DIY: Crayon Candles

DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled
My obsession with bright colors got me hooked when I saw this tutorial by Brit+Co. I already had a bunch of old crayons on hand from my previous DIY crayon post and I’ve been interested in making candles lately, so this was the perfect project!

Once you’ve gathered your supplies and setup a work space near your microwave, this project is fairly simple and would be a great craft to do with a friend. I loved blending my own colors and experimenting with different color combinations.

DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled

Supplies Needed

• Old crayons
• Glass votives (I used small juice glasses)
• Wax
• Wicks
• Dixie cups (or any paper cup)
• Popsicle sticks (for stirring)

Additional Tools

• Microwave
• X-acto knife

The first step is to peel the paper off your crayons. You can either use an x-acto knife or soak the crayons in water for easy peeling.

Next, fill a dixie cup with wax and microwave for 1 minute. Give it a stir and microwave again in 30 second intervals until wax is completely melted. Pour a thin layer of wax into the bottom of each votive and place the candle wick in the center. Let harden.

DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled

Using one crayon per color, fill a dixie cup with wax and top with a broken up crayon. Microwave for 2 minutes and then in 30 second intervals until completely liquified. Let cool for 30 seconds or so and pour colored wax into the votive. Let the first layer dry for 20-30 minutes.

DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled

Repeat this process and continue to pour layers of colored wax into each votive, making sure to let them dry between each layer.

DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled

And that’s it!

DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled
DIY: Crayon Candles #craft #crayola #recycled

What other fun crafts have you made with old crayons? We’d love to hear about your projects…

UPDATE 9/14/14

I had some trouble burning my candles. After talking with a candle making friend, she recommended I use a larger (thicker) wick. Also, be careful not to burn out your microwave! I recommend only make a few candles at a time to prevent over-heating your microwave. Happy making!

SHOW + TELL: Paper Scrap Birds, from the Vault

We’re not happy unless we’re making things- which means we have a whole slew of projects from the time before A-i-M. We thought we take time now-and-again to share some of these projects from the DIY vault. This one’s more of a Show + Tell, but it’s a great example of how you can add creativity into you life anywhere…. even with scraps.

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Have I mentioned I am unable to throw anything away?

A few years ago, after printing and trimming massive quantities of cards, I was left with a treasure trove of cotton, cover-weight paper strips (which I have since started using to make handmade paper).

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I grabbed a bottle of Elmer’s glue and started working them into simple Christmas decorations, using the strength of the stock, and a few tricky reinforcing pieces disguised as decoration. Eventually the pieces began to turn into birds, trees, and other fun critters.

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I would find a picture of an animal, and work with the paper scraps until they started to take a shape I liked. It was fun trying to recreate animals with the strips, using just glue and the natural resistance of the cover-stock.

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I enjoyed playing with them, and making scenes and patterns out of the shapes. Nothing beats a quick, simple exercise that uses scrap materials.

I’ve got to go now- there’s a box of black paper scraps calling my name.

DIY: Tiny Marker Stamps

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I was invited to join the local gallery at an Art Outside event this summer, and put together a mini-version of my paper flower class for kiddos who were attending. I brought a bunch of pre-dyed flower petals so that they could form a little flower on a bobby-pin, to use anywhere.

I thought it would be fun to let them hide some bugs in their buds, so I carved a few mini-stamps of beetles, spiders, and bees to stamp amongst the petals. In order to make the tiny stamps easier to use, I came up with a way of sticking them in the end of Crayola Broad Line Markers. I thought I’d share!

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First I cut out a circle to fit the end of the marker by coloring the cap of the marker with a Sharpie
then immediately stamped it onto a piece of Speedy Carve Rubber Stamp Block.

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I cut the tiny circle out with a craft knife and then

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drew a tiny spider to carve out.

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Then I pushed and shoved and slowly worked the pieces of rubber into the end of the marker. It’s good to have a tight fit so it won’t work itself out as you use it.

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I used Speedball Linoleum Cutter to carve the extra pieces out of the rubber. Because the stamp is so small, it’s important to work slowly on small sections. Actually, the marker makes it a lot easier to carve, and kept my other hand away from the sharp tools.

I tested the stamp repeatedly, by using the marker it was attached to to color the stamp. I ran the marker over the design, stamped, and used that information to remove more of the rubber. The more stamps I made, the simpler they got. It is really difficult to keep a lot of detail on such a small surface.

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Finally I had a sweet little bug stamp to add to the flowers. Bwahahaha.

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I have all sorts of stamps I want to make using this method. Some of them might even be un-creepy!

If you’d like to try this project yourself, check out the supplies at the Adventures in Making Amazon Store . If you buy through our store you’ll pay the usual Amazon price, but we’ll get a small percentage to help us power our creative adventures. You’re great!

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer
This project has been on my list for a while now and I’m so excited to finally make these tiki torches from Lucky Buddha beer bottles. They just look awesome! And they’re the perfect backyard lighting and decoration for summertime.

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

Supplies Needed:

• Lucky Buddha beer (6-pack)
• Tiki torch fuel
• Tiki torch replacement wicks
• 1/2″ x 3/8″ copper coupling
• Sealing tape

Step One: Drink beer!

Enjoy a refreshing Lucky Buddha beer with friends! Make sure to save the bottles. Wash and let dry.

Step Two: Prepare the copper coupling

I found both the copper couplings and sealing tape at Home Depot. The first step is to wrap sealing tape around the smaller end of the copper coupling. You want to wrap enough tape around the copper that it will seal around the bottle opening. Insert the tape-wrapped copper coupling snuggly into the bottle opening.

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

Step Three: Fill with tiki fuel

Using a plastic funnel, fill each bottle with tiki fuel. Then insert the wick. Let wick soak up the fuel for a few minutes before lighting.

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

DIY: God’s Eye Bouquet

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

God’s Eyes are my all-time favorite summer craft to make. They are so simple (a perfect craft to do with kids) and the color combinations and techniques are as endless as your own creativity. Traditionally made by the Huichol Indians, God’s Eyes are said to give one “the power to see and understand things unknown.”

A variation I love to make is a God’s Eye, but with a long stem that can be poked into the ground for a garden decoration or arranged in a vase (with or without flowers). I absolutely love the look of these little bouquet centerpieces. They would make for great party decorations. I found the colored glass vases on sale at Michael’s and they coordinate perfectly.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

Supplies Needed

• Stick or twigs
• Yarn (scrap yarn works great)
• Small vases
• Scissors
• Garden clippers

Step 1: Gather your sticks

You’ll want to gather a handful of long, straight sticks. Use garden clippers to cut them from a tree in your backyard or gather up some already fallen on the ground. For this project, you’ll want to cut 3 sticks between 12″-18″ long and another 3 sticks that are 4″-4.5″ long.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft

Step 2: Choose your yarn

This project is perfect for using up scrap pieces of yarn you already have on hand. You can use as few or as many colors as you want, choosing color combinations to match any special occasion.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

Step 3: Make your god’s eye

To start your first God’s Eye, take one long stick and one short stick and cross them over each other about 2 inches down from the long stick.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

Take your first yarn color and tie a tight knot at the center, where the sticks intersect, to hold the cross shape. (Don’t cut the yarn from the skein- you can cut it later, when you’re ready to change colors). Make sure the knot faces the back of your God’s Eye. Wind the yarn diagonally around the intersection, in both directions, to stabilize the sticks and cover the middle.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

Once you have the intersection of the sticks covered and secure, wrap the yarn over and around one stick. Continue the same over-around pattern on each stick. You can continue this pattern until you want to change colors. To do this, cut the yarn from the skein and tie the new color to the previous color, making sure that as you continue weaving, the knot is on the back side of the god’s eye.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration
DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

When you are nearing the ends of the sticks, cut your yarn, leaving about 3 inches at the end. Tie a tight knot around the last stick. Trim excess yarn strands.

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration
DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

Make as many god’s eyes as you need for your bouquets. Feel free to experiment with different color combinations too!

DIY: God's Eye Bouquet #tutorial #craft #decoration

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

alissa-biopic_200x200Please welcome our very first guest blogger, Alissa Thiele! Alissa is a Portland based artist who’s photography & illustration work is inspired by the Pacific Northwest – the mountains, mushrooms, ocean, and sea otters. Alissa loves creating jewelry with kitschy, vintage gems. Her work can be found at many locally owned stores and in her Etsy shop at www.atealeaf.etsy.com.

Does your home need a little sprucing up? Make this crafty paper garland to hang on your walls, windows, or doorways. This fun DIY is a perfect decoration for your next special event, holiday, or even just year-round. Plus it’s a great craft project to do with your friends and family – what better excuse for a craft night!

Supplies:

Butterfly Template
• An old book you don’t mind cutting up (thicker pages work best)
• Ink (Speedball calligraphy ink works great)
• Baker’s twine
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Stapler
• Paper hole punch

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

1. Choose Your Shape

Take your scissors and cut out the butterfly stencil. If you are feeling extra creative you can make your own shape. Maybe a clover, flower, heart, or circle. It’s best for the shape to be about 2”-3” in length & height.

2. Use An Old Book

Find an old book that you don’t mind cutting up. Remove 3-5 pages from the book. An X-acto knife & ruler make it easy to do, but you can also tear them carefully. Using a pencil, trace your butterfly stencil onto a page. Be sure to trace in an area that has lots of text (or fun illustrations!). Depending on the size of your book, you should be able to fit about 3 butterflies on the page.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

3. Cut Out Your Shape

Next, paperclip the rest of your removed pages below your traced page. Now we can cut lots of butterflies at once! Carefully cut out the butterfly shapes with scissors.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration
DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

4. Form The butterfly

Gather 3 of the butterflies that you just cut out. Put them together & fold them in half vertically. On the fold, staple the center of the butterfly. With your hole punch, make a hole above the staple (this is how you’ll string the butterflies into a garland). Finally, fan out the butterfly wings. So pretty!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

5. Dip Dye Your Butterflies

Now we’re getting to the fun part! First create a work space where you can dye and dry the butterflies. I like to put down some plastic wrap on a table and then add a layer of paper towels so it’s extra ink proof. Then put a half cup of water and a teaspoon of ink into a glass. Take your butterfly sample and submerge it halfway down. Hold for 10 seconds, making sure the ink gets on all sides of the butterfly. Remove it from the ink, blot excess ink on paper towels, and carefully lay it out. Pro Tip: stand the butterfly up on the paper towel so it doesn’t get bent while it dries.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration
DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

If you’re happy with the color repeat STEPS TWO – FIVE to make more butterflies. If not, add more ink or more water as needed. Keep it interesting by alternating between dying the tops and dying the bottoms. Make about 10 completed butterflies.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

6. String Into Garland

Almost done! After all the butterflies have dried, cut a piece of baker’s twine about 6 feet long. String the butterflies on the twine, tying a knot in between each to prevent them from sliding too much. Now hang up your awesome new garland on your doorway, ceiling, window, or wall!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

Hashtag this tutorial #adventuresinmkg to share & see others!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration