Upcycled Tin Cans: Cast a Romantic Glow with Tabletop Luminaries

upcycled_tin_can_luminaries
If you need an inexpensive, simple, and eco-friendly way to light up your next garden party, backyard bash, or dinner party, look no further than these easy to make tabletop luminaries.

Tabletop luminaries cast a pleasant glow on casual and formal affairs, and can be personalized to suit any occasion:
Fireworks Luminaries: Perfect for 4th of July, Memorial Day, or patriotic birthday party celebrations.
Numbered Luminaries: Guests can easily find their assigned table when numbered luminaries lights the way.

Don’t limit luminaries to tabletops. they’re also great for lining walkways, patios, and decks. Enjoy enlightening guests with your inspired creations at your next celebration. Learn how to make your own luminary with the help of 100 Layer Cake’s how-to

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Make a Simple Square Knot Hemp Bracelet

square_knot_hemp_bracelet
With summer camps, day camps, and vacation Bible schools well underway, what better time to learn how to make a simple craft to share with the campers? Perfect for teen and tween boys and girls, square knot hemp bracelets are a cinch to make.

Things you need:
Hemp Twine
A helper or something that you can tie your hemp twine to

Things to do:
To make a hemp twine square knot bracelet, cut two lengths of hemp cord three times longer than the bracelet length you’ll need, and then follow the simple steps below:

1. Fold the hemp strands in half and tie together with an overhand knot, leaving a 1/2″ loop at the top. Tape the looped end to a flat surface or safety pin to your jeans so it’s secure.
2. Separate the hemp strands so you have two in the middle, and one on each side.
3. Take a strand from the right side and lay it across the two middle strands. Then, take a strand from the left and place it over the end of the strand from the right and under the two center strands. Pull this strand up through the loop on the right side and pull tight, pressing the knot against the overhand knot right below the loop.
4. Reverse the steps, starting with the left side strand first. Lay the left hand thread across the middle strands, then move a strand from the right side over the end of the strand, behind the middle strands, and up through the loop.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, fitting each knot snugly against the previous one and continuing down the length of your bracelet.
6. To finish, tie the strands together with an overhand knot. To secure to your wrist, just pop the knot through the loop to form a closure.

Use the same technique to make hemp anklets, bracelets, and belts. With the square knot design, your hemp creations will be durable enough to withstand whatever activities your summer camp dishes out.

Photo Credit: Phat Hemp

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How to Decoupage: Get Organized with a Clothespins Display Board

clothespin_board
Looking for a crafty way to organize coupons, receipts, and bills? Want to declare your refrigerator door a magnet-free zone? Put an end to the clutter, while keeping your important paperwork and most treasured masterpieces close by, with this easy to make organizational display board.

Things you need:
Board (sized to suit your space)
Enough fabric or decorative paper to cover face and edges of board
Poly Foam Sponge Brush
Mod Podge
Jumbo Clothespins
Coordinating fabric or paper to cover clothespin fronts
Embellishments such as ribbon, buttons, or rhinestones
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Scissors
Sawtooth Hangers

Things to do:
1. Clean board thoroughly and remove all surface dirt and dust, then apply a generous, even layer of Mod Podge.
2. Lay your fabric or paper atop the Mod Podge coated board, and then smooth the surface with a plastic card or rubber-tipped spatula to press out any bubbles.
3. Cut square notches from the fabric at each corner, then apply Mod Podge to the edge of the board and fold fabric over to create a tidy edge.
4. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the surface and sides, and allow to thoroughly dry.
5. Use this same technique to apply fabric to the front of the clothes pins.
6. When dry, use hot glue to affix the clothes pins to the board. Add the picture hanger to the back of the board, and let the decluttering begin!

Personalize with a clothespin for every member of your family. Use this organizational display board as a messaging center for permission slips, lunch money, or chore lists, or hang it above your desk as a not-so-subtle-but-oh-so-pretty reminder of tasks yet to be completed. Ideal for home use, this nifty craft also makes a great gift for teachers, busy moms, or anyone with a space that’s calling for a touch of organization.

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Quick and Simple Decorations to Celebrate the Fourth of July

fourth_of_july_decorations
The 4th of July will be here before you know it and it’s never too soon to start planning the festivities. Whether you’ll be hosting a backyard bash or enjoying a cozy barbecue for two, adding a few special touches to your decor will help make the celebration even more memorable. Think red, white, and blue! This important event deserves celebrating in style with an assortment of fantastic patriotic decorations. Make your Independence Day spectacular and recreate the magic of fireworks in your very own home. Throw the perfect Fourth of July barbecue or picnic with these great party ideas.

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Patriotic Light Up Lanterns:
Turn your yard into a stunning display of red, white, and blue with this effortless idea. Simply fasten double-sided tape to the back of some patriotic ribbon, and wrap around paper lanterns; creating beautiful belts of red, white, and blue. Then you are ready to hang your lanterns up backyard limbs and above the deck; creating a warm patriotic haven.
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Red, White and Boom:
Upcycled paper towel tube firecracker favors add instant patriotism to any tabletop. To create, wrap salvaged paper towel tubes in red, white, and blue crepe paper. You can then add your own flare by affixing images over the crepe paper. Next, add your own favors, which could be assorted candies, or even sparklers, then glue a cardboard circle to the bottom to enclose your goodies. Finally, tie the tops off with a red tinsel pipe cleaner for a festive wick!
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Patriotic Rosette Picks:
Create beautiful rosette picks and place them everywhere to celebrate Independence Day. Pick out red, white, and blue themed scrapbook paper. Cut down to the size you would like your rosettes smaller and in different sizes. Then fan-fold the paper across the narrow width of the strip. Fold in half lengthwise and tie a red tinsel pipe cleaner around the middle. Open out on either side of the center fold you just made to create a circle; glue. Finally, attach a dowel rod to the back of each rosette with a dab of hot glue. Place these lovelies in vases, flower arrangements, or leave out the dowel rods and create a banner of patriotic rosettes!
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Stars and Stripes:
Wave the flag and bring out the red, white, and blue with this patriotic wreath. Simply place mini flag toothpicks (about three packages of 100 flags) into a styrofoam wreath (we used a 10″ styrofoam disk and cutout a 7″ circle out, because some wreaths are extruded and are hard for the toothpicks to push through) until the wreath is completely full and there is no white showing. Then your wreath is ready to hang; greeting every guest that arrives!

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Fun with Mod Podge: Take Flight with this Charming Bird Wall Hanging

decoupage_bird_hanging
Bring the delight of avian acrobatics indoors, and add a touch of rustic charm and texture to any space, with this easy-to-make bird wall hanging. Perfect for country kitchens, dens, enclosed patios, and nurseries, this nature-inspired craft will look great in your home habitat, and also serves as a unique gift item for the gardener or bird enthusiast on your list.

Things you need:
Bird Wood Cutout
Branch
Mod Podge
Paint Brush or Poly Foam
Decorative Paper or Fabric
Crop-a-dile or awl for punching holes
Paper Twist
Jute Twine
Scissors
Buttons
Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate Tacky Glue

decoupage_bird_hanging2

Things to do:
1. Apply a thin, even layer of Mod Podge to the cutouts and adhere decorative paper or fabric to the surface, trimming the edges with scissors when dry.
2. Top with an even coating of Mod Podge. When thoroughly dry, add button eyes with a dab of glue.
3. Cut raffia to whatever bow width you desire, then bunch in the middle and wrap with twine, leaving a length of twine at the top to tie to the branch.
4. Punch a hole in the cutout and thread the twine through, tying off with a knot to secure.
5. Wrap the bird-bow strands to the branch and secure with a knot. Use a length of twine to create a hanging loop, or rest atop a row of evenly spaced wall nails.
6. Experiment with twine lengths and patterns, and develop your own design to suit your space.

Birds not your thing? No worries. This craft can be easily adapted for any wood cutout or anything else you can think up!

Picture Credits: An Altered Obsession

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Easy DIY Decorative Jute Twine Accent Balls for Any Decor

jute_balls
Is your decor calling for a touch of something, but you just can’t put your finger on what that something is? Maybe our quick and easy jute ball home accents will do the trick. Perfect for nestling in baskets and over-sized bowls, or for looking pretty all on their own, these jute balls add a unique finishing touch to any space that needs a dose of color or texture.

Things you need:
3ply Jute Twine
3″ Styrofoam Ball (you can use any size that you wish)
Spray Paint
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Things to do:
1. Make a small divot in the center of the styrofoam ball, and press one end of the jute twine into the divot so that it’s flush.
2. Start winding the jute twine around the styrofoam ball nice and tight, adding hot glue in 4″ or 5″ lines as you work. Dab hot glue right on the styrofoam ball and up against the edge of the cording. Use your fingertips to squeeze the strands together so none of the styrofoam peeks out from beneath the jute.
3. Finish the ends with nice, tight coils, using a little extra glue to secure. Make sure that you have enough at the end to be able to tuck the end piece under.
4. Leave the balls as it or spray with 1-2 coats of paint to match any existing decor, dry thoroughly, and then display.

Lovely indoors, these jute balls also add an intriguing accent to gardens, porches, and patios. To weather proof, simply apply a coat of outdoor sealant after painting.

Create an elegant, one-of-a-kind centerpiece for your next dinner party displaying gold or silver metallic painted jute balls in an over-sized crystal bowl, or use balls painted in red, white, and blue to create a 4th of July table-scape. The sky’s the limit when it comes to finding fun and creative uses for our decorative jute twine balls. Make a few for your own home, or fill a basket or bowl and share them with family and friends.

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Fun with Mod Podge: How to Decoupage Picture Frames

decoupaged_frame
With a little creativity and a few basic supplies, you can transform plain, inexpensive wooden picture frames into personalized masterpieces. These simple to make decorative frames will grace walls and tabletops in style, and are so easy on the budget that you’ll never hand out school pictures in envelopes or baggies again.

Things you need:
6″ Unfinished Wood Picture Frame
Scrapbook paper
Mod Podge
Wood Stain or Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Sand paper
Paint brush
Hobby Knife

Things to do:
1. Paint or stain the back, inside, and outside edge of the frame and allow to thoroughly dry.
2. Coat the front of the frame with an even layer of Mod Podge. Let it set up for 30 seconds or so and then apply a second layer.
3. Lay scrapbook paper on top of the frame and use a rubber kitchen spatula or credit card to smooth out any bubbles.
4. Place the frame face down on top of a cutting mat or cardboard to protect the surface beneath, and use the hobby knife to cut away excess scrapbook paper.
5. Fingertip sand any rough edges. If you’ve sanded away the finish, reapply paint or stain with a paper towel.
6. Apply 2-3 coats of Mod Podge to the surface of the frame, drying 15 minutes between each coat.

While scrapbook paper works great for this project, there’s no reason to limit your selection to stock paper designs. Vintage wallpaper, shelf paper, seed packets, and even pages from old children’s books serve as excellent mediums, and will give your frame a truly unique look.

Whip up a few coordinating wooden hearts, flowers, or stars for a one-of-a-kind photo grouping, or scatter the pieces throughout your decor to create a cohesive theme. Display these decorative masterpieces in your own home, or share them with family and friends. Everyone loves to receive photo gifts, especially when they’re presented in decorative frames!

Photo Credit: Lizzy J Designs

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Wedding Decorations with a Victorian Flair: How to Make a Pomander with Tissue Paper

tissue_paper_pomandersIf your wedding budget is starting to skyrocket, rein in some dollars without skimping on style by decorating with these easy to make and oh-so-elegant tissue pomander. An elegant statement on their own, pomander balls are ideal for stretching cut flowers, and since there are no worries about dropped petals or spilled water vases, they’re perfect for dressing up buffet and gift tables.

Things you need:
1 – 3″ Styrofoam Ball
Tissue Paper
Scissors
34 gauge Wire
Wire Cutters
Ribbon

Things to do:
1. Cut a desired length of ribbon of your choice. Press the tail of the ribbon into the Styrofoam ball using a pencil. You can push the pencil all the way through and tie your ribbon in a knot at the end. You can also push the pencil half way through and add a little hot glue to ensure that the ribbon never moves.
2. Cut tissue paper into 5″ x 7″ rectangles. Then, stack four sheets together and fold pleats all the way up, just like you’re folding a fan.
3. Wrap a length of wire around the center of each folded bundle, leaving a tail long enough to anchor the tissue paper to the Styrofoam ball.
4. Shape the bundle into a flower by pulling the tissue paper sheets up one at a time toward the center, alternating the sheets from left to right.
5. Gently press the tail of the wire into the Styrofoam ball (again may help to use a pencil), and repeat until your pomander ball reaches the desired fullness. (Tip: It typically takes 18-20 bundles to complete each pomander.)

Display pomander balls as an elegant, budget-friendly alternative to cut flowers. Use the money you’ll save for a honeymoon splurge, or for a bigger cake!

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Flower Tulle Hairbow A Versatile Tool to Dress Up Any Accessory

tulle
Want to add a touch of glam” to flip flops, hairbows, sun hats, lampshades, or just about anything else you can think up? Look no further than these easy to make tulle flowers. With so many beautiful colors to choose from, you’ll be tempted to transform your wardrobe and home into a tulle flower garden.

Things you need:
Tulle
Scissors
Needle and coordinating colored thread
Glue

Things to do:
1. Cut tulle into 3″ x 3″ squares; you’ll need approximately 20 squares to make a nice, fluffy flower.
2. Working with one square at a time, fold the tulle square into fourths and use scissors to round out the edges in the shape of a petal. Repeat to finish all 20 squares.
3. Stack two tulle petals together, leaving them folded in fourths. Use the needle and thread to join the two petals together at their bottom tips. Continue joining petals in stacks of two.
4. Sew the petal bundles together at their tips, rounding out the shape as you go to form a nice, full flower.
5. Use a dab of glue to affix the flower to whatever you’re adorning.

Tulle flowers are terrific for sprucing up summer clothes and accessories, and are ideal for adding a splash of color to your home decor. Whip up a bundle for yourself, or use them to decorate gift items for family and friends. Here are a few fun gift ideas:

  • Decorate flip flops with tulle flowers in your wedding colors, and present them to your bridesmaids to wear to your casual rehearsal dinner
  • Design matching hair accessories or sun hats for your upcoming all girl weekend get away”
  • Make an extra-large (5″ or 6″ square) tulle flower hair accessory using bright apple green and yellow tulle for your friend who’s always losing sight of her little one at the playground
  • Enjoy creating these versatile, beautiful tulle flowers!

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    Fun with Mod Podge: Tips for Pulling off a Fantastic Decoupage Project

    mod_podge
    Though popularized by Europeans in the 17th century, decoupage actually has roots tracing back to 12th century China. With so many exquisite paper designs and eclectic project ideas to choose from, it’s no surprise that decoupage has stood the test of time, becoming a favorite creative technique among 21st century crafters. Want to learn how to decoupage, but aren’t sure where to begin? Let’s demystify the process:

    Choosing your Project
    Decoupage can be applied to a variety of materials, from wood and glass to ceramics, metal, and fabric. Once you’ve mastered a few basic techniques, you’ll be ready to embellish furniture, vases, cabinet doors, lampshades, and even ceilings!

    Prepping the Surface
    Whatever surface you choose, make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned and compatible with the decoupage medium. Here are a few tips:

    Wood: Wood must be impeccably clean and completely dust-free. If you’re decoupaging over a pock or gouge, fill the imperfection with wood filler, sand the surface smooth, and follow with a thorough dusting using a clean cotton or microfiber cloth. Here are some tips for wood decoupaging wood surfaces:

    Oil and water do not mix. Decoupage glaze is water-based, and only adheres properly when applied to wood surfaces with water-based finishes like acrylic paint and water-based stain or latex.

    Check the finish before you begin.
    If you’re decoupaging furniture and aren’t sure of the finish, test the glaze in an inconspicuous spot before you begin. Be certain that the glaze will dry completely (no tackiness), will adhere properly and be free of bubbles, and will be durable enough to withstand the intended use (no flakiness).

    Metal: Use a wire brush to remove rust, clean the surface thoroughly, and paint with water-based paint. Wait at least 72 hours before decoupaging.

    Glass: Thoroughly clean the glass surface, and then wipe down with alcohol. Be sure to decoupage glassware for display only. it is not intended to be used for cooking or serving food.

    Choosing Cut-outs
    The sky’s the limit when choosing your cut-outs. Specially designed decoupage papers, scrapbook pages, ticket stubs, wallpaper and gift wrap remnants, stamps, pages from old children’s books, menus, seed packets, and postage stamps all work well, the list goes on and on! If you have a laser printer, you can even print your own photos and designs or choose images from clip art websites. (Tip: Before copying or using existing images, be sure that you’re not violating copyright or terms of use regulations.)

    Things you need:
    Precision Scissors or a Hobby Knife
    Mod Podge
    An applicator, such as a paintbrush or foam sponge
    Spatula or another flat tool to remove bubbles and smooth images

    The Nitty Gritty
    Decoupaging is as easy as 1, 2, 3. After your surface is prepped and cleaned, prepare your image by applying a thin layer of Mod Podge. Then, apply a layer of Mod Podge to the surface of your object and position the cut-out. Follow with two to three layers of Mod Podge, and voila!
    With a few basic supplies, patience, and creativity, you’ll soon be a Master Decouper.” Enjoy transforming humdrum items into masterpieces!

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