Wednesday, January 31, 2018

DIY Farmhouse Signs and Other Projects with my Silhouette Cameo

It's been forever since I posted was busy and very different in 2017.  If you've followed along with me, you know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer last January and chose a bilateral mastectomy as treatment.  I'm very blessed to be cancer-free and done with reconstruction...all within one calendar year. 

Needless to say, 2017 was not my best year for getting a lot of projects done. But, while my surgical recoveries didn't allow for a lot of DIY, I did complete a few things...including my bedspring chandelier (many thanks to my teenager for doing the heavy lifting there).

And, once I started feeling more like myself this past Fall, I started playing with my old Silhouette Cameo. Honestly, I never fully appreciated that machine and hardly used it. Well, now that I've finally started playing with it and vinyl crafts, I'm addicted!  Facebook Groups and YouTube have become my new hang-outs.  If you are interested in making some thing..any thing really...there's probably a FB group for that :)

One of my first projects was for Christmas when I made farmhouse ornaments.  These turned out really cute and became such a hit when I posted them on FB that I made several sets for customers.  They are simple but look great on the tree. My letters were cut out of Oracal 651 permanent vinyl in black matte.
Farmhouse Ornaments made with white matte
glass ornaments, permanent vinyl, and fun ribbon ties.
Well, these got me started on the Rae Dunn-inspired bandwagon!  I made a couple of snack bowls for myself and new burner covers...also using 651 vinyl and a font called "Paprika".

Dollar Tree burner covers spray painted white and
then lettered with vinyl decals
After that, it was vinyl crafts galore! I really loved how easy it was to make all kinds of things....and I might have gone a little crafting crazy.  But, in my defense, it had been a looooong time between Hobby Lobby sprees and I made most of my Christmas gifts to my family this year.  ;)

I have now used my Cameo in the last few months to:
  • make stencils for wood signs and boxes
  • make custom vinyl pantry labels
  • cut HTV (heat transfer vinyl) to make tshirts, onesies, blankets, and even monogrammed purses
  • cut earrings out of glitter canvas and faux leather
  • cut vinyl for mugs, earrings, dessert carriers, dishware, and "reverse canvas" farmhouse signs
  • cut a stencil used with my wood burner to make a personalized cutting board
.....and there's so much more I haven't even tried yet!

So, if you have something you wanted to try and maybe it didn't work out the first round or maybe you were intimidated by the machine/materials/etc., I encourage you to give it another go!  You might discover a new hobby or appreciation for it after all.  

If you are interested in seeing more of my projects (or visit my soon-to-open FB shop), please follow along or "like" my Facebook page @JuliesCraftyImaginings.

Try something new this week!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Upcycled Bed Spring Chandelier

We finally have a light fixture above the dining room table!!  

The previous owner of our house removed the chandelier and patched the ceiling...I was told it was because he put a pool table in the room.  I've wanted to replace the fixture since we moved in 6+ years ago but the cost of an electrician, another person to repair the ceiling, and the light fixture itself kept the project on the "to-do" list.  I also did not want just any ordinary chandelier.  While it hangs over the formal dining table, it is a shared dining/living room.  Having a fancy fixture would not really go along with the rest of the decor, but too casual or too small and I wouldn't be happy with the overall look.

If you've followed me for very long, you know I LOVE a good upcycle project and adore the chance to turn something odd into something pretty!  

For over a year now, I've seen multiple projects made with old bed springs.  I even purchased two antique ones at a show last year...using them as candleholders now.  One booth at the Vintage Market Days was entirely dedicated to bed spring crafts...wreaths, candle holders, Christmas trees, etc.
Last Fall's VMD finds!
On Pinterest, I've seen several lighting projects using old crib springs and mattresses.  I liked the look of the wires and springs and the thought of such a noticeable fixture in the room!  The only problem was where to find an old mattress!?!?!

Then, this Summer, my son's school was cleaning out the gym and someone from the neighborhood threw a few items into the junk being an old, stripped set of bed springs!!  What?!?!  It was meant to least that's what I told my son when I asked him to load it up after soccer practice!  ;)
Can'y you just see all the projects to be made with this?
I was still recovery from surgery at the time so I wasn't able to get started until this past week.  It only took a day to get in up and then I had to wait until my lights arrived from Amazon a couple of days later to complete it.  I am so happy with how it turned out!

To start, you'll need a good set of bolt cutters.  I broke the tip off of a pair of snips, so just use the bolt cutters upfront and save the hassle of running out to buy a pair like I had to!

Once I cut the mattress down to the size I wanted the fixture to be, I removed all of the clips and extra little stray pieces that were hanging from many of the springs.  I had my son hold the piece up and got an idea of how long we needed the chain to be on each side.

The only chain available at Home Depot that I liked was silver, so I purchased some Rustoleum Spray Paint in a rustic metallic color.  The chain took the spray paint easily and it was a great  match to the bedsprings.  I also painted the "s-hooks" that we used to attach the chain.

My son installed a heavy duty hook into the ceiling. I bought one that was rated for 45-lbs just in case. Once the chain and hooks dried, we took the pieces inside and started playing with the right height.  This is most definitely a two person job!!  My son was the only reason I was able to get this project upper body strength is not back to normal yet and the overhead work is still tough for me.

Once we figured out the right length for each chain, my son bent the ends of the s-hooks so that the chains would not slip off.  Then, we hung the fixture!  

I liked it immediately. The size was just right.  Earlier in the week, I found these lights at Big Lots for $10/each.  Two strings was perfect.  

The strings are very small with tiny lights and are battery-operated!! I wound them loosely all around the light fixture and secured the battery packs close to the sides so that I can reach them when needed.
Very cool!

I found some battery-operated, remote-controlled bulbs on Amazon that arrived a couple of days later. They complete the look and now I wish I had a remote for the other two strings!

All lit up!

Love it!

What do you think?  Would you hang an old bedspring from your ceiling?  :)
Happy DIY-ing!
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