Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Door Decor - The Old Oaken Bucket

Making use of Primitive 
Garden Artifacts for Christmas Decorations

One of my finds this summer on the west end of Eureka Springs, Arkansas was a great old wooden bucket.  It was painted a lime green and I knew I must invest in it as they are hard to find.  I wasn't sure just how I would use it but knew something would trip my fancy.

Sure enough this Christmas season presented just the right opportunity.  My sister in law in Wilmington North Carolina shipped me a big box of large pine cones that fall to the ground from massive pine trees near her home. I've kept them by the front door in a planter all year long but wasn't happy with their destination.  

The Old Oaken Bucket

I used a leftover bow from last year's decorations, the pine cones and an outdoor all weather battery candle to the old bucket. Below the pine cones I stuffed left over fake greenery as a filler.  I have placed the bucket by our front door decorations.  You will also find those outdoor decorations in another blog here.  

I've also collected many old watering cans over the past two years as garden decorations.  Placing artificial poinsettias in one that has a wash of red paint was a great touch for the back patio.  Its easy to view out the back hearth room glass door.   

Old Watering Can Re-purposed for Christmas

Just a View Out The Hearth Room Door

Saturday, December 5, 2015

How to Glitter a Champagne Bottle

A year ago I stumbled on a blog that had a photo of a glitter champagne bottle while trying to come up with ideas for a New Year's Eve party. Ever since, I have been hooked! My friends raved about the bottle and I decided for the next year I would gift glittered champagne bottle to anyone who invited me to their birthday party! The reception has been great, and I have made about a dozen of these now. They are really easy to do, but they take a little time.


            • Champagne bottle - preferable with gold foil top
            • Gold spray paint
            • Blue painter's tape
            • Modge Podge or glue
            • Small paint brush
            • Newspaper

Step 1: Use painter's (blue) tape to cover anything on your bottle you don't want glittered. I have the top foil and most of the label glitter free. But you can glitter over the label if you want! I choose Piper Sonoma champagne mostly because it has a gold foil topper and it looks nice with gold glitter.

Step 2: Spray paint your bottle with gold paint. Just a quick light coat is good enough. If you skip this step, the final product just doesn't look as polished and you can see some of the dark bottle through the glitter.  Let it dry.

 Step 3: Choose your glue method - Modge Podge/glue or a spray adhesive. I've used both methods and typically stick with modge podge. If you use the spray adhesive, you must be quick as it will dry fast. Cover the bottle with your glue. When using Modge Podge/glue I apply it with a brush.

Step 4: Immediately, while the glue is still wet, sprinkle with glitter. I hold the bottle over a box or plate to collect to excess glitter - there will be a lot. I can resuse the excess glitter. I sprinkle over several times to cover the entire bottle really well.

Step 5: The bottle will feel rough after this and glitter will flake off, even when the glue dries. Let it get somewhat dry. Next, we seal it!

Step 6: To seal on the glitter, cover the bottle with another thick layer of Modge Podge/glue. It goes on white and looks like this - but it will dry clear. When it dries, the glitter will not flake off and makes the bottles much more usable. If you skip this step, glitter will get everywhere you bottle goes.

Finished Product! Glitter Champagne ready for gifting
Step 7: Peel off the painter's (blue) tape and let the bottle completely dry. They should feel smooth, no longer rough and the glitter should not flake off. They are ready for service and gifting! 

To learn how to make the Glitter Initial Tag hanging from the bottle on the right, CLICK HERE.

Monday, November 30, 2015

New Years Eve Party Decorations

Nothing is funner than gathering your friends together to ring in the new year! Here my ideas for a New Year's Eve Gathering!

Serve a potluck - spending all your time cooking will spoil the fun, plus it gives your friends an opportunity to shine!
Make a signature cocktail, with a fun themed name - I made Amber's French Kiss
Make your place sparkle - I glittered a bottle of champagne, and put up string lights. I also added a few large bottles with Christmas lights shoved inside to bookshelves and cabinets. I used shiney gold gift wrapping paper to decorate table tops and the bar too.
Play great music - I used Google Play Music's radio NYE station and had great music I didn't have to worry about!

Midnight Kisses and Noise Makers

I used random crystal bowls and tin buckets to display snacks and food. I found small chalkboard signs attached to paper clips at Micheal's and used them on the bowls.
Drink of the Night: French Kiss
I always *LOVE* a themed drink for a party! With a little research I settled on a French Kiss with a little twist. I used pretty photo frames with black construction paper make chalk boards at the bar, with the name of our special drink.

Amber’s French Kiss Cocktail
1 ½ oz Vodka
1 ½ Pineapple juice
¼ oz Chambord
¼ oz Triple Sec
¼ oz Half and Half

Shake with ice and serve

Glittered Champs

Homemade Confetti
 The kids dumped homemade confetti on us from the balcony at midnight. We used hole punches to make it.
Drunk Gummies
 I made Drunk Gummies for the adults. It is basically gummie bears soaked in vodka in the refrigerator for several days. The trick is to buy the good brand of gummy bears, and let them soak in a glass dish for about 5 days. Any less and they taste awful. I s
Girlfriends having fun!
Me, the bartender!
I decorated the bar with gold and white chevron wrapping paper, and small jeweled blinking lights scattered around the wine and champagne glasses. I made the large BAR light up sign for another party and decided to put it to use in my bar! It is basically made of red construction paper, target lights with a foam board backing (Instructions I used HERE)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hunger Games Mockingjay Birthday Party

My son loved the Hunger Games book series. By coincidence, his birthday has fallen on the premiere of the movies, so we have held a few Hunger Games themed parties! This year we started with a fun invitation to get the kids in the mood. We started the party with a series of Minute to Win it games and then headed off for the theater. Afterwards we had pizza and the kids watched the older Hunger Games movies. We topped it off with a District 13 Cake, since he was turning 13 and the Mockingjay Part 1 was all about District 13.

For a party favor we made these really fun shirts. We used a "reserve technique". Instead of applying a iron on or stencil, we used bleach to remove color from the shirts. I used freezer paper that I cut out with an exacto knife to make a stencil. Then hung the shirts in the shower and used a spray bottle to apply the bleach. The custom Mockingjay shirts turned out beautifully!

Shirts all ready for the party guests
District 13 Cake - made with powder sugar stencil
Party favors, cake and glow lights ready to go!
Minute to Win it scoreboard
The boys at the theater with their Mockingjay shirts
Hunger Games invite
Click here and use FILE: MAKE A COPY in Google Docs to use my Hunger Games Invitation.

Click here to FILE: MAKE A COPY of my District 13 cutout I used to make the shirts

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lego Mini Figure Storage and Display

My oldest son was a HUGE Lego fan for about ten years and he amassed quite a collection during that time. If your child is into Legos, then you know they create a big mess. So I was always looking for ways to organize the Legos, that also allowed my son to continue to play with them. I wasn't very successful actually! As he got older my focus was to display these beautiful toys in a more mature way.

I finally repurposed this small display shelf to hold their most important minifigs. I used green postboard to cover the back. That served to help see the minfigs better, since they would show better than with a white background. Also the display shelf had star & moon cutouts I wanted to hide. Next I glued down a large Lego plate that I cut to fit each shelf. The height was too high, so I added a half shelves also made with the Lego plate. Then I added in all the Lego Mini Figures that we have collected through the years. It makes a lovely display on my son's wall.

Half way done - before I added more shelves

Star Wars Minifigs

Pirates of the Caribbean - More favorite minifigs

Lego Toy Story Minifigs - old favorites

Lego collectible minifigures
Lego Minifig Shelf

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Repurposed Jars - Glitter Lantern

I save pretty much all my glass jars, just in case a fun project comes up. Jam and jelly jars, peanut butter and pickle jars, olive and coconut oil jars! Each one is unique and will be great for some future repurposing project.

I hosted a large party where we decided to make small lanterns as the guest's party favor. It was a bonus that we could used the lanterns to decorate during the party, then they would help light the guests on their way home.

The best part of this project is that over a year later, I still see friends using this party favor in their homes or patios!

We used all different kinds of jars: pickle (bigger and squat), jam (wide mouthed and smaller), olives (taller with a wide mouth) and lots of pasta sauce jars. All the different shapes and sizes were fun to see!

Super Simple How To:
1. Soak the jars in soapy water to remove any glued labels, or use a knife to scrape off any remaining stickiness.

2. Once cleaned, I painted the insides of each jar with a mixture of watered down glue (or modge podge)and silver glitter. The glue will dry clear, so only the glitter is left behind. 

3. I then used crafting wire to wrap around the mouth and make a simple handle.

4. Add some fine sand to the bottom. Depending on the amount of glitter you may not be able to see much of what is inside the lantern.

5. Insert a battery tea lights, and watch it twinkle!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hot Glue Glitter Letters

I think this is so cool, because you are literally making something from nothing! With just a few supplies and a couple of minutes, you have a beautiful sparkly letter. All you need is a hot glue gun and glitter.

I used a toothpick on a few of the letters, so I could later use them on a birthday cake. The others I attached a twine loop, so they could be hung. I think the neck of a wine or champagne bottle, as a gift tag. Or even hang the letters from the Christmas tree!

Once I started, I wanted to make more and kept thinking of new uses for them. But my hand got less steady, so I stopped at five letters. In the future, I may print out some pretty calligraphy to trace.

You could make symbols, or even numbers to top a birthday cake. What would you make with this  fun hot glue trick?

All you need:
* Hot glue gun, it takes a lot of glue so much sure you have refills
 * glitter
*toothpicks or twine, to attach to the letter

How to:
1. Draw out your letter on the parchment paper with a pencil
2. Trace the letter with your hot glue onto the parchment paper
3. Sprinkle glitter on the hot glue immediately. Don't touch the glue.
4. Stick the toothpick in bottom or place the twine on the letter while the glue is still hot
5. After the glue has completely cooled, go over the letter again with a thick layer of hot glue. Make sure to cover the toothpick or twine well.
6. Sprinkle with glitter again.
7. Once cooled, peel the letter from the parchment paper.

Step 5 in progress

Letters Complete

Friday, July 31, 2015

Copper Floor Lamp Redo with Spray Paint

Mom and I bought this floor lamp 20+ years ago and a yard sale. I've always found a little place for the lamp wherever I've lived, it's functional but not very exciting. 

I wanted to keep it metallic and settled on a pretty copper.

To start, I cleaned the lamp up and then gave it a light sanding. There was no turning back now, since the sanding scratched up the surface.

The base of the lamp is black and was a bit beat up, so I gave it a fresh coat of black spray paint too. Then I used a can of Krylon Copper Brilliance spray paint. I had to shop around a bit to find this new color, but thankfully Amazon has it!

The lamp turned out great, and the new color looks much better with my color scheme than the old chrome did. It really gave the old lamp a new life! I also took a plain basket and did a "dipped" paint effect on it with the copper spray paint.

Tape all the electric sources

Supply List:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Ultimate Nerf Arsenal

 My house is filled with boys, and while they have been through a lot of toys,  Nerf has been a tried and true favorite. So we have A LOT of Nerf! Recently my youngest son has started customizing his Nerf with nice paint jobs, so we want to do a better job of caring for them.  

BEFORE: Basically all the Nerf were thrown in a large plastic tub. Small parts sorting to the bottom and potentially lost forever. 

AFTER: We used a tall bookshelf with the shelves removed and the back replaced with pegboard to display the best Nerf. A overdoor hanging shoe organizer was used for all the odds and ends. We stored the ammo and magazines on a nearby bookshelf in cute tins.

Nerf Arsenal
We got the bookshelf for free on FreeCycle. It was pretty flimsy, but the added pegboard from Home Depot helped make it more sturdy. It fits nicely into exactly the same spot of as the old plastic tub.
Spring mounted curtain rod with S-Hooks holds the larger Nerf
Custom painted Nerf
 Now my son can show off his custom painted Nerf guns!

The Shoe Organizer was such a simple idea, but works perfectly! There are so many random things to hook onto the nerf and small guns, that this makes a great place for all the odds and ends.
Shoe organizer used for Nerf storage 
$12 Shoe Organizer from Target holds all the odds and ends

Ammo Storage
Ammo and Clips go on near by book shelf. I Modge Podged a few coffee tins to store the bullets in. 

So now we have the ultimate Nerf arsenal!