Witch Hats

I’ve been feeling particularly Halloweenie lately, given all the Fall goodness that is out in the craft stores. I picked up these paper mache witch hats for $1.oo each at Michael’s and, with a little spray paint and hot glue, converted them into primitive style witch hat decorations. I think they came out pretty cute!

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Here’s the blank canvas.

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First, I spray painted them black. All I had was glossy paint on hand. I usually like to use a matte finish for projects like this. After it dried I sanded it, to make it look a little worn and prim.

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Next, I mixed up some orange acrylic paint with water, to make a really thin orange paint, which works best for splattering. I then used the messy, yet effective “splatter technique,” which is using your fingers to pull back the bristles of the brush and let the paint splatter paint over your surface.

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After it dried like this, I sprayed it with a satin clear coat, mainly to disguise the half glossy/half sanded look. Next time, I’d probably used a matte black paint so that it doesn’t look so funky after sanding.

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While that dried, I made some little tags to decorate the hats with.

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I trimmed the tags to make them a bit smaller and stamped out the words “The witch is in.”

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Next, use some homespun around the base of the hat. I hot glued it in place like this.

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Then I tied some raffia around the base of the hat and also hot glued it down in a few places, but also leaving it loose and flowing.

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I finished them off with some large vintage buttons that I tied on with the tags. I also put a dab of hot glue under them as well, for extra hold.

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Here they are all done. I am really pleased with them. They are heading over to my co-op today and I am thinking $14 each. I’ve never made anything like this before so not sure how they will sell. We’ll see!

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Happy Fall to all my craft friends out there!

More Magnets Made From Giant Buttons, Puzzle Pieces, and Birch Discs

After my penny rug magnets, I’m on a magnet kick! I can’t stop gluing magnets to things! Here are some of the pieces I’ve been using to make new magnets. I found these awesome giant wooden buttons at Michael’s for $1 per package. 🙂

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This bag of birch discs set me back only a few bucks at Michael’s.

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I love to pick up vintage wooden puzzles from the thrift store to make magnets out of. They come in all kinds of fun designs and shapes.

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First I decided to stamp the birch discs. For small objects like these, I like to lay the stamp down on it’s back and then press down the wooden piece right where I want it. That way I can see the design on the stamp and can line it up better.

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Next, glue on the magnets. Hot glue does not work well for this project; the bond is weak and the magnets pop right off. I use tacky craft glue for a strong hold.

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Here are the finished birch disc magnets. I love ’em!

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Here are the buttons…

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And the retro puzzle pieces.

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Lastly, I had a few miscellaneous pieces that I decided to make into magnets too. Some rusty stars that I added some twine bows to, and some rustic white shapes that I stamped.

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For some reason, magnets always sell really well. I plan on displaying them on some enamelware pots and pans up on the wall at my co-op. I will price them all between $1-$2. They also make great stocking stuffers come holiday time! What kinds of crafty supplies do you have lying around that you can turn into magnets?!?! 😀

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! 😀

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!

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!

Dyeing & Stamping Wood Clothespins

I’d like to preface this post by saying it was half craft FAIL and half craft win! It’s okay though, because now you can learn from my mistakes. You’ll see what I mean shortly. 🙂

I started out with two different sized wooden clothespins – the small ones from Walmart in the office supply section, and the large ones from the dollar bins at AC Moore. That would be why I have it classified as a “Dollar Store Craft;” the rest of the supplies you will likely have on hand!

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For the large ones, I simply soaked them in some really strong coffee. I did end up putting a glass bowl on top of them to push them down, so they were completely covered. I left them soak for about 2 hours.

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For the small ones, which I wanted to be multi-colored, I followed tutorials found online at random craft blogs. I used regular food coloring with a dash of vinegar. I’m not sure what the vinegar does, but the website looked legit so I figured there must be a reason. lol. To help the colors adhere better maybe?

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I filled up mason jars with hot water and added about a 1/4 cup vinegar to each one, and about 20-25 drops of food coloring. I also did a batch of the small ones in the coffee. I let them all soak for about 2 hours.

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Then lay them out on a paper towel to dry. Be careful to protect your counters because the food coloring tends to stain.

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I let all of these guys dry for about 3 days to make sure the large ones were dry all the way through.

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Here’s where the “FAIL” part comes in. The various tutorials and instructions said to remove the metal springs before dyeing. However I was feeling lazy and decided to skip that part. And now I see why you SHOULD! They rusted pretty bad and then the rust seeped into the wood, creating a lot of dark streaking. They look pretty yucky. I am sure I’ll find a use for them but I did not think they were nice enough to stamp and sell in my Etsy shop as I had planned! 😦  Other than that little snafu, the actual dyeing seemed to work great! I shall try it again some day!

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For the large clothespins, I wanted to make some stand-up photo holders.

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I found it was easiest to apply the ink to the stamp, and then lay down the stamp on the table and press down the clothespin onto the rubber face of the stamp.

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I did them by sections, above and below the spring, since the stamp wasn’t tall enough to cover the whole thing. 🙂

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I did the same thing with the small clothespins – the ones that were coffee stained. For some reason those did not rust liked the colored ones. Maybe it was the vinegar that did it??? Hmmm….

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And here are the final products that I photographed to go in my Etsy store. I love the results!

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They were easy and fun and would make a great product for craft shows. Thanks for stoppin by and happy crafting!

Country Mason Jar Center Pieces

I had to share this fun little endeavor I’m working on! I’m honored to be helping a friend with the decor for her upcoming country-themed wedding this Fall. I have been chipping away at favors, and she recently asked me about doing some center pieces. With dark purple as her main color, she asked for something using “mason jars and burlap” and I immediately visualized these!

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So easy, not to mention economical!!! Strips of burlap (cut from a burlap bag), hot-glued onto the mason jar. Then on top, a purple ribbon (Michaels). Finished off with some raffia and/or jute twine. You can find mason jars at craft stores, thrift stores, Walmart, or even the Dollar Tree!

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She will put 3 gebera daisies in one and a candle in the other! It will look so pretty flickering against the burlap. 🙂 I can think of a billion ways to personalize or customize these. The possibilities are endless.

  • Add a wooden tag or skeleton key
  • Glue on a faux daisy or flower on the front
  • Change up the ribbon color
  • Use homespun fabric or lace instead of burlap
  • Use different colored twine or raffia
  • Add stamped grungy hang tags
  • Add a metal wire around the neck and hang them up
  • So many ideas! Be creative!

One last thing! I wanted to announce that I have finally re-opened my Etsy store and have a made up a special coupon especially for my blog peeps! Upon check out, enter in the following code into the “apply coupon code” section, for 20% off your total order of $10 or more. Enter it exactly as shown; no spaces. 🙂

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I have added a few new things like porcelain knobs, rolls of burlap, metal letter stamps, and more skeleton keys. I also have much more to add in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned! Thanks and be back soon! 🙂

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