Thursday, June 24, 2010

Making Animal Beads with Polymer Clay


Animal beads look so cute, isn't it? Why not try making some of them? Making animal beads with polymer clay is so simple and fun that you'll just love it! It's very easy to mold polymer clay just by pressing and giving shape with hands. So, practically you can make any kind of animal bead with howsoever complex structure. After all, not all animals are straight lines and circles! However, if you wonder how perfectly will you be able to mold the clay to give a perfect shape to your animal bead, you have other option too- you can use a press mold to give shape of an animal to your bead.

How to Make Animal Bead with Press Mold

Get  some soft polymer clay, animal shaped clay molds (you'll find them in any crafts store), bead reamer tool, piece of cardboard, baking tray, varnish, paint. Now you are ready to make animal beads with your polymer clay.
  • If your polymer clay is hard, take a small portion of it and make it soft (softening of clay is called "conditioning" the clay). To soften polymer clay rub it within hands. The warmth of hands and a little stretching and working with the clay will make it soft enough to place it in the mold for giving desirable animal shape.
  • If you want a single color animal bead, put the clay into the animal shaped mold. However, if you want multiple colored animal beads, you have to mix required number of colorful clay before putting it into the mold.
  • Now press the clay firmly into the mold. Take care not to press so hard that the bottom gets flattened.
  • Fill up the mold until the clay gets even at the top edges and flat all the way across.
  • Now, turn the mold over and slowly bend the rubber to release the animal shaped clay. If you see any  rough edges, smooth them with fingers.
  • With the help of a bead reamer tool or a thin piece of wire, drill a hole through your animal bead shape. If the beads are too soft to make a hole, place them on a piece of wax paper and put them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
  • After making hole, put your animal beads on a piece of cardboard on the baking tray and set your oven. To know at what temperature and for how much time you have to bake your beads, check the package of polymer clay as each brand of clay is different. Ensure  that the room is well ventilated.
  • When you finish with baking, let your animal beads cool completely.
  • Once the beads have cooled down, give your choice of finishing to them. You can varnish, paint or glaze them. You can even use a fine-grain sandpaper to give some texture to your animal beads.
That was about making animal beads with polymer clay. If you wish to make animal shapes with other beads through beading, read Beading Technique to Make Bead Animals

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Craft A Picture Frame Wall Collage


A picture frame wall collage is a very unique and different kind of picture frames. A wall collage picture frame is a actually a whole gamut of wall hanging picture frames put together in a collage style to cover the wall. Any number of pictures, frames in usually the same style and material are assorted for the purpose. All these pictures can vary in their sizes, shapes as well as frame material. Same wall collage might carry a circular cardboard picture frame and a pewter square picture frame. Order of arranging these photographs can also be variable. Check out the following styles in picture frame wall collages.

Decorative Picture Frame Wall Collage

Modular Picture Frame Wall Collage

Living Room Picture Frame Wall Collage Decor

Alphabetic Picture Frame Wall Collage

Learn how to make a Picture Frame Wall Collage Craft here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to do Rustic Home Decor with Wooden Furniture?


Many people these days want to have country type rustic home decor not only for outdoors but also for their home interiors. For this reason, rustic wooden furniture has gained immense popularity. These rustic furniture pieces are very simple and sturdy with a natural appearance and without any kind of sophisticated designs or cuts. Here are some tips to get rustic home decor with wooden furniture if you would like to do the same.
  • To decorate patios and gardens, get some rustic outdoor furniture such as arbors, trellis, and garden benches that have been made with wood without losing its original sophistication and classical effect.
  • For interior decoration with rustic home decor style, bring such wooden furniture as rocking chair or a rustic fireplace mantel and decorate your fireplace surroundings by placing these furniture there.
  • Bring a rustic dining table set for one of such home areas as porch, kitchen, dining room, or covered patio. Don't forget to bring wooden bowls to place some traditional food and vegetables on the tabletop. This will give you and your guests a nice country style meal.
  • You can consider decorating the corners of your rooms with some rustic furniture like rustic lampshade in one corner of your living room, rustic cabinets for corners of your bedroom or for kitchen etc.
  • Wooden floors are very easy and the natural way to bring rustic home decor to your place.
  • Log furniture is one of the best options for rustic style home decor. Bentwood rustic wood furniture or stick rustic furniture- all types of log furniture can give you a true rustic home decor. To know what is log furniture and what are the popular rustic wood furniture for your home decor, read Use Log Furniture for Rustic Home Decor

Framing Memories With Brass Picture Frames


Brass frames are very popular as mirror frames and picture frames. The main reason behind the popularity of brass frames is that they are extremely light weight. They can be polished and transformed into designs that vary in their styles ranging from a rustic look to an antique look, from a modern, classic to a funky look. Some of the common styles and designs are as elaborated below:

Antique Brass Picture Frame

Antique picture frames were often crafted in heavy and bulky metals and also the designs. While the designs were trademark of the era they were crafted in, metals were the only possible variation is the metal. Antique brass picture frames varied in the styles. Engraved frames, intricate carvings and ornate decorations were some of the popular styles in the antique frames. Simple designs are a rarity in vintage picture frames.

Decorative Picture Frame
Decorative framings are also preferred when the choice is for a special memories and highly decorative frames. Often bought for gifting purposes, they may be decorated with either pseudo jewels, semi-precious gemstones, intricate engravings of symbols or the ethnic patterns, colorful paints, etc.

Personalized Picture Frame
Personalized frames are usually made or order, customized according to the personal needs. For example, an antique looking picture frame, or a wooden one with special text on it, modern and lighter version with personalized messages, floral decorations for round picture frames or any other feature can be added by personalizing a basic frame.

A brass picture frame adds elegance to any photograph and at the same time is light and easily portable. Its flexibility to be easily molded into desired shape, designs and ability to be engraved allow it to be produced in a variety of styles. All these styles provide for enough variety and choice for framing some precious moments.

Friday, June 4, 2010

How to Identify Quality Wood Types for Furniture?


Wooden furniture is made from many types of wood. However, good furniture has some standardized characteristics that include durability and beauty as its primary qualities. And these qualities are instilled in the furniture by the use of good types of wood. So, the foremost rule for identifying quality wooden furniture is to assess the wood type used for making it. How this can be done? Here are some pointers to consider when looking for quality wooden furniture.

Hardwood v/s Softwood- Basic Types of Wood for Furniture

Wooden furniture is made from both types of wood- hardwood as well as softwood. Hardness of the wood makes a durable wooden furniture. However, if you go by literal meaning of both the terms, you can be disappointed because not all hardwoods are hard, and not all softwoods are soft. Hardwoods come from flowering trees such as maple, cherry, oak, ash, walnut, and mahogany where as softwoods come from conifers like pine, spruce, redwood, and cedar. Hardwoods are more strong and stable type as compared to softwoods but there are exceptions too (gum is one of its example). So, we come to a conclusion that although wooden furniture made from hardwoods are more durable, the furniture made from softwood are also not that bad, especially if you want decorative carved furniture. To have detailed information on wood types for furniture, you must read Types of Wood Furniture- A Comparison of Wood Types

Wood Grain & Color- Check for Quality Here!

The grains of any type of wood are determined on the basis of annual growth rings on a tree. There are many types of woods that have subdued and others that have clearly defined grains. These grains can again be of any type- straight grains, stripes, swirls, waves or curls, ripples, eyes, or with mottled effects. Colors of woods too range from white and pale yellow to red, purple, and blackish brown. You should check grain and color of the wood to identify the wood quality.

Hardwoods generally have a more fine textured grain as compared to softwoods. The wood types that have distinctive patterns are considered more valuable than woods with subdued or indistinct patterns, If you see that a wooden furniture piece has weak looking grained wood then it might have been stained to give them some character.

Tips for Checking Wooden Furniture for Quality

There are two possibilities where you might get a wooden furniture with compromised quality. One, you may get wooden furniture made from veneers & inlays and second, you might bring furniture made with two or more types of wood. Veneer is made with a thin layer of good type of wood glued to a base of less expensive wood or plywood. When more types of wood are used, the quality wood type is used for more visible portions like table top or body of chair and cheap wood is used for lesser visible portions like table and chair legs.
  • To check whether your wooden furniture has veneer, look at the edge of the wood surface- a thin layer glued over a base wood will be seen there.
  • Compare the unfinished surface (like under the table top or chair seat) with the finished wooden surface. If there is some difference, it might be veneer.
  • Similarly, look for signs of staining at the legs of furniture pieces to make out whether it has been made from different combination of woods. Staining and finishing of cheap woods are essential if they have to be matched with quality wood types!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Antique Victorian Picture Frames


Victorian picture frames happens to be a different league of picture frames that stand out with their Victorian designs and rustic looks. The grandeur that rustic Victorian picture frames can lend a photograph is unmatched by any of its contemporary styles and designs. Wooden antique picture frames, wrought iron picture frames, reproduction Victorian frames or modern day frames with Victorian finish – all the metals and different carvings and patterns are a class apart.

Check out more about Victorian picture frames, antique picture frames and the classic black picture frames in particular, here.