Entries in DIY (5)


Learning What Not to Do

Looking good so far, right?  Try to ignore the bare and messy fronts and see the beautiful bright blue and red I so patiently applied.  Those messy fronts will be decoupaged with a vintage map tomorrow night, but I should tell you that there are some problems with this uni, they are all my fault and I'm super sad about it.

Learning from your mistakes is essentially learning what not to do.  This box painting business has been one challenging ordeal and it's all because it's the first larger item I have painted with acrylic paint and have made some pretty dumb mistakes.  Sure, once it's finished I could write a step-by-step of it, but for now, I must tell you about what I have learned within the last 4 days.  Pretty basic for someone who was actually following instructions or something, but for me: OMG.

First off, I shouldn't have skipped the primer.  It was extremely cold the day I started and naturally I didn't want to go out.  I decided that it would be just fine to paint raw wood with bright coloured paint. I was WRONG. Like, so wrong that if I were to apply an unnecessary travel metaphor I'd say I was aiming for England and ended in China.  What happened without a primer or a white base coat (was almost out of white too)?  It took a good 4 coats to get the colour I was looking for. Baaah!

Secondly, I was bit messy painting the blue on and got bits of blue where I wanted to paint red.  Lesson learned, covering blue up with red is pretty much impossible.

Third and last mistake is really the worst, yet the least stupid mistake. Least stupid, because it was the hardest to see coming for me.  All those coats of paint actually added enough volume to the drawers and the inside of the chest (which only has two coats) that the bottom right drawers are a very tight fit now (not at all easy to open or close).  Arrrgghh! I'm still finishing the project (possibly sanding the sides of the tight drawers a bit too), but I'm not a happy camper.  Worst case I will use the drawers and the shelves separately, I guess.

Have you ever made painting mistakes like these?


Decision Made!

If you have been reading my posts recently you might already know that I was recently trying to decide what to do with this thingamajig:

I decided! I will be working somewhat freehand, not follow a tutorial and create my own design.

I'm very inspired by this beautiful jewelry box by Magia Mia:

Isn't it marvellous? Click on the image to see the source material and more photos.

...but, I will be using a gorgeous vintage atlas page on the front of the drawers instead and I'm going to experiment with making knobs/pulls from polymer clay.  

This is the atlas page I picked: 

Also, picked the colours to paint with and sanded the chest to make sure paint goes on smoothly.

Now on with painting.  I will be posting this project as a DIY tutorial as soon as it's finished (unless it looks hideous-then I get to tell you what went wrong).

Seriously though, I think this is going to be awesome!  






5 Geektastic DIY Projects

Today has been De-Cluttering Day 1.  Here's to hoping that it won't take more than 2 days!  I'm wiped and unable to write anything too long, but I still have something great:

I have been coming across some great geeky crafts on some fabulous blogs and I compiled some of my favourites for you lovely people. 

5.  These very cute dino hooks from DecoArt's blog:

Yeah, came across these while looking for some more DecoArt Metallic Lustre colours...

4. This badass  steampunk nerf gun by Cation Designs on Instructables


This is not that hard to make at all!

3. These brilliant welcome mats by Our Nerd Home:

They look so store-bought too!

2. This ingenious Star Wars Cake by CementTruck:


1. These gorgeous Doctor Who "Something Blue" TARDIS Wedding Shoes by Doodlecraft:

I need to try and make a pair of my own!

Now, that you're feeling geeky and crafty, which one would you want to try out?  How would you adapt it to your tastes?  


Tutorial: Colour Inspiration Deck 

When crafting or painting, my biggest challenge has always been selecting a colour scheme that evokes the right emotions in my audience and also immediately pleases the eye.  I have colour theory books and a colour chart (pictured above that I use, plus Kuler on Adobe Illustrator for when I'm digitally designing/painting, but I still find it hard and time consuming.  


While I was starting my annual year-end de-cluttering festivities I found these paint sample booklets I had collected a few years back while I was planning to repaint.  They are laden with beautiful colour combos and I didn't want to throw them out.  As I looked through them, I realized I could make a little colour inspiration deck and about a half hour later I had one!  It's a very simple tutorial, so have a look at the images below for the instructions:

P.S: Please use what you already have lying around, you don't have to use paint samples, you can easily use magazine clippings or other items... I feel like it wouldn't be right to go collect free paint sample brochures, etc. from hardware stores just to make this.

Hope you enjoy!  Please let me know what you think!  How do you get colour inspiration for your projects?  Are you a natural at colour selection?


DIY: What to do with all the scrap paper I have been hoarding

If you are an arts and crafts person, chances are you have hoarded some things as you built your studio and you often find yourself having to declutter to keep your sanity. 

Today I realized that I needed to declutter again and successfully went through some drawers in my office. Decluttering sounds easy at first: Get rid of what you don't need and keep what you use... Sure, but what to do with things that are in that infamous grey area? I was able to get rid of a whole lot of things and keep a few things, but there are piles of things cannot be donated and I feel bad about throwing out.  

At the very top of this list of items I can't throw out or donate list is thousands of sheets of scrap paper from the days of old.  They are all unused, yet edges have warped, faded etc so donating wouldn't work.  Recycling would be a waste and the idea of throwing them out is fills me with guilt.

I had recently had an idea to take some pre-made Molskine notebooks and give the purposes like business plan outliner, etc., so I got curious about how I might be able to make notebooks from these scraps and looked it up.  With everything I learn via the wonders of the internet, I will look at a bunch of tutorials and make my own version using what I've learnt.  In this initial search for resources I compiled a small yet useful list of the best tutorials I have found out there:

(Click on the photos for the links - they will open in new windows)
This one involves the use of glue, but is the least work-intensive one.



This one is for those of you who are more inspired by pictures than words...



by ELSIE LARSON of abeautifulmess.com


This one is similar to the last one, but slightly different in execution.





by CINTIA OF mypoppet.com.au

This one is so very inspiring!

Good luck making your own!  Once I make one, undoubtedly using tips from these great tutorials, but also adding my own twist, I will post it here and possibly even share my own tutorial.  

Any ideas or additions to the list you would like to share? I would love to read about them in the comments section!