Mason Jar Bird Feeder

If you’re anything like me, you have a Pinterest board full of craft projects that you want to try but never seem to get around to! One of them is this adorable mason jar bird feeder. Last weekend, I spotted this little metal chicken feeder base for only $4 at Tractor Supply. This is literally the easiest, quickest project ever. You need virtually no crafty skills to make this and it came out so cute! All you need is the chicken feeder (any country supply store) a mason jar (I had on hand) and some twine or wire to hang it up.

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The mason jar screws right into the feeder. I think any standard jar will fit. I happened to pick up these little galvanized metal stars at Target in the $1 bin recently, and they matched the feeder base perfectly. You could decorate it however you want ~ that is the beauty of simple projects like this.

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The only semi-challenge was devising a way to hang it up. I’m not about to start breaking out diamond drill bits and try to drill a hole in the glass. I have seen wire wrapped around the jar for hanging, which seems easy. I decided to use twine ($1 store or Walmart) to create the hanger.

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First, I braided 3 strands of twine to make it a little thicker and more durable. It’s hard to describe how I knotted it, so here’s a little graphic of how I created the twine hanger.

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I hung the little stars wind-chime style from the top of the hanger. I love that the metal stars match the metal feeder base.

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For a 5 minute, $5 project, I love it! What a great craft fair item to make a sell at Spring/Summer shows. You could jazz them all up and sell for at least $12-$15 each. I want to make some for my booth at The Carriage Place; I’ll let you know how they sell!

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Primitive Grubby Jar Candles

After seeing these types of “grubby” jar candles on Pinterest for many years, I finally got around to trying them myself. Though it was a very long process, they came out so cute and perfectly primitive! There are many tutorials out there on grubby jars, but they are all pretty much the same: coffee grounds and white glue. You can do mason jars or any type of jar candle…it’s the perfect accent for any country or rustic home.

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I started with this set of 12 small jar candles from Walmart. They cost around $6, so profitability on these should be pretty good.

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I made up a mixture of about 2/3 coffee grounds to 1/3 cinnamon. Both can be bought at the dollar store for this project. I used matte Mod Podge, but now that it’s all said and done, I would probably use regular white glue because it’s a lot cheaper. I ended up using almost this whole jar on 12 little candles.

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Paint on the glass jars with glue and roll in your coffee/cinnamon mixture.

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Set them aside to dry. It takes a good 24 hours for them to dry thoroughly.

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Once dry, gently tap them on the counter to get off any loose coffee/cinnamon grounds. Then apply another coat of glue to seal it. Be prepared…this part is messy! Don’t worry if more grounds come off because you can always do a second coat.

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Set aside to dry again. Another 24 hours. Ugh…I hate waiting!

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Here they are after they are dried. With just one coat, most of the surface was covered, but there were still a few spots where the glass showed through. I decided to do a second coating of the coffee/cinnamon. Looking back, I think I would just stick with one coat. They’re eventually going to be embellished with homespun fabric or burlap, which will cover up any thin areas. It’s up to you how many coats you do, based on the look you’re going for.

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Another little tip: before you start, put a small piece of paper towel over the wax of your candle. Through the process, the cinnamon and coffee grounds fell onto the wax, and it doesn’t come off easy. The paper towel will keep the wax clean. I am going to have to wipe them off which is going to be a pain in the butt…lesson learned.

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If you do decide to do a second coat, be prepared for even more of a mess. Repeat the process of painting them with glue, rolling in cinnamon, and finishing off with a finally coat of glue/Mod Podge to seal. Again, you have to wait 24 hours between each step. Don’t forget to touch up the top little rim of the jars.

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Here they are after two coats and some embellishing. I think they came out so cute. I am planning on pricing them at about $3.00 per candle at my co-op.

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Here are the some of the ways I decided to decorate them. A thin burlap strip topped with a vintage button:

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Thin pieces of twine with rusty stars and hearts:

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Plain ol’ twine and homespun fabric, wrapped around and knotted:

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And a thin twine bow:

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Have fun if you decide to give them a whirl. They are super easy, but be prepared for a long, messy process! I’d love to try this again with mason jars and maybe some larger jar candles. Have a great week and I hope be back soon! :D

Stamped Wood Magnets

My latest project turned out to be really easy and fun, and I can’t wait to make more! These stamped wood magnets were made entirely out of items I had on hand, but all of the supplies necessary can be picked up at any craft store.

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First I picked out a bunch of stamps, including my dollar store letter stamps (in container) that I planned on stamping out words such as “live, laugh, love” or “simplify.” Spoiler alert – the “word” magnets didn’t come out good. I couldn’t get the spacing right, so I gave up.

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You’ll need basic black ink pads, or whatever color you choose!

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You’ll also need magnets (Walmart), craft glue or E6000, and wooden discs (Michael’s). These are the same discs I like to use for snowman face magnets at Christmas time. These are also the perfect size to make pins, using metal pin backs that are usually found in the jewelry section of the craft store.

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I wanted to make the wood a little more old and worn, so I used a simple paint wash to darken them down a bit. I mixed a little bit of brown acrylic paint with water, so it was really thin.

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Paint the discs and blot off the excess with a paper towel. They only took about a half hour to dry. You can repeat this step a few times to get your desired result.

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The picture does not do them justice…they look darker in person! They could have gone even darker, but I was impatient and wanted to get stampin! hehe :)

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Some stamped designs look better than others. These are some of my favorites!

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Using your craft glue, apply the magnets. I find hot glue doesn’t work as good on these discs. I don’t want them falling apart, so that’s why I went with the regular craft glue. It takes a lot longer to dry, but it’s way stronger.

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And here they are. You could take this project in so many directions!

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I will be back soon; I have some “grubby” candles in the works. They are in the drying phase and I hope to do the next coat and finishing touches early this week! Woohoo! :D

Reclaimed Wood Signs

So after many months of cold miserable winter weather and NO motivation whatsoever, I finally got around to doing a little crafty project this weekend. When inspiration strikes, you gotta run with it! The inspiration came from this old, weathered piece of wood that I found in the woods while walking the dogs. It’s chippy blue paint screamed country/primitive signage, so I broke out the foam stamps and went at it!

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First I had Greg cut them into strips. We have a big saw in the basement, but you can easily pick up a little electric hand saw from Lowes or Home Depot for $30 or so, and have it on hand for projects like this.

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I did a couple posts on foam stamps many moons ago, so here’s a little refresher. First, I laid out the letters of the word I wanted to stamp (the word is actually faced down; these stamps have letters on both sides) to get an idea of the spacing. I wanted to make sure the word would fit before I started.

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The most important thing I have learned when using foam stamps is do not ever dip the stamps directly into the paint. If you do, you’ll have way too much paint on the surface of the stamp. The minute you press down, it will overflow out the sides of the stamp and make uneven, messy letters. The best method I have found is to use a small piece of sponge and just dab on the paint onto the surface of the letter. Give it a couple of practice runs if need be. For this project, I used white acrylic paint.

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Go ahead and stamp out your word. Then, once dry, I applied some saw-tooth hangers on the back of each sign. These types of hangers are easy to use because you simply press them into the wood, but I hammered them down in for good measure.

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My last step was to spray them with a clear acrylic coat so the paint would not continue to chip off. The wood was really old and brittle and the paint was a bit loose, so I wanted to seal it in place.

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Here are the finished products, but I need your opinion. Should I add a coat of antiquing gel to tone down those bright white letters down a bit? I wasn’t sure if I should or not. They have kind of a “beachy” feel.

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I added a little star fish because I felt like it went with the cottage theme and filled up the space on the right that was a bit uneven from the space on the left. FYI those star fish are only $1 at AC Moore’s.

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So here they are. They are going over to my booth at the Carriage Place this week. I’ll probably price them around $7-$8 each. With “found” wood, it’s 99% profit, so no need to mark them up with a high price and let them sit in my booth for months!

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Part of my motivation also stemmed from an awesome estate sale that I went to on Saturday. I got tons and tons of great country/primitive themed items, including some nice antiques. This picture only shows a fraction of what I picked up there. It was half off everything so I literally loaded my car! It’s the first really great sale I’ve been to in a while, so this really got me excited! I love “pickin” season!!!

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Earlier in the week, I also got really lucky and picked up this old wooden butter churn……wait for it……off the side of the road!!! It’s amazing what some people throw away. I cleaned it up and now this cool piece will go to the co-op this week with the rest of the stuff from the sale.

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Well, let me know your thoughts on the signs. They are already really “distressed” looking, which is why I’m not sure on adding the antiquing gel. Have a great week and happy crafting!

Simple Winter Snowman Signs

Here are some very simple winter signs that I made using some wood plaques I picked up at the thrift store a while back. They were half off, making them a dollar each! Even if you’re not great at painting free-hand, these snowmen are really easy!

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First I painted the plaques black using a basic craft acrylic paint. They weren’t covered completely with one coat, but that’s okay because the next step is to distress them with sandpaper.

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Just take a small piece of sandpaper and give them a good once-over.

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I speckled some white paint to make the “snow” effect, using some slightly watered-down white paint and a firm paint brush. I just pulled the bristles back and flicked it over top of the plaques. I then free-handed the words and painted big white circles for the snowman heads. You could also use foam stamps or stencils for the words.

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Next, paint big orange noses, little pink circles for the cheeks, and black dots for the eyes and mouths.

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Once dry, I did one coat of sparkle mod podge. It acts as a sealer but also give them a little sparkle. This step is not necessary though if you’re going to be keeping them inside.

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For hanging, I simply used two small nails to tack down a strip of torn homespun.

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Here they are, all finished. You can’t really appreciate the sparkle in this pic, but they look quite festive in person.

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And here’s a pic of them hanging up in my booth along with some of the Christmas crafts I made in the last few posts!

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Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Winter Jar Scenes

The holiday craft bug has bit me and I just finished up another project; a big batch of winter jar scenes using mason jars and bottle brush trees. I have seen them on Pinterest, so here is my version. :)

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I started by gathering some jars. I used some mason jars I had on hand, and found these ones at Target. I also got a few jars of different shapes, at the Goodwill for super cheap.

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The two small jars on the right are salt & pepper shakers I got from Walmart. I love these cause they are like mini snow globes!

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I used various bottle brush trees; all of which I found at A.C. Moore in either the doll house/miniature section, or the seasonal Christmas section. I also found some cute mini gold reindeer, perfect for this project.

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The ones with the wooden bases were easy to glue in place. I used hot glue and they seem to be holding pretty firm on the glass. Some people who do this project don’t even glue them down. They will simply add their “snow” and then stick the trees down in. I like them glued in place so they don’t keep falling over.

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The ones without wooden bases posed a bit of a challenge. I created a ball of hot glue on the ends to use as a base. Looking back it would have been easier to use some clay or floral foam, but too late now!

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I then added the “snow.” I started out using coarse sea salt and when I ran out, I got Epsom salt. They both work great as snow. The Epsom salt had a peppermint smell too, which is perfect for Christmas crafts! :)

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I used tweezers to place the small deer in the snow and big tongs for the deeper jars. I must say this part was a challenge. I did not glue the deer in place because they’d be almost completely covered with the snow. I did push them down in pretty good, and because they are light weight, I am hoping they won’t move around too much.

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I picked up this wad of tin garland at the thrift store last year and stashed it away because I knew I could cut them apart and use them to accent winter crafts. I used the snowflakes to tie around the tops of the jars to give them a little extra country Christmas look!

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Here is one of the completed jars with the snowflake tied around the neck of the jar. I love how they came out!

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For the smaller jars, I left out the deer and just did a little tree scene, and accented it with a raffia bow.

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Here are a few more!

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For these larger jars, I thought I’d make them into candle holders. I put a small glass tea light holder right into the mouth of the jar. You can get these small glass tea light holders at the Dollar Tree.

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And remember these from last year?? I had some smaller trees left over and decided to use them up on these cute car ornaments! I got the cars last year after Christmas at Walmart. I am selling them for about $5.50-$6 each. Honestly, I will probably break even on the car ornaments, but I don’t care because they were really fun to make and a fun item to sell around the holidays!

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I’m selling the winter jar scenes are ranging from $4-$8 at my co-op, so we’ll see how they go. Hope everyone has a Happy Turkey Day! :)

Snowman Wine Bottle Toppers

I was out doing some shopping and came across these cute little hat ornaments and “DING”…a light bulb went off and I thought I could use them for snowman hats. Yes, Christmas displays are in full swing at all the big box stores; I got these at Walmart, next to all the tree ornaments. If you can’t find these particular hats, there are other options out there. Look in the ornament section for different types of hats, and check the doll-making section of the craft stores. You can also click here for a link to some hats you could use instead.

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I had these little terra cotta pots in my craft stash of supplies. I think you can get them at any craft store.

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I painted them white using my heavy artists’ while acrylic paint, since I was out of regular white craft paint. Warning: it takes a gazillion coats to cover the terra cotta. You’ll probably have to do 4-5 coats with the regular craft acrylic. Spray painting might have been an easier option.

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Then I painted on some faces. I love making snowman stuff, because the faces are so easy to paint. You can make the noses all different shapes and sizes.

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I then used a hot glue gun to adhere the hats to the top of the snowman pots. At this point, I thought I was done. But they seemed plain, like they were missing something…

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So I decided to add some little homespun fabric scarfs. I just tore little strips and tied them on.

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They fit perfect on top of a wine bottle. They would make fun stocking stuffers or a nice complement to that bottle of wine you’re giving as a Christmas gift.

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They also make cute little “shelf sitters” and can go anywhere, not just on top of a wine bottle! I think I will try selling them for $3.50-$4.00 a piece at my co-op.

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I had a lot of fun working on this project. It has helped motivate me a bit and I have some other cool little Christmas-themed projects in the works. Hope to share them with you soon!!! :)

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