Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Embroidery Hoop Mini Bulletin Boards

I saw these lovely yellow embroidery hoops at the store the other day, and decided to use some leftover fabric from my classroom curtains and bulletin board, to make some mini-cork board bulletin boards. 
I traced a larger circle and cut fabric, cork board, and a cardboard backing for each before assembling.  Then I stretched and stretched, and stretched the fabric, until each hoop was tight. 
Next, I made sure each cork circle fit, and added hot glue, evenly, then pressed it in against the fabric. 
After that, I hot glued in the cardboard backing.  Finally, I took the excess fabric on the back, and hot glued it to the backing, to ensure it wouldn't come off.  I hung each up by a nail in a random configuration.  ~Hoppy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Banners for School

Ohh....emmm....Geeee!!!  I am so in L-O-V-E with the NEW Stampin' Up Build a Banner Kit in the new Holiday Mini Catalog!!!!  In just one day, I seriously got my mist and daub on!  (Yes, I'm craft-geeky, and I know it!) I used EVERY SINGLE BANNER in BOTH the Build a Banner Kit, AND the Banner Refill Kit!  That's almost 40 banners, people!
One of the projects I worked on, besides the super secret Halloween and Christmas ones, was to make some banners to decorate my classroom.  I used lovely chevron and polka dot stencils for the Smoky Slate and Daffodil Delight (mixed with a tad of Summer Starfruit) pennants.  For the letters, I attempted the mini-mister for the "learn" banner, but loved the control I had, using the sponge daubers on the "read" and "grow" banners.  For all three, I used Gumball Green.  The "Learn" banner is also outlined in a black Sharpie, because I couldn't stand how undefined the letters were by misting them.
I used the 3/4" Smoky Slate Chevron ribbon to string each pennant on, and tied a loop at each end to be able to hang them up.  Hope you like them!

Here's a quick look at the Simply Created Build a Banner Kit.  It includes the Chevron, Striped, and Polka Dot masks, as well as a blank shield, and all 26 letters of the alphabet.  There are 18 pennants, jute twine, and a mini-mister.  The easiest way I found, was to fill a mister with approximately 25-30 drops of reinker (to achieve desired color), and fill the rest with 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.  I also covered all of my surface with newspaper, and had several sheets of paper towel handy to wipe masks as I finished with them.  When I was completely finished, I washed all masks in the sink, and then let dry. 

~Hoppy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bulletin Board Revamp

Look carefully.  What do you see?  I see a super fun, gorgeous, and chevron-inspired bulletin board!  I recently moved my entire classroom layout around, and where my teacher desk now is, I had nowhere to hang important memos (besides in the newly built/painted wall).  I was going to relocate the board that was by my old desk space, but it was way too big to fit this smaller wall.  Sooo, I asked my mother if she still had any of our old cork-style bulletin boards from when my brother and I were in high school.  She came through like a champ, and saved me the $$$ and time of searching for a new one.  Thanks mom, for hoarding crap from our childhood storing important things away!
After measuring, I set out for the nearest local fabric store, and found EXACTLY what I was looking for!  (How often does that happen?)  I loved the neutral slate and basic grays!  In fact, they match great with the two bookshelves I repainted for my classroom!  And, with the curtains I'm in the process of finishing!  I love when a plan comes together!  (Now all I need is perfect incoming kiddos.....)
After finding fabric, I bought some silver tacks (in office supplies), and set to work.  I ironed the fabric, then laid it out to make the strips even.  Then, I started adding tacks and stretching the fabric as I went.  After I had every other tack in, I made a second round of tacks between the first, just for good measure.  When I was sure I was done adding tacks, I turned the board over, and used my trusty staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the frame, as I pulled the fabric tighter (not too tight, or you could pop out your tacks).  Finally, I added eye hooks to the back, and hung by a wire in the back.  I also thought it needed a pop of color, so I used my hot glue gun to glue the giant green daisy to a tack, then stuck it in the corner.  ~Hoppy Crafting!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ugly Chair Renovation

 Look at this gloriously ugly chair.  LOOK  at IT!  (You are jealous, aren't you?)  I know you may cringe....Goodness knows that I have!  This valuable piece of crap furniture resides in my classroom, where I have to look at it everyday use it daily, or graciously bestow it upon my parent volunteers as one of the few adult-friendly sized chairs available.
Well, I decided got brave and totally went for reupholstering it!  First, I patched all the holes and refilled them.  Sure, I used cotton balls and duct tape...what else was there to use, since I hadn't prepared for that step, and I was AT THE SCHOOL?...but, it worked.
After all holes were sufficiently repaired, I removed the bottom seat and set to work.  I had found this gorgeous black and white damask table cloth-type fabric (with felt on the back), for under $3 a yard, at a big low-price chain.  Perfect for a cheap classroom makeover!   I simply laid the seat on it, face down, and cut around it to leave enough to staple gun to the bottom. 
It may have taken me around an hour to both repair, remove all the screws, and staple gun the entire bottom part, but goodness, what a difference!  I LOVED it, and couldn't wait to finish the top!

The top did prove to be a bit more tricky!  Since there are upholstery tacks hammered in, I had to pry everything out first, and then I could recover the top.  I also had to figure out a way to recover the flimsy chipboard-like backing....I finally settled on hot glue, which worked well.   Once both pieces were covered, I set to work, hammering all the upholstery tacks back in, and meticulously lining screws, etc., back up to put the chair back together.  I think for under two hours of work, that the results are amazing!  I am so happy that this is now what my chair looks like, instead of the baby-poo ugly yellow/green it was!  I am also glad that my first experience reupholstering a chair was on something of such low value.  Even though I didn't have any difficulties, pulling your material taut is a big deal, and corners can be tedious to stretch so they don't gap or overlap and look messy.  Hope this inspires you to try one on your own!  (BTW-I don't know how long the cheap covering will hold up, but it's WAYYYY better than the before picture, wouldn't you agree?
~Hoppy Crafting!

P.S.--Yes, I am aware that I "messed up" and made the top and bottom patterns go completely opposite directions!  OOPS!  I didn't realize that I had turned the top fabric until I was done with the top.  By that point, I wasn't freakin' redoing it figured the chair was looking a billion times better, so it was just going to have to be.  :) 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hot Glue Flowers?

I've had the Stampin' Up Simply Pressed Clay and Buttons & Blossoms Simply Pressed Clay Molds now, since about when the new catalog came out.  I've been getting really good at making the normal flowers with the Simply Pressed clay, but kept wondering if I could use other mediums in the molds.  It just so happens that I'm not the only crafter who wonders that!  I ran a quick Google search, and found a great video by this lady who actually used her hot glue gun to make the Buttons and Blossoms! 
I HAD to try it!  It's pretty easy.  The biggest trick is filling your mold to avoid as many air bubbles as possible.  When cooled (which takes no time at all), these babies pop out like a dream!  I may even have to try some of the colored and glitter glue sticks I have!  My silicone molds have been fine since using the hot glue, but I'm sure this isn't recommended by Stampin' Up, and it probably voids any warranties.  But, if you're like me, you like to live on the edge and try new things!  Have fun with this and let me know any good tricks you come up with!  ~Hoppy Crafting!