Craft-Ease: Book Page Pumpkin {Zero Dollar Project}

I have been on a pumpkin-making binge lately! I am currently working on a bunch of different kinds to make a fun and festive centerpiece for our dining room table. In the midst of decoupaging some fabric pumpkins (coming in a later post...once I am actually done!) I thought how fun it would be to have a pumpkin made out of book pages! I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it but I knew I wanted it to be three-dimensional and that is how this idea was born. I really love the result. I also love just as much that it cost me nothing to make. Yay, for zero dollar projects!  So here is how I made this beauty.

1.) First I got an old paperback book and took the cover off. I felt a little guilty about destroying  re- purposing a book, but I was able to get over that feeling when I saw the result.

2.) Next I cut a pumpkin shape out of a piece of paper to use as a stencil. I folded it in half to make sure it was symmetrical.

 3.) Then I taped the stencil to the binding of the book so it would not slip and began cutting.

 I used a larger pair of scissors first to cut 5-8 pages at a time and then a smaller pair closer to the binding.

Yep, keep cutting.

This was the result.

4.) I cleaned up the edges a bit with the scissors. Then I hot glued the binding to itself to make the "pumpkin" stand by itself.  (During this part all the times my mother and elementary school teachers had told me not to bend the binding of a book were ringing in my head.) Then I fluffed the pages so that they spread out evenly.

5.) I used orange spray paint for the edges of the pages because I felt this pumpkin needed a little color. I already had this paint from another project, but in keeping with the zero dollar price limit, if you do not have spray paint you could always use a marker or stamp pad. It would just be more tedious and I am an impatient person.

6.) Then I hot glued a stick from outside to use as a stem and some Spanish moss which I already had. Again, you could always use crumbled paper, twine, ribbon, whatever you have.

And here is the end result! I just love it! I think it will work perfectly on my wall shelves along side my paper strip pumpkins and pumpkin button art. 

There is a line from Will and Grace about keeping lots of books around to look smart. Does that apply to book page art? Or do I look less smart for mutilating books in the name of decor? Either way, I got a fun and FREE piece of fall decor out of this. I would dare to say that makes me look smarter. (hehe).

Linking up at these fun parties!>

Fall Bucket List: Apple Picking

In a previous post I introduced my fall bucket list. This past weekend we did one of the things on the list I was most excited about, apple picking. It has been a tradition for us to go to a specific U-pick farm and leave with as many apples as we can carry, a gallon jug of apple cider (which is definitely gone in a few days. We love it what can I say?) and some fry-cake donuts. This solidifies for me the fact that it is fall. I look forward to this every year. I typically spend as much time snapping pictures as picking apples. I realized while we were there this year that we actually have unintentionally gone around the same weekend in September for the past four years. When we came home I had to look at the pictures and was struck my some of the simularities. Here are some pictures that track the growth and changes of our family the past four seasons.


19 weeks pregnant with Hayleigh, a week before we found out she was a GIRL!



17 weeks pregnant with Braxton, a couple days before we found out he was a BOY!


Happy 7 month birthday  B-Boy!

Craft-Ease: Idea Board from recycled window

I made this for my mom for her birthday (a little late). She has converted my sister's former room into an oasis of sorts for herself to do her paper crafting and card making. She had mentioned to me a couple months ago that she wanted an idea board where she could display inspiration, sort of like a pinterest right above her work table. When my parents' neighbor threw out two windows by the side of the road I knew that one of them was meant for this project for my mom. It took a little bit of brainstorming but I came up with this idea of using magnetic paint for two of the window panes, corkboard for two panes and fabric for a "dry-erase board" for two panes. Here is how I went about the project.

First: The before shot.

Please excuse the reflection of our very dirty and cluttered back porch and also the painters tape in one pane. I almost forgot the before shot I was so eager to get going once the kids were napping!

Step 1: Painting. The window was pretty old and the paint was peeling. I knew I wanted to keep the distressed look and was also leary of the possibilty of lead paint so I was hesitant to sand the whole window down. I remembered a trick my good friend Ashley at Embrace the Space did for one of her projects. I used her suggestion of taking two parts paint and one part water and rubbing the mixture over the wood with an old cloth.

This way I kept the distressed look and also avoided potentially harmful lead paint dust. Just to be safe though I did this part outside so no paint chips or fumes made it into the house.

Step Two: Cork Board. I measured the size of my panes of glass and using an exacto knife I cut cork board to fit the space.

Then I fit them into the window panes and aheared them right to the glass using the mounting tape that came with the cork.

The cork I purchased came in 12x12 sheets. My panes measured 9.5x12.5 so I had a half inch gap at the bottom. I cut a strip of cork to fill it in and later covered it up with fabric.

Step Three:  Magnetic Board. Now it was time for the magnetic spray paint. I was so very nervous that I would spray the wrong parts of the window with the paint so I used painter's tape and paper towels (very ghetto I know) to cover up the parts I did not want to be magnetic.

I sprayed 3 coats, waiting the recommended time between each coat. It turns out that I needed more coats because when I tried to put a magnet on it later the attraction was not very strong. I had to go back over it with more coats of the paint.

Step Four: Dry Erase Board. Knowing that each pane measured 9.5x12.5 inches I cut 11x14 inch pieces of fabric and laid them across the back of each pane, with the patterned side down (as in facing through the glass to the side that will show when the window is hung.)

Don't you just love my "drop cloth"? It is an old curtain that the previous tenants left behind when they moved out. It is so "lovely" that it's only use has been as a drop cloth.

Then I made sure the fabric was as flat against the glass and wrinkle free as possible. (My finished product was not perfect. Oh well.) Then I stapled the excess fabric to the wood frame. The fabric shows through and my mom can write inspiration and ideas right on the glass with dry-erase marker.

Step Five: Embellish. The colors of my mom's room are yellow and green. She loves polka-dots and buttons. I decided to use some of these elements into my decoration of the inspiration board.  First I cut a strip of fabric to cover the ugly bottoms of the cork boards. I sewed the cut edge under and glued the fabric right to the window.

Then I made some fabric flowers.

I also glued some buttons in the other corner as well as some smaller buttons to a small magnet. I spray painted thumb tacks to match the color scheme. And made some paper bunting (to go along with my mom's love of paper-crafting) and used puffy alpha stickers to spell out "create" inside the bunting.

Step six: Be inspired! I am relying on my dad to hang this, but once it is hung I hope my mom can be inspired to create lots of beautiful cards and paper gifts! She is so talented and I am really proud of and excited for her as she tries to make a little side business out of her passion!

Here is another look at the before and after.

Linking up at these fun parties!

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