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crafting

Handmade Animal Magnet Tutorial

I recently attended the wedding of my childhood neighbor (Congrats Kayla & Steve!).  I truly enjoy going to a wedding or event that has every little detail thought out and presented in a unique way and this couple did not disappoint.  The theme was whimsical woodlands meets fairytale love story.  They did an amazing job and their wedding was really a true representation of their personal style.

One of my favorite details of the wedding was the seat card holders for the guests.  Each seat card was displayed upright in between a mini animal toy figurine which was cut in half with a magnet attached on the inside of each end.  I guess my kids found these little figurines just as enjoyable as I did since I woke the following morning to a screaming match over whose new toy it was. Since I only had one to spare, the only solution was to make my weekly trip to Michael’s a little early and get the supplies needed to re-create these little woodland gems.

Here’s what you need:

  • Plastic mini animal toy figurines (I got mine at Michael’s)
  • Sharp knife
  • Fine sand paper
  • Non-toxic paint or spray paint
  • Magnets
  • Clear glue (I used gorilla glue as well as hot glue to really secure in place)

Picture 1

Step 1:

Picture 2Take the plastic animal of your choice and vertically cut the animal in half.  If you notice that the edges of your animal are a little rough after the cut, take a fine grain sand paper and sand the edges so that they are nice and smooth.

Animals with magnetsStep 2:

Connect 2 of your magnets together (its easier to work with them already connected first).  Take your gorilla glue and dab a little on one end of your magnet as well as a little on the flat side of the animal.  Hold the magnet in place on the animal until dry (30 seconds – 1 minute).  Repeat this step on the other half of your animal.

Step 3:

Start hand painting or spray painting both sides of your animal and let it dry completely before moving to the next step.

Step 4:

Animal Seat Card HoldersOnce the paint has dried on your animals, use a glue gun to seal around the edges of the magnet.  This adds some extra adhesive to make sure that your magnets stay in place.  Once the glue has dried, your magnets are ready to use.

This is a quick project that will add some whimsical fun to your home or next event.  The magnets are a unique idea for seat cards at your next dinner party, a perfect way to display photos or décor for a birthday and they also look great on the fridge (just in time for all the lovely artwork your kiddies will bring home from school).

Animal Magnet Card HoldersTry this project next time you are stuck in the house with your kids on a rainy day.  Complete steps 1 and 2 on your own and then let your kids use their creativity to paint the animals the colors of their choice.  It is a great way to educate your children on their animals or dinosaurs, they get to explore their creative minds with some crossbred species of animals and you will have some pretty cool magnets to hang all their beautiful artwork with.  Picture 8

Just one wedding guest who appreciates the little details that make a stylish wedding, Thia 

Share your kids creative animal masterpieces with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch

Handmade American Flag Lanterns Perfect for July 4th

 

With 4th of July rapidly approaching I wanted to create some red, white and blue party décor that I could use at our family celebration this weekend.   I headed over to Michaels Art & Crafts and after a little while cruising the aisles hoping to find some inspiration for my decor, I came across some jumbo sized mason jars.  This particular brand, Ball, is made in the USA and I thought they would make a great base for party lanterns.  I knew I needed an American flag displayed somewhere at our celebration, so I decided to paint the stars and stripes on the jars to create handmade American Flag lanterns.

This project was very simple to craft and the added bonus was the wallet friendly cost at the end!  Follow our easy steps to create your own American Flag inspired lanterns.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Mason Jars (any size will do)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paint for Glass (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint)
  • Circular Foam Brush
  • A Mini Star Lever Punch
  • Rope (a thin size for the base of the Mason Jar and a thicker size for the handle)
  • Clear Glue
  • 3 Candles (make sure these will fit into the nape of your jar)
  • Sand (optional)

Step 1:

Clean the outside of the mason jars with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt on the surface before you begin painting.  Let them dry completely.

Step 2:

Once the jars are dry to the touch, you can begin placing your painters tape.  Since I had blue and red paint, I placed the tape where I wanted the white sections to be.  I took the lever punch and started punching little stars into the painters tape and placed each star on the jar one at a time so they were evenly spread out all around the surface.  I then started placing the stripes down on the other 2 jars making sure they lined up but also eyeballing it as I went.  Rub your finger over all the tape to ensure it is securely in place.

Step 3:

Start painting the blue paint onto the jar with the stars and the red paint onto the jars with the stripes.

**Note** – I ended up using a circular foam brush to apply the paint because on my first try with a brush all you could see where the brush strokes when I was finished.  I switched to the circular foam brush and applied the paint in a dabbing motion and this presented a more smooth finish when the paint dried.

Let the first coat of paint dry completely.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint dries really quickly, so that was ideal for me to complete this project in an hour and a half.

Step 4:

Once your first coat of paint is completely dry, you can then apply your second coat.  Let your second coat of paint dry completely.

Step 5:

Once the paint is dry, remove the painters tape.  You may need to clean up the edges of your lines a bit in case any paint bled under the tape.  I used a cotton swab for this process.

Step 6:

Use a sealer to place over your jars so that the paint that you applied will stand the test of time.  Let the sealer dry completely.

Step 7:

Now that your sealer is dry, you can start adding the rope to the nape of your jars.  I used a hot glue gun with clear glue to secure the rope in place.  Begin with one layer of the thinner sized rope for the bottom of the jar neck to the top stopping along the way to secure with glue.  Next cut a small handle (or large depending on your preference) out of the thicker sized rope and glue each side of the handle to the mason jar.  Finish with one more layer of the thinner sized rope over the handles.  Repeat this step for the rest of the mason jars.

This American inspired party décor is an inexpensive way to put a unique twist on your celebration and it will last for many years to come.

– Just one proud American whose heart beats true for the red, white and blue, Thia

Share your July 4th party decor with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch

Repurpose Old Picture Frames with Nautical Burlap Art

Quickly Create a Cool, Coastal Look Inspired by the Waters of Maine Without the Hefty Cost

For under $15 (if you have frames on hand to reuse) you can make your own wall-art using easy to find items like: burlap, paint and stencils.  Without old frames on hand, I purchased new ones by cruising the sales and clearance sections of Home Goods and Kohl’s.  For $25, I found 4 frames that would work great for my project.  Less than an hour after starting these mini masterpieces (including drying time), I had an entire wall of art ready to hang.

Here’s what you need for your wall décor refresh:

  • Burlap Material
  • Stencils of your choice (Martha Stewart has some great templates)
  • Acrylic Paint color of your choice
  • Assorted sized paint brushes
  • Frames (if you do not already have them)

Step 1:

Take out the picture filler from the frame and use that as a template to cut your burlap to fit nicely into your frame.

Step 2:

Take your stencil of choice and place it on top of the burlap piece.  Grab a few heavier objects such as a paper weight, thick book or even a rock to hold the stencil in place while you are painting.

Step 3:

Grab your smallest paint brush, dip the tip into your paint color and then begin painting in your stencil.  I like to use a dabbing motion when painting on burlap because of the different directions of the material, I find that you have more control dabbing as opposing to regular brush strokes.

Step 4:

Once your stencil has been painted onto the burlap, remove the stencil and touch up any areas that you would like.  When you have finished, allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5:

When the paint is dry, take your burlap piece and insert into your frame.  This will look great with or without the glass in the frame.

This burlap art is a great way to create unique art on a budget.  Perfect for party, seasonal or holiday decor, try this project at home and transform your living space without making a dent in your wallet.

– Sharing design inspiration from my home to yours, Thia

Try this project for your home revamp and share your final product with us! Via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us on social using#amazingmatriarch. 

Colorful Mommy & Me Boho Bracelets Tutorial

Create This Nordstrom Inspired, Mommy and Me Look with Our Amazing Matriarch How-To

The bohemian trend consistently reminds me of warmer weather.  I tend to stock my summer wardrobe with a lot of boho-esque pieces.  I love the comfort and  freedom of the loose, flowy fabrics when the temperatures soar.  With little effort, you can rock your inner bohemian goddess and look put together at the same time.  That’s a win win for any mom in a rush.

Recently, I came across some really fun, colorful, boho-chic bracelets at Nordstrom and I was inspired to recreate the look for less.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that these bracelets are very easy to make and look store bought. As I noticed my daughter picking them up and putting them on the moment each was completed, I decided to make her a matching set that fits perfectly.

Here’s what you need (all can be found at Michaels or your local arts and crafts store):

  • Different Variations of Colorful Beads
  • .5mm or 1mm Stretchy Elastic Cord or String (I prefer clear so you do not see the string when the bracelets stretch apart)
  • Closed Jump Ring in the Finish of your choice
  • Embroidery Floss in the Colors of your choice
  • Clear Glue

Step 1 – Stringing the Beads:

String the beads of your choice on the stretchy elastic cord.

**Tip**

Keep your string attached to the roll until you have completed stringing the beads.  This will help keep the bead in one place.  Once you have finished stringing the beads, tie a knot at the end where you inserted the beads, leaving about 1.5 inches from the knot until the end of the string so as to tie the sides together at the end.  It’s better to be generous and leave more string than less as you can always cut what you don’t use. If you don’t leave enough room at the ends then you will not be able to secure the beads properly.

Step 2:

Once you have finished stringing your beads, double knot the cord on one side (so the beads are held together).  Next, take the pair of scissors and cut the other side of the cord that is still attached to the rope.  Be sure to leave at least 1.5 inches from the end of the knot to the end of the string for the final tie.  Double knot that side of the cord so the beads do not slide and are held in place.

Step 3 – Making the Tassel:

Take an embroidery floss color of choice, that is already looped (most already come this way).  Grab your scissors and cut the floss in the middle of the loop.  Take one end of the floss bunch and wrap some clear tape around the tips.  Insert the taped side of floss through the middle of a closed jump ring.  Once the floss is inside the ring, cut a 3 inch piece of floss and wrap it around the nape of the thread (below the ring), securing with a double knot.  Next, remove the tape at the end of the tips and cut the tassel to your desired length. 

Step 4:

Once the tassel is complete, take one end of the clear cord and insert it into the middle of the tassel closed jump ring.  Finish your bracelet by securing with a surgical knot.  I like to apply 2 surgical knots and finish off the bracelet with some clear super glue to insure that the knot does not slip out of place.

These bracelets are perfect for infusing a little boho into your summer wardrobe or accentuating your swimsuit while sitting on the beach or by the pool.  Plus, they attract lots of compliments.  Make this your next mother and daughter project on a rainy day, not only will you love them but your daughters will be so excited to have a matching pair!

If you love these boho bracelets but don’t have the patience to try the look for less, here are a few of my favorites:

Just one Bohemian bringing colorful accessories to your summer wardrobe, Thia

Try this project at home with your mini me and share your experience with us via Facebook: Amazing Matriarch, Instagram: amazingamtriarch or Twitter: @AMatriarch;  Tag us using#amazingmatriarch. 

Kidgits is Calling All Young Foodies for 1st Annual Lil Chefs Event

Kidgits

The Simon Malls Kidgits Club is whipping up some creative cuisine and loads of fun with this first annual event for Lil Chefs. On Saturday, May 16th, 2015 from 12pm – 2pm, children will experience, hands-on, the endless possibilities of food pairing. At the end of the day you can expect a new generation foodies to emerge. Hosted in the Macy’s Center Court at the South Shore Plaza (250 Granite Street, Braintree, MA), there will be a variety of food focused activities including:

Never too young to learn to cook
Never too young to learn to cook
  • Healthy Snack Ideas
  • Decorating Desserts
  • Food Samples
  • Disney and Lego Activities
  • Design your own Chefs Hat Craft
  • Kidgits Club Members will receive a Free Chefs Hat & Apron

All Kidgits are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the event to be donated to The Braintree Food Pantry to help those in need.

The Kidgits Club, which recently launced at the South Shore Plaza, is a fun and interactive program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3-8. For more information on how to become a member, visit www.simon.com/kidgets.

Crayon DIY Wall Art for Kids and Adults

If you’re looking for an easy project that takes less than an hour (for young attention spans) that kids will love, try crayon wall art. Use your imagination and for under $10, you’ll create a masterpiece with melted crayons on a canvas.

Materials:

  • Crayons
  • Glue & Glue Gun (you can use any type of glue)
  • Painters Canvas (12×12 or 11×14 canvas is a great size)
  • Embossing Heating Gun (you can find one for under $20 at your local craft store)
  • Cardboard box

Step 1:

Gather up the crayon color combinations that you want to use in this project.

Step 2:

Begin gluing each crayon side by side in whatever formation you want them to go.  I prefer to glue my crayons at the top of the canvas to give it a more uniform look but this is art, there is no right way to do it.  Use your creativity.

Step 3:

Once your crayons are glued onto the canvas, you can begin the heating process.  To get the look that I produced, I recommend putting your canvas in an open cardboard box so that it leans against one side of the box at an angle (plus having it in a box will prevent a mess).

An Epic Rainbow, One Student Commented
An Epic Rainbow, One Student Commented

Step 4:

Power on your heating tool and point it at an angle about 3-4 inches away from the tips of the crayons (pointing the heating tool too close to the crayons will cause it to splatter rather than drip downward).  It may take up to 30-45 seconds to heat up the crayons and you will have to do this in sections as the heat won’t reach all the crayons at once.  I like to point it at the tips only to prevent the heating tool from burning the crayon paper (it is much prettier to look at when the paper doesn’t burn).  I usually heat the crayons until the tips  melt away.  **TIP – If you notice a little smoke coming from your project don’t worry, just pull the heating tool away for a few seconds or move on to another section of crayons to give the area a break before completing the melting process.

Take the show on the road and be the hero of your kid’s preschool class.  Since this is an interdisciplinary project that taps into art and science and appeases curious, young minds, my son’s pre-k teacher let me lead his class in creating Crayon Wall Art.

I knew this would be fun, and the finished project pretty cool, but what I did not anticipate were the varying interpretations that the kids had of the art they created:

  • An epic rainbow
  • A melting rainbow a.k.a. Melty
  • A dripping rainbow
  • Melting colors

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

– Adding a little color to brighten your day, Thia

Chic, Whimsical, DIY Décor That’s Quick, Easy and Wallet Friendly

Whenever I throw a party or get together, tissue paper pom-pom’s are always my go-to decoration.  They are easy to create, you can find the materials anywhere and they are really chic and beautiful.  When hung from a clear string, these pom-pom’s give the illusion that they are floating midair.

These easy breezy tissue paper pom-pom’s added a beautiful pop of color to my daughter’s room; instantly brightening the space.

Follow these simple steps and you too can create these cheery pom-pom’s for your home or next get together.

Materials you need:

  • A package of tissue paper (you can get this wherever gift wrap and greeting cards are sold)
  • Floral wire (preferably silver or white cloth)
  • Scissors
  • Clear monofilament string (i.e. fishing string)

 

Accordion Fold

Step 1:

Take your tissue paper and start making 1-1.5 inch accordion folds, making sure to crease each section as you go.

 

 

Accordion fold with tie

Step 2:

Take the floral wire and slide it around the center of your now tissue paper strip then twist together to hold in place.

 

 

Rounded Trim Corner

Step 3:

Take the scissors and trim the ends of the tissue paper in a rounded or pointed shape.

 

 

 

The final stepStep 4:

Take one layer and separate it by pulling toward the center.  Repeat this step for each layer of tissue paper on each side.  Adjust the layers so that it forms a pom-pom.

 

 

Finished productStep 5:

Take the clear monofilament string (a.k.a fishing string) and attach to the end of the floral wire.  Once completed, your pom-pom is ready to be hung.

 

 

 

 

– Adding a little warm spring cheer to melt away the winter snow, Thia

 

Create a Kitchen Measurement Cheat Sheet in a Flash

I don’t know about you but whenever I cook a new recipe, I am constantly reaching for my smartphone to Google  measurement conversions.  No matter how often I cook, my mommy brain gets the best of me and I can’t remember common kitchen measurements.

The other day, when I was out for my bi-weekly trip to the craft store, I came across a display of chalkboard painted plaques.  I thought, this would be a perfect piece to create a kitchen measurement chart. What I didn’t realize was how quickly this draft would come together. In less than 20 minutes my measurement conversion chart was complete.

You too can create a sweet little chart of your own in under 20 minutes for $5.00 or less, here’s how…

List of items you will need:

  • Chalkboard painted plaque (or a wooden plaque, primer and chalkboard paint to create your own)
  • Chalk or a chalk marker (I chose the marker because it has a finer tip)
  • Ribbon of your choice
  • No Damage Hanging Strips (for pictures or frames)

Step 1:

If you are painting your own wooden plaque, paint it with one coat of primer and once dry apply the chalkboard paint.  I would do 2 coats waiting in between until fully dry (this adds to the overall competition time).

If you purchased the pre-painted version of a plaque, bypass this step.

Step 2: 

KC Chart with textFind a good conversion chart online and use your writing utensil to copy this onto your plaque.  If you mess up, no worries.  Take a wet paper towel or cloth and wipe it off (I had a bit of trouble once the chalkboard marker had dried but I grabbed a magic eraser, scrubbed really hard and that did the trick).

 

 

Step 3:

Adding RibbonTake your ribbon of choice and insert each end into the pre-drilled holes (back to front) of plaque.  Pull the ribbon through the holes and tie the ribbon into a bow.  I like to use wired ribbon because it is easier to arrange the bow in place.

If there are no pre-drilled holes in your plaque, you can either drill 2 holes yourself or you can make your bow first and then glue it on your plaque (glue dots also work great).

Step 4:

Command StripsRemove the wax paper backing and place 4 pieces of damage free hanging strips (adhesive side down) onto the back of the plaque.  Press the other 4 strips (adhesive side up) against the already situated ones and press down until you hear a snap.  Decide where you want to place your plaque.  I was going to put mine on the inside door of the cabinet where I prepare the meals; instead I chose the wall below my cabinet, it was too pretty to hide.

 

 

 

 

And there you have it.  A kitchen measurement cheat sheet in under 20 minutes!

final chart

Just one home cook helping to make your time more efficient in the kitchen, Thia

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