Last-Minute Gift: Aspen Candles

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Do you still have an unfinished gift list? Are you running short on cash? Think you have no time to make anything in time for Christmas? This project or multiples of this project can be completed in less than an hour.

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I used scraps of aspen branches I have been toting around since we moved to Kansas in 2000. Seriously, what took me so long to do this? The length can be anything you want. The ones I used ranged between 4″-6″. Don’t have aspen? No problem. You can use any branches you have available or fence post scraps. Really. As long as it is a block of wood…you are golden.

You need a 1 1/2″ paddle drill bit. If you don’t have one, ask friends or neighbors before heading to the store. No sense paying for a bit you may only use one time.

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Center the bit on one cut end of your “block” and drill to a 3/4″ depth. Spoiler Alert: To be honest, the bottoms of my drilled holes were a bit uneven. I chose not to worry about it. You shouldn’t either, because they won’t be noticeable.

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Center, wrap and hot glue whatever ribbon you desire around the block. Wrap jute over the top of the ribbon about four times. Knot and fasten off. Alternatives to ribbon could be strips of ripped fabric, a strip of wrapping paper, scrap book paper or a cut strip from an old pair of jeans. Alternatives to jute could be yarn, string, wire, a shoelace or a thin ripped strip of fabric or thin ribbon.

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The things used in this project, thus far, are things you probably already have or can borrow. The next item is the only thing I actually had to buy. The battery operated tea lights. They come two to a package at the Dollar Tree, so your total expense for a set of two candle holders could potentially be only $1. Insert them in the drilled holes and you are done.

I love the way they turned out. These were made for gifts, but after Christmas I am making a set for me.

Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!

Yay! Another gift done and it didn’t break the bank.

Fall Crafts 2016

Candy Corn Bowl FillersWow! Yep, it’s been a while since I last posted, but I have a good excuse. The last few months have been spent on purchasing a new/old home and moving. It’s a fixer upper so there will be lots more on that at a later date. For now, craft shows are in full swing and I want to share some of the things I have been working on.

dscf9271New Halloween Pillow

I made these using tea stained chenille bedspreads. They have been a big hit.

dscf9275My New Halloween Sign

DSCF4953I also made more of these. I’ve made them the last few years and they have sold really well.

dscf9277Autumn Shutters

Since I seem to collect shutters like dust bunnies, I’m always working on new shutter designs. I tried something a bit different with this one by turning it on its side. I really like the way it turned out.

dscf9281Burlap Wreaths

My plan for this one was to follow a tutorial I had found online, but I ended up coming up with my one plan. The wreath form was supposed to have three space rows. I ordered wreath forms and was bummed to see when they arrived that they only had two space rows. If I can avoid returning something I will so I came up with my own technique to make the “oops” a winner.

dscf9285Old Painted Jars

While this craft isn’t necessarily just a fall craft, it is a new one for the shows this year. The jars came from an old house from a few years ago. They are very cool, but the glass was too discolored to leave plain. They got a coat of creamy paint and then sanded to distress. I finished up with the addition of burlap bows and some stars from my stash. What do you think?

dscf9283Stuffed Pumpkins

These have been a popular seller for a few years now.

Enjoy!

Skinny Side Table-Western Style

Skinny Side TableSkinny Side Table-Western Style

Since my friend passed away my husband has helped to fill the void by doing things with me that she would have done…like looking for bargains. I appreciate his thoughtfulness so much.

DSCF8700He went with me to some yard sales a few weeks ago and we came across this little gem. It had great bones and the price was right!

As we drove away I told him how much I loved the little drawer.

Hubby: Did she say that was where she kept her stash?
Me: (One eyebrow went up and I looked at him cross-eyed.) Uh, no. She said that is where she stashed the remote so the kids couldn’t find it.

Yep, me thinks my hubby needs his ears checked.

After a good cleaning and sanding I painted it white. White seems to be my go-to, but it’s a great base for several finishes and besides, I like it.

DSCF8704I then sanded it again to shabby it up some. Another good go-to, but it needed something more.

DSCF8740-002I got out my waxes and and gave the finish a cool vintage-western look.

But then there was that drawer. (There was no stash…I checked. 😉 )The whole project had been such a no-brainer that I wanted to do a little more. I had just finished a project that used the cover of a book and the pages inside were just sitting there waiting for me to notice them. The book was an old Emily Post etiquette book and the pages were pretty hilarious. I picked a couple and decoupaged them into the bottom of the drawer. I love that drawer even more now!

Enjoy!

Crafts to Make With Old Window Shutters

DSCF8184-001Crafts to Make With Old Window Shutters

Somehow I had accumulated quite a pile of window shutters, so when an opportunity to write an article on projects to make with window shutters came along, I was thrilled. It was just the incentive I needed to reduce my pile.

Click on this sentence or any highlighted text to open the article for the project instructions.

Primitive Flag Shutter
If you are looking for a new decoration for the Fourth of July, you have plenty of time to whip up one (or several) of these flag shutters.

DSCF8146-001Hanging Shutter Wall Display
I’ve made different versions of these in the past, but I think this one is the quickest and easiest to achieve.

DSCF8178-001Shutter Shelf
If you want to be even more frugal with this shelf, repurpose shelf brackets from old shelves.

DSCF8184-001Enjoy!

Scrap Wood Clock Faces

DSCF8115Scrap Wood Clock Faces

For years I have wanted a wood clock face. More recently I have seen them on just about every episode of my favorite HGTV show, Fixer Upper, and Pinterest is overflowing with styles and ideas. They looked easy enough so I decided it was time to just do it. What was I waiting for?

DSCF7498Just like my signs, I started out by building the base. In this case, I started with a square. Actually, I should back up a bit. I started out by making a large circle pattern. Since I didn’t have anything that was the size I wanted for a circle, I had to figure out how to make my own. I made a make-shift compass using a yardstick. I drilled through one end to give me the center of my circle’s radius. I tacked through the hole, through my pattern paper and into my work surface, then placed a pencil next to the yardstick at the length of the radius I wanted. It was then a matter of simply rotating the yardstick 360 degrees to draw my circle.

I traced the pattern onto the square base and cut out my circle.

DSCF8106The circle was then dry brushed with white.

DSCF8120The numbers were a whole other animal. I made a stencil for each number in much the same way as I my other signs, but getting them positioned was a bit of a task. Even though each number was the same height, each Roman numeral was a different width. They needed to be centered at each number position without becoming crowded. I made three sizes of stencils before I finally had a good fit. Another key point to making the stencil is that all the numbers face the center. This means the “six” will be upside down. That seemed kinda weird to me, but after browsing all the clock faces on Pinterest, it seemed to work.

DSCF8115After all that the stenciling was a piece of cake. 😉

Enjoy!