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! ❀

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 πŸ™‚ . 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. 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˜€

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!

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™‚

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