Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Swag Tutorial

We have ALOT of company coming for Thanksgiving and not much fundage.. SOOOO In order to make the house pretty. Bella and I decided to make some fun Thanksgiving decorations out of things we have around the house. Here is a tutorial for the Swag we made that is hanging on the fireplace. I encourage you to get your kiddos to help. Bella had a lot of fun and she is SOOOOOO proud.

First you find a cardboard box and tear the flappy things off (you know the part that you use to close it with) Then take you some big scissors and cut down the inside corner of the box and then you can tear the walls of it apart. Ussually the rest you can tear up pretty easy after that.

Take your scissors (big scissors) and cut the cardboard into rectangles. YOu can then start pulling the top solid layers off the cardboard like this: It is ok if some of it stays on. You need something so the adhesive with stick to it. It also adds to the distressed look of it. So don't worry if it is not perfectly all peeled off. Just get the most of it.

Next take some old wrapping paper or some that you dont plan on using. (depending on how messed up it gets :;wink::) and put it top side down on your surface.
YOU DON'T want to turn your kids loose with ink on a surface that will matter if it gets messed up. Old wrapping paper taped down works well. Then they can draw on it while you do the "boring parts" as Bella called it. TIP.. before even starting on your project if you lotion your childs hands REALLY WELL with a thick lotion (yours too) and do something else for a bit let it soak in... THEN when you get to the inking part or painting.. it washes off MUCH EASIER.

Let your kiddos help ink the cardboard up. I showed her how to run it over the top so it just hits the high spots and around the edges. Here they are all inkd up. I used Tim Holtz distress inks to ink with.

Next. Cut your letters you want to use. I have a cricut so I used the base camp cartridge on size 4 to cut my letters. I used some Scenic Route papers I had. We messed up the G pulling it off the mat so we had to use a different color to cut the G again so then we didnt have enough for the S. BUT ... we improvised with another sheet of paper and I will show you how we will make it match in a few more steps :)

After you have all your letters cut. You may take a zig writer and use the large end and go around JUST BARELY the outside of the letters to shadow it. that way it will kind of stand out off the cardboard so you can see it. By the time you finish this your ink should be dry enough to start adhering down your letters.
IT'S OK IF YOUR CARDBOARD IS LARGER THAN YOU WANT IT YOU WILL TRIM IT DOWN AFTER YOU ADHERE THE LETTERS. Lay your letters out so you can see where you want them adhered. I used the ATG gun roller adhesive to put mine down with. works REALLY good. (Thanks ma!)

After you adhere them all down. Trim around the top and sides doesnt have to be perfectly straight. You can even tear it if you like. I find it easier to cut them with large scissors.
HEre they are after we adhered and trimmed.

I then took some wide ribbon. I didnt have enough to just string it along so I cut it into strips and used wide packing tape to secure it on the back and them to each other. BE SURE TO TURN IT OVER AND LOOK OCCASIONALLY TO MAKE SURE THE LETTERS AREN'T BACKWARDS OR IN THE WRONG ORDER... ask me how I know...

THen when you have finished that. You can take a large roll of ribbon that YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF... sigh... and put over it. I used the wrong side of a large gold roll that was wired edge. Tape this over the entire will give a nice edge and make sure it is nicely held together.

Now go back over the top layer with different color inks. I also used Tim holtz tea die ink to go over the G AND S to make them match the others better. Add leaves from a tree that is changing colors or other fresh things from your yard (just make sure no ants or anything a dog may leave are on them if on the ground ) to add to your display. Make it pretty so your guests will have a wonderful Thanksgiving feel when they come for dinner.

Here is your finished product.
OK if you make this I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT. Post it on your blog, or in a gallery and leave me a link so I can go check it out. HAPPY THANKSGIVING DECORATING!!


Lynn said...

ok this is sooooooooo cool and pretty. now if i only had a fireplace. lol!!!!! you look like you had fun!

Dawn said...

This turned out just beautiful! Great job Bella!

The Hopkins Family said...

That is very cute! Bella was a fabulous helper!

Angela said...

You did an awesome job! I hope your mom helped a little bit and not just on the boring parts! You can come help me any day! Make sure you come during the winter so you can play in the snow with Tyler. He would love to build snowmen with you! But if you have to come in the summer, we will spend the days at the lake playing in the water. Thanks for sharing your wonderful craft with us!

Peta said...

What a great idea..This turned out fab Nancy, i'm sure Bella would have had fun making it to.

Lucy Chesna said...

awesome job ladies.........Bella you rock did a great job. I want you to make me one.Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jacinda said...

Wow, what a great job you two did! I love the inking Bella. I bet all your thanksgiving guests will be SOOOO impressed!! :D

Jacinda & Brooke

jan williams said...


Jonnine said...

you did a wonderful job. Hope you have a great thanksgiving. Your letters rock.

Julie said...

That is so cool and so pretty!!!! Bella you ROCK! I may have to try making one of these!

Shirley said...

What an awesome project that the two of you created! Great work Bella and Nancy!

trace-e said...

brodythat's so cool!!!!

TanishaRenee said...

beautifully done!

Michelle said...

what a great job, love it!!!