Easy Country Decor Ideas: Filling Old Jars with “Stuff”

First off, Happy Independence Day to all my crafty friends out there! Hope you are all have a fun day filled with family, friends, BBQ’s and sunshine!

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A day off work meant a little time to do some thrifting this morning, and boy did I score some great stuff! It also got the crafty juices flowing and I decided to do a little bit of tinkering with some left over mason jars and jar-filler ideas. I always seem to have an abundance of mason jars from other projects, garage sales, etc. I can never resist buying them if the price is right, because I always seem to find a use for them! :)

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Forgive me if you’ve seen similar pictures and content from previous posts – this is just a recap of all the jar filler ideas I’ve done in the past few years! :D

The first set of jars I filled with glass marbles. They look great as is, but would also look nice with a twine bow or homespun ribbon tie. I like them just plain!

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Where did I get the marbles you ask? You’ll never believe it…

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The dollar store!!! Not the Dollar Tree, but a random dollar store called “Real Deals.” That’s why I say you have to stop at all different kinds of dollar stores whenever you see them, because you just never know what kind of great crafting supplies you’ll find! I love these because they look genuinely vintage, but were a fraction of the price!

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Vintage buttons make for another great jar filler. These two particular jars are for sale in my Etsy shop. Old buttons are so beautiful and interesting to look at, so why not display them as art? :) I also like to use other types of glass jars like this one on the left, which I think is a vintage jam jar. Not sure though, but I love its textured look and weathered tin lid.

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I filled the next set of jars with some “fixins” which I had lying around, waiting to be scented. I decided to put them in the jars unscented and will tie on a small vial of scenting oil to go with them, so people can refresh the scent now and again. I took out the flat metal lid that goes under the screw cap and replaced it with a square of homespun fabric. I think I will do a big batch of these for Fall and tie on a little tag with a crow or pumpkin on it. I buy these rosehips/putka pods in bulk from various suppliers online.

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Here are a few jars I have filled that are already decorating my house. More vintage buttons and clay marbles from a flea market.

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Dang I love those old clay marbles! I think it’s the palette of earth tone colors that gets me. :)

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Here’s how I have some jars displayed, just to give you some ideas.

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Another easy and cheap bowl filler idea are old Christmas tree bulbs! I find them at every freakin garage sale and estate sale I go to, always buried on the big table of Christmas crap that no one wants. Therefore, they are often very cheap! Obviously these would be great sellers at Christmas craft shows. Accents with a little jingle bell or Christmas themed fabric ties would look great too!

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My last idea for today’s post are old keys. I buy lots of skeleton keys where ever I can, and they often include random other types of keys (more like “modern” key shapes and generally more boring/run of the mill keys) which I usually toss to the side. This is the jar I found at the thrift store today and I thought they’d go perfect together. I really like how it looks and think I’ll keep this one. :P

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Well here they are all together! I am obsessed! I love them all!!!

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Some other ideas that come to mind are:

  • Acorns
  • Cool lookin’ seed pods
  • Potpourri
  • Sea Shells
  • Sea Glass
  • Wax tarts
  • Jacks (the old children’s game)
  • Old pins, brooches, or vintage clip on earrings

What other jar filler ideas can you guys think of? Send me pics of your jar decorations and I’ll post ‘em here! Have a great 4th!

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Here is a picture of some mason jar center pieces filled with lovely black & white family photos, created by reader Susie! Here is the link to her full post: http://www.susiewittwer.com/2013/01/mason-jars-family-photos.html. I just love the idea of using vintage papers/photos inside the jars!  :P

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Primitive Country Themed Bottles or “Single Stem” Vases

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my fellow Irishmen & women! :) Before I get to today’s craft project, I thought I’d share an update on the primitive crate shutter I made. I finally found a little pip berry wreath at my friend June’s antique store, and it was the perfect size to place right in the center of the shutter! Woohoo!

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I used some thin green floral wire to tie it on the shutter, sliding it between the slats of the crate boards, and securing on the back.

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I then used some jute twine, knotted through the pre-existing holes (from where nails held the crate pieces together) to make a hanger.

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It’s heading over to my co-op this week. I am putting $22 on it. It only cost a few bucks to make – the pip berry wreath being the only expense. The rest of the supplies were on hand, and I was able to re-use an old dilapidated crate that may have otherwise gone in the burn pile! :)

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Ok, and not for the single stem bottles project. It’s a “dollar craft” because these awesome little bottles are only $1 at Michael’s craft store! The rest of the supplies I had on hand.

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You can accent the bottles with whatever you’d like! I decided to use rusty tin stars, little enamel number plates, and some skeleton keys. You could also use buttons, twine bows, little pip berry sprigs, faux berries or flowers, sea shells, antique broaches…be creative!

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Took a strip of torn homespun fabric and used a hot glue gun to secure it in place.

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Here are the finished bottles! They could be used for general decor or as single stem flower vases! :)

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I am going to price them at $4 each and see how it goes!

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And last but not least, some great thrift store finds! It’s quite a random collection of items, but cool nonetheless! I found a mint condition 1957 Chevy model car, a chunky primitive candle, a beautiful vintage brass and enamel bowl, and an old brass Eiffel Tower bottle opener!

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I also found a colorful enamel pot, a wooden wall decor/candle holder, and another little brass elf dude that I could not resist. Vintage brass seems to sell really well on Etsy and in te co-op.

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The major score of the trip was a bag of vintage brass horse buckles / tack medallions, in a variety of designs and shapes. I thought they were trivets at first, but upon further research I found that they are used to decorate horse tacks and bridles. They are collectible and are oh so cool!!! Some will go to the co-op and some on Etsy!

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Hope everyone has a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day! Cheers! :)

Marble Magnet Wedding Favors

I know I have done marble magnet posts before but I really haven’t had much else going on in the crafting department, so I thought I’d do a step-by-step post again as a “refresher course” if you will. I also came up with a new and different way of packaging them, which I thought may be an option for those wanting to make these for craft shows! :)

First you have to decide what your content will be. I created 1″ customized images for a friend’s wedding, using Photoshop. You can really use anything to create your magnets – magazines, scrapbook paper, or create your own themed images.

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Here are the main supplies I used. Magnets (Walmart), clear silicone (Lowe’s), clear plastic cabachons (allstarco.com) and a plastic tool thingy that I found in my utensil drawer. You can use anything to apply the silicone – a toothpick works just as well.

You can use different supplies, like clear glass marbles (from the Dollar Tree) instead of the plastic cabs, but I highly recommend that you use the silicone shown here. Others use Mod Podge, craft glue, etc., but I have had absolutely awesome results using this clear silicone. It is also very strong and will make your magnets last for years.

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I also used a 1″ hole punch to make my images the exact correct size. You can cut them out if you’d like, but this is definitely a great tool if you’re planning on mass producing these things.

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Put a pea-sized dab of silicone on your image…

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And smush down the cab or marble, applying even pressure. Any excess silicone that spills out the sides can easily be wiped off with your finger or a paper towel. The image is instantly magnified.

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I use the same silicone to apply the magnet. A little less than a pea-sized dab will do. It is very strong!

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Next, for the packaging, I used a large tag-shaped punch and some heavy stock craft paper (both from A.C.Moore). The tag punches are very expensive, so I will always wait for a 50% off coupon before purchasing something like that. It is well worth the money though, because it’s a great tool.

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Again, you could use a heavy scrapbook paper or whatever material you’d like. I printed out a poem on mine, which will be the back of the tag. Use the open side of the punch to line up your text/image before punching.

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In the mean time, let your marble magnets dry thoroughly before packaging. I let mine sit overnight.

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To get the magnets to lay flat on the tag, and not cling together, I used removable Glue Dots. Simply stick them to the backs of the magnets and stick them to the tag. This way you won’t have a nice package with a little ball of magnets that are all stuck together.

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You could leave them as is, or bag them up. I used candy-making treat bags because they come in a variety of sizes and are very inexpensive.

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Unfortunately I could not find the exact size I needed, so I had to improvise. I folded the excess bag over to the back and applied a small piece of clear scotch tape.

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Then finish off with ribbon, jute, homespun fabric, or whatever you’d like. For these I did purple ribbon and a jute twine bow.

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I got a chance to swing by the thrift store yesterday and boy am I glad I did! The key is to go often, because merchandise changes a lot in those places! I got some goodies that are already priced and ready to go in my booth. Cast iron candle holders, a counter top glass container, and some cute little country decorations. I also got some great brand-new rubber stamps, which will go in my Etsy store.

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We all know how expensive stamps are, so this was a major score!

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I also picked up some apple pie casserole dishes. They are not exactly my cup of tea, but these types of things sell very well around Fall time. People are thinking about Thanksgiving, comfort foods, etc., and always seem to be looking for casserole dishes.

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Have a great day and hope to be back soon! Happy crafting! :)

Making a Custom Sign: Trial and Error

Hello my crafty friends! Summer has kept me quite busy, but I have been able to squeeze in some junkin’ and a few little projects. My latest project is a custom sign I made for a co-worker, with the phrase “Endeavor to Persevere”; a quote from an old Clint Eastwood movie. I haven’t made a sign in a long time, so I had a little bit of a rough go. I thought I’d share my trial and error, and a few tips for sign making.

To start out, spray paint your board with your color of choice. I got this pre-cut board at Lowe’s for $3.

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Sand it to your liking. Go heavy on sanding for a more distressed, country look. There’s no way to mess this up, so just sand away.

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For custom signs, I always use foam stamps. I have had a lot of people ask where I get the large foam alphabet stamps from. They are hard to find, and to be honest, I get them where ever I can find them! All of the stamps I have were ordered online after Googling “large alphabet stamps”. I got them from various sources, such as random online craft stores and people selling gently used stamps on Etsy. Craft stores generally do not sell large stamps like these, so your best option is going to be online.

I use artist grade (thicker, more pigmented) acrylic paint, and I’ll tell ya why in a minute.

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Do not dip the stamp into a big glob of paint. It will be WAY too much and will splurge out the sides when you press down on the stamp. To apply paint to the stamp, use a small piece of slight moist sponge to gently dab on the paint. It seems like a pain, but I promise it’s the best way!

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This was my first attempt. I did not like the way it looked. It looked uneven and my spacing was horrible. I do try to space it out ahead of time by marking the board with little pencil dots, but spacing can be hard to perfect.

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Here’s why I like to use spray paint for the board and heavy grade acrylic paint for the letters. Before the acrylic dries, you can actually wipe off the stamped letters completely.  After stamping many crooked letters, I simply wiped them away with a moist paper towel. Then, when I was done, I still did not like the way it looked. I used a wet sponge to wipe off the entire phrase. It came off quickly and easily. I immediately dried the board with a kitchen towel to avoid saturating the wood. It’s definitely nice to know you have this option should you mess up!

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I decided to use a different set of stamps with a clear back. I highly recommend stamps with the clear backing, as it makes it significantly easier to line up your words! You can SEE the spacing and exactly where the letter will land. Again, these are hard to find…I got lucky and found these online at some random craft store.

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I like this wording much better and the spacing is more even after using the clear backed stamps! No need to worry about the excess board on the right. I will saw it off and even it out.

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To clean the foam stamps, run under water and use a sponge (or your fingers) to rub the paint off the surface of the foam letters. Place on a paper towel to dry. This is important, or else the acrylic paint with harden on the stamps and make them difficult to use.

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I cut down the board using a small electric hand saw that I got at Lowe’s ages ago, for small projects just like this. They are inexpensive and great tools to have on hand. I then re-sanded the edge to keep the distressed look even on both sides.

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To finish off the sign, I used a dark brown gel stain to give it a bit of an aged look. I liberally squirt it right on the sign, and then rub it around with a paper towel. Then wipe off the excess. It’s a subtle effect, but it softens the bright white of the lettering. I find gel stains and antiquing mediums in any craft store, next to the craft acrylics in small bottles.

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For the hanger, I always use these easy-to-install metal hangers. They are found in any home improvement store. The little prongs press right into the wood and make for a strong hold.

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Finally, I sprayed it with a clear poly to seal it. Here is the final result. Hope she likes it!

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In junkin’ news, I hit up a barn sale recently and got this incredible stack of old historical photographs. I listed them in my Etsy store and they have already sold!

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I also picked up a small enamel bed pan, a fun brightly colored vintage tin, and a glass flower frog.

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I got this awesome old bowling pin set, complete with a bunch of brightly colored wooden pins and a yellow ball. I LOVE these for country decor. I now have them listed in my Etsy store. :)

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Lastly, I got these gems at the Goodwill thrift store recently. The Peter Rabbit coin bank is silver-plated and very heavy. I polished him up and he is now for sale in my Etsy store! I also got a bunch of tin molds that always seem to sell well.

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Can’t wait to give my friend her sign. She plans on hanging it in their cottage up on the lake. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Crafting!

Vintage Spoon Bookmarks

My latest project involves upcycling some old flatware into fun and unique bookmarks! I bought a handmade spoon bookmark at a craft show a few years back with the intent to copy the idea. I recently got a bunch of great vintage spoons at a flea market, so I decided to try it out. They came out pretty awesome! :)

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To do this project you need some spoons, a hammer, an old towel, and something flat to hammer on. I used a big piece of flat plywood. I think the older spoons work better because they are thinner and more flexible than newer spoons. I don’t think dollar store spoons would work well for these, but I could be wrong! I also prefer the vintage spoons because they are unique and come in lots of interesting designs.

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Before hammering, I put the towel over the spoon, to minimize scratching and denting. It worked well, except the towel is pretty much destroyed but the time you’re done.

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Start hammering away! I turned the spoon over a few times while hammering, to ensure it was flat on both sides. It will never be completely flat; there will always be slight bumps and grooves. It just adds to the vintage charm if you ask me!

I used my original spoon bookmark as a guide of where to bend the handle.

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Some spoons bent easily, and some did not. Some of them required a little tap of the hammer, near the bend of the spoon, to fully bend it over (using the towel again, so as not to dent or scratch). It takes some experimenting, so don’t spend a fortune on your spoons. I got mine for super cheap at a flea market, so breaking a few here and there was not a big deal.

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I had some casualties. A few of the spoons snapped as soon as I started to bend them.

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The broken spoon parts worked great as metal retrieving pieces for Greg to use in his K-9 searching/training. He chucked this spoon piece out into the yard, and Djaiko (pronounced “Jake-o”) was able to find it in less than a minute! See it there in his mouth? :)

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After flattening and bending all the spoons, I cleaned them up using some silver polish. I LOVE these Howard products that a fellow vendor sells at my co-op. They work awesome and are very reasonably priced.

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And here are some pictures I took for the ones I am now selling in my Etsy store. This is one of the “miniature” spoons…

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And some other cool ones with fun handle designs.

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I think these would be great craft show sellers, or great gifts for pretty much anyone. I just got a bunch more spoons and plan to make more in the near future. Hope you’re able to give it a try! Thanks for stopping in and Happy Crafting! :)

Super Easy Primitive Key Hanger

I still haven’t unpacked my craft stuff yet, so I had to improvise for this Pinterest-inspired key hanger I wanted to make. I started out with this shallow crate / shelf thingy that I already had. Any shallow wood crate or tray would work!

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I bought these little screw in hooks at Wally world…4 for $.97!

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Making sure they won’t be too long…these are perfect! If they are too long, you could file down the excess, or put some felt dots / tape over the little protruding screws. These are a great small size and will probably work fine  for most crates / trays out there.

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Just screw them in by hand. No tools necessary.

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There she is, one hook short (oops). I figure I can get more hooks the next time I go, or just set a small figurine or decoration in that space.

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This is where the improvising came in. Since all my hardware is packed, including all my hangers and wall hooks, I used two pop tabs nailed on either end. They are surprisingly strong. I simply nailed them down, nailing right through the small, flat metal part of the tab. Another Pinterest idea to the test, and it works great!

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I love it!!!

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Not only did I work on my first craft project in a while, but I also hit up my first great barn sale of the season. I got a super deal on some primitives that have already made their way to my booth at The Carriage Place. I got these two 10 foot antique shutters for….wait for it….$3!!! That means $1.50 each. Probably the best deal EVER, in the history of the world!

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I also got this old ladder back chair and big blue swirly enamel tub. I thought they’d both make great garden pieces.

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Two small unfinished shutters and an old tool carrier, both which I plan to eventually paint & distress.

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And lastly, I got this old wooden army trunk from the 40′s. Great army green color and original hardware. Trunks always seem to sell well in my co-op.

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Along with all my thrift store / garage sale “smalls”, I like to sprinkle in some really nice antiques and quality pieces here and there. This improves the overall quality of my my booth and shows dealers that come through, as well as customers, that I am “legit”. LOL. I got this beautiful antique cabinet on Craigslist. My personal rule is: only buy a piece if I know I can double my money. I know I’ll have no problem selling this beautiful cabinet for more than twice what I paid.

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The same goes for this other Craigslist find; an antique oak ice box. These go for BIG money around here, so when you see one at a decent price, you gotta get it! It’s in excellent condition and was a real steal!

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I am headed to the co-op for a massive over-haul on Wednesday night, so I will get some updated pics and share them with you soon. If you try out the key hanger, or any variation of it, I’d love to see a pic! Hope everyone has a super-duper week, and Happy Crafting! :)

Dollar Store Salt Shakers + Vintage Buttons = Button Flower Bouquets

It’s me again! I am on a crafting BINGE! I don’t know what’s gotten into me! Maybe because it’s been sunny and “Spring” feeling these last few days? I don’t know, but I’m going with it! :)

I have a fun “dollar store craft” for you! I made these cute little vintage button bouquets using Dollar Tree salt shakers (you can also find some at the thrift store for super cheap, like the ones here on the left) and some buttons and wire that I had on hand. So easy and a perfect Spring craft!

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I also used twine for a bow accent, and shredded paper (also found at Dollar Tree) to stuff inside the shakers and help hold wire stems in place. I suggest using a pair of pliers that have a cutting edge on them, so you don’t jack up your scissors while cutting the wire.

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To make the stems, you are going to twist the two sides of the wire together. Fold the wire piece over and cut it roughly the length you want the stem to be – keeping in mind it will be a tad shorter after twisting it together.

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Layer your buttons to make fun, colorful little “flowers.” Slide the ends of the wire through your button flower and start twisting them together tightly, to create a sturdy stem. Cut off the excess wire.

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Stuff a small amount of shredded paper down in the salt shaker to help hold the stems in place. You could use more buttons, beads, floral foam, or nothing at all…whatever you want!

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Make as many flowers as you’d like! They are fun to make!

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My first bouquet is a red and brown theme

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And my second bouquet was a blue and black theme

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I photographed them for Etsy but decided at the last-minute to bring them to the co-op. They are currently in my booth at The Carriage Place. I can’t wait to make more!

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Last night I photographed a ton of new stuff I am putting in my Etsy store, and I wanted to let all my fellow crafters, that have booths or small shops, know that I am going to be selling these word blocks in groups of 6 at a wholesale price. I ordered way too many of them, so they’ll be in my shop this week at some point. They would be a great little item to resell, if you’re into country/prim decor like me!

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I also wanted to share a few great thrift store finds from today! A great enamelware tin pan, an apothecary style jar (these sell like hot cakes in my booth!) some wooden plaques for future craft projects, vintage tin molds, and a small wooden platter with a glass cloche. I am going to paint the wooden base – probably black with a yellow prim star in the middle.

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I was also sooooooooo excited to find some unique Scrabble tiles from a “Deluxe” edition of the game; 100 tiles for only $4! Best of all, they are maroon colored! I love that they are different from the regular Scrabble tiles, yet are a great color for country crafting!

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And lastly, I had to share this find…..these brown kraft boxes were only $1 for a bag of 6!!! If you have an A.C. Moore’s, go grab some before they are discontinued!!! I was “that person” who depleted their inventory. Hehe. I am going to stamp them eventually. Love the variety of shapes!

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That’s all for today! Have a great weekend and Happy Crafting!!!

Some Thrift Store Finds and Makin’ Tags!

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Hello crafty people! I thought this awesome ecard was perfect for this post, as I finally got my pickin’ “fix” this weekend after hitting up a few thrift stores! In the winter, garage sales and estate sales are scarce around here, so I tend to more thrifting in the winter months. I found some pretty cool stuff that I plan on putting in my booth over at the Carriage Place later this week when I do a complete overhaul.

I got this light green enamel pot, which is awesome because I found the exact same one a few months ago that is a darker shade of green! They’ll look great next to each other, especially with St. Patty’s Day coming up! :) I also found a few “apothecary” jars, and a green glass candy dish. I don’t usually do fancy glassware (aside from mason jars, vintage bottles, etc.) but this one was kinda neat looking and had some nice floral designs.

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I scored 2 awesome Pyrex casserole dishes with fun patterns that also shout “SPRING!”

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I got a bunch of vintage Anchor Hocking jars with lids, which I thought would be great on someone’s counter filled with flour, sugar, or other stuff!

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Lastly I got this cute little “cottage chic” bird house and an enamel pitcher. The pitcher was a STEAL at $3 because I believe it’s real, and not a repro. It’s pretty heavy and appears to be old! Sweet! :)

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In other crafty news, I decided to use up some of my tons of scrapbooking paper and make tags, using my trusty tag-shaped hole punch. I don’t even scrapbook – I just have an uncontrollable compulsion to buy cool scrapbooking paper when it’s on sale, “just in case.” Lol. This was the perfect use for it!

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I punched some with designs on one side and plain white on the back, for use as gift tags. I went through each one and punched a small hole in the top for stringing them. I am going to sell them in my Etsy store in sets, with baker’s twine of a coordinating color, for hanging them.

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Depending on the paper, some have designs on both front and back. I thought they’d still make nice gift tags, or for paper crafts and scrapbooking. The possibilities are really endless! I think these are a great idea for craft shows too, especially around the holidays! High profit margin, and something everyone can use! :P

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That’s it for today. I have craft ADHD and haven’t finished painting the gnomes (from the last post) yet. I will soon. Hope everyone stays warm and has a fantastic week! BBS!

This Week in “Junk” & A Vanity Table Re-Do

I say “junk” with quote because all my picks from the last week have been anything but! I found some really AWESOME stuff and am so excited to bring over it over to the Carriage Place this week! I also have added a lot of new little items to my Etsy store – there’s new stuff everywhere!!!

I’ll start with this incredible yard sale find: an antique chair from the original Silver Stadium on Norton Street, in Rochester. Thanks to my work partner and historical baseball expert Joe, he tells me these seats were originally installed in 1929 and then ripped out when the stadium was renovated in the 80′s. The stadium is now located in Downtown Rochester; now Frontier Field, home of the Rochester Red Wings. These seats are rare, as most of them were torn out and burned. I hope that a Rochester historical junkie or baseball fan will be able to add this piece to their collection – it’s headed over to the co-op on Wednesday!

Talk about another great find – this 3 gallon crock off of Craigslist. I have been researching the wreath marking and have found nothing. I really need to learn more about crock markings. I also got this old oil can with old chippy red paint and a great wooden handle. Love old, primitive tins!

I have been slowly collecting these apothecary jars – all finds from the thrift store ranging from $.99 to $2. They are all different shapes and designs, and I plan on displaying them as a group. They are a major trend right now in decorating magazines and online, such as creating a “candy bar” at a wedding, holding toiletries like Q-tips and cotton balls along a bathroom shelf, creating terrariums, or filling with ornaments or candies for holiday decor! So many uses…I am exploding with ideas for these. I am debating between bringing them to my co-op or selling them on Etsy…I think they’ll do great in either venue!

Of course I have picked up a lot of “smalls”…some vintage salt & pepper shakers, this wooden horse figure, this fun 50′s style hunter figurine, and some other junk not pictured.

And MOLDS! Tons of vintage tin molds! I love these…again, so many potential uses! You could fill them up with fixins, use em for baking, candles, tarts, soaps, bath bombs, favors…

And last but not least is this great little solid wood table with retractable arms in the front. Got this gem off of Craigslist for $10. It’s in phenomenal condition and with unfinished wood, I knew it was a candidate for a primitive/country make-over.

**UPDATE! Thanks to some readers, I finally figured out what this is! It’s a make-up vanity, with arms to fold a skirt in and out, where your legs would be. See the comments on this post to learn more. Thanks guys! **

It was full of tack holes around all the edges, which I decided to fill with wood filler, to clean it up a bit.

I used my finger to smear it into these tiny holes. Let it dry for about 10 minutes and then sanded it to smooth down the filler.

Now it’s ready for paint!

I used a satin black spray paint – Rustoleum American Accents in Canyon Black. Did a light sanding mostly on the edges to “prim” it up.

Sealed with a coat of spray polyurethane. Make sure to let it dry completely, for several hours. Otherwise you’ll get finger prints and streaks across the finish. Now, can anyone tell me what these little retractable arms are for?

I added the little teal knob from Hobby Lobby. Teal and black are one of my favorite color combos!

And here she is, ready to bring over to the co-op. I love how it came out! :)

Have a fantastic week and enjoy the last few days of summer. It’s winding down and soon my FAVORITE season will be here…looooooove FALL!!! Be back soon with some new pics from The Carriage Place and other crafty chaos! Later! :)

One Step Thrift Store Makeovers

Thank you so much for all of the great ideas and suggestions on how to “fix” my ruler table. I agree with those who believe it soaked up too much stain because of the light, balsa-wood material of the rulers. I ended up sanding the crap out of it and just spraying on a layer of poly. It is noticeably lighter now. I didn’t want to try to remove all the rulers because I know I used a LOT of glue and it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort. I figure I can use it as a “display” table for now and slap a price tag on it, and maybe someone will like that super-grungy look.

Next time I will either experiment with a LIGHT stain BEFORE gluing them down, or not use stain at all…just a clear coat! I actually kinda like it now, even though it still doesn’t look like the original “Pinterest” project. Lesson learned!

Some other projects that have been in the works are a few easy makeovers of some items found at thrift stores. The first one was this awesome, primitive set of pine drawers, missing one knob. I’ve been looking high and low for a matching knob but of course couldn’t find one.

Since I didn’t have 4 matching knobs, I decided to change them out for 4 white, mis-matched knobs! Took off all the knobs and drilled larger holes for the NEW knobs!

Here are the knobs I chose! It’s now a functional storage piece with a little sass! Even though the knobs are different, I feel like it “works”…what do you think?

I got this large “S” from the thrift store for super cheap. I scooped it up immediately because I know large letters, either spelling out a word or by themselves, are a very popular decorating trend right now. It had some scratches and was really dirty. After dusting it off a bit and a fresh coat of black satin spray paint…

It will wait for that special “S” name person to pick it up and hang it on their wall!

And lastly, my favorite makeover, this mason jar lamp turned chic button lamp! I got the mason jar lamp base at the salvo (I know, I couldn’t believe it either) and picked up the shade at Walmart for $8. I have been looking for a shade forever and this one was so awesome I had to splurge a bit!

I filled the mason jar with charcoal gray buttons that matched the shade perfectly. I put a toilet paper roll stuffed with brown craft paper down the middle so I only had to use half the buttons to fill it up. I use this trick to preserve “fillers” and therefore save $!!!

How adorable is this lamp?? “French-cottage-chic”, or something like that…

Hmmm…to keep or to sell…that is the question….

Hope you enjoyed my mini makeovers, that really required very little effort! I love EASY!!! Have a great weekend my crafty blog friends! :)

Some Recent Thrift Store Finds and Updated Pics from The Carriage Place

It’s been complete chaos in my house between trying to keep my booth at The Carriage Place stocked up and getting my new Etsy store up and running! And I’m excited to announce it’s officially up! I’ve only got a handful of items listed right now but plan on adding more in the very near future!

You can check it out here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/UpstatePrimitives?ref=si_shop.

In the mean time I thought I’d share some recent “finds” that I’ve accumulated from various thrift stores over the last couple weeks. I got two extra large glass mason jars, a cool apothecary jar, a reproduction stoneware jug, a flower frog and little Anchor Hocking piggy bank.

I also found this awesome yellow lamp a few days ago and I HAD to have it!!! It’s sorta ugly but COOL! Lighting sells well at the co-op. I can see it in a cottage or lake house, or in someone’s funky retro living room…

And some “Americana” items…a little late for Independence Day, but still always a popular theme!

I LOVE this repro game board that was handcrafted by a local artist in 2008. Great wall art.

And something I pick up any time I see them…vintage BUTTONS! These will be going up in the Etsy shop soon. Love em for crafting or just filling up random jars and displaying them.

I was able to get over to the co-op yesterday and do some re-arranging and re-stocking. Here are some updated pics!

These wooden pieces were hand crafted by my step-dad Mike. He has made these mini hutches, some candle boxes, horseshoe boxes and milking stools. They are made of very old wood and constructed the old-fashioned way – hand sanded, knobs hand turned, and old square head nails. He does incredible work!

I have another cool project in the works and will be posting about it soon. In the mean time hope everyone is staying cool and enjoying their summer! Later gators! :)

A Few Good Picks

Upon driving home from the North Country on Sunday, I purposely took the back roads knowing that there would be lots of barn sales, flea markets and garage sales, as it was a GORGEOUS day. I wanted to take the opportunity to do a little “pickin” and sure enough, I found some treasures.

I got this awesome little tool box with a wooden tray inside – LOVE the robin’s egg blue paint!

A very cool metal catalog

And a giant red galvanized tub and an old crate

My favorite pick of the day is this 1920′s-30′s brass Hendryx bird cage. I don’t know why but I have a thing about old bird cages. They are so charming. I took off all the plastic feeders and toys and cleaned her up a bit. Inside it were the original glass feeders, which I have seen go on Etsy/Ebay for big bucks. I figured why not keep it all original and include them with cage.

There is a small brass plaque on the door that says Made in USA, Hendryx, New Haven, Conn. The bottom detaches with 3 metal clips. It has the most lovely patina. I am debating on keeping this piece.

Close up of the original glass feeders

Some other finds from a recent trip to Goodwill include this Samsonite vintage suitcase with a beautiful, burnt orange, satin interior. Also got this black trunk. Thanks to Country Living and magazines alike, pieces like these sell easily, as one of the latest trends is stacking these pieces for side tables or using trunks as coffee tables.

And talk about random…I had to share this little tiny pottery jug marked “Gnomes”. I think it’s so funny and cool.

I’ve got a bunch of small crafty pieces stocked up and ready for our big weekend – the Cruise-In and Flea Market which will hopefully make for a busy weekend at the co-op!

Keeping my fingers crossed for a nice day on Saturday for the Cruise-In and Flea Market. I’ll be back soon with pics. Have a great week and happy pickin!

An Enamel Top Table Fixer-Upper and a GREAT Day of Pickin’!!!

First off, I wanted to say thank you to all of the awesome, encouraging comments people have been leaving here on my blog lately. I really never expected so many people to actually read and follow it! I really appreciate it and thank each and every one of you who have stopped by to say hello! :)

So of course I forgot to take a before picture of this enamel top table I got at a garage sale, but trust me, it was pretty rough. The top and leaves were in good shape, but the wooden base was all stained and the metal legs were very rusty. I started by removing the legs and painting the wooden table base black.

I thought I could shine up the chrome legs with some steel wool but after scrubbing them ruthlessly, the rust would not budge. It had actually eaten through and was pitted in some areas. I also scrapped the project and was going to leave the legs as is, but I stumbled across this shiny “metal” spray paint and thought I may as well try it out. First, I steel-wooled the crap out of the legs to smooth them out as much as possible.

Wow, it actually worked! Looks great!!! :)

The spray paint worked better than I anticipated and gave them back that “chrome” look! Even up close, it’s very convincing!

I even painted the old plastic drawer pull with the metal spray paint, to match the legs. I love how it turned out and hope someone snatches it up to enjoy on a porch or a  sun room!

In recent “pickin’” news…I had the best day EVER last Saturday and scored a bunch of great primitives!

Got a couple new crates which have been selling like hot cakes!

Some great firkin buckets…

A country tool/flat-ware carrier…

A super primitive wooden bowl

A wonderful red painted planting box / crate

A green vintage suitcase and an enamelware “slop bucket”

And a red silk-lined case of some sort. Wonder what it was used to carry?

Lastly are these fun, quirky vintage pins! I bought a crate at a garage sale and it was filled with these colorful old pins, some of which I found kind of humorous. Like “Preppies are people too…” :) There were probably about 40-50 of them. I love little chotchkies like these…they are just FUN!

That’s all for today! Have a great weekend!!!

Repurposing an Antique Level

I’m all about simple, EASY make-overs and repurposing old JUNK! I got a good one for ya – an old level turned key holder!

I got this piece out of a huge box lot from an auction a while back that cost me $1.00. It was really grungy, so I wiped it down with some Murphy’s Oil Soap. I love how cleaning it up really brought the red out!

Hammered in a wall hanger on the back…

…and a few cool hooks on the front, found at Hobby Lobby!

I thought about doing it horizontally, but I liked the vertical look better! And to make hanging easy, the actual little glass level tube still works, inside that little hole!

Total cost: $5 for the hardware. I always wait until the knobs/hooks at HL are 50% off, which is fairly often. The level was practically free when you count all the crap that came in that box lot!

ANNNND, I have some other exciting news! I am expanding to another small booth at The Carriage Place! This is the crappy booth that I will be taking over…say GOODBYE coffee mugs, crappy vases, and ugly 80′s fake flower wreaths!!! Muahahahaha! (please note: my opinions are not necessarily those of The Carriage Place Co-op!!)

I painted it an olive green because I thought this big cupboard that I am going to use to display a lot of “smalls” would really pop. It’s still pretty empty but I will be fillin’ er up over these next few weeks!

I spent the weekend doing lots of little projects and cleaning up some neat “picks” so I will be sure to share those soon! Have a junk-tastic week ya’ll! :)

Cleaning Old Glass Bottles

I picked up a lot of really cool old glass bottles at auction a few months ago and they have been sitting in my basement waiting to be cleaned. I have been avoiding it because I have never really had good luck cleaning these kinds of bottles. My good friend “Junkin’ June” told me to try using warm salt water and boy did it work great! There are tons of wacky chemical recipes online to clean old bottles, but I must say this is quick, easy, and I am happy with the results. They are not all CRYSTAL clear, but much clearer than when I started.

Here are the bottles I started with. Lots of grime and dirt…

My fave is this embossed giraffe bottle that was full of mud and muck…

I started by soaking them in a hot water & salt mixture for about a half hour. Mind you, this is all experimental. I am guessing that letting them soak longer would have made it even more easy to swish out the grime. Put in probably about a half cup of salt into this bowl.

I also have this little brush that came with a set of pastry frosting tubes (for cleaning them). Works great on old bottles with really skinny necks!

I found a similar one available at Walmart. Kind of expensive ($12 for this piece of wire…nice…) but if you are into old bottles, it might just be worth it.

After they soaked, I swished around the water inside the bottle and shook it really good. I added more salt to make a “salt sludge” supposedly the grittiness of the salt helps clean the inside. I also used the little wire brush to get even more gunk off. The giraffe bottle came out nice and shiny!

Some of the bottles had lots of cool bubbles, indicating their age. “A bubble is an air bubble that became trapped in the glass during the manufacturing process. Bubbles are not considered damage. In fact, bubbles usually add to the appeal of old glass. Glass made after about 1920 does not usually have bubbles.” – http://www.antiquebottles.com

This Dr. Ellis bottle came clean for the most part, but has some rusty discoloration that wouldn’t budge. It’s okay though. Love the design of the bottle. It’s not too valuable – maybe $5-10. It dates from the 30′s-40′s and is one of a series of Dr. Ellis hair product bottles.

A much cleaner Atwood’s Jaundice Bitters Bottle, valued at $10-$15

I did not soak this bottle because I did not to lose what is left of this beautiful old label. I did use the salt water to scrub the outside of the bottle around the label, and also swished it around inside to clean it out.

In other news, I picked up this frickin awesome, HEAVY reproduction cast iron bank at the Goodwill recently. Though it is a reproduction, I know I can make a few bucks off it. For bank collectors or golf enthusiasts, it would be a fun piece to have.

As far as my other picking lately, I got this really cool antique church pew on Craigslist. It is in great condition and has some nice detail. I love this look for a hallway or entryway.

And I also got a cute little garage sale telephone bench:

I have been doing a lot of picking and thrifting and not a lot of crafting lately. I just signed up for the annual craft show up in the North Country and my wheels are spinning trying to think of some new crafty ideas. It’s in early November this year instead of mid-December, so I will try to throw in a few FALLish crafts as well. Hmmmm….

Til next time! Have a great weekend! :)

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