Christmas Project {I’m Behind}

Hey all!
Trying to keep up with my promise of posting more often and I wanted to make sure that I got to this specific post before it was so long after Christmas.

Our tree has always, sadly, had a tree skirt that never quite fit. We got a larger stand that has several screws that go directly into the tree’s trunk, so it’s much bulkier than the traditional metal stands. I finally got fed up being able to see all the stand under the tree and wasn’t willing to spend lots of money on a skirt, so I found a Pinterest link that have a tutorial for an “Anthropologie like” tree skirt.

It was beautiful! Ruffles of linen? Bows to tie it in the back? Sold. So, I tried my best to follow the directions and got my supplies in order. I couldn’t find a drop cloth in the size they recommended, but I did have old IKEA curtains that were already damaged, so I used that as my base layer. I thought I had folded the curtain correctly and cut the right pieces, but of course I didn’t.

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So I put the semi circle pieces together, mended them, and continued on. I began by cutting my fabric into strips for the ruffles. I tried to make the width as uniform as I could, but there were some discrepancies. Be forewarned, this project takes A LOT of fabric and hot glue. Oh, and patience. Don’t be worried about burning your hands, either.

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I started on the outer ring of the skirt and worked my way into the center. I put the glue down onto the bottom layer first, then would fold the fabric into the glue. This way, I thought I would have more control of the fabric. It ended up being a challenge but the final product was definitely worth it.

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Once all the layers have been completed and dried, I added my bows. I used an entire roll of ribbon so I could have big bows. Because all the layers were finished, I was able to conceal the ends under the ruffles. I think that it turned out well! I wish I had better pictures. The color seems very buttery, but it was much more gold in person. Plus, I picked a fabric with a bit of sparkle (of course).

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Overall, this project cost me around $30 or $40 dollars. The fabric was the big expense, mostly because I needed more of it than the original tutorial suggested. The ribbon was only a few dollars and I already had the curtain for the base and the hot glue. Compared to the Anthropologie version, I got off easy!

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What do you think? Did you do any holiday crafts this year?

Xoxo,
Ashley

New Year, New Post {Welcome to 2014}

Hey everyone! I hope that 2014 is treating you well! Thanksgiving and Christmas were lovely. We saw lots of family, got together with many friends, and had a wonderful time. I have big hopes for 2014 and what it might bring. … Continue reading

Shelling Out For a New Project {Wall Letters}

Hello everyone!

Last night, while watching some old Walking Dead episodes, I decided to continue my shell-crafting binge. I picked up one of these paper mache letters at our local JoAnn’s just the other day ($4.50 with a 40% off coupon). I still have lots of project ideas for my future beachy office, so I figured why not start another! What I didn’t realize is that my obsessive side would seek absolute perfection and not allow any paper mache to show under the shells. This project took me about two Walking Dead episodes, which means it took about two hours total.

 

First, start with your empty letter.

So this is how it started. Seems easy enough, very straight forward.

So this is how it started. Seems easy enough, very straight forward.

 

Then, put out all the shells you intend to use. It’s easiest to sort them by size or shape, helps keep it organized. This way, when you have a space to fill, you can just quickly pick a larger or smaller shell to use.

 

Here are just a few of the shells I used. I set them out first, then started organizing.

Here are just a few of the shells I used. I set them out first, then started organizing.

 

Once you’re all organized and ready to go, heat up that glue gun and get to work! This is probably the hardest and most tedious part. I wanted to make sure that my letter wasn’t just adequately covered, but completely covered (except for the back so that I had a flat surface to mount it to a wall). I used a TON of hot glue. I mean really, I used a TON. This letter ended up being pretty hefty with the weight of the shells and the weight of the glue. I didn’t want any shells to fall off, so I used both glue on the shell directly and for some shells that were larger, I glued around the sides once it was already placed. And, after a couple hours and many zombies, I had a finished F.

 

There's a joke in there somewhere, I'm just not sure where.

There’s a joke in there somewhere, I’m just not sure where.

 

I’m going to leave it natural for now, but I may decide to spray it all one color for uniformity. We’ll see, I’m still not sure! Next up, a summer wreath with….you guessed it…shells!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

PS- Because of the coupon, and the fact that I already had the shells and the glue, this project cost me under $3. Total score.

On Display, On Display, On Display {Shadowboxes for the Office}

Why hello there!

Can it be? I’m posting multiple times in one week? Who would have thought. It must mean I’m on a break or something (Happy Passover/Easter!)…

Anyway, in my previous post I mentioned some tutorials for wall decor and art for a beachy office. By now you should have checked out my post on making metallic seashells (but if you haven’t, you can find it here). My next task is to show you how I made some awesome shadowboxes for a sea star, sand dollar, sea biscuit, and a couple urchins.

First things first, my supplies. Unfortunately, sea biscuits and other sea creatures are not made equally (or proportionally). I found several affordable shadowboxes at our local Michaels. They were originally $9.99 a piece, but marked down to 40% off. What I love about Michaels is that they STILL take your coupons on top of the already marked down price. I just happened to have a 25% off frame and shadowbox purchases, so I added that discount onto the already marked down prices. This means I ended up with three awesome shadowboxes for the price of one and a half (about $14). I was so happy with my purchase, but they came with meh black backgrounds. Typically, I love the black-white contrast, but with a beachy theme, it’s a bit too stark.

See? Loads of contrast. Too much for what I'm going for in the room, perfect for other places in our house. It needed to change.

See? Loads of contrast. Too much for what I’m going for in the room, perfect for other places in our house. It needed to change.

The next supply necessary, if you so choose to change the background, is a fabric, paper, or background design you would like to add to your shadowbox. I chose a burlap. I thought it would be very easy to find some cheap burlap at our fabric store, but boy was I wrong. Apparently no one wants to wear scratchy, itchy burlap. Possibly because it may look like a sack? Who knows. What I did find, at a little bit higher of a price, were scrap-booking sheets of burlap that are intended to be page backgrounds. They were about $3 a page, but fortunately on sale for a little more than $2 a sheet. I bought three and also picked up some more shadowboxes. I quickly learned that one shadowbox may fit a flat sand dollar, or even a skinny sea star, but not a sea biscuit or armored sea star. Bummer. Why don’t the shadowbox companies PLAN for these things? Sheesh. So I picked up a few more shadowboxes, which also happened to be on sale at our local JoAnn’s.

After I pulled out my trusty glue gun, a pair of scissors, and my purchased supplies, I got to work. Some of you may have seen this lovely Vine video which included a quick cut of the process.

First, take apart the shadowbox, you can use the backing of the box to cut your burlap/paper. Cut around the edges, making sure that you don’t have TOO much extra around the sides. This will cause your burlap/paper to be wavy and not flat against the backing. That will make it just look messy and you don’t want to do that! Heat up the glue gun, it’s time to go to work. Glue each of the four corners directly to the backing, making sure to not leave room for waves, wrinkles, or the like. Then, center your object (if you so choose to have it centered), making sure it fits proportionally when the shadowbox is reassembled.

WILL IT FIT!?

WILL IT FIT!?

For the items that had natural holes in the back, I used both push pins and tacks to hold it in place. I also used a liberal amount of hot glue to attach the objects to the burlap. Let it dry completely and if you’re a daredevil (as I am, obviously), give your backing with the object a gentle shake to make sure it’s fully attached. Worse case scenario, you’ve got a flying sea biscuit. Best case scenario, you’ve glued and anchored PERFECTLY and it will not fall in your awesome shadowbox. Once you’ve done this quick test, place the backing back onto the shadowbox, wiggle until you can anchor all of the back brackets and enjoy your hard work.

Why hello sea biscuit! You will be beautiful on my future office wall.

Why, hello there sea biscuit! You will be beautiful on my future office wall.

Seriously, this project should only take you about 10 minutes. I may have had some missteps (sorry pink urchin, you were a good one), but it took me less than 10 minutes to accomplish the whole project and I made 4.

On the left, a pencil sea star. On the right, a sea biscuit.

On the left, a pencil sea star. On the right, a sea biscuit. Just a little detail shot.

The gang's all here! Pencil sea star, urchins, sea biscuit, and sand dollar.

The gang’s all here! Pencil sea star, urchins, sea biscuit, and sand dollar.

Fortunately, the things featured in the shadowbox were mostly free because they’re from nature (except for the urchin and the pencil sea star). The shadowboxes cost about $25 and the burlap around $8. Overall, I probably spent under $40 for this project and I still have one more shadowbox to fill. So, I call it a success and a step in the right, beachy-office direction!

XOXO,
Ashley