Working on an arts and craft project puts me in a happy state of mind. During the virus crisis, a pleasant distraction is especially needed to relieve stress, boredom and to help fill the hours of being homebound.
Regular followers know I am a maker. I enjoy the creative process, crafting with all types of materials, and the sense of fulfilment when completing a project.
Today’s post is a cross section of some of the many and varied projects I’ve shared. All were built around a theme — whether its a holiday, season, or special occasion.
Some projects are more assembly than crafting, and require no special artistic ability or skill. Many are full-blown tutorials with step-by-step, illustrated instructions and helpful tips. Others reference earlier posts for technique details.
Perhaps you could use this time to work on projects for an upcoming celebration or party? Or, how about making a birthday, housewarming, graduation, new baby or wedding card or gift? And, there’s always that holiday or seasonal decoration there was never time for before. Think of it as art therapy!
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Trying Something New
To start things off, I’m sharing peeks of my initial amateurish paintings. Practicing what I preach, and hoping you’ll also be inspired to try something new.
I’d been wanting to take a formal art class for a long time. Decades! Last month, I completed a six-week Beginner Acrylic Painting course offered through Osher.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes offer noncredit courses with no assignments or grades to adults over age 50. Programs are offered at 120 universities and colleges throughout the United States. Maybe there’s one in your hometown? Here in Pittsburgh, we are fortunate to have two programs through Carnegie Mellon and Pitt.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, all courses for the spring semester have been cancelled. But, I did learn the basics while working on three projects — seascape, mountain landscape, and floral still life. The first canvas was to recreate a painting by our instructor. There was a lot of technique to absorb over just two sessions per painting.
Although, I’m satisfied with the overall results, the paintings won’t be hanging on any walls for sure! And I won’t embarrass myself further by showing the others. My point is that there’s nothing to lose by trying something new.
Practice Painting Project
Even though I’m not able to continue classes, I had acquired canvases, brushes and acrylics to practice working with the media on my own. And, there’s lots of free online instruction available.
So, I’m working on a painting of my Sweet Scottie Dog. Many of you already know I “lost” Fibber at Christmastime.
I’ve got eight blank canvases, and decided to try painting animals. Part of that motivation came from being unable to continue volunteering at Animal Friends.
Can’t believe it was just two weeks ago when I was overseeing socialization for five puppies. Happily, they were all adopted after first being vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. The shelter is still in-taking and caring for dogs, cats and rabbits. But, all public activities and revenue-generating events are cancelled.
I’ll continue to painting while listening to music. But, Fibber still needs two to four more sessions of detail work. As hubby remarked, right now those hairy eyebrows look more like he’s wearing a toupee, lol!
Update: After several more sessions, I did finish the canvas.
Over the past two and a half years of blogging, I’ve shared about 50 or more projects. Today, I’m highlight those that are mostly seasonal. Order supplies online from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Michaels, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or other specialty craft outlets.
To date, I’ve posted over two dozen wreaths. They run the gamut of holidays, seasons, and themes. Although most were made on wire frames with deco mesh and decorative ribbons, others are assembled using grapevine or faux evergreen bases.
Update: Recently, I made and shared a Wine Cork Wreath Tutorial.
Mesh wreaths are relatively easy to make. I taught myself after viewing online tutorials. And grapevine wreaths are simple to assemble in a short period of time.
A bee and honey theme, for the first My Favorite Things Party, inspired my blog, Debbee’s Buzz. It was also the first time I made a mesh wreath. See the trio in Bee Wreaths and Skep Bee-autiful DIY Inspiration.
Demand for the crafted wreaths and party decorations grew, leading to me launching an Etsy shop.
What began as one ladybug wreath for my sister-in-law’s new home, became three! See Ladybug Wreath Bridges Seasons and DIY Wreath Welcomes Spring.
Fun way to incorporate a teacup include, a Fanciful Wonderland or Roses and Teacup Grapevine Wreath.
Another way to use vintage china is, How to Make a Floating Teacup Centerpiece.
For something a bit different, you might enjoy Charming Watering Can or Moss Bunny Wreath with Basket.
Two very popular looks for summer are sailboat and watermelon theme wreaths. Both designs include a “wow” central element.
Sistah B hangs her DIY Anchors Aweigh Sailboat Wreath across three seasons in her Charleston area home.
While eldest son only displays his Smooth Sailing Wreath during the summer months.
My personal favorite is the Don’t Bug Me Garden Wreath. In addition to the cute sign, everyone loves the watermelon print ribbon.
And, for the Fourth of July, how about this flag-filled tin bucket, or charming Uncle Sam Wreath?
Wreath Project for All Seasons
I’m amazed by the variety of holiday wreath-making supplies available year round online. So, it might be possible to make the Halloween or Christmas wreath of your dreams right now — or at least start on it.
Update: That’s how I was able to make my sister a Sunken Shipwreck Pirate Wreath over the summer for Halloween.
Check out Project, Wreaths for many fall and winter season and holiday ideas too.
Many of the items I’ve crafted were for the annual, theme-based My Favorite Things Parties. That included homemade invitations.
Cards & Invitations
You could use the same techniques to create a one-of-a-kind birthday, graduation or other special occasion card. Or, make multiples for holidays like Christmas, or even wedding invitations.
Even if the date isn’t set for a party, you could work on the basic design, template and start making various elements, like envelopes.
Easiest and most widely applicable are the techniques used for the Bee Invitation with Vintage Images, and Pretty Peacock Invitation. Both were created using ready-made, wedding invitation kits.
More complex is the DIY Alice in Wonderland Invitation — although I do provide very detailed instructions.
Other craft projects you can get started on now are planning, purchasing and making party favors.
In Bee Party Gifts, Favors and Games, I shared multiple projects. It would be easy to apply the bee theme to a birthday party, or baby and bridal shower.
Other popular themes for bridal showers and weddings, include Peacock Party Favors and Terrific Tiffany Gifts.
Party Decor & Gifts
To decorate the Absolutely Mad Tea Party, I made Wonderland Dolls. They were a combination sewing and crafting project, using ready-made muslin bodies.
How about making a diaper cake for a baby shower decoration, centerpiece(s), or gift for the mom-to-be? They can be made to complement any party or nursery theme.
If a gift, incorporate items from the baby registry as I did in How to Make a Diaper Cake, Elephant Topper.
For my niece’s wedding, I Hand Painted Champagne Flutes to match their unique cake topper.
Wouldn’t these Tiffany Theme Party Favors and Gifts be great for a bridal shower or birthday celebration?
For St. Patrick’s Day, I painted shamrocks on pilsner glasses as quick and easy gifts. Learn how to make simple to more complicated designs in DIY Hand Painted Glasses.
And, how about some party hats to top off any occasion?
How to Make a Mad Hatter Fascinator can use any color or print fabric. Embellish to your liking.
Or, learn How to Make Whimsical Teacup Fascinators.
Busy as a Bee
While continuing to paint, I’m also thinking of trying another new project or two. Maybe something like crocheting little stuffed animals, or appliqueing a Christmas tree skirt.
Update: During the summer I also made an Adorable Crochet Zebra .
What are you doing to keep busy?
P.S. If you didn’t find a project here to motivate you, visit one or more of the weekly parties below. Many include blogger craft and DIY posts on subjects from a through Z! There’s everything from refinishing or reupholstering furniture, to knitting a sweater.
I regularly participate in: Metamorphous Monday, Turn About Tuesday, Centerpiece Wednesday, Whimsical Home Projects, In Link Party, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Crafty Creators, Fabulous Friday, Saturday Sparks, Happiness is Homemade, and Love Your Creativity.
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Such a creative lady. You have to wonder how many animals will be given up because so many have just become unemployed. Anyone want to be a foster parent ?
I was thinking about you today. Somewhere, maybe at a rummage sale, I picked up a “Bee’s tees” t-shirt. Cute logo. Come from you ?
Everyone bee busy and bee safe
Gee thanks Myrna! I get nearly daily emails from the shelter on what’s going on there. They’ve opened up space for more pets that may be relinquished or abandoned. Some volunteers and staff are also foster parenting. Of course adoptions have all but stopped. But the dogs are still getting walked 4 times daily.
Deebee, do you think people would be willing to donate pet food so pets can stay in their homes as long as possible ? Or pet food companies ? Here Meals on Wheels will also bring pet food. I am having a hard time finding cat litter on these bare shelves. Thanks for doing your part.
Where I volunteer it happens year round, and we partner with Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to provide pet food etc. Rachael Ray’s dog food company sponsors/donates food for our shelter animals.
As an only child—and having an artist’s heart…I have never been bored in my life. Idle hands (mind) are the devil’s workshop—lol, this was drummed into me quickly. If I whined even a little, someone found some detestable job for me to do…for all those with kid’s at home. This is a great way to get the ‘boreds’ out of the conversation! Craft on—some great ideas here!
So Sandi, what are you working on right now — or planning to do?
Oh, my, I’m always busy, Today I planted 120 containers of vegetables with labels, in the greenhouse.
I’m replacing my foam core walls on the Doll Grand Hotel with wood…which means everything has to be repainted, and all the windows/doors need to have trim around them to hold them on. After that is done, I need to redo my inventory for my Etsy shop—and start listing some new items. Wistfully, I look at my paint supplies, and hope to get back to that soon.
Never a dull moment, ever! Hugs and some great projects you have going, love the little scottie/terrier pic…so cute!
Wow Sandi, you are busy! That’s a lot of veggies! Between your doll house project and Etsy shop when will you sleep lol?
What lovely ideas! It is always good to try lots of different techniques and crafts. Love your wreaths!
Thank you Jo! I love making wreaths, but now have multiple for every season and holiday. So, I’ve been making a few as gifts, like DIY Sunken Shipwreck Pirate Wreath for my sister. And, I’ve taken up crocheting again with, Adorable Crochet Zebra Makes Sweet Homemade Gift — after a 40 year hiatus!
Your paintings turned out great! I haven’t painted on canvas in so long and I keep saying it’s something I will come back to one day but rarely think to actually attempt.
You’re very kind Joanne! I haven’t painted on canvas since middle school! And, never used acrylics before, so taking the class helped. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, it’s now mostly self taught. But, there are a lot of resources available online. Another artistic endeavor (after 40 years!) was taking up, Adorable Crochet Zebra Makes Sweet Homemade Gift.
Debbee, I’ve never painted on canvas – I think 🙁
Right now my mind is a bit in a muddle.
What I do remember is wanting to learn how to paint!
Thanks for sharing your artistic talents on the Friday with Friends link party.
I was a bit intimidated to start after so many years. Being in a class really helped to have the guidance and all the materials available. Can’t wait to be able to take classes again.