We spent some time over the last few days decorating Easter eggs. It’s so neat that Liv is at an age where these types of mommy/daughter craft projects are fun and exciting for her. She’s still not as hands on as I’m sure she’ll be when she’s just a little bit older, but she helped me choose colors, paint, apply stencils and dab glue for all of the different techniques we played around with.
Such a cutie! She loved the entire process and didn’t question the idea of coloring and displaying hard boiled eggs that we would normally have for lunch – but I’m sure there are much odder oddities in life for a two-year-old.
Looking over our little assortment of finished eggs, I’d have to say that this year’s theme was all about the gold.
Gold leafing, gold marbling, gold stenciling… subconsciously I was clearly tying recent home decisions into Easter decorating .
So I have about five-ish ideas to share today (with a few bonus finds here and there), but before getting into any of the specific techniques that we tried out, step one was to dye the eggs.
We dyed 18 in total and used Wilton food coloring (because that’s what I had on hand, though any ole’ dye works great) to create an assortment of blue, teal, pink and yellow eggs.
Each of the four little plastic cups that I set out received 2 tb white vinegar, a cup or so of hot water, plus the various dye colors.
I read about a styrofoam block + toothpick egg drying rack from this article here – brilliant!
A couple of minutes submerged in the dye/vinegar/water mixture will yield soft colors, more time = more saturation.
We opted for mostly lighter, more pastel colors and that little speckled effect on the pink eggs was a happy accident. More on that soon.
When the above began to get a little tedious (a toddler only has so much attention), we sped up the process with stove top bulk dying.
We bulk dyed much of the teal colors, they were definitely my favorite!
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty on a few of these techniques because these were so fun to play with.
The first is a faux marble with gold craft paint using two different tools: sponge brush or paper towel.
A little dabbing/blotting and your eggs take on a most unique effect. I love these! Quick and simple.
Next up, stenciling. Using the same gold craft paint, I found a package of gloss enamel Americana reusable stencils at Michaels that were made out of decal-type paper (which is incredibly flexible and can wrap around an egg, plus has a sticky side to help adhere stencil temporarily) and used a sponge brush to lightly fill in the various floral designs.
By default, we discovered that if we messed up and wanted to start over, wiping off the paint will actually pull up some of the dye as well, creating a neat tinted/washed effect where the painted florals once had be.
Side note: some of our eggs came out with a tie-dye, dotted explosion look and I discovered that this happened when our gel dye did not completely dissolve in the hot water + vinegar mixture. But it’s actually pretty cool looking!
When I came across this idea on Pinterest, I was smitten. Had to try my own version of gold leafing eggs! Here are the steps that I used for the effect, though if you’re on the hunt for more detailed instructions, check out the original full post.
Rather than a leafing adhesive, I went the inexpensive route and applied Elmer’s glue in dabs and blots and swirls. Next up was lightly covering the egg in a half sheet of gold leaf (straight from the craft store) and then gently rubbing at the leafing until only the areas with glue adhered. Slowly an organic, smudged-gold leaf design emerged.
If you decide to give this a go, play around with the final look and different mediums to enhance the gold effect. To blur the lines between gold leaf and egg, I added a bit of gold paint to a couple of the eggs with a sponge. One more unique look.
My favorite effect of the day included a combination of stenciling and leafing (see floral egg at the very front below).
Using a stencil as my guide, I gently applied leafing and gold craft paint to the egg and then slowwwwly pulled the stencil up and off.
Probably the trickiest technique of the day, but with a little patience and a little creativity (try a sharp x-acto knife or your fingernail if leafing sticks to stencil) these guys are so pretty.
I wish I had blown out the white and yolk of some of these eggs so that they would last a lot longer than just this week… but maybe next year. If I were trying to preserve my designs I would also coat each of these eggs in some sort of spray seal or varnish.
Just one week until Easter! These will be fun eggs for the Easter bunny to hide .
Just for fun, a picture of Olivia from Easter last year. Oh my goodness, heart is melting.
PS More Easter ideas here
Tags: Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Easter, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Holidays, Olivia | 4 Comments »
Congratulations to Liliana on winning the Lowe’s $50 & Change giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered!!
Here’s a little nursery update that I made a month or so ago. Even though we have plans to slowly turn this room into a pink girl’s space for two, I wasn’t quite sure how long that transition would take and back around Liv’s 2nd birthday, finally filled the blank frame that hung above her art table in her room. I’m not sure why I still call her space a nursery – she’s such a big girl now! But I guess the name can stick since technically it will be one again in a few months .
There are so many fantastic versions of this type of artwork out on Etsy, but I really just wanted to design something simple (read: cheap) and practical for her little art nook so I typed up the alphabet in photoshop, pulled colors from the space and printed them out on glossy paper on our home printer.
The frame just below the alphabet artwork was filled at least a year ago with an adorable card from Liv’s first birthday (another piece of cute, free art!).
That top frame though had been empty for ages! Here I am hiding back when we first added the little art nook to the room:
An inexpensive solution with a colorful, educational result!
Here’s a downloadable version if you’d like to use the print, too (8.5×11 in size).
Liv putting her reading space to good use, we love this table and set of chairs! Drawing, stamping, reading… you name it.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Kid's Rooms, Nursery
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Downloadables, Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 1 Comment »
Just finished a new project for our kitchen and I love how it turned out!
Let’s start this post off with some yummy inspiration.
I have loved the look of vintage botanical charts for some time! They are oversized, full of contrasting color (love the black backgrounds) and the illustrations are so detailed and just stunning.
But I ran into two dilemmas before finding one for the house. The first was tracking down the right print for the right price. I was hoping to find a fabric version rather than a print that I would frame behind glass (see those beautiful dowels above? my favorite way to hang a piece of art like this) and many fabric versions are originals from quite some time ago and because of that they all seem to be pretty pricey (like in the hundreds of dollars a pop range).
The second was finding the right spot! I wanted to find a creative way to hang a new print but these guys are usually pretty big and they need a special home that’s just perfect for the look of the print.
Then very recently, I found the perfect source (and added a little DIY love) and the perfect spot in our home! Our new fabric botanical chart now hangs in the hallway between our dining room and kitchen, and it fits in perfectly.
After a few months of occasionally googling and searching, I stumbled upon KSarahDesigns and her beautiful botanical print reproductions on Etsy. The store offered a gorgeous selection of paper prints, but I reached out to Kristen anyhow to ask about possibly using her artwork to print the illustrations on fabric. I was so happy and surprised when she offered to take on the project herself! Spoonflower is an awesome source for printing your own fabric and a few short weeks later I received my folded, heavy duty cotton twill fabric in the mail.
Printing black onto fabric is near impossible (we learned the hard way) but even the dark charcoal grey looks great as a chart.
Next step was to transform the fabric into a hanging piece of art. I snipped the white edges (no need for a perfect cut since my edges would either be hemmed or hiding behind a dowel) and then carefully added a very small hem to the long, horizontal sides of the chart. My first thought was to use an iron on hem tape to secure the hem, but after pre ironing my hem flat on each side I noticed that the tape wasn’t necessary – the edges stayed perfectly.
I picked up two 1/2″ dowels from Lowe’s and we cut them to size. Then I stained them a warm, chestnut brown (they were originally pine) and I stapled my chart directly to the dowels to give the top and bottom of the print a clean look.
It’s hard to see the string in the photos (and I may switch that out in the future) but for now the chart simply hangs from a nail. Finished!
And a glance from our dining room! Love the black accents and how the lampshade, b&w photos and print compliment each other. The chart leads you into the next space.
Love my new art and that the price for the finished, semi-DIY piece (which came in at under $50) is a totally affordable alternative to the originals out there.
Tags: Accessories, Art, Black, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Kitchen, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »