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!

Bazinga! How to Make Cement Letters

Recently, I have been called the Martha Stewart of crafts by a few fellow bloggers (you know who you are, and thanks!) so I decided to take my craft projects up a notch.  Today, I bring you Cement Letters!


I headed to Pat Catans over the weekend and purchased two of those hard cardboard letters, and X and an O.  Because of all the love I have for my Sweetie, I decided to cement our hugs & kisses in stone, well, so to speak.  Each letter is approximately 8″ in height and 5″ in width, and about an inch thick.


First, I cut out the back of each letter with a knife, and removed the cardboard insides.  This will be the mold for the cement.  Do not cut the sides!




Next, I mixed up some quick drying cement & water in a bucket and made a pancake batter consistency.  If it is too thick to mix, add a little more water.  Too soupy, add a little more cement.  With quick drying cement, you truly have to work quickly as it sets really fast.  Always wear gloves when working with cement and a face mask as you do not want to breath in any cement dust.



Pour the cement into your cardboard letters carefully and make sure it fills up all the way up to the top of the mold.


Now, you need to wait.  This is the hard part.  You need to wait at least 24 hours to remove the mold from the letter.  Do not pick up or move your mold during this 24 hour period either.


Once your cement had hardened for 24 hours, it is time to remove the cardboard from the cement letter.  To tell you the truth, this part took a little time, but it was not hard to remove the cardboard, as it has stuck to your cement letter.  Just get one of your kitchen scrubbies, wet it, and gently rub back and forth on the cardboard and it just rolls off the letter.  Keep rubbing all around the letter until all of the cardboard is removed.  Rinse under water.  Set your letters outside to dry a bit more.



There you have it!  Cement letters for your bookshelf, your garden, a gift, your front porch, or anywhere you wish to add a little charm!  Now, I want to head back to Pat Catans and pick up a larger letter to make a really large one for the flower bed!  And, if I can find some cardboard numbers, I would like to make some cement house numbers to sit on the front porch too!  (Pat Catans just did not have any numbers when I was in the store)


NOTE:  If you wanted to “add” a stake to your cement letter or number, all you would need to do is make a little hole in the bottom of your letter or number mold first, insert the stake up into the letter mold, then pour the cement in the mold.  Once the cement dries, your stake will be securely attached to your letter!

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, why don’t you head on up to Pat Catans or your favorite craft store and pick up some letters to make for yourself!

A Pizza Pan Is Just Not For Pizza Anymore


Everyone loves a good craft idea, and today seemed like a good day to craft up a good one so I pulled out my vast supply of different colored pony beads and got to work!  I grabbed my older pizza pan and started pouring different colored pony beads into the pan.  I made sure that I added lots of clear ones to give a nice see through look once it is completed.  I made sure that I poured enough pony beads onto the pizza pan to cover the entire pan and the beads were close and touching each other.  Once I had enough beads in the pan, it was time to melt them!



Set your oven to 425 degrees and get it nice and hot.  Once your oven has heated up nicely, carefully place your pizza pan in the oven.  Now the waiting begins.  Since I have already done this type of craft project last year, I used our gas grill to cut down on any of the stinky smell from the beads melting, but today, I just opened up the windows and turned on the ceiling fan to rid any odor.  Just so you know, the melting beads did not create much smell in the house, but since we are having a nice warm day for a change, having the windows open for fresh air was nice.


Watch your beads now closely.  You will see the beads starting to melt after a few minutes in the oven, as they will get glossy looking.


Keep watching them as they melt into each other and form a nice flat edge around the pan.  You will know when they are done & ready to remove from the oven when you cannot see any “bumps” or “hills” on the top of the melted beads.  If you see little bumps, they need a few more minutes in the oven.


Once the top of your beads is flat, remove from the oven.  Set pizza pan on top of the stove to cool.  In a few minutes, you will hear the strangest cracking noise, but don’t fret, as this is just the plastic cooling and it is nothing to worry about.  (it scared me the first time I heard it too, and even the dogs ran and hid)


After a few minutes of cooling, carefully touch the pizza pan to see if it has completely cooled.  If it is still warm to the touch, let it sit longer to cool completely.  Do not remove your item from the pan until it has completely cool or it could lose its shape.  Once completely cooled, you can now turn the pizza pan upside down and your melted beads will now pop right out of the pan!




I made this item today so I can get ready for Spring!  I will turn this into a sun catcher and add some wind chimes to the bottom.  What a beautiful piece it will be when the sun shines through it.  This item that I made can be drilled too!  I will use a drill for a hole at the top, and for the small holes to hang the wind chimes on too!

Also, while I was looking at the finished product on my table, I also thought that this would make a neat cupcake platter too!  I would probably want a little stand on it, so I could head on over to the Dollar Store and purchase a glass short candle holder for $1 and glue it to the underneath center of the melted beads platter.  Whala, instant cupcake stand!

If you have any pony beads just laying around – I encourage you to pull them out the get crafty!  I will never think of my pizza pan the same again, as I found out that it is just not for pizza any more!

How To Make Colored Staples


Using a stapler is an every day occurrence, but stapling does not have to be boring.  Drag out all of your bright colored Sharpie Markers (bright pink ones work the best) and add some color to your staples.


Pull out a sleeve of staples, and run your bright colored Sharpie Marker over the top of the staples.  It works best if you hold the Sharpie Marker on its side to do this.  Start at one end, and do one coat all the way to the other end.  If you think it needs another coat of color, wait a minute or so until the first coat dries, then reapply another coat by rubbing the Sharpie over the staples again.  (If you don’t wait long enough for the first coat of color to dry, you will notice that trying to apply the second coat will actually wipe off some of the first coat)


Once the color has dried, just insert your new colored sleeve of staples into your staples and have fun stapling!  Never knew that by adding color to staples can brighten up your office tasks!  (Idea:  You might even be able to use nail polish in bright colors on top of your staple sleeves too, but I have not tried this yet, but I will!)



Ordinary staple.  Added color.  Wow factor, complete.

Mod Podge Coasters




Mod Podge projects are all over the internet, but I finally decided to give it a try.  I am in love with the results!  When I was at the Dollar Store the other day, I noticed that they had individual coasters with a nice cork bottom, so I picked up two of them to try out my Mod Podge.  I had a pack of 20 holiday folksy Santa napkins sitting around and decided to cut up one of the napkins for this project.

I opened up the napkin and placed my coaster on top, then drew with a pen an outline on the napkin, then cut out the Santa.  I took my Mod Podge Gloss Lustre and squeezed a few drops all over the top of the coaster and spread the glue around with a small sponge.  (you have to work quick as the Mod Podge dries fast)  I then placed the cutout Santa napkin on top of the glue and rubbed my fingers gently over the top to remove any bubbles.  (since you are working with a napkin as your design, you need to be careful as to not rip it when removing any air bubbles)  Let it dry for at least 15-20 minutes.  After it was dried, I squeezed a few drops of Mod Podge on top of the napkin and spread the glue around and also spread the glue around the edges of the coaster as well.  Let this step dry, then apply a second top coat of Mod Podge.

There you have it, a nice holiday Santa Coaster!  I am hooked on Mod Podge and will definitely have to pick up more coasters!  Don’t forget that you can use cute scrapbook paper, photographs, and any other design for your Mod Podge projects as these would make some great gifts!  I can already see some adorable Valentine’s Day coasters in my future!

How to Make a Night Light Cover from Melting Beads

Well, just when you think that you have exhausted all of your craftiness, we have gone and done it again!  Yep, we came up with a really neat way to make yourself a modern night light cover – – by melting some pony beads!

We headed out to the Dollar Store and picked up a Tinker Bell Night Light for $1 and knew that we could use this in our craft project.  The Tinker Bell front cover was removable (phew) from the night light and we were happy to see that, as we were prepared to cut it off if it was not.  (this saved us a step for sure)

Anyhow, if you viewed our first post on how to make a sun catcher from melting beads, you will remember how we got started.  If not, click here to catch up with the process.

First, we pulled out our metal mini loaf pan and started creating a design in the pan with pony beads.  Once we got our design complete, the next step is to head outside and get the grill all fired up.  Once the grill is nice and hot, place your metal loaf pan on the grill – – and watch as the beads start to melt.  This melting process takes between 10-15 minutes as the beads are laid in a single layer in the pan.  Once the beads are all melted, and you will know when to take them off the grill as the top of your design is all smooth with no bead bumps.  (once you do this, you will know what I mean)  Remove the pan from the grill (and remember that your pan is extremely hot) and let your pan cool.  Once the pan is cooled, just turn it over and tap the bottom of the pan and your melted bead design pops right out!

Now, comes the fun part – attaching your plastic design to the night light.  As we mentioned earlier, we removed the plastic Tinker Bell night light cover already, and since we did, we needed to add a little spacer between the night light and your new melted design, so we hot glued a clear pony bead to the front of the night light (which worked out perfectly).  If we did not add the clear bead to the front of the night light, our melted cover would have been a bit too close to the light bulb, so we did not want it to get too hot from the bulb and perhaps melt, so that is why we added a clear bead as a spacer.  Once the glue dried around the bead, we just hot glued the plastic design we just made onto the bead and just created the neatest modern night light cover ever!

The steps are quite simple, but making the bead design in the pan was the most fun part of this craft project.  You could go crazy and make all sorts of designs as the possibilities are endless.  Make some for yourself, your kids room, or even the kitchen as these will for sure be a great conversation piece!  Even make a night light cover so your pooch can see their water dish at night!

How to Make a Sun Catcher

I got my inspiration from I’m Feelin’ Crafty’s blog and just had to try this craft project for myself!  And, I am glad that I did!  This absolutely fun craft project uses those plastic pony beads found in any craft store, a pie pan, and your gas grill. That’s it!  If you would like to make some for yourself, keep reading for the steps on how to create some today for yourself!  These would also make some incredible gifts for Christmas too! 

Let’s begin…  First, you can use any metal pan in any shape, we used an aluminum pie pan for the one we just made, but the next time we make one we will use our metal pie pan instead.  The reason we will switch to the metal pie pan is so we don’t get the little indents on the bottom of the sun catcher from the aluminum pan.  The metal pie pan will have no indents on the bottom. 

Next, take out your platic pony beads and start placing them in your pie pan and lay them flat in the pan with the hole of the bead facing up.  Create any design you want, but keep all the beads close together.  Once you fill up your entire pie pan with your design, the next step is to melt them. 

Get your grill all nice and hot.  You can melt these in your oven at 400 degrees, but you may experience a nasty smell from the melting plastic, so we suggest you use your grill.  Place your pie pan in the center of your grill.  Creating your design was a lot of fun, but watching your beads melt was truly neat to watch.  You may have to turn your pie pan to ensure that all the beads melt evenly, so make sure you use a pot holder to touch the pie pan.  We had our pie pan on our grill for approximately 15-18 minutes.  You will know when to take the pan off the grill when you see a smooth finish on top of your design, as this shows that all the beads have melted completely. 

Remove from grill.  Your sun catcher will dry quite quickly, so make sure that nothing falls into the plastic as it is curing, like a bug!  Once you can touch the pie pan and feel that it has cooled, you can remove your sun catcher.  Carefully move the side of the pan a little and your sun catcher should pop right out! 

Now, depending on what you want to do with your new sun catcher, you can either leave it as is, or you can drill a small hole at the top to attach a suction cup for hanging.  (this is what we are going to do) 

The possibilites are endless of what you can make with this craft idea.  For example:  Try making some ornaments for your Christmas tree by using metal cookie cutters (just place the cookie cutters on a cookie sheet and fill the cookie cutters with beads), make some adorable gift tags, or even use a square cake pan to make a different shape.  Also, you can make yourself a wind chime too!  Just purchase a cheap wind chime from the Dollar Store, remove the chimes and attach them to your new sun catcher by drilling small holes at the bottom & attach the chimes!  Let your creativity go wild & have fun!  Don’t forget that this is a great craft project to do with your kids too!

Happy Fourth of July

Everyone is hustling and bustling around town, and stores are packed with shoppers that are stocking up on buns and hot dogs for their Fourth of July parties, but don’t forget about your treats!  We have an easy idea for you that everyone will enjoy, Patriotic Strawberries!  We featured these last year, but thought that we would share them again, as they are delicious, not to mention easy to make. 

If you have a melting pot, use this to melt a little over a cup of your white chocolate melts (found at any craft store) and dip your strawberries in the white chocolate, then dip them into blue sprinkles.  That’s it!  Now, wasn’t that easy?    If you don’t have a melting pot, you could melt your chocolate in a glass measuring cup in the microwave at 10 second intervals, but be careful not to burn your chocolate.  The melting pot works best because it keeps the chocolate evenly heated and will not burn the chocolate.  When you use the old method of melting chocolate in a glass measuring cup in the microwave, the chocolate will melt, but it will also cool while sitting on your counter, that’s why we recommend for you to use a melting pot as it works best! 

Making decorations for the Fourth of July is simple.  Even a red bow on a flower pot spruces it up.  Or, how about pulling out your big colored rubber bands (we know you have a supply in your home somewhere) and pull the rubber bands over a glass votive holder, red band, white band, red band (you get the idea).  The glow of the candle, of course, will not shine through the rubber bands, but it decorates your table in Patriotic style! 

We have made some of our own wood patriotic crafts, like our patriotic wood house boxes, our patriotic monogram “R” that adorns our front door in style, and even used some pieces from a pallet and made a quick and easy patriotic flag to hang in our garden on the fence.  All it takes is a little red, white, and blue and some creativity to pull off a festive Fourth! 

And, you can’t celebrate the Fourth without fireworks, so we wanted to share with you some of our outstanding fireworks photographs that we took last year.  You can click on the photographs to enlarge them, if you wanted! 

Have a Happy and Safe Fourth! 

DIY Cement Candle Holder

Experimenting with cement is something that we were not used to, so we decided to pick some up and see what we could make.  We decided to create our own Cement Tealight Candle Holders from everyday containers we have around the house, like an empty Nyquil bottle, a butter container, etc.  The results were fantastic! 


We purchased Quikrete Anchoring Cement from Lowes in a 10 lb. bucket for about $9.00 and started mixing it in a small empty sour cream container with a wooden spatula.  We used a cement to water ratio of 5 tablespoons of cement to 2 tablespoons of water.  The cement consistency should be like a thick pancake batter.  If it is too soupy, add a little more cement.  After your cement is mixed up well, you need to work really fast with this cement as it dries quickly (within 10 minutes), and make sure you wear rubber gloves when working with cement as this cement actually gets hot when working with it. 

Take the container of your choice and pour the cement into the container very carefully, then take your “cap” (laundry detergent cap, milk bottle cap, etc.) and place it in the center of your container and push down.  (the cap is making the “indent” to hold your tealight candle) Now hold the cap steadily in place as the cement hardens. 

Once you feel that the cement is getting harder around your cap, start slowly turning your cap around in a circle motion so your cap does not get cemented in.  Once you feel that the cement has hardened enough around your cap, slowly lift the cap up.  (we found that by drilling a small hole in the center of the cap makes it easier to lift it out of the cement.  The reason being is that while the cement is curing, there is still water in the cement that sucks the cap into the cement, so the having a hole in the cap makes it easier to release it)  Once the cap has been removed, the cement is pretty much hardened, but you can still smooth out some rough spots (if any) in the cement with your fingers, but make sure you touch the cement only with gloves on.  Let the container sit for a few minutes, then try to release the cement from your container. 

If you use a container where the cement does not come out, you might have to use an exacto knife to cut down the side of the container carefully to remove the cement candle holder.  Or, you can use those waxy containers they have for chili or soup and just peel the waxy paper away from the cement for removal.   Once your candle holder is completely hardened, you can use sandpaper to lightly sand it if there are any rough edges. 

IDEA:  You can also use your different containers and not make an indent in them and create some cement coasters too!

That’s all there is to it, but after you make your first one, you will understand completely the steps above and you will be on your way to making your own cement candle holders.   Now, for the fun & creative part…. you can head on over to your favorite Dollar Store and pick up a glass shade for about $1 to set on top of your cement base!  I actually had a small glass shade that I took off of another candle holder and placed it on top of the cement holders I made, and it looked great!  But wait!  If you know me, I had a creative thought and went one step further – I went to my computer and made a small patriotic design to fit the inside of the glass shade, printed it out on a transparency, then inserted it into the glass.  WOW, instant patriotic charm!  But, if you were worried that the tealight would melt the transparency, use a battery operated tealight candle! 

If you make any cement candle holders with my instructions above, please send me your photographs of what you made and I’ll add them in a follow-up post!  Good luck & be creative, the results will amaze your friends and family that you made something this fabulous!

Halloween is Coming…Are You Ready?

Halloween is only 148 days away and we are getting ready for our favorite time of year.  We have a great selection of Halloween products & home decorations to fit all of your needs from a simple Halloween placemat to animated foggers for your own home haunt.  We also have handmade wood tombstones available for you to paint & personalize the way you want for your front yard without fear of them falling down like the styrofoam ones do in a wind.  There are so many things to choose from, so we know that you will be able to find something that will perk your interest. 

Halloween is not only for kids anymore, as more and more adults (like us) have a lot of fun decorating for the witching hour.  For example, last year we made a cemetery gateway out of boxes and created a lighted entrance for our trick-or-treaters to walk through and had our fog machines setup to add a smokey entrance for all the kids.  They loved it and just stood there in the fog that eerily hung in the air around them!  Halloween for us, is all about creativity – the more creative you are, the greater the effect.

Halloween would not be complete without a great pumpkin to carve.  Instead of heading out to a store to buy a pumpkin, why not try growing your own?  We grew Connecticut Field Pumpkins last year and dried our seeds, and now you can purchase some of our seeds for yourself!  We had so much fun growing our pumpkins last year and watching them grow, as the leaves grew to more than 17″ in size and produced 20 pound pumpkins! 

Check out our Halloween products today and see if we have something to fit your needs, and check back often as we add things weekly!   Happy Haunting!

NOTE:  Click on any photo to be redirected to our eBay Store for product information.




Building the Perfect Garden Spot

We have been super busy over here getting our garden area ready for planting.  The raised garden bed has been built, the bed liner is in, and it’s now filled with rich garden soil.  It looks so beautiful and sometimes it is hard to believe that “we” made it.  We believe we took the correct route to make our own raised garden bed rather than just purchasing a raised bed kit, as it was a huge savings for us.  For the size of garden that we had in mind, it would have cost us around the $500, so building our own raised garden bed from untreated wood saved us a lot!

We already have our onions planted in the garden, but the rest of the plants won’t go in until May, but we have so much more to do before we’re done.  For example, we had a flower bed next to our garage that did not look that good, so we decided to get some beautiful retaining wall/landscaping bricks to beautify it.  We started out by digging the flower bed wider with an edging shovel, then had to remove all of the grass pieces (not an easy task to do), had to remove some of the plants we had in this bed like our hostas to another location, turned over the dirt in the bed to get it ready, and now we’re working on installing the bricks. 

The most important part of installing any type of landscaping bricks is making the first layer “level”, because if it is not, your wall will look horrible when completed, and uneven.  Every brick needs to be level, every brick.  It also helps when you use a string line measured to the height you want your retaining wall as this gives you a good visual idea if you are on the right track or not.  The next important thing to do with every brick laid is to “measure”.  With every brick I laid, I measured the distance from the side of the garage to the front of the brick and kept that same measurement for each brick laid.  So far, I have completed more than half of this new retaining wall for our new flower bed.  Once all the bricks are in, we will fill with our good rich garden soil and we’ll plant our strawberries and zucchini in this bed.  Ooooh the thought of fresh picked strawberries in a nice cold strawberry banana smoothie for the summer sounds so good, or a nice piece of zucchini bread straight out of the oven makes my mouth water!

Our next item we are working on is our garden wall & gate.  The garden wall, the keep the deer out since we are in a heavily populated deer area, will be constructed of those really nice heavy metal garden stakes across the entire backyard.  Then we will attach, with black tie wraps, black poultry fencing, two rows high (6′ in height when complete) to deter any of the deer from even thinking of nibbling on our garden plants.  When we were planning this out on paper months ago, we started to think – – how are we going to “enter” the garden when this fencing was in place?  That is where we came up with the idea of making a “garden gate” or door as an entryway to our garden.  We constructed the door out of two long pieces of thin wood and laid two shorter pieces on top and bottom to complete the frame of the door, then used wood screws in each corner to hold it in place. 

We painted the garden gate door all black because we wanted it to match the black poultry fence and blend in nicely.  After painting the door, we laid out a strip of the poultry fencing on the door frame, cut it to fit, and adhered it to the door with a staple gun.  The door is now complete, except for adding the two hinges and a little latch to keep the door closed.  We are so proud of our neat garden gate idea, and very happy on how nicely the door came out!  Heck, how else would we gain entry into the garden, right?

With all of this going on, our little sprouts are coming along nicely and getting bigger by the day.  We planted the majority of them already into their own nice peat pot, and ever since we did that, they are taking off and growing by leaps and bounds!  We are getting a real kick out of watching them grow up everyday, and it’s hard to imagine that these little guys all came from a tiny seed and are now growing into healthy plants, so I guess we can’t call them sprouts any longer. 

We also purchased this really neat wood lattice trellis for the garden that opens up to something that looks like an “A”, but we are going to remove the hardware at the top, and screw the two pieces to the sides of the garden for the cucumbers to crawl up on.  TIP FOR GARDENERS:  We were going to get something that was made of metal for the cucs to climb on, but when we were doing our research, it stated to NOT get anything metal for your climbing vegetables because the metal gets hot and will scorch the vines.  DID NOT KNOW THAT, nor would we have ever thought of that, but it sure makes sense, so if you are getting something for any climbing vegetable in your garden, make sure it is not metal!

Getting all of this done before we actually plant has been a little difficult in our area due to all the weather changes.  One day it can be nice and warm enough for shorts, then the next, we’re back to a heavy coat, so trying to complete our projects has been an off and on kinda thing, so we just have to wing it.  But all in all, we are happy with what we have completed so far, and we’ll continue to work around our weather conditions to ensure everything is in place for next month plantings! 

We hope that you all enjoy watching how our garden comes together, and keep watching/checking back often after we get everything planted.  It is an experience for us since we have never done anything like this before, but we have learned so much! 

If anyone is interested in two great gardening sites, here they are: and   Both of these sites have the most incredible information, and everything you ever wanted to know about any vegetable, from planting, to picking them, to freezing them, to recipes!  Check them out when you get the chance and let us know how you liked the sites! 

More about beautifying our garden will follow once the rain stops and we can head back outside.  Until later…