Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Decorate to Celebrate Design Team Challenge "Halloween Part 1"...All Eyes on You Candy Bags

WARNING:  This craft project could lead to weight gain and paranoia :)

     I saw a project like this in Family Fun Magazine and had to give it a try.  And anything related to Hershey's kisses is right up my alley.  "All Eyes On You Candy Bags" are a fun and easy idea guaranteed to make your little trick or treaters happy and can also double as a fun candy bowl idea for Halloween parties.

Supplies:  Hershey Kisses;sandwich bags;Halloween paper;googly eyes;scissors;twine

     I loved the glow in the dark googly eyes I found...this package has assorted sizes which makes your project more interesting.  Begin by gluing the eyes on to the bottom of your kisses.  HINT:  use mismatched sizes on some of them gives them a little different personality.  Once you are finished, you will have the distinct feeling of being watched!

    Take your sandwich bags and create a topper out of the Halloween paper.  Measure about 1/2 of the length of the bag so you have enough room to fold in half as your bag closure.

Using decorative scissors add a nice touch
      Using your new template, take plain paper and cut out a piece half the size of your decorative paper.

    Using a plain or contrasting paper, handwrite your eye puns.  I don't have the best handwriting in the world, so I line up a ruler.  HINT:  make sure you are leaving room for your googly eyes to take the place of the letters.  You can also use your computer to print out phrases or rub on alphabet transfers.

    Glue your two pieces together, fill up your bag with the candy. Fold over the paper and punch a hole through to close it off with twine or ribbon.

    The decorated kisses also make cute bowl candies for your Halloween parties.  And since your candy remains completely wrapped up, it will be still safe to eat!  And to be super thrifty you can keep the eyes from the wrappers for some other projects.

    Here are some other fun ideas for your labels.

  Have fun and remember......


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

One Radiator Screen.....Nine DIY ideas


     As I was once again strolling through my local hardware store, I spied radiator screens.  I already have them on the radiators in my home but the display called out to me.

     For only about $20.00 you can get a piece of screen that measures 36" x 24" -- huge!!  And invest in a pair of tin snips.  You can use scissors, but trust me you will ruin them, and have to get a new pair.  So you might as well invest the few bucks in these great snips.

     Now let's see what you can come up with when you deconstruct one of these screens.


     There were a few different styles, but I liked this design.  I figured it would be easier to cut as the design inherently left you with clean edges.

     SAFETY FIRST:  You are cutting metal so please bear these tips in mind:

  • Do not do any cutting around kids or pets
  • And wear shoes -- how do I know this?  Trust me, this metal is sharp
  • Wear protective eyewear and gloves if you tend to have klutsy tendencies like yours truly
  • When you are cutting/trimming the metal, it is advised to lean over a garbage can so the little bits can fall into the can and not all over the floor
  • EDGES are sharp so take your time
     Now on to the fun.


     Before you even begin cutting, you can use the whole piece (or several of them) as a headboard, backdrop for a wall display.  I even put it in front of a window -- adds a nice dimension to the window.  Good for windows where you don't have to worry about the neighbors peeking in.


     I picked up an inexpensive composition notebook, cut background paper to size.  Glue the paper on and cut out a piece of the screen to cover.  Add a charm or other embellishment for some interest.  And before you have it you have a cool journal to keep or give as a gift.  HINT:  Metal or jewelry glue works best for these projects but be careful.  You might want to wear a pair of disposable gloves.  Maybe you are neater than I am and won't glue things to your skin!


     Dress up your next party by cutting some screen and wrapping around a candle holder or use as a napkin ring.  The radiator screen is very easy to bend and holds its shape well.


    Since the screens are meant to tolerate heat, they make great coaster tops.  You just need a little glue on the corners and adhere to some cork squares.  The cork is great because it protects your surface.  The screen also looks great in this same use as a fancy bulletin board.  This sample utilizes the small pieces but image a full size piece of cork?  It looks cool with metallic push pins too!


    I am always on the lookout for cool frames.  Adding the screen makes a unique background and looks very cool on its own.  Using the template with the frames, cut out screen and background paper to fit.  On their own, or using this cool shadowbox for a display of something beautiful is an inexpensive and easy way to spruce up your frames.

   I was lucky to receive several of my Grandmother's brooches when she passed away and they tend to sit, forgotten, in my jewelry box.  Why not use them as art on their own?  I've seen a lot on Pinterest using screens for jewelry and it is a fun idea.  

   And embroidery hoop art seems to be a big trend now, so using that surface as the insert is another cool way to utilize the screen.  


     The spaces in the screen lend themselves to weaving.  Taking some raffia and weaving in and out makes a cute little bookmark.  You can fill up the space as much or as little as you want.  Make sure you keep "tails" on each end.  One to knot for the "fringe" and one to knot in the back so it doesn't fall apart.

     Using this same concept and leftover yarn created an entirely different look.  I loved this yarn because it has a bit of sparkle to it and ombre effects and the finished project looks really sparkly and holiday-ish to me.  This uses a very small amount of yarn so you can get a lot out of one skein.  HINT:  When choosing yarn, make sure you use something will be weaving in and out of metal, so delicate yarn will fray and rip.  

     This can be used as an ornament, package topper or fancy gift tag.  


     I'm a big fan of the industrial / steampunk vibe and the screen just yelled at me to make some jewelry with it.  First, get a ring blank.  They are adjustable and can be found at any big box crafts retailer and are really affordable.  Using a small piece of screen cut out and glue within the "bezel" of your ring.  That's all you need to do to create a fun modern ring.  You can make a ton of these very quickly and using very little materials.  Can anyone say gift giving???

    Back to the hardware store where I picked up washers and inexpensive chain.  Cut out some of the screen in whatever shapes you like and layer with the washers and metal buttons.  You can create a pendant piece or add more for a statement piece.  I love the way these came out and with your ring, you are good to go!


    The pattern of the screen lends itself well to using as a stencil.  Using a foam brush or dauber, coat the metal over a piece of cardstock.  Mine came out a little sloppy, but sometimes that works.  You can use as is or cut up and get several pieces out of one.  Before you lift off the paper, run the brush over the metal and you are left with the screen painted in a pretty color which is great to use for any of the projects above.

    Thanks for reading and let me know if you can come up with any other projects and I will post.  Have fun deconstructing!   And with all these projects, I still have a bunch of screen left over!


Challenge Time at Decorate to Celebrate - Bee Cee Artistics Digital Images


     It's challenge time again at DECORATE TO CELEBRATE.  Check out their blog and submit your challenges!  This challenge is sponsored by Bee Cee Artistics Digital Images Bee Cee Artistic Digital Blog.

     They have beautiful hand drawn digital images.  I chose Wonder of Flowers -- I loved how they looked like they were "plucked" out of a sketchbook page and that gave me my idea for this challenge.

     My friend's daughter has become enchanted with art and drawing and recently started a college credit art course while in high school.  I wanted to give her a little gift to wish her luck and here is what I came up with.


   Head over to the website and you can choose from many designs to upload.  I printed the image I liked onto glossy photo paper.  Using TOMBOW markers I colored in the design.  HINT:  test your markers and/or pencils in a corner of the paper to insure the medium you want to use works best for that paper.

    After I completed the coloring, and I wasn't sure how I was going to use the finished piece so I added some little embellishments over the whole page, I scanned and printed out a few copies on plain paper.

    This gives you the opportunity to save your work in its original format and you can then manipulate the images as you please.

    My first part of the gift was a watercolor sketchbook from Moleskine.  Decide on background paper and cut to cover the front of your sketchbook or journal.

    Cut out the images as you desire and adhere to the background paper.  For this example, I decided to cut the flowers out and apply separately.

    I found a quote I liked about art and printed out.  Adhere to your cover as desired.

    The second part of my gift was a folder for her to keep her papers or finished work in.  I love the simple two pocket folders that have a bit more than just paper to them and they accept glues, etc., better.  Look for sales / coupons -- I stocked up on many of these from CVS with back to school deals.

    Decide on a coordinating paper and cut out to size for the front of the folder.  Looks extra special if you cover the back, and even inside, of the folder.

   For this example, I used the full sheet - I did not cut out the flowers.  Adhere the flowers onto another complementary paper and adhere to the front of your folder.

   With the left over pieces, I was able to make a coordinating gift tag.

   Adding some markers or paintbrushes completes the gift.  Wrap everything up and you have a pretty, customized gift for the budding artist in your life.  This concept could be applied to journals, guest many ways to use. Check out these beautiful images for your own work @Bee Cee Artistics Digital Images

Happy Crafting!