. I brushed a thin layer of glue on to the paper and carefully placed the flower on to it, then brushed a layer on to the pebble and pressed it down on to the flower. Finally I brushed another layer on the back and let it dry, before sticking a magnet on. I absolutely loved how these came out:

These would be perfect wedding favours too if the bride’s bouquet has small flowers like gypsophilia included. You could buy some well in advance, press them and make up some magnets using them as lovely keepsakes. Or use bits of confetti instead of flowers. The possibilities are endless!

Have fun and happy crafting!

 

How to Make Beautiful Coasters from Tiles and Paper Napkins

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A good friend of mine organises a Craft Fayre every Christmas and makes a lot of gorgeous items herself for it. A few years ago she started making these coasters and I was knocked out by how easy it was to get such a lovely result! She used any pretty napkins but I absolutely love designers such as Emma Bridgewater and Cath Kidston, so I decided to only use designer napkins. I became a bit addicted to making them and lots of people asked to buy them. I gave sets of 4 to people as gifts, and love going to their houses and seeing them on tables and tops of cabinets, still in use and looking like new.

They really are simple to make, and with Mother’s Day coming up soon, why not surprise your own Mother with a practical gift made with love by you? Chocolates get eaten within a few days, flowers fade and die, so how about this year making and giving a gift that will last? I’ll include photos of every step of the process so you know you’re doing it correctly, but I’m sure you’ll have no problems anyway.

To make a set of 4 coasters you will need 4 plain white tiles measuring 100mm x 100mm. You can buy a box of basic tiles from large DIY stores such as Homebase or B&Q. (I buy mine from B&Q at £5.50 for a box of 25). You will need 1 paper napkin of your choice measuring around 30cm. All the ones I ever use are 33cm square, and 3 ply (made from 3 layers of paper).

Here’s how to make them:

YOU WILL NEED

4 ceramic tiles measuring 100mm x 100mm (10cm x 10cm)

1 paper napkin (see note above)

Felt material of a co-ordinating colour to the napkin design (20cm x 20cm)

Polyurethane Gloss Varnish (I use DecoArt Duraclear Gloss Varnish from Hobbycraft)

PVA glue

Double sided sticky tape

A co-ordinating ribbon for presentation

A paintbrush (art/craft type, not house decorating sized!)

Scissors

A pot for the glue

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix PVA glue with an equal amount of water in a small pot. This will be used to stick the napkin on to the tile.
  • Open out your paper napkin and cut along the fold lines so you have 4 equal squares.

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  • Very carefully, peel away the top layer of paper from each square. This is the piece you need for the coaster as it has the design on it. If you stick all 3 layers on, you will get bubbles and it won’t look as pretty. Keep the other layers to use later on.

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  • Take one tile and completely cover it with the PVA mixture using the paintbrush. Make sure you cover the edges too.

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  • Take one of the top layer squares you gently saved, and position it on top of the tile so you have the best part of the design on display. Make sure there is enough around the edges to fold underneath in the next step.

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  • Scrunch some of the plain layers of napkin (the bottom layers) into a loose ball and very gently dab the napkin on to the tile. You will get creases, but that adds to the overall look so please don’t try and straighten them out. If you try and move the napkin at this point, it will rip. When the napkin is in place, carefully pick the tile up and turn it over. Brush more PVA glue on the bottom of the tile and fold the edges of the napkin on to the glue. You can either dab the edges down with the scrunched up layers, or use your paintbrush to smooth them down. I use my brush for this stage. Make sure there are no air bubbles on the sides of the coaster. If there are, very gently smooth them down with your brush.

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  • Leave on a plastic bag or similar covering to dry. When the top is dry, turn it over so the bottom completely dries too. Repeat all the above steps for the other 3 coasters.
  • When they are completely dry, coat the top and sides with the varnish. It brushes on easily, has no nasty odour, and is non-yellowing, which makes it the best for your coasters. I brush on 3 coats, allowing each to dry in between coats. You can brush on as many as you want to get the sheen you want.
  • Leave the coasters to dry overnight.

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  • Cut the felt into 4 squares, just slightly smaller than your tiles.
  • Place strips of double sided tape on the backs of the coasters.

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  • Peel the backing off the tape and position one square of felt on each. Press down firmly. And that is the coasters complete!

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  • To present them as a gift, stack the 4 coasters on top of each other and tie a ribbon around them.

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And there you have a wonderful gift to give for any occasion. My son has given his past teachers a set at the end of the school year as a thank you gift. I’ve given sets as housewarming presents and as a gift for my Mother-in-Law for Mother’s Day. I have a lovely friend who adores Emma Bridgewater designs, so I made a set for her just for being such a wonderful friend!

The felt on the back protects your surfaces from scratches from the roughness of the underside of the tiles. You can use cork sheets if you prefer but I like the way you can use matching colours of felt. The polyurethane varnish will protect the coaster from drips, and is easy to clean with a damp cloth.

I hope you enjoy making these. I’d love to hear how you get on and who you give them to! Happy Crafting!

Crafty Creatives… The Art of Papercutting

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Crafty Creatives is a fantastic subscription box which delivers an exciting craft kit to you every month. I love crafts and am keen to try out new ones, but the thought of buying loads of equipment only to discover I don’t like the craft after all scares me. That is why Crafty Creatives is so perfect! Every month you receive everything you need to complete a wonderful craft project, so you don’t have to spend a small fortune to see if you like it. I have to say though I subscribed around 6 months ago and have loved everything they have sent! Thanks to Crafty Creatives, I have made a fascinator, mosaic hearts, lip balms, a rolled wool trivet, and Hama bead coasters.

The October box was amazing! I have seen some stunning works of art made from papercutting and have admired their intricacy. I had wanted to try it but hadn’t known where to start! Luckily for me, this box gave me everything I needed to make 2 beautiful designs.

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Included in the kit were a self-healing cutting mat, a finger tip swivel knife, a picture frame, and the 2 designs to cut out along with the paper to mount them on. I was a bit nervous when I saw the swivel knife as it looked like it might be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but I was wrong thankfully. You hold it like a pen and it hooks comfortably around your finger, which makes it so easy to manoeuvre, and provides support when you move it around. The blade is what sets this knife apart from other craft knives. It turns smoothly as you change the direction of your hand! That means you can cut out any shape without having to move the paper or take the blade off the sheet. Fantastic! This box was worth having just for the knife!!!

The two designs were lovely modern ones…. words with a little symbol linked to the word. I cut out Star first as I knew I would prefer the Love one if my first attempt went wrong. I needn’t have worried though as they both turned out beautifully. I have kept Love in the frame provided and as my son is my little star, he has the star one in a frame in his bedroom.

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I definitely feel confident to carry on with papercutting projects, especially with this amazing swivel knife! It was such a therapeutic relaxing activity. Some crafts can take ages to produce finished pieces. This was relatively quick and easy, so great for people who like to see results fast!

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box). 

DISCLAIMER: This is my own honest opinion of Crafty Creatives. I receive no fee/discount/compensation and I pay for my subscription in full. All views are my own. 

A Triveting Crafty Creatives August Box

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The August Crafty Creatives box was a visual treat of beautiful bright colours. The box contained everything needed to make a stunning rolled wool trivet: different coloured recycled wool strips, a long straight needle, a curved needle, extremely strong thread, and a page of easy to follow instructions. The kit was created by Rag Art Studios exclusively for Crafty Creatives.

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I have to confess, when I opened the box it arrived in, I had a quick look and thought it would be a very easy, very fast kit to complete. I was wrong on the time part. It took me quite a few hours to make! The idea was easy enough: place different coloured strips on top of each other, roll them up tightly and sew in to place (that’s the basic idea). Obviously though you need to make sure no stitches are visible on the top, but it needs to be sewn well so that it holds together with no chance of unrolling or falling apart when you pick it up. I thought the curved needle would be brilliant for hidden stitching, but I found it quite tricky to use, so completed my trivet using just the straight needle.

I would definitely make more of these. Maybe make some colour co-ordinated ones to match the decor of my friends’ kitchens. As well as being used to protect surfaces from hot pans, they would also be great to stand vases on to protect tables from scratches, or to protect them from the hot bases of candle holders. The versatility of it means it would be a beautiful gift for anyone to receive. With Christmas coming up (sorry for dropping the C word) these would be great made in traditional festive colours to use in place of table mats. I want to also try making some using different materials for different effects. The possibilities are endless! I loved making something that was pleasing to the eye with it’s pretty swirls, but also practical. It will be well used in my house!

I had never seen trivets like this before, only metal mass produced ones. This is one of the things I love so much about craft… the fact that no to items will ever be the same. Every piece is unique. This kit would have been sent to countless other Crafty Creatives subscribers, but every single trivet made would be slightly different, and each made with love.

Crafty Creatives sends out a kit for a different craft every month. You never know what you will get, it’s all a wonderful surprise. To have a look at past kits they have sent, have a look at some others I wrote about…

 

https://confarreocreates.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/crafty-creatives-feeling-the-mosaic-love/

https://confarreocreates.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/crafty-creatives-may-subscription-box-hama-time/

https://confarreocreates.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/crafty-creatives-surprise-craft-subscription-boxes/

 

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box)

 

DISCLAIMER: I pay for my subscription and get no reward for writing about it, other than the happiness of being able to recommend something I love. All views/ideas/opinions are my own and I only write honest reviews. 

 

 

Crafty Creatives… Feeling the Mosaic Love

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I absolutely love Crafty Creatives. A subscription box for craft lovers, in which you get sent a mystery craft project each month to complete. Everything you need is included and each project has clear instructions, so that everyone can complete it no matter what skill level they are at. The best part of it is you get to try a new craft every month, so you can find out if you want to carry on with it, without having to spend loads of money on equipment only to find out it’s not for you.

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The July Crafty Creatives kit was my favourite so far. I have always wanted to try my hand at mosaic work, so you can imagine how excited I was when I opened the box and found this mosaic hearts kit waiting for me. It contained 2 wooden hearts, various mosaic tiles and pieces of crockery and glass pebbles, glue, grout, disposable glove, spreader and ribbon to hang the finished hearts. There was a sheet of very clear and easy to follow instructions, and I was so excited to get started!

The first part was to glue my chosen pieces of tile and crockery on to the hearts. My 9 year old son was keen to try too, so he chose to work on the smaller heart and I used the larger one. It sounded very easy… stick the pieces on leaving a small gap between each piece so that the grout can fill in the spaces to hold it all in place. Easy, right? I think I can honestly say this part took the longest time. It was like doing a jigsaw, trying to find the right sized pieces to fit. After my son and I had covered the 2 hearts that came with the kit, we had a lot of pieces left over so we used them to cover some smaller wooden hearts that I already had in my craft stores.

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We left them overnight to make sure the glue had completely dried. The next day I mixed up the grout following the instructions given, and used the spreader to spread the grout over the whole heart and along the edges. After it had been drying for a while, I used a few pieces of kitchen roll to clean the grout off the pretty pieces. It was very easy to just wipe it off. They were then left to fully dry. We were over the moon with the finished hearts. We used the ribbon to hang the two original ones.

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I will definitely be doing more mosaic work. I found it so relaxing and enjoyable, and I had a huge sense of achievement when I saw what we had created. It was a wonderful activity to do with my son too. Quality time spent crafting. My idea of heaven.

The August box will soon be landing on my doorstep and I can’t wait to see what craft will be inside!

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box)

 

DISCLOSURE: I pay for my subscription and receive no compensation for my review. All views expressed are my own honest unbiased opinions.