DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Wood Slice Ornaments & Gifts

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

These wood slice ornaments and gifts are so fun. I want to buy a bunch more slices so I can keep these all for myself, and make more for gifts! My favourite is the penguin keyring, which I’ve added to my bunch of keys already – no-one else is getting that!

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Those are Little Miss’ hands in the photo above. The slices are about 5 – 6cm tall.

I don’t have a tutorial as such for these… because they were so easy there’s not much instruction needed!

The slices I used were Amy Tangerine’s Finder’s Keepers Wood Slices. When these arrived I was a bit disappointed with them. They were a bit thicker than I thought they’d be (about 5mm deep – not that deep but a bit thicker than I’d like for scrapbook pages). They also just looked messy – mainly because a lot of bark had fallen off. But they were greatly improved when I decided to scrape off the remaining bark with a craft knife, so the edges looked clean.

In the below photo you can see 4 slices on the left which I had already removed the bark from before realising I should take a photo. The slice on the top right still has the bark attached but it hasn’t been well sliced – the surface is very uneven. On the bottom right you can see a piece of bark which came off in one neat ring, that’s how loose it was:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

I decided that 2 of the slices would have magnets stuck on the back, and 2 would have holes through the top so they could be hung for display. So I set about trying to make a hole. Unfortunately hubby had taken his drill to work and I was too impatient to wait for him to get home. So I tried to make the hole with a nail and hammer:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

As you can see this didn’t go too well, as I split the wood. At first it was just a tiny crack but when I tried to make the hole bigger (thinking I could cover up the crack later) it completely broke apart. But that did mean I had a piece to experiment with, and after trying to use a screw and a screwdriver (did not work at all) I discovered that I could make a good hole with an old paper piercer! It’s important that I say OLD paper piercer, you wouldn’t want to do this with your only one as it will blunt it. I have 2 paper piercers as I blunted one years ago, so I keep that for tougher materials like this. If you have a drill that will work best!

Once I’d figured out how to make the holes I just needed to decorate the slices. This was super easy.

For the first one that would be a magnet I used the Hero Arts Lia Griffith ‘Deck The Halls’ stamp set to stamp a deer in black in the middle (with chalk ink), and two leaf garlands in gold around the deer. I did heat emboss all these, but I don’t think it made any difference so I wouldn’t bother next time! I also dotted some Mod Podge on so I could add some fine red glitter dots too:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

For the next magnet slice I stamped a circular sentiment in the center (from Avery Elle ‘Joy To The World’, using Avery Elle’s ‘Cherry’ Pigment Ink), then added a thick layer of Mod Podge to the outer edge, tipping glitter on to it as I went:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

For my two slices with holes I painted the centers – one white and one black, both with Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint. Then I stuck a gold sticker (from My Mind’s Eye Christmas On Market Street) on the white slice, and painted a penguin face with white, orange, and more black paint on the black slice.

I chose to paint the majority of these slices because they had more imperfections in the wood, which is fine as I know wood is a natural element so it can’t be perfect, but I still didn’t want those showing on my finished items:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Here’s what they looked like all decorated. I did spray them with a layer of matt spray varnish as well – I’d certainly recommend varnishing one if it’s going to be a keyring:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Once the varnish was dry I tied twine through the one which would be a hanging decoration (I had to use a darning needle to get the twine through the hole), then I had a flash of inspiration and added a keyring to the penguin, and I glued magnets onto the back of the slices with no holes using superglue:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Then they were all done, ready to gift to someone for Christmas, or in my case, keep them all to myself!

Be Inspired:

Paint a penguin face on something round, or use a penguin embellishment or picture

Add stamping, glitter, or paint to something wooden (eg a wood box, frame, slice, or wood veneer shape)

Use the phrase ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ on your next project

I hope that’s given you a few ideas! Which wood slice do you like the most?

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 again at 8am GMT tomorrow with the first sponsored giveaway!

Jennifer x

DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial

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

Good morning! Today I’m sharing a tutorial for some festive snowman earrings – something to make for yourself, or as a DIY gift to give away this Christmas!

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

How cute are they? I love Christmas jewellery – you can see a special trinkets box I decorated to keep my winter jewellery in HERE, and some Christmas tree paperclip earrings I made last year HERE. I can never have enough, as I like to wear a different item of festive jewellery every day in December if I can manage it!

These little snowmen could also be adapted to use one as a charm for a bracelet or keyring, or as a pendant, if dangly earrings aren’t your thing!

To make these earrings you will need: white Fimo or other modelling clay (standard Fimo is better than kids Fimo if you have it), black and red acrylic paint, a tiny paintbrush, round-nose pliers and wire cutters (mine is a 3-in-1 tool), 2 head-pins, 2 fish-hook earrings, ALSO not pictured – 2 jump rings, a black fine sharpie or other permanent pen, and optional extras of Blue Tack, white acrylic paint, and varnish.

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 1: Pull off four balls of Fimo. I used Kids Fimo as it’s what I happened to have, but standard Fimo is better if you have it – Kids Fimo is softer so it’s easier to mould, but it also means it shows fingerprints more and is easy to knock out of shape while you are working. Two of the balls should be larger and two smaller:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Push the larger balls onto the headpins first, then the smaller balls. Shape the smaller ball so it has a pointy top:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Make a couple of teeny-tiny balls for the pom-poms on top of the hats:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Bake the Fimo according to the instructions on the pack. Mine took 30mins. Leave it to cool, then paint a red hat onto each snowman:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: When I was painting the hats I realised there was a lot of dust / tiny fibers baked in to the surface of my Fimo. I think this was because it was Kids Fimo, which does seem to be a bit stickier than standard Fimo. You can just about see them here:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Because of that I decided to paint both earrings with white acrylic paint, which worked a treat. It only took one coat to hide the dust!

Step 6: Once the white paint was dry I painted on the eyes and coal buttons with black paint, and used a fine black Sharpie to add the smiles. If you make any mistakes with the black paint you should be able to wipe it off while it’s still wet, using a baby wipe or damp paper towel. I attempted to paint the mouths several times before giving up and using the Sharpie pen!

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can also see above that I used Blue Tack to hold the earrings while I was painting them and while they dried.

Step 7: Use wire cutters to chop off the excess wire – I acutally cut mine a bit short – you need about 6 – 8mm of wire showing at the top:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Use the round nose pliers to curl this excess wire into a hoop shape:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Then you just use the pliers again to attach a jump ring and earring hook to each snowman. You can add a layer of varnish if you want to, I didn’t bother as they were just for me but I probably would if giving them away:

Festive Snowman Earrings Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’ve just noticed one of the mouths is a bit smudged, maybe I should have added varnish after all! Ah well, I doubt anyone will notice when I’m wearing them!

Be Inspired:

Make some festive earrings or other jewellery

Add a little red hat with a white pom-pom onto a character on your next project

Put together a snowman by paper-piecing or another technique

Here’s a snowman I paper-pieced onto a card years ago, cutting his hat and scarf out of patterned papers, so that’s another idea for you if you don’t want to make jewellery:

Snowman Collage Christmas Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

DIY Gifts

A Mini Picnic Basket – Wicker Upcycle!

Good day to you!

I’m here to share a summery project – a bright yellow mini picnic basket. Perfect for kids to use, or just to pack a small afternoon tea in…

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Isn’t it cute? Plus the photoshoot meant an excuse for cake. Win-win!

I made this project as an entry into the Hillarys Craft Competition which you can see the details of HERE. There were four new fabrics from their blind and curtains collections to choose from, and Hillarys would send out a meter square of the one I liked so I could make it into something fun.

I chose the Daisy Pistachio fabric as I loved the bold pattern, and the shimmery grey background:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I went and bought a wicker basket from Hobbycraft. Of course you could upcycle an older basket, but I wanted to use one you could go and buy (if you are UK based) in case this project inspires you! This one cost £10 (HERE) but they did a couple of other sizes too:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I took the front buckles off as they came off easily, and I covered the hinges at the back with masking tape:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Next I spray painted the basket with Plastikote Gloss Multi-Surface ‘New Yellow’ paint. I did this on an old sheet, spread out in my garden – make sure you are in a well ventilated space if you do this. First I sprayed the inside of the basket and lid, plus most of the sides, then flipped it over and sprayed underneath the basket, and any of the sides which I hadn’t been able to reach before. It took 2 coats to get it looking a nice, bold yellow:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Here’s how it looked once dry:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Next it was time to make the liner for the basket. I don’t sew a whole lot so I went searching for inspiration online and came across THIS TUTORIAL at Home Life, and I based my liner on that. First I measured my basket and drew myself a little plan of what pieces I needed to cut, allowing for 2.5cm seams :

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I cut them all out using pinking scissors:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Stitched the sides of the bag together first:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Made a rolled hem at the top of the bag:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Then added the base of the bag. It was a little tricky going around the corners, but I got there in the end! I also just added ribbons as the ties on the corners, as this material is on the thicker side, and my basket doesn’t have big gaps, so I figured ribbon would slide through the holes easier. It was easy to tie in, and I love that I’ll be able to take it out and wash it:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I cut a bunch of flowers out from the material:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

And used my finger to rub some Mod Podge around the edges of the flowers to stop them fraying:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I used more Mod Podge to glue these around the top and sides of my basket to make it extra pretty:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Finally I wanted to make some place mats. I was running out of time so I just stitched two quick ones for now. My rectangles of material were cut at 37 x 24 cm, and I just folded & pressed over about 1 cm, stitching the two shorter edges down first, and then the two longer edges. They are going to fray too much for long term use so I will definitely be making some more when I have a bit more time:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Of course I needed to take some photos so that was the perfect excuse to fill the basket with some cake (passionfruit and coconut cake from Co-Op) and some milk:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

And we headed to the play park for our pudding after dinner on a gorgeously warm evening:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

It made two little people very happy:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Thank you so much Hillarys for the fabric and the excuse to go and eat cake at the play park, it was awesome!

Do you like to go on summer picnics? We often go to the beach with them, but then there’s the problem of sandy sandwiches!

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer x

Disclosure: This post is an entry into the Hillarys Craft Competition 2015. Hillarys supplied a meter square of material, and the competition has a prize of £1000 for one entrant. All the photos and opinions in this post are my own.

DIY Gifts

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters

Today I’m sharing a quick and fun make for your home or as a DIY gift – personalised pie chart cork coasters!

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

These were so easy to make!

Step 1: Start with some round cork coasters – mine were £1 for a pack of 4 from Ikea. Measure the middle point of each one, marking the center with a pencil dot:

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Use washi tape to create your first piece of ‘pie’ – I did mine all a little different from each other:

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Paint the piece of ‘pie’ with your first colour (I used Martha Stewart ‘Mint’ Satin Craft Paint). Paint two coats of paint for each colour:

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Once the first colour has dried peel off the washi tape and reposition it so one piece is on top of one edge of your first colour, and the other piece is marking where your next piece of ‘pie’ will end. Paint the next colour (I used MS ‘Pink Carnation’ paint):

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Repeat with your last colour (I mixed up a few colours so that I had a nice creamy hue):

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Patch up any untidy areas – for example there’s a gap between the pink and green colour on the bottom left coaster in the photo above, which I just painted in using the green paint and a tiny paintbrush.

Then use small alpha stamps and some Staz-On ink to stamp some words onto your pie chart. This is where you can personalise the coasters by using the right words, and the right amount of pie for those words, to suit the person who will be using the coaster. Mine has ‘blog’ for the biggest piece, while my kids have ‘play’ and my husband has ‘work’:

Personalised Pie Chart Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

I have written ‘school’ on my son’s one though he doesn’t start until September, but I didn’t want to write ‘nursery’ as it would be out of date in a few months!

Step 7: Spray the coasters with a varnish to protect them from drips and spills (I used Liquitex Satin Varnish). You could also use a brush-on varnish but beware you might end up with brush marks in it!

I bought a second pack of the cork coasters to experiment with too. Here’s what I ended up with on those ones:

Experimenting With Ikea Cork Coasters at Jennifer Grace Creates

Top Left: Arrows painted through the Happy Scatter Which Way Arrows Stencil, then outlined with black pen

Top Right: Glitter on Mod Podge – I did the blue side first, then the orange, leaving it to dry thoroughly in between

Bottom Left: Using texture paste through a Happy Scatter Going In Circles Stencil

Bottom Right: Using VersaMark ink and gold glitter embossing powder to stamp bunting and stars, inking over it with a Memento black chalk ink, then using a baby wipe to clean the black off the gold

I definitely like the pie charts best but all these other ones could be fun too – I want to try the heat embossing one out with some different colours so I guess I will go back to Ikea soon!

Who would you make a pie chart coaster for? What would it have written on the biggest piece of ‘pie’?

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Your Craft & Soul Events

CLICK! Camera Mug – A Quick Make

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

As the event draws to a close (this is the penultimate post) I’m finishing off with a quick make – a mug featuring a camera:

Click Camera Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

All you need is a mug, some porcelain Pens, and an oven to bake it in!

I used ordinary Sharpie pens, but in my experience these don’t last forever on ceramics. You have to wash them gently and they will still eventually fade. So I’d recommend porcelain pens if you’re giving this as a gift. I will update this post once I’ve tried it with porcelain pens too. There are some tips HERE for drawing on mugs, of which I’m going to try a few out.

If you are keeping the mug for yourself it doesn’t matter so much, because when the design eventually wears off you can just draw a new design on!

Click Camera Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Doodle on a camera, an arrow, and the word ‘click’ with the black Sharpie:

Click Camera Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can wipe the design off with a wet piece of kitchen paper if you go wrong at any point.

Colour it in with the gold Sharpie:

Click Camera Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

And bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s recommended that you put the mug into the cold oven, then once the oven reaches temperature you start counting your 30 minutes. Then turn the oven off and let it cool down with the mug still inside. This seems to give the best chance for the design to stay on longer!

The colours of mine did fade a bit in the oven too, another reason I’m going to try some different pens:

Click Camera Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m happy to use this in the meantime though!

Be Inspired:

Doodle a camera or arrow on your next project

Criss-cross some lines to make a diamond pattern

Use black and gold for a bold design

What would you draw on your mug? I want to get a whole bunch and start doodling!

I’ll see you soon for the last post of the event!

Jennifer x

Mini Books

A Concentrated Space – The Pocketbook Scrapbook

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

Another way to focus your crafting is by combining two crafts on one project! I’ve stitched on paper plenty of times, but for this project I wanted to combine sewing on fabric with my usual paper crafting, for a unique pocketbook scrapbook:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

It also helps to have a concentrated space to work on – you can only fit a few pages into this book and barely any embellishment or it gets to bulky. So you have to choose your photos and decorations very carefully!

Here’s how to make your own pocketbook scrapbook:

Step 1: Cut a piece of greyboard (the cardboard that comes at the back of a paper pad) to measure 9 x 27 cm. Draw vertical lines at 9cm and 18cm and score along them, so your greyboard has three sections:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Cut two pieces of craft felt to 11 x 29 cm – I used blue for the outside of the book and white for the inside. Also cut a length of ribbon to 45cm long:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Pin the two sheets of felt together and sew a border around the two long edges and one short edge:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Slide in the greyboard:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Pin the ribbon so approx 2cm of it is in between the felt at the unstitched edge:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Sew the edge closed, and seal the edge of the exposed end of the ribbon with PVA glue so it won’t fray:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Cut three pieces of patterned paper to 8 x 16cm and score the center so they fold as square pages:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Use a sharp tool like a paper piercer to make three holes down the centre of the pages and through the felt & greyboard cover:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Hand-stitch the pages onto the covers using strong thread:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Print some small photos – I used the Picframe App on my iPhone to put two square photos onto a 3:2 ratio photo, and printed them at 4×6″ on my Canon Selphy:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 11: Decorate your pages with the photos (I cut mine down to 7cm square), plus some stickers and journaling:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 12: If you want you can sew a couple of buttons onto the cover for decoration too:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Stick it in your pocket or handbag, to show it off when someone asks what scrapbooking is!

Be Inspired:

Combine two crafts in one project, like a mini book with a fabric cover

Wrap a stripey ribbon around your next project

Use some square photos in a frame, on a layout, or something else

What photos would you fill your pocketbook scrapbook with?

I’ll see you again at 6pm!

Jennifer x

Giftwrapping, Your Craft & Soul Events

Tags That Attract Attention!

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

These tags use lots of ‘focus’ icons to really attract your attention!

Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

They could be used on gift wrap (probably best with the ‘open here’ one!), or they could be added to a card front or layout.

Here’s how to make them:

Step 1: Pull out 3 tags. I used one purchased tag (the one in the middle) and I cut two more from scraps of 12×12 paper:

Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Add the first layer of decoration. There’s a few techniques you can choose from here – the tag on the left has rub-on arrows, the middle one has stamped frames (Lawn Fawn Flirty Frames), and the right-hand tag has a splattering of Heidi Swapp Mint Color Shine:

Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: For the middle tag you can add some stickers to the center of the frames, and stamp another frame and a sentiment onto off-white paper. For the right-hand tag stamp a camera onto the same off-white paper (I used the Shimelle True Stories Camera Stamp – beware I found it impossible to get a good impression with this stamp, definitely one for a distressed look only. Or perhaps I have a faulty stamp):

Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Stick these onto the tags using foam pop-dots:

 Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Add some more embellishments – a sentiment using alpha stickers onto the left-hand tag, and then some more stickers and gems where you feel they are needed (I restrained myself as much as possible):

Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Finish the tags off with some ribbon tied through the holes at the top:

Tags That Attract Attention at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now stick them on something to make it pretty!

Be Inspired:

Use some black arrows on a light surface

‘Frame’ some stickers

Splatter some mist or paint behind a camera icon

Which of these tags do you like the best?

I’ll see you again at 5pm!

Jennifer x