Cute Polymer Clay Chopstick (or Brush) Rests!

Howdy friends! Today I have a fun polymer clay project that you can make for yourself or for a gift!

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These whimsical chopstick rests would look so charming on your dinner table. These are made to keep your chopsticks clean during dinner when you are using them rather than laying them on the table. I guess they keep the table clean too! You can also use them to rest your watercolor brush when you paint, it will keep your table clean and stop your brush from rolling away. It will also give your brush a better way to dry than tip up in a cup (but for the record I think it’s fine to dry your brushes tip up in a cup and I have never had any damage from that.

Video!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

Polymer Clay Pointers!

  1. ALWAYS condition any polymer clay before use by kneading in your hands until it is soft and pliable or cranking it through a pasta machine about 20 times. *If it is warm I can usually do this by hand but during the winter in my cool craft room I need the pasta machine. If you have arthritis and you want to do clay I strongly urge you to get one, the basic ones are cheap (this one is $16) or keep an eye out at yard sales. You do not need any bells and whistles, it just needs to crank clay through. Start at the thickest setting and send the clay through a few times folding it in half as you can and keep going thinner and thinner until you can crank it through without it cracking and then you can knead it into a soft smooth ball by hand. If you skip this set your clay will be brittle after it is baked.
  2. Wash your hands when switching from a dark to light color to avoid dirtying the light clay.
  3. When in doubt bake clay at a lower temp for longer. You may be mixing clays and see one brand has you bake your clay at 260 for 30 minutes and another say 275 for 15 minutes. Always go low and slow. If you are not sure if your oven’s temperature is correct bake the clay 10 degrees less and add about 5 minutes of baking time. If you cook your clay at too high a temp it will discolor. If that happens you can paint it though.
  4. Clay will be a bit bendy when it is hot and just out of the oven, that’s fine, let it cool and it will harden.
  5. However…Fine art clays (like Premo by sculpey) remain a bit flexible which is good for thin jewelry pieces so they don’t snap. These finer clays are harder to condition though so I choose softer clay like Sculpey 3. This Arteza clay is between the two. If you plan to roll out clay thinner than 1/8″ I highly recommend using Sculpey Premo as it will flex instead of break when cured.
  6. Don’t store clay in a hot car (not even while you run errands) on a windowsill or near a heater or store or it could cure in the package and be ruined.
  7. Remove your rings before working with clay as it can leave a film on them. It can also wreak a manicure so I’d wait to polish your nails until after claying:)
  8. If you want a shiny clay creation you can vanish it but you need to be careful what you use. Clear nail polish and oil based spray paint can turn sticky after a while and ruin your hard work. I like Future Floor Wax but it is difficult to find nowadays but any light acrylic (water based) sealer will do the trick.
  9. If you want to tint the clay while it is raw you can use pigment inks (you can even stamp on it!) or brush on chalk or mica powder. Baking will seal the ink or chalk to the surface.

Clay is such a versatile medium and fun for all ages! I really love the gift making potential too! You can make jewelry, ornaments, figurines and of course chopstick rests! I hope you give polymer clay a try and til next time happy crafting!

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Back to School Product Review from Maped

**Please note, I am away this week so there is no live show today. I am hoping to have one on Sunday though:)

Hi friends! Whether you have kids or grandkids going back to school or you are a teacher stocking up for the school year ahead or you are just looking for some good quality but inexpensive coloring supplies back to school time is a great time to get some deals. I was set a box of office supplies from Maped that may be just what you are looking for. Watch my video review below:

*I really like all of these product except for the Color’Peps Duo pencils.

Supplies in order or appearance, prices are taken from Amazon and may change without notice. Affiliate links used. These supplies were provided to me for review purposes. To find a Maped supplied near you please visit their website.

  1. Color’Peps Jungle Caddy Markers $7
  2. Color’Peps Duo Markers $6.55
  3. Watercolor Pencils Color’Peps Aqua $10 for 24 set $16 for 48 set in tin
  4. Novelty Sharpeners Bunny and frog $4  Also available a 2 hole sharpener (caterpillar)
  5. ***Color’Peps Duo Pencils (I don’t recommend these)
  6. Graph’Peps Stencil Mania felt tip pens $17.68
  7. Black’Peps Mechanical Pencils
  8. Erasers

I am a sucker for stationary, I love the smell of a new pencil box and the novelty of cute supplies. If that’s worng I don’t wanna be right! Til next time happy crafting!

Easy Graduation Decorations!

Hi friends!  My daughters are graduating 8th grade in a few weeks and it is a pretty big deal in our small school because we don’t have a high school in our town so all the kids pick where they will attend high schools from about 5 choices. So this is the last time they will be together as a class after 9 years together if you count kindergarten and 10 if you count Pre-k! The graduation is all about the kids and we wanted to make sure the decorations reflected their unique style so I made up a blank cap and tassel decoration for them to decorate. They will write their name at the top where I put the lettering on the sample and the rest is up to them to decorate in a way meaningful to them:)

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This is an easy and inexpensive project and suitable for any elementary school graduation. You could also use it for a grad party for older kids too!

Supplies:

I hope you enjoyed this quick craft and if you know of anyone who might like it please share it using one of the handy sharing buttons below! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Freezer Paper T-Shirt Printing!

Hi friends! This project is super fun and easy and the results look so professional! Plus with school vacations rolling around it is a fun project you can do with your kids or grandkids. Even better,you probably have everything you need in your own home! In today’s video I’ll show you how to print on fabric using a homemade freezer paper stencil.

Supplies: *Affiliate links used

Directions
1. Cut stencil from freezer paper. Make sure when you design your stencil the shiny side of the paper is down.

2. Place stencil shiny side down on your T-shirt and press with an iron set to the hottest temperature for the fabric you are printing on. I recommend cotton. I usually buy multi packs of mens T-shirts for this.

3. Apply paint by stenciling with a stencil brush or kids chunky brush.

4. Let dry and peel off stencil!

I recommend watching this shirt alone the first time you launder it to make sure none of the paint comes off, it shouldn’t if you are using fabric paint but better safe than sorry. You can also turn the shirt inside out and press it after the paint is dry to heat set it just to be safe. I had several viewers from the UK say that they don’t sell freezer paper over there but I have also heard it called greeseproof paper. Basically it is a white paper with a plastic coating on one side. You may be able to get some from a local butcher. If anyone from the UK can comment with a source for this kind of freezer paper in the UK please leave a comment, thanks! Happy crafting!

 

 

 

Fun Kids Birthday Cards You Can Make in Batches!

Hi friends! If you have children you have probably had to rush out to the store to pick up a card for one of their friends last-minute birthday parties. The cards I am going to share today are so fun and easy to make in batches that you may never need to go to the card store at the last-minute again!

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In all honesty I think these would be pretty nifty for adults too, I mean, look at those pandas!

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The great thing about making cards in batches is that you can explore several ideas with one set f supplies. It is a great way to make the most out of limited supplies or get to really know a new product.

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I stamped all of the images from this set out and then colored them with the new Stampin Blends markers. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to cut them out with my Scan n Cut2 because I stamped them fairly close together but it worked like a charm! I used a .08″ border to get a white outline.

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In today’s video I will show you how I made these cards. Enjoy!

I’m using supplies from Stampin Up including some free Sale-A-Bration products. With Sale-a-bration you earn a free product with ever $50 you spend making it a nice time to stock up! You can order from your local demonstrator or my friend Wendy Cranford. *If ordering less than $150 be sure to use the host code on her website, orders over $50 get extra goodies!

*Orders placed before March 31 qualify for Sale-a-bration freebies!

Supplies!

Other supplies:
Black pigment ink (Versafine)
Black embossing powder
Smooth watercolor paper
Pre Folded card bases
Sequins
Sewing machine and thread
*Also I used my Scan n Cut 2 Machine to cut out the stamped images:

One more tip to make these cards more useful: Put a pocket inside to hold a gift card! I have a hard time choosing gifts for kids I don’t really know and kids I do know are tricky as they get older. This way they will surely get something they like. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe and Tutorial!

Hi friends!  My girls and I had such fun making these for gifts this year. It is a fun craft to make with the kids and you can even teach them about chemical reactions so it’s art and science all in one project!

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Watch the video to see how! I’ll post the recipe below:)

Supplies & Recipe (with affiliate links to amazon BUT please note that everything EXCEPT citric acid and fragrance will be cheaper from your local grocery store, I want my peeps to get good deals!)

*Dry ingredients-whisk together in a bowl.
1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Epsom Salts
1/2 cup Corn Starch

*Wet ingredients Put in a small jar and shake
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon mineral oil (you can use melted coconut oil, soybean or olive oil but I chose mineral/baby oil as it will not turn rancid which is not an issue if you are using the bath bombs soon)
1 teaspoon of fragrance oil (I used one tsp or 3 droppers full but other recipes called for 6 which seemed like a lot. Use your own tastes and judgement)
Liquid food coloring as desired)
Bath bomb moulds 

Directions:
1. Whisk dry ingredients together. Slowly add the freshly shaken wet ingredients to the dry and combine with a whisk until there are no big lumps and it looks like sand.

2. Overfill both halves of your mold and press together firmly. You can use other moulds you have as well but you need to pack the mixture in very tightly or the bath bomb might crumble when you remove it from the mold.

3. Remove the bath bomb from the mold and set in a tray/box lined with plastic wrap to dry for 48 hours.

4. After 48 hours wrap with plastic wrap and blast with a hairdryer for a professional look. You can also add in dry pressed flowers when you warp them for a beautiful presentation.

Want a side of science with your art?

Why does it fizz? The citric acid is an acid and it reacts with baking soda (a base) just like vinegar and baking soda does. The bombs are quiet until water activates the citric acid and the reaction begins. The bubbles that are created are carbon dioxide. The corn starch serves two purposes: 1. it acts as a filler and a buffering agent between the citric acid and baking soda so you get a “slow fizz” rather than an explosion and 2. it is a binder and helps the bath bomb hold it’s rock hard shape until dunked in water.

The remaining ingredients are therapeutic!
Epsom salts will soothe sore muscles and soften skin
The oils smell nice and will moisturizer skin and the food color is pretty.

I had a lot of requests to post this tutorial after sharing photos of the bath bombs we were making. I hope you have as much fun making this as we did! Happy crafting!

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3 Cute Christmas Canvasses! Beginner Acrylic Tutorial!

Hi friends! These cute mini canvasses take about 10 minutes to paint each and can be a fun, inexpensive family or classroom activity!

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I created a free printable template sized for 3″x3″ canvases if you want an easy way to reproduce these. I used graphite paper to transfer my design. Free free to use the pattern on watercolor paper if you prefer. Watch the video to see how to paint them!

Video!

These would be cute attached to gifts, sitting on a mantle or windowsill, as place cards on the dinner table, hung from a tree or even used as magnets. How would use display them?

Supplies:

Tips for creating this project in a group!

  • Give each person a place to work. Set out a square of newspaper, a palette (palette paper, waxed paper or freezer paper are a great option) and a water bucket, paper towel and a few brushes. *You can even have the designs transferred onto the canvases before they begin!
  • Paint the backgrounds first.
  • Remind new painters to wipe extra water off their brush after rinsing so they don’t dilute the acrylic paint.
  • Tell new painters that they can practise their brush strokes on the newspaper.
  • When you are done you can fold-up the newspaper, paper towel and palette paper into  neat packet for disposal. *A note about recycling: Many recycle centers will not take newspaper with paint on it but these paper products will biodegrade in the landfill and I believe use fewer resources than washing out palettes and paint mats. You don’t want excess paint down the drain.  This is my opinion, you can do what it right for you:)

I hope you enjoyed this project and I would love it if you painted it with friends! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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