Art & Craft Ideas, D I Y, Decoupage, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Makeovers, Recyling, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Reduce., Reuse, Storage, T U T O R I A L S, Technique, Trash to Treasure, WOODEN Projects

Tutorial -How to upcycle wooden puzzle blocks?

What do you do when some of your puzzle blocks are missing ?

What do I do ?

Why ofcourse, I upcycle them. But naturally  .. Problem solved !

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My oldest son is extremely fond of solving puzzles. However with 2 younger brothers around him who enjoy tossing puzzles pieces more than joining them together .. the older one has had it difficult and puzzle blocks go missing. ūüė¶

Inspite of being incomplete, I kept them packed away for the longest time, until recently, when I decided to give them a makeover. (Its just NOT in my nature, to toss them out ūüôā )

So here is a simple pictorial of the transformation.

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I gently, wiped these blocks with a slightly damp rag.puzzle block makeover 3

Then applied two coats of indigo acrylic, on all sides of the blocks.

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When the diecut machine is in progress, I like to cut a bunch of flowers, which i store in egg trays like this :upcycle egg tray to organizer

I found some diecuts that fit perfectly in the squarespuzzle block upcycle

I destressed the edges of the diecuts and stamped the letters which spelt FAMILY on one side and BE MINE on the other side.

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This how they look after adhering them on one side :- reversible blocks signreversible blocks diyreversible block repurpose

While one side has the letters which forms FAMILY, the other has letters which stand for BE MINE

valentine home decor

Inorder to make these beautiful blocks more durable – I gave them a single coat of modge podge.valentine decorvalentine blocks giftdoodle buddies upcyclebe mine blocksupcycle craft project2

So how do you like it ?

Isn’t it really easy ?

I continue to share projects that can inspire my friends and readers with ways to reuse/recycle/repurpose/upcycle household items.

Every decision starts with a very small but firm, first step. I hope you embrace the idea of recycling or repurposing this year.

If you have been recycling already,  I would love to read some of your ideas for eco friendly crafts too.

I am sharing this simple project with my blog buddies  here .

I’m delighted that you stopped by.  You can subscribe to my blog to read all my posts and projects.

I hope you stay a while and leave inspired.

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Art & Craft Ideas, Art Classes Students, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Recyling, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Reduce., Reuse, T U T O R I A L S, Trash to Treasure, Workshops and Classes

Organizing Craft workshop and designing masks.

Did you know, not every great artist can be good teacher.

Arts and Crafts are a very personal affair and very few of us have the flair to “teach”.

Most of us are excellent at demonstrating our skills as artists and designers but teaching is a skill, all on its own and not all of us are equipped with what it takes to be an motivational teacher.

I believe a ‘good’ teacher is one who can inspire you, one who has patience, and one who is prepared to accept the chaff (those who may not be exceptional talented but who are zestful and eager to learn ) as well as the wheat grain. ¬†Alot of people believe that you have to be born with artistic skills – but I don’t adhere to that theory. Skills can be cultivated and talent can be honed. ¬†Everyone who stumbles upon a craft-kit, is not looking to build something magnificent – but he might find comfort in simply ‘trying’ to build something abstract out of it – maybe that is his prowess. That’s where the creative adroitness of the instructor comes handy.

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I’m going to talk more about crafts here, rather than arts.

I have been teaching crafts for the last 12 or so, years, in schools, art institutes, with corporate organizations, and one aspect that stands out in “crafts” is that, alot of planning and organisational skills are required for a workshop or class.

Some of the aspects, you should figure out before committing to a workshop are :-

  • The length of the activity
  • The age of the group
  • The ability of the group
  • Will any assistance be provided for a group larger than 7 or 10 participants ?
  • The venue and availability of wash basin, electric socket.
  • Hanging equipment if project needs to be hung for drying.
  • Leg work on the theme :- research the theme, source photographs, make a fancy power point presentation and have a small write-up to introduce the background story to the students
  • Plan all the supplies needed.
  • Inorder to calculate all the supplies and quantities needed, I suggest to ‘actually’ work this activity out and figure out how much time and the quantity of supplies needed. Then add that by the number of participants. ¬†And remember to carry spares.
  • Visiting the venue atleast once before the workshop is a good idea. And it also helps to develop a smooth rapport with the coordinators.
This December, I was invited to give a workshop at DUCTAC located at Mall Of Emirates.

Crafts are so much fun but it can be challenging when we coordinate the activity with the curriculum or in this case, the theme.

The theme was Threads:  A link between two totally different cultures or countries, of a peculiar habit, tradition, game, food, ritual, structure etc. Obviously, I had to come up with a craft based on it as well.

I found this theme very exciting and after a day of relentless research, i was fascinated with what I discovered. While at it, I also realized, what separates us, are our differences, while in our similarities, we find solace and unity.

Here are just a few of the similarities I found, in my research. (ofcourse, there must be a few hundred more !!)

  • China – India ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†‚áĒ¬†Kites

    Both the countries are known for the zest with which they enjoy the sport of playing with Kites. However, kites in China, are much more elaborate and designed in various shapes, much unlike India.

  • ¬†U.S.A – Russia – China – Burma ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚áĒ Bells

    Amongst many other countries, these four countries are known to have Bells playing a remarkable and important historical role.

  • Egypt – Mexico – Cambodia – China ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†‚áĒ Pyramid structure

    Although the Egyptian Pyramids are the most popular structures known worldwide, Mexico, Cambodia and China are also known to have their own ancient mystical prism structures.

  • Africa – India – China – Japan ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚áĒ Masks

    Different cultures symbolize the mask with various deities, animal, spirit or human. Made from ceramic, wood etc, communities use masks for weddings, funerals, coming of age. They ask for spirit blessings, protections etc. They use it to tell stories and impart wisdom. Used in puppetry as well as ceremonial celebrations.

  • Australia – ¬†USA Arizona ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†‚áĒ Boomerang

    Although the earliest boomerang was designed in Australia, it is widely used and played with in Arizona – USA.

  • Mexico – China ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚áĒ Bowls

    (Taco Bowl / Bowl to eat rice and noodles) Rice is one of the staple grains in both Mexico and China – Infact they handicraft their own bowls to eat it in !

  • Bali – Mauritius ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†‚áĒ Woven baskets ¬†

    Both Bali and Mauritius weave their own baskets but in different designs and colors and techniques.

I decided that my subject would be Masks.  It intrigued me just as much it did, to the children.  I provided the children with cardboard after the power point presentation on how, why, when and where masks are worn,  all over the globe and then asked them to design their own masks, providing them inspiration and a whole lot of recyclable material. It was amazing what the children came up with Рfar beyond expectation. mask-making-craft-3

Here are a few samples from one of the groups.

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One of the reasons, I love this project is becoz it helps children play and utilize scraps of foam, cardboard, buttons, macaroni, foam cups, beads, thereby realizing and understand the main concept of reusing items found around the house.

Clearly the kids enjoyed it and got to take a little of History and Geography back home too !!

I believe imparting  knowledge and information is very gratifying.

I hope I have been able to inspire you into trying something new, something unique and something fun today. If so.. please do write to me.

Thank you for visiting me today. Trust you will stay a while and leave some love in your comments.

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You can subscribe to my blog using any of the following media or simply ‚Äėlike‚Äô me or ‚Äėjoin‚Äô me on the various platforms below ūüôā

 

                 

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Art & Craft Ideas, D I Y, Makeovers, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure, WOODEN Projects

Upcycled chalk board tray.

Hey friends ! How’ve you been ?

If you’ve been following me, then you know, that the past couple of weeks have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for me. I have been participating in several weekend fairs and exhibitions. Not only has it been exhaustive but for a change, we have been such an “outdoorish” family !!

I have been loving the fairs, interacting with people, getting little hands to try out crafts and just having a blast letting these events dry the creative juices out of me !! Its been fun.

I am one of those people who works best under pressure. I have a tendency to try out a dozen projects for a couple¬†of days, and then¬†there are those ‘slumpy’ days when I¬†am glued to pinterest/fb and almost¬†never enter the studio for weeks.

This particular chalk board tray was from ELC, I think. The boys used it¬†for a couple of years until we moved into Warqa House and then, it¬†gave in ūüė¶¬† I¬†loved the thin wooden tray used to keep chalks and dusters on both sides. ¬†It was a shame to let it go, given it was made of wood and I really like those cheerful snakes/worms. So I unscrewed the trays and it remained as a stationery organizer sitting parallel to eachother on Sawaab’s desk.

Long story short. While the past few weeks have been full of finding dumped tree trunks and branches and utilizing them in various ways.  I decided, I could give that tray a facelift. The best way to organize on a busy study desk is to go vertical  ! I cut out two chunks of wood trunks and used the drill machine to drill some holes in them from above and bottom.

From not having a place to keep the pair, we not have 2 boys quarreling over who gets to keep it to display their stationery !!

upcycle chalkboard tray4

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I decided against painting the trunks ~ Love the rustic look against the comical child-like colors of the trays.

Upcycle chalkboard tray

I love how the little branch protrudes from the main trunk. I deliberately trimmed it and kept it that way. I feel it adds character to piece. Do you ?

upcycle chalkboard tray1 upcycle chalkboard tray2

This was one of my fastest projects to date !! It was over in just a matter of minutes. So if you too have any two pieces of shelves that could be given a similar look, please share it with me.

I am sharing this project with my friends at the following parties including Creativity unleashed & Funky Junk Interiors

Thank you for visiting me today & I hope you enjoyed my little creative idea.

If you like what you see at my blog, you could subscribe to my blog using any of the following media or simply ‚Äėlike‚Äô me or ‚Äėjoin‚Äô me¬†on the various platforms below¬†ūüôā

                 

 

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D I Y, Makeovers, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., T U T O R I A L S, Trash to Treasure, WOODEN Projects

A chair makeover ! (short tutorial)

Dear friends, I have this HUGE good news to share with you.

I am super delighted to be honored with the “FAVORITE BLOG AWARD” from Expat Woman !!! You will notice my brand new¬†trendy badge shinning on the left sidebar.¬† This is the first recognition I have received from the middle east and in my own imaginary world ~ I feel almost like a celebrity !!!¬†¬†And a celebrity¬†gets to give a thank you speech ~¬† right ??

Don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief.¬†¬† I have always been an avid¬†diary writer from a young age so I think, it came quite naturally that I wished to share my creative adventures¬†in my tiny corner of the blog-world. That I’m receiving¬†visitors from¬†far and near, making friends and¬†being blessed with such¬†encouragement is a reward in itself, so receiving this award¬†is nothing short of a BONUS !¬†Thank you Expat woman¬†~ I so appreciate it.

Thank you friends for visiting my previous post about the 7 ways to repurpose pallets and leaving your own thoughts and ideas about upcycling the pallets. I’m always looking for inspiration and¬† I so hope to try out some of your ideas, provided some of those pallets are left !!

And now to the post at hand !

We never knew this poor chair existed until we moved to the new¬†house, last December and found it tucked away, somewhere behind in one of the sheds. Finally, after all these months, I’ve given it a little TLC and look at the transformation.

A little sanding ~ two glossy coats and alittle white acrylic paint on some patterned stencil, did  wonders to this neglected piece of furniture.

I love how it turned out¬†and it now graces my bedroom ūüôā

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Heres a small pictorial showing a step by step process :-

A little sanding later and the grateful chair was pining for some color !

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That’s Keiki, my help-at-hand !!

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stencils are by Simply stencils – Plaid

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I let the chair dry for nearly 3 days and then began the stenciling. Again, another help-at-hand ! That’s “mama cat”

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I used a sponge to “dab” some white acrylic paint on the stencil.

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Acrylic paint dries very quickly so if the paint has smudged at the edges, you have work quick to clean it up.

And there you have it !!

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Recycled :- Chair, sponge (for dabbing ), foam container for spreading paint and dabbing sponge.

And that’s that !!

I am linking this chair transformation to the following linking parties :-

A little TLC can do wonders for not only humans but also objects ~ point proved.

Thank you for visiting me today. Please feel free to join me on Bloglovin or subscribe to my posts by clicking on the above left sidebar.

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Till my next post, I bid you farewell, dear friends.

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Alter Art, Altered Box, Altered Pizza Box, Altered Wall hanging, Gift Ideas, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

Pizza Box Canvas

Hi friends ! I’ve been so overwhelmed with Mixed Media lately. All mediums of art have some need and form of color but with mixed media, two words stand out ~ Texture and Layers ! I feel like, I cannot have enough of the various elements, one can explore and experiment with ! It is just so much fun !! Frugal as I am, I decided to teach all my mixed media workshops on the back of “pizza boxes” ~ some of my students were really surprised and some impressed ! Every Friday, my husband treats the boys to pizza ~ its almost like¬†a ritual at our house, so much so that the lady at Pizza Hut actually inquired why we were “missing in action” while we were holidaying in London !! I have been collecting these boxes and amongst other uses, (see here¬†and here¬†for other projects out of pizza boxes ) I have started using them as a canvas for my mixed media projects.¬† A layer or two of gesso and the red of the box just vanishes. In this particular project, a lot of diecuts have been used including swirls, large flowers, small flowers,¬†Tim Holtz frame and stand diecut and the bird cage. Two flowers made with some scraps of fabric,¬†bottle caps with pearls embedded in them and lots of¬†glitter scattered¬†here and there !!¬†The quote is profound.¬† Quite honestly, you cant go wrong with something like this ~ and that’s what I always encourage my students. The process is important and not the product ~ if you enjoy the process ~ the product with turn out to your satisfaction.¬† Splashes of bright colors over colors and the use of several diecuts is virtually what this canvas is all about. With the way things are going, I am happy to report that I think I am doing my bit to recycle and help with the environmental issues around our neighborhood. Recycled material :¬† Pizza box, scraps of left over¬†fabric¬†and bottle cap.¬† Fotor01025101819 Fotor01025102640 DSCF6022 I often get asked which is my favorite color and strangely enough, I don’t have any favorite colors except favorite color combinations. I love the combination of teal with dark brown or as in this project, purple brushed over shades of teal and pale yellow. I feel, we have a dozens¬†of¬†shades for every color today and its so difficult to judge which shade of blue or pink or red can be anyone’s favorite¬† ! what say ?? DSCF6025 DSCF6026 DSCF6027 Fotor01025103031 Fotor01025103941 I’ve always believed that art can and should be functional ~ but if its just got to sit on your wall, it should carry a message and it shouldn’t have to be occupied by 6 tubes of paint ! But that’s just me and that’s just the way my mind works ~ you can agree or maybe¬†not. Anyways, I am sharing this project with the following parties :-

      Sundae Scoop  The Sunday Showcase The DIY Show Off Think Pink Sundays  Addicted 2 Decorating Flamingo Toes    I Heart Nap Time  Everyday Mom Meals   Homemaker on a Dime    Raising Memories  Nifty Thrifty Things     The Sweet Details  Clever Chicks blog hop, Will cook for smiles  DIY Sunday showcase  

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Today’s Creative Blog

Mandy’s Recipe Box

Inside BruCrew Life Lady Bug Blessings  Blessed with Grace  Tuesday Talent Show Tutorials and Tips Back for Seconds Tuesday Trivia

From dream to reality,  Wordless Wednesday  Flusters Creative muster Riverton housewives round up Wednesday Whats it

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Thank you for visiting me today ~ please feel free to subscribe to my blog and keep in touch with all my projects ! Till then, ciao !

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Alter Art, Altered Wall hanging, Challenges, Friendship cards, Love messages ~ cards, Mother, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

Right here for you.. .. .. .. wall hanging

This too, is from the trash to wall hanging series. It is the white board which was found dumped on the construction site. You may have to read my post, ” Mother ~ Wall hanging” , to get the full story on it. In short, it is recycled sheets that I have dressed up.

A¬†very simple idea and concept is used. Have always liked the idea of using a fish bowl, although I dont approve of an animals or birds being caged or living in an aquarium ūüė¶¬† ~~¬†Thats just not their place. Again, thats us, humans being selfish and self centered.

Such strong shades of blue and Orange are not exactly what I am comfortable with, but sometimes, when you actually work with it, somehow they look good when placed together. Both are handmade papers. The fishes are fabric. Some glitter for the bubbles, 3 brown buttons knotted with a yellow twine,  a simple but comforting sentiment, which is a digi stamp. The board is held up by  a satin orangish ribbon. I have made a deliberate effort at avoiding any flowery embellishments, becoz as always, I prefer the less-cluttered look.  Simplicity is always more striking and attractive.

Ladies, I would really like to take a moment here, to thank you all for all those loving comments that you leave behind for me. They are so encouraging. WOULD you believe, I feel, more inspired, to try out more, to try out different, to try out my best, becoz of those heartfelt comments. Thank you ladies. It means alot.

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Here are just a few challenges, I will enter this wall hanging for :

  • Paper Sundaes (3E) –¬† Keep it Simple
  • Crafty Cardmakers¬† (2W, 3E) – Fabric
  • Incy Wincy Designs – for the boys
  • Make it Monday – anything goes
  • Ooh La La Creations (2W, SIO) – It’s a man thing
  • Pollycraft – SIO – Teen Cards
  • The Outlawz – Sentiment plus Animals
  • Clear It Out!¬†– 2W – Buttons¬†
  • Going Grey With Scrap-Creations2E – Anything Goes¬†
  • Paper Take Weekly – 3 of Something¬†{3 buttons }
  • Desert Island Crafters¬†–¬†2W,–¬†choose 3¬†~¬†Not a Card!,¬†Buttons,¬†Unusual Sentiment (ie. not ‚ÄúHappy Birthday‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúBest Wishes‚ÄĚ etc),¬†
  • My Grafico¬†–¬†M,¬†– anything goes
  • Paper PrettiesSIO – masculine
  • Crafty Sentiments1E, SIO¬†– ¬†Animals¬†
  • Digi Doodle Shop’s BestSIO – ¬†Anything Goes¬†
  • Card Makin’ Mamas¬†– 2W, 2E – animals
  • Delicious Doodles3E, SIO¬†– dimensional project
  • Paper Cutz¬†– your choice
  • Totally Papercrafts – buttons
  • Secret Crafter¬†– Anything But a Card¬†
  • Really Reasonable Ribbon2W, must include ribbon
  • Sugar Creek Hollow¬†¬†– 3E, SIO – Anything Goes¬†
  • Totally Gorjuss¬†– Button It¬†
  • Our Creative Corner – ¬†Don’t Throw That Away
  • ¬†If the shoe fits ~ Aquamarine
  • One Stitch At A Time – Something for the Boys