How to Make a DIY Flower: 7 Sunflower Craft Ideas

There’s nothing like a lovely sunflower craft to ensure your home will be bright and summery even on cloudy August days. The best things about DIY flowers? They never die, AND you can make them out of nearly any crafting material. Do you some lovely yellow felt sitting around, or sunny crepe paper? Then you’re going to love this list of sunflower crafts from a group of bloggers we’re sure you’ll love even more.

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Summer Flower Craft Projects

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1. Clothespin Sunflower from About Family Crafts

2. Sunflower Pops Snack Recipe from The Decorated Cookie

3. Crepe Paper Sunflower from eHow

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4. Sunflower Photograph Bouquet from Simply Kelly Designs

5. Polymer Clay Sunflower Magnets from Polymer Clay Workshop

6. Felted Sunflower Pillow from Fab Your Bliss

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7. Boho Chic Sunflower Headband from The Chic Country Girl

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Which sunflower craft will YOU choose to brighten up your home with?

Mixed Media Ideas for the Scared and Skeptical

“Mixed media” is one of the most intimidating phrases in a crafter’s vocabulary, but, on behalf of AllFreePaperCrafts, I’m here to tell you that it shouldn’t be. Mixed media crafts can be super simple, and you’re guaranteed to get some incredible results. Shaking your head already? Stick with me as I bust some common myths about this ultra-cool art form that’s taking the crafting world by storm.

 

Myth 1: There is no such thing as an easy mixed media project.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Block

Most likely, you have some experience with mixed media already. If, for example, you painted heart on the front of a card and stamped it with a holiday greeting, you’ve done mixed media. Sharpen your skills with easy mixed media project ideas like this Mod Podge Photo Transfer Block.

The finished product may look like it was made by a professional, and that’s part of the beauty of mixed media. Once you master the technique, you’ll be able to crank out photo blocks for every occasion, and I guarantee that this delightful gift will be accepted with a smile.

 

 

Myth 2: Mixed media crafts are too expensive.Tissue Paper Dragonfly

Crafters tend to shy away from mixed media projects because they look as if they cost a fortune to make. Luckily, not every mixed media craft comes with a laundry list of fancy supplies. Some of the tutorials on AllFreePaperCrafts only call for a handful of materials.

Check out this Tissue Paper Dragonfly, a beautiful piece of mixed media art for beginners. You can hang it in your window and enjoy the pretty patterns it makes on sunny days. As its name implies, the main material you need for this project is tissue paper, and you probably have some from Christmas. Layer the paper, decorate it with markers, and you’ve got the makings of a gorgeous pair of dragonfly wings. Best of all, it didn’t cost you a dime!

 

Myth 3: Mixed media projects are too fancy for down-to-earth crafters like us.

Beautiful Mixed Media BookmarksMixed media has a reputation of being a little, well, stuck-up. Shake that stereotype by trying some mixed media projects that are intended for daily use, like these Beautiful Mixed Media Bookmarks. Not only are these DIY paper crafts endlessly useful and totally adorable, they also give you an excuse to play with ribbon, fabric scraps, glitter paint, and more.

With all of these simple, inexpensive mixed media ideas at your disposal, there’s no need to avoid this popular art form any longer.

 

 

Are you ready to give mixed media a try? Which of these projects would you like to make?

 

 

 

 

12 Tie Dye Patterns for Adults

Tie dye has been an old summer camp favorite for years.  From making fun team tees to tie dyeing your own totes and bandanas, the simple act of placing fabric in colored water has been a crowd pleaser for years.  However, kids don’t have to have ALL the fun!  Embrace your inner summer lovin’ child with these classy and decorative tie dye patterns, geared especially towards adults.

Great for adding some color and style to your home, this Sunburst Blossom Pillow is a great home accent to have both indoors and out.  Create lovely flowers in all your favorite colors for a pillow assortment that’s sure to wow all your guests.

You can also add some neat tie dye art to your walls with this Quote Art Canvas.  Pick your favorite quote or phrase or use the one provided to inspire and motivate you in your crafting.  This is a great project for teens to do as well…and a fun way for them to add some color and style to their bedroom or dorm.

Want to get started tie dyeing right away?  Scroll on down and find out how you can win an awesome set of Rit Dyes, great for all your upcoming tie dye projects!

 

12 Tie Dye Patterns for Adults

tie dye

 

Bonus!

We’re giving away a set of Rit Dye to one lucky winner!  All you need to do to win is head on over to the giveaway page and enter your information.  You have until December 10th to enter, and you can enter to win once a day…so the more you return, the greater your chances of winning this awesome giveaway.  Good luck!

 

And don’t forget to check out our other weekly giveaways, going on now!

5 Projects to Make with Gelatos

I am by no means an artist, but I love tools that make me feel like I am!  I love to create my own greeting cards and scrapbook designs, and while I haven’t yet mastered the techniques behind layering color and illustrating with colored pencils and markers, I love what Gelatos do for my layouts!

Available in a variety of colors, Gelatos work like a combination of markers and paint, applying dark color but allowing you to blend colors together for an absolutely beautiful and stunning effect.  Able to be used on all kinds of paper, Gelatos will give your art projects a professional and clean look that’s near impossible to get from colored pencils or markers alone.

To help give you a better idea of what Gelatos can do for you, we’ve gathered up 5 awesome tutorials that you can make with Gelatos from Faber-Castell.  Which one is your favorite?

BONUS!  We’re giving away a Gelatos Kit!  Scroll down to read more…

5 Projects to Make with Gelatos

  • Upcycled Cake Box:  Use Gelatos to create a beautiful ombre effect and turn an ordinary cake box into something colorful and useful! This Upcycled Cake Box is great for storing craft supplies, cookie cutters, or use it to give baked goods to a family member or friend.
  • “Be More” Scrapbook Layout:  The great thing about this “Be More” Scrapbook Layout is that you can use it for almost any reason or occasion. With several embellishments and crafting techniques used here, this colorful and expressive layout is a creative and fun way to work through your craft stash. Use Gelatos to add a unique color dimension that will really make your layout pop!
  • Divine Decorated Canvas:  This Divine Decorated Canvas is a fun way to liven up any room in your home. Made with PITT® Artist Pens and a variety of Gelatos, this canvas comes to live with dimension and color.
  • Velvet Paper Wall Decor:  Looking for unique artwork? Look no further than that Velvet Paper Wall Decor. Made using Gelatos and black velvet paper, this project is a great way to introduce new media into your home.
  • In Mama’s Shoes Card:  Wish mom a Happy Mother’s Day or send a birthday greeting to a friend or daughter with this In Mama’s Shoes Card. Colored with a variety of Faber-Castell art tools, this illustrated card is great for any occasion…and you won’t believe how easy it is to achieve this professional look.

 

Gelatos-KitBONUS!  Win your very own Gelatos Kit!  We’re giving away this kit to one lucky winner!  You have until October 22nd to enter, and you can enter to win once a day!  Head on over to the giveaway page and register to win today!

Hook’d On Scrapp’n

Have you been caught by the creative bug of scrap booking? Teresa Church, of Clinton Ontario is passionate about the world of preserving her memories through “Scrapp’n”. As crafting sections such as fabrics and yarns have depleted from the shelves at the stores, the scrap booking mania has expanded. After speaking to Church, her level of enthusiasm draws you in and you suddenly feel like you need to run out and buy up a storm of scrapping materials to be part of her energy wave.

It’s about telling the life story of a subject, person, or event that has happened. Photo albums are great; however, why not add some embellishments such as ribbons, stickers, or extra writing to explain the moment captured. It allows the scrapper to document who people are in the pictures and reduces figuring out who people are in the future to come. Scrapping solves some mysteries that may be left behind and is a wonderful reference resource to trigger memories that may have been forgotten.

Scrapp’n is art. The way you cut your materials, display the pictures or treasures you want to keep, and how you colour code your book is extremely personal. Church explains that it reveals the level of creativity along your scrapp’n journey. Looking at the first books and comparing to how much more creative you have become is satisfying to see your personal growth creativity wise while walking down memory lane.

Church even attends “Scrapp’n Retreats” for getting away and diving head first into her artistic getaway. Together with 20 – 25 people they scrap all weekend long. They share memories, trade tools, try interesting ideas, and leave with finished scrap books. It allows them to sit down and really think about their art. Think of it this way, she is preserving her memories and creating new memories at the retreat while she is making her books.

The appeal to scrapp’n is the inexpensive start up costs. You can start off with a few items and slowly build your collection of supplies over time. She’s a crafter at heart and like many of us will “Bee Line” directly to the crafting section before walking around the store. Church emphasizes that Canada seems to lack of the availability of finding supplies. She’s talking about large retailers that don’t change their products for lengthy periods of time. She finds herself ordering most of her stuff online from the United States to keep her books unique.

If you like to see your family and friends in pictures all around the house, than this craft is definitely for you. Enter the world of scrapp’n and see if this art is for you!

For more fabulous ideas on exploring your creativity, visit www.mikeyssmail.com.

Recap: CREATE Mixed Media Retreat

This past Friday I had the opportunity to check out the CREATE Retreat in Rosemont, IL at the Hilton Hotel.  What an exciting event for those who love to design and create!  Interweave’s, cloth.paper.scissors sponsored the four-day retreat which featured over 50 classes full of mixed media workshops.  This is the first time Interweave has put on an event like this,  but considering that some people came from the United Kingdom to attend (and registered 5 months in advance) it’s most likely something they’ll pursue in the future.  What’s really unique about this event is the class size.  The biggest class I saw had only 25 people per instructor.  It’s basically like getting a private lesson!

 

Aside from learning new techniques, CREATE encourages artists, instructors and their students to socialize.  You get to rub elbows with some of art’s finest instructors and it also serves as a nice stepping stone for artists and bloggers who aren’t as well known.  It’s also great seeing how other students interpret various techniques.  With Mixed Media art specifically, everyone is going to interpret their creation in a different way – like snowflakes, no two mixed media projects will be the same.  It’s incredibly inspiring to see variations of the same technique.

There were so many great classes there it’s hard to choose a favorite.  There was a “Larger Than Life” class taught by Alisa Burke, where HUGE canvases were painted and transformed into giant works of art.  There was also a class called “Vintage Metal Deck” where participants created lovely vintage cards using old metal keys.

Basically, the hotel was bursting with art!  Here’s a sample of a creation that was sitting on display outside of some of the workshops.

By Christine Leigh

 

If you’re into green crafting, you would have loved Alisa Burke’s trashy clutch workshop.  Here’s my thoughts on the class:

Check out FaveCrafts editor Kari’s thoughts in her blog, The CREATE Retreat.

How to: Make Mixed Media Art

I love the look of mixed media art because it incorporates many different materials.  For a person like me who can never decide what embellishments to use in a project, mixed media art is a great niche to get into.  If you’re a bit scatterbrained like me, or you just like to use a variety of materials in your crafts, try mixed media art to express your creativity to its fullest.

Think of mixed media art like a salad of the crafting industry — it includes a little bit of everything.  From buttons to scraps of paper and tin foil, mixed media art encourages you to combine several textures to make a delicious — or in this case beautiful — result.  So how do you make mixed media art?  That depends on the type of look you’re going for!  Personally, I love to make mixed media journal covers and wall hangings.

Here are a few ideas to get you started and inspired.

Journal Covers and Projects

There are a lot of awesome journal covers and pages out there that utilize mixed media art.  Depending on the vibe you want your creation to have, there are projects that use heaping amounts of modeling paste for texture, and others that simply layer bits and scraps together for a lighter, delicate look.

Here is one of my favorite journal cover projects from FaveCrafts.  This project uses Excel Mat Board and clean cut pieces for a refined look.

Leaf Journal Cover

If you want a more edgy looking journal, try layering more rugged-shaped objects to a page.  These make great wall hangings when they’re completed.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for making a journal wall hanging.

Materials

  • Blank canvas or old book cover
  • Buttons or other embellishments (I love skeleton keys)
  • Gesso
  • Ribbon and lace
  • Paint or stamp pads
  • Mod Podge
  • Glue
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Personal mementos (plane tickets, movie stubs, pictures, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Figure out what you items you’d like to include in your collage and set them aside.  These items can be whatever you like, but the best ones are those that have some kind of symbolic or personal meaning.  When I made my first mixed media page, I included train tickets that my fiance and I used when we visited London together.
  2. If you plan on painting your canvas first, use Gesso to prep it.  This will help the paint to stick.  If you want to use an stamp pad to color the canvas, Gesso isn’t necessary.
  3. Paint the canvas until desired color is achieved.  If using a stamp pad,  take a make-up sponge and smudge it in the pad to cover it with ink.  Make sure to blot the sponge on a piece of scrap paper to get rid of any access ink that could smear the canvas.  Cover the canvas with ink until the desired effect is achieved.
  4. Decide what items you want to glue onto your colored canvas and arrange them accordingly.  Glue in place.
  5. Write down your favorite quote, thought or memory on pieces of scrap paper and paste them onto your canvas.  Or if you wish, leave our any writing — it’s your piece of art!
  6. Once you’re happy with the layout and textures, just let it dry and enjoy!

For a simple wall hanging idea, check out this video that explains a simple way to achieve the mixed media look by using a hot glue gun, foil and spray paint.

Have you ever made mixed media art projects?  How did they turn out?

Happy crafting!

How to Convert Cross Stitch to Plastic Canvas

When first asked if it was possible to use a cross-stitch chart as a plastic canvas chart I thought the process would be so easy that there was no need for explanation at all, however, I always do my research and never assume anything! Although it is not a difficult switch, it is one you do need to think about before just jumping in.

Cross stitch is made of basically of a right angled half stitch and a left angled half stitch used together to create that X stitch. Plastic canvas these same stitches as the Continental and Alternating Continental (when crossed these two stitches create the Cross Stitch) along with Scotch Stitch, Slanting Gobelin, and Long Stitch. Many cross-stitch charts can be used as is, you decide if you want to use only the slanting stitches or a full cross-stitch.

Experts say to check all diagonal lines within the pattern or design. Diagonal lines slanted up and to the right translate well when converting from cross-stitch to plastic canvas.

If you want to convert a cross-stitch pattern to a plastic canvas pattern, it’s best if there are not a lot of back or decorative stitches to be done, unless you can complete the pattern without using these stitches. So take a good look at any photos of the finished pattern or any symbol charts.

You should also keep in mind that a majority of cross-stitch patterns or designs use the material or fabric used as the background whereas in plastic the entire pattern or design is stitched. If converting a cross-stitch pattern into a plastic canvas design you’ll need to decide if you are going to want to stitch the background. Any filling plastic canvas stitch can be used. Most experts agree that it’s best to start at the center of a design and work out.

Stitch Guides

Cross Stitch Stitch Guide 1
Cross Stitch Stitch Guide 2

Plastic Canvas Stitch Guide 1
Plastic Canvas Stitch Guide 2