Monthly Archives: September 2012

Melted Crayon Art – Duo Post!


[By duo post, I mean that my friend Reena Dulfon did this project, and then I made a version as well, and we both wrote something up for the ol’ blog. Reena is in color, and I’m in regular boring black font. I also realize I mention Pinterest a lot. I use it for inspiration when I’m in a crafting slump. If you want to follow my craft board it’s:

Now take it away my crafty compadre!

Hi, I’m Reena and I’m writing a guest blog post for you all today!

I’m sure a lot of you have seen the crayon melting art on Pinterest. I tried it out this weekend and really like how it came out. It’s an interesting piece to display in your bathroom or living room. 
For this project you need just a few items:
– Crayons. I used one Crayola box of 64, plus one 8-count box of Crayola “Metallic” colors. [FYI yours truly tried to be cheap and bought Roseart crayons for this. DON’T. Just spend the extra $2 for Crayolas, ok? Trust me, it pains me to tell you not to be cheap- but Roseart sucks for basically everything, even if you’re only trying to destroy the crayons.]
– A large, thick board. Do NOT use a regular thin posterboard for this project. Use foam board or canvas.
– Glue. I used regular Elmer’s school glue.
– A Hairdryer
– Alphabet stickers (optional)
– Newspaper or towels to protect your area
If possible, it would be wise to do this project outside.
The first thing you do is glue all your crayons in a line at the top of your board. I removed all the greys, blacks, and browns because I wanted my entire poster to be bright.
Glued Crayons

Glue your crayons first.

Event Photo Backdrop


Every year for the last three years I have helped at an event for this organization that I support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Chicago. They put on Chicago’s largest mental health walk, NAMIWalks Chicago. [Short PSA- 1 in 4 Americans struggle with mental illness. If you need support groups, education, or other resources around mental illness, you can find your local NAMI affiliate here: If you’d like to contribute to my team, let me know!

This year, I decided I wanted to do something to help build up the team spirit before people start the walk. I decided to create a backdrop for people to take pictures in front of before the walk begins (or after they finish), using the NAMI of Greater Chicago logo. Something like celebs get their pictures taken in front of at red carpet events, like this:

But you know, on a limited budget and DIY. Cause that’s how I roll.

Things you will need:

A white flat sheet (I think queen size)

Cardboard for your stencil of the logo

Butcher paper or extra cardboard

Painters tape

Spray paint of your choosing- I used 2 colors Montana Black brand

A big outside area that a little stray spray paint won’t damage

Heavy odds and ends from around your house to keep the sheet in place while you’re working

Grommets (or keep reading for alternate ideas for how to hang this up) and a hammer

Exacto knife/razor blade

I actually had some assistance- someone else made this stencil, because he has made one before for rally protest signs that have the NAMI-GC logo on it. He happily created one for me:


Courtesy of one of the patient staff members. I actually used the painter’s tape on some of the skinniest pieces to strengthen it a little bit.

So I don’t really have any instructions on that. See how I made the Mockingjay shirt a few posts down for how I’ve made stencils in the past.

Once your stencil is ready, you should roll out some of that butcher paper (or more cardboard) and test out your spray paint(s) on it. If your spray paint is new, you definitely want to shake it well and test it for a few good sprays. The blue one I used was sort of still changing colors when I did my first two stencils. This is also a chance to test out how you’ve secured the stencil- if areas look “smudged” then you probably don’t have it firmly anchored down enough.


I have a roll of drawing/butcher paper from Ikea that worked well for this.

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Duct Tape Dress Form – the DIY Mannequin


I’ve been wanting a dress form for some time now, so I can make clothes sans-pattern or refashion things I already have, but they’re so damn pricey! I’ve also lost a good bit of weight in the last year, and I’m still losing- so I also didn’t want to spend that amount of cash on something that might not be the right size forever.

Enter- the duct tape dress form. I’ve seen variations of these all over. They’re pretty cheap, but a bit time intensive. I apologize for the smattering of blurred photos…trusty husband is not very pro at picture taking.

Things you will need:

An outfit you don’t care very much about

A garbage bag (or poncho you’re not attached to)

Saran wrap

Scissors that can cut tape and you don’t mind getting gunky


A LOT of plastic grocery bags or other filling material (I also used butcher paper and bubble wrap from packages that were shipped to me)

A buddy!

2 kinds of duct tape – one for your base layers, and a fun color or printed duct tape for your final layer. Of course, if you prefer silver, then you’ll just need one kind. I used one large roll of silver [40 yards ought to do it], and two rolls of zebra print [10 yards each for a total of 20 yards]. It’s always better to have more duct tape than have to run back to the store mid project- plus, there are plenty of other uses for duct tape so it doesn’t hurt to have leftovers laying around.

Ok then. Here we go.

First, cut some armholes and a neckhole in your garbage bag and put it on like a poncho. Make sure you’re wearing a good bra! Then, wrap the saran wrap around your hips- essentially extending the bagged area down further. You want your butt to be covered, so if you’re using this to make pants or a skirt, you’ll have enough of your lower half replicated to do the job right. Also saran wrap your arms to about mid-bicep.


Garbage bag poncho.

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Stenciled Shirts, Part 2: Fabric Spray Paint Louisiana Outline


Now that I’m getting my stenciling technique down (sort of), I decided to tackle a project I’ve wanted to do for some time. For our honeymoon (…in 2010) I made us matching baseball tees with our last name on the back. I never found a pre-made design I liked enough to put on the front, so the front has been plain. I had looked for Louisiana or fleur de lis decals I liked, but not much luck on ones that weren’t metallic and would be suitable for a male or a female.


You’ll need all the same stuff from my previous post for creating your stencil- cardstock, an exacto knife, cardboard to tape your outline to while you cut.

You’ll also need:

Fabric spray paint, or fabric paint and a paintbrush (I bought both…)

The shirt you want to work on

Double sided tape

LA Stencil

Tape your stencil down, and spray.

This time I made a Louisiana stencil, and cut a tiny heart out over the Baton Rouge area- where we met.

 I used my double sided tape from the beginning this time, especially because this stencil has so many tiny parts on the edges. You  will also want to make sure that if you’re doing any kind of cutout inside a stencil, you tape the edges very well there too to prevent the paint from bleeding.


Gently peel off your stencil. On my second go I lost a sliver of the southern coast that I peeled off with a fork without ruining anything.


The husband likes his! Full disclosure: the small heart over Baton Rouge was actually his idea.

I’m pretty thrilled with how they turned out! You can see a few splotchy areas where it wasn’t totally even- just something to keep in mind if you use this Tulip fabric spray paint.

I legitimately woke up this morning thinking of new designs I could do on other shirts, combinations of fabric paint and bleach and who knows what else. More to come I’m sure.

Stenciled Shirts, Part 1: Bleached Mockingjay


I saw something cool on Pinterest and decided to make some myself. You may have seen shirts that have a design bleached onto it-I found lots of different versions- it’s actually pretty easy to pull off!


Blank t-shirts, bright colored or black

Exacto knife or other method for cutting out a stencil design

Spray bottle

Bleach (and equal parts water)

Paper, cardstock, or vinyl

Acrylic spray (optional depending on the material you use for your stencil)

Double sided tape

Cardboard and/or a large shoebox and lid

A well-ventilated area

And of course, you’ll probably want a printer for whatever design you want to use for your stencil- unless you’re talented at drawing (I’m not).

Note: If you can, you should really do this project outdoors. I brought the shirts inside to use the hairdryer on and the smell became overpowering by the time I was working on shirt #3. I definitely had a headache when I was done.

I’ve wanted a Hunger Games shirt since I read the books, but honestly, I’m an “adult” and couldn’t justify paying for a shirt I couldn’t wear to work. So I decided to make one.


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