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. :)


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


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.


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.


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.


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


Here are the buttons…


And the retro puzzle pieces.


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.


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?!?! :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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!!!


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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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!


Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Easy Country Decor Ideas: Filling Old Jars

Happy Independence Day to all my crafty friends out there! 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! :)


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!


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


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!


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.


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.


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


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


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



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!


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


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


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!


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: I just love the idea of using vintage papers/photos inside the jars!  :P

mason jars pic 13

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!


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.


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


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! :)


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.


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!


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


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



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


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!


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.


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!



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.


Here are the main supplies I used. Magnets (Walmart), clear silicone (Lowe’s), clear plastic cabachons ( 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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.



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.


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.


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



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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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


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. :)


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.


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!

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