Tutorial – Shabby Chic Crackled “Love” Hearts

20130415-190916.jpgSo cute but so so easy.

To make a small crackle heart in this pretty shabby chic style you will need the following materials…

Small Paper Mâché Heart
Folk Art Acrylic Paint (940 Coffee Bean)
Mod Podge Shimmer (Gold)
PVA Glue (Mixed with water)
1 4mm White Flat Backed Crystal
Acrilex – Tinta Craquelex Branco (basically white crackle paint)
Black Marker Pen

Tools
Glue & Paint Brushes
Heat Tool or Hair Drier
Sponge Paint Applicator

First paint both sides of your heart in the coffee bean paint.

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When dry apply one thin coat of mod podge shimmer to both sides of the heart.

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Once dry mix 4 parts PVA to 2 parts water. The mixture needs to be thin but still tacky (apply more glue or water if you need to).

Apply the mixture to your heart with a sponge applicator. Don’t apply to thickly.

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Now blast your heat tool or like me, your hairdryer, over the heart. Don’t dry the glue fully! It needs to be tacky but not wet.

As soon as this is done use a brush to dab the Craquelex over the tacky glue (do not reapply over the same area more than once as this stops the effect from appearing. Be sure to work fast as to avoid the glue over drying.

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Once your heart is covered blast the hairdryer on to the heart and watch as the cracks begin to form.

Let the heart now sit for an hour before taking your permanent maker and writings the word ‘Love’ in which ever style you desire across the front of your heart.

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Leave to dry for a further 30 minutes as to not smudge the ink on the next step.

Now applying another coat of mod podge shimmer gold. At this point also apply the 4mm flat backed white crystal to the bottom point of your heart.

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Leave to dry and then hang and display.

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If you love these hearts but don’t want to make them yourselves please email me and I’d be happy to create these for you. Prices start from £2.50 and can be made in various colours.
Email clairelouise.tss@gmail.com
All payments are taken via PayPal

Tutorial – Easter Baskets With A difference

I love Easter, Spring is in the air and Daffodils can be seen sprouting from the ground beside that of the Bluebells. Its the day you’re technically allowed to scoff our faces with chocolate and not feel so guilty about doing so!

However, lets be honest, it isn’t the healthiest tradition is it? And as a woman, I always beat myself up a little following the Easter Binge. Nonetheless, there are many other cute gift ideas that can be given at Easter, ones that don’t actually involve any chocolate at all! Whats more, you can actually craft many of these gifts yourselves making them that bit more personalised and special.

I made a cute Easter basket that I filled with decorated eggs and then shared here on the blog last year.

Today I’m creating an Easter basket of a different kind! One a bit different from the norm. I guess you could call it a bag, though its Easter themed all the same.

So here it is!

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A very cute Box bag decorated with spring and Easter in mind, then filled with cute little treats for my daughter.

To make your own its really very simple, all you’re need is…

1x Paper Mâché box bag (Hobbycraft)
1x Sheet of decorative paper (A4)
White String (Ikea)
1x Birdie tag with button detail (dotcomgiftshop)
2x Cute paper jar lid covers that are identical to one another (dotcomgiftshop)
Mod Podge Gloss (Hobbycraft)
Pink Paint (pastel pink is best)
1x Sheet of yellow felt ( Baker Ross ltd)
1x Sheet of yellow tissue paper
A few glue dots

Tools…
Paint and glue brushes
Scissors

Other items include gifts to place in your box bag. I’ve filled mine with little bits like bath lotions and bubbles, mini nail polishes and bangles.

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First paint the sides of your box in pink paint. Also paint the edging of the box. Leave to dry and then apply a second coat.

Cut off the boxes paper handles and discard.

Next cut you’re decorative A4 paper in half (I’ve used a nice sheet of pastel Polkadot paper in A4 size). Now line it up to the top edge of the box, roughly trim excess paper but be careful not to trim too short. Once you have applied the paper we can then trim of any remaining excess. To apply the paper, paste on a coat of mod podge gloss and apply the paper to the boxes front. Add a second coat of mod podge over the top and leave for 30 minutes to dry. Don’t worry about applying the paper over the holes that housed the paper handles, this is fine, we will address this later.

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Once dry repeat the entire process on the opposite side of your box.

Once you have papered both sides of the box and it is dry, hard and shiny, trim off any excess paper to make your box tidy.

Now take one off the jam jar covers. You should have two identical paper covers, one for either side of your box (mine has this cute birdie in the centre and came in an assortment of jar preserving labels from dotcomgiftshop). In the same way you applied your paper to your box (glue both on the surface and over the top off the paper) repeat for both sides and leave for half an hour to dry.

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Once this has completely dried use the point of a thin paint brush to push through the paper and expose the holes for the handles. As the inner section of the box has not yet been covered these are easily located. Do this for all four of your holes.

Now cut some yellow felt and lay it at the bottom of the box. Repeat for the two larger inner sides only this time secure with a few glue dots on each.

At this stage don’t worry about the remaining two sides (smaller inner sides)

Now take a sharp pointed craft tool, the point of a sharp pair of scissors or even a sharp pencil to push through the exposed holes penetrating the felt lining on the inner section of the box.

Now you will need to cut 2 white pieces of string (mine is from Ikea). Cut these to a size that suits. I’ve opted for short handles. Simply thread the string through the holes so one piece goes from one side of the box to the other (as the original handles were before removing). Do this for both pieces only on one piece, tread through one hole and before treading through the opposite side, tread on your little cute birdie tag so the decorative side is seen when it lays flat against your box. Tie all the ends of the string so the handles are secure. Make sure the string attached to your little birdie tag is on the piece of string you’ve tied off to ensure it doesn’t move around the handle freely.

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Lastly cut your yellow tissue paper and use to bulk out the inner sections of the box while also covering the remaining sides. This will also keep your surprise gifts cushioned and ever so slightly concealed from little wondering eye.

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Cute Easter Surprise wouldn’t you agree?

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Make Your Own Shabby Chic Box Bags

A few months back I grabbed some of these large paper mâché box style bags from my local Hobbycraft.

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I was instantly drawn to them with a host of different uses and craft activities accumulating in my mind! The fact that they were reduced a little in price also made these all the more desirable.

My plan… To make storage bags that if desired, could be hung freeing up more space. The size of these boxes are perfect for makeup, craft essentials and more besides.

They look really pretty once complete, tying in with the whole shabby chic theme I’ve got going on.

Materials….

Paper Mâché Box Bags (Hobbycraft)
(I created a set of 3)
Decorative Paper (pattern/design to suit)
Mod Podge Clear Gloss
White Acrylic Paint
White String (ribbon or twine works well)
Strip of Ivory Lace (enough to cover around the bottom of box)
Faux Pearl Bracelet (big enough to go over box)

Tools
Paint & Glue Brushes
Pencil
Scissors

Here’s a demonstration on how to create these box bags.

1) First use a paint brush to give your box a few coats of white paint (just to ensure the darkness of the paper mâché isn’t seen through your paper)!

2) Use scissors to remove paper handles.

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3) section by section apply mod podge to your box and cover with your paper. Press firmly to remove air bubbles or make some tiny hole pricks with a pin. Be sure to apply the mod podge over the top of the paper as well as the box.

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4) Once covered reveal the 4 handle holes on your box by penetrating with a sharp pencil.

5) with mod podge run your ivory lace around the button of your box. Remember to add mod podge over the top of the material also.

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6) Now take your faux pearl bracelet and place it over your covered box so that the bracelet sits around the middle.

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7) Cut 2 pieces of white string or other. Now thread through holes one side to the other. Tie in a knot to secure.

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Now simply fill with treasure, display on a dresser or hang from hooks for a great storage solution.

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Shabby Chic Hand Painted Heart and Twinket Set

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Valentines day, another reason to get all creative and crafty!

Yes… I know we’ve only just done Christmas and New year but Valentines day is just weeks away and if you’re planning on handcrafting items for loved ones or creating valentines gifts with the kids then Now’s the time to get going… After all last minute is so not fashionable.

I’m actually hand decorating a paper mâché large hanging heart and matching small twinklet box for my bedroom dresser. Its actually not a valentines gift for anyone other than myself (if that counts) but this would make a lovely gift for that special day! Plus, it wouldn’t seem at all right to not share it with you guys.

I’ve made some beautiful heart twinklet boxes covered in pink rose Decopatch paper and posted them here on the blog last year. My initial plan was to cover both my heart and twinklet in shabby chic inspired Decopatch papers but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to try something a little different.

I instead decided to paint my heart and twinklet with antique white and jet black acrylic paint. To give both heart and twinklet a really good finish I opted for Mod Podge gloss lustre as this would give it a great shine and strong protective seal.

What I Used…
Large Paper Mâché Hanging Heart
Small Embossed Paper Mâché Twinklet
Antique White Acrylic Paint
Jet Black Acrylic Paint
White Lace Paper Trimming
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre-Lustre

Tools…
Medium size paint brush
Small brush (for detailing)
Sponge Applicator
Glue brush (for mod podge)
Scissors

What I did…

1: The first step was to use my medium size paint brush to cover both heart and twinklet in a coat of antique white paint. One coat isn’t enough, so leave items to dry then apply a second coat of paint. I found that this paint dried really quickly (30 minutes at the most) which was great as I had to work on one side at a time allowing drying in between.

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2: Once both coats have been applied and items are fully dried its time to add the detailing to both box and heart. I started with the heart twinklet box first. With the jet black paint and small paint brush I applied black paint to the embossed areas on the twinklet. This is a little tricky and fiddly as the embossed area is rather hard to see. I had to be careful not to overdo it but also decided to add additional pattern to make the design more bold and appealing. If you decide to do this, my tip would be, not to rush the process. Remember your applying extremely dark paint to a very light colour. Mistakes would mean a re-paint in the lighter colour and it would likely mean a number of coats to cover such mistakes.

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3: While waiting for the twinklet to dry I started work on my heart. Again I used my jet black paint to add detail to the heart. The heart isn’t embossed yet I wanted to add the same type of design & effect as that on my twinklet as to create a matching set. With this I very carefully applied the paint to the heart doing my best to create a similar pattern as to that on the twinklet. As I had already needed to add extra pattern to the twinklet in a freestyle way, this actually wasn’t much different and therefore turned out to be easier than first expected! With this I was lucky to escape any mistakes that needed painting over.

I decided to apply the black painted design to half of the heart on each side. I felt this would look much better than covering the heart entirely in the pattern… Sometimes less is more! Note… If you would like to try this idea, you will need to first apply the pattern to one side of your heart, allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes, before turning over and painting the pattern on the opposite side.

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4: I then brought forward the lid of my twinklet box and hand painted a similar pattern around the lids edges. I then left the lid to dry for around 30 minutes or so.

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5: I then took my dried twinklet lid and with my mod podge I applied my paper lace trimming around the edging of the Twinklets lid, as shown below. I used the Decopatch technique to apply the paper trimming and again left to dry for around 30 minutes.

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6: Once my twinklet was dry I painted the paper trimming in the same antique white paint (a second coat can be applied if desired)! I then left my twinklet lid to once again dry. (Good job this stuff is fast drying or I’d be here for months!)

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7: Once both items had there detail applied and were fully dried, it was time to apply the Mod Podge. First you must give the mod podge a good stir (remember a little mod podge goes a long way). I covered both my items in a coat of Mod Podge with my sponge as an applicator. Remember as this stuff dries it gets really tacky and you will need to be careful not to apply more stokes of mod podge as it dries or this will make your items look bumpy and untidy. More Mod Podge can be applied once the first coat is fully dried.

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8: Once the first coat of Mod Podge is dry (I’d give it an hour though it is likely to be touch dry much quicker) You can then apply a second coat. I applied my Mod Podge with a sponge as opposed to a brush because brush stokes can often be seen when using Mod Podge. A sponge looks more even and the end result is much better. Finally, I decided to leave it for a few hours to ensure my items were fully dry. Tip: To save time apply the Mod Podge to both sides of the heart and then dry by hanging your heart on a metal pole or similar! Just remember that your heart needs to have room to hang freely, not making contact with any other objects or surfaces as to allow it to evenly dry.

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9: To finish I tied some pretty white ribbon to the hanging loop of my heart and some foam to the inner section of my twinklet (i did this by using my twinklet lid as a template on some self adhesive foam).

So… here it is…

You can use other colours to create any look you desire. These colours work really well for me though I think something like a striking hot pink pattern against a black background would look pretty amazing. Note to tell self… “Create hot pink heart & black heart for daughters bedroom!”

These would also make perfect Valentines gifts. Maybe adding a piece of jewellery inside the twinklet or maybe a few homemade truffles… Yummy.

Thanks for reading and would love to know what you all think.

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How Too Use Decopatch To Decorate Paper Mâché Letters

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I love working with Decopatch and always get excited when ordering new papers.

I visited one of my favourite stores last weekend… Hobbycraft! Floors and floors of crafty loveliness. Sadly there wasn’t many decopatch papers in stock as it seems everyone has taken up the hobby of late. I did buy some more rose patterned papers and a gorgeous set of funky heart papers, perfect for valentines. They also had lots of paper mâché shapes and boxes in the sale. I grabbed some more hearts, a few tiny picture frames, 3 gift boxes/gift bags, a heart embossed box and some great large Decopatch letters.

Most of the items I’ve covered in Decopatch paper have been covered in just the one pattern or colour, this time I wanted to cover the letter “A” in a variety of different paper designs to create a really funky design for my daughters bedroom. I was planing to buy all the letters to spell out the name Alice which I was planing to hang on her wall but sadly they didn’t have the letter “L” so I designed just to do the one letter that she can hang on her door or free stand on her dresser or chest of draws.

Luckily I had a nice collection of left over paper pieces that ranged from pretty shabby pink and floral prints to funky denim and bold star designs… Perfect for what I had in mind!

Here’s what I used…

Paper mâché large letter (A)
Lots of odd pattern Decopatch paper pieces
Antique cream paint (white is perfect)

Tools
Deco patch glossy glue
Glue brush
Paint brush
Scissors

I’ve spoken about how to work with Decopatch before on the blog. So with this I won’t go into to much detail here in fear of boring you all.

Basically I cut my random pieces of paper into various sizes shapes and sizes.

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Before applying these to my paper mâché I painted the letter in an antique cream colour with acrylic paint. I would have just used white but because I only had white spray paint and didn’t fancy chocking oneself I opted for the cream instead.

My reason for painting the paper mâché is because its rather dark before beforehand and some of my papers were quite light. This is why Taking the time to give your paper mâché a quick lick of paint makes sense! It may be more preparation and time but you save on papers (these are not cheap) plus its easier later on.

I find that acrylic paint is really fast to dry so I was able to get started within a an hour of painting the paper mâché letter.

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I do enjoy Decopatch but its so messy and I often end up looking like I have skin melting of the tips of my fingers. I worked on one side at a time, adding a layer of glue to my base and one over the paper to seal in place, slightly overlapping each piece along the way.

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I decided not to rush my letter letting each side dry fully before starting another. While your Decopatch paper is wet it is more likely to rip especially when the glue is drying with your finger tips stuck to it! Hence the reason patience was important.

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I worked on all sides in the same way patching up any gaps with tiny pieces of paper.

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I decided to give it another glossy coat of glue once finished and then left over night to dry.

Funky wouldn’t you say?

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Homemade Tree Decorations

I’ve been making lots of Christmas decorations (which you have probably worked out already) but I can’t help it, I just love getting crafty this time of year.

I brought a whole bag of Decopatch paper mâché decorations ready to decorate and I’ve already shared some of the decorations we have made using them. If you haven’t checked these out out already, please do! I have made twinkly stars for the tree and some shabby chic Christmas hearts.

Today I want to share these pretty hanging tree decorations decorated with both paints and Decopatch.

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Here’s what you will need to make your own…

2x Decopatch hanging Christmas trees
Pearlised acrylic green paint
Sparkly green tissue paper
Green glitter
Decopatch glossy vanish glue
Sticky gems (large and small)

Tools needed…
Scissors
Paint and glue brushes

For the painted tree decoration

First give your paper mâché tree to coats of pearlised acrylic green paint on either side.

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Once dry paint on 4 stripes with glue then cover in green glitter. Shake of excess glitter and leave to dry before repeating on the other side.

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Once the glitter is completely dry on both sides, decorate between the glitter with sticky gems. Do this for both sides.

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That’s it your finished.

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For the second tree I simply cut the tissue paper into small pieces and layered onto the paper mâché tree with Decopatch glossy glue (adding glue to both the tree and over the top of the tissue paper). This was left to dry for around 3 hours.

I then covered the whole thing in decopatch glue before covering it in glitter.

I finally added one more layer of the Decopatch glossy vanish glue over the top of the glitter. Don’t worry this does dry clear allowing your glitter to sparkle.

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REFERENCE SECTION

Pearlised Acrylic Paint: Baker Ross Ltd
Sticky Gems: Baker Ross Ltd
Decopatch Decs: eBay (but you can get some from the Decopatch Place)
Glitter: Hobbycraft
Decopatch Glue/Vanish: Decopatch place
Tissue Paper: PoundLand

Crafting With Decopatch – Make Vintage Inspired Frames

I really enjoy crafting with Decopatch. I’m forever on the lookout for things to cover in Decopatch paper.

I’m currently awaiting some great paper mâché Christmas decorations which I plan to Decopatch in some beautiful new Christmas papers I brought from eBay, but in the meantime I’ve been busy making things pretty in my bedroom.

Below is a pretty little frame I decopatched and decorated this afternoon.

I’d be lying if I wrote that working with Decopatch was really easy. In theory Decopatch is relatively simple, however, in reality it is much more tricky than one would expect.

You see, its rather messy to start with and its also a bit of a fiddle when layering the pieces of paper. If your wanting your design to look complete in terms of the paper design you need to patch it together like a jigsaw. I never worry to much about this part! As long as the patten doesn’t look to odd its fine by me.

For this frame, I used an A5 piece of Decopatch paper cut into small pieces. I then covered a small square frame in Decopatch glossy glue (normal glue is no good, Decopatch glue dries with a glossy finish). I then layered on the pieces of paper adding a layer of glue over each piece as I went.

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This time I was sure to allow the paper to crease as to give it a more aged effect.

Once I had covered the frame I took a corsage cream flower I had made previously and glued this to the top left hand corner. I covered the flower in the same glossy glue as to give it that same glossy finish.

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I than left it to dry for 3-4hrs.

This frame could actually do with a few more layers as you can still slightly see the lines from each piece of paper. I would normally do this once the first layer or two have fully dried. However, I kind of like the effect and have therefore decided to keep it this way.

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