Monday, January 28, 2013

For the Young & Old at Heart

Here is a little Valentine's project I did with my daughter's class when she was probably in 4th or 5th grade (she is now a junior in high school). It is a fun project for the students, but takes some extra prep work on the mom's part (you have to paint the boards and pound the nails in place).

Today I decided to make a grown up version of the project.  

Let me walk you through the steps so you can help your kids get started  
and then make one for yourself.

Begin with a board of your choosing - short, long, square, painted or natural.  It's up to you.
Cut a heart out of paper.  Place the heart on your board and with a pencil lightly make a mark about every inch all the way around the outside edge of your heart.  Lift your pattern off the board.  Using small nails (about an inch in length), hammer the nails on the pencil marks.  Only hammer the nails in far enough to hold them in place.  Also be sure to keep them all at the same height.

Once your nails are in place you can begin to wrap the nails.  In the kids project I used a shiny silver floral wire and fluffy yarn.  For the grown up version I decided to use rusty wire and jute, both items I had on hand.  A wire that is about 26 gauge is ideal for this project.  Begin by securing your wire around one of the nails.  I did this by twisting the end of the wire around the nail and then around the wire.  Start to wrap your wire around the nails.  Move from one nail to the next, sort of in a figure eight pattern, making sure to wrap the wire at least once around each nail.

Once you get back to where you started - don't stop, keep wrapping the wire all around your heart several more times, pushing it down lightly on the nails.  When you are satisfied with the amount of wire on the nails, you can add another type of wrap.  Such as yarn, ribbon, jute or even another color wire.  For this particular project  I chose to use jute. Tie the jute to one of the nails and begin to wrap it around the nails, again, moving all the way around your heart.

You can embellish your board by modge podging some words of love or adding other little trinkets and treasures. 
(Oh, I added instant coffee to my modge podge to give it an antiqued look - I just love that look!)
Some old sheet music and the words 
"A Song of the Heart can never be caged,"
a piece of burlap  and rusty washer complete the look of my heart board.

 My finished project - don't you just love it! 
Go make one of your own.....I'd love to know how it turns out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vinyl Snowman Record

I came up with this cute idea for reusing vinyl records a few years ago.  I sold them many years at local craft show and they were a big hit.  So since we are in the midst of winter, I thought I'd share my design with you.  Maybe you can make a few snowmen to brighten up the humdrum of winter and if you are lucky it will begin to snow!
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Vinyl LP record
All purpose sealer (I used Delta Ceramacoat)
Acrylic paints – cream, black, burnt orange, very light pink
Paint brushes
12’x1’ plaid homespun or fabric of choice
Hot glue
Snowflake stamps
Walnut stain (I use Minwax walnut)
Drill and small drill bit (3/32 or 7/64 works fine)
Spray sealer – satin finish
8” of dark 19 gauge wire


1. Drill 2 small holes at the top on the record for the wire (about 2 inches apart)

2. Attach wire – run wire through drilled holes, forming a half moon, then twist wire to hold in place.  Wrap any excess wire around a pencil to curl and let it hang.

3. Seal the label on the record with paint brush and acrylic sealer. 

4. Draw the snowman body on the record (make sure the head is positioned on the record so the wire hanger is at the top center)

5. Paint snowman body using cream acrylic paint (you may need several coats)

6. When dry, paint the snowman face:
*cheeks (dip your fingertip in a little bit of light pink paint & rub it around where you want the cheeks to be.)
* mouth (use black paint and thin paint brush)
* nose  (paint nose before eyes so you know where to place the eyes, use burnt orange)
* eyes  (black, hint:  make sure they are close together, it looks better)
* buttons - black x’s or you can hot glue on real buttons

7. Stamp snowflakes around the top of the record using cream colored paint.  Let some overlap on the snowman or hang off the record.  Don’t overdo it. Less is more.

8. Once the record is completely dry, stain over the entire surface with the walnut stain using soft cloth (I use an old t-shirt).  Wipe off excess stain.

9. Spray entire record with a clear sealer (satin).

10.  Hot glue fabric on the record for the scarf. Cut the end of the fabric in half about 3 inches in and then tie a knot.  This will divide the scarf so when you glue it on that end will hang like two ends of a scarf.  Start hot gluing with the knot of the scarf at the one end of the snowman’s neck.  Continue to bunch up the scarf fabric as you hot glue until all the fabric is bunched around the neck or your snowman.

The PDF version of this pattern can be purchased on my Etsy store by following the link at the top of this page or you can also purchase already made snowman records in my Etsy store as well.

Note: © lpeterson 2012. All rights reserved. This pattern may not be copied, redistributed or resold in any way. You may use this pattern for personal use and for making gifts. You are also welcome to use it to make records for craft shows and bazaars, but please give "GrassyBranchFarm" credit when selling items made from this original pattern. Thank you. 

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