Tag Archives: paint

Junk Mail Paper – Part Two

It’s time for another installment in my Junk Mail Paper series!  In the first post, I showed you the simplest version of how to recycle your junk mail and unwanted paper into new paper .

Junk Mail Paper - Part One(If you missed the first post, you can find it HERE.)

If any of you actually tried this, I would LOVE to hear about it or see pictures! Share them in the comments!

Now I’m going to show you one of the things you can do with your new paper – making easy-tear notepads out of it!  I also have a fun reusable notepad holder to show you!
Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
Isn’t it cute? Let’s get started!

The Supplies
Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
For the Notepad
1. Homemade junk mail paper (not pictured)
2. Paper cutter or scissors (not pictured)
3. Chipboard
4. Wide Painter’s Tape
5. Two pieces of wood that are taller and wider than your paper and at least a half inch deep.
6. 2 four inch C-clamps (not pictured)
7. Clear 100% silicone sealant – for window/door/attic
8. Magnetic tape or button (optional)

For the Holder
1. DIY 5×7 Chippendale Frame from Oriental Trading Company
2. Scrapbook paper
3. Mod Podge
4. Paint
5. 1 magnetic button
6. 1 small washer
7. Hot glue and gun
8. Sand paper (optional)
9. Primer (optional)

The Directions
Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
Start by trimming each piece of your homemade junk mail paper to the same size.  Make sure you flattened it first by following my instructions in Part 1.  If you have some pieces with worse deckle edges or more uneven edges than the other sides, trim those sides first.  Save those trimmed edges to recycle into more paper! My paper has been trimmed to 3×4 inches.  By the way, I FINALLY found my paper cutter! Yay! You might remember me talking about how frustrated I was about not being able to find it for 2 years in a previous post.  Anyway…

Also trim a piece of chipboard to the same size.  I have actual chipboard.  T, my hubby, brought home a HUGE box a few years ago from work, and I still haven’t gone through the whole thing.  I LOVE free stuff! You could easily cut out a piece from a cereal box or other similar food box.

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
To assemble and make the notepad, first cover the edge of each board with Painter’s tape.  It should generously cover around each edge, touching 3 sides, like the picture shows.  I used shelf inserts from our TV stand for this.  Get creative! You don’t have to go buy wood scraps to do this!

You need to carefully stack your paper and chipboard.  The chipboard serves as a sturdy backing for your notepad. I find it easier to add the chipboard last, but you might find it easier to start with it.  If you’re recycling a food box to use as chipboard make sure the printed side is facing up and you stack the paper on top of it to hide the print.

To stack the paper, carefully line up each edge that will be at the top of the notepad.  If a piece lays lower than the rest, it won’t be touched by the glue and will just fall out.   I suggest doing it piece by piece and not just tapping the stack on a table to get them even.  Pinch the top of the notepad tightly so the papers won’t slip, line it up with the taped edge of one board, put the other board on top lining it up with the paper and first board, and then tightly secure the C-clamps around everything (use the picture above as a guide). Make sure your paper didn’t move while you put the clamps on.  It needs to be as straight as possible.

There are lots of different glues you can use to secure your notepad, but I’ve found that I really like the clear 100% silicone sealant the best!  It creates a nice thick binding and the paper tears off so easily.  It also doesn’t bleed into the paper like some other glues will.  Apply 2-3 layers of glue to the top edge of your notepad.  I like to wear a glove and apply it with my finger. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for drying.  The Painter’s tape will protect your boards from glue and keep the notepad from sticking.

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
This is the only picture I could find of one of the notepads I’ve made in the past.  This one was a gift for my mom a few Christmases ago. It has varying Christmas themed paper and a magnet on the back.  You can add a magnetic button or piece of magnetic tape to the back of yours to stick it up on your refrigerator.  However, if you want to make a notepad holder, don’t add a magnet, and keep reading!

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
Oriental Trading Company let me pick out some items for review, and I just HAD to have this DIY 5×7 Chippendale Frame!  It comes unfinished, so there are so many crafty things you could do with it!  It also come in an 8×10 size.  I started by disassembling the frame.  There are 3 inner pieces: the glass, the chipboard, and the filler paper.

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
Then I just painted the frame in Canary Yellow.  You could sand and prime it first, but I wanted some of the wood grain to show through.  A helpful tip to keep paint from getting all over the edges of your can is to put a piece of Painter’s Tape over the top and wipe your brush on that instead of the edge of the can! Neat, huh?!

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to the size of the chipboard that came with the frame and glued it to the chipboard with Mod Podge.  The paper I used is part of the Black and White Monochromatic Paper Pack from Oriental Trading Company.  I love the variety in this pack.  If you scroll back up to the supplies picture, you can see the designs it comes with.  I especially love the music themed paper!  This pack is the standard 12×12 scrapbooking size. They have MANY other paper designs and paper packs besides this one. Can you tell my foam brushes get a lot of use?!

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
How you reassemble the frame is up to you, BUT I chose to layer it with the glass on the bottom, the paper in the middle, and the chipboard with the scrapbook paper showing on top. You can reuse your frame by layering it this way.  You will be gluing something to the top layer. So if you don’t put the glass on top, you save it from the glue and can use it as a regular frame in the future.  I didn’t want a shiny front for mine either, which is also why I chose to layer it this way. You need to put all the layers in there to make it nice and snug.

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
Use hot glue to attach the washer to the notepad and the magnetic button to the scrapbook paper.  Don’t do it the other way around.  This is what makes it reusable.  It is A LOT cheaper to add a new washer than a magnet to a new notepad.  You might even be able to reuse the chipboard backing if you carefully pull off the remaining glue!

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
Embellish your paper and frame! I made simple paper roses out of the scrapbook paper and stamped “notes” onto the bottom of my paper pad.

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
I also used Mod Podge to line the edges with the same scrapbook paper.  I know some people think the gray and yellow combination has been overdone, but this is my first time using those colors together! I couldn’t resist! 🙂 I even put yellow thread in the paper to give it a little more character.

Junk Mail Paper - Part Two of a series.
That’s it! You now have a cute reusable notepad holder with a homemade notepad!  Even better, these frames come with attached hanging hardware and can be hung vertically or horizontally.

Oriental Trading Company
If you haven’t heard of Oriental Trading Company before,  a visit to their site will definitely be worth your time!  Everything is affordable, and they have a Lowest Price Guarantee.

Here are some great links to get you started:
1. Shop OTC
2. Sign up for email savings
3. Request a free catalog
4. Sign up for Oriental Trading Rewards
5. Explore free project ideas

Oriental Trading Company

**This post is sponsored by Oriental Trading Company.  I received a gift card to put toward products for review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions and reviews are written with complete honesty.  The entirety of this post is comprised of my own thoughts and words.**

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!

Your opinions and thoughts mean a lot to me.  I would love for you to leave me a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by today!


Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Paper, Reviews

Wet Canvas Silhouettes – Painting with Water

Wet Canvas Silhouettes - A water and acrylic painting technique I made this painting as an entry for round one of the 2013 One Crafty Contest. I’m so proud of how it turned out, and it was good enough to get me voted to the next round! A BIG thanks to those who voted!! Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t use a paintbrush? Ok, so I did use a foam brush to paint the black background, but the sunset was painted with water. What? Water? Yep! Keep reading, and I’ll tell you how!

First I needed to make my stencils to create the tree and jumping boy silhouettes.  I don’t own a Cricut or a Silhouette cutting machine (oh, how I wish I did!), so I freehanded the shapes on the back of vinyl and carefully cut them out with a sharp scissors.

(The in-progress shots aren’t the best quality since they were taken in bad lighting late at night.  It’s the best time to work, since both of my boys are sleeping!)

Hand sketched vinyl stencils
I painted my canvas completely black with a foam brush, let it dry, and put the vinyl stencils on.  I actually really liked how it looked at this point with the black and white contrast.  The contest required us to feature paint in our entry, so one layer of black paint wasn’t going to cut it!

Painting over stencils
I did a few things to ensure my stencils would come away with clean lines.  I used a credit card to smooth down the vinyl and get all the bumps and bubbles out.  I put a lot of pressure on the edges of the stencils to make sure they really stuck.  Then I painted another layer of black over the entire canvas and the stencils.  That way if any color was going to bleed under the stencil it would be the color that was already there!  This technique works well when you’re painting designs with painter’s tape too.  The second layer of paint also helped glue the stencils down and provided a barrier for the next step.

After everything dried, I used a spray bottle filled with water to completely soak my canvas.  I was a little nervous about this step not knowing if my stencils would hold on, but they did.  I squeezed my paint directly on the canvas and used the spray bottle as my paintbrush to push the paint around.  It’s amazing all the ways you can manipulate paint with water!  A light misting will blend colors, a sideways stream will move the paint, and a heavy soaking will streak the paint.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with the spray bottle. In the picture above, the paint is still wet and heavily soaked with water.  It took a really long time to dry!

Once the paint had started to dry, but before it was completely dry, I removed the vinyl stencils. Then I just let it dry the rest of the way. All that’s left to do is hang it up!

Wet Canvas Silhouettes - A water and acrylic painting technique

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Here are some other canvas projects you might enjoy:
The Earth Without Art Wall Art DIY Wall Art- You Don't Have to be an Artist DIY Wall Art- Textured Mixed Media

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!

Your opinions and thoughts mean a lot to me.  I would love for you to leave me a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by today!


Filed under One Crafty Contest, Wall Art

Featuring: M! Edition #1

M really loves to sit next to me and watch me do my crafts.  A lot of the time he’ll ask to do his own craft, and we’ll sit side-by-side in a crafty zone!  Just about every day I hear, “Can we paint something?”  I thought it would be fun to feature some of his artwork and crafts every once in a while.
Just, Dinosaur Picture
I‘m calling this one:  Abstract Dinosaur Art.  But keep reading and you’ll see what name he gave it. He really explored color mixing with this one, and it was his first time painting with stencils. He painted this about a month ago when he was 3. He just recently had a birthday.  I was painting my canvas for the DIY Wall Art – Textured Mixed Media post at the time.

I should mention, when you ask him to smile for pictures, he gives a big cheesy smile with a scrunched up nose. So I told him to do a little smile.  It’s better, but not his natural smile. He’s still cute, though!

Just, Dinosaur Picture
Look at that awesome stenciling talent for a first-timer.  I really think it was creative how he stenciled them in one color and then went over it in another to create the green outlines.

Just, Dinosaur Picture
Love the layering of colors.

Just, Dinosaur Picture

And here’s a little interview with M, talking about his painting in his own words:

What is your favorite thing about your painting?
I like all the dinosaurs.
What’s your favorite color in the painting?
Blue, red, green.  I like three.
What is your painting called?
Just, Dinosaur Picture
How did you make it?
I painted it with colors… and made it with the stencils.
Do you remember painting it with me?

Yeah.  I like painting with you, not by myself.
What else do you want to tell me about your painting?
Hang it up!

And that I will do!

Here are some other wall art projects you may want to check out!
DIY Wall Art - Textured Mixed Media DIY Wall Art - You Don't Have to be an Artist DIY Sticker Stenciled Wall Art

Your opinions and thoughts mean a lot to me.  I would love for you to leave me a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by today!


Filed under Featuring: M!, Kids' Crafts, Wall Art

DIY Wall Art – Textured Mixed Media

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A colorful textured canvas that is easy to make!

It even has a recycled element!

The Supplies

1. canvas

2. tissue paper

3. Mod Podge (or similar)

4. acrylic paint

5. oil pastel (or a very waxy crayon)

6. water

7. sponge brushes

8. scissors

The Directions

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Start by taking an old piece of gift wrapping tissue paper.  It should be larger than your canvas size.  This is a great way to recycle tissue paper that’s been used a few too many times.  Scrunch it up.  Open it up. Repeat, repeat, repeat! The more ridges and crinkles you have, the better!

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Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on your canvas using a sponge brush that has been dipped in water. (Sorry for the quality of some of these pictures.  This was late night with bad lighting.)

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Gently place your tissue paper on top of the Mod Podge.  Make sure there is tissue hanging off all four sides.  Don’t smooth it down.  The idea here is to keep all those ridges and creases you made.  If you want it less textured in places, gently pat it down.

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Glue down the tissue to sides of your canvas using the same technique in the previous steps.  Do NOT place your canvas on its front while you’re doing this. You’ll flatten out your creases.  Gently fold the corners down, and glue them in place.  Don’t pull too tight, or the tissue paper might rip. They don’t have to look perfect.  Random creases are what we’re going for here!

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Without getting too close to the edge, cut away the excess tissue paper. Now glue the cut edges down and around the back so that the cut edge isn’t visible from the side.

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Balance your canvas on top of something – like the top of the Mod Podge bottle – to let all the sides dry.  As you can see, I made two at the same time. I have a very specific home in mind for these two, but I have to get some other fun projects done first 🙂

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Once your canvas is dry (or mostly dry) water down your first paint color.  You want it kind of runny. Use the sponge brush to dab on the color.  Don’t actually paint it on, because the tissue paper gets wet during this part and will easily tear.  You can dip your sponge brush that already has watered down paint on it into some clean water and dab with that to create different effects with each color.

Now, you’ll have to make a decision for this next part:  Let it dry? Or don’t let it dry, before adding the next color? I decided not to wait.  I don’t have that kind of patience.  Plus, I liked the idea of my colors running into each other.  This is why you should only use 2 or 3 colors.  Otherwise, you’re going to end up with a brown mess!  Whichever way you choose, dab on the next colors just like the first.  You don’t have to fill the whole canvas with all the colors.  Get creative!

photo (32)photo (33)

Here’s how mine looked after the second and third color with the paint still wet. Let your canvas thoroughly dry before moving on – like overnight.  Bleh, I know, waiting is no fun when you want instant gratification, but it’s worth it!

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Now that your canvas is nice and dry and crunchy to the touch, pick out your pastel color.  You should use a version of a color that is already in the painting, or something that will provide a lot of contrast.  Either way, you’ll show off all those pretty colors.  How?  With the pastel on its side, gently and slowly rub across the painting. The point is to highlight all those ridges, bumps, and bubbles.  Don’t push too hard, or you’ll start coloring in the area between the ridges.

There’s no right or wrong here.  You could take your time and color every little crease, or just get the big obvious ones.  Don’t forget to do the edges of the canvas, too!  If your pastel left some crumbly looking stuff on your painting, just blow it off.  You could probably do this step with a really waxy crayon, too.

Ok, now look at it.  Are you happy with it? Good, cause you’re done!  Yay, now you can call yourself an artist!

Ok, so you’re ALMOST done.  You have the option of sealing it, which would probably be a good idea because of the oil pastels.

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Alright, let’s see those paintings! Comment below with a link to your picture.

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!


Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Free Tutorials, Wall Art

DIY Wall Art – You Don’t Have to be an Artist!

photo (65)

I came across this lovely project last year at Two Girls Being Crafty.  Of course, I had to make my own!  Now I get to share it with all of you!!

This is basically copying a really cool piece of art that World Market sells, but without needing to know how to paint!  Really, it’s like a kid’s project it’s so easy!

Here’s the one World Market sells.  Something you’d like to have hanging in your home?  Well, you can! And for a fraction of the cost!!

The Supplies

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1. acrylic paint in your choice of colors (I didn’t use all the paint pictured here)

2. 1 acrylic paint pen

3. canvas – you choose the size!

4. round sponge stenciling brushes in different sizes and a large sponge brush (optional)

The Directions

photo (62)

This first part is optional.  I used a large sponge brush to lightly paint over the entire canvas.  You could just leave it white.

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Using the acrylic paint pen, draw your branches.  They could be thick or thin, straight or not straight.  You really don’t need any talent here.  You’re just drawing lines.

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Dip your circle sponges into the paint and stamp your circles on.  Use more than one size circle for the same color, and let some of the circles dry a bit before you paint an overlapping one. I decided to use more vibrant colors than the original print.

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See, wasn’t that easy?  Just lines and circles – a kid could do it!

I love how I could paint this 100 times, and it would come out 100 different ways.  The options are endless!

Yes, I know there’s a big scratch at the bottom of mine.  That’s what happens when I leave it propped up on my always cluttered craft desk.  It’s still waiting for a permanent home.

Happy painting!


Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Free Tutorials, Kids' Crafts, Wall Art