Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pretty Wooden Boxes

This week's project is a fun one that's good for both kids and adults. It involves taking plain wooden boxes and decorating them so that they become beautiful. The finished project can then be used to give gifts in, used to hold candies or chocolates, or just for decoration. Here's how to get started.

For this project, I started with two wooden boxes. One is a small one and the second one is just slightly larger. But you can use a box of any size - it all depends on what you want to use it for.

Next, I laid out some newspaper for easy clean up. Then, I used a foam paint brush to apply the paint. The best thing about foam brushes is that they make painting quick and easy. After I finished painting, I allowed the box to dry overnight.

The next day, I finished off the box by adding the embellishments. You can choose any size or objects to use for your embellishments. Keep in mind when you are choosing them that the embellishments really do set the theme of the box. In the picture showing the boxes that I decorated, you can see that I choose to add one large wooden embellishment to the smaller box. For the larger box, I choose to add a few metallic shaped butterflies. Both embellishments help to set a theme of Easter and spring.

After your embellishments have been added, the box is now ready to hold whatever you want it to. If you like, you can place some filling inside to prop up and cushion the objects the box will hold. One example of what to put in your box would be chocolates or candies to put out on the table.

Happy painting! Most importantly, enjoy your beautiful box and whatever it may be holding.

If you liked this project, you can find more FREE Project Ideas on my website. Try them out and leave a comment on my blog - I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Knitted Gift Bag

Here's the latest knitting project that I have finished. I actually started it months ago, finished knitting it and then it sat on my living room table. Between Christmas holidays and then battling a cold at the end of January and beginning of February, I just let it sit there until I finally put the finishing touches on.

So, here it is:

To create the gift bag, I used a waving rib stitch. It's a pretty easy pattern to follow and produces this lovely waving effect. The waving effect is more noticeable once there is a bit of length to the piece. Plus, it's quick to do!

The best part of all, it's a great way to dress up a gift and make it really exciting to open!

If you would like to see the patterns and instructions for this project, or one of my other knitting projects, you can find them on my website – Beautiful Creations Knitting Projects. What projects have you knitted lately?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

The way a gift is presented makes a big difference because it affects the perception of the value of the gift itself. Wrap it up in plain or even ugly gift wrap and the person receiving the gift will already be thinking subconsciously that the gift is cheap. Dress up the wrapping even a little, and the person will start thinking, "Wow - this must be a really expensive gift."

There are many different things that you can do very quickly that will help dress up any present to make it seem outstanding. In the picture below, I show two of these ideas.

The first idea is shown on the tall, pink gift bag. On its own, it is pretty and it serves its purpose. But it won't draw any attention to the bag itself. So, simply add a 3D embellishment and it immediately catches the person's attention. It's quick and simple! Just like that the person is already thinking, "Wow. Must be something special in here!"

The second idea shows how to dress up a plain white box. For this one, I took a thin strip of fabric and used it as a ribbon. Using fabric is much more interesting and unusual than using common ribbon. Plus, everyone likes having to pull the ribbon loose and unwrap the present. Finally, I finished decorating the box with a few embellishments - they will attract attention and have the person actually looking at the box before they open it!

I hope these ideas have inspired you! Remember, you don't have to do anything too complicated or time consuming to add interest and excitement before the gift is even opened!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knitting Stitch Gallery

With all the knitting projects that I have on my website, I have finally added a knitting stitch gallery. I will be adding more stitches over time, but here's a few that you can get started with.

Garter Stitch ~ The garter stitch produces a flat and even piece of knitting that is both practical and pretty. It's so simple to knit - it's probably the first stitch that most knitters will learn. But that doesn't mean it should be ignored.

Harris Tweed Rib Stitch ~ This stitch has raised columns and rows that form a grid like pattern that's very beautiful when knitted with a rich coloured yarn. This stitch will make any finished piece bold and interesting.

Linen Stitch ~ The linen stitch creates a woven look to the finished piece, which gives it an elegant and sophisticated look. For great results, use thick, chunky wool or multi-coloured yarn to highlight the woven look of the linen stitch.

Roman Stitch ~ Finished pieces using the roman stitch have raised stitches spaced evenly throughout the rows. This gives the knitting a lovely textured look and adds dimension as well.

Ready to start knitting? Then please visit The Knitting Stitch Gallery to see pictures of what these stitches look like and to learn the pattern for each stitch.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions for a New Year

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas and that 2010 will be a good year for you. Well, it's the start of a new decade. That's right - a new decade! Where has the time gone?

Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year? When I was younger, I did. Then I stopped, because I didn't want to wait until the beginning of a new year to make changes in my life. I thought that I should do it as needed.

But I've come to realize that the whole point in making a new year's resolution is to make sure that you take the time to think about what changes you want to make. It's too easy to get caught up in everyday life and not think about what you really want, what your priorities are or what your goals in life are.

So, my goals for the next year (and to make them a habit so that I keep doing them) are to exercise more and make more time for craft projects. I have a tendency to put these things off for later and then never getting to them.

Hmm, right about now that little voice in my head is telling me to make my resolutions more specific so that I'll be more likely to accomplish them ... I'm doing very well in ignoring the voice, but we'll see how I am with fulfilling my new year's resolutions. :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Christmas Ornaments

Well, Christmas is just around the corner and I'm still making more Christmas ornaments. Maybe I'll stop once Christmas is actually over ... maybe. For these ornaments, I used plain, clear balls and filled each one with something different.

For the first ornament, I filled it with small pieces of yarn cut into different lengths. I used 6 different colours. After I cut the pieces, I simply placed them in the opening at the top. Once it was full, I replaced the top piece. I think this was the easiest ornament I have ever created!

For the second ornament, I put little snow flakes in it. Of course they are fake, but they are still very pretty and enjoyable! I only filled the ornament partway, but you could fill it to the top and have even more snow flakes to enjoy!

For the third ornament, I used a scrapbooking punch and four different coloured sheets of paper. After I punched out the design several times from each sheet, I put the punched out spiral shaped pieces in the little ball. For this one, I again choose to fill the ornament partway. I think it makes the spirals stand out more.

There are lots of different things you can use to fill the ornaments with, so feel free to experiment and try something new. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Busy Making Christmas Ornaments

I can't believe that it is December already! I don't know where the time is going. Of course, I say this every year, so I should be used to this feeling by now!

With December here that means Christmas is just around the corner. I've already received my first Christmas card of the year ... you know Christmas is near when you start to receive Christmas cards!

I have started getting ready for Christmas by making a few ornaments. Here are pictures of two of the ornaments I made:

The best thing about these ornaments is that they are made from fabric. Not only are they easy to make, but also I don't have to worry about them breaking if the tree ever fell over. For anyone with small kids or pets, you know how easy that can happen.

I also love the little loop made from ribbon, which makes the ornament so easy to hang on the Christmas tree. No more having to stop and look for those little hooks. Now I just have to decide if I will make more of these ornaments in the same fabric or in a different colour. Hmm, what do you think?

If you would like to know how to make these ornaments yourself, please visit my website Beautiful Creations and check out the Christmas Present Ornament and the Christmas Star Ornament free project idea pages. Enjoy!