Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Halloweener Neener

Costumes, Spooks, Skeletons and Candy corn? No wonder Halloween is my favorite holiday! Halloween is never repeated in our home. There are so many ways to change up your decorations and not have boxes upon boxes of decorations filling your garage (although, I have that too.)

Hurricane glass can be useful in many ways.. Fill it with a mixture of cornstarch water and red food coloring to create a nice blood. Then add plastic eyes, bugs, bones or get creative and find everyday things that resemble brains, or other body parts, ewww. Another idea is using them as vases for ghoulish things, black branches, bones, black roses, candies, you can fill them with anything you can dream up.

Pumpkin Topiaries are an easy craft that can be fun for kids and adults. Get the fake foam pumkins for this project, a few in varying sizes. Paint them, dip them in glitter, decoupage them, whatever tickles your fancy. Use a vase or basket and fill it with floral foam, top with some raffia, hay, ribbon, etc. Use a thick gage wire or bamboo skewers to build your topiary.. (I actually painted an easter basket for this one) I have used this decoration year after year, I love it.

I was perusing the Martha Stewart website and came across yarn pumpkins. She used foam balls and wrapped them in yarn. I decided that I would just use yarn balls that I already have, that way when Halloween is over I can put the yarn back where it goes. And I can change the colors of my "yarnkins" as I see fit. I was going for a Warhol look with these guys. Martha used a thick rope and it looked great, I didn't have any on hand so I used small branches for the stems. Throw them in a compote or on a plant, and VIOLA!! Yarnkins.

More Halloween upcycling to come!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun with Cigar boxes

I love anything that is one of a kind! Having an accessory that no one else on the PLANET has makes you feel special and original and like a million bucks. Using reclaimed cigar boxes makes amazing, compliment worthy purses.. Its easy to transform an old cigar box into a beautiful handbag.
1- If the hardware is old, it needs to be replaced.
2- decoupage, paint, or otherwise decorate the outside of the box. You can leave it in its original state if you so desire.
3- attach handle to box per instructions.
4- glue down fabric, paper or whatever you are lining the inside with. Include a mirror to check your look!
Viola! You have a one of a kind purse.
Some of my favorite designs are made with mixed media, bows, chalkboard, corks, etc..
Check it out..

Pink purse with black satin bows. Eiffel tower material lining.

Chalkboard purse lined with material and a chalk holder.

Small Euro purse, lace and postcards. Lined with material and paper.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What We Do Is Secret.

So you need a place to hide things? Or just an original jewelry box? This project is fun and ends up looking way cool. I found a big ol book on a free shelf at a campground, the pages were falling out, but the cover was in decent shape. Being the decoupaging freak that I am, I decided to cut out words that struck me. (I kept the pages from the book to decoupage other things too.) I used a 2" book, so it was easy to find a piece of wood to fit.

1- remove pages from book, this may take a box cutter or scissors, so you don't rip the cover.
2- decoupage (if you desire) the outside of the box
3- glue in a lining of a pretty fabric or paper
4- measure and miter cut 3 pieces of a flat trim or thin board that fits nicely inside the book (and allows the book to close.)
5- glue in the wood frame with wood glue and reinforce with staples
6- you can paint the wood to look like pages. (this wood grain happened to look like pages, so I left it natural.

I LOVE reading, and would never suggest destroying a classic. You can always paint the cover to say War and Peace or Gone with the Wind.. Find books that have been loved and enjoyed and are at the end of their life.

happy gluing!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Saving corks can be fun, but what do you do with them when you end up with a massive bag of them? Recently, I asked all my friends and family to save their corks for me and my projects. I ended up with many small bags and one HUGE garbage bag FULL!! My cousin, Bones, had put the word out at work, and by happenstance, one of her co-workers has been saving corks for 20 years! I have made cork boards before and know that it takes many corks to complete a decent sized cork board. So now I have literally thousands of corks, and wanted to come up with some fancy ideas in which to use them. Cork boards are great and really unique looking, but I wanted to do other fun crafts!! So besides the standard cork boards, I have made cork/chalk/magnetic boards, used them as embellishment on purses and furniture, and made magnets out of them. I still have tons of corks, so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

know your plastics!

Plastic items are marked with a resin id coding system (the number surrounded by arrows)

1. polyethyelene therephthalate (PETE)

2. high-density polyethylene (HDPE)

3. vinyl, polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

4. low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

5. ploypropylene (PP)

6. polystyrene (PS)

7. other (includes polycarbonate, acrylic, polylactic acid, fiberglass)

When it is neccesary to use plastic for food, the safest choices are: 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Preserve products accepts #5 plastics and recycles them into park benches, playground equipment and decks. Preserve Gimme 5 program

bottled water

After figuring in all the energy costs, from producing bottles to delivering them to market, the domestic (US) bottled water industry burns through an estimated 50 million barrels of oil per year.

The Container Recycling Institute estimates that in the US only 14% of empty plastic water bottles are recycled.

Reusing a disposable water bottle is not a safe reusing option. Re-use should be avoided because studies indicate they may leach DEHP—another probable human carcinogen—when they are in less-than-perfect condition.

#1 and #7 should never be reused!

Safer choices include bottles crafted from safer #2, #4 & #5. Aluminum bottles and stainless steel water bottles are also safe choices and can be reused repeatedly and eventually recycled.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Claim your baggage

I am a huge fan of old train cases and hard suitcases. I have many of them, the most recent jem in my my train case collection was used in the Marilyn Monroe movie "How to Marry a Millionaire", its old and not in the best shape, but I love it all the same. I have heard of people making tables out of old suitcases by just screwing in legs (so smart!) or using them as display cases for their wares. I have used a train case (I prefer to call them B.O.B's, boxes of beauty) since I graduated out of my caboodle when I was in Jr. High. My new favorite thing to do it to decoupage on the sides with just about anything, magazine clippings, postcards, backstage passes, concert tickets, etc... With some modge podge and a coat of lacquer each one comes out being one of a kind. I get constant comments on them when I am traveling. I am thinking of attaching some wheels to the underside of the suitcases for convenience.
Happy Travelling..

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Old Windows, New Use

Old windows have amazing character. I was given a bunch of old windows by a friend and have been holding onto them for quite some time. Inspired by an old coat rack my grandfather made for his cabin with old wood and doorknobs, I decided to see how it would look on a window. I got creative and cut some foliage pictures out of magazines and glued them to the backside of the glass. I have found a love for knobs and hooks, and have used them in several different projects. But an old window hanging in an entryway adds a vintage charm that can't be beat. I still have several windows left and am looking for other ways to make them unique and functional. I have seen them used as garden decor, hanging room dividers, fashioned into tables and even a shabby chic pot rack. I'm hoping to find some old doors soon!