Saturday, August 10, 2013

Crafty Saturday

I've been feeling extra crafty lately and we've been recommitting to live on a budget, so buying a side table to refinish or a canvas to decoupage every time I want to make something isn't an option.

So this morning I made something for free with stuff that's been cluttering up my craft room.

I used:

  • an old 81/2 by 11 frame
  • moss from the dollar store
  • a page from an old atlas
  • cardboard
  • lots of hot glue
  • some Mod Podge
  • a paintbrush (to apply the Mod Podge)
  • scissors

And I made this:

Warning: This project used lots more hot glue than I was expecting, and I will be making a trip to the dollar store soon to replenish my glue sticks.

I saw the inspiration for this project on another blog and decided I could make my own without buying anything. (She has a lot of cute projects, so you should check out her blog.) She used a wooden letter, moss strips and burlap for the background, but I didn't have those, so I mixed it up and made it cheaper 'cause I'm cheap like that customized the project just for me.

First, I made my letter out of cardboard scraps. I just cut freehand and then layered the cardboard to get the right dimensions. If you want to make a less boxy letter, it might help to cut out a pattern.

Then, I assembled the letter and hot glued the cardboard pieces together. I did this in layers, and the middle of the cardboard letter is hollow.
In the meantime, I disassembled my frame. I ended up using a different frame than the picture above because it is frame mecca in my house right now, and I had lots of choices.

So I went in another direction because the frame pictured above is assembled with staples, and taking out the staples would mean there was nothing to hold the background in the frame. Which would defeat the purpose of completing a simple craft project...that's too much troubleshooting for a picture frame, and I like Norman Rockwell, so I left it as is and picked another frame.

The next step (phew, glad that frame rant is over) is to start hot gluing moss to the letter. I found that it works best if you put a little bit of hot glue in a small area and then apply a lot of moss and layer it as you go.
Don't worry if it looks patchy or if the moss is out of control along the edges and you can't see the shape of the letter. We'll fix that later.

Also, please be careful not to burn your fingers too often while pressing the moss into the hot glue. Or, at least don't blame me if your fingertips are blistered. I'm a hot glue/Mod Podge savant, so these things don't usually slow me down when crafting.

After the front is covered, add hot glue to the sides of the letter, and fill in the border of the letter with more moss.

You'll end up with something that looks scraggly and messy, but don't worry. Just use some scissors to trim excess moss from the edges and then use the trimmed scraps to fill in any holes on the front of the letter.

Next, I grabbed a sheet of cardstock, and picked out a page from the atlas index to be my background. I cut the cardstock to fit in the back of the frame and then folded the atlas page around the cardstock. I grabbed my trusted Mod Podge (from the living room since I used it last week to create something for my sister-in-law) and layered it on the background page. Note to self: Get more Mod Podge.

Then, I wrote most of this blog while the Mod Podge dried. I layered it on a little thick, but once it dried, I just secured it in the frame, and hot glued the letter to the background.

I think it turned out great, and now my fancy-smancy moss letter frame is hanging out on a table in the front room of my house. (Please excuse the lighting in the picture. It's rainy here, and I'm impatient.) And if I decide I want to repurpose the frame later, I can just add back the glass and call it a day.

Craft completed before lunch on Saturday = success in my book. Have a beautiful weekend, and find joy in the simple (free) things in life!

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