HOT AIR BALLOONS!

I love things hanging from the ceiling. They seem to give a space a much more interesting and whimsical feel, specially if that something is hot air balloons!
Here is my tutorial. You can make these beauties using nothing more than some stuff card paper sheets and scraps of paper and some embellishments. The balloons can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
They look great in craft studios, in bedrooms, in nurseries and even libararies! You can put them up anywhere.
We start with the templates that are given below. There are three different types and each of them will give you a different sized balloon. Start by tracing out these images on your stiff card sheet. Cut as many pieces as are specified on the template you are using. Make sure that you leave a 0.5 inch space on one end of the template as shown in the pictures.
Make sure that you leave this 0.5 inches for every piece you cut and make sure it is always on the same side. Choose left or right. This is how you will glue the pieces together.
Not paste some paper on the other side of the card. Make sure you leave the traced side uncovered. Now cut out the pieces and make little cuts on the 0.5 inch strip as shown in the picture.
Now fold the little cuts as shown. The reason you keep the traced side uncovered is becuase the template line will guide you as to how far you need fold.
Once all the pieces are folded, take some strong clear drying glue and apply it to the tabs. Now pick up another piece and glue the tabs to the smooth ‘non tab’ end. This process is repeated till you have your balloon all done!
Yes, the last tab is very traicky and you might have to wrestle with your balloon somewhat. The larger ones are slightly easier to do so you might want to start with those. Once you get the hang of doing this though it becomes much much easier and you will fall in love with these creations.
I ended up making six for my craft studio! Reveal coming soon. Hope y’all enjoyed this project. Do let me know if you have any questions at all. I would be super happy to help!
Have an artsy crafty day!

ART JOURNALS FROM JUNK MAIL

What could be cooler? I found this awesome tutorial for you. I am going to try this right now. What about you? 🙂

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I have been making smash journals out of junk mail, old magazines and art projects gone wrong and actually have a book about my adventures on Amazon.
When I came across this blog post I knew I had to share it with y’all. I love how this artist incorporates junk mail, old fabric scraps, stitching, painting, doodling and lots else to make a work of art. Makes me believe one doesn’t need any fancy art supplies to make beautiful art after all!

Do check out this tutorial and let me know what you think!

BOOK ART

I love to read books and it breaks my heart to see so many of them ending up in landfills. I try my best to but most of what I need from overstock or old books shops. A special favorite is the Half-Price book chain in Texas! 🙂
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Some books have beautiful pictures of covers that inspire me to turn them into a piece of art. So my bookshelf is full of my favorite novels as well as lots and lots of Altered books, scrapbooks made in books, boxes made out of books and an occasional lamp as well!
In this blog post I want to share a very basic technique with you that makes a beautiful lamp base or a sculpture for your library, or any other room that needs some literary decor 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial given below and I will gladly help.
Hope y’all have an artsy crafty week!

THE CRAFT TABLE TUTORIAL

I have been receiving rave reviews for my crafting table! I wanted to thank you all for loving it so much and also wanted to share a brief tutorial with you.
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I made this table using an old dining table that I had. I have made a sketch of how it was done step-by-step and am also adding lots of pictures to this blog so that you guys can see the actual table.
I love turning old stuff into something totally new and hope that you enjoy this upcycling adventure as much as I did! Let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer them asap.

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CD COVER CALENDARS

I love upcycling as you all may know by now :). Recently I started playing with old DVD and CD covers and when I found this post I though I would share it with you!
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We all need calendars and what better way to make one than upcycle something into one. Check out this awesome idea on the Make magazine blog!
I am going to add lots of embellishments to mine. I will use the printable calander, use paper that I have saved from other projects and layer them, weave them and have lots of fun with this project.
This is especially wonderful to do with the kids. They can each make their own calendars. This can even be a wonderful make and take for a craft booth or a birthday party! The possibilities are endless! Happy Crafting!

A HOUSE JOURNAL

I love buying notebooks, but ever since I have found I can make my own books using everything from old dictionary paper to leftover scrapbook paper to packaging card, there has been no looking back.
I save and hoard all sorts of paper and I make books, journals, scrapbooks, recipe books, travel journals… you get the idea! 🙂

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This is my latest book project. It is made using half A4 size paper that is punched at the top. I use any and all paper that catches my eye. I never coordinate my pages, just throw everything together and surprisingly it works every time!
Since I am big on upcycling and recycling I try and use beautiful pages out of magazines, old packaging/corrugated card, paper left over from scrapbook kits etc…
Here are the steps to replicate my book. Let me know if you have any trouble doing this and I would love to help.
1. Gather some half A4 size paper. Punch two holes at the top as shown and hold it together using two book rings.

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2. Take an old book and seperate the pages from the cover. Now make two holes in the spine and using some ribbon tie the book rings to the book cover. This is the roof of your house. I thread the ribbon through the book ring and then thread both ends through a hole. Then I take a large bead and thread one end of the ribbon through and tie it to the other end. The bead acts as a stopper and doesn’t let the ribbon slip back through the hole.
3. Then I take an old door handle and screw that to the book spine just as I would screw it to a door. Once again I punch holes to do this.

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4. I decorate the front of the house using an image of a door, an actual door knocker, some stickers, paint, some artificial flowers and doilies. You can turn yours into whatever you want. You can collage, gesso and paint to your heart’s content.

View the Video.

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The amazing thing about this book is that you can go in and add pages and take pages out. There is no damage done as the rings will always let you go in and switch. I LOVE that!

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Let me know what you think of this project! I have a book about making your own upcycled scrapbooks and smash books too. Do check it out on Amazon.

MY CRAFT STUDIO – UPDATE!
Mahe ZehraJanuary 28, 2013
I have been hard at work doing up my craft studio. I have tried to make most of the stuff I needed myself and that too from recycled items. You may have seen the shoebox organizer I made for my table, if not go and check it out here.
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You will love what shoeboxes and toilet rolls can be turned into. This would be awesome for a craft room, a classroom or a children’s playroom.
So I made most of the decor and am still engaged in the cleaning up process 🙂 I had no idea I had so much stuff!
The only major thing that is stopping me from doing a reveal on the blog is one wall. It is a little damp and I have to wait to paint it. Once that is done you will see what I have done with my craft studio. I hope that it will inspire you to do more with less as well!

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For now here is some eye candy. Do let me know what you think!

AN UPCYCLED TREASURE CHEST

Here is my latest upcycled project and I am super excited to share it with you. All you need is a shoebox, some toilet paper rolls, some paper and if you want, 4 door knobs.

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Here is what you do.
1. Take your shoebox lid and cover it with the paper of your choice

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2. Put some strong glue on the doorknobs and on the shoebox lid and attach them as shown in the picture.

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3. Now take the shoebox and cover that with the patterned paper of your choice. You could also cover the lid and the box with fabric.

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4. Take the toilet paper rolls and fit them inside the box making sure you stuff in enough for a snug fit. Make sure you trim the rolls so that their tops fit into the box and don’t show above the shoebox sides.

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5. Fit the lid into the box as shown in the picture and fill in with your art supplies. Voila! You’re done!

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You could also choose to skip the shoebox lid part and just add the door knob feet to the actual shoebox. I liked to do it this way becuase in my opinion it reinforces the shoebox and also adds some extra interest to the project.

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Let me know what you think, I love to hear from y’all!
Have an artsy crafty day!

MAKING ART OUT OF OLD DICTIONARY PAGES

Printing on old dictionary paper is so much fun, it’s addictive!

I have tried this technique several times now with both colored and black and white
pictures and it works great everytime. The finished pieces can use used as art work in frames or can be used as mixed media art material, backgrounds for cards, party invitations and lots else.
I have framed several of these printouts, specially using silhouettes and vintage novel illustrations, and made some extraordinary art.
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You could also choose to embellish the print using all sorts of embellishments. This project is one of many projects and techniques shared in The Ultimate Guide to Upcyling which is available on Amazon.com
Do leave a comment and let me know what you thought of this project sheet! I love to hear from y’all

THE GLAD AND HAPPY JAR

We all have lots to be grateful for and here is an idea that will help you remember all the nice things that happen to you over time!
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You could choose to do this with your kids. Make each of them a jar and get them to help decorate it. Not only do they learn about being grateful but they also learn how to recycle. This could be done on a monthly or a yearly basis. My jar will hold all my happy thoughts for 2013!