Thursday, August 29, 2013

How To: Hops and Barley centerpiece with Votive Candle

How to make a hops and barley centerpiece with a votive candle:
First, where to find your materials:
Glass Vases:
You can find glass vases at AC Moore or Michael's for a dollar or two a piece, at the thrift shop, the dollar store, or ask your Mom/Aunts/Newlywedded friends if they have any to get rid of. Seriously! Glass vases tend to accumulate like dust, and if your family is anything like mine, they have some they will want to pawn off on a broke bride like myself (and possibly yourself). 
Votive Candles:
Interwebs, craft store, Craigslist, or a former Bride willing to unload her half used stash. I got mine from my sister, who had half burned candles leftover from her wedding just taking up space in her apartment (or maybe our Mother's basement?) 
Bottlecaps, Hops and Barley:
We got ours from the Brewery at which we had the wedding, Yards. Thanks, Yards Brewery!!! You can also order online or pick up in a local home brew shop. They come in a variety of colors and textures, which is great for layering!! Remember, it never hurts to ask. 

Putting it all together:
1.) Fill the bottom 1/5 with sand or rocks to weight the vase and take up space. This should be enough so that the next level will be just below the center of the vase.
2.) Line the perimeter of the vase with bottle caps, pressed firmly into the sand and leaning against the inside of the vase.
3.) Layer on the barley (the grain)
4.) Layer in the hops (the green leafy stuff)
5.) Barley again, perhaps a different color grain
6.) Press and wiggle the candle into the barley. Don't sink it in too deep, as the votive can get hot and crack if it is nestled too far into the barley.

And there you have it, folks! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to: From trashed art to Wedding Welcome Sign

Sad but true, one of my favorite nights in Philly is Trash Night. Especially in a neighborhood of creative folk like Northern Liberties, there's a good chance you could find an abandoned piece of art or a hip but unwanted frame- or both. 

The first thing you want to do is check the quality of your found item to make sure it's worth keeping. Lay it flat and make sure it's not warped. Check the canvas- is it cracked or moldy? Not stretched properly? You can easily remove it from the frame by pulling out the staples and re-stretch a new piece of canvas if the frame is in good condition. If the whole item is in good condition, you can usually whitewash over it and start a new painting. Sometimes you will find that the artwork is on cardboard or canvas board, which is excellent for this project.

Canvas or board with a frame that fits 
A few yards of tulle (in this example, it is sparkle tulle)
Sponge (for texture)
Water jug (to rinse your brushes) 
Acrylic paints 
White chalk
Palette or something to mix paint on
Rag (to wipe your brushes on)
Staple gun
Hot glue gun 

First, you will want to whitewash over the original canvas or board. Usually two layers does the trick. Let dry. 
Take your brushes and paint the board with the acrylic paints. Dab it with a sponge to give it a textured look. Make sure you rinse your brush between colors unless you are looking to blend them. Let dry.

You might notice that the colors are very bright; this is normal, and will be subdued once you layer the tulle.

Layer the tulle over 2 or 3 times depending on how subdued you want the color to be and make sure there is a few inches extra around the border so you can tack it down on the back.
Taking your staple gun or hot glue gun, tack the tulle down in the back, making sure the fabric is taut with no wrinkles. 
Remember it's the back and it doesn't have to look pretty :-)

Take your piece of chalk and carefully write your message on the board. If you mess up, you can pat it off gently if its a light color. You may want to use a measuring stick and practice a few times on scrap paper to make sure you get it just right.
Next, take your paint and go over the chalk outline. You will need to do this slowly and carefully to avoid paint blobs. The thicker your brush and paint, the thicker the letters will be. 

Let this dry for a few hours or overnight.

Getting the board or canvas back in the frame:

Hot glue, staple or tape the back of the board onto the frame. 

Turn it around and you have yourself a beautiful painting for next to nothing! I displayed mine on an easel outside at the garden ceremony, and now it is hanging above my dining room table. 

Good luck and post a comment if you have any questions!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Post Nuptial Post

Hello art and goodbye blogging hiatus, I'm finally hitched and getting back to business. First, some pictures of the crafts I made for the wedding, and I will also be adding a tutorial to show ya how its done!
Guest book made with burlap, lace ribbon, and gold leaf on poster board letters 

My backdrop made of fabric

Directional signs made with fabric and fabric paint on cardboard 

90 foot burlap and lace ribbon-lined aisle runner

Welcome sign 
Candle Centerpieces using hops, barley, beer bottle caps, and votive candles inside of a vase

My wonderful sister who did so much graphic design and printing for us, and worked with my original paintings to create a beautiful invitation:

Please check out my amazing photographer, Kate's Lens:

My new post nuptial art goals are to get an etsy store up and running, and having my art available for purchase as prints on canvas and matted paper. And more art shows, of course :-)