Giant Classroom Wall Tree

One of the best things about having a school-aged kid is the fun projects. Yes, I’m going to be coming back to this post in a couple years, after drowning in school projects, and laughing at my former self who got excited when teachers asked for help. But right now, in this moment, it is pretty awesome. I love helping out in my son’s classroom, and this is one of those fun projects.

Little Moore’s teacher is a self-described non-crafty man. I offered to help out with some crafty projects, as needed. He wanted a big tree in the hallway that could be changed out for the seasons. Basically, just the trunk and branches. I told him that not only would I make it, but it would be awesome. Because I’m a lot of things… but humble is not one of them (however, awesome is totally one of them – ha!).

I’m not giving you a step-by-step here because I’m pretty sure that the demand for giant tree tutorials isn’t worth the time it’ll take me to edit the photos… but I’ll give you the highlights.

Classroom Tree with my Kindergartener

I prepped the trunk at home. I used Foamcore cut into the right shape. The “carving” on the tree is a piece of styrofoam. I carved the heart and the word “school” into the heart, then covered it in Smooth Finish. After the Smooth Finish hardened, I painted it brown, with the carving a lighter brown so it would really stand out.

Tree trunk with Styrofoam Smooth Finish Carving

At the top of the trunk, I put a piece of cork. This way the teacher can easily switch out things in the hole in the tree.

Classroom Tree Cork Board

I lined up my foam core, styrofoam, and cork pieces, and Duck Taped them together. I used some extra cardboard on the back to give some extra strength to the seams. Then I added on the bark.

The bark is crumpled up paper from a Fed Ex Box. It was already crumpled up, which was perfect. I just wrinkled it more, and used a TON of Mod Podge to secure it onto the tree trunk. Lots and lots of texture. Once that all dried, I used a sponge and some brown paint, lightly went over the whole trunk with the brown paint in spots (more texture!). Then gave the whole thing a thick coat of Mod Podge. So thick that it isn’t fully dry in these photos, and you can see some of the white!

The branches were fun to do.

Classroom Tree Branches

When I put the rest of the brown paper trunk on, I left 5 long pieces hanging off of the top, then took the trunk to school. I used a staple gun to secure the tree to the wall. Then I twisted the brown paper branches into place, using the staple gun to secure them. I tore off any extra, and added sub-branches off the 5 main branches. Once all the branches were up, they got a quick swipe of brown paint sponged on, and then a coat of Mod Podge.

It took about 5 hours at home, and about another 2-3 at the school… but this tree looks awesome.

Any volunteers to try to take it down at the end of the year?

Beating on Walls Canvas

Cool 2 Cast Quote Canvas

 

When I found this quote, I knew I wanted to turn it into a canvas. It is something that I should remember. I’m very guilty of beating on walls, trying to turn them into doors. I’m hoping I’ve gotten a little better at differentiating doors from walls as I’ve gotten a little older… but I think I still have some room for improvement!

I wanted to have something that looked a little like a brick wall – but in a fun, mixed-media way. I knew just what to use. I’d been sent some Cool2Cast to review for Craft Test Dummies, and it is perfect for mixed-media projects.

Making the canvas was actually pretty easy to do… and lots of fun since I got to play with all kinds of craft supplies in making it.

I started by getting my mold. This is a mold for making brownie bites, but I don’t use it for that. It has held different kinds of resin and epoxy, so now it is exclusively a crafting mold. I put different buttons in the bottoms of the cavities of the mold. Then I mixed up my Cool2Cast and poured it into the cavities, trying to fill each one about the same amount.

pour in cool 2 cast

I let the Cool2Cast set for the required time, then popped it out of the molds.

remove from molds

The medium was still soft enough for me to scratch off any that that covered the buttons. I dipped my finger in water to rub away any remnants of Cool2Cast, then wiped the buttons clean with a paper towel.

wet wipe away excess

I let the squares dry completely overnight. I painted my canvas with a pearlized acrylic paint, and let it dry overnight as well.

The next day, I laid the tiles out on the canvas to figure out placement for my lettering. First I lightly sketched out the letters in pencil for placement, then I used my DecoArt Glass writing pen to write out my quote.

write quote

Then I painted the pieces. I used different paints, sprays, and markers on the different pieces for a fun, mixed-media look.

spray with paint

paint

After the paint dried, I glued all the tiles down onto the canvas. That was it!

quote canvas

New Laser-Cut Fusible Applique Wall Hanging Tutorial

Applique Wall Hanging

I’m sure you’re wondering what a Laser Cut Fusible Applique is! A Laser Cut machine is like a printer, but instead of printing, it uses a laser to cut shapes out of different objects, including fabric. It is doing amazing things in the fabric world – including allowing us to laser cut intricate applique shapes with the fusible already adhered to the back! Nancy Zieman has created a whole line of these appliques with fun words on them. When she approached me to share them with you, I jumped up and down and said YES! There are quite a few Laser Cut Appliques to choose from, I chose the “Fabric Stitch Sew Create” with the buttons. The “Sew” with the tomato pincushion outline was a really close second, though!

The applique looks like this in the package. They are made of black fabric, and the back has the fusible attached, and a paper backing.

 

Before removing the paper backing, I unfolded the applique and gave it a light press to get out the creases. This helps it lie flat when I place it later.

Then I started auditioning different fabrics from my stash. I ended up choosing these fun prints and solid from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Auditioning fabrics for the wall hanging

To make your own laser cut fusible applique wall hanging, you’ll need:
Laser Cut Fusible Applique from Nancy Zieman
Scissors
3 Fat Quarters for the front
Rotary Cutter, Ruler, and Mat
1/2 yard fabric for the back
505 or your favorite basting spray
#5 Pearl Cotton in coordinating colors (or Embroidery Floss)
Needle

Before taking off the paper backing and fusing the applique, I cut the support pieces from the applique. Look carefully! There are three. Once you fuse the applique down it will be permanent, so you want to make sure you cut them all out.

Cut out support pieces

I carefully removed the backing paper and fused the applique to my solid background fabric. The applique is fairly detailed, so as I auditioned fabrics, I found that it looked best on a solid color or a small print.

After fusing the applique to my fat quarter, I trimmed it down. Trimming my fabric after pressing down the applique helped me get the perfect positioning, and I didn’t have to worry about the applique shifting as I secured it.

Trim down fabric

I added a 4 ” strip of my large print to the top and a 6″ strip to the bottom of my wall hanging.

add borders

I prefer to spray baste (rather than pin baste), especially on small projects like this one, so I used my basting spray to put together my quilt sandwich – backing fabric on the bottom, right side down, then batting, then the applique top. I trimmed it down, leaving a few inches on all sides, and added some quilting.

spray baste

I wanted to add a little more fun, so I ironed on a few of the applique button shapes that came with the applique, and quilted around them. I picked out Pearl Cotton that coordinated with my print, and added stitching to the buttons.

number 5 pearl cotton

The thread was tied off on the back of the wall hanging. I tried tying it on the front, but it looked to messy for me, tying it on the back looked cleaner

stitch through button holes

All that was left was to bind the quilted wall hanging, and I was all done! I used 2″ binding that I applied by machine, but you can bind your wall hanging in whatever way you’re most comfortable.

These laser cut appliques are so simple to use, and since I put mine on a wall hanging that isn’t going to get washed or see much wear, I didn’t have to worry about stitching it down. The applique will stay permanently after fusing it with the heat from my iron!

I’m just one of the bloggers sharing fun projects made with these appliques – check out Nancy Zieman’s Blog all week for more fun ideas!

 

Mod Podge Dinosaur Wreath

This Dinosaur wreath is so simple to make that I don’t have an official tutorial for it… but if you want to make your own, or something similar, here is what you need:

Tissue paper (I used the leftovers from my pennant banners)
Ribbon (I used rainbow colored)
Foam craft sheet
Extruded Foam ring (this smooth surface works great for Mod Podging)
Hot Glue
Scissors
Ballpoint pen
Mod Podge
Paintbrush
Google Eye

Use the Mod Podge to layer the tissue paper on the wreath. Make sure the wreath is fully covered. Adding multiple layers will increase the depth of color on the wreath.

Once the wreath is dry, tie a large bow on one side with the ribbon.

With a pen, draw your dinosaur shape on the craft foam, and then cut out.

Hot glue dinosaur on the bow of the wreath, attach the google eye, and hang the wreath.

Hanging Canvas Quilted Tapestry Wallhanging

I’m not sure what to call this. I started with a UPrinting Rolled Canvas. I added some fabric, quilting, upholstery fabric, binding… and hung it on the wall. Though I’m not sure if it is a quilt, a tapestry, or a wall hanging, I do know that I LOVE it, and it was super simple to make!

Supplies:
UPrinting Rolled Canvas
Scrap Fabric
Upholstery Fabric
Spray Adhesive for Fabric (like 505 spray)

I ordered my rolled canvas from UPrinting. Super easy. All I had to do was upload my picture (I just LOVE this picture of my boys), select my size, and enter my information to have it delivered to me in just a few days. I ordered the canvas untrimmed, but they will trim it at no extra charge.

Since I ordered my canvas untrimmed, I had to trim it down. I trimmed it with a scant quarter inch of white, which will disappear into my seam allowance. I could also trim it to the size of the photo, and my finished piece would be about a half inch smaller.

I cut my fabric scraps into 2.5″ strips. I stitched one to the top and one to the bottom, and then finger-pressed open. I was worried about using a hot iron on the canvas.

I stitched rows on the sides as well. To get a scrappy look, I cut up the rest of my fabric, and stitched the pieces into one long strip. I used this scrappy strip to add a second border. This one I pressed open with an iron, careful to avoid the printed picture.

I had some upholstery fabric left over from when we staged our house to sell. Six years ago. I swear I’m not a hoarder, despite much evidence to the contrary! I just plan really far ahead. For projects I haven’t even come up with yet. Like this one. Where the fabric was ideal. It matched my color scheme perfectly. I attached it to the back with spray adhesive designed for fabric – 505 spray. I considered adding some kind of batting – either regular batting or a fusible fleece – which would add a puffy, quilted look. In the end, I decided I wanted it to be more smooth and flat, and look less quilty.

I did a stitch-in-the-ditch to secure the layers together, and give it a more hand-made look. After sewing, I trimmed the backing to the size of the front.

To make it easy to hang, I added corner pockets to the back of the wall hanging. These are super simple, just squares of fabric folded into triangles and stitched into the corners when the binding is sewn on. Easier than adding a hanging sleeve, and for a small wall hanging, so simple. I just cut a dowel down to size and tucked it in the corner pockets to hang the piece when finished.

I bound the whole thing with a dark brown binding, and hung it on the wall.

When Little Moore woke up from his nap he said “I LOVE it!” And Hubby noticed it immediately when he got home from work, and actually commented that he liked it as well. I’d say this project is a hit all the way around!

Always,

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. Though I received compensation for this post, all opinions are mine.