Tag Archives: hobby

DIY Chalkboard Herb Garden

Hey Everyone! I’m so sorry it’s been almost a month since my last post. Time has escaped me yet again. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of May and Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I have been so busy with work, birthdays and weddings, and all of the responsibilities that come with living in an apartment (some more fun than others – does anyone actually enjoy spring cleaning?).

With spring in full bloom, I have been trying to find ways to bring more greenery into my home. I love the way plants bring light and life into smaller indoor spaces and I’ve been inspired by photos like these (found on Pinterest) to transform my apartment into an indoor garden.

As you may recall, I started off with an ivy plant that I hung from my kitchen ceiling.

I bought a plant for my kitchen yesterday! I love the way he looks. Now I just need to find a name for him...

Once I saw how that transformed my kitchen into a much warmer and more inviting space, I was hooked on the idea of “more plants, more plants!” So I bought a basil plant, some small cacti, and I have four small pots that are starting to sprout small green stems (I’m not sure what type of plants they are – they were cute favors from my cousin’s wedding).

basil plant

basil plant

small cacti

small cacti

small plants from my cousin's wedding

small plants from my cousin’s wedding

Once I got all of these little guys in my kitchen, I realized I really wanted more herb plants like my basil. So last weekend, while I was home for Mother’s Day, I went out and bought the following herbs to create my own mini indoor herb garden: parsley, mint, oregano and cilantro. They were just in plastic containers so I decided to repot them into regular ceramic planters. While I was buying these herbs, I had this DIY in the back of my mind that I found on A Beautiful Mess – chalkboard planters.

So once I bought my herbs and pots, I also picked up some chalkboard paint so that I could make my own chalkboard herb garden. It was a really easy project and I love the way the plants look on my kitchen shelf! Here are some photos of the plants, the project and the finished product:

Herbs1 Herbs2 Herbs3 Herbs4 Herbs5 Herbs6 Herbs7

I hope you all are having a wonderful spring!

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DIY Aztec Print Tote

Earlier this week I worked on a quick and fun DIY project – a stenciled tote. I’ve been using the tote I made in the Lotta Jansdotter workshop, but it’s starting to wear out a bit, so I thought it was time to make myself a new one!

I decided to print a 4 color design, so I had to make 4 different stencils – one for each color. Along with your stencils and tote, you’ll need fabric paint and a stencil brush.

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Even though it was a more complex design with multiple stencils, the process was simple – I just started with the first stencil, let it dry, moved to the next and so on…

photo1 photo2 photo3 photo5 photo7photo9 photo10

And the finished product…photo13

I’m so excited to use it! I think it is going to be a fabulous spring tote!

Also exciting – this was the first project I did in my craft room in my apartment! I still have quite a bit to organize and I have some cabinets to hang, but its definitely functional!photo16Happy Wednesday, everyone!

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If you liked this post, you may want to check out my DIY Stenciled Napkins.

DIY Stenciled Napkins

With apartment decorating on my mind, I did a fun and simple DIY project last weekend – stenciled napkins! I have been thinking about how I can bring my own personality into my new space and one of the things I came up with was my very own set of cotton napkins. I had bought a pack of four from Michaels a couple of weeks ago and hadn’t done anything with them yet. So last weekend, I decided to turn them into a “new apartment” project. I came up with four different designs, one for each napkin because I wanted to have a set of four individual pieces, and got to work stenciling.

Here is a tutorial just for you, so you can try stenciling your own! (Remember, this doesn’t only apply to napkins. You can stencil anything you want, from napkins to pillowcases to t-shirts!)

What you’ll need:

–        a design (keep in mind that this is a stencil, so fine lines can be tricky!)

–        transparency paper (this is what I used as a stencil)

–        permanent marker

–        x-acto knife/razor blade

–        scrap fabric

–        napkins

–        fabric ink

–        stencil brush

–        masking tape

–        hard surface and some cardboard or newspaper to keep things clean

Supplies1

1. Pre-wash and iron your napkins. You will also need some test fabric, so it’s helpful if you have this ironed and ready to go as well.

2. Create your design – either draw or print your design onto paper (the black areas in my design are what will be cut out and made into a stencil) *Note: if you’re confident enough and don’t feel the need to pre-draw a design, then just draw it directly onto the transparency and skip to Step 4!

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my 4 designs all on one sheet of paper

3. Place a sheet of transparency paper over your design and trace it with a permanent marker.

Step1 Step2 Step2b

as you can see, I did two designs on each sheet of transparency, just to save paper

as you can see, I traced two designs on each sheet of transparency, just to save paper

4. Once you have traced your design, cut out the shapes using an x-acto knife. (don’t forget, you’re going to cut out all of the areas that were black)

Step3

5. Now that you have your stencils made, you’re ready to print. I suggest doing some test runs on scrap fabric before you stencil on your actual napkins. Unforeseen accidents are always possible, but it’s easier to avoid them if you do some tests prints first.

Step4 Step4a Step4b

first test run of all four designs

first test run of all four designs

I didn’t like the way the blue looked, so I decided to try the circles in yellow. I like the yellow better!

I didn’t like the way the blue looked, so I decided to try the circles in yellow. I like the yellow better!

6. If you’re happy with the way your test prints turned out, then you’re ready to print on your napkins. Take your napkin and lay it flat on your table. Make sure it is smooth and tape the sides down with some masking tape so that it doesn’t shift.

Step5

7. Then line your stencil up along the bottom of the napkin, tape down the sides, dip your stencil brush into ink, and stipple the ink onto the fabric.

Step5a

my stencil was not as wide as my napkin, so once I stenciled the first half, I just lifted the stencil, being careful not to smudge anything, and moved it over so I could stencil the remaining section.

my stencil was not as wide as my napkin, so once I stenciled the first half, I just lifted the stencil, being careful not to smudge anything, and moved it over so I could stencil the remaining section.

I decided I wanted to have my designs on the bottom and top of my napkin, so once I finished one edge, I just moved the stencil to the opposite end and repeated the process.

I decided I wanted to have my designs on the bottom and top of my napkin, so once I finished one edge, I just moved the stencil to the opposite end and repeated the process.

Yellow Yellow2

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the remaining napkins with your other designs.

Green Magenta Purple

9. When all of your napkins are stenciled, let them dry thoroughly and then iron them to heat-set the ink. (*Fabric ink must always be heat-set)

Once they are ironed, they are ready to use however you please! You can place them around your table…

Napkins2

Arrange them in a basket for display…

Napkins9

Or even hang them over a towel bar on your refrigerator or in your bathroom – they are decorative, yet useful!

now you can see why I printed both ends

now you can see why I printed both ends

Here are a few more shots…

Napkins3 Napkins7 Napkins5

I really love the way they look. I love the simple geometric designs and the colors I chose and I think they are going to be great for my new apartment!

I hope this post inspires you to go do a stencil project! If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to drop me a note 🙂

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If you liked this post, you may want to check out my DIY Heart T-Shirt and my DIY Pillowcase

Elephant Tote

Last night, I photographed the elephant tote I printed on Sunday. I absolutely love the way it came out! I made this bag for a friend, but I think I’m going to have to print myself one because he makes me so happy!

Tote_0128

Tote_0126

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P.S. This is my 50th post! I’m feeling quite accomplished today! Thank you to all of my family, friends, readers and fellow bloggers who have supported me for the last two months. I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me on this journey!

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Weekend Recap: Sunday Cleaning & Screen-Printing

Sunday was quite dreary. It was foggy and damp, which meant that I really didn’t feel like going anywhere. I spent the majority of the day helping my mom clean out our basement – something we haven’t done in years, so you can imagine the amount of “stuff” that has collected. We’ve decided to tackle this daunting project because the basement would actually be a really great workspace for me. Right now, when I want to work on a project, I have to set myself up in my mom’s dining room, which, let’s face it, isn’t really fair to her or to me. Our basement, however, is perfect (if we can clean it out, that is). There are already tables, cabinets, and shelving units set up so that means there is plenty of storage space for all of my supplies. We have a large slop sink down there, which will make cleaning up much easier than it is using the kitchen or bathroom sink. The washer, dryer and ironing board are also all down there, so it will make sewing projects much more convenient because I won’t have to run up and down the stairs every time I need to press a seam (stairs are such a hardship, I know).

So on Sunday, we made pretty good headway. We boxed up papers to be burned, filled up a huge garbage bag with trash, reorganized one of our cabinets, and I was able to move three huge containers of art and craft supplies down to the basement and organize them the way I want. Here are a couple shots of “before”. I still need to take photos of the progress we made!

Making progress, but still have quite a ways to go.

Making progress, but still have quite a ways to go.

Still a lot to organize in the office are, but we'll get there!

Still a lot to organize in the office are, but we’ll get there!

By 5:30 pm, we were pretty burned out, but with one of the long tables cleaned off, I couldn’t resist the urge to do some screen printing! So I set myself up in my partial workspace and printed some t-shirts and totes with the elephant screen I made in my screen printing workshop.

Long table perfect for printing

Long table perfect for printing

Set up a side table for myself where I could keep my fabrics neatly stacked and easily be able to grab one after another

Set up a side table for myself where I could keep my fabrics neatly stacked and easily be able to grab one after another

Printing my elephant

Printing my elephant

I can now easily set up the drying rack without it being in anyone's way

I can now easily set up the drying rack without it being in anyone’s way

This was my first time printing tees and totes at home and, as expected, not everything came out perfectly. Two of my t-shirts shifted during the printing process, so I got some funky lines. Just like everything else, it’s a learning process. The tote looks great (I need to photograph it tonight) and I did get three shirts (out of six) that came out perfectly! I really love the way the elephant looks on the gray t-shirt! I couldn’t resist wearing him around yesterday.

Screen Printing5

If anyone has any suggestions on how to get organized and set up an efficient workspace, please let me know! I will keep you all updated with the progress we make!

And if you like my elephant design, you can now buy him as an art print, iPhone case, t-shirt, laptop/iPad skin, pillow, and hoodie on Society6!

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