This Dollar Tree Wreath Christmas Decoration is easy to make and fun too.
The wreath I purchased from DollarTree when embellished was going to be part of a Fireplace mantle decoration to go along with a 24”by10” framed painting that featured snowmen enjoying some winter games.
The DollarTree Christmas decoration was to be embellished with a few hand painted wooden ice cream spoons like the ones that come with the little 4 oz ice creams.
I am not sure how accessible the wooden spoons are nowadays but there are also little wooden spatulas like those that are used when sampling lotions that may also be available.
There are many ways to turn the spoon or wooden spatula into an ornament. One is to take a disposable container that you fill full with water and pour drops of fingernail polish on the water and then dip the spoon down into and the paint works its way up the spoon giving you a marbled spoon.
You can get at least 2 spoons done one after the other this way. Then simply empty the water, wipe away any paint residue, and start again. You will need to use needle nose pliers to hold the very edge of the spoon to allow the random pattern to cover the entire area.
I did not drill a small hole to put a string or hook through the spoon but it would be a very good idea to do so before dipping the spoon so that you can hang it to dry after the paint is on. Then again, if you are securing the spoon to the wreath you could lay the painted spoon on a piece of plastic to dry since the back will not be seen anyway.
For this Dollartree wreath Christmas decoration I had a variety of painted spoons already. Some of the spoons had potted flowers painted on them, two had a snowman on them and others flowers.
Have some fun with painting; go with all abstract if you want. Flowers can simply be made up and painted the colors you want. Use glitter or glue small items on the spoons.
My Dollartree wreath Christmas decoration developed in a way all its own.
My idea had been to use some picked pieces and frame them as you see in this photo. Then take the wreath and secure it to the boards and to finish hang some of the spoons from it.
Now I did go with the distressed picket pieces but this picket was the top pieces, Sections that I had cut off to salvage the lower wood.
I had collected some small pine? cones and added them to dress the decoration more.
Then our live Christmas tree needed a couple lower branches removed so after that was accomplished I cut some pieces of Spruce and arranged them around the DollarTree wreath Christmas decoration
How nice these look on the pickets but they are all simply lying there, they need to be secured somehow.
I went with rubber silicone and applied a dab to each piece on the board. The picture frame was also eliminated.
What a transformation from the first idea. The featured photo at the top is the finished piece.
Christmas Snowman on Framed Picket was a painting that came about after I saw a painting featuring a couple joyful snowmen on wood that was framed by a glass window.
The Christmas Snowman on framed picket here was started first by bleaching the wood and frame.
I did not take pictures of the cleaning process. The frame had been in the basement for a couple of years and the pickets had been removed from a section of fence that has been in the woods aging.
After wiping the frame and giving the wood time to dry over the baseboard unit. I took the pieces of picket and stapled them to the frame. (The photo showing the back of framed pieces is from another painting but shows the stapling).
Once the wood was in place I took a sheet of canvas and stapled that to the frame to help secure the wood even more.
I will modify the snowman some and make my own scene up from this point.
A Christmas Snowman on framed picket just seemed to be a cool thing to do.
Not sure what I was going to feature to make up the rest of the scene a small Christmas tree and fence post was added and then built up from there. I decided to add Merry Christmas rather than include more characters ( creatures like birds and animals).
I went with green and red for the lettering and added more snowflakes. A mittened right hand was added and the snowman was then finished up.
The letters had been built up too to make the Christmas snowman on framed picket stand out better and the painted areas had a coat of acrylic gloss added.
I decided not to chance a color change in the wood by spraying on a clear gloss. A Cardinal was added to finish the painting and it was ready to be taken to Up the Creek consignment Boutique
Here are two other paintings I did along with the featured one.
On wood the snowmen playing are difficut to see. Two are toasting masrhmallows, two are tobogganing and three are playing ball.
What do you think about a painted sled for Christmas with Chickadees and a Nuthatch?
I acquired this sled some months back and figured that with a little sanding and some paint that it would make a nice support for a painting that featured birds.
First, the sanding both the wood as well as the metal. Since there is a vice in one of the garages I took the sled there and secured it. There was also access to a power grinder that would make sanding a bit easier. It was still necessary to do some sanding by hand.
Once the sanding was finished a coat of Zinsser primer was painted on the entire surface, top, bottom, and metal. ( except for the runners )
I spray painted the underside of the wood with a green paint and then covered the underside when the paint had dried so the runners could be painted black. I had also painted the risers green initially but was going to be painting them black as well. There is no photo of these steps.
A painted sled for Christmas suits the time of year, and the sled can be displayed all winter. Though someone had used the sled in the past it is intended only for show at present.
The next step was to decide what background to paint. What I chose was a blended background that would provide for some depth to the scene but not be distracting.
The steering arm composition would be changed several times. The side wood bars were painted to look like paper birch branches. Though I set the seat area up quite different from one another artist had done the background suited this painting nicely.
I planned on featuring four different kinds of birds but while considering where to put them opted for Chickadees and a Nuthatch. One more kind could yet be added but is not necessary.
The finished painting once dry will have a coat of acrylic gloss applied then after that also has dried 2 coats of clear gloss using Rustoleum or Valspar brand gloss.
The Birdhouse plant stands that were made last year turned out very good. Flowers made it in a couple of them and Wrens nested in one.
But I decided to change them up earlier this year.
The birdhouse plant stand seen here is one of the Plant stands that made it. The 2 by 4 post is in a 5-gallon bucket. The morning glories are in the tire. They thrived after having a rough start.
These are still a birdhouse plant stand but with a wood base instead of the 5-gallon bucket.
I was out picking up some pallets one day and found some interesting pieces of wood nailed together like frames. Thinking along the lines of a low boxed garden I took the birdhouses out of the buckets and secured them to the frames. Some of the bases were simply 2 by 4 pcs picked up the same day.
The birdhouses that were made for nesting birds were cleaned and secured to their poles. Then all the birdhouses had base pieces secured them with deck screws.
Later I found that with the smaller bases securing the posts to the frame underside was not good. I did leave the base piece for a couple. Both have strawberry plants growing nicely in them.
The purple house base was removed and I nailed the pole to a small stump that was going to be hidden by placing the planter there.
Interesting enough was that barn swallows nested in the birdhouse in the green and
yellow tires, Chickadees in the brown house behind the garage
and Bluebirds in the greenhouse in the main strawberry garden.
Growing you own fresh strawberries indoors or out.
To make your own inexpensive strawberry grow jugs you will need some empty gallon water jugs that you likely already have around the house ( or your nearby recycle bin ).
This method utilizes a hydroponic system that is green friendly because it does not require an air or water pump.
Mr. Kratky of whom I am just learning about myself developed his system to be an “almost set it and forget it ” system where as the plants use up the nutrient solution oxygen and carbon dioxide are drawn in for the plant roots
thus eliminating the need for water pumps or aerator. I will share a couple of Youtube links of people I am learning from, at the close of this project.
I have seen small and large systems use the Kratky method with good success. Now we are going to succeed as well, including strawberries.
For your project you will need:
one or more empty water jugs gallon size
a utility or smooth blade knife
a 3” net cup
Nutrient mix ( I’m using General Hydroponics brand Maxigro 10-5-14)
Aluminum foil or no see-through paper or plastic and tape
a gallon of water to add nutrient to
a small bucket with fresh water to rinse the plant’s roots
some small gravel to secure the strawberry plant in the net cup.
The rest of the materials will be seen as the project is done.
First, take the 3” net cup and place it upside down on the jug and trace around it with the marker. Second with your knife carefully cut out the circle by moving in about 1/8 th inch from the mark. Third place the net cup in the opening to see if you have any additional cutting to do and that the lip to the cup will rest on the edge of the jug.
Make up the gallon of nutrient solution you will need then with the net cup in place fill the jug until the solution is 1/8 th to 1/4 ” up in the bottom of the net cup. You can fill to an inch inside if the roots could use a little extra help to get started.
Now you are ready to carefully rinse the potting soil from the roots of the strawberry plant.
It is not necessary to remove all the soil. This process is as much to keep your water clean as it is to expose the plant’s roots.
Now you can place the strawberry plant in the net cup and add whatever media you chose to hold the plant in the net cup and in the container.
Here I used foil around one container (so far) as a light block to help slow down algae growth.
The Maxigro I am using is intended to let the plant develop a good leaf and root system. By itself, it is best suited for leafy greens like lettuce and kale and more. I am going to switch to Maxibloom come flowering stage. I am not affiliated with the General Hydroponics company (as of yet) but I liked what I saw grow using the nutrient mix.
You can check out Khang Starr on YouTube or mhpgardener for good points regarding the Kratky method of Hydroponic gardening.
I also found a site that you might find informative /and the site also has a PDF on the original Kratky method.
Growing strawberries using the non-circulating hydroponic system does involve one extra step and that is to have a second nutrient solution that you would add when the plant is in the bloom/fruit producing stage. There are strawberry nutrient mixes that may allow you to a one time fill; ask them at the hydroponics store or gardening center.
Enjoy! and be sure to let us know how you make out with your plants.
Small Container Herb Gardening to keep the thumb green and the pasta’s tasting great.
More than pasta of course …..and not just herbs.
The photo shows some of the Parsley that was still growing until a couple of weeks back when it was pulled to be used in a Passover meal display.
If you have ever thought about growing some herbs indoors but have not got a round-Tuit yet here is your opportunity.
You can save an empty juice container or two, maybe more, pick up some good potting soil, and a packet or more of herb seeds and you are almost ready to go.
Once you have the container(s) ready…rinse the box(es) with some fresh water. Then take and look for the seam where the box is glued together. Have the seam so it faces up, this simply reduces the chance for a leak to develop. Next carefully cut the opening as seen in the photo. Then check the box to make sure that there is no damage to the plastic lining.
From this point, you have the option to place a piece of cloth over the pour spout on the inside of the box. This will allow you to open the cap should too much water get inside and drain the water w/o having soil drain as well.
Now simply add soil to the top then moisten the soil according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I had previously guessed at water saturation. With the hole covered you can simply drain excess water.
From this point, you can add the seeds you have chosen
I started some Cilantro and Buttercrunch lettuce no Photoshop here. The sunlight available is not quite enough but they are giving it their best.
Your seeds should do better. Or as I may now do is purchase herb plants that have been started elsewhere, I saw some nice oregano plants at Agway.
Plants that have had a head start should fair much better with the winter sun.
The free bookmark set download is a gift to you, from Card’s Creative Canvases.
Here is an opportunity to make your own bookmarks simply by downloading the photo print and cutting out the bookmarks. This offer is for your own personal use and to share with friends and family. The artwork is copyright protected.
The artwork is original and was painted by me. I have just now begun to set up what will be a series of hand painted bookmarks for download. The set in its original is 7” by 10” though copying may alter the measurement some.
In order not to have the download include the entire post; open the image in a new tab, click the tab and then copy image. set up your print info page to portrait and color. Then print.
I would appreciate knowing how the print turns out, I just set this up for the first time, today. Thank you.
A repurposed cloth-covered cheese box/gift box is a craft anyone interested can do.
Using a Velveeta brand or store brand 2 lb cheese box a very nice gift box can be made. By selecting your choice of cloth covering and getting these items to work with or apply to the box you will be on your way to having a very nice collectible item.
I had been saving up. As can be seen in the photo.
glue. I used Loctite brand spray adhesive
pencil . Ink or marker can bleed through.
Your choice of embellishments to finish it up
I’ll show a couple of boxes that were painted that were not cloth-covered later in the post.
For the cloth-covered box, I used the Price Chopper top though the photo here shows a different lid. The difference came as I worked on the boxes at nearly the same time.
The cloth I chose for this project is one that was originally going to be used to make cloth bookmarks. You can see the bookmark post here http://www.philjrsartscraftsmore.com/portfolio/hand-made-painted-cloth-bookmarks/
This is a painted new handkerchief. It was handy as well as the size needed to cover the box top. You can use your own patterned or solid color cloth. You will want to be sure that whatever material you select hides the box print well.
Once you have your material on hand you can cut out a rectangle piece long enough and wide enough to cover the top, sides and overlap the edges to the inside by 1/2” to 1”.
My plan at first was to simply fold the cloth over and tuck it in. This proved to be impractical because of the bulkiness of the painted cloth. So what was done to remedy that was to cut out pieces from each corner but still leaving enough on the long side section to fold them around the sides of the box just enough to hide them. I think that you are able to see what was done in the photo. The other lines that you see simply transferred from the plastic that the handkerchief was secured to when it was painted.
When you have your material ready do a test fold to make sure everything lines up as it should. This test fold also allows you to crease the edges ahead of the gluing step and make it easier when you do glue the cloth on.
I did not cover the bottom section of the cheese box since the bottom fit snugly and would not allow me the needed room to add any material.
Place your material on the surface you are working on then you can go ahead and apply a thin layer of the adhesive you are using to the outside of the box. then set the box on the cloth and bring the cloth up the sides and ends to secure them to the box.
You can now apply glue around the inside edges and secure the rest of the cloth inside. Because I used Loctite spray adhesive the cloth was sprayed and then the material was secured to the box. The spray adhesive works great but is tacky; if you choose to use it you may want to wear some plastic disposable gloves.
As seen in the previous photo and the next couple I painted something on the cloth as well.
I chose to use the cloth-covered cheese box along with a jewelry box and a tissue box and finally a medium size berry box to house my parents Christmas gift card.
As you can see the gift card is quite small.
I was counting on them getting the humor of it.
Though the decorated cheese box with some added decoration inside looked really good-by itself.
Here are the photos of the painted boxes.
Thank you for stopping by. I would be happy to know what you think about the post or any other comments or questions you may have.
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A Christmas Holiday/ Window or Walkway decoration, using re-purposed powdered creamer containers.
A few months back while reading through a project on Hometalk.com titled; Simple organizing: Re-purposed coffee creamer containers. By http://www.frugelegance.com
One of the visitors commented that the creamer containers that she had just purchased were white, not clear so she was not sure they would work to store dry food products in.
But the comment regarding translucent white containers got me thinking of a way that the creamer containers could still be upcycled and kept out of the landfill. Truthfully the containers would still make good dry food product storage one would simply need to label the containers.
What I did at the time though only having one empty flavored coffee creamer container, was to place a color changing tea light inside the container turn out the studio lights and take a picture each time the light’s color changed.
And now we have a Creamer Container Christmas Decoration project.
For this present craft project, I am re-purposing the container so that it can be set along a walkway and lit at night or placed on a window sill inside the house
To help keep the container upright when placed beside the walkway or some other suitable place outside, sand and small stones can be added to the container.
And so the tea light can be easily accessed to turn it on or off, a string can be secured to the light and either glued to the lid or have just enough extra to it to hang over the top edge when the top is screwed on. In my photo above the material I used was handy.
The lids to the creamer containers can be left unpainted or spray painted in the colors you prefer.
I am going to see if placing a solar light on top works and can be secured well enough to handle the weather.
Having just last night begun again to develop the project’s possibilities I have not borrowed any of the walk’s solar lights.
Now, Tea lights single color or changing color units can provide an interesting look to your walkway or window.
Yet more can be done to the creamer containers that is, embellish them.
I have done one of the three containers available. The other two will be done soon so I can set them in a window to take a photograph from inside as well as outside.
After a recent tractor club meeting, I picked up one of the solar likes along our walkway and set up to take a couple of pictures with it on the decorated creamer container.
The solar light works really well. In a window, it would not be necessary to secure the light on. For outside clear box tape might work for a little while. Solar lighting of other types are likely available I simply have not checked further than a mail order catalog.
I appreciate your stopping by. Feel free to let me know what you think of things around here.
Having coffee and Hot Cocoa cans available I decided to see how they would fit together with some smaller soup size cans to make a tall Light House home decoration.
It was easy to obtain the cans for the repurposed container lighthouse.
Coffee, as well as hot chocolate, are popular drinks in this house. So accumulating empty containers does not take very long.
Gallon paint cans are easy to come by as well.
These work too
The photos show different cans. I was building more than one Lighthouse so I was also checking to see what cans worked best for each re-purposing project.
Photo # 3 shows; from the bottom, a round gift box a friend gave me, a Valspar gallon paint can, a Beaumont coffee can, a Swiss Miss hot cocoa can, and a Folgers decaf coffee can, topped off with a Sun Kist tuna can and the cap from a Rustoleum clear gloss spray paint can. To light up the top an imported tea light from China. Photo #4 the base is a 2-gallon food tub.
To actually begin the project the cans have all been coated with Zinsser primer and allowed to dry. The two gift boxes you see were painted at another time but appeared to fit nicely in this Lighthouse project.
Once the cans were in the ideal arrangement I glued them together and allowed them to dry. What I have not done yet is make be holes in the bottom of each can before gluing it together so that a small string of low temp lights could be secured inside that would make it worthwhile to cut out window spaces.
The first re-purposed coffee can lighthouse has windows painted on. The black band was painted on first then the windows.
I made the railing using craft sticks and tape. The railing could use some improvement.
The light works…Hooray!
These can handle a little weather but it is best to keep them dry and out of the weather.
So go ahead and make one up and have some fun doing it. Sincerely Phil Jr.
It is a great time of year to be able to do something worthwhile and lasting with some of your collection of pill bottles.
Turning your pill bottle collection into nice Christmas tree ornaments can be an easy project and an enjoyable one. And the ornaments can be made by the kids as well. This Holiday project that can be done together. Or the young ones can make themselves with minimal supervision required.
I kept the ornaments that will be shown here simple so that most anyone in your family could make one or more. And they can simply provide you with a basic idea of what you would like to make with the pill bottle collection you have. ( of course, you may have enough pill bottles to fill a couple of trees but don’t / Keep it to an enjoyable number).
You will need a few empty pill bottles with the labels removed( of course ).
Spray paint/ colors of you own choosing.
A sharp knife to cut the tab from the lid.
Some acrylic paints.
Brushes and Paint tray. and a little container for rinse water.
Ornament hooks / or eye screws and get the hooks later.
And anything else you might want to embellish your ornaments with.
I took and spray painted a few pill bottles and then let them dry completely. You saw a few in the above photo.
The first bottle I worked on was the blue one with the 3D eyes on it. I purchased the packet of eyes at Walmart a year ago. The rest of the face was painted on. Using some yarn and macaroni and other pasta would have made him a very interesting addition to the family’s ornament collection.
Colorful abstract designs can make for an interesting pill bottle ornament and they don’t take very long to do either.
The three bottles to the left were done by 1. placing some green and yellow oil based paint in a small can that was 3/4 full of water. The two bottles were done this way. The red and green bottle was done similarly but using fingernail polish.
Other options are to paint flowers on the bottle.
Or by dabbing your brush into a couple of colors, stipple the colors onto the bottles.
And on any of the bottles you choose, you can paint on a snowman or add a small sticker.
Two of the photos show a fork stuck in the pill bottle. These and some other pill bottles I used are from a collection of message/recipe card holders I made. The decorations you make and add a fork to would be great for place settings.
When you add the hooks or screws you are ready to go….Well once you have the tree up or some other place ready to hang and display your fine work.
Make a wonderful day of it. Do share what you come up with.
Re-purposing ”new” cotton handkerchiefs to make great looking, long-lasting, handmade and painted, bookmarks.
Many years ago, after I had just begun to paint as a hobby, I started to include small paintings with the many letters that were mailed out. I was new to painting but wanted something extra to share with those who would receive a letter.
How exactly bookmarks became the main item to include with a letter I’m not sure. It was likely because of their small and ease with which a nice useable piece of art could be made. Bookmarks became the item though and many were painted and mailed.
The first bookmarks were made using paper or canvas strips. Many bookmarks were made from regular art paper but being into re-purposing and upcycling as well, tea bag divider strips and snack box pieces were used, as well as leftover strips of canvas from larger paintings.
Paper and plastic bookmarks prints are everywhere, true. Handmade hand painted are much nicer. Yet I was also looking for something with a nice feel to it, something that made the finished piece a little more interesting. This is when I worked some with the handkerchiefs.
Here are a couple of the ways I prepare and paint cloth bookmarks using new handkerchiefs.
The handkerchiefs here were purchased from Dollar General. A 4 pack was $2.50 plus tax. Plain white is used because I basecoat the cloth whatever color needed.
For this demonstration one of the cloths was painted a light brown with a slightly darker brown blended in. I got ahead of myself again…to prepare the cloth for this part of the project it is taped to a plastic covered canvas board so the cloth can be removed after the basecoat has dried.
A second handkerchief was painted a light blue with a slightly darker blue streaked in. The two shades of paint are blended slightly to fade the intensity of the added color. The cloths are given time to dry completely before removing for the next step.
After the cloth has thoroughly dried they are removed from the support and readied to be trimmed and cut to the desired size.
I do not remember changing cloths but since this shows the steps it will be used.
The finished size of each bookmark will be 7” by 2”. these strips are cut at 15” by 3.5” because a quality paper is added to the inside of the piece that is then folded in half later. There are a couple of reasons for adding the paper one being to keep the painting that will be done from soaking through to the back side.
After the strips of cloth have been cut to size, strips of art paper ( cotton fine art paper or good watercolor paper is used / 90 lb 250 gsm is ideal ) . are cut to 14” by 2” and then secured inside the cloth. Both papers can handle the painting process and if need be pressed back into shape. After you have used the plastic to hold the cloth a couple of times the paint left often sticks to the back of the cloth. This has not posed a problem when the paint has a color. It can sometimes show through if leaving or painting the cloth white.
Once the paper is in place the edges of the cloth are folded in and taped in place. Only small pieces of tape are needed to hold the cloth in place. Later the bookmark will be folded and glued in place. The included pictures show the steps for securing the paper in place.
It is not important to glue the bookmark together right away unless you prefer to do so. ( look ahead for the gluing options ).
Occasionally I work on one bookmark at a time but more often two or more are taped to a support so more can be completed in a shorter length of time. A similar scene is done on each with minor variations to each picture to make it unique.
The bookmark once folded in half can be glued in place with your choice of adhesive. I most often use regular acrylic gloss and then sandwich the bookmarks between plastic covered 5” by 7” or 6” by 8” canvas boards until the gloss has had time to dry. Just recently I have also used heat and seal hem tape to secure some. If you sew, sewing works really well and would provide you options for the stitch.
Here are just a few of the finished cloth bookmarks.
The final photo shows some of the bookmarks done recently.
The artwork, of course, is mine and is copyright protected. You may make any of the paintings for yourself or friends. And you may if you prefer to, paint and sell finished bookmarks in local flea markets and craft fairs. Enjoy !
It has been just over a month since I last posted a project, spring fever I think…so much to do outside. Yet I did have this beveled glass mirror project yet to do.
How I came to purchase this mirror:
I decided to rent a space at a local indoor flea market to see if I could sell some of my artwork and re-purposed-upcycled items. The risk though was knowing I could end up doing more shopping of my neighbor’s items than time in my spot. ( just like many of you, I like a nicely priced flea market find that can then be fixed up upcycled ).
I picked one of the slowest times of year to set up at this otherwise busy market. Those who would be potential customers were out enjoying the great weather and numerous area garage sales and church spring bazaars.
Not a problem though since I was just getting into this kind of setup, and had more than enough time to get the spot setup as it should be.
My 3 rd. week at the Harrison St. Market I went across the aisle to see neighbors collection of items and found this nice, though old, framed beveled glass mirror. True it was dull from age, yet in otherwise good shape, so I purchased it.
I now had a beveled glass mirror project to work on.
My first intention was to sand and multicolored stain the frame similarly to a post I saw at Hometalk.com, titled Dump to Divine w/unicorn spit (brand )paint-stain, a project by Tracy Downing, Canada. The wood frame was not right for staining so I decided to custom paint it.
What I did was take the beveled mirror out of its support frame. Then after wiping the frame down applied two coats of Valspar metallic gold paint, allowing each coat to dry completely.
The face of the outside framework and carved area was thoroughly wiped down and given time to dry. The carved wood piece of the frame had two coats of Rustoleum flat black paint applied, then some touch up was done where the carved areas did not cover.
Taping off the carved area, lightly tacking on the tape so as not to (hopefully) pull off any of the black, a primer coat of Zinsser paint was applied. Once dry a second coat of primer was added, and while this coat was still wet acrylic black paint was dabbed around the area, and only slightly blended in giving it its marbled look.
After giving this part of the frame sufficient time to dry, it was taped off (lightly) and the outside edge was painted using the same black as the carved part. When all the painted areas were ready two coats of Rustoleum clear gloss was applied. Actually, three coats to make sure none of this large frame was missed.
The mirror was thoroughly cleaned as well ,then secured again to its support frame. This was then placed in the main frame and secured with finishing nails. Though when this was all finished and the glass survived. In hind sight I should have waited until the frame parts were each secured before replacing the mirror itself. One other close call was after having re-tied the double wrapped cable that the mirror would hang from it was found not to be strong enough to handle the weight. The cable broke as I tested it while only inches above the ground.
Now, this mirror is ready ( well after a new cable is fastened to it) to be available for sale.
One of the really good things that came about from the flea market setup , is that I met Alicia Beck, sales and marketing manager from UP THE CREEK ladies consignment boutique, who really likes my artwork, especially the re-purposed items. Alicia asked if I would be interested in featuring for sale some of my work in their store. And of course, I was. You can see some of the great consigned items available for sale at https://.www.facebook.com/upthecreekconsignment
And see some of my art and re-purposed items available for purchase.
The glass shakers seen here have seen many years of service.
The glass itself is fine but the lids have had enough. Salt took its toll on that shaker’s lid, and these containers were kept on the back of the stove and exposed to much cooking, and subsequent cleaning.
The new salt and pepper containers are already in use. And as I looked at these retired jars I thought why not a simple re-purpose and keep them going for a little while longer.
The shakers were washed and dried, the lids too but hey will not be used.
I then spray painted each shaker: black for pepper, and white for salt.
The black is a flat color so the jar also had a semi gloss clear applied. A hair dryer was then used to speed up the drying process.
I then took each jar and highlighted the raised lettering and cornucopia on each. Black on the white jar and white on the black jar.
The forks were secured in place with rubber silicone. Not wanting to fill each shaker full of plaster of Paris, a paper towel was balled up and placed in the bottom of each jar. The plaster was then mixed separately for each shaker and added to them.
Since a few artificial flowers had just been purchased from Dollar Tree, I selected a flower for the salt and pepper shaker and stuck them in the hardening plaster.
Time was allowed for the plaster to harden before the final touches were added so that the back of the shakers offered something to look at as well.
Though we already have a variety of recipe card holders I think these turned out rather nice and deserve their chance to be used.
Mother’s day is just 3 days away ,and dinner out may already be set. But what about something from the heart and your own creativity? Why not a re-purposed Teriyaki sauce bottle ( or another long neck bottle ).
I had four empty sauce bottles needing to be up-cycled. My mother really enjoys going to see lighthouses. And collecting lighthouse paintings and keepsakes . So the first bottle I painted a few days back featured a Lighthouse, some water , sand, and of course a few seagulls.
I had already spray painted one of the bottles, and having some small Mother’s day cards chose to glue a card to the front. On the other side an art card print from one of my Pinochle card paintings was added ( not for sale ). Using a paint pen Mom was written on the neck of the bottle, and Love You over the card. To finish this one a nice single flower was added and a butterfly to compliment.
The lighthouse scene was already painted when the photos were taken. This painting was started by doing the middle area first , the ground was painted the a place was chosen for the Lighthouse and caretakers little house. Nothing fancy since this was to be a quick painting , and at the time it had not been determined where this painting would be going. The blues for the water area was then added and a little white for the white caps. The foreground area was then painted to finish the main scene. I added the clouds last because I held the bottle neck as the lighthouse area was being painted. Later sand was put inside the bottle to add to the composition, as well as help hold the flowers in place.
Now for the Mother’s day bottle shown in the first photo. For this bottle I spray painted it purple using Rustoleum grape. Then to speed up the drying time a hair dryer set on low was used and the warm air was applied for about 5 min. I did let the bottle set for a few more minutes before testing to see if drying the paint this way worked. Thankfully it did. From there the mother’s day card was dampened with water so it would form easily to the bottle. a light coating of glue was added to the back of the card and spread around then the piece was applied to the bottle.
The lettering was added, then some flowers and greenery were painted to liven things up a little.
The orange flowers and onion grass with butterflies ( purchased from DollarTree ) were then arranged in the (now) vase and the gift was finished.
The hardest part of this project was trying to get a photo of the finished pieces. Good Crafting…especially to any who do a similar work.
A beautiful painting for Mother’s day; painted on a rock.
Here is an opportunity to do something special for mom that reminds her that you love her. And you set it in stone.
Here is the reference painting , painted on a rock a few weeks back.
I have attempted to demonstrate this project in a way to make it easier for someone new to painting, who is willing to give it a shot the opportunity to paint a work of art, that mom will wonder how she missed that they knew how to paint .
The painting I will demonstrate, as well as the one you (may) do will turn out similar yet just as nice when finished.
I started with this rock here that I pulled out of the creek in the back side of the lawn on my parents property. ( approximate dimensions 10.25”long by 9.65”at its widest point and about 0.75”thick ) If you are unable to get a nice rock from a creek or river bank near you , you can go to a place like Lowes or Home depot and pick up a patio paver to work with ( a flat cider block will simply require a little more paint).
The supplies needed to do this Mother’s day painting were; Studio grade artist acrylic paint; Zinsser primer ( acrylic gesso will work too ); acrylic gloss; Rustoleum clear gloss; a few paint brushes; The paint color are from left to right…Phthalo blue, medium yellow(this brand quite bright) Quidacridone Crimson, Zinsser water based primer ( I also use this to tint colors ); burnt sienna; magenta; and titanium white; not seen is mars black and ultramarine blue, or the acrylic clear gloss.
(You will also need a small container to mix some of the primer and thalo blue in). After rinsing the rock off with plain water I patted it dry with a rag ( used blue cleaning cloth). The rock did not need to be absolutely dry. I added about 2 ounces of primer and a very small amount of the blue (thalos are pretty intense colors) and stirred them together to make a sky blue, then painted the top and sides of the rock. Two coats are best. The second coat is not given time to dry before the next step is applied.
For this step each of the colors was applied separately then the fan brush was used to blend the streaks in slightly. By dipping the tip of a fan brush in the colors you can control the paint streaks. White was also streaked in for it to be seen as well as mellow out the other colors a little more. If during the blending process a color or two blend too much just add some more to that area.
Now let this background color dry before moving forward.
Now it is time to begin painting some of the flowers ( though make-believe flowers they remind me of lilac blossoms, or what they call butterfly flowers). To get the first color I took some of the crimson and a little of the thalo blue and mixed them with a small amount of titanium white to get a deep violet or indigo (but not over mixing the colors). Then taking a well-worn 3/4” flat (you can use the stencil brush for this) I began dabbing this color on the rock-forming the shape of the flowers on the right side. Now for the flowers on the left side using the blue and red again the color was mixed with white but left on the purple/ lavender side and dabbed on. To build these flowers up I applied a darker shade of these colors to the bottom side of each flower, then a lighter than the middle part of the flower to the tops. Then taking some white I highlighted the tops of the flowers. ( you can simply lighten the previous color more to make the highlight if you prefer). I also very lightly dabbed in some green and yellow to the flowers giving the hint that those need to develop more. ( Usually it is pre-determined where the light is coming from, for this painting we can think of the light being over head and a little behind us.. this will help as you apply the darks and light colors that will be mentioned).
You can add the leaves now but might prefer to let the flowers dry first. Working wet in to wet can be tricky. I did not mention a green paint in the supplies list because I mix the greens using different blues and yellows. You can work with thalo green if you want.
Placing some of the blue on the paint tray and mixing in a little yellow plus a touch of red , a dark green color was made. Dipping the 1/2” flat brush in this color the leaves were applied using a short ( S ) stroke. in sets of three. one right, one left, one in front in the middle. You can apply the leaves as you like, to help give form to the painting. Now add a touch of yellow to the green you made, or make some more green without any red, and add the yellow plus a little white. Using this light color green apply it to the top parts of your leaves.
Once that is done they can be left to dry. If you see later that more dark or light color needs to be added you can do so at that time. ( It is true that there is much more detail that could be added to really make the parts of the picture stand out but for now we are painting a nice picture for mom that is to be easy enough for a new painter to do ).
Having the leaves on now some small twigs can be added. Twigs are made using short lines of brown paint with a touch of black and white mixed in. The twigs should be short with little off-shoots. Some form can be given to these branches by applying a darker mixture to one side of the branch , and a little lighter color to parts of the upper side.
The two photos are identical here , we will add some additional flowers now to brighten up the composition , and break up the other colors some. I used pink, made by mixing some red with the white ( without over mixing) then dabbed this mixture at random spots in the picture. Also mixing yellow with a little white a few yellow flowers were added. This part of the painting is done.
We will call this above, part one, of a two-part Painting project. You can and should take a much-needed break.
Time to paint your humming-bird and a couple butterflies.
For the humming-bird you can look up images on Google, or photos from one of the many sites;Deposit Photo. Dreams Time , Pixaby and more. Then as I did brush in the basic shape of the little guy. I use white and tinted it .
Next I mixed some green, lighter though than the final green will be, then applied this over the base. For the underbelly I used a yellow, light brown and a hint of green, you can get a good idea as to how you can go by referring to your selected picture. Next I built up the green and added the tail feathers ,feet, nose (beak ? ), and eye.
My Hummer is similar to a Ruby throat( though a true Ruby might not think so ). So after the body colors were built up highlights using white was applied to the nose , eye, feet and tail.
Now to some imaginary butterflies.
for these basic and quick butterflies I used the same brush stroke as I did for the leaves.
the bottom or tail piece was applied first, then what will be the back wing.
Once the back wing is in place the next stroke is applied just under it( which does not show up very well in the photo).
Now I painted black lines to outline the wings. this also brings the forward wing into view. The body was added with black paint, wider at the front to a narrow back, then white dots were added.
This is the completed painting that will soon have the acrylic gloss applied, and a coat or two of the Rustoleum ,interior,exterior gloss should this be placed outdoors.
I trust that you found this a helpful piece. It is the first project that I have done providing this much more detail. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and take heart to any criticisms . Thankyou. and Good Painting.
Thursday’s Project Post / Featuring a 55 gallon Vinegar Barrel now Rainwater collector.
This barrel can handle the water collection without needing to be painted but where is the joy in that? Just one more item in the backyard.
This will be my first year at container gardening; I’m anxious but it is too early here for open air gardening just yet.
But it is the right time to set the rain barrel.
What to paint on the barrel was what I was having trouble deciding on. My first thought was to paint a nice Lighthouse with the ocean scape to go with it. Or possibly a nice landscape that would go well in this part of the yard. So I started by base coating the barrel a light blue using a mixture of Zinsser primer and thalo blue acrylic paint. Then I received a get well card sent on behalf of the tractor club ( Southern tier antique tractor ) that can be seen to the right of the barrel in the above photo that featured a green background a humming-bird and some flowers that look really nice. So I chose to develop something of my own from it.
After the first coat of green had dried a second coat was applied and some background colors added and blended in to cause them to recede into the background. It was decided then to paint flower pots at the bottom to give the scene more substance.
With the middle ground now being the center of attention, the background colors became less important. Though they too occupied some space which there is a lot of space to fill.
I actually worked from the center of the painting then to the right and left. The colors were now being applied full strength, with the leaves being added after the flowers.
Painting the rainwater collector.
Much of the painting was done using the wet into wet technique. Using acrylics to do this can be challenging, the paint’s consistency is the same so it blends quickly and becomes a flat color.
What that blending requires then is to go back at a later time to add specific highlights and shading. I may return to the barrel at a later time and develop the flower pots more to help them stand out better.
I am planning to raise the barrel up by setting it on a re-purposed tire. Also, a drain piece may be added so water does not always have to be dipped from the top.
And since it is only a few minutes after 6 pm I am going to see if an old tire is available, get it painted and in place for one final photo for this post.
That is now accomplished and the tire will serve its purpose as long as I remember that the inside of the tire still needs to be filled with rocks and dirt so that the barrel will not tip over when it fills with water.
A Re-purposed 5 quart Ice Cream tub makes a great plant pot and base for a decorative Birdhouse mini Plant Stand.
This is the start. The idea taking shape. This scaled down decorative plant stand has a 14”shelf and would handle small flower bowls or pots. I found a few artificial flowers in the attic to get a better idea of what can be done. They help. Now all that is needed is something to go on either side of the bird house. ( not necessarily flowers ).
The full-size plant stand with a bird house that
is seen in the previous portfolio post is 42” plus tall with an 18” long floor piece allowing 6” on each side of the B. H. for the plant pots.
A look at another planter. It has a string of small artificial flowers that strung nicely around the branch post. Your creativity in arranging some artificial or real flowers of your own liking will make your planter sharp.
To paint the tubs I used Zinsser primer for the base coat, then dabbing on color with a 2” well worn flat utility brush. Then after applying the color (s) around the entire tub I went over the tub again blending the color into the white base coat some more but not so much so as to make it one solid color.
Choose your own color, or colors and have some fun. It does take some practice to get the blend to the place you would like it. It is good to experiment with this process first on another surface to see how it will turn out. Of course using acrylics on the tub will allow you simply to wash the paint off and start over if you want a different look than you ended up with.
For the support posts I used cut tree branches, and 2” by 2” pieces of pine. To the bottom of the posts I screwed on a piece of pallet wood approx. 3 1/2” by 6” using a 3” deck screw.
The top pieces were secured with either the 3” screw or 2 1/2” drywall screws. I used a 1” by 4” by 14” for one setup, a 7” diameter plaque for another, and one is waiting for something to be secured to the top piece.
I added creek gravel to the bucket after the post was in place to give it some support as well as a weight to help it stay upright when fully set up.
The decorative bird houses were from A C Moore or Walmart. Each store carries some, and it was last summer that I purchased these. I painted the bird houses to spruce them up a bit more. The 7” circle plaques are from Walmart.
I painted several of these tubs some months back. A few are being used to store plastic ware and napkins for tractor club meetings a non-profit charitable group.) and other events. For some of these tubs, I painted scenes on the lids to add character to the container.
Now though using these tubs here to make the decorative mini birdhouse plant stand (s) they were not needed. The lids will make good wall art.
I did not provide a lot of instruction in this post But you have a good excuse to go out and buy a tub of your favorite ice cream and enjoy! Then craft your own flower pot.
The Bird house plant stand makes a great lawn or garden ornament.
These plant stand-bird house combination pieces are made using new white wood for the bird house, re-purposed 4 and 5 gallon food grade buckets for the base, and used 2 by 4s or tree branches for the support posts. Also used were small pieces of pallet wood for the stabilizing pieces on the ends of the post.
A new addition will be a 5” by 7” plaque for a welcome sign are name plate.
Needed for this project ( for an individual stand ) are 2/ 1” by 6” by 12” pieces; 2/ 1” by 4” by 11” pieces; 1/ 1” by 4” by 18” piece; 1/ 2” by 4” by 30”; 1/1” by 6” by 7” piece for the roof; and if you do not have access to pallet wood ( 1/2” by 3 1/2” by one 12” and one 9 ” use pieces of the 1” by 4” cut to those lengths; 1/ 12” and 1/ 9” ; 2/ 2 1/2” by 3/8” pieces of dowel rod. ( I used branch pieces that fit snugly in the 3/8” holes). Rubber silicone or flexible caulking; Also a 5 gallon food grade bucket; additionally needed; 12 ,4d finishing nails ; 11, 1 1/2” drywall screws; 6, 3” drywall screws; 4/ 1 1/4” drywall screws to secure bird house to base; some rubber silicone or flexible window caulk Paint or stain of your choosing; ( I use Zinsser primer and acrylic paints/ the primer is also mixed with the colors as the base ) ; lastly or nearly so is a clear exterior grade gloss.. ( I use Rustoleum brand gloss or clear enamel spray).
A creek gravel mixture was used in the bottom of the bucket , partially as filler and for weight . Potting soil will be added when the time comes to plant flowers or vegetables in the bucket.
Tools needed ; A drill with a 3/32 nd. inch bit, a 3/8”s inch bit , a hole saw bit or wood hole bit ( 1 1/4” or 1 1/2” dia. ); a Philips head bit ; A hand or power saw; Philips head screw driver; A hammer ; A caulking gun; ruler and tape measure.
Now you are ready to cut all the pieces of wood to their intended lengths. Once the pieces have been cut take one of the 1” by 6” by 12” pieces and measure in 3/8” on the long sides and lightly draw a line from top to bottom. Next measure down from the top 1 1/2” ….. 5 1/2” and 9 1/2”;; mark the spots then drive a finishing nail through till it just comes out the other side, do this for each spot. You can also prep the other by 6”by 12” board now in the same way.
Now take one of those 12” pieces and one of the 1” by 4” by 11” pieces and line them up for one corner of the house. Starting at the top with end flush drive in the top nail, then drive the bottom nail then the middle nail. Line the other 11” piece up the same way and pound in those nails the same way. turn this joined piece over and do the same, making sure that the top edge is flush to the rest.
The 18” floor piece can be put in place , and centered by measuring in 6 and 1/4” from each end of the 18” piece. When centered measure in 1/2” from the bottom of each 12” piece that make up the front and back of the house , and in 1” from the edges and mark, then using the small drill bit drill two starter holes front and back. Don’t drill all the way in to the floor piece so that the 1 1/2 ”screws will have something to grip. now add the screws. The floor piece should be inside the 12” piece about 1/4” .
Don’t secure the top until later. you can mark where the right and left screw will be placed if you want to.. The roof should hang over the front about 1 1/2”, about 1/2” over the back. measure from the back edges in 3” and 3/8” from the sides. One screw on each side should be enough, and make it easier to remove the top to clean out the old nest before a new one is needed. ( If you are simply going to use the bird house as a decoration cover the opening(s) with screen or cardboard so the female can’t get in.
For the entrance holes , decide which 12” board will be the front, For a single opening measure up from the bottom 7” and out from the side about 2 3/4” (check the actual width of your board to find the center) and drill the 1 1/4” or 1 1/2” hole. below this opening drill a 3/8” hole for the perch( dowel ). For a double opening center a 1 1/4” hole 3” down from the top and center one 1 1/4” hole 6 1/2” up from the bottom. The top perch will be 1” below opening, the lower perch 1 1/2” below opening. This does not make for a double nesting situation only one bird ( wren, likely) will use the spot.
Around the top of the bird house before securing the roof run a small bead of silicone or caulking . Take the roof piece and along the inside apply masking tape where it would contact the silicone. This should allow the roof to be taken off when it is time to clean out the old nest.
The bird house can now be painted with the color(s) you have chosen. The roof piece needs the starter holes made before painting, you will dab on to the paint when the screws are put in later. Also paint the bucket and let it dry, Secure the roof now. dab some paint on the top of the screws.
For the support post take and center the 12” pallet wood piece or 1” by 4” by 12” board on the 2 by 4 draw a box on the support piece from this mark a center spot then out from the center to the right and left mark alternate sides of the center for the other two screws. Drill the starter holes but not more than an inch into the 2 by 4 itself . screw the support to the post using the 3” screws. For the bottom 9” support center and screw on the same way. Paint the support post and top piece.
Now after everything is painted and dry ,center the bird house on the top support piece and screw in two short screws on each side. You may need to angle them so that they do not go through the bottom. The 1 1/2” screws will work if you used the 1’x’ 4” board. Dab some paint on the top of these screws too.
We are nearing the finish line . Stand the post in the bucket and add what ever base dirt or gravel you decided on. About 4 inches of dirt or gravel should do. And there will be plenty of room for potting soil.
The bird house can be glossed after the paint has dried or after the house is secured in the base soil.
Using Re-purposed ice cream lids to make this Painted ice cream lid clock.
Thursday, January 14th, I decided to find out whether or not the ice cream lid clock project would work out. I had a clock surface, made by Walnut Hollow that originally was going to be used for a second painted ice cream spoon clock. The first spoon clock made using 1/2” plywood that I had cut the clock surface from turned out nicely. The clock did not get made and the seven dollar piece of birch wood ended up as a cover for the bird seed…not good.
The lids were already painted and first used in one of several 2013 calendars that I put together for friends and family.
Family already had more calendars than they knew what to do with. So aside from the ones already going to a craft bazaar fundraiser, there were a few left over. A couple sets were framed and other individual lids had magnet strips added to the back and are on the studio door. A few lids were turned into Christmas ornaments and given to friends.
But I have an ice cream lid clock project to share so the history of the rest of the lids can wait.
The surface diameter is 14” and 3/8” thick. I painted the surface white, 3 coats to make it all even. I did make an acrylic stain light brown in color and apply it to the other side but chose the white surface in the end.
Parts from a plastic wall clock purchased from Dollar General were used for the hours part which fit nicely inside the circle of lids. The hands and clock movement( motor and center post) did not. The purchased clock was of thin plastic…..oops. I was excited that the hours part fit but hadn’t thought about the center post, a post not on the purchased clock.
So I went to the spoon clock and borrowed the clock movement pieces so the lid clock could be finished. I will order the 3/8” unit for the lid clock and return the 3/4” unit to this other clock.
The lids will be glued to the surface in the near future. Two small eye screws and a piece of wire are on the back so it could be hung up as seen here.
Materials needed to do this project are; One 14” clock surface; the clock movements with a 3/8” post (clock movements is what the company calls the motor unit) the hour, minute and second-hand come with it; the individual number like those in the spoon clock are separate; some white paint and brush; glue; and 12 painted 4 oz. container ice cream lids (someone might have to get them from a school ?) I traded a painted lid for every 20 lids a tray room friend collected for me.
I purchased the 3/4” clock movements and numbers for the spoon clock from Dick Blick art materials. Michael’s or A C Moore likely has them as well.