Paper Mache Jewelry Tray Tutorial

Hey!  It’s Missy from Missy Dear again!  For awhile now I’ve been wanting to try this project.  I’ve needed a little tray for my jewelry but hadn’t been able to find something I liked.

paper-mache-jewelry-tray-tutorial

I have an oval casserole dish that was the right shape, but it was too chunky and the sides were a little taller than I’d like.  So I thought, “Hey, I can just use that for a form and make my own.”  So that’s what I did. And I thought I’d make a great little paper mache jewelry tray tutorial for you all to join the fun :).

paper-mache-tray-supplies

First I gathered up my supplies:
-dish or other object to use as form
-white glue (I got mine at the Dollar store)
-strips of paper (computer paper will give it a little more strength and make it easier to paint than newspaper will)
-craft paint and brushes
-enamel clear coat spray
-plastic wrap (not pictured)

First things first, you need to lay a piece of plastic wrap in whatever you’re using as your form.  This will not only keep your project from permanently gluing itself to the dish, but it will also make getting it out way easier.  Now you’re ready to paper mache.

Paper mache tray process

If you’ve never done paper mache before it’s a fairly simple process.  You just coat the strip of paper in a mixture of the white glue and water (I dipped it into a bowl and squeezed off the excess with my fingers).  The paste I made was 3 parts glue to 1 part water.  Once the strip of paper is coated in the paste you just layer it into the dish.

One thing I did that I think really helped is that I alternated the way I laid the strips.  So on the first layer I did them horizontal to the long sides of the dish, on the next layer I did them vertical, and on the third layer I did them diagonal. I repeated each of those layers twice (for a total of 6 layers) then I let it sit for about 2 hours while I took my daughter to T-ball practice (for the record, a bunch of 5 yr olds playing t-ball is pretty adorable).  Once I was home I did about 10-15 more layers, alternating the direction of the strips with each layer.

Now the longest part of the process – the drying.

Paper Mache Tray drying steps

First I let it sit on the form for a few hours (a).  Then I took it out of the form and peeled the plastic wrap off the sides and let it dry for a few more hours (b).  Finally I took if off the plastic, flipped it upside down and “hung” it from some paint bottles to let it dry over night (c).

Here’s another tip I learned the hard way – use an even number of paint bottles.  I only had one on one side and two on the other so it dried with a little warp in it.  I had to leave it the whole next day with something heavy in it to try to get the warp to straighten out, which only helped a little.

Paper Mache Tray painting

This next step was the one that required the most brute force – trimming the sides.  In wanting the tray to be sturdy enough, I had used a lot of layers.  Which worked great, it is very strong.  However, I had the hardest time trimming it down.  I tried every pair of scissors in the house – including some wire cutters and a little hack saw.  I discovered that my kitchen shears worked the best, but left a pretty jagged edge.  Nothing a little sanding couldn’t fix.

Then just paint, let that dry, then spray with a clear coat.  I chose an enamel clear coat because I was going for that really high gloss look.

paper-mache-jewelry-tray-diy

And there you have it, a gorgeous little jewelry tray you made all by yourself.  Maybe now that all my jewelry is laid out where I can see it I might wear it more often.

What do you think?  Is it something you might want to make for yourself too?

paper-mache-tray-tutorial

Well, if you do make one remember to let me know about it!  I really would love to see it.  You can find me pretty much anywhere, but here are some handy dandy links just in case :)

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Sailor’s Knot Crochet Belt

Hello Topsy Turvy readers! I am so excited to have the opportunity to share crochet patterns with you each month! I blog over at Love City where I write about things that I love most (my boys, crochet, and motherhood). You can also learn more on my about me page!

For a while now, I have been wanting to share some crochet tutorials that focused on basic stitches. I want to help beginners learn each crochet stitch, pattern by pattern, gradually increasing in difficulty, until they feel like experts! My monthly contribution here on I’m Topsy Turvy seems like the perfect platform for such a series!

If you have been itching to learn crochet, but feel a little bit intimidated, these tutorials are made just for you! There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by intricate charts and symbols. We are going to make some fabulous projects, one stitch at a time!

For any of you crochet experts out there, never fear! These projects are going to be so fun and unique and I know that you will love them!

So let’s get started!

sailors-knot-crochet-belt

I am loving anything “nautical” right now, so I thought it would be fun to try out my knot tying skills with this sailor’s knot crochet belt!

sailors-knotted-belt

crochet-knotted-belt

Supplies you’ll need:

1 skein bulky or super bulky weight yarn

(I used Lion Brand’s Hometown USA in )

Size L crochet hook

Scissors

Large eye sewing needle

Measuring tape

Tape

With this belt, the only stitches you need to know are Chain and Single Crochet.

Chain (ch)- Fasten on with a slip stitch. Yarn over hook and pull through the loop that is on the hook. A chain stitch will create a long, continuous strand of interlocking loops.

Single Crochet (sc)- Place hook into stitch. Yarn over hook and pull back up through stitch. Yarn over hook again and pull hook through the two loops on the hook. One loop should remain on the hook when completed.

Abbreviations to know:

st- stitch

ch- chain

sc- single crochet

Make two:

1. With measuring tape, loosely measure your waist. Add 1/2 to 1 inch to that measurement.

2. Ch until strand matches your measurement from step 1 in length.

crochet-belt-free-pattern

3. Sc in 2nd ch from hook. Sc in each remaining st.

4. Fasten off, leaving a 5 inch tail.

crochet-belt-pattern

5. On a flat surface, take the end of each strand and tape them down. With one strand, tape the end with no tail. With the other strand, tape the end that has the 5 inch tail.

6. Create your sailor’s knot by following these simple steps:

sailors-knot-how-to

7. Attach the sewing needle to one 5 inch tail and sew to the corresponding tail on the other side (as shown in block 9 above). Do the same with the other two tails. Finish off and weave in loose ends!

8. Put on your belt and admire your handiwork!

sailors-knot-belt-pattern

If you’re a little stuck, and need more visual instruction on how to tie the sailor’s knot, I made a fun little instructional video for you! Stop by my blog, Love City, today and check it out! I’m also sharing a nautical themed embroidery hoop that sits so cutely in my kid’s bathroom!

I plan on wearing my belt over some of my favorite spring dresses! I’m already dreaming of a beach side, sunset stroll with my sunhat, cute belt, and dress flowing in the breeze.

How will you wear yours? What color will you choose?

More from Love City

crochet-wrap-sweater-pattern mary-jane-baby-bootie-tutorial braided-crochet-headband-tutorial

Wrap Sweater  |  Mary Jane Baby Booties  |  Braided Headband

Braided & Beaded Bracelet

How’s that for some awesome alliteration?

Hey there!  I’m Missy from Missy Dear and I’m so excited to be the craft contributor here at I’m Topsy Turvy!  I’ve long admired Ashlee and I’ve had such fun getting to know the other ladies a little over the last week or so.

Braided & Beaded Bracelet

We’ve been having some crazy weather here in North Carolina the past few weeks.  It’s resulted in 8 snow days since January 1st which means there’s a lot of time that I need to fill with projects for my daughter and niece.  They love to dress up and get “all fancy” so I decided that maybe an easy jewelry project was in order.  And this simple Braided & Beaded Bracelet was just the thing.

This project was perfect for my 11 year old niece, but 5 year old Abi had a much better time watching.  It’s pretty simple as long as you can do a little basic braiding.

Bead & Braid

For supplies you will need:

Bracelet Findings – I used the circle and post kind.
Thread – I used embroidery floss since I had it on hand, but I would suggest something sturdier, like waxed thread. It would make the beading much easier.
Beads – I used some silver glass seed beads.

Now for the fun part.

First let me apologize for the pictures if they’re not very clear on what I’m doing.  One thing I realized while doing this project is that trying to take pictures of a project that really works best while using two hands can be a little tricky.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think to just take pictures of my niece doing it.  I blame in on my prego brain.

beaded-braided-bracelet

1 – Thread whatever you decided to use as the string onto the finding.  I found that instead of tying it on, threading it through and doubling it over was the better option.  That way you don’t have a bulky knot, and it makes the bracelet a little thicker.  And here’s a tip: taping it to the table top helps A TON! Braid about a third of the finished length of the bracelet.  In my case I was making a 6 inch bracelet for Abi.  So, this first braided section was 2 inches long.

bead-braid-bracelet

2 – Once you’ve reached the desired length add a bead to the outside thread that will next be going to the middle.  When you cross it over to the middle, make sure that the thread coming over to take it’s place stays under the bead to hold it up.  If it slips to the top of the bead then the braid will just get longer and the bead will get pushed down the bracelet. Does that make sense?

bracelet-bead-braids

3 – Just keep braiding like normal, only adding a bead to the outside threads after every cross over.  In this picture you can see a little more clearly what I mean by keeping the middle thread under the bead when you cross it over. Another tip: Try to keep your finger behind the beads at all times.  I moved them for the sake of the pictures but it will save you so much frustration if you always have the beads held.  If you don’t the bracelet starts to spin and the beads start kind of moving around.  No bueno.

braided-bead-bracelet

4 – Continue the beaded braid until you’ve done another third of the length (in my case, another 2 inches).  Once you reach that length just finish out the bracelet with a normal braid like in the beginning.

beaded-braid-bracelet

5 – Then just tie it onto the post.  To keep it a little more secure from coming undone I dabbed a little bit of hot glue around the knot.  I’ve never done that before but it sounded like a good idea so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll let you know how it works out.

Beaded Braid

And there you have it!  Have you ever tried your hand at a fun DIY jewelry project?  How did it turn out?

Follow along on my blog or social media and make sure you tag me if you make yourself one of these great bracelets!  I’d love to see it!!

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Building self confidence – Makeup tips

So a few months ago I talked about building self confidence since falling into a lull in my life.  So I made the goal to get dressed every day, instead of hanging out in my PJ’s and while I still have PJ day’s (today) it has totally helped get me get out of my rut.  So next up was to add makeup back into my routine.

I love make up, and I have always had it around for like date night.  BUT I hadn’t bought myself something new or exciting in awhile, it was boring and I was still feeling BLAH.  Remember how I mentioned I got called a MAN 3 times in one month?  I was feeling pretty UN pretty and non feminine so wearing make up changes all that.  You just can’t put on make up and not feel more feminine and confident!  It’s all about bringing out your natural beauty!  SO I invested in some new make up and it’s amazing what a difference it makes.  Just 15 mins of make up and I just feel better!

building-self-confidence
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Top 10 posts for 2013

It’s been a crazy year, but wonderful! Since the baby has hit that “into everything” stage I haven’t crafted much this year. BUT I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen! More cakes this year than any other. And I’ve gotten back into food photography and recipes. It’s been a ton of fun!

top-10-posts-2013

So here are my top 10 posts from THIS year. It’s so much fun looking through the analytic and seeing what the favorite, most viewed posts were. The top 29 posts were all from previous years, and almost all of them were my free crochet and knitting patterns. The crazy thing is I didn’t do a single crochet or knit all year! Guess it’s time to break out the needles and hooks again!
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How to make Vanilla Sugar – Teacher Gifts

I spoke a few months ago of going to a food blogging conference.  Part of the fun of conferences is meeting new companies that want to work with food bloggers.  I was thrilled to meet a new Vanilla Company called Lagrima!  I’ve been using their vanilla ever since and it’s AMAZING!!!!

how-to-make-vanilla-sugar

I was talking to the CEO a few weeks ago and he mentioned he had a bean problem.  Specifically he has a ton of leftover used beans after making their vanilla!  I told him to send me some and I’d come up with uses for the beans!  First up? Vanilla Sugar for teacher gifts this year!
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