Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nesting already??

Dear Elliot,
I have never been what you'd consider a 'house wife' type. I don't like to cook, I don't like to clean, and I don't really care about things like home decor or hosting dinner parties. But that seems to be changing. It started happening right at the end with Stevie, but with you, my so-called 'nesting' tendencies are already here and in full-swing.

Perfect example: last night Dad and his friend Dan were hanging out, watching movies at our place, when I decided I wanted to bake cookies for all of us. So I did. Now there are three very unusual things about this. 1) I wanted to bake cookies, 2) I didn't ruin said cookies*, and 3) When the cookies were done, I served Dad and Dan a plate of cookies each, with a glass of cold milk on the side (believe me, this might be the first time in my life I've ever served anyone anything without being asked!)

Awesome cake batter pudding cookie recipe can be found here

I also spent about an hour vacuuming and spot-cleaning the stairs in our house yesterday. That sentence alone is probably enough to convince anyone that knows me that something strange is definitely going on.

I don't know if crafting counts as a symptom of nesting, but that's really all I want to do, all the time. Make things. Get my hands messy. Be creative. I promise this isn't going to turn into a crafting blog, but I thought I'd share a couple projects I did this weekend, both using 4X4 $.016 tiles I picked up at Home Depot. 

The first project I tackled was making photo coasters. I figured if they turned out alright, they would make perfect (and super cheap!) Christmas gifts for just about everyone I know. I decided to make the first set for our friends from Australia, Dannii and Eben (if you're reading this, Dannii, sorry for ruining the surprise!)

I basically just printed the photos I wanted onto tissue paper (I'll explain how to do that in a sec), modge podged the pictures to the tiles, added a couple coats of clear finishing spray, and used some spray adhesive to attach felt squares to the backs. Then I stacked them up, tied them all together with twine, and added a little fabric rosette to make the package extra pretty:

I was so happy with how these turned out, I decided to use the same concept to make a name plaque for your nursery:

The first thing I did was go outside, use twigs and branches from my front yard to spell out the letters of your name, and take pictures of them:

Then I got on my laptop and turned the pictures black and white, and then printed them on white tissue paper (just the normal gift wrapping-type stuff you get at Target). It took a lot of trial and error, but what ended up working pretty well was to tape the tissue paper onto regular copy paper before sending it through the printer. It would probably work even better to use card stock, but I didn't have any and the normal weight did just fine. Once I had my pictures printed out, I placed a tile over each one and marked where I needed to cut to make the letter centered (you could also just crop your photos to the exact size of the tiles before printing, but I was too lazy for that!):

Next, I applied a thin coat of modge podge (actually, I used something called 'collage podge' because my local craft store didn't carry the real stuff, lame!) over each entire tile:

Then carefully placed the tissue paper photos as close to centered as possible, and carefully smoothed them down and rubbed out any air bubbles. Once all the photos had been placed on the tiles, I let them dry for about 30 minutes:

I decided I wanted a slightly 'weathered' look, so I took my finger nail and scraped up the corners of each photo a bit:

Then I applied two coats of modge podge on top of each tile. You can't tell very well in this picture, but the tissue paper kind of soaks up the modge podge, giving the photos a darker look:

I didn't want to hang the letter tiles directly on the wall, so I went looking for a piece of wood to attach them to. I ended up finding the perfect piece in the scrap wood box at Home Depot for $.055. I hammered in some little nails where I wanted to hang the tiles from:

Then I used a hot glue gun to attach twine loops to the backs of the tiles:

I hung the tiles on the nails, and viola! A unique piece of nursery art that cost a total of $1.19 (not counting the modge podge, paper, nails, and twine I already had at home). I'm really happy with how it turned out and think it's going to look just perfect hanging in your tree-themed room :)

When I bought the tiles, I got a box of 80 (because it was only like $11!), so I'll be looking for other ways of using them; if anyone out there has any ideas, let me know!

Well, I've got a blanket to finish crocheting tonight, so I've gotta run :)

Talk to you (and see you soon!), baby boy. 

Love you lots,

*I didn't ruin the cookies, but after we all noticed they had a strangely spicy aftertaste, I realized I hadn't completely gotten rid of all the cayanne pepper left on the baking sheet from the butternut squash fries I had made for lunch earlier that day, whoops. So close though!


Brie said...

You could start an etsy shop selling sets of tile coasters with your unique photo prints...kills two birds with one stone-you get to craft and make money(: very cute!

Stacy said...

so artsy! (if that's a word) love them!

car said...

Awesome projects, they look great. If only I could get close enough to a printer to do something like that, I think it would be great for Thing3's room. (You can't post something that good an expect us not to steal you idea.) Nesting can take many forms, I don't clean, I bake too.

Ausmerican Housewife said...

Very cute nursery idea!

Yes, being overtly crafty is a nesting symptom in my book. I had an awesome idea for a mobile to hang over Evan's changing table. (You hang the mobile over baby's changing area, not their bed so baby associates bed with sleep, not play.)

I have an octopus hanger from ikea ( that I was going to hang from the ceiling. I was going to attach sea critter finger puppets (that ikea doesn't have any more) with string to each of the clippy arms at varying lengths. Then I was going to attach pictures of family members to critter cutouts when he got older so he'd have some smiling faces to smile back at.

I'm still on the hunt for sea critter finger puppets for when the next baby decides to arrive...

Hope's Mama said...

That is very cool!

AnotherDreamer said...

That's really cute :) I agree with a previous commenter about Etsy, you could totally do that!

Natasha said...

Those photo tiles are so cute Kristen! Loving all your crafts mama!

Crystal said...

I love the tiles... so cute!!

Erin said...

Your tiles look great. SO CUTE! If you are looking for suggestions on how to use others, get Elliot's hand and foot prints on two of your tiles when he's born!

Anonymous said...

Next time you just make modge podge :) Use equal amounts of water and glue (such as Elmer's) Then shake, shake, shake...and LABEL husband tried to put it on a sandwich once!! It works perfectly everytime!


Kristin P said...

I love the natural spelling and tile decoration. It is beautiful!

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