DIY Craft: Button Monogram Art
Ella is an individual, so why not create some artwork for her bedroom to express that? We decided to try buttons in the the shape of an “E”. Buttons are one of those ubiquitous items you find at a flea market, thrift or antique shop. Jars and tins of them in every color, size, material and shape; they can be old and new. If you don’t have buttons and want to try this project, then take a trip to a fabric shop and you’ll discover an ample assortment and supply. Let your daughter choose the ones she likes best and together you can explore your crafty side.
Buttons are essential for this project and so is a good frame. Again, you may choose a frame in the vintage or modern style your daughter likes best. Bring new life to an old frame with spray paint and gloss. We chose something subtle and traditional to suit Ella’s taste. We printed an “E” in the scale and style we liked, then used it as a template to trace and cut for our monogram art. You can get quite fancy and elaborate with art papers beneath the buttons, but it’s not necessary, just a personal choice.
The final steps involve arranging, re-arranging and layering your buttons with hot glue. Let the glue harden, remove your glue “webs”, and there it is! Once it’s dry and solid you can complete the framing and hang it somewhere in full view. An “E” for Ella and which letter is special to you?
DIY Craft Projects: Pennant Banner, Dry Erase Message Board
Three Cheers for the Home Team! A banner of handmade paper pennants is an easy-to-make decoration that uniquely personalizes your child’s room. These simple triangular shapes are signs of honor and victory; traditional as souvenirs from a favorite team or special place.
How to Make a Pennant Banner:
1. Pick Your Paper or Fabric: Choices at a fabric or craft store are wonderfully endless—just make sure you’re choosing papers in a heavy weight (ie: poster board or card stock) and fabrics that are relatively thick (ie: felt, fleece or canvas). Choose a single solid color, color theme, patterns, or a mix of solids and prints.
2. Cut Your Shapes: Use scissors, X-acto knife or utility blade to cut your materials into uniform pennant-shaped triangles in the size of your choice with at least an 1” tab of extra material on the straight base of the triangle for wrapping around your line.
Pennant Tip: For extra sturdy pennants that may be suspended and viewed from both sides, cut out two (2) matching triangles. Use a fabric or white glue to adhere the backsides together. Some of you may prefer the hot glue gun, but the extra globs and stringiness can get messy.
3. Build Your Banner
To build a garland (or banner), lay each pennant along a piece of strong ribbon, yarn, twine, clear fishing line (heavy filament) or string, point them down, then fold or wrap the top +1” tab of the pennant end over the line and staple (or hot glue gun) it in place. Alternatively, you can avoid messy glue by punching small holes in the top corners of each, then threading the line through the holes.
4. Decorate with Pennant Banners
When your pennant banner is ready, hang it front and center in a child’s bedroom, play room or other living space. Hang it on a wall or across a room for a festive cruise ship or sporting event-type effect. For an outdoor party, hang them from a tree, trellis, fence, porch or doorway.
Experiment with pennant sizes small to very large. Your child(ren) will LOVE them! They are fun gift ideas too. Shown below in a Young America room featuring our Harbor Town collection.
The other project shown here is the DIY Dry Erase Message Board (above and to the right of the hutch). This is great way to recycle old picture frames. You can use a frame as is, or if you want a fresh, new look, spray paint frame(s) in the color of your choice - white, black or a fun color to coordinate with or complement the room. Insert various scrapbook paper into photo frames and mix patterns, colors for a fun look. Once the glass is put in place you can use the glass surface for writing with dry-erase markers. Write homework reminders or fun weekend plans with friends.
Print versions of our DIYs can be found in Young America Design Guides.
image: Classroom DIY!
DIY Craft Project: Sun Prints
If you LOVE Blue like we do, then you’ll love these bright, beautiful Sun Prints (aka: cyanotypes) for your child’s living spaces. All you need is a sunny day, a few elements of nature - handpicked from your yard or collected on a nature hike - water, and light sensitive paper. It’s a project that suits even the shortest of attention spans, your child’s or your own, with very satisfying results.
For our project, the Young America crew chose to work with plants and beach shells on sun print paper. Here’s a shot (above) of the beautiful results - each print mounted, framed and hung on a wall. We’ve also seen collages, mobiles and other hanging art with sun prints of all sizes in varying shades of blues.
6 FUN STEPS TO SUN PRINTS
Step 1 – What you need
sun print paper*
cardboard or paper towel
a tub full of cool water
fun and interesting nature objects to print
*There are many sources of sun print paper. Art and craft supply shops often carry it. You can also buy it online: Dick Blick, Blue Sunprints, Sunprints.org, Steve Spangler Science, and Fat Brain Toys or go to Amazon.com and enter “Sun Print Paper”.
Step 2 – Arrange objects on a piece of sun paper out of the reach of the sun.
For best results, arrange your objects on the paper and prepare your print indoors or under a porch where the sun cannot reach the paper. Direct sunlight causes quick exposure of the paper. Ambient light in the shade or a room with big windows will cause slow exposure of the paper.
Step 3 – Place an acrylic pressing sheet (ie: plexiglass) on top to flatten and hold your items to the paper
Use an acrylic pressing sheet when making prints of flat or almost-flat objects to help sharpen the edges between blue and white in your print. Ambient sunlight outdoors will find its way underneath the edges of your objects if they are not pressed firmly to the paper, and you will get sun prints with blended contrasts.
Step 4 – Take your sun print composition outside and place it in direct sunlight for 2-5 minutes.
The areas of the paper exposed to the sun will fade from blue to white. When you see most of the color disappear from the paper, your print has been fully exposed. If no direct sunlight is available, don’t worry – just expose your print a little longer and wait for the same fading effect. Under cloud cover, the process will take 5-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the clouds.
Step 5 – Rinse your paper in cool water. Watch the white turn into blue and the blue turn into white.
It’s magical! To get the deepest blue, leave the paper in the water for awhile: 1-5 minutes.
Step 6 – Lay your sun print flatly on paper towel or cardboard and allow it to dry.
Putting it on something absorbent will help to avoid the formation of water spots by drawing the water away from the sun print paper. By the time the water has dried you will have a vibrant blue sun print!
Children are fascinated with the magical transformation of blue to white, then white to blue. It’s an art and science project all in one! Have fun and please share your results with us on Pinterest or Facebook.