Monday, December 30, 2013

Spring Wreath Redo....The 4th Look From The Same Wreath

Time to redo my wreath for spring. Easy and CHEAP and beautiful!

Ooh aah!

Back in the fall I started out with a Walmart twig wreath, some eucalyptus branches, mixed twigs, fake roses and gloss black spray paint. I added a Dollar Store haunted house cut-out and some ruffled streamers made from a cheap plastic table cloth. Spiderwebs and tiny little bat cut outs made this a fun wreath for my Halloween door.

This wreath is almost 24" across, so it is big enough for the arched windows in the door to fit right into the curve.

I added Dollar Store autumn leaves and flowers, plus some real mini pumpkins. The bright colors against the gloss black wreath and twigs really popped! This was a great look between Halloween and Thanksgiving.


I spray painted the wreath gloss white and really changed it's look. See how the roses stand out now? I added pretty shiny decorations in blue, silver, teal and white and LOVED the way it came out. I scored some teal foil twist at the Goodwill and used it for the curlicues and the rosettes on the little ball in the middle. I also crackle painted another teal ball with silver acrylic paint and Elmer's glue.

And now to that white wreath I'm adding all these springtime elements.....

Silk hydrangea leaves, plastic ferns, sticks from the yard, glitter and paint and pretty glittery butterflies. And, a mini vine wreath to remake into a bird's nest.

I painted some of the greenery with lime green Patio Paint for some color interest. The Patio Paint is specially formulated for use outdoors and I've had good luck with it holding up to bad weather.

I like it. I like it alot!

And here's a closeup....

I had most of these things in my stash and only bought the glittered eggs for the nest. The bronze glittered butterflies were on clearance after Christmas for 50 cents. I painted the curly wires with the Patio Paint and re used the tiny blue berry twigs from the Christmas wreath. I soaked the tiny vine wreath in hot water then unraveled it and spread it out to be less tight and more nest-like. Then I added twigs from the yard to make it a little shaggy.

I've had this project in mind for awhile and it was fun getting it finished and hung up. As wet and cold as the weather has been here, it's the only thing we've done outside so far this spring!

Join me at the linky parties in my sidebar, you never know what neat projects you will find.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Popsicle Stick Snowmen-Fast and Easy

Ever keep hoarding something because you just KNOW that someday you will need it for a project? That is how I ended up with these cute little popsicle stick snowmen.

We enjoy the chocolate Skinny Cow popsicles and I always figured that the shapely little sticks were good for something. So I kept them. Dozens of them. As in, two quart mason jars filled with them!

I've been making little ornaments out of toilet paper rolls and using all the little things from my craft stash to decorate them. But I needed some small scale snow people and I was NOT about to buy any since I am cheap that way. Also, creative. Creative and cheap; that's my story.

I painted both sides white with two coats going on the side with no printing. I used the handle end of a small paintbrush dipped in black paint to dab on the eyes, mouths and buttons. On a few I used a Uniball gel pen to make different style smiles.

A bit of orange paint and a little brush gives them a crooked carrot nose.

Time to dress up! I made the scarves and hats out of scrap felt, fleece and fabric. I hot glued the hats directly to their round little heads and even hot glued some of the hats for a crooked look. Easy peasy!

These are fast and easy to do. I made dozens of them in one evening while watching West Wing on Netflix. I even had my grandkids help with the painting. As you can see, three of these little guys fit snugly into a toilet paper roll basket for a festive ornament that costs next to nothing. Now I'm looking at all the other supplies I've saved, looking for the next fast project. 

And yes, I'll be posting instructions on making the toilet paper roll ornies. By the time they are done you will wonder why you've been throwing those rolls away! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Shelves from drawers. Really.

              My girls and I will be at the Douglas County Christmas Fair in Roseburg this weekend. FOUR big buildings full of Christmas goodness, what's not to love? Come see us if you are in the area! Just look for the                                                      "Make The Best of Things" booth.


Here is a fun project I did a few years back. I needed display shelving for our craft booth and didn't want to spend any money. I remembered we had an old waterbed set with a six drawer pedestal base, so The Welding Man helped me with this recycle/upcycle project on three of them. I've seen clever drawer redos in blogland and knew we could knock this one off "toot sweet."

I asked him to install a shelf in each drawer, putting each one at a different height. And since I was up to my eyeballs in other projects, he primed and painted all three drawers. Whattaguy! This is a redo that can totally be done by anyone out there even if you don't have an accommodating Welding Man in your household. What's that Christopher Lowell used to say before he went Hollywood on us? "You can do it!"

So here is the first, a pretty turquoise blue number to which I added some very cool scripty tissue paper I'd saved for projects such as these. After first crumpling up the paper slightly then smoothing it out to cover any small irregularities in the wood, I Mod Podged it down. You have to have a gentle hand with tissue paper because once it is wet and stuck on, you CANNOT move it. Also, do NOT touch the wet tissue until it is dry. A piece will lift off on your fingertip. Don't ask me how I know this. ;0)

The tissue came in two colors, so I used the darker shade for the horizontal surfaces and let it dry thoroughly. Then I glazed all the edges, inside and out, with burnt umber acrylic glaze and wiped it down. Lovin' it!

Eggshell white paint and torn up music sheets came next. The music came from an old, beat up Mozart play book for school bands, just a quarter at the local thrift store! I used the page edges on the straight edges for a neater look. So cool! And I still have plenty of music sheets left.

And after the burnt umber glaze on all the surfaces. Ooh, I love this one too!!

And finally, flat black paint and some black and white scrapbook paper in a damask print. Unfortunately my seams did not match up the pattern as well as I liked, so I made some casual, fuzzy edged black stripes to "fool the eye." How Goth/Twilight/Vampire/Halloween does this look, I ask ya?

And across the top, where there was a little divot in the wood, I filled it and covered it up with a strip of the same paper, with joints perfectly matched this time. Then a little bit of sanding and a bit of black paint dry brushing, and this one is ready to go, too. I sealed all three with several layers of clear acrylic spray and I love the way all of them came out!!

And here they are all dressed and ready to go on day 1 of our Artwalk booth. I made a few color matched accessories for them and had a great time playing around with the displays. I put price tags on them in case someone really, really wanted them but in the end I kept them. They will be going in my refurbished craft studio soon, and I can't keep from smiling every time I look at them.

The whole thing was done with supplies I already had from previous projects, so I didn't have to spend any money, and that makes me feel happy and smart. Love that! Annnnd, I still have 3 more drawers. Gotta love that, too!

Black and White and Red Christmas

My girls and I will be at the Douglas County Christmas Fair in Roseburg, Oregon this weekend. FOUR big buildings full of Christmas goodness, what's not to love? Come see us if you are in the area! Just look for the "Make The Best of Things" booth.
Here's what my baker's rack looked like for November. Lots of vibrant autumn color with faux leaves, my fabric and lace pumpkins, garlands and a neat twig rosette wreath.

For October it looked like this, complete with spooky bats, a black dried vine wreath, scary cut outs and black netting. I loved the black and white theme so much I wanted to use it again for Christmas, maybe with a bit of silver.

So here was the start of the Christmas decorating and tho it's coming together, it just looked too "calm" for me. I love color and knew I had to add some to this display. I didn't go out and buy anything and knew I had to work with what I already had. The silver wreath is a great Dollar Store clearance buy after Christmas last year, it was twenty five cents!!

I looked in my Christmas storage; old balls, yarn and old silver decorations. I remade the silver tinsel wreath with lots of red in yarn and glass balls, plus silver balls and snowflakes and even a black and white ball to match the two cone trees. Hmmmm, looking better!

Here's how the rack looks now. I'm still tweaking that second shelf, perhaps adding a few more cone trees....and one wrapped with a red beaded garland...and maybe one with silver foil....thinking thinking.

This is the great fun of creating your own decor, when you get an idea you can work on it and modify it until you get the look you want. I'm not done with this design yet, but so far I'm liking the clean black and white and silver with pops of red, SO different from my normal cobalt blue, white and silver.

What about you, are you changing up your colors or style this year? It's your house, go for it!
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Book Page Christmas Decorations

My girls and I will be at the Douglas County Christmas Fair in Roseburg this weekend. FOUR big buildings full of Christmas goodness, what's not to love? Come see us if you are in the area! Just look for the "Make The Best of Things" booth.

I love the riotous color that comes with Christmas decorating as much as the next creative gal, and yet this pretty cream and white theme using old book ages is one of my favorite projects. So wintry white and elegant, plus super cheap and easy. Recycling those old books never looked prettier. The paper chain garland is a familiar project. Remember paper chains from grade school?

If you glue two layers of pages together for thickness and stability, than use a snowflake punch and  a glue stick to string  them end to end  you will have a pretty and elegant snowflake garland.

If you have some less than perfect balls from past Christmases, these pretty book page balls are super easy to do. Add a few choice words or phrases with an artist pen and you have a set of pretty, subtle and unique ornaments for your family decor. Why not make one for each member of your family or even your office at work? Nestled in a pretty nest of crimped, cut paper, these would be a perfect co worker gift.

I crashed my stash for the metal star and the 18" twiggy trees, but really, everything and anything is a candidate for this classic, simple look. The paper looks so sweet against the deep green of the trees.

These gorgeous paper flowers are so sweet nestled in the branches and give the whole tree a bit of needed texture. They are super simple to make out of scraps and you could even make some for other seasons.

Here are those sweet flowers in a row. Love them!. Here's a link to the how tos to make these out of "post it note" size scraps.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season, dear friends, and be sure to count your blessings during this most personal time of the year. Life is beautiful. And please, as James Taylor sings, "Shower the people you love with love, show them the way you feel, things are gonna be much better if you only will."

Book Page Christmas DIY

Most of you have figured out I am a color freak with an obsession  for turquoise, red and cobalt blue.  However, I also obsess about ...