I’m thrilled to have lovely Amanda from RedAgape share a special tutorial here today. Amanda is a fellow crafty blogger who owns a beautiful 1890s house out in Millthorp out in country NSW which she rents out as a guest house. Her own home is also like something out of a magazine – all modern meets recycled with high ceilings, enormous rooms, sky high windows and upcycled furniture - it’s pretty much heaven. She’s often sharing DIY tutorials for things she’s made around these homes on her blog and the spaces are just so stunning. Always left feeling mighty jealous as I flick through them from my teeny Sydney-city apartment.
You absolutely need to check out her blog here.
Amanda is sharing this really simple and gorgeous silhouette art tutorial for us today. Has got me thinking about all of the things I could turn into silhouette shapes now.
Hi! I’m Amanda, a self-confessed craft addict, interior lover and guesthouse owner. I’m passionate about creativity and believe that craft can be a form of therapy for many. It can be used to help maintain and general sense of happiness and mental health, or as a distraction from more serious illness or hardship….and there’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and pride, when you produce something beautiful with your own hands.
Today I want to share with you a simple and fun tutorial for making silhouettes.
- embroidery scissors or exacto knife
- white A4 cardboard
- decorative paper
- computer and printer
Pick a Subject
Firstly, you need to decide on a subject. I have made silhouettes of people before, so this time I thought I would try something a little different. I am using a statue of a cockatoo as my subject. As the cockatoo is white, I needed to photograph it on a dark background to achieve a nice contrast between the subject and the surrounds. When photographing people for silhouettes, make sure there is plently of light shining behind them to create contrast.
Upload your picture to the computer
Once you have uploaded your picture you can play around with the contrast until you have a very clear and defined outline of your subject. I was able to use Adobe Photoshop Elements to alter my image into a line drawing. This is an optional step: if you can see the outline of your subject clearly you don’t need to worry about editing the image.
Print Out Your Image
Print out your image onto medium weight cardboard. You can alter the size of your image before you print it out, or you may like to reduce or increase the size on a photocopier until you have a size that you are happy with. I have printed out a couple of different sizes to play with.
Cut Out Your Template
Carefully cut around your image using small embroidery scissors or an exacto knife. I prefer scissors, but an exacto knife is handy for getting into small nooks and crannies. This cut out will be your template. The great thing about having a template is that you can use it over and over again many times.
Trace Around Your Template
Trace around the template onto your choice of decorative paper using a fine lead pencil. If you are worried about pencil marks, you may prefer to turn your paper over and trace onto the reverse side.
Cut out Your Silhouette
Using your embroidery scissors or exacto knife, cut carefully around your silhouette. And that’s it!! Now all you have to do is decide what you are going to do with your silhouette. You might like to use it to decorate cards, gifts or as artwork in your home. I’m using my cockatoo to brighten up my office space!
Valentine’s may be over but don’t let that stop you from keeping the love in the air!
This cupid arrow vase decoration is so super quick and fun to make. Aside from a bit of loved up decor next Valentine’s, they’d be a pretty cute gift for a loved one anytime, and perfect for tables at wedding or engagement parties. The idea would also work well as mini arrows on cocktail glasses too! Ohh and you could string up some extra arrows as a garland…. Right. Somebody needs to throw a Valentine’s party with me…
- Balsa wood sticks (got mine from Bunnings)
- Card stock & paper
- Hot glue gun
- Watercolour paints & paintbrush
- Stanley knife/scalpel
- Twine or leather cord
- Glass jar or vase
Fun part first – get out some watercolour paints and play around with a pattern in mixed colours. I like to dab a different colour in the middle of a dot while it’s still wet so it makes a really cool mixed effect. I definitely recommend painting watercolour paint onto a thicker paper stock. You can pick up cheap watercolour pads at every craft or department store and they’re usually around 180gsm or 300gsm.
When your watercolour is dry, cut this and some other coloured card into feather shapes. Snip some cuts into the sides to give them some texture.
Also cut two identical triangles for your arrow tip, and a big heart shape for the front of your vase.
Cut some basla wood sticks about 2/5 of the way along.
Tape the feathers to the longer piece and attach your triangles to the shorter piece of wood.
I used the hot glue gun to close the arrow around the sides. (you could just use the hot glue gun for all and forget the tape if you like)
Give your feathers a tribal feel with some wrapped twine or leather cord
Now just glue your sticks to a glass jar with a hot glue gun and attach your heart to the front!
Pretty darn cute, right?
What else can I attach some cupid arrows to?!
Stay tuned, later this week I’m sharing a special DIY silhouette art tutorial from one of my lovely contributors – you’re going to love it.
Eryn from quirky craft blog Eryn With A Y is our special contributor for this week and she’s made these awesome gem earrings from Shrinky Dink plastic. I’d never actually even heard of Shrinky Dinks but have now realised I was robbed of a childhood. Such a cool material!
Big thanks to Eryn for this nifty tutorial. Over to you…
I’ve had these sheets of Shrinky Dink in my cupboard for years; so long I can’t remember buying them, or what I was planning to do with them! I’m sure it was amazing though, just like this project!
A post-Christmas cupboard clean out and some cute gift tags from Typo brought about this DIY earring idea.
If you’re looking for some more statement earrings, check out the companion post to this on Eryn With A Y, “Chevron Letter Earrings”. Both projects can be done in an afternoon, and worn out on the town that night. Although I wouldn’t suggest wearing both at once, especially if you only have one piercing.
- 1 x sheet of Shrinky Dink plastic
- scalpel and cutting mat
- gold spray paint
- gem print out
- 2 x jump rings and earring findings
- black marker
- an oven
Time: 1 hour.
Cost: Approx. $30 for all materials new
Step 1: Search ‘gem’ in Google Images and print out a selection in three different sizes. I find it hard to judge the printed size of an image for some reason, so I always hedge my bets.
Step 2: Take a black marker and draw out the parts of the image that will make up your design, and then cut it out with a scalpel. I used a ruler to make sure I got a nice, straight line.
Step 3: Transfer the image onto the plastic with the marker and cut it out with the scalpel. Don’t worry if there’s some marker line on the final cut, you’ll be spraying over it anyway. Don’t forget to cut a small hole in the top for the jump ring to thread through.
Step 4: Put the plastic in the oven (pre- heated to 150 degrees or whatever the instructions on your shrink plastic recommends). Keep a close eye on it, sometimes it needs a little longer than others, but it should completely shrink in just over a minute.
Step 5: Spray the shrunk shapes with spray paint.
Step 6: Fit the jump ring and the earring to the painted shape.
I’m a bit of a shocker when it comes to storing my jewellery neatly. I have a few basics which I wear almost daily and they tend to live sprawled out on my dresser among piles of candles, hair ties and nail polishes. After our move into a new apartment over Christmas I’m still on the organisation train and it’s made it’s way to my wardrobe. (Next stop, craft cupboard – eeek! Any storage tips for me?)
It seems it’s actually really hard to find a simple light wood jewellery box with drawers, which didn’t scream ugly 90′s or Nanna’s hand-me-downs, so I did what I do best and up-cycled something random. These drawers were actually office document draws from Officeworks (which were equally as lovely on their own and I will prob go back and buy another set for my desk!)
My jewels are now sitting proudly on my dresser looking all glamorously organised the way they deserve to be. I’m digging the Scandi feel from the combo of light wood and rad patterns on this fabric from Spotlight too.Styling product credits: Rose Lansen Chrono Watch from Triwa, Flowerbomb perfume from Viktor & Rolf (so good!), Winter Rose Gold Bracelet from The Rubz, Rings & Earrings from Lovisa, Gold & Silver Necklace from Ruusk
- Document drawers from Officeworks
- White felt sheets or extra fabric
- White card stock
- 25mm dowel (got mine from Bunnings)
- Hand saw
- Dremel Rotary Tool and sanding wheels
- White paint & paintbrush
- Hot glue gun
- Gold spray paint (mine is White Knight Super Gold)
- Sticky tape or double sided tape
First up measure and cut your white card to fit each side of your drawers. Make them 1-2mm shorter at the top and on the sides so it will all fit nicely once the fabric is on
Cut your fabric into strips to fit around each section
Stick them together with hot glue or sticky tape. If you want these extra cushy, add another layer of white fabric between the card and patterned fabric
Cut two pieces from the dowel with your handsaw to be your handles. Make the edges nice and smooth using the 240 grit sanding bit on the Dremel Rotary Tool. Watch your lil fingers! Hold it firmly a good way back from the end of the dowel
Brush off the dust and give these little guys two coats of gold spray paint. I swear by this Super Gold spray paint by White Knight – so good!
Spray your knobs inside a cardboard box to ensure you don’t accidentally end up with a (frickin amazing) metallic house
I also added some white paint to the sides of the drawers just because – but could look just as good without. If you’re doing this, give the tracks a light sand with the Dremel or sandpaper first
To make your tubes to hold your rings and earrings, just roll up some pieces of felt and cover in your fabric
Squish in the ends like this and pop them onto the base of one of your drawers with some hot glue
Once your drawer handles are 100% dry, whack heaps of hot glue inside the hole and pop it in (it’s incredibly satisfying how much of a perfect fit it is!)
Done and done! How easy was that?!
Styling product credits: Rose Lansen Chrono Watch from Triwa, Flowerbomb Perfume from Viktor & Rolf (so good!), Winter Rose Gold Bracelet from The Rubz, Rings & Earrings from Lovisa, Gold & Silver Necklace from Ruusk
What better time is there to start baking than for pun-filled opportunities like Valentine’s Day?
I baked these little cuties over the weekend and if I can do it, you can definitely do it. I’m not a bad baker per se, I just haven’t really gotten into the baking thang. Now that I’ve tried playing with fondant for the first time though, I think this will be the start of something regular. The possibilities of fun shaped edible treats… can’t even handle it!
One tip I can give you after this cooking session, is to pick up cookie cutter in a strawberry shape first. Lot’s of online shops sell them, I found quite a few on Etsy here. I was short on time so decided to sketch a strawberry design on paper and cut around it with a knife. It worked fine, but will just take you quite a bit longer and the finished result won’t be as perfect. Either way, I still think these babies turned out fine so if you’re short on time too, just trace around a paper template!
I went with a super simple cookie recipe:
- 230g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- 275g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Mix up the butter in a large bowl until it’s creamed and soft. Add the sugar and beat it up until it’s light and fluffy.
Sift in your flour + add any extra flavours if you want.
Mix it all together to form a dough, then use your hands to bring it all together properly.
Lay it out on a floured bench and roll to about a 5-8mm thick with a rolling pin.
Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutter (or cut around your paper template with a sharp knife)
Transfer to a greased oven tray, bake for around 10-13 mins or until nice and light golden brown, then cool them on a baking tray.
Betty Crocker eat your heart out yo.
For the fondant, I just picked up a pack of ready-made white fondant from the supermarket. So so easy! Knead it out, place on a sheet of baking paper, place another piece on top and roll it out with your rolling pin to be around 5mm thick.
Cut out the same strawberry shapes and place on top of your cookies if they’ve cooled. You can fasten them in place with some glucose syrup but mine stuck down quite well on their own.
Now to get your paint on!
Mix up some food coloring and water in a small bowl and paint on some layers with a clean paintbrush. I tested my colour on a scrap piece of fondant first.
At first it’ll look all spotty and random, but keep applying and it will soon smooth out nicely.
Use the end of your paintbrush to add some little dimples for the strawberry seeds
Then paint on your green layer and leave to harden.
For the happy little gift tag, I used my new ScanNCut machine which Brother kindly gave me to play with. This thing is a frickin life changer! If you’ve seen other posts on Craft Hunter, you’ll know I am partial to a bit of paper craft, but painstakingly cutting out intricate details is never fun for anyone so I’m SO excited for the possibilities now! Definitely one of the best toys ever. I can’t wait to start cutting my own designs into fabric too.
For this design I just used their in built letter shapes. On the little monitor screen, go “Pattern” then click the alphabet icon that you prefer.
Type out your words, re-size them and arrange them to be in the correct position for your paper on the cutting mat.
Pop your paper on the mat, press it down well, and press start on the cut and watch this bad boy work it’s magic.
As you can see below I like to fasten the edges with some extra tape but it’s mostly just because I’m anal, it should stay in place fine 99% of the time.
Then I just cut out the gift tag shape by hand around the letters.
For the little fabric basket, I just used a tea towel I had in my craft box. Chop it to be similar to the below size, doubled over. It really depends how big you want your basket, if you want it bigger than mine, leave the teatowel as is and just double it over.
You could use your sewing machine here but because it was only for quick use as a gift I just went with double sided tape. Stick the two long edges together to create a tube.
Fold the bottom up by around 7cm (or more if you’re doing a bigger basket)
Then fold in each corner like the below. Don’t worry it doesn’t need to meet perfectly in the middle.
Then fold down each point to meet in the centre. Fasten with more double sided tape (or sew with a few stitches by hand if you want it long lasting)
Then just start folding it down from the top. Hold the point where your two edges meet while folding down to help it all stay together.
Stuff your basket with some tissue paper and pop in your strawberries.
Add your gift tag with a bit of twine and you’re ready to give the cutest Valentine’s Day gift ever!
Amy from Delineate Your Dwelling is my lovely contributor this week – a Landscape Architect who started a small prints and invitations business (check her out on Etsy here) to then find her love for all things craft and DIY blogging.
From her sunny home in New Mexico, in her new role as stay at home Mum to two little kiddos, Amy has been crafting up some awesome tutorials and home updates which I’ve been following for a while now, especially like this Tree Stump Chalkboard and Ampersand Plant.
I can’t quite comprehend how stunning and clever this handpainted napkin project is! Surprisingly easy to pull off too – I want to apply this technique to a million things now. Love your work, Amy!
I have been wanting to try my hand at hand painted Marbled Napkins and with so many wonderful Valentine’s Day parties nearing, this was a perfect opportunity to create a few fun cocktail napkins.
- Acrylic Craft Paint
- Textile Medium
- Paint Brush
- Sharpie Markers (pink and orange is what I ended up using)
- White Handkerchief
- Fabric Fusion Adhesive
The process of hand painting a marbled texture was much easier than I originally thought it would be.
I started with my darkest orange color first. I was sure to create very loose and flowing lines to mimic marble. I painted three dark orange lines. Then, I slowly added in additional line work in varying widths. Be sure to add textile medium to all paint, so as to not have any cracking once dry. I also watered down the paint considerably to create a watercolor look.
Once the paint was dry, I ironed the backside of the handkerchief to rid all wrinkles. Then, cut the fabric into 5″ x 10″ strips. I folded and ironed the strips in half.
Creating small folds on all the edges, I used a thin line of fabric fusion to create a clean hemmed look.
Fold the fabric in half and apply another line of fabric fusion along the perimeter.
Allow to dry.
Pair with some fresh flowers and a few party supplies and you are on your way to a lovely Valentine’s Day party!