Thursday, January 26, 2012

If You Can Spell...

I absolutely love the use of letters in decor.  I have an additcion to letters which is evident by my initials all over my house in every font, size and color.  I think it's a really fun way to incorporate something personal into your space.  If you look in just the right places you can find letters everywhere.  I love digging through the bins at places like Michaels to find letter items to give to friends (and of course for myself...since I can't ever seem to have enough around the house.  LOL).

If you know how to spell and find a bin of random letters then think Christmas.  Here is what goes through my mind when I find that amazing bin of letter cut outs...

I'm looking for...
   D, A or S for myself
   K for Kylie, L for Leah, R for Ryan...and so on.

But then I start thinking...
   JOY, NOEL, HO HO HO, MERRY, ...get it???

Anything you find can easily be painted with spray paint or basic acrylic paints.  Here are some of the things I've found recently.

These letters were $1 a piece from Michael's.  They already have a nice finish and have hangers already installed on the back.  These would make perfect tie-ons for a gift.  I will likely string these together on a piece of ribbon using the hangers on the back and then swag them or hang in the center of a large wreath.

I got these foam letters in a clearance bin at Barnes & Noble.  I think all four of them cost me about $6.  I will give these a matching coat of paint and use them on a shelf or worked into a centerpiece.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another "Fill 'Em Up" Ornament...Pipe Cleaners

Wow!  The new year has gotten away from me and I'm a little behind.  Here are the newest ornaments I've made.

I'm always excited to find new ways to make ornaments from the plain glass ornaments you can purchase at the craft store.  These are super easy using basic pipe cleaners.  They can be done in an endless number of colors and styles.  I used the basic round ball ornaments but you can find other pretty cool shapes to work with.  These could be fun to do with kids.  Let them be creative with the pipe cleaners.

I apologize in advance for the picture quality.  These ornaments are hard to get good shots of.

Clear glass ornaments
Pipe cleaners
Hot glue gun & glue

  • Pull the hanger/cap off of the ornament.  You'll be glueing the pipe cleaner to the inside of the cap.
  • Decide what you'd like to do with your pipe cleaner.  I did mine two different ways.  I wrapped one around a pencil and made a simple curl out of it.  The other I bent and twisted to make it look like a tree branch.  You can easily manipulate them into an form you'd like. 
  • Wrap a tight coil at the top of your piece where you plan to attach it to the cap.  this will give you a good place to secure the piece to the glue. 
  • Remember that you must be able to get it through the opening of the ornament.  Simply clip any excess pipe cleaner with your scissors.

The "ball" at the top is my "coil" to attach the piece securely to the cap.
  • Take the cap and put a dot of hot glue on the center of the inside.  Be sure to use enough glue to sufficiently hold your pipe cleaner.  Be very careful not to get the glue too close to the outside edges of the cap.  This will keep the cap from sitting correctly back on top of the ornament.

  • Once your glue is in place, quickly adhear your pipe cleaner to the cap.

  • Once your pipe cleaner has had time to dry and attach to the cap, carefully place the cap back onto the ornament...inserting the pipe cleaner first. 

  • I did go one step further on a few of the ornaments and places a ring around the cap using coordinating colored pipe cleaner (shown in the pics at the top).  I simply glued it on with the glue gun as well.