Sunday, 8 January 2012

Crafty Business

Since we have no dossier to be working on or suitcases to be packing, I've been keeping myself busy with some craft projects.  I usually have about 6 or 7 different ones going at any point, so I've really tried to finish some up before I start new ones.  We'll see how long that lasts. . .

As you may have noticed, I'm quite *ahem* thrifty.  I pretty much refuse to pay full price for something.  This is rooted in several things.  We are a single income family with three children, so I can't just run out and buy something every time I feel like it - I have to be more intentional about my purchases.  And trust me when I say this did not come naturally to me.  My thriftiness started out of necessity.  Now, it's almost a game for me.  If I see something for our home that I like at, for example, Pottery Barn or Ballard Designs, I will try to duplicate it instead of buying it.  Most of the time, I'm very satisfied with my version.  Which I promise cost significantly less than the original item.  So the first thing I recently finished was some storage for Katie's room.

I started with this.  For real.
It was 99 cents on half price day at Goodwill.
Now seriously, buying that and knowing I could make it look good is some real vision.  Or crazy business, because this was some airbrushing at its finest.

This cute pink bucket is what it looks like now.
I sanded the heck out of it, use a spray primer, and spray painted it with some leftover pink I had.  Total project cost?  99 cents.

This was my next project.  It was also a half price GW find.  It had some chickens and eggs hot glued to the front.  Cute, right?  I yanked those suckers off.  It was $1.99, so I really wasn't going to be too heartbroken if I ruined it by pulling off the crazy chickens.  Next, I used some leftover sample paint I had from when I couldn't decide what color to paint Katie's room, so that part of the project was free.  I used a foam brush and painted a few coats over the brick red.  Now it's a perfect storage basket on her bookshelf, and it cost $1.99 and about an hour of my time.  I'm going to find a small K and glue it to the front.  By that point the project will probably be about $5.00.

I love the framed saying on the top of her bookshelf - it says "There's no place like home."  I think I'm going to paint that bookend tangerine, which would match her curtains and some pillows I've already made.  That bookend is part of a set that I got as a gift about 7 years ago.  I already have the paint, so that project will be a freebie.

Do you remember in my post about her Christmas stocking I showed you an etsy print that I wanted to try to make?

It looks like this.  

I liked that version, but I didn't love it.  
And I certainly didn't love it for $75.00 plus shipping.

So I got a canvas for $5.00 (two for $10.00 - Henry got one of them for Christmas) and got started.  I painted the canvas tangerine, my current color obsession.  ($2.49 for the craft paint.)  I bought some scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off, and I just picked random patterns that I liked together, some skin tones, and some colors for hair.  I ended up spending $6.00 on the paper and got WAY more than I needed.  I probably used $2.00 worth of the paper I got, and I will use some of the other pieces for mats for some frames in her room or elsewhere in the house.  (So my total cost for this project was about $10.00.  Not $75 plus shipping!)  The prints on the papers I got match other rooms in our home as well.  

I used the same template from the Christmas stocking and just eyeballed it to make it bigger for the largest doll.  I used the largest one to make them incrementally smaller and just eyeballed it again each time.  For the faces, I just found things that were round and were the size I wanted the faces to be, traced them, and used that as a guide.

And I L.O.V.E. it.  Henry is working on something that will go on either side of it, and I can't wait to show you that.  And yes, I realize the mantle needs something else other than a Tyler candle (my favorite!), some bare wood people begging to be painted, and a candy cane pen.  Baby steps.  That mantle's been empty for a year and a half!

They still need some faces, but I had maxed out my *artistic* abilities for the day.  And really, I'm a little scared that my lack of creativity will ruin this when I put their faces on....I promise they'll be faceless for a while!

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