Showing posts with label Tutorials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tutorials. Show all posts

Jun 22, 2014

DIY Hermes paper bags to download

Hemes bags - dreams, dreams. But, if you can't buy the leather bag, you can make paper one. Hermes offered the pattern of their famous Kelly bag. They removed the pattern from their site, but download it here.

Fortunatelly, the Jige clasp is still available on their site - here is the link to pdf file.

Just in case Hermes update their site and  remove patterns, here is the file (pdf).
Have fun!
Read more "DIY Hermes paper bags to download"

Jun 10, 2014

Macerate sage (and other plants)

I have small garden around my house, mostly flowers and smaller bushes. One part is reserved for vegetables. Have to say, not very successful -still didn't win the war against snails who are devouring everything green. Among few plants resistant to snails is sage (Salvia Officinalis) and I am proud to say the sage bush in my garden is more than meter and half wide and I was challenged to use sage in some other way than for tea or as a spice.

So, I decided to macerate the sage and use it afterwards for aromatherapy.

How to macerate sage (and other plants)

Macerating is rather simple process. I collected sage leaves (in the morning),  put them in the jar and pour virgin olive oil over the leaves (some other vegetable oil could be used as well). I will put the jar on sunny place, leave it for 4 weeks ( shake it daily). After that period, I will remove leaves and filter the oil. I am very curious about the result. At least, i will learn something new.

Read more "Macerate sage (and other plants)"

May 12, 2014

Side table remake tutorial

side table after makeover

side table after makeover

This side table is now living new life in my kitchen. I always need more space for the kitchen tools - thing left in the pantry are forgotten forever. Recently we made some refurbishment in the kitchen and i found a right place for the small side table. Remembered I have one old in the garage and decided to paint it. This is the result.
And short tutorial follows.

Tutorial how to remake an old side table

side table before makeover

This is the photo of the table before the remake, just to get the picture.


- usual suspects for this type of project: acrylic paints (including black school board paint), napkin and decoupage glue (for the black dots), primer, sanding paper, filler, brushes and roller, protective tape, stencils, transparent varnish for the final coat.

table with filler

Table came with the holes on the upper side - I decided to keep those in the middle and fill the ones on edges - used acrylic filler for wood. As the holes were cca 5 mm deep, put the filler in few steps. After each step, left few hours to dry. In the meantime, put the coat of primer on the table legs.

Once I was happy with the 'filler' work, sanded the table and painted it using cream white for the legs,  black paint for the upper side (school board black), red for the shelf.

Now, the best part of the work started  (at least for me). Used protective tape to get the stripes and then painted them with red color. 


For the stenciling and stripes used little sponge (you can see it on photo). What is important here is to dry the sponge before you use it for stenciling (or stripes) - meaning, put the sponge in color and then on the paper to get rid of the excess paint. With this approach you avoid leakages under stencil or tape and get the neat work.

For the black dotes I used such napkin and decoupaged it on the table sides.
Finally, put the two coats of transparent varnish, for the protection (not on the upper side of the table painted with the school board paint).

I had to put the photo of my trivet - I regularly use it when working on projects, it really helps to save the back.

Read more "Side table remake tutorial"

Apr 23, 2014

Wood stains - secrets, tips, how to apply

      Paint or wood stain  - what to use on the piece we are working on? And what is the difference?

     Wood stains are liquid pigments that dye wood, yet allow the grain of the wood to show through - in my opinion, that's the most important fact regarding the wood stain. They   bring out the work of the crafter. Paint, on the other hand,  covers up blemishes or less than ideal woods on a project. As a general rule, it takes more efforts and time when preparing the piece of furniture for stain then it is for paint, but I love to use it over paint whenever I can.

Types of wood stain

Wood stains can be water based, oil based or alcohol based, mixed with finely ground pigments. As for the paint, I prefer water based stain - it is much easier to clean the tools, and the dry faster. But,which type of wood stain to use depends also on the type of wood - for the most porous wood (almond tree, birch, poplar) any type of stain is OK. For other, less porous, alcohol-based ones are better. 

Regarding opacity, there are basically two different types:
- low-build wood stains allowing enhanced wood structure appearance
- medium or high-build stains that are rather opaque (something between stain and paint, not my favorite)

Stains are designed to soak into the wood, but those marked as outdoor form a thin film on the surface in order to protect the wood.


Good preparation is essential for the good results, especially in the case of wood stain. 
This means sanding, sanding, sanding - sand the piece you are working on a few times, using progressively finer grits of sandpaper (larger number  = finer grit).  For flat surfaces I am using sander - it is much easier. Usually I start with the paper grit 80 and finish with the paper grit 120. And remember, always sand with the  grit. Next step is to to get rid of all of the sanding residue. Use vacuum cleaner (with brush) first, then wet clothes (repeat the cleaning with the cloth as many times as necessary; after sanding, this is the easy part).

How to apply a stain

That depends on the type of stain. In the case of oil-based stains use  natural bristle brush, whereas a water-based stain could be  applied using a synthetic brush or a roller. Some crafters use clean cloth to apply stain, I tried this, but it didn't work well for me.
Whatever you choose, try to apply first on the part of furniture that is not visible. For closets, I am using the back side of it to test colors and patterns. For tables, i am using bottom side of the table. It is always good to test the ideas first, and then make final decision.

Protecting stain

I am usually always protecting the stained piece with the transparent varnish.
Be sure to read the instructions on the can before applying it, and  do not shake the can before applying it (as this introduces bubbles that could mar your surface).

Tips and tricks

a. In more porous parts of the wood (eg. around knots), the absorption of the tint will vary - to minimize that, if you don't like it, use pre-stain wood conditioner.

b.  Read the instructions before you apply the pre-stain conditioner or stain. In some cases,  you are advised to wipe the conditioner off after a few minutes, and then apply the stain within two hours. So you may have to plan your time accordingly. 

c. For water - based stains, before applying the first layer of stain, lightly wet the wood. This will help to produce an even spread of the stain.

Read more "Wood stains - secrets, tips, how to apply"

Apr 12, 2014

Vintage leather bag with photos

How to get affordable, vintage leather bag (and not to spend a fortune)? With this question on my mind I started to think how I could make one. And this is the result. I bought a piece of soft dark grey leather at a great price and decided to make vera simple, messanger bag but with the addition of 'quilting' like fabric on the cover - that was the most demanding part to do. Inside the bag I sew cotton fabric lining with pocketc on the both sides, front and back.

Short tutorial how I made the vintage leather bag

leather bag bottom

It was easy to sew the 'body' of the bag. The with of the bottom I achieved sewing 'triangles' - as for the jeans bag.

vintage quilting photo

I spent more time to make the fabric cover. First I planned and draw the lines and shapes on the fabric, just to have the general idea (this was changed during the work). As the photo of my family, including our pats of course, was the central point, I started with it and, piece by piece, added fabric, decoupage and stitches, and some buttons at the end.

This is the finished fabric part.

Now it was time to sew it on the leather cover. I used cloth pins to fasten two pieces together.

To sew the second piece of leather, used office clips as well to fasten them.

The final tas was to sew the cover to the body of the bag - not very easy, as I have just a plain sewing machine, but the usage of special needle for the leather was a great help.
Read more "Vintage leather bag with photos"

Mar 31, 2014

How to erase or remove background from your photo

Photos play important role for (almost all) bloggers, particularly crafters. For smaller pieces I use a large white cardboard as a background but furniture is always a problem for me, no such good place in the house to take a picture and be happy with the background. Recently I found this free software - Clippingmagic. For a long time I haven't been so thrilled with some product, and it is absolutely free. You don't even need to install it on the computer - just upload the photo and follow the instructions. It is extremely easy to use it, but if you need help, there are very detailed instructions.
Of course, there are some other products, Photoshop is one of them for sure, but it is commercial. And I couldn't get the satisfactory result using some other photo editing tools (not to mention the effort needed).

Some tips:

Take care to keep contrast between the main object and background you want to remove - it is much easier and faster to achieve the result (like on the photo above - dog is dark and the environment is light).

Update to this post find here.
Read more "How to erase or remove background from your photo"

Mar 27, 2014

Two chairs makeover - easy and fast

These chairs I have for a very long time. Put them on the balcony and didn't know what exactly to do with them - unlike my cat who  used them during summer to nap. I decided to finally refurbish them and it was rather easy and fast project. I really could have done it years ago.

Short tutorial how to makeover chairs

Above are chairs as they look like before makeover.

First step is, as usually, to sand the wooden parts. I  did it manually wit the sand paper grade 80 (moderately rough).  It is essential to thoroughly clean the dust using wet sponge or rag. If there are some grease stains you can use some dish washing liquid. 

As I wanted to achieve shabby look, used wood stain. Put two coats of green color low-build wood stains (acrylic, of course) and one coat of transparent varnish for protection. Allow each coat to dry before putting another one. For acrylic paint it is less then 30 minutes. And voila, chairs are ready.

Read more "Two chairs makeover - easy and fast"

Mar 19, 2014

How to organize your craft studio

Whether having large studio or just a corner in the kitchen, it is rather important to organize stuff - tools, materials, paints, on-going projects. Although I practise to use leftovers or supplies I already have for new projects, I can't resist to buy something new as well, some new strip, fabric, paint, beads ... And I am very frustrated when I can't find what I need (and know I do have it somewhere). So, it is spring, right time for the cleaning and organizing. There are a lot of beautifully  designed studios, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money or time at the moment and searched for the affordable, quick to implement, solutions.

Paper box with drawers - excellent for me, drawer lover - cheap, convenient, easy to setup.

I was using various plastic bags for leftovers and other material - and never knew what was where. So, I used ordinary transparent bags and sorted my strips and fabric - now I can spot immediately what I need. Jars could be used as well, but more place neede to hold them.

This awesome idea using cloth spines I found   here.

Actually, I have two 'studios' - corners where I am crafting - for sewing and for painting. This shelves used to organize tools for furniture makeover.

Pegboards are certianly my 'number one' choice to organize studios - so versatile and practical.
Read more "How to organize your craft studio"

Jan 26, 2014

Paper daisies

Until yesterday we've had winter I've always dreamed of - average day  temperature around  12⁰ C  (not recorded in the last 150 years). Today completely different picture - snow fell white color prevails outside. But this is not the reason not to enjoy the flowers, if only paper ones, even better, as we can play with colors and forms.

This paper daisy is easy to make, find the tutorial below.

Tutorial how to make paper daisy


- paper of your choice, glue, scissors, wooden stick or wire for the steam, cork

I trimmed cork to be cca 8 mm wide and cca 2,5 cm long.

Cut three pieces of paper 14 x 7 cm and cut the fringes. For the first layer fringes were 4,5 cm long, for the second one 3 mm longer, for the third layer another 3 mm loner.  

Put the glue on the part of the paper not 'fringed' and roll it around the cork. 

Repeat with the second layer - notice that fringes are 3 mm below the first layer. Repeat with the third layer.

Glue little button in the middle and green paper around the stick to get a steam and the flower is finished.

For more tutorials, look my previous posts:

Read more "Paper daisies"