Easy DIY, one money-saving bathroom redo, and the cutest tea party ever!
Four projects that celebrate Valentine’s Day—with refreshing subtlety
Give your love notes a lift.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SETH SMOOT; STYLING BY ED GALLAGHER
Take an aerial approach to letter writing with pint-size paper airplanes. CL contributing editor Cathe Holden designed this high-flying stationery (countryliving .com/airplanevalentine). All you have to do? Print out a copy of the 8"W x 11"L PDF, jot down a note, then cut off the attached folding instructions and follow them to send your sentiments soaring.
Continued on next page > Written by Jourdan Crouch
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Fashion a custom jewelry box—for less. Follow the steps below to bring personality and purpose to a plain craft-store box (from $1.99; hobbylobby.com). STEP ONE Sand the outside and inside of your box with fine-grade sandpaper; wipe clean, then use a pencil to lightly sketch a name on the box’s top. Trace over the first letter with a glue pen (Aleene’s Tacky Glue pen, $1.79 for .63 ounces; joann.com). Immediately cover the letter with a thin leather cord (one-millimeter-thick leather cord, $1.99 for two yards; hobbylobby .com), cutting or connecting the cord to the next letter as you go. Continue this process until the entire name is covered. Let dry for 30 minutes. STEP TWO Spray the entire box with two coats of white matte paint, allowing at least 30 minutes of drying time after each coat. STEP THREE Measure the inside width and depth of the box’s bottom. Cut a piece of felt ($5.99 per yard; hobbylobby.com) to one yard long and a width slightly narrower than that of the box. Next, accordion-fold the felt: Beginning at one of the felt piece’s shorter ends, make a fold that’s slightly shorter than the depth of the box; secure with a thin line of hot glue. Carefully fold the felt back the other way and glue in place to complete one accordion fold. Repeat for the entire felt piece. STEP FOUR Insert the folded felt into the box; trim off any excess material. Secure the felt to each upper and lower inside corner of the box with hot glue. Let dry again before stashing your baubles inside or presenting it as a gift.
50 . COUN T RY L I V I N G.C O M . FEBRUARY 2012
Create pincushions with homespun charm.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SETH SMOOT; STYLING BY ED GALLAGHER. CRAFTING BY (PINCUSHIONS) JODI K AHN, (RING BOXES) KIRSTEN FIELDS.
This nifty project pairs up fabric scraps and heart-shaped cookie cutters ($7.68 for six; amazon.com). STEP ONE To construct the base of each pincushion, place the sharp side of a cookie cutter atop a thin piece of Styrofoam (we used a produce tray from a grocery store). Press the cutter down to imprint the Styrofoam; then cut out the heart shape. STEP TWO Cut a heart-shaped piece of fabric that’s about half an inch larger, all the way around, than the Styrofoam shape. Lay the fabric, right side down, on a flat surface and cover the back with Aleene’s Tacky Glue ($2.99 for eight ounces; amazon.com); then press the Styrofoam against the fabric. Pull the excess fabric up around the Styrofoam’s edges and secure with more glue; let dry for 30 minutes. STEP THREE Meanwhile, cut a square of fabric that’s at least three inches larger, all the way around, than the cookie cutter. Hold the cutter, sharp side up, on your lap and lay the fabric right side down over the cutter. Push fiberfill stuffing ($7.98 for 20 ounces; amazon.com) into the cutter until the fabric protrudes about three-quarters of an inch past the cutter, forming the pincushion. To close the cushion, fold over the remaining fabric and secure with a running stitch. STEP FOUR With the cushion still inside the cutter, cover the cushion’s bottom with a generous coat of glue. Push the Styrofoam into the cutter so that it presses against the glue; hold in place for three minutes. Let dry for 30 minutes.
Shape a snappy bow bracelet. It’s a cinch to craft this arm candy from a strip of leather ($14.98 per yard; amazon.com). STEP ONE Download, print, and cut out our bracelet templates (country living.com/bowbracelet). Use the templates to cut out a large, oblong piece of leather as well as a thin center band. STEP TWO Wrap the thin band around the center of the larger piece to form the bow’s middle, using the photo above for guidance. Secure the band on the bow’s wrong side with hot glue. Let dry for five minutes. STEP THREE Lay the bow on a flat surface, wrong side up. Following the package instructions in a snapfastener kit (Line 20 snap kit, $6.49; amazon.com), make the bracelet adjustable by attaching two snap studs on one end, centering and spacing them about half an inch apart; repeat on the other end with snap sockets.