Dollar Store Craft: DIY Fall Letter Decor

What is it about Fall that brings out the crafter in me? Part of my recent craftiness has been because I am a committee member on a local small-town festival, and I have been working on some projects for that event. I wanted to share this easy project using really cheap supplies and a super cute result! DIY decorative letters, which could be adapted for all kinds of events or themes!

To start, get your letters! You can find them at any craft store, and even at your Dollar Tree if you’re lucky. I call this a “Dollar Store Craft” because all the supplies were less than $1. I got these letters at Walmart for $.96 each!

Paint them up whatever color you wish! I went with the Fall theme, since it is a Fall festival. πŸ™‚

A fun and easy trick is to use the end of your paint brush to create dots. They come out perfect every time.

Next I hot-glued them onto some mason jars that I had lying around. You could glue them to a basket, a block of wood, or whatever you want to use to stand them up.

These scarecrow heads and raffia were purchased at the Dollar Tree. They also have faux flowers and other trinkets you can use to fill your jars. You could do candy, real flowers, electric tea lights, water and a floating candle…whatever you want to fit your theme.

I tied some raffia around the jars and letters for that Fall feel, and stuck the scarecrow heads and some fake flowers in the jars to create the final look.

You could do these for a child’s room, a baby shower, wedding tables, words for different holidays, your family’s initials; the possibilities are truly endless. These were made for initials of the festival to be displayed in the glass cases at the town hall.

Hope the impending Fall season has got you in the crafty mood too! Be back soon! πŸ™‚

 

Dollar Store Craft ~ Snowman Head Bottle

After my last project, I was in the mood to continue the snowman theme! The result: a cheap glass bottle turned country snowman decor!

I got this $1 bottle at Michael’s because of its unique, narrow shape. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the perfect shape for stacked snowman heads! I labeled this post a “dollar store craft” because the Dollar Tree has a great selection of glass jars, wine glasses, glass candle holders, etc., that you could cover with cute snowman faces!

This DecoArt multi-surface paint is my new favorite. It gives great coverage and I love the fact that it cures, leaving a permanent design. Regular acrylic paint will work too, as long as you finish it with a clear sealer.

I used two different sized foam stamp brushes to create the heads. The foam stamps are quick, easy, and make the heads look like fluffy snowballs!

Looking back, I wish I had stamped the heads closer together, creating a more “stacked” look. I shall have to try it next time. For the next step, paint on long, skinny noses and little rosy cheeks. I made sure to point the noses in different directions to keep it interesting!

Then, paint two little dots for the eyes, and more dots in a semi-circle for the mouth.

I added a homespun fabric accent around the neck of the bottle. I debated on using a navy blue or red ribbon, but I always seem to come back to the homespun! I am thinking this is simply a decoration and not a functioning container, as the neck is too skinny for anything to fit down in the jar. Maybe you could use it as a holder for a sprig of poinsettia or holly berries? πŸ˜€

With this paint, it takes a week to cure and will then be a permanent finish. No need to seal, however, I was thinking of putting on a little sparkly mod podge over the faces. Just to give the jar a little sparkle here and there. To sparkle or not to sparkle; that is the question!Β What do you think???

Happy crafting!

P.S. Thank you for all the sweet comments lately. You guys are the best. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season! ❀

Dollar Store Craft: Pumpkin Wall Light

Who else is in the mood for some Halloween crafting?! The Fall and Halloween decor is popping up everywhere and I’m so super excited!!! After I got ahold of myself and stopped buying Halloween decorations, I decided to stop at the Dollar Tree to look for some new materials to work with. I saw this simple wall light and thought that blank round dome could be easily be converted into a snowman or a pumpkin face! Actually, a snowman face would be super easy since it’s already white to begin with. I shall file that idea away and make some snowmen in a few months. My first attempt was the pumpkin face!

If you don’t know which wall light I am talking about, it’s this one. The batteries are not included so make sure to have 4 AA’s handy.

First, draw your face outline on the light with a pencil.

I decided to use chalky acrylic paint because I thought it would give the best coverage. I am sure regular acrylics would work just fine.

Fill in your face…

And then paint the outer rim. Once they are both dry, fill in the eyes nose and mouth with a black paint pen, or black acrylic paint.

I decided to jazz him up a bit with some light green dashes around the outside rim.

Then I mixed the orange with a touch of white to make a lighter orange, and made some stripes down his face.Β Here he is!

After completely dried, I sprayed him down with a coat of clear poly as a sealer. Then I hung him up and hit the lights! Lit up you can see some of the paint strokes, but he’s still pretty cute. This would make a great night light or cute decoration outside at night!

Also, I wanted to say thank you all for your kind comments on my last post after being away for a while. It’s so nice to hear that you enjoy the posts and maybe find a little inspiration here. It’s been really fun working on some new projects and I hope to hang on to this motivation and run with it!

Have a great weekend everyone! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ™‚

Primitive Grubby Jar Candles

After seeing these types of “grubby” jar candles on Pinterest for many years, I finally got around to trying them myself. Though it was a very long process, they came out so cute and perfectly primitive! There are many tutorials out there on grubby jars, but they are all pretty much the same: coffee grounds and white glue. You can do mason jars or any type of jar candle…it’s the perfect accent for any country or rustic home.

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I started with this set of 12 small jar candles from Walmart. They cost around $6, so profitability on these should be pretty good.

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I made up a mixture of about 2/3 coffee grounds to 1/3 cinnamon. Both can be bought at the dollar store for this project. I used matte Mod Podge, but now that it’s all said and done, I would probably use regular white glue because it’s a lot cheaper. I ended up using almost this whole jar on 12 little candles.

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Paint on the glass jars with glue and roll in your coffee/cinnamon mixture.

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Set them aside to dry. It takes a good 24 hours for them to dry thoroughly.

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Once dry, gently tap them on the counter to get off any loose coffee/cinnamon grounds. Then apply another coat of glue to seal it. Be prepared…this part is messy! Don’t worry if more grounds come off because you can always do a second coat.

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Set aside to dry again. Another 24 hours. Ugh…I hate waiting!

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Here they are after they are dried. With just one coat, most of the surface was covered, but there were still a few spots where the glass showed through. I decided to do a second coating of the coffee/cinnamon. Looking back, I think I would just stick with one coat. They’re eventually going to be embellished with homespun fabric or burlap, which will cover up any thin areas. It’s up to you how many coats you do, based on the look you’re going for.

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Another little tip: before you start, put a small piece of paper towel over the wax of your candle. Through the process, the cinnamon and coffee grounds fell onto the wax, and it doesn’t come off easy. The paper towel will keep the wax clean. I am going to have to wipe them off which is going to be a pain in the butt…lesson learned.

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If you do decide to do a second coat, be prepared for even more of a mess. Repeat the process of painting them with glue, rolling in cinnamon, and finishing off with a finally coat of glue/Mod Podge to seal. Again, you have to wait 24 hours between each step. Don’t forget to touch up the top little rim of the jars.

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Here they are after two coats and some embellishing. I think they came out so cute. I am planning on pricing them at about $3.00 per candle at my co-op.

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Here are the some of the ways I decided to decorate them. A thin burlap strip topped with a vintage button:

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Thin pieces of twine with rusty stars and hearts:

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Plain ol’ twine and homespun fabric, wrapped around and knotted:

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And a thin twine bow:

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Have fun if you decide to give them a whirl. They are super easy, but be prepared for a long, messy process! I’d love to try this again with mason jars and maybe some larger jar candles. Have a great week and I hope be back soon! πŸ˜€

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