DIY Chinese Screen

April 28, 2014 in Creating

DIY Chinese Screen

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Soooooooooooo, my daughter is in her middle school’s production of Mulan Jr. and she is loving it!  Are Matt and I surprised?  Considering he and I both have a long history of theatre work and her fun, outgoing personality, the answer is no, we are not.  Auditioning was a choice she made herself, but one that is in her blood.  Because she is working so hard on it, Matt and I knew we would be total jerks if we didn’t hep in some way.  After countless hours of painting, building, and reigning in middle schoolers, we are thinking…….maybe we should have given the volunteer thing a little more thought.  

At least one good thing came from it, and it’s this blog post!  They needed a Chinese screen for a couple of scenes and the director had one she had bough from a garage sale.  This thing was made of cheep, dented wood and cardboard with holes in it.  Solution?  FABRIC!

I’m going to be completely honest here, I get my fabric 95% from Jo Ann.  I almost never by it full price because I always have a copoun on hand. Click the link to check out the fabric I chose and hundreds of other options Quilting Fabric at Joann.com

What you need:

Fabric (enough to cover the screen)

Hot Glue

Paint

Razor Knife

The Method:

Paint the wood or frame of the screen.  I would love to do this with some bright colors, but for this project we went with neutral black.

Cut your fabric about 1 inch wider and longer than the area you are covering.  It would be best to buy a long enough piece of fabric that reaches from top to bottom, mine didn’t work out that way, but its still looks nice.

Now get that hot glue gun out (every crafters best friend).  Start at the top and run a line of glue.  Press you fabric to it, don’t worry about the edge sticking up.  Working in sections glue the fabric down all four sides of the rectangle.  Repeat with all sections.

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Lastly, use a sharp razor knife to cut away any extra material but pressing the tip if the knife into the edge of the fabric that butts up against the screen and cut it away.

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See how easy AND lovely!  

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And, as a shameless plug, if you live in the Salt Lake area, come see a fantastic production of Mulan at Draper Park Middle School.  Opening night is May 5th and runs the whole week.  Come and give your support!

Want to find the latest fabric that’s on sale?  Click the link to visit the discounted items at Jo Ann Sales & Promotions on Joann.com!

 

<3, Sharla

Lego Party!

April 1, 2014 in For Fun, Fun, Kids, Parties

Lego Party!

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Seriously, what is hotter for grade school boys right now than Legos?  I’ll tell you, NOTHING!  If you want a sure fire way to please a bunch of little boys do a Lego party, you don’t even have to have the actual toys!  Just label it a lego party and make everything colorful and rectangled.  I am the Cub Master for my son’s Cub Scout troupe and we had our monthly pack meeting as a Lego theme and the boys were over the moon about it.  First, we did the usual cub scout stuff (flag ceremony, talked about the core value, and gave out awards) then, after we closed, I simply had four stations set up around the room that the boys could play with and explore while having treats and the parents could talk.  That, my friends, is what I call a win-win.  

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In addition to the stations I had lego candy bags (they taste like runts and are inexpensive in the bulk food isle), just 5 streamers of different colors in a circus tent pattern hung form the celling and some construction lego paper decorations on the walls inspired from my “Scouts.  The Universe Hates Me Pinterest board.  This pack meeting easily converts to a birthday party or other gathering.  It was a blast, and if you have a Lego lover in your life, I highly recommend doing this party!

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Station #1: Sugar Cube Sculptures

Let’s start with what’s simple.  I didn’t have a single actual Lego at this party, did the kids notice?  Um, no.  I just used the idea of geometric shapes and a lot of bold color to remind them of Legos (it also helped that I had the song “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego Movie playing in the background).  Above you see a picture of one of my more genius ideas.  Sugar cubes for building with.  The kids loved making sculptures that they could eat, and can you blame them?  I left a stack of small bags beside this so they could take some home with them.

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Station #2: Giant Lego Building

Have you seen these cardboard blocks?  I bought mine for about $40 from amazon and the kit came with about 30 different sized blocks.  Best.  Purchase.  Ever.  I have used these over and over for parties and my kids play with them constantly at home.  I just set them out and told the boys to build a giant Lego sculpture.  This is their giant Lego robot.  I couldn’t get the boys away from this activity.

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Station #3: Lego Coloring Page

I found the coloring Lego page online and then printed a picture of the hero from the Lego Movie so the kids had a reference to color with.  Simple and fun.

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Station #4: DIY Lego Heads

This, by far was the favorite part of the party.  This is a simple, easy craft with very little prep.  

What you Need:

  • Yellow construction paper for faces
  • Brown, black or yellow construction paper for the back of the head/hair
  • Staples and stapler
  • Crayons
  • Circle cutting tool

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Start by making the eye holes.  I have this handy little circle cutting tool.  It’s from Making Memories Scrapbook Supplies, but there are many circle cutters out there that would work great.  Measure about half way up from the bottom and about 2″ space between the holes and cut the two holes.  Mine are 1″ across, very Lego face-ish.

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Now color the face.  I thought the kids would like some ideas for faces so I printed the picture below to give them some guidance.  When the faces are done simply choose the color for the back of the head and staple both sides to make a cylinder.  

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Now slap that puppy on.  I know boys who kept their’s for weeks (until mom finally got sick of them and snuck them to the trash).  The point is, the boys loved them, and it was simple, inexpensive and fun!

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The final touch that really added to the fun of the party was a simple app.  It’s called Block Cam and I used it to transform each boy into a lego self portrait.  I printed it at home on computer paper and they each got to take their picture home.  This would also be a great idea for a Thank You card.

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There are so many ways to adjust these ideas to suit any party.  Make the sugar cube or giant Lego building a competition.  Have the boys make their own live action movie with their Lego heads.  Have a dance contest or play the freeze game with the Lego Movie Song.  Through in some cake, ice cream, and presents, and that, my friends, is a party to remember!

<3, Sharla

Daily Doable 3/20/14

March 20, 2014 in Creating, Daily Doable, Easter, Easter Creations

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The 30 Second Bird Nest Tutorial!

Click here or the picture above to watch the full tutorial on the Daily Doable!

Click the link to buy the exact raffia that I used in this craft Crafts at Joann.com

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Spring Bird Nest Decoration DIY Tutorial

March 7, 2014 in Creating, Easter, Easter Creations

Bird Nest Tutorial

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I’m not gonna lie, this is not a fast project, but it’s worth it!  Really, look at how cute this turned out.  It’s the quintessential Spring decoration.  And it costs less than $10 to make.  A little chicken wire, a little raffia a few cute eggs and a whole lot of twigs, all from Crafts at Joann.com (ok, not the twigs).  So pop in your favorite chick flick, get comfy and ring in Spring!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A boat load of small twigs.  I sent my kids out on a hunt and they just gathered what they found on the ground.  Keep in mind, the more flexible, the better.
  • Chicken wire – 18″x18″ square…approximately.
  • Hot glue and gun…lots of it.
  • 1 package raffia (my husband not-so-affectionately calls raffia hay…he’s not really a fan, but you can’t argue with the results!)

Whatcha Gotta Do:

  • First you need a form to glue your twigs to.  I like chicken wire because it’s cheap, easy to work with, and frankly I had some on hand.  Cut a strip off about 18″ wide using wire cutters.  Fold your strip in half so it’s a square.  Place it on the ground and use one hand to hold down the center and the other to start bending the sides up.  Fold the pointy corners down inside the bowl and just work it until you have a reasonably round or oval bowl shape.  If you’ve spent any time on this blog you know the instruction I’m going to give next; don’t feel like it has to be perfect!  You’re going to cover it with glue and twigs, you just need a base to start with.

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  • Now start glueing.  There is no rhyme or reason to this part.  Just glue…

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and glue…

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and glue until…

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the chicken wire is covered on the outside and top.

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I didn’t bother glueing twigs to the bottom because you want a flat base for it to sit and you are going to use raffia to cover it…and, frankly, I was sick of glueing.

  • Here’s a picture of what my raffia looked like when I pulled it out of the package.  I almost never buy it so I’m not sure if it comes any other way, but you want a package that is tied together, not a big tangled mess (unless you want the inside of your bird nest to look that way, which if you do, no judgment).

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Pull off a few strands and simply wind them around you fingers and then lay them in the nest.  Then help it unravel so it fills to the walls.  Do this several times until you get enough coverage in the nest to cover the wire.

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  • To finish the inside of the nest, tie a knot in a few strands of the raffia and make a very small circle using only two fingers the same way you made the bigger ones.  Leave about 5″ of the end out and wrap it through the hole in the center and around the outside 3 or 4 times to keep the circle bundled.  Secure the ends on the back with, you guessed it, hot glue.

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Place your mini circle in the middle and, TA DA…

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The word you’re looking for is “ADORABLE!”

  • The final step is for those of us who didn’t quite go low enough with the twigs (did I mention I was sick of glueing?).  I needed to cover a bit of wire right at the base on the outside so I just wound some raffia around the bottom a few times and (shutter) glued.

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It’s barely noticeable down there.  Add some cute eggs and there you have it!

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Happy Spring!

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<3, Sharla

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Zombie Love DIY Craft Project

February 12, 2014 in Creating, Valentine Creations, Valentine's Day

Zombie Love DIY Craft Project

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Have you seen Warm Bodies, The Walking Dead, or Plants vs. Zombies?  Yes, yes you have, because zombies are everywhere!  They are the new vampire!  Pop culture is enthralled with loving unloveable creatures lately, and you know what?  That’s ok.  It’s fun to love mythical creatures and fantasize about love finding the impossible.  “We are the cure!”  So, when I was presented with an opportunity to create a blog post for the people over at Brilliant Earth Diamonds and Engagement Rings for their “Create a Little Love” campaign that included the word “love”, I couldn’t resist going against the grain.  On this blog we celebrate the creative, passionate, and out-of-the-ordinary (I mean, have you seen the Tardis my husband built for me?).  So, here is another taste of what we are all about.

You Will Need:

  • Heavy Duty Wire.  Home Depot sells spools for inexpensive, and you need as much as the size of the “love” you will create.  Mine stands about 18″ high and 24″ long.
  • Wire cutters
  • Red Spray Paint
  • Red Acrylic Paint *both of the paints I purchased from Crafts at Joann.com
  • Medical Tubing.  You need the same amount as the wire you use.  I have a friend who has some on hand, but I imagine you can buy some at any pharmacy.
  • Large Medicine Plunger (again, the pharmacy)
  • Small IV bag
  • Red and White String (you know the kind that is totally in right now.  It’s one color twisted with white…super cute stuff).
  • Zombie Hand and Human Heart.  I bought both of these from Amazon and the two together were only $20 with shipping.  The hand is a “must have”, other wise you just have blood running through and IV tube, which is way more weird.

The Method:

  • Shape your wire into a cursive “Love”.  I needed help visualizing mine so I just did a search of images on google for “cursive love”, this is the image I used.  This will give your creation a firm structure so it will stand up.

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  • Use spray paint and paint the “love” red.  This way it blends with the tubing.

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  • Now for the medical tubing.  Everything I used my friend gave me (shout out to Pam Wilburn!).  I ended up with a very large medicine plunger, several IV bags and tons of tubes.  I had to get creative connecting the tubes with my glue gun so it would be one long continuous piece that I could run the paint through.  I figured out how much I needed by laying the tubing right on top of the wire and traced the word.  So basically, I eyeballed it.  To keep the paint in the tube on one end I left the plunger, on the other I had a small IV bag with paint in it as well.  They added a gross touch to the final project.

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  • Basically I dumped a whole bottle of red acrylic paint into the plunger then pushed the paint through the tube to the IV bag.  This was WAY harder than I expected it to be.  That’s ok, I have muscles.  I added a little more to the IV bag at the end then let it sit over night.
  • Now to attach the colored tube to the wire.  The hot glue does not hold the tube well, but it was nice for tacking parts down then wrapping the string around.  Basically I worked in increments of about 3-4 inches.  I laid the glue on the wire, held the tube to it, then wrapped with the string.  I did not use one big piece of sting.  I cut the string into sections about 2 feet long and when a section would run out I tied the next one on.  This made it easier to wrap and also, the extra knots were charming.  The string added a soft touch, I super liked it.  

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  • The last (and funnest part) is to display your zombie love!  I used the hand as a kind of easel and propped the heart neat by.  If you don’t have a creative way of connecting one of the ends of the tube it might be fun to seal it with hot glue then glue it to the heart.  Any way you slice it, this project is an original, hilarious, trendy and non-romantic way to celebrate a holiday that every single person in the world hates.  :)

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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

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<3, Sharla

 

Daily Doable 1/31/14 Coloring Hair Tutorial

January 31, 2014 in Daily Doable, Sharla

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DIY Tutorial on Dying Your Hair!

Click here or any of the pictures to watch the Daily Doable!

Click here to watch the Daily Doable on how to bleach your hair!

Daily Doable 1/28/14 DIY on Dying your Hair

January 28, 2014 in Daily Doable, Sharla

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5 Minute Tutorial on Bleaching Your Own Hair!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

Daily Doable 12/9/13

December 9, 2013 in Daily Doable

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Blog Post: DIY Princess/Vampire Cloak Tutorial!

Click here or any other the pictures to watch the Daily Doable!

Daily Doable 12/4/13

December 4, 2013 in Daily Doable

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DIY Leg Warmers!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

Daily Doable 11/26/13

November 26, 2013 in Daily Doable

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Blog Post:  DIY Gum Ball Necklaces – Check out How to Make Them!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable.