Christmas Crafting Has Begun! More Homespun Candy Canes

Well, I don’t have a new project to share…this is one you’ve seen before. My latest crafting venture was a new batch of “homespun candy canes,” in preparation for this years Christmas season at the co-op. I first posted about these years ago, and here is the “how-to” in case you’re interested: Homespun Candy Canes How-To.

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I made a whole bunch of the standard-sized candy canes, but also made a batch of the miniature candy canes. The mini candy canes are a bit more tedious, but seem to be everyone’s fave!

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These are the mini candy canes I used. I got them at The Dollar Tree. They come as garland, so you get 10 of them for a dollar…score!

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Bunched them up into groups of 5, tied together with twine. I plan on pricing them at $4 for a bunch of large ones, and $3 for a bunch of small ones.

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I also worked on a few of these large bells that I had laying around from years ago. They were $1 each at Michael’s.

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I spray painted them with this metallic brown:

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And made them into hanging ornaments with twine hangers and little fabric accents. They also make nice bowl fillers!

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For displaying the candy canes and other Christmas crafts, I like to put them in old wooden boxes or bowls…

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Or vintage displays like this old red sleigh (both thrift store finds).

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In other news, I am thinking of starting up my Etsy store again. I have all kinds of awesome little antique tins that are beauty/hygiene/medicine themed, with great old graphics on them. I also have tons of skeleton keys and other little items that I would like to sell. It’s a quite a project…photographing a listing everything. Maybe a good winter project for me, we’ll see!

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Aren’t they cool? I just love old tins. The colors and graphics are so fun.

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Have a great weekend and Happy Crafting! 😀

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! 🙂

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! 😀

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!

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!!! 🙂

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! 🙂

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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! 😀

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!

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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!

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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. 😛

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

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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!

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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: http://www.susiewittwer.com/2013/01/mason-jars-family-photos.html. I just love the idea of using vintage papers/photos inside the jars!  😛

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