Tag Archives: tutorial

DIY: Wreath

DIY Wreath | Tiffany Lane Handmade

This project is so quick, simple and cheap! Just the way I like ’em.

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own wreath, there’s no reason to wait. Head over to your nearest craft or hobby store. Right. Now. I’ll wait.

All you need is a wreath starter, mine is grape vine, and some florals and/or other garb of your choosing, hairspray or other spray adhesive, then top if off with some ribbon, twine, rope to hang it. Easy as pie.

But for those of you who need structure, here’s the breakdown in an easy to read format.

Time: 15-30 minutes

Materials
wreath starter (grape vine, foam, etc.)
florals/decorations (dried flowers, feathers, moss, etc.)
scissors
spray adhesive

ribbon/rope/twine

Process

Weave/attach your florals/decorations into your wreath starter until it’s perfect. You may need to weave and/or trim the ends back through the wreath on the backside so they don’t stick out too far. Spray with adhesive, especially if you used dried flowers, so everything stays in place. Tie your ribbon/rope/twine from the backside, being sure it’s long enough to allow the wreath to hang as low as you prefer.

Wah-lah!

DIY Wreath | Tiffany Lane Handmade

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DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board

DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board | Tiffany Lane

I love that this project is so easy and versatile. Grab a picture frame, revamp it or not, add some fabric or paper for the “photo” as a background, and write on the glass with dry erase marker.

Not that I don’t adore this photo of my brother and me from way back when…

DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board | Tiffany Lane

…I just needed an old frame to give a nice makeover to.

So I gathered my supplies to freshen it up a bit. Frame, check. Paint, check. Paint brush, check. Cardboard, check.

DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board | Tiffany Lane

Gave it a couple of coats of paint and some time to dry…

DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board | Tiffany Lane

DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board | Tiffany Lane

…then I wrote away.

DIY: Upcycled Picture Frame to Dry Erase Board | Tiffany Lane

Great for food and drink party menus or love notes to your family at home, you can do so much with this idea. You can change out the background for whatever mood you’re in, too!

The most simple thing you could do with this idea would be to draw silly things on your pictures at home, no frame revamping necessary! Mustaches, party hats, funny notes. This could get dangerous…

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Filed under Crafting, DIY + Tutorials, March National Craft Month

DIY: Candle Making (Again)

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Katie and I made these candles earlier this year and for her birthday I decided to make her a special one with the 2 pounds of soy wax flakes I had at home waiting for good use.

In my browsing for something to give her, I found this bowl at Anthropologie, one of her favorite stores.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Materials
Wax Pouring Pot
Large Metal Spoon
Soy Wax Flakes
Wicks &Tabs
Essential Oils

Container

What To Do

The first step is to measure your wax to make sure you have enough. Per our calculations, the wax flakes melts down to about 5 ounces per cup or 21.5 ounces per pound. For Katie’s candle, the bowl will easily hold about 2 cups of liquid.  For ease of calculations I went with 15 ounces of liquid as my base, requiring about 3 cups of dry flakes.

Before melting my wax, it’s a good idea to get the wicks ready. Since they don’t like to stand up on their own, I used tape to create a sort of divider, keeping them in place and something for them to lean on.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Melt the flakes a cup at a time over low heat, then take the pot off the heat and add any essential oils for scent a teaspoon at a time.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

Once the wax cools, I’ve found the scent dissipates a little, so I made the warm wax stronger than I actually wanted the candle. For Katie’s candle, I decided on orange eucalyptus and ended up using 1 1/4 teaspoons eucalyptus and 3 1/2 teaspoons orange essential oils. Keep in mind that some essential oils have color and others are clear. Orange essential oil is definitely orange in it’s concentrated liquid state, but will turn a pale yellow once the candle has cooled.

Pour almost all the wax into your container, reserving a little to top it off once the initial pour sets.

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

The initial pour tends to dimple or crack since the volume of the wax doesn’t cool evenly, but a thin top layer should cool more evenly preventing dimples and cracks. It will take a while for the initial pour to cool.  Once cooled, remelt your reserve wax, if necessary, and top off your candle. This layer cools much more quickly as there is less wax to cool.

After the top layer has cooled completed, you can remove the tape (or whatever you used to hold your wicks in place) and trim the wicks. As a finishing touch, I added some babies breath flowers and fern hairs. Wallah!

Candle Making | Tiffany Lane

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Spring Crafting

outdoor shelves craft - inspired by charm Photo Courtesy of Inspired By Charm

It’s been Spring for more than a month now, so I hope you’ve had a chance to do some Spring cleaning, or at least added it to your to-do list, or at the very least thought about it.  I did some cleaning out a couple weeks ago, tossing clothes, shoes and beauty products I no longer wear or use, and it felt great!

But as cleansing as Spring cleaning can be, crafting is so much more fun!  Gear up for some craft inspiration and head over to Pinterest’s DIY & Craft section as well as my Pinterest DIY Project board.  Check out my crafting section right here on the blog too!

I always have lots of ideas on my craft to-do list.  Right now I’m looking forward to making a few bug repellent soy wax candles for the backyard, luggage ID dog tags, a workout shirt from old t-shirt, an essential oil diffuser, a pallet coffee table, wine bottle candles and wine bottle candle covers (with our new bottle cutting kit).  What’s on your craft to-do list?

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DIY: Candle Making

candle making 11 - tiffany lane

This is just another one of those DIYs that I am asking myself why I waited so long to do.  Candle making is so easy, it just takes a little prep work and patience.

These adorable little jar candles will be favors at Katie and Jon’s wedding next month.  Neither of us had made candles before and luckily Katie did a little research beforehand so she had the appropriate hardware available (which I wouldn’t have since I failed to do the research, way to go Katie!).  For candle making supplies and tips, check out Candlewic.com.

You’ll want to get a wax pouring pot and have a large metal spoon on hand as well for stirring.  In addition, you’ll need wicks and tabs.  It’s easier to purchase wicks with tabs already attached and there are also a few different types of wicks, two of which I am familiar with.  Katie bought cotton wicks with no coating, which are a more economical route, especially if you’re making 120 candles.  One of the drawback is that they do not stand on their own so you either need to purchase wick holders or reset the wicks as the wax hardens.  We did the latter and it turned out just fine.  On the other hand, I have some cotton wicks coated in wax at home, which are a little more pricey, however they are more sturdy so no resetting or holders needed.  The burn time may also vary depending on wick coating and braiding.  A bunch of factors come into play with regard to burn time and Rustic Escentuals has a pretty good write up if you’re interested.  Below is an example using the wick holders, which we ended up not really needing, but they do help.

candle making 5 - tiffany lane

Another tip regarding the wicks and tabs: using a tacky glue, adhere the wicks/tabs to the bottom of your jar(s) before pouring in your wax so they don’t shift.

candle making 1 - tiffany lane

Speaking of the wax, it would be helpful to know how it melts down, measurement wise.  We chose to use soy wax flakes, (but you can also use wax blocks ) and as you can imagine, measuring a cup of dry flakes melts down to a considerably less amount.  We measured 10 dry cups of flakes melting down to approximately 50 ounces, about 5 ounces per cup.  But since the wax is measured in weight versus volume when purchased, you may like to know that we also measured 20 pounds of wax melting down to approximately 430 ounces, about 21.5 ounces per pound. We made 123 3.5 ounce candles in 4 ounce jars.

candle making 2 - tiffany lane

We found that the most efficient way to melt the wax is a cup at a time, adding a cup of dry to the already melted wax, up to about ten cups.  One cup melts much more quickly than ten at a time as too many flakes all at once just clumped together.  But when you pour a cup of dry flakes into already melted wax, they don’t clump at all and since each flake is surrounded by hot wax, they melt exponentially faster.

candle making 3 - tiffany lane

Once the wax is melted, take it off the heat before adding your scent since you don’t want your scent to burn in any way.  Apparently there is a particular heat to reach or not exceed when melting your wax, adding your scent and pouring, but we didn’t get that scientific.  Winging it worked for us.  We used a scent made particular for candle making, but you can also use essential oils, which I plan to try out soon.  Eucalyptus anyone?

As far as how much scent to use, our scent suggested anywhere between 2% and 8% scent to wax.  Using our approximate average of about 6% scent to wax, 32 ounces of scent made all of our 123 3.5 ounce candles.

candle making 7 - tiffany lane

When pouring your wax, it’s helpful to keep a paper towel or napkin on hand since the wax may drip off the edge and down the side of your pouring pot.

candle making 4 - tiffany lane

Also keep in mind when pouring your candles to leave a little room in the top of your jar or mold after the first pour, because it is recommended to top it off with a thin layer.  Basically, the wax will harden as it cools, but many times the top layer will be wavy or have air bubbles; however, when you are pouring a very thin top off layer, the wax dries more evenly since it is such a small amount of wax.

Wax beginning to harden after first pour:

candle making 6 - tiffany lane

Hardened wax after first pour (notice the dimpling?):

candle making 8 - tiffany lane

And after the top off layer dried:

candle making 9 - tiffany lane

Then just trim the wick:

candle making 10 - tiffany lane

And your done:

candle making 11 - tiffany lane

Stay tuned for an upcoming bottle cutting DIY where we upcycle empty food jars and bottles to candles and candle covers!

P.S. – thanks for not minding my cell phone tutorial photos.  We made the candles on a whim (sort of) and neither of us had our actual cameras.

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Filed under Crafting, DIY + Tutorials, March National Craft Month

DIY: Rubber Stamps

This is a project I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while now.  Why it took me so long to actually do it, who knows.  Especially because this project is so simple and inexpensive!

Active Time: 15-30 minutes

What You’ll Need:

DIY rubber stamps 1 - tiffany lane

What To Do:

Draw or stencil your design onto the eraser.  As you can see in the photo below, I erased my drawings a few times!  I definitely should have used a stencil.

DIY rubber stamps 2 - tiffany lane

Now it’s time to cut out the negative space of the eraser.  I like to trace my design first, then cut away the rest.  When making your first cut, try to use a straight edge of your drawing (if you have one) and cut down about half way into the eraser.  Carefully carve out the rest, being sure to cut away from your body and fingers so you don’t stab yourself like I did. Guess I still haven’t learned my lesson from all those times I thought I could defy the inevitable, decided to cut towards myself and of course stabbed or sliced my hands and fingers.  Some things never change.

DIY rubber stamps 3 - tiffany lane

Once you’ve carved out your design, clean up any strays (I had lots!) and you’re ready to stamp.

DIY rubber stamps 4 - tiffany lane

DIY rubber stamps 5 - tiffany lane

DIY rubber stamps 6 - tiffany lane

Maybe next time I’ll make a chevron stamp!  What are you going to make?

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DIY: Wood Chalkboard Signs

Sorry for missing a post last Thursday.  Life’s been a little crazy lately, but I hope I’ve made it up to you with this DIY tutorial today!

So have you jumped on the chalkboard everything bandwagon yet?  I hadn’t until now, but I was really itching to and finally got the chance last week.

A partner and I manned a booth at the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival this past weekend for Farm Fresh To You.  The event was great and our booth was jazzed up a little with my new signs.

I’ve outlined my process for you below so you can make your own lovely chalkboard signs.  It’s such an easy project with just a little down time and it’s definitely worth the effort!

Active Time: 1.5 hours
Inactive/Wait Time: 26 hours (may be more or less depending on how many coats of paint you use)
 
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Wood
Staple Gun
Staples (preferrably ones smaller in width than your wood)
Hammer (optional)*
Cardboard or Newspaper
Chalkboard Paint
Sponge Paint Brush
Twine
Scissors
Chalk
 
WHAT TO DO
The Wood: I got my piece of plywood from The Home Depot and a nice team member sawed it into four equal squares for me.  *I ended up wanting a rectangular shape for one sign, so I used the staple gun to attach two of them together and needed the hammer to flatten the staples to the wood since the staples are thicker than the wood.
 
First, lay out your cardboard or newspaper and place the wood on top, right side up.  Paint the right side of the wood and the exposed sides with the first coat.  The paint I bought recommends at least two coats, with one hour dry time in between coats.  This is definitely necessary, as you can see in the third photo below, the wood is still very visible through the paint.  I ended up with three coats and you can still see the wood grain a little, but that’s okay.

Once you’ve painted your wood with the desired number of coats, allow to dry for 24 hours to cure.  Next, condition the paint by rubbing chalk all over, and wiping with a cloth and a light mixture of soap and water to clean.

You might find that a little of the paint rubs off when you wipe the chalk with soap and water, but that’s okay, it happened to me too.  Also, the first time I wiped the boards, I didn’t use enough water and my boards were still very chalky once they dried.  Just go over them again with some more soapy water until they’re pretty clean of chalk residue.  This is what mine looked like after just the first wipe:

I wanted two of my signs to hang, so I attached twine to the backs.  Flip your wood over so the wrong side is face up.  Mark with a pencil where you want the twine to be attached, then measure your twine to the desired length.  To make the signs easy to hang from a canopy, I used two separate lengths of twine so they could be tied together at the top like a bow (as pictured below).  Tie knots at the ends of your twine that will be attached to the wood so the twine won’t slip through the staple, then staple the twine on top of your pencil marks.

Now get out there and get creative with your signs!

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