Halloween Snuck Into My Weekend

It does not surprise me, or probably you if you know me, that Halloween snuck into my weekend in a big way.  You all know that I have been busy working on all of my paper mache pumpkins and paper mache fireplace, and this weekend I kicked it up a notch and got the chance to get some painting done.

WORKING ON MY FIREPLACE

I got the final black coat of paint on the fireplace and let it sit out in the sun today to dry.  I missed the entire Brown’s home opener game, but that’s ok as I heard that they lost in a big way. (does not surprise me at all)   We went to Pat Catans craft store this weekend in the hopes of finding a diamond stencil to use on the front & sides of the fireplace, and we had no luck.  So instead, I found a Zig Zag stencil that I am going to use to stencil a white zig and a lot of zags across the fireplace.  I can’t wait to get started working on the stenciling part, so hold tight for a little bit to see the results!

PAINTING INSIDE JACK SKELETON

PAINTING JACK SKELETON

As for my Jack Skeleton paper mache pumpkin, I had to cutout a slit in the bottom of the pumpkin so I could get the camping light inside.  The hole I originally cut was only just big enough to pull out all the stuffing, but not big to insert the camping light, so I had to make a little tweak to getting the light in.  I spray painted the first coat of Rustoleum Marigold inside the pumpkin, as I have read that you should use a color that is bright so your light glows brighter.  I then lightly spray painted the outside of the pumpkin black so it covers the newspaper well.  I will then spray paint the pumpkin orange on top of the black to finish coloring the pumpkin.  After these colors dry, I will seal the pumpkin both inside and out with a clear sealant.

Our Jack Skeleton pumpkin almost caught on fire tonight too when I put the camping light inside of it.  I turned on the light and walked outside to take a photograph to see how the Marigold color looks and when I came back into the house to set my camera down, I turned around and smoke was coming out of his eyes!  I ran to Jack and saw that the camping light was smoking and got my Sweetie to pull the light out.  We switched batteries in the camping light from regular AA batteries to a Lithium battery and they must have been too much for the camping light as it got fried.  So now we need to head back up to the Dollar Store to purchase another one.  Thank God the pumpkin did not catch on fire with all the fresh spray paint on it!  When we get a new camping light, we are definitely only going to use regular AA batteries in it this time!

WOOD TOMBSTONES

Keeping up with the Halloween weekend, we sold a few of our wood tombstones that we have on eBay.  I just finished cutting out and sanding these two and another sale came in for one more.  WOW!  I guess everyone is thinking of Halloween, and it’s not only just us!  (and yes, I know how to use power tools too!)

FRONT PORCH FLOWER POT

PUMPKIN LIGHT ON PORCH

Our front porch has a little Fall coloring going on too, as our Marigolds are blooming in bright colors and I added our little glass pumpkin to the planter and lit a tealight in it tonight.  Right on the step of the porch sits my cement X & O and cement skull to add the perfect touch!

BAT ON OUR MAILBOX

And just when I thought the weekend was over and all the Halloween stuff was done, evening set in and provided yet another remarkable Halloween scene.  The sun was setting in beautiful colors that illuminated the black wood bat that proudly is perched on top of our mailbox post.  What a great weekend we had full of Halloween!  I wonder what next week will hold for us?!

How to Make Paper Mache Pumpkins & More!

JACK SKELETON PAPER MACHE PUMPKIN

Let’s get down to business… so you want to learn how to make a paper mache pumpkin?  You’ve come to the right place, so let’s get started.

PAPER MACHE PUMPKIN GRIN2

Here’s what you will need to create a paper mache pumpkin:

  • Newspaper & lots of it for the stuffing
  • Newspaper ripped into nice even strips
  • Plastic Bag (any size will do)
  • String
  • Metal Coat Hanger
  • Large Bowl
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Whisk
  • Xacto Knife or Jigsaw

That’s all you need to create anything in paper mache!  And you thought it was going to be hard to do.  I’ll be honest with you, it is not hard at all, but it does take time…. drying time, that is.

If you are sitting here reading this post and have even slightly considered trying to make some (or one) paper mache pumpkins for yourself for Halloween or even for your Fall decor, now is the time to do something about it!  Creating paper mache objects is fun and easy to do with your family and kids, but I am sure that they will get bored easily when it comes to the “drying time” in between all the layers you need to put on. I hope that I can inspire you to create your own pumpkins for Halloween, and if you do, please share with me what you have made!

Creating paper mache pumpkins is a lot of fun, especially when you start to see your pumpkin coming to life, and well, actually looking like a pumpkin.  I admit it, I start one pumpkin, and right after the first layer dries, I want so badly to paint it already, but know that I am not even close to being done yet, as it has many more layers of paper mache to go before it is completed.

So you have the list of things that you need (above) to start creating your first pumpkin, so let’s begin….

THE PLASTIC BAG

TIE STRING AROUND BAG TO FORM PUMPKIN

Start with any sized plastic bag you wish.  I have used those white tall kitchen bags, and even the large 33 gallon ones too, so it all depends on the what size of pumpkin you want to create.

Now, grab a stack of newspaper and crumble up the pages (but not too tight) and stuff them in the bag.  Stuff the bag as much, or as little as you want, but your “pumpkin form” should be somewhat firm or your pumpkin shape will flatten when you start applying the paper mache.  (you’ll understand this concept more clearer when it happens on one of your pumpkins!)

Once you have the bag filled with enough crumbled newspaper, you need to tie off the top of the bag.  You can use the handles on the bag or just twist it at the top, or you could use twine or masking tape too.

Now that your bag is filled and the top is tied, you need to create the stem for your pumpkin.  I have used a few methods for a stem, but you can be creative in this step. Take a metal clothes hanger and snip off the top part.  You will now be wrapping the metal clothes hanger around the top of your pumpkin to start your stem.  (you can even poke the clothes hanger into the section where you tied the bag)  Form the clothes hanger now into any “stem shape” you want.  I have done some nice curvy stems with a clothes hanger.  Just so you know the reason you are using a clothes hanger in this step, is because it will hold its shape when you start applying the paper mache to it.  (believe me, on my first pumpkin I did not use a clothes hanger in the stem and just rolled up some newspaper, dipped it in the paper mache, and thought it would keep its shape.  It did not)  Any questions on this part, just ask me.

Now, you have created your basic pumpkin form & the stem!

THE STRING

I bet you are wondering what the string was for, right?  Well, the string plays an important part in your pumpkin, as it creates the natural-looking pumpkin creases. You know what I’m talking about…those nice lines that run down the side of the pumpkin!

Start by tying your end of the string to your stem.  Pull the string down the side of your plastic bag (and pull kinda tight) and you will see a crease starting.  Now, wrap the string up and around the other side, come up to the top (wrap it around the stem, again) and go down another side and up again, until you have created all the creases you wish on your pumpkin.  Make as many as you want or just a few.

Now you have created your pumpkin creases!  Congratulations!  Are you excited yet?

GET READY TO PAPER MACHE

PAPER MACHE MIX

Now, it is time to start the paper maching process!  Grab that large bowl, your whisk, and your bag of flour and head on over to your sink.  Place your bowl in the sink, dump some flour into the bowl (you don’t have to measure the amount of flour you use) and add some water.  Start whisking immediately!  You want to add enough water (but slowly) to make a pancake-like thick (but not too thick) batter.  Believe me, you will get better at mixing your batter with all the layers you will be adding, so don’t worry at this point, just make sure that your batter is not too thick or too watery.

Grab that huge pile of ripped up strips of newspaper because you are ready to start paper maching your pumpkin.  Make sure your pumpkin is on a plastic tarp or something to cover your floor, as this part can be a bit messy.

FIRST LAYER OF PAPER MACHE

Take one newspaper strip and lay it flat into the paper mache batter and either run the strip between your two fingers to remove the excess paper mache, or you can do what I do and run the newspaper strip up the side of the bowl and rub off the excess batter this way.

Now, just place your first batter-dipped piece of newspaper on top of your pumpkin. You need to always start at the top of your pumpkin and work your way down.  Once you get one layer on the top half of your pumpkin, you need to let it dry or place it in front of a small heater like I do, to hurry along the drying process.  Then, you flip your pumpkin over and paper mache the bottom half, and let the bottom half dry.  Once the entire pumpkin has one layer on it, and it has dried thoroughly, you will need to add more layers.

IMPORTANT TIPS:  When adding your first layer of paper mache, make sure you use your finger tips to poke your newspaper strips nicely into the creases you made with the string.  This part is important as it adds character to your pumpkin.

Also, make sure you run your hand flat over each strips when applying them to squeeze out any excess paper mache batter.  Always keep running a flat hand over your strips as you work your way around the pumpkin.  Another good tip is to position your layers in different directions on your pumpkin, as this will add strength when it hardens.

I have had a lot of people ask me the question “How do I know if I have enough layers of paper mache on my pumpkin?”  Well, that is a good question and can be easily answered.  After each layer of paper mache has dried, gently push down on your pumpkin all around and if there is any “give” on the pumpkin….. it needs more layers. Your completed pumpkin should be very hard when you tap or knock on it.

CUTTING THE FACE

CUTTING PAPER MACHE PUMPKIN WITH A JIGSAW

When you have completed your paper mache pumpkin and feel that it is hard enough with no “give” on any part of it, it is time to cut out your face.

ADDED TEETH TO PUMPKIN

Look at your pumpkin.  Twist it around to see what side looks best to cut out a face on it.  Once you find the side you like, simply draw a face on the side of your pumpkin with a pencil.  Start off with a pencil so you can make changes if you don’t like what you drew, then go over your pencil marks with a Sharpie Marker when you are satisfied.

ADDING DEPTH TO EYES

I used to cut the faces out of my pumpkin with an Xacto Knife, but ever since I have increased the layers on my pumpkins to make them thicker, I found that an Xacto Knife was too hard to use.  So, I resorted to my trusty Jigsaw.  On my pumpkins, I just drill a hole large enough for my Jigsaw blade to fit in.  You could also use a Dremmil too if you have one to cut out the face.

Once your face is cut out, you will now need to REMOVE all of the newspaper stuffing & plastic bag from inside your pumpkin!  The reason you do not remove the stuffing before is because the stuffing is holding the shape of your pumpkin.  You will need to get your Xacto Knife or Jigsaw and cut a circle on the bottom of your pumpkin.  This is where you will pull all of the stuffing out from.  Remove all the newspaper (and keep the stuffing too, so you can use it on your next pumpkin) and carefully pull the plastic bag out too that is now stuck to the inside of your pumpkin.  The string is probably stuck to the inside sides as well, and you can remove that too, but be careful when pulling this out, as you do not want to damage your pumpkin.  Make sure that everything is cleaned out from the inside of your pumpkin at this point.

You will need to add more paper mache strips around the cutout face edges to finish off the edges nicely.  The hole at the bottom of your pumpkin will be used to place your battery operated light inside your pumpkin after you paint it.  I was going to use these small battery operated LED lights that I have, but realized that I wanted more light to make my pumpkins glow.  I found a round Camping Light at the Dollar Store for $5 which has different light settings and is brighter than the other LED’s, so this is what I will be using in my pumpkins.

CAMPING LIGHT

PAINTING THE PUMPKIN

Yeah, it’s finally time to paint your pumpkin!  Congratulations!  You have accomplished a lot, but have created a one-of-a-kind pumpkin that you will cherish forever!

Take your pumpkin outside for some good ventilation, and pick out the colors you want to spray paint it.  TIP:  I have learned from some experienced pumpkin creators, that you should spray paint the inside of your pumpkin yellow.  They use yellow inside their pumpkins so when lit, it makes them glow better, but you can use orange or whatever color you choose, as this is YOUR pumpkin.  I would spray paint the inside of the pumpkin first, let it dry.  Then place some newspaper inside the pumpkin to cover up the face holes when spray painting the outside, as you do not want any over spray to get inside.

Once the spray paint has completed dried, spray a clear coat over the entire pumpkin, both inside and out.

You are now officially ready for Halloween!

These are the pumpkins that I am currently working on, in various stages (and I am starting on a new one today too).

MY PAPER MACHE FIREPLACE

Just starting to paint the fireplace.

BeFunky_FIREPLACE GETTING PAINTED

This is a photograph that I found on how the finished fireplace will look.  I will spray paint the entire fireplace black, then I will hand stencil the white diamonds all over the front and sides/back of the fireplace.  (by painting it these colors, I can also use this fireplace for Christmas time too!)

BeFunky_THE FINISHED LOOK

MY PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS

PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS

As you can see from above, my huge Jack Skeleton pumpkin has the camping light inside of it.  Isn’t it bright?

Stay tuned, as I work on finishing all of my pumpkins, the fireplace, and the paper mache witch that I am currently working on.  You will be amazed at the end results!

 

Paper Mache Halloween Projects

PAPER MACHE PUMPKIN WITH CURVED MOUTH

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.

PAPER MACHE FIREPLACE

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.

PAPER MACHE FIREPLACE CLOSEUP

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.

PAPER MACHE PUMPKINS IN PROGRESS

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.

How to Fold a Shirt in Under Two Seconds

LAUNDRY BASKET

I ran across this the other day and just had to investigate it a little further.  I took out some shirts, which I always have some ready to be folded and gave it a try.  I failed miserably on my first few attempts on this technique, then I mastered it and it really works!

Go ahead and try this for yourself and see if you can master this shirt folding technique!  Click HERE to learn how to fold a shirt in under 2 seconds!  I’m doing laundry today and this should be fun!

Just a little tidbit of the day!  Have fun!

Pizza Pan Patriotic Platter

Oops, I did it again!  I pulled out my Pony Beads today and created a Pizza Pan Patriotic Platter.  With the Fourth of July coming up, I decided that I needed a platter to show off my goodies, like my Patriotic Strawberries, or perhaps some garnishes.

PIZZA PAN PATRIOTIC PLATTER

Just like my other Pony Bead projects, I just poured the beads onto the pizza pan and used red, white and blue beads, just perfect for the Fourth of July.  Make sure you fill up all the holes on the pan and all of the edges have a bead touching it.

PIZZA PAN PATRIOTIC PLATTER MELTING IN OVEN

Once the pizza pan is completed filled (one layer of beads only), place in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees.  Watch the beads closely, as they will melt quickly.  Keep a fan on or open a few windows to let out the light smell from the melting beads.  (Note:  You can also melt them on your grill outside, just make sure to leave the lid open so as nothing accidentally drops into the plastic while it is melting)

PIZZA PAN PATRIOTIC PLATTER COOLING

You will start to see the beads starting to melt in the pan.  The way you can tell that your project is completely melted, is when the top is completely flat and smooth.  If you still see some bead “bumps”, then it needs to stay in the oven a little longer.  Carefully remove from the oven once the top is completely flat & smooth.  Place gently on top of stove to cool.  You might hear a slight cracking sound, but that is just the plastic cooling, so do not worry.

Once the pan is completely cooled, just turn the pizza pan upside down and the platter will pop out.  Easy, right?

PIZZA PAN PATRIOTIC PLATTER MADE BY MELTING PONY BEADS

Now all you need to do is take your Glass Candlestick that you got at the Dollar Store for $1 and hot glue it to the direct center on the bottom of the platter.  You’re done!  You have now created a Patriotic Platter that everyone will wonder where you got it….only you will know that you made it! (NOTE:  I would not suggest using any sharp knife on the platter as it will most likely scratch the plastic)

GLUE GLASS CANDLESTICK TO PLATTER

Since I had some red, white and blue Pony Beads left over, I decided to make a Patriotic Star out of a metal cookie cutter.  I just placed the metal cookie cutter in a round cake pan, filled the metal star up with Pony Beads and melted it in the oven.  Once it has cooled, just slightly pull on the sides of the metal cookie cutter to release the star and it will pop right out.  I will probably drill a small hole in the top of this star and hang in my kitchen window for a little Patriotic charm!

PONY BEAD STAR

PONY BEAD STAR MELTING

PONY BEAD STAR COOLING

PONY BEAD STAR POPPED OUT OF COOKIE CUTTER

So there you have it, a Pizza Pan Patriotic Platter and a Patriotic Star all made within a few minutes of an afternoon!  What a great craft project to share with your kids, or make one for yourself!

If you missed some of my other Pony Beads crafts, you can find them below:  

Pizza Pan Suncatcher
Pony Bead Hearts

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!

HOW TO MAKE 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.

CARDBOARD HOLLOW LETTERS

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!

CUT OUT BACK OF CARDBOARD LETTER

PULL OUT INSIDES OF CARDBOARD LETTER

PULL OUT INSIDES FROM CARDBOARD LETTER

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.

ANCHORING CEMENT

MIXING UP THE CEMENT

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

FILLING UP CARDBOARD LETTER MOLDS WITH CEMENT

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.

DRYING CEMENT IN MOLDS

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.

SCRUBBING OFF THE CARDBOARD ON THE BACK OF THE CARDBOARD MOLD

CEMENT ALL CLEANED

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)

FINISHED X AND O

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!

Anatomy Of A Sock Bunny

Sock Bunny Collage2

Socks.  We all have them.  In all shapes, sizes, and colors.  They are mysterious.  Yes, mysterious because it still baffles me to this day how they elude me in the dryer.  They are magicians too, as they magically appear in the next load of laundry.  They reside normally in a dark drawer, or sometimes found in the pet bed chewed.  They come in pairs, kinda like twins.  They always match.  Sometimes they get holes.  They warm our feet or cover up unpainted toes.  Socks are funny.

Socks have lots of responsibilities.  They always have to stay together.  They get balled up, folded, or neatly placed in a drawer.  They always have to be ready when that drawer opens to go to work.  Sometimes they get pulled from duty as they are a little worn and need mended.  Sometimes we have to say goodbye to them when they have warmed our feet for the last time and there is nothing more we can do to save them.  They serve many purposes.

Unattended Sock Bunny

Other than unofficial chew toys for the dogs, socks can be used to create the most incredible people toys.  Yes, that’s right, we need and love things that make us smile, and who knew that a stupid striped sock could bring us so much joy!  I never did, until I got my scissors out and started cutting up my loyal socks that resided in the bottom of my sock drawer for many years.

Sock Bunnies Lineup

So, now comes the hard part.  Do I leave my socks nestled all snug in the sock drawer, leave them to keep their magical powers that be in the dryer, or yank those suckers out of the drawer and make Sock Bunnies?  I think we all know the answer to this one!

Anatomy of a Sock Bunny

CLICK HERE for the full tutorial of HOW TO MAKE A SOCK BUNNY.
(Go ahead, I dare ya!  Or you can pay me to make some for you!)

What are your socks gonna do today?

SOCK BUNNY1A

SOCK BUNNY2A

SOCK BUNNY GROUP PHOTO

Pledge For Pets 4

Experimenting With Melting Pony Beads

SUNFLOWER MELTED PONY BEADS COLLAGE

Oops, I did it again!  I keep looking at all of the things that I have made by melting Pony Beads and I wondered if they could be melted without a form around them.  Hmmmm….interesting thought, so I had to get to work to see what would happen without a cookie cutter form around them.  I pulled out the old pizza pan that I have been using and started to design.

SUNFLOWER MELTED PONY BEADS 3

Since Spring is supposed to be around the corner, I am dreaming of gardening and this year we are going to plant a new kind of sunflowers in our garden for color.  (man I can’t wait)  With that thought on my mind, I started to create a sunflower out of Pony Beads on the pizza pan.  I started out with a black center of beads and then formed yellow sunflower leaves around the middle.  Then I added a green stem and only added clear beads around the right side of the sunflower for filler.

SUNFLOWER MELTED PONY BEADS 2

Since I wanted to see what happens if you melt Pony Beads without a form, my experiment turned out quite well and the Pony Beads melted perfectly and the sunflower leaves on the left side of the pizza pan turned out just like leaves!  Yippee!  So this tells me that if you want to create a free form kind of art with melting Pony Beads, you can!  Design away!

SUNFLOWER MELTED PONY BEADS 1

If you don’t have any Pony Beads, head out to the store this weekend and pick up a nice big bag and get crafting!  This truly is a fun craft to do and the more creative you are, the more interesting your items will turn out!

When the Weather is Crappy – Start Crafting!

This week has been a whirlwind of precipitation, Monday started off with sunshine, Tuesday it poured rain all day, Wednesday it rained and snowed, and today it’s snowing again, so what do you do when you are sick of the crappy weather?  You craft!

SOCK BUNNY TUTORIAL 3

I remembered that I picked up two pairs of really cool knee high socks at Pat Catan’s a few months ago and I wanted to make a second sock bunny.  So, I pulled out one pair and got in gear to make a bunny, unfortunately, I found out in the middle of my project that I did not have enough filling to finish the bunny, so I need to head back to the store to get some, but I did get the bunny all cutout and sewed together.

SOCK BUNNY TUTORIAL 1

Making this type of Sock Bunny is really easy and all you need is a great pair of knee high socks to make it.  You lay the sock flat with the heel showing on top and cut down a few inches from the “toes” to almost the heel as you are now making the ears of the bunny.  Next, you cut up from the band of the sock a few inches as this makes the legs of the bunny.  Then you flip the sock inside out.  Pin around your ears and legs to get your bunny ready for sewing.  Sew all around the ears first, then sew up both legs and leave a hole or opening on the bottom of the bunny so you have an opening to stuff it.  The next thing to do is to stuff your bunny with filling and make sure you stuff the face or heel of the sock bunny real good so the face is prominent on your bunny.  I used a letter opener to push the stuffing into the bunny which helped a lot.  Finish stuffing, and then hand sew the opening when you are done.  Then, you can sew on cute buttons for eyes or even get your embroidery thread out and sew on a cute nose.

SOCK BUNNY TUTORIAL 2

SOCK BUNNY TUTORIAL 4

I’ve got great plans for this bunny when I get more stuffing and can finish it, so keep watching for another post to see what I do!  What is amazing is that a cheap pair of cute socks can make an adorable stuffed bunny!  And, since this craft project is so easy, not to mention a lot of fun, and you know how bunnies multiply…..I can see a lot of these being made in the near future!

Melted Pony Bead Hearts

HEARTS

I just can’t seem to leave these pony beads alone lately!  Since I have had great luck with making my sun catchers and future wind chimes from melting pony beads, I had a thought today and wanted to see if I could melt the beads in a cake pan – – – inside a heart cookie cutter.  I know, if this experiment failed, then I would have to throw out my two heart shaped cookie cutters, but I was feeling lucky and tried it anyways.

MELTING PONY BEADS IN COOKIE CUTTERS

I placed two different sized metal heart shaped cookie cutters inside an old cake pan, then filled both hearts with different colored pony beads.  I made sure that I filled up the hearts with enough beads to fill the cookie cutter from edge to edge.  Then, being a little nervous at trying this, I placed them in the oven at 425 degrees, and watched them closely.  When the beads were completely melted and the tops were completely flat, it was time to remove them.

POPS OUT OF COOKIE CUTTER

I set them out to cool completely.  Now, came the time to see if I could actually remove them from the cookie cutters.  Man, I was nervous, but all worked out in my favor and they popped right out!  Yeah!  I will now get the drill out and drill a small hole near the top of each heart and hang them in our window for Valentine’s Day.  Now, I wish I had a huge heart shaped cake pan to make a large heart sun catcher!  A girl can dream, eh?

HEART FROM MELTED PONY BEADS

So what do you think of these heart shaped melted pony beads?  Are you going to try to make some for yourself?  If you do, I want to see them!

SIGNATURE BOX VALERIE AT NIKITALAND

Bring Your Boring Sticky Notes To Life

I absolutely love sticky notes, every shape, size, and color.  Can’t seem to have enough of them!  Get them every year in my Christmas stocking too. (thanks Sweetie)  I leave my Sweetie notes all the time, in his lunch, wallet, and hide them in places where I know he will find them.  Even though I have the most colorful array stock of sticky notes, I feel that something is missing.  Let’s see what that could be…hmmmm:  Bright Colors – check, Different Sizes – check, my perfect penmanship – check, personalization – missing.

STICKY NOTES

Now that I know what is missing, I went about trying to figure out how to personalize them.  Hmmm, this is going to be a tough one, until I happened to look at a piece of cardstock I had sitting on my desk with a bunch of sticky notes stuck on it.  (when I do some internet searches, I always write down things on sticky notes, then end up having notes everywhere, so I started sticking them on a piece of cardstock and placed them in a binder so I knew where to find them)  Well, that got me thinking… and I opened up a Microsoft Word document and created text boxes the exact same size as my sticky notes.  Brilliant!  So, what I did next was to printout a “template” of  my Word Doc on cardstock, then placed or stuck my 3 x 3 sticky notes directly on those text boxes, and put that back into the printer.  Then, I typed in what I wanted in the text boxes in the Word doc with whatever font I wanted, and when I was done, clicked print.

What you end up with are the cutest sticky notes in town, and lovingly personalized for your special someone!  I know that this seems like a lot of work, but I did all the work for you, so all you need to do is open up the Microsoft Word Doc, print the template out on cardstock, type in what you want, and click print.  Easy enough, right?  If you should have any problems or questions, let me know and I will be more than happy to assist you in personalizing your sticky notes!

SIX STICKY NOTES

Click HERE for the full instructions and template to personalize your own sticky notes today!

SIGNATURE BOX VALERIE AT NIKITALAND