Our friend Kristi from Making It in the Mountains pulled together ten wonderful bloggers for this fantastic Great Crate Challenge using the wood carry all crate, found right here at Michaels! Check out all these awesome ideas.
Creating a photo transfer on wood is simple. In fact, if you’ve ever used Silly Putty to lift an image from the Sunday comics, then you understand the basic idea behind this easy technique. Instead of using Silly Putty to pull the image from our paper, we use gel medium.
First, find an image you like and print it on a laser printer. If your picture has words, you may want to flip it horizontally (think mirror image) before you print it.
Next, find the perfect piece of wood. I used a Basswood Country Round® from our Wood Crafting Section, but you can pick up wood at any home improvement store. You may even find that perfect piece of wood at home in your garage.
Cut out your image to match the size and shape of the wood, and you’re ready to get started.
Spread the gel medium on in a thick, even coat. I used Artists Loft™ Acrylic Gel Medium, but you can use any gel medium you like.
Make sure the image is face down. Then, smooth it out with a brayer or your fingers. Some bubbles and creases are okay – they add character to your artwork.
Note: Try not to get gel medium on the backside of your paper. It will only make it harder to pull your paper off once it dries.
A few hours should do the trick, but you may want to leave it overnight.
The next day…Use a damp washcloth to rub the paper away, but be sure not to rub your image too hard. You don’t want to take your picture away with the paper.
There will be some paper residue left behind, so continue to work with your image until you get it exactly how you like it.
You may also paint, stain, or sand your project to give it a more personalized look. You can even add another layer of gel medium to create a clear coat, or add brackets to hang on the wall.
Have fun with it!
Ok everyone, gather around. It is time to learn about the history of bird cages.
Wait! Come back! Don’t fly away just yet. I know, I know…the history of bird cages sounds like the beginning of a long-winded, and possibly made up, story you hear from your grandparents. I mean…it’s a cage. For birds. End of history, right? I am happy to say I was proven wrong thanks to thanks to Richard H. Randall Jr.’s research article, “A Gothic Bird Cage”. I am always ready to learn new things and Randall’s article definitely taught me more about bird cages than I knew before..
Looking through the different bird cage products and projects from Michaels I had to wonder…when did the idea putting birds in cages begin? When did we start using them as decoration?
In Randall’s article, he discusses how many ancient Greek vases depict tall wicker cages characteristic in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. He also mentions different symbols associated with bird cages. For example, he describes an early Christian sarcophagus from the Vatican cemetery that looks like a domed bird cage with the bird sitting on top of it, signifying that the soul of the person had been liberated from its earthly prison.
Wood and wicker were the most common materials used to make bird cages in medieval times. The wicker cages had a conical or rectangular shape and were hawked by peddlers along the streets. Iron cages were also common in the palaces of Louis XI and Isabella of Bavaria. In 1379.
Charles V of France had decorative bird cages made out of “gold and silver filled with birds of enamel and precious metals, set with the finest gems. These minute birds were sweetly perfumed, and the cages hung in the wardrobes and chambers of the palaces as sachets.”
Apparently the idea of decorating with bird cages has been around a lot longer than I thought. I know for a fact that I could never rock a bird cage hair style but I might be able to pull off a few bird cage decorations in my apartment.
If you want to try to bring a little of this history to your own home, Michaels has several projects that continue the history of bird cage décor. Why not try making the Bird Cage Bamboo Wind Chime, Turquoise Bird Cage succulent display, or Bird Cage Lanterns.
Have fun incorporating bird cages into your home décor!
With the holidays just around the corner, we teamed up with a few of our favorite bloggers to Think Beyond the Frame this season. We sent each blogger our Studio Décor® festive ornament frames in a variety of shapes and colors and asked each blogger to dream up five creative ways to use the frames in unique ways this holiday season. Take a look at what they came up with, it’s sure to inspire you too!
Whipperberry came up with 5 beautiful ways to use the ornament frames. From napkin rings to gift tags and even a beautiful wreath. Click through to see more ideas!
Sugar Bee Crafts made stocking holders, place settings & more!
Craftaholics Anonymous spray painted the frames for a more modern look. Love it!
Eighteen 25 incorporated scrapbooking stickers, ribbon and little premade stockings for quick and easy gifts.
Lil’ Luna had some unique ideas too! Aren’t those photo gift tags precious? What a great way to give two gifts in one!
Skip on over to our Holiday Style DIY Pinterest board to see all of the ornament frame projects and more DIY inspiration. What are you making this season?
A few weeks ago some of our favorite bloggers teamed up with us to host our Pinterest event at Michaels locations across the nation. In the spirit of the season, they also hosted Pinterest parties at home with their friends. It looks like everyone had a great party and made some awesome projects to kick off the holiday entertaining season. Take a look at some of our favorites:
Skip on over to our Pinterest board to see the rest of the blogger’s Pinterest Parties & crafts. Pin less, make more. What would you make at your Pinterest Party?
When my brother and I were kids, we used to love playing with our Star Wars action figures out in the garden. So, when I saw how popular terrariums and figure-rariums have become on sites like Pinterest, it immediately took me back to the little worlds we used to create (and then destroy) with our action figures.
Below is my take on re-creating some of these fun little domains. Hopefully, you won’t want to destroy yours when you’re done.
Setting up a terrarium is easy. Here’s how to get started:
Find the perfect container, and be sure to wash and dry it completely. I found this one in our Home Decor Department.
Step 1: Add potting materials (rocks and soil).
Your rock layer should be about an inch thick. Gravel, stones and craft-store pebbles can all be used for drainage. You may also want to mix some charcoal in with your rocks to keep things smelling fresh. Something I forgot to do with my terrarium. : /
The soil layer should be about 2-3 inches thick, depending on the size of your largest root ball.
Step 2: Add plants.
Dig your holes, insert your plants and then firm up the soil around each plant. You can find plants for this project at any nursery or home improvement store. And if you really don’t trust yourself with live plants, Michaels has all kinds of life-like plants to choose from.
Note: You may want to consider consulting someone with a green thumb before choosing your plants. I called my Mom, because she just knows about this kind of stuff.
Step 3: Create a scene.
This is the step where you add the fun! I included a few different looks to give you a better idea of all you can do. I used Safari Toob figures from our Kids Department, and painted the dinosaurs with Liquitex® Spray Paint to give them a different look. The other figures came already painted.
You can also finish off your project with a Basswood Country Round® to give it a more complete look.
Another note: You may want to consider using a drop cloth for this project. Something else I forgot to do when building my terrarium.
Oh, and terrariums make great holiday gifts.