Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Craft Club & Patriotic Decor

 A friend of mine started a Craft Club in my neighborhood several years ago and I was invited to participate a few years back.  Now it has transitioned from being a monthly club to more of an open group that meets once a quarter (or season, rather).  I can take no credit for the idea but it is awesome!  Although I’m not crafty by nature, this group has decorated my house with so many of the projects I’ve been dying to have from Pinterest!  I would never take the time to actually do them on my own, but this way they get done in only a couple of hours in an evening of socializing with my friends!  Kills two birds with one stone!  Love it!

Here’s how it works: 
*The leader of the group sends out email invites to whoever wants to participate and then has two people per season volunteer to be in charge of that craft club.
Winter—December or January
Spring—March or April
Summer—May or June
Fall—September or October

*Whoever is in charge of that season is in charge of finding a few craft options for everyone else to vote on.  Once the votes are in, the people in charge purchase the materials for the craft (which everyone reimburses when they come to craft night—usually under $15).  Those in charge also do all the prep work necessary for the craft to be completed by everyone in a few hours at craft night.  It’s a lot of preparation for whoever is in charge, but the next time they come everything is prepped for them!

*Craft club is usually set for around 6:30 or 7:00 on a Tuesday night and everyone who has committed to come, enjoys snacks provided by the hosts, works, socializes, and goes home that night with a finished product (or sometimes more than one!)

I was in charge of our club this month along with my friend Jessica, so we did a Fourth of July theme and did a few different projects!  I went from having one Fourth of July wreath to now having my whole living room decorated for the holiday!  

We did wooden American flags, canvas America sayings, and a wooden sign that said, “Land of the Brave Because of the Free” in blue across America in red!  I also made a banner the next day on my own.  Everyone did their projects just a little differently but they all turned out awesome!  I love seeing how everyone puts their style and personality into their work!  See below for details on how we did our projects if you'd like to make one of your own!

Large Wooden American Flag
1.  Purchase a large piece of 1/4 in. MDF and cut to 34x24 (ish) (I bought 2x4 panels).

2.  Paint the board white.  Do two coats.

3.  Measure 1 5/8 in. down from the top of the board and tape off white stripes using wide masking tape, using the tape as your width.  If you tape three strips in a row then take off the middle and keep doing that all the way down, you don't have to measure!  This way you also don't have to paint any white...just the red!  Your top and bottom stripes will be slightly smaller than the rest, but it's not noticeable at all. 

4.  Paint stripes with red (Do a deep brick red).  Do two coats then immediately take off paint strips after second coat.  Let dry completely.

5.  Tape off blue rectangle 16in. wide X 13 in. tall.

6.  Put on contact paper stars in a circle around a bowl (for Betsy Ross style flag), then paint over with blue.  Do two coats. Immediately after the second coat, remove the contact paper stars.  

Tip: Put your finger in the middle of the star while using other fingers to remove it.  This keeps the paint from smudging too badly.  Don't stress too much though because you will be antiquing it!

For the traditional flag (pictured at the top of this post) I painted the square blue (two coats), let it dry, then made a template with my Silhouette out of contact paper in three pieces which I lined up on the blue--not an easy task--then painted them with three coats of white).  Or you can just use a stamp if you have one.

7.  After everything is completely dry, use a sander to go over it and antique as desired!  When it is antiqued the way you like it, finish with a matte finishing spray and voila!!!  You just made a $200+ flag for under $20!!!

Stars & Stripes Canvas
1.  Purchase a 12X12 Canvas.
2.  Paint blue.  Do three coats.
3.  After cutting saying on Silhouette and placing on transfer or contact paper, place words on completely dry sign.  Use a credit card to smooth letters and make sure they stick.  
4.  Layer a coat of Mod Podge on top.  

A few people also made a God Bless America Sign in red, but I don't have a picture of that one.  Here is the file though:

American "Land of the Free..." Sign
1.  Use leftover wood from flag (1/4in. MDF) and cut to 24 1/2 X 5 3/4 in.
2.  Paint wood white or off white.  Do two coats.
3.  Use a sander to antique as desired.
4.  After cutting saying on Silhouette and placing on transfer or contact paper, place words on completely dry sign.  Use a credit card to smooth letters and make sure they stick.  
5.  Layer a coat of Mod Podge on top.

Liberty Banner
1.  Cut large stars on Silhouette out of background cardstock.
2.  Cut smaller stars on Silhouette out of American themed scrapbook paper.
3.  Glue stars together.
4.  Cut vinyl letters on Silhouette and place on stars.
5.  Punch holes and string together with desired string, ribbon, yarn, etc.

Enjoy your crafting!

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  1. I love your blog! You are so talented. You take beautiful pictures of your sweet little girls. I am glad I found your site. Love you lots :) Melissa Orsak

  2. Thanks Mel! You are so sweet! Miss ya!