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Michaels Makers

Maker Monday: Peaches from Aunt Peaches

The best Mondays are Maker Mondays! Peaches from Aunt Peaches is our highlighted Michaels Maker  today and she shared with us a look inside her world of art, photography, crafting, DIY and more.

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Peaches is the artist and author behind Aunt Peaches, dubbed “the Citizen Kane of craft blogs” by the Huffington Post. Always on the lookout for clever ideas, Peaches shares creative and inexpensive how-to projects for those who love where they live. When she isn’t busy making, styling or photographing handmade goods for magazines and design sites, she is busy removing cat hair and glitter from her lint trap.

1.     When did you start crafting?

I don’t know that it ever started. It’s always been there – always. My earliest memory is painting the bathtub as a toddler. I was lucky enough to have parents who were very liberal with the art supplies! And there was never a shortage of creative people in my family or friends. Later in art school, my formal training extended into other concentrations, like sculpture and photography, but deep at my core, I have always been a glitter and glue kind of girl.

2.     Describe your ideal environment to create a craft project.

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Someplace where I don’t have to worry about being messy! A place where I can see everything at the same time. In my project room, all of my table surfaces are covered with easy-wipe oil cloth, all of the walls are covered in bulletin boards, and all of the drawers are wire mesh so I can see what is inside and access it with one hand. For me, being able to reach and grab with one hand is critical as my other hand is usually covered in paint or something. Like I said – I’m messy!

3.     What is your favorite type of craft?

It comes in waves. This summer I have been big into tie-dye and duct tape – both are super easy and you can get colorful, high-impact results without spending much time or money. I’m always big on making flowers out of coffee filters, and up-cycling leftover containers and packages. An embarrassing amount of my kitchen is devoted to storing empty egg cartons and tin cans for craft purposes. I can’t help it.

 4.     What craft tool can you not live without?

PHOTO 3Tacky glue. There is an entire drawer in my project room devoted to Tacky glue and affiliated products. I know a good thing when I see it.

5.     What inspires your blog posts?

Anything and everything. That said, I have a strict rule that I only create things for the blog that I need/want/use myself. Sure, I give a lot of things away, but this rule puts some parameters on how I spend my creative time. You won’t find me staying up late to make a garland or something just because I need content for a post the next day. Right now, early fall, I’m big on organizing, so you’ll see some things along those lines. For Christmas I do a lot with creative giftwrapping, and stuff that’s easy to make and give away. I guess I take most of my dictation from the seasons. Mother Nature knows best!

6.     What project have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t tackled yet?

I have an old blue guitar that needs to be covered in rhinestones. IT NEEDS IT. For some reason I keep putting it off for fear I won’t be able to do it justice. But now I think it might be time. That blue guitar deserves a prom dress all her own.

7.     What project are you most proud of?

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I decoupaged my old white plastic kitchen cabinets using newsprint and special mix of Mod Podge and other adhesives. I waited a whole year to show it on the blog because I wanted to be sure it was durable, and it is. Nearly 3 years now and they are holding up just great.

 8.     What project was your biggest craft fail?

One time I attempted ‘reverse tie dye’ by bleaching a pair of dark purple curtains and I used way too much bleach. The curtains came out 95% splotchy yellow, and everything smelled and tasted like a swimming pool for days. Haven’t touched bleach ever since!

9.     Describe your craft style.

Whimsical. Colorful. Not interested in perfection.

10.  What is your favorite craft trend right now?

Pattern mixing. It’s been big for a couple of years now, and with NY fashion week just wrapping up, all signs point to it continuing in popularity. My favorite pattern combinations; florals and stripes, tie-dye and gingham, Christmas plaids with gold lamé (okay, isn’t a pattern but you get the idea!), and I love the look of rough burlap next to the sparkles of vintage gold. Yachting stripes (stripes alternating white and one color in equal thickness) look fresh and interesting just about anywhere. This is a great time for people who love pattern. Minimalism is not my thing!

11.  Who is your favorite person to craft with?

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My cat Lolabelle is pretty helpful on the craft front. She likes to sit and watch me work – it keeps me on task. And sometimes she likes to model.

Tie Dye Book Covers with Aunt Peaches

Our friends at I Love to Create teamed up with Aunt Peaches to bring you this awesome Tie Dye book cover project – just in time for back to school. Check it out!

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Textbooks are expensive. Many teachers advise their students to cover their books to minimize damage. Also, book covers just look cool! Traditional paper textbooks covers are great, but not nearly as durable as fabric. These no-sew tie dye book covers offer an endless variety of colors and patterns, and what an awesome way to keep your books in great shape all year long. Let’s get started!

2-tie-dye-fabric-book-coversChoose a different color for each book, or perhaps a designated color scheme for every person in the family. The possibilities are endless.

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Materials:

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When you open your Tulip One Step dye kit you will find several plastic squeeze bottles, each filled with a small amount of pigment powder – simply add water and shake. Your dye is ready to go! You will also find four pairs of gloves and some extra durable rubber bands. No need for mess or extra materials.

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Inside your kit, you will also find an instruction booklet on how to achieve a variety of tie dye patterns. Beginners may want to start out free-form, then move up with each new project. Warning: it’s a little addictive.

6-pinch-twirling-fabricTo achieve a random sort of spinning pattern, pinch the fabric in the middle then swirl until the entire garment is enveloped. Use the provided rubber bands to secure in place.

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Use your Tulip One Step squirt bottles to soak different areas of your fabric with dye. Segmenting each color will create stronger patterns, but layering dyes of similar values (like blue and purple) will create additional variations in colors. Set inside a plastic bag and let it set overnight.

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After removing rubber bands and rinsing with water, throw your newly dyed fabric into a washing machine on the hottest setting with a teaspoon of detergent. Dry as usual. Now stand back and admire your work!

9-size-of-fabric-on-bookTo cut your fabric to size, cut a rectangle that is wide as your book plus 10”, and twice as tall as your book plus 1”.

 

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Fold the fabric into one long tube that is just barely as tall as your book. There should be a 1” overlap seam running down the middle.

 

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Use your Fabric Fusion glue to draw a thin line down the middle. Press to secure and allow to dry for at least one hour.

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After the glue has dried, slip the fabric tube over the front and back cover of the book. To achieve a smooth finish, you may find it easier to pull back the covers from the spine (sort of like the wings of a bird) then slip the cover on all the way, then close the book as usual.

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And there you go! Leave as is or use fabric paint and markers to make a design on the front and spine.

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