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Fun tutorials, how-to projects, free downloads from jones design company

how to make a linen ruffle wreath

how to make a linen ruffle wreath / jones design company
One of the early projects shared on Jones Design Company was this linen ruffle wreath. The original tutorial had a sweet nest with glittered eggs and petite fabric flowers (see the full spring wreath tutorial here), but after a while I grew tired of the embellishments and took them off. What’s left is this classic ruffled linen wreath that adds a layer of neutral texture to the wall or door or wherever it hangs.

how to make a linen ruffle wreath / jones design company
I borrowed the images from the original post to show you the how to make a linen ruffle wreath perfect for decorating your front door or wall this spring.

SUPPLIES: foam wreath / linen (12″ x 72″) / scissors / sewing machine / hot glue gun

STEP ONE: cut strips of linen (2.5″ x 72″)

stack-and-cut-linen
tip: fold your fabric to make cutting strips easier

STEP TWO: wrap one strip of linen around wreath

wrap-linen-strip
hot glue to hold. glue-linen-to-wreath

STEP THREE: prepare ruffles stitch-ruffle
First, with right sides together, stitch two strips together end to end to make one long piece.

Next, with your sewing machine set to the longest stitch, sew alongside one edge (about 1/8″ in).

STEP FOUR: make ruffle pull-thread-to-ruffle
gently pull one thread to gather the fabric.

STEP FIVE: wrap wreath with ruffle wrap-ruffle
run a small bead of hot glue along first edge to hold in place, then wrap and glue to hold.

STEP SIX: finish finish-ruffle
Trim the end of the ruffle and glue cut edge to hold.

Such a simple and inexpensive project (my favorite criteria!) that gives a fun look for spring.

how to make a linen ruffle wreath / jones design company
And, of course, if you are wanting to embellish even more, go ahead an add some fabric flowers, moss, a nest and glittered eggs!

embellished-spring-wreath

(find the original spring wreath tutorial here)

Happy Spring!

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Springtime Succulents (planted in an unexpected way)

Try this unexpected springtime arrangement: plant a succulent in an eggshell / jones design company
Succulents are having a moment right now, and rightfully so. They are uniquely interesting, drought tolerant and rather inexpensive – a great combo if you ask me. When in Austin, Texas last month, we ate at this darling restaurant/flower shop and right away I was taken by the display of pretty succulents in brown paper. I wanted to try a similar arrangement at home, so I dropped by my local home depot and grabbed a bunch of little plants.

succulents Once home, I changed my mind. The brown paper – as cool as it looks – probably isn’t very practical for watering and I wasn’t sure how to get around that issue.

Then one day, I had this weird idea: plant the springtime succulents in eggshells! I know, strange. But I’ve seen wheatgrass grown in shells for spring and thought maybe my cute plants would be a fun twist on that idea.

planted-succulents The process is a bit self-explanatory, but I took photos as we planted with a few tips. I did this one with my No.2 and it was a great Sunday afternoon let’s-get-our-hands-just-a-little-bit-dirty activity to do with him.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’ll NEED: planting-succulents-in-eggs-supplies cracked eggs, washed out and dry / small pebbles / needle / small succulents

STEP ONE: poke hole in bottom of egg

poke-hole-in-egg-with-needle I just used a regular needle, but I remember doing this with my mom to blow eggs and we used a large upholstery needle. Whatever you have on hand will be fine. If you’re using a small needle, wiggle it around to open up the hole a little bit. Beware: the eggshells are thick at the bottom and so you may wreck a few while poking the holes. I suppose you don’t even have to do this step, I’m just assuming it’s a good idea for drainage. Up to you.

STEP TWO: add small pebbles to the bottom of egg

put-small-pebbles-in-bottom-of-egg This will help with draining (in theory).

STEP THREE: pull apart succulents

planting-succulents-in-egg The little plants usually come in groups of three or so in each small pot. Just gently pull them apart, keeping roots intact.

STEP FOUR: place plant in shell + fill in with soil

planting-with-kids succulent-in-egg And that’s it!

succulent-up-close

succulents-in-egg-carton It was fun to try out all the different shapes and textures of plants.

succulents-in-egg-carton2 I kept the original egg carton to display them in (I just lightly water the whole thing in the kitchen sink and the egg carton does fine), and also put a few in a ceramic egg carton (from Anthropologie). succulents-in-eggdish succulents-in-eggs-close

Cute, yes? And maybe a little odd. But I’m okay with that.

double-line-tiny
Succulents are supposedly very low-maintenance, but I have a way with killing most plants that I bring into our home. I did a little research and here’s what I found to help us keep these beauties happy:

TIPS FOR KEEPING SUCCULENTS ALIVE INDOORS

1. Keep in sunny places – they are a desert plant and thrive in sun and dry climates.

2. Let them dry out completely before watering.

3. Bright green plants are easier to keep alive – steer clear of the purple, grays and oranges if you’re looking for indoor success.

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diy pom pom garland (two ways)

pom-pom-garland-by-jones-design-company

I made these pom pom garlands around Christmas and wasn’t going to do a how-to because I thought they were just for christmas season. And then I couldn’t bear to take them down with all of the other holiday decorations, so I just casually draped them on the kitchen chalkboard.

chalkboard-birthday-pom-pom-banner

And you know what? I decided pom pom garland is for all seasons. So here you go – a tutorial for how to make these year-round-put-them-anywhere-make-a-bunch-because-you’ll-love-them pom pom garlands.

Here’s what you’ll need:

pom-pom-supplies

chunky yarn (about 3 rolls) / pom pom makers (2 sizes) / embroidery thread / upholstery needle / scissors

TO MAKE THE POM POMS

wrap-yarn-for-pom

wrap the yarn round and round the first side / then the second

cut-pom-maker

trim the center yarn / cut a piece of yarn

tie-pom-and-pull-apart

tie yarn through center of pom maker / pull apart

trim-pom

trim long pieces of yarn and fluff

TO MAKE SMALL POM POM GARLAND

cut-string-for-garland

cut yarn to desired length

needle-and-thread-through-pom

thread needle and knot the end / stitch through center of pom and through yarn

stitch-through-pom

you can stitch a few times back and forth to make sure the pom is secure

stitch-through-yarn-garland

in between poms, run the needle through the center of the yarn, then stitch on the next pom

small-pom-garland

Then hang anywhere and everywhere!

small-pom-garland-hanging

small-pom-garland-on-shelf

TO MAKE THE LARGE POM POM GARLAND

how-to-make-a-pom-pom-garland

make large poms using this pom maker

braid-yarn-1

cut three long pieces of yarn (in desired finished length) / tie knot in top and tape to tabletop to hold

braid-yarn

loosely braid yarn / knot the end

stitch-large-pom

run the needle through the center of the pom

stitch-large-pom-to-garland

stitch onto braided yarn (a few stitches to hold securely)

needle-through-braid

in between poms, run the needle through the center of the braid. Then stitch on poms in desired spacing.

large-pom-garland

small-and-large-pom-garlands-shelf
enjoy!

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how to organize your iphone screen (and make it look pretty)

how-to-organize-your-iphone-homescreen

My phone is basically an extension of my arm. I carry it with me everywhere and while I’m not so good at answering phone calls, I do love it for everything else: texting, checking the weather, setting an alarm, taking photos, reading email, posting to instagram, checking out at starbucks … you get the idea.

So, naturally, I want my phone to be organized, easy to use and pretty to look at. The best way to do that? Organize all those apps into folders and add a cute wallpaper.

use-wallpaper-or-photo

Here’s how I like to organize my iphone home screen:

Start by setting a custom image as the background. This cute arrow-on-kraft-paper design is part of our February Paper Works collection (each month we include a couple of wallpapers so you can trade them out each month!). Just save the image to your photo library, then open it up. To set it as your wallpaper, follow the steps below:

how-to-organize-your-iphone-1

Now comes the fun part of organizing all of your apps. Rather than having each one on its own, I like to organize them into folders. Here’s what that process looks like:

how-to-organize-your-iphone-2 how-to-organize-your-iphone-3

I find that having apps grouped together in folders makes my home screen much less cluttered and easier for me to find what I’m looking for. Here’s how I have my apps grouped:

p h o t o / all camera, photo editing and instagram related apps

d a i l y / these are my regular-use apps like the clock, weather, facebook, jdc, pinterest and starbucks

u s e / the more utilitarian apps of the bunch like maps, the app store, settings, calculator and facetime

b i b l e / my go-to collection of bible/bible study/devotion apps

m u s i c / itunes, my music library, pandora, spotify, sonos and podcasts

m o n e y / my banks, paypal and coupon apps

p l a y / my kids think I’m weird for not having more games on my phone, but there are a few. They live in this folder (current faves: 2048 and tsum tsum).

n o t e s / just the note app. I use it all the time.

t r a v e l / things like yelp and hotels.com

e x t r a / for everything that doesn’t have an obvious category

s o c i a l / social media apps I don’t use regularly, but want to keep like whatsApp and Line

g a m e s / just a few kid games – they each have a kindle, so they have their own apps on their devices, but these are for entertainment in a pinch (Endless ABC and 7 Little Words for Kids are favorites).

double-line-tiny

And that is how I organize my iphone home screen.

I’d love to know … do you have a different system that works for you? Do you have any favorite apps you’d like to share? Do tell …

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craft night: book page angel wings

book-page-angel-wings

A few girlfriends came over this week for a Christmas craft night. A couple of us had seen book page angel wings and it seemed like a fun project to do together for the holidays.

There was nothing fancy or exceptional about my craft night … just a few treats (like trader joe’s dark chocolate covered peppermint marshmallows – yum!), hot cider and basic craft supplies.  One of my sweetest friends pre-cut all of the old book pages – mostly from a hymnal which we loved – and everyone brought a glue gun.

I don’t have accurate step-by-step photos because we really just made these up as we went, but I’ll run through the steps just in case you want to make wings for your home.

Start by cutting out a wing shape from cardboard. Some of us cut two separate wings, others cut one piece for both wings. We all just free-handed and made them different shapes and sizes (examples below).

paper-angel-wings-start

We used old hymnal pages cut to 5 x 5″ squares to make the cones, hot gluing them to hold. You have to make about 100 (depending on the size of your wings) so just keep rolling and rolling and rolling.

paper-angel-wings-roll

Then comes the fun/tricky part of arranging and gluing the paper cones to the cardboard. It was fun to see how everyone did them differently; some wrapped their paper into small cones, others a little larger. My friend Krista put her paper all in one direction (left) while others went around the perimeter, filling in the middle by cutting the tips of the cones to make them fit.

angel-wing-samples

Aren’t those great?! The only thing we all wished we had done before was to cover the cardboard in flat book pages before gluing on the cones just to make sure none of it showed at the end.

Here’s my end product: fluffy angel wings that maybe don’t look all that much like angel wings, but I like them all the same.

angel-wings-front-and-back

I looped a ribbon and hot glued to the back to hang.

Just for fun, I hung them above our bed. They look very pretty against the dark blue.

paper-angel-wings-bedroom

Our girls night was refreshing, as always, and it was nice to start and finish a project in one sitting!

There are endless ways to recycle book pages into gorgeous pieces – wreaths (see two of mine here and here), ornaments, paper chains, taping the paper directly to your wall (my personal fave).

Have you made anything great with book pages? I’d love to hear your ideas …

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DIY Pom Pom Blanket

Here’s a tutorial that is months in the making! pom-blanket-tutorial

I made this blanket at the beginning of September, took photos of the process to share with you, posted the finished cutie on instagram and promised I’d show you how I did it. Then I uploaded the photos from my camera and they were terrible. Blurry and dark and not what I wanted to share. So I waited and waiting until I had a chance to make a new blanket and take new (and better!) photos of the steps and so here you go. The long-ago-promised Pom Pom Blanket tutorial.

The best part about this one is that you don’t have to have any crafty skills to do it. Just find a blanket you love, some coordinating yarn, a pom pom maker and you’re set.

pom-blanket-supplies

// SUPPLIES //

blanket – look for a throw that has plainly hemmed edges. My gray throw is this one from IKEA, the teal geometric is from Target. This plaid one would be cute, too.

yarn – I took the blanket in with me to the craft store and found the yarn that matched best. The teal was harder to match than the gray, but I ended up finding this nice Martha Stewart yarn and it was on sale (yay!). You’ll need lots of pom poms which means lots of yarn. I used almost two whole rolls (spools? skeins? I’m not sure what you call them) for one blanket.

pom pom maker – there are many methods for making pom poms, but this little tool makes it super easy and keeps them uniform in size and shape.

scissors, needle, thread

STEP ONE / make pom poms (about 30-40 for one blanket)

pom-blanket-make-pom-pom-1

Start by wrapping yarn round and round on one end of the pom maker. When full, move over to the second side and wrap. Close and trim the end of the yarn.

pom-blanket-cut-pom-pom

Now cut down the center of the pom pom maker (make sure you keep both ends closed)

pom-blanket-make-pom-poms-2

Cut a small piece of yarn and wrap tightly (as tight as you can) around the center to hold pom pom together. Pull both sides of the pom maker apart and fluff the pom pom.

pom-blanket-trim-pom-strings

Trim any uneven ends.

Keep going until you have a pretty stack of yarn pom poms (about 30-40 per blanket).

pom-blanket-pom-poms

STEP TWO / attach pom poms to edge of blanket pom-blanket-sew-on-poms

Start by spacing the pom poms out evenly and deciding how close you want them to be. Then, using a needle and coordinating thread, stitch through the center of the pom and sew onto hem of the blanket. Be generous with your stitches to make sure the pom pom is secure. Continue for the rest of the blanket and then on the second end.

For about $25 and a few hours of pom pom making, you end up with this cozy, funky, super cute throw blanket.

pom-pom-blanket-blue

Which might make the perfect little surprise for someone on your list this Christmas.

pom-blanket-wrapped

This tutorial is included in my brand new Handmade Holiday Gift Guide (have you grabbed your copy yet?!) along with nine other simple projects you can make and give.

handmade-gift-guide

You’ll get the full projects with printable tags/patterns/templates, helpful tips and inspiration.

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bow pillow (tutorial)

bow-pillow-diy

A simple, understated pillow, with classic detailing and menswear-inspired fabric? Yes, please.

One of my favorite pillows I’ve made is an oversized bow pillow (which you can see in the background of this picture and in this post about pillows). The inspiration came from those silky bow blouses from the 80’s, but with a slightly more masculine feel with the gray plaid of the original pillow. It’s such an easy one to make that I thought maybe you would like one in your home, too. I’d love to show you how. Continue Reading →

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how to paint a piano

Furniture purists … avert your eyes. This is a post about how I changed our perfectly fine piano from glossy mahogany to white. Did I ruin it? Maybe. But do I love it 1000 times more? Yes. Yes I do.

how-to-paint-a-piano

I posted a mid-progress photo on instagram and was surprised by how many shared the desire to paint their piano and also questions about how to do it. So here it is – all my steps, tips and encouragement for painting your piano. Continue Reading →

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rolled MAGAZINE flowers + antler chalk art

During my ‘quieting the house‘ rampage, I finally convinced myself to get rid of stacks and stacks of old magazines. Why was I holding on to them? I can not tell you. But from the comments on the IG photo, magazine-hoarding seems to be a common problem among perfectly normal women.

All of those extra magazines got me thinking … what can all of us hoarders do with old publications that we’re truthfully never going to read again? We can make stuff. Cute rolled paper flowers, for example.

rolled-flower-antler-chalkboard

Add the rolled magazine flowers to a simple chalkboard project and you have an inexpensive and whimsical piece of art. Continue Reading →

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how I edit iphone photos for instagram

My iphone is like an extension of my arm – it’s by my side at nearly all times of day (and night). I love it for texting and checking the weather and asking siri important questions like ‘how many days until …?’ (asked by a certain second born who is slightly excited about his upcoming birthday) and watching cute youtube videos like this one and this.

Most of all, I love it for the camera.

Admittedly, an iphone does not take the same quality of photos as a real camera, but the fact that it is always with me, easy to use and quick to capture everyday moments works out just fine for me. It is fun to practice photography with my phone – looking for interesting angles or composition or finding the right light – and sharing those photos on instagram is a favorite, too.

I almost always do some editing before posting to instagram (I like a slightly dreamy, washed out look) and thought I’d show you what that looks like.

raw-and-edited-instagram

We’ll use this photo taken yesterday of a piece of my mom’s blackberry pie (yum).

Here it is straight from the camera: Continue Reading →

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temporary stripes (tutorial)

This is such an odd project. I’ll just tell you that from the start.

diy-stripe-pitcher
It’s a bit weird, but super cute.

diy-striped-pitcher

I have these white pitchers (old from IKEA) holding cooking utensils on our kitchen island and I’ve been wanting for forever to paint stripes on them. It has just never happened. When I was taking photos for our summer house tour, the pitchers were plain white and I wanted them striped for the photos. With not enough time or the correct porcelain paint to do it right then, I went with option two: temporary stripes.

stripe-pitcher-wood-utensils
Now the easiest thing would have been black electrical tape, but we didn’t have any, so I scrounged through my craft supplies and found a lightly patterned washi tape that seemed like it would work. Here’s how it happened:

SUPPLIES // white pitcher (like this) . washi tape . black permanent marker

stripe-pitcher-supplies

STEP ONE // wrap pitcher with strips of tape.

stripe-tape
You can measure in between stripes, or just eye it. Depending on the shape of your pitcher, the tape will have a few wrinkles as you press it down. Don’t worry about them, they will not really be noticeable when you’re finished.

stripe-pitcher-washi-tape

Here is mine with just the washi tape. It would be fine like this, or you could use any other cute pattern of tape (here is my favorite source for washi tape), but I really wanted mine to just be black and white.

STEP TWO // make those stripes solid

draw-on-stripes
I colored right over the tape with a thick permanent marker.

stripe-pitcher

And now the stripes are just right.

stripe-pitcher-top
It’s doubtful I will ever grow tired of classic black and white stripes, but the nice part is, the stripes are temporary. Just remove the tape and you’re back to a basic white pitcher.

peonies-in-stripe-pitcher
See? I told you. Weird. But super cute.

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crepe paper poppies (tutorial)

Paper flowers are just so pretty. There are many different versions, different materials, different methods and each one is as charming as the next.

crepe-paper-poppy

(via instagram)

Yesterday I pulled out my very old crepe paper flower kit that I bought as a college student from a mail-order-catalog called Martha By Mail. Remember that little gem of a business? Loved it. (here’s a fun blog post memorializing the catalogs)

marth-by-mail-flowers

The kit came with crepe paper, flower templates and a booklet with instructions for several types of flowers.

martha-by-mail-flowers

Yesterday, I spent some time making poppies and they turned out so pretty, I thought I’d share how you can make them, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

crepe-paper-flower-supplies

crepe paper / petal template (see below) / floral stem wire / floral tape / scissors / glue

Let’s talk for a second about crepe paper: you’ll want a few complimentary colors in varying shades. Each flower uses two colors for the petals, plus brown for the stamen and green for the leaves. You can find crepe paper at your craft store, or online here or here.

STEP ONE // make the pistil & stem

make-flower-pistol

Roll a piece of crepe paper into a small ball. Place wire at base of ball and wrap it in a square of paper, gathering corners together and twisting down the wire. Wrap with floral tape to hold together.

STEP TWO // add stamen

steps-to-make-stamen

Cut a 1 x 2 strip of brown crepe paper. Fold in half and again. Snip a fine fringe and unfold. Repeat with cream colored crepe paper, making it slightly longer.

making-stamen

Dab glue on brown fringe and wrap around pistil. Continue with cream fringe.

STEP THREE // make petals

cut-out-flower-petals

Make four double layer petals with peach and cream paper (peach on top).

ruffle-petal

Layer one peach petal over one cream petal. Sculpt petals by gently pinching and pulling the top and through center.

STEP FOUR // Add petals to stem

attach-petals

Dab glue at base of each petal. Wrap around stem. Add next petal opposite and then fill in with last two.

wrap-floral-tape-around-base

Wrap base with floral tape to secure.

STEP FIVE // add leaf

add-leaf-to-flower

Cut leaf out of green crepe paper. Sculpt gently. Attach to stem with floral tape.

Finished!

crepe-paper-poppy-with-leaf

orange-crepe-paper-poppy

A whole bouquet in varying colors looks so sweet in a little jar.

crepe-paper-poppies

I’ll be using a few of these poppies to give to the kids’ teachers for teacher appreciation week next week and as a gift topper for mother’s day gifts this weekend.

crepe-paper-poppy-on-gift

crepe-paper-poppy-bouquet

Just one more way to make dainty paper flowers!

For more flower inspiration, this book is on my must-buy-very-soon list.

tf-paper-to-petal-cvr

It’s so beautiful. See more details here.

If you’d like to make a bouquet of poppies, feel free to use my pattern.

paper-poppy-petal

The template for the poppy petal is found in the Archive (our library of downloads, freebies and templates). Please sign in (or sign up!) to the archive for instant access.

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perfect for your easter brunch: cranberry orange scones

In case you are looking for a last minute addition to your Easter brunch this weekend (or any time, for that matter), these scones are perfect.

cranberry-orange-scones

Some scones are dry and break into tiny crumbs when you bite into them and these are not like that at all. They are soft and flaky with a hint of orange and sweet cranberries. The recipe is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Her cookbooks are amazing. Every recipe I’ve made of hers is an instant favorite (like her apple crisp and chicken noodle soup and coconut cupcakes). And the pictures are really pretty.

Okay, back to the scones. They are fairly easy to make. Just dump all the dry ingredients in the mixer, add the zest of one orange and cut in cold butter (just try not to think about how much butter you’re using).

ingredients-for-scones

Then you add heavy cream and eggs until just combined to form a sticky dough. Before adding cranberries (craisins, actually) she has you toss them in a little bit of flour. Genius idea, this flour-covered-craisin-thing, as they mix in to the dough rather than sinking to the bottom.

Gently roll out the dough on a floured board and cut with a pastry cutter. Or a cup if you don’t have one. #makeitwork

use-cup-to-cut

Bake for 20 minutes, drizzle on a light glaze and you have the most delicious homemade scones ever.

cranberry-orange-scones-brunch

I made these for my college girlfriends when they came into town last month and again yesterday afternoon just because. I may even make them again on Sunday. Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Scones

recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home

i n g r e d i e n t s

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

d i r e c t i o n s

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

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diy painted silhouette

Today is a continuation from yesterday’s post about how to create a silhouette. You can use your vector silhouette for many different things (stationery, a tote bag, necklace, web graphics) but today I’ll show you how I made these large framed painted silhouettes that line our staircase.

(nevermind the snowflakes … this photo was taken during Christmas when the kids thought it would be extra festive to tape coffee filter snowflakes all over the wall. It actually turned out to be my favorite Christmas decoration and it was a sad day when we pulled them all down).

diy-painted-silhouette

This tutorial shows you the exact method I used for making the large prints, only done on a smaller scale. The beauty of a vector graphic is that you can blow it up as large as you need without losing clarity – so select a frame and an approximate silhouette size and you can enlarge your silhouette to that size before printing.

Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

silhouette-tutorial-supplies

frame / printout of silhouette / good paper / pencil / black craft paint / small paintbrush

Let’s talk about the printout for a second. In Illustrator, you can format your silhouette on an artboard set to the desired size. In this case, the frame opening is 6×4 so I made my artboard that size. Then I resized the silhouette of audrey to fit within and gave it a stroke (rather than fully filled in just to conserve ink when printing). For both this little print and the large ones on my stairs, I added text. Set it to the size you like before printing.

You could just print on nice paper and frame as is. This is a great option especially if you are making them poster size. Send them to a local printer to print on large paper, put them in a frame (ikea has inexpensive big ones) and you are set. I wanted to go one step further with mine and give them more of a handmade look by painting them. So I’ll show you how that is done.

STEP ONE // transfer silhouette to good paper

rub-pencil-on-back-of-print

begin by flipping over your printout and scribbling along the outlines.

transfer-print-to-paper

Now flip your paper back over, center over the good paper and trace the printout lines (it helps to use a freshly sharpened pencil). The lead you scribbled on the back of the paper acts like graphite paper and will leave a faint outline of your original printout. This is such a simple method for transferring artwork. Tip: if you are transferring to dark paper, use chalk on the back instead of lead.

STEP TWO // paint

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I used regular acrylic craft paint and two different brushes. Let dry for a few minutes.

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STEP THREE // frame

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center your painted artwork in mat and tape to hold in place. Washi tape is great for this because it removes easily if you need to adjust the art.

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And you’re finished.

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Just for fun, I embellished this little silhouette with a mini headband cut out of scrapbook paper.

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Assorted flowers and leaves glue-sticked on because, why not?!!

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Hope this inspires you to create some silhouettes for your home! Don’t feel limited to children’s faces … try doing one of your dog or cat, a favorite landmark, or a special photo that can be transformed into a silhouette.

And don’t forget that registration for the next Simplified Graphic Design class begins Monday April 21st at 6am pacific. Last time it sold out in less than 24 hours, so make sure you grab your spot quickly! You can learn more about the course and what it will do for you here.

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how to make a silhouette (video tutorial)

(via country living)

Silhouettes are one of those classic art pieces that never go out of style … but are particularly in right now. They have been for a while, I suppose, but I’m still in love and think they’ll be around for years to come.

One of my favorite things in our house are these four large silhouettes of our kids going up the stairs. The snowflakes are not usually there – this photo is from Christmas, but you get the idea. Many of you have asked for a tutorial for how I made these large pieces so today and tomorrow I’ll be showing you how.

First up, is making the actual silhouette. There are so many different ways to do this but I prefer to create a vector image in Illustrator that can be blown up or made tiny without losing any of the clarity.  Because sometimes it is easier to just watch the process, I made a video for you:

If you don’t have Illustrator, you can probably accomplish a similar effect using a different photo editing software (or try this method), but you may not be able to enlarge without it becoming pixelated. I’m obviously a big fan of Illustrator and find so many different uses for the program. If you’ve been wanting to learn it, join our class! The next Simplified Graphic Design course opens up Monday April 21st. Last time it sold out in less than 24 hours, so make sure you grab your spot quickly! You can learn more about the course and what it will do for you here.

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Tomorrow I’ll be back showing you how to turn your digital silhouette into finished artwork worthy of hanging on your walls. For now, start creating silhouettes!

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