DIY Chalkboard Art for Artistically Challenged

I have been itching to make my own chalkboard art, just like the kind you can spot all over Pinterest these days, however my artistic ability (or lack thereof) has delayed this project from actually happening. {more about that in this previous post that also involves stenciling ;)} That is until today, when I spotted this great design from Lori Whitlock over at the Silhouette online store. I immediately knew this was the perfect design to achieve the look of hand drawn chalkboard art.

I had already purchased the chalkboard at Kohl’s a while back.

chalkboard

I started out by “seasoning” the board, rubbing the whole thing with the side of chalk and then wiping it away so it looks like it’s been used a bit.

I went on to measure the area inside the frame and created a rectangle shape in Silhouette Studio using those dimensions. Then I opened the file and sized it to fit within the rectangle.

Screen shot 2014-02-16 at 8.52.39 PM

The design was then cut out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo which I then weeded to keep the negative space so that I could use it as a stencil. (Meaning I removed the vinyl that was the actual lettering)

Using transfer tape, I applied the vinyl stencil to the chalkboard and rubbed it thoroughly to get it to stick. Peeling the transfer tape off took a bit of patience but was definitely doable. Peeling at an angle from the corners helped.

DIY Chalkboard Art

I then used a chalk marker to fill in the letters. With the bigger letters, it helped to outline them first and then fill in the middle. For the shadow outline, I later took a cotton swab and removed some of the chalk so it was a lighter shade and more shadowy looking.

DIY Chalkboard Art | Any Given Day Inspiration

As a final touch, you can spray with a light coating of hairspray to help keep the chalk in place. When you want to redo the chalkboard, just wipe with a damp cloth and start all over again.

This is a great alternative for anyone who just can’t hand letter themselves but still wants to create their own “art”. For my first time around using this method I think it turned out pretty decent. I am definitely keeping my eye out for any other designs that I may be able to use in the future. Let me know if you try this yourself… I’d love to know how it turns out!!

DIY Chalkboard Art | AnyGivenDayInspiration.com

DIY Custom Sidelights Using Frosted Vinyl and Silhouette Cameo

DIY Custom Sidelights Using Frosted Vinyl & Silhouette Cameo

 

I am super excited to share this project with you. It’s only been in the works for about seven years now. Okay, not exactly THAT long but it has been some time now.

Anyone who has sidelights (those windows directly to the side of the entry door) has probably wrestled with the dilemma of wanting to let in light while preserving some degree of privacy. This has been my mission ever since I moved into my house seven years ago. Curtains were an option, although a little too “grandmom-ish” for my taste. I also had my heart set on custom shutters I originally spotted in blogland a few years back. While I still like the idea of these, we never seem to have the extra cash laying around to invest in them, not to mention the fact that we have two dogs who may very well put a beating on them after one visit from the mailman. So with curtains and shutters out for the time being, I had to approach a more creative solution. Once I came across Frosted Vinyl (etched glass vinyl), I knew it could be somehow incorporated  to achieve my goal. Once again, I called on my trusty companion, my Silhouette Cameo, to help me achieve style with function.

I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to complete this project.

First, select a pattern. I chose to use the same Silhouette file that I used for my Stenciled Lampshade, geometric background. I took the easy way out here but there are plenty of awesome patterns in the Silhouette store that would work for this project.

Next step involved is creating the cut file in Silhouette Studio. Here’s an video showing the steps:

Now it’s time to actually cut your vinyl. Start by selecting vinyl from the cut menu but you may have to adjust your settings a bit. Remember to ALWAYS do a “test cut” before you start cutting. Weed out any vinyl that will be negative space.

Frosted Vinyl Cut for Sidelights

Once your vinyl is cut, you can start to apply it to your sidelights. These are the items you should have on hand to complete this:

  • Transfer Tape
  • masking (or painters) tape
  • squirt bottle with solution of water and drop of dish detergent
  • pan scraper (or credit card) 
  • lint free towel

Use the transfer tape to cover the frosted vinyl.

Cover Frosted Vinyl with Transfer Tape

Next, tape in place using a hinge method.

Frosted Vinyl Sidelights Tutorial

Using a pan scraper or credit card, firmly rub the entire surface. This is going to ensure that the vinyl is adhering to the transfer tape.

After that, lift the sheet away from the glass and spray the glass surface lightly but thoroughly with the soap solution.

At this point, carefully remove the backing (not the transfer tape) from the vinyl exposing the sticky side of the vinyl. Lay this down on your window. The soap solution will allow you to move the decal a bit until it is in place while preventing air bubbles.

Starting from the center out, firmly rub the entire surface using a pan scraper or credit card. This will also help to remove any air bubbles. As you press, water will seep out the edges so have a towel handy to wipe it.

Frosted Vinyl Sidelight Tutorial

When you have pressed out as much water as possible, let it sit for a while. I left mine overnight which worked perfectly. That way any remaining water will have dried and the vinyl will have time to adhere.

Last step is to simply remove the transfer tape and stand back and admire your work :)

Frosted Vinyl Sidelight Tutorial

 

Here’s the view from inside…

Frosted Vinyl Sidelight Tutorial

And from outside…

Outside view of sidelights

 

Outside View Sidelights

 

Now keep in mind, this project only took me seven years because I had to figure out all the details like pattern, material and how to cut it. Fortunately for you I have ironed out all the details for you right here so hopefully you can knock this out in a weekend. I would love to hear if you give it a try! Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to follow via email or Bloglovin’.

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Silhouette Cameo Tutorial | How to Customize Shape Using Knife and Weld Tools

How to Customize a Silhouette Shape Using Knife and Weld Tools

 

Recently while participating in the Weekly Shape Challenge over on the Silhouette blog I came across a shape I needed to alter in order to fit with the project I had in mind which involved altering a shape and then cutting it out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo. You can see my project here in this blog post. I did most of the altering using the knife and weld tools in Silhouette Studio. Since these tools open up so many options once you know how to use them I thought I would do a quick tutorial showing you how easy they are to work with.

Doesn’t this just inspire you to go out and customize a shape? There are so many options out there to chose from! Do you have a favorite design feature in Silhouette Studio or questions on any features… I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

 

 

 

String Eggs~ A Quick & Easy Easter Centerpiece

String Egg Tutorial Easter Centerpiece Idea

 

 

String Eggs are a quick, easy and FUN way to add a touch of color and whimsy to your Easter holiday or even just Spring in general.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started…

 

String Egg Tutorial Supplies

 

 

I used Sta-Flo liquid starch that I found at Walmart- they seriously have everything! (You can also find it on Amazon.com through the text link)

I grabbed some yarn at AC Moore that was kind of a mix between string and yarn. It’s called Sugar n’ Cream and comes in several spring-like colors.

 

stringegg5

 

 

First thing you’ll want to do is to cut your string into manageable pieces. I did each one about 24-36 inches.

And blow up your balloons. This is the hardest part… seriously, if you get through this it will be smooth sailing from here on out!

Next, pour some liquid starch into a shallow dish. I used a pie plate which gave me a lot of surface area to spread my pieces out.

Place about 3-5 pieces of yarn/string  in the starch at a time. Allow them to get totally saturated.

When you take the string out of the liquid but while still holding it over the bowl, run your thumb and forefinger down the piece to remove any excess starch.

 

 

String Egg Tutorial

 

 To start wrapping, it helps to cross over the end to hold it in place.

StringEgg7

 

 Keep wrapping, spreading out string and crossing when possible.

StringEgg6

 

Add enough pieces to cover the egg so that there are no major holes or until it looks good to you.

Don’t worry too much if the ends stay exactly in place. When the eggs dry and harden you can tuck the ends under the other string to create a finished look.

Set the eggs aside for about 24 hours and let them dry. It helps to turn them mid-way so that all sides get a chance to dry.

When eggs are dry and hardened, you can pop the balloon and gently remove it. Then go ahead and tuck those ends.

 

String Egg Tutorial

 

 Now grab a bowl, basket, vase or cloche, throw them in and TaaDaa- you have an EASTER CENTERPIECE!!

Linking up to: Whipperberry, Thirty Handmade Days

Ikea Stenstorp Craft Table with how-to install Fintorp Rail

Ikea Stenstorp Craft Table with how-to install Fintorp Rail

Recently, I’ve been in the process of reworking my craft room. It used to have a seating area with two Ikea Tullsta chairs that faced a corner TV armoire. It was cozy and inviting, a spot that my husband and I envisioned and sketched before we even moved into our home. While I loved it, I also began to realize the need for more room to spread out. That, combined with the fact that my oldest daughter will be moving into her first college apartment and could really use some furnishings, inspired me to start looking for an island or table to replace the chairs. And yes, my beloved chairs (and daughter) are headed off to college- yikes!

Ikea Tullsta chairs

As with any creative endeavor, I dreamed of what could be. A beautiful Pottery Barn project table, maybe? Or a kitchen island complete with cabinets and drawers? I dreamed, I pinned… but ultimately reality set in and I decided to go the practical route.

Thankfully, I came across this Ikea Stenstorp free-standing kitchen island which was the perfect color to add to my existing furniture and at a price point that was within reach. It’s a creamy white color with solid-oak, butcher block top and it’s the perfect addition to my craft studio for use as my primary work space. I’m now in the process of trying to make it more user-friendly and functional. One of the things it needed was a spot to keep essential items close at hand while still keeping the surface space clear to work on. I have always loved the look of the Ikea Fintorp rail and this seemed the perfect excuse to buy one. And it just happens to be the perfect size to mount on the side of the island.

Ikea Stenstorp kitchen island used as craft table with Fintorp rail

I’m a sucker for the white or silver metal buckets that come with this line. There are hooks and wire baskets available as well. I definitely need to go back for some more of these.

Anyway, here’s a glimpse at how things look so far and a how-to video showing you the installation process.

I’ll be sure to post more pics as the update progresses!