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Crafts

  • Make Coloring Book Pages into More

    As I have said over the years, I love to color! It is a natural outlet of creativity for me. A new box of crayons, pencils or markers always made me smile.  Coloring was never a phase for me; it was something that made me, me!

    Paper pumpkin from coloring book pages. Paper pumpkin from coloring book pages.

    The mass appeal of coloring has reignited! You know you can color by yourself as a means of entertainment or meditation. But don't forget coloring can be done in a group as a play date or coloring party. Whatever your preference, just relax, be imaginative and have fun!

    Holiday crunch time is here with Thanksgiving right around the corner! Families and friends will gather. They may need an outlet for their pent-up energy and excitement, especially if the weather is uncooperative for outdoor play. Coloring fits the bill. It is an activity that is not too demanding, does not require an organizer, and is not food-related.  Added bonus -- it can be done in a group setting! What a great way to offer your group gathering a stress-free, decorative and interactive activity!

    I saw similar projects to my finished paper pumpkin posted on Pinterest. I kept playfulness in mind, as I experimented with pages from my adult coloring books to make decorative paper pumpkins. After I had fun coloring, I found what worked best for me and now I'll share my steps with you.

    I used two pages from Jungle Wonders Color Art for Everyone; one page had areas colored with markers, the second page was uncolored. I'll show you how I made my paper pumpkins.

    Colored page using markers. Colored page using markers.

    I knew that I would be cutting my two pages into strips so even the colored page did not have every part of its design filled with marker. I used colors that were more fall-like to match my other seasonal decor.

    Uncolored page. Uncolored page.

    Getting my pages ready...

    Pages cut into strips - see other image for dimensions. Pages cut into strips - see other image for dimensions.

    Each coloring book page would yield five 2-inch strips, measuring the page when it was turned horizontally (landscape mode). I used two pages to make one paper pumpkin.

    Two-inch wide strips. Each with two centered punched holes, one at top and bottom respectively, one-half inch from edge. Two-inch wide strips. Each with two centered punched holes, one at top and bottom respectively, one-half inch from edge.

    With the cutting done, I marked where my punched holes would be on either end of each strip. Next, I stacked my strips and got a 12-inch long pipe cleaner ready.

    Two stacks of coloring book pages; uncolored on left, colored on right. Plus, a 12 inch long pipe cleaner. Two stacks of coloring book pages; uncolored on left, colored on right. Plus, a 12 inch long pipe cleaner.

    Making a spiral at one end of the pipe cleaner helps to secure it as the base of the pumpkin. All strips will then be placed on the pipe cleaner.

    Make a spiral base at one end of the pipe cleaner. Make a spiral base at one end of the pipe cleaner.

    Decide how you would like to order your strips. In a random order or in a sequence to create a particular design pattern. I alternated between uncolored and colored strips.

    Slide each strip onto pipe cleaner - right side down. Alternate uncolored page with colored page, starting with the bottom hole. Slide each strip onto pipe cleaner - right side down. Alternate uncolored page with colored page, starting with the bottom hole.

    After all the strips are stacked by their bottom holes onto the pipe cleaner, feed the pipe cleaner through their top holes.

    Now weave the pipe cleaner through the top hole of each strip. Now weave the pipe cleaner through the top hole of each strip.

    You might have to bend your pipe cleaner above the spiral base in order for it to stand up straight. Repeat as necessary while you are fanning out each pumpkin strip, as described in the next step.

    From the side, slide your strips down until a nice arch forms. This angle will become your rounded pumpkin shape. From the side, slide your strips down until a nice arch forms. This angle will become your rounded pumpkin shape.

    Rework the pipe cleaner as necessary so it stands up on a tabletop as you are fanning out the strips making your pumpkin shape.

    Fan out each strip from the stack starting with the innermost strip. Fan out each strip from the stack starting with the innermost strip.

    After all the strips are fanned out, and you are satisfied with the pumpkin's look, curl the top of your pipe cleaner so it looks like a stem. Wrap your pipe cleaner around a pencil to get a great curlicue shape!

    After all the strips are fanned out, curl your pipe cleaner into a stem. After all the strips are fanned out, curl your pipe cleaner into a stem.

    Yeah, all done; transformation complete. Just think how much fun making paper pumpkins would be during your Thanksgiving celebration! Young and old(er) friends and family could be coloring pages and constructing paper pumpkins at the same time.

    Finished paper pumpkin! Adult coloring books can be used to make seasonal decor! Finished paper pumpkin! Adult coloring books can be used to make seasonal decor!

    Everyone's participation creates seasonal remembrances, tabletop decor, or make-and-take gifts to be carried home. Relax during the holidays, have fun and color!

    What other fun art projects will you do with your coloring book pages?

  • Using Coloring Pages for Another Craft

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    What do you do when you finish a page in a coloring book for adults?  I was going to be flippant and say "You're an adult. You do whatever you want with it.", but now I'm curious about what you do with your own coloring books at home.  Do you stick pages on the fridge you own because you're an adult?  Use a page as a bookmark in a coffee table book on your grown-up coffee table? I decided to turn one of my coloring pages into a craft.  Here's a page I colored a while back.  It's a nice leafy-looking page from Natural Wonders.

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    And here's my gratitude tree.

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    I n case Pinterest hasn't told you, a gratitude tree is a fun Thanksgiving craft where you write down what you're thankful for on scraps of paper and then affix them to a branch.  I found this branch on the sidewalk while on a walk last week and brought it home just for this.  It's a little bit too large for our table, but my little girl thinks the seed pods look like bats and she loves it just as it is.  I cut out some vaguely leaf-shaped pieces of paper with some scrapbooking paper and she's been practicing her handwriting while we think of all the things we're thankful for.  Last year, we did 3 or 4 leaves a day and it was a lot of fun.  I also really like emphasizing all the people we love and all the good things we have before the season of Christmas advertising and the subsequent begging for every toy in sight begins.  Look closely! There's a leaf on the right that says "Mom"!  She's thankful for me and I have it in writing now!

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    So back to my coloring page.  It has leaves.  I have a tree. So  I cut out a few pieces of leaves.

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    And wrote down a few things I am thankful for.

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    And as for the rest of the paper?  I cut out some vaguely leaf-shaped pieces.

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    It's good to have a stash of leaves.  I've even gotten ahead of the game this year and added some yarn loops by threading a tapestry needle, pulling it through the paper, and tying the ends together in a knot.  You can use Christmas ornament hooks or a hot glue gun and it will work just as well.  Because we're all adults here, and (at least when it comes to crafting) we can do whatever we want.

    But for real, let me know what you do with your finished coloring sheets if you feel like sharing!

  • Day of the Dead

    A lot of people think that the Day of the Dead happens on Halloween. But that is not true. It is a couple days later. I believe it is on November 2nd. It is a day of celebration of the dead that started in Mexico. It will still get you in the mood for Halloween. I love the Day of the Dead art work. I was really excited when I saw that Leisure Arts had a new series of coloring books and one of them was a Day of the Dead coloring book.

     

    FullSizeRender (38) I used color pencils, markers, gel pens, and a paint pen.

    This is what I like about this book it has several examples of the coloring pages done to show what different types of coloring utensils. This book shows what gel pens, markers, and color pencils look like. It gives you helpful blending tips. I never thought to use my gel pens to color with. I have even used my new box of crayons and a couple of my paint pens to color. You could use a clip board to hold your coloring pages. I use a piece of Masonite board and a clip to hold my coloring sheets. The books have easy tear out pages and I find it easier to color.  I like pull my coloring books out at the end of the day and it helps me unwind. The stress of the day just melts away.

    I cannot decide which new coloring book to get the Abstract and Geometric Designs or Folk Art.

  • Busy Board

    I know that I have used this book Crafting with Buttons and Ribbons by Leisure Arts several times. But today I am using this book and a few others in a different way. Going on a summer trip or you need something quick and easy to make your toddler to kindergartner to keep them busy for a moment. I was flipping through this book when I came across the page with the Button Elephant and the templet for it when a light bulb went on and I thought to myself how cute would be to trace the animal and cut them out for a felt busy board for my very active 3 year old niece who is all hands when she comes over to my house. It is still 50/50 her playing with my dogs toys over her toys. She has discovered the dollhouse and has started showing interest in it. I am sure she will love this.

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    For this project I used a piece of cardboard, scissors, Elmer’s craft glue, several pieces of felt, tracing paper, 1 fabric marker, 1 pencil,1 sheet of scrapbook paper, and a sticky sided piece of felt. After tracing and cutting out the templets. I then used a fabric marker to trace and cut out my animals. Why a fabric marker? The ink will disappear after it dries.

    FullSizeRender (8) FullSizeRender (13)

    After I finished with my animals I took out a piece of cardboard that I rescued from my recycling bin. I placed it under the sticky felt and used a pencil to trace to cut to fit the felt. Do not remove the sticker yet!! Then I grabbed the scrapbook paper and glue I glued one side of the cardboard and then I centered the cardboard piece on top of the scrapbook paper. Making sure the design side was facing down and not towards the glued cardboard, then I trimmed the top and bottom but leave the sides just flip it over and glue them to the back and the remove the stickered felt and line it up the best you can. I trimmed any sticky felt that was hanging over the edge. Once that is finished your busy board is done. To put away and store it I found a big plastic envelope at Office Depot for a dollar. The busy board fits in quite nicely and the back of the envelope was a perfect place to put the felt animals. I look forward to finding more things that I can use for the busy board.

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  • Birthday Earrings or Charms for Wine Glasses

    I just remembered that I have a friend’s birthday dinner Sunday evening. I was looking at the Hoop Earrings in Leisure Arts book called Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2. I decided that I would make her some charms for her wine glasses. She can use them on her glasses or wear them as earrings.

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    For this project I used needle nose pliers, wire cutters, 4 hoop earrings with an eye, several silver spacers, 4 headpins, 16 small glass beads, and 8 slightly bigger glass beads. I used two bigger beads on the headpins with a spacer in between and one on top and wrap and making a little hoop to be able to slide onto the earring. So after I made my bobbin I took a small glass bead and placed it onto the hoop then a spacer, then another small glass bead, the bobbin and repeated what I put on before the bobbin I did this to all four. Because my bobbins on this project are all different she might not want to wear them as earrings. After all the beads, spacers, and bobbins are all on I then closed the earring by putting the post through the eye of the earring and bent the end of the earring. This will keep the earring from coming off and everything falling off. I only bent one so you could tell the difference.

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  • Fourth of July Bracelet

    I cannot believe that it is July and in just two days it will be Independence Day. This year is just flying by so quickly. Any who! I realized I do not own anything patriotic. So I wanted to make something that I could wear on my wrist. I used some of my beads that I got at the antique mall. I had some old red, white, and blue buttons that I thought would be prefect for this project. I didn’t use a book for this I just winged it. I think that it turned out well. Here are a couple of books that I love and inspire me by Leisure Arts Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2 and DIY Jewelry Pendants. I bought some 19 gauge wire this morning at my local hardware store that has been around since before I was born. I just love going to hardware stores. I went to get a key made and came out with a new key and a couple different gauge wires. The one thing about using regular wire is that after you use it or wear it, it oxidizes and starts to lose its shine.

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    The tools that I used are needle nose pliers, and wire cutters. The supplies were 6 buttons two red, two white, and two blue. I used toggle, clasp, and a few jump rings. I cute a good 5-7 inch length for both sides of the button to wrap and make an eye to join the next button or eye for the jump ring. I know that I usually use head pins but I thought I would see what the wire would look like. I like the wire. Make sure that you feel around on the end of the wire so that it doesn’t have a sharp end, or a tiny bit of an end that can get snagged on say your shorts and cannot move your arm and have to ask a stranger at the grocery store if she could unsnag you. Yes!! Yes!! This actually happened a couple weeks ago.

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  • Emerald Necklace

    Easy DIY Jewelry

     

    One of my good family friends is having their 35th anniversary this weekend. I had to google what the anniversary gift is for one 35th anniversary and it is emerald or coral. So I decided since I couldn’t afford emeralds I would go into my bead and button boxes to see what I could find that was emerald or as close to emerald as I could get and to make her something special. I also looked through my favorite jewelry book for an idea. The book is called Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2. I found that Green Dangles Necklace was something that I was inspired by.

    I used a small silver decorative ring and on this ring I used one eye pin for the green button. For the other three I used two different kinds of decorative silver headpins with glass beads on two, and a peace sign with a silver bead. I used a small leather cord for the necklace to tie it all together. I also got a silver chain to go with it so that she can wear it on a dressy occasion. Make sure that when you are doing your finishing touches of wrapping your wires that you feel around the ends to make sure that you have no sharp ends. The only tools that I needed to use were my needle nose pliers. Have fun making your jewelry.

    Green Dangles Necklace

  • Key Fob

    Playing with my beads and buttons again this week I was wondering what new pretty things that I could make. Then I remembered that I recently went through my keys and cleaned out all the old keys that I didn’t need any more and after cleaning out my old keys I had empty key rings that were sitting on my bedside table taunting me because they were empty and I didn’t know what to do with them. If I throw them away then I would need one. So I got out my button box and then my bead box. I remembered a pair of Dangling Earrings from my Leisure Arts book called Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2 and thought something like that would look really cute on a key chain. The back of the book has easy to follow directions and photos to help. I found them very useful.

    IMG_7686 (1) Key Fob

    I chose buttons and beads that didn’t have a mate. I should have thought to go into my arts cabinet and get a spool of wire to make them longer than in the photo. I will do this next time and oh yes there will be a next time. These were quick and easy to make and would make great little gifts. For the one with the buttons, small silver spacers, and glass beads I used a hoop earring with an eye. I used needle nose pliers to pull really tight after putting on the buttons on the hoop and around through the eye. Then I added the glass beads and small silver spacers. You want to make sure that you save enough space on the hoop earring to go around your key chain and are able to wrap it a few times and use your needle nose pliers to make sure that your ends aren’t sticking out so nothing can grab on to it. The other fob is basically the same glass beads, silver spacers, and fancy headpins posts.

  • Button and Glass Bead Bracelet

    I am having so much fun playing with my beads and my buttons so I was wondering what they would look like together. Thinking about which buttons to use I remembered I had several silver buttons. It took a couple attempts to join the two different type’s material. I used the White & Gold Bracelet from the Leisure Arts book called Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2. The only thing that I do not like is how my fingertips hurt when I am finished.

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    I ran out of eye pins making another bracelet like I made the other day.  So I used some hoop earrings that have an eye and these are easy to wrap than the eye pin. The only thing is they are bent so I had to gently straighten then to slide the beads on. I used toggle clasps and two jump rings. I almost used the jump rings to connect the wrapped buttons to the eye of the eye pin of the wrapped beads I would just have to remember to make an eye hole at the end of the wrapped bead. I think I might try wrapping some for some earrings to.

  • Bead Bracelet

    I got some new books from Leisure Arts. The book that I was most inspired by is the Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2. You know how much I like buttons. Well getting to play with beads to me is equally fun. I wish I had some silver peace signs like in the book's project, Peace Sign Bracelet.  It was the one that I really liked. I have wrapped beads, made earrings and wine charms as gifts but I rarely make things for myself. This is my first bracelet and I chose real pretty green glass beads, and a couple of green gemstones with silver beads on both sides. I usually give the things that I make away as birthday, Christmas, and just-because-it-made-me-think-of-you gifts. This bracelet would make a great gift for a friend or family member for any occasion.

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    I wrapped my beads on an eye pin, but before you wrap, put on another eye pin to make a chain for your next set of beads to wrap. Continue until you have the desired length you want. I used my wrist and a friend’s wrist to measure so that it’s not too small or tight. I used two pairs of needle nose pliers, a very small set that I found at Hobby Lobby several years ago, and another pair that I got at my local hardware store along with my wire cutters. The only thing that I did not have in my bead box were clasps. I will have to pick up some tomorrow at my craft store. I will then use two jump rings which I call o – rings. Have fun playing with your beads. I know that I will be after I restock a few things.

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