A Mini Birdhouse Fairy Village (A Tutorial)

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

This total cost of this project was approximately $10…..not counting trinkets and paint I had on hand already. An inexpensive and endless possibility project for a large range of ages. We purchased the mini birdhouses from Michael’s craft store for $1 each!

 

Update: The little fairies are from Disney. There are several different sets you can get from Amazon, Target, Toys R Us or Disney.

Boo and I had so much fun this weekend turning these inexpensive mini birdhouses……

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

….into a realistic neighborhood for her tiny fairy dolls:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I couldn’t resist adding the tiniest of details like a  “welcome” sign:

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Potted plants:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Copper accents:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

 

Vintage stamp bunting:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

A clock made from old watch parts and a tiny twig ladder:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

 

The first step was to cut open the birdhouse holes to make larger doors. I marked the opening with a pencil first:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I used a small electric saw but you could also use a hand saw. Don’t have a saw? This wood is so lightweight you could cut through it with a serrated knife as well with a little more work……or just ask a neighbor!

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I carefully cut out my door opening:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

…..and the bottom of the door opening will pop right out:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Use a file or sand paper to smooth the edges:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

The new houses:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I spray painted the houses different colors:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

For the mushroom house, I painted the base color of off white first and then cut small circles out of adhesive shelf paper to block a coat of red spray paint:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I had some small watch parts on hand from Silver Crow Creations and I used them to make a realistic clock:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Tiny letter stamps and part of a popsicle stick…..

Note: Micheal’s also has a ton of these tiny letter stamps in the dollar bin section! ($1 for 26 stamps….in many fonts!)

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

…..made a perfect sign for Tinkerbell’s new house:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Boo helped me glue some silk plant leaves to the roof of one of the buildings:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I used  a hot glue gun to add some bark to another roof:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Copper adhesive tape (from the craft store) was added as an accent:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

……as well as some copper hinges (from the scrapbook section of the craft store):

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Some small twigs and a some hemp twine made perfect ladder:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Boo painted some small wooden pots (from the wood hobby section of the craft store):

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

…..and we filled them with silk flowers. I filled the bottom with hot glue to keep the flowers in place:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

A few vintage stamps and an airmail envelope……

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

…..made some mini bunting:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Mr. LBB helped out by spray painting a plastic tub dark brown……

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

……and filling it with dirt, bark and plants. Our friends Walker and Amy sent us a beautiful pot of these mixed houseplants for my father’s memorial…..and they were the perfect little forest setting:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

The fun part is you can add to it all summer long!  Use an existing garden to make a huge fairy village. Michael’s has a bunch of intricate birdhouses of the same scale in their clearance section right now….pirate ships, temples etc. It would be a great project for so many different ages. You could tailor it to a boys liking too for lego people!

 

Tinkerbell in her new house:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Fawn in the town square:

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

 

Silvermist at the clock tower:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Hours of entertainment:

 

How to make a mini Fairy Garden Village (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

I love miniature. I could go on forever. Try to visualize what you would reuse around the house if you were “fairy” sized:

Make a mini pond with a jar lid.
Paint mini wood plates and milk bottles.
Add in thimbles for buckets and trash cans.
Pennies or broken tile bits for stepping stones.
A small stamp for artwork or a poster.
Popsicle sticks and toothpicks for signs.
Wine corks cut in half for stools.
Small beads and trinkets hung from plants for wind chimes.

 

 

A Donut Necklace (A Tutorial)

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I ate a glazed donut this morning. It just didn’t seem like the right pastry to make an “inspired” necklace out of…….so I chose a sprinkled donut for this project. I would love to have a donut themed party one day for Boo……and I thought a donut charm necklace or bracelet would make the cutest party favor.  This one is for Silpada…..the sweet girl that works at the Swiss Donut shop and fills my order cheerfully every morning:

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

The donut was made using these little pre-cut wood disks from the craft store:

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a standard household drill to add a hole in the center. I had to tightly hold the disk still with two fingers and drill very slowly to keep it from turning.

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a pipe cleaner to hold the disk as I painted it with a base “donut” color:

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a small paint brush to add a layer of pink icing:

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used basic acrylic craft paint in colors Almond Parfait and Baby Pink:

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a tiny brush (actually a brush I cut most of the bristles off of) to add several colors of sprinkles:

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used my tiniest drill bit to drill a tiny hole for a jump ring:

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Then using a pipe cleaner to hold the finished donut I sprayed it with a clear gloss varnish. I stuck the pipe cleaner upright in a jar to hold the disk until it dried.

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

The last step was to add a silver jump ring:

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Finished donut charm!

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

With rainbow sprinkles!

 

Donut necklace accessory diy tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

*****

 

the donut chronicles via lilblueboo.com

Dollar Doily Hair Clip (A Tutorial)

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I picked up a pack of lace doilies from the dollar store (99 cent store) and made this gardenia-inspire hair clip for Boo.

 

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

These doilies came in a pack of three:

 

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I took each doily and folded it in half:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Then created a fan shape by scrunching up the bottom:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Then I sewed the bottom part of the “fan” shape to a small piece of felt:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I took the other 2 doilies and repeated the same steps but placed them on the felt in opposite directions:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

After each doily was sewn to the felt, I trimmed any excess felt off:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I took scissors and cut into the doily to help it fan out more and trimmed pieces that I thought were too large:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a needle and thread to add a few stitches in areas I thought needed to be tacked down a little:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Finally I used a glue gun to attach my doily flower to a clip. You could attach it to a head band if you prefer too!

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

So dainty and pretty. You could add a vintage pearl button if you want in the middle but I wanted it plain and pretty:

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

A happy Boo!

Make a vintage inspired hair clip using a dollar doily. DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

 

Tiny Paper Garland (A Tutorial)

I made this tiny paper garland using paper and basic twine from the hardware store….it’s perfect for photo props, party decor or home decor! You could use any shape for any theme…..I chose flower shapes for this garland:

 

I used cardstock weight scrapbook paper:

 

 

I had my Silhouette machine cut out all the flower shapes…..

 

….but a simple shape punch and hole punch will do the same thing:

 

 

I threaded twine through the paper shapes:

 

I used a little glue on the ends of the twine to make it easier to thread through the small holes (after the glue dries):

 

 

The finished garland!  You can store it on a piece of cardboard to keep it from getting tangled:

 

 

In this photo you can see fabric garland was used as well:

 

To make the fabric garland I cut long strips of scrap fabric…..

 

 

…..and knotted the pieces end to end:

 

Finished fabric garland:

 

 

A Patchwork Tent (A Tutorial)

A Patchwork Tent (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

For this tent I knew I wanted a quilted patchwork look, but I just don’t have the patience to make a perfect patchwork pattern. Instead, I started with large pieces fabric to make the sewing and measuring part easy and then cut them down into smaller strips after they were sewn together. The wooden A-frame part of the tent was made in a similar fashion to the one from Cakies, so instead of reinventing the wheel you can click here for full frame tutorial.

 

A Patchwork Tent 1 (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

To make the outside patchwork for this tent I used various fabrics including many vintage items that were from my mother’s fabric stash. First, I cut most of the fabric into large pieces making sure the widths were the same…approximately 16″.  The length measurements varied randomly from 6″ to 25″.

CONTINUE READING

Carved Leather Bracelets (A Tutorial)

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

Father’s Day is coming up so Boo and I made Mr. Lil Blue Boo this hand carved bracelet:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

It says “Daddy I Love You” in Boo’s handwriting:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

First I started with a basic leather cuff (from Dharma Trading, pre-cut with hardware already attached) and used a razor blade to cut it in half:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

A cuff becomes 2 bracelets!

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

I used small detail scissors to trim the edges to make them symmetrical:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

Ready to embellish:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

Boo wrote her message to Daddy on the bracelet:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

Using a set of basic linoleum cutting tools…..

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

……I carefully carved out the letters:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

Next I painted the bracelet with basic leather paint (in English Tan) making sure to get a lot of paint down into the carved letters:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

Next I wiped off the paint using a damp cloth so only a thin layer was on the leather.

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

I painted and wiped it off several times to achieve a distressed look. Then let it dry completely:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

Boo couldn’t keep this secret from Daddy and wanted to give him his bracelet immediately:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

A perfect gift to Daddy from his little girl:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

 

I made the “grateful” bracelet for myself:

 

Great git idea for Dad: Carved leather bracelets tutorial diy via lilblueboo.com

What will you write on yours?

-Ashley

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff (A Tutorial)

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I have jars of buttons all over my studio and I’m always brainstorming different unique ways to use them. I recently ordered some leather cuffs from Dharma Trading and thought the buttons would be a great way to embellish them.

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

These leather blank cuffs are a great base for a project since the hardware is already attached. The best part is they are really inexpensive and precut!

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I used Angelus Leather Dye and Dye Reducer to dye the leather:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I mixed the leather dye and reducer in a small bowl:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Then I used a cloth to apply it to the the leather. Two coats worked perfectly:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I recommend using gloves when dyeing…..I’m always too impatient, but I don’t mind walking around town with discolored hands.

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Once the leather was dry I took a sanding block to distress it. If you want it smooth and supple you can add wax or softener and buff it. I left mine plain because I wanted it slightly dry and distressed:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I sorted out a selection of buttons in a tan, brown and muted palette:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

To apply the buttons I used an small 1/16″ scrapbook hole punch, a sharp needle type tool, an embroidery needle and DMC thread:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I placed my first button on the cuff and used the sharp tool to mark where I needed to punch holes:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Using a skinny scrapbook punch I punched the small holes using my marks:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

It’s easiest to mark several buttons at once……

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

……and then move them off the cuff, but keeping them in the same order as you punch your holes:

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

It only took me about an hour to sew all of these buttons on and I love how eclectic and earthy the cuff turned out!

 

Bohemian Leather Button Cuff DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

More leather cuff ideas to come soon!

 

 

The Casbah Carryall (and my new Silhouette!)

I started a new project……

 

……inspired by my new Silhouette machine!

 

 

I knew exactly what I wanted to try first…..I had the machine cut out a bunting design (a download from the Silhouette store) onto vinyl adhesive:

 

 

Here’s the cutout on the screen. Since the cut is a “positive” cut, I added pieces of vinyl to outline the bunting triangle…….

 

 

……and masked the other areas of the screen:

 

Now I just have to finish the rest of the pieces today:

 

 

I’ve been ready to release a new carryall pattern and as I silk screened I decided to use the bunting design to make myself a new bag! I silk screened the design on a canvas tablecloth and then cut out the pattern pieces.

 

 

I love wearing white all summer and this bag will be perfect to compliment it!

 

Love how detailed the Silhouette can cut!

 

The Casbah Carryall is the perfect design for a tote, handbag, beach bag, grocery bag etc. 8 pages of instructions and 8 pattern pages…..great for any level. It’s in the shop now!

I’m giving away 2 free patterns  so leave a comment to be entered! (Giveaway ends Tuesday night at 12pm PST)

 

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNERS ARE #3 Debra, and #102 Lily. PLEASE EMAIL LISA {AT} LILBLUEBOO {DOT} COM TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!

 

 

 

Mini Brad Charms (A Tutorial)

Mother’s Day is coming up and here’s an easy, inexpensive gift idea that can be personalized and special! To make these little charms,  I took ordinary metal brads in different shapes…..

 

 

…..added different embellishment and then sealed them using embossing powder. All of the items I used can be found at your local craft or scrapbooking store.

 

 

Basic materials needed:
Embossing powder
Metal brads
Metal jump ring

Step 1: Carefully break off the brad’s prongs by moving them back and forth until they fall off. You can use a nail file to smooth any sharp edges.

 

Step 2: Using a small nail or awl, punch a hole in the top where you will insert a jump ring.

 

 

Use nail clippers to cut off any sharp edges from where the hole was created.

 

 

Step 4: Decorate the inside of the brad. There are a gazillion possibilities here….

Paint a tiny design:

 

Apply a small sticker, rhinestone  or other embellishment:

 

Or….paste an extra small photo or picture to the back (I used nail nippers to trim the edges):

 

Step 5: Add a jump ring to the charm.

 

 

Step 6: Flatten out a piece of tin foil to use as a tray that can be placed in the oven. You’ll need embossing powder for this step.

 

 

Cut a small strip of paper to use as a little “spoon” and fill the brad with powder:

 

 

Carefully place the tinfoil tray into a toaster oven or oven (350 degrees). Watch as the embossing powder slowly melts into a smooth clear covering. Take out of the oven to cool.

 

 

If the clear melted covering is a little uneven you can hold the charm carefully and reheat it with a heat gun or blowdryer until it levels out. Use a nail file to carefully smooth the edges if needed.

 

 

Finished charms!

 

 

I love how they look when they are all bunched together as eclectic charms! What will you decorate yours with?

 

Hand Painted Leather Headband (A Tutorial)

I ordered a bunch of Angelus leather paints from Dharma Trading recently and nothing made of leather in my house is safe now!

I found these little hair clips recently that my mother made for me when I was little…and loved the hand painted details she added.


I was inspired to try and hand paint something of my own for Boo.

Step 1: I took some scrap leather (you can find pieces at fabric stores and craft stores…or you can cut up an old purse/shoes/jacket etc to salvage pieces)……


……and cut the leather into several strips:


I also cut out 2 leather flowers….the largest one is about 1.25″ at its widest point:

Step 2: I took a small paint brush and cut off most of the bristles so it would paint small details easily:


Step 4: I painted some small “swoops” to resemble vines:


Step 5: I added small details like little leaves and little dots for small flowers….


…until I felt it was finished:


Step 6: I allowed the paint to dry thoroughly. To darken and soften the leather I used a technique that I used to break in all my horse bridles and saddles and to keep them clean and supple. I took some olive oil…..


…..and brushed the leather with a light coat.


Step 7: Once the oil had a chance to soak in, I put some Murphy’s Oil Soap onto a wet rag and wiped down the leather to remove any excess oil residue:


Step 8: I let the leather dry completely and then used a tiny hole punch to add holes at the end of the pieces:


Step 9: Using DMC thread, I stitched the pieces together end to end….


….in a simple “X” pattern:


Step 10: I stitched the flowers using the same type of thread:


Step 11: I stitched 1/4″ elastic (I would have used black but all I had was white) to the bottom of each end of the headband. I wrapped thread around the stitches to cover them:



The finished headband!


Now to find something else to paint :)

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