Pumpkin Candle Holder

1-100_1705Pumpkin Candle Holder

Since my kids are older, I find that my holiday decorating has evolved from the plastic manufactured holiday decorations, to decorations that are mainly handmade and carry a theme with their color and presentation. There are no more plastic clings in the windows that have been stuck on with spit. I still like whimsical decorations, but they are sprinkled among more sophisticated items that say “adults live here and they still like to have fun.”

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crispness to the air, the leaves crunching under my feet and the warm glow of a fireplace or candles. The house I live in does not have a fireplace, so candles it is. I made a fall candle holder using a pumpkin as the base. It looks great as a table centerpiece, but would also be pretty on a fireplace mantle or side table.

The instructions for this candle holder can be altered to fit any size pumpkin by adjusting the size of the candle used.

Materials Needed:

Pumpkin-mine was about the size of a basketball
Serrated knife or pumpkin carving tools
Pillar candle-Mine was 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall
Marking pen
Spoon or scoop of some sort
Object to use as a pedestal
Fall floral decorations
Hot glue gun-optional

Carefully cut around the stem of your pumpkin and remove it. This cut does not need to be a perfect circle, but it does need to be smaller than the diameter of your candle.

Stand the pillar candle over the hole and trace around it with a marking pen. If the top of the pumpkin is not level, tip the candle to a level position before tracing around it. Cut around the traced line, keeping the cuts straight up and down. You do want to be fairly precise with this cut. The candle will fit inside this hole snuggly to prevent a lot of air flow. The less air in the pumpkin, the longer it will last.

Dilemma: To clean out the guts or not to clean out the guts. I decided to clean and cut away the guts directly below the hole I had carved, but I left the rest inside. The guts inside are not going to show anyway. The spot below the hole needed the space for a pedestal to place the candle on. I figured the candle would begin to sink after a few days if it didn’t have a stable surface to rest on.

Scavenge for a plastic or glass object that will fit inside the hole of the pumpkin to create a pedestal for your candle. It needs to sit flat on the bottom of the pumpkin and the top of it needs to sit below the cutout opening. I used a glass bud vase. Place your pillar candle inside the hole and resting securely on the pedestal.

2-100_1705-001Decorate around the base of the candle. Place a fall floral candle ring around the candle, wind a short section of a fall garland around the candle, or hot glue a variety of silk fall leaves, flowers and berries around the candle. The first two ideas are much more frugal. The pumpkin will eventually decay and you can recycle decorations for a new candle holder.

There are a couple of safety tips I feel I should mention. One, do not leave your candle burning in an unoccupied room and two, place your pumpkin on a plate or flower pot saucer to prevent any seepage from destroying your table’s surface.

1-100_1705Enjoy!

Stenciled Fall Collage

8-DSCF2020Stenciled Fall Collage

Whew!! Three craft show weekends in a row! I’m finally able to take a breath and enjoy a little blogging, designing and crafting new things. I am sooo ready.

As promised, here is the process I used for my stenciled fall collage.

2-DSCF2007I used windows that already had broken glass for my initial collages, but since they were such good sellers at my shows, I ended up removing perfectly good glass from additional windows to make more.

1-DSCF2002I got out my stash of fall word stencils and placed them inside the frame of a window until I had a pleasing arrangement. I then took a picture of the arrangement so that I would remember when I was ready to actually stencil.

The frames were cleaned and dry brushed with orange paint. I added a lighter dry brushing of brown paint to tone down the brightness of the orange.

3-DSCF2011I turned the frame with the back side facing up and measured from one outside edge to the opposite one. After subtracting a couple of inches, I cut scrap wood to fill the window space.

4-DSCF2012Before attaching the boards, I dry brushed the fronts and backs using off white paint. The side edges were not painted. Each board was then glued and stapled to the window frame to secure.

6-DSCF2015Finally it was time to stencil. I repositioned my stencils. Determined the colors I would use for each one. Then I painted them. With most stencil projects, you really don’t know what you have until you remove your stencils. This one was no different, but I was very pleased with the results.

7-DSCF2019I added hangers to the back and it was done.

Enjoy!

Tumbleweeds Last Run Car/Craft Show 2014

1-DSCF2024Last Run Car/Craft Show

8-DSCF2037Yes, I meant to have this posted BEFORE the show but…life happened. These are pics from the Tumbleweeds Last Run Car/Craft Show in Arkansas City, Kansas. The craft show was last Saturday.

2-DSCF2025Since that show I have been working on replacing items that were sold because we have another one this weekend. It’s Fall Into the Holidaze at the fairgrounds in Winfield, Kansas.

5-DSCF2029And because I have so much free time on my hands, we decided to add a new one for the weekend after that. That one is the Fall Festival in Rose Hill, Kansas.

3-DSCF2026The fall collage is my newest design. I’ll be posting pictures of my process in the next day or so. No…really…I mean it…I will…;)

6-DSCF2030The fall stuff is selling really well, but I am itching to get going on more Christmasy things.

9-DSCF2038Fall is my favorite time of year, but I am getting tired of pumpkins and the color orange.

7-DSCF2035I already have quite a Christmas inventory, but I always like to add new things, plus I had a few really great sellers last year that I need to replace.

Enjoy!

Fall Leaf Bowl Fillers

Fall Leaf Bowl FillersAre you looking for natural fall decorations, but you’re not too excited about bringing bugs and dirt into your house? These fall leaf bowl fillers may be just the craft project for you. Yes, it does involve bringing in a couple of leaves to use as a pattern, but once your pattern is made, they can go back outside where they belong.

1-y212First off, head outside and find a leaf that has a good size and shape. Trace the leaf on the paper side of freezer paper.

2-y214Lay the traced freezer paper on the right side of your chosen fabric. Iron the fabric. This will temporarily adhere the freezer paper to the fabric.

I used upholstery samples that had been discontinued at a home improvement store, and some scrap pieces I had leftover from previous upholstery jobs. This project can really be made with any fabric, so there is no need to limit yourself to the fabric I used.

3-y213Sketch the veins of the leaf onto the traced paper leaf. Using a zig-zag stitch, sew over the sketched lines. Cut the fabric around the traced leaf shape. Peel the paper off the fabric.

Tip: Smaller (tighter) zig-zag stitches will make the needle-perforated paper easier to remove.

Lay a matching fabric scrap on your work surface with the wrong side facing up. Place the cut fabric leaf on the fabric with the right side facing up. Pin the pieces together. Sew the top leaf to the fabric 1/4 inch from the edge using a straight stitch. Leave a 2-inch opening on one edge.

4-y215Cut the excess fabric from the back using the front leaf as a guide. Stuff the leaf and continue to sew closed.

Fall Leaf Bowl FillersEnjoy!

Fall Burlap Bag-Tutorial

Fall Burlap Bag-TutorialFall Burlap Bag

Sew a fall burlap bag to hang on your wall filled with a display of fall foliage. With appliqued fall leaves and a bit of trim, this bag can be displayed throughout the cool autumn months. Make them for yourself, to sell, or give as gifts to neighbors and friends.

Things You Will Need:

Silk fall leaves
Lightweight fusible web
Parchment paper
Iron
Scissors
Burlap
Measuring tape
Sewing machine
Straight pins
Scrap of lace trim
Twine

Peel the plastic stems and veins from two silk fall leaves. You do not want anything on the leaves.

1-y419Lay a piece of lightweight fusible web with the glue side up on your ironing surface. Place the leaves with their front sides facing up on the web. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the leaves and the web. Iron over the parchment paper to fuse the leaves to the fusible web. The parchment paper will protect your iron from the glue on the web, and it will not stick to the glue.

Remove the parchment paper. Cut the fusible web around the leaves.

2-y420Cut two 8-inch-wide by 10-inch-long rectangles from burlap. Lay one rectangle on your work surface. Turn so the rectangle is running lengthwise. This will be the front of your bag. Peel the paper from the back of the leaves. Center and arrange the leaves on the rectangle. Iron the leaves to fuse them to the burlap. Sew a zigzag or decorative stitch around the edges of the leaves to secure.

3-y421Lay the remaining rectangle on your work surface. Place the bag front on the rectangle with the leaf side facing down. Pin the long edges and the short bottom edge of the bag together. Sew the pinned edges using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

4-y422Turn the open edge of the bag 1/2 inch to the wrong side, press and pin. Sew the pinned edge to hem the top opening of the bag. Turn the bag right side out and press.

Cut a 7 1/2-inch length of scrap trim or lace. For a more primitive touch, I used recycled trim from an old pillowcase. I liked the aged color and imperfections.

Lay the bag with the front side facing up. Place the trim along the bottom edge, overlapping 1/4 inch on the bottom of the bag. Pin the the trim to the bag. Top stitch along the pinned edge to attach the trim.

Fall Burlap Bag-TutorialCut a 18-inch length of twine. Tie a knot on each end. Place one end inside the bag at one seam. Pin the knot 1 inch below the top edge of the bag. Sew across the twine, just above the knot. Pin and sew the other end of the twine to the remaining seam on the bag.

Insert silk leaves, dried flowers or other fall floral decorations in the bag. Hand the bag on your wall, a door knob or peg hook.