Craft Challenge: Leaf Earrings

How to make plastic water bottle garden art flowersMy friend Teena, from Serendipitini, and I recently decided to have a little craft challenge on our blogs. We agreed that we would each create a crafty project and tutorial that incorporated re-purposed plastics to share with our readers.

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated about this because Teena is a recycling whiz! I've seen pictures of some of her projects. She can transform bit's and pieces from the hardware store into a fashionable necklacea thrift store plate into one of a kind home decor, or even a suitcase into a simple yet practical display case. So, I was excited to see just what clever project she would come up with for our challenge.

We both set to work and didn't really give any hints about our projects until they were completed. After a little experimentation, I ended up making some yard art flowers with plastic water bottles. I think they turned out pretty cute and may even teach a workshop about how to make them. They are simple to create (the kids could definitely help with this one) and a whimsical way to brighten up your outdoor flower pots.

Teena made a more grown-up project, these beautiful leaf earrings, with the plastic from milk jugs and some copper wire. It's amazing what you can make with materials that most people consider to be trash.

How to make leaf earrings from copper wire and re-purposed plastic milk jugs

If you're feeling crafty, stop by Teena's blog to learn how to make these milk jug leaf earrings. Or, If you're not feeling so crafty, you can pick up a pair of these handmade earrings and a variety of other designs in Teena's Indiemade Shop.



Craft Challenge Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Flowers

Kids Craft Tutorial: How to make garden art flowers from plastic water bottlesMy friend and blog buddy, Teena, from Serendipitini, recently suggested that we have a little crafting challenge. Since I am always up for a new project (and can't resist a good challenge) I agreed.

The objective - Transform one or more plastic bottles into a cool craft. Seems easy enough.

After a little experimenting, I finally decided to make water bottle flowers. These make cute decorations for the garden. You could even enlist the help of your young crafters.

Materials


  • empty plastic water bottles
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • 16 gauge floral stem wire
  • Mod Podge (optional)


Directions


Start by removing the label from your bottles. You can leave the caps on for now.
Next, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut around the top ring of the bottle.
You are just going to use the top portion of the bottle. Recycle the rest.
For a five petaled flower, make five, evenly spaced cuts from the cut edge to as close to the spout as possible.

Tip: You can make flowers with more petals by making up to 8, evenly spaced cuts in this manner.
Fold down the petals, almost like you are turning the bottle inside out.
Use a scissors to round off the edges of each petal.
Remove the bottle cap, but do not throw it away. If there is still a thin ring on your bottle that held the cap in place, remove it as well.

Tip: If there is any printing on the bottle, like a freshness date, it can be removed with a cotton ball and a little nail polish remover.
Set the flower on a protected surface, spout up. The petals should curve up like little cups.

Apply one or two coats of acrylic paint to the petals.

I used three colors. Yellow at the center of the flower.
Light purple in the middle and dark purple on the tips.
If you use more than one color, like I did, make sure that each section of paint is completely dry before you add the next color or they will get smeared up. Let the paint dry.

To seal your paint and add water resistance for outdoor use, I also recommend adding a coat of Mod Podge after the paint dries.
Replace the cap. There should be a small gap between the lid and the bottle where the protective ring used to be.
To make the stem, wrap an end of the floral wire tightly around the gap beneath the lid.
Straighten out the stem and place your flowers in a pot or the garden.
A Final Note - Make sure to help younger crafters with the cutting in this project. The curved plastic bottles can be tricky and the cut edges are a bit sharp. Also, if you don't feel adventurous or have the time to let three colors of paint dry, it's fine to use a single color.

Stay tuned, because on Wednesday I'll be sharing pictures of Teena's project and you won't want to miss it. Happy Crafting!



Tombow Guest Designer

Welcome Tombow blog hoppers! I am so excited to be a guest designer this week and I have an XTREME project to share with you!

After 15 year in our home, we recently did a little redecorating in our living room, which left us with one very large, empty wall that has been screaming for a grand piece of art.

Bear with me, because one of the main materials for this project (besides the Tombow Xtreme Adhesive)  is a little unconventional - toilet paper tubes.

I made flowers by flattening out a toilet paper tubes and cutting them into 3/4-inch wide strips. Next, I used acrylic paint to add a little color. Finally, a couple swipes of Xtreme Adhesive across the tip of each petal to join them together.
Voila! A flower.
Add a couple more flowers and some leaves...
And before you know it, a stunning, 3-D, 4-foot diameter arrangement of flowers. (If you'd like a more detailed explanation of the process, including tips for hanging the design, check out my complete Tube Art Tutorial.)



As I mentioned before, this post is the last stop of a blog hop filled with lots of cool projects, and here's the line-up:


If you missed any stops along the way, start at the top with the Tombow Blog and work your way through because you'll enjoy the other cute and clever projects. Make sure to comment on each of the projects and  “Like” TombowUSA and The Chilly Dog on Facebook for your chance to win this crafty prize so you can make some one of a kind creations of your own!


The winner will be announced on the Tombow Blog Monday, July 28th, at 3:30 P.M. EST.

Finally, after you get done blog hopping, I invite you to share handmade items and original designs you have for sale in your Etsy or other online shop at this week's Crafty Saturday Show and Sell. Happy crafting!



Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #29

Welcome! I hope you enjoyed last week's, animal  themed, Dog Days of Summer link-up as much as I did. Everyone shared some really cute items, perfect for animal lovers.

These two products caught my eye.

I love the way Holly from HollynSage uses recycled shirts to create eco-friendly chew toys. This is one of the newer items in Holly's shop. She also carries a stunning collection of jewelry!

I'm sure the Lucky Dog soap from natureshoney would make any pup's tail wag at bath time. But, don't miss Krista's lovely line of soaps, lip balms and lotions for humans.

Recycled Dog Chew Toy by HollynSage
Lucky Dog Soap by natureshoney

Finally, I invite you to check out my Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer Etsy Treasury before you add your link this week. Have a wonderful weekend!





Sponsored Tutorial: Tube Art

Tutorial: Learn how to create stunning wall art with toilet paper tubes, paint and Tombow Xtreme Adhesive.I was very excited recently when I received a variety of products to sample from Tombow. I used my first Tombow product, a Mono Permanent Adhesive Dispenser, years ago when I was into scrapbooking. Even though I don't scrapbook as much now, I still keep my Tombow Mono handy for general crafty use.

Maybe that's why I was so interested in trying the Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive. It is similar to my trusty old Mono, but it's even stickier. My mind started racing for ways to create an exciting, extreme project. I finally decided to create a rather large piece of floral artwork for our living room wall.

Many thanks to the folks at Tombow for providing the adhesive I used for this project. Check out their Projects Page and the TombowUSA blog for more creative ideas!

Also many thanks to my friends and neighbors for helping me collect the other primary project material, toilet paper tubes.

Materials



Directions


One thing I learned while working on this project is that not all toilet paper tubes are created equal. Some are made of a slightly thicker cardboard, which I recommend.
Flatten the tube.
Cut it into 3/4-inch wide rings. I used my rotary cutter and a mat, but you could also use scissors.
Paint the tube rings. I used Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint in Light Ivory for my five petaled flowers, Georgia Clay for my six petaled flowers and Stonewedge Green for the leaves.

Make sure to completely cover all of the sides and edges of each ring. Then, let the paint dry completely.
Next, the fun part where you get to stick the petals together.
If your rings opened up while you were painting them, flatten them out again.
Apply one swipe of adhesive parallel to and as close to a fold as possible.

Apply a second swipe of adhesive slightly overlapping the first.
Firmly press two flower petals together.
Apply two swipes of adhesive to the second petal.
Firmly press and attach the third petal to the second.
Attach the rest of the petals in the same manner.
Finally, apply two swipes of adhesive to the last petal and press it to the first.
Now you have a five petaled flower.
You can repeat the process to make the six petaled flowers.
The clusters of leaves are made pretty much the same way.
Next, attach the leaf clusters to the flowers. Again, you will want to use two, slightly overlapping swipes of adhesive in each place the leaves touch the flowers. Firmly press the pieces together.

Tip: As you are joining pieces together, don't flatten or bend them. Place the leaves so they fit smoothly against the flowers without forcing them. It's sort of like a puzzle.
Once you have made your flowers, you can join them all together, again with two slightly overlapping swipes of adhesive.

I used my tile floor as a guide when I arranged my flowers and created four triangles with sides that were nearly two feet long.
In hindsight, I think I would have made smaller sections consisting of 4-6 flowers.

The two foot wide pieces that I made were a little bulky and awkward to handle as I was climbing up the ladder to hang them on the wall.
To hang, hammer a wire brad into the wall and place a flower so that one of the lower petals rests on the brad.

I used, on average, one brad for every 3-4 flowers. You want to make sure the flower cluster have enough support so the cardboard isn't pulled out of shape.

We have entertained a few guests since I installed my wall art and everyone of them has had exciting things to say about the piece.

Tutorial: Learn how to create stunning wall art with toilet paper tubes, paint and Tombow Xtreme Adhesive.


Again, thanks to Tombow for letting me try the Xtreme Adhesive for this fun project. Happy Crafting!