Burlap wreaths

I LOVE the ‘loose & fluffy’ look of burlap wreaths!P1230233I’ve been ‘intending’ to make one ever since they first started popping up a few years ago.  And I’ve accumulated all the supplies, over the years, to do so!

P1230266I even ‘did the research’ (looking on Pinterest!) for tutorials.  And THAT is as far as I got before discouragement set in and my supplies were left to gather yet another layer of dust.

P1230238Do you love/hate Pinterest as much as I do??  Love all the ideas and inspiration, but HATE all the DIFFERENT tutorials for making the same thing!  aaaaarghhhh!!!

In my burlap research I found tutorials that said to use pipe cleaners, to attach your burlap to your wreath form.  Another said to use zip ties.  Another wire.  Even one that said to use SCOTCH TAPE?!?!?  So, after all that ‘research’ and the subsequent complete confusion, I just went with what ‘sounded’ most logical to me.  Pipe cleaners, cut into 1/4’s,  Wire cuts up your hands too much and scotch tape, just NO!

P1230240So, this is how my first attempt turned out.  And even with having pre-cut all my pipe cleaners to length, it took me a good TWO hours to complete this baby.  And I really was not totally happy with it.  I wanted more ‘fluffed out’ areas. All the folds were just laying too FLAT.

P1230234I tried ‘hand fluffing’ them, but they just flattened right back out.  So I grabbed a roll of brown package wrapping paper and made some ‘wads’ of it and stuffed them into various places.  You can see a few of them in the above close-up photo.   THAT is how I imagined it would look!

P1230235And it breaks up the folds a bit, and looks more ‘random’ to me.  So I waded up a bunch more paper balls.

P1230239Here you can see a few more of the places where I added the paper.  But you really don’t notice it if you don’t know it’s there.  I think perhaps my ‘problem’ with not being able to ‘fluff my folds’ without adding something is that the burlap I used was only 5″ wide.  Wider burlap, folded in half, would probably fluff better.

SO, after I made that first one, I ventured back to Pinterest to look over some more tutorials to see if there was a FASTER way to make them.  Can’t make any money selling them if it’s gonna take me over TWO hours to make one!!

Found a Pin that led me to a you-tube video touting that you could make a burlap wreath in 20 minutes.  TWENTY minutes???  Seriously?  I HAD to watch it.  It’s only a 2 minute video, so worth the time to watch.  Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOVJOxmuB-g

Interesting, and most definitely a FASTER way to make a burlap wreath, but personally, I would NEVER make on using that method. Not even just to keep for myself.  Why?  One snag and your entire wreath will come apart!  There is nothing ATTACHING the burlap to the wreath form.  No thank you.  I’ll stick with my more labor intensive, but PERMANENT method; and only make a very FEW of them.

P1230305This is the back of the one with the gold bells.

P1230304Each ‘loop’ of burlap is secured to the wreath form with a cut piece of twisted pipe cleaner.

P1230265This is my second one, on which I used some printed burlap ribbon interspersed.  The printed ribbon was wired and fluffed out nicely.  I did NOT add the brown paper to fluff out the rest of this wreath . .  .yet.

P1230268Still pondering whether or not I need to.  I used MORE burlap on this one, so it’s fuller, and I guess with the printed ribbon ‘breaking it up’, the layers of burlap with no fluff don’t bother me as much.

P1230233

Which do you prefer?  The larger ‘fluffs’ or the one with more ‘folds’?

P1230266

I really don’t have a ‘favorite’.  Each looks good to me in its own way.

P1230315I decided to embellish the first one with a gold bow and a gold glitter “Noel” ornament.   I just ‘hung’ the Noel over one of the burlap loops, and did NOT permanently attach it.  That way it can easily be removed, and the wreath can still be used beyond the Christmas season.

P1230316

Forgot to show you what kind of ‘form’ I used for these.

P1230314I bought this batch of rusty metal wreath forms at a garage sale a long time ago.  To prevent the rust from ‘shedding’ onto the wreath, I spray painted them with clear spray.  And I sprayed one white for an up[coming project.

P1230341AFTER I made those two burlap wreaths, I found these wire wreath forms at DOLLAR TREE!  These are the kind used in the video, twist and tuck method, and should make for a fuller wreath.  I haven’t used them yet, and in fact, I still have several of the rusty ones left.  But I did buy a few of the Dollar Tree ones because I KNOW that if I don’t buy it when I see it . . .they’ll be gone when I DO need them!

P1230976This one has gone to my booth at Stars.  Still trying to decide if the other one ‘needs something more’.  Will probably save it for spring.

P1230975It’s hanging on my re-done ‘holiday wall’.

P1230977Here’s a closer look at some of the other holiday wall decor items.

P1230979Bought these little gold frames at the bazaar last week.  The ‘Merry Christmas’ ornament is just ‘tied on’ with ribbon and can be removed so the frame can be otherwise used.

P1230980Same with this one.

Advertisements

White drop leaf tables at Stars

Took these two cottage chic white drop leaf tables to Stars last Monday, and they called me yesterday to let me know they have both SOLD already!

P1200081Before I even had a chance to do a blog post on the booth re-do!

P1200077So, the two ‘focal point’ pieces in this vignette are now gone, which means the vignette needs a complete do-over and will not look like this if you go to Stars now . . . .  but I really liked how it turned out, and wanted to ‘show it off’ anyhow!

P1200119The idea was to make it kind of look like a wedding dessert buffet set up.  (I forgot to put the sign that says “Eat, Drink & be Married” on the table!)

P1200062I did this drop leaf coffee table a while ago, and was actually planning to keep it for myself.

P1200063Drop leaf tables are MUCH more time consuming to sand and paint than a regular table.  So I was kind of ‘hoping’ that if I really priced it to reflect how much TIME I spent on it, that no one would buy it and I could take it back later after I finally get moved.  I SHOULD have learned by now that that ‘game plan’ NEVER works!

P1200066Upcycled vintage dessert stand (I added the base and painted it white) is filled with chocolate cupcake candles.

P1200079I’ve also used stands like this to display vintage creamers, or loaded it with pretty ornaments as a Christmas centerpiece.

P1200094I just HAD to have a cute little faux wedding cake for all the cake stands I upcycle.  I made it from paper mache boxes.  The birds are GLUED on!

P1200093I’ve got a fabulous stash of little vintage dessert plates.  I started out with about twice this many; lots have sold!

P1200068This piece ended up in this vignette just because I didn’t have any place else to put it!  Used it to display vintage creamers and sugar bowls; which I always have in stock ‘en masse’.

P1200080The rest of my creamer stash went on the little step-back; along with some other assorted small pieces.

P1200087This display even looked pretty good from the side!

P1200113I haven’t entirely abandoned my signature aqua paint color!  Just trying to keep it ‘segregated’ in a separate vignette.

P1200110

For now though, the white furniture IS selling better than the aqua.

P1200075Usually the night stands sell in a snap.  Took these in two weeks ago.

P1200114You can see from these candle pedestals, that I am moving towards a lighter and softer shade of aqua.

P1200103Now to figure out what to do when I go to Stars tomorrow to re-work my space?!?!?!  Usually I stay two steps ahead of the game and always have ‘what I want to do next’ all figured out.  Since these two pieces sold so quickly though, I’m just going to have to ‘wing it’ this time!

Cool old drawer pulls

I almost never GO shopping for finishing pieces for a project right when I need them; knobs, handles, embellishments  . . stuff like that.   Mostly because I don’t always KNOW what I need (WANT!) until I get TO the point of needing them.

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 080

So, I like to keep a bit of a ‘stash of options’ on hand.  Always on the look-out for that kind of thing ‘at the right price’ to add to my inventory.  Then when I need them, I just rummage through what I have until inspiration strikes!

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 081

Found these on etsy.  Not necessarily one of my ‘boast-able bargain finds’, but they will provide a good ‘bang for the buck’ when I have just the right pieces to use them on.  When searching for stuff like this, you want to look for them in ‘LOTS’.  Buying a lot of them as a group will always garner you a better price.

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 082Most of these did NOT have their original screws, so it will take some ‘trial and error’ to find the right ones but that’s what you get for ‘this price’.  If you want PERFECT ones with hardware, you can go to Restoration Hardware and pay $20.00 a piece!

I just brought home a desk with drawers on BOTH sides, that I am going to have Michael ‘chop in half’ to turn into two night stands.  Hoping I can use some of these drawer pulls on them.  Unique drawer pulls can really MAKE the piece.  I’m so glad that it’s now ‘trendy’ to NOT have everything perfectly ‘matchy matchy’; and I can mix these unique pulls with some simpler ones that I already have on hand.

I got my wings!!!

Have you seen those AWESOME big pairs of carved wood decorative angel wings that are so popular in the decorating magazines lately?  Have you COVETED a pair of your own as badly as I have been coveting them?!?!  I got a pair!!!!  They’re not the carved wood kind, but a very ‘reasonable facsimile’!  Check them out:

2.22.13 stars wine rack etsy 033I hung them above the old door head-board in my shabby chic white bedroom/ craft room.  They are a bit ‘shinier’ than I was expecting, and much more detailed than I thought they’d be.  But I’m still thrilled beyond words to have them.

2.22.13 stars wine rack etsy 034It’s kind of  a  burnished metal (aluminum maybe?) material and heavier metal backing.

2.22.13 stars wine rack etsy 036Here’s the picture from the catalog, showing them hanging the way I envisioned hanging mine above my bed.  But, they only have ONE hanging hole on the back and will only hang like I have them on my wall, using that one hole.  I’m a tad ‘annoyed’ at that fact, and may yet write a compliant letter to the company.

2.22.13 stars wine rack etsy 035

I didn’t  like them hung this way at ALL at first, but now it’s kind of growing on me.  Besides, hung the other way might not look right with the ceiling angle I am dealing with.  Can you see where the ceiling angles higher to the right?

2.22.13 stars wine rack etsy 037I have NO IDEA where this catalog came from, but I sure am glad I ended up on their mailing list.  They have a lot of other very cool stuff too.  Kind of a cross between Ballard Design and Pottery Barn but MUCH better prices!  The wings ran me $89.00 for the pair WITH shipping.  Not bad.  I’ve seen the big carves wings for $300.00 per WING!

The website is   www.countrydoor.com    if you want to take a peek.  I think the wings are still on sale until June.

 

My newest ‘thing’

Add KEYS to my list of favorite things.  Lately I’ve been adding keys to things almost as often as I do crowns!

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 054I added a few new glass canisters/jars to my recent collection.

1.23.13 signs Stars 079This thrifted bottle is about the size of an 8 oz baby bottle; and has a plastic screw on lid.

1.23.13 signs Stars 082Instead of using actual keys on this one, I decided to use some skeleton key rub ons that I had; just for the sake of variety and to see which will sell better.

1.23.13 signs Stars 080The rub ons are less expensive to use too, so I can price the jars with these less than the ones with the real old keys or the big  repro skeleton keys.

1.23.13 signs Stars 081I decided to dress up the lid on this one a bit too.  I could have just spray painted it with the flat black that I used on all the other metal lids.  But, as long as I was trying something different; why not go different with the lid too!  I glued a strip of this burlap ribbon around the edge and a punched round scallop paper medallion on the top.

1.30.13 stars projects 079The jar on the left is the same kind as the two biggest jars I did in the last batch.  I sure wish  I knew where/what they came from!  They are very thick and heavy glass, and the lids are brushed aluminum; which I spray paint black.

1.30.13 stars projects 084Some jute twine around the neck.

1.30.13 stars projects 083In keeping with the ‘key’ theme I added a big skeleton key rub-on on top of a tea stained and hand stamped paper label.

1.30.13 stars projects 082I’m not sure I like this one better than the others that I tied the big ole repro skeleton keys to, but again, just wanted to add some variations on the theme AND offer a lower price point.

1.30.13 stars projects 080These are pretty standard glass canister jars with tin screw on lids.  With the ribbing in the glass along each corner, I needed to keep the label inside one panel.  I miscalculated a bit on the positioning of this rub-on, but it wasn’t bad enough to scrape off and start over.

1.30.13 stars projects 081I decided that this short stubby repro skeleton key was perfect for the top of this jar.

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 020These have all gone to Stars and are blended in with the last batch I made.

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 036I had re-painted this formerly red tin embossed heart back when I got it; then packed it away with my Valentine craft supplies.   One of the big repro skeleton keys tied on was the perfect finishing touch!.

1.30.13 stars projects 009This is what I originally made the hand stamped tea stained paper labels, like I used on the one jar.  Found these four good sized spools of string at the thrift store.

1.30.13 stars projects 011

 Usually I like to just toss assorted balls and spools of string ‘as I found them’, into bowls and jars to display and sell.  But now that several other vendors at Stars are doing the same thing; I decided to ‘take mine to the next level’.

1.30.13 stars projects 008LOVE how these labels turned out.  I was going to use some of this  paper ribbon I got a while ago:

12.29.12 stars Val buys 096

And even held it up to the spools to see how it looked.  That’s when I got the inspiration to make some of my own.  The purchased stuff would have worked just fine, but it was kinda pricey.  So I really need to save it for a higher priced item.

1.30.13 stars projects 007

I really like my home made stuff just as well.  Might even have to make more of it; and sell just the labels!  Whaddyathink?!?!

1.30.13 stars projects 028Took the spools of string to Stars and tossed them in a big old wooden bowl with some vintage crochet threads.

1.30.13 stars projects 029Might have to make some thinner labels to add to the crochet threads too!

2.2.13 stars Michael etsy 016Then ultimately I ended up tossing some hand stitched hearts in with the mix too!

Pondering putting together some ‘bundles’ of assorted spools of threads and string and pillows like this to sell in my etsy shop.

Now THAT’S something I’ve never seen before! New trend for re-using OLD books.

In the art and decorating world, it seems like MOST works are a ‘take’ on something that the artist or designer has seen somewhere else.  VERY seldom do you actually see an entirely original, NEW and never before done concept.  And even when I have created something that I KNOW I’ve never seen before, that doesn’t mean that no one else has not ever had the same idea, and created something similar.   And I usually end up seeing all kinds of similar items after a while.  (thanks to the internet!)

I sill get a few of the wholesale product catalogs that we ordered from back when we had our own store.  Still enjoy looking at them for clues on trends, and yes, IDEAS for creations.   And I almost always come across several items that I was hand crafting YEARS ago, that they are now mass producing and selling wholesale.   That is just the nature of the industry!

But I really LOVE coming across something CRAZY UNIQUE.  etsy is a great place for such discoveries; like this one I came across this morning:

Not particularly MY style of artwork (the cartoon looking stuff)  but certainly VERY unique!  The old books are used as the canvas for this painting by  Isabelle Rey Studio.  I was very surprised to read that the books are NOT stuck together either!  I have to admit that my ‘anal designer gene’ make me feel the urge to rearrange those books so they go from biggest to smallest in the stack.  And her other piece IS stacked that way:

She only had these two such creations in her etsy shop; and mostly sold beautifully coordinated paper and ephemera sets and unique collage books.  sets.  So it will be interesting to see if this idea ‘takes off’.  Or even if SHE makes more of them.  I looked at her list of previously sold items to see if she had made more that had sold, and did not see any there either.  So it appears that this is a NEW thing.

I’ve seen the COVERS of old books painted up in different decorating themes to match specific decors or seasons.  Have seen all the books on a shelf covered in pretty paper or fabric too.

I’ve seen all kinds of things done with old books.  There are even some sellers  who JUST sells color coordinated bundles of old books like this:

 And these old hard back books with the covers ripped off have been en vogue for a while now:

I make and sell bundles like this in my booth at Stars, and have a FEW in my etsy shop.

SOME etsy shops sell HEAPS of them!  As far as I know, this trend was launched by Pottery Barn.  They sell s bundle of PAPER BACKS, with covers removed, for around $30.00!  I think shoppers LOVED the look and figured they could do it themselves a lot cheaper!

And a clever artist found a way to USE all those book covers everyone else was tearing off; as a canvas for a collage.  (I TRIED to save some of my old hardback covers to re-use them, but they were just too dirty and stinky!)

I’ve also seen old books painted up like this, in coordinated color schemes.

And painting ON the book cover.

I even saw a book cover painted with CHALKBOARD paint.  And get this, (this is EXACTLY what I was talking about in the intro!) the vendor claims that this is her own original idea, and you must ask her permission before replicating the idea to sell for profit.

It’s both funny and SAD the misconceptions that some people have regarding what can and cannot be protected by copyright.  Chalkboard paint is CRAZY popular right now and I’d almost be willing to BET that a hundred other crafters came up with the same idea at the same time!

I mean, that’s like me saying I started the bechy blue color trend, and that you need my permission to paint your own items this same color.    Just shaking my head . . . .

And some other clever people re-use the book COVERS to make covers for journals.

And add unique design elements to the insides.

My ‘bestie’ Beth made an awesome book for me out of an old book that was something like the one above.  Only mine had a CAT theme.   Each and every PAGE is a work of art on its own!

She removed some of the pages, then glued several together for each ‘page’ that she left, so they are really sturdy!

Folded pages to create pockets for stashing memorabilia.

Here’s another clever re-use  for a book cover!  Make it into a purse!

THESE book sculptures are absolutely AMAZING, aren’t they?

This is pretty amazing too!

I’m pretty sure I’ve shown this idea before.  I MUST make myself one to keep on my paper craft desk to store all those little scraps of  leftover paper that I can’t BEAR to throw away, but can never find when I have a use for them!  Do you remember folding old Reader’s Digest magazines and making Christmas trees and Angels out of them???  Our mom used to make us sit and fold them for HOURS for her!

Here’s an updated ‘Goth’ version of the aforementioned angels!  YIKES!!  I remember mom using a styrofoam egg for the head, and covering it with old PANTYHOSE to make it flesh colored!  Beads for the eyes and nose and real angel hair for the hair, and a pipe cleaner halo!  Oh how I HATED having to help her make those things!!!

And she made Christmas trees.  One size only,  and a secondary fold at the bottom to create a bit of a base.  Decorated with individually glued on sequins and tiny beads!

Here’s a recent version of a book page Christmas tree.  I do NOT have the patience that it would require to CUT all those pages!

Seeing a LOT of these on etsy too.  Very cute idea, but again, I don’t have the patience to cut all those pages.  These people must not have arthritis in their hands!  (but probably WILL after doing all that cutting!)

And if all that isn’t enough to get you heading out to the next rummage or garage sale to hunt for old books to craft with,  there are lots more ideas in my blog for things to do with just the ‘book pages’!  That’ll have to be another post.

Are there any other old book ideas out there that YOU have seen?