How to Customize Your Bedroom with Handcrafts

Do you or your child want a bedroom that looks as if it were custom-made for the person who uses it, without breaking the bank or the conditions of your lease?

Traditional handcrafts make bedroom decor unique. The time and planning they require can be part of the fun.

Basic Steps for Custom Bedroom Decor

1. Draw and color the design you want on paper for a visual shopping list.

2. Draw and cut out templates to make the full-sized shape of your design. Cut a separate piece for each area of color in your design. For knitting or embroidery, use graph paper (or craft design software) to calculate the number of stitches in each area of color.

3. Collect fabrics, yarns, or paints in the colors you want. Mixing textures can be part of the effect, but all materials used in one piece need to have the same care requirements.

4. Assemble your design.

* Fabric painting or embroidery: Paint or embroider your design onto background fabric.

* Patchwork or applique: Cut, pin, and sew fabrics to fit together, following your templates.

* Knitting, crocheting, or tapestry: Knit, crochet, or weave your design.

4. Sew your creation onto plain backing fabric if necessary. (Bedspreads are often unlined, but children are likely to pick at threads, stretch fabric, and enlarge any holes stretching makes in a bedspread.)

5. Wash and reshape your creation if necessary, and finish it as appropriate.

Dream Bedspreads

With the right bedspread, you or your child will soon be sleeping in any place you’d like to visit in your dreams–a flower garden or a primitive hunting camp, a castle or a sports event. Easy-care fabrics printed with flower, animal, sports, cartoon, and other popular motifs may be all you need to create your dream bedspread, or they may furnish inspiration.

Either way, the first step is to measure your mattress. (A table of standard mattress sizes in eight countries is online at en.wikipedia.org.) Measure the thickness of the mattress and height of the bed to calculate how much fabric or lining material you will need.

The flexibility of fabric needs to be considered when planning a bedspread. A bedspread knitted or even crocheted from popular cotton or acrylic yarn will stretch when it is washed. Sewing the fabric to a woven lining helps keep handmade bedspreads in proportion to the mattresses they cover.

Matching Pillows

A plain bedspread in a color that harmonizes with fancy pillow covers is a quicker, cheaper way to achieve the bed look of your dreams.

Dream Curtains

Curtains color the whole room. They can cast a golden or rosy glow on chilly winter mornings, or block excessive sun with a cool blue tone on hot afternoons. Curtains are the quickest way to customize a rented room that comes with white walls and beige carpeting.

Lampshades, firescreens, cushions or chair covers, and other accessories can complete the look of your dream bedroom. You can even “travel” between different looks by making different sets of bedroom decor items with traditional handcrafts.

5 Fresh Art & Craft Ideas For You And Your Child

There is nothing more fun than sitting a young child down to do some arts and crafts. There is so much pure joy for the child and yourself as you get together to work on a project.

But, if this is something that you two do together often, then you might find yourself getting bored of all of the things that you have done. You might have run out of all of your fresh ideas for arts and crafts, and you might be beginning to panic. There is no need to worry, though.

Here are some new ideas for you and your little one to work on together.

Five Art And Craft Ideas For You And Your Child

1. Work on a wall mural together. Neither of you might be an expert painter, but when you grab some paint and brushes and work on the mural together, it will be something special regardless of how it turns out.

Try it on the playroom wall, or even on your child’s bedroom wall. It will be a special piece of art in your home that will stay there for years to come. Every time that you look at it you will think fondly of the time that you spent with your child making it come to life.

2. Get outside and paint some snowmen. Snowmen in and of themselves are fun, but when you bring some paint along to color the snow you will be sure to have a blast with your child. You’ll both end up giggling over the fun creations that you have made, and it will be a memory that will last you a lifetime.

3. Go inside, crank up the thermostats, and pretend that you are out on the beach. It is the perfect Wintertime activity. Dress in your swimsuits and create a wall hanging out of sand and seashells. You and your child will be able to play in an imaginary world while you make a craft together, making it double the fun.

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4. Use scrap t-shirts to make a quilt. Your child will have fun picking out some of his old t-shirts to turn into a blanket for his bed, and it will be something that you can work on together. You’ll have a good time bonding as you put together the blanket, and he will be left with something that he can keep for a long time to remember your time together.

5. Another great art and craft activity for you to do is to bake up a bunch of sugar cookies and to let your imaginations run wild as you frost them. Be as creative as possible and hold a contest to see who can make the better cookie. It will be fun for both of you, and you will have a yummy treat to eat once you are finished!

There you have it. Five fresh ideas for you and your child to use the next time that you are getting bored of doing the same kinds of crafts over and over again.

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Easy Arts and Crafts Projects That Can Transform Your Kitchen

Those with even a modicum of talent for the various arts and crafts projects that populate every kind of store from hobbies without lobbies to homes with depots have at their disposal a creative way to give their kitchen a much-needed redo.

Even better is that investing in your own creativity is also a great way to save money otherwise spent on homogenized mass-merchandised ideas from people who have never been within a thousand miles of your own.

Take a look at these quick, affordable and relatively easy arts and crafts ideas for stamping your own identity on that kitchen and especially your kitchen faucet. (Note: to read more on kitchen faucet reviews, check out that link).

Stenciling

Stenciling is an unbelievably cheap craft with boundless potential for replicating any number of arts. You can buy ready-made stencils at stores or expand those horizons by purchasing online.

But here’s where applying paint to stencils to decorate your kitchen really takes off: any design you can draw or print on construction paper and then cut out can become a work of art on the walls, ceilings, cabinets, counters and even appliances inside your kitchen!

Decoupage

Speaking of cutting out anything that strikes your fancy and stimulates your imagine, another time-testing arts and crafts project that just about anyone can do is decoupage.

Don’t be scared off by the fancy term; it’s just French talk for gluing pictures to any surface. The surfaces of your kitchen cabinets and counters, for instance.

While you can quite literally decoupage just about any page you can find in a magazine or book, you might well consider combining the form and function of the art and craft of decoupage by choosing your favorite recipes cookbooks.

Then when you decide you want to indulge in a meal that requires a recipe, you no longer need run to the bookshelf, but rather merely look down at your counter or up at your cabinet door.

Recycled Kitchenware

Over time, just about every set of plates, dishes, saucers, cups and various other decorative yet functional kitchenware starts to shrink.

When the number of plates that have shattered on the floor gets down to the point where it’s time to start seriously considering replacing the entire set, don’t just toss out any decorative wares left over. Instead, very carefully cover them with a blanket and gently but firmly apply a hammer to create your own unique pieces of customized ceramics.

Then apply the craft of applying those broken bits of memory into a design appropriate for the arts of the backsplash or wall border.

If you have so far blindly walked past the arts and crafts sections inside your favorite stores, thinking that you just aren’t that type, it is time to stop and smell and the paint and glue.

A minor investment of money, a slightly bigger investment of creativity and an appropriately large time commitment is all it takes to give a kitchen that has become drab and mundane a genuine sense of style with a strong dash of your own unique personality.

That quality of customization simply cannot be duplicated with the sales-driven kitchen decorating ideas that by their very nature need to appeal to the broadest range of tastes.

Even if you don’t think you have what it takes to apply DIY arts and crafts into a kitchen makeover, it doesn’t hurt at all to try and emotional payoff can be huge!

5 Ways to Make Your Arts and Crafts Show More Fun

Are you putting on the kind of event where everyone will be able to come and show off the arts and crafts that they have created?

Are you putting on an event where those who are talented in the area of arts and crafts will be able to sell the items that they have created?

If so, then you are ready to put together the kind of event that will be fun and exciting.

There are ways that you can make your arts and crafts show extra special, and you will find some of the ideas that you need to do that right here.

5 Ways to Make Your Arts and Crafts Show More Fun

1. Feature great entertainment. Bring in an instrumentalist or even a comedian. Feature some kind of entertainment at the event that will draw in crowds and help everyone to have a good time.

You want those who visit your show to love it, and you can do that by providing them with great entertainment options.

2. Supply those attending the event with amazing food options. Bring in someone who will cater the event, or allow separate individuals to set up food booths.

When you are looking to put on an event that will draw in crowds and leave everyone feeling happy, it is important that you include great food options at that event.

You want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to eat if they want to.

3. Offer massage services at the event. You want those attending your event to have the opportunity to relax and do something that will help them to feel better about themselves. De-stressing with massage therapy is a great way to wind down.

You want those attending the event to have the chance to do something that is focused completely on them.  A sports massage is another good idea.

Offer massage services at your arts and crafts show in order to make the event more attractive.

4. Offer raffles at the event. Everyone likes to have the chance to win great prizes, and you can earn money while offering prizes up for raffle.

You can do this with a charity in mind and use your event to raise money for a great cause.

You will find that the excitement level at your event will go up when you offer the opportunity for those attending to win great prizes.

5. Supply your attendees with door prizes. Again, everyone likes to have the chance to win something.

When you offer door prizes, you will draw people in. You can offer small prizes that are special, and you will find that these prizes are actually enough to bring people to your event.

When you give everyone the chance to win something just by showing up, you will find that you will draw together a crowd.

You can put on an arts and crafts show that is special and fun, and you can use the above ideas to help you make the event even more exciting and great.

You can put together an event that will bring about memories and leave everyone happy that they chose to attend.

Six Forgotten Items for Every Arts and Crafts Project

Whether scrapbooking or designing homemade invitations, we all have those special tools which make each project perfect.

So then I started thinking, what about those simple things that make each project more convenient, but we forget because they’re so common?

I know I tend to leave things in the cupboard, sure that I won’t need them, only to five minutes later head back to retrieve them. Certainly there are some crafting items so universal, we should always have them with us.

So, I’ve put together a list of items that I find myself using over and over again.

• Hot glue gun stand. Oh the number of times I’ve left the hot glue gun going, only to come back to a mess. A hot glue gun stand is absolutely necessary for every serious crafter. They’re also great for crafting with children. Many different styles are available online, but they’re real easy to make yourself.

• Cutting mat. While any disposable surface will do, a cutting mat that is portable will make it more likely that you will use it when you need it. Alternatively, you could decorate an old board and use that as your cutting surface. We had tons of fun as kids helping make the boards we used to craft on.

• Plyers, tweezers, wire cutters, oh my! There are so many uses for these simple tools that it is nearly impossible to list them all. Remember that the grip, particularly on tweezers, is extremely important. Look for flat plastic grips as these are easiest to use. I also look for jeweler’s plyers, which are perfect for wire bending.

• Twine/string. So many projects are made infinitely easier when twine or string is available. Keeping a variety of twine in your crafting cupboard can allow tackling multiple problems at once. Besides being practical, some twines can be decorative all by themselves. Rope twine, for instance, can make an attractive, country feeling accent.

• Mason jars. I like to keep a number mason jars on hand for various projects. Often times, I simply use the jars as convenient storage containers, like for markers or tacks. When I’m not using them for storage, they can make excellent projects additions. One of my favorites is turning them into candle jars.

• Basket. Most dedicated crafter give a lot of space to their supplies. If we’re , we have a room set aside for arts and crafts, but for most of we just don’t have that kind space. So we have cupboards, closets and shelves where we keep our crafting treasures. This is where the crafting basket comes in.

Kept with the rest of your supplies, the crafting basket allows you to take what you need for any given project, and keep the mess to a minimum.

This clearly isn’t an exhaustive list, and should be tailored to your individual needs.

Actually, I find creating my little starter kit to be nearly as fun as any project. My danger of course is filling it with so many supplies that it can hardly be accused of being practical.

Local Parks and Recreation for Great Arts & Crafts Experiences

Great fun and engaging arts & crafts experiences go hand in hand at many local parks. You can often explore with some of the best artists and do it for free or for little cost.

Many parks offer these activities for all age groups. The key is to link in to your local calendar for what’s new and next.

The Parks and Recreation Departments in many states have budgets that include for a wide variety of arts events.

Some require funds must be used to create new artistic installments at various parks. Local artists are sourced to create sculptures, murals, or exhibits that will beautify and add value to the community.

For parks that have community centers, it is quite common to offer arts & crafts throughout the year. Summer programs usually focus on painting and drawing for children.

Knitting, quilting, oil painting and sculpture are just a few of what is possible for adults and seniors, too.

Art in Parks Across the USA

• City of Boston Parks & Recreation
ParkARTS
Summer participatory arts events free to the public. Painting, drawing, photography and more.

• New York City Parks and Recreation Department
Union Square Park
Tuesdays at The Pavilion
North Plaza, Every Tuesday, 3:00 to 5:00 P.M.
Little children explore new arts and crafts topics every month

• City of Tallahassee, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs
Lafayette Park Arts & Crafts Center
A new theme every quarter for adults and children for more than 50 years.
Pottery, Stained Glass, Drawing, Crochet, Summer Camp for Kids and holiday art.

• City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department
Senior Arts and Crafts Activities
Hundreds of free classes throughout the city in numerous art topics.

• Williamson County Parks & Recreation, Tennessee
Sticky Fingers Preschool Art Club
Franklin Recreation Complex, Franklin
Longview Recreation Center at Spring Hill
Williamson County Recreation Complex at Nolensville
Seasonal art themes for potty-trained preschoolers.

• Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority
Arts & Crafts
Oceola Community Center
Howell, Michigan
Offering a wide variety of arts classes for children of all ages.

• City of Reno, Parks, Recreation and Community Services
Ceramic Workshop
McKinley Arts & Culture Center
Wednesdays, 9:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.
For beginners through advanced Seniors.
Learn ceramic techniques using glazes, translucents and acrylics.

• City of Tucson Parks and Recreation
Leisure Classes and Opportunities
Pottery, ceramics, painting and drawing, jewelry making and photography for a wide range of ages.
Various facility locations.

• Seattle Parks & Recreation
Children’s Summer Arts Program
July and August
International Children’s Park
Community center staff provides a wide array of projects for kids to enjoy.

• County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation
With 177 local and regional parks in the system, there are many choices for arts and crafts activities.
The park website offers specific information about each park.
The large regional parks offer the most variety of activities, but often, the local parks have ongoing
arts and crafts programs, too.
There are 25 different parks within the system that offer classes in the Crafting category.
These include scrapbook making, quilting, pottery and much more.

There are many, many more local parks and recreation departments that offer fascinating explorations into the world of arts and crafts throughout the USA.

Simply contact your local park and ask what might be on their calendar.

The entire country is filled with wonderful unexpected opportunities.