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.

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. 


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. 


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.

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!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Faux Wood Grain Glass Table Top Turned Out Great!

We have this corner on our front deck that needed a convenient table 
and I also wanted it to be pretty. Here is what we came up with and 
made it in one afternoon and, as usual, we did it without 
spending a ton of money. 

In fact, we already had everything we needed
 on hand so it was basically FREE.

Confetti goes here!

Ooh ahh! It turned out even better than I pictured!

Here is the DIY for this fun project...

A friend had given me two round patio table replacement glass circles. 
This is the bigger one at 36" diameter.

For the base we used a nursery tree pot 24" in diameter given to us by our neighbors.

I scrubbed the glass and the pot with a soap pad and rinsed them thoroughly.
I spray painted the planter with flat black spray paint.

I gathered our supplies which included various colors of acrylic latex paint, 
including our house trim paint in the big can. The wood grain tool 
I used is right front and I also used a pair of gardening gloves to protect my hands.

I painted a turquoise stripe and right away before it dried, 
used the wood grain tool to make the design in the wet paint. 
It is so exciting to see the texture appear like magic. 
When I didn't like the way the grain looked
 I simply wiped it off of the glass and redid it.
 It was so very simple and came out so very pretty!

Once the "boards" were completely dry (about an hour in the sunshine) I spray painted 
over the whole surface with flat black spray paint, right over the top of the boards.
The black paint made the wood grain pop and made the glass round opaque
 so the planter underneath is not visible.

We put three globs of silicone glue on the rim of the black planter and then
 we flipped the  round  over so the boards showed through
 the glass and centered it on the black planter. 

I LOVE how the glass protects the bright colors and wood grain of the boards.
It is the perfect size and the perfect height for the seating on our deck.
We could not be more pleased with this project, not just because it was free
 but because it came out so amazingly great looking.

And guess what? I still have another glass round in my
 stash so we can make another table. Now that's something 
to look forward to!

Friday, May 4, 2018

DIY Butterfly Wind Chime Dollar Store Crafts

For Mother's Day this year I went shopping for a wind chime for my mom's deck. 
Guess what, you guys? Nice wind chimes can be expensive if 
you want one in a larger size or theme!

Off I went to the Dollar Store. 
I knew there had to be something there I could use to MAKE a pretty 
wind chime that wouldn't break my budget. I bought...

five filigree metal butterflies with colored marble accents. 
The pretty colors seem to be powder coated 
and they are brushed with a coppery paint finish. 

A small silvery wind chime with purple plastic gems with a light tinkling sound.

A hanging planter basket so that I could use the light weight chains.
The hanging planter had 36" of chain, just the amount I needed!

 I grabbed a few things from my stash I thought would be useful but 
in the end didn't use much more than what I'd bought. 
I used some recycled wind chime parts and
 lightweight split rings in the end. 
Easy peasy!

The ring at the top is salvaged from an old metal planter 
and is far heavier than the rest of the components put together. 
It will last for years!

It is 30" long from top to bottom.
Oooh aaah!

Originally I added way more embellishments in the way of beads and 
bangles but it was way too confusing to the eye. So busy.

At least in this case, less is more. 
I dry brushed some copper Patio Paint over all the dark metal areas and it looks great.
                              I could not be happier with the way this wind chime turned out!

This special project for my mom cost less than $10 and a couple of hours of my time, most of that spent hanging things on and taking them off til I was finished. 

The tools I used were a pair of needle nose pliers and a pair of wire cutters. 

Next, I'm thinking of making some driftwood themed wind chimes using 
the bamboo wind chimes from...The Dollar Store!
Stay tuned for that blog post!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Making Memories...and Heirlooms. Wedding Fabric to Baby Easter Basket

My granddaughter's wedding back in 2014 was a wonderful BoHo theme 
and 90% handmade, starting with this 3 door backdrop 
and those huge gorgeous flowers. 
(I'll put links at the bottom for those projects.)

I also grew the flowers in the urns for this pretty display.

We made the navy blue table runners out of sheets then had a blast
 arranging all the decor items for the tables...

After the wedding I latched on to all the blue table runners. 
I knew I would be using all that fabric again, starting with this sweet project.

This year I made a liner for an Easter basket using that blue fabric.

It looks great with an arrangement of her wedding flowers!

But THIS is what the project is really about. A personalized Easter basket 
for their son, my great grandson, born in 2017. This year was his first Easter
 and the wedding fabric was perfect for this project.

Insanely Creative Christy, his grandma, made these iron on letters with her
 Silhouette vinyl cutter. It came out great!

We love the sweet memories that come with this project and 
look forward to making more heirlooms for this wonderful little boy
 with his parents wedding fabric.

So sweet! And the best thing is, I still have the blue fabric runners from the other 15 tables!

Here is the link for making the huge flowers....

...and for the three door backdrop....

Friday, April 6, 2018

Love My Penny Island Project!

Way back when, we turned two of our old nightstands into this wonderfully useful kitchen island. 
It is still one of my favorite projects for our home!
Here is a link to that project....

Originally I used old cook book pages on top in the same hue as the floor and sealed them with
 a single coat of "bar top" resin. It looked great and held up for several years
 BUT we should have sealed it with more resin. 
The edges started to peel and we knew it was time to replace it.

And here's what we did....

Yup, we put a penny top on our kitchen island and it came out 

We like it!
We like it ALOT!

Oooh aaaah!

Here's a before and after. What a pretty solution!

I did NOT want to buy pennies so I scrounged up all our stashed pennies and saved
even more for months. Then I chose to clean and polish them using Brasso.

While watching "The West Wing" on Netflix.

It took about 12 hours total so do this part of the job. Would I do it again? 
Would I buy at least a few rolls of new pennies for my next project? 
YES. Lesson learned.

We had the boards in our stash, so I stained them using Minwax Polyshades in Maple. 
It is a stain and sealer in one. It was also in our stash.
I scuffed up the old cookbook top with sandpaper then painted it with flat black craft paint.
It makes the coins really pop against that dark background.
We did not glue the pennies down and we did not put them in any pattern.

Envirotex Lite is an improvement on the original formula we used over 5 years ago. 
It isn't smelly, it sets up fast and looks fantastic when you're done.
 I used a 50% off coupon and got it for less than $20.
Win win!

The light coming through our skylight during the day really brings 
out the many different hues of the coins.  As the light changes, the metallic colors change.
We love it!

                       THIS time we used triple the amount of resin to give a deep and shiny finish.
It's been a couple of weeks and I'm still being careful setting heavy containers on top.
And we will ALWAYS use trivets and pads for anything hot. 
It is just good sense.

And when the sun goes down and hits those shiny pennies the light is just dazzling!

We are very pleased with the way this project came out. The most time consuming 
part was polishing pennies. Would we do it again? 
I'm thinking.....backsplash!

There are so very many penny projects online that I did not go into alot of detail here. If you want to tackle this project I say do your research, gather your supplies and GO! 
Even if you bought everything at full price and new, this is not an expensive project.
Try it!