October 4th, 2011
I’m sure there are lots of ways to do this. And it’s probably REALLY easy if you drink coffee. But I don’t, and I don’t have a coffee machine, So I did it the quick & cheap way!
First I grabbed some supplies:
Doilies** – Do not use the grease-resistant doilies that are sold by Wilton or other cake supply companies. They will not dye well.
Then I mixed the coffee in COLD water. You can mix it in hot water, and it probably does better, however, you should wait until the coffee cools before doing the dye process. I was too lazy to wait for coffee to cool down so I used room temperature water. You can also use coffee filters to filter out the granuals, this will make your process a bit easier than mine. I couldn’t find my coffee filters though (the kitchen is still packed up), so I used paper towels.
I mixed the coffee and water:
And then realized I had granules to contend with! Being a coffee noob, I thought it would all dissolve :p. So I put paper towels over the granules as a way of filtering out the coffee-water from the crystals.Then I just put the doily on top of the paper towel, and pushed it down to get a lot of the coffee-water soaked into it.
I let the doily soak for maybe a minute, and then place it on a paper towel to get off excess moisture:
You can see here the difference between the dyed and un-dyed doily. Then I set up a make-shift “clothes-line” across my craft room, and draped the doilies on it to dry:
I wasn’t happy with the depth of color the first time around, so as each doily dried, I repeated the process. If you do this, make sure that your doily is mostly dry before re-dying or else it will fall apart!
I was really happy once they were dyed a second time.
I used this batch of doilies on my Halloween banner:
The color was just perfect for the antique look I was going for.
During the process I did have one doily fall apart on me. I ended up with just the “lacy” part around the edge, so I punched a circle with my 2″ circle punch, and then glued the doily around the edge:
Here is a view of the back:
Then I cut out a skull & bones, and put it on the front:
You could put any sort of element or letter in the center. It definitely makes a cute and easy element!
Hopefully this quick tutorial helps you create this same effect on your doily projects! I’m sure you could use it to dye all sorts of items as well. Happy Crafting!
October 1st, 2011
How many parts will there be? That I am not sure yet! But I do know that I’ve been having so much fun decorating!
TA DA! My fireplace is almost done being decorated. I stayed up way too late last night getting my eclectic halloween banner finished. I do have a few things still left to do – the chalkboard will have a creepy recipe or saying on it, and the burlap frame will have some sort of art pined to it, but really it’s ALMOST done, and it looks fantastic. I am so happy with how it’s turned out.
If you would like a detailed step-by-step tutorial on the banner, visit my halloween banner tutorial blog post at Design House Digital. I didn’t want it to get too wordy over there so I saved a few things for my blog. First thing was that I used burlap ribbon for the base-layer. I took this bolt of ribbon that I had (bought it clearance from Ballard designs last year for like $6), and basically hand pleated and fed it through my machine in a very sloppy manner. I wanted the whole thing to look spooky and unkempt.
Once I had a bunch of it pleated, I hung it on my mantle to make sure it was a good length.
Once I was happy with the length and draping, I cut it to size and then started building my flags.
You can read a bit more about that process on the Design House Digital blog. But basically I used my new Vintage Findings Halloween digital papers, printed them out and made some super cute flags using the printed out papers, plus some doilies, ribbons, and My Mind’s Eye brads. I did take some pictures about the process of staining the doilies, but I’ll post about that later next week.
What I wanted to share with all my readers is an awesome free download of the .SVG files (cutting files for digital cutters) for the banner shapes and the letters for this project (If you don’t have a cutter that will cut SVG files, I’ve also included a template that you can print out and use to cut your shapes by hand).
Click image below to being downloading zip file.
Click on the image above to download a PDF and SVG version of my printable banner project . The downloadable files in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany and images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page.
September 29th, 2011
I came across a great blog a few weeks ago titled A Thousand Words and there were some really adorable projects including this awesome tutorial on creating royal icing shapes for cupcakes:
I cannot wait to try this out! Not that I need to be making cupcakes anytime soon. But check out the link for step-by-step instructions.
And then there is the super awesome Birthday Hamper that she made “on the cheap” for a good friend’s birthday gift. It turned out to be the cutest home-made gift ever known to man:
Anyway if you have some blog browsing time, I highly suggest A Thousand Words for a good read and some great inspiration!
September 11th, 2011
So when I did my last post on the guest basket, I so thought I was done with my basket. I was just going to put some random bow on it. So I pulled out my ribbons, and played around with a bow, and NOTHING looked good. So then I was just going to leave it be, but then I thought if I did a pleated ribbon, it might work better. So I took some burlap trim from my Lost & Found Sunshine set, and just folded it as I ran it through the sewing machine. Then I played around with that and it was so cute draped in the front, but the draping called for a cute banner. So off I went to design and print a banner. And voila, the perfect cherry on top.
I also added the water bottles with their label, put the flossers in that I had forgotten, and made little tags for the toiletries:
Here is a sneak peak of the guest room, all ready for our guests:
I really am done now! If you want to download the graphics to make your own welcome banner, here is a free PDF download:
Click on the image above to download a PDF version of my printable welcome banner. The downloadable PDFs in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany and images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page.
September 11th, 2011
A few years ago, Martha (you know, my good friend Martha Stewart) introduced me to the idea of guest baskets. Now I love nothing more than being a great hostess, and so I tucked this fun idea away for a time when I actually had a guest room and an opportunity to welcome guests into my home. As my regular readers may know, my parents are coming to visit TODAY. I’ve been hustling to get a guest room ready for them… less than a week ago it was just an empty room with way too many storage containers in it! Magically it has all come together and the room looks great. I’m going to do a post about that, but am waiting for Mr. Project to come home and get the curtains up for me first! Okay back to guest baskets!! I wanted to make my parents feel as welcome as possible, so I bought a bunch of fun items to put in a big basket in their room.
Here is a list of what I got:
- Body wash
- Bar soaps
- Shower poof
- Toothbrushes (not in the basket, just extras on hand)
- Trail mix
- Flavored almonds
- Dark Chocolate
- Fruit Bars
- Dried Apricots
- Water Bottles
- Do not Disturb sign
I placed everything in this fun wire basket from Cost Plus World Market like so:
But of course it wasn’t cute enough for me (Martha would not approve). So I decided to take a little time and make some custom labels and give the whole basket some cohesive elements. Here are a few shots of the cute new packaging:
And the whole basket, just ready to welcome my folks for their visit, and hopefully make their stay as comfortable as possible.
I hope this inspired you to create some sort of welcome basket the next time you have special guests!