Archive | June 2013

Tissue Poms and Flower Gift Toppers Courtesy of Lia Griffith



Mini Tissue Poms


Tissue Paper Flower Gift Topper

Did everyone have a wonderful Easter? My loft was bursting with family Sunday morning. My sister and I made a tasty breakfast while our four teens hunted for 125 filled Easter eggs. I think we may have had as much fun filling and hiding as they did finding the eggs. To continue with the sweet pastel, fluffy bunny tail and spring flower theme, (I am just not quite ready to be done with Easter) today I am going to give you a quick and easy tutorial on how to make these tissue mini poms or flower gift toppers. You may be seeing these poms show up again for party decoration in a future post. . . they are just too cute! I am seeing a perfect decoration for baby showers, bridal showers, princess parties and even Mother’s Day. So let’s pull out all that leftover tissue and make some of these pretty mini poms! ~ Lia

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Tissue Mini Pom Tutorial

Craft sources for this project: Tissue Paper | Scissors | The Twinery Baker’s Twine | Washi Tape | Hole Punch


MAGIC Decal Tutorial with Free Printables! Courtesy of The Painted Hive

Some of you may remember, a little while back I posted a tutorial for DIY waterslide decals.

Amongst other things, I mentioned how wonderful they are for creating custom embellishments without the need for any fancy pants equipment. Yep, waterslide decal paper is a truly fab product, though as great as it is, there is one drawback – although it’s somewhat tough it’s not especially durable. So, whilst it’s perfect for ornamental purposes, it’s not ideal for more practical applications….until now that is!

Magic decal coating paper is a product designed to be used in conjunction with standard decal paper to make the finished transfers durable – yes, even dishwasher resistant!

If you’re already familiar with magic decal coating paper then please excuse my tardy excitement, though for everyone else who is just getting to the party now too, feel free to start throwing the streamers!

My recently aquired assortment of SLOM jars from IKEA were awaiting some DIY craftiness and seemed the perfect victims candidates for my first magic decal experiment.

As there may be several brands of magic decal coating paper out there, each with slightly differing application requirements, for clarity in this tutorial I will specifically pertain to the particular product I used which I attained from here. The paper seems a little pricey though you can create several decals from one sheet so in reality the individual decals are actually quite inexpensive.

The paper I received came with three sheets of waterslide decal paper (distinguished by a blue watermark on the back) which you print your image onto, and three accompanying sheets of the magic coating paper (distinguished by attached translucent protective paper).


1. Image to transfer. Use anything you like. I made up my canister labels in Photoshop. I wanted them to be a bit different and quite typographic so decided to style them based on dictionary definitions (my artwork is attached as a free printable if you would like to use them – see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2. Inkjet printer.

3. Decal paper (blue watermark on back). Decal paper comes in clear or white. I’m using the clear paper because I want a transparent background around my image.

4. Magic paper (attached translucent protective paper).

5. Laminator. Basic laminators can be bought for around $20 from most office supply and department stores.

6. Scissors.

7. Water.

8. Soft cloth.

9. Item to embellish. As already mentioned, I’m using my plain SLOM jars from IKEA.

10. Microwave, oven or hairdryer.


1. Print your image onto the glossy side of your decal paper (DO NOT mirror your image) using an inkjet printer. Allow to dry thoroughly. I created my canister labels in Photoshop and have attached them below as a free printable (see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2. Separate the translucent protective paper from the magic paper. Do not throw the translucent paper away.

3. Place the magic paper gloss side up on your table. Lay the decal paper printed side down on top of the magic paper. Place the translucent protective paper gloss side down on top of the decal paper (the translucent paper is designed to act as a protective barrier of sorts between the decal paper and laminator heat).

Note: As my image took up the entire sheet of decal paper I did not need to trim around it first. If you are working with a smaller image you may wish to cut roughly around it with scissors.

4. Laminate your stack of three papers together on low speed and at low temperature.

Note: Laminating pouches are not needed. Laminating is performed to fuse the decal paper and magic coating together. Basic laminators can be bought for around $20 from most office supply and department stores.

5. Discard the translucent paper. Your decal paper and magic paper should now be fused together. Trim closely around your image – you can see it quite easily through the paper if you hold it up to the light.

Note: By nature, waterslide decals have a very fine, slightly translucent carrier film. On close inspection this will be visible on completed transfers. As my image is text alone with no border I experimented with techniques and found the neatest finish to be a nice even box (trying to mimic the outline of the text just looked messy). If your image has a distinct border then trim approximately 2mm all the way around it (leaving a small buffer ensures you get a good seal).

6. Dampen the back of the decal paper (watermarked side) with a cloth until it becomes translucent. Wait around 15 seconds then gently peel the paper away completely.

Important: Ensure you remove the watermarked decal paper only at this stage.

7. Quickly immerse the decal in a shallow dish of water to dampen the other side then position it, image side down, on your item, smoothing it down with your fingers and a slightly damp cloth to remove excess water.

8. Carefully slide off the backing paper and manipulate the decal into its exact position then continue to smooth it until it is water and air bubble free.

9. Finally, set the decal by either:

Baking in an electric oven for 8 minutes at 150 degrees celsius.

Cooking in a microwave for 5 minutes on low.

Blowing with a hairdryer for 5 – 10 minutes.

Although I was hesitant, I did find the courage to run these babies through the dishwasher (twice, just to be certain) and they didn’t show any signs of distress. I was honestly AMAZED! Of course, given I have only had them for a few days I can hardly vouch for their longevity so advise hand washing for frequent use.

As I mentioned, there is a very faint translucent background (which is the case with waterslide decals) though once the canisters are filled it’s barely noticeable.

I am super stoked with how these turned out – absolutely love! Don’t forget to download your complimentary printable sheets of labels below!


If you’d prefer the labels without the work you can now buy them in easy ready-to-apply format from my little on-line store here.

And excitingly, along with the PDF file, you can also now download the free PSD version of my labels below! Enjoy!

Spray Bottles DIY Project

This project is so simple.1. Remove labels from bottles. (You can soak them in hot water and dish soap for extra help)

2. Dry and clean

3. Pick your spray paint choices: Seen above is Satin Ivory. I Use Krylon Brand Spray Paint.

4. Spray paint box carrier too!

You get the idea…

Some spray painting tips… Cover area with newspaper or drop cloth first. Wear a mask or be careful not to inhale fumes. Don’t spray into the wind!!! Wait for your first layer to dry and stick the bottle on your finger to get a good coat around the bottom sides.

Aren’t these a cute, cheap project?

I usually like matte finish, but the glossy texture on some of these gives them a nice new sheen. And baby jars make the cutest little mini vases or containers!

I do have to note, these are not “safe” to use for any type of liquid consumption. They just look cool and won’t damage flowers or decorative pieces.

Cute idea right? Especially on a budget! You could do this for wedding centerpieces, parties etc… I have spray painted wine bottles, vases, jars… you name it, I’ve probably painted it.

Another idea for a centerpiece would be to take tons of different sized items and paint them one color and or have a line of vases down a table… you get the idea.

Bottle Cap Tray by Sweet Something Designs

If you plan to do this project, be aware that it is not a thrifty project…however it can be….bottle caps are recycled, trays can be found on sale….but the acrylic water, while not super expensive, is not exactly cheap. I have explained the process in the manner that I did it back then and I still use the tray to this day for exactly what I made it for. I have spilled coffee on it, sugar, made a mess on the tray and wiped it clean with a wet towel. What seems to be the biggest issues are that the acrylic is not hardening like mine did. I can not explain the reason behind it, other than the companies have changed their formula??? I do not know…my remedy for that is to spray a couple of layers of polyurethane sealer on it, that should get rid of the tackiness. So don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel, there is a solution for every problem…even in this craft project.

I like using trays for various tasks around the house and was on the look out for one to keep my coffee station area nice and tidy. Enter Hobby Lobby. HL is known for it’s deep discounts and that is where I found the most hideous pink glittered tray I have ever seen. (Vase is from Goodwill, it got painted too….) It was under three dollars and I could only hope that primer would cover up that glitter-gone-wrong!

Thankfully it did! I primed and painted it glossy white

Don’t ask me how I thought of using bottlecaps in the bottom of it…I really don’t know, I just wanted something fun and funky. I spray painted a whole bunch of them in my three favorite summertime colors, Blue Ocean Breeze, Ivy Leaf and Pumpkin Orange, and some white, all from Krylon. It actually took some time to collect this many caps, I wanted to do this earlier in the summer, it just took a while!

Just a word of caution if decide to try this project, make sure the handles are high enough, giving you plenty of room to contain the fluid and whatever you are submerging. At least half inch clearance.

I started laying the caps in and played around with the pattern until I was happy. The staggered pattern really worked with not too much wasted space (it wasn’t a perfect fit).

Next, I used what is called acrylic water to pour over the caps. Now this 2 part epoxy is sold at HL and Michael’s, but I found it the cheapest at Walmart, in their Floral Dept. I followed the directions, mixing the compounds and poured it on. It’s self-leveling, which is great! The tough part was waiting the 48 hours, because it cannot be disturbed at all, and my house is full of disturbances!!! 🙂 Luckily, the acrylic hardened without any incidents, and was ready for use!

It turned out really cute and retro funky, just what I wanted!! It will keep my coffee messes contained!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re inspired! I bet a lot of different things could be “captured” under the acrylic! Pictures or buttons, anything!

I’ve had some questions about some of the caps floating up a little after the acrylic was poured. A few tricks I can suggest: pour very slowly and watch for floaters. Use something like a skewer or toothpick to push the cap down (not your fingers). Also, “tap” the tray a few times too on the counter to release any air bubbles. Finally, if the floater just won’t settle, lift it out, let the acrylic settle into the space and then put the cap back down in the liquid. Any of these methods should work.

Old Weathered Paint Technique; My Bedroom Dresser

I’ll eliminate the small chat because this is going to be a long post.  Warning: lots of pictures.  Our bedroom dresser and chest were in desperate need of a re-do.  I have been putting these off for years-literally.  Not sure if I was scared to do anything to them because they were really the first pieces of furniture I ever had or I just didn’t know what to do.  Whatever the case, they have now been tackled.

As you can see, they were quite outdated.  I have separate plans for the mirror…I’ll share that later, but for now, let’s focus on the orange-y, yellow-y, supper glossy, coated in a 100 layers of varnish/poly dressers.

My original intent was to sand the finish off the top to get to bare wood.  This is my usual method of stripping the tops of dressers.  However, after nearly 30 minutes and about 5 sheets of gummed up sandpaper, here’s how far I had gotten.

Time to break out my dreaded enemy.  I hate, really hate chemical stripper.  To me, this stuff just makes more of a mess than it actually does help.  However, based on the layers of gunk on this piece, I was left with no choice.
I used these tools to apply.  The stripper eats the sponge brush, but it’s not so bad that I can’t finish one project.  I get these when they are on sale at craft stores for 5 cents each, so I’m happy to use it and dispose it and save myself the clean-up hassle.
 Here’s the stripper doing it’s thing….
Once it had set for a few hours, I used a plastic scraper to start removing the stripper/finish.  I always just use a piece of scrap cardboard to put the removed stripper on so it’s easier to dispose of.
After about three sessions of stripper, I wiped the top down with mineral spirits to try and remove any further residue.  Don’t be fooled.  Even after this step there was still gunk on here, so I sanded some more.
Finally, after many more hours than I intended, here’s the beautiful cedar wood that was hiding under all those coats of sealer.  I had good intentions of keep the entire piece wood and just re-staining it, etc.  But after the long process on the top, I threw that idea right out the window.  Time to paint this baby!
 But first I mixed up a stain that I would use on the top.  I had read various recipes for creating this stain, so I just went with a mix of some…steel wool (I used two pieces) and Apple Cider vinegar.  I put the steel wool in a glass jar and poured enough vinegar over it to cover the steel wool.  I let this set for 24 hours.
In the meantime, I filled in some holes on the top drawer, because I was replacing all the old hardware and had decided to use knobs here.  I just used some spackling we had on hand.  I wasn’t worried about it being perfect, because I knew I wanted the painted look to have texture to it anyways.
I went to my hardware stash and I decided on the pulls on the right below…slighting rustic, oil rubbed bronze look to them.
Then it was time to paint.  Bring on the Annie Sloan.  Not gonna lie…the idea of not sanding or priming this piece enticed me.  The body and the drawers got a sloppy coat of old white.  I did not paint with the grain.  I painted in short strokes going every which direction so that it would have texture in the end.
 You can see the brush strokes in every direction below.
  Next, I used Chateau Gray to paint the edges of everything, so that when I distressed, this color would peek through those areas.
I followed that by another haphazardly painted coat of old white.  I then used my orbital sander with a 220-grit paper to distress this piece.  I absolutely love how the ASCP distresses.  Towards the top right of the picture below, you can see the Chateau Gray peeking through.
Next up, using an old t-shirt, I gave it a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax.  I worked in sections on this step, so that nothing would dry to quickly.  For instance, I worked on one end of the dresser or one drawer at a time.  After rubbing on the clear wax, I put on a generous coat of dark wax with my wax brush.
 You can see how heavy the coat is here….I sorta grab the brush with my fist and work in circles in all directions really working the wax into all the crevices/textured areas.
After the dark wax is applied, I then use the old rag with more clear wax on it and buff off or rub off the dark wax.  What is left behind it a lighter coat of the dark wax and you can also see the dark wax in all the little nooks, crannies, and crevices.  The pictures below are an example of rubbing on the heavy coat of dark wax, and then taking some of it off using the clear wax again.  This process leaves you with the perfect weather look.
Here’s another example.  This is an example of a drawer that has been through the entire wax process, shown beside a drawer that has not been waxed at all.
 Here’s a close up of how the wax stays in the textured areas.
Okay, now let’s go back to the staining issue.  I went to my stain that had been ‘marinating’ for 24 hours.  I through the steel wool out and was left with the very stinky liquid.  Nervously, I used an old rag and rubbed this on my dresser.  Probably should have tested this on something, but I was feeling bold!
 As soon as I put it on, it starting get blotchy.
Very blotchy.  I was scared. As it dried though, the blotchiness went away and I was left with the entire piece looking like a very light, dull gray.  The color was good, but it definitely needed some wax to make it pop.
 I used three coats of clear wax on the top.  I wanted this thing to be extremely durable.  I did the exact same process for the chest.  Both pieces got a thorough cleaning and then I added the hardware and re-assembled it all.  I ABSOLUTELY love the look I ended up with.
 The picture on the left below shows texture that was creating by kind of smushing by brush onto the piece while I was painting.  The one on the right is the texture that was creating by painting with brush strokes going in a variety of directions.
 This picture shows the Chateau Grey coming through and some of the distressing.