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

fabric covered monogram

Today seems like a good day to share a simple project as seen on our wall of L’s.

The thing I like most about this project {besides the fact that it is quick and easy} is that you can totally customize this … make a huge letter for a wall or a small one as a gift topper. I even made one to hang on our front door at Christmastime {embellished with ribbons, a merry christmas banner and crepe paper flower}.

So let’s get to it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: piece of sturdy cardboard {I used the back of an old calendar, but any box from the recycle bin will do}

:: fabric

:: scissors or x-acto knife and cutting mat

:: hot glue gun

:: spray adhesive

:: pencil

STEP ONE: draw your letter on the cardboard. You can print a letter and trace it, or just freehand. Remember that you will want the letter to be thick enough to make an impact {go back to your middle school bubble-letter-making-days}

STEP TWO: cut out

at first I used scissors, then I realized that an x-acto knife would make it much easier.

Once it is cut out, you can make little adjustments to the letter, if needed.

STEP THREE: cut fabric to size

My fabric was double sided so this didn’t apply, but in most cases, be sure to flip your letter so that the print side of the fabric will be on the front of the letter {right sides together}.

STEP FOUR: use spray adhesive to secure the fabric to the front of the letter, smoothing any wrinkles as you go.

STEP FIVE: make snips around corners so the fabric will lay flat

STEP SIX: run a small bead of hot glue around the edge of the letter and press down the fabric to secure

If you have center holes, just snip into the center with your scissors and make those same little cuts to get the fabric to lay flat as you glue around the corners.

And you’re done!

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decoupage light switch plates {tutorial}

When your walls are painted a dark color, what do you do with the white outlet covers that become so obvious?

The walls in our living room are this deep slate gray which makes the random white switch plates dotting each wall really stand out {and not in a good way}.  Someone suggested painting them to match the wall color, but I was a little concerned that the paint would not adhere well to the plastic {has anyone tried this? Does it work?}.

Then yesterday I had a moment of inspiration and decided to decoupage them with a fun scrapbook paper to make them blend, but also add a touch of style.  I know this has been done many times before, but I thought I’d share with you how I created mine anyway. It was a super easy project and you could come up with some great ways to either hide the covers or make them pop, depending on what works for your room.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: switch plate

:: scrapbook paper {or wrapping paper, fabric or book pages}

:: mod podge

:: scissors

:: sponge brush

STEP ONE: cut paper slightly larger than outlet cover

STEP TWO: apply mod podge to back of paper and front of switch cover and press together

STEP THREE: cut out the corners

STEP FOUR: applying more glue, fold in the sides and press to adhere

STEP FIVE: trim top and bottom flaps at an angle then fold down and press to adhere

STEP SIX: cut out center hole as shown

Once you have cut the paper, add glue, fold and press to adhere.

STEP SEVEN: cover front with mod podge to seal

And here it is up on the wall. From up close, you see the pretty pattern of the paper.

And from the couch, you barely notice the switches.

Just what I was hoping for.

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embroidered wallhanging {tutorial}

For nearly two years I’ve had this tutorial in a file on my desktop just waiting to be posted. I have no idea what took me so long, but I thought it would be good to finally share it.

I selected a scripture for Audrey {you can read the story here} and wanted to hang it over her crib. Coming up with a solution for a lightweight, non-permanent solution was the challenge. I didn’t want something heavy that could fall on the baby and while vinyl or handpainted letters would have worked, it wasn’t exactly the look I was hoping for.

So I invented this very thrown together wall hanging.

Here’s what you need to make one of your own:

:: a piece of heavy fabric slightly larger than your desired finished size {I used a piece of IKEA lenda curtains – a nice cotton canvas}

:: embroidery or crochet thread

:: embroidery hoop & embroidery needle

:: scissors and pencil

STEP ONE: lightly write the verse, name or other wording on the fabric with a pencil. Be sure to center it.

STEP TWO: secure embroidery hoop where you would like to begin your stitches.

STEP THREE: thread the needle and make a knot in the end. Now make your first stitch from the back. We are using a back stitch {here is a good tutorial}

STEP FOUR: make a stitch in the desired length {approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch} and push the needle back down through the fabric.

STEP FIVE: To continue the backstitch, push your needle back up 1/8 – 1/4 inch from where you finished the first stitch

STEP SIX: make a stitch pushing the needle back down just above the first stitch mark

STEP SEVEN: pull the thread tight and make another stitch in the same backstitch manner

Once you have finished each letter, you will have a beautifully {and painstakingly} embroidered piece of fabric.

This is where you can finish your piece as you wish … and where mine became a total hodgepodge of a project.

I had a piece of foam core that I cut to size and wrapped the fabric around it, securing with packing tape {remember I was going for light weight}.

Then I poked in upholstery tacks for a fun border. Because the tacks are not completely secure, once Audrey was old enough to stand in her crib, I removed the verse from over her crib and it is now on a different wall in her room where she can not reach it.

Want more embroidery inspiration? Here are a few great projects {click on image for source}:

   

And sources for embroidery help:

the purl bee

thirty handmade days

wild olive

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autumn flower pin {tutorial}

A few weeks ago as I was setting out our outfits for my cousin’s wedding, I threw together a flower pin to embellish Audrey’s outfit.  I needed something fallish and green to help her coordinate with the rest of the family. I know, I am a dork like that.  But I was really pleased with the pretty pin that resulted and so I’m happy to share my how-tos with you today.

autumn flower pin

Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: medium rick rack

:: piece of silk {approximately 2 inches x 10 inches}

:: velvet ribbon

:: green felt

:: feathers

:: scissors, hot glue gun, pin back

Let’s start with the sweet little rick rack flower.  I saw this over here, pinned it on my ‘things to make’ board and actually gave it a try.  You can read the original tutorial here, or my version is below.

STEP ONE: cut two pieces of rick rack to desired size {15 inches produced a 1 1/4 inch rosette}

rick rack

STEP TWO: glue the two pieces together at one end

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STEP THREE: wind the two pieces together

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It gets a little twisty : but don’t worry.  It is helpful to add a dab of glue to the end to keep it together.

STEP THREE: coil

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Beginning at one end, tightly coil the rick rack, straightening as you go. If you’d like, add a dab of glue every once in a while to keep it together. To finish, tuck the end pieces under and glue into place.

This is what you’ll end up with:

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STEP FOUR: fluff the rosette

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Gently bend a few outer pieces outward. Again, you can glue into place if you wish.  Isn’t it cute?!

On to the next flower. I’ll call it the ruffle flower.

STEP ONE: ruffle a strip of silk

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Cut a piece of silk {approximately 2 inches x 10 inches} and stitch a long stitch along the bottom. Pull the threads to tighten the ruffle.

STEP TWO: spiral the ruffle so that the ends overlap and the center is tight

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STEP THREE: cut scallops

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STEP FOUR: bunch up the center and secure with a thread wrapped around several times

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This is what you’ll end up with:

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STEP FIVE: embellish the center

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Put a drop of fabric glue into the center of the flower, then add a few golden seed beads {I initially tried this with hot glue and the beads didn’t stick. Just FYI}.

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Now for the leaves.

STEP ONE: cut out a circle {for the back of the pin} and two leaf shapes from the felt

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STEP TWO: burn the edges {carefully!}

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STEP THREE: accordion fold and secure to create dimension

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To create the ribbon loops, simply loop a piece of velvet ribbon {or ribbon of your choice} and secure with hot glue.

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Okay, now to assemble the pin.

First glue on the ruffle flower.

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Then add the rick rack rosette.

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Glue in the ribbon loops

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and the leaves

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then poke in a few feathers and secure with hot glue. 

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P.S. these feathers came from real life birds that my friend’s husband hunted. I have a whole bag of them that he plucked, cleaned and saved for me. They are really cool, but sort of creepy. I’m sure the feathers you get at craft stores come from real birds too, but I never put much thought into it. It’s like eating an egg straight from a chicken versus buying them at the grocery store. Same thing, but a whole different mental picture. Random tangent of the day.

Now add a pin to the back and you are finished.

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And that is my autumn flower pin. I kept one for Audrey and the other is part of this month’s giveaway.

I know this looks like a lot of steps and maybe a little complicated, but it really quite simple. You could get really creative with adding different ribbons, a few rosettes, sparkly beads on wire : have fun with it!

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art with my no.2 {tutorial}

My #2 stayed home from kindergarten yesterday with a barky cough so it was the perfect chance to spend some time with him doing an art project. It was a fun one and easy for even the littlest artists.

leaf-art

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

:: paper, finger paint & glitter

:: leaf shapes {I used these, printed on thick paper and cut to use them as a pattern}

:: picture frame

:: paper to use as background

STEP ONE: finger paint to your heart’s content

finger paint paper

We use this washable finger paint. The colors mix well and it lives up to its name as washable. I appreciate that.

crayola fingerpaint

Baby girl loves to paint. I love her smib that keeps the paint off her clothes.

finger painting

STEP TWO: pour on the glitter.

glitter over watercolor

STEP THREE: make leaf patterns.

leaf patterns

I googled leaf template and found this image. Then I printed on heavy paper, cut them out and we traced on the back of the painted paper.

trace leaf pattern

Then cut out the leaves.

cut out leaves

STEP FOUR: glue leaves to background paper

glue leaves

STEP FIVE: place picture into frame

fingerpaint leaf project

Look at my proud, sick boy and his art.

brady holding leaf picture

Such a great project for us to do together.

I have wanted to do this for a while after seeing these from Sarah Jane Studios:

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I think I will still use the idea for the playroom {someday}. You can download the templates for the sparrow, elephant and seal here.  It is such a great way to use your children’s art in a unique way.

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