Reversible Scarecrow & Snowman

I’m back! After a long crafting hiatus I decided to make something in honor of my favorite season approaching; also a project requested by a friend 🙂 . I haven’t had a lot of time or motivation over the last year so I do apologize for my lack of posts. It feels great to be back at it again. This is a popular one on Pinterest and I’m sure you’ve seen many variations of it. Here’s my take and the how-to!

First I bought the large wood piece already cut to this size at Lowe’s, and had the hat-brim pieces in my stock pile of wood. You can use any size for the brim depending on the look you’re going for; I opted for a chunky, large hat. I spray painted both sides of the board and the brims first, then nailed the brims down on either side so they mirror each other.

Here he is all painted, but I don’t like that real crisp, shiny look…

I like a little bit of a worn look so I did some sanding on the edges. I love these little sanding squares, and when they get all nasty and used up, I wrap a new piece of sand paper around it. Go for a large grit to work faster.

If I could find my frickin palm sander I probably would have done more overall sanding for a more rustic look, but since I was hand sanding and my arm was tired, I just got the edges.

Now it’s time for his face(s)! I perused Pinterest and got some ideas of the faces I like and don’t like, and decided on these. I like the simple eyes, the dotted mouth for the snowman, and the cross-hatched mouth for the scarecrow. Also, I HAD to have the candy corn nose!

For his rosy cheeks I used a little round foam brush. You could use any sponge, or just paint pink circles.

Incase you were wondering I used a black paint pen for the crisp lines, a yellow and orange paint pen for the noses, and white/red acrylic for the white accents and pink cheeks. Any ol’ acrylic paint would work, but I like the paint pens because they allow you to work with more precision, especially when outlining.

Now time for the hat accents. To start, I wrapped a piece of burlap ribbon all the way around and tied it in a bow on the scarecrow side. For the snowman I decided on some pip berries and a rusty star. Everything was secured with a hot glue gun.

For the scarecrow, some raffia and a large wooden button found at Michael’s. Both sides also got a little bow of homespun fabric for some color.

I also added “scarfs” by just ripping some strips of fabric and hot-gluing them in place, criss-crossing a bit.

I’m pretty happy with him overall, my only complaint being the hat seems a bit large for the face. Maybe next time I’ll use a skinnier brim.

Thanks to everyone for checking in and commenting over the last year. I hope to be back again soon with some new ideas! Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!!!!!!!!

Chalk Painted Mason Jars

My latest crating venture has been painting mason jars. I’ve seen them all over Etsy and Pinterest and they are SO darn cute. I especially love the “ombre” jar sets. There are so many possibilities with different colors, sizes, stencils, themes, etc. After much trial and error, I’ve figured out that the type of paint you use is key! Here’s how I tackled this project.

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First, I gathered up some jars. I did a very small batch because I wanted to get the process down before I go nuts painting every jar in sight. LOL. 😀 I had a few quilted jars and also picked up these sets of mini jars at the Dollar Tree. I love the tiny size of them and think they’ll make cute “trinket jars.”

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For the newer packaged jars, I just started painting. For the previously used jars, I wiped them down with rubbing alcohol to ensure any dirt or oils were removed. A clean jar allows the paint to adhere to the glass better.

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The most important tip for this project: do NOT use regular acrylic paint. Even though many tutorials say it will work, I had a really hard time with getting the regular acrylic to stick to the glass. The first coat would go on streaky and the second coat would peel off the first coat, even after ample drying times. The best paint to use is chalk paint. I got the Craft Smart brand that is a chalky type of acrylic, which seemed to work well. I think the straight up chalk paint will work even better!

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I did the first coat with a soft paint brush and let it dry for 24 hours.

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Some might stop at one coat and be fine with that look, but for me it was a bit too transparent. I found the second coat has to go on quickly. The more brush strokes, the more likely you are to peel off some of the first coat. Overall they came out pretty good.

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I let them dry for another 24 hours. I then used some coarse sand paper to rough them up a little and create a worn, distressed look.

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Once sanded and wiped off with a towel (to get off the paint dust) I sprayed them with a clear sealer. Any clear poly will do. I used a satin spray and really liked the results.

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Tied on a little twine bow and boom! Do you like them with or without the lids?

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I love the quilted jars. The raised diamond pattern is pretty cute. I can envision one of these on my counter filled with a little bouquet of flowers. 🙂

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I experimented with using scraps of homespun fabric to accent the jars. I think I like the twine better.

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I think I shall make another big batch with more colors now that I have the process down. For now I’ll put these in my booth at the co-op and see if they move. I’m thinking I’ll price ’em at $2.50 for the small jars and $6.50-ish for the large jars. If you have any tips or tricks for this project, please leave a comment and share!!!

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While the mason jars were drying, I tinkered with another quick project. I found this wooden puzzle while I was perusing the thrift store, and you probably already know what I did with it!

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MAGNETS! I am obsessed with making magnets because they are easy and great sellers.

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I am always on the look out for cool wood puzzle pieces for just this reason. I love this theme!

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Happy crafting! 😀

Christmas Crafting Has Begun! More Homespun Candy Canes

Well, I don’t have a new project to share…this is one you’ve seen before. My latest crafting venture was a new batch of “homespun candy canes,” in preparation for this years Christmas season at the co-op. I first posted about these years ago, and here is the “how-to” in case you’re interested: Homespun Candy Canes How-To.

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I made a whole bunch of the standard-sized candy canes, but also made a batch of the miniature candy canes. The mini candy canes are a bit more tedious, but seem to be everyone’s fave!

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These are the mini candy canes I used. I got them at The Dollar Tree. They come as garland, so you get 10 of them for a dollar…score!

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Bunched them up into groups of 5, tied together with twine. I plan on pricing them at $4 for a bunch of large ones, and $3 for a bunch of small ones.

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I also worked on a few of these large bells that I had laying around from years ago. They were $1 each at Michael’s.

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I spray painted them with this metallic brown:

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And made them into hanging ornaments with twine hangers and little fabric accents. They also make nice bowl fillers!

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For displaying the candy canes and other Christmas crafts, I like to put them in old wooden boxes or bowls…

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Or vintage displays like this old red sleigh (both thrift store finds).

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In other news, I am thinking of starting up my Etsy store again. I have all kinds of awesome little antique tins that are beauty/hygiene/medicine themed, with great old graphics on them. I also have tons of skeleton keys and other little items that I would like to sell. It’s a quite a project…photographing a listing everything. Maybe a good winter project for me, we’ll see!

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Aren’t they cool? I just love old tins. The colors and graphics are so fun.

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Have a great weekend and Happy Crafting! 😀

A New Batch of Silicone Dipped Bulbs & Country Night Lights

It’s been a few years since I’ve made these country night lights with silicone dipped bulbs. In case you haven’t seen my old post on how to make them, here is a refresher! They are cheap to make and great items to sell at craft shows, or for your booth at a craft shop or co-op. For some reason they make me think of Fall, and I love to make them this time of year!

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First, get your night lights at the dollar store. I got these at The Dollar Tree. The bases come in all different colors. I tend to do mostly black and white, but this time I threw in a few blue and aqua ones.

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Don’t mind my ugly carpet background…was crafting in the basement last night. Along with the night lights, I picked up these packages of extra bulbs. I like to make extra bulbs and sell them as replacements.

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For the bulbs to cure, you need to hang them immediately after dipping. I ran a piece of twine between two shelves and used clothespins to hold them in place.

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Your supplies for the bulbs consist of silicone, a little cup for dipping, cinnamon (optional) and a disposable stick to mix with. I add the cinnamon for a warm, primitive look. You can leave the silicone plain too. I use the basic Walmart brand of silicone. Some brands will work better than others – it’s all trial and error. I’ve had the best luck with this stuff. It seems to be just the right consistency.

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You also need one of these gun thingys, to squirt out the silicone. We happened to have one but they are available next to the silicone in Walmart.

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I ended up tossing my flimsy plastic cup and used a glass cup. It was easier to hold on to while dipping. I find that it works best to fill the cup up completely with the silicone mixture. Take the bulbs and dip them down in and turn them slightly to get the silicone to cover the base of the bulb. Then pull out quickly to create the long “tip”. This can be really challenging and takes some practice.

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You must work quickly because the silicone starts to cure and becomes more difficult to work with. Within 15-20 minutes, the silicone in your cup will probably be stiffer and less pliable. Hang them upside down with your clothespins and let them cure for at least 24 hours.

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When I was done with the bulbs, I worked on the bases. I tied on little strips of homespun fabric, finished with little rusty stars and hearts. For the hearts and stars, I just hot-glued them on. Don’t worry; the night lights to not get warm enough to melt the hot glue.

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Here they are all assembled!

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I love the warm look you get from the cinnamon. Unfortunately they do not smell like cinnamon though.

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For a display, I used an old cardboard box and covered the inside with scrapbooking paper. Punch holes through the cardboard with scissors for the little metal part to stick through.

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Don’t get discouraged if you try it and can’t get the bulbs to look right. The brand of the silicone makes a huge difference, and also practice makes perfect. I’ll sell these for probably $4.50 each at the co-op. Hope you have a great Labor Day! 🙂

More Magnets Made From Giant Buttons, Puzzle Pieces, and Birch Discs

After my penny rug magnets, I’m on a magnet kick! I can’t stop gluing magnets to things! Here are some of the pieces I’ve been using to make new magnets. I found these awesome giant wooden buttons at Michael’s for $1 per package. 🙂

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This bag of birch discs set me back only a few bucks at Michael’s.

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I love to pick up vintage wooden puzzles from the thrift store to make magnets out of. They come in all kinds of fun designs and shapes.

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First I decided to stamp the birch discs. For small objects like these, I like to lay the stamp down on it’s back and then press down the wooden piece right where I want it. That way I can see the design on the stamp and can line it up better.

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Next, glue on the magnets. Hot glue does not work well for this project; the bond is weak and the magnets pop right off. I use tacky craft glue for a strong hold.

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Here are the finished birch disc magnets. I love ’em!

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Here are the buttons…

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And the retro puzzle pieces.

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Lastly, I had a few miscellaneous pieces that I decided to make into magnets too. Some rusty stars that I added some twine bows to, and some rustic white shapes that I stamped.

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For some reason, magnets always sell really well. I plan on displaying them on some enamelware pots and pans up on the wall at my co-op. I will price them all between $1-$2. They also make great stocking stuffers come holiday time! What kinds of crafty supplies do you have lying around that you can turn into magnets?!?! 😀

Mason Jar Soap Dispensers

I’ve seen them online and in gift shops for years, and decided it’s time to try making some of my own mason jar soap dispensers! They are easy, fun, cheap to make, and would make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season. You can Google a million different ways to make them, but here’s how I did it. 🙂

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First gather your supplies. You’ll need mason jars with lids, soap dispensers, and some kind of glue or sealant. I got soaps with standard pumps for $1 at the Family Dollar. Clean off the pumps and then you can use the soap in your jars when you’re done!

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Along with using regular mason jar lids, I found these fun gingham jar lids at Target, in the dollar bins! They were made for mason jar drinking cups (with small holes for straws) but I knew I could drill bigger holes and use them for the soap dispensers.

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I had Greg drill holes in the lids using a large drill bit.  Our biggest bit was a little too small for the soap dispensers to slide in, so he had to rock the drill back and forth, and press on the sides of the hole and widen it just a little bit. Don’t be intimidated by this part – the drill popped through the lid without too much effort. You could also use a hammer to poke a hole in the top using a screw driver and just pry open the hole by hand. Just be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges.

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Slide in the soap dispenser piece and seal the under side with some sort of waterproof glue. In this case, the dispenser fit pretty snug, which worked great to hold them in place while the glue dried. If they are loose, you’ll have to prop them up to hold the dispenser upright while it dries.

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I used this waterproof silicone sealant because I had it on hand. Let it dry completely – this sealant took 24 hours to cure.

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And that’s pretty much it! Finish off your jars with whatever kinds of accents you feel like. I went with homespun ties and twine bows. I had a few mason jars on hand, but I also picked up these cool purple “vintage style” jars at Tractor Supply on clearance! I knew they’d eventually come in handy! 😀

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After looking at many ideas on Pinterest, I discovered you can use these dispensers for a variety of things…condiments (think ketchup and mustard), hand lotion, dish soap or detergent, hand sanitizer, and more! I’m definitely thinking I will make some for Christmas gifts this year! 🙂

“Penny Rug” Magnets

After a great day perusing my favorite antique/country shop, I was inspired to do a little crafting. I picked up a new penny rug table runner, and it got me thinking about how much I love the colors and patterns of penny rugs. I have never been able to sew, so I thought I’d try my hand at painting them!

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Here is my new runner that was the inspiration. I love this color combo!

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These are the wooden discs I used. They are the same ones I use for my snowman and pumpkin face pins & magnets. You can get them at any craft store.

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Paint them your base color. I used acrylics.

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Then paint in your rings of color! I winged it and painted the circles by hand, but a stencil would have been handy. I’m even thinking of trying it again using foam stamps.

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The next step seems easy in theory, but was actually quite challenging. I’m talking about the little “stitches.” Here’s my trial and error photo. First I tried drawing them on with a paint pen (not pictured), but I can never get those stupid pens to work right. Then I tried painting them on with a fine tipped paint brush (left). Next, I tried drawing them on with a fine tipped Sharpie marker (middle). Lastly, I used a regular sized Sharpie marker (right). I decided to go with the latter. I like the thicker look of the stitches.

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The Sharpie works great at first, but as you continue to draw, the marker almost seems to run out. I think it’s because it doesn’t work well on the painted surface. You might need a couple Sharpies to make it through.

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After they dried, I glued small magnets on the back. Here they are all finished. I had a few casualties…some came out too messy and/or uneven. It’s going to take some practice I think. Overall I think they’re kinda cool.

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I am definitely going to make more of these after I perfect my technique. I have tons of enamel ware pots and pans hanging on the walls at my co-op, which work great as magnet displays. Go Google Penny Rugs right now and see all the beautiful color combinations out there! It’s so inspiring! 🙂

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