DIY Fall Carnival Game ~ Dollar Store Ring Toss

Once again I’m working on a craft project for my local scarecrow festival! Most of the supplies for this game were got at the Dollar Tree. The rest of the supplies I had on hand, however you really could get everything you need at the dollar store if you needed to!

I started out with a bunch of foam cones that are found in the faux flower/craft section of the Dollar Tree. My husband seems to thing these are going to break once the kids start playing, but I’m thinking it’s going to be fine after testing it and whipping the rings at them…lol. They are pretty secure and it’s a harder foam; not a soft foam that easily dents. You could also use the plastic orange cones found in the athletic section of Wally world.

I used acrylic paint I got from Lowes. These are sample jars that I like to get for crafts since they come in a huge variety of colors. Any acrylic would work fine.

Paint the centers orange and the bases yellow so they look like candy corns.

While those were drying I spray painted a big piece of scrap wood black. You also could use a heavy foam core board, or a big piece of cardboard. Wood is ideal because it is heavier but other materials could be used as long as you have a way of anchoring it down.Β 

I used some heavy duty glue to adhere the foam candy corns and a few small scarecrows, also got at the Dollar Tree, to the board. Use a very strong glue to ensure they stay attached to the board.

Next use stamps, stencils or free hand the “point” numbers below each cone or scarecrow.

Next I used stamps to write out “Ring Toss” along the bottom of the board. You can write whatever you want or write nothing…it’s up to you!

The rings are made from kids glowstick necklaces that come 4 in a package at the dollar store. I taped them to make sure they don’t come apart. They are lightweight and are the perfect sized rings for this game!

The game is pretty self-explanatory but I decided to make a small instruction sign using a chalkboard sign I already had, since the game is going to be at a festival. I made a line in the grass using orange duct tape.

That’s it! Easy and hopefully a fun little activity for kids to play while walking around the festival this year. Next on the agenda is a pumpkin tic tac toe game! Be back soon!

 

Fall Festival DIY: “How Tall Are You” Scarecrow

Happy Summer! Over the last few months, my crafty days have been few and far between. However, I recently managed to find some inspiration in this wooden scarecrow man that I found at a barn sale. I am on the committee for a local small town scarecrow festival, so I’m always on the hunt for cool scarecrows. For 25 cents I could not leave this guy behind! Parent love snapping pictures of their kids at festivals so I thought I’d make his long torso a ruler so kids can measure how tall they are!

This isn’t an everyday craft tutorial per sey; it’s kind of geared specifically for a Fall festival or party. The end result was too cute not to share though!

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As you can see, his face was already painted. My original plan was to re-paint his face, but I LOVE vintage style characters and cartoons, and I kinda love his face as is! I decided to leave it and just spruce up the rest of his body.

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Here he is when I got him:

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First I painted his torso yellow which will soon become the ruler!

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For projects that will be outside in the elements or need large areas of coverage, I’ve been using paint samples from Lowes. They are around $3 each and you can get them in virtually any color you can imagine. Just go to the paint counter in Lowes, give them your swatch, and ask for a sample. They come in these little screw-top containers that are great for keeping them on hand for your next project.

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Anywho, I measured it out and used black paint to make the tick marks and foam stamps for the numbers and “ft.” The foam stamps can be hard to find, so alternatively you could use number stickers or just free-hand them.

The arms are just painted blue with little green squares to give him the country flannel look. I used a small square piece of kitchen sponge to dab on the green. I then added some dollar store garden gloves, a bright handkerchief around his neck, and a little faux flower on his hat!

Lastly I added the sign, which says “How tall are you?” dangling from his hand. He will stand up on a metal stake that he will be securely zipped-tied to with yellow zip ties.

It will make for a simple decoration at the scarecrow festival and maybe a fun memory to look back on and see how much the kids have grown!

Have a great holiday and I hope to be back soon! πŸ™‚

 

Spooky Halloween Tags Using Wood Cutouts

Do you ever buy random craft supplies because they are awesome, even though you don’t have a specific project in mind? Of course you do…we all do. It’s an addiction, and there’s no use fighting it!!! Lol πŸ˜€ So I found these unfinished Halloween themed wood cutouts, and simply could not resist. I decided some fun Halloween tags would be an easy and fun way to use them!

I started off with some blank brown craft tags. I always have these on hand because they come in handy for all kinds of projects.

I distressed the tags using a little piece of sponge and some distress ink. Regular stamp ink works too! I used a brown and then repeated the process with black. Distress to your liking…but not too dark if you’re going to stamp on words or designs.

I forgot to get a pic, but after the tags dried for a minute, I then lightly stamped them with skeleton keys and other designs, along with words like “spooky,” “the witch is in,” and “eek.” Next, paint your wood pieces.

After they dry, distressed them the same way as the tags!

You can go a step further and splatter them. Lay the wooden piece on a paper towel in the sink. Add a tiny bit of water to thin down some paint (unless it’s already thin, then use as is). Coat your paintbrush and then flick the bristles with your fingers to splatter the paint onto your piece.

Let them dry thoroughly. Then hot glue the wood cutout’s to the tags and add twine or ribbons to hang them. Here they are!

“The witch is in” is my favorite! I’ve got them hanging all over the house! πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having as much fun with Fall and Halloween crafts as I am!

 

 

 

Witch Hats

I’ve been feeling particularly Halloweenie lately, given all the Fall goodness that is out in the craft stores. I picked up these paper mache witch hats for $1.oo each at Michael’s and, with a little spray paint and hot glue, converted them into primitive style witch hat decorations. I think they came out pretty cute!

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Here’s the blank canvas.

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First, I spray painted them black. All I had was glossy paint on hand. I usually like to use a matte finish for projects like this. After it dried I sanded it, to make it look a little worn and prim.

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Next, I mixed up some orange acrylic paint with water, to make a really thin orange paint, which works best for splattering. I then used the messy, yet effective “splatter technique,” which is using your fingers to pull back the bristles of the brush and let the paint splatter paint over your surface.

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After it dried like this, I sprayed it with a satin clear coat, mainly to disguise the half glossy/half sanded look. Next time, I’d probably used a matte black paint so that it doesn’t look so funky after sanding.

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While that dried, I made some little tags to decorate the hats with.

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I trimmed the tags to make them a bit smaller and stamped out the words “The witch is in.”

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Next, use some homespun around the base of the hat. I hot glued it in place like this.

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Then I tied some raffia around the base of the hat and also hot glued it down in a few places, but also leaving it loose and flowing.

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I finished them off with some large vintage buttons that I tied on with the tags. I also put a dab of hot glue under them as well, for extra hold.

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Here they are all done. I am really pleased with them. They are heading over to my co-op today and I am thinking $14 each. I’ve never made anything like this before so not sure how they will sell. We’ll see!

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Happy Fall to all my craft friends out there!

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. πŸ™‚

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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?!?! πŸ˜€

Stamped Wood Magnets

My latest project turned out to be really easy and fun, and I can’t wait to make more! These stamped wood magnets were made entirely out of items I had on hand, but all of the supplies necessary can be picked up at any craft store.

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First I picked out a bunch of stamps, including my dollar store letter stamps (in container) that I planned on stamping out words such as “live, laugh, love” or “simplify.” Spoiler alert – the “word” magnets didn’t come out good. I couldn’t get the spacing right, so I gave up.

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You’ll need basic black ink pads, or whatever color you choose!

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You’ll also need magnets (Walmart), craft glue or E6000, and wooden discs (Michael’s). These are the same discs I like to use for snowman face magnets at Christmas time. These are also the perfect size to make pins, using metal pin backs that are usually found in the jewelry section of the craft store.

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I wanted to make the wood a little more old and worn, so I used a simple paint wash to darken them down a bit. I mixed a little bit of brown acrylic paint with water, so it was really thin.

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Paint the discs and blot off the excess with a paper towel. They only took about a half hour to dry. You can repeat this step a few times to get your desired result.

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The picture does not do them justice…they look darker in person! They could have gone even darker, but I was impatient and wanted to get stampin! hehe πŸ™‚

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Some stamped designs look better than others. These are some of my favorites!

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Using your craft glue, apply the magnets. I find hot glue doesn’t work as good on these discs. I don’t want them falling apart, so that’s why I went with the regular craft glue. It takes a lot longer to dry, but it’s way stronger.

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And here they are. You could take this project in so many directions!

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I will be back soon; I have some “grubby” candles in the works. They are in the drying phase and I hope to do the next coat and finishing touches early this week! Woohoo! πŸ˜€

Reclaimed Wood Signs

So after many months of cold miserable winter weather and NO motivation whatsoever, I finally got around to doing a little crafty project this weekend. When inspiration strikes, you gotta run with it! The inspiration came from this old, weathered piece of wood that I found in the woods while walking the dogs. It’s chippy blue paint screamed country/primitive signage, so I broke out the foam stamps and went at it!

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First I had Greg cut them into strips. We have a big saw in the basement, but you can easily pick up a little electric hand saw from Lowes or Home Depot for $30 or so, and have it on hand for projects like this.

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I did a couple posts on foam stamps many moons ago, so here’s a little refresher. First, I laid out the letters of the word I wanted to stamp (the word is actually faced down; these stamps have letters on both sides) to get an idea of the spacing. I wanted to make sure the word would fit before I started.

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The most important thing I have learned when using foam stamps is do not ever dip the stamps directly into the paint. If you do, you’ll have way too much paint on the surface of the stamp. The minute you press down, it will overflow out the sides of the stamp and make uneven, messy letters. The best method I have found is to use a small piece of sponge and just dab on the paint onto the surface of the letter. Give it a couple of practice runs if need be. For this project, I used white acrylic paint.

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Go ahead and stamp out your word. Then, once dry, I applied some saw-tooth hangers on the back of each sign. These types of hangers are easy to use because you simply press them into the wood, but I hammered them down in for good measure.

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My last step was to spray them with a clear acrylic coat so the paint would not continue to chip off. The wood was really old and brittle and the paint was a bit loose, so I wanted to seal it in place.

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Here are the finished products, but I need your opinion. Should I add a coat of antiquing gel to tone down those bright white letters down a bit? I wasn’t sure if I should or not. They have kind of a “beachy” feel.

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I added a little star fish because I felt like it went with the cottage theme and filled up the space on the right that was a bit uneven from the space on the left. FYI those star fish are only $1 at AC Moore’s.

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So here they are. They are going over to my booth at the Carriage Place this week. I’ll probably price them around $7-$8 each. With “found” wood, it’s 99% profit, so no need to mark them up with a high price and let them sit in my booth for months!

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Part of my motivation also stemmed from an awesome estate sale that I went to on Saturday. I got tons and tons of great country/primitive themed items, including some nice antiques. This picture only shows a fraction of what I picked up there. It was half off everything so I literally loaded my car! It’s the first really great sale I’ve been to in a while, so this really got me excited! I love “pickin” season!!!

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Earlier in the week, I also got really lucky and picked up this old wooden butter churn……wait for it……off the side of the road!!! It’s amazing what some people throw away. I cleaned it up and now this cool piece will go to the co-op this week with the rest of the stuff from the sale.

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Well, let me know your thoughts on the signs. They are already really “distressed” looking, which is why I’m not sure on adding the antiquing gel. Have a great week and happy crafting!

Making a Custom Sign: Trial and Error

Hello my crafty friends! Summer has kept me quite busy, but I have been able to squeeze in some junkin’ and a few little projects. My latest project is a custom sign I made for a co-worker, with the phrase “Endeavor to Persevere”; a quote from an old Clint Eastwood movie. I haven’t made a sign in a long time, so I had a little bit of a rough go. I thought I’d share my trial and error, and a few tips for sign making.

To start out, spray paint your board with your color of choice. I got this pre-cut board at Lowe’s for $3.

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Sand it to your liking. Go heavy on sanding for a more distressed, country look. There’s no way to mess this up, so just sand away.

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For custom signs, I always use foam stamps. I have had a lot of people ask where I get the large foam alphabet stamps from. They are hard to find, and to be honest, I get them where ever I can find them! All of the stamps I have were ordered online after Googling “large alphabet stamps”. I got them from various sources, such as random online craft stores and people selling gently used stamps on Etsy. Craft stores generally do not sell large stamps like these, so your best option is going to be online.

I use artist grade (thicker, more pigmented) acrylic paint, and I’ll tell ya why in a minute.

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Do not dip the stamp into a big glob of paint. It will be WAY too much and will splurge out the sides when you press down on the stamp. To apply paint to the stamp, use a small piece of slight moist sponge to gently dab on the paint. It seems like a pain, but I promise it’s the best way!

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This was my first attempt. I did not like the way it looked. It looked uneven and my spacing was horrible. I do try to space it out ahead of time by marking the board with little pencil dots, but spacing can be hard to perfect.

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Here’s why I like to use spray paint for the board and heavy grade acrylic paint for the letters. Before the acrylic dries, you can actually wipe off the stamped letters completely.Β  After stamping many crooked letters, I simply wiped them away with a moist paper towel. Then, when I was done, I still did not like the way it looked. I used a wet sponge to wipe off the entire phrase. It came off quickly and easily. I immediately dried the board with a kitchen towel to avoid saturating the wood. It’s definitely nice to know you have this option should you mess up!

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I decided to use a different set of stamps with a clear back. I highly recommend stamps with the clear backing, as it makes it significantly easier to line up your words! You can SEE the spacing and exactly where the letter will land. Again, these are hard to find…I got lucky and found these online at some random craft store.

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I like this wording much better and the spacing is more even after using the clear backed stamps! No need to worry about the excess board on the right. I will saw it off and even it out.

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To clean the foam stamps, run under water and use a sponge (or your fingers) to rub the paint off the surface of the foam letters. Place on a paper towel to dry. This is important, or else the acrylic paint with harden on the stamps and make them difficult to use.

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I cut down the board using a small electric hand saw that I got at Lowe’s ages ago, for small projects just like this. They are inexpensive and great tools to have on hand. I then re-sanded the edge to keep the distressed look even on both sides.

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To finish off the sign, I used a dark brown gel stain to give it a bit of an aged look. I liberally squirt it right on the sign, and then rub it around with a paper towel. Then wipe off the excess. It’s a subtle effect, but it softens the bright white of the lettering. I find gel stains and antiquing mediums in any craft store, next to the craft acrylics in small bottles.

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For the hanger, I always use these easy-to-install metal hangers. They are found in any home improvement store. The little prongs press right into the wood and make for a strong hold.

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Finally, I sprayed it with a clear poly to seal it. Here is the final result. Hope she likes it!

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In junkin’ news, I hit up a barn sale recently and got this incredible stack of old historical photographs. I listed them in my Etsy store and they have already sold!

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I also picked up a small enamel bed pan, a fun brightly colored vintage tin, and a glass flower frog.

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I got this awesome old bowling pin set, complete with a bunch of brightly colored wooden pins and a yellow ball. I LOVE these for country decor. I now have them listed in my Etsy store. πŸ™‚

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Lastly, I got these gems at the Goodwill thrift store recently. The Peter Rabbit coin bank is silver-plated and very heavy. I polished him up and he is now for sale in my Etsy store! I also got a bunch of tin molds that always seem to sell well.

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Can’t wait to give my friend her sign. She plans on hanging it in their cottage up on the lake. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Crafting!

Dyeing & Stamping Wood Clothespins

I’d like to preface this post by saying it was half craft FAIL and half craft win! It’s okay though, because now you can learn from my mistakes. You’ll see what I mean shortly. πŸ™‚

I started out with two different sized wooden clothespins – the small ones from Walmart in the office supply section, and the large ones from the dollar bins at AC Moore. That would be why I have it classified as a “Dollar Store Craft;” the rest of the supplies you will likely have on hand!

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For the large ones, I simply soaked them in some really strong coffee. I did end up putting a glass bowl on top of them to push them down, so they were completely covered. I left them soak for about 2 hours.

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For the small ones, which I wanted to be multi-colored, I followed tutorials found online at random craft blogs. I used regular food coloring with a dash of vinegar. I’m not sure what the vinegar does, but the website looked legit so I figured there must be a reason. lol. To help the colors adhere better maybe?

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I filled up mason jars with hot water and added about a 1/4 cup vinegar to each one, and about 20-25 drops of food coloring. I also did a batch of the small ones in the coffee. I let them all soak for about 2 hours.

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Then lay them out on a paper towel to dry. Be careful to protect your counters because the food coloring tends to stain.

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I let all of these guys dry for about 3 days to make sure the large ones were dry all the way through.

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Here’s where the “FAIL” part comes in. The various tutorials and instructions said to remove the metal springs before dyeing. However I was feeling lazy and decided to skip that part. And now I see why you SHOULD! They rusted pretty bad and then the rust seeped into the wood, creating a lot of dark streaking. They look pretty yucky. I am sure I’ll find a use for them but I did not think they were nice enough to stamp and sell in my Etsy shop as I had planned! 😦  Other than that little snafu, the actual dyeing seemed to work great! I shall try it again some day!

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For the large clothespins, I wanted to make some stand-up photo holders.

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I found it was easiest to apply the ink to the stamp, and then lay down the stamp on the table and press down the clothespin onto the rubber face of the stamp.

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I did them by sections, above and below the spring, since the stamp wasn’t tall enough to cover the whole thing. πŸ™‚

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I did the same thing with the small clothespins – the ones that were coffee stained. For some reason those did not rust liked the colored ones. Maybe it was the vinegar that did it??? Hmmm….

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And here are the final products that I photographed to go in my Etsy store. I love the results!

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They were easy and fun and would make a great product for craft shows. Thanks for stoppin by and happy crafting!

Country Mason Jar Center Pieces

I had to share this fun little endeavor I’m working on! I’m honored to be helping a friend with the decor for her upcoming country-themed wedding this Fall. I have been chipping away at favors, and she recently asked me about doing some center pieces. With dark purple as her main color, she asked for something using “mason jars and burlap” and I immediately visualized these!

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So easy, not to mention economical!!! Strips of burlap (cut from a burlap bag), hot-glued onto the mason jar. Then on top, a purple ribbon (Michaels). Finished off with some raffia and/or jute twine. You can find mason jars at craft stores, thrift stores, Walmart, or even the Dollar Tree!

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She will put 3 gebera daisies in one and a candle in the other! It will look so pretty flickering against the burlap. πŸ™‚ I can think of a billion ways to personalize or customize these. The possibilities are endless.

  • Add a wooden tag or skeleton key
  • Glue on a faux daisy or flower on the front
  • Change up the ribbon color
  • Use homespun fabric or lace instead of burlap
  • Use different colored twine or raffia
  • Add stamped grungy hang tags
  • Add a metal wire around the neck and hang them up
  • So many ideas! Be creative!

One last thing! I wanted to announce that I have finally re-opened my Etsy store and have a made up a special coupon especially for my blog peeps! Upon check out, enter in the following code into the “apply coupon code” section, for 20% off your total order of $10 or more. Enter it exactly as shown; no spaces. πŸ™‚

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I have added a few new things like porcelain knobs, rolls of burlap, metal letter stamps, and more skeleton keys. I also have much more to add in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned! Thanks and be back soon! πŸ™‚

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Dollar Store Salt Shakers + Vintage Buttons = Button Flower Bouquets

It’s me again! I am on a crafting BINGE! I don’t know what’s gotten into me! Maybe because it’s been sunny and “Spring” feeling these last few days? I don’t know, but I’m going with it! πŸ™‚

I have a fun “dollar store craft” for you! I made these cute little vintage button bouquets using Dollar Tree salt shakers (you can also find some at the thrift store for super cheap, like the ones here on the left) and some buttons and wire that I had on hand. So easy and a perfect Spring craft!

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I also used twine for a bow accent, and shredded paper (also found at Dollar Tree) to stuff inside the shakers and help hold wire stems in place. I suggest using a pair of pliers that have a cutting edge on them, so you don’t jack up your scissors while cutting the wire.

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To make the stems, you are going to twist the two sides of the wire together. Fold the wire piece over and cut it roughly the length you want the stem to be – keeping in mind it will be a tad shorter after twisting it together.

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Layer your buttons to make fun, colorful little “flowers.” Slide the ends of the wire through your button flower and start twisting them together tightly, to create a sturdy stem. Cut off the excess wire.

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Stuff a small amount of shredded paper down in the salt shaker to help hold the stems in place. You could use more buttons, beads, floral foam, or nothing at all…whatever you want!

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Make as many flowers as you’d like! They are fun to make!

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My first bouquet is a red and brown theme

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And my second bouquet was a blue and black theme

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I photographed them for Etsy but decided at the last-minute to bring them to the co-op. They are currently in my booth at The Carriage Place. I can’t wait to make more!

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Last night I photographed a ton of new stuff I am putting in my Etsy store, and I wanted to let all my fellow crafters, that have booths or small shops, know that I am going to be selling these word blocks in groups of 6 at a wholesale price. I ordered way too many of them, so they’ll be in my shop this week at some point. They would be a great little item to resell, if you’re into country/prim decor like me!

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I also wanted to share a few great thrift store finds from today! A great enamelware tin pan, an apothecary style jar (these sell like hot cakes in my booth!) some wooden plaques for future craft projects, vintage tin molds, and a small wooden platter with a glass cloche. I am going to paint the wooden base – probably black with a yellow prim star in the middle.

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I was also sooooooooo excited to find some unique Scrabble tiles from a “Deluxe” edition of the game; 100 tiles for only $4! Best of all, they are maroon colored! I love that they are different from the regular Scrabble tiles, yet are a great color for country crafting!

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And lastly, I had to share this find…..these brown kraft boxes were only $1 for a bag of 6!!! If you have an A.C. Moore’s, go grab some before they are discontinued!!! I was “that person” who depleted their inventory. Hehe. I am going to stamp them eventually. Love the variety of shapes!

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That’s all for today! Have a great weekend and Happy Crafting!!!

Stamped Sculpey Clay Ornaments

Yay, the world didn’t end! That means we can keep crafting! πŸ™‚ I’ve wanted to play with oven-bake clay for a while now so I picked up a package of Original Sculpey oven-bake clay at A.C. Moore’s the other day.Β  This stuff is great – it’s very easy to work with and only took me just a minute of kneading it for it to become very pliable. I can see why it’s good for kids crafts as well! DSC_0497 I decided to try stamping the clay. I broke out a bunch of random stamps including a set of small alphabet stamps. After some experimenting, I would recommend using stamps with heavy lines. The stamps with fine details didn’t work as well. DSC_0498 I see these small letter stamp sets in the $1 bins at all the craft stores! I’ve even seen them at Walmart. Scoop ’em up when you see them, because they work AWESOME for this project! Helpful tip: write the letter / number on each side of the stamp so it’s easier to find the stamps you are looking for when they are strewn all over your craft area! πŸ˜› DSC_0499 Since I do things the ghetto-fabulous way, I used different sized wine glasses / flutes as my ornament cutters. You could also use cookie cutters, which I did not think of until after the fact…duh! (Disclaimer: I would not recommend doing using glasses that you plan to drink out of, because I don’t want to be responsible for getting you sick! Same with using knives and cookie sheets…technically you are supposed to keep your clay and food/cooking tools separate. Honestly, I just wash them really good and use them again like normal, and so far, I’ve lived!) DSC_0501 I rolled out the clay to approximately 1/4″, cut out the circles using my glasses, and then stamped them. There were many re-do’s and mistakes…I found some stamps worked well and some didn’t. You gotta just play around and see what looks best! I poked a small hole in the top of each pendant using a toothpick. I’ve seen others use a straw for a bigger hole. DSC_0506 Follow the Sculpey directions on the box to baking times. I baked mine at 275 Β°F for 15 minutes, and they came out great. After letting them cool completely, they were quite hard and durable. DSC_0507 And now for painting! Again – experimenting here. Upon tons of Googling, I found you should use water based acrylic craft paints, unless you are going to seal them first, which I didn’t want to bother with. I used the acrylic craft paints below, which happen to be super cheap too. I think these pains were $.50 each from the craft store if I remember correctly! πŸ™‚ DSC_0513 I tried a couple of different techniques with varying results. Technique #1 was painting over the stamp indents to get paint down in the creases, and then wiping off the surface with a DAMP paper towel. DSC_0515 Here are they results (below). They come out good if the stamp is deep enough. Otherwise, the paint easily wipes right out of the indented areas. See the middle of the bird cage on the left? I didn’t evenly press down the stamp, so some areas show up better with the paint than others. The key one came out pretty good! DSC_0519 Technique #2, which I really like, is to paint the whole surface and then wipe off the paint with a DRY paper towel. This leaves some paint on the surface, almost like a “stain”, while also leaving paint down in the grooves of the stamped design. DSC_0520 Here’s the result. I like this better, because the color on the surface kind of covers up any imperfections and adds to the “vintage” look. πŸ™‚ DSC_0521 Another way to do this would be just paint the surface with the desired color and then wipe, faced down, on the dry paper towel like this:

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That seemed to work well in keeping the paint down in the grooves but leaving a nice over-all color stain on the surface. I also found you can do this, let it dry, and do this technique over again to get bolder colors! Here is the result of doing it twice:

DSC_0531 Technique #3 was doing the 1st method (paint then wipe off with a damp paper towel) and then letting it dry…then doing a light “wash”, if you will, with another color. I started with black lines: DSC_0527 And then diluted some green (with a bit of water) and painted over it. I then wiped it with a dry paper towel to leave some green staining on the surface. DSC_0528

The result is the one in the picture below, on the bottom left. The same technique was used for the other two in this pic, but different colors. This is my fave I think! Love the two-tone look!

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After they dried, I sealed them with the hard coat Mod Podge. It dried with a very subtle matte finish, and you couldn’t even tell it was there. The sparkle Mod Podge would be cool too, especially for Christmas ornaments, but I didn’t end up using it for this project.

DSC_0514 Here are some close-up’s. I used thin jute twine I had lying around to hang them up. I think for a first try, they came out pretty neat! DSC_0535 DSC_0541 DSC_0540 My mind is spinning with ideas…these would be great as custom Christmas ornaments, tags for gifts, wedding favors, or just little ornies to hang around the house! Small ones for jewelry pendants, wine glass charms, or big ones as coasters! If only I had more time! DSC_0539 I found some other craft blogs with some variations on this project: Clean, simple, white ornaments from Little Lovelies: ornaments10 Or these fun, colorful little doodads from Neat and Tangled: ClayFinished And some more great personalized Christmas ornies from Then She Made:

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Hope you were able to get some ideas from my day of fooling around Sculpey and the links I have posted above! There is so much potential here! I can’t wait to work on some more and maybe create some ornies to sell in my Etsy store! πŸ™‚ Also coming soon to my Etsy: tons of awesome real antique skeleton keys, bulk rose hips, cinnamon sticks, and more! Stay tuned!!! Oh yeah, and Happy New Year!!!!!!! πŸ˜› Cheers!

Easy Dollar Store Craft: Sharpie Decorated Christmas Ornaments

If you are on Pinterest, or frequently peruse craft blogs like I do, then I know you’ve seen some variation of this Sharpie project! Porcelain mugs, plates, bowls, and more…simply drawn on with Sharpies and baked for 30 minutes to make the designs permanent. Talk about easy and FUN! I love this idea – the possibilities are truly endless!

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Though it’s not technically a dollar store, these porcelain ornaments were only $1.00 at A.C. Moore. I betcha you could find some similar at the Dollar Tree. If not, I know most dollar store have porcelain coffee mugs and plates that would work great too. You could also look around the thrift stores and score some cheap porcelain “canvases”!

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I looked online at graphics and clip art and got some ideas on what I wanted to draw.Β  It’s hard to see in the picture below, but I did draw a rough outline of my design with a pencil before taking a Sharpie to it.

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I love this little folk art snowman! I copied him from Chestnut Junction Graphics. I did purchase the graphic for use on other projects as well…he’s just too cute!

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Helpful tip: While working on your designs, don’t fret if you make a mistake. A little rubbing alcohol will “erase” the Sharpie marker on the porcelain (before baking, that is). I used Q-tips as a way to touch up and re-do some areas.

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Here are some of the designs I came up with for my ornaments! I free handed these but you could easily use a transfer method or a stamp as a base for your design if you’d like!

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Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to make the Sharpie designs permanent. After baking, they look exactly the same. They do not brown or fade!

I cut off the tacky gold string and replaced it with some ribbon and twine. You could use jute twine, baker’s twine, homespun fabric, ribbon, or wire to hang your ornaments. Go with whatever compliments your designs!

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Awwwwww, love my lil’ snowman hanging on my lil’ country Christmas tree! What a great, cost-effective idea for Christmas gifts or party favors!

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And I hung up the crow themed ornie on my crow shelf. I love crows…can ya tell?!?

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And now for something even MORE fun than crafts…FREE craft supplies! I realized that since I started my blog I have never done a give-away! Shame on me! I have so many loyal readers and crafty friends that I thought I’d give away some fun stamps to say THANKS for reading my blog! πŸ™‚ Leave a comment on this post with your name and you could win one of these 3 stamps!

A large “script” stamp, which would be great for tags or scrapbooking…

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A Victorian looking skeleton key

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Or a set of 4 vintage “Ladies In Hats” stamps, as you may have seen on my little grubby tags! I have my own set of these pretty ladies!

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I will use a random number generator to pick 3 numbers and match those numbers up with the list of comments. For example, if you’re the 3rd person to leave a comment, and one of the randomly generated numbers is “3”, then you’ll win one of the stamps! I will draw 3 numbers a week from today, which will be on Christmas Eve! I’ll email the winners and mail them out just in time to start off 2013 with some fun new craft projects!!! GOOD LUCK! πŸ™‚

If you give the Sharpie Ornies a whirl, I’d LOVE to see pics! I’ll even post them here! Thanks! Happy Craftin’!

How to Make Your Own Stamped Gift Tags

Happy Fall!!! We just got home from week in Orange County, NY, for a Police K-9 Seminar that Greg was sponsoring, and boy was the weather and scenery spectacular! Upon getting home I realized there is just one month to go before my craft show and sooooo many things left I want to do…crap! I wanted to share some stamped gift tags I made because I think they have potential to be really great craft show sellers!

For these cute lil gift tags, I used a heavy stock brown kraft paper, which I got out of the scrapbooking section of the craft store. It was likeΒ  $.20 a sheet or something ridiculously awesome like that.

I cut the card stock into strips and used a small tag punch to punch out tons of tags. I got this at one of the craft stores (Michael’s I think?) for about $12, after using a coupon. It was originally around $20, but TOTALLY worth it since you can make an unlimited amount of tags!

I used a tiny hole punch to make the holes and some black string for the ties.

I made a TON more than are shown here…they are so versatile! For gifts, price tags, decoration, craft show sellers, or general crafting! You could use different thin ribbons and different colored inks / papers…there’s soooo much potential!

I decided to leave some blank and stamp some, both for my craft show. I chose this cute little gnome stamp which sorta passes for an elf for the holidays…

And of course, Santa!

Β I packaged ’em up, 4 to a bag. I am thinking $1 per bag. It’s a descent profit for me, but a great deal for customers too. What do you think?

A

Stamped Paper Mache Gift / Trinket Boxes

Sorry for the blogging hiatus! There’s been so much going on and I have been not been in the crafting mood lately. Now that the sun is starting to shine more and Spring is here, I am getting that itch again. Barn sale season is upon us! In the mean time, here is an easy little project that I was experimenting with, and REALLY like the results!

You may remember these little snowman boxes that I did for my winter craft show:

Well, I decided to play around with stamping some of the brown paper mache boxes that were found in the same area as the white ones above.

I got all my supplies ready to go…

And I quickly found out that larger stamps work better for this project, and I’ll show you why!!!

I tried stamping on the tops like you normally would, pressing the stamp down on top of the surface. The paper mache boxes aren’t perfectly flat on the top – they are warped, have raised edges, etc. Every time I stamped them, parts of the image would be missing, like this:

So, I found out that it worked much better to lay the stamps down on their backs, and press the paper mache surface onto the stamp. That way you can press down all the way around and ensure an evenly stamped image. Hence, the larger stamps work better!

Here are some of my favorites:

I think they would be a good Christmas craft show seller, maybe $1 a piece, to use as small gift boxes.Β  I’m gonna make more because they were just plain easy and fun to make. I’ll let you know how they do!

I categorized these as a “dollar store craft” because the paper mache boxes, at $2.50 per 6 pack amount to around $.41 cents a piece. That’s not including the half off coupons that you can always find online for the major craft stores. Also, I have had a lot of luck finding really cool stamps for $1.00, like these ones from Michaels:

So have at it! Send me a pic if you give them a try! In other news, I HAD to share with you the “find” of a lifetime…thisΒ  35 drawer catalog/apothecary unit…for FREE…on the side of the road!!! That just doesn’t happen! I about died!!!

Every drawer was there, with this AMAZING original hardware…

I was all gung-ho to sell it in my booth but upon cleaning it up, I decided to keep it. After a little soap and water, voila! Isn’t she a beaut? The bottom right have drawer is there, it’s just darker than the rest. It gives it character. πŸ™‚

Well, hopefully I can get my butt up and moving with some craft projects and find some inspiration in this beautiful sunny, Spring weather. Hope everyone had a great weekend! BBS!

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