Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Tutorial: How to Make Chalk Paint


Last weekend I participated in the very first Salt Lake hosted Vintage Whites Market. I participated in the event by teaching a calligraphy workshop. We had a blast. I had so much fun hanging out with some incredibly inspiring women (VWM, Shop Ruche and Gather & Hunt).

I was asked to do some chalk art for the entry way for admission and pricing, much like the one I did for Alt Summit. I didn’t have much time to do the lettering and unfortunately for me, it was a retro chalkboard with a sheen to it; impossible for actually chalking up.

I tried to prime the surface by rubbing chalk all over it, but nothing would stick. My chalk marker wouldn’t even make a mark, so I had to get creative. It was midnight and I needed to use what I had on hand. So I thought I would see how chalky paint would do. Here’s what it ended up looking like.

The paint worked well and I’m really excited about this new method – I couldn’t wait to share it with you. So here we go:

Make Paint out of Chalk

Soaking chalk was not about to work in the amount of time I had. So I researched. I realized I needed to phrase my query, “How to make paint out of chalk” as to try to avoid how to make your own colored paint that could be used for making chalkboards. Confusing, I know.

I found this tutorial, but I thought the technique lacking. I’m not going to rub chalk on my brush until I get enough chalk dust so I busted out the micro planer instead. Much faster.

I bet if you had a fine cheese grater or some sand paper, that would do, too.

I didn’t need a ton of chalk dust – I think for the large project I did for VWM, I used less than a stick and a half.

I mixed chalk and water a little bit at a time until I got the consistency of heavy cream and grabbed a brush I no longer cared for.

I’m sure you could do some really fun things with sponges and even food coloring. I haven’t tried yet.

I noticed the chalk doesn’t show up at first, but there was no need to run over each line twice. See below!

See how vibrantly the white chalk shows up after it’s dry? Again, no need to run over your lines twice.

It shows up so vividly on the chalkboard, but it’s just like regular chalk and erases with little to no effort. I don’t have a legit chalk eraser, but it came off just fine with a microfiber cloth. Bonus, right?

Now there’s a whole new way to participate in the chalking trend! We have the above chalk board in front of our house. It’s been since December that I’ve written a message on there (I would letter out different phrases each month). I think now that our front porch is clear of snow, I might start the monthly phrases up again.

Got any suggestions on greetings I should write on this baby?

Tutorial: Rear-View Mirror Love Notes


I made a little hanging white board for Chris’s rear-view mirror. Kinda silly, but I can write him all sorts of fun notes and hang them from his car rear view mirror for a little surprise as he leaves for work.


There are all sorts of ways you can make mini white boards, but I used all things I had on-hand, plus sheets of washi tape (yes sheets!).


DIY White Board Supplies

  • glue stick, invisible
  • bone folder
  • string
  • washi sheets
  • thick board
  • white paper
  • transparency paper

These supplies worked for me, but you could easily substitute: a popsicle stick for the bonefolder, paper and glue for the washi sheets, a few layers of cereal boxes or the back of a sketch pad for the thick board and clear plastic packaging for transparency paper.  If you’ve got it on hand, use it!


Glue up your board and carefully place your white sheet of paper on top.


Use a bone folder or popsicle stick to smooth out any bubbles.


Around the outside only, glue down the transparency sheet. Make sure it is firmly in place.


Cut your washi sheet about 1 1/2 inch larger than the width and height of your board. Remove the backing or evenly coat your paper with glue. Place your paper-covered board in the center of your washi sheet or paper.


In your hand, turn the board and sheet over and smooth out any bubbles with your bonefolder.


Clip off the corners, but about 1/8th of an inch away from the corner. This will make your corners look neater. Promise.


Bend the board, making the tape stick to the sides. Press tape neatly over top the transparency. It might want to buckle in spots.


Pinch down the excess over those corners. Repeat on bottom and sides until the tape is completely wrapped around the front side of your board.


Punch holes and thread string through the holes. Secure the string.


Write your message.


See how cute the back is? It’s such a simple project, but I could see this being a fun little game within a family or tight group of friends.

Write a little love message or compliment and leave it in their car, bathroom, etc for them to read. They can then erase and pass the love onto someone else. A perfect family activity for the month of February, if you ask me.

Washi tape pages provided by Lifestyle Crafts.


Handmade: Girly Christmas Gifts


I love making leather crafts and accessories, as you may know (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19). It’s a great material for long-lasting goods that look better with wear. It’s not terribly expensive, and especially affordable if you’re picking up scraps from a local upholstery shop (doing that is also very environmentally friendly – keeping good scraps from the trash).

But there’s no way to cut out leather quickly or perfectly without a few tools in your arsenal. I’ve found that cutting it with nice scissors, nice-side down gives a much nicer edge than cutting it regularly.

I was curious to see how the Epic 6/L Letterpress would handle leather, so I gave it a try using their knotty and nice kit. It’s pretty good. You need to work with 1.5 ounce leather or thinner, but that kind of leather isn’t too hard to come by. You’ll want to search for garment weight. Here are some suggestions:

pig splits | economy suede | gold lambskin | minelli sides | sheepskin

You’ll also want to remove the squishy padding from the die and add a piece of cardstock on top of the leather. It helps cut the leather all the way through. Even if it didn’t cut the leather all the way through, it was easy to finish my job with scissors. At least the die left a nice embossed edge along the top.

The top leather is a lambskin and the bottom is a cheap decorative suede that I found for 99¢ per square foot. It’s pretty ugly as a hide, but after making it into a bow, I’m liking this a lot more. I love how the gold peeks out of the inside of the bow.

With the one die cut I made a pin, a hair clip, a fascinator and a pony holder. I’m pretty stoked about using these. Penelope is, too.

I was unsure how a necklace would work or if the bow would stay in place, but because it’s made out of a heavier leather, it lays quite nicely. I made 7 bow-related accessories in about an hour. A great bang for your time/buck if you’re doing gift swaps this year, or planning out a bunch of girlfriend gifts.

I couldn’t resist putting this bow in Penelope’s hair this morning. She loves it. She also loves her new thrifted “saved by the bell” glasses.

Or is that an Erkel reference? I can’t quite remember. But they’re hilarious and awesome.

Now to figure out how to make my own custom dies.

*This post is not sponsored. Product provided by Lifestyle crafts.

Sponsored: Crafting with Penelope


This post is sponsored by Fun and engaging art and science projects in a box for kids aged 3-7, delivered monthly!

Connect with Kiwi Crate via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for new products, great ideas and exclusive deals.

We moved this summer, and we got to our new place too late to register Penelope for most of the local preschools.  There were a few options; one of them being a preschool that was 30 minutes away and charged $250 a month. Around Utah, that’s a LOT of money for preschool—when we lived in the SF area, $250 was unheard of everything started at $300+—and it would have been 2 hours of commuting for the kids and me.  I decided that it was better to spend that tuition money on a babysitter so I can keep up with the house/blog/craftwork a few days a week and focus on schooling and being present for Penelope and Felix on off-days.

Kate from The Red Kitchen gave me a few resources and we’ve been loosely following her preschool plan. It’s been great; however, I often don’t have the motivation to get creative with Penelope’s activities. Anything creative that I would do with Nelly is usually too much of a mess or would take more time to set up than I can spare. Penelope and I recently received a nice surprise from Kiwi Crate that lets customers sign up for monthly kids craft deliveries.  They sent me one of their seasonal crates, and it has been, as Finn the Human would say, Mathematical! The crate came packed with monotype supplies for decorating the included gifts and notecards.

Moments like these make me wonder why I don’t bust out more creative projects with Penelope. We need to take more advantage of her unbridled creativity.

Penelope made this present for Chris, and she’s super excited to give it to him for Christmas.  In keeping with our family’s recent Adventure Time fixation, she says that her print is a depiction of Jake the Dog. I think it’s amazing.

We had plenty of left over supplies, so we made a print transfer onto fabric and I embellished one of her shirts with it. Another very simple project, but she won’t take this shirt off. She knows how to make this mama proud.

Sponsorship aside, I’ve been incredibly impressed with Kiwi Crates. The quality of the materials are fantastic – they include real art supplies. They encourage real creativity without a dependency on licensed characters (Disney, Sesame Street, Etc). And no preparation is required: Penelope and I were projecting within seconds of the crate arriving on our doorstep. With pre-schooling Penelope and the inevitable long winter ahead, we’ll be using Kiwi Crate in the future.

Handmade: Triple-Wrap Magic Braided Bracelet


So I serve at my church in the young adult program for girls 12-18. Over the weekend we had a special annual program focusing on the things that they have done to further their strength in core values and principles. To celebrate the women who have finished the value program, we as leaders gave them a couple of special gifts. I hand-lettered and framed “I can do hard things.” and made them each magic braided bracelets.

I used the template I made for my magic braided bracelet tutorial, but lengthened the template times two. I used some blue leather I had on hand (also seen here) and button studs. I liked how they turned out so much I made an extra for me. I can’t wait to break it in. Wanna know the best way to break in a new leather bracelet? Shower with it on!

The blue is so pretty, I’m looking forward to pairing it with my recent jewel-toned finds.


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