Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY Dog Collar Tutorial

 For the past while, I have been wanting to replace my dogs collar. It is OLD, dirty, and just not cute anymore. I went to a nice shop downtown last week to find one, and the prices for a collar for a dog my size STARTED at around $45! (She's a lab, around 90 pounds.) Unreal.

I looked at my dogs current collar, and took note of the pieces on it. Today, I went to Fabricland to get my materials. Here's what you need to make a dog collar:
  • Nylon webbing (my Fabricland had only two choices - black or white)
  • Ribbon to decorate the webbing (I got some from an estate sale, but Michael's has a great selection)
  • 1 D Ring
  • 1 Buckle
  • 1 Slider
 First, you need to figure out the length. I measured around my dogs neck, then went about 5 inches longer than that.

Next, you'll need to pin your ribbon to your nylon webbing.
 After that, sew the two pieces together!
 Now you need to add your hardware. This part is incredibly hard to explain in words. I would really say the best technique would be to look at your current dog collar, and just replicate what you see. That's what I did, and it worked. I tried to take a picture of putting on the D ring and buckle, but seriously, it's just hard to explain in pictures or words. Just take a look at a collar and it should make sense!

Once you've sewn the hardware in, you're finished! All you have to do now is find a cute dog to give it to. I swear my dog was purposely making it hard to get a picture. Her hair usually covers up a lot of her collar, so I had to catch her when she was sitting in a way that it could be seen.

This project was incredibly fast - under an hour.

Monday, July 9, 2012

DIY Faux antler necklace holder

Here's a craft I made last week. I wanted something to put my necklaces on, so I decided to make some faux-antlers! I saw many versions of this on Pinterest, but used this one as a guide. I learned during the process - there are definitely things I would change when doing them again, but I am happy enough with how they turned out!

1. This is the backing piece of wood that I will be using to affix my faux-antlers.
2. Begin building an antler shape using tin foil. This doesn’t have to be too thick, as you will build upon it with you Sculptey.
3. Add details to your antlers – look at a photo online for inspiration!
4. Begin to cover your antlers with Sculptey. This is where you can make them really thick.

5. Finish building your antler – try to smooth out the lumps as much as you can.
6.  Build your second antler, and cook them as per Sculptey directions (I left mine in about 30 minutes.) Take them out and let them cool. I gave mine a bit of a sanding, to smooth them out.
7. Paint! I somehow didn’t get a picture of myself painting the antlers… I’m the worst sometimes. For what it’s worth, I used the paint colors Antique White, Gold, and Raw Umber. 
8. Screw your antlers into your wood piece.

9. Here you can see the antlers screwed into the plaque. My biggest problem with them in that the color came out much too dark - I got a little paint happy with the Raw Umber color, and I think it's just a bit much.
10. Using Martha Stewart's clay silicone molds, I made lettering for my board (saying Necklaces, etc.)
11. I glued the letters to the board.
12. The finished product! It's really strong, and definitely supports the necklaces really well.

Well, that's it! I will post when I try making more antlers. I think I can do much better with the paint job!

Friday, July 6, 2012

DIY - I left my heart in Boston

So last night I got some unexpected news - our summer school site was going to be shut down for the day today due to the excessive heat (our air conditioner isn't working.) Not that I don't enjoy teaching, but an unplanned day off is really about the best thing that can happen to someone like me. I vowed to use my day to it's fullest. After exercising and going out for lunch with a friend, I decided I would take on a craft from the Harpster Home that I have been eying for a while. I chose to do this project with a map of Boston, my absolute favorite city in the word.

Things you need for this project:
  • A square piece of wood
  • Paint
  • A map of a place you love (I found mine via Google search here)
  • Scissors
  • Painters tape
  • About 100 1-inch nails
  • Hammer
  • String (complementary color to your paint)

    Start by painting your piece of wood with your chosen color. I got one of the little sample cans of Martha Stewart paint in Sea Glass (they were on sale for 75 cents!) and there's so much leftover!
Using painters tape, attach your map to your piece of wood.

Start nailing your little nails around the outer edges of your map. Make sure that anytime you have a corner, you put a nail right where the two lines meet. This will help define the shape of your map piece.

I intentionally skipped a few spots on my map, as it would have been too hard to properly wrap the string around them later.

When you're finished with the nails, you can remove your map piece.

This next part was actually really fun. All you have to do is wind the string around the nails, going from outer nail to inner heart nail. Each nail in the inner heart nail will support several loops of string - this is because there's so any on the outside. Really, the more nails you can fit into the middle heart, the better, when it comes to wrapping later (lesson learned for next time I do this project!)

You need to be careful with certain map pieces. On mine, the middle right side of it juts downward, which was weird when stretching the yarn back to the heart. I ended up skipping some of the nails , because it just wouldn't have worked to put yarn on them (you can see an example of that in the photo below, where the nails curve down near the top of the map.)

Once you're finished that part... you're done!! A very simple, fun project that only took a couple of hours. Enjoy!