Lines Across

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Geometric Heart Printable Pillow Boxes

Today I'm sharing these free printable pillow boxes. If you follow me on Instagram, then you got a sneak peak at this design. I've been obsessed with geometric shapes for a long time now, but I've only recently gotten into watercolors.

What you need:
1. Free Printable
2. White Cardstock (I used 65 lb.)
3. Scissors
4. Glue
5. Scorer or X-ACTO knife

What you do:
1. Print out the PDF onto white cardstock. Print on high quality for the best results.
2. Cut out the boxes.
3. Fold the boxes along the two long gray lines.
4. Score around the four curved lines. Fold them in slightly before you assemble the box.
5. Glue the tab to the opposite inside of the box.
6. Pop in the tabs to make the box a pillow.

These simple pillow boxes are two sided - one side has the hand painted watercolor heart design, and the other side says LOVE. They are so easy to make and perfect for filling with little treats for Valentines day.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Geometric Mountains DIY Wall Art

I am proud to be a 3M sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me.

This fun wall art project combines so many of my favorite things into one piece: geometric designs, ombré, shades of blue, mountains, gold accents, and natural wood. You could create a very similar piece on a canvas, but I especially love the way the natural wood looks next to the painted areas. This wall art is actually pretty easy to create thanks to ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape, however it took me a while to get here. For me this was one of those projects where I had too many ideas spinning around in my head at the same time, and it was hard to settle on just one. Originally, I had taped out this abstract geometric gem, and I had created a color palette with a lot of different colors, but I ended out settling on this mountain design because it is so much easier to recreate. I'm glad I did, because there is something really beautiful about the simplicity of these mountains.

What you need:

  1. ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Delicate Surfaces with Advanced Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector 2080EL Delicate Surfaces with Advanced Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector 2080EL
  2. Finely Sanded Plywood (I used 1/8 inch)
  3. Acrylic Paint (blue and white)
  4. Gold Paint
  5. Paintbrush

What you do:

1. Start by sanding your wood surface and wiping it off with a slightly damp cloth. The plywood I used was already very smooth and I only needed to lightly sand near the edges.

2. Plan your design. I sketched a little design to follow on a piece of paper and used that as a model. You could also lightly sketch the mountains onto your wood surface with pencil and erase them at the very end.

3. Use the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape to tape your mountain design. The tape is easy to tear, but I used scissors to get precise edges for my mountain peaks and valleys. The tape is also easy to remove if you want to slightly adjust your design as you go along.

4. To make sharp points for the peaks and valleys, cut both edges at an angle. When I first started I was having to cut the edges a few times to get them to line up, but after a few pieces of tape, I'd gotten the hang of it.

5. Once you've finished your whole design and are happy with it, you're ready to start painting. I mixed together the shades of blue paint colors I was planning on using before I started. I made sure that I had more than enough paint to cover each area. If you run out of paint and need to mix more, it's almost impossible to exactly recreate a color. It's recommended to have a base coat for best results using ScotchBlue™. 

6. Start painting the mountains. Paint away from the tape edges. I painted two or three coats.

7. Let the paint dry for 24 hours before putting painter's tape on top of painted areas. Now tape off three mountain peaks. I made them diamond shapes.

8. First paint a coat of white paint and let it dry, then add a couple coats of gold paint.

9. Now carefully remove all of the tape from your wall art, hang, and enjoy.

The ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape is great for using on delicate surfaces and leaves very clean and precise lines. I really love the way the natural wood surface looks against the painted white geometric mountains. I also love how you can see a little bit of brushstrokes if you look closely. I made sure that they were all vertical. If you don't like this look, you could use spray paint instead of acrylic paints or use more coats of paint.

I really love this artwork, but it hasn't found it's permanent place in my home just yet.

Be sure to check out the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Website for more information and inspiration. You can find everything there from helpful tutorials to creative project ideas. You can also follow along on their Pinterest page, Twitter page , and Facebook page.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

30 Creative Gift Wrap Ideas for Kids

Christmas is just a couple of days away, and most of you have probably finished wrapping your presents. However, if you're anything like me, you took advantage of those last few days of Amazon Prime shipping, and are expecting a few packages by tomorrow at 8 PM. So for you last minute people like me, I gathered together 30 creative gift wrap ideas that your kids will love. Some are insanely simple, and some are a little more complex, but there is definitely plenty of inspiration.

You can find all 30 creative gift wrap ideas over at Let's Wrap Stuff.

I also just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support of Let's Wrap Stuff in its first Christmas season. I definitely have not had as much time and energy available to really turn it into a useful and thorough database of gift wrap ideas YET, but it's off to a great start. My decision to launch it this year was one of those "A year from now you'll wish you started today" things, and I'm so glad I did.

So thank you again from the bottom of my washi tape covered, paint splattered, glittery, yarn wrapped heart.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Best Gifts for Baby's First Christmas

This post brought to you by Happy Family Products . The content and opinions expressed below are that of Lines Across.

Christmas is right around the corner (yikes!), and for us this Christmas is extra special because it will be Oliver's first Christmas. As a family, we try to live by a less is more philosophy when it comes to presents and toys, but it's always easy to get carried away. We love giving gifts that are handmade, involve experiences, or are more open-ended. It's especially hard to come up with gift ideas for babies... especially third babies who already have a lot of toys.

When it comes down to it, half of the fun is just opening a present and finding something inside that you know you will love. And what do babies love? Food! That's why, instead of getting Oliver any toys for Christmas gifts this year, I've wrapped up some of his favorite Happy Family products and put them under the tree. I know that Oliver will be thrilled to be a part of the gift opening process, and will enjoy snacking on all of his wonderful choices! And before you feel too bad for Oliver, you must know that my in-laws (who always find the most amazing gifts) have already sent him quite a few special presents to open.

Last week I filled a box with some of Oliver's favorite Happy Family products, and he just loved digging around in that box and finding a new treasure. He pulled out the snacks one by one and I let him eat a little bit of everything. He definitely spent more time playing with, and got more enjoyment from those tasty healthy snacks than he would have from a box full of toys.

We especially love the Happy Family Brand because of their dedication to providing healthy, organic, delicious foods to growing babies and children. Good nutrition is so important right from the start, and the Happy Family products make it easier. Oliver loves the happy puffs and happy munchies, both which have a lot of healthy green veggies baked right in. Plus, the packaging is always so cute and creative.


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Polymer Clay Peppermint Candies

These clay peppermint candies were inspired by an episode of How It's Made on the History Channel that I watched a couple of years ago... on how peppermint candies are made of course. As much as I LOVE polymer clay, there are a lot of tools and techniques that I'm not familiar with, so there might be a name for this kind of technique. But this tutorial, and my whole philosophy on polymer clay, is that there are a lot of amazing things beginners can make with just their hands, or just with a couple basic tools (like these, these, these, these, or these).

What you need:
1. White and red Polymer Clay
2. PolyBlade (you could improvise with a box cutter)
3. Acrylic Clay Roller (you could also improvise)

What you do:

1. Start with a clean work surface and clean hands. White clay will especially pick up and show any little pieces of dust, fuzz, or other colored clay.

2. Knead pieces of white clay and roll them into tiny little tubes. They don't need to be perfect, but try to make them generally the same size as each other.

3. Roll out pieces of red clay into tiny red tubes. Wash your hands again after working with the red clay or your white clay will all look pink. Line up your tubes to be white red white red, etc...

4. I ended out using 7 red tubes and 7 white tubes. I would recommend a minimum of 7 of each, and I think even using a few more would look better. Gently roll together the tubes so that they become a sheet. Don't flatten them too much though.

5. Roll a large white tube. This will be the center of the peppermints. This takes a little trial and error to get the middle tube to be the right width.

6. Wrap the red and white tubes around the large white tube. (You may have to make the white tube bigger or smaller to fit). You want the edges to line up perfectly. You may also need to use the clay knife to carefully lift the red and white tubes from your work surface.

7. Now roll the whole new tube together gently. It will get smaller, so it's good to make everything a little bit bigger than you want it to be.

8. Use your knife to start slicing pieces of peppermint. They do not need to be absolutely perfect, but you should try to make them pretty close to the same size. If you find that the pieces are slightly flattening as you cut them, try putting your clay in the freezer for about 10 minutes. It will make the clay harder, but you will still be able to cut it.

9. Bake according to the directions on the package. Let it cool fully before doing anything else.

10. Coat each side of your peppermints with glossy glaze for that finished candy look.

And you're done. Since it's hard to perfectly recreate a tube, if you're wanting to make a lot of peppermints, I would recommend making one very long tube. I was able to make about 40 peppermints from one small package of white clay. However, this will vary a lot based on the width and thickness of your tubes.

You can now use these in all sorts of fun peppermint crafts. And what's great? They're not sticky, and they can last from year to year. I turned a bunch into a peppermint garland by hot gluing them to some red and white baker's twine. They would also make beautiful little ornaments.

Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Make Geometric Christmas Cookies

Recently, I got a chance to try out the Nestle Toll House Rolled and Ready Cookie Dough as a part of a sponsored campaign. I'm so thrilled I did, because they are pretty much my new favorite thing!

I really love making cookies at Christmas. I have this one time consuming recipe for sugar cookies that I try to make each year, but it ends out taking forever, and lately I just don't have the time. So when I saw these Nestle Toll House Rolled and Ready Cookie Dough, I knew they would be perfect for me. You get to have all of the fun and deliciousness or freshly baked homemade cookies right out of the oven without using mixing bowls, measuring cups, a rolling pin, etc... I even made all of these cookies without using a cookie cutter at all. Then I topped them with royal icing (the kind that hardens) and large sprinkles.

You can use cookie cutters with these fun cookie sheets and decorate them with your kids. However, they are also really fun for creating cool cookies really quickly. I'll show you how I made these geometric Christmas tree cookies and these letters without a cookie cutter at all.

What you need:
1. Nestle Toll House Rolled and Ready Cookie Dough
2. A knife or pizza cutter
3. Royal icing (meringue powder, powdered sugar, water)
4. A Ziploc bag
5. Giant sprinkles

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven according to the instructions. Take out a sheet of already rolled cookie dough.

2. To make the geometric Christmas trees, use a pizza cutter or just a plain kitchen knife to cut the sheet in half, and then to start cutting it into lots of triangles. Because the cookies tend to spread out a little, I ended out making the triangles below into little mountains, and used slightly narrower triangles to make the geometric Christmas trees.

3. Spread out the cookies so they aren't too close together, then bake according to the instructions.

*To make the letters, use a toothpick to lightly sketch out the shape of the letters you want on top of a sheet of cookie dough. Make them a little bit narrower than you want because they will spread out. Then cut out the letters with a regular old kitchen knife.

4. Decorate the cookies with royal icing and large sprinkles (I found the meringue powder and sprinkles in the baking aisle of the craft store.)

Tips for working with Royal Icing

Royal icing is one of my favorite things. I love how the icing hardens into a crispy candy shell. There's a way to make it with egg whites, but I just like to use meringue powder because it's really easy. It's a little hard to work with though because it will start to dry almost immediately. Here's a few tips on working with it:

1. When you are first following the recipe to make royal icing, use a little less water than the directions call for. Then add in more water slowly until you are happy with the thickness. If you add too much water, you have to add a TON more powdered sugar to even things out.

2. You can buy all sorts of special cookie and cake decorating tools, but if you don't have any, you can just use a Ziploc bag. Pour some royal icing in the plastic bag, and make sure it's sealed. Then cut a very tiny hole in one of the corners. Now you can squeeze the icing out as you decorate.

3. If you want to fill in areas of a cookie (like the LYLA letters above), first start by doing the outline. Let it dry just a little bit for a minute or two, then fill in the middle area.

4. It will take a few hours (maybe overnight) for the icing to fully dry into that crispy candy shell. However, the top layer dries pretty quickly, so add the sprinkles pretty quickly if you want them to stick.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gilded Feather Polymer Clay Ornaments

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed that I'm a little obsessed with gold and white this Christmas. I also seriously love polymer clay, especially when it comes to handmade ornaments. So when I saw these beautiful gold dipped feather ornaments from Anthropologie, I knew I had to make something similar out of polymer clay.

These are generally really easy to make, and they are a great project for someone new to polymer clay. However, it did take me a couple of tries to get feathers that I liked. The first set looked a little more like leaves. 

What you need:

1. White polymer clay
4. Gold paint 

* I thought I was buying this sort of Liquid Gilding and I planned on dipping the ends of the feather into the gold paint. However, I ended out getting this sort of gold paint (Inka Gold Metal Gloss Paint ) that is very thick and you gently rub on. You can't go wrong either way, but I do love how the gold rub brought out the texture of the feathers. Plus, it dried almost immediately.

What you do:

1. Start by rolling a long white tube of white polymer clay. It shouldn't be too perfect. Make the ends a little bit thinner than the middle. Make sure the surface you're working on is nice and clean because the white clay will pick up anything like dust or crumbs. 

2. Now take your acrylic roller and roll the white piece flat into a feather shape. Keep rolling in different directions until you get the shape you want. Don't be afraid to start over. 

3. Use a flat edged wooden tool to press down and make a line down the middle of your feather. As you go, use the flat edged wooden tool to push along the edges of the feather and shape it however you want.

4. Start making lines on each side of your feather. At first I only made a few lines, but I realized it looked more feathery with lots of overlapping lines in different directions. Press down rather than drawing the lines on. Press down a little extra along the edges to create that feathery edge.

5. Poke a hole in the top of your ornament, and bake according to the instructions on your clay.

*Tip: Sometimes it's hard to move something flat and delicate like this from your working surface to your baking sheet. I like to go ahead and create each feather on a piece of parchment paper so I can just lift the whole thing and put it into the oven. 

6. Let it fully cool. Brush on some gold. Make the tip of the feather the most gold, and lightly brush on gold over the middle part of the feather. I like how the gold only brushed onto the top part showing the texture of the feather. I also brushed some gold around the edges of my feathers, but when I make some more (hello handmade Christmas gifts!) I might skip this. Use embroidery thread, baker's twine, ribbon, string, or twine to hang the ornament.

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