Monday, November 29, 2010

how to... make a book-page wreath

I fell in love with the book-page wreath on Alice’s door in the latest issue of Real Living. Not quite willing and able to part with $250 for a ready-made one, I did a little googling, found some various instructions and parted with $2 to make my own. And being the nice, sharing and caring person that I am, I thought I’d show you how to DIY too and add a little sparkle.

Apologies for the Tolix chair AGAIN in the pictures – it’s my new favourite prop. And I couldn’t just snap it hanging blankly on the wall (or on the door cause we’re not decorating until the 6th of December). But you will see it again soon enough once we get decking the halls…
Your toolkit:
1. An old book – sorry, Stephen King, but I won’t be reading Salem’s Lot again…
2. Spray adhesive (optional)
3. Glitter (optional)
4. A hot glue gun and extra glue sticks
5. A foam wreath, $2 from bargain stores
Also: ribbon to hang, a paper plate

How to:
1. Spray the page edges of the book and press into glitter on a paper plate.
2. Cover all three page ends, shake off excess and leave to dry.
3. Tear the pages from the book and roll a page into a cone with the circular end that will be on display the glittered edge (there won’t be a lot of glitter on each individual page, but altogether it should sparkle a little).
4. Scrunch the base a little and glue onto the back of the foam ring.
5. Repeat, butting the rolled pages up close to each other until the back is complete. Turn over.
6. Start the same process on the front of the ring. Instead of scrunching the base of the cone, fold it over slightly and glue to shorten it a little. You’ll need to play around slightly with the lengths to ensure they’re not too long or too short when you layer them up.
7. You’ll have to do a few layers here – three or four for maximum impact. I did three but could have squeezed in another lot. Start the next layer slightly off centre so the new cones are in front of the gaps of the first layer. Once done, you might need to fill in a few random gaps with some rolled pages.
8. You might find some of the cones will fold into the centre a little, like this.
9. For the inside layer, don’t fold or scrunch the base. Instead, wrap the base of it around to the back of the ring and glue the whole part of the cone that touches the inside of the foam. Once dry, this will keep the cone straight and push the rest of the scrolls out slightly.
10. Turn over and use the glue gun to squirt on a glob of glue to the back. Press in the ends of a piece of ribbon as a hanger.
11. If you want a little more sparkle, take the wreath outside and lightly spray the front of it with spray adhesive.
12. Gently sprinkle the leftover glitter onto the wreath and shake off the excess. Hang!
I hope that makes sense? You don’t need an old book – any will do. I’ve read you can age the pages a little by rubbing the page edges with a little brownish-coloured paint.
Mine isn’t quite as neat or full as the one in the mag, but I’m happy with it! It was a little time-consuming so set aside a few hours. And maybe some ice for the hot-glue gun burns. Ouch!
{Images by Belinda Graham for The Happy Home}

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

before and after: roadside desk

Remember the discarded dining table Steve and I half drove/half carried home? Well I painted it and finally cleaned it up enough to take a picture of it for an after with my brand new replica Tolix chair from Life Interiors (they were the most organised company I’ve ever bought from – called to confirm the order & arrange a delivery time, sent me a tracking code for delivery and delivered the next day – even to me in the sticks). The before is below – JUST in case you couldn’t work that out all on your own! haha

I haven’t actually finished the space so this is a bit of a half-hearted attempt to make it look decent (in fact, the other side you can’t see is covered in assorted half-finished projects, receipts, and melted crayons). In the end, it was too difficult to cut the sides to make them square due to the supporting wood and brackets etc underneath, so I left them curvy. It’s only that one corner that is a pain and so I covered it with books! I painted the bottom a white and the top is Wattyl Quartzy Blue. Love the colour.So now it’s in the corner of my cabin or “studio” and is my craft table. I love that there is no computer (not even a laptop – it died. RIP) so I’m not distracted while I work in there. And everything I need supply-wise is an arm’s length away on the desk or on the shelves to the side.

5-minute project: twine hanger
And I even whipped up a little holder for my baker’s twine. Mind you, the amount of various twines and ribbons I have, I’ll need an extra-long, double-decker one! I saw a bought one on a blog somewhere and figured I could make my own. It took all of five minutes – you just need a piece of dowel, wire and wire cutters. Cut a length, wrap around one end of the dowel tightly, loop up and around itself to create a hanger, then back down to the other side and around itself again (not as tight this time – you want to be able to slip it off to get the twine roll on and off). And hang!

For those who want to know…
Cream basket and white holders, Ikea.
Silver embossed box, Tree of Life.
“I think you are fab” print, Lemon Tree Lane.
{images by Belinda Graham for The Happy Home}