Friday, January 30, 2015

Dream Marquee sign DIY

Friday, January 30, 2015
This is another post brought to you by the Cricut Design Space Star Finals.

This week I revealed the full makeover I did on my girls' room as my final project in the Cricut Design Space Star contest.  And this is the first of many projects I'll be sharing with you over the next few days.

Up first- the Dream Marquee Sign

Honestly, this project ended up being nothing like the project I started out  making.  I was attempting to create a free standing marquee sign.  Well, that was a disaster.  There were too many curves and corners and bends and the materials I was using just weren't strong enough to create the look I wanted.  I had almost given up when my sister suggested changing the project just a bit- and boy was she right.  Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes, and someone who didn't know where you were trying to get to show you that there is something better. :)

Materials I used:
Pizza box for word
bead board cut to fit frame
battery operated lights (I used 2 strands with 20 lights each)
Glitter spray paint
acrylic paint
high gloss latex paint
of course a Cricut Explore

The first step in creating this project is selecting your word and cutting it out on your Cricut Explore.  I used a pizza box to create my base layer.

*Some tips for creating a fused word on your Cricut
- select the font you would like to use
- in the editing box, decrease the space between the letters until they are touching
- you might need to separate the letters to adjust one or two to line up on the bottom (if that's the look you're going for)  After my letters were touching, I separated them and shifted the letter "r" up a bit so it lined up with the other letters.
- once you are happy with the alignment and spacing, select all the letters and select the weld button, this will create one single shape.

Once your word is ready, you will want to place the holes for the lights.  I did this before I cut the word out.  I measured the diameter of the lights I wanted to use and created a circle that size in Design Space.  I copied that circle 40 times (that is how many lights I had) and then placed them on the word where I wanted them.  It was nice to be able to play with the spacing and move things around as needed.  Then I cut it out.

Now to prep all our pieces.  Place your word on the bead board where you want it to be and use a pencil to mark all the holes for the lights.  Drill a hole for each light to come through. *tip: my lights are battery operated LED lights and were pretty short, I knew that they were't long enough to poke through the bead board AND the cardboard word, so I drilled the holes the size of the base of the light, not the size of the light itself, that way it would only have to go through the cardboard and not the bead board too.  See the picture below for a better look at what I'm talking about.  Sand down the bead board and all the holes, you may need to use a blade to clean up the inside of the holes.  Paint the bead board with high gloss white paint. (I needed to do 2 coats)
Spray the word with the glitter spray paint.  This was my first time using it and it was awesome!  I only had a small can though, and it doesn't cover all that much- so I would probably paint the word gray first before adding the glitter if I had to do it again, but- it covered well enough and I'm really happy with it.
Finally, paint the frame your color of choice.  I used two coats of acrylic paint and then sanded it just a bit to distress it.
Once all the pieces are dry, assemble your sign.  Make sure to line up all the holes on the word and the bead board.  I used spray adhesive on my word to make sure it would stick all over to the sign and that I didn't miss any edges or corners.
The last step is to add the lights.  You can see better what I mentioned earlier about drilling the holes in the bead board larger than the holes for the lights.  The holes in the word were just tight enough to securely hold the lights in without having to use anything else, but if your holes are a bit too big, you can always use tape to hold the lights in place.  I used duct tape to attach the battery packs to the back of the sign so they weren't hanging loose.  These lights have a timer options where they go on for 6 hours and go off for 18.  It makes it a perfect option for a night light, I have it go on at 6 and off at midnight and it allowed me to place it high on their hutch without having to worry about turning it off and on.
This sign is actually pretty big.  I think it's probably an 18" X 20" frame.  The lights cast a really soft glow in the room at night, not too bright, but enough that the girls feel safe and secure.

It's probably one of my favorite pieces in the room.  I'm really glad I didn't give up on this project and that my sister came along to rescue me just in time.

So, what word are you going to light up in your house? ;)

**Edited to add**  Voting is LIVE!!  Please head over and vote for my room!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Little Girls' room makeover

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This post is part of the Cricut Design Space Star contest and is brought to you by Cricut.

When I found out that I was being given the opportunity to participate in the final round of the Design Space Star contest I was thrilled.  We were each given a budget of $1000, + $500 in supplies from Cricut and asked to make over a room.  I knew we would use the money to make over at least one of our kids' rooms, what I didn't know at the time was that we were expecting another baby and so the ideas I had been working on would have to be rearranged. 

We had already moved out the bed and other essentials when we realized that instead of a different room for the makeover, this one would have to be the target of our efforts, hence the ghetto before pictures. :)  There were holes all over the walls, and one very red wall to contend with.  You can see it below with the primer already cut in.
My sweet husband did all the priming and painting since I couldn't.  Plus, with as lousy as I was feeling, the room would probably still look like this if he hadn't.  Lucky for all of us he did a fabulous job and it was ready for me to pretty it up.  I will be posting tutorials over the next few days on many of the projects I did, but if you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

Oh, this room makes me happy.  My starting point was the lovely fabric.  I used fabrics from The Cottage Garden line by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs.  The duvet cover tutorial will be a post coming up on their blog where I am a design team member.  I picked up a few more yards of cotton from the line and made the roman shade, a couple of pillows and the pouf in the reading nook.
This gallery wall was so fun to put together.  The "do all things with love" art is from a design space project by Rob and Bob, it just came out for Valentine's day, but it was the perfect piece to add to the wall.  All the flowers in the gray frame were cut and made using the cricut and the template for the heart string art was provided using the write function of the Cricut Explore.
This closet after shot makes me giddy.  I love being able to have a place to put everything.  Target had some darling patterned totes and I thought about splurging on them, but these bins from Ikea were so inexpensive I just couldn't justify the difference in cost.  So, I pulled out a few rolls of Berry colored vinyl and got to work.  I didn't want to label them with specific types of toys, this way I can rearrange what tote holds what without having to cut more vinyl.  The bins at the top hold clothes that are grown out of or being grown into, I cut chalkboard labels so I can mark which sizes are in which tote and change it as the girls change.
Here's a close up of some of the vinyl, I love this little polka dot with hearts scattered through.
This dream marquee sits on top of the dresser and it's one of my favorite projects.  It has battery powered lights that have a timer on them, it works perfectly as the nightlight for my girls.
This reading nook is such a fun spot.  The pouf was made using pattern pieces I designed and cut out with the Cricut.  Just sew them together and stuff and it's a fabulous place to sit and read.
This is a closer look at the duvet covers I designed, I wanted them to sit on the mattress so my girls, who are 6 and 2, could make their own bed and not have to try to stuff a large comforter into the sides of the bunkbed.  You can also see one of the monogram pillows I made.  The iron on glitter is so much fun to work with.
One more shot of the closet corner.  I covered a white board with vinyl so it didn't look so messy, also, since there is a 2 year old living in this room, dry erase markers were out of the question.  I love how the vinyl mimics one of the fabrics in the pouf and still gives my kindergartener a place to display her beloved school work.  You can also see the painted "I am a child of God" sign I made and hung above the closet.  My girls love this song and I knew it needed to be part of the room.
I think this post is long enough, so I'm going to leave you with a parting shot of my flower art.  Again, I will be posting tutorials on some of the more involved projects as the week goes on.  Voting for the final round will begin Monday, Feb 2, so be prepared for major spamming next week. :)

**Edited to add**  Voting is LIVE!!  Please head over and vote for my room!
mobile friendly link:

Here's a run down of how I spent the money:
Ikea- $250- storage containers, bunk bed, pillows, covers, curtains and rod
Walmart- $60- sheets, pillow cases, misc hardware
Target- $100- pillows, throw, decor
Home Depot- $200- wood for closet shelves and book ledges, paint, primer, misc hardware
PoppySeed Projects- $100 frames
Fabric- $80 (does not include knit for duvet covers, provided by Riley Blake Designs)
Michaels- $30 paint, craft supplies
Grand Total: $820

Phew!  That's a lot more money than I usually spend.  I am so very grateful for Cricut and the opportunity to participate in this contest- it has been a tremendous experience and I have learned so much.  This makeover never would have happened without their support.

Thanks so much for taking the tour with me!
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