Tag: crafting

Pom Pom Bunny Wreath

Pom Pom Bunny Wreath

Pom pom bunny wreath

While cruising around the internet and peeking in at stores, I’ve seen several backward facing Easter bunnies made of two wreaths. They’ve all been super cute, and I thought, what could be better than that? Then it hit me. Pom poms. What isn’t improved by pom poms? So here’s my  version of the bunny rear end wreath.

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This post contains affiliate links. (That means if you use the links in the post to purchase these items, I will receive a commission on that purchase.)

The first step is to make a billion pom poms. Okay, not actually a billion. I made about 70 2 1/2 inch pom poms in tan using the Clover Large Pom Pom Maker Set (affiliate link.) Yes, you can totally make pom poms without this little tool. Feel free! But, if you like craft tools, and you’re not sure you can figure out how to make your own pom pom maker, then these are fun. They work great!

pom pom maker

It’s actually not all that hard to make 70+ pom poms. I did them while I was watching t.v. They go really fast, and it’s kind of fun. Plus, you get yarn confetti all over your couch and it’s like a party…

When you are tying off the pom poms, be sure to leave those ends long so that you can use them to tie the pom poms to your wreaths.

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I purchased two styrofoam wreaths for this project. The one for the body was 11.8 inches and the one for the head was 9.8 inches. Of course, you could do different sizes, as long as the head is a bit smaller than the bottom.

When you’ve got enough pom poms, start tying them to the wreath. I did this by wrapping the yarn ends around each side of the wreath, crossing them at the back, then bringing the ends back to the front and knotting it under the pom pom. I felt like this kept things a bit more secure, and I was able to avoid a bunch of knots on the back of the wreath. Trim the ends and they’ll blend in with the rest of the yarn.

Basically, you’ll be creating two rows of pom poms. I alternated the position of each pom pom so that the inside pom poms fell between the outside ones.

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Cover both wreaths in this manner. I did leave one blank spot on the body portion so that when the two pieces were connected, I wouldn’t have quite so much bulk at the neck.

I chose to connect the two pieces by tying them together. I felt like this would be more secure than glue or anything else. I placed my yarn across the front of the two pieces where I wanted them to connect, then slid the yarn down between the pom poms to hide it. I flipped the entire thing over and tied it in the back. I left one end very long and began wrapping it around the two pieces to make it more secure. When I got to the end of my yarn, I tied the two ends together.

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Then, I did it again to add even more security. There is still a bit of flexibility, but it stays in place. You may have to do a bit of fluffing at this point to get everything back where you want it.

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You’ll need to make one more pom pom. This time, I used the larger 3 3/8 inch tool and white yarn. Then I tied it to the bottom of the body wreath to make a cute little bunny tail. I think this would be cute if you made an even larger pom pom.

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All this bunny needs is ears!

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I drew a bunny ear and traced two of them on to a piece of chipboard, then cut them out.

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I chose a simple patterned paper that matched my yarn to cover the ears. I cut the patterned paper with a bit of extra margin so that I could wrap the edges around the chipboard.

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In order to make it easy to wrap the paper around the edges of the chipboard, I notched the patterned paper all around, then folded these tabs around the ear.

I applied Mod Podge to the back of the patterned paper and covered the chipboard ear. I had to use a bit extra on the back to keep the ends in place.

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I inked the edges of the ears to add a bit of definition and mask any irregularities.

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Finally, I hot glued the ears to the back of the head wreath.

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A big pink tulle bow around the neck added the finishing touch!

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You’ll probably being seeing more pom pom projects from me. They are just too much fun! (And easy. I always love easy!)

 

More fun projects at Flaunt It Friday!

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A Little Love

Rusty Avocados - Love Decor

How about one final project before Valentine’s Day? A little Valentine for yourself, perhaps? I’ll be adding this little piece to my Valentine’s Day decor. It coordinates perfectly with my vintage Valentine’s Day display!

Rusty Avocados - Love Decor (11)

I started out with these MDF letters from Michael’s, some pages from a dictionary, Mod Podge, and a sponge brush. I had thoughts of using the small clothespins to turn this into a photo holder, but changed my mind in the end.

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My first step was to cut the dictionary pages into strips. They were each about 1 inch by 2 or 3 inches.

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I applied Mod Podge to the letter and wrapped the dictionary strips around the letter. Then I painted over the paper with more Mod Podge. Keep overlapping and wrapping strips until the letter is completely covered. Then let the Mod Podge dry completely.

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I wanted to give each letter a bit of extra definition, so I used gray fluid chalk ink along the edges of each letter.

It’s subtle, but I think it made a difference. You may want to choose a darker shade.

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The next step is to glue the pieces together. Be sure to use a good strong glue. I used my Advanced Craft Glue, but I think a standard hot glue would have worked better, simply because it would dry faster. I glued V and E together first, connecting them at the top.

Then I added L and O to the top.

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The final step was embellishing my letters with some red vintage buttons. I attached them with glue dots. The possibilities for embellishment are, of course, limitless. However you want to personalize it!

Lots more DIY projects at DIY Showoff

Vintage Style Patchwork Puppy

Vintage Style Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados

Now and again, I run across a cute little vintage dog shaped pillow . They’re typically a mishmash of different fabrics, obviously a scrap project, and come in all different sizes. They’re completely charming and not too hard to re-create. I’ll show you how!

Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados

The first step is to cut fabric squares. You will need a total of 112 squares. To really give it a vintage look, over half of my squares were cut from my collection of vintage tablecloths and tea towels. Don’t be alarmed. These tablecloths are torn, stained and not suitable for display or use. The other half of my squares were all cut from the same fabric. I wanted something almost solid colored to ground the busy prints from the tablecloths.

The finished size of your puppy is completely dependent on the size of your squares. I used 2 1/2 inch squares for this particular pup, but I’ve made bigger ones, and I’ve seen smaller ones.

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Next, you’ll want to layout your puppy shape. One puppy goes this way.

Vintage Style Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados

The other goes this way. You absolutely must make one going each direction. If you do not, you will be sad when it’s time to sew the front and back together! And, removing and reattaching a puppy’s head is not fun for anyone. (I learned this the hard way.)

The pieces are sewn together in strips. I start with the body strips which are five squares each. Put two squares right sides together and stitch along one side. I use about a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Continue this to make a horizontal strip five squares long. Repeat for the second strip of the body. You’ll need to do the same for the two head strips and the two legs. TIP – I do not reverse stitch when I am sewing the squares together. By the time you are done, all of the edges will be closed up, so it’s not necessary. And, when you’re working with small pieces like this, that backstitching can cause bunching.

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Then, you’ll want to press open each of the seams. (I hate pressing seams, but it’s absolutely essential if you want things to end up neat and tidy.) If someone has a way to press open tiny seams without burning yourself, I’d love to hear it!

Next, you’ll start putting all of the pieces together. Take the two body pieces, pin them right sides together, matching the seams. Sew and press the seam. Do the same for the two head pieces.

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Now, you can attach the legs. Again, right sides together. You’ll want to match the outer edge of the leg with the outer edge of the body. Do the same for the tail. Don’t forget to press your seams.

Go ahead and attach the head in the same manner, matching seams, sewing and pressing.

To make the ear, place two squares right sides together and sew along three sides. Clip the corners and turn the ear right side out to make a little pocket. Press.

Lay the ear on top of the square closest to the body at the top of the puppy’s head. You will want to line up the edge of the ear with the inside seam of the head and not the outer edge. Otherwise, when you sew everything together, your needle will catch the ear, and the puppy’s ear will get sewn down and there won’t be any flop to that ear. Pin the ear in place and sew. Keep the ear pointing down as you complete the project. You might even want to pin it in place to avoid catching until you’re done.

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Then, do it all over again for the other side of the pillow. You’ll end up with two puppies who face each other.

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Now, you’ll create the pillow casing by sewing together 30 squares in one long strip. Then, sew the first and last squares together to complete a closed loop. And, press open the seams. That’s right. All of them. No whining.

Now comes the part that will make you wonder why you ever started this project. This is the part that might make you use words you shouldn’t. With right sides together and matching seams, pin the casing all around one of the puppies and stitch.

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After stitching, I turned it right side out and checked all my corners and curves to make sure everything was secure. Then I fixed any boo-boos and reinforced some of the spots that I was concerned might need a little extra strength.

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Then I turned him back the other way and prepared to pin the other puppy to the pillow casing.

Once again, right sides together and seams matching, pin it all together and stitch, leaving an opening in his tummy for turning and stuffing. This part will make you question your sanity even more, but you’re almost done. Just keep going! TIP – You might want to do a little backstitching at the beginning and end here. This will keep the opening from pulling and ripping when you get ready to stuff the pillow.

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Turn the puppy right side out. Again, this is a good time to check your corners and seams to make sure everything is tightly closed up.

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Fill that puppy with stuffing! I started with the legs, then tail, then head. I like to stuff very firmly so that the puppy is less likely to lose shape over time. A chopstick or stiff ruler is a good tool for getting stuffing into all the corners.

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Use a very small whipstitch to close up the opening.

Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados

Finished!!

Patchwork Puppy - Rusty Avocados

I like to use this patchwork method to make other pillow shapes, too. I hope to share some of those with you in the future.

Linking up with Savvy Southern Style.

Upcycled Vintage Checkerboard

 

Rusty Avocados - Upcycled Vintage CheckerboardThis was a super simple project that I made using my Cricut Explore. The hardest part was choosing what design to use.

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I began with this vintage wooden checkerboard. It is covered with lots of scratches and marks, but I love that about it. I wanted to display it, but it was begging for a bit of extra something. I thought about putting some kind of cute saying or monogram on it. I looked at some big intricate medallion style designs, but they all seemed to get overwhelmed by the bold checkerboard pattern.

So, I started thinking about the fact that it is a game board. And, it could be used for checkers or chess. And, that’s when I came up with the idea for a crown. I searched “crown” in the Cricut Design Space library and found this crown design. It’s from the Inspired Heart cartridge. The neat thing about Design Space is that I didn’t have to purchase the entire cartridge to get this image. I had a short term subscription this time so I was able to use the image at no cost, but if I hadn’t, it would have only cost me 99 cents to add it to my Cricut image library.

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I sized the image to 11.5 inches and let the Cricut do the work of cutting it out on a sheet of metallic gold Oracal 351 vinyl. I purchased my vinyl from CraftCutterSupply.com.

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Once it was all cut out, I had the fun job of “weeding” which just means removing the pieces of vinyl that I wasn’t going to stick down. I used Cricut’s weeding tool which looks like a dental tool. For more intricate designs, a straight pin works well.

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Once it was all weeded, I cut a piece of contact paper big enough to cover the entire image.

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I used clear contact paper that I picked up at WalMart. I peeled off the paper back and placed the contact paper sticky side down on the vinyl image. Then, I burnished or rubbed the contact paper so that it completely adhered to the vinyl. I keep a Pampered Chef scraper nearby for this purpose. A credit card will also work.

Once it was fully burnished, I slowly lifted the contact paper, checking to see if the vinyl was coming up with it. If not, I placed the contact paper back down and burnished some more. You want to gradually pull up the contact paper until you have removed the entire vinyl image from the backing paper.

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Since the contact paper is clear, it’s easy to see where you are placing your image on the game board. I carefully placed the image as I wanted it, and then burnished over the top of the contact paper again. This time, the goal was to make the vinyl adhere to the game board. It’s much easier to get the vinyl stuck to it’s final home, than to the contact paper! When the image was in place, I carefully pulled the contact paper off. Again, you want to watch to make sure the vinyl is sticking to the game board, and not coming up with the contact paper.

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So simple, but really striking, right? I love that I can get a vintage looking sign, by using a vintage piece that already has so much patina. This will probably be mounted above the mantel in my craft trailer.

Before I purchased my Cricut Explore Air, I had not worked with vinyl. All of my Cricut usage had been limited to paper. The Explore makes it so easy to use different materials, and vinyl is really fun and versatile. If you have the Explore and haven’t done anything with this medium, I would encourage you to give it a shot!

 

 

Upcycled Vintage Memo Board

Upcycled Vintage Memo Board

 

This post contains affiliate links. (I get paid a commission if you use this link to purchase the product.)

Rusty Avocados - Upcycled Vintage Memo Board

This past summer I picked up a rather ratty looking memo board at an auction. I think I probably paid about $3.

Message board before

The cork was dry and rotted, so I knew that would need to be replaced. I also decided to repaint the chalkboard, as it wasn’t even possible to erase the original one anymore. I started out by removing the cork and giving the entire thing a good cleaning with a damp cloth.

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I taped off the wood frame around the chalkboard, so that it could be repainted without slopping chalkboard paint all over the wood frame. (I am not a neat painter.)

I used Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint (affiliate link)and a dense foam roller to apply the paint. It went on very smoothly and I was please with the finish I got. It did take several coats to really get the coverage I wanted, but it dried quickly between coats. The instructions state that you need to allow the paint to cure for at least three days prior to writing on it.

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Because I am a sloppy painter, I knew I needed to protect that chalkboard while I painted the frame, so I taped off the edges and went to work with acrylic craft paint. I used a sponge brush and about three coats to cover it. Then, I completely covered the chalkboard with a layer of protective paper and sprayed the frame with a clear sealer. This gave it a bit of a shine and should keep the acrylic paint from flaking off too easily.

Here’s the part where you learn from my mistakes:

oops

When the painting and sealing was done, I removed the masking tape from the chalkboard, and along with the tape came a lot of the chalkboard paint. Talk about disappointment. I never should have used the masking tape, or at the least, I should have made sure I was using a much less sticky version.

This error in judgment forced me to sand a good portion of the chalkboard and repaint the entire thing, without the aid of tape. I did most of the repainting with a foam brush and used the roller at the end to finish off. I kept a damp rag handy to quickly wipe any mistakes off the frame as quickly as possible.

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Before I knew about the frustration of masking tape, my biggest concern was replacing that cork board. I decided to create a French style memo board using some pretty gold flecked burlap that I found at Hobby Lobby. I knew I would need to use something rigid, but flexible for the backing so that I could actually get the board back into the frame. I found a piece of corrugated plastic signage material that fit while still giving me enough wiggle room to add the burlap and ribbons. Figuring out just the right measurements was a trick! Trial and error. That’s my usual method!

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It’s hard to see, but the burlap has a little bit of gold woven into it. The fabric on the left is a thick flannel that I used as the padding for the board.

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I cut the flannel just a smidge (technical term) smaller than the backing so that I wouldn’t add any additional bulk that would make it harder to wedge the finished piece back into the frame. I used a double layer of the flannel to give it extra padding and attached it to the base piece with double sided tape.

I cut the burlap big enough to give me plenty of overlap, then placed the backing board flannel side down on the burlap and applied strips of double sided tapes around the edges. I stretched the burlap around the edges and trimmed the corners a bit to reduce the bulk. The corners were still a little rough, but I knew they wouldn’t be noticeable once it was framed.

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When it came time to place the ribbons, I simply did some cutting and eyeballing. I placed all the “back slash” pieces first and evened them up a bit. Then went back and added the “forward slash” pieces adjusting as necessary. To keep it all in place while I glued them down, I placed a straight pin into the middle of each crisscross. Then I glued the ribbon ends to the back of the board.

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This is the glue. I love this stuff. Beacon 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue (affiliate link). It’s like hot glue in a bottle without the heat or the gun. It’s strong and dries fast. It’s advanced, kids! I am not so advanced. It took me twenty minutes to realize that the brand new bottle had a foil seal under the lid that was keeping the glue from coming out of the bottle. I thought it was just cold.

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In order to keep the ribbons tight, I added embellished brads to the center of each crisscross. My trusty cropadile allowed me to punch through all those layers of corrugated plastic, flannel, burlap and ribbon. This is one tough tool. Then I could easily attached the brads.

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The brads were some cute Teresa Collins ones that I had in my stash. I love the extra bit of embellishment they added.

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The final step was wedging the board back into the frame. There was lots of bending, twisting, pushing and praying.

Rusty Avocados - Upcycled Vintage Memo Board

 

And, there it is! I couldn’t be happier with this. (Okay, I would be happier if I hadn’t had to do all that repainting, but all’s well that ends well!)

Message Board B&A

Now, that’s a satisfying comparison!