Home Decor Craft Projects

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #ThouShaltCraft

I love Shakespeare. That dude was clever. I prefer the more comedic plays (the ones with less blood and tragedy) but that’s my general preference for entertainment in general – I like things to have a happy ending as much as possible (if a program or book that I’ve loved so far kills off a beloved character, I have been known to boycott it forever more. And maybe throw some popcorn at the TV or throw the book across the room).

So it’s no surprise that my favourite of his plays is ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. As well as it being a humorous and happy-ending play, it might also be my favourite because my birthday is the 24th of June – the 23rd of June is traditionally Midsummer Night here in England, with Midsummer Day being my birthday (see HERE for more on that tradition). So I feel especially connected to it somehow, and when Viking (stationery and desktop supplies) asked me to join in with their #thoushaltcraft challenge to commemorate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, I knew I’d have to use a quote from this play for my project:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I thought this would be a nice canvas to display in our bedroom… it can reassure me when I wake up from a strange dream!

For anyone who doesn’t know, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is about 3 main things – a love triangle between four Athenians, the quarrel between Titania and Oberon the Queen and King of the fairies, and the comeuppance of Bottom, the pompous weaver who has his head turned into a donkey’s head for some of the play. It has mistaken identities, and magic, and love. I tried out some of the quotes I like the best to see which one I should include on my canvas:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I know that a lot of people find Shakespeare hard to understand, but somehow I could always get the gist of what was going on, even if I didn’t understand all the words and phrases from the time the plays were written. Then I studied a Shakespeare module at university and I understood it more! But when you pull out particular quotes like these, they show how universal and timeless his writing was, you might not even guess at them all being Shakespeare if you didn’t know – for example ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’ could be a song lyric!

My 8 year old daughter has some homework to create a piece of art about ‘Midsummer Dreams’ so I was trying to work out how I could introduce the play to her – then I found out the kid’s channel cBeebies had put it on as a play! We watched it a couple of days ago and she loved it – the fairies especially of course, but she was also amused by the love triangle – she kept laughing and saying ‘oh my gosh’ when Puck mixed up the Athenians. Even my son (aged 4 and a half) enjoyed bits of it, though he wandered off now and then!

Here’s what Viking sent me to use for my project:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

After trying out the different quotes, I decided on the ‘slumber’d’ one, because it would be good to display on my bedside table, and because it comes at the end of the play, so the words always stuck in my mind. Puck (the mischievous fairy who mixes people up) says it to reassure the audience – if anything in the play has upset them, they should just pretend it was all a dream.

I sketched out my idea for the canvas on a scrap of paper and then drew the outlines on the canvas:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I then coloured around the outlines so the shapes were a negative space, using the Uni Gold Paint Marker:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

When I’d covered the whole thing I noticed a couple of white dots where I’d missed spots, so I tried just dotting more ink on these:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

But these spots didn’t fade – the marker pen doesn’t blend in if the first bit has already dried:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I went over the whole thing again to blend it all in, then I set it aside to dry. While I was waiting for that to dry, I painted the easel white:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

And when the paint was dry I used the Chisel Tip W10 Sharpie to draw some black lines on top:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

When the gold marker had dried on the canvas I erased the pencil lines, and I added my quote using the Fine Point Sharpie Pen. I drew it all with thin lines first:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I went over it again, thickening up just the ‘downward strokes’ of the script writing so it looked more like calligraphy. I also used Glossy Accents to adhere a couple of black star sequins:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Though the sequins didn’t actually start as black – I used the Fine Point Sharpie Pen to colour some gold sequins, which worked a treat:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just propped my canvas on the easel, ready to be displayed:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

What do you think? Do you like Shakespeare? Or do you like any of the quotes from his plays, even if you don’t read or watch the plays themselves?

I hope you have a great day!

Jennifer x

Disclosure: Viking sent me the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are my own.

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

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Home Decor Craft Projects

Concertina Christmas Trees and the Frosty Festivities 2015 Wrap-Up Post!

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

Well, it’s the last day of November, which means it’s also the last day of my Frosty Festivities 2015 event. Have you enjoyed it?! I have a few things to mention and then I have one last project to inspire you with!

There’s a list of all the Frosty Festivities 2015 posts on THIS PAGE of my blog. Make sure you check to see if there’s any posts you missed, especially all the giveaways {ALL NOW CLOSED}! Look at all the fabulous prizes you could win:

Frosty Festivities 2015 Prizes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Al the giveaways and the challenge to be inspired stay open until 10pm GMT on next Sunday the 6th of December {ALL NOW CLOSED}. Winners will be announced on Thursday the 10th of December so make sure you check back to see if you’ve won.

If you have enjoyed the event, I’d be really grateful if you can pin or share the projects you like. Whilst I do enjoy making all the projects, running the events, and reading your comments, it’s visitor numbers that convince me to run it again and convince sponsors to add a prize. So the more visitors the better!

Talking about sponsors, make sure you shop at Lettera Etc, The Paperdashery, Little Dorrit & Co, Feed Your Craft, and SVG Files Shop, when you can, to thank them for being fabulous sponsors!

If you have any questions or suggestions about how these events are run, then don’t hesitate to contact me at jennifergrace(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk!

Now for one last project, these Concertina Christmas Trees:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor using My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street at Jennifer Grace Creates

These were a fun way to use a bit more of my favourite Christmas collection (Christmas On Market Street by My Mind’s Eye)!

I started with a pile of items from the collection, plus some plastic cups, a score board, a hole punch, a hot glue gun, some sand, and some bamboo sticks:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

However I did end up swapping the bamboo sticks for chopsticks, as the bamboo sticks were too thick, and swapping the hole punch for a big bite hole puncher, as the normal hole punch couldn’t reach far enough:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you want to make some of your own…

Step 1: Cut 2 triangles from patterned paper. One of mine is 11″ tall, and the other is 7.5″ tall:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Score the trees horizontally at regular intervals – my score lines are about 3/4″ apart:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Concertina the trees by folding back and forth along the lines:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Draw a line down the center vertically on the back of your triangles. Then punch holes on each panel, along the line:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Make the holes a little larger by gently pushing the chopstick through, from the front of your triangle to the back, to widen them:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Push the trees onto the chopsticks:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Use hot glue to add some embellishments – I added a gold snowflake and a gold garland to the tops of the trees, and sentiments in the middle:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Add any other embellishments – I added a few enamel dots to each tree:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Decorate the plastic cups by hot glueing on some glitter ribbon at the top, and another die-cut card embellishment at the front:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Fill the plastic cups with coloured sand (I had to add some coloured stones too as I didn’t have enough sand), then stick your trees in and put them on display:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor using My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street at Jennifer Grace Creates

Make sure you display them somewhere that they won’t get knocked over and spill sand everywhere!

These concertina trees would also look good made in miniature and added to cards and scrapbook layouts! You don’t even have to punch holes and add a stick if you’re going to be sticking them down flat.

Be Inspired:

Make some concertina Christmas trees

At glitter tape around the rim or edge of something

Use a wooden stick on a project or page

Remember to let me know what you thought about the event. Which was your favourite project?

Thanks so much for stopping by! I have enjoyed reading every single comment! 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

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template)

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

Here’s another Christmas Ornament to freshen up your festive decorations – a Winter Scene Triangle Ornament:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

I want to make lots of these and fill them all with different scenes!

I have a PDF A4 Template which you can download HERE if you’d like to make your own (you will be prompted to download it, it doesn’t start automatically).

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how to make your ornament. You may notice that the step-by-step photos show me using some woodgrain patterned paper as the ornament. That was my plan, until I made a mistake when it was nearly finished and ripped it – arrgghh! I will talk about that when I get to it. It turns out I actually prefer the blue card I ended up using, so it was okay!

Step 1: Print off your template and find some card or stiff patterned paper to use:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Cut out the template and then the card just along the outer edges:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Score along the fold lines – I just laid the template on top of the card and scored both sheets together, but you could draw the lines onto the card before scoring if you prefer:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

You don’t need to put the template on top to score the tabs, just follow the edge:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the window, again I just cut through both layers at once (using a metal ruler to keep my lines straight):

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Pierce holes for your twine or thread to go through using a paper piercer or darning needle:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: If you don’t like the pattern on the back of your patterned paper you can cut triangles from another pattern to stick inside – but don’t stick them both down yet:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

You need to adhere one of the flaps together first:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then stick the patterned triangle on top to hide the tab:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Cut the ‘snow’ from white card and fold the edges in at an angle. Now here’s where things started to go wrong. I used tape to stick my ‘snow’ into the ornament, but I should have used hot glue:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

The next steps are to stick on a tiny tree or any other images or stickers which you want in your scene, then close the ornament by taping down the other tabs (tape worked fine – a bit too well – for my tabs on the woodgrain paper, but not so well on the blue card – I ended up using glue on one tab as well as tape).

I did those steps, but then my snow fell out. I tried to stick the snow back in by pushing it back through the window, and then I ripped the edges of the window. Then I tried to undo the tape and ripped it some more… disaster! I gave up and swapped to some blue card, following all the steps above, but sticking the snow in with hot glue!

I did also cut a larger window, as I decided you couldn’t see enough of the scene. The template has been adjusted accordingly, so you will have the larger window on your ornament:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Back to scheduled programming – stick your snow in using hot glue or another really strong glue at the sides:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Stick a bit of cotton wool at the bottom to hide the gap and give more depth to the scene:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Add your tree and a character sticker or chipboard piece by hot gluing them to the front of the card snow:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 11: Tape or glue the other tabs down so the ornament is closed, then use a darning needle to add some thread or twine to the top for hanging the ornament:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 12: Glue any additions you want on the outside of the ornament. This is also when I added a bit of glue to the bottom tab as the tape kept coming undone:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

That’s it! Now you can hang your ornament. I’m thinking these would also look cool with a child’s drawing of a Christmas character inside instead of a sticker. I shall get Little Miss to design some!

Be Inspired:

Make a triangular Christmas ornament

Add some cotton wool snow to a project

Create a winter scene on a layout or card with snowy hills and tiny trees

What Christmas or winter character would you add to your snowy scene?

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 see you again tomorrow!

Jennifer x

Cricut Explore

My Spooky Halloween Dining Room

This year Cricut EU have again challenged some bloggers to create a Halloween project using our Cricut machines. Last year I won the contest with my Halloween Hallway, so of course I was happy to take part again and create something new for Halloween!

I decided to spookify (totally a word, right?!) our dining room…

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cricut sent me some Window Cling, Vinyl, and Iron-On Vinyl, and I had so much fun using them. The kids were super impressed with the room, though of course they are now really excited about Halloween and I had to explain it’s still 2 weeks away!

The first thing I wanted to use was the Window Cling material, as I’ve never used that before. When I opened up a tab for Cricut Design Space the landing page showed lots of spooky projects, so I scrolled down to get some ideas. Here are some of them:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I was immediately drawn to this twirly spider web window cling design:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I clicked ‘customise’ rather than ‘make it now’, so that I could check the size and colours. I decided to leave the size as it was, and I just changed the purple spider to black (by clicking on the spider image in the layer panel, then clicking on the new colour) as I didn’t have any purple:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut the image from black & orange window cling material and weeded out all the bits I didn’t need:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now this is when I had some trouble. I could not figure out how to stick the twirly spider web onto the window without getting into a big mess. I tried with 2 different types of transfer tape (having to pop into work to pick up a roll which I’d left there too) and neither worked – the tape seemed to be too sticky and the window cling material would not stay on the glass. It kept resulting in a tangled mess like this:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

After a few frustrated words (!) I went back to look at the ‘Spider Web Window Cling’ instructions from the landing page, and I discovered it sent you to look at THESE INSTRUCTIONS for window cling. I found out I should not be using transfer tape at all, but instead I should be reversing the image before cutting it, and using the backing of the cling material to help transfer it to the window. Now I felt rather silly – I’m always telling hubby off for not reading instructions!

So I went back and cut it again, making sure to tick the box to mirror the image:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

It worked much better this time, though it was still fiddly and I had to go very slowly. The spiders were a lot easier as I just peeled them straight off the backing and applied them by hand:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided to stick to some bold, simpler shapes for the rest of the window! I used the pumpkins from #M14BC40 and bats, a cat, and a spider from #M14BC38, both called Halloween Window Cling (by Lia Griffith), and a Spider Web Silhouette #M3D1D4e (from the Creepy Critters Cartridge):

 Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were a lot easier to apply to the window!

Next I wanted a dramatic tablecloth. I bought a big, cheap piece of black material, and looked for some images to cut from white and silver glitter iron-on vinyls. I chose some ghosts (#M3D1D70) and stars (#M4520B) to cut from white, and some spiders (#M46A3F) and the same stars to cut from silver glitter.

To make sure I fitted as much as possible onto one 12 x 12 mat, I set the canvas (click ‘set canvas’ on the left menu, and choose ‘basic canvas’ – it will automatically be a 12 x 12″ square), then rotated and enlarged my shapes to fill up the canvas. Once it was full I selected them all by dragging a box over them, and clicked on ‘attach’ to join them all together. If you don’t do that it will try to separate some of them onto different mats because of their automatic orientation. Here’s what my attached set looks like:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut these out then arranged the spiders and stars in the same way. Once the shapes were all cut and weeded, I placed them all over the tablecloth to work out where they would go – I didn’t worry about them being perfectly spaced, I just wanted pattern around the edge as I would have a centerpiece or maybe a buffet of food in the middle:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I put a tea-towel under the tablecloth and another on top of each shape one at a time, and went round ironing them all down until the tablecloth was finished:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Finally I created the centerpiece. I found these candles on the Design Space landing page:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I cut the graveyard one (Pumpkin Carvings #8 – code #M43515) from black vinyl to stick on a candle. Then I found these treat boxes (the Coffin Box is #M3EBCC and the Spider Web Box is #M450EE):

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I put them together to place inside a plastic pumpkin treat bucket that belongs to my kids. The spider web box was difficult to put together, but luckily I found THIS TUTORIAL to guide me through it!

I also found another candle, and a lacy-effect scarf which I draped around the other items (and scattered some plastic spiders on top):

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’ll also point out I’m using flame-less LED candles on top of the candles, rather than actually lighting them – after hearing how Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was horribly burned because of her witch costume I will always avoid flames when the kids will be around.

Now I’m happy with our spooky Halloween dining room:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

The table just needs some treats and snack on it when the day finally arrives!

What do you think, spooky enough? I think the candle with the vinyl graveyard on is my favourite bit, and I’ll be able to easily swap it for a new design after Halloween!

If you need any more Cricut Explore Halloween inspiration check out this amazing Haunted House by Cosmic Strawberry, this Toilet Monster by Mum In The Madhouse, or these Table Decorations at Blue Bear Wood – the Cake Stand Tutorial on her craft blog Zing Zing Tree is particularly cool!

I’m linking up to a couple of Linky Parties – Spooktacular Halloween and Inspiration Monday!

I hope you all have a great week,

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including vinyl and window cling, and access to the Image Library, to help me write this post. However ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by Cricut in any way. I’m also entering this into a Cricut bloggers Halloween contest.

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