July 12

Unique Mothers Day Gift Idea

How Do You Find a Unique Mothers Day Gift Idea?

My Ancestors
My Ancestors

Finding a unique Mothers Day Gift Idea for me is just a matter of listening to my mom.  Throughout the year every year, I hear her say something like “I wish I had…” or “I want a…” or “Oh I love…”.  Each time I hear that, I make a mental note of it for Mother’s Day, her birthday, or Christmas (whichever comes next).

In 2014, I made a shadowbox collage for my living room wall.  One of my hobbies is researching our family history and ancestry.  I’ve been able to find tons of stories and photos from ancestors that I never knew existed.  These are special to me and so I created this collage to kind of represent me.  When my mom came over and saw it for the first time, she said, “Oh wow!  That is so cool, I want one!”.

So this year for Mother’s Day, she got her wish.  I made her one similar to mine.  The big difference between the two is that hers is bigger and includes my step dad’s side of the family while mine does not.  My collage is specific to my ancestry while hers is based on her family.

 

How I Made It

Making this unique Mother’s Day gift idea was actually pretty simple, but very time consuming.  My first step was to determine how many pictures I wanted to include and to print them off.  I happen to have a photo printer, so I am able to print them off at home.  Once I knew how many pictures I wanted to include in the project, I could then determine how many shadowboxes I needed, so I purchased those and any other supplies I didn’t have on hand.

Craft Supplies

When I had all of my supplies together, I began by painting the shadowboxes with colors that would match or accent my mother’s house.  After each box was painted, I would glue the picture to the back of the shadowbox and decorate it with craft flowers and other supplies I had on hand.  When all of the shadowboxes were complete, I simply arranged them nicely and glued them in place.  Once that was done, I decorated a little bit more.

This project is great when Mom lives local because you can carefully hand carry it to her house taking special care not to bounce it around a lot.  Unfortunately, my parents moved to Puerto Rico so I had to ship it to her.  The boxes came apart a bit during shipping, however, I had planned a vacation to go down there and spend Mother’s Day with her.  So I was able to fix it after she opened it.

The following video shows the making of this unique Mother’s Day gift idea.  It’s a pretty long video so I have increased the speed so that you see me working quickly but get an idea of how I did it.  Feel free to fast forward to the very end so you can see how it all came together.

 

Mother’s Day Collage

Unique Mothers Day Gift Idea
Unique Mothers Day Gift Idea

This project is great when Mom lives local because you can carefully hand carry it to her house taking special care not to bounce it around a lot.  Unfortunately, my parents moved to Puerto Rico so I had to ship it to her.  The boxes came apart a bit during shipping, however, I had planned a vacation to go down there and spend Mother’s Day with her.  So I was able to fix it after she opened it.

As you could see in the video, my mom absolutely loved the gift.  In fact, it passed the “make mom cry” test which was the ultimate goal because I’m a brat.  It was very cool, we had it sitting on her kitchen counter where I repaired the pieces that had fallen off and each time I walked into her kitchen, I found her standing over it staring at the different pictures.

I hope this post has inspired you to find your own unique Mothers Day gift idea and maybe get creative for your mom and give her something truly from your heart.  That will touch her beyond any bouquet of flowers ever could.

Happy Crafting!

~Ki


January 30

Valentine’s Day Altered Candy Box

Valentine’s Project 2016

 

Over in my Messy Desk Crafters Facebook group, we hosted a swap with our members for Valentine’s Day this year.  It was a one on one swap which means thatpartners are assigned and we each make something for our partner.  Our object was to alter a box or candy box and fill it with three handmade items.  I was a bit excited about this as I have been slacking in the crafting department lately and wanted to accomplish more than just the Christmas canvases.  So this is my first craft project for 2016!

Before I get into the project, let me just preface this by saying I’m not really a hearts and flowers type of girl.  I can play with some clock gears and ink things up all day long but flowers and glitter just make me uncomfortable.  I like to grunge and distress things, make them look old and antique.  Prettifying things is not my thing!  I can do it, I’m just not comfortable with that particular type of art.  Therefore, I have to challenge myself every now and then to do things I’m not comfortable with so I can try and improve my skill sets.  Practice is always good.

Before I altered it...
Before I altered it…

When I went shopping for the box, I wanted to be sure to get a heart shaped candy box…just to celebrate the holiday.  I found one that already had a flower on it and had ribbon stitched into the top of the box.  I thought the ribbon and flower both were kind of ugly but I liked that the ribbon was stitched in and I wanted to challenge myself with altering embellishments that were already in place.  So I went ahead and bought it.

After I got it home and ate all the chocolate (hey it was like 9 pieces and it lasted a week, don’t judge!), I took the before picture and then stared at the box awhile.  I almost instantly regretted buying one that was already decorated.  I tried to take them off but both would have damaged the lid and I was fighting the urge to grunge it up.  So I started by covering it in modeling paste. I used Liquitex Professional Modeling Paste Medium, 16-oz to cover the lid and ribbon.  I remembered having some metallic red and gold acrylic paints so I was planning to treat it like a mixed media canvas.  But after covering it with modelling paste, I found that I was out of the metallic red paint.

The red paint that I did have was drying up and I didn’t think I had enough to paint the entire lid.  I went with Folk Art 660 Metallic 2-Ounce Acrylic Paint, Pure Gold
and Folk Art 661 Metallic 2-Ounce Acrylic Paint, Sequin Black
paints.  I ended up not liking how that looked either.  So I covered the lid with flowers, a few other embellishments, and some ribbon.  If you’d like to see the creative process from start to finish, have a look at the video below.

 

After gluing all of the embellishments and flowers on, I accented them with Viva Decor .8-Ounce Mother of Pearl Precious Metal Liquid Color.  I absolutely love this paint, it has a super pretty metallic look to it.  Once that dried, I added some goodies for my partner, extra trim and stuff.  I topped it off with three of my handmade lace button flowers.  I ended up not really liking the final product.

Completed Project
Completed Project

My best friend told me it’s real pretty, so she loved it at least.  She also reminded me that it’s not grungy which is what I’m most comfortable with when it comes to art.  So I’m hoping that my swap partner is more into flowers and hearts and likes the final outcome.  If not, I’m sure she’ll enjoy the goodies inside.  While this wasn’t one of my favorite projects, it turned out okay I guess.  Let me know what you think!  Is it too much?  Too busy?

If you’re interested in joining in on the fun over at Messy Desk Crafters, hop on over and check us out!  We’re a fun bunch of crafters that enjoy sharing in each other’s lives.  We don’t judge, and all skill levels are welcome!

~Ki