Archive for April, 2013

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The Recycled Tag Project – Chalkboard Paint and Chalk

recycle clothing tags chalkboard paint 2 The Recycled Tag Project   Chalkboard Paint and Chalk

Dust off your chalk and duster and make these reusable recyclable mini chalkboard tags

Today’s post in the series on recycling clothing tags looks at making chalkboard tags – simple and fun and everyone probably has a container of chalkboard paint these days. If you don’t then check out your local store – companies like Plaid sell it in 2oz containers perfect for small craft projects like these. The paint is really nice and pretty opaque so it goes on thick and gives good coverage.

Here I took three identical tags and just gave them two good coats of chalkboard paint. I chose tags that were mat cardboard with a sort of porous surface as the paint sticks to them. The tag that was shiny coated cardstock hit the bin really quickly as the paint just didn’t adhere and it came off as quickly as it went on. I guess you could sand the surface or gesso it but these are recycled tags and you don’t want to get too fussy with them.

recycle clothing tags chalkboard paint The Recycled Tag Project   Chalkboard Paint and Chalk

Once dry you can write or draw your message in chalk. If you use the side of the tag that has embossed text on it from the manufacturer you will get the pattern through the chalk. You can see here that my tags were from Mossimo!

These tags could be used for gifts or to hang from baskets or jars to tell you what is in them. Lots of uses – tons of fun and Oh! so simple to make. For a special touch, cut a piece of burlap or linen just a bit larger than the tag and adhere the tag to the fabric. Make a hole through the tag and the fabric and loop the string through that.

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Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The Recycled Tag Project – Collage Crowns

paper cutouts from ArtChixstudio final The Recycled Tag Project   Collage Crowns

Collage a recycled clothing tag

Today’s I have a set of cuted recycled clothing tags – these are collaged with some printed elements from ArtChix studio. These crowns came on a letter size sheet of cute crowns and I found two that fit perfectly on the tags. The tags are covered on the back with Washi tape – one of my fave crafting supplies – it is so handy and fun to use.

On the front is some more Washi tape this time from a supply I purchased at Sekaido in Tokyo – Sekaido is a huge 5-6 floor craft and art store that I spend hours in every time I get to Tokyo – they have awesome things there that you don’t find anywhere else. And the gum machines, instead of gum have capsules that contain little plaster Greek gods and famous composers. But I digress!

i heart washi tape sekaido tokyo The Recycled Tag Project   Collage Crowns

I cut out a couple of crowns and adhered them to the Washi tape surface on the tags. Then I added some trim on the base – to make sure it stuck quickly and effectively I used Ranger Glossy Accents – it’s a great way to glue stuff on so it stays in place.

paper cutouts from ArtChixstudio The Recycled Tag Project   Collage Crowns

When you look at clothing and pricing tags as mini canvases there is so much you can do with them and mini collage pieces are just one of them. Stay tuned for more…

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Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Recycled Clothing Tag Project – color me stickers

doodle cat stickers heidi grace Recycled Clothing Tag Project   color me stickers

Recycled clothing tag project – adding fun with color me stickers

These tags just put themselves together. The pair were striped in three colors with just a little bit of text on them. This was simple to cover up with stickers and for this set I just had to use these Heidi Grace Doodle Cat stickers. I have a few collections of these fun stickers but haven’t found a use for them before.

That’s what I love about this project – it’s a great way to use up stuff from your stash – particularly things you love but haven’t yet found a use for. I would never but never go out and buy anything for this project – for it to be a success it really should be a time to use wonderful stuff that you love.

recycled clothing tags heidi grace stickers doodle cat 2 Recycled Clothing Tag Project   color me stickers

I think these are two of my favorite tags – making a pigeon pair always makes a project look more cohesive. I’d have loved more than two – but that was all in my stash! And this is a recycled project so I can hardly go out and buy more lunch bags just to use the tags, can I?

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Friday, April 19th, 2013

The Recycled Clothing Tag Project continues – vellum stickers

recycled clothing tag sticko baby circus toy animals stickers vellum EK success The Recycled Clothing Tag Project continues   vellum stickers

Raid your sticker collection to make recycled tags for a baby shower or gift for a newborn

For this recycled clothing tag I grabbed a couple of Calvin Klein tags – they are white and very small and thick. I covered the entire tag on the back – I had to cut the tape to get it over the hanger because it was all bonded and couldn’t be undone. If there isn’t a lot on the back of a tag sometimes I won’t cover it entirely but these tags really needed it.

Then I dug out some old EK Success Vellum stickers. They have a circus theme and they’re pretty cute! I added a strip of washi tape across the bottom of each tag to cover the name on the tag and then added a sticker to each. Perfect! And simple!

Why not make a couple of these and then tie them together and use to decorate a gift for a newborn or a baby shower? Colors like this and kid themed stickers work well together.

recycled clothing tag sticko baby circus toy animals stickers vellum EK success washi tape The Recycled Clothing Tag Project continues   vellum stickers

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Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Recycled clothing tag project

tags ready for recycling Recycled clothing tag project

Welcome to the Recycled Clothing/Price Tag Project

I have a friend who collects clothing and interesting price tags for me and I collect the ones I get so I have a large bundle of them.

Occasionally I’ll use them in a project – I have an almost finished scrapbook project which has them hanging from a jewelry tree and they appear from time to time in various mini books and other art work.

However, my pile of tags is growing so I decided to undertake the big recycled clothing tag project. In part this came about due to the paucity of information on the web – Seriously? Practically no one talks about how to reuse clothing and price tags. And even Pinterest – the obvious source of all things cool and wonderful has precious little info on what you can do with them.

So, in the interests of filling a gap in recycling how tos here is my take on recycling clothing and price tags. Over the next few weeks I’ll be giving you some cool ideas for how to recycle them.

In the meantime, why not get to work and dig out all the clothing tags that you have stashed away. Take a good look at them. Fall in love with their cardboardy goodness. You will find they come in lots of cool shapes and colors and some still have their strings attached. Some don’t have string but they might have a sort of plastic handle – some come folded and others are made from multiple pieces.

Pull out the coolest ones you have to work on. I like to grab a few bundles of the same tag as they let you make a matching set and some ‘one offs’ that look interesting.

I also suggest you dig out your stash of Washi tape. Why? Well first of all you’ll never ever use it all up – there is so much washi tape on a single roll so this project is a good way to put all your Washi tape to work. Second – Washi tape is sticky so you can cover the backs of the tags without having to use glue – your fingers stay clean, you get great coverage without mess and – well – washi tape just basically rocks!

recycle clothing tags back of tag washi tape pattern Recycled clothing tag project

To cover a tag, cover it liberally with Washi tape and extend the tape well over the edge of the tag. Then flip the tag over so the front is facing you and the Washi covered back is hidden. Now cut around the edges to get rid of the excess tape – it’s much easier to cut nice and close when you have the tape away from you – who knew?

washi tape Clothing  tag back Recycled clothing tag project

Ok, cover some tags and get ready for the next post. In fact – forget about that – why not make your first recycled tag using Washi tape? It’s a cool way to reuse your tags – just cover both sides with Washi tape – punch the hole out and you’re done – yum! Here I got to use some Parisienne Washi tape I got in Japan and some cloud and heart tape I got on The brown and light turquoise blue colour combo really looks great.

washi tape covered clothing tag Recycled clothing tag project

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Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops3 Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

See how to make a quick and easy rain cloud wall hanging from wool felt

I love clouds and this wall hanging celebrates the beauty of clouds – especially the fluffy rounded variety.

Even though this is all about rainy days, it’s a cheerful wall hanging thanks to the fluffy felt and yummy colors. Looking at makes me think of being warm and rugged up safe inside and listening to the rain dropping on the roof.

This is a simple project and will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. You will need:

wool felt in white (or off white) and blue
DMC Pearl Cotton #5 thread in blue and white
Needle, scissors
pencil and paper

Start by drawing your design or download my pattern from here: rain and cloud wall hanging pattern.

cloud and rain drops pattern Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

Cut two pieces of white felt for the cloud and then 14-20 rain drops. I cut both sheets of white felt at once so they are identical. I fold the blue felt in half and pin and cut the rain drops both halves at the one time – again so they match. I also cut a few slightly different size and shapes of raindrops – they are only a little varied but they are a bit. I leave the paired pieces pinned together until they are sewn so they don’t part company from each other.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops1. Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

Start with the cloud. To add some variety I used blue thread on the white felt and white thread on the blue felt – I like being able to see the stitches. Sew almost all around the edge of the cloud pieces with a straight stitch about 1/4 inch in from the edge. Fill lightly with fiberfill – you just want it a bit puffy not a ball! and then finish sewing it up.

Now attack the raindrops. I start half way down one side and sew around the pointy bit back to the same place on the other side of the rain drop. This leaves you the rounded bit to stuff very lightly with a small bit of fiberfill. Push it into the pointy bit on the raindrop and then finish sewing around the edge. Hide the knots inside the piece. Repeat for all the rain drops.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops4 Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

To assemble, I used 1mm clear nylon beading elastic but you could use a .5mm size if you like or snaffle some fishing line. Thread the filament onto a large needle and then loop it through the cloud and through a rain drop. I knotted the filament at the bottom of the cloud and passed it through the rain drop from top to bottom only knotting it for the final rain drop – the filament is a bit ‘sticky’ so the drops won’t move easily. It will help you make sure the design looks good if you lay everything out on a table so you can see it all looks balanced and attractive before sewing it.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops2. Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

When you are done it’s ready for hanging – I added a small loop of white ribbon for this.

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Monday, April 8th, 2013

More finials – using decoupage and dimensional Ranger paints

finials decoupatch decoupage ranger paint 1 More finials   using decoupage and dimensional Ranger paints

In a recent post I looked at making finials covered with polymer clay and molded gingko leaves. Today it is all about decoupage – covering with paper and glue.

For these finials I used papers and glue from Decopatch. This is a European company that used to have a US branch but which is now mainly just available in Europe – you can buy supplies from the UK site: They make wonderful decoupage papers, awesome glue and lots of cool things you can decoupage on – think paper mache hearts, giraffe and everything in between! In fact it’s worth the shipping cost to get supplies from them.

Here I’ve used their paper and glue. Tear the paper into small pieces – always tear and never cut as you want the nice soft edge that tearing gives you. Liberally paste up the surface you are working on and brush paste onto the paper too and then apply. Press the paper onto the surface – this isn’t a time to get all weirded out about having messy fingers. Continue until the piece is covered. Finish with a coat of glue and set aside until dry.

When dry I added some Ranger Liquid Pearls dimensional paint elements. I went over some of the shapes with the paint – it is easy to apply straight out of the bottle and it dries with some dimension and a pearly luster so it gives a raised look to the finished piece.

finials decoupatch decoupage ranger paint 2 More finials   using decoupage and dimensional Ranger paints

When you are done add a final coat or two of varnish – so you can just wipe the finials clean with a damp cloth in future and you’re good to go.

Finials can be found at your local hardware store – they are raw turned wood with a screw base so they are all ready to screw into the ends of your curtain rods.

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Friday, April 5th, 2013

DIY Finials with polymer clay and gingko clay molded shapes

finials clay oil paint molds 2 DIY Finials with polymer clay and gingko clay molded shapes

One cool thing about today’s crafts is that there are so many things to work with and so many great and inexpensive home decorative elements that you can embellish.

Here are some finials we made using polymer clay and molds. The wooden bases can be bought at any good hardware store – they are turned and unfinished with screw ends. They can be baked in the oven so they will take polymer clay as we did here.

These finials were covered with an ecru color clay mix – roll the polymer clay to around 1/4 inch thick and then cover the finial with it. Smooth it fairly evenly but then finish it off with some texturing – you can texture with anything that you have handy and which has a rough surface.

The gingko leaves are made from a mold. Choose a flattish type of mold and fill it with clay. Press the clay out of the mold and press to adhere to the finial. Repeat and place the molded shapes over the finials.

finials clay oil paint molds 1 DIY Finials with polymer clay and gingko clay molded shapes

When you are done, bake the finials in the oven following the clay manufacturer’s instructions. It is always a good idea to leave the pieces in the oven when done until they cool off. If you support the pieces with fiberfill in the oven they won’t get flat spots on them.

To age the pieces, paint with sepia colored oil paint. Cover with a light layer of the paint making sure to push the color into the texture surface and around the edges of the molds. Then clean off the paint with a soft cloth – leaving the paint in the creases and texture areas.

The molds used here are from Krafty Lady Art Molds.

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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

How to draw – a row house drawing exercise

beach houses row how to draw How to draw   a row house drawing exercise

Learn to draw row houses with this cute house drawing exercise

Here is a fun exercise for learning and practicing to draw houses and row houses. In this first example, above, is a series of beach bathing boxes like they have at some of the beaches in Australia such as Brighton Beach and Mornington Beach.

As with the example in my previous post, start with a line for the ground and then some little boxes. Pencil in the roof lines and then try for some variety in the decorations, doors and windows. Think of seaside things like striped paneling, life buoys, satellite dishes and large numbers. Pencil these in before going over everything with a pen.

I don’t usually color my pieces beyond some grey color applied using a Prismacolor pen. However in this case I scanned the drawing into a new document and opened it in Photoshop. I fixed the lines and then colored the background and the sand.

more cute row houses How to draw   a row house drawing exercise


Here is another set of houses, again little boxes with pointed roofs. I looked for some variety in roofs and even added a ladder, a shut up house and one with a Volkswagen in the carport.

If you want to see the earlier post with the step by step for creating the houses, here is what I drew and a link to the post.

row houses1 How to draw   a row house drawing exercise



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