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

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm six years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

VHS Tapes Make Wonderful Creepy Halloween Streamers

The year we decorated our porch with strips of Dollar Store plastic tablecloths 
I loved the way the streamers draped and flounced and flared in the wind. 
The trick or treaters loved walking through the "curtains" too, 
except for one little girl who refused to even step into our yard. lol
I made the floating flying bats out of painted foam meat trays and curly wire.

So this year when we decorated the back deck with lights we wanted to add 
streamers but didn't want to fiddle around with cutting plastic tablecloths into strips.


Then we remembered that we'd used old VHS tapes 
to make a huge spider web in the yard. 


Off we go to the thrift store where we picked up this tape for a quarter. 
So, faster than you can say, "You're a streamer, Harry!" 
we had totally awesome, easy and thrifty Halloween decor
 that looks creepy and cool!


It was so EASY. 
We tied random lengths of tape to the strung lights around our deck 
and we LOVE the way it came out. A cloudy sky and little breeze 
made the shiny tape streamers look crazy spooky!







The tapes looked so cool that now we're discussing using them
 for some creepy costume ideas.Think how awesome a witch outfit would look 
with dozens of these tape streamers flowing around it?
Or a Dementor from the Harry Potter movies?
Or a Nazgul from Lord of the Rings?

Just picture this with MUCH MORE tattered streamer action!

This could be so much fun!

Grab yourself some old VHS tapes and 
go wild with your Halloween decorating!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Easy DIY Lighted Autumn Hurricane

Here's a unique...and easy...DIY for stunning autumn decor.
I "filled" a tall hurricane glass so that the garlands and lights stood tall
inside the glass.


I scored this 20" tall hurricane glass for $2 at a yard sale 
and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.


I had Dollar Store leaf garlands and white twinkle lights in my stash
 so I wrapped them together to make one string.

The problem was they would not stand up and fill the glass. Even wiring the garland to the top edge of the glass didn't fill the glass the way I was picturing.

Here's the simple solution!


Take a dowel that is just a little shorter than your glass. Cover it with some autumn paper or paint it to match. I used leaf printed napkins and wrapped them around diagonally.

NOW, wire your lighted garland to one end, making sure the plug end for your lights comes out at the top or bottom, as you wish.


Tada! Your pretty lighted garland will stand up and fill your glass from top to bottom!


I loved the look so much I did the same thing to a tall pasta jar and 
put both of them on top of a tall bookcase. 
The mirror behind them reflects the colors and lights into the room and looks dazzling.

I did a safety check on both containers and found the lights were only warm, 
not hot, so this display is safe.

My kids are kind of blase with all my decorating projects but my grandkids and great grandkids still react with wonder and delight when they come to visit our autumn house.

So, easy DIY lighting project plus kids' smiling faces?
Win win!


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Book Page Leaf Garlands and Decor

I admit I am a color junky, but I've also have a serious love of books, and I hate to get rid of them. When they are beyond their useful life I use as many as I can in my projects
including recycling old book pages for all sorts of crafts and decor. 

Here's my latest...a garland made of book pages and I am smitten once again!


The Welding Man built me a wonderful bakers rack to hold my blue glassware, 
but that collection has grown quite large and moved to the kitchen bay windows
 So I decorate my backers rack seasonally with different looks. 

I am loving this combo of galvanized metals, grey barn "boards," natural wood tones 
and white pottery. I gathered a bunch of my book page projects and set them up.

But the leaf garlands really pulls everything together.


Yup, I will pretty much cover anything with old book pages to see how it looks. LOL.
My kids tell The Welding Man not to sit in one place too long because...wink wink nod...
Mom will cover you with book pages.

So far he hasn't sat still long enough. Just sayin'.


Thrift store vases...check.
Old Christmas balls...check.
Plastic clock...check.
Paper mache birds...check.
Cardboard letters...check.
Book page leaves on painted branches...check.
Pizza cardboard book page wreath?...check check check.


In my NEXT post I will show you how to make this very simple, very appealing garland. 
Stay tuned!I'll post a link at the bottom when that DIY post is active.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment, if you would. 
I enjoy reading what you have to say!




Saturday, October 6, 2018

BIG Two Foot Wide Wreath from a Hula Hoop

For her birthday, my grand daughter asked for a BIG wreath for her front door. She asked that it be big enough to go around the window and also have an impact from the street. 
This is her first house and she's excited to decorate for the seasons.


I could have bought a 24" diameter wreath form and spent a bit of money just for that, 
but I went with my tried and true wreath form supplier, Dollar Tree.

I've used hula hoops for wreaths before and they are perfect for an oversize project.
I bought a hoop, a foam noodle and loads of colorful silk decor in autumn colors and 
spent less than $15 for everything.


I split the noodle lengthwise and hot glued it to the hoop so the wreath would be 
flattish on the back side and plumpish on the front. Those are technical terms, right?

Then I wrapped the foam and hoop in burlap type fabric. 
By the way, the Dollar Store also has the best deal on 20 sticks of hot glue for a buck.


Let the fun begin! I ended up cutting the leaf clusters off the garlands and gluing them in place among the flowers on the front. This eliminated any bulk on the flattish back side.

Just a side note...still LOVING the penny counter we put on my kitchen island this summer.

What a fun way to spend an hour or so...attaching pretty colorful flowers
 to a giant wreath for a birthday gift!


Oooh aaah!
It's the perfect size to go around the window in her door 
and it's exactly what she wanted.


Bonus close up shots just because.


I told you she loved it.
Happy Birthday Baby Mama!



Love you.

Monday, August 27, 2018

DIY Slipcover...Worth The Hassle? Absolutely!


I scored this settee at a local yard sale after checking it out thoroughly. The frame is solid and it has good lines tho the very pretty brocade fabric is just shattered. I put it on the back deck and deep deep cleaned and sanitized it to a fare thee well. 

Slipcover time!


I totally scored a pair of lined canvas drapes at the thrift store. After deconstructing them and laundering I started draping and dinking around with the fabric. I ended up with about 10 yards of canvas plus the same amount of the softer lining fabric. The best part? Total fabric cost $5.00!


I cut rectangles roughly the size of each area and started pin fitting each piece. There are countless tutorials online on the pin fitting technique and I read lots of them before diving into this project. I marked the actual seam lines with pencil then pinned each piece. Then I trimmed the seams leaving a generous seam allowance. This sounds harder than it is, trust me!


Smooth your fabric and pin pin pin along the seams. Clip your curves to make fitting easier and don't stint on the pins.


This is before I trimmed the seams on this side. Start with plenty of fabric, you can always trim it down. If you don't start with enough material your project is screwed! Don't ask me how I know. 

Ahem.

Three hours in I knew this cover was going to look AWESOME. So before I even sewed it together, I did this....


Because that is what I do! I get excited as a project comes together and leap ahead to the logical end use...settee as photo prop!! I LOVE how all the textures and pale colors of the pillows from my Etsy shop look against the canvas cover.


LOVE THIS!  I'm sewing the seams this morning and adding a pleated flounce to the bottom
 so  my daughter can use it in a family photo shoot. 


I still have to add the flounce and sew it together so I'll have about 6 hours into this project. 
So worth it to me! This does not include the time it took to clean and sanitize the settee and deconstruct the drapes and launder the fabric. Even buying a new drop
 cloth instead would still make this an affordable project.



And here she is ready for a photo shoot. 

GORGEOUS!

I'm so enthused that I still have over 6 yards of canvas left. I scored a large throne chair 
for cheap and it's gorgeous and sturdy and stylish and it's PINK. But my 
living room is brown, red and turquoise.So guess what 
gets the next canvas slipcover?


Make Faux Moss Decor Balls

I saw these natural moss decor balls used in a wedding centerpiece and
 I wanted some for my own home decorating. Ballard has 6" diameter balls for $8 but
 I figured out a way to make fake ones of my own for much much less.


I made a trip to the Dollar Store and found everything I needed.
I grabbed an oversize Christmas ornament ball and a few packages of their faux moss rocks. 
Then I painted the big ornament brown.


At first I thought I'd cut the moss rocks in half and glue them to the ornament but it looked bad. Trust me on this. Then my grandson showed me how to peel the mossy covering loose.
Brainstorm!!


Using hot glue I attached the moss scraps to the big ball and held them tight while the glue cooled.
I liked the way each piece made the ball a bit uneven looking, just like moss growing in the wild. Already this looks so cool!


Are you starting to get the idea yet?


Ooh ahh!
I made several in different sizes in less than an hour.


LOVE these! Especially in the winter when everything outside is grey and dark and damp.
 I arranged them with natural rocks and driftwood and tiny spruce cones
 in an old wooden bowl. Everything about this arrangement 
says "Oregon springtime" to me.


And here's the kicker. 
When my sister got married we used these same faux moss balls and Dollar Store rocks 
for her table decor. The fake succulents and a mix of moss, twig balls, 
stones, glassware, driftwood, ceramics and lady tablecloths made her tables look great.

I just love the way these came out and besides the ease and low cost 
to make them, they look so very real. 

That's a win win in my book!


Easter Eggs to Giant Acorns DIY

I am ready to start decorating for Fall so I crashed my stash and
 found these large size Easter  eggs from the Dollar Store.
 I knew I could make something perfect for my autumn decor...


...and here's what I did with them. 
I made giant acorns!


I like them alot!

Here's how...I started by painting the eggs brown with craft paint.


I cut ovals out of burlap and hot glued them around the eggs with plenty of pleats. 
Let the glue cool completely. 

I used a deconstructed pine cone for the first one I made but I wasn't thrilled with the way it looked.
 I decided to make the next ones using only the smaller, 
rounder end of the eggs. Plenty of hot glue held wrapped garden twine
around the top of my acorn shape.
I like the way this one came out!


A short twig makes a nice stem and now I've got this figured out. 
Then I made several more and displayed them in a wood bowl with
 my home made faux moss balls.



So which ones do you prefer? The wrapped twine toppers or the pinecone parts? 
Either way they sure look good and are perfect for my autumn tablescape.
The total cost is $1 for six eggs and another $1 for the garden twine.

That's a win win in my book!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

DIY Twig Wreath


This pile of needlepoint ivy trimmings gave me the spark of an idea.

Why not make a twig wreath for my front porch?


Did you know you can still buy metal coat hangers?  
Yup! These "new" ones are plastic coated and still perfect for wire projects, 
like forming the base of my wreath.



I wrapped and tucked and wrapped and tucked all the way around.
 I didn't have to use the wire at all. After a few days
 drying time I retucked the loose ends.


 This ferny garland cost about $7 using a coupon at Michael's.
I also used a few Dollar Store bunches to fill it in.




Oooh aaaaah!


  Now comes the fun part; hanging it on the porch and taking photos! I LOVE the way it looks so real even compared to the ivy tower and other plants close by!





Well now, that was fun and easy and CHEAP.
Okay, thrifty and money saving.
Projects like this boost my mood immediately!