Category Archives: Crafts for the Uncrafty

DIY Nautical Nursery: Storage Bucket

I found an ugly green flower pot in the storage shed when we moved into our home last summer.  It’s been sitting there for the better part of a year because I can’t grow things.  That would require way too much effort on my part.

Well, I’m growing a baby.  But that doesn’t count.  It’s still on autopilot at this point.

Clutterdogs just love to weasel their way into photos every now and then.  They’re so nosey.

I decided to give it two coats of blue spray paint so that it would better match our DIY Nautical Nursery decor.  My paint is blue and dries kind of glossy.  I wish I could give better details.  In case it’s not obvious, I am not getting paid to endorse this spray paint.  I can’t even read the can.

Your guess is as good as mine.

It took two coats for it too look kind of even (and “kind of” is good enough for Clutterhome!).  Little bugs kept crawling into the wet paint, which made me sad.  I had to pluck one fellow off with tweezers after everything was dry.

Our nursery is actually a Steamboat Willie theme that we’re accenting with nautical flair.  This particular item is pretty Mickey-rific, but you could customize it with any kind of image you prefer.  I simply printed it on computer paper and cut it out.

The ModPodged it to my flower pot.

I stuck on some Scrabble letters for good measure, but I haven’t decided if they’re going to stay or I’m going to pick them off.

While everything was drying, I used some fabric leftover from our no-sew nautical curtains and created a fabric tube.  I didn’t sew it; I cheated and used iron-on no-sew hem tape.  Same thing, but more efficient lazier and uncrafty.

I used this as a lining for my “storage bucket.”  What do you think?  I’m not loving how the Scrabble personalization turned out, so I might remove the pieces and use them elsewhere in our Nautical Nursery.

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DIY: Nautical Nursery No-sew Crib Skirt

If you Google Nautical Nursery, you’ll likely find a lot of really adorable decor.  Most of it will have sailboats included somewhere.

We hate sailing.  A lot.

Consequently, our nursery decorations have been mostly DIY, but we are SO not DIY people.  No one here at Clutterhome can sew.  Or paint.  Or make cute crafts.  The Good Lord did bless us with pretty decent math skillz, though, so I guess that makes up for it.  Hopefully it’s a dominant trait and Clutterbaby will come out of the womb and immediatly reach for an abacus.

Sorry for the tangent.  Anyway, you can see in the above picture that our awesome Ikea Gulliver crib is pretty basic.  We were going for functionality, safety, and portability so it’s not very ornate.

And we like it like that.

But I don’t like that you can see under the crib.  I wanted to make a crib skirt to go with our Nautical Nursery theme, so I found this fun fabric on eBay.

And then I found this AMAZING tutorial on YoungHouseLove for a no-sew crib skirt.  I had to tweak Sherry’s instructions a bit because of the design of our crib, so mine is actually 3 separate pieces for each side of the crib, instead of one long one that wraps around the inside crib perimeter.

But first things first, you have to iron the fabric.  I’m including this because, as y’all know, I hate ironing.  I want my bratty Clutterson-of-the-future to know JUST HOW MUCH his Mama sacrificed for his benefit.

I really, REALLY hate ironing.

I’m clumsy and bad at cutting straight lines, and ironing a straight crease in my fabric was difficult.  I took the slacker, uncrafty way and marked it with masking tape.  Yup, I just stuck it all over the fabric where I wanted a sharp crease for my no-sew hem tape.

I slapped that puppy on my ironing board, folded the fabric over it, and ironed right on over the tape.  It didn’t melt, and I had myself a nice, mostly-straight crease.

Check out Sherry’s tutorial for making your crib skirt panel with the no-sew hem tape.  When you’re done, you end up with this.

Sherry attached her 3 panels together.  Mine are all separate because my crib design won’t allow for one long skirt, but they’re still attached to the crib in a similar way under my mattress.

By “similar” I mean they’re taped in place until I get some velcro.
Undomestic:  I own it.

Actually, it’s not going over there.  It’s going against another wall because I am crrrrazy and afraid our A/C and heater will fall off the wall in an earthquake and hurt the Clutterbaby’s pretty face.  Safety first!

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DIY Nautical Nursery: No-sew Curtains

So, here’s a confession.  I have never, ever purchased curtains.  We don’t have any in our house, and in my 9+ years of not living with my parents I never have.  I’ll Clutter my home up with all kinds of messy goodness, but curtains?  That’s a little high-falootin’ for us!

But the Clutterbaby’s nursery was looking a little bare.

Oh, oops. I missed a spot while painting. Like an entire wall. Easy to fix, though,

So I'm not the best painter in the world. My baby won't mind, so I'm cool with it.

We’re doing a Nautical theme to coordinate with our DIY nautical art (found here).  Truth be told, it’s a Disney’s Steamboat Willie theme but that’s a topic for another day.  I found these awesome curtains at Ikea for roughly $25, and I snagged the cheapest curtain rod I could find for a grand total of $32 per window.  That’s a lot for me, folks.

They’re not nautical signal flags, but they coordinate beautifully without being too in-your-face matchy matchy. I pulled them out of the package and . . .

Tripping hazards are not a good thing.

Luckily, Ikea includes some no-sew, iron-on hem tape.  I had some left over from my crib skirt I made (tutorial coming soon!), but I didn’t even have to use it since it was included in the package.  Neat!  Ikea speaks my uncrafty language.

I decided I wanted them 72″ long and marked that spot on both sides with tape, because I’m fancy like that.  I folded it up, pinned it, and shoved some iron-on hem tape in there and pressed it.  I figured I might as well iron the whole darn thing while I was at it.  That is so out of character for me.  It must be the pregnancy brain.  Next time, I’ll throw them in the dryer on touch up with a wet wash cloth.  That’s more my style.

These pins came off of one of Clutterhusband's new dress shirts. One day I might invest in actual straight pins (but probably not).

Much better!  Except . . .

Oh, hey! Nice paint streak on the carpet, Erika . . .

I will never be one of those neat, tidy people who can do things without spilling paint or breaking bones.  But Lady Gaga told me that God makes no mistakes, so it must be true.

Nothing a little $20 rug (also Ikea) can't fix!

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Crafts for the Uncrafty: “Picture Frames” for Kids

It’s no secret.  I.  Can’t.  Craft.  But, I’m responsible for a lovely Girl Scout troop filled with fabulous young ladies and am always looking for EASY crafts that even I can handle.

Today’s Uncraft is simple, cheap, and fun for the kids.  I’m always surprised when they can take something so simple and treat it like it is a great work of art.  That’s why I love children.

Step 1)  Use your word processor and create a template for a picture frame for the kids to color in.

It's nice and colorful, but that's really because I'm out of black ink. That's so Clutterholic.

Or you can use the Clutterholic FrameTemplate.

Step 2) Give the kids craft supplies and let them go to town!  They will probably take it very seriously.  I told them in the beginning that this was a “quick craft” and we would only spend 10-15 minutes on it.  Nearly 30 minutes later we were finally wrapping up.  They were just having so much fun that I let them continue.  I try not to make a habit of squashing kid’s creative moments.

I also don’t mind if children decide to walk to the beat of their own drum or think outside the box.  There will always be the ones who ignore your directions and decide to go ahead and cut out the middle because it just makes more sense to them that way.  And that’s okay!

K decided she didn't like the middle part, so she cut it out. I love it, K!

Or someone may decide they want a BIGGER frame than the one you designed.  Neat!

I love it, A! No need to make your art small when you've got BIG ideas!

And then you will always have at least one who looks at a project and sees something completely different.  Wonderful!

Precious little C decided that she didn't need a photo. She created her OWN art for her frame!

As a bonus, here’s another fun photo activity.  We’ve been working on our photography badge, but this could easily be tweaked as something fun to do at home with your kids!  I printed this and used it as a title page and created blank “books” for the kids to take home and go crazy with.  The directions are self-explanatory.  Enjoy!

This would be fun to make memory books for Christmas, birthday parties, or summer vacation!

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Crafts for the Uncrafty: Decoupage

Ever since I saw this picture on Pinteret, I’ve been wanting to make a similar one.  For us, home changes every couple of years (4 in the last 5 years), so in our world it’s more of a “Home is where the Navy sends you.”

Image from Pinterest.com

I looked online to see if I could order only the Scrabble pieces that I needed, but it would have cost me roughly $15 plus shipping and handling.  I opted to just purchase the game for $13 instead.  It was a financially responsible move on my part (and those are rare!), but I also have enough pieces left over to spell my son and our two Clutterdogs’s names.  Bonus:  I can make this later (also found on Pinterest).

So if you find yourself some Scrabble pieces, this Uncraft is completely personalizable.  You could make a picture frame, a fun box for storing trinkets, or even a cute desk nameplate.  The sky’s the limit here, Clutterfans!

Supplies!

You will need:

1)  Something to serve as a base.  I used a blank canvas I bought over a year ago for a craft I never did.  How Clutterholic of me to pack it up and move it 10,000 miles with me.

2)  Scrabble pieces.  You could probably substitute magazine letters for an awesome ransom note cut & paste effect.

3)  Pretty paper or pictures to glue decoupage onto  your base.  (Did y’all know those pretty much mean the same thing?)

4)  Scissors and something to measure with if you’re going for perfection.

5)  Mod Podge, or you can make your own with equal parts of water and white glue.

6)  Foam brush for applying Mod Podge.

Shh... I had to make an H from a blank tile. Apparently Scrabble only comes with 2 H's.

Cut your paper and lay it out how you would like to apply it to your base.  I chose to use origami paper (60 sheets for $1, not too shabby) and made it into a quilt pattern.  Dip your brush into your Mod Podge and . . .

Easy peasy.

Wipe and smear it all over your base!  Stick your paper on in whatever design you came up with.

Wipey, smeary, sticky.

Smooth out as many wrinkles as you can (I skipped this step, oops), and cover the top of your paper with Mod Podge.  Fold the edges over and glue them in place.

Smoothy, foldy, gluey.

I did my corners like I was wrapping a present.  I love presents!  I made a flap, tucked it around the corner, and Mod Podged the life out of it.

Flappy, tucky, Mod-Podgey.

After the first layer of Mod Podge dried, I applied a second coat and stuck on my Scrabble letters.

I knew I wouldn't be able to get them on straight, so I went with a Clutterific and kind of lopside look. It's our Clutterhome way.

Viola!  It’s exactly what I was going for:  colorful, fun, and kind of tacky!  I’m going to hang it in my laundry room because that place needs some cheering up.  It might even inspire me to actually DO some laundry . . .

I love it! Wrinkles, homemade H and all!

Don’t forget!  I’ll be Guest Clutterblogging on Sugar in My Grits for the:

May 23- Life as a Clutterwife in Japan.  Read first hand how I’ve learned to adapt and overcome and really ENJOY life in Japan as a military spouse and SAH(almost)M.

May 29-Crafts for the Uncrafty (because you know that’s me!):  DIY Nautical Crafts for the Home 

And be sure to check out Sugar in my Grits over the next couple of weeks for some really interesting posts from military spouses around the world!  There will be some awesome giveaways, so keep your eyes open for those babies, too!

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Crafts for the Uncrafty: Scrapbooking Alternative

When I’m not doing other Clutterific things, I like to spend my time encouraging kids in the community.  I’m a *proud* Girl Scout leader, and try my best to think of ways I can build them up.  I truly believe that children need to know that adults in their lives, other than their family, truly care about them.  I don’t have my own little Girl Scout yet, but I enjoy every second I get to spend with the energetic ladies in my troop.

The girls drew the short straw as far as crafty leaders go, though!  But I try to be a positive role model for them and teach them to work with what the Good Lord gave them, so all of our crafts are Erika-proof.  They’re simple, cheap, and FUN for the girls.  That last one is the most important, folks.  Kids don’t care about the size of your wallet; they care about the size of the smile on your face and the one you put on theirs!

Sweetheart, I said *smile* and pretend you're having fun.

My girls are late elementary school through early middle school age, so that’s my target age range for their crafts.

The girls wanted to do a little scrapbooking activity to earn their Photography badges.  After shopping around, I realized that scrapbooking can be a very expensive hobby.  There was also the problem of, “If we create a scrapbook, who gets to keep it?”  So, after a trip to a local “everything” store, and our equivalent of the dollar store (I don’t live in the US), I was inspired!  I came up with a Clutterversion of scrapbooking for kids.

Supplies!

The supply list can be tweaked in so many ways, depending on your budget and what you have available.  Here is what I bought:

1)  Different colored art mats for displaying their “scrapbook” collages.  You could use just about anything here.  They could mount everything on poster board or put everything in an inexpensive frame.  I found these and loved them because they had a thin and durable plastic cover to protect their projects.

2)  Things for decorating.  These applique patches were 3/$1 (US dollars), so I was able to buy several.  I also stocked up on glitter-glue, stickers, markers, glue sticks and colored pencils.

3)  Scissors.  We already had some on hand in our craft supplies, but these were $1 each and I thought the girls would enjoy them.  This was a completely unnecessary $6 expensive, but our troop got a scissor upgrade that should last us a while.

4)  Colored paper.  You could use construction paper, tissue paper, or even colored computer paper!  I purchased a combination of colored computer paper and origami paper for a whopping total of $8.

5)  Pictures!  (Oddly enough, not pictured!)  I had originally planned on printing them on photo paper, but realized the girls would probably cut them into different shapes so I saved the money and printed them on (gasp) normal computer paper.  Guess what?  No one minded one bit, and no one asked why they were on normal paper.  See?  Kids don’t care!  They just want to have fun!

Our total for supplies came out to less than $4 per girl.  Not bad!

Please excuse their smudgey faces. 🙂

I cut out the pictures before our meeting and made sure everyone had a copy of the group shots, but also had special ones of each girl.  I separated them out by girl just to avoid the drama of “but I want that picture.”  God love ’em, they can get silly about stuff sometimes so it’s just easier to try and make things “fair” from the start.

Oh, I also made them a cake.  We usually try and do a healthy snack, but a little cake here and there won’t kill ya’.  Also, we were celebrating something as a group so we made an exception.

I've never made a "layer" cake before and, as you can see, it turned out a little uneven, mishapen and wonky.

Y’all knew I would find something to Clutter up, didn’t you?  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find something to “mess up.”  The thing about this “mess up” is, once again, kids don’t care!

I Googled it and all you have to do it slice it so the edges are even. I just added extra frosting for the bits that were still a little wonky . . .

But enough with the cake, and back to the craft.  Basically, I just let the kids go nuts decorating their own projects.

No rules! (Except don't run with the scissors! Safety first, folks.)

Make sure they make a big ol’ mess.  If they don’t, they’re not having enough fun and you need to go and start making everything nice and sloppy.

Smudgey, smudgey.

I love that some girls were creative and made theirs vertical.

Seriously. Make sure they get glitter and chocolate cake EVERYWHERE. Mess = fun.

And when one of the kids apologizes for “ruining” your tablecloth, just smile and remind them that’s what it’s there for.  Take a lesson from the little squirts and remember that life doesn’t have to be pretty and tidy to be FUN.  Wonky cake tastes just as great as a perfect one.

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