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Customized Camera Case

5 Mar

Once upon a time I had a bright orange camera, it was protected by a cute brown and white floral Vera Bradley wallet with a little pocket for my extra battery. Then some how, magically, the camera, case, and extra battery disappeared. I searched high and I searched low, I searched in and I searched out, with no trace in sight. Time was ticking and Saturday Studios were quickly approaching so I gave up and bought a new camera, but a case was out of my budget. Here is my solution:

Supplies:

Leather scraps – or fabric scraps

Embroidery floss

A thicker gauge needle

photo 2

I traced the outline of my camera on the leather scraps, making sure to leave some room around the edges to take in consideration the thickness of the camera. The leather scraps are placed so that the faces that are touching will become the exterior of the case and what is being traced on is the interior.

photo 3

Since the leather is pretty hefty, I used large bobby pins to hold it in place while I stitched the two pieces together.

photo 4

I then used the embroidery floss to do a not-so-professional looking stitch around my template. Then I just trimmed the edges down to a little less than a quarter of an inch from the stitching.

photo 6

Once it was all stitched, I flipped the leather right side out and stretched into the corners. I tried my camera inside and it fit nice and snug, but was difficult to get in and out of. That is where the brown strip of leather comes in.

photo 7

I just made a few cross stitches at the bottom seam, top edge and stitched the ends together. This allowed for a small pull on each end of the case to help with putting the camera in and taking it out.

photo 5

Here is an image of how the top strap just moves to the side while taking the camera out or putting it in. The strap also acts as a catch in case the camera tries to slide out on its own because I assume that over time the leather will naturally stretch a bit. This project took me a little over an hour to whip up and is a simple, customizable way to protect your electronics. I am going to leave mine very plain but this project can be personalized in a million ways – different types of fabrics, paints, bleaching, size it down for a phone, size it up for a laptop!

Heather

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Table Lamp

13 Nov

Well, now that I am back in school my art has taken a backseat, but we were assigned a project that asked us to create an abstract visual representation of what we would like to be as a teacher. I don’t have a tutorial for this but I still wanted to share with you all, just to give you an idea of what I have been up to!

The concept behind this lamp is the idea that as a teacher I want to create a community of empowered individuals.

On top of working out what my goals are in becoming an art teacher, this project challenged me to figure out how to do the electrical wiring so that the lamp functioned as well as learn how to drill through glass – both of which ended up being fairly simple.

–Heather

Branded Leather Luggage Tags

28 Jun
While working on all of the wedding projects, the one thing that took me the longest to decide on was a wedding gift. I knew I should probably make something for them, rather than buy a traditional gift, but my creative inspiration tank was running low and everything was coming up so quickly! About three days before the wedding, I finally got an idea and ran with it – branded leather luggage tags.
Supplies:
Leather scraps
Stencil cutting tool
Leather Glue
Scissors
Nail polish
Paint brush
Hammer
Nail
So once I decided WHAT I wanted to make them, I had to figure out HOW I could successfully accomplish it. I wandered around Michael’s for a while before I saw the stencil cutter. It is essentially just a pointy piece of metal that gets hot – exactly what I needed!
I picked out two pieces of leather that I thought would look good together to use as the front and back of the tags. It turned out that the lighter brown was a faux leather(though convincingly leather-like) which ended up being an issue later on. So make sure that you use real leather, or account for this later on.
Next I measured out rectangles 2.5″x4″ and cut off the corners of one end.
Here is the front and back together.
Next, spread a thin layer of the leather glue on each piece. I used a business card to get the glue nice and thin.
Once glued together, let the tags dry under something heavy. Fortunately I am studying for the MTELs and have a few hefty books laying around that worked perfectly. It only took about 10 minutes to dry.
While the tags were setting up, I started working on what exactly I was going to brand the tags with. I had thought that maybe my technique for the printed wooden signs might work, but sadly it didn’t. What did work was just simply printing out the template and tracing over it with the stencil cutter.
After you’ve traced your stencil, remove it and go over any lighter spots  a few times.
Next I used a hammer and nail to poke a hole through the tags for a place where the hanging attachments to go.
I just cut long thin pieces of leather to use as the attachment strings.
Now here is where you can see that the faux leather didn’t work so well with the branding. I had traced their names onto the back side of the tags, but they just don’t show up as well. Here I added little leather hearts to the corners.
I initially tried using watered down paint to fill in the edges that the branding tool made, but it just looked sloppy. So in a last ditch attempt to save these, I whipped out some gold nail polish and painted over their names. Luckily the craft gods were smiling down on me and the nail polish did the trick.
All finished and ready to be wrapped up! This project from beginning to end probably only took a couple hours, and the total cost ran me around $35 and that includes a tool that I can use in the future as well. So if you’re looking to make something customizable either for yourself or as a gift, I would definitely recommend this!
–Heather

Vegan-Friendly Cuffs

10 Mar

I am really excited to share this project with you. It was really fun, easy, and there are a million ways to customize these cuffs.

Supplies:
Vegan Leather (vinyl or pleather)
Snap fasteners
Masking Tape
Scissors
Hammer
Paint brush
Acrylic Paint
Spool of thread (not for sewing, don’t worry)
I found an old bracelet that I liked the width of, so I did this the easy way and traced it on the back of my vinyl. The dimensions I came up with were 2″ x 6.5″…but this is all based on my wrist. A tape measure would be handy (just wrap it around your wrist and give it about .5″ extra at one end) if you don’t have a flexible bracelet like I did.
Once I cut out my cuff, I started playing around with different designs. 
Using masking tape, I sectioned off my cuff with triangles.
I used 2 coats of everyday acrylic paint for this cuff and it turned out to be my favorite.  For my others, I tried combinations of spray paint, black ink and spray fixative. The paint was the easiest to work with and had the best results.
I purchased these Snap Fasteners from JoAnn Fabrics. They were about $5.00 for 7 snaps.
Here comes the fun part that I’m going to do my best to try to explain. Try on your cuff, marking where you want your snap to be with a pencil on each side. Take your fastener circle (the one with the little sharp teeth on it) and place it on the wrong side of your cuff, teeth side down. Gently hammer the teeth into the fabric so they begin to poke through. Do this on a lightly padded surface. I did it on top of my extra vinyl.
Flip over and place your female end to your snap on top of the teeth you just poked through the right side. Give it a good hammer and it should grasp onto the teeth and now be secure in place.
Now for the other end, repeat the process but place your fastener on the right side of your fabric. Hammer down so the teeth pop through the other side.
Flip over and place your male snap on top of the teeth. This time, grab a sewing spool and place directly over the snap. Hammer on top of the spool.
This way you don’t smush the head of your snap with the hammer.
Here’s a cuff, ready to go!
I sprayed some spray glue on the back of some of my cuffs and attached some scrap fabric I had to give it more of a finished look. This is optional and not really necessary, just thought I’d share incase you wanted to customize these even more, or make them reversible. Just make sure to do this step before adding your snaps.
This was a really addicting project, I can’t wait to make more!
–Emily Jo

Found Object Keychain/Zipper Pull

4 Jan
The holidays left my wallet pretty thin this year, so I put on my thinking cap and sorted through my supply drawer to see what I could create this week without spending a penny. Lucky for me, I have been crafting since I was little so that supply drawer is actually very full. This week I decided to dust off my bead collection and make a fun zipper pull for my purse.
Supplies: (Just suggestions, feel free to get very creative!)
Scissors
Key ring
Cell phone charm/zipper pull string
Safety pins
Button
Beads
Hemp
Embroidery floss
Leather string
Wire
First I laid out all of my supplies to figure out where to begin.
This is the aforementioned cell phone charm/zipper pull string. It comes with a ring attached so you can hang it from your zipper or cell phone! The string end was a bit big for my beads though so I used a little wire and strung the beads through that first to force them on.
Then I just used that piece of wire to string my end bead on. Once it was secured I wrapped the ends of the wire around the top of the star.
Next I put the zipper pull onto a larger keyring and strung a leaf pendant with some hemp and braided the rest of the string.
Here come some cute little shells to add to the mix. I strung those on hemp also, knotting the shells into place.
Then I beaded some safety pins and attached those with some embroidery floss. These could also come in handy if I’m ever in need of a quick safety pin fix!
I also had this beautiful flower button lying around so I added the button and some beads to a piece of leather string.
And I decided there just weren’t enough beads already, so I used the leather string again and just made a section of only beads.
This sassy purse just got a little sassier!
And easier to open, though I will hopefully be keeping it closed for a little while so my wallet can fatten back up!
–Heather
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