Monday, May 30, 2016

DIY Chalkboard wood tags (and how to avoid poisoning your friends at parties)

Are you as happy as I am to be celebrating the un-official start of Summer today?

For this week I wanted a project that could be useful for the upcoming summer gatherings and just recalled the last time that we had visits at our place, we had a Taco Party where we offered some frutal infusions drinks (we are trying to eat as clean as possible so we are avoiding the sodas) that apparently looked too dangerous.

We wanted to spoil our friends so we prepared some exotic combinations: watermelon + chia, cucumber + strawberry + blueberry, mint + strawberry, etc, and we used large mason jars to serve them, and even when they looked cute (and fresh!) I had to confirm each person the list of ingredients before they were ready to take a zip (not that I would try to poison them), once they overcome the poison fear I received a lot of requests for the recipes in writing, so I can assume  that they were a hit!

This week's project are some cute tags that you can use for your beverages, food plates or even for names.

Chalkboard Wood Tags

Difficulty: Easy
Time required: 1 hour (or less)

Supplied Needed:

  1. Wood "slices" (I got mine from a tree branch that fell down and we "rescued" but if you can't find wood you can also use cardboard or cork)
  2. Chalkboard paint
  3. Rope
  4. Brush
  5. Scissors
  6. Paper plate
  7. Silicone (Hot/cold - any will work)
  8. Chalks (Not pictured)
  9. Optional: Plastic flowers (Not Pictured)

Let's do this:

1) Start by pouring some chalkboard paint on the paper plate:

2) Using the brush cover one side of your wood slice:

3) Once finished let it dry and check if the paint has completely covered the wood, as you can see in the image below mine was not ready so I applied a second coat of paint.

4) Measure the rope needed using the mouth of your vase and cut leaving additional rope to be glued to the wood.

5) Locate a central top position in the back of your painted wood and apply some silicone.

6) Press the rope against the wood creating an x with the rope extremes:

7) Use more silicone to glue the rope extremes to the wood:

8) The back of your wood will look like this:

10) Use the chalks to write whatever label you want, in my case I prepared some frutal infusion water, one was made of mango and the other included a combination of berries: strawberries and blueberries.

Optional step: When I was finishing this project I remembered that I had some (plastic) flower mini bouquets and thought that it may look nice with our tags so I recommend this as an optional addition, fresh flowers will look even better but probably won't last long with the current weather.

These flowers are very easy to handle, simply attach them to one of the extremes of the tag as shown below:

Your tags are done now:

This is one of those easy projects that you can make with things that you already have in your house, and as chalkboard paint works in almost any surface you can create writable spaces all over your house so please take it easy with it because you can become a chalkboard   addict.

Hope you liked this week's project, and most important, hope that you decide to create your own, and if you'll have a party you can definitely count on me (I can bring some infusioned water jars!!)


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DIY: From ugly jeans to beautiful apron

Last week when I was organizing my studio I found a pair of jeans that I just can't stand, yes, I developed this weird feeling towards a helpless pair of jeans, can you believe it?

What I dislike the most about these jeans is that I bought them for all the wrong reasons: they have a floral print (that I'm not crazy about), they were cheap (not a valid reason to buy anything ) and the worst reason of all, I was convinced by someone else that those were MY kind of jeans, when that is really not the case (Peer pressure at my age? Come on! )

ended up with a pair of unused jeans that were only occupying space in my drawers to be later relocated to my studio and eventually forgotten.

Now and then whenever these jeans and I cross paths, I usually pretend that I don't  see them and they pretend to be busy below some boxes of fabric so we can avoid each other, but this weekend when we looked at each other I thought that it was time for us to find a way to coexist, and that is how this post was born.

Apron from recycled jeans

Difficulty: Medium
Time required: 2-3 hours

Supplies needed:
  1. A pair of jeans (unused, stained, maybe those jeans that you bought after Christmas that now are too big for you, etc)
  2. Scissors 
  3. Matching thread
  4. Pins (not pictured)


  1. Sewing machine (you can also sew by hand with a needle)
  2. Permanent markers
  3. Glue (for those that don't enjoy sewing)- not pictured

Let's do this:
1) Start by cutting out the legs, you'll get a pair of "shorts"

Don't worry too much about doing it perfectly at this point, we'll take care of the seams later

2) Place this piece facing your table and cut right in the middle of the back of the waistband

3) Now remove the back of the jeans except for the waistband sides (these will help later to tie the apron), the remaining piece will be the bottom of our apron.

4) For the top of the apron, take one of the legs and cut from the widest part

4.1) Take the fabric that you cut out from the leg and turn around, look for the seam and cut to get a trapeze of fabric.

This will be the top of the apron:

5) Take the remaining leg and cut 3 strips of fabric.
One will be larger to be used to place the apron in the neck, and the other two will be shorter and wider to help as extensions for the waistband to tie the apron

6) Remove the pocket from the back of the jeans

7) Let's do a checkpoint, you must have 6 pieces by now: (from left to right) 1-the large strip, 2-the trapeze, 3- the pocket, 4 & 5: the shorter wider strips and 6- the main piece.
It's time to sew (or glue if you decided to avoid needles and threads)

8) Sew the pocket on top of the trapeze

9) Sew the seams of the bottom of the apron making sure that the pockets are still usable.

10) Create 3 "tubes" with the fabric strips by sewing them by the side (use the pins to secure them before sewing)

10) Sew the larger strip to the trapeze, check that there is enough room for your head and the top of the apron will be done, now attach the two wider strips to the waistband ends, both sides must be equal in size and large enough to allow you to tie the apron:

13) Put together the top and the bottom of the apron, secure them with pins before sewing to make sure that it is correctly placed

14) You're done now!

Optional Step: I decided (and encourage you) to use some colorful permanent markers to pimp the apron.

 must be completely honest by admitting that I have not finished yet my coloring task but you can see some completed portions below where you'll notice the big difference that some color spots can make (I'll update the post once I'm done with the final result as it turned out to be such a relaxing activity that I'm taking my time to do this)

Finally please be aware that the most difficult part of this project is actually using the apron to cook (it's too cute to let it get dirty), but hey, there will always be old, unused, stained and old-fashioned jeans to create a new one, right?

Hope you liked this week's project! Let me know in the comments section if you are planning  to do your apron and how ugly were really my pants before the pimping. (Am I overreacting?)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

DIY Mother´s day pearl portrait

Do you remember those days when you were really small and mother's day would only mean creating a soup necklace and learning a song that would bring tears out from all moms at the recital?

Those days you wouldn't worry about getting the best present, choosing the best restaurant and asking for a gift receipt just in case the chosen size wasn't right.

As we get older these holidays can become really annoying, meaning that you'll be stressing out about the gift, trying to avoid crowds at restaurants and probably forgetting what this day is really about.

This year I decided that I would go back to those happy days where gift was a mix of glue and plastic and moms would measure the value of the present in the labor of love ( and the hours dedicated) to create something pretty and unique.

Mother's Day Pearl Portrait 

Supplies needed:

  1. Plastic pearls in 3 different sizes 
  2. Wood simple portrait
  3. Glue 
  4. (Not featured) Silicon 
  5. A cute picture of you and your mom

1) Start by removing the back side of the portrait and add some glue.

2) Using you fingers distribute the glue all over the frame and let it rest for some seconds, this will help pearls to get glued easily.

3) Pick the largest size pearls and add them to the frame in a row.

4) Once you have covered the entire square start adding the second largest size of pearls until it's all covered. Don't worry about the glue showing as once dry it will become transparent.

5) Now let's cover the lateral sides, here I strongly recommend to use the silicon as it's more dense than glue and that will prevent the pearls to drop.

6) Once finished you'll notice that there are some gaps and open spaces so fill all those with the smallest pearls, until your frame is all covered and let it dry.

7) Print your picture and you're ready to go.
Optional: As I was looking for a retro look I modified this picture to be black and white. Sepia is also a good choice.

Ok so I'm going to be really honest about this project, it take some time and you can really get your patience tested after getting 1000 pearls glued, and some may drop, so take your time to enjoy the process and please don't worry if it looks very weird when you are half way, it will turn pretty once you're done,you can take my word for that.

I would also recommend that when gifting this portrait you include a small note on why you chose that particular picture, in my case I love how happy my mom and I look as if we were talking without using words. You can also look for a really old picture or a very funny one.

Hope you have a great mother's day celebration! If you happen to be a mother let everyone else pamper you and remember that cake eating is a mandatory activity this day.