Friday, January 30, 2015

DIY Disney Autograph Book

Hello friends!  

Well, I had more than a little bit of fun with this week's project.  I won't be posting next week, because I'll be in WALT DISNEY WORLD.  I'm pinching myself as I type. ;)

I am so excited to travel with my husband and family, including 6 of my nieces and nephews. :)  
Part of any kid's Disney experience has to include autographs from some awesome characters.  So for this trip, I decided to make some autograph books for the kids!

Pinterest gave me some great ideas:

I also did a little digging and found my own autograph book... circa 1994. ;)  (And yes, I feel ancient now.)

I looked through several tutorials that called for sketchbooks, but the sketchbooks I found were too big or too expensive.  I decided to make my own using 4.5"x6.5" card stock.

-1" Album rings
-Card stock, white (4.5"x6.5")
-Decorative paper/card stock
-chipboard (you can repurpose an old cereal box!)
-Stamps/ink (optional)
-Washi tape
-Hole punch
-Mod Podge
Check Hobby Lobby for 50% off card stock sales!

The pages of the book will be plain card stock, so really, the only work you have to do is to make the front and back covers.

For the front covers I cut a piece of chipboard and glittery card stock to the same size as the white card stock.

I found some great Mickey Mouse washi tape at Hobby Lobby, and covered one side of the chipboard with strips of tape.  I allowed myself 1/4-1/2" excess tape on each strip to fold over onto the back of each piece.   

This was a great and easy way to cover space and carry on the Disney theme!

I used roll-on adhesive tape to attach the card stock to the back of the chipboard.  

To make the back cover, I cut plain black card stock and the glittery card stock to size, then glued them together with the roll-on adhesive.

To customize the front covers, I traced a few circular objects to make a shape like Mickey Mouse, and cut one in a different color for each book.  

For the boy-version, Mickey received some sunglasses.  For the girl-versions, Mickey received a bow and became Minnie. (I found a bow template on Pinterest to trace.) :)

I also used some opaque ink and stamps to write each name on the cover and to write the year on another piece of card stock.
Use the roll-on adhesive to attach these pieces to the cover.

Now, it's time for the Mod Podge! I used a foam brush to apply a layer or two of Mod Podge to each side of the front and back covers. This will make both covers a bit more sturdy and protect them from the potential drink/food spills in Disney World. :)

Mod Podge is dry!

Time to punch some holes!  Hopefully your hole puncher is more powerful than mine. I punched two holes in each cover, then used those holes to mark where the holes should be on the white card stock for each book. (I gave each book ~50 pages.)

Side view--- 50 pages seemed pretty substantial, but use as much as you like!

Back Cover View

Use album rings (mine were 1") to bind your books!

I took this next tip from a few of the tutorials I found. Tie a ribbon on one album ring that will be long enough to save your place in the book.  You can also tie the Sharpie of your choice to the other end of the ribbon to make sure it doesn't get lost!

For one fun, final touch, I traced some characters to make a little title page for each kiddo's book.  
(I really love coloring.)

Yay!  We're ready to go!!!
I had some fun helpers to finish putting the books together. :)

Wouldn't you want to go to Disney World with this cutie?? 

Thanks for reading!  Back to the blog in two weeks!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Personalized Paper Mache Doll Houses

Hello again!

Disclaimer: According to Wikipedia, both "Papier-mâché" and "paper mache" are acceptable, so, I'm going with the easier version today. ;)

Ok, this week, I'm going to show you a project near and dear to the kid in me.  (Let's be real, I'm 99% kid.)  Anyways, while wandering through the the paper mache aisle at the craft store, I came upon an entire section of doll houses in varying sizes.

I immediately remembered the AMAZING doll house my parents made for my sister and me when we were little.  Everything was meticulously painted and decorated, and my Barbies LOVED living in it.
So, inspiration struck, and I knew that some of my little nieces might love to play with a scaled-down version of the house I had.

If you remember my love of peg people, you'll know how excited I was to find that a peg doll would fit perfectly through the door of one of these houses.  So, naturally, I painted a peg-version of each niece.

After that, it was time to get going on the houses. :)

Here is what you'll need to decorate a doll house of your own:

-Paper Mache doll house (or similar product you made/found at a craft store)
-Acrylic paint, paint brushes
-Spray paint (optional for covering large areas)
-Scrapbook paper (optional, for window box) and all-purpose glue
-Acrylic clear coat spray or Mod Podge for sealing your artwork :)
-Accessories are optional: ribbon/fabric for curtains, felt/wooden flower pot for houseplant
-Hot glue gun (if adding accessories)

Ok, here we go!

The first thing I did was paint the inside of each house with spray paint.  Any color would work-- I just used a bright, happy spray paint that I already had in the garage.

Next, I painted the outside of the house with acrylic paint.  Use whatever color you want!  Depending on the paint you have, it may take a couple of coats.

After that, I used green acrylic paint to paint the "grass" around the house.  I used a fine brush to paint grass leaves on the bottom of edges of the outer wall of the house too.

*Remember, all of these details are up to you!  I also painted a vine against one side of the house and used a fine brush or pencil dipped in paint to make the flowers on the vine and in the grass.

I decided to make a window box under the front window.  I cut a rectangle of scrapbook paper I had with a wood grain on it, and glued it to the house using a glue stick.  Next, I painted more vines and flowers.  There are no rules!

Next, I painted the roof and chimney.

If you're happy with your house, it's time to seal your hard work!  Since I glued paper onto the front of the house, I used Mod Podge to cover the paper and paint.

Hooray!  You have a beautiful, happy doll house!

You know I like accessories, so I decided to add a few to the interior of each house.  I used ribbon/trim scraps to make curtains and used hot glue to apply them.

Confession: I LOVE houseplants.  They don't always survive, but I just love plants that live inside.  I blame/thank my mom for this. :)  So, naturally, a doll house isn't a doll home until it has a plant. (This was probably my favorite part.)

I found these incredibly cute wooden flower pots at the craft store and got to work.  First, paint the pot whatever color you want.
Set of 4 for $1.99

Next, I cut green felt to make a rolled flower (like these rolled paper flowers) and a fringed flower (like these fringed flowers from the wreath project.)  
I used hot glue to secure the "flowers" inside their pots.


See?  Houseplants!  I. Just. Love. Them.

I used more hot glue to secure them in the houses. :)

Now, add the little people who will live in each house, and you're DONE!

Doesn't she look happy? :)


Not bad for a $3.99 doll house, is it?

Now, go get your supplies and have some fun!... And if the little gal in your life happens to live in your house, why not make it together? :)

Thanks for reading!