THE ARTISTIC LIFE – Living the creative life in everything we do

Posts tagged ‘crafts’

Wine/Beer Label DIY Project

DIY Beer and Wine Label Collage

DIY Beer and Wine Label Collage

Here’s an easy DIY project for your home bar, entertaining area, man cave, media room, or wherever this might fit in with your decor. If you have some favorite wines or craft beers, save the labels from the bottles and use them to make a collage. In our household, we entertain with Belgian beers and Chianti wines. To remove labels from bottle:

1) Soak empty bottle for several hours in warm water (we put them in our kitchen sink)
2) Attempt to peel the label off.
3) If steps 1-2 weren’t enough the dissolve the glue, apply Goo Gone to the label area liberally and let this soak in for a few hours.
4) The label should peel off.
5) Save the labels and let them dry out. If necessary, use small objects on the corners to keep the labels flat as they dry.

Find a picture frame with glass. I usually have several extras in storage, so I tend to use something I already have. Depending on the size of the frame you are using, collect enough labels to fill the picture area of your frame (obviously, a larger frame will require more labels).

Once you have your collection, lay out the labels in an eye-pleasing design. Remember the artistic guidelines of creating balance in your design, by balancing colors, values, etc. to make the design attractive. You don’t want all light-colored labels on one side, and all dark labels on the other side. I usually start out with the larger labels, and then add the smaller labels as I go along.

Once you have your layout, use a method to attach the labels, such as double-stick tape or glue stick.

Frame your collage, clean your frame, double-check how everything looks in the frame, and (if everything looks good), you’re all done! Hang in your entertaining area.

Note: This project can also be created with cool cardboard drink coasters!

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Pillow from Rice Bag Easy Project

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I have been organizing at home since the beginning of the new year, and I found this cool empty bag that had contained authentic Spanish rice, in the back of my pantry. This bag is made from nice sturdy cloth and has a cool retro look to it, with some international flair.

I don’t have advanced sewing skills, but do know how to make pillows. In this case, most of the work was already done, as there was already stitching on 3 of the 4 sides…all I needed to do was 1) iron the fabric to get the wrinkles out, 2) stuff the pillow with stuffing from the fabric store, and 3) use matching red thread to hand sew the fourth side together.

Voila! (or should I say “Ya esta!”)

I think this unusual pillow looks rather handsome on our leather barstool…like something they might even have at Restoration Hardware, but for a fraction of the price.

Free Gift Tag Project – What To Do with your Old Christmas Cards

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Yesterday I spent taking down the Christmas decorations, de-cluttering a bit, and getting the house back to “normal”. One of my mini-projects that I did yesterday is something that I learned from my mom…a simple way of having custom gift tags for free next Christmas.

Most people don’t have room to keep every Christmas card they receive each holiday season, but I don’t like just tossing them out and letting them go to waste. So, after the Christmas decorations (and cards) are taken down, I usually set aside a little bit of time (usually while I’m watching TV anyway) and make tags out of the old Christmas cards I received. Just grab your cards and a pair of scissors. All you have to do is look for little patches or areas on the card designs that would make a good tag. There should be some blank area somewhere on the new tag to allow for writing. Also make sure that there isn’t already some handwriting on the back of the section you cut out.

I usually pick little designs that are on the card…a Christmas tree, a horn, a reindeer, a star, etc. and cut out a square or rectangle, usually 1 or 2 inches on each side. Even a solid area of red or glittery gold can make a nice tag. I also like this process because I get to look through this year’s Christmas cards and letters one more time. Sometimes during the holiday rush, we also rush through everyone’s thoughtful letters and notes, and may forget something that they have said. At the end, I have a large stack of free gift tags to use next year. I store them in a small container aptly labelled “Gift Tags” for next year. Happy snipping!

Homemade (and Free!) Christmas Wreath

This weekend has been spent eating turkey and decorating the house for Christmas. We are expecting 55+ people at our house for our neighborhood annual progressive dinner, so wanted expand our usual holiday decor. But I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money. So, I decided to try my hand at an evergreen wreath (picture to come shortly).

Tips for making a free homemade wreath for your door or wall:

1) Use old coat hangers for the base. I used three old metal coathangers, and, using pliers, twisted them into a frame onto which to attach the greens. I kept the hook of the first  hanger to  hang the wreath when it’s complete. I then twisted the triangular hanger shape into a rough circle. I intertwined the other two bent hangers around the first hanger, to create areas where greens can be attached.

2) Use greens from your yard, Christmas tree, or even a home improvement store. We found FREE Christmas tree greens in a bin at Lowe’s. Right after Thanksgiving is probably the best time to find these freebies, because the Christmas trees have recently been delivered to the store, and there are lots of branches cut off the trees when they are packaged for sale. Various types of greens can be used, including pine, fir, and holly. Find holly with the red berries, for some pretty red accents on your wreath.

3) Use nuts or pinecones, also available from your yard. These can be wired or glued on, once the base of the wreath has been finished.

4) Use any wire or string you have laying around the house to attach each branch to the hangers. Keep the branches flowing in the same direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) when attaching to the wreath. Look at your wreath in progress for any gaps or unevenness in the greens and add branches or twigs as necessary. Continue until the wreath is equally full on all sides.

5) Complete the wreath with a bow of ribbon or fabric used from last year’s gifts. I usually keep any good quality ribbons on gifts that are presented to me. I can then recycle these for future gifts or crafts.

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