Tips for Stamping with Foam Rubber

bird printFor my first home project for the new appartement I did some experiments in stamping with foam rubber. I really like this technique, because it’s easy and cheap.

Basically, you just cut out the desired shape from the foam rubber, glue it onto a piece of cardboard and use this as a stamp.
I printed quite big pieces of fabric with a bird pattern, so I had some time to practise and figure out what works and what doesn’t.Here are a few tips for stamping with foam rubber:bird print1

  • Use a rather thick and sturdy kind of cardboard to glue the foam rubber on. It won’t bend as much and you will have less smudging.
  • Carefully lay the stamp onto the fabric and roll over the cardboard with a roller. This way you can evenly apply pressure and the print will turn out more even, too.
  • Take your time to find the perfect amount of colour to put on the stamp. If you apply to much it will smudge, if you take too little, your print won’t be bold.
  • Clean the cardboard arround the foam rubber from time to time or let it dry to avoid smudging.
  • You can always touch up the prints with a brush.
  • Don’t be worked up if it doesn’t turn out perfect. An a little bit messy look makes half the charm of printing.bird print2

I will share the project I used the fabric for, soon. If you have any questions or tips, please let me know!

You can make this! Button Bracelet Tutorial

bracelet-tutRemember my collection of self made bracelets I showed you before? One of them was an easy button bracelet. Now I made another one for my best friend’s birthday and took the opportunity to prepare a tutorial for you. This is a great DIY to use up all the single left over buttons you have.

You need:bracelet-tut-2

  • Buttons of your choice; I used different buttons in turquoise, a mixture of old and new ones
  • Elastic thread; here I used a fancy one especially for jewellery making, but it’s quite slippery and hard to knot. An elastic thread usually used for sewing works at least as well
  1. Lay the buttons out in the order you want the finished bracelet to be.bracelet-tut-3
  2. Cut of a piece of elastic thread, a few centimetres more than twice as much as you want the finished bracelet to be. Take the thread in half and thread the doubled thread from the back of the button through the first button hole. Than thread it back through the second whole. Push the button over the thread until there are only a few centimetres left to the end of the thread.(Is there another word for thread and threading?!)bracelet-tut-4
  3. Add more buttons in the same way, go from the back through the first hole and return to the back through the second one.bracelet-tut-5
  4. Push the buttons really close together, so they overlap.bracelet-tut-6
  5. If you think you reached the needed length, lay it around your wrist and check. The thread should be filled with buttons tightly. If you’re satisfied, knot the ends and cut any excess. If you used the slippery kind of thread, to prevent the knot to open, cover it with glue or heat it with a lighter very very carefully. This way the band will melt together a little bit.bracelet-tut-7
  6. Spread the buttons evenly, thereby covering the knot.
    And your finished! Easy, hm?bracelet-tut-8

It also works with buttons with four holes. If you have only few of them in between buttons with two holes, just split your doubled elastic band and thread one end each through two holes. If you have buttons with four holes only, I would recommend to use two doubled threads.

As always, if you have any questions or tips, please let me know in the comment section – as well as your other thoughts on this project (other topics are ok, too :)).
Happy crafting!

Art Journaling: Circle Stamps

circle-stamps4Not only do I love letter stamps, I like stamps in general very much. Very often I use every day materials as stamps, especially for stamping simple patterns as backgrounds.

Two things I regularly use for stamping are bubble wrap and mason jars.
Here I used a wrap with bigger bubbles and covered it with coat of acrylics using a roller, before pressing it onto the paper.DSC00176Than I added a second layer with bubbles which were a little smaller. I also went over the page with the roller and the paint which remained on it after covering the bubble wrap.circle-stamps1Then I took the bottom of the maison jar, where you usually can find a “patterned circle” and covered it with paint.circle-stamps2I really like the look of the mason jar stamp with its little pattern and the irregularities. circle-stamps3

To finish the page I filled the maison jar circles with gesso, cut little butterflies and glued them on. For me this is an unusually colorful and bright page, but I like it, because of its springy and happy vibe.

Do you have any tips which everyday objects would make great stamps?

You can make this! Paper Daisy Tutorial

tutdaisiesFinally here comes the tutorial for the paper daisies. They are really easy to make but I think that they are very cute and I like that they can be used in so many ways.

You need:

  • crepe paper in a shade of rose and magenta
  • plated fasteners with round heads
  • nail polish in yellow
  • scissorstutdaisies2
  1. Paint the heads of the fasteners with nail polish. Let dry.tutdaisies3
  2. Take a sheet of crepe paper folded as it is and first cut a square, than cut it into a circle. Mine had a diameter of about 4 to 5 cm. It doesn’t have to be perfect.tutdaisies4
  3. Notch the edges of the circle. Make sure not to cut to far into, since there has to be room for the fastener.tutdaisies5
  4. Take tha layers of crepe paper apart, than make little piles of about ten pieces. Make sure to pile them a little bit shifted to get a more natural, fluffier look.tutdaisies6
  5. Make a little cut into the middle of the pile, push the painted fastener through and bend it at the back. Tousle the “petals” and you’re done!tutdaisies7

As I told you, these little daisies were part of the decoration for the La.Meko Filmfestival. I didn’t take pictures of the whole decoration myself, but I now that there have been taken some. I hope I can get my hands on them and share them with you soon.

If you have any further questions on the tutorial, please let me know!

You can make this! Feathery Birds Tutorial

bird-tut-8On Monday I posted some crazy-looking feathery birds and promised to show you how to make them. Here it is. By the way, I’m really sorry for the (even more than usual) bad pictures I took in the last time. My camera is broken and I usually use my boyfriend’s one, but he’s on vacation and took it. My roommate kindly lent my her camera, but I just don’t seem to be able to take a sharp picture with it and the lack of sunshine didn’t exactly help, since I don’t like to use flash. But taking my camera to repair is on my to-do-list today. I hope they can fix it.

Ok, here we go –
You need:bird-tutorial

  • Two polystyrene balls or cotton wool balls, a big one (about 8cm) and a small ne (about 4cm)
  • Craft feathers and craft feather boas in different colours
  • paint (I used acrylics)
  • brushes
  • toothpicks
  • glue
  • scissors
  • not pictured: black felt tip
  • brown paper
  • pin
  • thread
  1. Stick a toothpick into the balls and paint them. Let dry. (It really helps if you have a plank flooring with large gaps between the planks. It’s perfect to hold the balls while drying…)bird-tut-1
  2. Stick the small ball on top of the big one using the toothpick you already put in. The small one should sit on top but slightly offset to the front of the big one. The toothpick already stuck in the big ball should be facing down in an angle, forming the tail of the bird.bird-tut-2
  3. Stick in two more toothpicks to the points where the wings should sit.bird-tut-3
  4. Now comes the fun part. Decorate your bird by gluing long feathers to the toothpicks forming the wings and the tail and pieces of feather boa anywhere else you like. If the toothpicks show through the feathers you could paint them in a matching colour.bird-tut-4
  5. Paint on the eyes and patterns using black felt tip. Cut a diamond shape out of the brown paper and fold it in half, forming the beak. Glue the fold of the beak onto the small ball.bird-tut-5
  6. To hang it, cut a piece of thread and do a knot at one end. Stick the pin through the knot and put the pin into the bird. You’ll probably have to try where to stick it best, depending on in which position you want the bird to “fly”.bird-tut-6
  7. Done! bird-tut-7

If you have any questions or comments…well, leave a comment.
Have a great day!

You can make this! Kitchen Clock Upcycling Tutorial

tut-clock-finishedI told you on Monday that I wanted to do something with our old kitchen clock – here’s the result. You can see how it looked before here.
I took it completely apart and only kept the clockwork and the clock hands.

I used:

  • cardbord from a packet
  • compass
  • cutter
  • wrapping paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • Modpodge and brushes to apply it
  • foam rubber
  • lacquer pen
  • pencil
  • set square
  • Needle
  1. First I used the compass to draw a circle onto the cardboard in the size I wanted the finished clock to be and cut it with the cutter.tut-clock-2
  2. Than I glued some wrapping paper onto the cardboard and cut around the circle, leaving enough paper overhanging.tut-clock-4
  3. Next, I cut into the overhanging paper, the cuts going towards the cardboard circle and ending a tiny bit away from the circle’s edge.
  4. Then I folded the overhanging paper stripes over the edge and glued them onto the cardboard. I folded the paper really tight to avoid getting little corners along the circle.tut-clock-3Here’s how the nice side looked after I glued all stripes:tut-clock-5
  5. Afterwards I covered the whole circle with a layer of Modpodge.tut-clock-6
  6. Next I drew the numbers onto foam rubber. I drew them freehand, but you could use a stencil, too. Then I cut the numbers.tut-clock-7
  7. I added some white lines inside the numbers using a lacquer pen. I like that it’s  looking like I used crayon.tut-clock-8
  8. I first measured the exact positions of the numbers on the back of the clock face using a set square and transferred them to the front, using light pencil marks. I also drew a light circle onto the front to mark how far inside the numbers should sit.tut-clock-9
  9. Finally, I glued on the numbers, punched a hole in the middle of the clock face and attached the clockwork and the handles and added a hole to hang the clock. tut-clock-10

I had a lot more ideas, but I had to keep the clock as light as possible, since the house I live in is quite old and the walls don’t hold nails very well. Perhaps one day I’ll make another one, until then this will do.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Art Journaling: Altered Images

alter-imagesIn my last Art Journaling Post I shared a page includeing an altered image. Today I’m going to show you what I did to the image. I use this technique when I don’t want to draw something (usually faces) but don’t want to use an image out of a magazine, either. Above you see the altered image on the left and the original one on the right.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Chose an image you want to use and cut it out. You probably could first alter it and cut afterwards, but I find it easier to do it this way, since like this, I can see the outer lines of the image. DSC02271
  2. Thin down some Gesso with water, since you don’t want full coverage but still want to be able to spot the image.alter-images3
  3. Paint over the image using the gesso-water mixture, let dry. While drying, gesso usually brightens, so you have to decide if you’re satisfied with the opacity. If not, add a second coat of gesso and let dry again.alter-images4
  4. Paint and draw over the image however you like. I started by drawing the outlines with ball pen…alter-images5then I added some shadows and some colour to the face and the hands using watercolours….alter-images6and afterwards I painted the clothes using watercolours again.alter-images7Next, I used coloured pencils for some more colour and depth and drew the outlines, lashes and pupils with black felt pen. I also added some shadows with a ball pen.alter-images8Then I stupidly thought I needed some more colour pops and grabbed my oil crayons, which are usually great (thanks, Frau Koch!) but for this, they were just too much (in my opinion) and I liked the image better without them. But that’s how Art Journaling sometimes goes, so I’m sharing this step anyway.alter-images9

And that’s it!

The only thing that’s a little bit impractical is that you can’t draw or paint over the gesso with every kind of colour. Some kinds don’t really adhere to the gesso and even with watercolours and coloured pencils you have to use a lot of colour.

Do you like to alter images before using them? What kind of techniques do you use? If you know any other techniques or have some tips for me, please leave a comment!

You can make this! Washer and ribbon bracelet

tutbracelet1As I showed you on Monday, I have made quite a few bracelets over the years. One of my favourites is the one made of different ribbons and washers from the hardware store because of the combination of edgy and delicate materials. I put together a tutorial so you can make one, too.

You need:
tutbracelet2

  • About 15 washers from the hardware store, I used three different sizes
  • Three different kinds of ribbon; I used a wide flat leather strap, some kind of chiffon ribbon and a piece of black wool
  • Scissors
  1. Cut your ribbons to the same length, the length depending on how often you want to wrap the bracelet around your wrist. Mine was about 1m, but I think it’s best to try it out.
  2. Knot the ribbons together, close to one of the ends. If the overhanging ends are too long or not the same length, cut so it’s neat.tutbracelet3
  3. Pull the leather strap through the hole of the first washer, from bottom to top (see the picture).tutbracelet4
  4. Grab both the other ribbons and pull them through the hole of the washer, too, but this time from top to bottom (see the arrows in the next picture). This secures the washers but still lets you adjust their positions.
    tutbracelet5
  5. Add the next washer in the same way: first pull the leather strap through the whole of the washer, from bottom to top, than both the other ribbons from top to bottom.tutbracelet6
  6. Keep on adding washers until you’re satisfied with the amount. I like to alternate the different sizes.
  7. Add a last washer at the end where you didn’t make the knot before. Pull the leather strap through the washer and knot the leather strap with both the other ribbons. Cut off any overhanging ends.tutbracelet7
  8. Tie a second knot to the end where you made a knot at the beginning. The distance between the knots should be just large enough to pull  the washer you tied to the other end through.tutbracelet8
  9. Spread the washers evenly along the length of the ribbons….and your new bracelet is finished!
    tutbracelet9If you have any questions, please let me know! Which colours or kind of ribbons would you use? If you have any thoughts on this, I would greatly appreciate it, if you leave a comment!

Art Journaling: The Colour Blue

Today I just needed myself to calm down and relax a little bit. While blue can lead to a quite moody look, for me it’s also the colour most calming, especially the lighter shades.blueSo I did a blue page today and thought it would be fun to share the process. Above you can see some colour swatches (see this little notebook here).

I started by ripping out pieces of blue paper from magazines and glued them onto the page.
relax1Than I added some blue watercolours….relax2 gesso to lighten it up…
relax3and a picture of a women I cut from a magazine, as well as some other scraps and doodles.Than I painted over the woman with gesso, watercolours and black ball pen.realx4Finally I finished with some more doodles and colour and a little bit of lettering.
relax5I don’t really like the result, I think it’s quite boring, but since I’m not talking art but Art Journaling, it’s more about the process, so I share it anyway.

Which impact do certain shades of colour have on you? Which is your calming colour?

You can make this! Paper Bird Tutorial

paperbird1Want to make some cute little paper birds, too? Here’s how:

You’ll need:

  • Paper (I used brown packaging paper)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Watercolours and brushes or whatever colours you want to use
  • Black ink pen
  • Washi Tape
  • Glue
  • Needle and Thread
  1. Make a pattern or use this one (print in original size).paperbird-pattern
  2. Copy your pattern to the paper you want to use. I cut mine out, laid it onto the brown paper and drew around the pattern. Then I added the marks.
  3. Cut out the shape.paperbird-tut-1
  4. Colour your bird with watercolours, add some black ink and washi tape. I continued adding details after the bird was glued together.paperbird-tut-2
  5. Fold along the middle line of one of the marked triangles, the bend going inwards to the plain side.
  6. Fold along the left and right line of the triangle, the bend facing toward the coloured side. All creases should stop at the point where they meet. I hope it get’s clear in the pictures. Repeat with the other triangle.paperbird-tut-3
  7. Glue the both sides of a triangle together. Repeat with the other triangle. In the end you should have two corners extending into the inside of the bird.paperbird-tut-4
  8. Glue the ends of the wings together (marked by a cross and an arrow in the picture below), the paper should now form a loop. paperbird-tut-5
  9. Pull the tail downwards through the loop.paperbird-tut-6
  10. Glue the little corner (shaded in the pattern) onto the area between the two little dots.
  11. Add some more details using black ink or whatever you like.
  12. Slightly roll the part forming the head and glue it to the body (see the arrow in the picture), just at the point above the beak. paperbird-tut-8
  13. Carefully push the paper until you are satisfied with the bird’s shape.
  14. Add a thread through the bird’s back to hang it up.paperbird-tut-9

Done! If you have any questions, let me know. What kind of bird would you make and what colours would you use?