DIY: String Art

I have been wanting to make string art since the first time I made it in Year 5, back in 1986. It was for a class project and I made a red, white and blue yacht. I’m pretty sure I still have it too.

Today’s diy was a little bit smaller and it only took a couple of hours. I was inspired by some art I saw on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a go.

I didn’t research any tutorials or find out how to do it. I think the best thing about diy is that it’s okay to have some flaws and for it not to be completely perfect. I sort of remembered how to do it so I went by memory.

Mum and Dad have recently put decking down at the back of their place and I had an offcut of timber which is what I used for the base. I had some neon builders string leftover from when I made some neon moss balls with my friend, Reannon. Some small nails, a small hammer, paper, pencil, ruler and some sticky tape is all that was needed to complete the project.

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I roughly drew up a design of two arrows on a piece of paper. Then I secured the paper to the wood with some tape and started tapping in the nails. You can measure the distance between the nails which is what I did on the long sides of the arrows but I just eye-balled it on the smaller areas.

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Once all the nails were in place, I removed the paper. Then it was time for the stringing. There’s no real way to do this. If you had a more intricate pattern I suppose there would be a method of stringing from nail to nail however, I wanted a more free flowing design so just made it up as I went along.

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And here’s the finished product. I’m quite happy with how it turned out. It’s bright and cheerful and handmade which is my fave. Let’s just hope it doesn’t unravel overnight.

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Until next time …

Aimee x

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DIY: Sharpie Mugs

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I’m a Pinterest addict. And I’m sure like most Pinterest addicts, I pin anything and everything that tickles my fancy: diy, hairstyles, pretty rooms, Christmas stuff, recipes, exercise tips, like I said, anything. I’m also a lover of a good upcycle. I’d much prefer to give new life to something I already own than go and buy something new. Yesterday, I took to a 10-plus year old Baltic pine hall table with some white paint which I shabby chic’d and then added some vintage knobs that I picked up in a small town in the Blue Mountains last year. They were in a cute little vintage thrift shop and I just about lost my mind when I saw them so I’m so glad that I finally have a use for them. I’m really happy with how my hall table turned out. It has been bugging me for ages and considering that it only took me two hours to upcycle (that also included cooking a curry for tea and doing two loads of laundry), I’m surprised it took me so long to get around to doing it.

IMG_3673.JPG Anyway, back to the reason for this blog: Sharpie mugs. So these are something that keep coming up on my homepage on Pinterest and I think I’ve even pinned them some time ago. Today is as good a day as any to give them a go, so that’s what I did. I had some white mugs that I’ve had for ages and I had some Sharpie pens. I also had some letter stickers because I knew I wanted to do one with my name on it. The others I just thought of myself or got some inspiration from Pinterest (of course). There is no right or wrong to your design; just go for it! The hubster wanted to do one too so his is the dog paw one. I’m just about to put them in the oven (180 degrees for 30 minutes) so I’ll let you know how they turn out. Fingers crossed they don’t crack.

IMG_3679.JPG The Verdict They turned out really good! They look exactly the same as before they were put in the oven except now you can’t rub off the design.

IMG_3686.JPG Tips * A tutorial on YouTube mentioned that if you use colours be aware that they may change (ie. red to orange) once they’ve been in the oven so choose wisely. * I upcycled my mugs but it might be a good idea to buy brand new ones. My mugs were clean when they went in the oven yet came out with tea and coffee stains which is weird?! Clearly you wouldn’t get this from brand new mugs. Another tutorial mentioned that cheaper mugs give you a better result than the more expensive mugs. * Do not preheat the oven before baking your mugs. Also, I left them in the oven after to let them cool down completely before I took them out so as to avoid possible cracking. * The fine Sharpie pens don’t really work. The design rubbed off before and after baking. My designs were drawn with thicker Sharpie pens and they seemed to hold. These Sharpie mugs were fun to create and were a great way to spend a couple of hours. Why don’t you give it a go. Be sure to share with me your masterpieces and if you have any tips of your own. Happy diy’ing! Aimee x

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

(Yes, that is the title of a Paul McCartney Christmas ditty. It’s a favourite of mine)

Every year I Iike to make something homemade for Christmas. Whether it be something ornamental for the house or a new decoration for the tree. This afternoon the kids and I headed down to the park for a swing in the playground and to forage for some twigs.

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Listening to the cicadas in the trees and feeling the breezes from the gum trees is just so Australian on a truly glorious afternoon in my little corner of the world.

My plan was to make some diy trees out of sticks to hang on the tree. I’ve gone for a white tree this year with a mix of natural, blue and silver decorations so these will tie in well.

I started by breaking the sticks into smaller pieces and then placed them into a sort of Christmas tree shape. Then it was out with the glue gun – my favourite type of gun! I always manage to burn myself but it smells so good!

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Once they were glued, I hit them with some glitter hairspray and tied them with twine to hang on the tree.

The end result: I’m happy with them. They cost me nothing. They’re completely homemade with too much hot glue – which kind of looks like snow so that’s cool.

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Are you diy’ing Christmas this year? What have you made?

Aimee x

Note: all this wonderfulness that is Christmas and diy was intertwined with dealing with the many tempers and attitudes of the 8-year old. We were taking the kids around the estate tonight to look at Christmas lights but instead she will be staying home with Dad. To say she’s disappointed and sad is an understatement. And to say me and the hubster feel like the biggest pricks ever is an even bigger understatement. I tell you, this parenting thing is hard work.

Extra Note: The 8-year old has asked that we take her tv privileges and iPod away for a week so she can go tonight to see the lights. So she’s going to see the lights 😊

DIY: Hanging Neon Moss Balls

So today I totally made these.

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My friend Reannon and I had a diy morning and had so much fun making these hanging neon moss balls. It’s a weird name for them but I can’t think of another way to describe them so I’m going with that.

I’ve seen these at few times on Pinterest and at some local markets and thought I’d give them a go. And they were so easy!

Have a go yourself! Here’s what you’ll need:

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Plant cuttings – we used succulents
Potting mix
Sphagnum moss
Neon string
A bowl of water
Gardening gloves

How To:

* Clump together some potting mix and wet it so it stays together – a bit like making a mud pie.
* Make a hole at the top to put your cutting in then re mould your soil ball if needed.
* Wet some sphagnum moss, wring out the water then wrap the moss around the soil ball. The moss expands quite a lot when wet so you won’t need much but make sure the moss covers all the soil. It will be tricky and crumbly and messy but it will all come together once you add the string.
* Grab your string and start wrapping! There’s no right or wrong way to do this and there’s no limit to how much string you’ll need. Just keep going until you have the desired effect. Tie it off to secure the string.
* Next, cut two lengths of string and cross them over underneath your moss ball then bring the strands together and tie with a knot.
* Voila, you’ve made your very own hanging neon moss ball! How clever are you?!

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I love the look of these. The neon really makes them pop and they’re very on trend. I think they give a current spin on a hanging pot.

Aimee x