Tag Archives: instructions

Tutorial: Winter Framed Chalkboard



The CSI Project

I recently started following the CSI Project – “Create Something Inspiring.”  Last week, they featured one of my tutorials on their site to gear up for the “Favorite Project of 2012 Challenge.” This week, the challenge theme is “Winter Crafts and Decor” and I’ve been thinking all week what I could do for the project.  While I had a few ideas throughout the week (including a super cute “winter” sign I wanted to make), my issue was the budget.  I am getting ready to move (again), and if you’ve never done it before, moving is EXPENSIVE.  Especially if you are breaking your lease and taking a job that cuts your income by a fourth. (But having a job I enjoy will be worth it.)  Anyway, with the move scheduled for February 8, I’m really trying not to spend the little money I have.  Thus, I couldn’t justify buying craft supplies.

Yesterday, however, it hit me.  I have all the supplies I need to make the PERFECT project.

Shopping List

  • picture frame (Walmart $4.00)
  • blue and white paint
  • white glitter
  • glitter puffy paint and/or silver puffy paint
  • chalkboard paint (Lowes)
  • mod podge

Step One: Take the frame apart and paint it completely with blue paint (I mixed mine with white to create a softer wintery blue).










Step Two:  While the paint is still wet, sprinkle the white glitter onto your blue frame.

Step Three: I then used puffy paint to add glitter polka dots to my frame.  Also, using the puffy paint, I painted simple snowflakes onto wax paper, allowed it to dry overnight, and then peeled the snowflakes off to glue to my chalkboard. For now, paint the snowflakes and let them set.













Step Four: Now we’re to the kind-of-tricky part.  Chalkboard paint.

I’ve read online that the spray kind of chalkboard paint will adhere to glass. The last time I used spray paint, however, I ended up in bed the next day with a migraine (too many fumes, is my theory, even though I did it outside!), so I prefer to use the canned variety.  Yes, if you use a brush you can see the brush strokes. However, invest in a $3 foam roller, and you will be fine.

That said, the first coat of chalkboard paint went on as I expected — it definitely needed a few more coats.

IMG_1324Here is where I ran into trouble, and this very nearly turned into a Craft Fail kind of project!  When I went to put on my second coat, the paint began to separate from the glass, forming a lot of cracks and in general, a wet mess.  I then realized that my can of chalkboard paint says nothing about adhering to glass. Sooo…

However, being the determined little craftster I am, I wandered around my apartment for a minute, looking for alternative surfaces.  I wanted to enter this CSI Project Challenge, GD!

The paint can lists cardboard as one of the surfaces that this paint can be applied to, so lacking cardboard, I went with cardstock.  First, I applied a thin, even coat of mod podge to the glass surface.  It’s important to make sure the entire glass is coated, or you will see the paper begin to bubble up in sections.  I actually even had to flip the glass over and apply paper to the backside, as my first attempt ran into the bubble problem.  Anyway, after the paper was glued down and I had let it dry a few minutes, I repainted the surface with the chalkboard paint.

IMG_1344After three coats, it was good to go!  I then glued my puffy-paint snowflakes to the chalkboard and inserted the whole thing back into the frame.  I hot-glued the back cardboard piece to the sides of the frame (I had pried it off before I started), and my chalkboard is complete!  Easy, cute and very WINTERY!

Next time, I’d like to try using galvanized sheet metal (apparently you can buy this at Lowes in the plumbing section) to create a MAGNETIC chalkboard.  If you do that, again I’d recommend either using the spray paint chalkboard paint (not sure how this would do on metal) OR I have read that you can spray paint the metal with a metal primer and then paint the chalkboard paint on top.  But that project is for another day!

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Celebrating the New Year with Butter Pecan Cupcakes

They might not look it, but they taste AMAZING!

They might not look it, but they taste AMAZING!

This past summer I visited Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a few days and had the opportunity to visit Sugarland, an amazing bakery located right on the main street of town. Those cupcakes were delicious.  After I moved to Charlotte, I thought often of those cupcakes.  The yummy french vanilla, peanut butter blast, red velvet… Oh so good.
photo2Discussing these cupcakes with a friend, we discovered there was a bakery in Mooresville, North Carolina, also known for delicious cupcakes — SweetCakes Bakery.  We ventured there a few Saturdays ago.  The Cookies and Cream cake was AAAAAMAZING. I did remember to take a picture of it — but not before my first bite.

I also found the Butter Pecan cupcake absolutely delicious, which leads me to this post.  After having that one butter pecan cupcake, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  I thought about the crunchy pecans, the smooth buttercream, the moist cake… It haunted me.

But alas, I am poor and cannot afford to buy all the cupcakes I would like to eat (gourmet cupcakes here run about $3.00 a cake!) SO I did some research and found a recipe that I felt I could satisfactorily replicate.

I first discovered this recipe through CupcakeProject, but to get the actual recipe, you have to go to Paula Deen‘s website.  You’ll find there a recipe for maple pecan cupcakes with butter pecan frosting.  I was feeling lazy today, so I used cake from a box for the actual cupcake.  However, I did make the buttercream by hand.




– unsalted butter

– salt

– chopped pecans

– vanilla extract

– confectioner’s sugar


IMG_0758The instructions are really simple – melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet, add your pecans and cook on medium-low heat until all the butter is absorbed.  While that is happening, you can work on the buttercream.  Again, super simple – just mix the butter till its light and fluffy and then slowly add in the powdered sugar, mixing as you go.  Finally, mix in the vanilla extract — I only used 2 TEASPOONS (instead of 2 TABLESPOONS) because I didn’t want the frosting to be overpoweringly vanilla-y.




After the pecans have absorbed all the butter, take them off the heat but leave them in the skillet.  I would wait until the pecans cool completely before folding them into the buttercream.  I did not, and the frosting got kinda melt-y (I am quite the wordsmith today, huh).  After it cooled, it returned to the normal consistency, but just to be safe, I would wait till everything has cooled.



photoWhen your cupcakes have cooled, frost them with deliciousness! At this point, it’s up to you what you would like to do with them.  I am contemplating eating all 18 myself.


Don’t tell my mom.





Tutorial: Woven Wire Bracelet


Supplies: IMG_0567

  • beads
  • thin wire (28-32 gauge)
  • thicker wire (18-20 gauge)
  • pliers

1. Cut your stringing wire triple the length you would like your bracelet (or lengthen it for a necklace).  I measured mine to about 18 inches – that left me with plenty on each end to wrap/tie it off and also to adjust for breaks in the wire if necessary.

2. Begin stringing your beads on.  Move your center bead to the center of the wire, and then take one end and string it back through the bead.  Now, the bead is held in place.  Work your way out to the end of each strand (or however long you want it), continuing to string the beads on the wire.  You may choose to leave some beads mobile between the beads you have held in place to mix it up.



3.  Repeat these steps to create at least two more strands.



IMG_05774. To create the clasp, wrap your 20 gauge wire around the tip of your round-nose pliers.Straighten out one wire and then wrap the second around the first wire. Snip off the end.  With the longer end, shape the wire into two small wings.  These will be the clasp bars that fit into the circle on the other end.

5. To make the hoop for the clasp,wrap your piece of wire around a pencil (or something similar in size).  Again, wrap one wire around the other to close the hoop.



6.  Twist the ends of the wire together.  Wrap them around the clasp and tie.  Then, twist your three strands together at strategic points to create the jumbled effect.  Be careful you don’t twist too much — sometimes the wire can break if overworked. A simple once-around twist will do the job.  Then, twist the remaining end around the clasp.

Congrats! You’ve just created your own bracelet!


Check out my other pieces at Eva M. Designs at Etsy.

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