burlap table runner

I made a new table runner! I wanted a burlap table runner that I could dress up or down and use for holiday decorations. I especially like the way that burlap looks with fancy glass (especially mercury glass). So I wanted to make a table runner.

Enter the problem. If you’ve ever worked with burlap, you know that it shreds all over. Which means that it looks great for a one-time event (aka wedding, dinner party) but will not stay together long enough for any other use. I needed a way to hem it. Obviously, traditional hemming would be ok, but I wanted something a little dressier. But I get ahead of myself.

First- buy some burlap the length of your table plus 6-12in on either side to hang off the table. I went with about 6in but if you like a longer tablecloth, make it longer. Then decide what width you want. Mine is about 14inches wide. It’s really just a matter of taste.

Here is the trick with burlap… it can kind of get out of whack rather easily and if you just cut, your table runner will end up looking super uneven. So, starting at one short end, decide where you want to make the cut. Then, pull that single string that runs parallel with the runner. Make sense?

Find the string. Pull.

Keep pulling as it gets scrunched up until the entire thread is pulled out.

This creates a perfect guide. Just cut in the space and then you’ll have a totally straight cut.

Ok so, instead of hemming, I decided I wanted to use trim. I picked out double-fold seam binding in a matching color. If you wanted to, you could use a decorative ribbon or even a contrasting seam binding, but I wanted it to be used for anything.

I folded the seam binding over the edge of the runner and hot glued it securely. (That’s the no-sew bit… if you really wanted to, you could sew the seam binding on. It might be faster… but you’d have to get your machine out…)

So I found it easiest to just glue on the back side, stick the burlap down and then glue the other side down. It helped to keep the lines straight. The corners I folded like the ends of gift wrap so they weren’t too lumpy.

All in all, the project was really simple AND really cheap- (two of my favorite things!) I like how it turned out and I especially like it with my autumnal pumpkin display.

love in a box

Greetings! Today, I am going to share a shadow box with all of you. I made this box for my brother and his lovely new bride, Melinda.

Their wedding was absolutely gorgeous!! For their gift, I wanted to make a shadowbox that was not only pretty to look at… but had significance to their day!

So. Here is how you make a Shadow Box.
Step 1: Purchase a Shadow Box. Mine looked like this:

I bought it from hobbs lobbs. I liked it because it looks like barnwood, which was, of course, a big part of this wedding.

Step 2: Create a backdrop. I used layer of weathered-wood printed paper, decorated with Rifle Paper floral accents (I scanned a journal, which was also part of the bridesmaid gift!) which as you might recall from this post was a big inspiration for the invites, etc. I overlaid the wood with swiss dot fabric from Melinda’s dress.

When creating a backdrop, think about mixing textures and patterns. Here’s mine:

up close detail

Step 3: Arrange, arrange and re-arrange. Take the elements and place them all over. Switch things out. Try again. I probably had this arranged 7 different ways, with different pieces that I ended up not using.
The best time to decide to make a shadow box is before the actual wedding. This way, you can take any items that you might be able to use (i.e. programs, or even table decorations once the wedding is over.) You will also be able to pay more careful attention to the ceremony (is there a verse you can use? a quote?) and the decor (can you replicate something on a smaller scale?) to have the most custom box you can create.

Here is a closer look at some of the details:

Inspiration pieces:
Gorgeous weathered barn.
Swiss Dot lace from the dress.
Clothespin details.
Wooden Signs.
A beautiful ceremony performed by Zac’s friend Reynolds.
Chalkboards.

A word of advice on adhesives:

Shadow boxes are created with multiple mediums. Different materials require different adhesives. For papers, use mod podge. Classic mod podge can wrinkle, so I recommend spray adhesive for a flat finish. I would not recommend glossy. A glue gun is ideal for heavier items, like the metal key and glass vase. If you were gluing wooden pieces, use wood glue. Proper adhesives ensure that your shadow box won’t fall apart upon arrival.

Anyway, there you have it: a shadow box tutorial. They’re all created differently and make a totally unique gift. If you have any questions about anything I made specifically, just ask!

Good luck and happy crafting!

long overdue…

Dear friends and readers,
Hello! I’m back!
I apologize for the unforgivably lengthy hiatus on this poor blog. I suppose I can sort it blame it on Tucker.

Yes, that’s right! We are now proud puppy parents and this our darling little boy. He is just over 3 months old and we’ve had him for about a month. He’s fabulous and we love him. However, I will never downplay the amount of work a new puppy requires! Here he is having his first bath.

Anyway, enough about the pup and on to craftier things!
While I’ve been gone, I’ve still been working on a project or two! Here is a gift I made for my friends for our trip to D.C. (which was fabulous of course).

I bought some little metal jewelry pieces from the hobs lobs for a buck thirty-four for a two-pack! Unbelievable! There were varying sizes, but I chose the 12mm to start because I think that small things are cute. So basically these little metal pieces have a pushed in center that is ready to be decorated with whatever you find and like the look of!

The cardboard that the piece came attached to had an “actual size” square printed on it, which served as a perfect template. I traced the template onto the background patterned paper. Then I cut teeny animals out of an old anthro catalog I had lying around. Using Mod Podge, Dimensional magic, I glued the animal to the background, initial stamped it and then pasted it into the metal piece. I filled in the rest with more dimensional magic, which looks cloudy while its drying.**Note: if you have bubbles in the glue, use a toothpick to drag them to the edge and then pop them.

This one actually had a small bubble, but since its above the mouth of the fish, I still thought it was slightly appropriate! I put a pearl on this one using my jewelry making tools. I think these square ones can also be turned sideways to make a bracelet. I prefer the necklaces myself, but there’s always room to experiment.

  If you want to try this at home, you’ll need:
Jewelry pieces found at hobs lobs
Old magazines or any sort of miniature pictures
Alphabet stamps, or even chopped up letters from magazines
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
A little imagination!

All in all, I really liked the way these turned out, and proceeded to make quite a few more in different styles. I’m still trying to find a way to print high resolution animal pictures on such a teeny scale, but it’s proving to be difficult with my resources thus far. If you find a way, don’t hesitate to share with the rest of us!

I will take this moment to say I am rededicating myself to this blog and there will not be such a long wait for more splendid things in the future! I’m sorry and I love you all.

Happy crafting!

a place to hang your pretty things

Hello! 
This is my first blog post of my first blog. My basic plan is to post creative projects as they come to me, so that everyone can see what I’ve been up to. I’ll try to offer helpful hints as well, so you all can try the projects at home! Some ideas I find on other blogs (which I’ll include links to, naturally) and some ideas sort of just come to me. So, without further ado and jibber jabber, here we go!

The problem: I needed a place to hang coats near the shoe basket and key rack. I wanted something that would match the adorable key rack my Grandma gifted me, without being overly matchy. I found an unfinished coat rack at Joann’s and bought it (with my 40% off coupon, of course). I covered it in strips of newspaper mixed with a water/mod podge paste. In the end, I didn’t exactly like the way it looked. I took a very pale gray/blue paint, mixed it with water and white-washed the whole piece. Once it was dry, I pained leaves on it with a subtle gold paint. 

I loved the idea of the shelf on top, since it meant I could decorate the rack however I liked. I found directions for the paper mache birds in a magazine, which are made with cardboard and blown out eggs. I white washed those as well. The bottles were a thrift store find. The word home was unfinished wood that I painted blue, then gold, then sanded the edges so a little blue and natural wood would come through.

I really like the way it turned out, and once we stuck it on the wall, it was as utilitarian as it was welcoming!

If you want to make this at home, you’ll need:

unfinished coat rack (local craft store)
newspaper
paint (white-wash color and accent color)
paintbrushes (one for mod podge, one for paint)
mod-podge (I used matte finish instead of glossy)

Good luck crafters!