What Do You Get When You Cross A Paper Napkin With Decoupage? Spring Chickens…

 

Are you like me?  Do you go into quaint little boutiques and ooh and ah over everything but then leave without spending a dime?   I bet those shop owners just love to see people like us walk in the door.  But seriously, how can a girl who loves to shop at second hand stores ever in her right mind spend a wad of money on cute little home décor items that she knows she can make herself for pennies?

This project will require you to search out a few inexpensive items but I think you’ll have fun doing so.

First, you will need small piece of wood.  I used a 5 1/2” x 4 1/2” piece of pine (3/4” thick).  You will also need a fun or pretty paper napkin.   I happened to have these  funky chicken napkins on hand that I absolutely love.  You will also need a small bottle of acrylic paint (I used ivory) and a small paint brush,  a piece of fine grit sandpaper, a pair of scissors, and  bottle of Mod Podge

Paint the front side of your piece of wood with your paint and let it dry.  Once the front side is dry, paint the back side and edges.  Remember to rinse your paintbrush because you will need it later in the project. When all paint has completely dried, lightly sand the edges with the small piece of sandpaper to give it a weathered look.

Cut out the portion of the napkin that you want to use for your project.  I cut the napkin and then separate the layers once I’m done cutting.  This makes it easier. 

With that previously rinsed out paint brush, now apply a coat of Mod Podge on the front of your painted piece of wood.  Carefully lay the colorful top piece of your cut out napkin in place and apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over it.  I like to use a slightly wet brush while doing this so I keep a little dish of water nearby.  You have to be very careful not to over wet the brush though. I work the bubbles out with the brush and I go.   Once the first layer of Mod Podge has been applied let it dry thoroughly.  Proceed to apply three more coats (drying completely) between each application.

This particular project can be displayed on a table, shelf, or window sill.  And if you’re looking for a piece of inexpensive wall art just add a small picture hanger on the back and there you have it!

Imagine the possibilities.  Monogramed letters, quotes, shabby chic floral designs, and yes, funky spring chickens!

Looking for another clever decoupage project by The Joy of Caking?  Click here

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2012 Holiday Gift Ideas

I  like to believe that nearly everyone has the capacity to give meaningful gifts that won’t break their banks.  Today, I’m going to make a few suggestions to get you thinking outside of the box this holiday season.  The good news; there is still plenty of time to brainstorm and come up with your own great and doable gift giving ideas.

1.)  The gift of time.  Pick something that you’re good at, or comfortable doing. and give the gift of time; organizing, snow shoveling, babysitting, pet walking, car washing, photography, handyman work, etc., and   make a gift certificate for the gift recipient.  To avoid confusion, make sure the certificate is job and time specific.  It’s also a good idea to write your phone number on the certificate with the message; call and let’s set a date!

2.)  Cook.  For years, I have made it a habit to make homemade meals to give.  They are always a huge hit.  I like to prepare foods that can be frozen and reheated later.  Trust me when I say that recipients of these gifts will gladly make room in their freezers for a batch of  your homemade meatballs, lasagna, mac & cheese, meatloaf, quiche, or homemade soup. 

3.)  Bake.  While cookies are one of the most popular treats to give during the holidays, try zeroing in on Christmas morning.  I don’t know many people that would be disappointed with a big pan of homemade cinnamon rolls, a delicious breakfast casserole, or even a tasty breakfast pizza that they can enjoy while opening presents.  Make sure your recipient knows in advance that you will be delivering a special treat.

4.)  Craft or Create.  I don’t know about you, but I love receiving handcrafted gifts.  My mother in-law is a wonderful quilter.  She produces some of the most beautiful quilted projects I’ve ever seen.  I love receiving something she makes for a couple reasons.  One, I’m a horribly impatient person when it comes to sewing and  I know my limitations.   And two, her work is so beautiful that if I wanted to purchase something similar, it would cost me a fortune.  These quilts are now treasured heirlooms – just like the ones my mother made and I now cherish.

And while I’m not quite as creative as my mother was, or mother in-law is, I can come up with a few inexpensive gifts to make all on my own.

Sometimes a batch of homemade hot cocoa, a pretty little cup to serve it in,  peppermint sticks to dip in the cocoa, and a handmade card make the perfect gift. 

 

What are you asking for this holiday season?  World peace, good health and prosperity, a spa day,   gift cards, help around the house, clothes,  a new car, or something else? 

DIY – Create Your Own Wall Art

Recently, I was snooping around Walmart when I happened upon a machine in the photo department that prints faux canvas images of your photographs relatively cheap. 

Since I think this is a really cool product, (and no, Walmart isn’t paying me to write this post), I decided to play around with one of my photographs and show you what I mean.

flowers 019color

The photo above is my original.  With  a little help from my photo editing program I transformed that original image into a black and white, a faux painting, and a picture that’s bright and colorful. 

flowers 019greyscale

flowers 019paint

flowers 019rainbow

I think it’s important to create several different images that you can compare before heading off to the printer.  By doing this, it helped me realize that I actually preferred the black and white version of the photograph over the others.

So, why hide your beautiful photos in a photo album that collects dust?  Show them off!

Which photo of the four is your favorite?