Christmas Countdown Board

The countdown to Christmas is on! Here is my take on a simple wood craft using my Silhouette Cameo.

Christmas Countdown

Christmas Countdown

I tied bows and a piece of chalk to the boards and gave them out for Christmas. I made several versions, so it would be appropriate for teachers, people without kids, etc…

Christmas Tree Countdown

Christmas Tree Countdown

days count 2

I was giving them out so quickly (since they are kinda no fun to get if there is no more countdown) that I forgot to get better pictures of them.

Shopping Days Countdown

Shopping Days Countdown

Just grab some routed wood, paint, your Silhouette, some vinyl, chalkboard vinyl, and a little creativity in your design, and you are good to go.

Happy Holidays!

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RIP Sign ~ Halloween

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This was just a sign I had been wanting to do for a while.  There was a similar and longer one on Pinterest and it was sitting on my list of things to tackle before Halloween. Luckily my friend that loves to craft cannot be patient and makes me do things a whole lot earlier than I would normally do them.  I think we finished this at the end of September, but then I went on a Mexican cruise and forgot all about posting it 🙂  Anyway, I learned some things NOT to do when making this so let me share that with you.  The number one thing you should never do when using paint and vinyl is use a gloss paint!  My friend and I had no idea that the gray paint was a gloss.  Gloss paint is not friends with vinyl, like ever.  So I recommend you look at the label of that old paint can stored away before you use it.  I actually had to use Mod-Podge to keep my vinyl on the board.  Another mistake… I didn’t realize the Mod-Podge was the “Gloss-Lustre” either.  I prefer the “Matte” Mod-Podge, so don’t be like me, and read your labels if you don’t like gloss and spending a lot of extra time attaching your vinyl.  A trick we learned from searching Pinterest is that if you paint your board black and apply a Vaseline product on top of that after it dries, where you don’t want the gray to stick when you paint over it, it will keep the top coat of paint only where you did not apply the Vaseline.  I think it makes a cool aged look.  It is hard to tell in the picture, but I used a stencil to paint darker gray swirls in the background.  Not sure it was worth the effort either, another live-and-learn.  The detailed swirly skeleton at the top of the board was a super pain in the butt too.  Sometimes the intricate designs will cause you to pull your hair out.  Anyway, I got a craft I marked off my “Pinterest Gotta Make That” list.  I think it turned out very nice, and very close to the original that was posted on Pinterest.  What did you make for Halloween this year?

Halloween Countdown Board

Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

Halloween Chalkboard Countdown, but then I added bats below…why am I never done?

I happen to love Halloween.   I think it is the color scheme that has me sold really.  Black, orange, purple, and white go so good together, that it makes me almost giddy.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are lots of things I don’t like about the holiday too.  I am not into the costume thing, unless it was for my kids when they were babies.  I hate having candy around the house too because it usually ends up in my mouth somehow.  Even now, I am typing with a caramel apple sucker in my mouth!   Yup, that is a yearly problem!  I have several friends that do not have children, and take the opportunity to turn all the lights out, watch movies in the dark and ignore the doorbell altogether.  I don’t blame them I guess, but it is only one night, and as a kid (and we all were kids once) wasn’t it the BEST night ever?!   So, of course my 5-year-old and 8-year-old were way on board with a countdown board because they want to know exactly how long they have to wait until their night of hauling in the candy.  And believe me, they make sure it is up to date.

My friend had actually asked me to make a countdown board, and she was making one, so we showed each other what we had come up with after we were done.  Kind of fun.  Finding Halloween fonts on http://www.dafont.com is always part of the process too.  Here is my finished project:

Halloween Countdown Board
Halloween Countdown Board
Halloween Countdown Board
Halloween Countdown Board

Pretty simple.  Painted some wood, routed it, sanded it (but you could get a precut and routed board from Michaels or Hobby Lobby), found some cute shapes at the Silhouette online store: http://www.silhouetteonlinestore.com and cut the owl out of the chalkboard vinyl.  I also added the “BEWARE” to that craft pumpkin in the picture, since I was cutting black vinyl anyway…that pumpkin still needs black rhinestones though, which I have not got around to do yet.   I found the perfect easel at “Rod Works” for it too.  I am crazy about the chalk ink that is so popular right now.  You can get it in all kinds of colors.  Their website is: http://www.chalkink.com I got my pens on Amazon.  Hope you like it.  Happy Halloween!

Magnet Boards

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My sons rooms have walls just calling to be decorated.  We recently repainted our younger son’s room and needed some new decorations that matched.  These boards are 17″x9.5″.  Just go into your local Lowes or Home Depot and ask them to cut them for you.  I got the flash metal sheeting (12″x8″) at Lowe’s too, it was only .97 cents.  There is more expensive sheeting, so be careful to find the more economical stuff that is not by the paint section, cuz that stuff is pricey.  I did use a router to get that edge.  They are not that much money, and totally worth it if you like to work with wood.  Michael’s may have some routed, unpainted boards (but you will need to adjust your metal sheeting size accordingly).  Paint your board any color you like.  Use some very strong epoxy glue to attach sheeting.  I set paint cans on top of them to be sure they would adhere well.  Then the fun part begins.  Pick a theme you want for your board.  My older son loves video games (much to my chagrin), and our younger one just started soccer, so that part was easy.  I picked some cute shapes in the Silhouette store to match my themes, and cut and placed my vinyl.  If you do not have a Silhouette machine, you can always stencil paint words on the top of your board, and add embellishments or stickers.  I will attach some teeth to the back and hang them up on their walls.  I think I need to make some custom magnets for those, so maybe you will see those later.  Have fun!  Go make something today.Image

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Fall Stationary and Word Art

Need a quick Fall project?  Read on.  I was browsing the Silhouette blog, and the weekly challenge was to use any shape to do with Fall, and make something.  I was inspired by some of their leaf shapes and chose a few that looked like a sketch.  First I decided to do a quick 8×10 Fall-themed wall art piece by selecting a font, the leaves from the Silhouette store, and pulling out my craft paper card stock.  I made the wall art by just simply designing how I wanted it to look on my Silhouette and adding some text to a shape I created that mimicked the shape of the falling leaves, and then selecting the “no cut” option.  Then I simply printed it out and popped it into a frame.  Easy-peasey.

Fall Word Art

But then I decided I wanted to tackle a project I had been wanting to try for a while.  There are a lot, and I mean a lot of Lori Whitlock designs on the Silhouette website.  I love all of her 3 D projects.  She even has a You-tube channel with a lot of tutorials for her projects.  So anyway, I had bought her A-2 stationary set and it had just been sitting in my library looking ominous.  So, in keeping with the fall theme and the shapes I just pulled together for my Fall Word Art, I decided to reuse those on Thank You Stationary and tags.  Now, I was a little intimidated when I opened the file because there are a lot of shapes that go into this.  It is three sections and then there are pieces to cover the sides and bottom.  I ended up going to Lori Whitlock’s website, and finding the diagram to put it together, and after that it was really very simple.  The boxes were no problem but some of the side pieces were throwing me off.   I am sure it is simple to a lot of you, but I had to visualize it with the diagram to be sure I was cutting the right color paper.  So doing a lot of “print and cut” on my Silhouette, I ended up with a nice stationary set to give to a friend.  I hope you will try one of her 3D projects, and tell me what you think.

Fall Silhouette

Chalkboard Sayings Gift

Make Stuff - Be Happy

Make Stuff – Be Happy

A friend of mine is having a birthday soon, and for the past few years we have exchanged handmade gifts.  Nothing too fancy, but because we are craft lovers, we kind of enjoy seeing what the other one will come up with from year to year.  I had seen some –  all the rage – chevron burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby, and that inspired me to make her a small chalkboard sayings plaque.  This is a simple and clean project, and it can allow the recipient to change the saying whenever he or she feels like it by simply wiping it clean with a wet cloth.

(Please note:) For most of my projects I will be using the Silhouette Cameo to aid in my design process.  You do not have to have one to create this craft, but the overall look and feel of the finished product may be easier to achieve.  I do recommend it if you love to craft.   It can do so many useful, and wonderful things.  If saving time is a must to get your crafting fix in, investing in a Silhouette  is well worth it.

~Chalkboard Sayings~

Materials:

Wood, Any size you prefer.  I used pine, precut from Michael’s.

A stencil, sized to fit your wood.  This can be a picture or letters to make up a word, or a phrase, or you can even handwrite it for a more personal touch.  I used Silhouette Stencil vinyl, chose a shape from their online store and cut it on my Silhouette.

Chalkboard paint or Chalkboard spray paint

Chalkboard pens, in whatever colors you choose.

Ribbon

Silhouette stencil vinyl with transfer tape, if you are not using a standard stencil, and want to design your own.

Directions:

Set up an area covered with a tarp or paper bags to cover the surface you will be painting on.

Remove any labels from wood.  Sand wood, if necessary.  Spray paint or paint the board with chalkboard paint.  I used Krylon chalkboard spray paint.  You may want to use rubber gloves for this step.  Spray the board evenly front and back and allow to dry.

Open your Silhouette software and choose a phrase or type in a phrase with the font of your choice.  Print out on stencil vinyl.  Weed out the part of the design you want to show up on your project.  Then cover stencil with transfer tape, and lift off design.

Apply stencil to wood, being careful to make sure stencil had adhered well.  Use a scraper tool, or be sure you have adhered it to the wood with tape and no paint can seep underneath.

Then carefully fill in your design with chalk pen.  It can bleed if stencil is not completely secure, so be careful when you fill in the design.

Remove stencil.  Touch up any areas with chalk pen, as necessary.

Attach ribbon of your choice, place on an easel, and you are done.

This is a versatile project.  You could easily paint the wood in pastels, and stencil animals for a baby’s room, or perhaps a simple monogram, using chalk, paint or even just vinyl.

Enjoy!

Chalkboard Sayings

Chalkboard Sayings