Friday, October 30, 2015

Thrift Store Blazer Makeover

There is nothing I love more than making over a thrift store find. Well, nothing except stuffing my face with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but I digress.  I was itching to try something that could travel down a Paris runway.  After fabric shopping for a few days and not finding much I decided to create my own fabric with Allure from E-6000  (It's washable and dry-cleanable so it's perfect for creating fabric) Here are the results.  There are some step-by-step photos included in this blog, but it's much easier to see how I made this in the video.  If you have any questions, just write.  
I'm always here for ya!xoxox, Mark

Julie looks magical in this coat!

Learn how I made it here!
Stuff You'll Need
Thrift Store Blazer
Muslin (or thin cotton fabric)
2 yards fabric to match your blazer
Marking pencil
Butcher paper
Scissors and pins
Fold a 20" x 20" piece of paper on the diagonal
Create a 17" curve as shown
Cut the pattern in muslin for the sleeve
Place the pattern on folded muslin and cut it to create the peplum
*You're doubling the pattern to create a peplum
Pin the pieces on the jacket to make sure they work and trim if necessary
Place the muslin on the black fabric and cut 2 sleeves and one peplum
Trace a leaf pattern in vertical lines on each piece
Zigzag over the traced leaves with Allure Metallic Jade
Create the leaf veins with Allure Glitter Green Spark 
When dry cut around the leave shapes
Pin and glue (or stitch) to the jacket using E-6000 Fabri-Fuse OR a sewing machine

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Paper Flowers (That Last Forever)

Who doesn't love a beautiful paper flower?  In the middle of winter when you can't have beautiful blooms, there is nothing more fun than creating your own to brighten things up a bit!  Making these Kusudama flowers is a fun family project and perfect to keep your hands busy when you're sitting in front of the boob tube!  Why not make them last forever with just one more simple step?  Heck, if you're going to spend all that time on them, why not have them for a while!  This process would be  perfect for a DIY paper wedding bouquet!  Have fun.  xoxo, Mark
When they dry, they look like glass!
I love how shiny they become
A bright bouquet of rainbow Kusudama flowers

Watch the fun video tutorial here!
Stuff You'll Need
18 gage wire
Wire cutters
3 1/2" x 3 1/2" colored office paper
Hot glue gun
White school glue
Yarn or twine

1. Fold the square in half on the diagonal to form a triangle
2.  Fold the left and right corners up to meet the top point and form a square
3. Fold the front points out so each outer edge lines up with the edge of the square
4. Unfold the last fold then open each side up into a pocket and flatten each pocket out along the crease lines you just made, to form a kite shape 
5.  Fold the tip of each kite shape forward along the line of the edge of the paper to form a triangle
6. Fold the lower edge of each side up along the existing crease
7. Add a thin layer of glue along one of the front flaps
8. Use a clothespin to hold them together until the glue dries
9.  Continue making 5 petals for each flower
10. Glue groups of 2 and 3 together and let dry
11.  Glue the sets of 2 and 3 together to create a complete flower
12.  Add hot glue to the end of a 12" piece of wire
13. Insert the wire into the center of the flower to create a stem
14. Mix the Glaze Coat in a container large enough to dip the flowers
15.  Dip the flowers in the Glaze Coat and hang to dry on a mini clothesline
*Make sure you have plenty of newspaper under the clothesline to catch the dripping Glaze Coat
Cut your own squares at work or try using post-it notes!  I won't tell. 
Dollar store clothespins make the best little clamps for projects like this

Friday, October 23, 2015

Desk Organizer DIY

Growing up in a small rural town without a big craft store, we were "forced" to use whatever we had on hand to get creative.  For me (like many) it was cardboard, newspaper and glue.  Gotta tell ya, that's about all you need if you want to get your crafty groove ON!  As a result, I love everything paper, cardboard, decoupage and paper mâché.  Anything that uses recycled materials has my name on it.   Not only is this tray a beautiful way to organize your stuff, it's a terrific way 
to recycle and save some cash at the same time.  How awesome is that?!  You can make this tray any shape you want, like simple squares or rectangles.  Experiment with different sizes, papers and paint techniques.  You can't go wrong.  Have fun!  xoxo, Mark
Try different tray shapes like simple rectangles and squares
Make a few for your dresser or vanity
Star struck!

Watch the short video tutorial here!
Stuff You'll Need
Template for tray
White school glue
Craft knife
Trace and cut the hexagon
Trace and cut the sides of the tray
Glue the pieces together to create the shape
*You can tape the pieces together while they dry
Add a little water to some white school glue
With a paintbrush, decoupage the paper to the tray with the glue
*This will make it sturdy and keep your pieces in place
When dry, paint the entire tray white
Cut pieces of the Americana Decou-Page Paper to fit the tray
Using the gloss Decou-Page medium, adhere the decorative paper to the tray

Paper and perfect!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Spin Art at CAFAM!

You probably already know that I'm obsessed with spin art.  Ever since my parents let me make a spin art canvas at the Rocky Ford fair, I've been hooked!  BTW,  I had already thrown up on the zipper so I was "grounded" for the rest of the day and spin art was my only option.  Several years ago I disassembled a basic fan and created a mini spin art machine and since then, my life has been spinning out of control.  For a special craft day at CAFAM last week, I finally made HUGE spin art machines from large box fans.....The kids (and adults) loved them.  


The parents did NOT want to miss their turn either!

You can't help but smile when you're spinning!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Roadside Rescue Side Table Makeover

A few weeks ago my awesome friend Nikki (from the YouTube channel AtHomeWithNikki) challenged me to a thrift store/roadside rescue furniture makeover.  I'm all for a challenge, but Nikki doesn't play fair....She's basically a triple threat!  A designer, DIY'er and chef.  Still, I took the challenge!  The very next day I found a hideous side table by the trashcans in my neighborhood and dragged it up 3 flights of stairs to my house and stared at it for a week.  Hey, it was there and I was just too exhausted to go looking for furniture at the thrift store.  This would have to do!  Ultimately, I ended up really liking this piece when it was done.  But, my assistant, Julie, liked it more! So, now it's cozy in her apartment.  One man's trash truly is another man's treasure!  Enjoy and be creative. 
 xoxo, Mark
I love the mix of stripes and bold color!
Adding fabric to the sides of the drawer was the perfect touch!
I will hang a tassel from any knob!  Knobs beware!
Watch the fun video tutorial here
Stuff You'll Need
Black and white striped cotton fabric (1 1/2 yards)
Americana Decor Chalky Finish in White, Treasure and Romance
Drawer knob
Paint the sides and interior of the side table (and drawer front) with the chalky finish in treasure
Paint the top of the table and sides of the drawer in white chalky finish
Paint the inside of the drawer with the red (Romance) chalky finish
Paint the front trim with the Americana Metallic Gold
Place the ironed stripe fabric on the table top and line up the stripes
With the palm of your hand, press a crease around the edges of the fabric
*Use the creases as your cut lines
Paint the Americana Decou-Page on the top and adhere the fabric
Add another layer of Decou-Page to the fabric after it's in place
Repeat the process with the fabric around the base and on the sides of the drawer
Edge the table with a Krylon Short Cuts metallic paint marker
Drill a hole in the center of the drawer and add a knob if there isn't one there already
Hang a tassel from the knob and you're done!
 Love the striped fabric peeking out from the sides of the drawer!
It's amazing what a little fabric and paint can do to something!

My version of "Put a bird on it."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


It's officially SKULLOWEEN and I'm going nuts making all different kinds of skulls to decorate my house for Halloween!  Today I'm sharing 5 of my favorites.  BTW, most of these skulls I got at the 99c store and used them as a canvas for some of my favorite techniques.  Have fun and, if you have a moment, let me know which one of these is your favorite!  I'd love to hear from you.
xoxo, Mark
The perfect little vase!
So BOHO, don't you think?
Why not fill it with succulents or cactus!
Try this with all kinds of images!
Nothing says elegant dinner party like skull candle holders!
See how I made them here!
Cut a hole in the top of your plastic skull
Paint it black with Americana Acrylic paint
When dry, paint designs with white Americana Acrylic
Decorate with Allure Dimensional Design Adhesive Paint (puff paint)
Fill with flowers

Cut and arrange faux flowers to create a headband
Starting in the center, glue it around the forehead of the skull
Add extra leaves and petals to fill it in
Cut a large hole in the top of your skull
Paint the entire skull white with Americana Decor Chalky Finish
When dry, coat it with Americana Decor Crème Wax 
*Immediately wipe most of it away with a wet cloth
Fill with potting soil and succulents or catcus
Print and cut butterflies and flowers
Cut small slits on the edges so that the images adhere flat to the curved surfaces
Using Americana Decou-page, apply the images to the skull until it's completely covered
Glue a small metal candle holder to the top of a plastic skull
*You can use a copper coupling piece for this from any hardware store
Paint the skull with black Americana Acrylic paint
Add a precision top to the top of the paint bottle
Drip the red paint from the top to create faux blood

Friday, October 9, 2015

Skele-Tee DIY

I love this time of year because I get to wear a SKELE-TEE to the supermarket and the only thing people say to me is "Happy Halloween".  No crazy looks, just Halloween love!  For years I would wear the most elaborate costumes this time of year, but lately I've toned it down.  This SKELE-TEE is perfect for someone who wants to celebrate without wearing a huge chicken suit.  Pair it with black jeans and you're good to go!
Happy Halloween.  xoxo, Mark
I added a little glitter to give it a reflective quality, but you could also use
glow-in-the-dark paint!

See how I made it here!
Stuff You'll Need
Black tee
Craft knife
Skeleton template (below)
Print out the skeleton template as large as you can
Fold a large piece of freezer paper in half and draw the design on the fold
Carefully cut it out with scissors and a craft knife
Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the front of the tee
Create bones for the arms, too!
Put a large piece of cardboard in the tee so the paint doesn't bleed to the back
*Also do this in the sleeves
Paint two coats of the Americana Multi-Surface Satin paint
When dry, remove the stencil and fill in with Allure Dimensional Design Adhesive Paint in Silver