Category Archives: Crafts

Tillandsias – It’s All About Air

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Photo by Tom MacDonald

Hello Crafters!  Here’s a ‘sneak peek’ of a tillandsias (also known as air plant) story I worked on for Organic Gardening Magazine. The story and all the projects I created will be featured in the December/January 2015 issue of Organic Gardening Magazine which goes on sale November 4th.

Check back after November 4th for all the project details and how-to’s!

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Birds & Blooms Magazine, Creative Garden Ideas

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Hello crafters!  Check out the August/September issue of Birds & Blooms Magazine. In the issue is a feature story titled, 28 Thrifty, Unique and Creative Garden Ideas. My Garden Hose Doormat project is one of the projects….cool! Thank you Birds & Blooms … Continue reading

Men’s Necktie Holiday Tags

 

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Making your own holiday gift tags is super easy and fun!  Especially when you use unexpected materials like necktie fabric. This tired old tie, for example, has seen its share of holiday parties and I felt it was time for a refresh and reinvention.  Here’s how you can make holiday gift tags that will stand out from all those store-bought doozies.

You’ll need:

  • Men’s neckties
  • Shipping tags (4 3/4″ X 2 3/8″)
  • Pencil
  • Sharp scissor
  • Card stock paper
  • Spray adhesive
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Decorative cord (optional)

If you don’t want to part with your cherished ties, you can find some really cool neckties at your local thrift store. Old flannel shirts would work fine as well. As for the shipping tags, you can pick up a box of 100 at Staples Office Supplies. The rest of the project ingredients you can gather at any craft store.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Draw some holiday silhouettes onto card stock paper. Be sure to keep them appropriately sized so they fit onto the tags. I kept mine simple so I wouldn’t have any intricate cutting to do. If you don’t want to draw the silhouettes free-hand, you can find some great holiday templates on-line.
  2. Make card stock templates by cutting out the silhouettes then place them aside.
  3. Use scissor to dissect the necktie by separating the fabric from all of the tie liners and backing. Then iron.
  4. Spray a fine coat of spray adhesive onto a card stock template and place it onto the back of the tie fabric. Press firmly and let dry.
  5. Using the template as your guide, carefully cut the tie fabric around the shape of the template.
  6. Spray the back of the shape you just cut out with spay adhesive and affix it onto the tag pressing hard to be sure it is secure.
  7. To give your tags a little more character, run the tags through your sewing machine.
  8. Add some holiday ribbon or cord and your done!

Note to crafters, this project may seem time-consuming but honestly I completed six tags in about 1/2 hour. Also by affixing the fabric onto the card stock prevents the tie from fraying.

Happy crafting and happy holidays!

Repurposed Pantry Jars As Party Favors

Hello crafters! A while back I posted a project titled, Repurposed Jars for the Holidays. It was a big hit on my blog so I decided to repurpose MORE jars but this time as tiny terrariums. I think they’d be awesome as wedding favors!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Jars from your pantry
  • Craft store acrylic paint
  • Tiny succulents
  • Potting soil
  • Small pebbles
  • 18 gauge aluminum wire
  • Card stock paper
  • Tiny spoon or twig
  • Wire cutter
  • Pencil

With the exception of the jars, succulents and potting soil, you can pick up all project ingredients from your craft store. The succulents and potting soil can be purchased at your local plant nursery.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Empty, clean and remove label from the jar.
  2. Paint jar lid your favorite color.
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of soil to the bottom of the jar.
  4. Remove the succulent from the store container and remove any excess soil that is around the root system. Don’t worry about hurting these little guys, they’re super resilient.
  5. Insert the succulent into jar and secure the roots of the succulent in the soil using a small spoon or twig.
  6. Add a layer of pebbles.
  7. Cut a section of wire to wrap and twist around the neck of the jar.
  8. Using a pencil, curl the other end of the wire around the pencil to create a coil – this will hold the name tag.
  9. Create a name tag with card stock paper, slip it in the coiled end of the wire and your done!

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This project is super easy and inexpensive to make. And best of all, it makes a super and unique gift. Oh, and caring for these little lovelies is a breeze:

Check every couple of days to see if your terrarium needs water. If it is dry add a tiny bit of water.

If your terrarium is closed, take off the top every couple of days to air it out. If you see lots of condensation or have added too much water, leave the top off until it has had a chance to dry out.

Pull off any leaves that show signs of yellowing or damage and prune plants if they grow too large.

Don’t fertilize your terrarium because you don’t want to encourage growth.

Happy crafting!

 

 

Repurposed Vintage Spigot Handles

My friend Kate and I found these cool vintage spigot handles at our local antique store. The shapes are so unique that I had to have them — they were inexpensive and the sale was made.

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With E-6000 adhesive, I reinvented them as magnets by simply gluing round hardware store magnets on the back of the spigot.

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And voila’!

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Happy crafting!

‘The Art of Patron’ Contest Submission

The Art of Patron challenge … check! I submitted my creation, Snow Globe, Patron Style, by contest deadline but let me tell ya crafters, it wasn’t without some disasters and minor meltdowns, some involving cussing. Yes I like to do that occasionally and it feels good – sorry mom!  Anywho there were hot messes far too many to yammer on about. But the best was AFTER I inserted the trees, glitter, liquid, and sealed the cork I stepped back to admire my work … there it was, floating gently around the bottle with glitter swirling around its lifeless body, a tequila loving spider…&#%!@?!!!! Fast forward to a moment of silence for Mr Spider, more cussing, and a project do-over, I finished my creations. Phew!

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After I simmer down, I’ll share the ‘how-to’ for making YOUR own spider-free snow globe. All conflama aside, it was a fun challenge and thank you Patron for the opportunity to participate!

Happy &#%!@?! crafting 🙂

 

Chalkboard Flower Pot Easter Gifts

Chalkboard paint is so much fun to work with and it allows you countless ways to produce unique and functional pieces like this project, Birch Log Table Numbers.

I have a giant pile of unused terra-cotta flower pots so putting them to good use, I cracked open a can of chalkboard paint and created these simple gifts for the upcoming Easter holiday.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Terra Cotta containers (any paintable container will do)
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Chalk
  • Small plant or flower of your choosing (I used Baby’s Tears)
  • Egg (optional)

You can find all of the project ingredients, including terra-cotta pots, at any craft store. Oh, with the exception of live plants and real eggs but you could substitute with artificial. For live plants, visit your local nursery and for eggs, visit your fridge.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Clean the surface of the container and paint away!
  2. After the paint dries completely, with chalk write or draw anything you want on the surface.
  3. Insert plant or flower.
  4. Your done!

For an added surprise, I placed a simple brown egg that I blew out then glued twine into the hole to hang.

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Here’s how you blow-out an egg:

  1. Using a long stick pin, poke a hole in the top and bottom of the egg and move the pin around to break op the yolk. Make one of the holes a little larger than the other. That’s the hole you’ll insert and glue twine.
  2. Holding the egg in one hand, force the egg contents out by gently blowing into the smaller hole in the egg. The egg insides will come out the other side. Note to crafters – save the insides and make a scrambled egg for yourself – no waste!
  3. After the insides are empty, insert the egg in warm soapy water to clean the inside of the egg. Rinse and let dry on a paper towel.
  4. When dry, insert twine into the larger hole, glue in place and your done!

Happy Crafting and Happy Easter!