Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my "Maker's" blog, where I feature my creativity and DIY projects. I'm three years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pier 1 Napkin to Fab Pillow DIY



I LOVE the look of script on fabric but I haven't found any that is just right, so this fabric napkin at Pier 1 was perfect! Alas, it was the last one. But at $4.95 for a generous 20" square napkin with pretty black crocheted edging, it was a real find!




As you can see, the writing is wonderfully done with the theme of being thankful. 


I hemmed a muslin square all the way around then
carefully sewed it to the napkin so the pretty edging would show.


And here SHE is!

I crashed my stash for a down pillow in just the right size then put the cover on it.

LOVE IT!


She is relaxing now with her pillow family on my bed. This is where I put all my pillow cover designs to see if they fit with my whole eclectic collection decor theme and are worthy of my Etsy shop. I really am pleased with this project! She was quick and easy and low cost and fits in perfectly with her siblings.




Win Win!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Super Simple Shivery Paper Halloween Bats


Each year when I decorate by black tree branches for Halloween, I always make sure to add these tiny paper bats to the display.


They are perfect for an indoor display at Halloween time. They are so light that they swing and sway with the slightest passage of air as you walk by. Such fun!

And they couldn't be simpler to make.

What you will need is black crepe paper and very thin florist wire.



Cut your paper bats from folded over crepe paper so both sides are identical. Curl a 6"-8" length of florist wire around a pencil and with a small dab of hot glue attach one end to the back side of your paper bat.  Stretch the wire out slightly to wrap it around the tree branch, wreath or arrangement then stretch it out a bit more to position your bat. The more you stretch out the wire the more shivery the bat will be! Blow on your tiny bat and see it dance and wiggle!

I grouped mine 3 at a time for this display. I LOVE the way they came out. This would be a fun kids' craft and your could go all out, making LOTS of these bats for your house. Crepe paper is recommended since it is so light. Copy paper or cardstock is too heavy.

Try it out and see how easy but neat these bats look in your holiday house!

Quick Change Wreath Decor

I had this idea to make wreath decor that was easy to change out on different kinds of wreaths and didn't require loads and loads of hot glue to hold them on.

Here's what I came up with.


I crashed my stash and found all kinds of colorful, glittery Autumn leaves, berries and twigs. Most of them are from the Dollar Store. That's a good start!



I wanted the backing to be sturdy enough to hold all the elements but also lightweight and thin enough so the design would blend with the types of wreaths I want to decorate. The Mountain Dew box was just the right weight. I hot glued all the leaves and rosettes and berries in place on the front then attached florist wire through several holes in the cardboard on the back. 



Voila! A pretty arch of autumn colors and elements ready to go on a wreath form. I added the glittered coppery butterfly for a perfect pop of shine.


Here it is on my coffee filter wreath. It looks great! I made the wreath with white coffee filters hot glued to a basic twig wreath. Even unadorned it is pretty but this added flair is just gorgeous!




And here is the same spray on a burlap wreath I made. Presto, change-o in just a few seconds! Wow, this is working out better than I'd hoped! I made the burlap wreath using hot glue on a straw wreath form. The mix of the plain burlap and the colorful arrangement really pops!


And here is a spray on a plain old twig wreath. The fancy and the plain really look good together. Again, it took mere seconds to switch from one wreath to another!


And here it is on a tan coffee filter wreath that I made using a Dollar Store hula hoop as a base. I really LOVE how this looks all together! Not only does it look good it is super simple to change over from one wreath to another. I think it would even look good over a round mirror for a neat accent!

I'm thinking of doing another arrangement with black and purple spray painted leaves for Halloween and then, of course, another one for Christmas. Those will both be fun projects, I'm looking forward to them!


Painted Decor Balls For My Coffee Table

I wrote previously about repainting my vintage/ancient 80s coffee table to coordinate with the new color scheme in my living room. Namely, the addition of turquoise blue. Here's the link....



I knew I wanted something something to put on the newly painted table to draw the eye. After checking out my stash and using a bit of paint I made some new decor for my living room, for FREE! 


I have lots of stuff stored away for projects and I had these resin decor balls in a box. I got them at a thrift store but I still see new ones for sale at Michael's, Ross, Pier 1 and other stores. They were originally a combo of bronze, brown and gold, not what I wanted at all.



Oops! Got a little ahead of the camera action there! I brushed on a scant layer of Apple Barrel acrylic paint in turquoise for this pair.


I totally adore the way the color picks out the detail in these decor balls! I painted the last ball (which was mostly antiqued gold) with Apple Barrel bright red. Then I wiped off some of the color on all three balls while the paint was still wet. This gave me the vintage vibe I was going for.



And last, to make them look even more aged, I finished them with a top coat of Poly Shades in classic oak. This is a stain and sealer in one and it adds just the right amber glow to these decor balls. Use this in a well ventilated space per the label instructions!


 I always buy footed wooden bowls whenever I find them at thrift stores or yard sales, so I knew I had this perfect container for my new old decor balls. I dry brushed the wood with more turquoise paint and wiped it off for a vintage look. Then I sealed it with the Polyshades. I LOVE how it makes the painted piece look instantly old!
Although it would be nice to go out and spend lots of dollars to get a new look in my home, I usually end up doing just this...changing up my decor with paint and stain and things I already have. And the best part? I can do it again and again and it is FREE!


 Ooooh aaaaah!

If I ever decide to go all white with my decor I know I can redo this table and these balls for a bit of decor punch. I love that! Join me at these fun linky parties. You'll find some very cool things!

                            http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2014/09/salvaged-old-signs.html

Colorful Painted Coffee Table Project

Several years ago when I slipcovered our long couch in chocolate brown, I painted the top of our coffee table to tie together all the colors in the room...namely reds, golds, browns and greens. First I used Kilz primer on the top then painted an abstract design with craft paint. I love that pop of color in our livingroom!

This table was a $7 auction find decades ago and it has served us very very well.



Here is the original cubist abstract design. After painting the colorful top and dry brushing with burnt umber I aged it with walnut Polyshades, which is a stain and sealer in one. It gave the colors just the right vintage patina that I was aiming for.


 In our new home the brown couch and some of the artwork has remained and I've added turquoise blue to my living room mix. I knew it was time to update that coffee table!

I carefully sanded then painted every shape that was formerly green with Apple Barrel turquoise. Then I aged each piece with burnt umber paint and finished it off with walnut Polyshades.


I aged it a bit more to tone down the turquoise and here's how it looks now.


The blues still need further aging but I love how it looks with the red and blue pillows on the couch!


Of course I wanted some turquoise and red decor for the "new" coffee table. I'll post about that right here....

http://makethebestofthings.blogspot.com/2014/09/painted-decor-balls-for-my-coffee-table.html

And I'll be joining these linky parties and sharing. Come and visit!

http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2014/09/salvaged-old-signs.html

Make a Grungy Primitive Pumpkin for Halloween

 I make almost all the accessories for my Halloween witch dolls and their pumpkins are no exception. I cannot find exactly the right primitive looking Jack o' Lanterns for my projects so I make them. 

Say what?



Yup, this grungy little guy is handmade. All it takes is a styrofoam ball, tissue paper, mod podge or white glue, craft paint and a stick for the stem. Here is how!



Start with a round styro ball. Smoosh it down with slow, even pressure to make slight flat spots on top and bottom. Then use the tip of a skewer or skinny paint brush to score in some seams.


Use the tip of a craft knife, x acto blade or even a steak knife to cut the eyes, nose and mouth holes.


Coat the whole ball with mod podge or white glue. Stick it on a skewer or the handle of a paint brush for the next part.


Tear your tissue paper in small pieces, less than 1" square. While the pumpkin is still wet lay the paper pieces carefully over the whole ball, using a soft skinny paint brush to gently coax it into all the crevices. This smooths out the surface so your pumpkins looks pumpkiny and not styrofoamy. 

;o)



After the tissue layer is dry paint your pumpkin with bright orange craft paint.


 Once the first layer of paint is dry, go over all your crevices and holes with a q tip dipped in brown paint. Get it in there and don't worry about being neat about it because the next thing you are going to do is use a clean q tip to remove the excess brown paint. The brown paint in all the crevices will make your carving details POP.




Poke a hole in the top and hot glue a short stick in for a stem.



Next, use another q tip with black paint and get it deep into your carved face crevices. See how delightfully prim and creepy this makes your pumpkin look? 


I hot glued a tiny silk leaf to the stem and put him in a miniature basket. I LOVE it!

You can make this prim pumpkin out of bigger styrofoam balls, too. Next I will try to make some primitive grungy skulls out of egg shaped styrofoam. That should be fun!

 This would be a fun craft for kids with proper supervision. The  neat thing about primitive pumpkins is that they never have to look perfect. Have fun with it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DIY Apothecary Jar Solar Light

I've seen dozens of solar lights made out of mason jars. You can even buy kits now with all the items needed to make them. I got to thinking what works for mason jars has to work for other jars just as easily and some other jars are prettier, too!

Like this thrift store apothecary jar.




I made this as a gift for a summer birthday awhile back. It was a big hit and it couldn't have been simpler to do! First of all  find a jar with a glass lid that will be the approximate size, or larger, of the top part of an inexpensive $1 solar light like the one below. 


In this case the inexpensive solar light is 2" across and the glass lid for the jar I chose is just a bit bigger.



I did a dry run with the solar light and the lid using toothpicks for spacers on three sides. I left it outside for 24 hours and it lit up nicely!



I hot glued Dollar Store twine around the neck of the jar.



I also hot glued a strip of textured wall paper around the solar light and painted the flat top around the solar cell to blend into the twine and the wallpaper. See how well the solar light is hidden inside the jar lid? I also cut off the clear plastic collar at the bottom of the light with a dremel tool.





I hot glued the refurbished light inside the lid. Since the lid protects the hot glue from the weather it works well for this project. The wallpaper wrap makes it a snug fit so I didn't need to use the toothpick shims.



I added a cork and bead pendant tied with more twine then put a few sea shells, cork slices and sea glass in the bottom of the jar. Here it is lit up inside my house as the sun went down. Pretty!


Here are a few other thrift store jars that would work really well for this project.


They must have a glass lid so the solar light can charge and be big enough for the light to fit inside the lid. You can use hot glue to attach the light to the inside of the top of the lid or E6000 glass adhesive for a really good bond. 


Solar jar lanterns couldn't be easier to make and they are so very very pretty on a summer night!