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

patterned pinwheels {tutorial}

How about a cute summery project?

pinwheels

This one is not totally original, but I love the mix of patterns and think these pinwheels make a delightful centerpiece for a summer party.

Want to make some?

Here’s what you’ll need:

supplies

:: patterned paper {see the printable collection below}

:: strips of solid paper

:: pencils with erasers

:: thumbtacks

:: scissors, tiny hole punch, glue dots

STEP ONE: cover each pencil

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Cut a strip of paper to about 1/2 inch x 15 inches. Use a glue dot to hold top in place and begin wrapping around the pencil, securing with a glue dot at the end.

pencil

STEP TWO: select two pieces of paper for pinwheel and cut to desired size

two papers

The finished size of your pinwheel is determined by the size of the square {I cut mine 6 x 6}

STEP THREE: glue papers back to back

back to back

two sided

STEP FOUR: fold diagonally

fold

and again

fold again

STEP FIVE: hole punch each corner

hole punch

I used a hole punch with a teensy hole {1/16″}

STEP SIX: cut along folded line, leaving 1/2″ at center

cut diagonal

cut

STEP SEVEN: poke thumbtack through hole in each corner

gather

through center

and poke through back

back

STEP EIGHT: attach to pencil

eraser

Press the thumbtack into eraser of the pencil.

And you’ll have this:

close

Any scrapbook paper will work {although very heavyweight paper doesn’t hold well}. I love using a combination of prints and colors … you can go with a color scheme {say, red, white & blue for the 4th of July} or a specific pattern {like gingham for an outdoor picnic in the park}. I created a collection of patterns, printed them onto regular text-weight printer paper and they turned out great.

The entire printable paper collection is now available in the shop

patterned-paper

pattern paper

Or you can get them all.

all-of-them

 

{each pdf is 8.5 x 11 and will be delivered to your email once your purchase has been completed. Make sure you check the email address used in your paypal purchase. Don’t forget to save the files to your computer so that you can print as often as you need}

Enjoy your weekend!

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summer in snapshots {week one} and a simple way to make a photo collage {tutorial}

Last week I mentioned that I’d be playing along with Amber of Starfish Jewelry and taking a photo each day to document our summer. Did you do it too? Here is our week in snapshots:

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I’m linking up at Starfish Jewelry Designs : click the button below to link up too.

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I’ve been asked a few times how I create my photo collages {you can see more examples here and here}. And now I will give out my secret.

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That’s right. There’s no fancy photoshop steps involved : just Google’s pretty amazing free photo-editing software called Picasa.

There are lots of different ways to edit your photos and as I get more into photography, I’m learning more about how important editing is. But Picasa has been a great resource for me {especially since it is simple and free} and is what I often use for my photos on the blog.  You can download it HERE.

Once you have it installed on your computer, import your photos either from your camera or from a file on your computer. You can learn more about the editing features on the picasa site, but feel free just to play around – they make it pretty easy.  Okay, on to the tutorial :

photo-collage

When you open picasa and have photos uploaded, it will look something like this:

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Now you can select the photos you would like to put in your collage Continue Reading →

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fabric envelope {tutorial}

My cousin is graduating from law school this weekend and I am so proud of her. I really can’t imagine going through the amount of undivided studying that girl has done these past few years, but hip, hip, hooray : she is done {okay, not completely since there is still the Bar to study for, but at least she has earned her law degree!}

fabric envelope

I have been trying to come up with something memorable and special to give her as a congratulation gift but finally came to the conclusion that money is always the most appreciated gift for any student.

close up

Rather than just giving a wad of cash, I created this fabric envelope as the wrapping for the money inside.

money

If you have a grad to celebrate, this might be a great gift idea for you too.

fabric envelope

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monogram art {tutorial}

Remember this picture from a few days ago?

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I put together a tutorial for how I made it. 

I spent this morning with my friend Rae who is pregnant with No.4. I think my favorite thing to talk about with pregnant women is what they are going to name the baby. I’m sure it gets old for my poor friends, but I never grow tired of it. I love talking baby names. I sort of wish I could have more kids just so I could name them. Actually, I don’t. I take that back.

Anyway : we were talking about her baby names {both of which I ADORE}. She is one of those crazy ladies who doesn’t find out what she is having beforehand {which is actually really quite fun} but I decided to make this monogram art for the new baby’s room, should he come out a boy. If she comes out a girl, I will tear it all apart and girlify it. But I like the idea for a baby’s room – it is not totally babyish, but still sentimental and a nice keepsake.

Geesh, I’m longwinded today.

So, here is the finished project:

monogram art

And here’s what you’ll need to make one of your own:

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:: picture frame {this one is 5 x 7 with a 4 x 6 opening}

:: linen {or other fabric for background}

:: book page for monogram

:: metal book plate {found in the scrapbook section of most craft stores}

:: stamps and ink pad for adding birthdate, year, etc.

:: glue gun, scissors

STEP ONE: cover back of frame with fabric

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Just cut the fabric slightly larger than the back and wrap snugly around the back. Secure with hot glue.

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STEP TWO: create your monogram

I designed mine in Illustrator and printed directly on to the book page {temporarily attached to a standard piece of paper so it would run through the printer}.

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You could just as easily free hand a letter, trace a stencil, die-cut it or use the transfer method I used to write on my chalkboard wall in the office.

STEP THREE: cut out letters

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This took some patience on my part and if I were to do it again I would have mirror-imaged the letters when I printed them so that you wouldn’t see the outline. But I don’t think the baby will mind.

STEP FOUR: attach the monogram

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Place the letters where you want them, then hot glue. This was a little tricky for the teensy letters.

STEP FIVE: attach the metal book plate

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Again, just use hot glue.

STEP SIX: add a label with the birthdate, anniversary, established date, etc.

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Let me talk for just a second about these stamps. I made them. Well, sort of. Last summer when I needed number stamps to price items for the summer boutique I searched and searched for a nice set of number stamps. With a dollar sign. Not too big, not too small. You would think that would be easy to find, but it was not. So I found these clear stamps at Michaels {Martha Stewart brand, but I can’t find them online} along with some dowels and glued them on to create a stamp. Not pretty, but does the trick. If you would rather just buy stamps, these ones are great and so are these. And here is a selection of alphabet stamps too.

And here it is, ready to adorn the baby boy’s room {if he, in fact, is a baby boy}.

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You can be so creative with this one – use a single monogram, an entire name, a favorite shape or symbol. A patterned fabric would be cute and making a banner for the date would be fun if you can’t find a bookplate. I think it makes a wonderful wedding gift for a newly established family or a sweet baby gift.

I hope you have fun with it!

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flouncy flowers {two tutorials & more}

flower-week

Well, today is the final day of flower week and I can say that I’ve loved it! I hope you have learned a few new things, have been inspired to create and maybe even finished a few of the projects. Like I said earlier this week, I could probably keep going for days and days with so many fun ways to create blossoms. I tried to narrow it down to five of my current favorites, but I just couldn’t. So today, there are two flowers.

Be sure to scroll all the way down for a few extra goodies at the end of the post.

The first flower today is a simple and modern one.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: satin fabric

:: beads for embellishing {I used pearls from a broken pearl bracelet}

:: round template {mine is approximately 2 1/2 inches}

:: needle, thread & scissors

STEP ONE: cut four circles

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STEP TWO: stack circles and stitch through center

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STEP THREE: add beads to center to embellish

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STEP FOUR: snip into circle

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And you’re done!

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Pin a little bunch to a sweater for a fun accessory.

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Cute and simple, right?

Let’s move right into the next flower:

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: organza

:: a small piece of satin for the center

:: thread, needle & scissors

STEP ONE: cut organza into eight rectangles

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My rectangles are 2 x 1, but you could cut them any size you like

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STEP TWO: layer

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STEP THREE: stitch through the center of the layered pieces

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Just use a running stitch and go from end to end, gathering as you go

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STEP FOUR: wrap thread around center

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Tie off in back and snip thread and you’ll have this:

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STEP FIVE: add center embellishment

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cut small circle from satin {approximately 3/4”}

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fold into quarters and stitch through the bottom to secure

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then attach with a stitch through the center of the flouncy flower.

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So sweet. I attached two to a pair of shoes for a summery look:

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And there you have it. Flower Week 2011. Six great flower projects to get you in the spring and summer mood.

zig zag

As a special gift for mother’s day, I’ve created a free printable card for you to download and print.

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Just click the image below for the pdf, print on cardstock, cut along dotted lines and fold in half.

mothers-day-card

I hope the mothers in your life enjoy it!

 

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rolled fabric flowers {tutorial}

Perhaps you’ve seen this flower elsewhere : it is a popular one.  There are many different ways to roll and fold the fabric for different looks, but today I’ll show how I make these rolled fabric flowers.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: fabric

:: scissors

:: hot glue gun {you could also hand stitch if you prefer}

STEP ONE: cut fabric into strip

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For this 2 1/2” flower, the strip is 2 1/4” x 28”

I tear the fabric both for ease and because I like the frayed edges

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STEP TWO: fold strip in half

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STEP THREE: roll end into a ball for the center

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Add a dab of hot glue to hold securely

STEP FOUR: twist and roll

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starting with the strip held straight, twist away from the center

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then roll around the center

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Did you get that? Twist away

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then roll.

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Every few twists you can add hot glue to hold

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Keep twisting and rolling to your desired size

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STEP FIVE: finish the back

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Leave a bit of fabric at the end so that you can flip it over the back

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add hot glue

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and trim the ends

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The back will look like that and the front looks like this:

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I attached a mini flower {and felt leaf} to a hair clip for the baby

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and added one to a piece of thin elastic for a dainty headband

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A bundled group of funky flowers makes a fun belt when pinned to a grosgrain ribbon.

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For this pillow I cut up an old shirt and used the material to hot glue a enormous flower to an existing pillow.

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I can’t decide if I’m in love, but it was super easy and a good mindless activity while the kids were out making mud pies in the back yard. You should have seen their muddy little bodies when they were finished. Oh my.

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So have you enjoyed flower week so far? I hope I’ve given you the inspiration and easy steps for making a few of these blossoms. I’ve heard from many that it is teacher appreciation week and a few of the flowers have been made for the sweet ladies who teach our kids. I’m sure they love receiving a hand-made gift! And, of course, we have Mother’s Day on Sunday and what mom doesn’t like a flower?!  So keep creating and I’ll be back tomorrow with one more flower tutorial.

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button flowers {tutorial}

Today’s flower is the simplest of them all {perfect for a mid-week spurt of creativity}.

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I saw this project in the April 2008 issue of FamilyFun magazine {yep, I still have the tear out in a binder}. I didn’t changed much from the original how-to, other than using silver wire instead of florists’ green.  These are super easy and a great craft to do with kids.

Here is what you’ll need:

supplies

:: buttons in various sizes {I went monochromatic, but you can be as crazy as you want}

:: 26 gauge wire {or whatever you have that is easily bendable}

:: scissors or wire cutters

STEP ONE: select your buttons

three

Choose three buttons in varying sizes and stack them up

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STEP TWO: cut wire to desired length {mine are approximately 6 inches}

cut wire

STEP THREE: thread wire through holes in buttons

thread

STEP FOUR: loop the wire up through the hole and down the opposite button hole

loop

{oh good heavens, don’t judge my hands}

Thread the wire back through the bottom button

thread 2

STEP FIVE: twist the wire to secure

twist

Aren’t they so sweet?

button flowers

I used a silver egg cup, added play dough to the inside {you could use florists foam if you have it, but I didn’t and play dough seemed to do the trick!} then covered with a bit of moss.  Poke the wire stems in and you have a playful little flower arrangement.

button flower 2

These are the same button flowers that are in Audrey’s room, except in white and tied up with twine.

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I did a search on google images for ‘button flowers’ and look what else I found:

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How beautiful, unexpected and cheap{!} for bridal bouquets. Wish I thought of that for my wedding! You could even have each of the bridesmaids make their own at a button-flower making party. I like that idea.

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This is the photo from that magazine article where I first saw these flowers. They look awfully cute sticking out of a plant.

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And I love these ones that have black wire stems that twist all the way down. Very whimsical.

So many variations you can do with sizes and colors of buttons. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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