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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fun & Easy Outdoor Project: Make Outdoor Utensil Organizer

 Taking useful and fun DIY outdoors on this post!  Very simple project that anyone can do, for little money (to none if you already have everything) and the possibilities of design are endless!

You will need: 3 terracotta small pots, 1 terracotta 18 in round pot plate, outdoor patio paint in colors of your choosing, brushes, and decorative ribbon if you choose.

 I painted the terracotta plate first, and kept the blue as the bottom color.  I did not paint under the plate, because I liked a little of the terracotta showing, because I wanted to keep it showing inside each of the pots.  You could paint in the inside of the pots, but I personally would not put my plastic or silverware in there on top of the paint, without having a liner over it.

For my design, I decided to alternate colors of the top and bottoms of the pots.
 Once the paint was dry (do 2 or 3 coats), you could do as I did and hot glue on some fun ribbon.  I also considered chalkboard paint to write "forks" "knives", "spoons" on them, but changed my mind last minute.  That is another option!

And there you are, outdoor utensil holder for your BBQ's and entertaining!  And, you can keep the pots outside since the paint is protected.  I probably wouldn't keep the silver or plastic ware outside though ;)  Happy Summer!~


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Patriotic Art: 4th of July Door Decoration

It has been awhile since I last posted!  The biggest of my crafting projects lately has actually been outdoors, finishing our patio and new walkway to the house - hence, why I have been missing.  This post/project was intended for Memorial Day, but here we are approaching the 4th of July and in many ways, this is more appropriate for the 4th.  Inspiration for this project actually came from an activity I did for the adult day program I was working in last year.  We did this exact activity, only with magazine clippings.  It was a hit!  This project is perfect for any age and capability because it's really how you interpret the flag to look to you.

 I used a 11 X 14in. wooden plaque.  I happened to already have one with the fancy corners, which is not necessary for this project.  Straight corners would probably be much easier!

I visited the new Joanne's fabrics in Rochester for my fat quarters.  There was a cool collection already bundled that I used for this project.

You can see I started to cut squares of fabric.  The past times I did this project with magazine pages, we did in fact cut square pieces from the photos, but I actually changed my mind for this and cut strips of the fabric I wanted to use.
 It doesn't matter at all how you lay out your flag.  You can do whatever you want with it!  I started the template of mine by cutting out a 6 X 4 in rectangle for the top left hand corner of the flag.  That fat quarter bundle I picked out already had a blue background that was covered in stars, so easy peasy.  The white fabric had tiny white stars within it, I used this as my white base for the white stripes.  Whatever you do end up using - my only suggestion is to have a fairly plain fabric mixed in such as I did with the white.  If you have too many patterns, the effect won't look right.

 Then, keeping with the strips of fabric vibe, I cut out mainly red patterned strips.  I put these down in between the white strips.  Just as you would lay out a puzzle, making sure each piece interlocks before gluing, I do the same with this project.

Once you like your layout, go to town with the decoupage glue.  You will want to layer under each piece of fabric, and then over the fabric as well.  Before you know it, you are done!

Hang it to display your patriotism for the 4th of July and throughout the summer!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Tropical Treatment" Thank You Gift

A Thank You Gift perfect for coming sunny days!

This week was my work agency's Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon to recognize our senior volunteers.  We had a blast and they went home with several goodies.  If it weren't for my supporting staff though, I would absolutely not have been able to pull this event off on my own. One of my coordinators is a scrapbookaholic and the other is a whiz at getting whatever  you can dream up donated for raffle prizes.  They both work extra hard, and each of them even had their daughters help out for the event, so this was my way of thanking all four of them.

I wanted a tropical/girly theme to the thank yous and who was the store to come through once again on supplies?  The Dollar Tree.  In total this was about $25 for 4 gifts.  They had hurricane goblets in bright colors, LifeSavers gummies in 2 different flavors, tropical theme stirrers, little drink umbrellas, and flip flop flower clips.  The only item I did not get there was the Crystal Light.  Crystal Light has a brand new line of "adult beverage" flavored mixes.  I grabbed an Appletini package, a Mojito package for my coordinators.  Their daughters are both underage, and not that there is alcohol in these powdery packets, but I didn't want to offend (especially considering one girl is 13) so I snagged Raspberry Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi for them.

I wanted a fun 'tag' for each of the hurricane goblets, so I came up with the idea of making paper flip flops.  To be honest, I just free handed these.  I had some brown paper for the middle of the flip flop, and then I grabbed from my scrapbook pile colorful papers for the soles.  I used Scrapbook adhesive to adhere the brown paper to the colored paper.  I then poked three tiny holes at the top middle, and the two opposing sides of the flip flop.



Fold a piece of ribbon in half for the straps, and sick through the top middle hole.  This is the start of the flip flop.

You will put the other ends of the ribbon through the two opposing holes, pull through (leaving some ribbon loose for the sandal strap effect) and tie to the back. I added a dab of Tacky Glue to the top piece of ribbon on the back to keep it securely in place.


 I coordinated fun flowers and brads for the top of each sandal that I glued on.  And then I wrote on each one "Tropical Treatment Thank You".  For future gifts like this I might explain the contents inside the goblets.  But I actually just liked these as they were.


I tucked the flower clips for the flip flops in the top of each goblet.  Punched a hole in the flop flop and tied it around the middle of the goblet with fun ribbon.  Inside the goblets: I took the Gummy LifeSavers out of the package as I wanted the contents all inside the glass. I put the Lifesavers on the bottom, then the Crystal Light packages.  Then, I topped off each one with a flamingo stirrer and a coordinating drink umbrella!  I was happy with how these came out and they were fun to make!  You could make many different variations of this project!  Have fun!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers - Front Door Decoration


 Without thinking too much about it, I have just now realized my obsession over the past several months with creating new front door decorations.  Part of it is the fact I have a very old door and a very newly painted house, so I want to add something to the door to make it as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of the house.  So until we replace the old door, here's to another front door accessory!

I created this one using solely Dollar Tree items.  In total, this costs $6 to make!  You could get the same materials anywhere, I just like the challenge of finding the most inexpensive items to transform into something fun!  Before I get into the instructions, I must admit - I really hate fake flowers.  And not all fake flowers, as I had them at my wedding (those were high end) but I usually hate the real cheap ones that fall apart as you use them.  This project however, I have overcome much of my hatred!

For this project, you will need:
*3 mini watering cans of your choice (Dollar Tree also had this style in Kelly Green)
*3 bunches of flowers -preferably ones that won't look silly "spilling" from the can.  Smaller flowers work best.
*Hot glue gun (not pictured)
*Small Drill (not shown) - could also use a nail and hammer with frozen water method.  If you don't know what I am talking about with this, just look up online "poke holes in tin/freeze water" and you will get to it.  
*Twine - thin

You will want to poke/drill your holes first.  I just did one hole at the bottom of 2 of my 3 cans.  You could put holes at the top and bottom to have your twine run all the way through the cans.  I didn't feel like getting into that much and liked the idea of running the twine from the inside of the cans, to the handle of the next can.
Next, you will want to run the twine through your first can and make a knot.  This should be a big enough knot to hold inside the can.

Then, you will let out the twine about 9 inches, and tie to your next can, making it about 7-8 inches apart from each other.

You will repeat these steps for the second can, making a knot and tying to the last can so that you have something resembling this:

 Then, the flowers.  I took my bunches and folded them down to where they would fit into the cans, but still look like they were flowing out of it.  I cut off the bottom chunk.

Then, generously fill the bottom of your can (the side where you had that hole and knotted twine) and place the bunch of flowers inside until they are firmly in place.  Do these for all the cans, and you're done!  Hang and enjoy!  A front door decoration for April-May.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Make Your Own Easter Bunny Candy or Dip Dish



 Here's another easy one just in time for Easter!  Show off your creativity with using this as either a candy dish (which I am doing for now) or for a dip container (which I will be doing next weekend).

You will need an hour or two for this project, mostly for drying purposes.  There are smaller projects what can be done while the drying is going on, but a couple hours is much smarter to have enough time for everything.
You will need:

* glass jar (this is a Dollar Tree find)
* Air Dry PermEnamel Surface Conditioner
* Air Dry PermEnamel Ultra White paint
* Krylon Low Odor Matte Sealer (not pictured)
* Paint brushes
* Elmers Paint Marker, Black for eyes & mouth
* White Pom Pom or Cotton Ball
* Pink Button (not pictured) for nose
* Jewelry Wire (not pictured) for whiskers
* Hot Glue Gun
* White & Pink Felt - small pieces & 2  Wide
* Popsicle sticks                                                        

First step:  Turn dish upside down and then apply the surface condition enamel, let dry (this took about 15-20 min).   Then coat with the PermEnamel in  ultra white, cover  in entirety, nice and thick.

While the white paint dried, I worked on the ears.  I cut out felt pieces for the ears and glued them onto wide popsicle sticks.  No need to attach these to the jar!  That way you can clean out the jar inbetween whatever food item you are putting in it.

** Before freaking out that food is going near this paint, it is absolutely safe and cleanable once you have finished everything and can use soap and water on it.  If it weren't for the 3-D items you put on this jar, you could even put it in a dish washer!  That is why you want to use PermEnamel, that is meant for glass and ceramics.

For the ears, I honestly guesstimated on the size because I made this up!  The white part of the ear I made at 4 inches tall, the pink part is 2 inches tall.  I put the ear 3 inches down the popsicle stick so the felt has enough support and doesn't get floppy -ha!


 I just now realized I did not have a picture of his face pre-attachments.  But, you will next want to use the paint marker to apply his eyes and mouth.  And once you are happy with how he looks, spray the sealer all over him outside or in a well vented area.  You do NOT want to spray him when he has his nose, whiskers and tail on, then you would have one sticky mess!

Once dried, stick those ears inside the dish, and fill with whatever you are displaying or serving!  There's your bunny!
Mmmmm....Starburst Jelly Beans

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easter Front Door Wreath

OK, this can't be any easier and I LOVE how it looks on my front door!  Have a bunch of plastic Easter eggs lying around?  Do this and feel like you have put them to use!  Since I am sans children, I did not have a bunch of Easter eggs lying around - however I got a ton for very little money at Big Lots.











You will need:  1.)  Straw wreath (mostly if you put this outside), can use foam if you are making yours for inside.  I personally prefer the straw wreaths - they last longer.  Leave the plastic on.  This was an 18 inch wreath....you can always go smaller.
2.)  Floral wrapper or sturdy ribbon to hang.  I just grabbed a cute ivory and gold one on clearance to match the eggs.
3.)  Plastic Easter eggs!  I got this bag full of 100 for only $5 at Big Lots.  The cheaper the better...you are after all, covering these things in hot glue.  I have about 30 left!
4.)  Hot glue gun and about 4 large glue sticks is what I went through.


 The only tricky part of this project is securing your hanging ribbon.  I hot glued both sides of it, as it was wrapped around the wreath. I then also hot glued two eggs purposely on top of the ribbon to keep it securely in place.

After this....just keep filling in wreath with plastic eggs, alternating their direction....I did about three rows of eggs going around.

Once you have filled in the wreath, then you can place additional eggs on top of that layer, scattered here and there to give more dimension to the wreath.  And, you're done!  Hang it somewhere everyone can enjoy it!  I plan on keeping mine up throughout April.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Put a Cork In It Part II - Wine Cork Ornaments


It's truly never too early to think of Christmas.  It's March and I am well under way for Christmas Fair season 2012!  Here are my wine cork Christmas ornaments.  You could use them as ornaments or you could use them as wine bottle decoration when you bring a bottle of wine to a party.  The possibilities are endless; as are the items you can use to decorate.  Don't just do what I do, do whatever you like!  I plan on selling these for $2-3 each, depending upon the complication of them.  This featured set is $2 for each.   I find it funny how "trendy" wine corks are right now.  You can make anything you see that you like yourself.  YOU DONT NEED TO PAY EXORBITANT PRICES!  I can't believe what some places charge for items with corks.

You will need a smaller, delicate rotary drill.  I got mine as a gift for Christmas (many thanks to my father in law) - but you can get these at hardware shops, or even some department stores.

You will need a cording or jewelry wire.  I used mostly jewelry wire for these.  The cording is slightly harder to fit in the hole, so you would want a slightly larger drill bit.  Then, other than the corks, you will need embellishments.  I used a combination of items...I talk more about that down below.


 First, I drilled holes in each of the corks I was planning on using.  I used the smallest bit I had.  The second up from that one would be one to use with your ribbon cording.
 I had saved acorn tops while hiking for various projects...these worked out super cute on top of a couple corks!  I was able to drill through the top of them with the same drill bit I used for the corks.  I also used holiday buttons.  I used some hemp cording for one ornament as well.  Like I said possibilities are endless.
 For decoration around the center of the wine cork, you can use the jewelry wire and small beads to make some really intricate and pretty looking ornaments.  (You may convince others you spent much longer on this than you actually did).  I used a combination of small beads, and charms...all of which I found in the jewelry section of the craft store.
 It is very hard to explain how to do this in writing.  I do promise to do a video in the near future as I work to perfect that on my iphone...but for now...I just have my simple and silly photos.  You will want to fold whatever you are using as your base hanging material (ribbon, wire, etc) in half, and fit that through the middle of the cork hole you have drilled.  For decorating the middle/body of the cork, you will want to just put on piece of jewelry wire through the middle, and stick it in the side of the cork to secure. As you bead, you will want to make a tiny knot every 1/4 inch or so, to keep your beads where you want them.


Honestly, this is a project just to fool around with and come up with your own style and taste!  I plan on doing more in another blog post....I will have a video, and I will show how to get really complicated with multiple corks!  For now, here is your start!  Save those corks!!  Good luck!