Saturday, June 30, 2012

Coming Soon: July 2012 Edition

I'm kind of liking this twice a month thing. I don't feel so pressured to be cranking out projects all the time, and the ones I do I'm more attached to (and I think they turn out better). For July 2012, we have:

July 11, 2012: Bedazzled Dog "Couch" Tutorial

July 25, 2012: Jack & Jill Shortalls (pattern courtesy of Amy at, her shop is

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wine Cork Monogram Tutorial

A friend of mine has been collecting corks for YEARS. Friends, family, and others have contributed to her collection (including a vineyard she went to that gave her a bag of about 1,000). Now that she has all of these corks, she wants to find different things to do with them. The first idea she had was to re-purpose an old end table and cover the top of it with corks, but that idea has fallen down the list. The biggest problem is that she is not the craftiest person when it comes to things like this. Other things she's wonderful at, like jewelry making, which is not a talent of mine. For this she asked me to help out. Since a lot of the supplies are things you probably already have, the amount we spent (for the board, craft knife, and hardware) was about $15. The corks...that just takes time. Enjoy!!


  • Foam Board (I used Elmers Foam board, 16"X20"
  • Craft Knife...medium to heavy weight
  • Serrated Knife
  • Pencil
  • Yardstick 
  • Hot Glue Gun and a LOT of glue sticks (I think I used 10 or more)
  • Mounting Hardware (aka picture hanging hardware, I like the ones that have "teeth" so you use 2 and can hang it straight)
  • A LOT of corks...I used 58 for the edges of the D alone


Step 1: With your pencil, draw out your letter on the foam board. I made the width of each section of the letter 4" wide. Use your yardstick to help keep lines straight and to measure so it is a consistent shape.

Step 2: Use your craft knife to cut out your letter once you are satisfied with it. Use the yardstick to help keep lines straight.

Step 3: Lay out your corks. On outside edges, line them up standing on end. Lay the ones inside on their sides. 

Step 4: LEAVE THE INSIDE CORKS THERE! Take the corks that go around the edges and count them. Divide that number by 2, then cut that number of corks in half using the serrated knife.

Step 5: GLUING TIME! This gets a little sticky. Glue ONE EDGE of upright corks in place. Be sure to glue them to one another as well as to the foam board for extra stability. Then do some of the interior, until you reach another edge. The last step is doing the second edge. 
                         for example: I did the letter D. I did the upright corks on the inside edge first, then all of the corks that lie flat, and finally the outside edge upright corks. This helps to make sure everything is lined up and spaced correctly.
                         Once all corks are glued in place, gently wiggle the corks (especially the ones around the edges). If you feel any give, squirt a little hot glue around the edges into the small gaps for extra stability.

Step 6: Fill in any big gaps. If you are doing a letter with curves, you are going to have a few gaps. I simply cut pieces off of a spare cork and filled in the most noticeable gaps. You will still see a bit of the board, but not enough to worry about.

Step 6: Attach your mounting hardware once the hot glue is dry.Use your yardstick to make sure they are even.

That's it! All done!

Editor's note: After looking at it on the wall when I was at my friend's house recently, I decided it needed a little more "pizazz." Soon we are going to take ribbon of appropriate thickness and hot glue it around the edges to better conceal the foam board behind the corks, as well as to give it a bit more personality!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Dry Erase Calendar and Weekly Menu

I'll admit it. I LOVE Pinterest. I'm on there every day, getting craft inspiration, looking for decorating ideas, etc.  I am also constantly looking for functional yet cute things for the home...and I really wanted a dry erase calendar. What I didn't want was one of those white monstrosities that never looks good no matter how you try or where you put it. That's when I found This Tutorial on Pinterest and fell in love.

A couple of notes on this:
  • if you don't have a printer that can print on 11"X17" paper, no worries. I used regular 8.5"X11" and just made sure that when I created my Excel spreadsheet all of the columns added up to 17" and my rows added up to be 11". It ends up being 4 sheets of paper that you cut and tape together. HERE is my calendar...feel free to print it out. It will save you time. Oh, and HERE is the notes page. 
  • Do NOT cut off all edges of your calendar. Only the very bottom edge and the left side. That way you have extra paper on the top and right side to attach other papers to. Same goes for the notes page, but on that one I would only cut off the right edge...leave the rest.
  • I didn't put anything on the back of my creation once it was all together. I left the backing that came in the frame separate, that way should I ever want to change the look of the calendar, I have a sizing reference.
  • Leave room for overlap on ALL of your pieces...that way they can be taped/glued together
  • You can get free photoshop graphics to create your shapes, and if you make a new file in photoshop with a transparent background and save it for the web, you can put it on word, resize as needed, and print onto whatever paper you would like.
This one took me about 2 hours total, and that's only because it took me a few tries to get the sizing of the calendar right. Plus I'm really indecisive about fabric and/or paper combos, so I second-guessed myself a lot. Actual construction time was probably about 20 minutes, but you have to add in measuring and cutting, not to mention designing the different elements.
I also found a weekly dry erase menu on Pinterest. You can find that tutorial HERE

Here are my notes on that one:

  • I chose not to use canvas, but to line up 2 pieces of scrapbooking paper (cut to size)
  • I also put my ribbon in a different place, because I wanted to hide the seam of the paper. :)

This one only took me about 15 minutes to do...and maybe now I stand a chance of NOT hearing "What's for Dinner" every day!

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