Category Archive

Story Stones

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hi Drifter & the Gypsy readers! Dani here from High Walls. I may not be a parent myself, but I have a lot of little ones in my life, many who visit and stay at my house. As such, I like to have a few fun things around for them to play with. (Can’t just leave them to watch TV all day!)

When I was a kid, my mom made me a set of story stones and I thought I would share this fun little project with you!

Rather than buying a whole box full of toys, story stones are flat pebbles with images painted on them that can be used to tell a story and play games. They are super easy to make and can be made with your little ones. My god daughter loves these ones we made. She is always asking to make additions and to hear (and tell) stories using the new and old characters we have created together!

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
Materials:

– Flat stones and large pebbles – can be bought from craft stores or from your local garden store

– Acrylic paints – in white and various colors

– Black permanent marker

– Clear nail polish (Optional)

– Cue-tips

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
Steps:

1. Ensure your stones are washed and completely dry before starting.

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
2. Start by sketching out your image on a stone in white paint. Fill the shape in so that you have a white silhouette of your image. Allow to dry completely before proceeding. This will create a good base for your colored paints – You may find you want to do a second layer of white paint to ensure that you have a nice white base.

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
3. Using colored paints, paint over the white areas, filling in the detail of your image. Allow the colors to dry in between if you are worried about them mixing. If you aren’t confident to do this free hand, sketch over the white paint with a lead pencil to give yourself some guide lines.

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
4. Once the colored paint has dried, take a permanent marker and outline your image, filling in any lines or details.

5. Using a wet cue-tip, clean away any smudges or excess paint, as acrylic paints are water based, it should wash away without too much effort.

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
6. Once you are happy with your picture, you can give it some extra protection from wear and tear by coating your stone with a coat of clear nail polish.

7. Repeat for as many stones and images as you can think of. Think animals, daily shapes like houses and trees, and then more fun shapes like dinosaurs, rocket ships, robots and dragons!

8. If you are making your stones for a little one learning to spell, repeat the above steps on the opposite sides of your stones, only this time, paint on the first letter of the image on the stone: T for Tree or H for House. This way you can teach while you play!

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog

story stones - drifter and the gypsy blog
Dani (Craft contributor)

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Faux Shibori Dyed Napkins

faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
Have you heard of Shibori dying? In the crafting world it seems to have become the ‘in’ version of the good old fashioned tie-dying that had a resurgence in the ’90s. In reality, originating in Japan, Shibori is one of the earliest examples of cloth dying. Known for the striking deep blue and indigo hues, it’s little wonder it has become so popular in recent years.

faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
The best thing about this kind of dying process is there are infinite ways you can fold, twist, knot and clamp your cloth and each will create a wholly unique pattern. There is something immensely satisfying about unwrapping your dyed piece to reveal the hidden pattern. It’s perfect for those less crafty because there is no precision required. Just: Tie. Dye. Reveal! So easy! The downside of Shibori is that if you are using the proper powder, it can be a little pricey. But with a little sneaky short cut, you can get a similar result for a fraction of the price!

faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
Materials:

– Powder Dye in Indigo or hues of dark blue

– Plain white cotton or linen napkins (pre-washed)

– Rubber bands of various sizes and thicknesses

– Various flat objects to clamp around the napkins

– Plastic bucket

– Plastic gloves

faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
Steps:

1. Prepare an area to complete the dyeing. Your napkins will drip and splash so doing this outside is recommended. If you have pavement or flooring you are worried about coloring, make sure to put down drop sheets to catch the dye (preferably plastic).

2. Take each napkin, one at a time and fold, scrunch, wrap into shapes of your choice and tie rubber bands tightly around the napkins to secure. This is how you will get different patterns.

faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
• Try folding into squares or triangles and securing in between two blocks of wood/firm Tupperware lids (using the plastic bands) for a more geometric pattern. The most inside folds will stay the whitest with the outside folds getting darker.

• Take a napkin from the middle and pull into a long ‘tee-pee’ shape. Rubber band along the length of the napkin to create rings from the center out.

• Rubber band sections at random and then tie the whole napkin into a firm knot.

TIP: Make sure your rubber bands are as tight as you can tie them and make sure you have thick areas of the napkins tied off. Use numerous rubber bands on one tie to ensure that you get some areas that the dye doesn’t reach. Remember the dye will seep under the bands in some areas so err on the side of ‘too many’ ties until you get the hang of the process.

3. Thoroughly soak your prepared napkins in water before starting. Your napkins should be completely wet.

4. Following the instructions on the dye packets, mix together the dye powder and water. Most dyes will require warm or hot water, so wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained and to prevent burning your hands in the hot water.

Mix together in a bucket or container large enough to fit your napkins. Ensure to use plastic or stainless steel containers so they don’t become stained.

The trick to mimicking the deep indigo color of shibori is to mix dye colors. Aim for purples and dark blues (denim blue is always good). You want to get a nice dark shade of blue/purple. Remember, your fabric will come out lighter than the dye once it dries.

5. Submerge each napkin into your dye and allow to soak according to the packet directions. The longer you soak the darker your color will be. Remember: it will be lighter than it looks when it dries.

6. Remove the napkins from the dye and rinse under a cool running tap until the water runs clear. Check the depth of color. If it looks too light, place it back in the dye for longer to achieve a deeper shade.

7. Remove the rubber bands to reveal your patterns and hang out to dry.

8. Machine wash and iron (as they will be very crinkled from the bands) before using.

faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
faux shibori dyed napkins - drifter and the gypsy blog
Dani (Craft contributor)

click here for more craft tutorials.

Picture Puzzle Postcards

postcards-puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
In this day and age, physical mail has become a bit of a treat! Tell me, (apart from your grandma) when was the last time someone sent you an actual letter in the mail? I live interstate from my friends and family, and to show my love, I have decided to try to keep in touch the old fashioned way: through snail mail!

If writing a whole letter seems daunting, don’t even worry – I’ve gotcha covered! Instead of sending one big letter, I came up with a nifty project you can do yourself: send separate postcards, that when joined together make up a full image!

Materials:

– A4 adhesive paper
– A4 card
– Printer & computer
– Craft knife and ruler
– Photoshop (optional)
– Postcard templates

Steps:

puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
1. (If you do not have access to Photoshop you can skip to Step 2 and use our pre-made templates–succulents: front and back and flowers: front and back.) Open in Photoshop the blank template provided. Paste in the picture that you want to use for your postcards and resize it so that the top of the image fits to the width of the top rectangle. Using the Marquee tool – cut the rest of the image off of the bottom and move down to fit into the second rectangle. Portrait photos are best for this. If your image is big enough you can make it big enough to fit over 3 or 4 postcards, it will just take a little trial and error to resize your images accordingly.

puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
2. Print out your images onto the adhesive paper – if you are using our templates you can download the succulent images HERE or the flower images HERE.

3. OPTIONAL: Print the back postcard template onto another sheet of adhesive paper. You can of course draw out these lines manually, or forego them altogether! Just remember to leave room for the address and stamp, as well as your message!

puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
4. Remove the backing paper from the adhesive paper you printed your image on and carefully line up with the edges of the A4 card and smooth down. Start from one corner and smooth to the opposite side to avoid air bubbles.

puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
5. Using the knife and ruler, cut out the postcards along the edges and discard the scrap card. Cut out the backing postcard templates and remove from the adhesive backing paper to stick down on the other side of the postcards (if you are using the backing template). Trim away any rough edges.

puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
6. Write your message and send to your family and friends!

puzzle picture postcards - drifter and the gypsy blog
I like to stagger when I send the postcards so your family and friends get to gradually make the full picture! You can make these postcards with photos of your family and friends, but I also like to use photos that are a little more abstract (like floral arrangements or patterns) so that there is a little bit of mystery around what the final image will be! Happy Mailing!

Dani (Craft contributor)

click here for more craft tutorials.

That springtime feeling

that springtime feeling - drifter and the gypsy blog
You know what I’m talkin’ about? The time of year when the days get longer, the sky gets bluer and even the birds seem to be singing in a higher octave? That’s my favorite time of the year. Fortunately, in California, spring starts early with flowers blossoming as soon as in February. By the time March rolls around, things are in full bloom.

that springtime feeling - drifter and the gypsy blog
One of my favorite blooms are the mustard greens. The flowers from the mustard plant are so vibrant but only last for a few weeks in the early spring; I wanted to capture that moment and keep it forever. So I did just that. There’s a beautiful mustard field not too far from our house where I took some pictures. (Pictures from that outing to come in a future blog post!)

that springtime feeling - drifter and the gypsy blog
To display my Polaroid pictures, I partnered with Glade to create a handy (easy) DIY project you can do in literally 2 minutes (okay maybe 3).

Click through to see the tutorial & more pictures.  (more…)

Wooden Polaroid Photos

wooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blogwooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blog
I’m sure most of you, like me, have a well-stocked gallery of images on your Instagram feed. Instagram is so much fun to post and share your images with the world, but I always find myself wanting to display the images around my home. There are many printers and services you can purchase to get your pictures into hard copy, but I’m here to share a craftier option for those of you who are looking for something a little more personal.

wooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blog
These wooden polaroids are cheap and easy to make, and with the addition of a mini canvas easel, you have an adorable way to display your photos. Of course, if you can’t find these easels, or you want to display a whole bunch of photos at once; these little guys are lightweight enough you can put them just about anywhere! Pop some double sided tape on the back and hang them on the wall, punch a hole in the top and string them onto a garland, be as creative as you’d like!

wooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blog
Materials:

– Miniature canvas easels (available from craft stores)
– 1 sheet of 3mm Balsa Wood
– Paper & Printer
– Instagram photos
– Exacto knife
– Ruler
– White acrylic paint
– Craft glue

wooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blog
Steps:

1. Take the balsa wood and measure out 2.5 x  3″ rectangles, one for each image you are making. Using the exacto knife, cut out the rectangles. The balsa wood is quite thin and will easily break without a knife, so cut gently and try to cut along the grain as much as you can, it will make it easier.

2. Once you have cut out the wood rectangles, cut away any rough edges or splinters and then wipe down with a cloth to remove any dust.

3. Give the wood pieces a coat of white acrylic paint. If you want a more rustic look, only do one thin coat. For a more opaque look, add on a few coats until you have achieved the depth of color you are looking for. Allow to dry in between coats.

4. Print and cut out the photos you would like to use: Instagram photos are best for this because they are already cropped to square shapes. The easiest way to do this is to copy the images and paste them into a word document for easy printing. The images should be 2 x 2″ in size.

5. Once the paint has dried, you can simply glue your images onto each wooden piece. Center your images 1/3″ from the top, left and right sides, leaving extra room underneath the image to mimic the shape of a real polaroid photo.

6. Place the wooden photos onto the miniature canvas easels and display around your home.

wooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blog
wooden polaroids - drifter and the gypsy blog
Dani (Craft contributor)

click here for more craft tutorials.

Geometric Marbled Tumblers

marbled tumblers - drifter and the gypsy blog
I hope your 2015 is off to a great start, Drifter & the Gypsy readers! My first craft post for 2015 is to keep that marbling trend of 2014 going well into the new year! Today I’m going to show you how to make some sweet and stylish Geometric Marbled Tumblers. It’s a bit messy and takes a bit of patience to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll suddenly be marbling everything insight! So don’t blame me if your significant other gets annoyed when you marble all their kitchenware!

Materials:

– 1 set of glass tumblers
– 1 plastic container
– Paper masking tape
– Nail polish in three similar colors
– Clear top coat polish
– Nail Polish Remover
– Cotton balls/cotton buds

marbled tumblers - drifter and the gypsy blog
Steps:

1. Start with clean dry glass tumblers. Cut three strips of masking tape and stick onto your first glass in the shape of a triangle. If you are using tall tumblers you may want to use a ruler to mark out where your tape is going to go so that all the triangles are aligned. When you are happy with the shape and placement, firmly press down on the shape ensuring that the tape is secure.

2. Fill a plastic container with room temperature water. The container should be big enough to lie the tumbler on its side comfortably.

3. Choose three similar shades of nail polish to marble with, shake well and prep by removing the lid and brush and setting aside on a piece of paper. You will need to complete the next few steps as quickly as possible.

4. Slowly and carefully pour a small amount of nail polish onto the surface of the water – pouring from a low height from the surface. The polish should spread across the top of the water. (If a few drops sink to the bottom don’t worry). Immediately pour the next color onto the polish you just poured and repeat again with a third color. With each pour the polish will spread less and less as it gathers on the surface.

5. Take a toothpick and dip it into the water and polish and swirl around until the polish starts to marble and mix together. You will need to do this as soon as possible after pouring the nail polish as it will start to form into a skin and you will not be able to mix it if you are too slow. If you find it is setting too quickly try again with slightly warmer water.

6. Take your prepared glass and gently roll it across the surface of the water so that the polish adheres to the taped area. These steps may take a couple of practice runs so be patient!

7. Remove from the water and set aside to dry. Do not attempt to pat dry or else you will smudge the polish.

8. Once the polish is dry enough to touch you can gently lay a sheet of tissue onto the marbled area to soak up any droplets. If there are any corners that missed the marbling, you can paint on some color by hand using the lighter color polish. Finish the marbled area with a coat of clear top-coat.

9. Once dry, carefully remove the masking tape and using a cotton ball or cotton bud, remove any excess polish with nail polish remover.

10. Wash thoroughly before washing–but please remember to be gentle! These glasses may not stand up to dishwashing or rough sponges.

11. Repeat with the whole set of tumblers. You can do them all in matching colors or keep it fun with a whole rainbow of shades!

marbled tumblers - drifter and the gypsy blog
marbled tumblers - drifter and the gypsy blog
marbled tumblers - drifter and the gypsy blog
marbled tumblers - drifter and the gypsy blog
Dani (Craft contributor)

click here for more craft tutorials.

DIY Craft: Customized Notebooks

diy craft: customized notebooks - drifter and the gypsy blog
I like to carry a notebook with me where ever I go. You never know when you are going to need to jot down a note or cross something off of your to-do list. Rather than carrying around lots of scraps of paper that always seem to get lost in the abyss that is the bottom of my handbag, I have started making my own notebooks to keep my thoughts in order. It’s so fun and easy to do, I’d be selfish not to share the process with you! As is the case with most craft projects, the beauty of this one is that you can tailor each book to your own taste AND it will cost you a fraction of what you would pay for a boring old store bought version!

Materials:

– Notebooks (ie: moleskine books)
– A4 Adhesive sheets
– Paints & paintbrush
– Masking or washi tape
– Ruler

diy craft: customized notebooks - drifter and the gypsy blog
Steps:

1. First things first: download this template for the title words or make your own using a outlined font and Microsoft Word or Photoshop.

2. Print your words onto a sheet of A4 adhesive sticker paper, you should be able to find this at your local stationery store.

3. Using a variety of colors, paint each letter using watercolor or acrylic paints. Experiment with paint daubs, lines, spots or even messy splashes of color for each set of words. Allow to dry completely.

4. Carefully cut your letters out and set aside.

5. Using a ruler as a guide, tape straight lines across the cover of your notebook, allowing room for the height of your letters.

6. Remove the backing from your letters one by one, sticking them along the taped lines–the lines will keep your letters straight.

7. Once all of the letters are stuck down, remove the tape and enjoy your new notebooks!

diy craft: customized notebooks - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy craft: customized notebooks - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy craft: customized notebooks - drifter and the gypsy blog
Dani (DIY Craft contributor)

click here for more diy craft by dani.

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