DIY Clay Nursery Mobile or Wall Hanging

I have two friends with new babies and a sister who is expecting, so instead of scour the interwebs and stores for gifts that may or may not be exactly what I would want to give (and would probably cost more than I want to spend), I decided that I’d make their gifts myself. I’ve actually had this project idea up on my DIY idea wall for half a year, so I was thrilled to actually find the time to try it out. It ended up being so fun and easy to make that it seems only fair that I share a tutorial with you all so you have a sweet DIY gift in your arsenal next time you have a special baby to spoil.

Psst…You can make at least three different mobiles with just the one package of clay. Personalized handmade gifts for less than $3 a piece = Awesome!

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile: supplies

 

 

  • Printed template (download above)
  • Scissors
  • Rolling pin
  • Craft knife
  • Gel or felt-tipped pen (a finer tipped pen will work better than one with a large tip)
  • Waxed paper for freezer paper (for protecting your work surface)
  • Premier Stone Clay – available at craft stores such as Michael’s or online
  • Air-tight container or sealable plastic bag (for clay storage)
  • Small glass of water (optional)
  • Scrap paper
DIY Clay Nursery Mobile: supplies

For finishing you will also need:

Cut out your paper templates along the outside of the grey border.

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

 

Cover a smooth hard working area with a piece of wax or freezer paper (freezer paper, waxed side up works the best). Use your rolling pin to flatten your clay into an area that will fit at least one of your template shapes. The finished piece should be rolled to about 1/4 inch thick.

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

Place a template onto the prepped clay and use the tip of your craft knife to carefully trace around the outside of the design. You don’t need to worry about cutting all the way through the clay the first time around. Once you’ve traced the design, use your craft knife to cut off the excess clay. Be sure to store all extra clay inside an airtight container while working so that it doesn’t dry out.

Helpful bear-cutting tip: I found that it is easiest to cut the bear out by making as many straight cuts as possible. You can then round off the proper edges once you’ve removed the template.

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

 

Your cut out pieces might look a little bit jagged. No need to worry! Smooth out the edges by dipping your fingertip into water and gently rubbing along all the outside edges (you can smooth the surface as well if you’d like).

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

Once you’ve cut and smoothed out all your pieces, arrange them on top of your waxed paper in the order that you would like to hang them in. You can use the same layout that I used, or create your own arrangement.

Use a wooden skewer to pierce a hole into each piece where you will need to attach your twine for hanging. This hole will give you a place to glue your twine into later on, so be sure that you don’t skip this step.

The hole-piercing configuration I used was: Bear: 2 holes – One at the top center, and one at the bottom center | Cloud: 4 holes – One at the top center, three spaced along the bottom edge | Raindrops: 1 hole – At the top of each droplet.

Now the hardest part…waiting for the pieces to dry. Start by allowing the clay to dry on a flat surface (I suggest using your waxed paper) and then after an hour or so, prop the pieces up against something to allow air to circulate around them. For best results, allow everything to dry for at least 12-24 hours or until completely dry to the touch.

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

 

Woohoo! They’re dry! Now you get to add character to your mobile! Use a pen to create a design inside your clay pieces. For this project I wanted to keep it super simple, but you can be as creative as you’d like.

You can even fill in your shapes with colored pencils (or acrylic paint) if you’d like!

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

I decided to just use pen on mine. Make sure to create a design on both sides if you want the finished project to be used as a hanging mobile (that way there is always something sweet showing).

You can also include a child’s name or a sweet greeting (i.e. “Welcome”) on the cloud.

Tip: If your pen is drying out while you are working, you can fix the problem by scribbling a bit on a piece of scrap paper.

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

 

Arrange your pieces again how you’d like them to be while hanging. Now it’s time to prep the twine. First create a loop for hanging the mobile. Make sure your knot is not too bulky.

You can determine the length of twine needed for each section by measuring it up against the arranged mobile. Now create the twine pieces for each hanging section by knotting both ends of each twine portion.

Place the completed twine portions down into the right spaces as you work.

DIY Clay Nursery Mobile

 

Plug your glue gun in or get out your Elmer’s Paper Craft Gel Glue (this particular glue adheres to the clay very well and dries fairly quickly). Place a small dab of glue on one of the holes in your piece. Use your wooden skewer to push one knotted end of your twine into the hole with the glue. Repeat this process until you’ve attached your entire mobile together. It is best to leave the mobile laying down on your working surface while you are working so that the glue sets properly.

Bonus idea: It also occurred to me that you could make some pretty adorable Holiday ornaments by just making the bear portion of this DIY!

Once the glue has dried completely your mobile is ready to be hung up or given as a gift!

A special note: Please be sure that mobiles are hung out of reach of babies and small children. This project is meant to be an art piece, not a toy…and therefore is not strong enough to withstand a little ones’ attention.

Tip: I recommend making several mobiles all at once, then you can tuck the extra ones away until you’re in need of another baby gift. Just fill in the details with a pen when the time is right!

Easy DIY Fabric Baby Shower / Party Garland

As I mentioned yesterday, I created a simple little garland to decorate for my sister’s baby shower on Sunday, and am excited to share the how-to with you here today. The process is so easy and perfectly customizable to any theme / color palette…maybe you’ll create one for your next party or shower! Bonus, the garland is reusable for future parties, or can be used by the new mom to decorate her baby’s nursery!

I came up with the concept after being inspired by this fabric ribbon garland by My Life as a Sugar Lander. I knew that I needed something that could be strung around the room…that wouldn’t drape down nearly as much but would have a similar visual effect. My sister is really into sewing and since the gender of her baby is unknown I went for a color theme using her favorite shades of peach and blue. Here’s what you’ll need to create your own garland:

  • Sturdy cotton twine
  • cotton fabric strips (ribbon would also work – and would create a similar look)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pushpins or tape (for hanging the garland)

Begin by ripping your fabric into even strips. Mine were about 1.5″ wide. To create even strips quickly and easily, use a pair of scissors to snip along the top edge of your fabric, starting 1.5″ in from the outside edge of your fabric. Grasp fabric with both hands on either side of the portion you just snipped and pull firmly apart…fabric will tear neatly. Repeat this process with as many strips as you’d like to use. Next you will cut your long strips into shorter pieces. I made mine 10″ long, and they were the perfect length for tying.

Begin tying your fabric strips onto your twine one at a time. Lay a fabric strip down and place your twine on top of it. Tie a knot in your fabric around the twine. You can attach them featuring the colors and patterns in any order you’d like. Have fun with it.

Pull the knot nice and tight. Now it looks like a sweet bow!

Trim off the ends to make them perfectly even or shorter if you’d like (optional).

Ta-da! Repeat this step for as many bows as you’d like your garland to have. Since the bows are simply knotted on the twine they can be slid back and forth to create whatever kind of spacing you need. Hang your garland using pushpins or sturdy tape. Tip: To store your garland wrap it around a scrap piece of cardboard (like the inside tube of a roll of wrapping paper or the cut off flap on a cardboard box).

I also made another version in a different color combination using fabric scraps that my mom has had around since my childhood.

I hope you have a blast making your own version of this simple garland! xo Ez

5 Minute DIY: Gilded or Vibrantly Painted Mini Clothespins

It seems that often times the simplest things are the last things you think of. Such is the case with these DIY Painted Mini Clothespins. I’ve had an inspiration wire (literally just a wire hung with two nails) above my desk for a couple years now, and a mini teacup filled with mini wooden clothespins to hang pretty clippings up with right below it…but it wasn’t until just the other day when I was straightening up and had three bottles of nail polish in my hand to put away, that it occurred to me that I might just be able to jazz up my standard pins with a quick coat of polish. Sure enough, it was a total cinch to do and now I have pretty gilded pins hanging on my wire.

They also make great tag holders for topping gifts, or you could incorporate them into a table placesetting—try tying napkins with festive ribbons and then affixing place cards to the ribbons with your clips). Teeny-tiny 1″ wooden clothespins can be found in craft stores (I got mine at Michael’s) and online (I recommend Besotted Brand LLC). Don’t limit yourself to using only gold polish, there are endless colors or nail polish out there, so choose your favorite hues and have fun!

Supplies Needed:

  • Mini wooden clothespins – I used the 1″ size
  • Nail polish in gold or any other color you’d like — high gloss varieties work best
  • Scrap cardstock paper

Tip: Click on the following tutorial step photos to see an enlarged view in a new window.

5 minute DIY gilded or vibrantly painted mini clothespins

Step 1: Create a working/drying area for your clips with a piece of scrap cardstock. Fold one end of your cardstock to create a 3″ flap.

Step 2: Keep paper folded and create a 1″ fold on top of the initial 3″ fold. Turn paper over and fold the 1″ fold back the other way to deepen the crease.

5 minute DIY gilded or vibrantly painted mini clothespins

Step 3: Open Paper and pinch the portion where you created the 1″ fold so that it forms a raised peak.

Step 4: Repeat with the other end of your paper if you will be making more than just a handful of clips.

5 minute DIY gilded or vibrantly painted mini clothespins

Step 5: Attach one clip to the fold of your paper.

Step 6: Paint clip using nail polish, making sure to coat all sides.

Step 7: Repeat with as many clips as you’d like to make. Leave clip(s) attached to paper until they are completely dry (I recommend letting them sit for at least an hour).

5 minute DIY gilded or vibrantly painted mini clothespins

To use as a tag holder on a gift, wrap gift and tie with decorative twine. Attach clip onto the knotted portion of your gift and secure your gift tag inside it. Knot twine around the center of your clip and tie a bow to finish.

Prop notes: Twine from Knot & Bow | Mini Clothespins from Michael’s | Kraft Favor Box from Michael’s | hello friend card with decal from Shanna Murray | Art Print from Caitlin Shearer | Nail Polish pictured from Orly (Luxe), Revlon (Silver Dollar), and Piggy Polish (Sunrise Skies)

Want more 5 Minute DIY ideas? Find them here. See even more DIY tutorials in the Projects & Inspiration Gallery.

DIY Faux Snow Cone Party Garland & Gift Embellishment

As soon as the snow cone shack in our neighborhood opens up, we know that Summer is officially here! The bright candy colors and the sparkle of glittery ice makes the eyes light up of both young and young-at-heart! What better way to capture the essence of summertime fun and bring it indoors, than with this sweet DIY Faux Snow Cone Garland and Gift Embellishment. Bonus: these ones won’t melt everywhere!

Follow below for the simple steps. This would also be a fun project to do with kids…they will have a blast mixing up the paint and pouring on the glitter (just be sure to give little ones a hand with the glue gun). Enjoy!

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This DIY post was sponsored and made possible by Method…”Clean Happy.”

This month Method is hosting a fun contest and asking fans (like you) to guess how many bottles of Method hand soap it took to build the spectacular rainbow light installation in this month’s video.

Visit Method’s guessing contest page on Facebook to enter. The person with the closest guess will win a $100 gift card to soap.com to stock up on method goodies AND, their very own rainbow of hand wash (a set of 7 colorful method hand soaps). Nine runner ups will win a $50 gift card. You can guess daily for more chances to win. Contest ends June 28.

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DIY Garland – Supplies needed:

  • Styrofoam Balls (craft store) — 1.5″ or 2″ (I used 1.5″) You will need at least 8 for a small garland.
  • Acrylic Paint in any colors you’d like (craft store)
  • Paint brushes (craft store) — you will need one for each color of paint
  • Clear Glitter (Michael’s craft store) — I used the Martha Stewart Crafts™ Tinsel Glitter in Crystal, and it looks just like shaved ice). I highly recommend it for this particular DIY.
  • Scissors
  • White Cardstock Paper (office supply store)
  • Paper Cone Template (Includes templates for both 1.5″ and 2″ cones. Download will begin as soon as you click on the link)
  • Low heat hot glue gun (craft store) — low heat is very important for this project, or you will likely burn yourself)
  • Twine
  • Bamboo skewers (grocery store)— optional, but very helpful and highly recommended
  • Scrap paper
  • Tall mug or cup
DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

Steps 1 and 2

1. Pierce each Styrofoam ball with a bamboo skewer and set aside. This will give you something to hold onto while working, and will also allow for faster/cleaner drying time.

2. Apply a small amount of paint to the top of one prepared Styrofoam ball. You can add more as needed, so for less waste and mess, start with just a little.

DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

Steps 3 and 4

3. Use a paintbrush to coat the top 2/3 of your ball. You don’t need to cover the bottom 1/3 because it will be hidden inside the paper cone.

4. Glitter! Generously sprinkle your tinsel glitter all over the painted surface of your ball. Tip: work over a piece of a scrap paper so that you can capture the excess and pour it back into the bottle when you are finished. Tap off loose glitter.

This is where the skewers really come in handy. As you work place each finished ball into a tall cup to help them dry quickly and without any mess. Repeat steps 1-4 with all blank Styrofoam balls using whatever paint colors / variation that you’d like. While they dry, you can work on the second half of your project.

DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

Steps 5 + 6

5. Print and cut out the paper cone template (provided above). Be sure to use the proper template for the Styrofoam ball size that you are working with. Place your template on top of a piece of cardstock and cut around the template. Cut out as many paper cone shapes as Styrofoam balls that you used.

6. Gently curl the outside ends in towards each other until the slightly shorter edge overlaps the opposite edge. Doing this before adding the glue makes it much easier to work with.

DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

Steps 7 + 8

7. Apply a small line of hot glue to the inside edge (the slightly shorter edge) and curl it around once more until it overlaps the opposite edge, forming a cone. Make sure that the glue seals all the way down the full length of the cone.

DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

Steps 9 + 10

9. If there is any excess paper sticking out at the seam, you can snip it off with your scissors.

10. Be sure your Styrofoam balls are dry and have been removed from the skewers before moving onto this step. Apply a small amount of glue to the top inside portion of your paper cone and quickly place a ball inside (make sure the non-painted side is facing down). Gently press down on the ball to make sure that the glue adheres to it.

And now you have an adorable faux snow cone! Assemble all remaining balls and paper cones and set aside.

Don’t they look so pretty!

DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

Steps 11 and 12

11. To complete your garland, apply a small droplet of hot glue to the very top of a prepared snow cone.

12. Place your twine into the middle of the hot glue dot and let the glue set for a moment. Tip: Be sure to leave enough room at the end of your twine for hanging purposes. Repeat with remaining snow cones, spacing them as far apart from one another, and in whatever color pattern you’d like.

Hang your garland with pride!

You can also use individual snow cones to decorate gifts. Don’t they look adorable!

Follow the steps above to create your snow cone, and then add a name onto the paper cone before folding it and attaching it to the foam ball.

DIY faux snow cone party garland & gift embellishment

To make it easy to attach to a gift you can either:

1. Use a pair of wire cutters to snip off the end of a paper clip. Insert the U-shaped wire into the top of your snow cone and it’s ready to use (this would also be a great way to turn these into holiday ornaments).

2. Knot a small piece of twine leaving a small loop at the end. Snip off the two loose pieces of twine beneath the knot. Apply a small amount of glue to the top of your snow cone and place the knotted end of your twine into it. To secure it in place, use the point of a bamboo skewer to gently press the knot down into the top of the snow cone.

You can use your snow cones as place cards too. Just add your guest’s names onto the cones and leave off the hook/loop at the top. Easy peasy!

Prop / product notes:

Acrylic paint colors used for this project are Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint by Plaid® in Diva Pink, Tropic Orange, Caribbean, and Folk Art Acrylic Paint by Plaid® in Sunny Yellow.

Artwork by Fifi Lapin and Courage My Love Poster from The Poster List | Striped Paper Straws and similar mini milk bottles from Shop Sweet Lulu.

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Full disclosure: This DIY post was sponsored and made possible by Method. The project and any opinions expressed are my own.

DIY Brushstroke Glazed Mini Bowls

Hi everyone! Today I thought I’d share a tutorial with you all for these easy DIY Brushstroke Glazed Mini Bowls that are ideal for last minute Mother’s Day gift giving (they are also dishwasher safe when complete). These painterly little vessels look pretty packaged up as a set of two with a nice canister of yummy Fleur de Sel (perfect for the Mom who loves to cook and entertain)…or wrapped up as a sweet little catch all to hold her favorite rings and jewelry (maybe you can even package it with a pretty little bauble or two that will make her feel especially spoiled). Keep reading below for the simple tutorial.

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This DIY post was sponsored and made possible by Method…”Clean Happy.”

Facebook Photo Contest – Chore No More: What to be the one lucky person who will win a year’s supply of Method detergent, or one of 25 people who will win laundry starter kits (two 8-load bottles)? Visit method on Facebook and enter to win by submitting a photo that documents what makes doing laundry a chore – such as using a heavy jugs that are prone to spilling. The top 26 with the most votes from the community will win!

 

 

2$ off Coupon for Laundry: Every Thursday for the month of May, be sure to download your $2.00 off coupon for Method Laundry Detergent on the perks tab on the Method Facebook page. The coupon will only be on available to print on Thursdays.

Canadian residents: Instead of printing the physical coupon, you will be able to get $2 off Method products available at http://well.ca using the discount code “WASHME.”

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Supplies:

  • White Oven-safe glass bowls (plates, trays, etc. would also work) | These mini bowls were purchased at Target for a couple dollars a piece.
  • Vitrea 160 Glossy Ceramic Paint by Pebeo (any color you’d like—colors can also be mixed) | I’ve found these paints at Michael’s Craft Stores and online. You will need very little paint per small dish.
  • Flat-headed paint brushes | Choose a size that is comfortable for you to work with.
  • Oven
DIY Brushstroke Glazed Minibowls

Steps One and Two:

1. Dip the end of your paint brush into the paint, collecting up a reasonable amount of paint, and dab it into the center of your dish. You can always add more paint later, so it is better to start out with a small amount.

2. Place your paint brush into the center of your bowl (in the middle of your paint) and brush upwards toward the lip of the bowl using the flat side of your brush.

DIY Brushstroke Glazed Minibowls

Steps Three and Four:

3. Continue brushing paint from the center of the bowl outward leaving some areas bare and some saturated with color for a painterly effect. Add more paint if needed. Be sure that your paint is not applied too thick and/or that is not running. If drips begin to form, just brush them into the design with your paint brush.

4. Once your bowl is painted how you’d like it to be, set it aside and let it dry for 24 hours. Once air dried, bake it in your oven following directions on the Vitrea 160 bottle.

Note: For best results when baking ceramics it is best to place your dish into a cold oven and turn it on to the correct baking temperature, allowing the dish to heat up with along with the oven. When finished baking, turn off the heat and open the oven door. Allow the dish to cool slowly inside the oven (with the door open). Doing this decreases the chance of having your dish crack from sudden heating or cooling.

Here’s an example of some of the colors that Vitrea 160 paint comes in. You can also mix colors together to create custom blends that more closely match the colors you like best. I hope you enjoy making your own little assortment of dishes. Just beware that it’s hard to stop making them once you start! xo Ez

Prop notes: Gold Glitter Twine from Knot & Bow | Kraft Paper Boxes available at craft stores | Fleur de Sel available at select markets and Williams-Sonoma | Manila Tags available at office supply stores – or download my free printable manila tags | Teapot and Diary – vintage | Uppercase Magazine found here.

Update: I appologize for my earlier note about this paint being food-safe. The bottle does not state otherwise, but Lauren (thanks Lauren) found otherwise on the Pebeo website. Because of this, please use your own discression when applying to surfaces that may come in contact with food items.

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Full disclosure: This DIY post was sponsored and made possible by Method. The project and any opinions expressed are my own. If you’d like to read a little bit more about my partnership with Method, I’ve posted some more thoughts about it right here.