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April 18th, 2015

Stained Glass Horse Mirror

Stained Glass Horse Mirror © Gunkee and Monkee

Stained Glass Horse Mirror © Gunkee and Monkee

I painted this Stained Glass Horse Mirror a few years ago. It is an heirloom mirror that was once oval and dingy. The outside edges were really bad. The original frame was in very bad shape, so we wanted to get it re-framed but it was so big that no one would do it or they wanted an ungodly amount of money to do it. So I had it cut down and painted it. I found the Stained Glass Horse pattern in a magazine (in fact, I think it was a Gallery Glass magazine or maybe some other kind of crafting magazine) and used Gallery Glass paint. All I had to do was trace the Stained Glass Horse pattern onto the glass using carbon paper. Then outline the different areas with the liquid leading paint, then fill in the individual colors. It was tedious, but fun.

Materials used to make this :

1 Mirror

Gallery Glass Liquid Leading

Various Colors of Gallery Glass Paint

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April 10th, 2015

Monkee Paints a Bird House

Monkee painting on her birdhouse. © Gunkee & Monkee

Monkee’s bird house. © Gunkee & Monkee

My little Monkee likes to paint! We can’t walk by the craft room without her running in there yelling, “Paint!!”

Walmart has some reasonably priced craft items that little monkeys can paint on. With spring upon us, one of the items I picked up was a small bird house for her to paint on whenever she wanted to. There’s no deadline when painting a project like this. She painted on this bird house twice a week for about a month. Some days she’d paint longer than others. Sometimes she’d paint on the bird house and then paint on the paper, but it didn’t matter because it’s more about the quality of time spent than it is about the project.

Monkee painting her birdhouse. © Gunkee & Monkee

Monkee painting her birdhouse. © Gunkee & Monkee

The little ones don’t have to stay in the lines, or paint it a certain way, or even use a paint brush if they don’t want to.  But using a brush to paint with helps with her fine motor skills plus she is having fun while doing it. The paints I found, Crayola Washable Kids Paints, wash off with just plain water, so there is no big worry about how messy she gets or if she is going to ruin the clothes she is wearing. The Monkee’s bird house is now hanging on a wall beside a tree in our backyard. Hopefully it will get some tenants soon.

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April 3rd, 2015

Pinatas, Sombreros, and Maracas for Cinco De Mayo

Pinatas, Sombreros, and Maracas

Kids love getting messy making these Cinco De Mayo crafts. Getting candy was even more fun!

Fun to Make Cinco DeMayo Piñatas
Kids will love making piñatas this way because it can be very messy and we all know messy is fun!

Materials needed are:

1 Large Balloon

Newspaper torn into thin strips

Flour

Water

Large Bowl for mixing paste

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes

Scissors

Tissue Paper

Candy

String

Prepare a work area for the children by covering your table with newspaper. Mix the flour and water in the large mixing bowl until you get a smooth, pasty consistency. Blow up the balloon. Dip the newspaper strips into the paste. Drag the newspaper strip between your index and middle finger to remove excess paste. Lay the strip on the balloon and smooth out any bubbles. Continue to do this until the balloon is covered with at least three layers of newspaper. Be sure to leave a small hole near the knot on the balloon. Let dry overnight.

After the newspaper has dried and hardened, paint it however you want to. You can also add tissue paper for decorations if desired. Let the paint dry. Pop the balloon and add the candy through the hole you left. Add layers of newspaper strips, small toys, or confetti in between the candy to add to the surprise. Attach a piece of string on either side of the hole to hang the piñata and let the fun begin!

Colorful Cinco DeMayo Sombreros
Materials needed are:

Large Paper Plates

Paper Bowls

Low Temp Hot Glue

Elmer’s Glue

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes

Yarn

Small Pompoms – assorted colors

Hole Punch

Paint plate and bowl. Let dry. Hot glue the bowl to the bottom of the plate. Decorate with more paint, and glue pompoms around the brim of the hat. Punch holes on each side of plate, then tie yarn in holes to tie sombrero around child’s neck.

Musical Cinco DeMayo Maracas
Materials needed are:

2 same-sized Styrofoam or Paper Cups

Acrylic Paint

Low Temp Hot Glue Gun

Elmer’s Glue *

Dried Beans

Decorative accents such as Pompoms, Buttons and Beads

Paint cups one solid color and let dry. Decorate cups by painting on zigzags, swirling or curvy lines. Don’t forget to paint the bottom of each cup. Let dry. Place a handful of dried beans into one of the cups. Put a layer of hot glue onto the rim of the cup with the beans in it before quickly placing the other cup on top of it, lining up the rims of both cups. Allow to dry completely. Finish decorating any way you like, such as adding pompoms around the center (to hide the glue line), or use mini pompoms to dot the peaks of the zigzags. Once your glue is completely dry, put on your sombrero, shake your maracas and do the Mexican Hat Dance for Cinco De Mayo!

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April 2nd, 2015

Monkee’s Toilet Paper Roll Flowers

Monkee's Toilet Papr Roll Flowers and Pot © Gunkee & Monkee

Monkee’s Toilet Paper Roll Flowers and Pot © Gunkee & Monkee

My little Monkee has been painting again! She has been working on a top secret project for her mom’s birthday. Monkee painted a pot and saucer, and also some toilet paper rolls in 4 different colors. She is getting pretty good at covering most of the toilet paper rolls with paint. Of course after the paint dries then she needs my help to put it all together.

Materials:

Monkee painting an empty toilet paper roll to make flowers with. © Gunkee & Monkee

Crayola Washable Paints

4 Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

2″ Pot and Saucer

Larger Plastic Buttons

Skewers

1″ Styrofoam Ball

Glass Balls

Hot Glue

IMG_2541[1]

Cut toilet paper rolls to make flowers with. © Gunkee & Monkee

Scissors

I let Monkee paint 3 of the the empty toilet paper rolls any color she wanted to. She chose blue, then red, then red and blue (making a pretty purple-red color when she was finished). The 4th one needed to be all green to make the leaves with. The same rule applied to the pot and saucer, in the sense that there was no rule. She painted what color she wanted where she wanted it. After the painted empty toilet paper rolls dried, I (Gunkee) cut them into strips along the short side of the tube. Then I hot glued the petals onto a large plastic button, which I then hot glued onto a skewer which I had painted green. The leaves were then hot glued lower on the skewer below the petals. I cut the Styrofoam ball in half and put it in the pot. The skewers the flowers are on were then stuck into the Styrofoam and the glass balls were added to provide stability. There was a wooden butterfly laying on the table that she had recently painted that had her thumb prints on the edges, so I added it behind the toilet paper roll flowers.

Now Monkee has a hand made birthday present that she painted to give to her mom.

IMG_2543[2]

© Gunkee & Monkee

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March 27th, 2015

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Makeover: Minnie Mouse

LT car1Step-by-step Instructions on How to Turn a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe into a Minnie Mouse Coupe

While browsing Pinterest, I found a page full of Little Tikes Cozy Coupe makeovers and decided I wanted to try it. Upon further research, I was unable to find a good description of how these makeovers were accomplished so I decided to take notes as I tackled this project and then share them with you.
There are various types of the Cozy Coupe cars for toddlers that when left out in the sun will fade to a sad looking pink and cream color. Whether your child owns one or you find one at a yard sale, here’s an idea to give that faded coupe a fresh new look.

My first grandchild, a girl, was born in December 2012 and my daughter-in-law found one at a yard sale for a decent price. I wanted to give it a fresh new look and give it to my granddaughter for her first birthday. We decided to give the coupe a Minnie Mouse theme.

Supplies Needed

Supplies needed for this project are red and black Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastics and clear Krylon to use as a sealer, white vinyl circles, a large red bow with white dots, black corrugated plastic board, a paint tarp, ink jet bumper sticker peel and stick paper (to make tag and dash instruments), hot glue, plastic bags, and painters tape.

Lt car4First step: Disassemble

Take apart (disassemble) the coupe and clean it. On the surface the car looked pretty clean, but once apart it was easy to see the dirt and grime that builds up in all the little nicks and crannies.

Second step: Clean & Prep for Painting
Get the coupe clean. First I cleaned it with bleach and then prepped it for paint according to the instructions on the spray can. I put plastic bags over the wheels before painting the body.

Third step: Paint

Paint the parts. I painted the top part (which was yellow) black for Minnie’s “head” and gave the bottom (car body) a fresh coat of red. The directions said the paint would be dry in 15 minutes, and ready to use within the hour. I actually let it set overnight before moving to the next step.

LT car3Fourth step: Seal

After letting the coupe dry overnight, I sealed all the parts with Krylon Clear coat spray paint.

Fifth step: Finishing touches

After letting the coupe dry overnight again, I was ready to put it back together. Once it was put back together, I had some finishing touches to take care of. I used white vinyl stickers for the dots on the Minnie Mouse car and printed a personalized license tag from a computer program using peel and stick paper from a big box store. The dash, head lights, tail lights, “blinkers,” nose and mouth were also made like the license tag. The mouse ears were made from corrugated sign board that was painted black (or you can purchase black corrugated sign board). The circle for the ears had a notch cut on the outside of the circle (so it’s not really a circle when originally cut out) which was inserted into a hole cut into the top of the coupe and hot glued in place. Minnie Mouse’s signature red bow with white dots was made with plastic ribbon and white circle vinyl stickers that will hopefully withstand the outdoor elements. The bow was hot glued to the top of the coupe and to the front of the ears.

The birthday girl loves her new Minnie Mouse coupe! Now I’m on the lookout now for more cars to makeover. Wouldn’t a matching Mickey Mouse car be awesome? (Hint, hint.)

Lt car5Afterwards: Truthfully, this project was not as simple as these instructions sound. Originally I painted the top piece white and black with the black outlining the shape of the top of Minnie’s head. It proved to be difficult to get a balanced half circle on each side to form the front peak of the head, so that idea was nixed for the simpler all black top. In addition to having issues making balanced half circles, the white paint was not adhering well to the plastic, leaving paint bubbles all over. I have no idea why it was doing this, as it was the same type and brand of paint as the red and black paint. So the top piece had to be sanded to get all the white bubbles off and then wiped down and prepped for painting once again. Also, the white vinyl stickers are so easy to peel off that a one-year-old can do it, so I have had to hot glue a few back on. Even so, I think using the vinyl stickers are easier than trying to spray paint all those circles on and not get over spray onto the red paint.

The Minnie Mouse coupe looks good now, but I am a bit skeptical about the longevity of this project. The paint is already flaking off where the door jams meet. However, I figure that if it makes for one really good photo shoot with my granddaughter (which we had at her first birthday party) it will be money and time well spent.

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March 26th, 2015

Monkee Makes a Toilet Paper Tube Bunny for Easter

Monkee painting a toilet paper tube to make a bunny. © MonkeeandGunkee

Monkee painting a toilet paper tube to make a bunny. © MonkeeandGunkee

My little Monkee likes to paint. Toilet paper tubes are perfect for this little 2-year-old to go to town on with child friendly washable paints. She will dip the brush in the paint, put her hand in the tube to hold it (I swear I did not show her how to do that! She figured it out all on her own), and paint away, turning the toilet paper tube this way and that to make sure she gets all sides. Gunkee (me) controls the access to the paint so she only gets to choose one color at a time. Sometimes she does get distracted and starts doing thumb and finger prints or finger painting on the parchment paper I put down on the table in front of her to work on.

Before the Monkee gets to my house to craft, I try to have a plan of what we are going to paint and make. So I spent the night before she got here preparing the bunny’s ears, feet, nose and whiskers. I cut them out of a white foam sheet of paper and painted pink highlights on the nose, ears and feet.

Pre-cut painted bunny pieces to make a toilet paper tube bunny. © MonkeeandGunkee

Pre-cut painted bunny pieces to make a toilet paper tube bunny. © MonkeeandGunkee

After the Monkee finished painting the toilet paper tube white, we went outside to blow bubbles while it dried. (I had to bribe her to leave the room so it could dry and she loves blowing bubbles!)

When bubble time was over, we went back to the craft room where she helped glue the pre-cut bunny pieces onto the toilet paper tube.

Materials to make Monkee’s Toilet Paper Tube Bunny:

Monkee's Toilet Paper Tube Bunny © MonkeeandGunkee

Monkee’s Toilet Paper Tube Bunny © MonkeeandGunkee

1 Toilet Paper Tube

White Foam Sheet

White & Pink Paint

Cotton Ball

Paint Brush

White Glue

Scissors

 

 

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March 20th, 2015

3D Seed Packets: Daisies, Daffodils and Tulips

3D Seed Packets © Gunkee

3D Seed Packets © Gunkee

With spring here, it’s time to start thinking about planting some flowers seeds. Here are some 3D Seed Packets you can make to hang close to your gardening spot to brighten it up.

How to Make 3D Seed Packets: Daisies, Daffodils and Tulips

 Materials Needed to Make the Daisies 3D Seed Packet:

Acrylic Paints

Ribbon

2-1” Buttons

Hot Glue

Ruler

8 Toilet Paper Tubes

1 8×10 Painting Canvas

Paint Brushes

Double Sided Tape (optional)

1” Alphabet Stencil (optional)

Directions to Make the Daisies:

Flatten toilet paper roll and cut 36 flower petals using the short side of the roll.  Also cut 4 small circles for the center of the flower. Cut 4 long Daisy leaves from 2 TP tube. Paint the petals white. Paint 2 circles dark yellow with a spring green edge. Paint the leaves green. When the paint dries, hot glue the petals to the extra circle. Glue 12 petals around the circle and then hot glue 12 more in front of and in between the glued ones. Repeat for the remaining 12 petals. For the flower bud, bend the end of the petals before hot gluing to make it stand up straighter. Glue the leaves below the daisies. Cover a button with floral tape and hot glue to the backside of the flower and bud.

On the canvas, make a 1” border around three sides; on the fourth side leave a 2” gap on the bottom. Paint the inside of the rectangle a bright yellow.  Trim the yellow edge with dark brown. Paint the outside edges a tan color. Paint the word “Seeds” dark brown at the bottom center of the canvas. You can do this freehand or use a stencil.

Cut an 8” piece of ribbon and hot glue the ends as shown in the picture.  Paint the word “Daisy” on the ribbon. Once the paint is dry on the canvas, hot glue the ribbon to the top of the canvas. Hot glue the flowers and stems to the canvas.

Use the double sided tape to hang the canvas on the wall.

My Time to Complete the Daisy Canvas: 3 ½ Hours

 Materials Needed to Make the Daffodils 3D Seed Packet:

Acrylic Paints

Floral Tape

Floral Wire

3D Seeds © Gunkee

3D Seeds © Gunkee

Ribbon

Hot Glue

Ruler

1 8×10 Painting Canvas

Paint Brushes

Styrofoam Egg Carton

Clear Egg Carton

1”Alphabet Stencil (optional)

Double Sided Tape (optional)

Directions to Make the Daffodils:

Cut 12 petals from the top and blank spots (places that have no print on them-I couldn’t find a paint that would cover the print) on a white Styrofoam egg carton. Cut 12 stamens from the corner of the Styrofoam egg carton.  Cut out 2 of the clear egg carton egg holders. (The Styrofoam egg holders seemed too big to me, but they can be used if you so desire or don’t have a clear egg carton). Trim down to make a small cup to use as the center of the daffodil.  Paint all the pieces bright yellow. Cut out 2 small circles and hot glue the petals to it to form the flower – 6 petals for each daffodil. Hot glue the small cup to the center of the daffodil, then hot glue 6 stamens in the center of the cup. Use the floral wire to shape stems and leaves then cover with floral tape.

On the canvas, make a 1” border around three sides; on the fourth side leave a 2” gap on the bottom. Paint the inside of the rectangle a spring green color. Trim the green edge with dark brown. Paint the outside edges a tan color. Paint the word “Seeds” at the bottom center of the canvas. You can do this freehand or use a stencil.

Cut an 8” piece of ribbon and hot glue the ends as shown in the picture. Paint the word “Daffodils” on the ribbon. Once the paint is dry on the canvas, hot glue the ribbon to the top of the canvas. Hot glue the flowers, stems and leaves to the canvas.

My Time to Complete the Daffodil Canvas: 3 Hours

 Materials Needed to Make the Tulips 3D Seed Packet:

Acrylic Paints

Floral Tape

Ribbon

4-1” Buttons

Hot Glue

Parchment Paper

Ruler

1 8×10 Painting Canvas

Paint Brushes

Clear Plastic Containers

1” Alphabet Stencil (optional)

Double Sided Tape (optional)

Directions to Make the Tulips:

The clear plastic used to make these can be from anything like clear egg cartons, Wesson Oil bottles, clear milk jugs, the hard plastic wrap items come in from the store, etc. You get the picture. Cut out 8 tulip petals for each tulip from clear plastic containers. For the center of the tulip, cut 2 petals together with the ends connected. You will need 2 of those for the center of each tulip. For the Mickey Mouse Tulips I made I freehand painted the red on each petal, waited for it to dry, and then painted over it with bright yellow. It took an hour to freehand paint the red and only 15 minutes to put 2 coats of yellow on all the petals. So going by that, you decide if you want to make a pattern on your tulips or just use one color. Put 2 buttons together and cover with floral tape. With the button lying flat hot glue 4 tulip petals around it. Hot glue 4 more petals in between the spaces of the first 4 petals. Bend the connected petal in the center so the top of the petals meet and put a dab of hot glue at the top to connect the petals. Hot glue this into the center of the tulip. For the stems and leaves for the tulip, I squirted hot glue onto parchment paper to form the shape of the leaves I wanted. Once dry, I trimmed any rough edges and painted them green.

On the canvas, make a 1” border around three sides; on the fourth side leave a 2” gap on the bottom. Paint the inside of the rectangle a spring green color. Trim the green edge with dark brown. Paint the outside edges a tan color. Paint the word “Seeds” at the bottom center of the canvas. You can do this freehand or use a stencil.

Cut an 8” piece of ribbon and hot glue the ends as shown in the picture. Paint the word “Tulips” on the ribbon. Once the paint is dry on the canvas, hot glue the ribbon to the top of the canvas. Hot glue the flowers, stems and leaves to the canvas.

My Time to Complete the Tulip Canvas: 4 Hours

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March 18th, 2015

Spring Mushroom Pot

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Materials

1 Large Styrofoam Egg

(3) ½” Styrofoam Eggs

(2) 1” Styrofoam Eggs

4-6” pot

Spoon

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Bendable Straws

Mod Podge

Tissue Paper

Hot Glue

Carbon paper or Graphite paper

Floral Styrofoam

Brown Potpourri

Brushes

Thin Black Paint Pen

Deco Art Patio Paint Colors listed below

  • Cut the Styrofoam pieces into 2 pieces in different sizes. Use the spoon to hollow out the bottoms of the Styrofoam pieces. Paint the rounded tops of the Styrofoam pieces in various colors. You can use the chart I’ve listed or use your own color choices. Let dry.
  • Paint the bottoms of the Styrofoam mushrooms various colors using the chart given or use your own colors. Let dry.
  • Paint the dots and dot trim on the top of the mushrooms using the chart given or choose your own colors.
  • Dry brush colors given up the sides of the mushrooms.
  • Mod Podge the tissue paper onto the straws. Let dry.
  • Once the Mod Podge is dry, paint the straws Antique Mum and Cream.
  • When the paint is dry on the straws, cut to various lengths and hot glue the mushrooms to the straws.
  • Find a mushroom coloring pattern online and use the carbon paper or the graphite paper to trace a pattern onto the pot. Paint the mushroom pattern on the pot.
  • Once dry, put the floral Styrofoam in the pot and place the mushrooms on the straws in the floral Styrofoam.
  • Fill the pot with the brown potpourri.

Patio Paint Colors Used for Mushroom Tops

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Geranium Red

Holly Berry Red

Deep Buttercup

Daisy Cream

Very Berry

Patio Paint Colors for Mushroom Bottoms

Wrought Iron Black on Very Berry and Reds

Geranium Red on Deep Buttercup

Woodland Brown on Daisy Cream

Patio Paint Colors for Dots on Mushroom Tops

Wrought Iron Black dots on red tops trimmed in Cloud White

Cloud White dots on Deep Buttercup tops trimmed in Citrus Green and bottom trim with Geranium Red  dry brushed up the sides

Woodland Brown dots on Daisy Cream tops and bottom trim dry brushed up sides

Wrought Iron Black dots on Very Berry tops trimmed in Fuchsia

Pot Patio Paint Colors

Geranium Red

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Mushroom Pot © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Cloud White

Butternut

Mistletoe Green

Sweet Pea

Spring Mint

Trim done with a thin black paint pen

Pot Patio Paint Colors for Straws

Antique Mum

Cream

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March 14th, 2015

How to Make Mini-Birdbath Candy Dishes

terra cotta birdbath1I love doing all sorts of crafts. Mainly I paint ceramics and various other mediums. You’ve probably seen or heard about making birdbaths with terra cotta pots. But have you ever thought of sizing them down and using them as inside decorations? With spring about to spring itself on us, here is an idea for an easy mini-birdbath candy dish you can make.

Here is what you will need to get started:

Two – three colors of paint (two contrasting or complimentary colors and blue), two small decorative birds, other small embellishments such as insects, craft moss, raffia, glue, paint, paint brushes, sea sponges (optional), bird or flower stencils (optional), and a terra cotta pot and saucer. The saucer can be the same size or one size bigger than the pot. You decide the look you want. You can usually get these supplies from Wal-Mart or a craft store such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

Step one: Paint the outside of the pot and outside of the saucer in any color you choose. Let dry for 30 minutes. If you plan to use the candy dish in your house, then choose a color to match your interior. I use Patio Paints because it is weather-resistant, water resistant, has a sealer in the paint and is good for painting on terra cotta.

Step two: Paint the inside of the saucer. I use blue to mimic the color of water. Let dry for 30 minutes.

Step three (optional): Use a contrasting color and dab-sponge on the outside of the pot and saucer. This gives it a pretty speckled look. Another way to speckle is to load the brush with paint and flick the bristles with your finger at the pot. This way is a bit messier so dress accordingly and have the pot on a covered surface. Let dry for 30 minutes. (See photo 2.) Note: Instead of sponging or flecking, another option would be to stencil flowers or birds or anything else of your choosing.

Step four: Turn the pot upside down and glue the saucer right side up to the bottom of the pot. Let dry according to your glue instructions. (See photo 2.)

terra cotta birdbath2Step five: Make two little bird’s nest with the moss and glue onto each side of the saucer. Glue the birds into the nests.

Step six: Tie the raffia rope around the pot where the pot and saucer meet and make a bow. To hold it in place better, add a dab of glue at the knot.

Step seven: (optional) Glue embellishments at the knot of the bow.

Now you have finished making a mini-birdbath candy dish. Wasn’t that easy?

*Instead of candy you can use your mini-birdbath to hold potpourri, or whatever else you can imagine.

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March 13th, 2015

Easy to Make Easter Egg Display

A Fun, Messy Way for Kids to Make an Easter Egg Display

easter egg decoupageMy boys loved getting messy making these Easter egg display decorations for their teachers. Girls will love it too!

Materials Needed to Make the Easter Egg Display: 
1 Large Egg-Shaped Balloon
2″ Newspaper Strips
A Large Bowl
Flour
Water
Acrylic Paints
Lace
Ribbon
Glue
Scissors or Exacto Knife
Easter Basket Grass

Make a paste with the flour and water. Not too thick, not too thin. (Another option is to use Mod Podge instead of flour and water.) Blow up the balloon. Make sure the balloon has an egg shape to it. Dip the newspaper strip into the paste then run the strip between your index finger and middle finger to get any excess paste off. Place the wet strip on the balloon and smooth out any bubbles. Continue to do this until the balloon is completely covered. (If you are using Mod Podge, place the strip on the balloon and “paint” the Mod Podge onto the newspaper.) Let dry overnight.

When the newspaper is dry, pop the balloon. Cut an oval hole in the side of the newspaper. (See photo.) Paint the “egg.” Let dry overnight.

Glue ribbon around the edge of the hole in the front. Poke two small holes in the top at the edge of the lace. Thread ribbon through the holes and tie a bow on top. Add Easter grass to the inside. Decorate inside the egg with plastic eggs, ceramic eggs, small bunnies or ducks, or any Eastery thing you want!

A twist to this is to use crochet string or cotton yarn instead of newspaper, and liquid starch, fabric stiffener or Elmer’s Glue instead of the flour paste. Blow up the balloon to an egg shape. Tie off. Tie a piece of string to the knot and hang the balloon. Start wrapping the balloon with the string. Use two or three different colors if you want. Spray on 2-3 coats of the fabric stiffener. (Let dry between coats.) Or paint on the liquid starch. Or dip the string into the Elmer’s Glue and put on the balloon. There are many options to doing this. Some people use sugar water. I do not recommend this. It attracts insects (ants in particular love it) and smaller children may think it tastes good. Let dry.

You can leave it as is for a decoration, or you can cut a hole in the side and decorate the inside any way you like.

For either project you can also use small balloons, such as water balloons, to make smaller Easter eggs, or use big balloons to make gigantic Easter eggs. However you make them, be sure to have fun doing it!

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March 12th, 2015

Easy to Make Bunny Easter Egg Holder 

easter wash bunniesA friend and I made these Bunny Easter Egg Holders as teacher’s gifts for our children to give at Easter one year. The teachers loved them!

Materials Needed:
1 Washcloth (9″ x 9″ – thin colorful ones are best)
Plastic Google Eyes
1 Plastic Egg
Ribbon
1 Small Cotton Ball
Small Twine

Starting at a corner, roll the washcloth halfway then starting at the opposite corner roll until the two rolls meet in the middle. Fold the cloth in half lengthwise with the two rolled pieces that met on the inside. Grab the cloth about 3 inches from the loose ends, fold over top in half and tie a ribbon 1 inch from the end. (See photo.) This is kind of tricky to do by yourself. You may need an extra set of hands to help hold or tie. After you do this, you should have the two ends above the ribbon that look like bunny ears. Where you tied the ribbon bow is the top of the bunnies head. Glue two googly eyes below the ribbon then add four small pieces of twine or string below the eyes for whiskers. Add a plastic egg to the hole and you have a nice, simple bunny Easter decoration or gift. These make great decorations in an Easter Basket or sitting all by themselves. They also make great gifts for teachers.

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March 11th, 2015

How to Make a Duck Easter Basket 

easter duck3My mom taught me how to make these neat Duck Easter Baskets from gallon milk jugs.

Materials Needed:
1 Gallon Milk Jug
Plastic Googly (aka: Wiggly) Eyes
Orange Felt
Lace
Ribbon
Hot Glue
Exacto Knife or Sharp Knife (to cut jug with)
Scissors
Small Silk Flower Buds

Using the knife cut around the top of the milk jug at the cap in a triangular shape. (The opening is not centered on this.) This will be the “bonnet” for the duck. Cut the top of the jug handle from the jug. (Just cut the top piece where it attaches to the jug.) Starting even with the bottom of the handle on the jug, cut the top of the jug away from the bottom of the jug. (There should be about a one inch piece of plastic between the bottom of the handle and the body of the jug.) Cut around the jug in a wavy pattern.

easter duck2Keep the cap on the “bonnet” piece. Glue lace around the edge of the bonnet and around the top outside edge of the jug. You can layer the lace by doing two strips of lace in two different colors. Or use lace that is pre-made with layers. Glue another piece of lace from the left side, across the front below the handle, and finish on the left side. Merge the lace into the previous piece you attached.

Glue the inside of the cap to the end of the top of the handle. This is the “head” with the “bonnet” on it. Tie bows with your ribbon and add as embellishments. Glue small silk flowers to the center of the ribbon to cover the knot. Glue lace around the cap of the bonnet and fill the inside with silk flowers or other embellishments to cover the cap.

Glue two googly eyes at the bend of the jug handle. Cut out a long thin oval strip out of the orange felt. This will be the duck’s beak. Fold in half and glue below the eyes. Cut two webbed feet out of the orange felt and glue onto the bottom of the front of the basket. (To make them sturdier you may have to cut four pieces and glue two of them together to make one foot.)

easter duck1That’s it – you’re done! You can fill the basket with Easter grass and add eggs or some baby ducks. Use your imagination!

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March 10th, 2015

How to Make a “Bunny Down the Hole” Air Freshener Container

 

easter bunny air freshener coverI love doing all sorts of crafts. Here is the Bunny Down the Hole, an easy Easter craft  you can make using a terra cotta pot and Styrofoam pieces.

Here is what you will need to get started:

4″ terra cotta pot

Various colors of acrylic paint

Easter grass

4″ Styrofoam ball

1 egg-shaped piece of Styrofoam

1 extra-large cotton ball

toothpicks

white & pink felt

scissors

serrated knife

craft glue

paint brushes

sea sponges (optional)

Step one: Paint the outside of the pot a solid spring color. Let dry for 30 minutes. I use Patio Paint because it is weather-resistant, water resistant, has a sealer in the paint and is good for painting on terra cotta.

Step two: Paint the Styrofoam ball and the Styrofoam egg white. Let dry 30 minutes.

Step three: Use the sea sponge to dab complimentary colored paint(s) over your base coat color. Do not put it on too heavy. You are trying for a pretty speckled robin-egg look. Another way to speckle is to load the brush with paint and flick the bristles with your finger at the pot. This way is a bit messier so dress accordingly and have the pot on a covered surface. Let dry for 30 minutes. If you want a glossy finish you will need a clear acrylic sealer. I use Plaid’s Clear Acrylic Sealer spray that can be found at Wal-Mart. Spray the sealer on now if so desired.

Step four: Cut a small edge off of the Styrofoam ball and make a flat side. Hollow out the insides of the ball.

Step five: Cut the Styrofoam egg in half lengthwise. These will be the feet.

Step six: Glue some Easter grass along the inside edge if the pot and let hang over the sides.

Put a solid air freshener such a s Renzit in the pot and cover with the bunny's bottom to keep it hidden from view.

Put a solid air freshener such a s Renzit in the pot and cover with the bunny’s bottom to keep it hidden from view.

Step seven: Trace two of the egg-shapes onto the white felt. Cut out and glue onto the flat side of the Styrofoam egg halves. Optional: Cut a rounded “W” wave to distinguish the toes. (See photo.)

Step eight: Using the pink felt, cut three small circles and one large circle and glue to the white felt. These are the pads on the bottom of the feet. (See photo.)

Step nine: Place the ball on the pot with the hollow part facing into the pot. Use a toothpick to connect the feet to the ball. Place the toothpick in the center of the rounded part of the egg and then stick the other end of the toothpick into the ball with the wider end of the egg shape facing down just above the lip of the pot. Place the other egg opposite the first one to look like bunny feet sticking into the air. You may need to add a dab of glue to hold the feet in place.

Step ten: Glue the extra large cotton ball to the top of the Styrofoam ball. This is the bunny’s tail.

Now you have a “Bunny Down the Hole” Air Freshener container. A solid air freshener, such as Renuzit, will fit into the pot and be hidden from view. Or you could use the pot to hold candy or potpourri, or whatever you can think of!

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February 21st, 2015

How to Make a Shamrock Snack Bowl

Shamrock HeartsThis Shamrock Snack Bowl is so simple that even a beginning painter (glass or otherwise) could do it.

Materials Needed to Make a Shamrock Snack Bowl:

3 Heart Shaped Glass Bowls

Floral Wire or Pipe Cleaners

Floral Tape

Gloss Enamel Paints:  Two different shades of green & white (I use Americana Gloss Enamel Paints)

Rubbing Alcohol

Paint Brushes

 

Instructions to Make a Shamrock Snack Bowl:

First prepare the glass for painting by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. On the bottom of the glass use the darker shade of green to paint an outline of a heart on all 3 bowls (that’s only if your bowl doesn’t have the outline that mine does.) Paint some small shamrocks in a lighter shade of green on the top two sides and bottom of the heart, outlining them in white. (Painting the small shamrocks is optional). Let dry as per instructions for whatever paint you are using, then paint in the large heart with the dark green. Once dry, apply the lighter shade of green to the remanding part of the bottom of the bowl. I painted some larger shamrocks on the sides of the bowls, which is also optional. Put your own spin on it; whatever you create doesn’t have to look exactly like mine. Wrap some pipe cleaners or floral wire with green floral tape to make a ‘stem’ for the Shamrock Snack Bowl. The stem pretty much just lays on the table beside the bowls to complete the shamrock look. Let the paint cure as per instructions for the brand of paint you are using then bake in the oven as per the same instructions.

 For example, I use American Gloss Enamel paints. The directions on the paint bottles say to let the paint cure for 4 days then put the glass pieces into a cold oven on a cookie sheet, set the temperature to 325 degrees; once the oven reaches temperature begin the countdown clock for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, turn off the oven and let the glass sit in the oven until it completely cools down. Taking the glass out of the oven before it is completely cooled could cause it to crack or break and who wants that after putting all that work into painting it? I’m impatient while waiting for it to cool, so to belay the temptation of taking it out too early and risking breaking it I cook my glassware in the evenings and let it cool overnight.

 Optional:

The bowls could be glued together to make one piece if so desired. I prefer to just lay them together in the shape I want. Or they could be glued or positioned onto a serving platter. Use your imagination!

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February 20th, 2015

Lucky Leprechaun Flower Pot

CiPhone 4 215Lucky Leprechaun Flower Pot

If you’ve been following along, then you’ve already met my little leprechaun Lucky O’Malley when he was all dressed up for a night on the town. Now Lucky is just hanging out in the garden.  Read on to find out how this Lucky Leprechaun is made.

Materials Needed to Make Country Lucky O’Malley:

4” Terra Cotta Pot

3” Styrofoam Ball

White & Green Carnations

Shamrock Top Hat

Floral Styrofoam

Rubbing Alcohol

Pencil

Green Foam Paper

Gold Glitter Glue

Green Glitter Glue

Craft Glue

Button (optional)

Paint Brushes

Patio Paint Colors ( Patio Paints by Deco Art):

Spring Green for the Shirt

Citrus Green for the Vest

Mistletoe Green for the Jacket

Daisy Cream for the Styrofoam Ball/Face

Pumpkin (orange) for the Hair, Beard & Eyebrows

Vintage Rose for the Nose & Mouth Outline

Cloud White for the Eyes & Mouth

Summer Sky Blue for the Eyes

Wrought Iron Black for the Eyes

CiPhone 4 216Instructions to Make Country Lucky O’Malley:

First prepare the terra cotta leprechaun pot for painting by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. Then sketch an outline of the coat onto the pot with a pencil. Paint the leprechaun coat in the colors of your choosing. (I listed the colors I used above.) I always paint from lightest color to darkest color, so I started with Spring Green for the shirt, Citrus Green as the vest color, then I outlined the jacket lapels with Pine Green before painting the remainder of the pot Mistletoe Green.

Paint the Styrofoam ball Daisy Cream. Once the paint dried, I glued the ball to the front of the pot, lining it up with the center of the vest.  Then I glued the top hat onto the Styrofoam ball. (I found St. Patrick’s Day top hats at Dollar Tree which were perfect for this, or you can create one like I did when I made the Lucky Leprechaun Candy Bowl.) I used two triangle stencils to make a pattern for the bow tie which I then I made from a piece of green foam sheet. I cut out the bow tie, painted it with gold glitter glue and glued it to the front of the pot on the shirt. I also made a small shamrock from the green foam, highlighted it with green glitter glue and glued it onto the lapel of the pot. I didn’t have a green button that would match the colors I used on the pot so I painted a button Mistletoe Green and glued it onto the vest.

When the glue dried, I continued to paint the face of Lucky O’Malley onto the ball. I used the end of a paint pen to make the eyes. Dip the end of the paint pen (or freehand or use any other round template or item you might have on hand) into the white paint and press onto the ball where you would like the eyes to be. This gives a starting point as to how to outline and paint the rest of the face.

 Once the face is complete, add flowers to the pot and/or any other “lucky” accessories you like.

 Time to Complete: 3 ½ – 4 Hours

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February 19th, 2015

Lucky Leprechaun Candy Bowl

CiPhone 4 177Lucky O’Malley: Leprechaun Candy Bowl

Meet Lucky O’Malley. This lucky leprechaun is made from 2 candy bowls which can either be glued together to just stacked atop one another so you can have access to two bowls. Use them to hold candy or any other lucky items you need a nifty hiding place for.

Materials Needed to Make Lucky O’Malley:

1 Small Candy Bowl

1 Large Candy Bowl

Green Glitter

Gold Glitter Glue

Mod Podge

Rubbing Alcohol

Craft Glue

Green Foam

Thin Sharpie

Paint & Foam Brushes

Gloss Enamel Paints – Paint Colors: orange, green (2 complimentary shades), white, blue, black

Green Buttons (optional)

Plastic Containers (optional)

Instructions:

CiPhone 4 206

Sketch out your leprechaun’s face and clothes with a thin Sharpie before painting.

To begin this project I first Googled the word “Leprechaun” and browsed through the images to find a leprechaun’s face that I liked and I thought would be easy for me to sketch onto a glass candy bowl. After prepping the glass by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol, I then used a thin sharpie to sketch the outline of my leprechaun onto the bowls. No worries if you mess up; the sharpie lines wipe off easily with the alcohol, so just erase and start again. Once I had the pattern I liked I then began painting my Lucky Leprechaun using gloss enamel paints.

Hint: I used the back end of a large paint pen to get the big blue eyes and the end of a flat eraser on a #2 pencil for the black pupils. I mixed white and orange paint to get the color for the skin tone and facial outlines.

While waiting for one color to dry before beginning another, I glued the two plastic containers together to make my leprechaun’s top hat. (One container is from Jello Pudding and the other is a fruit container that goes with a single serving of oatmeal. I later found St. Patrick’s Day top hats at DT that would have been perfect for this.) I slathered the top hat with mod podge and then covered it with green glitter. (There has to be an easier way to do that!) I let that dry overnight before adding another layer of mod podge over the glitter to seal it in. I painted a green ribbon around the top hat and used gold glitter glue to make the “buckle”.

I used the green foam to cut out a bow tie and then covered it with mod podge and glitter like I did for the top hat. I also used the foam to make a shamrock embellishment for the top hat.

CiPhone 4 132

Lucky O’Malley is almost complete. Notice how the bowls can separate for storage.

Once all the painting on the glass bowls is complete, the instructions for the Americana Gloss Enamel paint says to let it cure for 4 days then bake 30 minutes at 325D degrees in non-preheated oven. Put the glass in the oven, set the oven to 325, when it reaches temperature start the 30 minute clock. Wait until the oven completely cools down before removing the glass bowls. Removing them before it cools down could cause the glass to crack or break and who wants that to happen after spending all that time painting it? I find it best to do this at night so it has all night to cool down and I’m not tempted to open the oven door early.

Once the glass bowls are removed from the oven, the buttons and bow tie can be added to Lucky Leprechaun. The bowls can be glued together if so desired but I did not glue mine together.

Lucky O’Malley Leprechaun can be used as a candy dish or maybe he’s hiding gold coins inside.

Time to Complete: Approximately 8-10 Hours

Learn how to make country Lucky as he’s hanging out in the garden at Lucky Leprechaun Flower Pot.

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February 8th, 2015

Valentine Topiary

Valentine Topiary

Valentine Topiary

Valentine Topiary Craft

Materials:

6” Styrofoam Ball (takes approximately 56 cupcake papers)

4” Styrofoam Ball (takes 36 cupcake papers)

4” Terra Cotta Pot

6 packs of Cupcake Papers & Picks (Seasonal packs of 18 w/picks can be found at Dollar Tree)

Red Glitter Glue (or any other compatible color)

Food Skewers or Dowels

Floral Tape

Floral Styrofoam

Clear Marble Balls

Deco Art Patio Paints:

Geranium Red

Cloud White

Paint Brushes

Stencil Dabbers

To begin making this Valentine Topiary, take  approximately 50 cupcake papers and 8-16 cut slits down the sides to the center mark of the paper. “Paint” the glitter glue in the center part of the cupcake paper. (Using the glitter glue is an optional step.)

Paint the Styrofoam balls red. Let dry. These will be the bases for the Valentine Topiary cupcake paper “flowers”.

Paint the terra cotta pot white. Let dry.

Once the Styrofoam balls are dry, begin applying the cupcake papers. To do this, put one cut cupcake paper, inside out, into another cupcake paper. Stick the pick through the center and stick onto the Styrofoam ball. Continue to do this until both the balls are covered.

Decorate the outside of the terra cotta pot as desired. I used heart-shaped and dot-shaped dabbing stencils. (Not sure what these are called exactly. They are interchangeable shapes on an application stick that you dip into paint and then dab the tips onto a surface to get the shape.)

Stick the skewers through the Styrofoam balls and cover the viewable parts of the skewers with green floral tape.

Put the floral Styrofoam in the pot and add the topiary. Cover with the clear marble balls for added stability. (Or use any other style or color you desire.)

Time to Complete:  4-6 Hours

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November 25th, 2014

How to Make a Snowman Jar

Make a snowman jar to use as a gift package. © Gunkee

Make a snowman jar to use as a gift package. © Gunkee

Snowman Jar as Gift Wrap

This nifty Snowman Jar is a big hit at crafts shows and under the tree because it is two gifts in one! It’s a handy container and a great decoration to be displayed all winter. It makes the perfect gift because you personalize the contents of the jar to fit the likes of each person on your gift list. To make the Snowman Jar you will need the following supplies:

1 quart-sized jar (cleaned with the outer paper removed)

Scrap material for scarf and hat

Orange scrap material for nose

White scrap material for face

Double-sided mounting adhesive (can be found in the scrapbooking supplies area of any crafting store)

Small piece of batting

Twine or other type of rope for hat

Snaps or button for eyes

Black Sharpie Pen

Plastic Holly for decoration

Decorative-edged Scissors

Elmer’s or Super Glue

Cut adhesive to the approximate size you will need to make the snowman face with. Peel back thin release paper and press to the back of the white material. Smooth out any air bubbles working from the center outward. Sketch an oblong U shape on the white material for the base of the snowman face. Draw little lines around the inside of the outside edge to mimic a stitched look. Also draw a stitched-look crooked, smiling mouth. Remove paper backing and stick onto jar. Be careful to keep it smooth – try not to get any bubbles underneath. Repeat these steps to make a carrot nose for your snowman face using the orange material. Draw lines around the edge to mimic the stitched look. Add little orange dots to the center of the nose. Cut out nose and apply to the snowman face you have stuck onto the jar. Glue on the buttons or snaps for the eyes. Optional: Add a bit of blue acrylic dry brushed paint for cheek accents. Place the lid from the jar on a scrap piece of material you want to use for the snowman’s hat. Draw a circle at least twice the diameter of the lid on the material. Cut out the circle with zigzag or other crafting scissors with a decorative edge. Glue a small piece of batting to the top of the jar lid. Place the hat material over the lid and tie on with the twine. Add the holly decoration to hide the knot in the twine. Measure around the bottom of the jar then cut a piece of material 2″ wide twice the length of the jar’s circumference. Fold the scarf material in half, wrap around the bottom of the jar and tie it off.

Now that your Snowman Jar is complete, here are 10 gift ideas to get you started:

Snowman Jars for College Kids

Fill the Snowman Jar for college kids with change for use in vending machines and for trips to the laundry mat. Or add prepackaged hot chocolate or coffee mixes.

Snowman Jars for Younger Children

The younger (and sometimes older) children will love to see a Snowman Jar for them filled with assorted wrapped candies, but small dolls and fashion accessories will also fit as well as small cars.

Snowman Jars for Adults

Fill the Snowman Jar for adults with an assortment of prepackaged flavored teas or coffee; add a favorite starter mix for soups or bread; or sample sizes of body lotions, shampoo, deodorants and toothpaste.

Snowman Jars for Craft Lovers

For craft lovers, fill the Snowman Jar with gift certificates to a favorite craft store, embroidery floss, small scissors, needles, buttons, paints and/or paint brushes.

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November 24th, 2014

How to Make Block Elves that Display a Simple Holiday Message

Crafty Christmas Elves © Gunkee

Crafty Christmas Elves © Gunkee

Make Block Elf Shelf Sitters

These simple to make Christmas Block Elves can be personalized with your own one-word holiday saying. Some suggested holiday messages to use on the Block Elves are “Noel,” “Joy,” and “Peace.”

To make the Block Elves you will need the following supplies:

1″ wooden block

6/8″ wooden letters (approximately, they need to be small enough to fit on the wooden block) for the word you wish the elves to spell out

3 1/2″ wooden ball (preferably with a flat side)

Green felt

Red felt

Red, green and white pom-poms (extra small)

Glittery red, green or white pom-poms (small)

Scissors – regular

Scissors – zigzag or decorative edged (such as used for scrapbooking)

Hot glue

Patio Paint (or any other acrylic paint) – Geranium Red, Christmas Green, Cloud White and Wrought Iron Black

Paint Brushes

Pencil (optional)

Directions to Make Block Elves

Paint the wooden balls white. Let dry.

Paint the wooden blocks red or green. Let dry.

Paint the wooden letters red or green. (The opposite color you painted for the block. If you painted the block red, then paint the letters green and vice versa.) Let dry.

While the paint is drying on the wooden pieces, cut strips from the green or red felt for arms and legs for the Block Elves. The arms should be 2″ long and 2/8″ wide (approximately), while the legs are a bit longer at 3″ and the same width as the arms.

Cut a triangle (approximately 3″ x 3″ x 3″) from the green or red felt to make the hat. Glue two sides of the triangle together to form an opening at the bottom to sit atop the wooden ball. This is a bit tricky so you may have to play with it a little to get the look you want.

Use red or green felt to cut a 1½” circle with zigzag or other decorative edged scissors.

Glue the letters onto the blocks.

Glue the white extra small pom-poms onto the end of the “arms” to act as the hands for the Block Elves.

Glue the green or red small pom-poms onto the “legs” to act as the feet of the Block Elves.

Glue the arms onto the top of the block and legs to the bottom of the blocks.

Glue the decorative cut felt circle onto the top of the block.

Glue the wooden ball onto the top of the decorative felt circle.

Glue the hat onto the top of the head. Glue a glittery pom-pom on the tip of the hat. Optional: Bend the top of the hat over to hang off to the side of the head. (See photo.)

Use a pencil to lightly sketch a face on the front of the wooden ball. (Optional)

Use the black paint and a very small brush to paint on the face of the Block Elf. Be very careful. If it smears you more than likely will have to start over with the head. It is very hard to clean up black paint on white to be able to use the wooden ball again.

That’s it! You are done with your Block Elf Shelf Sitters. What holiday message does your Block Elves spell out? Make several sets of Block Elves – one to keep and one to give as a gift.

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November 21st, 2014

How to Make Tomato Pin Cushion Characters

Learn How to Make These Jolly and Whimsical Holiday Characters: Mr. & Mrs. Santa and Santa’s Elf

Tomato pin cushion characters. © Gunkee

Tomato pin cushion characters. © Gunkee

Do you know someone who likes to sew? If you do then these jolly holiday tomato pin cushion characters will be the perfect holiday gift to make for them. But don’t limit your giving to just the sewing fanatic. Anyone will enjoy receiving these whimsical characters to display during the holidays. These tomato pin cushion characters are also a big hit at craft shows.

Materials needed to make the Tomato Pin Cushion Characters

3 Tomato Pin Cushions

Various colored straight pins with the colored ball on the end

3 – 4″ wooden balls

3 – 1 ½” x 1 ½” flat wooden heart shaped pieces

Green Felt

Red Felt

Extra small pom-poms

2 small jingle bells

A small piece of rick rack (approximately 4″ long)

A small piece (approximately 6″) of thin white yarn

A small piece of lace (approximately 2 – 2 ½” long)

A smaller piece of lace (a smaller width than the first piece)

Thin piece of black ribbon (approximately 4″ long)

White craft hair

Wrought Iron Black Patio Paint (or any other acrylic paint)

Cloud White Patio Paint (or any other acrylic paint)

Paint brushes

Scissors (regular and decorative edged or zigzag)

Hot glue

How to Make Tomato Pin Cushion Characters – Mr. Santa, Mrs. Santa and Santa’s Elf

Paint the wooden balls white. Let dry.

Paint both sides of the wooden hearts black. Let dry.

Glue the black ribbon around the center of one of the tomato pin cushions to serve as Santa’s belt.

Using the red felt cut 3 strips 1″ x 5″ long. Fold in half long-ways and glue together. Glue the 3 strips around the center of the tomato pin cushion to use as the arms. (See photo if needed.) Glue green or white pom-poms onto the ends in the front to serve as the hands.

Using the decorative edged scissors cut a 3″ circle from the green felt. Cut a 4″ x 4″ x 4″ triangle from the green AND red felt with the regular scissors.

Glue the green felt circle onto the top of the tomato pin cushion that will be the elf.

Glue the white wooden balls onto the tops of the 3 tomato pin cushions.

Glue 2 sides of each triangle together to form a hat. Glue the green hat onto the wooden ball on the Elf tomato pin cushion and the red hat onto the wooden ball on the Santa tomato pin cushion. Crimp the hats over to the side (you may need to tack it down with a bit of glue) then glue the jingle bells to the ends of the hats. (See photo if needed.)

Glue the green rick rack around the edge of the Elf’s hat and the white yarn around the edge of Santa’s hat.

Glue the smallest piece of lace around the ball on Mrs. Santa’s head to look like a collar. Glue the bigger piece of lace around her center between the hands to serve as an apron or skirt.

Glue some white craft hair onto Mrs. Santa’s head and Mr. Santa’s face for his beard.

Use a very small paint brush to paint on the faces of each character. (See photo if needed.)

Glue the black hearts onto the bottom of the tomato pin cushion so that the top of the heart peaks out from the front looking like the tips of shoes.

Add straight pins to the front to serve as buttons.

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November 19th, 2014

How to Make a Flower Angel Ornament

This easy-to-make Christmas decoration is simple enough for children to make. They are also good sellers at craft shows! Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to make a flower angel ornament.

Follow these directions to make this cute flower angel ornament. © Gunkee

Follow these directions to make this cute flower angel ornament. © Gunkee

Flower Angel Ornament

Materials needed:

3-4″ Silk rose (any color)
½-1″ wooden ball with hole through it
Pre-made angel wings
Small silk rose
Very this ribbon (any color)
Crafty wedding rings
Decorative string, twine or thin ribbon
Hot glue

Step One: Flower Angel Ornament

Cut the silk flower from the stem.

Step Two: Flower Angel Ornament

Make a loop approximately 2″-3″ long from the decorative string. Thread the string through the hole of the wooden ball. Tie off the string so that it will not pull back through the hole. You may want to glue it to the bottom. The string will be used to hang the finished ornament on the tree.

Step Three: Flower Angel Ornament

Glue the wooden ball to the greenery on the bottom of the rose petal. This is the head for your Flower Angel Ornament.

Step Four: Flower Angel Ornament

Make a bow with the thin ribbon. Glue under the wooden ball (between the ball and the flower) to where you would like the front of the Flower Angel Ornament to be. Glue the small silk rose onto the knot of the bow.

Step Five: Flower Angel Ornament

Glue the wedding ring to the top of the wooden ball. This is the Flower Angel Ornament’s halo.

Step Six: Flower Angel Ornament

Glue the angel wings to the back of the wooden ball.

Step Seven: Flower Angel Ornament

(Optional) Paint a face onto your Flower Angel Ornament. (I do not suggest using a Sharpie marker as these tend to bleed on the wood surface.)

That’s all there is to it. All that’s left is to hang them on the Christmas tree!

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November 18th, 2014

How to Make a Snowman Ornament

Turn a plain, white Christmas ball into a snowman ornament for the tree. © Gunkee

Turn a plain, white Christmas ball into a snowman ornament for the tree. © Gunkee

This easy-to-make Christmas decoration is simple enough for young children to make. They are also good sellers at craft shows! Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to make a snowman ornament.

Snowman Ornament

Materials needed:

1 round, white Christmas ornament
A colored baby sock
Small googly eyes
Small pompom
Thin Sharpie marker
Orange acrylic paint
Pink, red or blue acrylic paint
Small paintbrush
All-purpose glue

Step One: Snowman Ornament

Roll back the top of the baby sock and place put on the round ornament as a knit cap. The sock should cover half the ornament ball with the hook on the ornament poking out from the top.

Step Two: Snowman Ornament

Glue the rolled sock to the ornament; glue around the edges where the sock is rolled down.

Step Three: Snowman Ornament

Cut off the end of the toe part of the sock. Glue pompom to end of cap/sock.

Step Four: Snowman Ornament

Glue googly eyes in place. Paint an orange carrot nose. (Or you can use pre-cut foam pieces and glue it on.) Using the thin Sharpie marker, draw the eyebrows, and mouth. Use pink, red or blue paint to make some rosy cheeks for your snowman.

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November 12th, 2014

 How to Make a Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

A Simple Holiday Craft Project – Make a Snowman from Terra Cotta Pots

Make these cute snowmen from terra cotta pots. © Gunkee

Make these cute snowmen from terra cotta pots. © Gunkee

These cute snowmen made from small terra cotta pots are big sellers at the craft show, but you can make your own at home by following these simple step-by-step instructions.

Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Materials needed:

2 terra cotta pots (2-size difference; the ones pictured are 2″ and 1″.)
½” wooden ball or small pompom
Cloud White Patio Paint
Summer Blue Patio Paint
Wrought Iron Black Patio Paint
Any color Patio Paint for ‘hat’
Any coordinating color Patio Paint for decorative dots or stripes on ‘hat’
Orange craft foam sheet
Red craft foam sheet
(In place of the foam craft sheets you can get pre-cut foam shapes or wooden shapes for the mittens and the carrot nose.)
Coordinating color (of hat) buttons
Paintbrush
Small snowflake stencils (optional)

Step One: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Paint the bigger terra cotta pot white – inside and out.

Step Two: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Paint the upper lip of the smaller terra cotta pot white.

Step Three: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Paint the bottom part of the smaller terra cotta pot the color of your choosing.

Step Four: Terra Cotta Snowman

Paint the wooden ball in the coordinating color of your choosing.

Step Five: Terra Cotta Snowman

Using stencils or freehand, paint blue snowflakes onto the bigger terra cotta pot.

Step Six: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Using the hard end (opposite of the bristles) of your paintbrush, dip into the coordinating paint color (the same color as you painted the wooden ball) and dab dots onto the small terra cotta pot. (Or you may choose to paint stripes or any other design on the hat or no designs at all.)

Step Seven: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

(Note: The pot should be upside down when doing this.) Paint black eyes onto the white part of the smaller terra cotta pot. Paint a smile under the eyes. Give the cheeks a rosy glow with a dry brush of blue or red. Give the black eyes a happy glint with a small dab of white.

Step Eight: Terra Cotta Snowman

Glue the small terra cotta pot to the big terra cotta pot. The smaller pot should nest onto the bottom of the larger pot. The bottom is now the top. (See photo if needed.)

Step Nine: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Cut out a carrot shape from the orange foam and glue onto the small terra cotta pot between the eyes. Cut out 2 mitten shapes from the foam sheet and glue onto the sides of the big terra cotta pot.

Step Ten: Terra Cotta Pot Snowman

Glue 2 buttons onto the big terra cotta pot, below the eyes of the small pot. Glue the wooden ball or pompom to the top of the snowman’s “hat.”

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September 12th, 2014

How to Make a Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

Every once in a while a talk show will have a segment involving crafts. I saw a terra cotta pot turned into a fall scarecrow decoration and thought it was a neat idea. So I set out to make my own version of the fall scarecrow terra cotta pot. Since I did not record the show or take notes, I improvised as I went along.

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Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot © ACGunkee

Supply List:

4” Terra Cotta Pot

4” Styrofoam Ball

3-4” Straw Hat

Raffia Ribbon for Straw Hair (Any color. I used natural.)

Hot Glue

2 buttons (you choose the color)

Optional: Triangular Stencils

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Face closeup of the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot © ACGunkee

Fall Flowers and/or Leaves and Decorations

Paints (I use Patio Paint by DecoArt)

Vintage Rose

Pumpkin or Tiger Lily Orange

Wrought Iron Black

Cloud White

Blue (Any shade or even another color will do. I used Blue Jay Blue.)

Paint Brushes

Pencil

Step One for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

Paint the Styrofoam ball vintage rose. Let dry.

Step Two for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

Optional: Paint the terra cotta pot orange. Let dry.

Step Three for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

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Side view of the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot © ACGunkee

Using a pencil, lightly sketch the eyes, nose and mouth for the scarecrow face. Paint the nose orange. Paint the eyes and mouth black. For the mouth, I painted a smile and then added a “stitched” X to the ends and one in the center to get that scarecrow-y look. Outline the nose in black. Highlight the eyes with white. Let dry.

Step Four for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

Using a pencil, lightly sketch the outline for the overalls. I used a 4” x 2”piece of poster board as a template for the open spot above the overall bib and went from there. Sketch the two overall straps and use another small piece of poster board or stencil for the overall bib pocket. Sketch matching overall straps on the back of the pot. Paint the overalls blue. Let dry.

Step Five for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

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Back view of the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot © ACGunkee

Cut some raffia and spread apart. Hot glue different lengths of raffia around the scarecrow head for hair. Hot glue the hat on the scarecrow head.

Step Six for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

Outline the overalls with a shade darker blue than used to fill in the overalls. Use the Cloud White paint to add the “stitching” to the overall seams.

Step Seven for the Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

Once the paint is dry, line up the scarecrow head on the back of the pot so it is centered with the front of the overall bib. Push down lightly to make a seam in the Styrofoam then hot glue it to the pot. Glue the buttons on the overall straps. Add your fall flowers and leaves in front of the scarecrow. Make sure the decorations are low enough so the scarecrow’s face can be seen behind them.

Also Read:

Make a Smiling Candy Corn Terra Cotta Pot

How to Make Fall Mason Jar Vases

 

 

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September 11th, 2014

How to Make Fall Mason Jar Vases

I like to watch craft shows on TV. When I see a craft I like I will try to follow the directions on the show. But most of the time, I enjoy putting my own spin on an idea and creating my own version of the original craft. This fall craft called for mason jars, but any old jar will do. If you want, you can even mix and match different size jars to make your mason jar vases. To make my mason jar vases, I used jars that previously held Newman’s Own spaghetti sauce.

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Materials needed to make fall mason jar vases. © ACGunkee

Materials Needed:

4 Mason-Type Jars (Or really 4 jars of any kind will do. Mix or match them – whatever suits your fancy.)

Paint – I used four different colors of Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel paint (Satin Finish – for Tile, Glass & Ceramic), Burnt Sienna, Red Red, Citrus Yellow, Tangerine, and Crocus Yellow.

Brushes

Crackle Paint (optional)

Stencils (optional – if you are good at it, you can freehand the letters)

A Sharpie

Silk Flowers and/or Leaves in Fall Colors

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Letters outlined on the mason jar. © ACGunkee

For this fall craft, first clean and remove the labeling from the jars. I then used the stencils and the sharpie to outline the letters F-A-L-L on the jars. I then painted the letters on the inside of the jar Sienna Brown. This may need 2 or 3 coats to get it on thick. Be sure to let the paint dry on the jar real good between coats.

Once that paint dried I applied the crackle medium to the Sienna Brown. Then paint whatever color you would like to show through the crackle on the letters. I used a different fall color for each letter. I wanted my mason jar vases to look different than any I had seen. (Lesson learned – I thought the crackle would break through the Sienna Brown and show the crackles on the outside of the jar. It did not. If you want to use the crackle effect you get with this crackle medium, then you need to paint on the outside of the jar.)

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Painting the mason jar vases. © ACGunkee

Once I discovered the crackle effect was not going to work the way I wanted it to, I ended up trying to scratch a crackle-type look through the paint, which also did not work well. This paint felt rubbery once dried and pulled more than scratched the paint. Then I painted a different fall color on the back of each letter. Once that was dry, I painted the complete inside of the jar using the same four colors I used on the back of the letters, except on different jars so they would be contrasting. Once the paint dries, add some silky fall flowers to match your painted mason jar vases.

Your new fall craft decoration is ready to be displayed.

Wasn’t that easy?

Note:

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The finished project. © ACGunkee

If you would like to put live plants in the mason jar vases, just be sure to line the jars with plastic first. Putting dirt and water in the jar with the paint will cause the paint to lose its structure. Or, another option is to apply paint on the outside of the jar. Although it is a bit harder to apply, I prefer to paint the inside to give the overall finish a nice, glossy look. But the tallness of these particular jars did make it difficult to paint on the inside of the jar. Wherever you decide to paint, inside or outside, in the end you still have a nice fall craft decoration.

Also Read:

Make a Smiling Candy Corn Terra Cotta Pot

Make a Fall Scarecrow Terra Cotta Pot

 

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