Friday, February 5, 2016

Marbled Salt Dough Hearts

When I saw this clever tutorial for marbled clay ring dishes on A Beautiful Mess I wondered if a similar marbled technique would work using salt dough. 

And as I found out yesterday, it does! 

I love bake clay, but whenever I buy some, the kids convince me that they need it to make fairy garden furniture. I always give in, which means I never have enough laying around to use for my own projects. 

That's why I turned to salt dough for this year's annual Valentine craft project. 
What's not to love about salt dough? It costs a few cents to make a bunch of ornament (or garland in this case) and all your ingredients are just waiting for you in the kitchen. 


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup warm water
red and blue food coloring

Heart shaped cookie cutter (about 3")
Gold metallic craft paint
Decoupage glue sealer in gloss finish
Paint brush
Parchment paper

Combine the flour, salt and water in a bowl and knead for 5 minutes. In the past, I've tried to speed up the process by kneading for a minute or so, but the results are dry and cracked salt dough ornaments. So take your time during the kneading phase. 

 Separate the dough into 3 balls plus 1 much smaller ball. Leave one ball white. Add about 3 drops of red food coloring to the 2nd ball and work it in with your hands until it is fully blended. Add about 15 crops of red coloring to the 3rd ball and work until blended. Add about 5 drops blue and 3 drops red coloring to the small ball and work until blended.

Your hands are going to get stained. Nothing that a several washes with soap won't fix, but if you want to keep your hands skin-colored, then put on some latex gloves before you start coloring the dough. 

Roll into strips as you see below. 
 Now twist the white, pink and red together to form a large log. 
 Then twist in the dark blue dough. 
 Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about a quarter inch thickness. 
 Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out 7 hearts. Roll out dough scraps a second time and cut additional heart shapes from that if necessary. 
Using a straw, punch out 2 holes on either side of each heart. 
 Now bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 220 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Make sure the hearts are completely flat on the tray. 
 Using a gold metallic craft paint, paint the sides of the hearts and let dry. Nice nails, huh? 
 Now paint over the entire heart with decoupage glue sealer and let dry. 
Now you can string the hearts with twine and hang.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

30 DIY Ideas for the Nursery

There's a lot of DIYing going on in the nursery right now. I feel like I've been almost done with decorating for the past several weeks. But sometimes it seems the To Do list is growing instead of shrinking. 

Today, I'm going to take a break from sewing pillow covers and laying down carpet tiles and show you where I've been getting some of my inspiration. I also snuck in a couple of peeks of how my own baby's room is coming along. 
1. Erin from DIY On The Cheap made this adorable hand-painted animal art. 

2. I can't tell you how many stencil patterns I considered for the nursery. I love stenciling because it's so much cheaper than wallpaper and it's not a big deal to paint over a few years down the road. This arrow stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils caught my eye. 

3. On Mer Mag I found this simple DIY stencil idea for a wall of clouds. 

4. Creating a mural with vinyl decals was another idea I considered. Urban Walls sells this amazing rabbit wall decal. How cool is that? 
5. This modern Herringbone Shuffle stencil from Royal Design Studio is perfect for brightening up a wall. Image via On To Baby

6. Here's my own bee stenciled wall. You can see how I made it here

7. I'm still considering putting some vinyl dots on the wall of my older kids' room. Image via Apartment Therapy

8. In a nutshell: WOW! Mandi from Vintage Revivals designed the most adorable baby boy's room I've seen in a long time. Check it out here. 
I didn't have a comfy chair the first 2 times around, so a glider was top on my list of must-haves for the nursery. I bought a thrift store glider that's yet to be made over, but that's not because I've been short on inspiration.

9. I love the vintage-inspired fabric that Adrianna from Crafterhours chose for her glider makeover. 

10. Katie, aka The Sewing Nerd, went preppy with hers. Love the results!

11. Find out how to completely cover a glider with DIY slipcover on Antonia's blog Practically Polished.

Poufs are another obsession of mine. I've seen so many cute DIY versions. Here are a couple of my favorites. 

12. I can't get enough of stripes. Danielle from 2 Little Superheros managed to make her pouf with only 2 yards of fabric. Find out how she did it here. 

13. Stacey at Addison Meadows Lane made this West Elm knock-off pouf for less than $35. Nice work!

14. Here's an easy tutorial for appliquéing a cute pillow (or pouf). At some point, you'll probably get sick of DIYing. In that case, you can just buy this 645 Workshop here

15. I can't resist one more pouf and this one is my favorite. Get the free pattern at Birch Organic Fabrics. 
Now for some crafty bedding ideas. 

16. I'm seriously considering making this cross stitch pillow. The pattern is from Statsuma Street and you can purchase the downloadable PDF here

17. How cute is this patchwork gingham crib quilt! Find out how to make it at CB Handmade

18. Twisted Fibers Designs has this adorable crochet baby blanket pattern. 

19. I liked this Purl Soho Super Easy Crib Blanket pattern so much, I decided to make one. If you can do a basic knit stitch, you can make this!
20. Love a little vintage touch in a nursery. Check out these vintage suitcase shelves at Bees Knees Bungalow

21. Lather strap shelves are a simple and affordable way to organize in a baby's room. Find out how to make them on Shanty 2 Chic

22. Here's another little peek at my own nursery. I used four 45-1/4" Ikea Mosslanda picture ledges to   make a library wall. I'm so happy with the way it turned out! 

23. Here are the same Ikea shelves with cute a cute cloud cutout embellishment. See more at Trendenser. 
It's not a nursery until the mobile is hung.

24. Cec at Ceci Bean will show you how to make this stylish woodland mobile. 

25. Your baby's room will reach new heights of cuteness with Jess's Up and Away Mobile. Find the tutorial on her blog, Craftiness Is Not Optional. 

26. Or go modern with this geometric mobile tutorial from Curbly.
Now for a few sweet finishing touches. 

27. Jill at Meet The Dubiens framed her baby's little footprints. How sweet is that?

28. I made these quick stitch iron-transfer wall hangings for the nursery a while back. Find out how to make these here. 

29. Another one of my easy and super affordable (it didn't cost me anything) projects is this frame I made with cardboard and a scrap of muslin fabric. Get the tutorial here. 

30. You have to see how cute this floral monogram looks inside a vintage frame at Decoist. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beach Cake

I've been busy working on a baby quilt for the past 2 days. I should finish up later today, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share a few details about the fun beachy "sand" cake we did for my daughters' birthday party

I was in such a hurry at the last hour before the party started that I didn't have time to take better pictures. So sorry about the slightly out of focus hammock. 
To make things simple, I used a yellow mix for the cake. You might notice that there are 3 layers. I'd planned to make it a regular 2-layer cake, but Ginger ate one of the first layers as it was cooling on the stove. If you want to know how I reacted, imagine the dad in A Christmas Story after he finds the neighbor's hound dogs eating the turkey.

At least she didn't chow down after the cake was decorated. That would have been a total disaster. 

I was very close to just driving to Pick 'n Save and buying a sheet cake, but I was very determined to make this beach scene cake. And because the cake was from a box, it wasn't all that hard to just bake 2 more layers. 

After the layers were completely cooled, I frosted the cake with my go to vanilla cream frosting: 

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 tablespoons cream (add more if needed)
2 tablespoons vanilla

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and then add the cream a little at a time. Add the vanilla and continue beating until completely blended. 

Frost in between the layers and all around the outside of the cake. 

The "sand" layer sticks to the vanilla cream. I followed Ruth's delicious recipe for that. I spooned the sand over the top and then pressed it into the sides with my hands. 

I wanted to add a little beach scene on top, so I made some palm trees out of paper straws and construction paper. Then I hung a hammock made out of a fabric scrap, toothpicks and baker's twine. 

 Hot glue the palm fronds to one end of the straw. 
 Glue the fabric to the twine and add another piece of fabric on the back. 
 Glue on the cut toothpicks. 
 Tie the bakers twine on either end of the hammock. If I did this again, I would probably cut all but one strand of twine beyond the knot to make it look a little less bulky. 
 Glue the hammock to the straw trunks and stick in the cake. 
The kids loved it. They oohed and aahed over the hammock and debated whether or not that was real sand on there. And then they gobbled it up. 

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