Tutorials

-HOW TO GLUE WOOD MOULDING TO A LARGE MIRROR TO FRAME IT OUT-
Our bathrooms have HUGE mirrors but weren't framed out and I have been wanting to get them framed for that polished look. After getting an estimate for a carpenter to do it Michael and I decided we'd just do it ourselves. I searched high and low online for a proper tutorial on how to attach moulding to a mirror and was VERY disappointed in what I could find. We couldn't remove the mirror, there was no room to nail the frame into the wall around the mirror b/c it abuted the counter top tile, so we needed to simply glue the wood onto the mirror itself. Finding out what glue to use was a whole other issue. So here's a break down of what we did with some tips along the way.

So here's what you'll need:
- Liquid Nails - Mirrors (regular liquid nails is NOT the same thing)
- caulking gun
- wood or foam moulding
- table saw
- paint/stain of your choice
- sand paper

The first step is to measure the length of your mirror and then cut a piece of molding straight cross at that length:


Then using our table saw, Michael turned the setting to a 45 degree angle and made 2 cuts into each board accordingly.


Any "soft" wood needs to be preconditioned before staining. Believe me... I tried it without pre-conditioning it and I could definitly tell the difference. If you're not sure if you have a "soft wood" simply try to press your fingernail into the wood and if there's an indention left then you need to condition it. It only takes minutes and is well worth it.


After the top side of your moulding has dried you HAVE to paint the underside of the moulding at least along the side that will be seen in the mirror. See the photo below:

The stain/paint needs several days to dry or you're at risk of the glue (liquid nails) not adhering properly. Also before you apply the glue to the back of any painted/stained portion of the wood you'll need to sand it lightly, then wipe it clean.

When applying glue to the wood that will potentially be seen in the mirror take care to apply the glue on the side away from the reflective edge so as not to see the glue in the mirror or get spill over.



You need to glue the bottom portion of the frame to the mirror first. I'd recommend placing the glue onto the mouding in a zig zag pattern and let it sit for about 8 minutes or so before applying it to the mirror to let it get sticky. We held our bottom portion onto the mirror for 20 minutes and it still wanted to come right off, so we set it up against the mirror with buckets full of water.


After about 2 hours or so it had stuck to the mirror really nicely and we were able to put the sides on. The sides stuck really easily since we now had a base. We just used duck tape to attach the wood to the mirror by attaching a piece to the back side of the mirror and pulling it tightly across the moulding covered with papertowel to protect the stained portion.


Once the sides had set for about an hour we went ahead and attached the top and the inner decorative moulding strips. We left everything taped up for 24 hours to ensure there wouldn't be any slipping.

Before:


After:


Close up of the finished frame:




-HOW TO MAKE A CUSTOM FABRIC HEADBOARD-
I recently luckily came across a wonderful blog called "Design Sponge" and there was a video posted on how to create your own custom fabric headboard.
This is her finished product:



The headboard she created was perfect for what I was envisioning for Libby's room.
Though the tutorial was GREAT for how to apply the foam/fabric, etc., it didn't say anything about actually constructing the board itself. I decided that I wasn't going to spend the extra $ for a contractor to do something I could do myself. That's not to say that it's perfect but I had fun doing it and learned a lot along the way.

So here's how to go from this:


To this:


You'll need a circular saw, jig saw, handsaw (maybe), utility knife (box knife), MDF board, high density foam, quilt batting, and flat joint plates.


And don't forget to wear your safety googles:


Notice the glisten of sweat on my skin. I'm doing this working in our garage in 108 degree heat!


I based the shape of my headboard on the template found HERE and just adjusted the measurements as needed to fit the dimensions I wanted.

Once I got everything calculated I used a sharpie to draw the outline onto the MDF board:


Because my headboard was going to be super tall I needed to use 2 boards of MDF (~2 inches thick) so I had to use metal joints to fuse the seam b/w the 2 boards. I screwed in 4 plates on each side of the headboard in opposing spaces to make sure that it wouldn't bend at the middle:


After I cut out the shape of the board and screwed in the plates I then followed the tutorial found on the site mentioned above to apply the fabrication to the board. I ordered 2 inch thick high density foam online that was 52 inches wide and 108 inches long. I had to use 2 rolls to cover the board. Total cost for the foam was around $50.00. The fabric I had on hand. I bought it for $6.49 a year ago at a fabric store on sale! The quilt batting is $7.00/bag and I used 2 bags. The MDF board is around $27.00/board and I used 2 boards. The metal plates are $2.25 each bag and I bought 2 bags.



Because the MDF is very easy to break you have to be VERY careful when you're moving the headboard. I found this out AFTER I broke off both legs. Luckily I had already applied the fabric and batting so they were just dangling there. I just quickly cut some pieces of wood and screwed them into the MDF to give the legs support.


The headboard isn't meant to stand on it's own. You hang it with a long metal hanger thingy that you will see on the tutorial on Design Sponge. It worked out great and I measured it so that it looks as though the headboard is free standing.

I'll post more photos of the finished product once I get Libby's room looking the way I envision it in my head.


-HOW TO CREATE A FAUX DISTRESSED LOOK FOR $4.99-
Click on the image to enlarge:

Hey guys, well I'm here to show you how you can create a faux distressed look on any moulding for only $4.99.
This morning I was browsing the web before church and I ran across a blog that had an image of a distressed framed mirror and I thought the look would be perfect for one of the mirrors I just framed out using the steps seen HERE from a previous post.
The mirror is almost 9 feet long and Lowes didn't carry wood moulding of the width that I needed to frame it out so we had to buy primed moulding which meant I couldn't stain it the dark color I wanted... bummer... so instead we just painted it the same color as the rest of the trim in the house.
Since we completed the project I just look at it an it's a total snooze! I hate that it's so plain, SO when I saw the distressed mirror this morning I thought - That's it! that's how I'll spice it up.
So after church we went over to heaven (AKA Michael's craft supply store) and I purchased this little container of Distress Ink in "frayed burlap".



To apply the ink, all you do is press the ink pad to the top of the moulding, then with EVEN pressure and in ONE stroke go down the moulding in sections to apply the ink.


(if you start and stop or adjust the pressure it will show breaks in the line and look messy).

The finished look up close:

I love how even after 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint the ink still picks up the grain of the wood.



The best part about this product is that it wipes right off if you mess up. I think I must have wiped off my first 20 or so attempts until I found out what pressure worked best for the look I was going for. Total time for this project was about 10 minutes for a 9X4 frame. So easy, so cheap, and no sanding required!


-HOW TO ADD A SIGNATURE/POST DIVIDER TO YOUR POSTS-
The first thing that you'll need is an image. Whether you want just your name or a dotted line or a scrapbooking element you'll need to save that image to some sort of photobucket, flicker, shutterfly, etc. account. You'll need the "direct link" from that image to plug into the code below. It will look like this:


(you see the links and codes to the right of the image... you'll need to copy the entire url for the code listed under "direct link")

Once you have that url you plug it into this HTML code: (DON'T LEAVE OUR ANY . OR , OR " AT ALL, EVEN THE ONES IN THE PARENTHESES)

.post-footer-line-1{background:url("PASTE YOUR URL HERE");
background-repeat: no-repeat;
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
padding: 120px 0px 0px 0px;
margin-bottom: 3.5em;
font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Arial;
}

Now that you have your code just copy it then go to your blogs "design" tab and click on "edit HTML". You'll see that it gives you a LONG list of gobbeldy gook in the left side of the page with a little bar to scroll through. You'll want to scrool about half way through the code in most cases and look for this:

/* Footer
----------------------------------------------- */

Each section of your blog will be broken down in this way. You'll see seperators just like labeling each section of your blog ie. Posts, Headers, Widgets in the place where you see "Footer" above. The "Footer" section comes directly after the "Post" section. You want to paste your code right above what I've pasted above. It should be the last line of code in the post section right above the footer section.

***IMPORTANT***
Before you click save or anything like that, PREVIEW your changes. It will open up your blog in another window so you can see if you like the signature or if it's too big/too small. If you like what you see then click "save changes".

This is really the easiest way that I've found to add a signature to your blog and even though the idea of messing with HTML scared me to death when I first started blogging it's really very easy and when you do it once you'll feel like a pro!

If you want to either increase or decrease the space b/w the signature and the "comments" section change the "padding: 120px" in the code I've provided. A smaller number ex. 80px, means it will be closer and a larger number ex. 150px will spread it apart.
Don't change any other numbers except for the 120.



-HOW TO EVEN UP YOUR DATE HEADER AND POST TITLES IN BLOGGER-
One of the things I change most often when doing blog design is evening up the date header with the post title. As seen in the image below you can see that there appears to be a tab on the post title but the date header is left justified. Here's how you can easily even them up.



Simple click on "edit HTML" from your design page, then scroll through all of the HTML code until see the section for "posts" (it will be right after "widgets" but before "footer". Once you're in that section of code then look for the portion of code seen in the image below.



Once you find this code simply change the number in the highlighted portion from
-15px to 0px. BEFORE saving click "preview" to make sure that you like what you see. If so, then simply click "save template" and you're done!


-HOW TO CREATE AND ADD SIDE BAR TITLES/DIVIDERS IN BLOGGER-
***Note: to see the images below better simply click on them to enlarge***

Since the images are saved as a .png file, you'll notice once you open up your editing software that the background is transparent so you can place them on any blog and there won't be a white background which is lovely :)
Just use the crop tool to cut each image out at a time and either add your own text if you're using the blank files or go the easy way and use the ones that are "pre-made" for you.

Step 1 - Open the file, select the crop tool, and cut out one tag.




Now you'll need to resize the tags for your particular blog side bar. (I typically like them to be between 200-220 pixels),so once the file is opened and you've made your edits you'll need to click on "save for web" if you're using photoshop and there will be an option of resizing the image.

Step 2


Type in the numbers you want there and "apply" then make sure it's still in .png format and save it. When I'm making a blog I typically name the files something like, beckyabout.png, beckyfavorites.png, beckyarchive.png. This is important b/c you'll need to remember what your files are called when you search for them to install them onto your blog.

Step 3




Once your files are saved go to your blog and click to add a gadget in the side bar. You'll want to select the "add a picture" gadget then simply browse your files for the ones you just saved and click save. Then simply drag and place them as you would any other widget and that's that!

Step 4




I also like to go in and delete the titles from the followers, about me, and archive sections that automatically are put on the blog with the template. DO NOT remove the entire gadget JUST the title wording (if you're unsure what I mean here just comment or e-mail me and I'll try to explain better). Otherwise it will look reduntant and you'll have the cute "followers" image with the default word "followers" beneath it.

Step 5



-HOW TO DECREASE THE SPACE BETWEEN YOUR POST TITLES AND DATE HEADER IN BLOGGER-
So I'm constantly bothered by designing blogs and the date header and the post title have a huge space between them. Well I just learned how to decrease that space and wanted to share a tutorial with you guys.
The first thing you want to do is click on "template designer" it should bring you to a page that looks like this:



Then click on the "advanced" bar in the far left hand corner of the screen as seen below. Then scroll down the entire list to where it says "Add CSS":



Post this code into the CSS box, then go to the end of the code and press the space bar to see it take affect.


h3.post-title {
margin-top: -25px !important;
}


If the space is still to large for your liking simply change the -25px to a larger negative number e.g (-30) or contrarily if the space is too narrow simply make it a smaller number e.g (-10). If you like what you see simply click on "apply to blog" and then "back to blogger" to see your new post look.


-HOW TO HANG/ORGANIZE YOUR WRAPPING PAPER FROM A CLOSET SHELF-
This is the third in my series of "how-to's". Today we'll be learning how to hang wrapping paper from your closet shelves.
My entire guest bedroom closet is devoted to crafting (at least until we get another kiddo). I love organization and hate that I have to go into the attic to pull out my wrapping paper rubbermaid everytime I have to wrap a present. So...... this is what I came up with to remedy that problem after seeing something similar on Pinterest.

What you'll need:
- polished hemp string/yarn
- hook hanger screws
- an electric drill
- an ink pen with top

First I premeasured where I wanted my hook hangers to go then I used an electric drill to get the holes started and screwed the hooks in the rest of the way by hand. To get the hemp string down through the spool I just hooked the string through a pen cap to give it some weight and dropped it through. I know this may seem like common sense to most but after trying to thread the curly string through with no luck I thought I'd share that little learning experience with you guys.

To tie the loops onto each end of the string I used a technique that I learned a LONG time ago at 4-H camp. I just tied them in the same way that you would start a friendship bracelet but instead of taking the knot the entire way up, I left my finger in the way, which left a great loop to place onto the hooks making changing out the paper rolls very easy.

I hung my spools of wrapping paper at different lengths so that I could visualize them easier. The finished product:
I love that the rolls are tiered b/c I can simply pull down the appropriate length, cut it straight from the closet, and that's that! No clean up!
I thought I'd give you guys a peek into my craft/scrapbooking closet - YIKES! I know where everything is and I guess that's all that matters right :) As you can see there's lots of room to hang another level of paper and that's on my agenda for today.



-HOW TO ORGANIZE FABRIC RIBBON INTO BINS-
Michael got tired of my old plastic recycling bin taking up space in HIS garage so I was presented with an ultimatum, either it goes in the trash or I find something to do with it.



I have a little ribbon addiction. I mean I have ribbon stashed everywhere, under beds, in closets, in the attic, etc. So I thought that what I needed was some way to organize my ribbon where it's easily accessible and visible, soooooo.... here's what I came up with.

What you'll need:
- wooden dowels
- either a plastic tub or plastic storage drawers
- dremmel
- table/jig saw

This is what the side of the bed in my guest bedroom looked like before:


My storage bin had different sized drawers so I knew that I wanted to use the top 2 drawers for my smaller sized ribbon and the bottom for all of my tulle. I opted to use the larger dowels in the bottom simply b/c the hole through a tulle spoole is quite large.

I knew that I wanted to run my dowels through the sides of the bins with a little overhang but with large enough holes that I could remove and add ribbon spools with ease, so first I measured each dowel to the length across the top of the drawers.


Each side had a small indentation so I knew that the little extra bit of dowel poking out of the sides wouldn't get caught in the bins.


I placed the dowels in the bin to gauge placement and used a marker to note the area that I needed to dremmel through on each side of the drawer.


After using a saw to cut the dowels, I used a dremmel to cut holes into the sides of the drawer large enough to slide the dowels through easily (I didn't have a proper dremmel bit for this, so my holes look pretty wonky)
Side view:


Top view:


All done! Organization makes me happy :)




I still have some ribbon in the attic and one tupperware container in my craft closet but overall it made a great improvement.


-HOW TO MAKE CUSTOM PRINTABLE TREAT BOXES-
Here's a great, easy, and fun template and tutorial for you guys. Today I went to my mom's house and she'd brought back some pralines from Louisiana. Of course the pralines were delicious but what I fell in love with was actually the packaging (I'm a total sucker for cute packaging. I probably would buy dog poop if it was wrapped up cute enough).



I decided to take home a box and take it apart to create my own template to use for goodie boxes for parties and holidays. I LOVE making pralines. I did a post on how I make mine HERE if you want to check it out. So I thought that it would be super cute to be able to wrap them up individually.

So here's what I came up with:
Just click on the images below to enlarge and then save to your computer. (Don't change the file types, leave as .png images)

(seen on my box as the polkadot sections)

(seen on my box as the pink lace design with text) To use these templates, just save them to your computer. Then in some type of photo editing software (I used photoshop) you simply create a "clipping mask" using what ever paper or image you want over the shapes I've provided as they're sized nearly perfectly to the original template. Below is a screen shot of what I did:

click on the images below to enlarge:

First I opened up the templates in individual files and then created clipping masks with some digi scrapbooking paper. I then added text and embellishments. Once I liked what I created I simply clicked on "merge visible" to mesh the layers.

I then opened up the blank box template file and just dragged my merged template layers onto the blank template. I did have to enlarge some things slightly to try and cover up the dashed lines so that wouldn't be seen in the end product.









Here are some images of my finished product. I added some baking twine and a little metal tag I had left over from my sister's baby shower to give an example of what you can add to the boxes.



I hope you guys find this useful! I know that I can't wait to find a reason to use this template to create some fun and unique treats!


-HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY PRESERVES AS PARTY FAVORS-
I saw these cute little jars and thought that some homemade preserves would be a great "party gift" for the parents that come to Ezra's birthday party and would go really well with the "vintage cowboy/general store" theme.



Here's what you'll need:
2#'s of fresh strawberries
12 small glass canning jars
1 large lemon
2 cups sugar

I used a recipe I found on the Food Network website that also included jar prep directions. Click HERE for the details.

First you have to soak the jars and lids in warm soapy water. Then they need to be sterilized. I brought some water to a low boil and just soaked the jars and lids while I was preparing the jam.


For the jam you have to first zest and juice one large lemon, then add 2 cups of sugar and on low heat bring that mixture to a low boil just enough to melt the sugar.



Once the sugar is dissolved add in the strawberries and cook for at least 20 minutes or until when you place a small drop of the liquid onto a frozen plate it gels instantly.



After a light boil I took the pot off of heat and just let the jars simmer while I finshed cooking the jam. I used sterilized tongs to remove the jars from the water being careful not to touch them with my hands and set them to dry upright so as not to introduce any bacteria into them.



Once you can put a small drop on a frozen plate and it gels, your jam is ready. Pour it into your jars carefully as it's very hot. Wipe down any spils with a damp clean cloth, then apply the inner sealing lid followed by the ringed lid and screw down until tight. (do not try to adjust the tightness of the lid as this will break the pneumatic seal)



Let these set for 24 hours and then perform a seal test. The inner lid shouldn't pop up and down when depressed. Also if you take off the outer ring you should NOT be able to remove the inner lid with your fingertips. If the seal is in tact, these preserves may last up to a year!



Of course I had to fancy the jars up a bit. I was lucky enough to find an AMAZING blog today where I got my printables for this project. Eat.Drink.Chic also has printables for various jams like rhubarb and blueberry. Click HERE to see the post where I found these lovelies.
I had some left over burlap type material from my spring wreath project so I used it to cut out large circle shapes. I then added a dot of hot glue to the top of the lid to hold down the fabric. I used a rubberband around the lid and then tied some red bakers twine over it as best as I could and then finished it off with the printable heart "strawberry jam" label on top and the "homemade with love" tag glued to the twine strings.

-PRINTABLE PHOTO PROP MUSTACHES-
Ezra's third birthday is in June and I've been trying to get my ducks in a row ahead of time since last year we could never get organized enough to throw his party since Michael was always flying here and there, so this year I've buckled down and hope to make it great to make up for last year. The party is cowboy themed so I wanted to have little mustaches for people to wear b/c I think they make such cute photos. Now I see them everywhere online but decided to make some myself.
Here's how I did it:

This is a printable template that I wanted to share for all those who are interested. Just click on the image to enlarge it and then you should be able to just print it directly or save it to your computer.


First I drew the mustache and cut it out and traced lots of them onto card stock and then made copies.


Next I bought some sticky backed black felt pages for $0.99 from a craft store and stuck it to the paper leaving my traceings showing.



I then used my craft knife and cutting mat to cut out the mustaches:


My sweet hubby pitched in as well with the cutting:



Then I attached a bamboo skewer which I purchased from our local grocery store with a dab of hot glue to the back of each mustach:


Michael obliged me and modeled the final looks:



He even decided to go for the "unibrow" look:



-HOW TO REPURPOSE BABY FOOD JARS WITH CHALKBOARD CONTACT PAPER-
Here's what you'll need:


So I have been saving small babyfood jars lately b/c I'm tired of having to pick through my little collection of brads and buttons to find what I need for scrapbooking. I have a million different colors, types, shapes, you name it and it's just very unorganized. I decided to use the contact paper scraps I had left over from my blackboard project from the previous post to make labels for the jars. I spray painted the tops with some Krylon spray paint we had lying around in the garage and then used my 1" square punch to cut out the shapes. I just stuck them onto the jars, and presto... it was that easy.

I think for my purposes I'm going to use this old baby food turn table to store in my scrapbooking closet which will make it easy to visualize the labels once I actually write on them.



I LOVE that you can simply erase the chalk in case I run out of one type item or decide I want to use them for something else like....

Place cards for a get together.


Just write the person's name on the jar and by adding some soil to the jars with some wildflower seeds or planting an herb you also have little guest gifts. Or you could mark each jar with the flower or herb name like, "Dill", or "Rosemary".



-HOW TO MAKE CUSTOM FRAMED CORK BOARDS AND CHALKBOARDS WITH FOAM AND CONTACT PAPER-
I stole this idea from my sister's nursery for her son Maddox but changed it up just a bit. She'd been looking for a corkboard and blackboard to put in his room but everything was really plain and smaller then what she wanted, so she went to Hobby Lobby and found some frames that were 50% off then just painted his wall with chalkboard paint and hung one frame over the square of paint. Then she hot glued squares of corkboard behind the the other frame and hung that one above the first. I saw it and LOVED it but wanted to make a few changes.

Here's what you'll need:



*your frame
*a foam cutter
*a piece of thick foam board large enough to fit in the frame (I had LARGE frames so I used the trifold science project foam boards from Michael's.
*scissors
*a roll of chalkboard contact paper - I bought 3 yards off of amazon.com for ~$10.00
*duct tape
*a roll of thin sticky corkboard paper (you can find this at Hobby Lobby or Michaels).

I purchased the exact same frames as my sister at 50% off, but didn't want to have to paint the wall so instead I purchased a roll of chalkboard contact paper. I then measured my foam board and cut it to fit the frame (my measurements were a bit off somehow so mine doesn't look perfect but I can live with it). Next is the tricky part. The contact paper is super sticky but very forgiving. It wasn't wide enough to cover the entire board in one piece so I had to layer it with 2 strips. I trimmed off about 3 inches of the paper under the sticky part so that I could control the placement of the sticky part w/o having to unstick and restick it several times to get it right. Once I got placement I liked then I just peeled off the backing with no tension on the contact paper and layed it down onto the foam board slowly rubbing out any air bubbles as I went. There were LOTS of bubbles but they rubbed out really easily. I can't express enough how happy I am with this contact paper. It didn't stretch or loose stickiness or anything. Now I have all these ideas for other things I can put it on. If only I had a silouette cutter then I could go NUTS with my scrapbooking organizers.

Once I had the entire foam board covered I just duct taped it to the back of the frame. I didn't want to use hot glue b/c the frame's so pretty that if I want to use it for something else in the future I just have to pop out the foam board and make something new!



The finished project:



For the cork board I did the exact same approach but let me warn you that when you cut cork board it crumbles so make sure you cut it a little bit outside your mearsurements to compensate for that. I didn't and my cork board is a bit wonky, but I figure it's going to get covered up anyway so it's no big deal.