2012 Craft Projects Review

2012 Craft Projects by Valerie

I can’t believe yet another year passed us by, as 2012 came to an end and we’re ready to start a brand new year….and some new craft projects too!  I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the craft projects that I made last year, and I definitely look forward to a new year of inspiration and creativity as I delve into some new areas.  I am sure that I have overlooked a lot of crafts for this post, but not because I did not like the outcome of them, rather the amount of them, and it was hard to choose which ones to show.

Not all of my crafts had a DIY tutorial with them, but I wanted to share with you the large list of projects that I tackled this year, which actually surprised me when I was putting this post together.  Looking at the photo above, from left to right, are just a sampling of the crafts I made:

  1. CEMENT HAND BUSINESS CARD HOLDER:  This was made with a latex glove filled with cement, and positioned just right, and while it was drying I pressed a small piece of wood in the palm of the hand to make the indent for the business cards.  
  2. PAINTED COASTERS FOR HALLOWEEN:  Simple project, purchased some cork coasters at our local store and spray painted them orange, then cut out some faces in card stock paper and painted the black faces on, then sealed the coaster with a nice coat of sealer.
  3. WOOD LOVE PLAQUE:  I made this item to sell on our eBay store and had great success!  It took quite a long time to cut this design out of wood, with all the curves it had, but it was well worth the time and effort.  To make the design of this plaque, I opened up Publishes and made four blank pages, then I played around with some fonts to see which one I liked best, then enlarged the font to a letter sized piece of paper, and printed it on card stock.  I then cut out each letter, and taped them together as the photo shows and used this as my template.
  5. CEMENT SKULL:  This was made from a cement skull mold and I mixed up some Quikrete, added a hook for hanging, and let it dry.
  6. CEMENT TEALIGHT HOLDERS:  Made from household containers, like a cologne box, or a plastic lid.  Very easy project to do!
  10. CEMENT “GROW” STEPPING STONE:  We purchased a neat cement mold from a seller on eBay and I made a few of these grow stepping stones.  The mold was amazing on how much detail it showed after it dried.  I love this!
  12. WOOD LETTER “A” MONOGRAM:  I made this for Roy’s sister for Christmas!
  16. PATRIOTIC WOOD BOXES:  How I made these were actually from an idea I saw on someone’s blog, but they were making clay houses for their catus.  I liked the idea and made a bigger version and designed mine out of wood.  I have used these little wood houses all over the house and even used them on Fourth of July for silverware holders too!
  17. WOOD BAT:  I love all the wood bats that I have made!  I even hot glued some lights to the back of one and now it glows when I hang it on the wall!  Neat idea, eh?
  18. PAPER MACHE SNOWMAN:  This is one of my favorite craft projects!
  19. HALLOWEEN CEMETERY COLUMNS MADE FROM BOXES:  These columns are a big hit on Pinterest!  I made them from some leftover boxes (all of the same size) and taped them together with masking tape, then spray painted them to look like cement block.  Everyone loved this idea!
  21. PATRIOTIC MONOGRAM FOR FRONT DOOR:  I hand drew a large “R” for my boyfriend and painted it in patriotic colors.  Got a lot of compliments on this!
  22. WOOD LETTER “N” LEASH HOOK:  I made this for our dog Nikita to hold all of her leashes.  I hot glued strong magnets to the back of it and it is now on our backdoor!
  23. PAPER MACHE PUMPKIN:  This is the first (of many) paper mache pumpkins that I will be making.  The process takes a long time, since you have to wait for each layer of paper mache to dry before adding the next layer, but we will be using lots of these pumpkins as props in our yard next Halloween.  We will also be selling them on eBay too once we get a few of them completed.
  24. WOOD “GROW” SIGN FOR OUR GARDEN:  Enough said about this garden sign – – you just want your garden to well, um….Grow!
  25. BENDABLE MUMMY GUY:  Just a little bendable mummy to sit on your shelf, or anywhere you wish him to be.  Lots of fun to make him and wrap him up in gauze!
  26. SOCK BUNNY TUTORIAL:  Now, these little bunnies will make a huge hit as a gift, for your pet, or placed in an Easter basket or Christmas stocking.  No matter how you use them, the recipient will be happy!

So, with 2012 behind us now, I am looking forward to a new year and some new craft projects!  One idea that I am anxiously waiting to start, is making adorable pillows that will brighten any room, and also figuring out how to make little pillows with photographs on them.  I know that Mod Podge has a medium photo transfer paste to do just that, and I can’t wait to try it out.  I want to try my hand at making little “Animal Pillows” with Nikita and Bella on them.  You could place these on a chair, couch, or the bed for an adorable accent!  Obviously, this will make a great blog post tutorial when I figure it out!  I can’t wait.

In 2013, I also want to delve heavily into making paper mache pumpkins in all shapes and sizes!  Once I get a few completed, we will list them for sale on our eBay store.  What?  You did not know that we have an eBay store?  Shame on you!  You can view our eBay store by clicking on any of the buttons on the side of this blog!  As an eBay seller, we sell mostly seasonal items, and since we love Halloween, we thought that the paper mache pumpkins would be a huge hit.

Anyhow, looking back on the crafts that I made in 2012 has truly blown me away, as I amazed myself at how many things I actually created.  Look out 2013, I’ve got a lot of work to do!  🙂

DIY Halloween Prop: Cemetery Columns & Sign

CEMETERY COLUMNSDIY Halloween props are fun to create, but they can take hours, days, weeks, and perhaps a little longer to create when you can’t imagine the final product.  So, when you start with an idea for a Halloween Prop, think it through, draw it out, list the materials you will need, then… go to work!

We have been working feverishly on getting our Cemetery Columns and Sign completed before Halloween.  We can’t even imagine the hours we have spent on this project, truly don’t want to know either, but we really really wanted to create an entrance in the driveway for the trick-or-treaters to walk through.

We started with an idea, drew it out on paper, made some corrections to the design as some of the things that we came up with we could not figure out how to actually make it work, then once we had a solid idea, we started constructing the columns.  We used all the same size boxes to create the columns and started taping them together with masking tape.  (we did not want to use the shiny shipping tape as we were unsure if the spray paint would adhere to the tape)  We took four boxes to start and taped them together, then made another four and taped them on top of the first four, and kept doing this until we had a good height to our columns.  Ours ended being over 6′ tall for each column.

Once the columns were completed and taped together, we used some more boxes and added a “cap” to the top of the columns to finish them off, then taped the cap to the column.  Now, you have an unfinished column made from all the same sized boxes.  Next, we primed the boxes with gray primer and let that dry, then once dried, we sprayed a Krylon Make it Stone over the primer to make the columns look like sand stone.  Next, we added a round heavy-duty tube to the top of the cap and taped that in place, as this will be used to hold the actual cemetery sign above the columns.

Next, we had to work on the actual “cemetery” sign.  This part we had a lot of issues with because we could not come up with an idea that we agreed upon on how to “light up” the sign.  We tried adding purple rope lights but they were too dim and did not light up the sign, then we tried a black light tube and that did not work either as it too was not bright enough, so we actually found something that worked – LED white Christmas lights.  Now, that we know what kind of lights we were going to use, we went to work on creating the actual sign.  We gathered 4 of the same sized boxes again and taped them together in a row.  (we used 4 skinny boxes like a shirt box size for the sign)  Next, we cut  2 large letters out with an exacto knife in each box. (Box one: C E, Box two: M E, Box three: T E, and Box four: R Y)  Next, we spray pained the long box sign all black, both inside and out to give it an eerie look.  Now comes the difficult part, how to attach the lights inside the box.

After deliberating over this for quite some time, we decided that we would drill holes in the back of the box right through the cutout letters so that we can poke the lights through from the back of the box.  This actually turned out better than what we expected.  We had to measure the distance between the lights on the string and they came out to approximately three inches apart, so we had to drill holes to those specs.  Then, we just pushed the Christmas LED lights through the back of the sign so they would show through the inside of the sign, and then taped the LED lights to the back of the box to hold them in place.  Now that the lights are all in place, we plugged them in and were happily surprised on how great the sign looks!  LED lights was the best choice for this project for sure! 

Now, the only hurdle that had to be tackled was how to keep the columns and sign standing on Halloween night with the strong winds that normally appear around the witching hour.  Hmmmm, this one took some thought, but we finally figured it out.  Since we have all of that pressed wood around for our homemade wood tombstones, we made a wood base that the columns will sit on and created an inner wood column that we nailed to the base.  Now, the columns that we made out of boxes will just slip over the heavy wood base and will hold it up when the winds blow.  Nice!   The last thing that we will need to do is attach the sign to the columns and this will be done by drilling holes in those heavy duty tubes and one through the back of the sign.  Then we will add a long bolt and some washers and tighten it. 

We have learned a lot by doing this project, as making DIY Halloween props is a lot of fun, but you definitely need to start on your project well in advance before Halloween so you can have it completed in time.  And, we used a lot of items that we already had on hand, a few cans a spray paint, masking tape, LED Christmas lights we already had, and a lot of imagination.  Our cemetery columns and sign will make a great addition to our home haunt this year!

What have you made for Halloween?  Share your ideas with us!