Monday, April 15, 2013

Pong Table

Every college student needs a beer pong table.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting binge drinking or alcoholism in your glory years, but it can be a social game played with any kind of drink and the competition is always fun.  Besides what is a beer pong table anyway? A long narrow table, aka a bar.  And plenty of adults have bars in their home and it's considered classy. 

I've seen college students take doors off their hinges, set it on a table, and call it a beer pong table.  I've seen people buy "official" beer pong tables from places like Spencer's.  I've even seen people use fold up tables and spray paint a cool design on them.  But mine is the coolest by far ;)
To be perfectly honest this post is mostly for me to brag about the creation I'm most proud of. Unfortunately I don't have any easy step by step instructions to help you make your own table, but I can give you a very basic outline of the steps I took in order to create my masterpiece.

People always ask me how long it took me to make this; it took me a year.  But before you get scared off most of that time I spent collecting bottle caps.  It may not look like much, but there are easily over 600 caps here.  So get on top of that as soon as possible.  And please, don't drink 600 beers (or soda for that matter).  Ask local bars if they'll collect some for you, ask friends, ask family, ask anyone that you think can lend you a hand with this enormous task.

I originally had made plans to cover the entire table in bottle caps but got pretty fed up after saving them for a year and decided to improvise.  The signs laid down the center of the table are cut outs from beer boxes with the exception of the Blue Moon and the Coca Cola tin signs.  I had those two previously from an online purchase and a visit to the Coors brewery (so much fun by the way, if you have the chance, take a tour!).

Basically I have a really handy friend who likes to build things.  I told him what I wanted and took him on a trip to Home Depot.  He pick everything out that he needed and I swiped my card.  It probably took him 3 days to build the table and then he left the rest to me.  I used tacky glue to make the caps and cardboard signs stick to the table (however the tin signs required a few screws).  After that I nailed in the wood boarder around the table who's lip rises up 1 inch past the surface of the table.  I then went to Lowe's and purchased two thin acrylic sheets and lots of translucent bathroom cocking.  I laid the two acrylic sheets down on the table and sealed them together at the seam with the cocking.  After that dried, I sealed the perimeter of the acrylic sheet to the wood boarder.  After three days of letting it dry my pong table's surface was air tight (and therefore water tight).  Super easy to clean up after and keeps the decoration underneath the sheet perfectly in tact.

The rest was simple.  I again went to Home Depot and purchased a wood stain I liked best (I chose a dark reddish brown stain) and painted the legs.  However, the boarder I painted with red acrylic paint I picked up from Michael's for a nice accent that really brings out the red bottle caps and the Coca Cola sign.

This is by far and away the coolest and most time consuming project I have ever worked on.  It is also the most rewarding.  Its a conversation starter at every party and a beautiful table I plan on using forever.

Good luck on your own!

~Crafty Girl~

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Decor for Shared Space

Got roommates?

Sharing a communal living room can be difficult in terms of how to decorate it.  You want the living space to be a reflection of your tastes and style, but don't want to step on each other's toes and overpower one another.  Otherwise the space won't feel so communal anymore and someone will feel like a stranger at home.

Here are a couple crafts to decorate the shared space equally and still have your own personal ties to the decor (plus if you do these crafts together it can be a roommate bonding craft too).

This first technique is my favorite, I call it "Typewriter".

We had this groovy old school couch and wanted hang a painting above it to match the colors in the couch.  As you can imagine, the style and colors in the couch were so out of date it was hard to find an affordable decoration to match it on a college kid budget.  So, being the crafty girls we are, we decided to make something instead.

We decided that each of us would decorate our own small square canvas with the first letter of our name.  So we all took a trip to Michael's and picked up matching canvases and 4 colors we thought would best match our couch.  After that we spent time on the computer making a Word document with our letter in all different fonts and sizes.  If you don't have enough variety of interesting fonts I suggest going to  I always find the most interesting fonts there and you can download them to your computer for free.

After collecting all the letters you need, print out the sheet and cut out the letters.  You can then arrange them on your canvas varying their placement and direction.  Once you've laid out the letters in their final position, trace the letters onto the canvas with a pencil.  After that all that's left to do is paint in your letters.  However before painting, plan out what color each letter will be.  You don't want to end up with three letters of the same color clustered in one corner or they won't stand out from afar.

The credit for this second craft goes to my roommate.

My roommate is in a sorority and one of many gifts the sisters give to one another is decorated paddles.  I was rather jealous of my roommate last spring while she was decorating a paddle for one of her sisters.  It just seemed like so much fun! And afterwards you get to keep something cute with your name on it that someone who cared made for you.  So we decided that being roommates qualified us to have our own "sisterhood" and adopted the craft for a gift between our roommates. 

There are no rules to decorating paddles (which is what makes it so fun) except that you usually put the name of the person it belongs to on it.  We used scrapbook card stock on the face of the paddle and decorated it with scrapbook letters, flowers, glitter clothes pins, and paint.  We decided goal of this craft was to decorate the paddle in a way that reflects the style or personality of the person you're giving it to.  In the end they turned out rather well and they were fun to make together.

I think the best part about decorating paddles is the thought and detail that go into making them.  For example, the paddle on the far left has two clothes pins which you can hang pictures with (as shown) or any other memorabilia.  The paddle on the far right has green paint on it which glows in the dark, hence the subtitle "Chlo Glow".

Have fun and make them your own!

~Crafty Girl~

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Melting Crayons

Fellow Pinners! We've all seen those cool canvases with the melted crayons but rarely is there a testimonial on whether the pin actually works or not, or even instructions on "how to".  I found this extremely frustrating so I decided to wing it and see if it worked out.  And it did!  It's much easier to do than I thought it would've been, but it also required a lot more crayons than I had previously expected.

First thing I did was paint the whole canvas black.  I then bought a pack of crayons, I think for this specific canvas I bought a 30 pack of crayons from Michael's.  However, if your plan is to only use different values of one color range (for something like flower stems) you may have to purchase more than one pack of crayons.  Once I had my crayons I lined them up in the order I wanted them, but even with all the crayons I had purchased it only reached half way across the canvas.  Since I was planning on only melting my crayons half way down my canvas I figured I probably didn't need a whole crayon for each line of "rain", so I broke them in half which doubled the length of the line I had already created.  This made my line of crayons stretch all the way across the top of the canvas.

Now that my crayons were all lined up I taped them together with masking tape.  This can be kind of tricky if tape gets stuck to your fingers as much as it gets stuck to mine.  It's frustrating, but you can persevere through it!

Once I had my crayons taped together I figured I was ready to pull out my hairdryer and start melting the crayons but this was not the case.  I didn't have any structure to support my crayons while I melted them.  So I used the cardboard holders inside the crayon box to support my line of crayons.

<---------------Just line these four cardboard crayons holders up and tape them to the back of the line of crayons.  This way the cardboard holders will rest on the edge of the canvas while the end of the crayon hangs just over the edge of the top of the canvas.

After that you just have to be patient and use a hairdryer to heat up the crayons.  I suppose on a hot sunny day you might be able to just leave it outside and let the sun do all the work, but you won't be able to control the lengths of the melting crayon like I was able to with the hairdryer.  However, when using the hairdryer you may want to melt the crayons at intervals.  It can take a while and my hairdryer started to get pretty warm in my hands.  I didn't want it to overheat, so I had to stop every once in a while and give it a break. 

Once the crayon meltings had dried all that was left was to put the two figures and the umbrella at the bottom of the canvas.  I found their silhouette online, printed it, cut them out, and mod podged them onto the canvas.  As long as you use regular printer paper you shouldn't have a problem with bubbles showing up when it dries.

And just like that you're done! Good luck with your own crayon melting!

~Crafty Girl~

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Posters? Psh, please!

As a college student I cannot afford extravagant and expensive decorations.  Poster companies know this and prey upon college students with their dirt cheap prices.  There are funny posters, sexy posters, drinking game posters, scenic posters, band posters, zombie apocalypse escape plan name it, they got it.  You can find them online and order it with a small additional shipping fee or you can find a multitude of them at your student associated bookstore.

But posters can go only so far.  If you collect too many of them in your home they just seem to be one step above wallpaper.  I can't eliminate all the posters in my home, some are just too good to toss, but I can change some of them to make my home less uniform.

Instead of buying my favorite bands' posters I traced and painted their album covers and artwork onto a canvas.  This gives the room some 3D art instead of posters flat against the wall.  The hanging canvases are also slightly more elegant than posters while providing the same artwork.  This can work with any kind of artwork though. I chose to paint my favorite bands on my canvases but the concept can work with anything.

Also: If you feel you are not as artistically inclined you can use mod podge to paste a poster you already own to the canvas.  However, this can sometime prove to be problematic.  The times I've tried to do this I usually end up with bubbles and the poster never dries completely flat against the canvas.

~Crafty Girl~

Tired of the Picture Frames

Tired of the picture frames? Me too! This post displays all the different ways I've decorated my home with photos of friends, family, and good times without picture frames.  Most are fairly simple and you can figure out how to do it yourself simply by looking at the pictures I've posted.

But before I share them I must sing the high praises of my favorite tool in the world: Scotch Mounting Tape.  I've used this tape for about 70% of all the crafts I have ever done.  It's sturdy, it's strong, it's long lasting, and as long as you take your time peeling it off the paint on your walls will stay in tact.  I highly recommend you purchasing some, and I used it for all of the picture hanging techniques you will see below.  I love this stuff!

Technique #1
This is one of my favorites.  Picture frames always seem to dull down the picture or make it more serious than it should be, and while scrapbooks are more appropriate for silly pictures and silly memories, I never seem to flip through them as much as I'd like to.  This is a way to keep the light hearted emotion with the pictures but display them on your wall.  Using card stock paper I cut out a heart and taped it to the wall (using that scotch mounting tape I was talking about earlier).  Each 4x6 photo I printed I mounted to a piece of black card stock with a 1cm boarder around the edges to polish them off.  I also purchased a roll of pink ribbon from Michael's and cut it at various lengths.  Tape one end of the ribbon to the back of the photo, tape the other end behind the heart, mount the photo to the wall (again with the mounting tape) and voila! You have a photo collage centered around a heart.

Technique #2
Personally, I don't like to leave too much white space on my walls.  This is a great way to display more photos over an archway.  I am particularly proud of this technique because my inspiration for it came from a product I saw at target for $30, and what I made cost next to nothing! I love a good bargain!

I found a silhouette of a bird online and printed it out.  After cutting it out I traced that image onto an empty cereal box twice.  I then cut out both of the birds and painted them with black paint.  I measured a piece of yarn to the length I wished to hang my pictures and taped both ends of the yarn to the two different birds.  I then used the scotch mounting tape (again) to mount the birds to the wall.  The miniature clothespins I used to hang the photos are also from Michael's and can be found in the scrapbook section.  I had them on hand so I can't think of the top of my head how much they cost but it shouldn't be too much.

Technique #3
Want a cork board to collage your photos but can't stand how plain it can be sometimes?  Get cork squares! They come 4 to a pack and can be found practically anywhere.  I got these from Target.  If you're like me though the cork squares are not enough, it still needs more flair.  I looked up embellishments and other types of designs on the internet until I was inspired to create this flower and meandering vine.  I took another trip to Michael's and picked up some green poster board.  I free handed the design and cut it out.  I stuck the vine to the wall with the Scotch Mounting Tape.  Afterwards I cut out the blue flower and black leaves and mounted those on top of those vines.  Ta-da! Easy to post photos and other notes on the cork board but way cuter and more interesting than a few blocks of brown cork on a wall.

~Crafty Girl~