Making Your Own Pencil Eraser Stamps

I was recently “commissioned” to do a little project for a friend who attends an annual Briard Dog Show and makes up the goodie bags for the attendees. Inspired by some of my handmade Christmas magnets, she gave me this image as a guide and said she would like some magnets made up with this paw print. It’s a normal paw print except for the two little paws on the bottom corner, also known as the “dew claws”.

I immediately thought of the custom made stamps I recently saw on Pinterest and thought I could make my own dew claw stamp to add on to a normal paw print stamp. You may have seen this on Pinterest:

So I bought this small paw stamp from Michaels…

And used a pencil eraser to make my own dew claw stamp. I drew a small oval to guide me when cutting it out with an exacto knife.

It was a little rough around the edges…

So I used a nail file to smooth out the edges. I then stamped it and filed it until it was the perfect oval shape!

Here is the completed paw print stamp! Not too shabby!

Paco gave it his doggie “stamp” of approval! (ridiculous pun intended)

I picked up a variety of colored ink pads to stamp with.

So far I have teal, black, and a magenta color. All I have to do is about 200 more, glue on the magnets and I am good to go! Let the mass production commence!

I wanted to share this because it was so easy carving that little paw out of the eraser…and you could take this project in so many directions! You could carve a small heart, circles, or any simple shape. A square to create a checker board effect…the possibilities are endless! Pencils and large pink erasers could be picked up at the Dollar Store, making it a CHEAP craft as well! Here are some other very cool ideas (linked up to their original tutorials)!

Even MARTHA has done it! Love these handmade cards!

Have you made your own stamp? Are you gonna try? If so, send me a pic and I will post it here! Have a great weekend!!!

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! :)