Sneak peek- upcycled and thrifty DIY’s coming up!

If you are following me on Instagram (@throneandthimble) you may have already seen some of the sneak peeks I have been sharing over the past few weeks, pictures like these for example:

ribbon flower 1 bunch of flowers 1 3 bouquetsrose petals

 

These are little previews of some of the fun DIY’s I have planned for the next couple of weeks! I will be sharing with you all different techniques to make beautiful and realistic flowers out of upcycled and thrifty materials, like coffee filters and ribbon. These are perfect little project for spring, and bring light and color into any room they are in. If you have an event like a wedding coming up (like I do!) these are also great budget-friendly alternatives to expensive floral centerpieces and bouquets, and are a great solution for those of us with allergies too. I will be sharing one flower per week, focusing on the different techniques and different results you can get with very humble supplies- think dollar store and thrift store, rather than big-box craft supply stores! I hope you come on this floral journey with me, and stay tuned for all the fun projects to come!

❤ Shay

 

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DIY Water Marble Easter Eggs

I had so much fun decorating these eggs and making this video, I hope you enjoy!
You will need:

Eggs (paper / plastic / real)
Nail polish
Cup with water (use paper or plastic, not Styrofoam like me!)
Toothpick or skewer

Technique:

Drop a few drops of nailpolish into your water cup in concentric circles.
Use your toothpick or skewer to swirl and swoosh the colors around in your cup.
Dip your egg into the cup, and use your toothpick to clean up around the edges.
Lift your egg from the water, and let it dry on the side.

eggs title

I will probably figure out a way to string these lovelies up on some ribbon and use them for spring décor around the house! How do you use Easter eggs for your spring décor? Let me know in the comments! ❤

And check out this new twist using glitter nail polish to make sparkly Easter eggs in my new post! Click here to see it 🙂

DIY Canvas Monogram- Easy Room Decor

My little sister is all grown up, and will be going away to college next year, I can hardly believe it! It is also her birthday next month, so I wanted to make her a cute little décor piece for her room, something that is small enough that she can take with her to her dorm to give it some personality and color.  I was inspired by different recycled canvas art designs that have a masked quote that shows the colors of the canvas through the letters, but is painted everywhere else, kinda like these:

canvas 3canvas 1

canvas 2

So after getting inspired, I set out to the thrift store to find myself a canvas to repurpose! The ones I found were not too colorful, so I ended up picking out a more neutral one and adding in the color myself for a similar effect. The canvas I found was pretty small, about 8 inches by 8 inches, and was already decoupage-d with pages from a book, which I though gave it a really nice texture as a background. And it was only $3! What a score!

I could not decide on a quote, and since the canvas was pretty small I decided to just go with a monogram instead- simple, and doesn’t change with your mood!

To do the lettering, you have a few options:

1. Letter stickers– This would be super convenient if you are doing a whole sentence or quote, as it keeps all the letters consistent. One thing to keep in mind is to keep an eye for wonky letters and uneven spaces!

2. Tape– you can use painters tape or washi tape to tape off a letter (or any shape, for that matter) and paint around it or within it.

3. Template– you can make your own by drawing out or printing out your letter or shape on paper and cutting it out. Either use that template as a mask, and paint around it or within it, or draw the shape on your canvas and freehand paint it.

I ended up using option 3, and drew out the letter “M” myself (my printer is broken!) and cutting it out. Next came painting- I wanted to have lots of bright colors, but I don’t have a bunch of different paint colors in my craft stash, so I had to improvise! Out came my nail-polish stash!

canvas monogram 1

Using different color nail polish (including glitter and sparkle!) I carefully painted within my template. It did leak a bit around the edges, but most of it would be corrected later on.

To get a more modern look, I painted the background white with some leftover paint primer I had from our previous painting adventures. Since I wanted the texture to still come through, I diluted the primer with water to provide a more see through wash of color.

canvas monogram 2

Painting the background also allowed me to go in and correct any small mistakes where the nail polish leaked around the edges, to get a cleaner look. I ended up with 2 thin coats of the primer-water-wash all over the canvas, including the sides.

canvas monogram 4

This was a very quick project, and the whole thing came together in just 2 afternoons. Total cost= $3 how great is that! So happy I was able to achieve a very similar look to the inspiration pieces, without buying a bunch of supplies, and instead use what I had at home. I hope my sister likes it and displays it proudly an her dorm wall! ❤

Embroidery Thread Organization- for free!

If you are like me, the majority of your crafting supplies stash is a cluster of cardboard boxes and zip bags stuffed to capacity, organized in a way that only makes sense to you! While this may work most of the time, it definitely can cause some frustration, as materials may get entangled and become unusable, especially thread and ribbon. Here is my mess of embroidery thread / floss before:

threads

You could always order these cardboard floss bobbins, or, you can very easily make your own! AND you get the satisfaction of re-using a discarded material for a new crafty purpose! 🙂

To make my own organizers for embroidery thread, I used an empty granola bar box, and cut it up into flat pieces, and then into squares with two slits on one side:

cardboardtemplate

You can make these pieces any size that works for you, I ended up with more narrow pieces towards the end as I was running out of cardboard!

Once you have all your pieces cut, you can start winding your thread. Start by securing one end of the thread in one of the slits, then loop the rest of the thread around the cardboard piece. When you reach the end of the thread, secure the end in the second slit, and you’re done!

embroidery thread

This organizational project is very rewarding, as you will be able to see exactly all the different colors you have, making it easier to come up with new color combos for your crafts! Now all my embroidery thread stays compactly contained, and no more dreaded tangles!

rainbow thread

What are some fun ways you organize your stash? Share your tips in the comments! I am in the process of re-arranging my crafting space, so any advice helps! ❤

Crafting Disasters -or- The Reject Pile

We have all been there: excitedly take on a project and dive in head first, only to get frustrated that it does not turn out the way we wanted or imagined it, and end up feeling defeated and deflated. Nobody’s perfect! And despite what Pinterest or Instagram would have you believe, not all craft projects turn out perfectly picture worthy the first time, or at all!

scraps1Being a life-long crafter, I have known my fair share of disappointing crafts, and have had a good portion of what I make end up in the garbage. Here are some examples:

Topiary Tragedy: A few years ago I took a floral arranging class, and as it was around the holiday season, we made mini Christmas tree topiaries. Sounds cute, right? Mine was coming together nicely, having a rustic vibe going with red ribbons and gold bell ornaments. That was when I discovered a can of gold spray paint in a forgotten corner of the craft room, and decided to mist my topiary for a “golden glow”. I got carried away. Like, AWAY away. My cute little topiary ended up completely gilded, looking more like a trophy, or award for “worst Christmas topiary ever”. I was crushed, after so much work to have completely ruined it. Everyone else seemed to really like it though, and kept complimenting it, but in my mind it was all out of pity. Needless to say, the evidence has since been destroyed! 😛

Coaster Calamity: My brother is an engineer, and has a mind built for figuring out how things work, and understanding materials. We sometimes bounce ideas for projects off each other, as we both love making things. He was over for dinner and saw a box of a puzzle we had under our coffee table, alongside magazines and board games. He said: ” Wouldn’t it be cool to build the puzzle, and then cut it into squares to use as coasters? You will have to back it with some cork or felt, and coat it with some kind of lacquer to water proof and heat proof it…”. We discussed this concept in depth for a while, going over different options. After he left I decided to attempt it, and spent the next 2 weeks putting together this 1500 piece puzzle. I coated it with lacquer, and got to cutting. It turned out choppy and messy, and there was no way I could make the ragged edges look polished. After a lot of hot gluing, some felt, and ribbon to cover the edges, it looked like a miserable children’s craft gone wrong. I stopped after the first coaster and threw the rest of the puzzle in the garbage.

Bracelet Bonanza: We all had that one childhood friend who would spend recess and lunch time hunched in a quiet corner cranking out incredibly intricate colorful friendship bracelets, for those lucky chosen ones. I have mastered the braided, and wrapped style, but not much more. I was persuaded by a Pinterest project to attempt this craft again, this time adding beads and metallic bits to glam it up. In my head, I pictured it as a cool boho chic festival-style accessory. In reality, it turned out looking childish and gaudy, and none of the new knot and braid styles I was attempting to learn turned out like the picture. I was so convinced this would turn out great, that I forgot I don’t even like wearing bracelets! Needless to say, another waste of materials and time.

So how do you overcome these crafting disasters? Do you throw in the towel and exclaim “I give up!” or do you try again? Personally, I have a certain threshold for failure, and after a while I just need to step away and take a break to re-assess the situation. We can get so caught up in the idea of something turning out a certain way, or a beautifully photoshopped picture of a perfect looking craft, that we forget our own abilities and limitations. It doesn’t always turn out right! And that’s OK! you learn and you move on, but don’t let those little disasters deter you from continuing your craft journey! Just maybe in a different direction… 🙂

scrapy

Crochet puff stitch slouchy beanie

slouchy beanie 1

When I was 10, my grandma decided to teach me how to knit. I picked it up pretty quickly, but would get so uptight that my stitches were *squeaking* when sliding off the needles. A few years ago, I picked up loom knitting, it is super rewarding as projects come together quickly so you get that instant gratification, but the large gauge creates only one sort of “look”. Then I saw these amazing crochet beanies by “the hook nook” that she posts on Instagram, and decided I need to figure out how to make one!
After some googling, the best tutorial I found was by Sewrella, she does a great job explaining all the different stitches– especially for someone like me who has never even picked up a crochet hook before! Check it out:

 

I picked up a crochet hook and some cheap acrylic yarn, and got to work! This came together surprisingly quickly- one evening at home, and then breaks during work, and it was done! Of course, I had to add a droopy pom pom to finish it off haha 🙂 I am really happy with how it turned out, and have been wearing it pretty much non stop the past few days. I am definitely planning on expanding my crochet skills to make more projects like this, so rewarding!

slouchy beanie 2

Paper Trees- Free DIY

Our local library hosts monthly craft classes, teaching how to make different projects out of discarded books. Since I love books, and also love crafts, I have been really enjoying these! The most recent one was holiday themed, making trees out of paperback books. Unfortunately, I could not attend it, so instead I set out to figure out how to make it myself! Now, I didn’t have discarded books, so instead I used old magazines, which resulted in a colorful, though not as dense, result.

magazine paper tree

Here is the YouTube tutorial I relied on for the detailed steps on how to fold these:

 

Materials:

Old magazines (FREE!)
Glitter + Glue (optional, I left mine plain)

Steps:

For each page of the magazine, you will fold the top corner of the page down towards the magazine’s spine, then fold again, creating a narrow triangle. Fold the bottom point that is hanging down so that it lines up flat with the edge of the magazine.

Warning:

Although this craft is extremely simple and completely free, it is not quick! Depending on the thickness of the magazine / book you choose, this can take a long time! My recommendation is to do this while watching your favorite TV show, or listening to music or a podcast, and taking breaks! The 3 trees I made were done over a few days, a bit at a time.

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I am currently displaying these trees on our entry way console (see how I painted it here.) I was debating if I should leave it as is, or add glitter and decorations, but I think I’m going to leave it as is for now. What do you think? Will you try this free craft for the holiday season? 🙂