Easy Gift Bag Art

Someone once gave me a lovely gift. Unfortunately, I have no memory of what it was or who it was from (blush of shame) but what they didn’t realize was how much I’d love the packaging it came in!

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I saved it over the years to reuse and eventually used it to package a special gift for someone. A few months later,  this same exact gift bag was coincidentally re-gifted to me. Obviously, the universe destined for me and this gift bag to be together! But my love story with this gift bag hit a bit of a bump in the road when I noticed it had a bad tear in the side. So I had to figure out a way to preserve the beauty of this bag in a way that would keep the love alive.

So with a few basic craft supplies, here’s what happened –

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Not bad, right?? I wasn’t able to cut out a sheet of the gift bag that was big enough to cover the whole canvas, but I rather like it this way too!

If there is a special gift bag in your life that you want to preserve as wall art, here’s what you’ll need –

GiftBagArtSupplies

– A gift bag you love

-A canvas

-Ruler

-Rotary Cutter

-Paint of your choice

-Paint Brush

-Water for wetting your paint brush

-Mod Podge

-Sponge Brush

Here’s what you do:

1. Paint the canvas in solid color of your choice. Allow it to dry. (I like to start with a diluted layer of the paint and then add more coats of paint after each previous layer dries.)

2. Cut out and separate the largest side of the gift bag so that you have a nice flat sheet of the gift bag paper/plastic to work with.

3. Using your ruler and rotary cutter, cut the sheet to fit your canvas.

4. Sponge on a layer of Mod Podge onto the back side of your gift bag sheet. Place it onto your canvas.

5. Finish up by applying a final layer of Mod Podge to the overall surface of your brand new art piece! DONE!

This project can be modified for use with just about any type of gift bag! So don’t get upset if you feel like you have to say goodbye to those pretty little hearts on the gift bag you get for Valentines Day today! Just cut them out and mod podge them onto a canvas and you never have to say goodbye!

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SIDE NOTE: Speaking of gifts, that reminds me…the storage unit under the gift bag art was my Christmas gift from the hubby! It’s from Target and I.LOVE.IT. I had it assembled by some serious professionals –GiftBagIMG_8531

So there you have it. Art doesn’t need to be extra fancy or difficult to be beautiful! You just have to keep your mind open and you never know when or where inspiration will hit!

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Happy Valentines Day!

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Marker Doodles

Can you remember the excitement as a child, when you opened up a FRESH box of crayons or markers and knew that they were ALL YOURS?? The crayons with their flawlessly molded tips, letting off that sweet aroma of wax and the markers, beautifully pointy, just bursting with fresh vibrant ink…It represented a whole new world of beautiful art to be made! Some of us never quite outgrow that excitement of getting new crayons or markers, do we?

Ha! I sure didn’t! While cleaning out some of my old folders, I came across some doodles I had made when feeling excited about a fresh pack of markers I had just bought.

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I used colored pencils too. Nothing fancy. Just something I did for fun and thought I’d share.

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I hope everyone is having a lovely summer so far!

River Rocks Redone

When I first got my own place, 8 years ago, I thought my decorating skills were top-notch. I had never ever even glanced at a home-design magazine or TV show. Nor did I have any idea about patterns or color combos. I was just a “natural”….eh, natural disaster. Instead of having any idea of what type of style or atmosphere I wanted to create, I went crazy buying all sorts of decorative things that didn’t really go with anything. I was convinced I was doing a great job though. Ah, the pains of ignorance…not as blissful as it once was.

Now that we’re in our new place, I have to deal with all of my old “baggage” of decorative junk and find ways to make them work. One of the items in my baggage are river rocks. Lots of them. I went through a river rock phase and put them in literally every vase I owned.

RiverRockVaseI am no longer a huge fan of having jars of rocks everywhere so I decided to get crafty with it.

I dumped out the river rocks and threw a handful into a Dixie paper bowl. I drizzled some acrylic paint over it and stirred it up with a paint brush.

Painted Rocks

This step only took about a minute to complete. I repeated this with a yellow and metallic pearl for a few more batches of rocks.

After the rocks were evenly coated, I spread them out on the plastic wrapping of an unopened pack of poster boards to dry. I’m sure wax paper would suffice. It didn’t take long to dry.

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I hot-glued all of the rocks onto my vase. This was a slightly tedious process since the rocks are small, but I’m happy I did it! FYI, I did not bother with trying to make the rocks perfectly flush with each other.

After all the rocks were glued on, I used a paintbrush to apply a dab of a 2nd coat of paint to the top surface of all of the rocks.

I now have a beautiful custom-designed vase which will add a fun splash of my favorite colors to my craft room.

Colorblock Vase(The craft room is under construction right now, so this vase is in its temporary home, in our guest bedroom.)

This project is a great and inexpensive way to add unique colors and color combos to coordinate with your room/decor!

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The flowers you see in here are temporary. I’m actually not sure what type of flowers to put in here. Maybe some playful white daisies? I don’t know. What do you think??

Beauty is in the Eye of the Artist’s Mama

I’ve always felt that art cannot be judged as being good or not good because art is an expression of one’s own freedom, flavor, emotion, etc. So there’s no one-right-way to do things, in my book. I feel like children’s art in particular is special because little minds, unfettered by the adult knowledge of reality or expectations, can create the most beautiful pieces.

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Being a toddler artist is hard work! 😉

Now that being said, I have become that mama that beams with pride at all of the wild scribblings and finger paintings of my baby and thinks they’re the most beautiful works of toddler art I’ve ever seen. Yep, that’s me with the big treasure chest full of colorful scribbles that I plan on keeping forever and ever and ever!

After about 20 scribble-art papers, I came to realize, I couldn’t remember the fun details of the day when he had made each particular scribble. So when I got J to paint with a paint brush for the first time, I decided to save the work in a more special way that would not just disappear into the ever-growing stack of scribble masterpieces.

J's first paintbrush scribble

J’s first paintbrush scribble

Dwayne says it already looks like some sort of pre-historic pterodactyl skeleton. Can you see what he’s talking about? (A little creepy!) Well, I decided to cut out the shape of a cute little bird. If you look closely, you can see where I traced out the shape and cut it out already.

I was really lucky because I was able to position the shape at a place where the paint scribble allowed for a perfect color-change for the beak.

Scribbles allowed for a distinguishable beak

J’s scribbles allowed for a distinguishable beak

All I had to add was an eye and the shape of a wing! I pasted this cute little bird onto some scrapbook paper I had lying around and added some paper grass and pipe-cleaner legs. I used a decorative edge scissor to cut a scalloped border across the top.

Jay's Birdie

Jay’s little paint scribble bird proudly displayed on the fridge.

We’re in the process of hanging a clothes line in J’s room to start displaying his especially nice works of art (which, to his mama…is like ALL of them.) Until then, my fridge space will just continue to get buried with J’s creations.

Jay's Birdie

Now as for my own crafts, I’ve got a few WIPs (Works In Progress) and hopefully I’ll get to complete them soon so I can show you what I’ve been up to!

The Forever Blooms

We just moved in to our new home in October, and I’m pretty much STILL unpacking. It’s a lot of work but it’s fun unearthing all sorts of little trinkets and treasures I forgot I had. I recently opened up a box and found some old acrylic paintings I had done when D and I were “newlyweds”. They’ve been locked up in the box for almost 4 years so I forgot they even existed. I decided to change them up a little bit to better fit our home.

Well, my apologies because I really should have taken a picture of them, BEFORE I started modifying them…oops.ArttoModifyEach painting used to have a small maroon and pink bird on it. They were just “okay”, so I decided to erase any sign of their existence with a bit of black paint.

I knew I wanted to replace the birds with some flowers but then I had a stroke of genius thanks to Pinterest. Instead of painting on new flowers, why not create fabric blooms?! Not only would they add dimension to the art, but I could also incorporate fabrics I used for throw pillows in the adjacent room…Double WIN!

I first created a template for my flower petals – Folding a sheet of paper in half, I drew half of a flower-petal shape against the paper fold’s crease. I cut it out and then unfolded it to get a nice symmetrical flower petal template. I repeated this with a smaller petal size so I could have a double-layered flower which could incorporate two different fabrics.

Every flower needs its petals.

Using a template, I cut out several flower petals from two different fabrics.

Once the petals were cut out, I paired up one big petal with one small petal, and holding the two petals together, ran some needle and thread through them. You end up with a string chain of the petals.

Fabric Flowers Step 2

Create a string chain of the petals

I made sure that the needle went through both ends of the smaller petal when creating the chain.

Example of a petal string chain when using only one layer of fabric

Example of a petal string chain when using only one layer of fabric. (This was from when I first experimented with making this flower using just one fabric/layer.)

Once you have your chain of petals, you pretty much just cinch up the petals the way you want, and join the two ends by stitching them together however you see fit. To help make the flower more sturdy, I flipped it over and stitched the back corners of the petals together.

Fabric Flowers Step 3

Secure the back of the flower by stitching the bottom corners together.

I also used my scissors to trim the top of the petals until I liked what I had. Here’s the resulting flower!

FabricFlowerCompleted(Let the “Oooh’s and Aaaah’s commence!) But seriously, the number of uses for fabric flowers are countless! They would be great for hair clips/headbands, wreathes, clothing accents, artwork, gift packaging, general decorating, etc. However, if you were to use a fabric flower for a purpose where it would be handled often, I’d recommend using a fray-stopping solution, like Fray-Check to secure the edges of your flower. Also, this flower can be modified in so many ways, such as the number of petals, number of fabrics/layers, colors, petal shapes…the possibilities are endless!

This lucky crafter FINALLY got her hands on her very own glue gun. (YESSSSS!) It’s a super basic mini gun but there’s nothing like hot glue to get a girl excited and ready to stick things (anything and everything) together! I broke-in my new toy by gluing a small square of felt as a backing for the flower. This provides a better surface to attach the flower to my art.

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Here are my newly modified pieces of art, with the flowers in place:

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I just need to hang these up now!

Modified PaintingsI’m in love with the pop of color and the dimensional effect these flowers add to the art. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself adding these sweet little flowers to a few other things around the house. Can a girl have too many flowers? I guess I’ll find out! Fabric Flower 1A flower that will never wilt….forever in bloom – This is the flower for me.

Fabric Flower Art 2

I leave you with one of my more recent favorite quotes – “Be the kind of woman, who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says “Oh no, she’s up”.”