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May 21st, 2016

Artist Problem #201

AP201 Backwards Paintbrush

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January 16th, 2016

Crafting Problems #306

CP306 Crafty Cat

Crafting Problems #306: When your cat won’t let you craft in peace.

Who has pets that “help” you when you craft?

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November 18th, 2015

Felt Snowman and Christmas Tree Boards

Have you seen the photo flying around Facebook of the felt snowman and Christmas tree that young children can put together and take apart over and over again? I decided to make one for my Monkey. Instead of attaching them to a wall, I attached a felt back to a foam board so it’s portable.

Felt Snowman and Christmas tree

Felt Snowman and Christmas tree

Materials I used to make my felt snowman and Christmas tree are:

Felt Christmas Tree

Felt Christmas Tree

 

Two Foam Boards

2 pieces of green felt to cover the foam boards

Various colored felt squares

Glue Dots

Small Pre-made Bows (optional)

Scissors

Sharpie

Stencils are optional. I used an empty pudding cup and paper plates to draw my base circles with.

Glitter Glue (or just plain glitter will also work)

 

The first thing you need to do is measure the felt backing to go on one of the boards for the snowman’s background

Felt Snowman

Felt Snowman

and use the glue dots to stick it to the foam board. Then cut out the Christmas tree and glue it to the other foam board. I made the mistake of cutting out the ornaments first and when I cut the tree out my ornaments were too big so I had to cut them down. After I cut out the ornaments I used glitter glue to paint designs on them. This isn’t necessary but I thought it would give them an extra dimension. I also added Monkey and Little Monkey’s names to a couple of them. I stuck a piece of felt to the back of the small bows so they would stick to the felt presents.

I used two different  sizes of paper plates as templates for the snowman’s base. I used the pudding cups as templates for the buttons and the base of the smaller snowmen. The rest of the items on and around the snowman were cut out freehand.

Monkey hasn’t been over to try out her new felt snowman and Christmas tree but I did show them to her via Face Time. She was all excited saying, “Look, Mama, Nana painted me a snowman!” I guess she will have to actually see it to understand what it is. But if she’s that excited over a painting I can’t wait to see her play with the felt snowman and Christmas tree.

 

 

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November 13th, 2015

Which Glass Paint Do I Need to Use?

Painting on glass is real popular now and it’s a trend that’s not likely to go away any time soon.  Here I will share my experiences with painting on glass.

Here’s an example of glass painting on wine and beer glasses.

Wine and Beer Glass

To begin painting you will need some glassware. The glassware doesn’t need to be expensive. Dollar Tree has plenty of wine glasses, jars, bowls, vases, mirrors, picture frames and more for only a dollar each! That’s cheap, but sometimes you can find glassware even cheaper than that at a thrift store or yard sale. Or better yet, save your used jars to paint on.

Some things I have painted on the glass on picture frames.

Angel Fish    Scarecrows    Parrots

Before painting clean your glassware (and your hands), then wipe down the glass piece with isopropyl alcohol. This helps the paint to adhere to the glass.

Here’s an example of glass painting on glass containers that used to hold candle wax.

Snowman

What do you want to paint on your glassware? If you’re like me and are not comfortable free handing anything, then measure the surface of where you want to paint and create an image on your computer. For example, to put a friend’s initials on a wine glass I printed out 2” squares of 3 letters and taped them to the inside of the glass. Be careful of violating copyright laws when doing this. If your piece will be for resale then I do not recommend using Disney images, for example.  Once you have your pattern, tape it to the inside of the glass to use as a guide for when you are painting. You can also use a thin Sharpie to sketch a design on the outside of the glass before painting over it. The good thing about drawing a pattern this way is if you mess up just wipe the glassware down with alcohol for a clean slate.

Here’s an example of glass painting on some jars that used to hold spaghetti sauce.

Fall Jar Vases

There are different ways to paint on glass and the finished piece may need to be baked and/or cured, depending on if the glass piece is to be used with food or beverage or it’s just a decorative piece. Some gloss enamel paints even say they are dishwasher safe after baking, but I’ve never tried this.

Click on this link to see some tips about using toothpicks to paint with.

Tips for Painting with Toothpicks

Some tools to keep handy when painting on glass include paintbrushes, toothpicks (for fine detailing), a Spouncer, sponges, cotton swabs, painters tape, stencils, and paper towels. Spouncers are good for laying down a solid base color on glass and then painting over it with another color. For example, if I wanted to paint zebra stripes I would base coat my glass piece white and after it dries paint the back stripes on top of it. Sponging can also give some neat textures. Cotton swabs and toothpicks are good “erasers” for wet glass paint.  I ALWAYS have paper towels handy to dab paint on or to clean up bigger messes with. I have tried using the painters tape to get a clean straight edge at the top of a wine glass, but that did not work so well for me. When I pulled the tape off the paint came right with it! So now I just eyeball it or have jagged edges at the top so it doesn’t matter if it’s a straight line or not.  Most enamel paints will say that their paint is not to come in contact with food or beverage so if you are painting on beverage glasses leave enough clean space at the top so that lips will not come in contact with the paint. If you want to paint a serving dish or bowl, paint on the outside of the container.

Stack two bowls on top of each other to form a chubby body shape. I did not glue the bowls together so both can be used to store snacks or other stuff in them.

Leprechaun Candy Bowls

IF you need to put more than one coat of paint on your glassware, be sure to wait until the first coat is COMPLETELY DRY. Painting over wet paint on glassware will only pull the paint off.

These heart-shaped bowls are grouped together to form a Shamrock candy dish which is painted on the outside.

Shamrock Candy Dish

Patience is a virtue. Be sure to read the instructions for the type of paint you are using. They will tell you how long you have to let your finished piece sit to cure and then bake if needed. Some say to cure (air dry) for 7-30 days and then bake in the oven. Some will say the glass piece is then dishwasher safe, others say to hand wash only. I recommend baking in the oven and gently hand washing. Do not soak, do not scrub, do not put in the dishwasher.

The Gallery Glass paint on my Carousel Horse Mirror has held up great for over 15 years.

Carousel Horse Mirror

Did you know you can also use enamel paints to paint on mirrors? I came into a huge oval antique mirror that was so big I couldn’t find anyone that would reframe it for me. The edges were so bad you couldn’t see a reflection in them, so I had it cut down to a rectangle. I found a pattern of a carousel horse in a crafting magazine I subscribed to at the time and fell in love with it so I decided to paint it on my mirror (that still had some rough looking edges on it even though it had been cut down). I used the Gallery Glass Liquid Leading to draw the outlines with and then filled them in with Gallery Glass paints. These paints come in a tube with a thin tip so it does take a lot of pressure from your hand to squeeze it out. I applied little strips at a time to keep my hand steady. To get the effect seen on the outside edges, I touched the tip to the mirror and made squiggly lines. I think it turned out cool!

Here’s an example of Spouncing (sponging) a base color on a glass mug.

Hot Chocolate Mug

Here is a list of the different types of glass paints and what they are used for.

Opaque Paints Opaque paints are perfect for achieving a solid color on our glassware. It can be used with stencils or free hand painting.

Transparent Paints Use transparent colors if you want to see through the color on your glassware.

Dimensional Paints These are thicker glass paints that can be used for outlining, writing or creating texture on glass.

Stain/Fill Paints Use stain paints when you want to fill in a defined area for a stained glass effect. They can also be used as a wash over glassware to get just a tint of color on your creation.

Specialty Paints Use specialty glass paints to get a shine, frost or sparkled look on your glass piece.

Here is a list (with links) I’ve put together of different types of glass paints available (that I’m aware of, there are most likely more that aren’t on this list). Personally I have used the Americana Gloss Enamels, Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel by Plaid, Folk Art Gloss Enamels, Gallery Glass and love all of them! You might also get inspired to make something by browsing the projects that shown on these main pages.

Apple Barrel by Plaid

Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel by Plaid (Delta Paints Catalog)

Delta Multi-Surface Paints

DecoArt Enamels Gloss Enamels, 3D Opaque Gloss Enamels, Frost Gloss Enamels, 3D frost Gloss Enamels, Crystal Gloss Enamels. Crystal Gloss Enamels Glitter

DecoArt (Main Page)

Easy Etch by DecoArt

Folk Art Multi-Surface Paint

Gallery Glass by Plaid

Liquid Leading

Window Color

Liquitex Glossies

Spray Paint for Glass Paint Markers Liquitex Professional (Main Page)

Martha Stewart Glass Paint by Plaid

Plaid (Main Page)

Finally, to answer the question posed in the title, “Which Glass Paint Do I Need to Use?”, I think it comes down to a personal preference of which glass paint you want to use.

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November 12th, 2015

Reindeer Ornaments by Monkey

Reindeer Ornaments with big googly eyes.

Reindeer Ornaments with big googly eyes.

I decided when my granddaughter (aka Monkey) was born that I was going to try to make an ornament for her every Christmas. Now she has a little brother (aka Little Monkey) so I need to make two this year. The first year I painted Minnie Mouse on an ornament for her and last year she put her hand prints on ornaments to make snowmen.

This year I was coming up blank. You see the big round plastic ornaments everywhere, so when I saw some shaped like old fashioned Christmas tree lights I grabbed some because I like to be different. I had no idea what I was going to do with them but thought that I’d figure that out later. And sure enough, I did. Reindeer Ornaments! Plus, Monkey would be able to help me make them.

Reindeer Ornaments with small googly eyes.

Reindeer Ornaments with small googly eyes.

 I had most of the materials needed to make the Reindeer Ornaments with in my craft room already, but I needed something to stuff them with. So I bought some crinkly paper shred and some gold garland. Monkey (who is a month shy of turning 3) was able to stuff the garland into the ornament (the ornaments stuffed with gold garland will be her reindeer) and I stuffed the brown crinkly paper for Little Monkey’s reindeer. It was hard for her to put the crinkly paper in the little hole on the ornament. When those were done I put glue dots on the back of googly eyes and she stuck them onto the ornaments to start the reindeer’s faces. Then we painted her thumb and she made all the red noses for the reindeer. Some she pushed her thumb real big on the ornaments and others she said “Boop!” and barely touched the ornament as she did it and told me she was making a little nose. Then we tied the pipe cleaner antlers to the top. At that point she was getting tired of doing this and wanted to paint other projects she saw on the table. Later that night, I added the bows to the top of the ornaments and painted her name and her brother’s name and the year on the back of the Reindeer Ornaments. The next time she came over I let her add jingle bells with glue dots to the bows for the final touch.

Materials used to make Reindeer Ornaments

Materials used to make the Reindeer Ornaments

Materials used to make the Reindeer Ornaments

Clear Plastic Light Bulb-Shaped Ornament (I found mine at Wal-Mart)

Googly Eyes

Red Paint for thumbprint noses

Gold Garland

Brown Crinkly Paper

Glue Dots (These are great! They can be found at Dollar Tree)

Pre-Made Bows and/or Ribbon

Jingle Bells

Paint Pens or Acrylic Paint to put names on the back (optional)

Ornament Hangers

We made enough of these Reindeer Ornaments so that Monkey can give some as gifts.

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October 22nd, 2015

Christmas Drum Centerpiece

The front of the Christmas Drum centerpiece. © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

The front of the Christmas Drum centerpiece. © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

Materials Needed:

Cardboard Snare Drum

2 Stuffed Christmas Decorations

2 Small Dowels

2-4 Christmas Embellishment Picks

I don't have a before photo of the drum but it looked kind of like this, only it was a drum.

I don’t have a before photo of the drum but it looked kind of like this, only it was drum shaped.

 Supplies Needed:

Acrylic Paints

Paint Brushes

Hot Glue

My youngest son was a drummer in his pre-teen and teen years so when I saw a drum used as a base for a Christmas table centerpiece I decided to make one for myself. I got lucky and accidently found an unfinished cardboard hat box in the shape of a snare drum (that’s the only way I know how to describe it) at Hobby Lobby so I snatched it up. Finding that cardboard hat box in the shape of a snare drum is the hardest thing about making this Christmas drum centerpiece. I found the stuffed Santa, Reindeer and Christmas embellishment picks for my Christmas drum centerpiece at the Dollar Tree. The “drum sticks” are just wooden dowels but you can use real drum sticks if you want to spring for some or have some old ones lying around.

 

The back of the Christmas drum centerpiece. © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

The back of the Christmas drum centerpiece. © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

To put the Christmas drum centerpiece together you first need to paint the drum. I chose the pretty Christmas colors of red and silver. Once the paint is dry position the stuffed decorations on top of the drum with the Christmas pick embellishments behind them. Once you have them positioned where you want them hot glue them into place. I put the drum sticks (aka dowels) in a cross position in the center where they towered over everything else.

A top view of the Christmas Drum centerpiece. © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

A top view of the Christmas Drum centerpiece. © Monkey & Gunkee’s Crafts

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October 17th, 2015

How to Make Witchy Shoes Decorations

Witchy Shoes © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Witchy Shoes © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

When making my Witchy Grandfather Clock, I thought it needed a little something extra to sit on the top so I created these witchy shoes to use as a prop to sit on it. I started with two ring holder shoes I found at Dollar Tree.

Before - the ring holder shoes © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Before – the ring holder shoes
© Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Since these shoes have a glossy finish I sanded them real good before I started painting them. The shoes are painted with Folk Art Extreme Glitter Gold, Patio Paints Petunia Purple, Pansy Purple, and Pumpkin. I painted the witchy shoe dark purple, the trim is sparkly gold and piece inside the shoe dark purple.  To give the shoes an even more witchy look I painted light purple and orange stripes on the high heels. The finishing sparkly coat is done with Heavenly Hues Starlight Crystal sparkles. What witch doesn’t love a pair of sparkly shoes?

Jack Skeleton bat pattern. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Jack Skeleton bat pattern. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

To cover up the big bow on the side of the shoe, I decided to make a bat in the form of Jack Skellington’s bow tie. I chose that because the embellishment had to be something big enough that would cover that big bow. How many witches do you know that have big pink bows on their witchy shoes?  I cut out the Jack Skellington bats from a black foam sheet. (Don’t confuse foam sheets with foam board or core board.) After making a pattern on paper 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.

Close up of a single witchy shoe. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Close up of a single witchy shoe.
© Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

That’s all. The witchy shoes are complete. Your new witchy shoes can be used as in a display or as a prop with other witchy items. Where will you display yours?

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October 16th, 2015

“Snow” Glass Jars

"Snow" Mason Jars © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

“Snow” Glass Jars © Monkey & Gunkee 2015

After liking how my “Fall” (mason) glass jars turned out, I wanted some for winter but I didn’t want to use the word winter on them, so I went with the word Snow. I couldn’t find anything that I liked – flowers or embellishments – to go in my “Snow” jars, so I bought two pair of fuzzy slipper socks from the Dollar Tree and made hats for them. Total cost was $2 only because I wanted different complimentary patterns/colors for the hats. I already had plenty of paint and stencils on hand. The paint I used was specifically Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel paint (Satin Finish – for Tile, Glass & Ceramic). I painted the jars on the inside so there would be a nice glossy look on the outside. Since these will not be used for food or washed I did not bake to cure them.

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October 15th, 2015

How to Make a Personalized Customized Nutcracker

My Sister is Nutcracker Crazy

Transform a plain wooden nutcracker into a personalized customized nutcracker. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Transform a plain wooden nutcracker into a personalized customized nutcracker.
thegunkeewrites.com

My sister is crazy about nutcrackers for some reason and has accumulated a couple-three hundred over the years. I do not understand why. Personally, I think they are all creepy. But I do like to feed her nutcracker addiction. A few years ago I found some unfinished wooden nutcrackers at Hobby Lobby. So I bought a couple. There was a learning curve on the first ones concerning how to paint the teeth or the eyes, what to use for hair, what kind of accessories to get and where would I find said accessories? Once I got past the learning curve I started making personalized customized nutcrackers as Christmas presents to give to her. By personalized I mean I picked a couple of people in her immediate family each year and customized a nutcracker to represent them. This year I made our grandmother on my mother’s side and our brother.

The first nutcracker I ever painted. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

The first nutcracker I ever painted.
thegunkeewrites.com

Before you start painting, it’s a good idea to know how you plan to paint the nutcracker. Is it going to be “as is” – a typical nutcracker guard? Or are you going to personalize it? Who do you want the nutcracker to represent? What is their occupation? What do they like to do? Do they have any hobbies? What kind of “uniform” would they wear for their hobby or occupation? These questions will help you decide how to paint your personalized nutcracker. Okay, now that you have decided how to paint your nutcrackers, it’s time to get started on the painting. But before you do, check to see if the arms will remove easily. I’ve found some that will and others will not. It is easier to paint if the arms are removed. Any acrylic paint should be fine to paint the wooden nutcracker with. I use DecoArt’s Patio Paints which is good for painting on wood. I like to first paint the skin and then paint the clothing or uniform.

After painting the flash tones, cut out a half circle on a piece of paper to use as a template for the eyes. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

After painting the flash tones, cut out a half circle on a piece of paper to use as a template for the eyes.
thegunkeewrites.com

After the skin is painted I use a half circle pattern I cut out of a piece of paper and use it as a stencil to sketch the outline of the eyes with a pencil. I also lightly sketch the outline of the upper teeth before I paint them. After painting the eyes white and after the paint is dry, I use the backend of a pencil (a flat, unused eraser) to dot the eyes on. Don’t forget to paint the teeth and to add eyebrows.

Use craft fur or feather boas for the nutcracker's hair. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Use craft fur or feather boas for the nutcracker’s hair.
thegunkeewrites.com

 Once all the paint is dry it’s time to apply the hair. I found some Craft Fur that works well or a feather boa will also work if you’re in a bind. (They are very messy!) So you don’t waste any fur, get a piece of paper and cut out a template first so you can put it around the head to see how the fur will fit. Cut the length and width you want and hot glue the hair (fur) to the head. I try to go from the center of the side to the center of the opposite side and cover from the bottom of the hat to the top of the collar. Now put the arms back on.

I printed out Coca-Cola logos, the Reds logo, and the Little League Baseball patch and mod podged them onto the nutcrackers for a personalized look. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I printed out Coca-Cola logos, the Reds logo, and the Little League Baseball patch and mod podged them onto the nutcrackers for a personalized look.
thegunkeewrites.com

My brother was a baseball player and his team was the Reds, so his nutcracker will have a red and white baseball uniform painted on with his team number painted on the back. The cap on his head will have the local high school’s initials on it. I always look in the doll house section at Hobby Lobby for accessories to get the personalized look for the nutcrackers. The mini ornament section is also a good place to look. I did find some baseball accessories but they are really too small for what I need them for so I set out to make my own.

Closeup of the glove I created. © thegunkeewrites.com

Closeup of the glove and another bat I created. © thegunkeewrites.com

I had some Dollar Tree paintbrushes that I really didn’t like so I cut the bristles off of them, sanded down the rough edges, added a dab of hot glue on one end for the bat handle and then painted it to look like a baseball bat. I then used a piece of brown foam sheet to cut out a baseball glove and hot glued it over the nutcrackers hand. I painted a small wooden bead to look like a baseball and hot glued it into the glove. I printed out a Reds baseball logo and Little League Baseball logo and mod podged them onto the nutcracker.

A close up of the bat. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

A close up of the bat.
thegunkeewrites.com

I cut off the bristles of a cheap paintbrush and transformed the wooden part into a baseball bat prop. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

I cut off the bristles of a cheap paintbrush and transformed the wooden part into a baseball bat prop.
thegunkeewrites.com

Sand the the paintbrush handle to get the shape of a bat. Add a dab of hot glue to the skinny end to make the knob on the bottom. Then paint it. © Monkey and Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Sand the the paintbrush handle to get the shape of a bat.

My grandmother, we called her Nanny, loved to crochet and craft. She used Coke cans and her crocheting skills to make hats with so I printed out some Coca-Cola symbols and mod podged them to the top of the cap and then glued some yarn around the edges to make it look like one of her hats. I put a crochet needle in her hand with some yarn wrapped around it to make it look like her nutcracker is crocheting. In her other hand I strung a bell made from beads that she had made. For some reason I have two of those bells and I’m not sure my sister has one so now she will.

Closeup of the Coke Can Hat. © thegunkeewrites.com

Closeup of the Coke Can Hat. © thegunkeewrites.com

To finish off the customized nutcracker, I write the name of the person being represented on the front of the base. So far I have created the following themed nutcrackers for my sister:

 Her: The Queen of KindergartenNutcracker Bonnie C

Her son: Race Car Driver

Nutcracker Billy C

Her husband: Plumber/FishermanNutcracker Bill C

Her nephew #1: Electrician/MusicianNutcracker Marc C

Her nephew #2: Air Force/DrummerNutcracker David C

Her grandmother: Gardner/Farmer/Bonnet; Her dad: Fisherman; Her mother: Sewer

MinnieDonLena

Her grandmother: Crafter

The back. The front is at the top of the page.

The back. The front is at the top of the page.

Her brother: Baseball Player

The back. The front is at the top of the page.

The back. The front is at the top of the page.

Friends of the Family: (She also collects nutcrackers)Nutcrackers Jack Anna C

Others I have made that I don’t currently have a photo of are:

Her great niece: Bling shopper

Her grandson #1: Disney’s Cars

Her grandson #2: Thomas the Train

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October 9th, 2015

Crafting is My Stress Relief

Crafting is my stress relief. When the world seems too big and I need to relieve some stress, I head to my craft room. There I can forget about everything for a little while while I’m concentrating on creating something wonderful! At least I always think it’s wonderful; well, most of the time anyway.

My go-to crafting item is my paints. I will find something to paint when I’m stressed. And the smaller and more detailed the better. This would probably stress other people out but for me the concentration it takes tends to take the mind off everything else, if only for a little while?

What is your go-to thing to do to relieve stress?

© Monkey&Gunkee thegunkeewrites.com

© Monkey&Gunkee
thegunkeewrites.com

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September 17th, 2015

Painted Scarecrows on Glass

After painting the Parrots on Glass, I decided I wanted to more seasonal scenes on glass. For my fall decorations I use a lot of scarecrows so that is why I chose to paint scarecrows on glass. It’s real easy to paint on glass, but for this scarecrow glass painting project I decided not to use paint made exclusively for glass painting. Instead I used a mixture of DecoArt’s Patio Paints, Delta Ceramcoat Acrylics and Americana Acrylics and Apple Barrel Acrylic paints. I figure since the pictures are not going to be used for food or drinks then why does it matter what paint I use on the glass surface? It probably will peel off but if I find anyone scratching on them trying to see if the paint will come off I will be slapping some hands! These scarecrow paintings on glass are meant to be hung on the wall and looked at, not handled a lot. Scarecrows on Glass C

I found two complementary scarecrow graphics I liked online, printed them out and used them as a template under the glass. I did not do the dot painting like I did with the parrots. Instead, I used both paint brushes and toothpicks to paint with this time.

Next up to paint in my seasonal glass painting sets will be something for Christmas; probably Santa Claus and some reindeer followed by a couple of penguin brothers for a winter display.

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September 11th, 2015

Make a Snowman from Used Candle Jars

I get a lot of small candles from Dollar Tree and have been racking my brain trying to figure out something to make with the leftover glass jars. After a while I finally figured it out! The candles I use come in little round jars that are the perfect shape to make a snowman! 

A snowman made from used candle jars. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

A snowman made from used candle jars. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

First I used a spouncer to cover the jars in with white enamel paint.

Use a spouncer to apply the white enamel paint to the jar. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Use a spouncer to apply the white enamel paint to the jar. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

While the white paint was drying I cut the toe of off one baby sock and cut slits down to the heels. This will be my snowman’s hat. Using a pair of zig zag scissors, I cut the other sock to make a scarf with.

Use baby socks to make the hat and scarf for the snowman. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Use baby socks to make the hat and scarf for the snowman. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Now that the white paint is dry, I can paint the snowman’s face. Once the paint is dry on the face put on the hat and add the scarf to complete your snowman. The snowman can be used to store small items in or just use him as a cute decoration.

*Note: I do not like painting eyes! My next snowman may just have a corncob pipe, a button nose and 2 eyes made out of coal!

 

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September 10th, 2015

Make Fall Scarecrow Decorations with Terra Cotta Pots

These Scarecrows made with terra cotta pots are two of the largest pieces I’ve ever made. (The other one being the lighthouse found here.) I think it should be easy to figure out how to make them by looking at the photos but I will go ahead and give the basics for making these scarecrows.

 Materials Needed to Create Scarecrows:

Female Scarecrow made from terra cotta pots. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Female Scarecrow made from terra cotta pots. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

(2) 8” Terra Cotta Pots

(1) 6” Terra Cotta Pot

(1) 8” Terra Cotta Saucer

(2) 12” Skewers

(1) 4” Styrofoam Circle

8” Styrofoam Ball (optional)

2 Decorative Buttons

3”x2” Square Template (optional)

Sunflower Stencil (optional)

Red Raffia

Natural/Tan Raffia

Jute or Twine

Material Scrap for Bandana

Material Scrap for Female’s Hat

Old Children’s Ball Cap (Or any other type of male head covering)

Fall Embellishments-Leaves, Pumpkins, Gourds, Flowers, Etc.

Hot Glue

Male Scarecrow made from terra cotta pots. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

Male Scarecrow made from terra cotta pots. © Monkey & Gunkee 2015 thegunkeewrites.com

DecoArt Patio Paint Colors Used to Paint the Scarecrows Shown Are:

Vintage Rose

Blue Jay

Black

White

Pumpkin

Fiesta Yellow

Mistletoe Green

Tuscan Red

Pinecone Brown

First base coat the pots. The smaller pots for the faces are painted vintage rose. Before base coating the bigger pots mark off the squares for the front of the overalls then base coat them Blue Jay Blue (or any other color of your choosing). Paint the saucers pine cone brown.

While the paint dries cut some strips of raffia to be used for the hair. Cover skewers with the tan/natural raffia and tie at the ends to be used as arms. Once the base coat paint dries you can begin painting the details onto the scarecrows’ faces and bodies. I used a stencil for the sunflowers seen on my female scarecrow. I also used a stencil for the outline of the eyes.

Once the paint is dry it is time to heat up the hot glue gun. Glue the raffia hair around the outside edges of the pot that will be the head. For the female scarecrows hat I cut down a Styrofoam ball and used a large piece of fabric cut into a circle to cover it with. I stuck the Styrofoam into the top of the pot, leaving part of it sticking up over the top, covered it with the material and tied it on with a piece of twine and added a sunflower blossom as an embellishment.

Hot glue the flat Styrofoam circle to the bottom of the head and to the top of the overalls pot. (Maybe it’s easier to look at the picture for this instead of trying to describe where the Styrofoam circle goes. It goes under the neckerchief and the bandana between the pot for the head and the pot for the top of the overalls.) Cover the Styrofoam piece with a long strip of fabric. I made the one on the male scarecrow look like a bandana. Hot glue the two large pots together to form the scarecrows’ bodies. Hot glue the bodies to the bottom of the saucer. Stick the raffia covered skewer arms into the Styrofoam circle on the neck. Hot glue fall embellishments to the saucer base of the scarecrows. Top off the male scarecrow with a hat or cap and you’re done!

These two scarecrows stand 26” tall and 24” wide when completed. They are a bit on the heavy side and awkward to carry so be careful when transporting them from one place to another.

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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 easy 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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