DIY Watercolor Flower Painting

watercolor flower painting

My mom LOVES flowers and that is probably and understatement. The house I grew up in is like a jungle because of all of the plants.  Anyway, it was her birthday on Thursday so I went home for the weekend to spend some time with her.

I know it’s traditional to buy birthday cards, but I’m really not a fan of picking up some templated card with text that some random person wrote. I wanted to give her a birthday card that was more personal so I decided on a watercolor painting with a happy birthday at the bottom.

The process can take a while, depending on your experience level, but it’s a great starter project for getting into watercolor painting.

There are a few things you should know before you start using watercolor

Watercolor paints are transparent, so if you’re used to using oil or acrylic, this might be a little bit harder to get used to. You have to plan out where you’re white space is going to be. Painting an area white after you’ve painted it a different color is not going to work.

Limit your color palette to 2 or 3 colors. If you get too many colors on the paper, they will start to blend together and get a little muddy.

Use a variety of brushes. Don’t try to use one small brush. Vary the sizes and you’ll get better results.

watercolor flower painting materials

Things You Will Need:
Water
Paint brushes
Paper towels
Watercolor paints
Thick paper (watercolor paper, Bristol)
Flowers to look at (optional)

watercolor prep drawing

Step 1
Draw a very light outline of flowers on your paper with a pencil. These will be your guides. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look fantastic. The best thing about watercolor is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to look nice.
light blue flowers

Step 2
Paint your lightest colors first. Make sure your brush is wet (but not soaked).

To get a lighter shade of the color you’re using, get your paint brush wet, swirl it on the paint, dip it back into the water, then lightly dab it onto the towel. When you start painting you’ll get a very light color.

To get a darker shade, just use less water. Go from the paint directly onto the paper.
watercolor painting of flowers

watercolor painting with no outlines

Step 3
Paint on the darker colors.
watercolor flower painting

Step 4
Wait for everything to dry, then draw a thin black outline around all of the flowers and leaves. The outline helps to pull the whole image together and make it look a little more defined.

When you’re finished, you can add your message at the bottom and you have the perfect, from-the-heart birthday card. Your recipient will appreciate it much more that the card you thought about buying at the store.
If you’ve never used watercolor before, don’t worry! This is a good medium to start with. The colors bleed easily when there’s a good bit of water and can be easily touched up with ink when you’re finished. I would definitely recommend playing around with it. It’s a very nice stress reliever.

Hope you enjoyed my DIY for this week! I’d love to hear your feedback.

DIY Sketchbook Pen and Pencil Holder

DIY sketchbook pencil holder

Every artist that carries a sketchbook should have an easy-to-access pencil. Some carry multiple pencils in a fold-up case, but I typically don’t used more than one or two at a time. But every time I get an idea, I have to look for a pencil. So, I thought about buying a pencil holder for my sketchbook but, of course, decided to make my own instead. I know you’re surprised.

It’s really easy, cheap, and didn’t take long at all. I did mine my hand, but if you have a sewing machine, this will move a lot faster.

I love that it fits around my sketchbook so that I always have pencils with me. I was also excited about the elastic band because it fits a variety of sizes of sketchbooks. I’m trying out a Mod Notebook right now, but when I’m done with that one, I can use the pencil holder for my Moleskine as well.

sketchbook pencil holder materials

Things You Will Need:
Fabric
Elastic
Scissors
Sewing kit
Sketchbook

You can find everything you need for the DIY sketchbook pencil holder at Michael’s or any other craft/hobby shop.

pencil holder sizing

Step 1
Measure out your main piece of fabric to be situated something like this around the front cover of your sketchbook. That extra space is where we’re going to sew in the elastic later on.

pencil holder fabric pieces

Step 2
Cut out two more pieces of fabric: one for the actual pocket and one to accent the top of the pocket.

The pocket piece should be about half the size of the wrap-around piece.

The accept piece is optional, but looks nice. It’s your call how much space you want that one to take up.

pencil pocket

Step 3
Fold the accept piece under on both sides and sew it to the pocket.

pencil pocket inside wrap

Step 4
Fold over the piece that wraps around the sketchbook, inside out. Place the pocket inside of that. I put mine about 2 inches from the bottom of the wrapped piece, but this will depend on the size of your sketchbook. You’ll have to measure it to see what you like.

pencil holder with sewn edges

Step 5
Sew up both sides of the wrapped piece, making sure to include the pocket with your stitch.

Don’t sew across the top or the bottom of the wrapped piece or the pocket.

pencil holder in progress

Step 6
When you’re done sewing up the sides, flip the fabric right-side out so that you can see the pocket.

Sew across the bottom of the pocket so that your pencils don’t fall out.

elastic pencil holder

Step 7
Measure out your elastic pieces so that your wrap will fit around your sketchbook cover.

Now you can sew the elastic pieces into the top and bottom of the wrapped piece. Make sure to fold the ends of fabric pieces down inside first so the edges look clean.

DIY sketchbook pencil holder

Wrap the pencil holder around the front cover of your sketchbook and you’re done! Well, you’ll need some pencils, of course.

open sketchbook with pencil holder

The inside should look something like this.

sketchbook with pencil/pen holder

When planning out the pencil holder, I wanted something that wouldn’t ruin the cover of my sketchbook. In order to do that, I chose a thin fabric and made sure to end the pocket section right at the bottom of the sketchbook cover. With the fabric and elastic that takes up space on the inside of the sketchbook, it only lifts the cover a little bit. I’m happy with that.

If I wanted to carry anything else, like a smaller sketchbook or my wallet, it would fit nicely underneath the pencil holder, which is very convenient.

I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments.

Happy crafting :-)

DIY Upcycled Striped Wedge Heels

DIY Upcylced Wedge Heels

I love the idea of high heels but I never wear them, mostly because they hurt my feet after a while and I’m kind of a wuss. But I’ve had these wedge heels for a few years and I love them because they match almost everything I own and they’re actually comfortable. They also walk a fine line between dressy and casual. Perfect, right? Yeah, until they look as worn out as mine did.

roughed up wedge heels

Yep, those are in rough shape. Instead of trashing them and buying a new pair, I decided to see if I could upcycle them. If not, then I’d give it and spend the money to get a new, probably less wonderful pair of wedge heels.

Warning: this project took about 4 hours with drying time. It was definitely worth it, but I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you are planing to do the same thing with your shoes. It’s a perfect craft for a day when you have cleaning and laundry to do.

materials for DIY upcycled heels

Things You Will Need:
Scissors
Satin paint
Wedge heels
Painters tape
Sponge brush

*You might also want some Outdoor Mod Podge or waterproof spray protectant for afterwards. My paint bottles say to let the paint cure for 7 days before using them. Afterwards I plan to waterproof them as well.

**Before you get started, cut off any frays or loose material on the heels. I also used a file to sand down the rougher parts so that the paint would lay smoothly.

taped wedge heels

Step 1
Tape around the wedges so that you don’t get any paint on the fabric/plastic part of the shoe. Make sure it’s very close to the wedge. Otherwise, you’ll have to touch it up later.

Then you can tape up the heels to create your striped pattern.

white striped heels

Step 2
Paint the white on first.

This is the part that takes a very long time. Depending on the color of your wedge, you might need to add quite a few layers of the white paint. Since mine were brown, I had to paint on 5 layers.

Wait until each layer is completely dry before adding another layer.

When you’re satisfied with the white sections, very slowly and carefully peel off the tape. You want to make sure you’re not pulling any paint off with the removal of the tape.

tape job 2

Step 3
Tape off the white sections of the wedge heel so that you can apply the black paint.

black striped wedge heels

Step 4
Apply the black paint.

Follow the same procedure you followed in step 3 with the white paint. You probably won’t need as many layers though. Since black is a dark color it will cover up the brown much easier.

Make sure to let the paint dry between layers.

When the paint is completely dry, peel off your tape starting with the tape around the white sections.

chipped paint

touched-up paint

Step 5
Apparently, I didn’t pull the tape off slow enough because some of my white paint came with it. Ugh… it was devastating.

So, this step is for touchups. I didn’t want to risk pulling off any black paint, so I eyeballed it.

You can hardly tell I had to touch it up.

striped wedge heels

Read your paint bottle. It will tell you how long you have to wait for the paint to cure. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a week. I am  really happy with the way the shoes turned out though. They’re not perfect, but they’re good enough for me!

DIY Upcylced Wedge Heels

Let me know what you think!

Do you like them? Would you try it?

DIY Yarn Basket

The Craft Challenge

Before I even get into this post, I am going to apologize for the crappy photography. I’ve been in bed all weekend with a (self diagnosed) sinus infection, so most of the pictures were taken with my terrible camera phone and a lamp for lighting.

DIY Yarn Basket

I learned how to do basket weaving in college so I carried my knowledge over to this project which is part of The Craft Challenge (more info below this post). Baskets are very easy to make, just a bit time consuming. If you’d like to make one, set up your working area when you’re catching up on your shows or maybe listening to a podcast. It will take a few hours but exact timing will depend on the size of your basket. As you can see, mine is pretty small and it took me about 1.5 hours to make.

yarn basket materials

Things You Will Need:
Yarn
Rope
Scissors
Canvas Needle

**For the rope, you can use anything. I used jute for this one, but in the past I’ve used a variety of cording. Just make sure it’s thick and sturdy.

**I cut off 3.5 yards of yarn to start with and about 4 yards of rope. I’ll show you how to add more yarn when you get to the end of your cut. The amount of rope you cut off will be what you can use for your basket.

yarn and jute

starting the yarn basket

Step 1
Lay your rope and your yarn side by side. Hold the ends together and wrap the yarn around both pieces like in the images above. You want to be wrapping toward the ends.

yarn wrapcreating the base

Step 2
Fold the wrapped part of the rope in half and begin to wrap more of the yarn so that it looks like somewhat of a teardrop.

yarn basket anchor stitch

Step 3
Begin to coil the wrapped rope like in the image above.

Thread the needle with the opposite end of your yarn and push it down through the center of the coil to anchor the sections together. This is what I will refer to from here on out as your anchor stitch.

yarn basket continuation

Step 4
Continue to wrap and coil your yarn, making sure to do an anchor stitch about every 4 wraps. But when you anchor, it will be against the previous section, not down the center.

When you’re happy with the size of the base, all you have to do is layer the rope on top of one another, rather than side by side, to create the sides of the basket.

Continue to do this until your basket is complete.

ending yarn segment

How to end a yarn segment
When you’re getting close to the end of the yarn segment and are ready to start another one, wrap it around the rope a few times, anchor it and push the needle back through the last several wraps you made. Then you can cut off any excess yarn.

beginning yarn segment

How to start a new yarn segment
To start a new yarn segment, we are going to do exactly what we did it step 1 except we won’t be folding it in half.

Lay the yarn on top of the rope and start wrapping toward the beginning of the yarn cut. So, I would take the section I’m holding onto in the picture, wrap it 4 times around both the yarn and the rope, thread the other end of the yarn through the needle and anchor it to the previous section.

ending stitch yarn basket

ending yarn basket

The finishing stitches
When you get to the end of the basket, you’re going to make several anchor stitches (no wraps) until it completely covers the end of your rope. Make a few more anchor stitches onto the section you just anchored the rope to.

Last, the same way you end your yarn segment, push the needle through your last few wraps and cut off the excess.

yarn basket side view

DIY Yarn Basket

When you’re finished, you’ll have a nice little yarn basket to hold anything you want! I chose to put my essential oils in it since it was the perfect size.

For the month of March, the challenge was to create a craft made primarily with yarn.

Here’s what the other bloggers made for the challenge

Click the images to go to their tutorials!

Emily made an initial tapestry.

Initial tapestry decorThis thing is pretty cool because it doesn’t involve crocheting or knitting (which I suck at). It looks like an easy tutorial and is made primarily of wood and yarn.
 
 
 
Erika made a tutorial for the Harlequin Granny Squares.

Harlequin granny square tutorial

Kudos to Erika for being able to crochet! If you like that sort of thing, you should really check this out. There are a lot of easy-to-follow pictures and a step-by-step tutorial as well. She plans to make a blanket after she finishes all of the elements. I bet it will look lovely!

A Pop of Red Make Something Mondays Eclectic Enchantments Tinkerbell Knits Image Map

DIY Easter Baskets

DIY Easter Baskets

My mom made the cutest Easter baskets for my little cousins and I wanted to share them with you.

Now, my mom isn’t particularly crafty, so I was very proud of her for making these. She said they were very simple, too, so if you’re looking for a cheap way to make Easter baskets, head over to the Dollar Store and grab the following items.

Things You Will Need:
Nerd ropes
Hot melt glue
A piece of cardboard
Grass for inside the basket
Any extras you’d like to add
Four boxes of candy (same size)

Step 1
Glue the 4 boxes of candy to the cardboard so it forms the base of a basket.

Step 2
Glue each end of the Nerd Ropes to the sides of the “basket” to serve as the handle.

Step 3
Fill it up with your grass and the rest of your Easter goodies.

 

I love them! they’re functional without a lot of left overs. That’s my kind of craft!

27 Playful Diversions on the Streets of Paris

Make Something Mondays:

All of this fun artwork makes me want to go to Paris!

Originally posted on TwistedSifter:

Charles Leval aka Levalet, is a French artist that uses the streets of Paris as his canvas. The artist likes to incorporate the surroundings into his site-specific wheatpaste artworks, and his figures often seem to interact with their environment. According to an interview with Underground Paris, the 27-year old’s work began appearing in Paris in 2012. An art teacher by day, the artist enjoys exploring the city and seeking out potential ‘canvases’.

To keep up with the latest, be sure to follow Levalet at the online links below.

1.

street art in paris by levalet (1)

Artwork by LEVALET
Website | Facebook | Instagram

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street art in paris by levalet (18)

Artwork by LEVALET
Website | Facebook | Instagram

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street art in paris by levalet (8)

Artwork by LEVALET
Website | Facebook | Instagram

4.

street art in paris by levalet (12)

Artwork by LEVALET
Website | Facebook | Instagram

5.

street art in paris by levalet (9)

Artwork by LEVALET
Website | Facebook | Instagram

6.

street art in paris by levalet (15)

Artwork by LEVALET
Website | Facebook | Instagram

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