Friday, March 21, 2014

Desk Organizer for Teacher

I am really loving the Craft Lightning  Series sponsored by my favorite bloggers, Angie at Country Chic Cottage and Carolina at 30 minute crafts and this current version, Teacher Appreciation, is no exception!

I am always trying to do 10 things at once and am never very successful in getting things done, so finding a craft I can do in 15 minutes or less fits right in with my daily madness!

As my previous visitors and followers already know, I babysit two of my Grandchildren on a regular basis and one of them is in school and she LOVES to make things for her teachers, so I decided to be sure and make a teacher gift every year for her to give to her current teacher.

Last year, I made this personalized coffee container for her Kindergarten teacher and it was a hit not only with Little B and her teacher, but with the entire class!

I don't know if this project will be quite as popular as that one, but since I've been on a "recycle/upcycle" trend lately, I decided to continue with that theme and try to re-use something in a creative way.

I had seen a very cute idea on either Pinterest or Stumble Upon recently and wanted to re-create it but wasn't sure if that exact item (A jewelry holder) would fit for B's teacher, since I do not know a whole lot about her and what she might like, so I decided to down-size it and make it for use on a teacher's desk.

(Click Here to see the original project that I used for inspiration)

So, I made this desk organizer (paper clip, brad, rubber-band holder).

I tried to think of what little items a teacher would use that would need to be organized for quick use on her desk and I came up with paper clips, rubber bands, brads and push-pins.
(I forgot to take any photos of the organizer with push-pins in it...oops! But you get the idea!)

I used 3 empty plastic soda bottles (12-20 oz.) for this organizer, but you could make yours bigger and/or smaller depending on your taste and what bottles you have on hand.

One of the great things about this project is you can almost make it from stuff just around your house and in your craft stash, especially if you have a hubby with a garage or shop!

Oddly enough, my husband has a garage stock full of hardware and tools, but since he wasn't home at the time I started my project, I couldn't find some of the hardware I needed, so I did run to the corner hardware store real quick and pick-up the threaded rod, washers and nuts, though I'm pretty sure he had most of that hidden somewhere in the dark corners of his man cave!

When he got home, I had him do the drilling for me, even though I attempted it with my 25+ year old dremel too, but it finally gave up the ghost, just as I was drilling my first hole, so I had him finish the others for me, as I was not sure I wouldn't drill my finger trying to wrestle with the bigger drill!

(Note: Be sure to wear safety gear, ie: googles and leather gloves when drilling or cutting...I forgot the gloves in my pics, but I did wear safety glasses!)

I noticed that most plastic bottles have a built-in line around them right about where you want to cut, but if you prefer a deeper dish/bowl, then just mark the bottle with tape and then cut it with the utility knife.

I sanded the edges of the plastic after I cut just to smooth them out a bit.
I decided to add some washi tape to the edges also, mostly for color and decoration, but this is not necessary if you sand them smooth or unless you just want to dress them up a bit!

(NOTE about the washi tape...some brands/types don't want to stick as well on plastic...especially when you are wrapping it around contours and curves! In this case, you may need to use a little elmers glue or mod podge to seal the edges. I did not do you might be able to see in a few of the pics...but I will probably go back and do this before I have little B give this to her teacher.)

After attaching all the pieces using the washers and nuts I decided to add an embellishment to the top, to make it look a little prettier!

I used a plain white bead and inserted a straight pin with a colored ball tip and glued them together with E6000.

When it dried, I just snipped off the excess pin and glued the embelli to the top of the threaded rod.

This project was so easy and inexpensive...and it turned out pretty cute for a recycled project!

Hope you like it and might want to try making one of your own or for your favorite teacher!

Here is a photo of the tools and supplies used for this project:

Supplies/Tools List:

3 Empty Plastic Soda Bottles (12 oz., 16.9 oz. & 20 oz.)
Painters Tape, Blue, Scotch 3M
Utility Knife, Husky
Threaded Rod, 1/4" (approx. 6")
Hex Nuts, 1/4"
Flat Washers, 3/16"
Scotch Expressions Tape, 3/4", Dark Pink (Fuschia), Matte Finish
Washi Tape, We-R-Memory Keepers, 1 cm., Green/White design
Washi Tape, We-R-Memory Keepers, 1 cm., Blue flower design
Sand Paper, Med-Fine Grit
Adhesive, Industrial Strength, E6000
Side Cutter/Wire Cutter - (Not shown - Used to trim off excess straight pin)

I would like to send out a special thank-you to my daughter Beth, (who is a photographer) for helping me with some of the photos (you will be able to tell which one's are hers! She's a pro...I am NOT! LOL!)
If you get a chance, check out her photography site, she is very talented and I'm so proud of her!

Also, a big thank-you to Angie and Carolina for once again allowing me to be part of this awesome blog series.

It's always so much fun and so much inspiration to be shared!

Be sure to check out all the great Teacher Appreciation projects in this Craft Lightning Series.
Angie and Carolina will be posting round-ups of all the projects each day!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dr. Seuss Cat-in-the-Hat Pen/Pencil Holder

As many of you know, Dr. Seuss is a pretty big deal every year around this time, as his Birthday is coming up on March 2nd as is "Read across America" Day!

In honor of this, my awesome bloggie friends Angie at The Country Chic Cottage and  Carolina at 30 Minute Crafts are hosting a Craft Lightning Series "Seuss Edition".

The goal of this series is to come up with a Dr. Seuss craft that takes 15 minutes or less to make (minus drying time).

I thought a craft that would be super easy for kids to do and would make use of things you might have around the house would be good for this project.

One thing any child young or old could use and easily make, would be a pen/pencil holder for their desk.

Since I have TONS of empty toilet paper rolls laying around (just ask my husband...he always wants to know WHY??!!), I immediately thought of using one of less for hubby to fret about! Ha-Ha!

I wanted to make it look more like a hat and not just put the striped cylinder with a flush bottom on it.

Also, I knew it needed to be a little heavy and somehow be able to remain sturdy to hold the pens and pencils, so I scoured around my kitchen to find some old jar lids and finally found one the right size to make it look like a brim of a hat and to stabilize the holder.

I wrapped the paper tube with Duck brand duct tape (white, then red for the stripes).
You could measure before doing this, but to be honest, I just eyeballed it and cut the tape with scissors and/or an exacto knife.

Next, I painted the metal jar lid with a Elmer's white paint pen.(You might have to do more than one coat, depending on the color of your lid).

After the lid was dry I used a glue gun to glue the tube hat onto the lid/brim.

Easy Peasy and a recycle craft to boot!

Here are the supplies/tools used for this project:

Tools/Supplies List:

Empty Cardboard Toilet Paper Roll
Metal Lid from Glass Jar
Duck Brand White Duct Tape
Duck Brand Red Duct Tape
Elmer's Painters - Opaque Paint Marker - White
Exacto Knife
Glue Gun

Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy, kid-friendly craft and be sure to check out the other great Seuss inspired crafts by clicking on the Craft Lightning Badge below!

Thank-you for checking out my blog and this project!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Quilt-Along Challenge - Race Car Quilt

One of my fondest memories of my Maternal Grandmother was the vision of her working away at beautiful quilts on a big wooden frame hanging from the ceiling in her den!


I was just amazed at the beautiful fabrics and intricate stitching that went into those creations and I never dreamed that one day I would attempt one myself!

But...that is exactly what I did!

Last year in April and May, Two of my favorite bloggers, Jill from Create Craft Love and Sarah from Becoming Martha hosted a "Quilt-Along" online and when I heard about it...I just had to join in as I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for me to learn this craft while having a "support" group around me to help!

At almost exactly the same time, I discovered an old friend of mine (Debbie) who I used to work with was on Facebook and she was an experienced quilter, so I would have local "hands-on" help as well.

How lucky for me!

This quilt-along was "self-paced" and even though the goal was to try and complete a quilt in a month, most in the group didn't finish in a month, so I didn't feel so bad when mine was no where near being finished after 30 days!

There was no real "deadline" but  Jill and Sarah did provide a "link-up" party at the end of May to show off our creations when we completed them.

I must admit...making my first quilt was truly a "labor" of love...(if I may use a play on words here) took me 9 months to giving birth! Not quite as painful though...thankfully!

Here is the fruit of my labor:

I made the quilt as a gift for my precious Grandson Adrian and I was hoping to have it done by Christmas, but alas that didn't happen, so it will get to him in time for his birthday for sure!

The first week consisted of gathering supplies and tools for the project:

When I was planning my quilt, I knew that my Grandson loved cars, but I wanted to be sure the quilt would be something he'd want to use when he was older also 
(he is only 2 now...almost 3).

For that reason, I picked a car design that was a bit more sophisticated rather than a nursery type design.

The main fabric was from Timeless Treasures and the design was called "Michael #C9865"

Rather than make this post unbearably long...I just made a quick collage of some of the steps I did in making this quilt:

The top stitching on the quilt was too big of a job for me to handle on my first quilt as it could not be done on a small machine and if I had tried to "hand" quilt poor Grandson would be a grown man before I ever got it done!  LOL!

So...on the recommendation of my good friend Debbie, I took it to a local long-arm quilter in the area, Michael Schultz, Samish Quilting, who is known for his quality work and he did an amazing job!

I am not a great photographer, but I tried to capture some close-up's of his beautiful work.

He used a stitch pattern that had race cars and racing flags and it was just perfect for this project!

I made a personalized tag for the quilt and it was the first time I had tried applique and embroidering on my machine (Singer Superb 2010) so it didn't turn out  perfect by any means and even though I practiced before I made the final tag...I messed up the alignment on my name!

Of course "Grandma" and "Lisa" should have been on the same line, but at that point I was at the very end and did not want to try and make another tag as this one took me forever, so I let it go as I'm sure my sweet Grandboy won't know the difference or care for that matter.
He will just be happy about the cars!

If you need details on how to make this quilt or a similar one, you can go to the original blog posts from the quilt along by starting here or here.

Also, the pattern that was used for this project was from All People Quilt and can be found here along with directions.

I want to say a very big "Thank-you" to my good friend Debbie for being such a tremendous help on this project and letting me use her awesome Janome sewing machine!

Hope you enjoyed seeing my first quilt and I would love for you to visit my blog again soon!


This post/project is linked-up to the following sites/link-parties:


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Valentine Pin/Brooch - Craft Lightning Valentine's Edition

It's that time again!

Another round of Craft Lightning and this one is in celebration of Valentine's Day!

For those of you who are new here..."Craft Lightning" is a craft that you can make in 15 minutes or less (minus drying time) and it is hosted by the awesome Carolina from 30 Minute Crafts and Angie from The Country Chic Cottage!

I wanted to make something that could be "worn" on valentine's day, but with a time constraint of 15 minutes, I wasn't sure what I could make that would fall into the "wearable" category.

After perusing the local craft store for inspiration, I came up with the idea of a Valentine's Day Pin/Brooch.

At first glance, it might appear as if this pin had to take more than 15 minutes, since there is a crocheted backing on it, but that is where my inspiration came from...I was shopping at JoAnn's and spotted these adorable crocheted doily pieces in a bin!
They had several sizes and two colors, white and ecru or off white.

I immediately thought of valentine's day and of course a pin seemed feasible if I kept it small.

As you may know from my previous posts...I am a hoarder of all sorts of household items that can be recycled or upcycled into crafts, so I used a plastic food container lid for the backing on the pin.
(Just a note here...if you are going to put a lot of jeweled pieces or heavy pieces on the brooch, you might need to use a heavier backing than I did...such as thick cardboard, metal or wood)

I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper to attach to the plastic on the side that was going next to the lace doily, as I didn't want the red plastic to show through on that side.

A bar pin was added to the back of the plastic piece.

I layered a piece of dark red felt on top of the doily and then added the bling!

I have been collecting tons of jewelry pieces at yard sales, flea markets and estate sales just waiting for the perfect project to come along to use them!

The piece I used here was a vintage "clip-on" earring.
I removed the clip from the back using some of my jewelry making tools, so that the piece would lay flat.

For the final touch, I added some metallic red cord around the heart and some shiny gold/bronze ribbon behind the doily and my Valentine brooch was ready to wear!

I would like to thank Angie and Carolina once again for allowing me to be part of their great Craft Lightning Series! It's always so much fun!

Hope you enjoyed my post and if you'd like to make a pin yourself, here is a photo summary of the steps:

Here is a photo of the tools and supplies I used with a detailed list following:

Tools/Supplies Used:

Darice Crocheted Lace Doily, 100% Cotton (Purchased from JoAnn's)
Felt (Dark Red)
Plastic Food Container Lid
Old Jewelry Piece
Bar Pin, 1.5", Gold, Jewelry Craft
Heart Stencil, Assorted Design Template #TMP-4, Pioneer Photo Albums Inc.
Scrapbook Patterned Paper - Bitty Scrap Pads, Heritage Post, Provo Craft
Ribbon, Sheer, Bronze/Gold, (wired)
Metallic Cord, Red
Paper Weights (to hold down pieces while drying)
Aleene's Tacky Glue
Aleene's Jewel-It Embellishing Glue
E6000 Glue
Fons & Porter Mechanical Fabric Marking Pencil
#2 Pencil
Chain Nose Plier
Round Nose Plier
Heavy Duty Cutco Scissors (Used to cut plastic lid and the wire ribbon)
Small pointed Scissors
Toothpicks (to help with gluing the metallic cord around the heart)

Thank-you for visiting my blog!

This project/post is linked up to the following sites/link parties:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Washi Tape Gourd Ornament - Craft Lightning Holiday Edition 2013

Happy Holidays!

Yes...I know it's a tad early...but really the Holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving coming up next week!

Are you prepared or way behind like me?

At least I've started on my Christmas ornaments and this year I'm obsessed with gourds!

If you saw my last post, then you know what I'm talking about.

I purchased a good sampling of dried gourds at the pumpkin patch in October and have been trying to come up with various crafty and thrifty ways to decorate them for the season!

It occurred to me that time is always a factor when preparing for the Holidays and so I wanted to use a technique that was fast, yet would still be cute and  worthy of display.

Then Washi Tape popped into my head!

Of course you've heard of's one of the latest craft trends and SO easy to use!

It just so happens that it was time for another fabulous "Craft Lightning" Series hosted by my awesome bloggie friends Carolina at 30 Minute Crafts and Angie at The Country Chic Cottage, so this project is a perfect fit!

If you are new here, then I'll fill you in on what "Craft Lightning" is a craft that you can make in 15 minutes or less (minus drying time)!

This edition of Craft Lightning features a roundup of great Holiday Projects from a awesome bunch of Craft and Home/DIY Bloggers, you won't want to miss one minute of it!

Here is a photo collage of the steps I took to make this ornament...

I somehow forgot to get a photo of the part where I added the thin gold ribbon to the top and bottom of ornament, but you can see it if you look closely at the pics.

Here are the tools and supplies used to make this project:

Materials/Tools Used:

Dried Gourd
Delta Ceramacoat Acrylic Paint (White)
Washi Tape, Tape Works by Sandy Lion (#SC9518) Red/Pink Paisley Design
Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
Darice Glitter, Lt. Pink
Braided Ribbon, Metallic Polyester, Gold, 1/8", Berwick/Offray
Scissors, mini
ModPodge Gloss
Foam paint brush
Satin Ribbon, Pink, 3/8" (Brand Unknown)
Faceted Faux Jewel, Gold/Yellow, 1/2", in Blook By Design (Hobby Lobby)

Thank-you for joining me today! 
Be sure to check out all the other great projects in this series, you'll truly be inspired!

This project/post is linked to the following sites/link-up parties:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gourd Ornaments

Christmas is just around the corner and it sure snuck up on me fast this year!
I wanted to make some ornaments, but wanted to try something "new" so I decided to give gourd crafting a shot.

In October we took the Grandgirls to the Pumpkin Patch and I purchased some dried gourds and couldn't wait to make something with them, so when I realized the "No Ugly Ornament" series was coming up, I knew it would be a perfect time to "experiment" with my new craft materials!

I started out by cleaning the gourds, as the one's I purchased from the local farmer had been dried, but not cleaned. Some places sell cleaned gourds, but you will most likely pay more money for them and it's really pretty easy to clean them yourself if you have time.

I won't repeat the entire cleaning process here, but instead I will direct you to two of the sources I used to guide me, since this was my first time using gourds.

I watched this video on YouTube which was very informative and helpful:

I also visited this webpage on cleaning gourds:

Once the gourds were clean and dried it was time to get busy!

At first, I wasn't sure how I wanted to decorate them, but I knew most likely they would need to be "primed" in some way, so I painted them with some white acrylic paint (2-3 coats).

I decided to try a few different techniques since I had several gourds.

For this series I decided to make a Bejeweled "Blinged-Out" Ornament and a Hand Drawn Mosiac design ornament.

Here are the supplies I used for this project:

Materials/Tools List:

Sanding Pads (Coarse, Fine)
Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint (White)
Paint Brush
Bic Mark-it Ultra-Fine Permanent Markers
Sharpie Ultra-Fine Permanent Markers
in Bloom by Bead Design, Faceted Faux Gems, Assorted 
One Button (from misc. stock on hand) - (for Hanger atop gourd)
Aleene's Tacky Glue
E6000 Adhesive
Krylon Workable Fixatif 1306

I used the fixative spray (not shown in photo) on the mosiac gourd, to keep the colors from smearing when the ornament is handled.

(This also helps if you are going to add lacquer, mod podge or other decorative coating to the surface, as some of these coatings will make the color from the ink pens run and a very light spray of fixative will help prevent this problem)

Be sure to stop by and visit all my crafty friends who are part of this great series hosted by my friend Erin at My Very Educated Mother.

I know you'll have fun and be inspired!

 photo NUO2013_zps3547e5dd.png