Thursday, June 21, 2012

Father's Day Take 2: Hand Stamped Washer Gifts

As mentioned in the previous post, we have 4 dads to celebrate on Fathers Day.  For my husbands step dad who loves homebrewing, I made a Homebrew Subway Sign.

I decided to break out the metal stamping tools to create something meaningful for my dad and my husband....  Just in time for this project I received my new steel stamping block from  So exciting!  I've been wanting one since I started dabbling in the metal stamping and finally used some credit card rewards points to get it.

Now I am all set to really get to stamping!

I picked up some stainless steel washers from my local Menards awhile ago for a few similar Christmas presents (that I didn't photograph and therefore didn't blog!) so I grabbed two of those.  For my dad I used my 1/8 uppercase stamps and stamped DAD.  Simple, but from the heart. (sorry picture isn't great, I just could not get the lighting right for a clear picture, if anyone has any tips on taking photos of shiny objects such as these, I'd welcome them!)

Then for my husband I decided I was going to do a bracelet as one of the above mentioned Christmas presents was actually a washer necklace that said DADDY and had our childrens names on the backside.  I've had an idea in mind for awhile for a stamped bracelet for him though.  Along the top I stamped JOSHUA and along the bottom 1:9.  The verse is:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  He just finished up a small group study based on the movie Courageous and the Resolution for Men book, so I wanted to give him something that tied in with that.  And I also got him a new devotion book... "One Minute Devotions For Dad."  

I'm really loving the metal stamps, especially with my new steel block that really helps.  The next thing is to find a good sturdy table I can use to do it, because trying to bed down to floor level and do much more than a few letters is so not comfortable.  :)  But it was worth it for two great dads!
I usually party at: I Heart Nap Time Skip To My Lou Tip Junkie handmade projects The DIY Dreamer Button pic 9 These Peas Taste Funny Crafty Scrappy Happy Poofy Cheeks

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day Take 1: Homebrew Subway Sign

Father's day is just around the corner (only 5 days away) and we have three Dad's to celebrate... well make that four dad's if you count my husband :). That makes for some fun times trying to figure out guy gifts.

 Guy gifts are HARD (at least for the guys in our families). Figuring out a CRAFTY guy gift?! REALLY HARD.

 Father's Day Project Number 1.

 Recipient: My hubby's step dad.

 Likes: Homebrewing. Football. Baseball.

Been there done that gifts: Craft Beers, homebrewing store gift certificates, football t-shirts, baseball t-shirts

When thinking about Father's Day gifts I started combing Pinterest and blogs for ideas The idea that began forming in my head as I browsed some projects/tutorials was some cool manly wall art with beer or homebrewing as it's subject. After some thought and input from the hubby, I decided on a homebrew subway style sign.

I started with a canvas from Michaels. My first thought was to stencil all the letters on. I quickly changed my mind on that, in part because the letter stencils I have were too big for the layout I wanted. So I headed back to Pinterest.

 I found a couple of posts using vinyl letters... putting them down on the canvas, painting over and then peeling the letters up. Only problem was, no vinyl letters in my house. Hmmm to go buy some or not...

I opted for not and thought maybe I could cut out all my letters, and glue them down with a glue that took awhile to set. I cut out two letters before I decided that was NOT going to happen even if it might work.

 My next idea was to see if the inkjet water transfer that I had read about for some wooden signs would work on the canvas. I tested it... and it seemed like it would work! First I had to alter my layout so I printed off the sheets and laid them on my canvas to see how it would look.

I also printed all the words off backwards. (I used Microsoft Word 2007... to do this you need to make all your words using WordArt, then while your WordArt is selected go to format, Rotate, Flip Horizontal.)  You will also need to print them off using and inkjet printer (I think this covers MOST- not all- home printers).

I cut out all my words separately so I didn't have to worry about shifting the paper too much. I laid my words face down on the canvas. Then I took a sponge brush and dampened it. For the first word, HOMEBREW, I tried to wet the whole word and then burnish it but learned it went smoother if I did one letter at a time.
  After I wet the letter I used my round handle end of my hole punch to rub over the letter to transfer the ink. After I transferred all the words, I took some really watered down black paint and did a little fill in.  You could also fill it in more solidly with undiluted black paint.

 I really like how it turned out- faded, old, vintage-ey.... And I was really excited that the water transfer worked, it meant no extra supplies I had to run out for and that is always a bonus!

 I usually party here:

  I Heart Nap Time Skip To My Lou Tip Junkie handmade projects The DIY Dreamer Button pic 9 These Peas Taste Funny Crafty Scrappy Happy Poofy Cheeks

Monday, June 4, 2012

Plant Markers

Every April for the past 4 years my husband and I, along with some of our family and friends, have walked the March of Dimes March for Babies.  We do this to raise money for the March of Dimes in memory of two of our babies who were born prematurely and now wait for us in Heaven.  The past two years, we've put forth a little more effort into fundraising beside just asking friends/family/co-workers for donations.  Last year we held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. This year we had a garage sale fundraiser and we also received some "prize" donations from 6 area businesses and 1 from my mom , which we gave away to some lucky individual sponsors via a drawing.

My mom donated a planter (you may have read my recent post about my vacation by my mom & her greenhouse business, if not you can read about it and see her awesome greenhouse here).  The lucky winner was given the option of a flower planter or an herb planter and chose an herb planter.  This is the planter my mom did....

It included a oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley.  And two pretty pansies for some color!  :)

I have been totally longing to make some silverware plant markers.  I actually have been collecting thrift store silverware like mad for the past 6 months or better with they idea I could make a bunch for her to sell at the greenhouse... well, I waited too long to start them for it this year and then got super frustrated on the day I started trying to do some!  In my defense, I was busy... Most of my crafting is done after my little guy goes to bed and hammering on metal while he's sleeping is a dangerous idea that may interfere with crafting!

Anyway, I ended up deciding to add some plant markers to my mom's herb planter.  Of course I decided to do this the morning we were delivering it.  (Yep I often have these great ideas either last minute or at least try to execute them last minute!)

So I started sifting through my collection....

And came up with these candidates....

Aren't those little spoons way too cute?!?

I currently have 4 "sets" of metal stamps plus another on the way from Pick Your Plum :).  I have a uppercase w/ numbers 1/8" set (very inexpensive from Harbor Freight), uppercase 3/32", lowercase 3/32" and numbers in 3/32".  I just recently bought the 3/32" used from a fellow Etsy seller.  The ones I have on the way are 1/8" lower case so I really have two "full sets."

I opted to use the larger uppercase.  I was really wishing for 1/8" in lowercase at that time, because I LOVE lowercase.  (Could you tell by my non capitalized blog/business name?)

I quickly had to find a new silverware piece for the "HERBS" marker as the I messed up with the first letter.

Since the spoons were so small (and I was on a severe time crunch) I opted to just do the first letter of each herb.

Once they were all stamped I headed up out of the basement and used a sharpie on the letters to darken them up.  (you color over the letter and then quickly wipe off the excess)

With their shininess and my time constraints I didn't get the best pictures ever, but this is an idea of how it turned out.  I was pretty happy with it and even my husband thought it was pretty cool.

I like to party at these awesome parties:
  I Heart Nap Time Skip To My Lou Tip Junkie handmade projects Button pic 9 These Peas Taste Funny Crafty Scrappy Happy Poofy Cheeks