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!

A New Batch of Silicone Dipped Bulbs & Country Night Lights

It’s been a few years since I’ve made these country night lights with silicone dipped bulbs. In case you haven’t seen my old post on how to make them, here is a refresher! They are cheap to make and great items to sell at craft shows, or for your booth at a craft shop or co-op. For some reason they make me think of Fall, and I love to make them this time of year!

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First, get your night lights at the dollar store. I got these at The Dollar Tree. The bases come in all different colors. I tend to do mostly black and white, but this time I threw in a few blue and aqua ones.

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Don’t mind my ugly carpet background…was crafting in the basement last night. Along with the night lights, I picked up these packages of extra bulbs. I like to make extra bulbs and sell them as replacements.

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For the bulbs to cure, you need to hang them immediately after dipping. I ran a piece of twine between two shelves and used clothespins to hold them in place.

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Your supplies for the bulbs consist of silicone, a little cup for dipping, cinnamon (optional) and a disposable stick to mix with. I add the cinnamon for a warm, primitive look. You can leave the silicone plain too. I use the basic Walmart brand of silicone. Some brands will work better than others – it’s all trial and error. I’ve had the best luck with this stuff. It seems to be just the right consistency.

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You also need one of these gun thingys, to squirt out the silicone. We happened to have one but they are available next to the silicone in Walmart.

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I ended up tossing my flimsy plastic cup and used a glass cup. It was easier to hold on to while dipping. I find that it works best to fill the cup up completely with the silicone mixture. Take the bulbs and dip them down in and turn them slightly to get the silicone to cover the base of the bulb. Then pull out quickly to create the long “tip”. This can be really challenging and takes some practice.

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You must work quickly because the silicone starts to cure and becomes more difficult to work with. Within 15-20 minutes, the silicone in your cup will probably be stiffer and less pliable. Hang them upside down with your clothespins and let them cure for at least 24 hours.

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When I was done with the bulbs, I worked on the bases. I tied on little strips of homespun fabric, finished with little rusty stars and hearts. For the hearts and stars, I just hot-glued them on. Don’t worry; the night lights to not get warm enough to melt the hot glue.

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Here they are all assembled!

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I love the warm look you get from the cinnamon. Unfortunately they do not smell like cinnamon though.

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For a display, I used an old cardboard box and covered the inside with scrapbooking paper. Punch holes through the cardboard with scissors for the little metal part to stick through.

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Don’t get discouraged if you try it and can’t get the bulbs to look right. The brand of the silicone makes a huge difference, and also practice makes perfect. I’ll sell these for probably $4.50 each at the co-op. Hope you have a great Labor Day! 🙂

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?!?! 😀

Mason Jar Soap Dispensers

I’ve seen them online and in gift shops for years, and decided it’s time to try making some of my own mason jar soap dispensers! They are easy, fun, cheap to make, and would make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season. You can Google a million different ways to make them, but here’s how I did it. 🙂

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First gather your supplies. You’ll need mason jars with lids, soap dispensers, and some kind of glue or sealant. I got soaps with standard pumps for $1 at the Family Dollar. Clean off the pumps and then you can use the soap in your jars when you’re done!

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Along with using regular mason jar lids, I found these fun gingham jar lids at Target, in the dollar bins! They were made for mason jar drinking cups (with small holes for straws) but I knew I could drill bigger holes and use them for the soap dispensers.

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I had Greg drill holes in the lids using a large drill bit.  Our biggest bit was a little too small for the soap dispensers to slide in, so he had to rock the drill back and forth, and press on the sides of the hole and widen it just a little bit. Don’t be intimidated by this part – the drill popped through the lid without too much effort. You could also use a hammer to poke a hole in the top using a screw driver and just pry open the hole by hand. Just be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges.

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Slide in the soap dispenser piece and seal the under side with some sort of waterproof glue. In this case, the dispenser fit pretty snug, which worked great to hold them in place while the glue dried. If they are loose, you’ll have to prop them up to hold the dispenser upright while it dries.

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I used this waterproof silicone sealant because I had it on hand. Let it dry completely – this sealant took 24 hours to cure.

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And that’s pretty much it! Finish off your jars with whatever kinds of accents you feel like. I went with homespun ties and twine bows. I had a few mason jars on hand, but I also picked up these cool purple “vintage style” jars at Tractor Supply on clearance! I knew they’d eventually come in handy! 😀

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After looking at many ideas on Pinterest, I discovered you can use these dispensers for a variety of things…condiments (think ketchup and mustard), hand lotion, dish soap or detergent, hand sanitizer, and more! I’m definitely thinking I will make some for Christmas gifts this year! 🙂

“Penny Rug” Magnets

After a great day perusing my favorite antique/country shop, I was inspired to do a little crafting. I picked up a new penny rug table runner, and it got me thinking about how much I love the colors and patterns of penny rugs. I have never been able to sew, so I thought I’d try my hand at painting them!

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Here is my new runner that was the inspiration. I love this color combo!

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These are the wooden discs I used. They are the same ones I use for my snowman and pumpkin face pins & magnets. You can get them at any craft store.

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Paint them your base color. I used acrylics.

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Then paint in your rings of color! I winged it and painted the circles by hand, but a stencil would have been handy. I’m even thinking of trying it again using foam stamps.

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The next step seems easy in theory, but was actually quite challenging. I’m talking about the little “stitches.” Here’s my trial and error photo. First I tried drawing them on with a paint pen (not pictured), but I can never get those stupid pens to work right. Then I tried painting them on with a fine tipped paint brush (left). Next, I tried drawing them on with a fine tipped Sharpie marker (middle). Lastly, I used a regular sized Sharpie marker (right). I decided to go with the latter. I like the thicker look of the stitches.

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The Sharpie works great at first, but as you continue to draw, the marker almost seems to run out. I think it’s because it doesn’t work well on the painted surface. You might need a couple Sharpies to make it through.

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After they dried, I glued small magnets on the back. Here they are all finished. I had a few casualties…some came out too messy and/or uneven. It’s going to take some practice I think. Overall I think they’re kinda cool.

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I am definitely going to make more of these after I perfect my technique. I have tons of enamel ware pots and pans hanging on the walls at my co-op, which work great as magnet displays. Go Google Penny Rugs right now and see all the beautiful color combinations out there! It’s so inspiring! 🙂

Adding a Primitive Fall Look to Boring Ol’ Candles

Sometimes things that I think are really cute, will sit in my booth for years, and won’t sell. For example, I bought some small candles years ago, that came in awesome faux white enamel tubs and had a real farmhouse look to them. Though they’re old, they still smell awesome and I am not giving up on them! I have since made them over a few times, and I am hoping my new Fall spin on them will help them move off the shelves. Here’s the new country look and the how-to!

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Originally I tried to sell them as is, for like $3 a piece. Good deal, so I thought, but no one wanted them! 😦 Then as Christmas time came around, I packed them up in plastic bags, tied them with homespun, and added a cute rustic tag, for gift giving. I sold a few, but still have about 6 left. Here’s the “before.”

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My first step in making them over was to “primify” them. I put the broiler on and CAREFULLY watched them for about 1 minute while the tops softened up and smoothed out. After years of sitting around, the wax gets little scratches and nicks, so this process makes them look brand new again. I then shook on some ground cinnamon and let them cool. It gives them a rustic, dusty look, and of course smells great too! Please don’t burn your house down doing this. Don’t leave them unattended and please, be careful people!!!

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My first thought was to tie the burlap over the top and tie off with some twine. I guess I was envisioning more of a cheesecloth look, where you could see and smell the candle better. This just looked dumb. LOL. It also covered my cute, newly dusted candle tops that look so perfectly primitive!

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Take two. I used a plate as a guide to trace out circles of burlap that would fold up around the tubs, from the bottom.  This idea would look great on small jar candles (such as those in short, fat mason jars), so don’t worry if you love the look but can’t find these exact candles! Any jar candle would work!

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Put a ring of hot glue on the bottom of the jar candle and place on burlap. Then, using tiny dabs of hot glue, fold up the edges and create a taco-shell look. This will make it easier to tie on the twine.

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Tie it around once or twice and add more dabs of hot glue to hold up your burlap. I also trimmed and frayed the edges of my burlap during this part.

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For a little accent, I took a sprig of pip berries I had lying around and pulled off two sprigs for each candle.

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I curled up the ends of the sprigs by wrapping them around a little paint brush handle. Then I tied them on using the excess twine and finished it off with a little bow.

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I think I will throw in a free mason jar tag with each candle since they’d made nice Fall gifts. I got these mason jar tags at Target…8 for $1! I love them!

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They have a cool “scarecrow” feel with the frayed burlap. They’d be nice for any primitive home decor but will be especially nice for Fall time I think.

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My helper Fred takes a little snooze while I clean up. What a bum!

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Like I said, this look would be easy to create on regular jar candles as well. The cinnamon dusting is a super easy way to make something look “prim” too! What are your thoughts on the finished project? Anything you’d do differently? 🙂

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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