Button Initial Canvas Art

Gifts are probably my favorite thing to make. Not because of the cost {often it is more expensive to make a gift}. They are my favorite because I love personalized gifts. They are one-of-a-kind and really warm your heart when you hang it on your wall.

This post is about a simple and beautiful gift I sent to my friend who had her second baby – a girl! I debated what I could send down to celebrate the birth. Finally, I landed on initial art for the nursery – technically it is something that can grow with her because it is not too baby-ish.

Two - toned initial art for the nursery.

Two – toned initial art for the nursery.

I used a 6 x 6 artist canvas, Martha Stewart Taffeta Pink craft paint, Liquitex Basics Magenta acrylic paint, Elmer’s glue and some pink buttons of various sizes / shades (sold in a bundle at Michael’s Craft Store).

The instructions are pretty basic; start off by painting the canvas – the face of canvas is pure Pink Taffeta, while the edges are a blend of Pink Taffeta and Magenta. I used Microsoft Word to find the perfect font, and exaggerated the font a little with the buttons. I chose not to seal the canvas before putting the buttons on so the glue would be better able to grip the canvas texture.

I chose to test out this initial art for my cousin’s baby son.  Pretty Happy with the end result! Major differences are that this canvas is larger than previous {4×6} and I used Martha Stewart Wild Blueberry paint in satin on the entire surface. Bonus is that this is also a great gift for toddlers and tweens! Personalization goes a long way!

Initial art for the nursery - boy

Initial art for the nursery – boy

Headbands & Hairbows

I find that I absolutely adore headbands, bows, or other such items that fancify my hair. It makes me feel quite feminine and beautiful. Rather than purchase headbands or bows for $10 + I chose to make some. Just in time for my sister’s birthday too. The last time I experimented with headband making she loved the outcome so I thought to stockpile her with lots of pretty options.

Here are the headbands that I  made. There are two bases that I used, the first type was a thin fabric band courtesy of Hobby Lobby, and the other is a wider, plain clear plastic from Ben Franklin. Neither are really expensive. I prefer the pre-wrapped fabric kind. It’s a much neater, cleaner look than the clear band, which had to be wrapped with double wide tailors lining, which can be found at any craft or sewing store.

The accents were made with a variety of techniques. On the far left there are four flowers made of felt, I cut circles in varying sizes, then cut into the circles following the curves and proceeded to glue them back together in the same fashion. Hot glue is quite messy with felt so, do be careful when attempting this or use a different type of glue. I was unsuccessful with any fabric glue that I found so I stuck it out with hot glue, despite the burns on my fingertips.

The black blob second from the left is super fun to make and I would love to make more of this style with brighter colors as this can, depending on one’s hair color, fade away in the mass of hair. Again, the material is felt, cut into two strips, and folded lengthwise (hot dog style), then snipped on the folded edge. Using the same concept as the previous flower, adhere to  itself in a circular fashion. There is a taller length of felt in the middle with a shorter one on the outside, this is then fixed to the headband with a small felt circle on the opposite side of the band.

Polka dots! These rosettes are the same ones as seen on the far right, just different sizes, and colors. Similar rolling style as the 1st headband, cut fabric length desired tie a firm, small knot at the top and glue to felt circle, continue to tightly twist in on itself while going around the circle, use as much glue as desired to achieve different looks.

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Burlap. It is so rustic, traditional, beautiful and a complete PAIN the arse to work with. Essentially it falls apart in your hand. This bow is too adorable not to make out of burlap for my hippie sister. Regardless of the pain I endured and several  ugly attempts, I successfully created the burlap bow headband! It is adorned with a thin strip of ribbon followed by a thin strip of pearls! I gave her a giant Mason jar to store all these goodies in!

At the bottom of the Mason jar were these bows, attached to hair clips and bobby pins, easy to add to any hairstyle! Some of the bows are felt which are much sturdier than plain fabric.

These rosettes are pretty easy to make I decided to test out different fabrics; tulle, silk and cotton to see what other fabrics I wanted to use for the future. The tulle was nice and light, while the cotton seemed a little too rigid for a subtle hairbow.

Housewarming Gifts – Wall Decor

A close friend and I decided to team up together and make our mutual friend some gifts for their new condo. These were pretty simple gifts that add a lot of character to a blank canvas that is a new living space. With a “quick” trip to Hobby Lobby we ultimately decided we would make two signs. First we needed some blank canvases as our backdrop and then we stumbled upon some hard fabric pre-made words. Traditional “Live, Laugh, Love” and “Welcome.” We called our friend to confirm color schemes in the house and chose our paint accordingly. We chose three coordinating purples (though in the end two of the darker colors look similar), and a bright Martha Stewart-esque blue.

My accomplice in this sneaky project had some leftover cream spray paint from an earlier project so we took our canvas to the pebbled backyard and went to town, leaving a nice cream square on the rocks for my husband to find! We put that aside to dry and started in on the words. We each took a word, learning from each other that we should paint the tricky exterior corners first and THEN paint the solid front of the word. Everything dried and we glued on the words aligned left with some Elmer’s spray adhesive, which I certainly do not recommend for this type of project. Perhaps it was the materials we used but it was messy and didn’t adhere well. After a small debate about who would FREEHAND the period at the end of the phrase, with a shaky hand, I held my breath and hammered it out. Your eyes do not deceive you, the “Love” word has decided to stray from its friends and is a tad crooked.

For our next trick, we decided to paint the canvas black. We didn’t want the sign to be too stark in its blackness so I used a trick that my Artsy mother taught me. White-washing, or so she calls it. Basically we took a fairly wet brush and swept the black paint across it leaving some exposed white canvas to accent the piece. Once again we painted the connected letters and adhered with glue. We let the art pieces dry overnight and then brought them to our friend on the night of her housewarming soriee. Both her and her boyfriend, LOVED the art.  I think they were most excited about the colors and that they immediately had something to hang on their bare walls!

Super fun to make, though not overly original in the concept none the less it is a really nice gesture to new homeowners.

{Simply Charming}