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Monday, November 14, 2011

Great Gift Idea Monogram Photo Letters

I found this great idea on-line and wanted to make it for a certain person for Christmas, so Heather, if you are reading this....PLEASE LEAVE MISSY, lol.  The link to the original post the crafter put up is broken now, so I can't credit her post, or find her again, but I will walk you through it, it's super easy.

Here is a list of what you will need:

1 letter, I used a 22 inch paper mache letter, but you can choose smaller or wood, makes no difference.  $10
1 bottle 2 oz of black (or whatever color you like) paint.  I bought Apple Barrel gloss black. $1
1 8 oz Mod Podge (uses very little so if you already have some, use it). $5
1 Spray can of Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish (uses very little so if you already have some, use it).  $8
1 printer with black ink and paper loaded
Paint brush
Foam brush

So if you already have your printer, paint brush and foam brush, you pay full price for the above it will cost around $24.  Prices are as of today, November 14, 2011 and will vary from store to store.

Go get the letter of your choice.  There just happens to be a coupon for this week (Nov 13th - 18th 2011) at Joann's where I found mine, 50% off....WooHoo.  You can also purchase everything else there.  Have your significant other, kids, whoever you can find print out a coupon and go through the line for you as well and you can make this for around $12 or so.

Lay some newspaper down on a flat surface and With your paint brush, paint the letter black on one side and down the sides...wait for it to dry...flip it and paint the other side.

Here is the paint I used, but use what you would like and  remind me to paint my own nails before pictures of this kind!
I just squirted and smoothed....repeat until.......
You get it covered all over.
Let it dry on the first side.  Flip and paint the other side if you want.  I did, I think it looks more finished and makes it sturdier.

My letter was 2 inches across.  I put all my pics into Microsoft publisher and adjusted them to 2 inches wide.  I also brightened them, then I printed them, making sure my printer was set to do black and white printing only.  You could do color if you wanted, but I like the look of the black and white.  I tried to do a print screen here, so I could show you, but it did not want to work.  You could also use Word or even Google Docs and get the same result.

Lay out your pictures with some over lap.  This is why when adjusting in publisher, you can make some bigger so that the persons face is bigger, knowing that you will trim the background.  Once you have the look you want, start trimming.  I used a pencil and lightly made marks on the front of the picture, then trimmed carefully, not wanting to have to print anything again.  Then glue the piece down and trim and glue the next and so on. I went from bottom to the center, then to the top.  Be sure to follow Mod Podge directions, if you are like me and can't see the itty bitty, little teeny, tiny......well you get it....print on the darn bottle, Plaid is nice enough to post it all on-line, with video for us right HERE.  Then you let it dry and brush over the top, once again following the directions HERE.  Let dry.  I let mine dry over night.

Next, take it to a well ventilated garage or outside.  I put mine in a cardboard box, picture side up and sprayed from about two feet away with the Krylon spray.  You can find out the best techniques HERE.  I like to give the you the manufacturers instructions in case something goes wrong, that way you can take it up with them, not me.  Hahhha.  Here is he end product.

I think it turned out well and will look terrific on her wall.  She is a picture junkie, so this is a great personalized gift....I think anyway.  I think I will use my glue gun to place some picture hooks on back and hang it with a pretty ribbon.  I am thinking black and white stripes, what do you think?  Stripes... poka dots..solid?  You choose what you think and I will post the end result.

Merry crafting and thanks for reading.  As always, I love comments, so leave some so I know how I am doing.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More thrifting...STOP ME ALREADY!

My thrifting money is usually whatever I get from cans and bottles.  Today I took back a bunch and bought a box of Capri Suns (Devin's lunch) and a pot pie for me.  Never get this stuff, but today, I admit it, it was good. My change was $17.49.  With the change I thought I would stop at my favorite thrift shop.  I needed a fat separator for making gravy this thanksgiving and had told my cousin I would look for Christmas books for her new baby, she wants to read a Christmas story a day during December to him.  Fabulous idea.  My favorite Christmas book is The Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke so I was hoping to find a copy.  I knew I had to buy a new pair of pinking shears from Joann's also, so I could not spend much.

But I walked in and saw this:

Did I need that...NO!  Was it the cutest little rocking chair I have ever seen....well, yes, yes it was.  I asked her how much and she said $5 flat and I said you see the sold sign on it?  Yep, that is because I bought an antique children's rocker in great shape for $5.  Now what the heck am I gonna do with it you ask?  Mark asked too.....Well, I think I may just keep it for the time when I have grandchildren.  Devin even thought it was the cutest children's chair he had seen.  I REALLY like it. Am I defending this purchase for all I am worth right now, well, yes, yes I am.  Why?  Well look at it again.....if my behind could fit, I would be rocking for all I am worth right now.  See, look from this you can see the cute little feet.  Uhhem.......

I also found my fat separator and some cute little loaf pans.  I may be using the loaf pans for the children's kitchen I want to build from the last post.

Not sure why the picture insists on being sideways, but you can turn your neck, lol.  All of these were $1 total.

Next the books.  Did I find my favorite?  Well yes I did.....

Three are just paper backs, but still perfect for finding favorites.  They can always buy hard backs of the ones they really like later.  Cost, $.40 for all.  Yep, $.10 each.

Last but not least, my oldest daughter lives in a small apartment and has never had room for a tree.  This one will fit though and she is excited to get it!

I like real trees, but this one will work for her and not cost her money each year.  She works full time, lives on her own and goes to college.  It is a brand new, never been opened 31/2 foot tree.  It cost me a whole $1.  Have I told you how much I love thrifing?  Total cost for it all..$7.40.  I LOVE thrifting!

I also managed to stop at Joann's and using my 50% Michaels coupon (yep, they take Michaels coupons for craft type items) I got a nice pair of  Fiskars pinking shears and 5 sheets of scrap booking paper, used a 25% off from Michaels for that and it was on sale 5 sheets for $.95.  Grand total?  Well, you can see.


Won't the scrap book paper make great wall paper and carpet for the barbie house I want to make from yesterday's post?  Oh and I love when the savings in more than the total cost......YAY!  I hope you have a great time thrifting and using your coupons too this holiday season.  It will take a lot of the burden off and leave your bank account better off this season!

So I went over by a dollar or so.....have you got a point? Hahhhaaa

Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas Ideas for Girls

Christmas is right around the corner the heck did that happen?  I know I have not been posting like I should, but stuff just keeps happening that prevents a long post.  SO, I am going to start doing short little posts (that will probably end up long) in an effort to keep you up to date on what I am doing.

I finally have some little girls in my life again, I may be reaching for them actually. Just miss the little girl fun and things, little girl things are the best, well for us girls.  You may be able to use some of this, so in researching things, I will share others posts.  Here are a bunch of great, fast, little girl projects.  I have become a great fan of the Goodwill bins for sources to get these things done.

Building a Barbie doll house out of a dresser.  I will be tackling this one this year.  Amazing!  Not hard at all....any of us could do it.  Here is the link:  Thank you Just in Designs for this one.  I think peel and stick vinyl and carpet tiles from the dollar store and some scrap-booking papers will make this wonderful.  I wonder if I can manage a roof top garden out of paint?  I have a hot tub found at a thrift store for almost nothing that will look nice up there!

As a child my cousin had a great kids kitchen and then my daughter Naelyn had one.  I love them!  My son probably played with it the most.  They inspire future chef's and if a child has never made you pizza or tea, you are missing out!  Here is a great plan for a small kitchen you can do yourself from an end table.  I think this will be a project for next year!  Thank you Land of Oz Fam for this cute post.

I personally lucked out at the Goodwill bins and walked away with this:

It cost me $3.00.  They usually go by weight, but you can ask how much for a certain item that is over weight and they will give you a reasonable price.  This is built so well I could jump up and down on it, so I consider myself more than lucky.

I had two flannel pillow cases from the thrift store that had cute little roses on them.  I got them two for $.50.  I sewed a mattress and filled with some of the roll of batting I got, brand new in the package, at the same thrift store for $.50.  Here it is with the mattress.

I made a pillow with the scraps and some more batting.

Then I made the quilt, quilted it and added yarn ties.

Had to show it with the "creepy" doll....thanks Devin, he thinks she is really creepy, lol.  This is only a 12 inch doll, but the actual mattress size of this bed is 22 inches, so this will fit a lot of different size dolls.

I am excited to give this to the little girl it goes to and not bad for around $4.00.

Hints for thrifting.  Thrift often through the year with your projects in mind.  Carry a fabric tape measure in your pocket.  My sewing one works just fine.  That way I can see if things will fit in a space or be the right size for a project.  Always think of ways you can re-purpose something.  Check out the web site of the thrift store, sometimes they have "cards", discounts or all you can.  If you know you will be digging, bring a dust mask and some gloves.  At the Goodwill bins carry in your cash or debit in a pocket and nothing else, no purse or visible jewelry.  Most of all have fun!  I do!