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June 30th, 2015

Colorful Seashell Fish

Colorful Seashell Fish painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Colorful Seashell Fish painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Most everyone picks up seashells when they visit the beach. But when you get home do you wonder why you did and what

Colorful Seashells painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Colorful Seashells painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

you were going to do with those seashells? Here’s one idea that is so simple a 2-year-old can help-make seashell fish. Find some different sized seashells as seen in the photos and paint them contrasting colors. My Monkey (the 2-year-old) painted the large shells yellow and the smaller shells turquoise, coral and lilac. After the paint dried I hot glued the seashells together creating some colorful tropical-looking seashell fish. Google eyes were added for character. (Plus what 2-year-old doesn’t love google eyes on their craft project?) I haven’t decided what to do with the seashell fish but I am thinking of painting an aquarium backdrop on canvas and gluing them to it for a 3d effect.

June 30th, 2015

Monkey Makes Butterflies

Paper Plate Butterflies painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Paper Plate Butterflies painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

The little Monkey has been painting again. It’s a real challenge to come up with something to create out of all the different things she paints. This time she painted on some small paper plates, a coffee filter and some tongue depressors. I decided the easiest thing to make with these items was butterflies.

Coffee Filter Butterfly painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Coffee Filter Butterfly painted by Monkey. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Let the little one(s) paint a small paper plate using whatever is handy. Monkey used a paintbrush and her fingers to color her paper plates and coffee filter that will be used to make butterflies with. She used a brush to paint the tongue depressors that will be used for the butterflies’ bodies. Once the paint is dry cut the paper plate into quarters which will make two butterflies. Glue the two “wings” together at the point and then glue to the center of the tongue depressor. We added some google eyes for character. I scrunched up the coffee filter and twisted a red pipe cleaner around it for the butterfly body.

June 27th, 2015

I Ate Paste

When people ask me, “How did you get so CREATIVE?”

I tell them, “I ATE PASTE as a child!”

Ate Paste

June 23rd, 2015

Dot Painted Angel Fish on Glass

Pointillism Painted Angel Fish

Angel Fish painted with dots on white background and blue background. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Angel Fish painted with dots on white background and blue background. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

A couple of days ago I painted my first picture (a butterfly) using dots. I’ve since learned this is called “Pointillism” but I will still call it Dot Painting. Call me simple, I don’t care. I knew when I finished the butterfly I wanted to try more dot painting and that the next one would feature a fish. Since I grew up on a tropical fish farm and my mother raised angel fish, I chose the angel fish to make in honor of her.

This is very easy to do if you ever get the urge to try painting something using the Pointillism dot painting method.  I dusted off and used the glass from an old 4×6 picture frame. I put the glass on a paper towel, put a 2? printout of an angel fish that I had under the glass and taped the glass to the paper towel so it wouldn’t slip out of place. I began by using a plastic toothpick to make a dotted black outline. I then filled in the angel fish with silver. I freehanded some dot painted a watery background and some water plants for added color.

I’m much happier with my second attempt at dot painting and very happy with the way the angel fish looks. To give an idea of how color changes the perspective of it, the two photos show two different backgrounds – one with a white background and the other with a blue background. I just cut out a blue piece of paper I had and inserted it in the frame behind the glass. You could use any color you like to change up the look of whatever it is you decide to paint.

June 21st, 2015

Dot Painted Butterfly on Glass

Dot Painted Butterfly on Glass © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Dot Painted Butterfly on Glass © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

While scanning my Facebook page, I saw some dot painted drawings on glass. I was bored in between big craft projects and decided to try the dot painting using the glass from an old 4×6 picture frame. It’s really very east to do. I put the glass on a paper towel, put a 2″ printout of a butterfly that I had under the glass and taped the glass to the paper towel so it wouldn’t slip out of place. I began by using a plastic toothpick to make a dotted black outline. I then filled in the butterfly with different colored dots. I freehanded some dot painted butterfly bush flowers around the edges and filled in the rest of the background with green dots using the reverse end of a paint brush. I’m not real comfortable freehand drawing anything, so I must have

The dot painted butterfly with a template under the glass. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

The dot painted butterfly with a template under the glass. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

re-done the flowers about 5 times.

I’m semi-happy with how my dot painted butterfly on glass turned out. I think the next dot painting experiment will be a tropical fish.

June 20th, 2015

How to Make a Spooky Vampire Clock

Vampire Clock © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Halloween is only 4 months away which means it’s time to start making Halloween props.

I hope you are inspired to make something spooky like I was when you see this Vampire Clock I created.

Materials Used to Make the Vampire Clock (note: all the materials in the photo were not used):

1- 1’x3’ Cardboard Box (free)

1 Shoebox (free)

1 Noodle Board ($1)

2 Foam Boards – 1 Black, 1 White ($.50)

1-30pk Black Paper Napkins ($1)

Materials used to make the Vampire Clock prop. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Materials used to make the Vampire Clock prop. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

White Tissue Paper ($.25)

16oz Mod Podge ($7)

Plastic Plate ($.25)

Cheesecloth ($1)

Printouts of Bats and Little Vampires I found online (free)

Paint Brush or Foam Brush ($.33)

Vampire Clock template. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock template. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Pencil or Pen (on hand)

Scissors (on hand)

Utility Knife (on hand)

Hot Glue (on hand)


To begin construction of my Vampire Clock I cut a hole in the top of the shoe box to sit the taller cardboard box down inside it to give it some stability. I cut 3-4” off the bottom of the noodle board to use for the very top of the Vampire Clock. I used the utility knife to cut holes in the shape of a quarter moon and stars. To give the top piece stability I cut a piece of foam board the size of the top of the 1’x3’ box and cut a slit in it for the noodle board

Vampire Clock topper © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock topper © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

piece to sit in.


Vampire Clock with napkins Mod Podged on © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock with napkins Mod Podged on © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Now that the basic clock shape is set, I used Mod Podge to paper mache the black napkins to the cardboard and noodle board. First I crinkled and tore the napkins into pieces then I “painted” the section I wanted to cover, put the napkin on it and then painted the napkin to make it stick to the cardboard or noodle board piece.

 While the napkins were drying on my clock base I cut a piece of white foam board in the shape of a coffin then

Vampire Clock pendulum © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock pendulum © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

covered it in white tissue paper using the same technique as I did with the napkins. This will be the bottom of the Grandfather Vampire Clock where the pendulum will go. I covered a long strip of foam board with black napkins to serve as the pendulum arm. I then cut a small coffin from black foam board and painted the white edges black. I printed out a vampire bat that I found on the Internet, cut him out and Mod Podged the bat onto the top of the coffin which is then hot glued to the bottom of the pendulum arm. Glue the pendulum arm to the white coffin piece, and glue the coffin piece toward the bottom of the base of the Vampire Clock but above the shoebox.

Vampire Clock face © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock face © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

I printed and cut out some smaller bats from the Internet and Mod Podged them to the plastic plate. This will be the face of the Vampire Clock. I cut some smaller coffins from the black foam board, painted the edges black, and glued them to the clock face. The coffins will serve as the arms of the clock. Once the plate is dry, hot glue it to the top of the 1’x3’ box.


I had some leftover pieces of noodle board from another project (Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: The Anchor) that I Mod Podged the black napkins on creating a fence gate to go on the base (the shoebox) of the Vampire Clock. I printed out and cut out two little vampires I found on the Internet and Mod Podged them onto the gates. I glued some cheesecloth across the top of the gate just to give it some texture, plus it looks cool. Hot glue the fence

Vampire Clock fence gate © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Vampire Clock fence gate © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

gates to the bottom of the Vampire Clock and the noodle board piece to the very top of the clock for the finishing touches.

 I spent about 6 hours creating the Vampire Clock and invested $7 for the Mod Podge and approximately $5 in materials with a lot of leftover materials that can be used on the next project.

I really like how my Halloween Vampire Clock turned out. I’d like to give a big shout out to my friend Terrie for her inspiration and cheerleading. Be sure to check out her Facebook blog, Hot Glue in My Coffee.

June 16th, 2015

Terra Cotta Lighthouse

A lighthouse made from terra cotta pots. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

A lighthouse made from terra cotta pots. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

A friend challenged me to make a lighthouse for her from terra cotta pots. This is the final project. The good ol’ red, white & blue! It only took 3 months or thereabouts. Note: I do not like working on big items and this had to be the biggest (and last) I’ve ever done.

To begin, I first spray painted a white base coat on all of the pots. The I measured and taped off where I wanted the red stripes to be. I used Delta Art Patio Paints over the basecoat of the pots. The red is Geranium Red and Summer Sky Blue. The windows are Pearl White to give the a glossy-glassy look. I found a solar lantern online for the top.

To keep the pots stable I used clear, waterproof silicone to adhere them to each other and sprayed a clear coat sealer on them.

June 14th, 2015

Chalked Ceramic Owl

Owl painted with chalk. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Owl painted with chalk. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Who loves owls? Who loves to paint ceramics? I took a ceramic painting class a few years ago. One of the things I learned in the class was how to paint with chalk. Painting with chalk, when done right, is supposed to give the finished piece a porcelain look. I’m not too sure about that statement that was made in the class, but I do like the overall look of the finished piece.

Chalk used for painting the owl. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Chalk used for painting the owl. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Painting with chalk is very simple. For the chalking technique to work good it is best to have a ceramic piece that has a lot of texture on it versus something with a lot of flat areas. To start, first you base coat the entire piece with a solid color. Typically the color is a neutral color like beige, but other base colors can be used to get different effects. This is done to give the chalk something to adhere to. I used a beige basecoat on the owl. Then using a VERY stiff brush, dry brush the chalk on. It’s almost like scratching the chalk into the base coat. If detail work is needed, scratch the chalk to get a small powdery mix and dip a detail brush in water and then into the chalk. When the painting is complete, spray with a clear matte sealer to prevent the chalk from coming off.

Note: The chalk shown in the picture is what I used to paint this owl. But any kind of chalk can be used, even chalk found at Dollar Stores.

June 10th, 2015

Painting with Cars

car painting 2

Monkey using cars as paint brushes. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

If you’ve been paying attention you know that the little Monkey likes to paint. This time I decided to try something different – using a small car (Hot Wheels/Matchbox sized) and use it to paint with. The ones we chose to use were 2 small monster trucks with big wheels and a 3 wheeled motorcycle. All the driver of the car has to do is dip the car in paint and roll it across the canvas (or in this case construction paper).

This is an awesome way to make play time creative. I actually love the way these look! This is good for both young and older children. The older child may create a more intricate design with the car wheels, than say, this 2-year old did. She knew enough to put paint on the wheels and then roll the car on the paper. She also picked out the color combinations that were used.

Monkey's Art Work Using Cars as Brushes © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Monkey’s Art Work Using Cars as Brushes © Monkey & Gunkee 2015


June 8th, 2015

Resin Girl Flying a Kite

Resin Girl with Flag Kite © Monkey&Gunkee 2015

Resin Girl Flying Kite © Monkey&Gunkee 2015

It’s no secret I like to paint. My favorite thing to do is paint 3D objects – either ceramic, resin or plaster of paris. I saw this resin girl flying a kite in one of my favorite catalogs who matched other female figurines I have bought from there. Resin pieces are usually a solid dull gray or tan color which to me is very boooring! I like to give them some character by giving them some colors. For this piece I used various colors of Patio Paint made by Delta. With 4th of July coming up I thought it would be cool to make the kite look like the American Flag – the good ol’ red, white and blue! I paint the girl to resemble myself as a child growing up – blonde hair and barefoot – that’s me! (Except I wasn’t too fond of dresses!) My little pup is tagging along as we run on the beach proudly flying out American Flag kite!

Paints used for this project:

Delta CeramCoat Colors – AC Flesh, Santa’s Flesh, Medium Flesh

DecoArt Patio Paint Colors – Summer Sky Blue, Tango Blue, Mistletoe Green, Cloud White, Geranium Red, Woodland Brown, Wrought Iron Black

June 2nd, 2015

Monkey’s Art Board

Monkey's Art Board (c) Monkey&Gunkee2015

Monkey’s Art Board (c) Monkey&Gunkee2015

I had some leftover foam board from a previous project so I was looking for ideas of what to do with it. Since Monkey loves to paint and stamp my refrigerator is covered with her art work. I decided to use one of the foam board pieces to display her art work on.

Monkey stamping Minnie Mouse (c)Monkey&Gunkee2015

Monkey stamping Minnie Mouse (c)Monkey&Gunkee2015

First I base coated the board a solid color. Then Monkey used some sponge stamps (that I had forgotten about) and stamped some stars and leaves. Before it was over with, she was painting her hands and making hand prints on it on her own! I used some Elmer’s glue to paste her name to the top of the board using pre-cut  bulletin board letters I found at Dollar Tree. I then hot glued some clothespins to the bottom back of the foam to hold and display her art work. Double sided tape was attached to the back to hang on a door.

May 23rd, 2015

Leopard Print Wine Glass and Bud Man Beer Glass

Bud Man Beer Glass & Sassy Leopard Print Wine Glass

Bud Man Beer Glass & Sassy Leopard Print Wine Glass

My friend Gunklet requested I make her a leopard print wine glass and while I was at it I decided I should make a beer glass for her Wombat husband. (I didn’t want him to feel left out!) Gunklet chose the saying that are on the glasses and wanted Bud Man for the beer glass. Sounds easy enough, right? There were trials and tribulations in the painting of these glasses. I will share my experience here with you of what worked and what didn’t. The first step is easy. Wash the glasses, dry them and then prepare them for painting by wiping with rubbing alcohol. This helps the paint adhere to the glass.

In order to get the lettering somewhat straight on the glass, using the Ravie font  I typed out the words in a 2″ x 2″ box (this size fits best on the glasses), printed it out and taped the individual quotes to the inside of the

Templates inside the glasses.

Templates inside the glasses.

glasses. When painting any kind of drinking glass, there needs to be a space left at the top so lips do not touch the paint as the paint is not safe for consumption. To try to get a straight line, I put some painting tape to the top of the wine glass. I base painted the wine glass using Americana Gloss Enamel Metallic Glorious Gold. I used a regular paint brush to apply the paint to the top of the wine glass and used a sponge spouncer to paint the stem and base of the wine glass. Once it was dry, I used Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel Fushia (Pink) to trace and color the quote onto the wine glass.



 I then proceeded to pull the tape from the top of the glass. Here comes the first “Oops!” The tape pulled the paint from the glass! Iwasn’t expecting that! Oh well, live and learn. If you put tape on your glass for whatever reason, do not overlap the paint onto it! After gently peeling the hanging pieces of paint off, I went on the the next step – adding yellow spots.

Random Yellow Leopard Spots

Random Yellow Leopard Spots

Using paints I have on hand, I chose Americana Gloss Enamel Primary Yellow for the leopard spots.I made random size yellow spots all over the wine glass, but there are a couple of “Easter Eggs” in the spots for Gunklet to look for when she gets this. Once the yellow paint was dry, I them added random black shapes around the yellow spots using Americana Gloss Enamels Black. (Leopard spots are not round or consistent. Google it.)

I was not happy with the pink letters with the gold background, it was hard to read what it says. So I decided to make the center background the same color as the spots – yellow. Talk about doing things backwards! But by doing this, it did make the quote easier to read on the wine glass.

I really liked the effect on the stem and bottom of the wine glass that the spouncer made, so I tried to duplicate it between the spots on the top of the glass. So I took an old, fairly thin, paint brush and cut the bristles on it short so I could use it to

The "backsides" of the Leopard Wine Glass and Bud Man Beer Glass

The “backsides” of the Leopard Wine Glass and Bud Man Beer Glass

dab some more gold in between the spots. Along the way I decided I didn’t need to try to avoid getting gold on the black spots, it would just help with the irregular shape, right? Wrong. I thought it looked muddy. So I had to go back and touch up all the black spots.

Finally it’s finished! Lessons learned while painting a leopard print wine glass: (1) Do not use painter’s tape to mark off any parts of the wine glass. (2) Fuchsia colored fonts are not easy to read with a gold background. (3) Sponge spounce the base coat of any glass!

The Bud Man Beer Glass was much easier to paint than the wine glass was. But it was not without its’ own accidents. The colors used to paint on the Beer Glass were Americana Gloss Enamels True Red, True Blue, White and Black.

The “Oops” came after I had painted the quote and Bud Man and that paint had dried overnight. I was holding the glass in my hand while painting the word “Beer” on the reverse side from Bud Man. My fingers were touching the feet of Bud Man and when I went to move my hand his feet started to peel off the glass like he was a vinyl cling on!



I was able to partly unroll the foot and place it back on the glass but part of it had rolled under. I just left it like that and repainted the part of the foot that was now missing.



As a little extra on the Beer Glass, I added the word “Burp!” and a few bubbles to the bottom of the glass that can be read while looking inside the glass.

May 22nd, 2015

How to Make a Diaper Biplane Centerpiece

Diaper Biplane Side View (c)Monkey&Gunkee2015

Diaper Biplane Side View (c)Monkey&Gunkee2015

My second grandchild is due this August and it’s a boy! I saw some neat centerpieces/gift packages made out of diapers on a crafting website I’m a member of and decided I wanted to give it a try. After much contemplating I decided to try to make a Diaper Biplane.

To begin I wrapped two Mickey Mouse themed diapers around a small baby bottle with the bottom of the bottle facing out. This will be the front of the biplane. I attached the diapers together with clear packing tape. For the back of the biplane I wrapped and attached two more diapers around a toilet paper tube then attached that piece to the front piece. I rolled up two washcloths and taped them to the very back of the biplane. For the top and bottom wings, I rolled two diapers long ways (for each wing) and attached them with decorative duct tape. I also used the duct tape to make the rear wings.

I hot glued two plastic baby spoons together and then hot glued them to the bottom of the baby bottle to act as propellers. I hot glued blue beads from a Mardi Gras necklace where

Diaper Biplane Front View (c) Monkey&Gunkee2015

Diaper Biplane Front View (c) Monkey&Gunkee2015

the baby bottle and diaper meet on the front of the biplane.

I used some old wrapping paper turned inside out to wrap an old shoe box to set the diaper biplane on. The lid can easily be removed so I can put some gifts inside the box.

I haven’t decided yet if I want to decorate the outside of the box, but it is definitely an option.

I can’t say that I really enjoyed making this Diaper Biplane and not sure that I will ever attempt any other kind of diaper centerpiece. But at least I can say I did this one!

May 20th, 2015

Hot Chocolate Mug

Hot Chocolate Mug (C) Monkey & Gunkee

Hot Chocolate Mug (C) Monkey & Gunkee

It’s never too early to be thinking about gifts for the holidays. I found this cute mug at Wal-Mart for less than $3. I thought it would make a nice Hot Chocolate Mug as a Christmas gift later this year.

First prep the mug for painting by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. To begin painting, I first used a medium size sponge spouncer to apply the background blue color.  I used the same spouncer to apply the white to the top and the base, A toothpick was used to add the peppermint colors to the whit foam at the top of the Hot Chocolate Mug. I free handed the Hot Chocolate lettering using a #0 round brush; that brush was also used to make the thin red peppermint lines on the bottom. A #6 flat brush was used for the thicker peppermint lines.

The colors and brands of paint I used to paint the Hot Chocolate Mug are listed below:

Folk Art Enamel – Calypso Sky

American Gloss Enamels – True Red, White, Black

Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel – Fuchsia

Once the paint has cured for 4 days put the Hot Chocolate Mug in a cold oven, set the temperature to 350 degrees. Once the oven reaches temp, begin the timer countdown for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, turn off the oven but DO NOT REMOVE the mug. Wait until the oven is cold before removing the Hot Chocolate Mug. Otherwise the temperature difference may cause the glass to crack or break. No one wants that to happen after putting all that time into painting!


May 17th, 2015

Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

Fins (C) Gunkee & Monkey

Fins (C) Gunkee & Monkey

Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right

My first creation in the Poolside Collection was an Anchor I made using a noodle board as a base.  Two of the leftover pieces looked similar to fins to me which made me think of the Jimmy Buffet song “Fins.” So I painted “Fins to the Left” and “Fins to the Right” on them and trimmed them to resemble shark fins.

I used Patio Paints to paint on the noodle board and a standard utility knife to cut it. The paint colors I used were:

Summer Sky Blue for “Fins”

Fiesta Yellow for “to the”

Daisy Cream for “Left” and “Right”

Grey for the Shark Fins

Sweet Pea is the background color

Wrought Iron Black was used for the outlines

Blue Jay is the water color

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere (C) Gunkee & Monkey

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere (C) Gunkee & Monkey

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

I had another idea to paint on the garden knee boards but it was going to be a big project, so I wanted to test it out how easy or hard it would be to paint on the knee boards first. Keeping with the Jimmy Buffet theme, I decided on “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere.” I learned two things not to do when painting on the garden knee boards. One is do not sketch your drawing in ink on the knee boards before painting. I sketched on it using red ink and on the lighter colors the red ink bled through the paint. That was hard to cover up.  And two, that board has a lot of little indented blocks (aka: texture) on it! Coverage was both easy and hard, depending on the color used. Below is a list of the Patio Paint colors I used and what area I used them on.

Sunshine Yellow – Juice in 1st glass, Pineapple in 2nd glass, Sun, Lemon wedge in 3rd glass

Fiesta Yellow – Clock face, Lemon wedge on 3rd glass, Bubbles in 1st glass

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere sketched out. (C) Gunkee & Monkey

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere sketched out. (C) Gunkee & Monkey

Pumpkin – Clock face outline, Fruit wedge in 2nd glass, Umbrella in 1st glass

Fuchsia – Juice in 3rd glass

Carnation Pink – Bubbles in 3rd glass

Very Berry – Umbrella stem in 3rd glass

Wrought Iron Black – Letters, Outlines and Clock Face

Spring Mint – Lime in 1st glass

Mistletoe Green – Lime in 1st glass, Umbrella in 2nd glass

Deep Buttercup – Straw in 2nd glass

Pinecone Brown – Umbrella stem in 2nd glass

Tuscan Red – Cherry in 2nd glass, Umbrella & stem in 1st glass, #5 highlight

Blue Jay – Ocean

Petunia Purple – Umbrella in 3rd glass

Pansy Purple – Umbrella in 3rd glass

Daisy Cream – Sand, Stem of 2nd glass

Supplies Needed to make "Fins" & "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" (C) Gunkee & Monkey

Supplies Needed to make “Fins” & “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” (C) Gunkee & Monkey

One side of the knee board has an opening, in this case on the left side. I covered it with a plastic cup. I cut a clear plastic cup in half, trimmed flowers off of a birthday napkin, Mod Podged the napkin onto the cup and hot glued the cup over the opening.

I sprayed a clear coat on all the pieces after the painting was completed.

Now I need to find a space on the wall beside my pool to hang them.

May 14th, 2015

Monkey’s Art Board, Nemo, Unicorn and Purple Flower

Monkey's Art Board, Nemo, Unicorn & Purple Flower (C) Gunkee & Monkey

Monkey’s Art Board, Nemo, Unicorn & Purple Flower (C) Gunkee & Monkey

My little Monkey was on fire painting an Art Board, Nemo, Unicorn and Purple Flower today. The paper is supposed to be the backdrop to protect my table (ha!), the long board is a work in progress which will display her art work when it’s completed (I should have base coated it first- oh well). She also painted a purple flower, a pink unicorn and Nemo! The flowers will go on canvas and I’ll give Nemo some eyes and stripes before I seal him with mod podge. Before we were finished she was painting her hands to make handprints. We were both a mess when it was all done, but that’s what soap & water is for.

April 29th, 2015

How to Make Custom Photo Album Covers


© Monkey & Gunkee

DIY Photo Album Covers

Getting your negatives developed and preserving the photographs in albums is fast becoming a thing of the past. People these days prefer to save their photos digitally either on their computer, on a DVD, or on a flash drive. But for those who still like the old way of actually being able to hold a photograph in your hand, here’s an easy way to dress up those ugly photo albums. I’ve made these for weddings, baby showers and general use. You can purchase any size photo album to you want to cover. Buy one already made or get a three-ring binder and add clear photo pages to the inside.

To get started you will need:

* A Photo Album

* Material of your choosing

* Batting

* Poster Board

* Hot Glue

* Scissors

* Ribbon (Optional)

* Lace (Optional)


© Monkey & Gunkee

Step One:
Cut out a piece of batting the same size as the open photo album.

Step Two:
Glue the batting to the outside of the photo album.

Step Three:
Open your photo album and lay the outside of the album on the wrong side of the material. Make sure the print is going in the direction you’d like it to be on the photo album. Cut material about 1″ away from the album. If desired, you can first draw a light line on the material around the album and then cut out the material.

Step Four:
Open your photo album and lay the outside on the wrong side of the material. Make sure you have the print going in the direction you want it to go. Cut diagonal notches in the material at the corners. Fold the corners down and hot glue to the inside of the photo album. Don’t just glue the corners – glue all the way down the inside edge of the material. Trim away any excess.

Step Five (Optional):
If desired, you can add lace around the outside edges of your photo album. Also, if you want to add a piece of ribbon to tie the pages closed, now is the time to do it.

Step Six:
Measure the inside flaps of the photo album from the outside edge to where the spine bends. Cut out a piece of poster board this size. (You will need 2 of these – one for the inside front of the album and one for the inside of the back.) Once you cut out the poster board lay it on the inside cover to make sure the album will close. Lay the cut piece of poster board on your material and cut out a piece of material 1″ larger than the poster board. Cut notches at the corner of the material and glue the material to the poster board. Glue the finished piece to the inside covers of the photo album. This should cover the material you glued on the outside so you have a nice, clean finish on the inside flaps.


© Monkey & Gunkee

Step Seven (Optional):
You can add a photo frame to the front of the album using the poster board, material and batting. Be creative with this. I did an album in a watermelon print and then made my frame on the front look like a slice of watermelon. (See photo.) Or you can do a basic 4″ x 6″ rectangle. Cut your piece of poster board and then cut the inside out so you have what looks like a photo mat. Glue the batting and material to it, much like you did for the photo album. Make sure to leave enough material to notch the material inside the frame so you can fold it back and glue it down. When finished, glue to the front of your album. Be sure to not glue the top edge so you can slide a photo down into it. You can trim the edges with lace or piping.

These custom covered photo albums make great gifts and you can customize them for any occasion such as weddings, baby showers, travel, vacations, etc. Use your imagination. Once you complete one, you will want to do more.

April 19th, 2015

Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: The Anchor





I’m always looking for something different to hang around my pool every summer. This spring I have started making my own decorations that I will call “Gunkee’s Poolside Collection.” The first item I made is an anchor covered with seashells.









Materials used (All bought at Dollar Tree):

Materials Used to make the Anchor  ©Gunkee&Monkee

Materials Used to make the Anchor ©Gunkee&Monkee

1 Foam Noodle Board

1 Bag of Seashells

1 Blue Jump Rope

1 Kids Fishing Toy with Sea Creatures

Other materials:

Utility Knife (On Hand)

Liquid Nails (Walmart)

Seashells (On Hand)

Deco Arts’ Patio Paint: Natural Tan Grout (On Hand)

Plaid’s Paint for Plastic: Bright Blue, Green, Brown, Black, White


anchor outline




First draw your anchor pattern onto the Foam Noodle Board.

I made mine 2″ wide. Use the utility knife to cut it out.








Paint the anchor tan. I used a brush and Patio Paint but you could probably use a spray paint if you wanted to. I just used what I had on hand. Use the Paint for Plastic to paint the sea creatures to look more their natural color as opposed to a kids’ fun toy.







This photo doesn’t show the rope, but lay the rope out first and then lay the seashells out to get an idea how you want them to be placed on the anchor. Use the liquid nails to adhere the rope and seashells to the anchor.

Once all the large seashells are glued on, I added the smaller shells I had on hand to fill in the gaps around the large shells. You could also use pebbles or other smaller rocks that can be found at Dollar Tree, or use what yo may have on hand.

Now all that’s left to do is let the silicone dry. I gave mine 24 hours before even trying to move it.


Gunkee's Poolside Collection: The Anchor ©Gunkee&Monkee

Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: The Anchor ©Gunkee&Monkee





The final product in Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: The Anchor. It will look great out by my pool this summer!






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

April 16th, 2015

Monkey’s Crafting Day



My little Monkey loves to craft, but some days her attention span is really short so on crafting day we sometimes have to do lots of simple crafts in one sitting. In addition to painting, she loves any kind of stickers, so when I saw these headbands at Dollar Tree I knew she’d love making them. I pulled off the gems one at a time and handed them to her, then she stuck them onto the headband where ever she wanted to. The tiny gems were kind of hard for her to handle even with her little fingers. We then moved on to painting. She painted an Easter Egg, a wooden flower (which will be used in another project later) and a sun catcher. All her painted sun catchers are hanging in my living room window. She loves to go look at them and rearrange them. Monkee really gets into crafting and today she was super proud of the hairbands. She wore both of them for the rest of the day. But she did take one off and remove all the gems from it and stuck them to her leg! I’m going to try sealing them on with mod podge and see if she can still pull them off then.





April 10th, 2015

Monkey Paints a Bird House

Monkee painting on her birdhouse. © Gunkee & Monkee

Monkey’s bird house. © Gunkee & Monkey

My little Monkey 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

Monkey painting her birdhouse. © Gunkee & Monkey

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 Monkey’s bird house is now hanging on a wall beside a tree in our backyard. Hopefully it will get some tenants soon.

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



Large Bowl for mixing paste

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes


Tissue Paper



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


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!

April 2nd, 2015

Monkey’s Toilet Paper Roll Flowers

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

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

My little Monkey has been painting again! She has been working on a top secret project for her mom’s birthday. Monkey 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.


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

Crayola Washable Paints

4 Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

2″ Pot and Saucer

Larger Plastic Buttons


1″ Styrofoam Ball

Glass Balls

Hot Glue


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


I let Monkey 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 Monkey has a hand made birthday present that she painted to give to her mom.


© Gunkee & Monkey

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 surfing the Internet one day I found a some pictures 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.

March 26th, 2015

Monkey Makes a Toilet Paper Tube Bunny for Easter

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

Monkey painting a toilet paper tube to make a bunny. © MonkeyandGunkee

My little Monkey 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 Monkey 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. © MonkeyandGunkee

After the Monkey 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 Monkey’s Toilet Paper Tube Bunny:

Monkee's Toilet Paper Tube Bunny © MonkeeandGunkee

Monkey’s Toilet Paper Tube Bunny © MonkeyandGunkee

1 Toilet Paper Tube

White Foam Sheet

White & Pink Paint

Cotton Ball

Paint Brush

White Glue