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August 24th, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Toothpick Painting on Glass

This Dot Painted Butterfly was painted on a glass picture frame using a toothpick as a "brush" © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

This Dot Painted Butterfly was painted on a glass picture frame using a toothpick as a “brush” © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

If you’ve browsed around my webpage any then you have probably seen some paintings that have been done on glass. Glass can mean anything from a picture frame to a beer mug to a vase. Most of these pieces were painted using a toothpick in place of a paint brush. Here are my pros and cons of using toothpicks to paint with.

Pros of Painting with Toothpicks on Glass

  • Toothpicks are easy to handle for detail painting
  • The Diamond brand Shake-a-Pick has both a fine end for detail painting and a flat round end for dot painting
  • The length of the toothpick makes it easier to rest shaky hands on the glass for stability; also easy to handle if you have shaky hands
  • There is less wasted paint when painting with a toothpick
  • No brush strokes

 Cons of Painting with Toothpicks on Glass

  • It takes longer to complete a project when painting using a toothpick
  • Some wooden toothpicks soak up the paint
  • Some wooden toothpicks get soggy, frey and break easily
  • A toothpick doesn’t “hold” paint like a brush so you have to keep dipping into the paint

I have personally tried painting on glass with the toothpicks shown in the pictures below.

The best toothpick to use for painting on glass is the Diamond-brand Shake-A-Pick.  © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

The best toothpick to use for painting on glass is the Diamond-brand Shake-A-Pick. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Rating for painting on glass with this toothpick: Best

The best toothpick to use for painting on glass is the Diamond-brand Shake-A-Pick because it is so versatile compared to other toothpicks. The pointed end is good for detail painting and the flat, rounded bottom is handy to make dots with. This toothpick does not soak up the paint and will last a long time before you have to throw it away.

These sturdy plastic picks are good for painting on glass.  © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

These sturdy plastic picks are good for painting on glass.

Rating for painting on glass with this toothpick: Better

I bought some of these cupcake kits that came with liners and picks for another project and had some left over. I decided to try painting on glass with them and they worked great. They are east to hold and are sturdy enough that they don’t bend. They are also a little fatter than a normal toothpick so it holds paint just a tiny bit longer than a wooden toothpick.

Plastic toothpicks from Dollar Tree. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Plastic toothpicks from Dollar Tree. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Rating for painting on glass with this toothpick: Poor

Most of the time I am satisfied with any crafting supplies I get from Dollar Tree. Not this time. These plastic picks are flimsy and the tip is so thin I could hardly get any paint to stay on it to apply it to anything. I gave up real quick trying to use these. I’ll have to find another project to use them for.

Standard wooden toothpicks. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Standard wooden toothpicks. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Rating for painting on glass with this toothpick: Poor

This standard wooden toothpick that is pointy on both ends falls in the poor category for using to paint on glass with. It gets soggy, frays and breaks easily.

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August 17th, 2015

Painted Parrots on Glass

For as long as I can remember, my Granny had one of these ladder wall decorations on the wall in her dining room. So when I was decorating my house I knew I had to have one. I seasonally switch out the decorations that sit on my ladder wall decoration. In the summertime I have some parrots sitting on it. I think it looks plain hanging there all by itself, so I decided to paint some parrots on the glass of a photo frame similar to how I painted the carousel horse on the mirror.

My ladder decoration with parrots. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

My ladder decoration with parrots. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

I found two pictures of parrots I like online and printed out 8×10 copies of them. I used Folk Art enamel paints, toothpicks and the reverse end of a paint brush to paint on the glass of picture frames I bought at Dollar Tree.

Materials used to paint the parrots. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Materials used to paint the parrots. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

I started out thinking I was going to paint the parrots using the pointillism (dot painting) method. But after I (thought I) finished the second one I noticed that the more I did the closer together the dots became. The (unconscious) painter in me wasn’t liking the blank spaces between the dots which can be seen in the photos below.

Dot painted parrots. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Dot painted parrots. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

I went back and added more dots in the blank spaces and “pulled some paint to cover bigger blank spots. Close up I think the pulled paint looks like feathers on the parrots. (That effect doesn’t show real well  in the pictures.) The picture frame needed to be a color other than black so I decided to do a coordinated red. First I wiped down the frame with alcohol and then, without thinking, started painting with the red enamel paint. It kind of stuck to the frame so I had to “pull” that paint also. It was an accident (IF I had been thinking about what I was doing, I would not have used enamel paint on the frame), but I liked how it turned out. Now the frame has a washed out look to it and it matches the red colors on the parrots (and the space it is going to hang in.)

Here’s the finished Painted Parrots on Glass.

The two completed Painted Parrots on Glass. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

The two completed Painted Parrots on Glass. © Monkey&Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

I am going to paint more seasonal sets of prints on glass to match the decorations I switch out seasonally on the ladder. Next up on my project list is a set of scarecrows, followed by Santa & Reindeer, then some Wintery penguins.

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August 5th, 2015

Monkey’s Summer Craft Projects

CeramicsJunJul15

Monkey’s ceramics. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Monkey has been busy painting summer craft projects. Pictured is just some of what she has painted in June & July. Her favorite summer craft to paint has been the ceramic animal figures. She base coats the ceramics and then tells me “Fix it.” (Translation=paint the eyes.) So I did the (sloppy) detail on them then sealed them with Mod Podge since she is using washable paints. The ceramic Monkey has painted include “Nemo”, a turtle, a puppy, a lion, a kitten, a parrot, a zebra and a tiger.

sun catchers JunJul15

Monkey’s sun catchers. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

The other summer craft Monkey likes to paint is sun catchers, When we go to the store she even picks them out. sun catchers Monkey painted are a frog, the sun, flip flops, an ice cream cone, a butterfly, an alligator and dragonflies. For the sun catchers, I just let her paint it however she wants. We were hanging up her newest sun catcher the other day and looking at the others she had painted. She noticed a particular one and said, “Missed spot”, then took it to the craft room to repaint it. She is beginning to get more detailed in her painting and by that I mean she checks over what she is painting and looks for spots she has missed. She can’t always get paint into some of the nooks and crannies but she sure does try!

Birdhouses JunJul2015

Monkey’s birdhouses. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Monkey has also painted some birdhouses to hang outside. She picks out the paint colors herself. Since the bees seem to like to take over these houses before the birds even get a chance to, I cut out and glued some plastic covers to the front of them (not pictured). We don’t want anyone to get stung when they are admiring the birdhouses.

What summer craft projects have you done with your kids, grandkids or any other kids this summer?

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July 23rd, 2015

Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: Seashell Palm Tree

This Seashell Palm Tree is the fourth craft I’ve made for Gunkee’s Poolside Collection. Previous Poolside Collection Crafts include The Anchor, It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere and Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right.

Seashell Palm Tree ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015  thegunkeewrites.com

Seashell Palm Tree
©Monkey & Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

On a recent trip to Hilton Head Island it was too cold to get into the water and too many jellyfish laying on shore that if the water had been warm there’s no way I would have gotten in it. So instead we walked along the shoreline, being careful not to step on any jellyfish, and collected seashells. All I can say is where we were was not a good place to find seashells. Even so, I came home with quite a few and then the predicament was what to do with them. I didn’t want to leave them sitting in a pail or jar. I wanted to create a piece of art that would be fairly nice to look at and I could hang outside by my pool. I had already made an anchor with seashells (see link above); this time I decided to try a palm tree.

The materials I used to create the Seashell Palm Tree wall hanging include:

Materials needed to make the Seashell Palm Tree ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015  thegunkeewrites.com

Materials needed to make the Seashell Palm Tree
©Monkey & Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

Various sizes and shapes of seashells

A printout of a Palm Tree

1 Foam Gardening Knee Board

Hot Glue Gun

Scissors and a marker

Paint (optional)

Making a palm tree from seashells is really easy. First I found a free cartoon clip art of a palm tree, printed it, then cut it out. I laid the cut out palm tree on the knee board and traced around it with a blue marker. The next step is to lay out the seashells where I want them to go.

Lay the seashells out to form a palm tree before hot gluing them. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015  thegunkeewrites.com

Lay the seashells out to form a palm tree before hot gluing them.
©Monkey & Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

Once I got the layout how I wanted it I thought it looked kind of “Blah!” so I painted some yellow to make a sun in the sky. I also painted a couple of spiral shells green to mimic blades of grass at the base of the palm tree. Once all that was done the only think left to do is hot glue the seashells to the knee board. One day if I’m really bored I may attempt to paint a seascape backdrop but I’m happy with my Seashell Palm Tree for now.

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July 20th, 2015

How to Make Personalized Button Covers

Peachy Button Covers  ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Peachy Button Covers ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Customize Your Own Button Covers

Indian Warrior Mascots  ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Indian Warrior Mascots ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

When doing craft shows it is hard to know what product or theme will be popular in any given year. One year it’s snowmen for Christmas, the next year it’s penguins. One product that is successful for me is button covers. Button covers can be customized for any time of the year or personalized for friends or family. Do you have a friend that is a horse lover? Make her some button covers with horses on them. Or make flowers for that person with the green thumb. Know a farmer? Make a set of button covers that include a pig, cow, horse and sheep or any other animals they keep on their farm. The ideas are endless.

To make customized button covers, I use Shrinky Dink-type plastic sheets. Remember Shrinky Dinks? They came in prepackaged kits that kids colored or painted and then baked where they magically shrunk to one-third of their original size. I use an off-brand of Shrinky Dinks that I found in a local craft store to customize my button covers. (Google “shrink film” to find other, cheaper, brands of plastic sheets that shrink. They work just as well as the brand name.) The same craft store also had the button cover shells. You should be able to find both of these products at any big craft store.

Easter & Thanksgiving Button Covers  ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Easter & Thanksgiving Button Covers ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

To make a customized button cover from shrink film you will need:

Shrink Film

A Pattern

Permanent Sharpie

Acrylic Paints & Brushes

Button Cover Shells

Hot Glue

You may need to experiment with how big the pattern needs to be. It all depends on how big you want the finished button cover item to be. As I said before, the pattern will shrink down to one third of its original size, so try to use that as a basis for how big to make the original pattern. When I first started I made different sizes of the same pattern on one sheet until I stumbled on the perfect size I wanted for my button covers. I make 3-4 pieces of the same pattern or group to make a set of button covers. Patterns or clip art can be found online (make sure they are truly “free” clip arts, especially if you plan on reselling them) or there are clip art books available in any bookstore. Or, if you are truly artistic you can draw your own. Since the plastic sheets are clear you can print out an online pattern and then trace the pattern onto the plastic sheet with the Sharpie. Then paint the pattern. After the painted pattern has dried cut them out and bake according to the instructions. Once dry hot glue the finished product onto the button cover shell.

Halloween Themed Button Covers  ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Halloween Themed Button Covers ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Some of the newer shrink films are able to be put through an Ink Jet Printer, so there would be no tracing or painting needed. Just print and bake. Another option, such as the ghosts and pumpkins seen in the photo, is to use cupcake picks. I cut off the pick and glued the decoration onto the button cover. Pre-cut wooden pieces can be painted and used as button covers such as the wooden triangles I painted to look like candy corn. I also found a set of pre-painted wooden Pilgrims and Indians that I used to make a Thanksgiving button cover set.

Christmas Theme Button Covers  ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Christmas Theme Button Covers ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015

Make button cover sets for Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other holidays in between! The ideas are endless and even the kids will want to get in on this fun!

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July 14th, 2015

Jack Skellington Made from Glass Containers

IMG_2199[1]

My version of Jack Skellington made with glass containers as the base. © Gunkee & Monkee

My friend loves everything Halloween and Jack Skellington is one of her favorite characters. I wanted to make something different and unique for her so I made this Jack Skellington using glass containers – a bud vase and round candy bowl – as the base.

Materials used:

1 Rose Bud Vase

1 Small Round Candy Dish

Black Foam Sheet

Black and White Pipe Cleaners

Black Electrical Tape

1″ Styrofoam Ball

Gold Sequins

Americana Gloss Enamel Paints in Black & White

Liquid Nails Silicone Sealer

Hot Glue

Paint Brushes

Plastic Tooth Pick

For Jack’s face I base coated the white first and then added the face in black. I Googled Jack Skellington and printed out a face I liked so I would have something to look at while I painted it on the glass bowl. (I need a visual.) For the body, I also base coated it all white, then painted the outline of the coat before having to paint all those white lines on! I used a plastic tooth pick that came with a set of cupcake liners that I had used on another project to paint the white lines.

Jack Skellington face and coat outlined in white paint. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Jack Skellington face and coat outlined in white paint. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I sketched the bow tie out on the foam sheet and cut it out. I painted the Styrofoam ball black and cut it in half to make the bat face. I cut pieces from the other half of the ball to make the bat ears and hot glued them together and onto the bow tie. For Jack’s arms, I wrapped 2 pipe cleaners in black electrical tape and made hands with white pipe cleaners.

Jack Skellington in progress. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Jack Skellington in progress. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

After the paint has cured on the glass, the glass containers need to be baked in the oven following the instructions on the paint containers. Usually it is for 30 minutes. Put the items in a cold oven, set the oven to 325, and once it reaches temp start the countdown of 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, turn the oven off but DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. The oven needs to be completely cooled down before removing the glass. Removing it any earlier than that may cause cracking or breaking. And who wants that after spending all that time painting it. That’s why it is a good idea to cook the glass at night, especially if you get impatient about taking it out. That way you can leave it in the oven, go to sleep and take it out first thing in the morning.

Jack Skellington in progress. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Jack Skellington in progress. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Once baked, Jack Slellington is ready to be put together. I used liquid nails silicone sealer on mine, but other crafters say that E600 and silicone sealant is also good to keep glass pieces glued together.

Jack Skellington's back. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Jack Skellington’s back. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I love my Jack Skellington, and I hope my friend does, too!

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July 13th, 2015

Make a Witchy Grandfather Clock for Halloween

Witchy Grandfather Clock ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015  thegunkeewrites.com

Witchy Grandfather Clock ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015
thegunkeewrites.com

After making the Spooky Vampire Clock I wanted to go bigger and better. Well, I accomplished the bigger part. This Witchy Grandfather Clock stands approximately 5’5” tall. It’s real easy to make but it is time consuming. From design to completion it took me approximately 30 hours, not counting drying time, to complete my Witchy Grandfather Clock. Read on below for details on how it was made.

Materials Used for the Witchy Grandfather Clock:

3 Boxes

-Large – 34 1/2” Tall x 17”Wide x 13”Deep

-Medium – 13 1/2”Tall x 18 ½”Wide x 6 ½”Deep

-Small – 10 ½”Tall x 14”Wide x 4 ½”Deep

Piece of Foam Board (.10)

Plastic Plate (1-$.25)

2” Paint Brush (.33)

3 Pipe Cleaners (.50)

Materials Used ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Materials Used
©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Raffia ($.50)

Green Noodle Board ($1)

Brown Napkins (1pk $1)

Purple Napkins (1 pk-$1)

Black Napkins (3 pks-$3)

Decorative Shoes (2-$2)

Foam Letters (2pks-$2)

Foam Numbers ($1)

Plastic Bowl ($1)

Mod Podge (16oz-$6, 32oz-$12)

Twine (on hand)

2 chopsticks (on hand)

Glitter Glue-Gold & Silver (on hand)

Glitter Paint (on hand)

Patio Paints-Pot ‘O Gold, Crystal, Drizzle Grey, Petunia Purple, Pansy Purple, Pumpkin, Pinecone Brown (on hand)

Decorative Cat (on hand)

1 Wrapping Paper Tube (on hand)

7 Paper Towel Tubes (on hand)

Free Printouts Found on Internet – 3 Witches and Witch on Broom

Once I had all the materials gathered to make the clock with, I began to stack the boxes to get a feel of how I wanted the clock to look when it was finished. It was going to be TALL!

Moon and stars were cut from noodle board for the header. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Moon and stars were cut from noodle board for the header. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

After the layout was determined, it was time to begin cutting designs. I used a large utility knife to cut a quarter moon and stars on the noodle board to use for the very top of the clock. The green plastic bowl, which will be transformed into a cauldron, also had to be cut in half.  The coffin opening on the base will be cut later once I decide where the lettering and cauldron will go.

Ccauldroncollage

A plastic green bowl was used as the template for the cauldron on the Witchy Grandfather Clock. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

The friend I am making the Witchy Grandfather Clock for printed out some free graphics she likes that she found on the Internet. She chose a silhouette of 3 witches with cats and a witch on a broom silhouetted in front of the moon.

Mod Podge boxes using black napkins and paper tubes with brown napkins. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Mod Podge boxes using black napkins and paper tubes with brown napkins. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Now it’s time to start Mod Podging napkins onto all the boxes. Overall I used 48 ounces of Mod Podge (one 32oz bottle and one 16oz bottle) but I cut it 50/50 with water so I used a total of 96 ounces of 50/50 Mod Podge for the complete project. I used black colored napkins on all the boxes, the green bowl (the cauldron), and the noodle board (the header). I used brown napkins for the wrapping paper tube that will be the witches broom handle, and on the paper towel tubes which will later be gold chimes and the small pendulum broom. Purple napkins were used for the inside of the coffin opening. The 3 Witches printout are Mod Podged onto a box that the header will sit on. I used scissors with a decorative scallop edge blade to cut out the witch on a broom silhouette to fit in the center of the plastic plate to be the background for the face of the clock and Mod Podged it onto the back of the plastic plate.

Purple napkins were Mod Podged on the inside of the coffin-shaped cutout; then gold paper towel tubes "chimes" hot glued onto the napkins. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Purple napkins were Mod Podged on the inside of the coffin-shaped cutout; then gold paper towel tubes “chimes” hot glued onto the napkins. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Now that the Mod Podged pieces have dried, it’s time to paint. I used Patio Paint Pinecone Brown to dry brush highlights onto to the wrapping paper tube. The wooden balls for the cauldron feet are painted black. The shoes are painted with Folk Art Extreme Glitter Gold, Patio Paints Petunia Purple, Pansy Purple, and Pumpkin. The finishing paint touch is done with Heavenly Hues Starlight Crystal sparkles. The foam letters used to spell out “Double Double Toil and Trouble” are painted with Pansy Purple as is the foam numbers for the face of the clock. The paper towel tubes for the chimes and pendulum are painted with Patio Paint Pot O’ Gold. The black napkins on the boxes are dry brushed with Delta Ceramcoat Drizzle Grey acrylic paint.

Designing the witches' shoes to sit on the Witchy Grandfather Clock. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Designing the witches’ shoes to sit on the Witchy Grandfather Clock. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Once the paint is dry, I can begin to put the finishing touches on embellishments and begin to put the clock together. I add raffia to the tubes meant to be a witches brooms and the pendulum. I tie some twine around where the raffia and tube meet to give it a more finished look. I cut 3 pipe cleaners in half and braided them together to make 2 handles for the cauldron. Then I hot glued the handles and the cauldron’s ‘feet’ onto the bowl then hot glued the cauldron I had created to the bottom of the clock. The golden paper towel tubes are glued to the inside of the coffin shaped opening on the base of the Witchy Grandfather Clock. Then the golden broom is glued to the front of the coffin opening to act as the clock’s pendulum.

Dry brushing onto the dried Mod Podged napkins gave the piece depth and character. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Dry brushing onto the dried Mod Podged napkins gave the piece depth and character. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I use the 2 chopsticks and raffia to make tiny brooms to serve as the hands of the clock. I then stuck the numbers onto the clock face and hot glued the broom hands in place. Then I hot glued the face of the clock onto the corresponding box. Next, peel and stick the letters for the quote below the coffin cut-out.

Cdoubledoublecollage

Laying out the lettering to see if the letters and the cauldron will fit in the space available. They did. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I cut out some Jack Skellington-like bats from a black foam sheet to use as embellishments on the shoes to cover up the big bows that are on them. After making a pattern and cutting out the bats, I used white acrylic paint to add wing details and gold glitter glue for the eyes. I then hot glued the bats to the side of the shoes.

Spider webs created with hot glue and glitter glue. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Spider webs created with hot glue and glitter glue. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I used silver glitter glue to make a spider’s web on the side of a box and used hot glue to make a web on another box. I hot glued sparkly spiders to the webs.

Different views if the completed Witchy Grandfather Clock. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Different views if the completed Witchy Grandfather Clock. ©Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I did not glue the boxes together figuring it will be easier to store in smaller multiple pieces rather than one big one.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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

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June 2nd, 2015

Monkey’s Art Board

Monkey's Art Board (c) Monkey&Gunkee2015

Monkey’s Art Board © Monkey & Gunkee thegunkeewrites.com

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 © Monkey & Gunkee thegunkeewrites.com

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.

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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.

Oops!

Oops!

 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!

Oops!

Oops!

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.

Burp!

Burp!

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.

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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!

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May 20th, 2015

Hot Chocolate Mug

Hot Chocolate Mug (C) Monkey & Gunkee

Hot Chocolate Mug © Monkey & Gunkee thegunkeewrites.com

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!

 

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May 17th, 2015

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

Fins (C) Gunkee & Monkey

Fins to the left… © Monkey & Gunkee

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 © Monkey & Gunkee

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. © Monkey & Gunkee

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere sketched out. © Monkey & Gunkee

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” © Monkey & Gunkee

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.

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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 © Monkey & Gunkee thegunkeewrites.com

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.

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April 29th, 2015

How to Make Custom Photo Album Covers

DIY Photo Album Covers

Custom Covered Photo Albums © Monkey & Gunkee

Custom Covered Photo Albums © Monkey & Gunkee

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)

photobook1

© 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.

photobooks2

© 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.

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April 19th, 2015

Gunkee’s Poolside Collection: The Anchor

 

©Gunkee&Monkee

©Gunkee&Monkee

 

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

©Gunkee&Monkee

 

 

First draw your anchor pattern onto the Foam Noodle Board.

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

 

 

 

©Gunkee&Monkee

©Gunkee&Monkee

 

 

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.

 

 

 

©Gunkee&Monkee

©Gunkee&Monkee

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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