Thursday, March 25, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses

A couple of weeks ago while reading Living With Lindsay, one of the blogs I follow, I was intrigued by an event that she was hosting.

The event, The $5 Challenge, is a challenge to shop for the supplies to make a spring decor item while spending less than $5 total for the item.  I like spring, I like home decor projects, heck, I even had five bucks. Always up for a challenge, I decided to give it a whirl. 

Well, naturally, when I think spring, I think flowers. When I think $5 or less, I think dollar stores.  When I think dollar stores, I think of my favorite, The Dollar Tree.  So off I went, with my $5 in hand to see what kind of trouble I could stir up.

I went up and down the aisles, pondering possibilities, picking stuff up, putting stuff back.  I started out with this little guy in my hand.

I then found this fun bag and thought okay, Easter theme.

I just wasn't feeling it.  Then I rounded a corner and inspiration struck me when I saw the most beautiful roses, blooming right there on the end of the Dollar Tree aisle. 

 I picked out my $5 worth of items and headed for the checkout.  Oh, the Easter bag and the little clown dude managed to come home with me too.  More about them later.

For the record, I love the shabby cottage look.  Shabby cottage with roses, even better! So, it came as no suprise that when I sat down to work on this challenge, I was having no trouble whatsoever getting into my project.  This time, I think the project may have also been getting into me.  Into my hair, under my nails, on my clothes... yeah, things were happenin' ...

But in the end, it was oh, so worth it!

I ended up with a Shabby French Bulletin Board, a Trinket Box, and six notecards made from a gift bag and paper I had on hand. I  then paired them with the three file folders and a set of sticky notes I had purchased, that didn't end up being part of my projects, just matching accessories that make for one stinkin' cute shabby chic desk set, right?

But wait, there's more!
 (I always did want to be my own info-mercial)
Part of the challenge was to provide a tutorial on the projects that I did.  So... without further adieu, let's get our craft on!

I started out with paint.  Two coats of off white acrylic paint on the trinket box and the frame of the bulletin board.

The trinket box took a little longer to dry, so I set it aside and started on the bulletin board.  Using a small dot of glue in the corner, I started to glue down the beaded trim in a diamond pattern. 


Where the trim crosses itself, I added a small dot of glue to hold it in place. It wasn't rocket science, I just criss crossed the trim to make diamonds and cut it off where it reached the edge of the frame.  I noticed that the cork was flexible enough to lift it up a tad so I cut it a bit longer than needed and tucked the edge under the frame for a nice finished look.

Then, cause it ain't shabby unless it's chipped, I took my handy dandy nail file to the edges and chipped em' up good and shabby.

The end result:

So I set the board aside and tackled the trinket box.  I gave it the same treatment with the nail file on the edges of the box.

 I noticed that the wood was really light in comparison with the bulletin board and wanted to make the set match, so I went and got some wood stain that I had left over from another project.  Yeah, I never said I wasn't a messy crafter.  Don't judge.

 I dabbed some on the raw wood to darken it a bit. 

Let it set for about thirty seconds to soak up that Golden Oak goodness (???) 

Then I wiped it off with a paper towel.  Worked like I planned it that way. Next, I had to focus on the inside of the box.  I cut two pieces of the gift bag to fit inside the lid and bottom of the box.

Using Mod Podge, I glued them in place.

I wanted to make the box lid functional as well, so I added a piece of the trim to it and glued both ends in place but left the middle part unglued so that stamps or small mementos can be tucked in behind it. Neat huh?

Then I decided that it needed something extra.  Oh, who am I kidding?  One of the dang beads fell off and I had to think fast.  I raided my button stash and glued on a cool button to make it look like it was part of the plan all along.  Cause I am good at thinking under pressure and stuff. Uhem...

Next I started to work on the outside of the box.  First, I added another piece of the bag to the top of the lid.

I coated the lid with Mod Podge, set the paper in place, then did another layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it.  This helps make the outside stand up to handling and easy to dust. Not that I dust, but one could if one were so inclined...

It dries clear and to a matte finish.  Suddenly this tutorial is a lot like watching paint dry, right? Huh. While the Mod Podge was drying, I cut out three flowers from the bag and made these springy doo-dads.

You might be wondering what a springy doo-dad is for.  Or you might not.  Either way, I'm gonna tell ya.  Just hold yer horses and don't get ahead of me.  I took the first of the cut out flowers and glued it to the lid of the box.

Then, the other two get what I can only describe as the knuckle treatment.  I put the flower in my hand face down and rubbed it with my knuckle to round the paper. This gives them a curve and when you glue them onto the box they will pop up and be all nice and dimensional for you. Here is the process in pictures.

Okay, now for the springy doo-dad.  I bet the suspense was killing you, right?

I fan folded a strip of paper and added glue to one side of it.

Squish it back together so the folds get glued into a small block.

Yeah, it's messy, but what fun is crafting if you don't get messy? Notice the paint on my thumb.

This little springy doo-dad will give the flower added dimension and support as you build your flower pop up on the box.  And for those of you out there screaming "Doesn't she know about those foam dots?" First of all, stop screaming, it's rude. And second, yes, I know about them, but this was a $5 budget and I didn't want to add to my costs.  Geesh!

I added a bit more glue, squished the flower to the doo-dad, then glued the entire thing on top of the first flower which was now dried on the box lid.


I then cut out three random leaf shapes from the bag, gave them the knuckle treatment and added them to the lid by gluing them under the layers of flower petals.

Now for the big finish.  I laid out a line of glue all around the box and glued on more of the beaded trim to finish off the lid.  One problem, right smack dab in the front of the lid, the trim had a flaw in it.  Back to my button stash and presto change-o, another button saved the day.

Now what good would a bulletin board be without some cute little matching custom made push pins? That's what I thought too! Back to the button tin (thank you Grandma, your button tin is a treasure trove of vintage buttony goodness!) and a fun selection of buttons to work with. 

Flat backed ones work best, but I had one that had a loop on the back. 

 I used a pair of wire cutters to cut off the plastic loop and made it as flat as I could.

Then I applied a dot of glue onto each push pin and added the buttons.

These got added to the bulletin board for a fun, finished and totally coordinated look.

So then I set about cutting up the rest of the gift bag into pieces to layer onto cardstock to make cards to go with the desk set.  They are shown below with the finished items. 

So there you have it, my first $5 challenge.  All total I only spent $3.50 on the Dollar Tree items, as I had half the gift bag left over, so I am waaaaaay under budget here, folks.  That never happens!  Here's another peek at the entire desk set, all blinged out with her accessories. 

Not too shabby, huh?  Sorry, couldn't help myself.

I'll be linking up to some of my favorite parties through out the week:

Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Night Special
My Romantic Home's Show and Tell
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

So let me know what you think with some bloggy comment love. 

Til next time,


  1. What great projects! You are one crafty and creative gal. Happy Spring!

  2. Just absolutely fabulous!! So creative!!!

    I never would have "seen" this out of a bag!!


  3. Wow, you made a lot with your $5. Maybe Lindsay should have called it "See How Much You Can Make With $5." Not only did you make a lot, but you did it beautifully. I loved the extra touches on the inside of the box. I love unexpected surprises.
    Will you keep it for yourself? It would all make a great gift.
    Great job!

  4. That's so cute! Very creative! :o)

  5. Ohh I have that same set of items here at my home I got from there!! Would have never guessed I could do all of that with it. WOW!!!

  6. What! Look at all that shabby goodness! Wow!
    Thanks for the tip on using a nail file and wood stain to get the shabby look! I learned something new today. :)

  7. Very pretty! I bought one of those folder sets {and the matching pens} for myself when I first saw them. Great idea to use the gift bag and I love that little box.

  8. Beautiful! I love shabby roses too. I would never have thought of making that out of a gift bag - you are very clever ;)

  9. These are very the whole set you made! Very creative!

  10. What a gorgeous set! That would make a great gift! Thanks for sharing - You did an amazing job!

  11. Roses are wonderful anytime and I love the button push pins!

  12. WOW Lisa!
    I obviously need to try harder! :)

    Look at all the goodies you ended up with!!!
    So fun to see the same product used in so many different ways!

    I love this $5 challenge!!
    It's makes everyone try harder & I do believe some of the best creations are coming from it! How FUN is that???!!!

    Thanx for stopping by my blog too!!! L~

  13. Sweet! I especially LOVE the pins on the buttons. Total genius right there!

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!
    FJ Donna

  14. Great projects! You are so talented!!!
    Okay, I need to hit the Dollar Tree today!
    I love the name of your blog. :)

  15. These are all really great I will have to find some bags like that!

  16. I have GOT to hit the Dollar Store on the way home this week and grab some of those bags. That is really pretty. I work part time in an office with all men...there is another woman there, but we trade off days for now. She mentioned the office needs some feminine touches...and it is a startup that will manufacture superturbos for automotive/truck and who knows what else it is very guy-oriented...this could be really fun!

  17. Awesome projects! I'm heading to the Dollar Tree! O.k., I'll wait till tomorrow since it's almost 9 p.m. on Sunday night where I live! Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Lisa,
    I LOVE this! I love the shabby look too and the roses are just beautiful! You are so creative and the challenge of $5.00! What a great way to stretch the imagination!!!Thanks for the tutorial and for sharing!

  19. Wow! That's a lot of things for $5. You are very creative! I think she needs to challenge you with $2! lol

    Hope you'll drop by AtticMag to give JaneT some advice on making a bench from a vintage bed. #81 on Met Monday.


  20. Very pretty, you did a great job on everything! And look at those button tacks.;)

  21. Hallo! I love the things you made for the 5dollars challenge!! Could I please present them on my blog??

  22. wow! that is amazing!!!


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