Snowman Hurricane Shade

3-DSCN3068-001A last-minute quickie for the holidays.

Add a warm, whimsical glow to your dining table with a snowman hurricane shade.

1-DSCN3058-001This snowman started out as a clear glass hurricane shade I picked up at a yard sale. The shade was classic for everyday use, but I wanted something a little more festive for the holidays. I chose to use acrylic enamel as the base for the snowman to ensure the paint would be durable and less likely to scratch or flake from handling. This is a quick project that can be completed in about an hour, including drying time.

Things You Will Need:

Clear glass hurricane shade
Window cleaner
Paper towel
Sea sponge
White acrylic enamel paint
Paper plate
Paintbrush
Powder blush
Bath towel
Orange acrylic paint
New pencil
Black acrylic paint
Black paint pen
Christmas fabric
Scissors
Measuring tape

Thoroughly clean the outside of the shade using window cleaner and a paper towel.

2-DSCN3063-001Wet a sea sponge and wring it out so that it’s damp, but not dripping. Pour white acrylic enamel paint onto a paper plate. Place the hurricane shade over your arm. With the other hand, dip the sponge into the paint and dab it on the glass. Repeat until the entire outer surface of the shade has been painted. Carefully stand the shade on your work surface to dry.

Using a paintbrush and powder blush, paint two large cheeks on the center-front of the shade.

Lay the shade on a bath towel to prevent the shade from rolling. Dip a paintbrush in orange acrylic paint. Pointing it to one side, paint a 2-inch triangle with a 3/4-inch base between the cheeks for the carrot nose.

Dip the eraser end of a new pencil in black acrylic paint. Dot two eyes spaced 1/4 inch apart and 1/2 inch above the nose.

Draw a smile using a black paint pen. Allow the face paint to dry.

Rip a 2-inch wide by 36-inch long strip from Christmas fabric. Stand the shade right side up on your work surface. Wrap the fabric strip around the bottom of the shade. Bring the ends together and tie into a bow on the front of the snowman. Trim the ends of the strip as desired.

3-DSCN3068-001Light a tea candle in a glass votive holder. Place the snowman hurricane shade over the candle. The candlelight will shine through the snowman head.

For a snowman hurricane shade that can be displayed throughout the winter months, substitute a winter novelty fabric for the Christmas fabric.

Enjoy!

Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

DSCN3830Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

When I see old sweaters at yard sales I have to buy them. The fact that yard sales in my area are often held when the temperature is over 100 means sweaters are practically given away. These sweaters are a cheap craft resource for holiday crafts. In my opinion, this Christmas stocking design looks much more upscale than the original sweater it came from. Can’t you just see a bunch of these hanging over a cabin fireplace, or down the rail of a pine garland clad staircase? Depending on the size of the sweater and the size of your stocking pattern, you should be able to get at least two stockings from each sweater. Three, if you open the sleeves and use the cuffs as the top edge.

Things You Will Need:

Adult-size sweater
Stocking pattern
Straight pins
Scissors
Sewing machine
Iron
Measuring tape
Rickrack
2-inch pompoms (two)
Hot glue gun

DSCN3812Turn an adult-size sweater wrong side out and lay it on your work surface. Align the bottom edges of the sweater. Place an existing Christmas stocking, or a paper stocking pattern on the sweater. Align the top edge of the stocking shape (pattern) with the bottom edges of the stocking. Pin the pattern through both layers of the sweater. Cut around the pattern. Note: The top of the stocking (bottom edge of the sweater) is not to be cut. It will be the finished edge for the the top opening of the stocking.

DSCN3820Remove the pattern. Pin the side and bottom edges of the sweater stocking shape together. Sew the pinned edges using a straight stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew around the edges once again using a zigzag stitch on the seam allowance. This will finish the raw edges and prevent the knitted stitches from unraveling. Turn the stocking right side out. Press the seams with a warm iron.

DSCN3828Lay the stocking flat on your work surface. Measure across the width of the stocking at its widest point. Double that and add 24 inches. Using your new measurement, cut a length of rickrack in a color that coordinates with your sweater.

Measure 1 inch down from the top edge of your stocking. Starting on the front seam of the stocking and 12 inches from one end of the rickrack, pin the rickrack around the stocking. The rickrack will meet again on the front seam of the stocking. Both ends of the rickrack will have approximately 12 inches extending. These tails will be ties. Top stitch the pinned rickrack around the stocking.

Tie the rickrack tails in a knot against the seam, then tie into a bow. Trim the tails to the desired length.

Burrow a hole on one side of a 2-inch diameter pompom. Apply hot glue in the hole. Place one end of the rickrack in the glue. Squeeze the edges of the pompom hole around the rickrack end. Repeat with the remaining pompom and and rickrack end.

Cut a 5-inch length of rickrack. Fold the rickrack in half, matching the two cut ends. Place the ends inside the stocking, against the back seam. Sew across the cut ends of the rickrack. This is your stocking’s hanger.

Other trims and tassels handmade with yarn can be substituted.

DSCN3830Enjoy!

Snowman Suitcase

DSCN2285Snowman Suitcase

I feel like I have been gone forever, but a lot happened since my last post. We moved! From Thanksgiving weekend until this past weekend we have moved, unpacked, put things away, decorated the house with normal and Christmas decor and I am more than halfway through with my Christmas baking. Whew!

Now it’s time to address my blog. I had so many tutorials I wanted to post for Christmas, but with only a week to go…, well, let’s just say I’ll post as many as I can before the big jolly guy comes down your chimney. ;)

Greet your holiday guests at the door with a snowman painted vintage suitcase. Its whimsical message will have all those who enter your house grinning with Christmas spirit.

DSCN2269Vintage suitcases are not difficult to find. Yard sales and auctions are great sources for picking them up for practically nothing.

Things You Will Need:

Vintage Suitcase
White acrylic latex paint
Paper plate
Sea sponge
Light pink paint
Stencil brush
Paper towel
1/2-inch dowel
Black acrylic paint
Ruler
Black paint pen
Orange acrylic paint
Paintbrush
Wooden skewer
Christmas or snowman fabric
Scissors
Craft glue

DSCN2273Pour white acrylic latex paint onto a paper plate. For large craft projects like this, I save money by using wall paint left over from previous home projects. Wet a sea sponge and wring it out well. Dip the sponge in the paint and sponge the paint over the surface of the suitcase. Paint everything, including the hinges and the latches. The handle does not need to be painted. Allow the paint to dry.

Pour a small amount of light pink paint on a paper plate. Wad up a paper towel. Dip a stencil brush into the paint. Scrub the wet brush into the towel. Working in a circular motion, rub large rounds cheeks onto the front of the suitcase. Note: Before painting, make sure the suitcase is positioned with the handle at the top.

DSCN2279Dip the end of a 1/2-inch dowel in black acrylic paint. Dot two eyes approximately 1/4 inch apart, just above the center of the suitcase front. Draw a large smile using a black paint pen.

Starting in the center of the face, using a paintbrush and orange acrylic paint, paint a carrot nose in a zigzag motion. Allow the paint to dry.

Starting half way up the left side of the suitcase front, working across the top and halfway down the right side of the suitcase front, write “In The Meadow We Will Build A Snowman” using a black paint pen. Dip the blunt end of a wood skewer into black acrylic paint. Dot the angles and intersections on each letter. Allow the paint to dry.

DSCN2282Rip a 1-inch-wide strip of Christmas or snowman fabric. Apply craft glue to the handle of the suitcase. Wrap the strip around the handle.

It does not matter what the inside of the suitcase looks like, as the case need not be opened. It can, however, be used to store Christmas decorations at the end of the season.

DSCN2285Enjoy!

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!

Primitive Pumpkin Shutter

5-DSCN2316-001Primitive Pumpkin Shutter

I love turning things that end up on the curb into fun and whimsical seasonal decorations. Paint an old window shutter into a primitive pumpkin shutter for fall and Halloween decor. Not a painter? No problem. This is a primitive project, and crisp straight lines are not required. Except for the drying time of the paint, this shutter can be completed very quickly.

Things You Will Need:

Old window shutter
Tools for removing hardware
Orange acrylic paint
Paper plate
Sea sponge
Black acrylic paint
Stencil brush
Kitchen sponges
Permanent marker
Ruler
Scissors
Yellow-gold acrylic paint
Artist’s paintbrush
Green acrylic paint

1-DSCN2274-001Remove any hinges, knobs and hooks from your shutter and clean well.

Pour orange acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Wet a sea sponge and wring it out well. Dip the sponge in the paint and sponge it over the front, back and side surfaces of the shutter. Do not worry about complete coverage. This project allows for the original surface to peek through. Allow the paint to dry.

2-DSCN2286-001Many window shutters have a spine on the front that opens and closes the slats. For this project, this side will be the back. You want the flattest side to paint your pumpkin on. Lay the shutter with the flat side facing up. This is now the front. Pour black paint onto a paper plate. Dip the sea sponge in the paint and dab it on the front and sides of the shutter. The back will remain orange. Allow the paint to dry.

4-DSCN2301-001Using a large stencil brush, pounce orange paint in a long oval that covers most of the front surface on the shutter. This is your pumpkin shape. Allow the paint to dry.

3-DSCN2294-001Trace a 3-inch-tall triangle with a 2-inch base on a kitchen sponge using a permanent marking pen. Cut out the shape using scissors. Raggedy edges are fine. Draw a 1 1/2-inch-wide by 4 1/4-inch long rectangle on another kitchen sponge. Round the corners of the rectangle. Cut out the rectangle.

Dip the triangle into black acrylic paint. Stamp the triangle in the center of the pumpkin shape. This is the nose. Using the triangle and black paint, apply the eyes above the nose as desired. Dip the rectangle sponge into yellow-gold acrylic paint and stamp a mouth below the nose. Allow the paint to dry.

Dip an artist’s paintbrush into black acrylic paint. Paint a thin line around the mouth. This is supposed to look primitive, so perfect lines are not necessary. Paint a thin line across the center of the mouth. Paint vertical lines across the center line to create the teeth. Allow the paint to dry.

Using green acrylic paint, paint a stem at the top of the pumpkin.

5-DSCN2316-001My shutter was 6 1/2 inches wide by 20 inches long. This primitive project allows for altering and adjusting the steps to fit on any size shutter.

The finished shutter will lean against a wall or furniture, as it will not lay flat because of the spine on the back.

Enjoy!