Tag Archives: frugal creative ideas

Low Cost Idea- Spray Your Way To Improvement

5 Mar

Club Creative Studio blog

Club Creative Studio loves to share creative low-cost ideas on Two-Cent Tuesday.  Today, the blog has a focus on an inexpensive project that will improve or change your world with the use of spray paint.

If you want a dramatic look in lighting, consider spray-painting your fixture black.  I recently took this photo of a beautiful crystal chandelier at The Union League in Philadelphia.  I thought while admiring it that this look could be replicated easily and cheaply with black spray paint.  If however, you have a metal light fixture or anything made from galvanized steel, there are considerations for paints.  Galvanized steel is a metal for example that is difficult to paint.  So, knowing the material you are working with first and foremost is important so that you are not wasting your time or money in your creative process. Check the can labels to recognize the best spray can type for your projects.

Getting back to Galvanized steel for example, that material cannot be painted with normal alkyd-based paints, which almost all spray paints are based. It is suggested that if there is any “alkyd…” don’t even think about using it on your steel project.  Looking on the aisle shelf, the brand “Rust-o-leum” does put on the back of their spray paint cans a warning not to use their spray paint on galvanized steel.  However, beware that most spray paint companies do not include this warning.

So what makes that metal so difficult? It is steel that has a zinc coating to increase the steels corrosion (rust) resistance.  It’s “hot-dip galvanization” is a process that makes it similar to steel with large visible grains. Using spray paint to other materials is not as difficult to choose.

Need ideas on what to spray in your home for a new creative twist? How about these suggestions: cabinet knobs and other fixture handles, frames for photos or mirrors, light switch plates, file cabinets or storage furniture, light fixtures, lamps, chandeliers, candle holders, appliances, radiators, steam risers, and even plastic, wood, wicker, and metal furniture.

A pro of using spray paint over brush application paints is that spray paint creates a smooth surface as opposed to brushing on paint. Faux textures like stone and granite as well as unique finishes like a clear coating and metallic are available for your experimentation. Suggested tips for great results are on all can labels.  You may need to gain extra supplies and endure additional steps besides a quick spray. Primer, sanding, or wire-brushing may be needed, depending on the object and the paint. So while this process can be low-cost, it does have a small percentage of cost associated with it depending on the size of your project and the type of spray paint you require.

No matter if you are making a cosmetic change or improving a home item like a flaking barbecue grill, spray paint is a great option to a quick change or improvement. Using spray paint for an improvement is a low-cost idea that can help in a creative improvement solution.  Let us know if you have used spray paint in a recent project. Taking a before and after photograph can be helpful to appreciate how far a project has come.
                              
                              
                           
                         

Learn How Jewelry Can Make Your Life Better

28 Feb

standard storage box for jewelry. Do you have something like this?

standard storage box for jewelry. Do you have something like this?

Club Creative Studio enjoys sharing creative knowledge that you can use or pass along. In today’s TNT (This-N-That) blog post, you can look no further than the jewelry box on your dresser for the answer to a better life.  Well…sort of. Here is a question: How can your jewelry make your life better?

At first glance of our jewelry hidden within the standard storage box designated the “jewelry box”, you may seem frustrated at disorganization.  Maybe your container is too small for your collection, maybe the dividing spaces are not adequate to separate or display the jewelry you own. Another problem with your storage may be your actual items you are holding on to.  Do you have lost or broken jewelry sections, tangled chains, or out of fashion creations? 

It may seem difficult to appreciate knowing that life can be made better by simply displaying your jewelry in healthier ways. You can be quite innovative in how you do this. In this respect, your jewelry has a link to making your life better.  Your life can be more orderly and your possessions more valued if you have a means to care for the jewelry you own using proper storage. After all, was not this the thinking methodology of “Santa” who gifted you the pink ballerina musical box for your plastic necklace?

Did you own a wind up musical ballerina jewelry box?

Did you own a wind up musical ballerina jewelry box?

 I really should practice what I am preaching here. I personally have a mixture of ways that I refer to as my “jewelry organization”.  Some of my fine gems are stored in their original boxes and placed in a safe.  Other jewelry items that I own are displayed on hooks, smaller elements are placed in a traditional jewelry box and yet other creations are organized in small, clear, stackable bins with handles that are easily ready to view when I have to travel, or relocate.

No matter if you store in a standard table top box, in free-standing legged armoires, in a closet organizer pouch, or on some type of rack, caring for your jewelry and having access to it easily is the key to experiencing storage happiness with your jewelry.

To properly store for in-home, short-term, I suggest using a hooked display rack, ladder-type or screen-hole system with holes for earrings, box or plate that is placed in a room where you have an adequate landing spot to return to again and again. Being able to quickly see and review your jewelry choices is important for the items that you wear most often. If you make a habit of returning and neatly replacing jewelry in the same spot your life will be better as you will not waste time finding what you need. Your treasures will not be lost and they will last longer from the tender loving care and respect. A great “go-to” spot will serve you well in jewelry organization.

Found at: overstock.com for something like $130. Found at: overstock.com for something like $130.

There is a wonderful product I learned about from a home shopping show that seems to be every girl’s dream jewelry case. It was a rectangular box that opened up on one hinged side and attached to the back of any door.  It was framed out and had a mirror on the front.  How wonderful is that? Fun and function…I LOVE IT! This type of jewelry storage unit could be considered both temporary and permanent because of its size and depending on the location you place it.  It was designed with many specific compartments. The areas had distinct places for bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, even scarves and belts. It had a secure hanging device that was over-the-door, so no nails were required for its installation.

So, with these few helpful tips in mind, maybe you can make your life better by making a special place for your jewelry. Happy shopping and organizing.  Be sure to stop by the blog again for creative information you can learn and share. We’d love to hear your conventional and non-traditional methods for storing your jewelry because you never know who may need the suggestions and help.  Thank you.

Pretty Pouch Recycled Item

9 Jan

STOP! Think twice before you discard that juice pouch.

STOP! Think twice before you discard that juice pouch.

It’s always good to recycle.  Our carbon footprints are being tracked more than ever before.

If you have young children, grandchildren or you like acting like a child yourself…by drinking from a juice pouch you know that those containers can quickly add up in your trash piles.  What to do, what to do?  Well, I can tell you what to do with them.  Be creative!

If you have not seen hand-made containers made from juice pouches and juice boxes, you are missing out on a creative find.  It’s the innovative mind with the desire to be green that sparked a craze that is fun and functional. I have seen bags, purses, coin purses and other woven and stitched creations originating from the use of this recycled container.  Make sure that you wash and dry your pouch. The best type needle to use may be the upholstery type. If you are hand-stitching, you may want to pierce the initial holes you will need by dragging a hole punch along to pre-drill (so to speak) your indention for the needle and thread or yarn or ribbon. Ask your fabric shop to suggest the best strength for the material and your machine.  If hand sewing this project, use a stitch that doubles for strength. Perhaps a serger would be the fastest way to secure and create this project. To wash later, wipe with a damp cloth. It can serve you just as material fabric would only it is a bit more stiff, even with wear. And speaking of “wear”. Would you like to create clothing from juice pouches and wear your art?

Feeling empowered to sew something a bit more intense?

Feeling empowered to sew something a bit more intense?  I am not sure where to credit this photo from but, it serves as a great inspiration for illustration to create with pouches.

While researching this project,  I found that many are out for a profit to sell you their patterns, techniques tips and product.  I did find a young lady who I felt did a good job being concise and who has made her own instructional video. She has supplied the information for free via YouTube.  Who doesn’t like free? Starting out simple, create a pouch first.

Let’s find out how we can create our own pretty recycled pouch!

Today, I highlight Sarah Buckhouse who may someday make a great art teacher (in my opinion). This is her lesson. Are you inspired to drink juice or sew?  Maybe this post has inspired you to do both? Enjoy learning from this video, and good luck creating from your trash. I’d love a purse with the scent of grapes or fruit punch wouldn’t you?

Stick Art: Expressive and Low-Cost

8 Jan

Wonderful low-cost art.

Wonderful low-cost art.

Welcome to the Club Creative Studio Two-Cent Tuesday post.  Today I will feature a few ideas I learned about via Pinterest using a low-cost supplies.

Each of the projects that I will highlight today are made from painted wooden pop sickle sticks.  The first one is a framed creation with same sized sticks, the second project includes a variety of stick sizes and additional wooden cut-out shapes.  Both involve paints and the use of a glue gun for quick results.

Framed Art Project

The first project was made by a group of second graders. Their art project was presented as a school class auction item.  Usually for this type of event, each class in a school collaborates and makes an item that is creative and interesting and it is auctioned off  to raise funds. Each of the class supporter’s bidding can get pretty competitive in their price wars to raise funds and have a chance to own art.  I know that this would have certainly caught my eye!

I am awaiting information on the pinner of this photo and source to share the details of the story behind this pop sickle art. When and if it arrives I will edit this post.  In the meantime, I am guessing that acrylic paints were used and each child contributed a set amount of sticks to form this art. The source: Holly McGavin, posted that the sticks were attached to foam core and then framed out. What a colorful result from something that is a low-cost, easy and quick. I love this project idea.

This project idea has inspired my daughter to create her own art, using inspirational quotes on each of her sticks and painted in the same technique. I think this has no age boundaries, I am even thinking of creating like this too! I love that a simple frame makes this look more worthy of hanging.  If it is a done as a class I suggest that  on one side the design is painted and the other side the artist’s signature is added. This makes the piece even more personal. Each stick can be readily identified this way for later reference.

Snowflake Project

Found on the site called:  Call Me May this project is also easy to make with variety possibilities as well.  How fun it looks, when completed I suggest hanging on a door, wall or from the ceiling! Using a variety of stick sizes, your snowflake shapes can be created in many interesting shapes and diameters. These are obviously painted (or spray painted) in a tint but they would also look beautiful in white and decorated further with added embellishments like glitter for a glam/festive look or buttons and gears for a vintage feel.

Have fun with your imagination and create with love like these projects were. I love sharing information that is low-cost and appealing. If you live in an area where you have a winter season, the snowflake theme can be current right up until spring!  Please stop by this Club Creative Studio blog often as the creativity is endless.  You never know what will jump-start your creative juices. Let us know what you think about this project in the comment box below!

Creativity and Cardboard

7 Jan

Miltom Berle Quote on Opportunity

What a great quote to start off this blog from Club Creative Studio.  I welcome you to take a few minutes to watch this video and be inspired from a nine year old boy’s creativity.

If you have ever wanted inspiration to create and use low-cost materials then take a look at what this YouTube sensation video has to offer. You’ll witness simplicity of dreams from the eyes of a child, using his creativity and cardboard. It’s CREATIVITY at its best. Bringing tears to my eyes having heard about this a while ago and then again as I post today on the Club Creative Studio blog: I share this highlight, as I continue to watch the wheels turn and confidence grow in creative thoughts of a young boy, Caine. Be inspired! Be CREATIVE!

Enjoy.

New Year’s Tradition

1 Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We create our own decorative glasses and masks for the new year.

We create our own decorative glasses and masks for the new year.

We wish all of our visitors to this site a great start to the NEW YEAR! May it be a creative year full of happiness and good health.  This will be a quick post to share a tradition that my daughter and I take part in each New Year’s Eve. We don’t purchase pre-made decorative eye glasses…we MAKE THEM!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This year we made the year numbers a bit larger and placed a stick handle on the back to display as a mask.  Each year we get out the markers and decorate away! We don’t spend too much time on it or add any mixed medium supplies, it is merely a quick way to bond and share the new year together in a few pics with our creations in hand.

Happy New Year! We hope you celebrated in style!  Are you inspired to start your own tradition by doing the same thing next year?  Try it!

Bread-Making vs Bead-Making

28 Dec

Being creative in the kitchen can be fun.

Being creative in the kitchen can be fun.

Club Creative Studio is sharing creativity in a different way today. We’d like to encourage you to be creative in the kitchen.  If you are a natural at being comfortable with kitchen creativity, specifically baking great. If you find it challenging to stick to a recipe and create food in a step-by-step scientific matter, then open up your world and try something new…make bread! I can appreciate making bread now because of these comparisons: Making bread, like art takes time but, in the end it is valued for the time spent and the one-of-a-kind aspects of each creation. Each loaf of bread is unique unto itself, just like Club Creative Studio art is.

I made bread and it is just as time consuming as making beads!

I made bread and it is just as time-consuming as making beads, and just as great to enjoy in the end.

I don’t really know what prompted me to try to make bread. It may have been watching many food network shows in a row that gave me the confidence to want to try to be successful in the kitchen.  Normally, this is the last place that I want to be. I am most comfortable working with a different kind of material my “dough” is most commonly polymer clay, or glass not flour and yeast.

In comparison, however, my workspace supplies and the kitchen materials do have similarities. In fact, I have many stolen tools from my kitchen that I have transformed for use exclusive to clay. For example, the cutting board, pastry cutters, the sharp pick-like tool for cracking nuts, various mint molds and cookie cutters, pasta machine, toaster oven, mini-chopper, rolling-pin, empty spice containers, spice rack, bamboo sticks and empty tin cans are all now part of my studio tools because they are most used to benefit me there.

I can appreciate knowing that there is room for adjustments and experimentation in both settings.  There is an exact science to creating items out of polymer clay and glass, as well as bread-making techniques.  I am sharing ways today that one recipe can allow for experimentation.  Incorporating your own personality into your art and baking can be an important aspect to sharing your skills in a more expressive way.

Below is the basic recipe that I followed to make my loaf of wheat bread. What I found online was wonderful. The recipe was posted and then many others posted their comments and questions. Many shared how they made the recipe their own to fit their needs or just try out their different creative ideas with the recipe.  This was interesting to me to learn the various ways that people used ingredients to change the recipe to suit their specific tastes.  It made me realize even more that we are all individuals. We may all like bread as a common love, just as we may all like jewelry but, we also have our specific needs and taste, just as we have our individual taste in jewelry fashion and needs of specific styles.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread makes two loaves 1 lb whole wheat flour 12 oz hot water 8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour 1 5 oz can evaporated milk, 1/3 cup honey 2 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons instant yeast an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency.

Making bread is sort of like making beads...

Here is a close-up of my home-made bread. Making bread is sort of like making beads, both take time to create.

 http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/wholewheathoneybread

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour. Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes. During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

My home-made bread sliced and ready to enjoy.

My home-made bread sliced and ready to enjoy.

Here are a few things that people changed in the recipe to creatively make it their own:

~substitute milk for evaporated milk

~ add more water instead of milk

~ substitute soy milk for evaporated milk

~substitute dried whole milk powder

~add agave nectar instead of the honey

~add sugar to taste

~add molassas instead of honey

~add raisins, sun flower seeds, or oats

~reverse the flour measurements of wheat and white

~brush egg on top of bread to finish

~pour additional honey on top of dough to bake in

Let me know if you try the recipe out, adjust it, or make a different type of bread. I have learned that bread-making like bead-making takes time and patience, and the methods can be altered to express your own creativity. It was also well worth it to smell and taste a hand-made bread creation made from scratch, just as it is worth it to wear a hand-made beaded item. I will stick to bead-making for now as my “go-to” creative activity vice bread-making but, it won’t stop me from being creative in the kitchen when I have to be there.

To view more creative items made with beads (not bread), check out the evolving inventory of hand-made beaded items at: http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Christmas Crunch: Quick and Easy Project ll

18 Dec

Transform a plain wood item into a colorful item with a personal touch.

Transform a plain wood item into a colorful item with a personal touch.

Welcome to Club Creative Studio’s blog with the focus on creativity.  I am adding a few posts about using your creativity in a crunch-time situation. It is that time of year that many stress about the time that they do not have to be creative for the holidays.  Maybe it is a lack of innovation of gift-giving ideas, maybe it is the stress of the challenge to do something new and creative in decorating, baking, cooking or gift-giving or gift wrapping.  Whatever the creative challenge, here is another post for a suggestion to use your creativity in a quick and easy project.

It doesn’t take as long as you think it does to be creative with acrylic paints.  You can transform a wood item into a colorful work of original art with a bit of paint and patience.  While there is a time and a place to appreciate wood for its natural beauty, some items just lend themselves to adding paint to beautify a wooden item in a different way.

Today, I painted a wooden nut cracker home accessory and changed the appearance from plain to wild, crazy, festive and colorful.

It is easy to transform a wooden holiday accessory into a more decorative item.

It is easy to transform a wooden holiday accessory into a more decorative item.

The first step is to find an item or ornament made from wood that is smooth and ready to accept paint.  I applied a thin layer of gesso acrylic primer to my wooden nut cracker item.

I applied one layer of gesso to prime the surface.

I applied one layer of gesso to prime the surface.

Using acrylic paint, I applied my paint to the wood figure with ideas to make it a “non-traditional” looking item. I wanted my nut cracker to be bright and colorful, with pattern added after the larger areas were painted for a unique look.  When you see the finished product at the end of this post, I think you may agree that the mission was accomplished.

Painted item ready for the next step.  The next step is adding the details.

Painted item ready for the next step. The next step is adding the details.

I love defining areas and adding details with black as a sharp contrasting color.

To add detail to the finished painted portions, I used a black felt permanent marker to add my swirls and decorative detailed areas.  Adding pattern with my marker seemed to make this item even more fanciful and imaginative.  A light coating can be added as a final touch for gloss or a matt protective coating if desired.  I hope that if you challenge yourself to create a painted wooden project, you can be expressive and end up with a one-of-a-kind festive item.

My finished project! The details make a polished look in the completed art.

My finished project! The details make a polished look in the completed art.

Although I love creating in clay and glass creations like the hand-made art you find in the Club Creative Studio website (http://www.clubcreativestudio.com) I have another love for using paint, especially acrylic.  I love that this medium has an easy clean-up process and you can mix your own colors with ease.  The fast dry-time is also a plus for getting your project done if you feel the holiday crunch for time.

Suggestions For Your Socks

5 Dec

Club Creative Studio has a question for you: What is on your sock?  I am referring to your Christmas stocking that are traditionally hung by many from a fireplace mantel.  If you are one that does this year after year, I want to hear about how those socks are decorated. I also share ideas today as suggestions for your socks. What can you use and what have you used  to embellish them and make them your own decorative items for display?

Do you have stockings that are hand-made, heirloom pieces of fabric or store-bought?  Today in the Two Cent Tuesday post, I want to offer ideas that you can do inexpensively that will make those manufactured  dollar store-type Christmas stockings more personal and festive.

Christmas stocking ready to be decorated.

Christmas stocking ready to be decorated.

It may be as simple as having a glue gun and a bit of creativity.  You can use items that are “found items” around your home or purchase something specific to add to your stockings. To add personality and a personal identity to them, it is just a matter of being open to the creativity that you have within, and find a way to apply your ideas.

Let’s start with the most inexpensive ideas:

Hot glue items or use self adhesives to add buttons, rick-rack fabric, lace, ribbon, pom-pom, yarn, tassels, bows, cinnamon sticks, border trim, feathers, beads, charms, glitter, sequins, cotton balls or  faux fur.

Using unusual found items that convey personal interests may be interesting to attach with hot glue as well. Consider items such as crayons, pencils, photographs, theme scrapbook cut outs or stickers, silk flowers, cardboard initials,  bay leaves and whole cloves, small plastic toys, even coins.

To identify with name recognition, you can use fabric paint, fabric markers, small photos, initial charms, name tape, or decorative name tag.

Stepping it up a notch with these suggestions:

Moving on from glue to sewing techniques puts a different spin on the finished look.  Add higher quality textiles or fabrics. Adding a personal embroidery emblem, iron-on patch, rhinestone trim, actual photo frame and photo, quilted fabric sections,  personal theme ornament, or hand-made element in carved wood elevates the completed item.  The idea with stepping up the decorative element is the larger cost invested or better quality elements added, not necessarily the amount of decorative additions.

I have not included photos of improvements given to these stockings because, this is a project that my daughter and I will do together this year.  These are new stockings and they were bought because they are uniform in size, color and sweater-type texture for a more uniform theme this year.  Adding the personality will have a different feel this year, a more sophisticated theme.

So, let me know how you have personalized or made your holiday socks more special to display by adding decorative elements.  Did your creativity take hold in your project?

Puffy Paint Recipe

3 Oct

This will probably be the shortest post ever from Club Creative Studio.  In today’s TNT (This-N-That) post, I want to share a creative recipe for “puffy paint”.  The ingredients are from the kitchen. Before you gather your mixing supplies, take some time to also recycle and collect the containers you wish to place your “paint” in.

Take time to clean out your recycled containers for this project.

Any recycled plastic bottle that is also a squeeze-type container will work the best. Those plastics from items like emptied shampoo, dish soap, syrup, ketchup. mustard, honey, salad dressings and oil containers, will work fine, for example.  Take note of the variety of lid tips because this mixture will be thick yet you want it to flow easily out of the tip of the container you place the paint in.

Try it for a fun, different and inexpensive project.  It may be exactly what you are looking for in price, texture and technique.

Here is an example of how you can focus this technique on a fall decorative creation.

Try a simple, yet striking design like Elsie Larson’s idea from the site Beautiful Mess blog or a more complex design.

Puffy Paint Recipe:

1 Cup Salt

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Water

Food Coloring

Mix well, you really don’t want large lumps to form and you want it to flow out of your container tip. Have fun creating with this low-cost activity.

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