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!

How to Make Melted Pony Bead Stars

We all have Pony Beads in our piles of craft supplies, if you don’t, you need to get some! Making melted Pony Bead crafts is fun to do.

HOW TO MAKE MELTED PONY BEAD STARSI used three different sized metal star cookie cutters to make mine.

PONY BEAD STARS1Pour your Pony Beads into your cookie cutter and make sure that you have enough to fill up all the space inside the cookie cutter. You can then arrange the beads around a bit to distribute the colors. Make sure your cookie cutters are on a metal cookie sheet too.

PONY BEAD STARS2Once you have all the beads where you want them, they are ready to bake.

PONY BEAD STARS3Place in your oven at 400 degrees, and watch them closely as they melt. There will be a slight smell from the melting plastic, so you should have your windows open or run a fan while melting the Pony Beads. (note: you can also melt them on your grill too outside) You will know when they are ready to be taken out of the oven when the top of the Pony Beads are nice and flat. (if you still see the “humps” of the beads, then they will need to stay in the oven a few minutes longer)

PONY BEAD STARS4Once all the beads are nice and flat, remove them from the oven and let them cool on top of the stove. You will soon hear a slight crackling sound, and don’t worry, this is the plastic cooling sound.

PONY BEAD STARS5When cooled, you can pick up your cookie cutter and remove the melted Pony Bead stars. Just carefully pull the sides apart of the cookie cutter and the star just pops out.

HOW TO MAKE MELTED PONY BEAD STARSIf you so choose, at this point, you can use a small drill bit and drill right through the melted Pony Bead stars so you can add a ribbon for hanging. Or, you can perhaps hot glue a wooden skewer to the back of the stars and place in a flower pot for a nice decoration. With these three sizes, I also had the idea to make a little tiered sun catcher for the Fourth of July. To accomplish this, you will need to drill a small hole on the top and bottom of the stars so you can attach your string in between them for hanging.

So there you have it, you can now make your own melted Pony Bead Stars and you will be ready to ring in your Fourth of July in style!

In case you missed my other melted Pony Bead Crafts, here are the links to inspire you:

Pizza Pan Patriotic Platter
Experimenting with Melting Pony Beads
Melted Pony Bead Hearts
A Pizza Pan Is Just Not For Pizza Anymore
How to Make a Night Light Cover

Smashed Mailbox Turned into a Flower Container

If it was not for the snow plow drivers continually smashing our mailboxes every winter, I would have never been able to make this, nor would we have a pile of smashed mailboxes in our garage!


I am obsessed with flower containers, and would love to fill the entire yard with them. But who has all the money in the world to buy all the flower containers you really want, and purchase all the flowers either? Not me! So, when I ran across a pin on Pinterest on where they used an old mailbox as a flower container, I was so excited and had to make one for myself!

I grabbed our smashed gray mailbox with the door torn off the hinge and cleaned it up a bit. Then, I wanted to paint it with something bright, and I actually found a full can of yellow Rustoleum and I went to work. I covered up the red flag with some electrical tape I found and worked my way around the mailbox spraying it with the yellow spray paint, making sure that I coated it evenly.


Once it was dry, I removed the black electrical tape, and the mailbox is now ready to plant something in it. I filled it about halfway up with soil. I was going to head to the store and purchase some flowers, but decided that I would transplant some of the wild flowers I had coming up in the other flower bed into the mailbox. This worked out perfectly, as the wild flowers had nice long stems and looked perfect in the mailbox.


So, if it was not for the snow plow drivers error in distance to our mailbox, I would have never been able to create this beautiful wild flower masterpiece!  Talk about repurposing!  I have taken repurposing to the next level with this one, and now I want to paint the rest of our smashed mailboxes just sitting in the garage and create something beautiful.


Nothing screams Summer like a yellow mailbox filled with flowers!

How to Make A Clay Bunny Bowl


Some times I don’t have enough time to read all of my emails, and you know what I mean. You get busy. But, I am glad that I happened to open one email from Do It And How blog, who wrote about how another blogger made some adorable bunny bowls. Once I saw this post, I had to learn how to make one, and I was glad that I had all the supplies too!

If you head on over to Alice and Lois, you can see their tutorial on how they created a bunny bowl.  But I wanted to show you how I made my very own! I was just glad that I read this particular email post today!

I got out all of my supplies after reading their tutorial, and was glad that I had everything that I needed. Sculpey clay was used in creating my Bunny Bowl.


Gather your supplies of Sculpey clay in white and hot pink (for the nose). I also cut out a little template of an ear to trace on the clay for the ears.


When you work with Sculpey Clay, it is somewhat solid, so you need to work it in your hands to soften it a bit to get it ready.


Once the clay is soft and in a nice ball, it is time to work with it.


Use a rolling pin and roll your clay out nice and flat.


If you have a circle cookie cutter you can use it to cutout your bunny, if not, just use something round like I did, by using this little metal bowl.


I used my little ear template to cutout two ears from the clay, and then I attached the ears to the bunny by smoothing the clay over the seams, then I added a pink little bunny nose that I cut out of the pink Sculpey Clay.


Now, carefully pick up your bunny and press it into a small oven safe bowl and press it into the bowl. The ears will want to flop over at this point since the clay is soft.


Place in a 275 degree oven for about 15 minutes, but watch it carefully. I placed another pan behind the ears so it held them up a bit while it baked. I thought that the ears would look adorable if I flopped them over a bit too.


If you notice the tip of my bunny ears, you can see that they started to get a little burnt, but I can just lightly sand that off. I took the bunny bowl out of the oven and let it cool completely before I attempted to remove it from the little bowl. Sculpey Clay is not food safe, so please do not place any food on it!  But this is how you can make your own bunny bowl to hold perhaps your rings on your dresser! I will be adding a clear coating to the bowl too, so it will protect the clay from getting dirty.

So, what do you think? Do you have any Sculpey Clay to make your own Bunny Bowl? Just think of all the crafts projects you are missing too by not reading your emails! I am sure glad that I read mine today!  A great big thanks to Alice and Lois for showing me how to make this awesome Easter craft!

Hello Spring

Welcoming the arrival of Spring is so much fun! And even though our weather has not yet started to cooperate, I came up with an idea to at least make me smile.

I purchased some really awesome “leather look” shelf liner contact paper at a great price at KMart for sprucing up some drawers, and I have been thinking that I could use this for something else, not sure as to what, but today I got an idea!


I opened up my Publisher and scrolled through all of my fonts, and finally chose the “Grand Hotel” font and sized my text box font to 300. Yeah, I know that sounds really large, but the Grand Hotel font is smaller in size than other fonts. Since I found the font I wanted, I typed the word “Hello” and then printed it out on a piece of card stock paper.


Next, I got my very sharp x-acto knife out and carefully cut out the “Hello”.  This card stock hello will now be used as my template for tracing it onto the leather look contact paper.


Make sure you have a steady hand and hold down your hello template onto the contact paper, then just trace around it with a black Sharpie marker.  (note: the piece of contact paper that I cut out kept trying to roll up, so I just laid something heavy on top of it to flatten it)


Once I traced the “Hello” onto the leather look contact paper, I used my x-acto knife again and cut out the “Hello”.


You’re almost ready to welcome the arrival of Spring… all you need to do is pull off the backing on the contact paper and carefully place your Hello on your door!  Make sure you line it up straight too, if not, you can just carefully pull off the contact paper and realign it.


Now, every time I head outside, I smile!  And, when your guests come over, they will be greeted with a nice friendly “Hello” even before you open the door!


You can make your own “Hello” greeting for your door today by printing out the HELLO PDF template I made for you!  I just hope you have some adorable contact paper to use!

How to Make a Photograph Coaster

It’s a new year and that means more craft projects!  Yippee!  I am one who is never at a loss for craft projects, and I have lots of ideas floating around my head to create this year.


I have made numerous cork coasters before, but I painted them. I was trying to think of a unique idea to make my Sweetie for Valentine’s Day, and I thought that making some photograph coasters of our dogs would be the cutest gift ever.  I was right, it was the cutest idea because he came home from work the other day and noticed them drying on the bookshelf and ruined his surprise!  (Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetie!) Oh well, he loved them, so I can now do a post on how you can make some too!

I was at the Dollar Store the other day and purchased a few tile coasters for $1 each, and they had a nice cork bottom which I liked.  Making these was really easy, but the hardest part was trying to figure out what photographs to use!  Oooh, I can see some great Christmas gifts in the future now!

Anyhow, all I did was measure the tile coaster.  It measured 3 5/8″ x 3 5/8″.  I opened up one of my photo editors, chose my photograph and resized it to the measurements of the coaster. Print out the photo, let it dry, then I used Mod Podge to adhere the photo to the coaster.  Once it was nice and dry, I used Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to the top of the photo.  Let it dry.  I was not sure if the photo was good and sealed enough, so I did a nice layer of varnish on top of each coaster. Let it dry.

I think these turned out beautiful and I will definitely be making more of these in the future!  We always use coasters and what better way to show off the gorgeous photos of Nikita and Bella in a fashionable way!

What do you think?  This is an easy project that I am sure you would love to try making yourself!

Also, I created a new page on my blog where I will save all of the craft projects for 2014 that I personally make, so check back often to this page to gather some inspiration for yourself! 

Top 100 Kids Crafts List for 2013

Blog Button All free Kids

To my surprise, I ended 2013 with a huge BANG! I was contacted by All Free Kids Crafts to advise that I made their Top 100 Kids Crafts List for 2013!  What an honor it was to make this list!

It was my Melted Pony Bead Pizza Pan Sun Catcher that got me on the list of the top 100 kids crafts!  I had so much fun in 2013 playing around with melting pony beads and I will do some more experimenting this year too!


Click HERE to be taken to the entire Top 100 Kids Crafts list for 2013. My project is under the seasonal crafts, no. 79 to be exact, just in case you were wondering!

Currently, I have so many new ideas for craft projects lined up for this year and I can’t wait to start on all of them!  “You don’t know what you can accomplish, if you don’t try.”

Thank you All Free Kids Crafts for such a wonderful surprise!


How to Make Little Gift Envelopes


I can’t stop myself!  I am on a creative roll (no pun intended) on how to use up my wrapping paper scraps!  Ever since I found out how easy it was to Make Your own Gift Bags, I decided that some of my packages needed a “little note” to be attached to them, other than the regular gift tag.


So, I found a small coin envelope that I had laying around, measured it, and opened up my Microsoft Publisher and created a template for the Gift Envelope.  You can download the Gift Envelope template HERE. Now, I could have just told you to find an envelope yourself and trace it, but that is not me!  I wanted to provide you with a template to use!


Open up the PDF, and printout the gift envelope template (I included two on a page) onto card stock paper, then cutout the template.  Use this card stock template to trace onto your wrapping paper scraps, or any other colorful paper, or magazine page.


Next, just cut out the envelopes with either your scissors or x-acto knife, then fold in the two sides, then the top and bottom.  Crease seams.

For my gift envelopes, I just used scotch tape, but you could use your glue stick to close up your envelopes.


Now, the gift envelopes would not be complete without adding a little note inside, right?  Well, you are in luck, because I made six different designs for you to print out and use!  (these are on page 2 of the PDF)

My wrapping paper scraps are almost all gone right now, with all of these creative uses for how to use up the scraps!

In case you missed my post on How to Make Your Own Gift Bags, click HERE for the instructions!

Salt Dough -vs- Sculpey Clay

Hello!  My name is Valerie and I’m a Craftaholic.  This should not surprise you in the least, but I got the chance to try something new this week.  I have been hearing all about Sculpey Clay everywhere, and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about, so I headed off to Pat Catans and picked up some. This is where the fun begins.

Last year I went wild and made some really adorable ornaments with Salt Dough.  They turned out really nice and I love the ones that I have on our tree, and as well, I made a bunch of them for the family too.  Click HERE for my Salt Dough post & recipe.  But after hearing about Sculpey Clay, I was wondering if I was missing out on something, so I had to get some to try.

SCULPEY CLAYFrom what I can tell you, Sculpey Clay comes in many, many, many colors.  The majority of the clay comes in 2 ounce packages for around $2.99/ea, but they do have larger packages of the clay in a 1 pound size for around $11.00.  I picked up the white Sculpey Clay in white in the 1 pound size, and also chose a yellow, a red, and a pink in the 2 ounce sizes so I could experiment with the colors.

So here goes how you use Sculpey clay…  just cut off a chunk of the clay with a knife and knead it in your hand until it becomes pliable.  Next, get out your rolling pin and roll it out on some wax paper to whatever thickness you want.  For an experiment, I rolled my clay pretty thin as I wanted to see how thin I could make something (ie: to use less clay on an ornament).  I then took one of my round cookie cutters and cut a circle out of the clay.  Then I chose a cute snowman rubber stamp and just stamped it in the piece I just cut out.  It made a really nice impression in the clay and I already liked the results.  Then I just took a small skewer and poked a hole for hanging in the top of the ornament.  (As you can see from the photo below, I even stamped one ornament in ink first, then stamped it on the clay)

SCULPEY CLAY ORNAMENTSYou bake Sculpey Clay at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.  (NO LONGER!) Since this was the first time I was doing this, I watched carefully for the entire 15 minutes to make sure I did not burn the clay.  I think I might have even taken out the pieces a few minutes early and just left the cookie sheet on top of the oven.  The pieces were hard, as the clay baked nicely, but if you do take your pieces out a few minutes early and they are not completely hard, they will harden sitting on top of the warm oven.

SNOWMAN AND HOUSE1The results?  I am so impressed with how the Sculpey Clay ornaments turned out and will definitely be making more.  I am very satisfied with Sculpey Clay and I am sure that I can find more items to make with the clay like a stamped bowl or something creative like that.

GINGERBREAD MAN VSo, if I had to compare the Salt Dough Ornaments with Sculpey Clay, I would choose the Sculpey Clay hands down.  What I noticed that happened with the Salt Dough is that most of the time the ornament bubbled in the oven and the surface of the ornaments were not flat.  The Sculpey Clay ornaments never changed shape or size, nor did they bubble when baked.  And, you can make your ornaments thinner with the Sculpey Clay than with the Salt Dough.  The photograph above shows one coat of paint on my gingerbread man ornament and I will be adding one more coat of paint, then I will brush on a coat of clear varnish to top it off.

SNOWMAN COMPARISON1As you can see from the above photograph, the difference in thickness of each ornament.  Sculpey Clay is on the left, the Salt Dough on the right. It was hard for me to photograph the white Sculpey Clay ornaments and truly show you the detail that my rubber stamps made, but you can click on the photographs to view them larger.  If anyone has any questions, let me know.  At this point, I am definitely just a beginner with Sculpey Clay, but at least I can discuss my findings with you if you need some help.

What new product have you tried out lately?

Work in Progress: Paper Mache Mummy



It stinks when you run out of gauze!

I was trying to finish the paper mache Mummy yesterday, and ran out of gauze.  Man, they don’t give you much in that box.  So now I will head back to the store today to get more.  And, before I forget to bring it to your attention, please note that his fingers are now bent the way they should be! I brought out my handy little glue gun, and I glued his fingers in the position I wanted them!  Worked perfectly!


I truly love how this little guy is turning out, and it has inspired me to try to make another one or a few more!  Making little paper mache people or mummy’s is not hard at all, as long as you know how to roll up a piece of newspaper and use masking tape to hold the pieces together.  You don’t have to unstuff the mummy, just create him and paper mache him and you’re done!  Unless you want to paint something fancy smancy on him.

For my Mummy, all I did was unroll the gauze a little and cut a nice length of it, dipped it into my paper mache mix (aka: flour & water) squeezed out the excess mix, and then tried to lay it nice and flat on the mummy as I wrapped the piece around him as far as it would go.  Then cut another piece of gauze, and so on.  Then I ran out.  What I liked about using the gauze, is that it dried so nicely!  It almost felt like a cast that you wear if you arm was broken.  I even left a few ends of the gauze “hang” because when was the last time you saw a perfectly wrapped Mummy?


I have a photo of him with two blue push pins, and those will be his eyes.  I am going to use my Sharpie marker and make the eyes black, but I wanted to show you how cute he looks with eyes!


The mummy looked really awesome standing on top of the mantel next to one of the paper mache pumpkins, as I was right, he is the perfect addition to the Halloween display!  You gotta love it when things come together like this!  But speaking of coming together…. I switched out the white LED lights from inside the pumpkins, and used an orange string of Halloween lights instead, and it totally changed the whole look of glowing pumpkin! With the yellow insides painted on the pumpkin, the orange lights really show up nicely!  (In the photo below, I had to laugh as that bright red streak in the photo is a car’s tail light that whizzed by as I was taking this photo)


I can’t tell you how much I am thrilled on how all of these little projects are turning out! I still can’t believe that I personally made them, but I did, and I guess you just never know what you can do….unless you try!  I hope that some of my projects have inspired you to give paper mache a whirl!

Paper Mache Halloween Projects


I know what you’re thinking, what are you doing talking about Halloween in July, right? Well, we LOVE Halloween and it takes time for us to prepare anything new for our Home Haunt, so we have to start early.

Paper Mache projects take a lot of time, with all the layers you need to attach, and with each layer, you need to do a lot of waiting to make sure each layer dries thoroughly before the next one is placed.

To start making a paper mache pumpkin, you can use whatever form you want, but I start usually with a large bag and fill it up with balled up newspaper or any other filling you can find.  Then, once the form is made, I take string and pull it up along the sides to make those nice indents along the sides of the pumpkin.  Next, you need to decide on how you are going to create the stem.  Sometimes, I just tie up the top of the bag for the stem and paper mache over it, other times, I take some newspaper and wrap it around a piece of wire so I can bend the stem in a funky shape.


I am currently working on a Haunted Fireplace for us to use either in the house as a decoration, or we can use it outside on Halloween night for another prop.  I am planning on setting some of my paper mache pumpkins on top of the mantel of the fireplace when I am done for a nice effect.


The one thing that I will need to work on and figure out how to do this, is to create a fake fire for the fireplace.  I have seen some neat effects of people using an old wire garbage can, a small fan, some red & orange lights, and some pieces of material.  The concept of this is to place the fan in the bottom of the garbage can so it blows upward and “moves” the pieces of material cut into flame shapes while the red and orange lights create the color of fire.  We’ll see if I can get this to work, when I get to that point or step in my process, but it surely will be interesting if I can pull this off.


If anyone would love to do some paper mache pumpkins for Halloween and need some help getting started, let me know and I will be more than happy to assist you.  I am far from being an expert on this, but with the more items that I make, I am learning some neat tricks along the way.