What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

I wanted to spruce up a shelf on our bookshelf with the arrival of Halloween (right around the corner), and as I was looking at a small pile of cardboard scraps heading into the recycle bin…I had an idea.

I folded a piece of paper in half (long ways), and drew the shape of a tombstone on it, then cut it out. Now, I have a perfect sized small tombstone! I grabbed those cardboard scraps and traced small tombstones on every piece by tracing around my template I just cut out.

Cardboard Tombs2

Next, I took my X-acto knife and carefully cut out the cardboard tombstones. (with a cutting board underneath to protect the table)  And, before I forget to mention, I also cut out small triangles (as you can see in the above photo) that were glued to the back of the cardboard tombstones as a stand.  (if I had forgot to mention this, I know I would have had someone ask “how did you get the tombstones to stand up?”)

Once I had a bunch of cardboard tombstones cut out, I grabbed some spray paint and covered the cardboard with a nice coat of paint. Once dried, I took my white paint pen and also tried a gold Sharpie Marker and went to work writing on the tombstones.

Cardboard Tombs Painted

I’ve gotta tell you, once I started writing on them, I was hooked and wished I had cut out a few more cardboard tombstones because I thought of a few more funny epitaphs to write down. My Sweets will laugh when he finds the one I placed on his nightstand…”Death by my girlfriends snoring” (LOL)

Cardboard Tombs

So, what do you want on your tombstone?

Send me some of your funny epitaphs that I can use, because I want to make some more of these!

Advertisements

PIPE DREAM: How To Make Industrial Candle Holders

My craft projects have not ended for the year, but I could not tell you about this one in particular because it was a Christmas present for a good friend. Now that the gift has been received, I can tell you how to make these for yourself!

INDUSTRIAL CANDLE HOLDERS1

I have noticed that “Industrial Decor” is making its way into homes everywhere, and I am jumping in with great enthusiasm on the love of pipe! It’s a Pipe Dream, for sure!

INDUSTRIAL CANDLE HOLDER2

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Six (6) 1/2″ Black Floor Flanges
  • Three (3) 1/2″ Steel Pipe Nipples (in three different lengths, 3″, 4″, and 5″)
  • That’s all that you need, simple, eh?

Just take one floor flange and screw in one of the nipples to it, and make sure it is going in straight, otherwise your candle stick will be crooked. Then add another floor flange to the top!  (I thought it looked like a mini barbell.) Make sure when adding the floor flange that you place the flat part of the flange on bottom, and then again the flat part on the top. The pillar candle will sit upon the flat top.

INDUSTRIAL CANDLE HOLDERS3

Repeat these easy steps for the next candle holder, and so on. Now, just add your favorite pillar candle on top! You have just created your very first Industrial Pipe Project.

This was an easy project to make. The hardest part was actually finding the pieces in the hardware store, since we found out the hard way that people do not return pipe pieces to the box they pulled them out of! So my suggestion to you is, attach your pipe pieces together while you are in the store first, just to make sure your pipe sizes are the correct ones!

By the way, Hillary, the recipient of these Industrial Pipe Candle Holders loved them a lot and they are now on display on her entryway table! It’s a Christmas gift that she will never forget!

 

DIY Christmas Card Display

The Christmas cards are flowing in at a rapid pace, and we’re running out of room to display them on our shelf. I needed to fix this problem immediately!

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER7

I had some unused garden stakes and some leftover chicken wire from the garden and I knew I could make something with these materials.

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER1

I cut two pieces of a garden stake to approximately 35″, and then two more to approximately 22″.

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER2

I laid out the wood to form the frame and ensure that the chicken wire piece was wide enough for the wood.

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER3

I had a pack of four metal mending plates with screws and attached them to each corner after I put the frame together.

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER4

Next, I rolled out a piece of chicken wire and cut it to fit the frame, then used a staple gun to attach it to the frame.

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER5

Under twenty minutes, I had a nice Holiday Card Display that I hung on our wall in the kitchen. I did not have any of those cute small craft clothes pins, so I used small binder clips to attach our Christmas cards to the chicken wire.

HOLIDAY CARD HOLDER6

Now the cool part is, that when the holidays are over I can use this frame with chicken wire as a memo holder in the office or kitchen! A great multi-use craft idea!

The Christmas Sock Bins Are Overflowing

One of the cool things about the holidays, are the things that you can find at dirt cheap prices, if you know what to look for. Let’s talk about socks, for instance. You can find a boat load of holiday socks in almost every store you visit, and luckily for me, I have a KMart within walking distance from me.

The holiday sock bins are overflowing with socks that will probably make their way into hundreds of Christmas stockings this year, and this is the time to pick up a bunch of them because they are about a buck! Not only finding socks in your Christmas stocking is fun, but you can also use them to make “Sock Bunnies”!

CHRISTMAS SOCK BUNNIES1

I picked up a few pair that I found in the huge sock bin and I mostly look for socks with cool stripes on them, or something that stands out about them, like the colors. You can usually find me standing in front of a sock bin talking to myself while digging through the piles saying “Ooooh yeah, I like that one” or “I wonder if they have another one just like this“. No matter what, it is sock porn plain and simple.

CHRISTMAS SOCK BUNNIES2

I did a post back in March of 2013, Anatomy Of A Sock Bunny that you might want to check out for a great tutorial on how to make a sock bunny, so I won’t bore you with all the details again. Just one click, and you will be on your way to making your own sock bunnies, which are easier than you think. One of the funnest parts of making sock bunnies are adding the embellishments, like some cool eyes, a nose, a jingle bell necklace, and of course, a frilly tulle tutu!

CHRISTMAS SOCK BUNNIES3

The Christmas sock bins were overflowing, and I made my selections of some fancy pairs, and got to work creating some Christmas Sock Bunnies.

When making a sock bunny, you will always have a leftover piece of sock. Ever since I started making them, I never threw away that extra sock that I had, because I thought that I might need it one day for something. And, while making my Christmas sock bunnies, I found a use for that extra sock! I made some sock toys for Nikita and Bella!  The dogs watched me the entire time I was sewing up the sock bunny, hoping that they would get it. They would come over and sit next to me and try to “snatch” it off my lap, and that is how I got the thought to make them each a sock toy.

Nikitas Sock Toy

Oh boy, I was right! They loved their sock tube (is what I called it) and ran all over the house with them. When Bella gets a new toy, she prances all around the house with it as if to say “look at me, I got a new toy“, while Nikita takes her new toy back to her pet bed and guards it from Bella. After all of the prancing, Bella ended up napping with it on the couch.

Dog Toy Made with Sock

We don’t have any pampered dogs in our house, just happy ones!

The Making of A Christmas Sign

Viewing the numerous Christmas signs all over the place, on Pinterest boards, and in antique shops, I decided to try making one for myself. It all started because I found a little piece of scrap wood I had leftover, and I don’t throw any of these little pieces away, just in case I might need them. I had to trim the piece of wood with my jigsaw a little to make it perfectly shaped, then I sanded it really good.

Here’s what you need to make your own Christmas Sign:

  • Piece of 1/2″ plywood
  • Jigsaw & Sander
  • Create your own stencil & choose your fonts
  • Newspaper
  • White high gloss paint
  • Black high gloss paint
  • Red paint
  • Of course, paint brushes!
  • Polycrylic
  • Small string of colored Christmas Lights

Let’s get started!  You have the list of materials that I used in creating my Christmas Sign, so let’s begin the process. After the piece of wood is cut to the size you want (mine was 18″ x 9″), you need to sand down the top of your sign really well. Vacuum off all the dust particles afterwards.

Christmas Sign

Next, take out your white glossy paint and paint two coats of white on your wood. Let dry in between coats. If you still think you might need a third coat, then do a third, but let it dry thoroughly.

While your board is drying, you can sit down and design your Christmas phrase on your computer and choose your fonts.  I decided to use “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” phrase, because it is cheery. The font I used for all the words was Time New Roman, and I used the font called Riddle for the word “little”. I sized the font size appropriately so it would fit on my piece of wood. Once you get everything in the size you want, print it out on a sheet of copy paper, not cardstock.  Cut out each word and leave a little space around each word. Place the cutout words onto your board to ensure that they fit.

Christmas Sign1

Next, take a piece of newspaper and lay it under your cutout word and trace really hard around the edges of your letters. What you are doing here is letting the ink from the newspaper transfer onto your white wood. It does a pretty good job. (you could probably also use a piece of carbon paper too if you had some on hand)

Christmas Sign2

Make sure your cutout words are always straight on your piece of wood when transferring them, or you will be sad to find out that they are crooked. I used a ruler to line up my cutout words when I did my board.

Christmas Sign3

Once you transfer all of your words onto your piece of wood, you are now ready to paint the letters black. Use a very small flat paint brush and carefully paint each letter, starting from the middle of your board and work your way out to the sides. This ensures that you will not accidentally slide your arm into any wet paint!  Work your way around your board until all your words are painted black, except for the word “little”, as you want to paint that red.

Christmas Sign4

Let your words dry thoroughly. Now, you might notice that you have some ink that accidentally transferred onto the white board from the newspaper, and that is not a problem. Just use your small paint brush and touch up those areas.

Christmas Sign5a

When I was making my Christmas sign, I noticed that after I had all of the words painted on the sign, it looked good, but I felt that it was missing something. I decided to paint a small black border around the sign and that really did the trick in completing the look of the sign. It’s perfect now!

Christmas Sign6

Once all of your lettering has dried, you are ready to apply a layer of Polycrylic to seal the top of your board. Apply the polycrylic very slowly because you do not want any air bubbles. If you get any, just brush them away, or pop them with a pin as you go. I added actually two coats of Polycrylic to my sign just to seal it well. Let each layer of this step dry overnight before you add a second layer.

Christmas Sign7

The last thing that I did was add a little string of 18 LED Multi-Colored Christmas Lights around the frame. These little lights were found at Walmart.

So, there you have it, a beautiful Christmas sign to brighten your holidays!

Recycled Rudolph

I am always on the lookout for neat & cute craft ideas and I ran across this awesome cardboard reindeer on Pinterest that was posted on Good Housekeeping, so I just had to try making one for myself!

Here is the pin from Pinterest on what theirs looks like:

CARDBOARD REINDEER

Here is mine:

CARDBOARD RUDOLPH

Printout the Reindeer Template on legal-size paper. Find a nice piece of cardboard and trace the pattern onto the cardboard. Trace two pieces of the head. I used a sharp knife to cut out the pieces. One note if you are going to try making one for yourself, is to NOT cut the little slices on the deer antlers any larger than what is shown on the pattern, or your antlers will fall off when you try to slide them into place. Keep true to your cuts so your pieces fit together tightly.

CARDBOARD CUTOUT

Place the two pieces of the head together and add a dab of glue to where the nose is. Then spread the head pieces apart a little (after your glue has dried) and attach the rest of the pieces to the reindeer.

Now all that is left is to decorate Rudolph! You can make him a pom pom nose like I did to mine, or just paint it red. Add some eyes, a collar with a jingle bell on it, or even slip a small wreath around his neck! Be creative and deck your halls with this awesome reindeer!

REINDEER POM POM NOSE

How would you decorate your Recycled Rudolph?

Industrial Decor: Love it or Leave it

I have a new found love. It’s all the new rage, Industrial Decor! I see it everywhere! Every store is now selling Industrial Decor pieces from candle holders, shelves, book cases, towel racks, tables, chairs, and the list goes on and on. Have you fallen in love with this new rage of Industrial Decor?

If you know me well enough, you know that I like to make things, and I want to try my hand at making some industrial items. I know what I want to start designing, but I want to hear your thoughts first on what you think I should try making. Listed below is a little survey I would like you to take that will give me an idea on what YOU would buy if you saw it in a store. Check all the boxes that apply, multiple choices welcomed!

If you are not sure exactly what “Industrial Decor” is, check out my Industrial Pinterest Board!

Happy Mail

Is your mailbox happy? If not, we need to change that! One never knows what they will find when they search Pinterest, and something caught my eye the other day, but then again, when don’t you find neat things on Pinterest, eh?

Anyhow, I saw some printables that THIRTYHANDMADEDAYS created, and I wanted to see if I could recreate them myself. (I always want to give credit where credit is due)  I did a spectacular job in recreating the labels that I found and wanted to share them with you. These labels can be printed out on Avery 5162 labels (14 per sheet).

This is not a bill - OPEN ME

When was the last time you got something in the mail that wasn’t a bill? Probably not in a long time, but I put these new labels to the test and mailed a friend of mine a little card with the label “This is not a bill – OPEN ME”. I found out that she smiled when she saw this in her mailbox – success! What a great way to brighten up someones day!

This is not a bill - OPEN ME

It has been awhile since I mailed out any cards to my peeps, but I will have to change that now! Just open up the PDF and print these labels out on a sheet of Avery 5162 labels and make sure you use a color printer! Now, get to work and send out some Happy Mail today and make someone smile! Check back here often because I am making some more labels for Christmas, New Years, and a birthday one too!

Here are your free printables:
This is not a bill: OPEN ME
Happy Mail

And, if you want to check out more free printables, check out my Printables Board on Pinterest too! (believe me, you will find something for every occasion as there are 1,139 pins in this board!)

Halloween Decorating Has Begun

I can officially say that I started our Halloween decorating today! I started pulling out all of my paper mache pumpkins, my paper mache mummy, my paper mache witch head that I am still working on, and the paper mache fireplace. I have had a few people ask to see the finished fireplace, so I made sure I got it in the photo!

MY PAPER MACHE PROJECTS

I still have a lot more pumpkins to unpack for our inside Halloween decorations, and I always bring out our lighted Halloween Willow Trees too to give the living room a nice eerie glow. Everything in the photo above, is made in paper mache!

I have also been working on a paper mache torso and I hope to get him finished before Halloween!  In case you are wondering how I created this torso, here’s how I started off:

HOW TO MAKE A PAPER MACHE TORSO

I wrapped my own body with clear packing tape from my waist to my neck. When you do this, the first layer of packing tape must be sticky side out so it does not stick to your clothing. Once you get the first layer of packing tape around your entire torso, you then keep wrapping with the sticky side towards you. What you are doing here, is making a nice form for a torso. Once you get enough packing tape around you, the next step is to get the form off of you. Either have someone cut the form off of you, or you can do it yourself, but be careful not to cut yourself!

Now you have a quick torso made! Just tape up the place where you cut yourself out from the form and you are now ready to paper mache your torso. I am sure that there are tons of other ways out there in the Halloween prop making world to thicken your torso other than paper maching it, but for now I am using the paper mache process. (just a reminder, my paper mache recipe is just water and flour made into a kinda pancake batter consistency)

MAKING HANDS FINGERS AND ARMSThe next step is to make some arms for your new torso. I just opened up the newspaper and took one sheet and rolled up some long strips, then rolled a few more sheets around that first one. Tape up the side so it does not unravel. Make two arms. Now you need to make the hands – just ball up some newspaper for the palm and tape it, then roll up some shorter strips of newspaper for the fingers. Tape the fingers to the palm. Don’t try to be too exact in the length of the fingers, because you are making a scary Halloween prop, ya know! The weirder the better, if you ask me. Now that your fingers are attached to the palm, attach them to the arm, and you are now ready to attach the arms to your torso.

TAPED UP HAND

I know that some of this sounds a bit too much, but it goes really quickly. Nothing has to be perfect at all because you don’t want a perfectly formed Halloween prop. Once the arms are attached to the torso, you can bend or crease the newspaper arms to whatever shape you want. Do you want your prop reaching out for you, or do you want it to be reaching up in the air, the choice is yours so make it any way you wish.

PAPER MACHE TORSO IN THE WORKS

Here is what the torso looks like now, just a few more layers of paper mache to go. HINT: For anyone attempting to make anything in paper mache, make sure you have lots (and I mean lots & lots) of layers of paper mache around your prop, otherwise can cave in. The arms on this torso prop are hard as a rock right now because it has many layers on it.

I will be adding a head to him this weekend so it will make him pretty close to completion. I am still tossing around the idea of putting him out in the yard, but I will need to seal all the paper mache really good so the weather does not ruin him. Flex Seal is what I would use on this guy if he heads outdoors.

It feels pretty good to look around our living room and see all of the paper mache items that I have made over the years. They were all easy to make, but they just take a lot of time to complete. Have you started on any new paper mache Halloween items this year?

 

HELLO FALL! How to Make Paper Mache Pumpkins

HOW TO MAKE PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS

Welcoming Fall is always fun, because I can start making more paper mache pumpkins! If you know me, you know that I have made many paper mache pumpkins, a paper mache mummy, and a paper mache fireplace. I had a thought that I wanted to try, and I decided to go “smaller” this time around with some cute paper mache pumpkins.

Here’s how I made them!

I started off with blowing up two balloons nice and small. I did try tying a string around one of the balloons, but it did not make a difference, so I did not use it on the second one.

PUMPKIN SMALL1

Next, I mixed up some flour and water and made a paper mache paste. That is all I use when making my pumpkins, and you want the paste to be like a pancake batter, not too thick, not too runny. (use a wire whisk when mixing up your paste)

Now comes the fun part! Make sure you have lots of little strips of newspaper cut up, dip each piece in the paper mache paste, and run the strip through two fingers to remove the excess. Then place piece by piece on your balloon. Run your fingers over each piece so that they are laying flat on the balloon. Keep going until the entire balloon is covered really well. Let your paste dry. I normally get out my small heater and place it next to my object to get it to dry faster. Once it is good and dry, you need to add another layer of paper mache newspaper strips all around the balloon. Let that layer dry, and keep doing this step over and over until you have a pumpkin that is so hard that you cannot push in any part of it. THIS PART IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

PUMPKIN SMALL2

Once your pumpkin is formed and nice and hard, you are now ready to draw a face on your pumpkin. You can use a pencil to draw your face on, or a Sharpie Marker.

PUMPKIN1

Once you get the face drawn the way you want it, you carefully take your sharp knife out and cut out the face. Go slow in this process so you do not slip and cut yourself!

PUMPKIN2Since I am making really small pumpkins here, the openings on the face are too small for me to insert a battery operated tealight in it, so I cut a round opening in the back of the pumpkin for this purpose.

PUMPKIN5

Wait, I am not yet done yet at this point. Since the face and the hole in the back are now cut out, I want to make nice smooth edges around what I just cut out, so I placed a few more pieces of the newspaper strips dipped in the paper mache mix around the face and the hole in the back. Let it dry.

PUMPKIN4

Now it is time for the paper mache pumpkin to be painted. What I do for all of my paper mache pumpkins, is to lightly and I mean lightly, spray paint the pumpkins with flat black paint. I do not cover the entire pumpkin all in black, but rather get it slightly covered as a base coat.  Once the flat black has dried, I am ready for the orange top coat.

PAINTING BASE COAT

Just like the base black coat, I lightly spray paint my orange top coat over the pumpkin so that some of the black shows through. I think this make the pumpkin look so much better.

I decided that my pumpkins needed something. I felt that they needed to be on display, and what better way to display them than with a cute base! I used a $1 glass candle stick base that I found at the Dollar Store, and spray painted it with a Hammered Black paint. I went over the candle stick two times just to make sure that it was evenly coated. The last thing that I did was to spray paint a clear coat over the pumpkins to keep the paint sealed.

PAINTING THE BASE

BASE

The last thing that I did was to glue the pumpkin onto the candle stick base, and I now have an adorable pumpkin decoration! One thing to note when lighting up any paper mache pumpkins, is to never ever use a real candle in your pumpkins, as they could definitely catch on fire! Always use a battery operated tealight in them for safety!

PAINTING PUMPKINS ORANGE

My finished paper mache pumpkins are approximately 6″ and will definitely add some flare to my Halloween decorations around the house! Now that I see how cute these turned out, I have already started on a few more because I know that they will look great in every room of the house! Now, back to the Dollar Store for more glass candle sticks!

The Boogie Man Is Coming

With the arrival of August, there is only one thing on my mind…Halloween! I am starting to get into full Halloween mode and have already started a few more paper mache pumpkins which I will be posting about soon. But, I wanted to show you my latest Halloween craft project, the Boogie Man.

If you don’t already know, a few years ago I started creating wood tombstones because I found that I was tired of chasing our Styrofoam tombstones down the street. The Styrofoam ones are really neat, but they are not practical with all the high winds we get around here in October. So the creation of wood tombstones was born!

I quickly filled up our yard over the last few years with nice durable wood tombstones in varying designs, shapes, and sizes and I no longer have to chase them down the street.

I am always doodling new designs and I came up with the Boogie Man. He looked really good on my sticky note, so I decided to try to hand draw him bigger. I started off by cutting a large box open and lay it flat on the floor, as this will be my template for when I cut it out of wood. Then I go to work hand drawing the design onto the cardboard. I lightly draw my design until I get the right size and shape, and then trace over it with a Sharpie Marker.

BOOGIE MAN DESIGN1

Then, I use an X-acto knife to carefully cut out the cardboard design. This part is really time consuming and you need to make sure that you have more cardboard under your cardboard piece so you don’t cut the floor or your carpet accidentally. (I am very careful with this step)

BOOGIE MAN CUTTING IT OUT

Once the design is all cut out of the cardboard, my template is now ready to trace on a piece of wood. I normally use pressed wood for my tombstones, but I got a nice free piece of 1/2″ plywood and decided to use this for my Boogie Man. (getting a free piece of wood is like candy to me!)

BOOGIE MAN FINISHED CUTTING OUT DESIGN

Now that my design is all traced onto the plywood, I need to drill a nice sized hole in the areas that need to be cut out. I do this so I can insert my Jigsaw blade into that area.

BOOGIE MAN DRILLING HOLES

I carefully insert the Jigsaw blade into the drill hole and start cutting out my design slowly. The first thing that I noticed is that cutting plywood is so much nicer than pressed wood because the wood does not splinter with the blade.

BOOGIE MAN STARTING TO CUT OUT DESIGN

I really love working with wood and creating new Halloween props! By the way, this Craftsman evolv Jigsaw that I am using is variable speed and you can change the blades really quickly.

BOOGIE MAN ALMOST DONE CUTTING

The Boogie Man is almost complete! Isn’t he adorable!

BOOGIE MAN COMPLETE

The only thing that I need to cut out is the base for the wood tombstone.

BOOGIE MAN

This is the completed Boogie Man tombstone that I designed. I love the open design and I am now thinking a bit further on how to make this tombstone better. Since most tombstones you place in your yard are only seen from the front, I might take some frosted thick shelf liner and glue a piece behind the design, then add a light so the Boogie Man lights up. I am sure an awesome red or purple glow behind the Boogie Man will do the trick. I will do an updated post on what I decide to do to finish off the Boogie Man.

So, what are you doing to prepare for the arrival of Halloween? Have you started any paper mache pumpkins this year? I hope so, because it takes time to complete these projects, so you need to prepare in advance!