This project has been a long time in the making – I began during the renovation of my house last year and then put it all on hold until this spring. Anyway, I’m happy to share with you my DIY vertical garden that I made with simple terra cotta flower pots, some acrylic paint, my rubber stamps, and stazon inks.
Here’s how I did it:
I painted a bunch of pots on the outside with a colorful array of acrylic paint. I know these may not last forever, but I am happy to enjoy them for definitely a few seasons :)
Can you tell I like happy colors lol
Then I went for rubber stamps that would work well around the rim. Here is one from my Hex Set Large set – and that set has 6 stamps that would work perfectly for this. I used Stazon inks.
Here is one of the stamps from my Floral Tile Small set in action – another great stamp set option for making a group of pots with an array of designs.
I created quite a few in a variety of colors and patterns.
I installed the pots on the fence in our back garden. The fence is old and a bit shabby and a new one is not in the budget right now, but until it is – here is a nice pop of color. I used some nifty brackets to hang the pots – see the link in the supplies below.
I got a variety of different flowers in a mix of colors to fill them.
Like these! I got a flat from a local plant shop that created a mobile plant store in a truck that they drove all over the city, selling plants, while we were being careful during the lockdown. Pretty cool way to support a local small business!
Ta-da! My colorful vertical garden :)
And a view of our happy oasis. I love spending time back here with hubby at the end of each day.
Are you planting anything this year?
Here are some of the supplies I used for this fun project:
After getting into making patterns with my rubber stamp sets, I knew I wanted to take that idea and use it on a couple fabric projects. Kim and I got together to put some of those lovely patterns to use on reusable shopping bags. Our neighborhood is getting rid of plastic bags in June so we wanted to be ready to shop with a unique tote or two.
The supplies couldn’t be simpler: white (pre-washed and pre-ironed) cotton tote bags, a selection of my rubber stamps, and ink pads that are for stamping on fabric. We used Tsukineko Momento Luxe inks – you can find the links for those below.
We both took a minute to page through the pattern book I made with all those Nat’s April Patterns. It has become a great source to go to for inspiration.
Before you begin stamping, put some cardboard or a magazine in between the layers of your bag so it doesn’t bleed through. Be careful of any creases or gaps or textures in this – it can show up in your stamping. It is best to find something smooth for in there.
I started with the Jewett stamp from my Fan-tastic Large set and inked it up in yellow. The fabric ink is kind of sticky and you have to be a bit fast and also thorough with the inking.
It is easiest to start your pattern in the center of the bag and then work your way out. That way it will be even left to right and you can decide how close to the edges you want to go.
The ink colors can be light in some cases and bolder in others.
After two layers of the Fan-tastic Jewett Fan, I switched to the Hamilton design from the Floral Tile Large set and started stamping in a magenta color.
Looks great already but needs something more…
I finished off the pattern with a stamp from the Fanfare set.
Kim jumped in with my Solid Fan in the large size to do a simple but cool scallop pattern.
She chose a lot of different fun colors – don’t forget to clean your stamps in between colors. Also, you can see that with the solid stamp, the texture of the cardboard insert shows a bit – not a bad effect but something to consider when choosing a liner.
Kim found another pattern in my book that she really liked. She chose three ink colors. And the pattern needed one stamp from the Small Hex set and the two Diamond Hex stamps from the Large Hex set.
She started with the red ink and then filled in with yellow.
Looks awesome! And shows you don’t have to cover the entire bag.
Kim’s bag and the pattern inspiration.
For my second bag I chose a pattern and decided to make it bigger. Tip: You will get a lot more done if you go with a larger stamp ;)
I began with the Space Oddity stamp from the Large Hex set, added a red Fan-fare stamp in the middle, and then I took a minute to choose my next stamp. More Fan-fare or the Broadway Fan from the Fan-tastic Small set?
I went with Broadway Fan :)
And here is the finished bag next to the inspiration.
Our bags included a little pocket pouch to fold the bag into for storage. We decided to stamp that too. Here I used the Fan-fare stamps and the Small Hex set.
Then you can store them like this.
They look pretty awesome! Remember to follow your ink instructions for setting the ink. Every fabric ink is different. These will need to be ironed to heat set the ink.
This is my favorite Play Date with Kim yet!!! Seriously, I geeked out on this and had too much fun making a little Winter Wonderland under glass. We knew we wanted to do snow globes and waterless is the way to go – easy peasy and sooooooo cute! Here we go – waterless snow globes filled with little rubber stamped scenes to warm your heart this holiday season and into the winter beyond.
You’ll need a jar or cool glass cheese dome like I found. The size of the jar and lid will determine what rubber stamps you can use. We went right for my Stroll Around the Block house stamps, and the little street elements and buildings in my My Home is my Castle, Stroll Through the Hood 1 and 2 sets. Then we got some fake snow, some tiny trees and tiny people, heavy card stock, archival ink, colored pencils and ink blocks to color our stamped images, scotch tape, a hot glue gun and scissors. How many accessories you want to add is up to you – there are so many choices when it comes to miniature scenery – plants, animals, different people, etc.
My cheese dome was wide enough to have a little city scene in it, so I played with various arrangements to see what fit. Here I am testing out my Powerhouse, Queen Anne, and Brownstone stamps. You can use the stamps to see what will actually fit in your jars.
Kim had a canning jar that she found the Art Deco image would fit right into.
And another smaller jelly jar for a Lady Liberty snow scene :)
Ok time to stamp! I’m using a few different stamps to build my snow globe neighborhood.
Next you cut them out, leaving a “foot” at the bottom to fold over and tape onto the lid. You can cut them out before or after you color them.
Color your stamped images with watercolor pencils – after all these snow globes won’t have any water :)
Kim added some seasonal details to the Street Sign stamp.
I love to use Derwent Inktense blocks with water and a brush, almost as watercolors to color in my stamps. They have beautiful rich colors and you can use a fine brush to get very detailed with them. Here I am adding some color to my Powerhouse stamp.
I chose a lot of different colors for my snow globe scene.
Use some tape to tape the image into the lid. Here is Lady Liberty, ready for winter I hope lol
She just fits.
Here is my scene and SQUEEEEEEL it is coming together so amazing!!! This was a test to make sure the lid fit.
Now I glued in some trees and shrubs with hot glue.
And people to bring your snow globe to life.
Kim put together 3 scenes.
Time for the blizzard!!!
Just spoon some snow into the jars.
Or gently spoon around the elements in the cheese dome.
On goes the lid
Kim assembled her North Pole snow globe :)
This is where we realized that for lidded jars, you may want to build your scene up a bit so it sits above the bumpy rim at the bottom of the jars. You could cut out a cardboard circle and paint it white and stick it in the lid first, then put buildings etc on top. We would definitely do that next time. Also if your jar has a colored lid, you may want to paint it with gesso before you begin.
But oh WOW this was sooooo fun! And looksie at my little winter wonderland!!! What a success and done in under 2 hours.
Take a stroll through my snow dome :)
Kim’s waterless snow globes – waaaaay cute!
That guy in the bottom cracks me up!
And for even more fun, I added a small battery operated tea light into the back of my snow globe so now it glows at night. Ooooooo!
I hope you try this project and I hope you have as much fun as we did. It’s a nifty way to get into the holiday spirit :)
This week my friend Kim and I got together to have a little pre-Thanksgiving play date :) Our project idea was to make something new for the table for entertaining and we decided to make stenciled napkin rings. It was a fun and pretty simple technique and a new way to use stencils – with clay and pan pastels!
We got some air dry clay (this box was just right to make 4 napkin rings), Pan Pastels, a bunch of my stencils to choose from, a non stick craft mat, a small polymer clay rolling pin, and a paper towel tube for a mold.
First we flattened out the clay into a rectangle with our fingers and then smoothed the surface with the rolling pin. The rectangle needs to be big enough to cut into 4 long strips and to wrap around the tube, so we made ours about 6″ x 8″.
Time to choose a stencil. A small intricate pattern works best to fit the scale of the rings. I am using the Hamilton stencil.
And I decided to use warm, autumnal Pan Pastel colors. Pan Pastels are so lovely to work with, just take a cosmetic sponge and start dabbing on the pigment.
You can blend in other colors too.
Kim choose my Downtown stencil and some blue colors to match her dinnerware.
The big reveal! I love how the navy blue pattern pops.
Mine will look great with my ivory and gold china.
We used a polymer clay knife to cut the clay into strips and trim the uneven edges. Maybe use a ruler to make them equal… we didn’t… Oops! Also maybe smooth the edges as much as possible – it will look better in the end with smooth clean edges.
Prepare the mold by covering the tube with waxed paper.
And wrap the strips around, squishing the ends together. Be careful not to rub the pigment design too much – it will smear.
Let them dry overnight.
We dried them resting on the seam, just to encourage it to stay stuck.
The next day they were firm and ready to go.
You can spray them now with fixative to set the Pan Pastel pigment.
My table set with those pretty new stenciled napkin rings.
You can match them to your decor or go holiday-specific with your color choices.
The Pan Pastels I chose were metallic and look very festive.
Kim’s table in ivory and blues with a bold pattern napkin ring. So unique and a nice touch when you want your table to be memorable for Thanksgiving or any occasion.
We had fun making these – it was pretty quick and you don’t need a lot of supplies. And the Pan Pastels really made the stencil patterns crisp and clean. Give it a try for your tablescape this season!
For our monthly playdate in October, Kim and I got together to make our own Memory Games. Remember those? Haha
We gathered some acrylic paint, a brayer, and enough foam stamps to do 18 different patterns (our memory set included 18 pairs of cards). The Mini Foam Stamps are perfect for this because the patterns are small enough for the little cards. You don’t necessarily need 18 different foam stamps to do this either – you could use different color paint with the same pattern foam stamp to get your sets. That might even add a level of challenge to the game!
What did we use for cards? Well…
We found some really cheap sets online (you can see the one we used in the links below) and just repurposed them into our own awesome sets :)
We just painted over the two sides with a solid color. It could take a couple coats of paint or a coat of gesso first and then a coat of paint.
Then it was time to start making pairs… Here are some that use stamps from my Mini Hex Set.
Here I’m using my Mini Versailles foam stamp and some bright red paint with a brayer.
Then I placed the painted card onto the center of the stamp.
Pressing down evenly and firmly…
And Tada! One card of the matching set done. Repeat the process on the other to make the pair – we tried to line the pattern up in the same spot on the matching card – sometimes more successfully than others ;)
Kim worked on a bright green background and stamped out different matching pairs.
Some came out a bit grungy but this is your own unique set so it definitely doesn’t need to look perfect.
In the end I used lots of different patterns and colors.
Definitely a fun and probably more challenging version of the original memory game!
Here is Kim’s set on the green.
Who is ready to play? Just find the matching pairs :)
You can find all my foam stamps in my online shop. Here are some of the other supplies that we used for this playdate:
Did you know you can stencil on an umbrella and turn it into a work of art? You can and it is a fun project. Kim and I got together on a sunny day to transform a couple umbrellas into something that will brighten any rainy day we encounter.
We chose white umbrellas as our “blank canvas” and some of Nat’s new stencil designs. We worked outside with acrylic spray paint (and proper protection – face mask) and each tried a different way to approach the project.
I began by painting my umbrella with heavy body paint to create a new background color.
I chose three different colors to alternate on the panels. This is a great way to make your umbrella any color you want. BUT I learned the paint definitely stiffens the fabric and makes the umbrella hard to wrap up when you are all finished. I could almost not get the velcro tie around it in the end. Oops. It’s still doable, but tight.
Kim decided to spray paint directly on the fabric. She taped down the stencil and some paper as a mask. She began with my new Star Struck stencil and some blue paint.
The 9×12 stencils are a nice size to cover a large area with color and pattern.
She covered the top of 3 alternating panels with a couple colors of blue. The Star Struck stencil almost looks like umbrellas so it works nicely.
She then moved to the bottom to add more.
I chose my new Hamilton stencil – absolutely loving this pattern!!! I used a buff color on the blue panels.
I lined up the pattern and covered the whole panel with the design.
On some panels I used Hamilton and on others I used my new Van Vorst stencil – both are beautiful and delicate designs.
Here is my umbrella with the patterns. I might add more to the yellow panels – I chose a very subtle color for that one and it’s hard to see it once it dried.
Kim added green with my new Flower Maze stencil and just blended one pattern into the other.
Looks great and all ready to brighten up a dreary day!
So you have lots of options when you start with a white umbrella. You could choose colors and coordinate it with your rain coat or rain boots or you could just aim to make something that makes you smile on a rainy day :)
For our monthly play date, Kim and I wanted to show another great way to use rubber stamps – to make an impression in paper clay!
We thought my new Large Circle Jumble and Small Circle Jumble sets would be a nice shape and size for some magnets. Our plan: to stamp into the clay, paint them with some acrylic paint, and attach magnets to the back for the refrigerator, bulletin board, wherever magnets will stick.
Paper clay is fun and easy to work with and is air dry so you don’t even need to turn on an oven. Here we chose the Circle Drive stamp from the Large Circle Jumble set, and flattened out some clay on a non stick surface to about 1/8-1/4″ thick and big enough to fit the design.
Time to stamp!
Press the stamp evenly into the surface, making sure to cover the whole design with pressure.
Really press it in there!
Then we cut around the stamp using a knife and the edge of the stamp as a guide. Work over a cutting mat and watch your fingers :)
Trim all the way around the stamp and pull away the excess clay. You can save the extra for later use.
Gently lift the edge of the stamp to reveal the impression.
Here is the big reveal and a great impression in the clay!
We tried almost every design from both the Large Circle Jumble set and the Small Circle Jumble set. Follow the directions on your paper clay package for drying times. Ours took a few days to completely dry before we could move to the next step.
Once the clay is completely dry, you can use a sanding block to smooth down the edges. Be gentle!
Now it’s time to assemble some acrylic paint and fine brushes for the detailed painting.
Last week Kim and I got together for a little stenciling playdate. We had already done some things with fabric paint but this time I was wanting to try fabric markers.
I found this nice set of non-toxic permanent fabric markers with both a fine and a broad tip ends and some silk scarves online. I chose a white scarf as my backdrop and Kim went for yellow. We gathered all my stencils to decide what patterns we might like.
I jumped right in with my Santiago stencil – trying to decide how best to line it up. These are large square scarves so we decided to decorate the corners so you can see the design as it’s wrapped around your neck.
The fine tip end worked nicely with the stencil and the colors were pretty and bright – especially on the white scarf. The thin and smooth silk fabric was a bit tricky to hold down and we found you had to really hold the stencil and fabric in place to keep the pattern lined up. Another trick on thin silk – use very little pressure with the marker – it doesn’t take much ink to make a mark.
The ink spreads and gives a watercolor look to the design. This is maybe not a project for the very fussy – the silk and markers produce a more hand-painted look than precise line. I found the broad end of the marker worked well for filling in large areas of the design. As you can see, I switched colors several times with the same stencil.
Another tip: make sure you have paper or some protective surface underneath the scarf to catch the pigment that bleeds through. I added another stencil here: Amsterdam, and a few more of the marker colors. My tactic was “more is more”.
And finally I added a bit of the Versailles stencil and one final color. You can see that this scarf is thin and translucent (those marks near the orange pattern are actually on the paper underneath) and the markers are transparent too.
Kim chose to use only the Beacon stencil on her yellow scarf.
The designs look like flowers and she stayed with pinks, orange, and purple colors. Again, she worked on the corners of the scarf.
Here is her field of flowers when she was done. You can see the markers bleed on the thin silk, but it gives a pretty painted look.
My scarf is a colorful collection of patterns and so unique!
And here is the final result for Kim, a one-of-a-kind scarf for summer! This was a fun and easy project and just took an hour or so. I also really liked the color selection of the marker set so I’m definitely going to try them on some other things too. I hope you try it and share your results with me!
Here are some of the supplies we used for this project:
A while ago I made some photo transfers on galvanized metal plates and Kim really liked the look and so she asked if I could show her how to do it so that she could make a cute gift for her Mom for Mother’s Day.
The fun part about doing a transfer on the metal is that you have the metallic sheen in the transfer but also the visual texture of the tin adding almost a painterly quality.
Gloss Gel, a brush, a galvanized tin and photo as well optional some stamps and a stamping pad are the supplies needed. Kim decided on a galvanized heart box for the transfer.
Something that is really important regarding the photo is that you need a high contrast laser print and that you will need to reverse the image before you have it printed out because the transfer will mirror your photo, words, buildings, people etc.
Cut the image to size – Kim cut along the edges of this photo -aren’t her sister, she and her Mom the cutest?
She made sure the photo would fit onto the heart shaped lid of a tin box.
Scoop some of the Liquitex Gloss Gel out of the jar. You can later put the unused gel back into the jar. The reason why I like to use glossy Gel Medium is that the glossier the medium, the more translucent the transfer will become.
Using a paddle brush to cover the tin (you can use any brush- but I prefer the paddle brush because it helps with an even distribution of the medium and and makes it easer to smooth out brushstrokes)
Even though the photo is smaller then the lid Kim covered it entirely because will even the glossy sheen once the gel is dried.
Then spread the gel also over the photo. You don’t want to cover any of the surfaces to thickly and you need to work fast to prevent the gel from drying.
Then place the image facing down onto the tin
and burnish it down. Carefully get rid of any bubbles that may have accumulated beneath the image by using a plastic card or squeegee.
Start at the center and work towards the outer edges of the adhered image.
Set the tin aside and let it dry for several hours.
Wet the back of the image transfer paper applying some water with your fingertips.
Start rubbing the back of the paper off in a gentle circular motion.
The image with start to appear as the paper pulp is removed. Work one area at a time until most of the paper is rubbed out. Let the image dry in between. The remaining paper will reappear and will show you which areas might need more rubbing. Work gently and stop before the transfer gets scratched or damaged by further rubbing.
Apply a final coating of a little bit thinned down Gloss Gel to the entire lid of the tin. Make sure to carefully work the gel into any areas where are tiny bit of paper might remain. The Gloss Gel will seal the surface and make those bits of paper invisible once dried.
And there you go, a personal little keepsake box filled with some sweets, a bunch of flowers and you are ready to go for Mother’s Day.
I love the transfer on metal – there are many options using tin – for example tin plates with a transfer for a journal or else! Hope you give it a try if not for Mother’s Day then maybe some other time :)
Here are some of the supplies Kim used for her Keepsake box