Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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AR Workshop

I like to be crafty and I like the idea of DIY but I am also a slight perfectionist (though not nearly as bad as I used to be). I also have trouble decorating. I have trouble visualizing decor and making decisions. So all around some issues! Luckily for me there are lovely little shops and activities that can solve many of these problems.

I’ve tried the sip and paint places and painting is definitely not my gift. I’ve done a couple and have never painted anything I would actually hang on the wall. Then last year my friend discovered AR Workshop. There are a number of them around Atlanta (and around the country) and we have now been to two different locations. They have mostly wood projects – signs, frames, display boxes, clocks, trays. You pick your date and project (some can be customized) ahead of time to reserve your spot then just show up! At the locations here you can also bring your own wine.

This is also not the cheapest activity you will do but think about it. You end up with a piece of decor that you made (or at least put together and painted) that you can actually use in your house. I love it!

Last year the shop in Lawrenceville had a Christmas in July sale so we made Christmas decor. I made a plank sign that I did actually hang on the wall, though I wish I had done a couple things differently. This time we hit up the Smyrna location since it was a little closer for two of us. Since we are moving to our new house soon and we got married last year, I wanted to do something cute with our last name.

When you get there, everything is set up for you! Your wood pieces, the stencil of your design, and any materials might need. You’ll have a pro or two (depending on how many people are doing projects) who will walk you through every step. Everyone mostly has the same steps, depending on how fancy you want to get. You’ll pick out whatever stain, method, and/or paint you need, and they have lots of examples to looks at as well expert advice to offer.

The first step is always sanding the wood, getting rid of rough edges. Then you stain any wood that needs staining. Mine was the frame that needed staining. You can also use different methods of staining to give it different looks, but since mine is just the frame I kept it to a simple dark stain.

The next step for mine was painting the main board. You could also stain this if you wanted to. I picked a nice gray since that is a main color in our new house.

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Next, you take your stencil and tape all over the cut-out space with little pieces of tape. Then you peel off the backing from the blue stencil and stick it to your wood. Then you peel off all the little pieces of tape. I’m going to be honest – I have no idea why you do these steps. I didn’t ask, I just did as I was told. I’m sure there’s some science around it and if I sat and thought about it for a minute I could probably figure it out. But I don’t really care how it works, just that it does!

Once your stencil is placed and tape-free, you paint! You dab the paint into the stencil (as opposed to painting strokes). This keeps the paint from getting under the stencil.

Then you peel off the stencil and voila! You have a lovely painted wood project! You may need to do some touch ups, which the expert can you do. And not pictured is the putting it all together. In my case it was using a nail gun to put the frame on. I know, I know – how could I not get photographic evidence of the nail gun. It’s obviously the coolest part. Next time.

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I loved my project and will definitely go back, even it’s once a year when there is a specific project I have in mind or holiday I want something for. I highly recommend getting a group together and checking it out. Find one near you!

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Christmas Card Wreath

I always feel crafty around the holidays but I like to make things that I’ll actually use or display for at least a few years. I’ve been in need of a way to display holiday cards and had seen these all over Pinterest the past few years. It seemed easy enough so I hit up Michaels and Amazon (because as much as I love Michaels, they just don’t always have everything; and because Amazon Prime….) and put it together over two evenings (maybe 2 hours total? 2.5 max). It honestly was SO easy that I wasn’t planning on posting it, but then I thought better. So sorry for process shots – but I think you can get it.

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Christmas Card Wreath

What you need:

  • 1 wire wreath frame – I think I got the 18 inch but you can get whatever size works for you
  • clothespins – I ordered green and red from Amazon; they were different sizes and the larger red ones (3 5/16″) worked best; you could also buy regular clothespins and spray paint them
  • ribbon – I used 4 different 3/8″ Christmasy ribbon and a wider one to hang it with

What to do:

Paint the wreath and/or clothes pins if you want. I didn’t – the wreath is already green and I bought colored clothes pins.

Clip on clothes pins so that it opens toward the outside. I alternated colors leaving 2-3 fingers-width in between each.

Cut ribbons into pieces and tie onto middle two rings of the wreath. I started with one ribbon in between each clothespin. Then filled in with a second ribbon in between some clothes pins. I would have done 2 in between every clothes pin but the ribbon didn’t quit make it that far.

Hang it! I used a wider Christmasy ribbon to hang it with.

 


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Spoon Bunnies

I have finished #19 on my 30 before 30 list! I promise I made a Christmas wreath, but somehow never posted it. Maybe when I move I can pull it out and write it up! I already had a spring/Easter-y wreath, so I needed to find another crafty thing to make. Pinterest to the rescue! I took what Crafts by Amanda made and modified it – I don’t need place holders (though I have hosted Easter dinner before). So it’s just a little decor for the holiday!

Here are the steps, full directions below! I ended up not using the pink foam. This is an easy craft to modify to make it your own! The bunnies don’t look exactly happy….not really sure how to make a bunny look happy. But it’s still kind of cute!

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Get your materials

Paint the pots – I used a q-tip to paint the dots.

Lightly sand then paint the spoons

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Make bunny ears; glue on eyes, tail and ears; paint on nose; draw on face.

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Use floral foam in the pot to hold the spoon.

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Fill with paper!

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Easter Bunny Spoons

What you need:

  • small clay pots
  • acrylic paint – whatever colors you want
  • foam paint brushes
  • floral foam
  • sheet of white foam
  • googly eyes (or black paint to paint on eyes)
  • small pom-poms (tails)
  • black sharpie (or black paint)

Paint the pots white – probably will need a couple coats. Once that dries, paint the rims whatever colors you want. Paint dots of the same color on the sides of the pot (I used a Q-Tip). Let dry.

Lightly sand the spoons and paint them white. Stick them in some floral foam to dry. You wouldn’t necessarily have to paint them if you’re doing a white bunny – but I didn’t want to shine of the spoon. You could also do a different color than white! Let dry.

Make your ears while the spoons dry. I used white foam and cut out ears, then painted in the pink. You could also use pink foam (which was my original plan).

Do the face on the back of the spoon. I used the pink paint to do a nose. I had googly eyes already so I used those and glued on with hot glue, but you can also do a black paint dot for the eyes. Glue on the ears. Use a sharpie or black paint to do the mouth and whiskers.

Glue on the pom-pom for the tail.

Cut some floral foam to fit into the bottom of the pot – doesn’t have to fit perfectly. Stick a dried spoon bunny into the floral foam in each pot.

Fill the pot with Easter grass or paper or whatever you have!