Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sea Shell Wreaths

Since it's starting to get hot here in Arizona, I think it's about time to flashback to last summer and a trip to the beach!

Every year when I go to the beach with my family, we have a terrible habit of collecting all sorts of pretty shells and never doing anything with them. This trip, however, I decided to change that. After a lot of thought (and looking at pictures online), my sister-in-law and I finally decided that we were going to use these shells to make some awesome shell wreaths. 

Here's what you need: 
  • Shells (the prettier the better!)
  • Wreath form 
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Ribbon

Since we collected our shells right off of the beach, the first step was to thoroughly clean them and make sure there wasn't any stinky beach stuff left inside. This also gave us a chance to organize them based on size and style (organization is a key piece of our projects, as you can see). We had a lot of the large, plain, clam-like shells and just a handful of the really pretty and unique shells. 
For us, this part of the project was free. If you don't have access to the beach, however, don't be discouraged! Michael's sells bags of pre-cleaned and pre-organized sea shells!

After cleaning the shells and getting them home, we picked up some green Styrofoam wreath forms from Michael's.  The first thing we did was use the ribbon to tie a loop at the top of the wreath so that we could hang it once we finished.

Then, we started using the glue gun to attach the shells. 

We started by attaching the biggest shells to cover as much of the green Styrofoam as possible.

Once we had a solid base, we used the smaller and prettier shells to fill in the gaps. 
We added fun things like sand dollars, sea urchins, and coral to give each wreath it's own unique look. 

The finished products: 

 And there you have it! You can use shells in different shades to get different effects with the wreaths. One of ours ended up with an orange hue throughout, while the other one has yellow, green, and black accents. 

No matter how you do it, it's a fun way to use all of those shells that you pick up along the beach and bring a little bit of your vacation back home with you! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Framed Paint Chip Art

A while ago we discovered this photograph and knew we wanted to replicate it. Originally the plan was to do an entire wall like the one above but since we both usually rent where we're living we adapted it and decided to put the chips into frames.
This is a great project because it's really inexpensive (or free if you already have the supplies) and the finished result is really cool and easy to move!

Supplies Needed:
  • Frame(s)
  • Paint chips
  • Spray glue (We used Loctite Spray Adhesive General Performance)
  • Patience 
One of the many perks of working for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Taliesin West is all the cool stuff they give away. Last summer the foundation was cleaning out the archives on the property and were giving away these nice museum size frames that once held Wright's own drawings and renderings. So of course when they asked if we were interested in taking some we couldn't say no. 

We realize not everyone will have a frame this large but this project can work on any scale, large or small.
Let's get started!

Step 1: Collect your paint chips! Because we used large frames and wanted lots of color options we gathered A LOT of samples from 5 or 6 different hardware stores. How many free samples can you take before it's considered stealing?!

Step 2: Organize your paint chips. You can do this however you want but because we are a little OCD we did it in color spectrum order.

Step 3: Design your layout. Initially we used large packing paper and traced the size of our frames to design the layout but as time went on we discovered that it was easiest to lay the paint chips directly on the frame. This part takes some time. We worked on our design for about 4 hours before deciding on the final layout. This may also have something to do with our OCD...? Just play around with the different shades and shapes. It's sort of like a giant game of tetris. 

Food break....

Step 4: Once you're happy with your layout it's time to start gluing. Pick up your paint chips one or two at a time and spray them with your glue. We used a cardboard box to keep the mess to a minimum. We couldn't have been happier with the spray glue. It worked really well and was easy to use. Each paint sample essentially became a sticker that could be pulled up and moved if we weren't happy with the placement.

Step 5: Once all your paint chips are glued down reassemble your frame and take a step back to admire the piece of artwork you just created!
Here are our final results.

Jen's Frame

Shelby's Frame

As you can see we took different approaches but this just proves the possibilities are endless. Good luck and most importantly have fun!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Polka Dotted Pony

Welcome to the Polka Dotted Pony Art Blog!

We have big plans for this blog, and within the next few days your bloggers, Shelby and Jen, will have it up and running!

Here's a teaser for the first tutorial...

Check back soon!