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Let’s Make & Receive Surprise Balls!

Remember my post about surprise balls? How I promised to post a tutorial soon and a feature on the ball I recieved? Well this is that tutorial and feature! I even got the chance to host the surprise ball swap this time around which has made me so inspired and excited! I just love swapping these things! If you’d like to buy one I also have them in my shop! I told you I was surprise ball crazy!

surprise ball

You’ll Need

  • crepe paper streamers (in a couple of colors!)
  • 10-20 candy and small gifts
  • a plastic capsule or small box
  • a sticker or label
surprise ball prizes
surprise ball prizes

Collecting the gifts is almost as much fun as making the ball! If you’re making it for someone be sure to include things they like. Some ideas of what to include: candy, small toys, jewelry, stickers, memo pads, erasers, rubber stamps, ink pads, glitter, craft supplies, tea, keychains, beads, charms, small tubes of glitter glue, etc.

surprise ball

Start with your plastic capsule or small box and fill it with one of the gifts. Then wrap the crepe paper around it until it’s covered.

surprise ball

Next add another surprise and wrap it up. Make sure you keep wrapping a bit after each gift so that they don’t fall out too fast!

surprise ball
surprise ball
surprise ball
surprise balls

Continue adding surprises and wrapping them up until the ball is finished then tape the end down and top with a cute sticker or label.

Now.. as if it wasn’t enough fun to *make* these I actually received one as well (from the original swap). I was so excited about opening this rainbow-covered ball that I giggled the whole time as candy and kawaii gifts fell into my lap. This ball was extremely large and took quite a long time to unwrap! My partner is a surprise ball pro! Thank you so much!

surprise ball received
surprise ball received
surprise ball received
surprise ball received

Let’s Start Decopatching!

That’s right, I said decoPATCH not decoupage! If you’d like to know the difference between the two, this article is a great place to start.

I decided for this article I would need something around the house that needed a makeover so I found a natural wooden frame, a table worn on the top and an empty cocoa tin.

If you want you can use actual decopatch paper, glue and sealant but I did this with things I had around the house.

You Need

  • Mod Podge (glossy)
  • Paper scraps
  • Something to decopatch

decopatch scraps

First I collected torn pieces of paper that sort of followed a theme. My theme was kitschy-sweet as usual. Too excited but nervous to start with the table I decided to start with some junk I had saved, a cigarette box and an ATC-sized (2.5 x 3.5 inches) card. I used the same thin paper for each that I had torn into small and medium-sized pieces. Then I covered my box/card in Mod Podge (glue) (I know there’s decopatch glue and varnish but I’m a Mod Podge addict.) and smoothed down the strips of paper. Last I covered the paper in a layer of Mod Podge (varnish) and let it dry. How easy was that?

Next it was time to try my luck on the tin. I tore out assorted pieces of paper this time and followed the same instructions above. Now I have a kawaii place to keep tea, coffee and small things.

tea tin


Stay tuned for next time when I’ll be decopatching a frame and table with decopatch paper from France.

Art Journaling: Let’s Get Started!

I really adore art journals, ATCs (artist trading cards) and decorated mail. Don’t you? I love the time and effort that goes into creating them and the mixed-media collaging that tends to take place. I’m kind of new to the scene, I have to admit, and I was never much of a scrapbooker so I figured a great creativity challenge for myself would be to start an art journal.

Why don’t you start one with me? (If you already have one start a new one, we’ll be doing more spreads in the future.)

First off, if you don’t have a journal (I needed a new one) you’ll need to get one. Composition notebooks work great and they’re inexpensive. I’m using a small Moleskin because I like to do things small-scale. If you have an old notebook lying around with some old notes that you don’t need anymore feel free to use it. You can always cover the notes with paint, marker, paper and decorations.

You’ll also need to prepare the pages beforehand with gesso, glue sticks or rubber cement and maybe some Mod Podge to paint the page with when you’re finished?

Let’s start the journal off with a self-portrait or representation of you, your name and 5 things you love (this is to inspire your decorations!). For this spread you’ll need to cut out photos of things you love either via magazines or your printer, to find patterns on scrapbook paper and fabric that you like and a colorful selection of paint/markers/pens.

first art journal attempt

My list of 5 things I love was coffee/tea, hearts, stars, unicorns and Japanese candy. I am represented as Rainbow Brite because my brother wanted to name me that when I was born. Also, my name is in Katakana because once upon a time I left my heart in Japan.

How did yours turn out? Please email it to us so I can post it here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Non-Digital Art Journaling there’s a great article to get you started here and an AMAZING ecourse I just found out about (and that I really must participate in) here — looks like a great class to get your inspiration juices flowing and to learn a lot about yourself!

Here are some gorgeous journal pages I found while surfing Flickr to get you inspired.

11-09-11a
Art journal happiness
journal 07 10 11
ICAD #22
Oslo Travel Journal_Day 3
Art Journal Page

Crafts Around the Web: Surprise Balls

This is probably one of my favorite little gift ideas — how cute! Learn how to make them at not martha, poppytalk and seesaw. Don’t feel like making them? You can buy some adorable ones at TOPS Malibu.

With all of this cuteness I’ve joined a surprise ball swap and am going to get my supplies tomorrow to make my own. I have a lot of crepe paper left over from Colette’s birthday so I just need some extra surprises! Want to join in the swap with me?

I’ll make a post about how to make surprise balls following the swap.. I don’t want to give away the surprises inside in case my swap partner finds my blog!

Update: I was so inspired by these surprise balls that I made some Miseducated Surprise Balls for the shop.

Acid Wash Your Own Clothes

This started as a bit of an accident you see.. my husband unknowingly bought me a bleach cleaner recently. I’ve since accidentally bleached my new shirt and the carpet both while obsessively trying to clean our apartment. I got ready to trash the shirt and immediately wondered if there was some way I could salvage it…

All you need is a t-shirt (some other color besides white) and all-purpose spray-on bleach (or if you’re planning ahead use clorox in a spray-bottle).

First lay your t-shirt face up in the bath tub and give it a quick spray (with the bleach) all over; make sure to get some larger drops as well.

Turn the t-shirt over and spray the back in the same fashion.

If you’re dipping it to give it a fade.. pour the bleach into a bucket, dip and hang on the shower curtain to dry.

It will take an hour or so to dry and fully change color but you should see it begin to change immediately.

Viola!
Now feel free to leave it this way or dye it but make sure you do wash it before wearing it!
Try this on other shirts, jeans and jean shorts for an 80s flashback look.


The damage.


Thanks to The Ragged Priest.

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