Tutorial – Inspiring Word Pebbles

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When on holiday recently we visited the local beach which was made up off shingles and pebbles as opposed to sand. With so many on offer, I decided I’d take some home for crafting purposes. We collected all different types of pebble and had great fun doing so. We ended up with a huge bucket full consisting of all kinds of shapes sizes and textures.

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So just what am I planning to do with all these pebbles. Well, some of the pebbles will be painted in various designs by myself and the toddler. These will then be lovingly placed around the garden, in pots and plant beds. The rest I’m planning to decorate using inspiring word art. These decorative pebbles can be placed around the home or given as gifts. Its the latter I’m going to share with you all today.

What you’ll need…

Pebbles (various sizes, smooth and flat)

Decopatch Glossy Glue

Black permanent marker

What you need to do…

Firstly wash your pebbles well removing any dirt or other bits of the beach you brought back with them. Once washed dry thoroughly.

Now use a brush to cover all pebbles in 2 thin layers of Decopatch glue.

Leave for 20-30 minutes

Next take your black permanent maker and dependent on the particular size of your pebble write an inspiring word. Go over the ink once dried making sure the wording is really bold.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, while not add a little symbol by your inspiring word to your pebble a bigger lift.

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Important… Use the Decopatch glue before you write on the stone as no matter how long you’ve dried the stone with your wording, Decopatch glue will lift the ink and smudge your design.

Leave lnk to dry and then display.

Here’s some words I added to our pebbles…

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Hope you’re feeling inspired.

Remember: When you’re next visiting a beach, always bring some of the beach home with you for crafting!

How Too Create Vintage Inspired Crackled Crystal Drawer Knobs

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I love to make things that bit different by adding my own unique touch to them. As I needed some new drawer knobs for some refurbished vintage furniture. I decided I’ll hand paint my own, while trying some new techniques at the same time.

For this project I brought some plain white ceramic drawer knobs to paint. Here’s what I used…

Plain White Ceramic Knobs (Homebase but brought mine from a bootfair)

Ceramic Paint (I used Pink)

Tiny White Flat Backed Crystals (real not acrylic)

Decopatch Glossy Glue

PVA (glue)

Water (to dilute glue)

Acrilex Tinta Craquelex – Number 810 (basically a crackle paint in baby blue)

There are also some tools required…

4 Brushes (for glue/paint)

1 Sponge Applicator (small)

Jar/Bowl (to mix PVA with water)

Stick (to mix PVA and water)

Heat Tool/Hair Dryer

I wanted my drawer knobs to have a vintage, shabby chic feel about them, so they would nicely match our current furnishings that I have been refurbishing with Annie Sloan chalk paint.

To start I gave the knobs two coats of pink ceramic paint (20 minutes drying time between coats).

I then took my PVA glue and added 4 big dollops to a preserving jar and mixed in some water. I added around one part more glue then water. This made a fair amount, nowhere near what I needed for this project, but given I’ve used a preserving jar, it will keep for later crafts. Remember you really don’t need to buy an expensive crackle medium as this really does do the very same thing for much less.

I then took a small tip paint brush and painted the glue over the tops of my drawer knobs, being careful to avoid drips. I was creating a total of 4 knobs so worked in groups of twos. This is so your knobs don’t have time to completely air dry.

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Once your glue is applied, take either a hair dryer or heat tool and give each knob some help to dry with a blast of heat (only, don’t dry fully)! You need your glue to be almost dry (the tacky stage).

Now take your Acrilex Tinta Craquelex (aka crackle paint) and with a clean brush apply directly over the top of the glue.

IMPORTANT… Do not go over the same painted surface more than once or this will stop the crackling effect from appearing altogether.

TIP… Dab on at speed adding texture as you go for a sharper effect.

As soon as the tops of your knobs are covered again use a heat tool/hair dryer and you should start to see the cracks begin to appear before your very eyes.

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Use the heat source till your knob tops are almost completely dry to touch. Then leave for 30-40 minutes to air dry.

At this stage you can work on the remaining 2 knobs in the same way.

Once the tops have dried, apply the PVA solution to the remaining areas of your knobs. Do this in the same way as before (using heat source till glue is tacky). Then again apply the crackle to the remaining areas only this time sponge it on. Don’t forget.. Never go over the same area more than once.

Once more apply the heat source to each knob to help cracks develop and speed up the drying process.

Leave to air dry as before.

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Once these are dry, take your white flat back crystals, a clean small brush and some Decopatch glue.

Mod podge is to thick for this project and PVA won’t give it the protection it will require, Decopatch glossy glue seals these perfectly!

Gently apply the Decopatch glue to each knob. Only apply 1 thin layer and always go in the same direction as you started, avoiding unsightly brush marks.

One by one as you’re applying the glue, put in place your flat back crystals (a column of three down the middle).

Be sure to cover each drawer knob entirely in a thin layer of Decopatch glue, including over the top of each crystal to completely seal them in place. Be carefully you don’t leave any drips or overly wet areas before leaving to dry for at least an hour maybe even more (depends on the conditions your working in).

The effect is wonderful, the crackling gives them a very pretty vintage feel and I think the effect actually resembles that of lace a little.

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The images I’ve included fail to really show the true gorgeousness of these drawer knobs. The crystals sparkle beautifully which sadly was very had to capture in a photograph.

So… What do you think?

This isn’t particularly difficult to do, yet its a technique that still manages to produce such beautiful effects.

I’ll be sure to snap a few pictures of the drawer knobs once I’ve fitted them.

Thanks again for reading.

Personalised Wooden Christmas Hearts

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These wooden Christmas hearts can be hung from the tree as decorations or used as keepsake gift tags.

Here I’ve made some personalised Christmas hearts for the children decorated using the first letter of their name. The other hearts feature mini glittered hearts and Gingerbread men.

To make some of these keepsake Christmas decorations and gift tags you will need…

7 Large Plywood Hearts (or how many you wish to make)
Plywood Letters (for personalising. I’m using G, A & H for Alice, G and Harley)
2 x Medium plywood hearts
2x Mini Wooden Gingerbread Men
Red Acrylic Paint (Christmas Red)
Blue Acrylic Paint (Duck egg)
Gold, Silver, Red Glitter
Bronze Glitter (Ultra Fine)
Wood Glue
Decopatch Glossy Glue (or Mod Podge)
Selection of Ribbon (I’ve used red, gold, silver, blue)

Tools…
Glue brushes
Paint brushes
Drill to make holes

Firstly, I drilled two holes at the top of each end of my large hearts.

I then painted them each in two coats of Acrylic paint, Christmas Red and a shabby duck egg blue. I did this for both sides allowing each an hour in between to dry.

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Once the paint was dry I added one coat of acrylic glaze to each side of the heart.

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While my hearts were left to dry I started work on my letters and shapes.

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One at a time I covered one side of my letters and shapes in Decopatch glue. I then quickly covered them in the different coloured glitters using shakers. I did my letter A in gold, G in red and H in silver. The hearts were covered in gold and silver glitter (I even made a blue one for a later project). As for my mini gingerbread men, these were covered in a very dark ultra fine bronze glitter.

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I then left these to dry for an hour.

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In the meantime I brought forward my duck egg blue hearts and covered these in some shimmer (gold glitter added to a little Decopatch glossy glue). The red hearts stayed just as they were.

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Once my letters and shapes had dried I added another layer of Decopatch glue over each, followed by a second coating of glitter.

As soon as I’d covered all my letters and shapes in a second coat of glitter I took a clean brush for each item and added my final layer of Decopatch glossy glue directly over the top of my glitter. The glitter is still wet at this point so be aware that your brush will get a tad sparkly (this is why I recommend a brush for each item). There is no need to wait till the glitter has dried as by adding a good amount of glitter to your items it will mean you only remove any excess. The glue will look very white and make the glitter seem extremely mat, however, Decopatch glue dries clear and glossy adding that bit more sparkle to your glitter.

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Once you have completed all your shapes leave them someplace safe to air dry for an hour or so dependent on their drying environment.

Once everything is dry you are now ready to attach your letters and shapes to your painted hearts. This is best done with the use of a good wood glue.

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My wood glue was super fast drying so I didn’t need to wait long to move onto the final stage of this project. Be sure to read the instructions on that of your chosen wood glue, as to allow yours to dry for the required time stated.

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Now all that’s left to do is add the ribbons, threading them through the back of the heart and then tying them into a pretty bow.

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Finishing Touches (optional but effective)

The children’s names were added to the personalised letter hearts in a black permanent maker. I also choose to use one of my hearts as a tag on a gift for a friend. I like this idea as the wooden tag can then be kept as a keepsake! I feel its a really personal touch. So, on this heart, I wrote a sweet little message on the back before wrapping her actual gift in brown parcel paper, tying with pretty ribbon and finally attaching my wooden heart to the ribbon… Very effective!

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You can hang these hearts anywhere in the home. The tree, dresser, over jars as to create decorative storage or even in that of the children’s bedrooms. Use them just at Christmas or continue using them throughout the year, its up to you!

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Reference Section

Large wooden hearts plus letters and shapes I brought from HobbyCraft online.

Decopatch Glue – HobbyCraft

Glitter Shaker – Baker Ross Limited

Ribbon – Selection from various shops and craft markets

Acrylic Paints – Hobbycraft