16 October 2012

DIY Inspiration: Fall Festivals

One of my favorite things to do is to explore local fall festivals.  I love to bundle up in a snug knit sweater and long scarf and mill around looking at the displays, watching the Autumn leaves as I pass by. 

Although I don't usually buy a lot at the festivals, they are a great place for me to find ideas and inspiration for my own DIY projects.  A few weeks ago, I went to Applefest in Franklin, Pa, and saw a few displays that really have me thinking about craft projects and upcycling projects I can try out this fall. 

Shadow Boxes

One thing I saw was a series of shadow boxes featuring different insects and butterflies, which were odd but quite striking at the same time.    I don't think I'll be making any insect art of my own any time soon, but I really like the idea of bringing the outdoors inside when choosing decorations for fall.

Butterfly Shadow Box
 Glass bottles-turned birdfeeders were another project I saw, and things like these are definitely a favorite of mine. I like these, because they are fairly simple to construct and make use of bottles, which people seem to discard frequently. Glass bottle upcycling projects are quite trendy right now, and they really make for some chic accessories.

 I also really like these cutting boards made from old glass bottles, though a project inspired by this craft would definitely be the most challenging.  For those of us without kilns or other glass cutting tools, finding another use for our glass bottles is probably the best bet.  

Cutting Boards constructed from old glass bottles

There are lots of ways to re-use those bottles that don't include major construction issues, such as turning them into a vase for flowers, a hair band holder, or using them in an art project. But if you're really enticed by the upcycled cutting boards, you can always head out to a fall festival and try your luck at finding a well-crafted one, or head online to purchase one from the shops on Etsy. 

15 October 2012

Chic Chalkboard Wall Hanging You Can Make On The Cheap

In planning dorm room decorations for my senior year at college, I wanted to keep it sparse so that end of the year packing and clean-up would be a breeze.  In my attempts at minimalism, I overlooked the fact that an undecorated dorm room can be quite ugly on the eyes; not at all a good environment for a creative and crafty person like me. 


Not wanting to spend a lot of money and not wanting to create a lot of extra clutter, I decided that my goal would be to create some cheap and easy decor from the things I have in my room already or things found.
Using just paper scraps, old cardboard, chalk and tape, I created a cute Chalkboard-Inspired wall hanging that ads a personal touch to my boring white wall above my desk; a simple project that can be done by anyone looking for a cheap update or to create some decoration in a temporary space.
Here's how you can make your own:

1.  Find a scrap of paper, newspaper, or cheap poster board to create the backing.  I used a square of paper leftover from another project. 

2.  Cut cardboard into  inch wide or two inch wide strips to use for the border of the frame. 
3.  Cut the ends of cardboard strips diagonally so that two strips can connect to form corners. 

4. Tape the cardboard strips to the outer edge of the paper square to frame the square. 

5.  Match the strips together at the corners. 
 6.  Continue placing strips around the edge of the paper until you have created a full frame.


7. Use excess cardboard to cut out small heart shapes, which can be used to decorate the frame. 

8.  Place hearts on corners or anywhere that needs a bit of sprucing up. 


9.  Use chalk to write an inspirational quote, to-do list, or goal board.