DIY Gifts

Mermaid Pattern Bowl DIY

I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid. You know, just for a few days, to swim with the whales and discover the depths of the sea. We just watched Disney’s The Little Mermaid again last night and I was signing along merrily. My kids told me to ssssh. I ignored them.

This mermaid pattern bowl won’t magically turn me into a mermaid, but it makes me happy to look at it while I eat my cereals:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Here’s how to make your own…

Step 1: Begin with a plain white bowl and Edding’s Porcelain Brush Pens:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 2: I ended up doing this step wrong and having to start it again. You’ll see a couple of reasons why!

Draw a pattern of fish-scales by drawing connected semi-circles around the base of the bowl:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

See how the filled-in semi-circle on the left doesn’t look as smooth as the one on the right? You need to use broad sweeping strokes when colouring in with these pens, as they don’t bleed together too well if you try a more scribbled approach like I’d used on the left.

Don’t try to correct it by drawing over it again either – if the ink had already started to dry then you’ll just make scratches in it:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

It’s best to wipe off the offending section with a damp cloth, then dry with a dry piece of cloth (I used kitchen paper for both) before starting again:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

However it still wasn’t quite right, as when I went to do the next layer I realised the semi-circles would have to be huge in order to connect with the first layer in a mermaid-scales pattern. Too big – it looked more like flower petals:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

So I wiped it all off and drew the first layer again with smaller semi-circles:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 3: Now draw and fill in the next layer with a new colour. The semi-circles should be offset with the first layer, so that the dips of the 2nd layer meet with the middles of the semi-circles on the first layer:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 4: Repeat 3 more times with new colours each time, for three more layers:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 5: Your mermaid scales are done but it needs a little ‘something’ to make it look finished:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

So draw a scalloped line around the top edge with a contrasting colour, to give it a ‘frill’ and make it look more mermaid-like!

Bake according to instructions and your bowl is finished and ready to use:

 Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

The perfect gift for someone who wants to be a mermaid.

On my belated hen-party I was allowed to give out stickers to my hens for ‘good work’ eg. if they said something funny or re-filled my wine etc. One of my friend’s said I looked like a mermaid when I was swimming so I gave her a few extra stickers!

Have you ever wanted to be a magical creature or to have super powers? I hope most people have crazy dreams like that!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Watercolour And Brush Lettering Plate And Mug

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2015 Blog Event – see a list of all the posts HERE)

On Monday I showed you my explorations in brush lettering, and today I’m back with a watercolour and brush lettering plate and mug:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Fun huh? I have been wanting to try out a watercolour effect on plates after seeing THIS POST and THIS POST. Then I saw some Porcelain Brush Pens on sale in TK Maxx, and I after the fun I’d been having with brush lettering I had to get them too!

The brush pens are by Edding, the porcelain paints I used are by Pebeo, my plate was from Ikea, and my mug was from The Range. Please be aware the paints and pens say they haven’t been tested for food use so should be used for decorative purposes only:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I wanted to write on the mug first, so I went straight on with the word ‘warm’ in purple:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I didn’t like how it looked as I wanted it to be big and bold. Luckily you can wipe the pen off with a baby wipe or damp paper towel if it hasn’t dried yet. Then dry the spot with a dry paper towel and you can write on it again:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I continued the writing underneath the word ‘warm’ first, rather than going above it, so I didn’t smudge it. I wrote ‘drink on a cold night’, mixing bold and script font styles:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then once these words were dry enough not to smudge them I wrote ‘nothing better than a’ at the top:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I prepped my paints – stirring them with a lolly stick:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then tipping them into some plastic bowls (which are ones I already use for painting), and mixing in some paint thinner. The bowl on the left hasn’t got the thinner mixed in yet, the bowl on the right does. I ended up having to add even more thinner. I’d say a good ratio for a watercolour effect is 9 parts thinner to one part paint! I used way too much paint and thinner:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I stippled the mug around the words with a layer of blue paint, trying to stop it looking too drippy. I should probably have used paint without thinner but I wanted it to be a bit translucent, plus I’d already mixed the paint and didn’t want to waste it:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I stippled it with gold paint over the top before leaving it to dry for 24 hours, then baking it in an oven according to the instructions:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

On the plate I wrote the words ‘baby it’s cold outside’:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I tried dripping some paint down from the edges:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

And used a cocktail stick to spread it out a bit:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

But I didn’t like it! Luckily the paint can also be cleaned off while wet!

After cleaning the paint I tipped a pool of blue paint onto the plate:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I added a bit more thinner and started tipping the plate about to spread it out:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided it was covering too much of the plate, so I wiped some off:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Tipped it about again:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Added some splashes of gold:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I kept splattering and tipping until I was happy with the effect:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I again left it to dry for 24 hours before baking in an oven according to the instructions:

 Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I definitely want to experiment with these techniques a bit more, and try out some more colours of paint too!

Be Inspired:

Get some porcelain or glass paints and decorate some tableware

Use one of the phrases I used as inspiration for your project

Add some gold or blue stipples or splatters to you card, layout, etc

What would you write on your mug or plate?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with the next Frosty Festivities 2015 post – there aren’t many left now!

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x

DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

DIY Decorated Gift Box

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2015 Blog Event – see a list of all the posts HERE)

Hello! Today I’m back with some more pretty packaging – this DIY Decorated Gift Box:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m a TRUE crafter. Do you know how I know? Because I collect everything and anything that looks like it might be good for a craft one day. Spot a button on the path? Pick it up and add it to my button stash. Cutting the annoying shoulder ribbons out of clothes? Keep them to use on a card one day. And today’s useful bit of collecting – pretty leaves, fake berries, and ribbons adorning your Christmas crackers? Don’t you dare throw them away! I think my family all decided I was mad when I collected all these bits off some Christmas crackers. Except my Mum, she gets it. In fact she’s probably the one who taught me to do it!

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Along with my collection of cracker adornments, I gathered up a box to decorate, plus some useful tools including a hot glue gun and some embossing powder. I did end up using some other bits too, which you’ll see as we go along!

The first job was to paint the kraft box with white satin craft paint. It only took one coat for my box, but it will depend on the darkness of your box and the quality of your paint:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next (once the paint was dry) I used some Versa Mark ink to stamp teeny snowflakes around the bottom of the box and covered them with gold embossing powder. I stamped 2 at a time, tipped powder on, then moved onto the next 2, so the ink didn’t dry before tipping the powder on:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

After heat embossing the snowflakes I filled in the pattern with some stars using the same technique:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

To prepare the items for the lid I cut a couple of wires shorter with some wire cutters, and folded them back on themselves, so the cut end of the wire would be hidden under the leaves. Then I tied one of the ribbons in a pretty bow around one of the loops of wire. The bells were tied together with a bit of twine:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I tied the twine to another loop of wire on some fake berries, leaving a bit of twine between the wire and the bells so they could still shake and jingle:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used hot glue to adhere everything to the lid. A bit of hot glue was showing more than I wanted it to, so I used some Mod Podge to blob on top of it:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then sprinkled on a bit of glitter to make it sparkly:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

It’s the perfect way to package up a small pressie like jewellery to make it extra special:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I might put some of my Snowman Earrings or a Snow Scene In A Bottle Necklace in it for a gift!

Be Inspired:

Recycle something pretty like a button, ribbon, or Christmas decorations to add to a project

Use holly and berries on a layout, card, etc

Create some gold snowflakes for a bit of shine

Do you collect odds and ends in case they are useful for crafting one day?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back tomorrow morning (8am GMT) with the next Frosty Festivities 2015 post!

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x