May 04, 2020

Marbled River Rocks

Today I am showing you a Marbled River Rocks garden craft! It's a fun & easy DIY, and a great way to get more colour into your garden.

This post contains affiliate links (see bottom of post for explanation)



You can watch my youtube video below for this craft, or you can keep reading below.


Start with some smooth river rocks spray painted white and some Easy Marble paints. Easy Marble paints are waterproof and lightfast; which make them perfect to use for a project that will be outdoors in the elements.

**For my fellow Aussies you can buy Easy Marble paints through Art House Direct as the Amazon link I have provided does not ship to oz**



You take a container large enough to fit your rocks in, fill with water and drop 2-3 of your chosen colours into it. The paints will sit on the surface of the water.


Take a stick and swirl the paint around. It dries pretty quickly so I tried to work fast.


Take one of your river rocks and submerge it into the water. Before you pull the rock back out, swish any extra paint still floating on the surface of the water away from the rock so you don't get a double-up of colour on its way out. Also, make sure you're wearing gloves: the safety recommendations for the paint states that you should avoid skin contact.



Ta da! Once you've marbled one rock, use a scrap piece of cardboard to lift any remaining paint out from the water surface ready to marble another rock. Make as many rocks as you want!


Someone had fun placing them in the garden!


Jules :)

*Affiliate Information: Affliliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.



April 15, 2020

Concrete Mosaic Hearts

Garden decorations! I love them, especially the projects that you can craft yourself. I love the satisfaction of walking around the garden and looking at the things you've grown and made for it.

This post contains affiliate links (see bottom of post for explanation)

I've used silicone baking moulds to make these concrete hearts. I've made plain concrete hearts before and then glued mosaic tiles onto them later on- that method is called the direct mosaic method- but here I'm using the indirect mosaic method.



The indirect method involves placing the tiles face-down into the moulds. I've pre cut some clear contact here to fit the heart shape moulds, and placed it sticky-side-up into the moulds. The tiles then have something to stick to to keep them in place for when you put concrete in.

You could also use paper and stick the tiles down using a glue stick if you wish.

It makes it tricky to see what colours you're using when you do the indirect method- but for this project it doesn't matter too much as the tiles are just placed randomly, and the end product gives a nice flat surface.



Now mix up some concrete. You could either use plain cement and sand and mix according to packet instructions, or just use some mortar mix which is premixed cement and sand. Place the moulds onto a board & use a spatula to fill the moulds with the concrete mix. 


Always make sure to add as little water as you can to your mix- that will make it stronger. I sometimes add a fortifier to my concrete mixes to make the mix even stronger again.


Jiggle and tap the board to help release any air bubbles to the surface. I like to then let the hearts set for around 1/2 an hour then cover them in plastic for a few days to keep them wet, so they can cure and harden. Keeping them moist whilst curing can also help your finished product be stronger.


Remove from plastic and pop out of moulds and let dry. 

Mine had a few air bubble holes in them which I filled with a pale grout, or you could make up a little more concrete mix and use that to patch up any holes.

This is a fun project that is easy enough for kids to do too. Mine certainly liked finding spots for them to go in the garden.



Jules :)

*Affiliate Information: Affliliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.



March 04, 2020

DIY Craft: Paper Mache Trinket Box

DIY craft time! A free tutorial for you on how to make this paper mache trinket box.


This tutorial featured recently on alisaburke.com. Here it is on my lil old blog, but in a different colour way.

Paper mache is wonderful as it’s super cheap to make any sort of shape, limited only by your imagination! I wanted to make a small trinket box.

You will need:

-foam core board
-thick card (that can still bend easily)
-newspaper
-blank newsprint or butchers paper
-masking tape
-PVA glue
-craft glue
-air dry clay
-gesso
-acrylic paints
-gold acrylic paint (optional)
-gloss varnish

I started by finding a small bowl to use as a template for the lid and base of the box. Trace around and cut 2 from foam core board. 



I then cut from thick card a length 2” wide, and a small strip 3/8” wide. Make sure these are long enough to fit 1/4” inside the circumference of your base and lid. Tape the wider one into a circle, then tape this circle to the base using masking tape. Do the same with the 3/8” piece, keeping in mind that it needs to sit in a smaller circumference than the base walls, also taking into account a bit of padding from the paper mache layers. My inner rim sits about 1/2” in from the lid.



Using newspaper strips and a mix of PVA glue watered down slightly with water (approx 1:1) cover all over the base and lid, making sure you overlap the paper strips as you go. I then do another layer in plain newsprint so I can see where I’ve already covered. Let dry.


Using air dry clay, roll out a small slab to a little under 1/4” thick. Cut a leaf shape out with a blade, and smooth the edges using a bit of water and your finger or a clay tool. Roll three small balls of equal size for the feet and gently press down with something flat to make the balls slightly flat on the top and bottom. Let dry.


Once the clay pieces are dry, use clear craft glue to glue the feet onto the base, and the leaf shape to the lid. Allow to dry.


Gesso the whole box and lid, inside and out, including the feet and handle.

Now it’s time to paint! I chose to draw some simple leaf shapes, then painted around them and added wiggles, stripes and dots. You can copy my designs or come up with your own! Adding gold paint around the rim is a fun touch too. 






After decorating, I used water based gloss varnish everywhere except inside the box, and the inner rim of the lid, as my varnish can get a bit tacky when varnished pieces touch, as I discovered in my sketch book!



Now you have a gorgeous box to stash some special treasures!

Jules :)

February 18, 2020

Sewing Table DIY Furniture Upcycle

Hands up who likes a before and after DIY furniture story!?

The finished table...

I am loathe to spend too much money on stuff inside the house. It seems like wasted money sometimes and if I can come up with a cheaper way of making things look good, well then, why not?

And as much as I love interior design shows, it all seems very wasteful to throw away things and get new stuff, just because we like a different look or style. I mean, some people in the world live in tin shanties and huts, and we need to rip out our old tiles because the colour is a bit daggy? We are very spoilt!

I am no saint and we do a lot of things in our house requiring new materials and funds, and I won't rule out ever removing tiles in my home, but I do love to think creatively when it comes to what I already have.

I had this sewing table that I bought for $4 from the op shop. It's nasty! I bought it quickly when we were setting up our house as I just needed a table. I was pretty proud of the cost :) Though recently I was looking into new ones and was going to throw this one to landfill, when I started wondering if I could save it.

(insert horror screaming soundtrack!)

Painting this thing would've looked terrible due to the worn away veneer revealing chipboard, so my solution was to cover it with oilcloth, which is essentially fabric covered in plastic, and nail it on with some upholstery tacks. I stretched the top piece on (after ironing on low) like a canvas, stretching it and tacking it from the middle one way then the other, and then working my way out to the edges of the table.

This is the desk upside down

I wrapped oilcloth around the drawers and tacked it on from behind. I glued the drawer back together with PVA, and spray painted the brown plastic handles. New handles probably would've looked nicer, but once again, it had handles, and this challenge was after all about not sending bits of it to landfill.


And now I have a cute little sewing desk! The bonus of which is anything you're sewing glides easily over the oilcloth and doesn't snag on that terrible rough chipboard that is now sneakily hidden.

Now if anyone could come and un-jam my sewing machine from me letting kids use it, I would be most grateful!! 




 Jules :)


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