Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mud Room--Home Base

Have a mud-room in your house and looking for a simple decoration?  Look no further.  This super easy project is cheap and quick.

1. Go to your local craft store (or hardware store, for that matter) and pick up four boards of varying sizes (or all the same size, if that's your thing).  They shouldn't cost more than a dollar or two each.
2. Paint them whatever color you like (I obviously picked black). Then choose a contrasting vinyl color.  We have tons to choose from in Silhouette vinyl and Cricut vinyl. :)  Go ahead, go color crazy.   (I used 'sand' Silhouette vinyl, in this case.)
3. Choose two or four different fonts for your letters, alternating them, then cut them out according to your sizing preference.
4. Apply letters to your board. (Put transfer tape over your cut letter.  Press it down firmly with your scraper.  Peel it up off of the backing--the vinyl letter should now be attached to the transfer tape.  Position in on your board.  Press down and then use your scraper to rub and secure it in place.  Peel off your transfer tape.  Vinyl should be attached to the board.)
5. Tie and attach sheer ribbon (or ribbon of your choice).  I attached the ribbon with a hot-glue gun, also tying a bow and glueing it to the front to give the appearance of having it tied through the wood.  If you want to drill some holes, go for it.  Glueing worked just as easy, in this case.

Finally, just hang your letters from some coat hooks, and voila: you're done.  (If you actually USE your mudroom to hang coats in--we keep ours in the garage--then maybe try hanging these letters down the side, or just as a nice wall decoration!)

Home with your family--gotta love it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homemade Qwirkle Game

Never heard of Qwirkle?  Well,...neither had I until a few years ago.  We were camping on the lake with my extended family, and a cousin introduced me to this great game.  It became the late-night game of choice for all the cousins, big and small, and we soon all knew we wanted our own Qwirkle set at home.

(To learn about how to play Qwirkle, game rules, etc., click here.  It is really quick and simple, and yet has won tons of awards. You can use this link to print out your own instructions for your homemade version as well.)

My Dad is also a big fan of new games, and I thought this would be a fun Christmas gift for him. Rather than put in the $25 or more to buy the game at the store (why are board games so expensive?!) I decided I'd rather put in some the time to make him his own personalized version of the game.  While I was at it, I'd make one for my sister, Mom, and myself as well.  Go big or go home, right?  The game pieces themselves are simple enough, and all I needed was the following for one set:

Materials Needed
*108 1x1" square wooden tiles (I found alphabet tiles and just spray painted over them)
*6 different colors of vinyl, enough for 18 pieces for each color (the shapes will be smaller than 1x1" each)
*Black spray or craft paint

To make your set, spray or paint each wooden tile black. Allow to dry.  Because there are so many tiles here, spray-painting them was a pretty easy route.  Just know that if you buy colored wooden tiles, it will take more paint to spray over the colors uniformly, so you may touch-up with regular craft paint.

Next, pick and lay aside 6 different colors of vinyl.  You can use whatever colors you like, but it is nice if they contrast.  Bold and bright colors look nice against the black.  See the original game for ideas.

Now, pick six different simple shapes that you have from different Cricut cartridges, or from your Silhouette library.  You'll want to make them different enough from each other that you don't have to think about it much when you play. :)  For my Dad's set, I picked simple images with a garden theme, such as a leaf, rake, flower, watering can, etc.  He loves to garden. :)  For my sister, I just chose some fun geometric shapes and whatever I came across first that didn't look too similar.

Homemade Qwirkle Game

Once you have your shapes, cut out three of each shape in each color vinyl.  I.e. If you are using a leaf shape--cut out three leafs in red, three in purple, three in green, three in blue, etc.  Do the same for each shape.

Obvious Note: The shapes need to be small enough to fit on your squares. :)  I hope you figured that one out on your own, but if not...measure them before you cut. :) Practice cutting them on a piece of regular paper to be sure.

Next, use your transfer tape and scraper to apply the vinyl shapes to your now dried black squares. When you're done...you're done!  Buy (or make) some tile holders from the store to help hide your pieces as you play.  These are dominos holders.  You can also just borrow your Scrabble tile holders. :)  Throw all your pieces in a bag, and voila--new homemade game that the entire family can play.  Even my 5 year old niece loves this game.  Not to mention her mother. :)   If you are feeling lazy, you can always buy the game here...but then what are you reading a DIY blog for? ;)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lil' Frogger, Silhouette Fabric Paintin' on a Onesie

Remember that old Atarti game, Frogger?  The one where the frog has to move across traffic and jump logs and such to get to the lily pad on the other side?

Yeah. Memmmoories. ;) Well, in memory of that, hop on over to our website and get some individual fabric paints (which you can mix to create your own colors, especially with the base colors) or the Silhouette Fabric Paint Starters Kit and let the fun begin as you make all sorts of great stuff.  For instance, this cute lil' Frogger onesie that I made for a friend's hoppin' new baby. :)

To make this, I bought the lil' onesie for only $2.50 at Wal Mart (love cheap onesies), and then got to work on my design. First, I found the title and frogger image online, then I used Silhouette Studio to trace, detach and then form a cut-away image for my design.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Organizing on a Dime, pt. 2: Storage Compartments

Well, it's about time I do the "part 2" of my organizing on a dime post.  (Click here for a link to my first post.) Here are a bunch of simple ideas for storing crafting supplies (and other things) on "a dime," and keeping them looking cute at the same time.  You can use scraps of items you probably already have on-hand to "cute-ify" them.  So here's a peak at what I've done on my college budget to organize and spruce up my crafting space.

Repurpose Old Food Canisters/Boxes

As a place for storing scissors and glue sticks, I used an old oatmeal canister. First, I Mod Podged some paper to it, and then cut out a border from my Cricut Folk Art Festival cartridge.  I got a wooden knob from the hardware store for $1.25, and super-glued it to the top for an easy-to-remove lid.

Border made using Cricut's Folk Art Festival cartridge
Save old canisters to repurpose--an old oatmeal canister or fancy cheese case
And remember my cheese party post from ages ago?  Someone brought Brie in a fancy case, so.... :) Perfect case for push and safety pins! 

Next, why throw away all your cereal boxes when you can use them as a perfect storage unit with just a little effort?