Burlap Garden Flag with Heat Transfer Vinyl

A "rustic glam" burlap garden flag with glitter heat transfer vinyl!

 

Happy Spring, y’all!  We had two incredibly beautiful spring days in a row this weekend, and I think it’s safe to say spring time has finally arrived in central Pennsylvania!  We even had people over for a cookout to “christen” our deck and backyard…the first time we’ve been able to use it since we moved in 4 months ago.  I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time out there in the coming months!

 

So, inspired by the tulips and hyacinths sprouting up in our front yard, I whipped up a little spring burlap garden flag this week with the help of my Silhouette!

 

The first step was to cut the burlap to size – I made mine 10″x 15″ to fit our garden flag stand.  Do you know the trick to cutting burlap so it doesn’t fray?  Pull out one of the burlap strands where you want the cut – you’ll be able to see the “hole” of the missing strand and cut along it.  That will give you a nice straight line with no fraying.

 

A simple trick for how to cut burlap in a straight line - no fraying!

 

I decided to use freezer paper stencils to paint some flowers on the burlap.  (You can find a great step-by-step tutorial on freezer paper stencils along over at The Thinking Closet!)  I cut out a variety of flowers in different sizes, ironed them on, and painted them.  Since I wanted a few of the flowers to be overlapping, I had to freehand some of the painting around the edges after I peeled up the stencils…that was a bit tedious.  If I had to do it again, I’d probably paint one whole flower, let it dry and peel of the stencil, then apply another flower stencil and paint over top of the first one.  Ah well…next time!

 

How to make a burlap garden flag - paint flowers using freezer paper stencils cut with your Silhouette!

 

At first I had planned to paint everything on the flag…but then I remembered the glitter heat transfer vinyl I had ordered from Expressions Vinyl!  I really love the look of rustic glam…and putting some glitter HTV on a burlap garden flag would be a fun bit of unexpected glitz!   I decided to go with green glitter HTV for the monogram, and regular white HTV for the “est. 2010″ text.  (And this isn’t the first time I’ve tried a glitter monogram project, either!)

 

Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl from Expressions Vinyl - it works on burlap!

 

After laying out the HTV where I wanted it on the flag, I ironed it on.  The trick to ironing HTV is keeping your iron in one place while applying pressure for about 20 seconds or so, letting it cool for about 30 seconds, then repeating until it is fully adhered.  I had no trouble getting it to stick to the burlap!

 

A "rustic glam" burlap garden flag with glitter heat transfer vinyl!

 

You can see that the texture of the burlap is visible through the regular HTV, but the glitter HTV is much thicker so it doesn’t show through.  It works fine for my garden flag, but might not be the look you’re going for on particular projects…so just keep that in mind when trying out HTV on burlap!

 

A "rustic glam" burlap garden flag with glitter heat transfer vinyl!

 

I folded over the top edge of the burlap and hot glued it to create a sleeve that would slide onto the garden flag holder.  It was hard to photograph…but it looks SO great in the sun!  With the colorful flowers and the glitter monogram, this flag is cheerful and welcoming!

 

A "rustic glam" burlap garden flag with glitter heat transfer vinyl!

 

 

I am so excited about how the heat transfer vinyl worked on burlap – it looks great!  And what possibilities…I don’t think this is the last time you’ll see a burlap and vinyl project from me!

 

A "rustic glam" burlap garden flag with glitter heat transfer vinyl!

 

Aaaaand that’s NOT all, folks – the inspiration doesn’t stop here!  A bunch of my buddies from the Silhouette Challenge Facebook Group are all sharing spring silhouette projects on their blogs today.  Click through for some great project ideas, or pin it to come back and browse later!

Spring Cleaning - Custom Canisters I Love Paris In the Springtime Etching for Sping - Mug Personalization for the April Silhouette Challenge WHEELY excited about spring No-Sew Fabric & Burlap Peter Cottontail Banner Narwhals, plus friends Gold Fern Easter Eggs Mr and Mrs Easter Egg Head Easter Bunny Plate Welcome Spring - A Sign From Tile Paper Flowers Wall Art DIY: Bunny-Stamped Goodie Bags for Easter Inspirational Window Now We Have Everything Nursery Art Spring' and Flowers Paper Banner Glitter Jars with a Happy, Hoppy Bunny Made with the Silhouette + Free Cut File! Mother's Day Wreath Decorate A Watering Can With Vinyl! April Showers Sketch Pen Printable Spring Wreath Burlap Garden Flag with Heat Transfer Vinyl Pretty Little Herb Pots Peter Cottontail Door Hanger Spring Has Sprung Spring Has Sprung - Subway Art Bloom And Grow Sunflower Bouquet for Teacher Appreciation Sharpie Easter Eggs Tear Open Easter Egg Cards Look what's Blooming! ~ Silhouette Challenge Everblooming Paper Bouquet Silhouette Challenge: Spring Polish Swap Card [B] is for Bloom: Scrap Lumber Flower Vases Tulip Time - Fridge Magnets Neon Paper Pinwheels {tutorial} A Happy Spring Card Sketching Just Got Easier! Spring Bunny Baskets Bird Nerd Easter Eggs Easter Peeps Treats with {FREE} Printables and Cut File Garden Bench Update

1. Dream a Little Bigger // 2. So Much Better With Age // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. Creative Carnival // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. feto soap // 7. One Dog Woof // 8. The Experimental Home // 9. From Wine to Whine // 10. Architecture of a Mom // 11. Grey Luster Girl // 12. Minted Strawberry // 13. Designed Decor // 14. Tried & True // 15. Silhouette School // 16. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 17. Weekend Craft // 18. Practically Functional // 19. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 20. McCall Manor // 21. unOriginal Mom // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. A Tossed Salad Life // 24. A Glimpse Into Barb’s Life // 25. Kate’s Paper Creations // 26. Simply Kelly Designs // 27. Cutesy Crafts // 28. Persia Lou // 29. Whats Next Ma // 30. Two Purple Couches // 31. The Frill of Life // 32. Nearly Handmade // 33. Get Silvered // 34. Ginger Snap Crafts // 35. Life After Laundry // 36. The Sensory Emporium // 37. Monograms & Cake // 38. The Thinking Closet // 39. My Paper Craze // 40. Chicken Scratch NY

 

What’s on your spring “to-craft” list?  Maybe something rustically glamorous with burlap and glitter? ;-)

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive product from Expressions Vinyl to complete this project in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own!

Eureka Airspeed All Floors: The Multi-Surface Vacuum Solution

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #EurekaPower

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

We’ve been in this house just over 4 months, and I am still trying to figure out the best methods and routines to keep it clean.  We went from a small two-bedroom townhouse to a much bigger 4 bedroom house with 3 floors of living space, which means LOTS more cleaning!  One of my biggest frustrations was the amount of time it took to clean the floors on the main floor – microfiber sweeper for the hardwood floors in the eat-in area, living room, and foyer; broom for the tile in the kitchen; vacuum for the carpet in the dining room, study, and area rug in the living room.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

Not to mention sweeping with a dog and almost-2-year-old running around takes about twice as long as it should, since inevitably one or both of them ends up running through the dirt pile before I can sweep it up.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

(yeah, they look so sweet and innocent, don’t they?)

 

We have a decent (but old) canister vacuum that works well on carpet, but doesn’t do much on hard floors.  I had been on the lookout for a good multi-surface vacuum for a while, but hesitated to waste my time with a cheap one and didn’t want to fork over the money for an expensive one.  When I had the opportunity to try out the Eureka AirSpeed All Floors Vacuum, I jumped at the chance…though I will admit, I was a bit skeptical.  I’d bought a similarly priced vacuum for an apartment in college and it was cheaply made and didn’t work very well.   An “all floors” vacuum that is powerful enough to deep clean carpets and hard floors, claims best in class performance, and even cleans carpets better than a Dyson?  All for UNDER $100?  I was willing to give it a try, but couldn’t believe a vacuum like that would be priced so low.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

I tend to prefer online shopping, so I ordered the Airspeed from Walmart.com.  There was TONS of great information about the vacuum right there on the page – customer ratings and reviews (4.5 stars!) two different videos, and even PDFs of the owner’s guide and quick start guide.  Plus an incredible price and free shipping – what more could you want?

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

It arrived promptly and was surprisingly quick to assemble – only 4 pieces that snapped easily together.  (I didn’t even have to wait until my husband came home to help me!  And if I can do it, anyone can!)

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

Luckily, the vacuum had come just in time for our yellow lab, Lucy, to begin shedding her winter coat.  Even after I’d just swept a few days before, there was dog hair everywhere!  Time to put this “all floors” vacuum to the test.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

I quickly discovered that the Eureka Airspeed All Floors has some great features to make switching between surfaces fast, easy, and effective!  There’s a button to turn off the brushroll when you’re cleaning hard floors – this prevents the brush from spinning away all the dust and dirt before it can get sucked up.  There’s also a floor-selector dial to pick bare floors or the height of the carpet.  The vacuum has soft rubber wheels that are safe on hardwood floors, smooth, and easy-to-maneuver.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

But that’s not all!  It’s easy to switch to using the attachments – just turn the dial from “floors” to “tools.”  The upholstery attachment worked great on my living room furniture, and even the dog bed!

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

When it’s time to empty the dirt (you’ll be amazed by how much this powerful vacuum sucks up!), it couldn’t be easier – just hold it above the garbage can and release the trap door at the bottom of the canister.  There is also a high efficiency allergen filter inside that should be rinsed occasionally.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

I did a little experiment the other day to see just how long it took to vacuum the foyer, study, living room, kitchen, and dining room with my Eureka Airspeed.  Care to take a guess?  Before, when I was sweeping and vacuuming, it was probably a 30-45 minute task at minimum.  Now?  15 minutes.  Seriously, I started in the foyer and made the circuit of the first floor, and was finished in 15 minutes.  And it did a great job!  That included carpet, hardwood, tile, and an area rug.  Do you know how life-changing that is?  That’s only 1/8th of nap time…which means I vacuum and still have time to get some nap time crafting in!  And I can stay on top of the crazy amount of dog hair that seems to accumulate en masse on a daily basis.

 

A powerful AND affordable all floors vacuum for less than $100!  #EurekaPower #Cbias #shop

 

In the month that I’ve had this vacuum, I’ve used it at least once a week (usually more) and it works fantastically well!  I actually enjoy vacuuming with it!  It’s difficult to believe that it cost me less than $100.  It is easily worth 3-4 times that!  I can honestly tell you that I will continue to use this vacuum on a regular basis and recommend it to my friends and family.  This Eureka Airspeed All Floors Vacuum can really handle anything that life throws at you!

 


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How to Create a Command Center That Works for Your Family

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

A few months ago, I was over at Uncommon Designs sharing this post…in case you missed it, I want to show you our new “Family Command Center,” as well as share some tips on how to create a command center that works for your family!

 

I finally created a command center in our house, but it is very much a work-in-progress…and with a family of three (including one 18 month old), there isn’t much need for extreme organization beyond the basics.  But I know that as our family grows, and kids get older, we’ll rely on our command center organization more and more!

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

A great command center is a perfect mix of organization, function, and style.  You’ve got to first determine what kind of organization your family needs before you actually go shopping for all the details.  If you take a little bit of time to really plan out your space, you’ll end up with a beautifully functioning (and affordable) command center that will help make your life a little easier!

 

1. Find the right space.  A command center isn’t going to help you if it’s not in a place that makes sense.  It should be somewhere in the main-traffic-path of your home – maybe right inside the garage door, in the kitchen, or even the mudroom.  The closer you can get to the “drop zone” – you know, where all the stuff gets dropped right after you get in the door – the better!

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

2. Take inventory of your clutter.  Here’s a great way to figure out the clutter that regularly accumulates in your space – without tidying up first – take a pad of paper and a pen and go write down everything you see lying around your space.  This is good to do mid-week, when the daily mess has really had a chance to accumulate.  You’ll see things like keys, phones, wallets, mail, school papers, random papers, lists, coupons, and probably much more.  Write it ALL down.  You know what they say – “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”  Decide where those places are!  If you need a place for something that doesn’t already have a home, start a list for your Command Center.  Include everything that needs to have a home in your new space.

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

3. Determine the essentials.  Things to consider – Calendar, dinner menu, shopping list, schedule/routine, To-Do list, frequently called or emergency phone number list, in/out box for mail/bills and school papers, receipts file, coupon file, pen/pencil storage, charging station for phones/devices, hooks for keys, clock, etc..  Based on the list you made in step #2, what are the things that you want to have included in your Command Center?

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

4. Make it personal. Think about including a place to display photos, greeting cards, or children’s art work.  Or creating some artwork with your family name or initials to hang.   Have some extra wall space nearby? Create a gallery wall of family photos.  You could find an inspirational word or quote to print and frame.  I created a “Verse of the Week” chalkboard to display a new Bible verse for us to memorize each week.  I also used my Silhouette to cut some vinyl lettering for the wall.

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

5. Design it.  Now that you’ve through through what you’d like to include, it’s time to figure out a design!  First of all, decide how much flat space and how much wall space you will be devoting to your command center.  We bought an inexpensive put-together-yourself 3 shelf bookshelf to be part of our space – it’s not very deep so it doesn’t get in the way, but the top is great to have a flat space to write quick notes and lists.  I added a few bins to the shelves to help catch clutter.  Next, you need to determine a budget – how much are you willing to spend on this command center?  (Remember that you can start with the bare bones and add to it later!) After that comes the fun part – grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and spend some quality time on Pinterest browsing Command Centers.  What do see that you absolutely love?  What seems like it would be functional for your family, in your space, and with your budget?  Think through your plan.  Are you creating a separate space for each member of your family?  Or grouping by category? How will you control clutter on flat spaces?  Consider height – what do the smaller members of your family need to be able to reach?  Don’t forget about the list you made in #1 – make sure you create a place for everything!  Now, sketch out a “blueprint” of your command center. You’ll probably go through several drafts until you settle on something that will work.

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

6. Go shopping.  It will be reeeeally easy to overspend, especially when you’re in the store and see something absolutely adorable that you didn’t know you needed.  My advice – go to the ATM and get cash in the amount of your total budget.  (If you’re ordering items online, be sure to account for that money out of your budget.) That way, you’ll be less likely to impulse-buy and more likely to stick to your list.  Some things that might be on your list: clipboards, frames, magnetic chalkboard/whiteboards, dry erase calendar, wall file organizer and file folders, hooks, cork boards, magnets, push pins, chalk or dry erase markers.

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

I found my calendar, file folders, and key hooks at Target; the wire file folder rack and metal bookshelf bins are from HomeGoods; the cork board (which I painted myself) is from Kohl’s.  I made the Verse of the Day chalkboard myself using a frame from Goodwill.  I also made the menu planner using a magnetic chalkboard and vinyl lettering.

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

7. Make it pretty.  If you’re like me, you’ll be much more likely to keep stuff organized if it looks pretty when it is put away.  Pick a color scheme for your command center.  Then, instead of buying plain manila folders, find some with a fun pattern.  Don’t be afraid to use pops of brighter colors too!  Make pretty labels using your printer, craft cutting machine, or pre-cut letter stickers from the scrapbook section of the craft store. I took a plain cork board and painted some dahlias on it to make it pretty (using a contact paper stencil cut by my Silhouette!).  Create a family Command Center that makes you smile each time you walk past it.

 

Step by step guide to create a command center that works for your family.

 

Really, though, there’s no right or wrong way to go about creating a command center…the most important thing you can do is to have a vision for how you’ll use the space BEFORE you start creating it!  Then, once you’ve got it up and running, you can enjoy how much easier it will make your life.

 

Do you already have a command center somewhere in your home?  Or are you planning on making one anytime soon?  I’d love to hear about it!


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Chevron Pallet Mounted Hanging Mason Jar Vase

Trend Fest 2014:  6 bloggers challenged to cram as many craft trends as possible into one epic craft!

I am super excited to be joining with some bloggy buddies of mine to bring you an April Fool’s Day Trendy Challenge!  We were chatting one day and thought it would be fun to see just how many craft trends we could fit into a single (legit) project…and of course, what better day to celebrate Trendfest 2014 than April Fool’s Day!  And so, friends, I give you: a Chevron-Painted Pallet Mounted Hanging Mason Jar Vase with a Washi Tape Chalkboard and Flowers Wrapped in Burlap and Twine.

 

pallet-mason-jar-vase-title

 

The original vision for this project was to hang it inside above our foyer table…but in needing to take photos with better light, I moved it to the front door.  I actually really like it as an alternative to a wreath  - it’s different, cheerful and welcoming!

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

I’ve been wanting to try a pallet project for a while now, and this was just the motivation I needed to step into crafting with this trendy material!  We have a good friend who is a contractor and owns a building supply store who always has an abundance of pallets, so we were able to help ourselves to what we knew were clean and safe pallets.  (Of course, I brought along my handy hubby to help with the pallet harvesting!)  We used one of the widest boards on the pallet – about 5.5″ wide – and cut it to be 12″ long.  We also cut another 3″ long piece to be the hanging chalkboard.

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

Then I cut a chevron contact paper stencil with my Silhouette.  Because really, is there any trendier print than chevron?

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

I put a little bit of water into some white acrylic paint (I wanted a bit of a white-washed look as opposed to stark white stripes) and painted it onto the wood.  The contact paper was a bit difficult to get to stick to the wood, but as long as I painted away from the edge of the stencil, it gave me clean lines.

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

I found a hose clamp at Home Depot for $1.50 to use to hold the mason jar – you can find them in the plumbing department, and they look like this:

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

They come in several different sizes, but you can use a screwdriver to turn that little bolt thingy (yes, that’s the technical term, I’m a hose clamp expert) and adjust the size, so err on the larger side.

 

The tricky part was how to attach the hose clamp to the wood, since the mouth of the jar was an inch and a half away from the pallet board.  My handy hubby, Matt, to the rescue again!  He cut a shim out of a small piece of MDF to fit behind the mouth of the jar – that way, the body of the jar would still sit flush against the wood.  He nailed the shim to the wood, then nailed the hose clamp to the shim.  Then we tightened the hose clamp around the mouth of the jar and snipped off the excess (careful, it makes a very sharp edge!).

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

And here’s how the hose clamp looks on the finished product:

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

As an added touch, I made a little hanging chalkboard sign below the pallet board.  The background is washi tape (trendy!), and the chalkboard is actually chalkboard vinyl that I cut with my Silhouette.

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

We used a few screw hooks and eyes to hang it from the main piece.  I love that I can write little messages to change out with the season!  (And it’s easy to just take down the chalkboard, write on it, and hang it back up!)

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

 

Though I would love to have fresh flowers in this vase all the time, A) it’s still way too cold for flowers to be outside, B) filling the jar with water would probably make this too heavy to hang on the front door – though it might work if hung a bit more substantially inside, and C) I’d never remember to water them so they’d be dead in a few days anyway.  So fake flowers it is!  Wrapped in some trendy burlap and twine, of course.

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

I’m not sure whether I’ll leave this on the front door or bring it inside, but regardless of where it ends up, it is such a cheerful and fun wall decoration!

 

How to make a pallet mounted mason jar vase - great step by step tutorial with photos!

 

So, let’s tally up all the trendiness that I was able to fit into this project…

  • pallet wood
  • mason jar
  • chevron
  • washi tape
  • chalkboard
  • burlap
  • twine

And I think *despite* being crammed full of trends, this project actually turned out nicely! (Although there’s a reason that all those things are popular…because they are pretty great!)

 

So, in celebration of April Fool’s Day Trendfest 2014, some of my bloggy-besties are also sharing some great projects today – Jessica from Cutesy Crafts, Lauren from The Thinking Closet, Kristy from Please Excuse My Craftermath, Deanna of From Wine to Whine, and Tori from Lil Mrs. Tori (who is the mastermind behind Trend Fest 2014…thanks Tori!).

 


And because we like kicking things up a notch (seriously, it’s sometimes a problem, we just can’t make things simple), you get to VOTE for the best trendy project…and one lucky voter (who lives in the US or Canada) will get 6 trendy pencils mailed to them, one from each participating blogger – no fooling!  How’s that for a fun April Fool’s Day prize?  Here are the oh-so-trendy washi tape covered pencils that I’ll be contributing (because, let’s be honest, you can slap some washi tape on anything and call it trendy!)

 

Cover pencils in washi tape and put in a cute mason jar as an easy and fun teacher appreciation gift.  Teacher's are always getting their pencils "borrowed" by students...this way, they know which ones are theirs!

 

The blogger WINNER of our little Trend Fest 2014 competition will be dubbed “Queen Trendy” for the year.  You’ve got until Tuesday, April 8 to vote…so go ahead and click through the photos above to see all the other fantastic and fun trendiness…and then VOTE!

 

 

I hope you’ve been inspired by one (or 10) of these fun craft trends!  Happy April, everybody!

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