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}

25 Responses to “before + after: roadside desk and a 5-minute project”

  1. Dandi Ladies says:
    ooooh – super jealous of your cabin/studio! it looks so pretty and calming – love the blue colour you chose for the table!
  2. It’s like you jumped into my mind and stole my ideal space :D love it
  3. Amanda says:
    It’s come up wonderfully Belinda!! I love the colour you’ve painted the top and you wouldn’t know there anything wrong with the corner covered in books. You must be so happy crafting away at your stunning new desk!! Love the chair too :)
  4. Vicki says:
    Wow, you’re so talented! I wish I had your patience and energy. Thanks for sharing with us. Your blog is beautiful and inspiring. :)
  5. Anna says:
    Great result, now, when can you come to my place an do one for me?
  6. Simone says:
    I love all your stuff, silly question…how do you paint with the kids? I have two paint projects going nowhere fast as I don’t dare paint with Josh around and can’t paint at 11pm at night either! What is your secret?
  7. Belinda I am SO excited to see my “I Think You Are Fab” print above your desk! I am SO pleased you like it enough to use it!!! I still very much think you are fab bt the way!
  8. Melinda says:
    Such a lovely space – I am inspired to clean up my desk!
  9. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Belinda Graham, Amanda Fuller. Amanda Fuller said: Just spotted my I Think You Are Fab print in a pic of the wonderful @belindagraham's new desk! Look here: [...]
  10. Love the colors, so pretty space!
  11. sunny says:
    What a gorgeous, light filled, cozy corner! I love it!!!
  12. leah says:
    i love your table. i’m now inspired to makeover my $40 bargain table. love the white, light, airy feel of the studio! x
  13. I am always so amazed at how a coat of paint can transform a so so piece into something gorgeous…great find!
  14. littlebear says:
    so pretty and I love the colour :)
  15. Mari says:
  16. Woman, you sure do work FAST!!!!!!!!
    It looks AMAAAAAZING. Love it to pieces.
  17. Camila F. says:
    OMG, how amazing! Looooove it!
  18. Gorgeous, Belinda — gosh, I wish I had my own craft cabin or even just a table to work off! It is hard crafting amongst the bits of squished peas and dumping ground that is my kitchen table and I love your recycled masterpiece!
    So lovely to run into your lovely pregnant self the other day, I am certain I was a bumbling idiot (not unusual) but I was totally flattered you even knew who I was and were nice enough to come say hello! Ive made a note to myself that selecting and printing 350-odd newborn photos is probably a task best undertaken sans two small children……. x
  19. Wow Belinda, this looks amazing! Can hardly believe its the same table. Absolutely love what you have done! Have a great weekend xx
  20. Bronwen says:
    WOW! Can scarcely believe it’s the same table! Can I ask if you used a paint brush or one of those spray paint guns to do this? Cause it looks so smooth!
  21. Emma says:
    I love the twine holder- what a great idea. Love it! Have a great weekend. Emma. xx
  22. Maria says:
    I love what you’ve done with the desk! It all looks great. You’ve inspired me to get cracking on my half started and nowhere near finished revamp of an old Bentwood chair I have (the one I picked up for $20!!!). I seem to sand one leg then get bored!! Thanks for the tip on Life Interiors – will check it out :)
  23. Belinda says:
    thanks guys!
    simone – i either wait until they’re resting or just risk it and do it with them hanging around. if they start bugging me, i hand over a tiny paintbrush and let them do a little and then they get bored because they’re allowed to help!! if it’s outside, i give them a bucket of water and a paintbrush and tell them to paint the fence! that said, there are a lot of fingerprints in most of my paint jobs and plenty of clothes with paint smudges on them!!!!!
    nicole – lovely to meet you too! not bumbling at all. and you’re kiddos are SO CUTE!
    bronwen – it’s just a paintbrush but I did buy a spray gun the other day and it’s my new fave toy (except the cleaning up part. ugh.) SO QUICK!!!
  24. katrina says:
    Hi Belinda
    That desktop colour is absolutely sensational. I think I may have to paint my desk the same! Are you please able to share what paint/colour it is?
    Many thanks

Friday, November 5, 2010

button magnets


As part of my Chrissy crafts brief, I had to make some easy and inexpensive small gifts to give for kids and their parents/teachers etc. As huge as my love is for chalkboard paint, there is a small part of my heart dedicated to the magnetic version too – and their magnetic-surface siblings. But pretty magnets can be hard to come by easily, so I came up some ideas for magnet gifts so recipients can banish their tradesman versions to the bin – buttons and faux flowers for the big kids; plywood cut-outs for the small. But there are many, many other options to try: shells, old keys and foreign coins for adults; small cars and figurines, dominoes or playing cards for kids. Seeing as Kidspot didn’t post all the pics and instructions, I’ll post the button one here.


You’ll need:
1. Assortment of buttons – various sizes, styles and shapes in a similar colourway will work best. Or try the same style button in different colours.
2. Plain round magnets from craft shops or bargain stores like Hot Dollar, $2 a bag.
3. Superglue or hot glue gun.
How to: 
Squeeze a little glue on the backs of the buttons and stick the magnets in the centre. Leave until dry.


Packaging idea:
Cut some stiff cardboard in a narrow column and decorate one end by cutting a scalloped edge and using a single hole punch (or hammer and punch) around the curves. Tie some twine or cord at the end and place some magnets on the front and others lined up at the back so they’ll connect and jam the cardboard in-between. The recipient can use the cardboard as a bookmark if they like.
Tip: If you want to be able to hold the cardboard in place with the magnets, work out which way the magnets connect together (two at a time) before you glue the buttons on and then glue on the other side. If it’s wrong, the magnetic force will push them apart instead of pulling them together.

Want more? For flower magnets, go here for instructions

or a kids version, go here for info.

Have a brilliant weekend! Thanks for your visits and comments and emails and tweets this week. They make me all warm and fuzzy inside. And drive my hubby crazy with the constant beep beep beep when received on the Blackberry! hehe. See you next week. xx
{Images Belinda Graham for The Happy Home}

13 Responses to “button magnets”

  1. Those button magnets are too cute! You’re right. I think this would be a great, inexpensive handmade gift for a teacher. Can’t wait to try it out.
  2. Chloe says:
    A lovely idea, we all have a ‘button box’ so its good to put them to use! I did a post of 10 different things to do with buttons for more ideas:
  3. Belinda says:
    Oh these are fantastic…….I’m off to find these bits around the house (I’m sure to have these hidden somewhere) and spend the afternoon creating with my girls…Thanks Xx
  4. Emma says:
    Hi Belinda,
    Love the buttons- very clever. So good to catch up on your blog after being away for a while having baby Charlotte. Can’t wait to read some more during the midnight feeds! Hope you are well. Emma.
  5. Emma says:
    This is fabulously simple, thankyou! What a great little present idea.I will be making these, that’s for sure. Emma x
  6. Maria says:
    These are great ideas, thanks Belinda…I’m going to try this one :)
  7. Margie says:
    Such a great idea. Thanks, will be giving these a go.
  8. MicP says:
    You manage to get everything to look so pretty! Will try this and i think I will gift it with a magnetic board from Ikea…what a cool gift for someone special…thanks for the inspiration!
  9. lanne says:
    LOVE the button idea. brilliant, simple and special. THANK YOU for sharing :)
  10. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lise Brooke, Portal Craft. Portal Craft said: Fácil, fácil: botões magnéticos / button magnets #DIY #howto #tutorial #easy [...]
  11. jenn says:
    what a great idea. super easy and i love the look. now i’m looking around at other things i could make into magnets!!
  12. [...] I stumbled across a brilliant idea for making button magnets at The Happy [...]