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Workshop Wednesday Archive

Workshop Wednesday: Oven-bake Table Number Holders for Your Wedding!
The great thing about working with clay is that you only need ONE material! These card holders are made out of polymer clay that is baked in the oven. Polymer clay can be found at your local craft supply store and made by different brands such as Fimo and Sculpey. Just make sure it says “oven-bake” on it.
Materials:
  • Polymer Clay
  • Knife (metal or plastic)
  • Oven
1. Open up the pack of clay!
(The clay shown here is a glistening gold color.)
2. Cut the clay block along the lines into 4 rectangles or into 8 smaller cubes.
3. Use the knife to make a thin slice halfway into the block of clay.This will be where the card is inserted when finished.
4. Leave the clay smooth or create a textural pattern using the straight edge of the knife.

 

5. Bake!

 

Follow the directions on the package but likely you will bake these at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. If you find after the first try that the slit sticks together place a small strip of newspaper in the slit while you bake it.

 

Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

 

What’s your next craft project?
Workshop Wednesday: DIY Flowers and Fans

As an artist I am infatuated by all colors and patterns. Typically animal print is not my thing but I am a lover of African art and textiles. I stopped by to visit my aunt yesterday and caught her and her neighbor in the midst of centerpiece making for an upcoming safari themed party. I of course rolled my eyes at the sight of the leopard, zebra, & tiger print adorned work room. My aunt is a table-scaping extraodinaire, she taught me how to decorate for a party when I was toddler and she of course won me over with this project (I’m even going to try this trick with the fan in the vase with the flowers this weekend for a bridal shower). I thought I must share this today- so please welcome and thank Aunty Maureen & the lovely Mary for this week’s Workshop Wednesday!

Materials:
Mason jars (or water glasses would even work)
Tulle (or ribbon or fabric strips)
Fans (these can be found here)
Fake flowers
Spanish moss
Glue Gun
Scissor
1.Wrap the mason jars with strips of tulle, ribbon, or fabric and tack with a glue gun.
2.Fill the jars with spanish moss. (If you are using real flowers fill with water & rocks)
3.To add a complementary pop of color we took ferns from outside in the yard and added them to the flowers.
If you are into terrariums this a great way to get the same look but with some added height.
Still not sold on the safari inspiration? Check this out!:
via YesBabyDaily’s awesome post
via GracesCakes
via Wedding Chicks (Crossaints Bistro & Bakery)

Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

What DIY projects are on your mind? Leave us a comment and we’re sure Rachel can come up with  some magic for you!

Workshop Wednesday: Personalized Painted Rocks for Your Beach Wedding!

With the crazy heat this summer I’m sure you are all spending lots of time collecting rocks & shells at the beach. Here is a way to use your treasures:

The perfect detail for an outdoor rehearsal dinner or cocktail hour with a beachy or rustic twist.
These sweet decorated rocks can be arranged across a table or piled into a glass jar and painted to coordinate with any color scheme.

With only 2 materials & costing $3 dollars you can’t go wrong!

Supplies:
Rocks (preferably with a flat side)
Paint Markers

Paint Markers are an art supply I learned about from my mother who used to personalize items like lucite boxes and ceramic piggy banks when I growing up. I later found my graffiti-obsessed high school students used them to tag up the covers of their sketch books. They really are a useful and lasting coloring tool for any type of artist or maker!

I prefer Deco Color fine line opaque paint markers but other brands make them as well.
These markers are made of oil-based paint like enamel and can write opaquely on surfaces such as glass, wood, & ceramic.

Decorate your rocks with your monogram, date, location, guest’s names, shapes, or even simple patterns like stripes, polka dots, spirals, and chevron.

Bonus tip!
Want your rocks to look like the writing is in chalk?
Don’t use chalk- it rubs off if decorate the rocks ahead of time (and on your guests).
Use white paint marker instead!

 

Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

 

 

Workshop Wednesday: Make Your Own Wedding Welcome Bags!
After Monday’s great welcome bag how-to, I wanted to share an easy DIY way to make your own personalized and inexpensive welcome bags! I did these simple, themed bags for my own wedding and they worked out perfectly!
Most likely you need A LOT of bags and it is an area you didn’t plan on splurging. Luckily color gifts bags and brown craft paper bags like these can be purchased in bulk online. Don’t be afraid to ask your favorite local take-out place to do you a favor and order you a batch either (they get them super cheap!). Now to dress them up!
*A perfect project to pass on to you future in-laws or bridesmaids btw.
Materials:
-String or Ribbon
-Hole Punch
-Scrapbook Paper
-Blank Tags (ebay is great place to get them cheap)
-Scissors or X-acto knife
-(optional) Shaped Hole Punch or Edge Cutter

 

Any combination of these tag decorating ideas work great!

 

-A Pen or Marker to hand-write your  initials
-A Rubber Stamp that coordinates with your theme (hearts, beach shells, a flower, bow, snowflake, anything!) or even better…
-A Personalized Stamp like these shown by Strawberry Small Works Studio or design your own by uploading a jpeg and have your own made here!
The goodies in our Cape Cod welcome bag included a welcome letter, restaurant suggestions, and to-do’s, free tourist brochure maps, Cape Cod potato chips, salt water taffy, water, gum, and travel toothpaste and toothbrushes!
Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

 

What crafty project do you want to do for your wedding? Rachel will show you the way!
Workshop Wednesday: 3 Easy Steps to a Make Your Wedding Card Basket
Is your wedding next week and you forgot you wanted a coordinating card collector? Well look no further! This is actually the basket I made for my wedding last fall when I planned out every little detail and forgot about the card basket until the day before!
Materials:
  • Any basket you have in your house (you can even empty one out and then have it back in place after the wedding)
  • Paper (most likely you have extra paper from your invitation or program samples but simple cardstock works just great too)
  • Marker or Pen
  • Ribbon, String, or Twine
  • *optional/as needed- scissors, hole punch, tape
 Steps:
1. Cut out 5 rectangles, squares, or any shape you like.
2. Write one letter on each card.
3. String together, wrap around, or weave through the basket.  Done!
Another great example I found on Love of Family and Home:
Ask your wedding coordinators  to collect the cards from the basket throughout the night and put them in a place for safe keeping.
 
 
Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!
 
What DIY projects are on your mind? Leave us a comment and  Rachel can come up with  some magic for you!
Workshop Wednesday: DIY Recycled Crayons for Your Flower Girl, Ring Bearer or Kids Table!

These crayons are a sweet gift for flower girls and ring bearers. They are a perfect way to set up a children’s activity while still sticking with your wedding theme or color palette!

If you are someone who has old crayons this is how you repurpose them into a cute and useful gift. If having a hand in the creation of something special is important to you but you don’t have crayons on hand then start with new crayons and play with putting together color palettes for the final product.

Materials:

  • Crayons (new or old without wrappers)
  • Knife (that you don’t care about) or hammer
  • Silicone chocolate/baking mold
  • Cookie sheet covered with tin foil
Cut up or break up crayons, arrange colors of your choosing, and fill mold halfway with crayon pieces. You do not need to grease the molds.
Place mold on top of tin foil covered cookie sheet. Bake in 225 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool before popping out of mold. Molds can be placed in the freezer to speed up the cooling process.
Having a strong base under the flexible molds and lining it with foil will save you the trouble of cleaning up troubles with melted wax.
Silicone molds come in all shapes, sizes, and themes!
Having an autumn wedding? Try fall foliage colored crayons shaped like leaves. Shells for a summer wedding on the shore? You can’t go wrong with classic hearts or flowers though!
(image courtesy of www.theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com)

 

Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

 

What DIY project would you like to see on our blog?
DIY Mother of the Bride Gift: A Customized Hand-stamped Journal

A  solid or pattern-covered journal can be a simple, yet perfectly personal gift for a mother or close friend. I crafted a simple strategy for creating your own journal for mom, inspired by these journals from Three Trees Bindery (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreeTreesBindery) and Journaling Jane (https://www.etsy.com/shop/JournalingJane).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials:

  • Ink Pad
  • Alphabet stamp set
  • Notebook/journal/sketchbook
  • Small paper cut to size (or stamp directly on the book)
  • Glue stick
  • *optional- other stamps!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This journal I picked up at Target.  I stamped the letters onto the small paper first before adhering (just in case I wanted a re-do).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make it even more special., stamp a quote inside the book as a sweet surprise!

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Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

 

What other gifts are you interested in making for the big day? 

 

Workshop Wednesday: Easy DIY Ombre Clothespins!

If you’ve been practicing your layered tissue paper technique from my post a couple weeks ago, then these will be a breeze! Clothespins are great for hanging up a photo display, special cards, or signs at a party. These look beautiful and not only are they easy but you can make a dozen for under $10!

Materials:

  • Clothespins
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Tissue paper (for ombre 3 shades of a color)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 1:
Trace and cut the size of the clothespin side.
Cut out 4 pieces of tissue paper to size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:

Glue on tissue paper strips.
Layer 1- mid-tone
Layer 2- lightest tone at the top
Layer 3- darkest tone at the bottom
Layer 4- one more layer of mid-tone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tissue paper can be torn, cut, and glued in a any pattern or arrangement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make them even more special with an add-on such as
-Tissue paper pom poms
-Monograms or initials
-Cut out shapes
-Buttons Clip them on a string to hold an arrangement of photos or pictures you want to show off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Shuma Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has yearsof experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

Workshop Wednesday: Working with Watercolor & Gouache for your Wedding!

I’ve had a few friends approach me with questions about how to best approach their interest in playing with watercolors. One of them was frustrated with not being able to get the washy result she was striving for. I took at a look at her paints and realized she was using gouache instead of watercolor and was using white in an effort to create transparency.

As an elementary art teacher I find watercolor fascinating for the reason that it is the first kind of paint (typically) introduced to o clean up but it is in actuality one of the more difficult paints to control and requires a backwards approach (as well as patience).children because it is easiest.

Tubes of watercolor and gouache look very similar, if you are not familiar with art supplies it is very likely you will not realize which one you purchased before testing it out.

 

 

Watercolor is a transparent paint meant to work with water. If you don’t mix it with water it will likely leave a sticky residue on your paper. The more water you add the lighter your color will be. You work with the lightest shade first, letting it dry, and then adding your darker tones and details as you progress. White watercolor paint is taboo for most artists. It looks more like white out added to your picture and creates a cloudy effect when mixed with color. If you want a section white you are supposed to leave the paper showing and paint around that area.

 

Gouache is made with an acrylic base, meaning it has plastics in it. It can be mixed with water but is meant to be an opaque color, able to be painted flat with no brush marks and easily controlled. Because it is opaque you can mix the color with white to create tints and pastels that are dense and not transparent.

 

Basic watercolor & gouache etiquette:

  • Start with a little bit!
  • You can then add water, and spread the color out. If it dries in the palette just re-wet it.
  • Have two brushes, one for mixing the color, one for painting the color on the surface.
  • Watercolors range in price and type because the pigments used to make the color are stronger and longer lasting. If you are doing a project for a shower or wedding that is decorative and does not need to stand the test of time, inexpensive paints should work out fine for the beginner artist! If you are concerned about how much paint to add and mix together start with an opaque watercolor set rather than tubes.
  • Paper matters. White copy paper and construction paper will only frustrate you. “90 lb.” watercolor paper comes in a pad and is good for practicing. If you want a thicker paper for a final project splurge on “140 lb.” paper which is thicker. Hot press is smoother (better for gouache) and cold press has a tooth or texture to it (that creates an added effect for washy watercolor). Most art store clerks are happy to help you with this!
  • Be patient and experiment! Work on a few projects at once, letting things dry as you work on them. Don’t be afraid to channel your inner middle school scientist and experiment with color combinations, brushes, and how much water you use.
  • Have fun!

Rachel Shuma Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has yearsof experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

Workshop Wednesday: DIY Ombre Wedding & Party Decor!

Happy Workshop Wednesday! As you head into your weekend (is it Friday yet??!) we’re excited to feature another adorable and easy DIY  project from our gal Rachel at Strawberry Small Works Studio!   This week: Ombre hanging party decor: a simple and inexpensive way to

make cute hanging décor to match any style of party or wedding. Seriously, how pretty would the bride and groom’s initials be if cut out of this collaged paper?!  We’re also loving this idea for dessert bar or lounge decor or ceremony backdrops too. Thanks, Rachel and happy crafting, Whimsters!

Materials:

  • Tag board or cardstock
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue stick
  • Modge Podge (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Stencils, cookie cutters, or ruler
  • Hole punch & string to hang!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The easiest way to set up this project is to cut the tissue paper to the same size as your cardstock.

That way when you rip the tissue it is the necessary length of the paper you are gluing it on to and you can focus on the nuances of color and torn edges instead.

Layer the tissue paper on top of each other and start ripping!

 

 

 

Layer the tissue paper, making sure to put glue stick down under each strip. It must be entirely stuck down.

 

When you are finished a light layer of mod podge can give a sheen to it and make for a longer lasting project. That step can be easily omitted though.

 

Use a stencil or cookie cutter to trace as many of your shape of choice on the back of the cardstock.

 

You can also use a ruler and just cut simple squares or rectangles!

 

String them together, and ta-dah!

For a more complicated silhouette such as block letter initials you might want to use an exacto knife.

Rachel Shuman Armentano is the owner and artist behind Strawberry Small Works Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. In addition to being wedding and party obsessed she has years of experience as an art educator and believes everyone can make something beautiful!

What other DIY projects are you interested in learning how to do?