These golden animal ornaments are so beautiful, it’s crazy how easy they are to make. This project is also a great way to preserve old memories by turning your kids toys into family ornaments that will last a lifetime. And while spray painting is not the best project to elicit help from the little ones, giving the toys a nice sudsy bubble bath before you begin, is.
You will need clean plastic toy animals, small eyelets, primer, gold spray paint, a small hammer. Once you have collected all the essentials, it is time to set up your work area. Find a large, open, well-ventilated space and spread out some cardboard.
Start by choosing an animal and finding a nice balance spot for inserting the eyelet. Hold the eyelet against the spot and tap a few times with the hammer to make a prick in the plastic. This will make it easier to twist in the screw. Repeat with your animals until the entire pack is ready to go.
Spread the animals out across the cardboard and apply the first coat of primer. I always start with my animals lying down on their side so I can get the undercarriage. Once that coat dries completely I stand them up and apply a layer covering the rest of the piece. The same principle applies when doing the topcoat. Start with the bottom, spray and dry and then do the top. The most important part of spraying paint, aside from good ventilation, is to keep a few feet away so the paint goes on evenly and to allow each layer to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
Once the ornaments are dry, thread a piece of twine or gold string through the eyelet and your new handmade dazzling gold trophy pieces are ready to go. I am wrapping mine up as gifts, individually on a bed of shredded paper in little white bags tied with ribbon and tiny gold painted pinecones.
Creating a simple, natural looking fall wreath is as easy as cleaning up the yard. Lucky for us, the talented artist and designer Matt Lanci came by the other day to show us how it’s done.
A quick survey of the brush and tangle growing at the edge of the yard revealed a key ingredient for a festive fall wreath: grapevine. That, coupled with the bag of pine cones that Matt rescued from the forest floor and we had the makings for a beautiful wreath.
After pulling a pile of dying vine down off the back trees, Matt set to work.
Simply pick a vine, find an end and form it in to a ring about the size of the wreath you wish to create. Sometimes you will be wrapping one piece, other times several branches at a time will be wrapped around, it just depends on the way the vine grows. Fold the vine in and out as you go, creating a tight twist. When you come to the end of a piece just tuck it inside of the tangle to secure (see images below).
If pieces are jutting out or making points instead of rounded edges you want to shape them back into place. You don’t have to be gentle. Every few wraps around grab the edges and make sure they are continuing to form a circular shape.
To accent the completed wreath, we affixed a few pinecones with twine and weaved some bushy pieces of field grass from the wetlands near the yard. String to hang with a piece of ribbon or twine and you have the perfect handmade holiday display.
Don’t worry, no real animals were harmed in the making of this craft… only some plastic kids toys. Instead of wondering what to do with your old grimy kids toys, give them a good dish soap bath and then hack them in half for ‘Heads and Tails’ Animal Magnets. Plastic animal lovers (and personal friends) should close your eyes now, because the pictures in this post may very well disturb you (or reveal your holiday gifts).
Here are the steps, mostly in pictures.
You will need:
- Plastic animal or dinosaur toys if you have old kids toys, this is a great way to hold on to the childhood memories, otherwise take a trip to a yard sale or toy store
- Primer, spray paint (primer is important in order to get really bright metallic colors)
- Copper (or gold) spray paint
- Hack saw with a fine blade (you should have seen the guy at Home Depot look at me when I whipped out a moose and said I wanted to saw it in half, that was FUN)
- 1/2 inch, strong hold, small ceramic magnets
- Hot glue gun, or another strong adhesive glue
NOTE: If I were to do it again, I would have bought a vice grip for holding the toys while sawing. It would have been much easier and safer if I had.
Make sure to do all of your spray painting outdoors or in a well ventilated area. And wait for the paint to dry COMPLETELY before applying another layer.
I Love Them Sooooo Much!
Here on the east coast the days seem shorter and the air is brisk, leaves have been falling and the trees are almost bare. The time has come for enjoying cool weather hikes and cleaning up our yards in preparation for winter chill. And as we do, we come across a bountiful and natural selection of potential holiday decorations.
Last weekend a friend came bearing bags of pinecones from small to large. He taught me how to make wreaths and centerpieces out of dying vines and tall grass. We added pinecones as accents and decorated the house for fall. After we were done, I found myself with over half a bag to pinecones to spare. So this weekend, I bought a can of neon paint and brightened them up a bit. Here are the results.
These neon pinecone ornaments are so easy and yield such popping results that you’ll want to make them for everyone you know. The two most important things you need are primer, so you really get those neon brights, and an open space in which to work.
For a little extra pizazz, I added a layer of silver glitter spray paint to the cones once the neon color was dry. It’s so easy to get carried away!
Wrap fishing wire around the end of each pinecone, double knot and hang.
I can’t wait to hang some on a real tree, and give the other half away as gifts!
This last weekend was a craftacular activities weekend. And while there are some pretty awesome projects coming up on the blog, these simple Astro Rocks were like an added crafting bonus. I mean, when your outside with an awesome can of 24K Gold spray, paint it’s easy to get carried away.
These astrological symbol stones also make great gifts for both the upcoming holidays and, of course, birthdays.
All you need is an outdoor workspace (for spray painting), a few rocks, gold spray paint, black acrylic paint, a brush and a chart of simple astrological symbols. Have fun and make tons…. literally.
It’s time to get stitching for spring with this super cute glove bunny. This is Coco, bunny #1 in my bunny making journey (I have since stitched up and shared over 20 of these little guys) Hippity-hoppity.
You can either use a pair of holey gloves that aren’t going to make it to next year, or a pair of cheapo worker man gloves from the 99 cent store like I did here. The details of the project are outlined in the pictures below… you are going to have to CLICK on the pictures to see them in more detail.
For the arms: I stuffed them about 3/4 full with the other pieces of glove that were cut off and then tucked the rest of the finger (the cut off part) back in to the finger with the stuffing, creating a smooth edge. Stitch the arm on to the bottom of the body, below the rim of the glove, with either matching or contrasting thread if you want a patchwork look.
Stuffing the bunny: Stuff the head and body, use a chop stick to get the filler up into the ears and legs. You can use whatever type off fill you want, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I like to use recycled fill like stray sock stuffing or an old clean t-shirt all chopped up.
Attaching the head to the body: If you notice, with this particular glove, there is a lip (or a rim) around the bottom of the glove. If you notice on the top picture, it looks like the bunny is wearing a turtleneck… I simply shoved the head all the way down into the body portion of the bunny. Sewed along the edge where they were joined (I went around twice with the stitching because some of my bunnies were going to kids and I wanted them to last through some heavy hugging) and then flipped the rim of the glove over the stitching to create the turtleneck effect.
And if you only have one stray glove lying around the house, be sure to check out the baby glove bunny project. Happy Spring!!
So…. accidents happen!! For example, when your dog throws up on your comforter and it says “Dry Clean Only” but there’s vomit on it, and it’s gross, and you put it in the wash anyway, only to realize later why you should have followed the instructions.
See the picture above, well that is what my comforter now looks like. A bag of stuffing and some fabric. After a nice wash and dry in the machine, all the batting clumped to one end and the fancy patchwork comforter was no more. I cut open the fabric, put the batting in a bag and shoved it to the back of my closet.
Meanwhile, my dog had taken to lying in the pile of fabric as sort of a makeshift bed. After doing a little spring cleaning (and washing his dog-pile bed) I decided to whip out the sewing machine, put the batting to good use, and make my little guy a real bed.
Let’s preface this by saying – I have extremely sensitive skin. Because of this, once I find a product regimen that doesn’t dry my skin or cause breakouts, I’m not quick to stray. As far as face wash goes, for years I was hooked on an alternating system of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream and MyChelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Enzyme Scrub. Then, one day when the Hauschka was empty, an amber jar of ‘cleansing powder’ appeared in its place (I was not the primary product-purchaser in the household at the time) and I freaked out.
My first thought was… WHAT??… Where’s my Cleansing Cream? and, How on earth am I supposed to clean my face with POWDER?? But I gave it a chance and was surprised to discover that the ‘new stuff’ was phenomenal. Although, in a house with two women, spending $20 a pop on a 6 oz jar of powder that disappeared in less than two weeks, was bit of an expenditure.
Luckily, the ingredients were clearly printed on the label, and with a little experiment and some help from our friend at the beauty counter at Integral Yoga and Natural Foods, we came up with the magic formula.
The ingredients are simple: Organic Oat Flour, Lavender and Sweet Orange essential oils. Add one cup of flour, 10 drops of Sweet Orange and 10 drops of Lavender oil to a lidded container, close the lid tightly then shake vigorously!! Like jumping up-and-down kinda shaking. And wall-ah — you’re done.
I keep my magic powder in a glass jar in the bathroom with a little scoop. To use, simply place a small mound (see top pic) in your hand, add water, work into a paste and apply to your face as you would any other cleansing product. I’ve been using this formula for two-plus years and I’m extremely satisfied. (**I do still alternate with the MyChelle scrub once every two or three days).
If you sit around like I do, daydreaming of museum-sized photographs filling your walls, then maybe you should try rasterbating!! (no… it’s not dirty, notice the “r”)
Rasterbating, also known as tiled printing, is a way to take a large image and break it down into smaller, page sized pieces, which can later be reassembled into a whole. So, instead of spending thousands on a 30×40 print, you can get an artful effect for the price of a new cartridge of printer ink and some photo paper. (really, you could use any sort of paper that suits your fancy, I just so happen to have boxes of glossy photo paper laying around my house so I went with that)
Here are some easy-to-follow instructions… clicking on the image will allow you to see the full-sized details:
Since I happen to be a bit of a tech-nerd, I did all of the image tiling myself via photoshop & imageready… but for the not so tech-savvy, there is this great website (although it looks like the website is down right now, so I might just have to write up some steps for the photoshop novice) that will help you through the technicalities.