make a bird nest shadow box – creative gift packaging

 

bird nest shadow box gift packaging idea for jewelry

Make a bird nest shadow box for creative gift packaging.  The gift recipient will be as delighted with the gift as the packaging.  The box is the perfect size for giving jewelry or to tuck in a gift card.

There is an interesting story behind my inspiration for this project.  It’s hard not to be inspired by birds in Spring. The cheerful singing and constant presence of birds this time of year cannot be ignored. I create almost daily next to a large window. Almost every five minutes or so I am startled by a cardinal who thumps the window almost violently. This occurrence has gone on for a few weeks now. After searching the web, I found out that cardinals are notorious for fighting their own reflections in an effort for territorial rights. With the constant thumping and sweet site of my cardinal, I once again became inspired to create a bird themed project.

It was by pure chance that I ran into these really cute wood boxes at my local craft store recently. I thought they were really different. I also snagged these super cute laser cut wood bird shapes. Super tiny and perfect for jewelry projects.

The boxes are different. They have a glass top and a wood slat that is removable so that you can display components of your choice, shadow box style.

Supplies for bird nest shadow box:

  • wood shadow boxes
  • liquid dye
  • glue
  • polymer clay
  • wire
  • wire cutter
  • embellishments

Here is a look at most of the supplies I used for this project, give or take a few.

Instructions for bird nest shadow box:

Instead of painting the boxes, I decided to use Rit Dyes to stain them. I love this process because its fun, fast and easy. I simply used a teaspoon of dye to about 1/4 cup hot water to mix a dye bath. (Remember to wear rubber or latex gloves when using dyes) A paintbrush was used to “paint” the dye to the top of the box.
For a two toned stained effect, I added some water to the dye and painted the bottom of the box a lighter shade of Rit Dye’s Aquamarine. I also dropped the shapes into the cup that I used for the dye bath and let them sit for five minutes or so.

For the second box, I used Cocoa Brown. Here is a shot of all the pieces dyed drying on paper towels.
So, with my bird theme, what to display under the top glass but a sweet little wired bird nest? I used Artistic Wire to create a simple spiraled nest.

These are super easy to create, just keep wrapping the wire in a circular motion until you have a nice full “nest.” Use wire nippers to cut off a few small piece of wire and use them to wire the spirals together. Twist them tight with round nose jewelry pliers.
Don’t worry too much about what your nest look like at this point. After you feel them with eggs in the center, any little “imperfections” will be invisible.
I used Premo by Sculpey to shape little tiny eggs. A pea sized piece will make perfectly sized eggs for these nests.
The eggs were baked right in the nest, in the oven at about 225 degrees for about 25 minutes on a clay dedicated baking sheet. Then I brushed the eggs with Silver PearlEx by Jacquard Products.
To embellish the box, I added a stamped oval, some fabric washi tape from Stampington and some self adhesive gem stone rows.
To make the pendant, I glued the bird to the center of the dyed circle and added some rhinestone chain to the edges with Beacon’s Glass Metal and More. I also attached a super sparkly brooch to the piece. To create a brooch, I added a pin back.

Add brooch to pendantThis little brooch turned out to be the perfect addition for the boxes. My cardinal is still outside the window, thumping away and reminding me that birds are so artfully inspirational.

Mini Charms – Make a bench pillow

1 mini charm pillow Valori Wells fabric bench pillowMini Charms are collections of 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares of fabric.  You can make your own from your stash or purchase them.  These are great for small projects, easy reference or just for collecting!  Nah, kidding, who would collect them? LOL You must use them!  This particular mini charms pack was given away as a sample from Quilt Market so you cannot purchase it but you can buy the fabric and make your own.  The line is called Jasmine from Valori Wells by Robert Kaufmann. I snagged this image from Missouri Star Quilt Company who carries the fabric collection.

jasmine by valori wells

You can use many of the same patterns with mini charms as you can charm pack.  Charm packs are 5×5 squares.  Originally, I made this pillow for an oversized antique chair I have in my studio.  Once it was finished it was all wrong and I did not like it there.   I tried it on my sofa and it is not quite right there either.  I thought about turning it into a tote bag with a stripe running up the center but my friend came over and decided it was perfect for her front room.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.1 bench pillow with mini charm 365 days of crafts easy sew project

Above is the sofa that it did not work on and below is the vintage chair that it did not look right on either. rainbow pillow on chair

Supplies for the mini charms pillow:

  • your favorite mini charms
  • fabric for pillow cover
  • basic sewing supplies
  • Bench Pillow

To make the mini charms pillow:

  1. Choose your fabric and pillow size and determine the measurements to cut your fabric. The front of the pillow will be 1/2″ bigger on all sides than the pillow measurement, for example my pillow is 16″x38″ so my front piece is 17″ x 39″.  Sew the mini charms together to form a long strip.  Mine needed to be about 39″ long. Sew the fabric to both sides to make the size of fabric you are going to need. mini charms pillow
  2. The back is divided in half, the two pieces for the back of the pillow will overlap to create the “envelope” closure.  The vertical measurement will be the same as the front so and the horizontal measurement is determined by dividing the pillow in half and then adding 2.5″ for the overlap.
  3. It does not matter the size of your pillow a 2.5″ overlap will work for even larger pillows. To cut your fabric you can use a clear ruler and fabric marker and draw on the back side of your fabric.
  4. Next, fold and iron the edges of the back pieces that will be overlapping to create the envelope closure. Fold the edge of both pieces over 1/4″ and then 1/4″ again. Pin and sew both pieces at 1/8″.envelope pillow back mini charms
  5. Pin the front and 2 back pieces together with the right sides facing each other.  The two back pieces will overlap.  Pin all the way around the entire cover and ew the front & back together with 1/2″ seam allowance.
  6. It is a good idea to finish the raw edges on the inside of the pillow cover. You can serge the edges or  use pinking shears as I did to prevent fraying.
  7. Turn the pillow cover right side out and use your finger to press the corners out and insert your pillow form through the envelope opening and your finished!mini charm rainbow stripe bench pillow easy sew idea

Great Craft ideas for National Craft

national craft month - get crafty Craft ideas for National Craft

IT’s NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH!

Not only is March 1st my birthday but it is the start of a great month – National Craft Month two really awesome things if I do say so myself.  LOL  As a professional in the craft industry I am lucky to attend conferences where I get to see the latest and greatest and things that are not even on the market.  Yes I love the new stuff but my passion is using everyday things that would normally get tossed in the rubbish bin. I have a book coming out in 2018 on recycling.  More to come on that later. Today I am kicking off the month with a giveaway on Instagram.   https://www.instagram.com/nikimeiners/

IT’s NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH!

To celebrate I’ve teamed up with 9 creative friends to host a loop GIVEAWAY. Click through the loop to enter to win. You and a friend could both win a $50 Amazon gift card to buy all kinds of fun crafty supplies!

TO ENTER on Instagram

1. Follow me and like the photo on instagram

2. Tap the photo to see who is next in the loop.

3. Follow her and “like” the giveaway photo on her account.

4. Continue through the loop until you return here.

5. Leave a comment saying you’re “finished” and tag a friend.

You must follow all 10 hosts and like each loop photo in order to qualify for the prize. Your tagged friend does not need to enter, but the increase both your chances if they do.

BONUS: tag up to 3 friends (per host photo) for additional entries.

Giveaway runs from 11 am EST, March 1, 2017- 11 am EST March 7, 2017. 2 winners will be selected. Winners will be notified by Direct Message on Instagram. Winners will have 24 hours to respond and accept the prize or winners may be selected. By entering you confirm you are 18+ years of age and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram or Amazon. Void where prohibited by law.

Make Craft Kits – the gift of creativity in a jar

DIY craft kits in a jar you can make. Great stash buster
Create craft kits in a jar.  Use this stash busting idea to give the gift of creativity in a jar.  Plus you are recycling and clearing the way for new things.   That is what I am doing this Easter and consider it a triple win.  We used to give gifts of books and a chocolate bunny to the nieces and nephews when they were little. Now they like picking their own books and I really don’t like to give gift cards unless I am out of time or ideas.  This year I decided to give the kids creativity kits in a jar.  You can really give these craft kits any time of the year.  They are great for a rainy day or a snowy weekend.

This project is also a part of my year-long posts on the 20th of each month with Jen at 100 Directions and Carla at Carla Schauer Designs.  Join me and post your projects on Instgram and/or Facebook.  Use the hashtag #mycreativechallenge.  Click for our Facebook page and our Instagram account.

creative-challenge-easter

Supplies for craft kits in a jar:color combinations

  • mason jars or random glass jars
  • paint
  • paint bush
  • random rub-ons
  • embellishments  pearls, buttons, brads, rivets, stick on pearls, beads, paper flowers, fabric strips and anything else you can think to add.

Instructions for craft kits in a jar:

  1. Wash and clean the jars and their lids then hand dry them or air dry. Once the lids are dry give them a base coat of white or cream paint.  Allow the paint to dry. paint jar lids recycled craft ideas
  2.  Paint the lids a similar color to the contents.  I plan on giving each child 2-3 jars. I also dry brushed on a light layer of white paint to give it a distressed finish.creativity in a jar a recycled craft idea
  3. Apply rub-ons of your choice to the jars and if you don’t have any rub-ons add stickers or paint.  This is about using things you already have and encouraging creativity at the same time.
  4. Stuff the jars with color coordinated bits and pieces. To the jars I added, pearls, buttons, brads, rivets, stick on pearls, beads, paper flowers, fabric strips and anything else I could find in a color that matched. DIY craft kits in a jar idea
  5. Once the lids were dry I added embellishments to them and the fronts of the jars in coordinating colors.  soft colors craft kit creativity in a jarcraft kits creativity in a jarmason jar craft ideas you can make and use up your stashThis is the schedule for the whole year and you can join us when you can. creative-challenge-for-the-year

Visit Jen for Doodle Art Easter Eggs.

spring-doodle-art-easter-eggs-jen-goode

 

Visit Carla  for her Free Easter Printable.

bite-me-bunny-labels-glue_web

Shabby Chic Gift Packaging

shabby gift paagift packages

Shabby Chic Gift Packaging is a perfect companion to the Shabby Chic Door Hangers.  A plain brown paper bag can be the perfect packaging for smaller gifts. When giving a handmade gift, consider dressing one up with paints and embellishments to coordinate with your gift.  I grabbed some supplies and brown paper bags to create these shabby chic gift packages.

shabby chic gift packaging ideas and supplies

Supplies for Shabby Chic Gift Packages

shabby chic door hangers

Not long ago, I created these shabby chic door hangers as gifts for an upcoming baby shower, a wedding gift and a housewarming gift. I loved the results and knew that the packaging had to be as special as the gift inside. So I decided to create some coordinating gift packaging from brown paper bags.

I love the simple look of brown paper bags. So I dry brushed them with paint, allowing some of the bag to show through.
DIY gift packaging
Then I created some hemp embellishments using a low temperature glue gun. Believe me, you will want to use a low temperature glue gun for creating these spiraled embellishments as your fingers will be touching the hemp a lot and you want to minimize finger burns!

twine embellishment shabby chic

hot glued the embellishments to the front of the bag and added washi tape, gems and a painted wood tag.

shabby packaging

Now I have gift packages that coordinate perfectly with the gift inside!

Shabby Chic gift tags and gift bags

shabby chic door hangers ideas you can make

shabby chic door hangers

Shabby chic door hangers are a great way to use up left over supplies and to make custom gifts at the same time.  These are my go to colors for the shabby chic style.  Some go with lighter creamier colors I like the bold mixed with black and white.  Although my taste has evolved a bit, I am still a fan of the shabby chic look and I always will be probably. I have a couple of co-worker/friends with upcoming wedding and baby showers so I decided to create them a custom shabby door hanger.

Materials for shabby chic door hangers:

shabby door hangers

Instructions for shabby chic door hangers:

Lightly sand and paint the wood slats. I used two coats each for the front and back. I dry brushed each slat with white paint.

how to paint shabby chic

Create the hemp flowers using the glue gun and glue sticks. Create coils and apply a small amount off glue to hold the hemp in place. I highly recommend using a low temp glue gun as you will be touching the hemp in places where the glue has been applied!

how to make twine embellishments a spiral center for flower

I used sparkly embellishments as the flower centers.

twine embellishment shabby chic

To create the leaves, freehand cut the wool felt into leaf shapes. Use the sewing machine and thread to freeform sew leaf details.  Some people call the sewing freestyle.  You can use what ever term you want.  Just make it happen.

hand made leaves

Assemble the door hanger pieces and hot glue in place.

handmade embellishements

Use stamps and ink to stamp sentiments on the door hanger. I decided on “do not disturb” (wedding), “guest room” and “baby dreaming.”

hand stamped embellishemnts

Finally, drill some holes in the top corners, insert some hemp and you have a sweet shabby door hanger.
Shabby Chic gift tags and gift bags

Make clay dove napkin rings

clay dove napking rings

Clay dove napkin rings for your home.  Adorn your dinner table with these simple clay dove napkin rings.  Embellish and decorate as desired using clay tools and wax or paint.  The decorative napkin rings can be used any time of the year because birds are always in fashion.  You don’t have to save them for holidays.

When working with clay make sure you work on a covered surface and never leave the oven unattended.

MATERIALS for clay dove napkin rings:

  • Polyform Sculpey III White Oven-Bake Clay

TOOLS

  • Polyform Sculpey: Clay Tool Starter Set, Copper Ceiling Texture Sheet, Work ‘n Bake Clay Mat
  • Round cookie cutter, 1”
  • Acrylic roller
  • DecoArt Silver Spark Metallic Lustre Wax
  • Oven and oven mitt

If you do not have a clay mat for the oven you can use foil.  Do not use a cookie sheet unless it is dedicated to polymer clay.

BASIC SUPPLIES for clay dove napkin rings:

  • cornstarch, paintbrush, pencil, cardstock

DIRECTIONS for clay dove napkin rings:

  1. Condition three segments of White clay in hands until soft and pliable. Roll out on mat into 6” square with 1/2” thickness.
  2. Dust Copper Ceiling texture sheet with cornstarch using paintbrush. Press texture sheet onto clay to create deep texture.
  3. Down load your favorite bird image or draw your own. Download and print pattern onto cardstock; cut out. Using knife from starter set, cut dove shape from textured clay. Cut out center using cookie cutter.
  4. Bake the polymer clay doves on clay mat in oven following manufacturer’s instructions. Let the doves cool before handling.
  5. Lightly rub surface of dove with Silver Spark wax. Let set. You can add additional colors or layers if desired.
  6. Follow Steps 1-5 to create additional napkin rings.

    You can change-up this project by changing clay colors or wax colors.  If you wanted you could even make each place setting a different color.

DIY beaded wine stoppers to make

Make DIY beaded wine stoppers for our 2017 Creative Challenge for Crafters

We here at 365 Days of Crafts have decided to provide crafting prompts for you to follow along with.  Each month we will offer a them and inspiration to you.  We want you to join in the fun and play along.  If you make something or many things and want to share, use the hashtag #mycreativeChallenge . The hashtag will allow is to see what you are doing and to share your creativity too.  Our first them is LOVE.  This does not have to be Valentine related but it can be.  As you can see with my project below mine is a beaded wine stopper.  I love to bead and I love shimmer and shine and I love wine too.  The trifecta of crafting projects for me.  I also like to make them and keep them on hand as they make the perfect hostess gift.  You can give it alone or pair it with your favorite bottle of wine.  This is a SUPER SIMPLE project.  It is reasonably priced and looks fantastic with little effort.

DIY BCA Pink Hope Beaded Wine Stoppers - great handmade gift idea by Niki MeinersThe first image shows a pink and white Hope themed stopper.  You can mix random color beads or give the stopper a theme.

Supplies for Beaded Wine Stopper:

  1. Wine stopper Blanks
  2. Large core beads
  3. Pearl Dangles or charmsThe content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

DIY Beaded Wine Stoppers for any holiday - great handmade gift idea by Niki MeinersThis picture of the wine stoppers show how versatile they really are.  There is an everyday color scheme, a BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness them and a Christmas piece.  The dangles really add an extra touch of fun and whimsy.

Instructions for beaded wine stoppers:

  1. Remove cap on wine stopper.
  2. load beads onto stem
  3. Screw top back on
  4. Add dangles or charms

DIY Beaded Wine Stoppers for any holiday - great handmade gift idea by Niki Meiners

I told you the project was super simple and I was not kidding.  I “love” how easy they are to make and how great they look for so little effort.

DIY Beaded Wine Stoppers for any holiday - great handmade gift idea 365 days of crafts

For my personal use I made the aqua, blue and white theme to go along with the color scheme in my living room.  Make sure you play along with the creative challenge.  We really do mean it when we say we want you to share what you make.  Nothing makes us happier than to know that we have inspired someone to make themselves happy and created something beautiful creative-challenge-lovehandmade diy beaded wine stoppers craft gift idea

make a crafty key chain

keychain-key-fob-crafty-idea_365-days-of-crafts key chainMake a key chain – a quick crafty gift that you can make with ease.  These crafty key chains make a perfect Valentine gift for your girlfriends. I made 5 in about an hour.  The ribbon and the belting came from Hobby Lobby and were onside for 50% off.  Since the ribbon was on sale I had to purchase multiple designs.  They know how to get me with a coupon.   The metal hardware came from Dritz and are packaged as Key Fob Hardware Sets.  I would never have thought to call them a key fob.  They can be purchased at most big box stores and online. The hardware was the most expensive part of the project and I think a single set was maybe $2 and the 5 set package was around $5.  Naturally I purchased the 5 pack and had to make 5. That was how I justified buying all the different ribbon.

Supplies to make the key chains:

  • belting
  • ribbon
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • sewing machine and thread
  • key fob hardware
  • pliers
  • ruler or tape measure (optional)

To make the crafty key chain:

  1. Cut the belting and the ribbon to desired length. I used about 10 inches of each.  You can make them larger or small to fit your needs.
  2. Adhere the ribbon to the center of the belting with a quick slide of the glue stick. This way you don’t have to pin the ribbon.
  3. Sew along the edges of the ribbon on both sides.
  4. Trim of any loose fibers
  5. Fold in half and  follow the packaging directions to affix the key fob hardware to the belting.
  6. Attach the ring to the rectangular piece.
  7. Place in a pretty package.

Voila, it really is that simple.  Create your own crafty key chain using your favorite ribbons.  You can make 5 key fobs in under an hour and you can keep them on hand for when you need a last-minute gift. This quick craft is a part of the Craft Lightning Series.  Click the image below to see may other projects.

 

Faux Flokati – a fuzzy Pouf in Black and white

faux-flokati-fuzzy-pouf foot stool tuffet
Faux Flokati – a fuzzy Pouf in Black and white can be made with ease if you follow these directions.  It was so much easier than I thought it would be to make this.  I did not use a pattern and made it up as a went along.  The faux fur makes it really easy to hide any mistakes you might make.  I thought sewing the fur would be really difficult and it was not.  Just go slow and take your time and you should not run into any issues.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Materials for a fuzzy pouf:

  • Faux fur used  Faux fur assortment
  • Tuffet 
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • Sewing Machine and thread
  • Seam Ripper (optional)
  • staple gun
  • staples
  • scissors
  • flat head screwdriver or  staple lifter (optional)
  • Power Drill with Phillips Head bit
  • Wood disk and wood feet ( Home Depot)
  • Paint brush and DecoArt Paint
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Instructions for a fuzzy pouf:

  1. Place the tuffet cushion or the wood base in the centre of the fabric, and trace the circle 2 inches bigger than needed. Repeat for the cushion wrap.trace-wood-onto-fabric
  2. Secure the two tuffets together by adding a layer of hot glue between the two cushions.stacked-tuffets
  3. Measure the two stacked cushions plus the wood disk and 2-3 inches to the length and cut the side panel accordingly. Pin the two together.
  4. Line up the side panel with the edge of the top panel. Start sewing with a basting stitch about 2” down from the top. You will be sewing a 5/8” seam.
  5. When you’ve sewn around the perimeter, remove the pieces from the machine and line up the edges for a custom fit. Do this by marking a straight line on both ends of the panel where they should be sewn together and pin them in place.how-to-sew-a-cylinder
  6. Use a regular stitch to sew the pieces together.
  7. Trim off the excess seam allowance.
  8. Place the fabric over the cushion. Pull taught but do not distort the shape. Place the wood base on top of the cushion. Pull fabric up over edge firmly but not so much you pull the pattern out of shape. Place three staples approximately two inches from outside edge.fuzzy pouf -tuffet-black-and-white-furniture
  9. Place three more staples on the opposite side of the first three then do the same on the left side and the right side
  10. Pull firmly on the unstapled sections, smoothing as you go and staple in place after one section is stapled and smooth.
  11. Repeat step 11 until all the fabric is smooth and stapled into place. If you make any errors remove the stapled area and rework.
  12. Cut off excess fabric up to about 1/2′ from staples
  13. Add the brackets for the feet and then add the feet.   You can add the brackets before or after you staple the fabric.  Your choice.
  14. I painted my feet with polyurethane to protect it from spills.  How you finish the feet is your choice.

Now that you have read the Faux Flokati – a fuzzy Pouf in Black and white tutorial you can make your own or try your hand at another style stool.  The Tuffet MCM Style or  check out this Modern Stool tutorial.
faux-flokati-pouf