Category: crafts

Canvas book bag – DIY iron ons

DIY iron ons www.nestinthewest.comRemember I mentioned I was part of a mug swap arranged through Instagram? Well, my  swappee is an avid reader and lover of pink. I trolled her feed just a little and saw a photo of a cute book bag from Chapters. It’s caption read, “I like big books and I cannot lie”! I totally wanted to get it for my gal but time and budget held me back. Instead I made her one.
DIY iron ons www.nestinthewest.comIt’s super simple to make your own iron-on transfers at home. All you need is a printer, an iron and specialty paper made for inkjet prints. Oh, and your choice of cotton goods to spruce up. I got my supplies at Michaels (with coupons!) and whipped this up in about half an hour.

DIY iron ons www.nestinthewest.comHere’s how:

  1. Design your printable in whatever computer program you’re comfortable with. If it contains text, be sure to reverse it in the final stage before printing! Then print it.
  2. Trim any extra paper around your design. I find this makes it adhere better and softens the edges of your iron-on.
  3. Following the instructions provided with your paper, preheat your iron, use it on your plain garment to get any wrinkles out. Then place your design printed side down and iron it on.
  4. Let it cool a little and slowly peel your paper away from your garment. Voila!

DIY iron ons www.nestinthewest.comSuch a simple way to personalize bags, shirts etc. Now, these transfers are not bullet proof and won’t last forever so they’re not suited for long term wear but ideal for novelties for a family reunion, wedding party or the like. I’m really happy with how it turned out on the tote….so much so that I’ve made two more. One for myself and one for a second mug swapper. And yes, being able to print in pink is my favourite!

Distressed canning jars DIY

Digressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.comIs there anything better than combining two loves to make something even lovelier? I think not! I played around with canning jars and spray paint and couldn’t be happier with the results – distress painted canning jars! Use them as vases, craft storage or candle holders. Wanna make some? I had most of the supplies I needed at home so this was super cheap and easy. If you don’t have a stash on hand, consider doing these with a friend to cut costs. Here’s what you need:

  • Canning jars
  • Black spray paint
  • Craft paint
  • Foam or bristle brush
  • Sand paper, sanding sponge or even an emery board
  • Clear sealer spray paint (optional but recommended)

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.com1. Clean and dry your canning jars, then take them outside and give them an even light layer of black spray paint. Let dry completely.
2. Now, use your craft paint and brush to paint on top of the black paint. Don’t panic if your first coat is streaky and barely there. Let this dry then do a second and maybe third coat as needed. I did one coat up and down, the next coat around to get more even coverage.
3. When this is good and dry, very gently rub it with your sand paper on edges and raised design areas. This smooths off the colored paint revealing the black underneath. Kinda like magic, but easier!
4. If you choose to, and I hope you do, take them back outside and spray with a clear sealing spray paint. This will keep the paint in place and make them a bit more durable and cleanable.

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.comA few notes on this little craft:

  • Did you notice that the color of my larger jar changed in the last photo? Bonus points if you did. Here’s why – I used Martha Stewart paint on it and it didn’t work! Sorry Martha, you know I love you. The satin finish really stuck to the spray paint and when I tried to sand it, the whole works peeled off right down to the glass! Lesson learned. I just washed it all off my jar and started over with a matte craft paint. The colors turned out a bit more similar than I’d hoped but I’m quite sure I’ll be doing more of these and can mix them up then.

Distressed canning jar DIY www?

  • Please don’t spend a fortune on jars! Most thrift shops have them for 10-25 cents a pop!
  • WalMart is my go-to for spray paint. They have a great selection of colors for the best price.
  • The hardest part for OCD me was the sanding. Random and uneven just don’t come naturally for me but you really can’t mess these up! If in doubt, go light and easy at first. You can always go back and sand more.
  • I prefer this decorating method over painting the inside of jars because you can still add water and use these for flowers. Do this carefully though and keep the water on the inside, not on the painted outside. The sealer helps but these are not waterproof by any means! Wipe them clean rather than soaking.

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.comSo there you have it. My latest mason jar obsession. A pink ombré set of three is in my near future. How about you? Are you up for a little distressing?

Upcycled seed starters

Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comI’ve read that planting seeds is a sign of optimism. It’s pretty cool watching a little thing grow into a living, flowering or fruit-producing plant so I’m in. My garden space and amount of sunshine it gets is minimal so I’m sticking to few herbs and sweet peas. It’s still a bit chilly here so I whipped up some seed pots and started these inside. I’m not at all a fan of recycling crafts (I actually refused to do them when I taught kids craft camps), but I’m making an exception here. Yes, these are made from toilet roll tubes – totally biodegradable and plantable right into your garden. Start saving yours now or ask your neighbours to help you out, then make yourself a bunch.
Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comYou need one empty toilet roll per seed starter. Here’s how:
Cut 4 slits about an inch and a half up one side.
Fold one side in to the centre and give it a little pinch to make a crease. This will help the fold to hold. Fold in the opposite side, then the two remaining sides. Voila! A tiny pot, perfect for one or two seeds.
If you find these a bit tall, simply cut an inch off the bottom of the entire tube then start the instructions from the beginning. Although they seem tippy, they flatten out once the weight of some soil goes inside. Add your soil, seeds and give them a misting!
Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comSeed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comI’ve got mine sitting in a plastic tray that my ground turkey came in, washed out of course. You could also use an empty milk carton or line a little box with plastic wrap…maybe a tissue box. Someone stop me…the recycling bug has bitten.
Seed starter DIY www.nestinthewest.comOnce your seeds have sprouted and your wee plants are ready to go into the ground, plant the whole tube to keep the young roots intact. It’ll break down over time. Easy, peasy! Feel free to show your optimism with a little planting of your own!

Enjoy the long weekend and Happy Easter friends.