Sunday, October 24, 2010

Block Pumpkin

Looking for a cute, easy, fast, cheap Halloween/Thanksgiving decoration? Look no farther. These pumpkins are SUPER easy, and they turn out pretty darn cute. Ready for the instructions? Okay, here we go.

First, cut your block. I used a 2x2 (which really means a 1.5"x1.5") that I then cut down square. I also did a 4x4 (which really means 3.5x3.5) and squared that. Next, cut 5 pieces of orange-y scrapbook paper to the same squares. You can use all the same, all different, or any variety of the bunch. Just cut them. Next, follow these instructions and mod podge all sides of your block but one. (You know, six sides to your block, five pieces of paper...) Make sure you sand the edges, it will look MUCH cuter!
You will end up with one side of the block not covered, this is the bottom of your pumpkin. You could cover it, but no one will ever see it, so why bother?
Okay, now pull out your hammer and nails. I used a 2" common nail here, but if you can get a hold of horseshoe nails, those would be SO much cuter!
Hammer your nail on the side opposite the un-covered side. So, like, the top. Hammer the nail in until you get a good length stem. Now, if you can find nails a little shorter than the 2", that probably wouldn't be too bad. If you hammer the 2" ones in too far, your block will split in half. I only pounded them in about 1".

Wow, you are almost there! So far you have the pumpkin and the stem, now you just need leaves. I used some green grosgrain ribbon for this part. Feel free to get creative. I cut a piece about 4", but again, this is totally a matter of taste. A little more or less probably won't kill you.

Take your ribbon and tie it in a single knot around your nail, then slide it down to the base, so it is sitting right on top of the wood.
And, you're done! Cute pumpkins, very little time or expense. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wood Words

In quest of more Halloween decorations, I made these over the last two days. I got 4x4s, 2x4s and 2x2s and cut them down to fit the words that my sister Brya so kindly cut out of vinyl. Then, using some modge podge and scrapbook paper, I covered the boards in paper. After a little sanding, I added the letters and now have these great word boards!
When I feel like Brya has had enough of a break from her cutting, I am going to cover the back and bottom with autumnal paper and try a fall bunch! For easy modge podge instructions, see How Does She.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

More flowers

I know, I have gone a little crazy. But, they are so darned cute! I figured out today, that with 45" wide, 6" strip of fabric, I can make 8 flowers. With the fabric I got today, that means I have the potential of 56 flowers, and I only paid $2.50 for the fabric! I got lucky a year ago and and friend gave me a bunch of great buttons, and in my mind at least, the button makes a big difference. I guess I have a new treasure to look for at the thrift store now!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Decor

After pulling out all of my Halloween decorations, I just wasn't quite satisfied with what I had. So, I thought, did some Internet research (I love and got to work. This was the end result. The mantle, at least. How did I create this work of art? Well, let me share.

First, I made a trip to the thrift store. There, I found the black roses, a brass candelabra, assorted round tins, and I stocked up on picture frames. None of them matched, but that doesn't really matter. Once I got everything home, I took the frames, the candelabra and one of the tins back and spray painted them all a glossy black. It took a couple of coats, but for $0.98, I got seven black frames, was well as a spooky black candelabra.

Then, came the making of the silhouettes. Yes, those are actually my kids. I tried the old fashioned - get the kids to stand next to the wall, shine a light, and trace - method, but that would require children to sit still for more than 5 seconds. Not even Joy is capable of that. So, after several failed attempts, I just stood the child against the wall and took a picture of their profile.

Then, I opened up Word, inserted the picture, and used the line drawing feature to trace the outline of their profile. Once they were all done, I sized them to fit the frames I had, and printed the profile on black card stock. Then, in the back of each frame, I put in some Halloween colored card stock and added the silhouettes. They turned out really cute. As you can tell from this picture, Joy did not have a ponytail on the night her picture was taken, but she does in her silhouette. I added that later, because it just looked weird going straight down the back.

For the bats, I went to and looked up their printable bat template. These were printed on black card stock and framed like the silhouettes.

After the mantle was done, I moved into the bathroom. I covered the assorted tins with scrapbook paper, stuck tapers in the black candelabra and put in the bat picture that didn't fit on the mantle. If I had a Silhouette, I would have gotten clear hand soap, pulled off the label, cut the word "Boo!" out of black vinyl, and stuck it on the front of the soap container with an orange ribbon. As it is, I only dream of owning a Silhouette. However, I am vastly contented with my decor for the year, and the kids are loving looking at their silhouettes on the mantle!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More fabric flowers

I just can't resist making these darn flowers! They are so quick, easy and cheap! Just 6" of fabric yields bunches of these babies! Here is today's batch - I especially like the look of the canvas ones. They just look classy. Now if I can only find some more cool buttons at the thrift store!

Halloween Heat Transfer

I love a good sale. The other day, I found solid colored hats on sale at Walmart - $2 a piece. So, I bought white, red, and green for each child, knowing inspiration would hit. And, when I got home and pulled out the Halloween decorations, it did. Did you know that there is heat transfer vinyl? Yup. There is. (I buy mine from the Vinyl SuperStore.) So, I bought some black (as well as a few other colors) and got to work. Since I don't have a vinyl cutter (although I am working on a propaganda campaign to get a Silhouette for Christmas), I pulled out some scissors and cut. Black eyes, white eye dots, and letters. I just did a basic Word Art in Word for the boo!, flipped it to mirror image, and cut the vinyl. Then, it was a fairly simple matter to iron the faces and words on the appropriate spots. Alright, it was a pain in the neck to get those darn things on due to the bowing from the hat bill, but I think it was well worth the work.
Why on earth do they need matching hats? I know I can hear you asking. Well, let me tell you. It is hard to keep track of four kids in a crowd. But, put them in matching hats that no one else is wearing, and your job just got 89% easier. It really is incredibly helpful. And, you don't notice so much when Joy has won the I-don't-want-to-brush-my-hair battle!
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Picture frame hair clip hanger

I did not realize until recently how many AMAZING blogs there are out there just bursting with good ideas! I have been loving it, and probably getting a little too far gone on the idea front. Anyway, a few weeks ago I found this, a great tutorial on a hair clip holder made from an old picture frame. So, I have been scouring the thrift stores in our area looking for a frame that would work. Nothing. So, I made a trip to a little bigger town and SCORED! It isn't as fancy as I was hoping for, but the price was right. This baby cost me $6.99! It did have a picture inside, but that is another story for another day.

First came a coat of bright fuchsia spray paint to match the accents in Joy's room.
Then I hot glued ribbon on the back, 2" apart.
Viola! Wall art/hair clip holder. And, now you know the color of Joy's walls, too!
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Flower pin

I found this cute flower pattern the other day on Wise Craft, and couldn't wait to try it. Then, I found a cute hat at Kohl's, but it had a HORRIBLE flower monstrosity on it. So, I bought it, ripped the monstrosity off, and have been looking for something to replace it. This flower idea was perfect. Go here to find the instructions. I did two tonight, and they were really fast and easy. I think one would take less than 10 minutes total, if you were doing them one at a time. Of course, I never do just one thing at a time!
With a pin attached to the back, they made my two blah hats pretty darn cute!

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lunch box re-vamped

I went to the thrift store the other day, in search of a frame to make this fabulous wall accessory for Joy's room, but I couldn't find what I needed. Instead of going home empty handed, they boys and I headed over to the Halloween section to see what treasures we could find. And we ended up with...this - Yes, it is a Wizard of Oz lunch box. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I knew it would be worth the $1.29 I paid for the box. So, I took it home and the wheels started turning. Brigham, as you know, is obsessed with letters and words. I have taken to finding creative ways to make more alphabets for him. He doesn't seem to be able to get enough. What if I made him a letter lunch box? He has lots of letter magnets, and if I could transform this lunch box into something a little more...boyish and letter-y, he could put the magnets in the box and it could go with us to doctor's appointments and such. It would be perfect! It would combine practicality with learning, and give me another fun project to work on! Alright, I know I am not making any sense, so I am going to give you a sneak peek just so you don't doubt my sanity.
See, the magets stick to the outside
But are stored on the inside.
Now that you no longer doubt my sanity, the instructions:

First, Oz had to go. I taped up the parts I wanted to stay silver (the snap was just too difficult, it got sprayed) and took black spray paint to the sides.
This is what it looked like post-spraying. I kind of like the two-color snap. Then, I modge podged twice over the black. I went with the cheap black spray paint at Walmart, and although effective for turning things black, was very drab looking when done. I figured the modge podge would give it some shine and durability.Then came the tricky part, the application of the letter paper. Unfortunately, I didn't get a single picture of the process. My hands were a little too gluey, and the process was a little too experimental. Basically, I cut the paper approximately the size of the box, put down a layer of modge podge, and stuck on the paper. The edges were a little rough, so no close-ups will be disclosed. After adhering the paper, I put on two more layers of modge podge, again for durability. This time I could have done without the shiny, but I am too cheap to go get a matte version. This is what I ended up with -

Word to the wise - if the cute lunch box you picked up at the thrift store has rust on it, you may want to cover it with spray paint, sealant, or some other magic. I didn't, and after the second outside layer of modge podge, the rust soaked through. Oops!
Thank heavens it was on the back, and the 5-year-old boy who gets this box isn't picky!