dryer vent pumpkins

Painted Dryer Vent Pumpkins

Make painted dryer vent pumpkins for your home.  You can use the painted dryer vent pumpkins September through November because they are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Not only can you use them for several months they are affordable to make.

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Materials for painted dryer vent pumpkins:

Affiliate links used below.

Instructions for painted dryer vent pumpkins

1. Remove duct from packaging. Determine size desired for pumpkin by wrapping end to end. Cut to desired size using wire cutters; remove excess duct length. Use scissors to trim excess metal foil.

2. Apply generous amount of glue on both ends of duct. Press ends together to form “pumpkin” and use clothespins to hold in place while drying. When dry, remove clothespins.

3. On covered work surface, paint pumpkin White or Metallic Copper. Use several coats as needed, letting each coat dry before adding additional paint. When dry, drybrush edges Neopaque Black. Let dry.

4. Die cut leaves from Green felt using die cut machine.

5. Adhere small amount of Spanish moss into center top of pumpkin. Adhere stick (stem) and leaves to center of pumpkin. Let dry.

Tip: If die-cutting machine is not available, freehand draw and cut teardrop shapes from felt.

 

If you are feeling really fun and adventurous you could make the painted dryer vent pumpkins in a variety of sizes and colors.  How fun would a rainbow of pumpkins be?

mixed media bird Christmas ornaments

Mixed media bird Christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament.  Yes, I really like birds and I really like Christmas and it is never to early to start on your gifts or decorations.  To make the projects, I like to buy fancy embellishments when I catch them on sale at the craft stores. When the mood strikes I want to be ready with all the supplies and avoid a trip to the craft store.

Mixed media bird christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.Supplies for mixed media bird Christmas ornaments:

The links below contain affiliate links to Amazon where a small commision is earned.

Instructions mixed media bird Christmas ornaments:

First you will need your bigshot pro to cut out your ornaments from Elmer’s foam board. The Sizzix BigShot Pro is perfect for this as it cuts heavy-duty materials very easily.

 

By using the die cut machine with the foam core, you get nice, even smooth edges. No need to sand. The die cut comes with a wing shape, but I am partial to teardrop. So I elected to trace 3″ teardrop onto foam core and cut out with an X-acto knife. You will need to sand the edges with a nail file (emery board) or a smaller paper sander made especially for paper crafting projects.
For the paints, I chose Lamp Black, Snow White and Antique White by DecoArt. I painted the wing shape one coat of black since I knew I would be covering with one or two shades of white to create a distressed effect on the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments.

I also painted the back of each foam core bird shape ornament black. Once the wing is dry to the touch, use a candle stick to randomly rub the surface.

Paint the wing two coats of white and then sand gently to remove areas where the candle wax was applied.

Paint the front of the foam core bird shape Antique White. Use an ornate foam stamp and the white acrylic paint to stamp the surface randomly.

For a layered stamp look, I used StazOn ink in black and a script stamps to completely cover the bird.

I painted the beak black and added a small black dot for the eye. I slightly inked the edges of the bird to give it an aged look. Add a floral embellishment, stamp a sentiment on the wing, glue pieces together and your die cut painted and stamped bird ornament is complete!Mixed media bird christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament.
I bears mention that I hand dyed muslin using Rit Dye in Apple Green and purchased the silk flowers
Just think of how many wonderful, lightweight but sturdy birds you can get from one sheet of foam board!

Although I used my Sizzix BigShot pro machine, I tried cutting the foam core with my smaller, standard BigShot and it worked too for the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments. 

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Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.
A Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial for you. Fir balsam is one of my favorite holiday scents.  This mixed media project is not complicated when you break it down into easy to manage steps.  It is also easier to make multiples at the same time.  The Balsam Sachet are great as ornaments, package topper or small thank you gifts. You could also use the balsam in a  draft dodger.

Today, I am showing you detailed instructional photographs for making these sweet Balsam Sachet ornaments. (I order my supplies from Amazon and if you order from my links I will make a small commission.) To make them smell so great, you will need Fragrant Dried Balsam Tips.

I got my package very early this year and since I am keeping the leftover stash in my desk drawer, I can tell you the balsam still smells heavenly.  It’s never too early to get started crafting for the holidays. Follow along as I walk you through the Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial project.

 Supplies needed Christmas Balsam Sachet:

I recommend working “assembly style” and making more than one sachet at a time once you get the hang of it.

Instructions for Christmas Balsam Sachet:

Step 1– Use a 6″ cardstock square as a template to trace and cut out two pieces of burlap for the  Balsam Sachet.

Step 2– Cut a 9 x 12 fusible webbing sheet in half. I like to use Stick Fusible Webbing. Fuse the sheet halves to red ticking and muslin, making sure fabrics are wrinkle free. Remember to turn off your steam function on your iron when fusing. Always leave a slight border around the fabrics to make sure the fusible webbing does not stick to your ironing board.


Step 3- Now comes the fabric stamping part. Choose stamps you wish to use and use pigment ink to stamp on the fused muslin. You can also use a specially formulated ink for fabric. Pigment ink, heat set with the iron on a low setting works just as well.

Stamp the burlap with a background image of your choice that will show up well such a florals or swirls. Burlap does not show the stamped images as well as the muslin, so the images need to be bold.
Step 4-  Now cut out the stamped muslin motifs, leaving an 1/4 around the edges for stitching. Cut a fused red ticking piece, approx 1/4- 3/8 larger than the stamped motif.

Step 5- Center the pieces on the stamped burlap square that will be the front piece of the Balsam Sachet  and fuse with an iron. (if your pieces seem uneven, don’t fret, I find that uneven edges only add to the country charm!)country chic Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial with burlap
Step 6- Get out your sewing machine. Straight stitch the edges of the ticking and muslin border with a dark-colored thread for contrast. if you don’t want contrast, use a light color to match the muslin.

Now is a good time to create your dryer sheet sachet. You will need one used dryer sheet cut to two pieces of 3 1/2″ squares. After you straight stitch the muslin and ticking edges, straight stitch three sides of the dryer sheet together.

 

Step 7- Fill the sachet with a small hand full of balsam. Straight stitch the top opening closed to secure. (Note- if you are not comfortable machine stitching with the balsam inside the sachet, hand stitch. When machine stitching, make sure you do not overstuff the sachet. You don’t want to end up with balsam inside your machine parts!)

Step 8- Place the two burlap squares together. Machine stitch together about 1/2 from the edges (seam allowance.) Start at the bottom left edges and stitch left, top and right side together but leave the bottom open for turning and stuffing. Steam the seams open on all four sides.


Step 9- Turn the right sides out. If needed, use a blunt object to push out corners. From the bottom opening, stuff the sachet with the balsam sachet and a small amount (golf ball sized) of polyfil stuffing. If you are using a brad to embellish as I did, go ahead and insert the brad while the bottom is opening to make it easier. As an option, you can sew on a button embellishment later. Whipstich the bottom opening closed.Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial

Step 10- Finally, insert a piece of wire for the hangar, inserting the ends into the Balsam Sachet at the top and bending to make secure. Tie on a bit of tulle and an embellishment and you are finished!

 

Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments

Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments are an easy sew project that is great for beginners and pros alike because you can add all the details you want. Each handmade piece will be unique and reflect the skill and style of the maker.

My tree is up, adorned with lights and ornaments. After the Christmas table celebration, I often find myself more in the Christmas spirit than ever and itching to create something that captures that feeling with my hands. So this year I decided to make these beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments to give away as gifts for next year.The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments Supplies:

Affiliate links to Amazon below.

Instructions for Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments:

I started out selecting fabrics and wool felt for my project. The fabric is from Fabric.com and the wool felt is from National Nonwovens.

To create my beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments, I started out by cutting two 3″ squares for each ornament (front and back) and some simple motifs a snowman, a stocking and a tree. I ironed a 1/4″ seam allowance on all four sides of the fabric, which was cut into a 3″ square.

I used three strands of black embroidery floss and a blanket stitch to sew the fabric to the wool felt.


Then I blanket stitched the stocking on, leaving the top open so that I could stuff it with goodies! I used a blanket stitch for this as well, but sewed 6/0 red pebble beads to the stocking before attaching it to the squares. Then I cut the borders of both felt squares with scalloped edged scissors and sewed beads to the borders.

I left the top open so I could stuff it with poly-fil fiber. I added a jute hanger with a little glue to the top.

Creating these fun sewn and beaded ornaments over the Christmas holidays will keep my hand busy while we watch “A Christmas Story” for 24 hours! I will be happy thinking that I am getting a good start for Christmas 2014.

What will you be creating this Christmas once the packages are opened and dinner is served?

Popsicle stick craft idea for tweens – make a bracelet

Make a popsicle stick craft that is suitable for tweens and teens.  This type of craft is perfect for summer gatherings, day camps and VBS.  You can also use scraps of pattern paper and random buttons making the craft very affordable too.  If you are doing it as a short activity you will need to boil the popsicle sticks  and allow them to dry ahead of time.  It does take the wood craft sticks some time to dry out, especially if it is humid.  If you are in a rush you can place the glasses on a tray and dry in an oven on a low temperature. If you have plenty of time you can set them out in the sun to dry.


I am loving all the adorable versions of this throw back popsicle craft from my childhood I am seeing all the web these days. When I found my stash of  buttons last week, I knew I had to give this old craft a new try to incorporate these adorable buttons. The concept is rather simple. Wood can be manipulated when soaked in water since it tears down the wood fibers. So, grab some jumbo craft sticks and let’s get started.popsicle stick craft ideas for teens and tweensThe content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies needed for a popsicle stick bracelet:

Instructions for a popsicle stick bracelet:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off the burner, Insert the craft sticks and let them soak for about 10-15 minutes. Put a few more in the water than you will think you need. I broke a few not being patient while trying to bend them.
  2. Once the sticks are soaked. Grab some proper sized glasses or plastic cups and patiently work them into the glass. Work slowly if you don’t want to end up with a lot of broken sticks like I did. It takes a little patience to get the hang of it.
  3. These have to set up for 24 hours to completely dry. While they are drying, go ahead and grab some acrylic paints and pattern papers to coordinate with the buttons. I used acrylic paint and some older random simple printed patterned papers.
  4. Here is another step you can do while waiting for the sticks to set up, On the wrong side of the patterned paper, use a pencil and a jumbo craft stick to trace it. Use a pair of scissors to cut out the paper.
  5. Once the bracelets have dried, gently remove them from the glasses.
  6. Paint the bracelets in the colors of your choice.
  7. Use a decoupage medium like Mod Podge and a foam brush to apply the papers to the front of the bracelets. Allow the medium to dry and gently sand the edges of the papers even with the wood. Now comes the fun part! Glue some rhinestones in the center of the stitched buttons using a tacky glue like or hot glue gun.
  8. Glue the buttons to the front of the bracelet and let dry.
  9. My bracelet’s didn’t turn out as snug as I wanted them to be, so I used some chain and jump rings to pull them a little closer in. I can still fit them over my hand without using a closure such as a lobster clasp but that still be another option. Learning from this, make sure you use a glass or cup that is slim enough if you want to skip this step!

 

Before you go check out all the other summer fun posts that are joining the series today. As always you can find lots of summer fun inspiration and ideas on Life Sew Savory.

kids crafts and activities from Life Sew Savory Summer fun series

365 Days of Crafts – Shared a cute Button Bracelet Project.

Cutesy Crafts – Shared fun DIY bookmark project for kids

Simple Practical Beautiful – Has a post about making friendship bracelets… FUN!

Niki’s Homemade Crafts – Fun tic tac toe game, even good for travel!

Jen Gallacher – Made gorgeous flowers. How fun to try this!

patriotic party favors and decorations

Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations.

Patriotic party favors – Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations for your party or for decorations around your home. Fill the adorable little cones with candies as a thank you gift. Here is a super simple solution to making easy party favors using materials you probably already have on hand. If you have Marvy Uchida’s Extra Giga and Giga paper punches, you can make several of these in less than an hour. The supplies are minimal as you will need some double-sided patterned paper in a patriotic theme or just combine coordinating patterns in red, whites and blues.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.
Supplies for patriotic party favors:

I used Marvy Uchida’s Scalloped edged Clever Lever Extra Giga Paper punch, Giga paper punch, extra jumbo punch in flower and extra jumbo punch in scalloped circle.

Cone favors 004

Once you punch all your pieces. Roll the large pieces into cone shapes by bending the edges in as shown above. Glue edges together and slightly bend out so that you have a cone shape. On the smaller cone, layer together the scalloped circle and flower and glue it to the front of the cone. Use a vintage game piece to add a little dimension. You can use old games you have or find them at yard sales or thrift stores. Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  unique decorations.

Finally, glue the cones together, smaller on top and add a stamped sentiment. Fill the cones with excelsior or shredded paper filling, and small wrapped candies such as peppermints. To double the fun, create a patriotic party string using the same materials. I buy the excelsior in bulk because I use it a lot.   You can buy small packages on Amazon and at big box stores around the holidays. 

Live Life Creatively,

MelonysSignature

Chalkboard napkin rings

 diy Chalkboard napkin rings craft ideaDIY Chalkboard napkin rings are fun and easy to make. Chalkboard adorns everything from wine glasses to fabric pillows these days. So many varieties of chalkboard paint are available on the market that it is impossible to escape this super fun trend. Take a quick look at Pinterest and you will discover all kinds of recipes for creating your own chalkboard paint in any color imaginable plus a multitude of fun projects to use this paint on.  If you don’t want to paint chalkboard you van buy premade.

Chalkboard signs
I ran into these fun 2″ x 3″ mini chalkboard pieces in the unfinished wood craft supply section of my local JoAnn’s Fabrics and Crafts. They are made by Darice. I immediately knew I wanted to do something with them but wasn’t sure exactly what right away. I remembered I had purchased some wood beveled napkin rings in bulk so of course! Napkin Rings.


With the addition of some polymer clay and paint in bright colors, I knew they would be unique as a table accessory/place marker.

Supplies for Chalkboard napkin rings:

  • wood rings
  • chalkboards
  • paint and brush
  • polymer clay
  • stamp
  • ink
  • mold


I chose DecoArt’s Americana Acrylics in bright, fun colors.

Instructions for Chalkboard napkin rings:

I painted the wood pieces in alternating colors.

napkin ring craft ideas

To add a little embellishment to them, I used a plastic mould made for polymer clay and Sculpey III by Polyform in Silver. When using plastic moulds, it helps to dust the surface with corn starch. This allows the clay to peel away from the mold more easily.

A little conditioned clay was pressed into the mould, shaped and peeled away.


I also opted to decorate the center of the wood ring with clay strips. I rolled out the clay into thin strips using an acrylic roller. I used a clay knife to cut thin strips to fit into the center of the beveled wood napkin ring.

Solvent ink and a script font stamp add some texture to the strips.

I wrapped the strips around the center of the wood ring and baked them along with the fancy moulded shapes according to the directions on the package.


When the clay was cured and cooled. I dry brushed the fancy shape, glued it to the center top of the chalkboard frame and added a little flat backed gem stone.

I used a super stong glue to attach the chalkboard frames to the wood rings. These napkin rings can be used over and over again. I love napkin ring projects. Almost any material can be used to make them including recycled materials. They can instantly bring an entirely new personality to table decor. Thanks for letting me share my idea with you!

make a bird nest shadow box – creative gift packaging

 

bird nest shadow box gift packaging idea for jewelry

Make a bird nest shadow box for creative gift packaging.  The gift recipient will be as delighted with the gift as the packaging.  The box is the perfect size for giving jewelry or to tuck in a gift card.

There is an interesting story behind my inspiration for this project.  It’s hard not to be inspired by birds in Spring. The cheerful singing and constant presence of birds this time of year cannot be ignored. I create almost daily next to a large window. Almost every five minutes or so I am startled by a cardinal who thumps the window almost violently. This occurrence has gone on for a few weeks now. After searching the web, I found out that cardinals are notorious for fighting their own reflections in an effort for territorial rights. With the constant thumping and sweet site of my cardinal, I once again became inspired to create a bird themed project.

It was by pure chance that I ran into these really cute wood boxes at my local craft store recently. I thought they were really different. I also snagged these super cute laser cut wood bird shapes. Super tiny and perfect for jewelry projects.

The boxes are different. They have a glass top and a wood slat that is removable so that you can display components of your choice, shadow box style.

Supplies for bird nest shadow box:

  • wood shadow boxes
  • liquid dye
  • glue
  • polymer clay
  • wire
  • wire cutter
  • embellishments

Here is a look at most of the supplies I used for this project, give or take a few.

Instructions for bird nest shadow box:

Instead of painting the boxes, I decided to use Rit Dyes to stain them. I love this process because its fun, fast and easy. I simply used a teaspoon of dye to about 1/4 cup hot water to mix a dye bath. (Remember to wear rubber or latex gloves when using dyes) A paintbrush was used to “paint” the dye to the top of the box.
For a two toned stained effect, I added some water to the dye and painted the bottom of the box a lighter shade of Rit Dye’s Aquamarine. I also dropped the shapes into the cup that I used for the dye bath and let them sit for five minutes or so.

For the second box, I used Cocoa Brown. Here is a shot of all the pieces dyed drying on paper towels.
So, with my bird theme, what to display under the top glass but a sweet little wired bird nest? I used Artistic Wire to create a simple spiraled nest.

These are super easy to create, just keep wrapping the wire in a circular motion until you have a nice full “nest.” Use wire nippers to cut off a few small piece of wire and use them to wire the spirals together. Twist them tight with round nose jewelry pliers.
Don’t worry too much about what your nest look like at this point. After you feel them with eggs in the center, any little “imperfections” will be invisible.
I used Premo by Sculpey to shape little tiny eggs. A pea sized piece will make perfectly sized eggs for these nests.
The eggs were baked right in the nest, in the oven at about 225 degrees for about 25 minutes on a clay dedicated baking sheet. Then I brushed the eggs with Silver PearlEx by Jacquard Products.
To embellish the box, I added a stamped oval, some fabric washi tape from Stampington and some self adhesive gem stone rows.
To make the pendant, I glued the bird to the center of the dyed circle and added some rhinestone chain to the edges with Beacon’s Glass Metal and More. I also attached a super sparkly brooch to the piece. To create a brooch, I added a pin back.

Add brooch to pendantThis little brooch turned out to be the perfect addition for the boxes. My cardinal is still outside the window, thumping away and reminding me that birds are so artfully inspirational.

Shabby Chic Gift Packaging

shabby gift paagift packages

Shabby Chic Gift Packaging is a perfect companion to the Shabby Chic Door Hangers.  A plain brown paper bag can be the perfect packaging for smaller gifts. When giving a handmade gift, consider dressing one up with paints and embellishments to coordinate with your gift.  I grabbed some supplies and brown paper bags to create these shabby chic gift packages.

shabby chic gift packaging ideas and supplies

Supplies for Shabby Chic Gift Packages

shabby chic door hangers

Not long ago, I created these shabby chic door hangers as gifts for an upcoming baby shower, a wedding gift and a housewarming gift. I loved the results and knew that the packaging had to be as special as the gift inside. So I decided to create some coordinating gift packaging from brown paper bags.

I love the simple look of brown paper bags. So I dry brushed them with paint, allowing some of the bag to show through.
DIY gift packaging
Then I created some hemp embellishments using a low temperature glue gun. Believe me, you will want to use a low temperature glue gun for creating these spiraled embellishments as your fingers will be touching the hemp a lot and you want to minimize finger burns!

twine embellishment shabby chic

hot glued the embellishments to the front of the bag and added washi tape, gems and a painted wood tag.

shabby packaging

Now I have gift packages that coordinate perfectly with the gift inside!

Shabby Chic gift tags and gift bags

shabby chic door hangers ideas you can make

shabby chic door hangers

Shabby chic door hangers are a great way to use up left over supplies and to make custom gifts at the same time.  These are my go to colors for the shabby chic style.  Some go with lighter creamier colors I like the bold mixed with black and white.  Although my taste has evolved a bit, I am still a fan of the shabby chic look and I always will be probably. I have a couple of co-worker/friends with upcoming wedding and baby showers so I decided to create them a custom shabby door hanger.

Materials for shabby chic door hangers:

shabby door hangers

Instructions for shabby chic door hangers:

Lightly sand and paint the wood slats. I used two coats each for the front and back. I dry brushed each slat with white paint.

how to paint shabby chic

Create the hemp flowers using the glue gun and glue sticks. Create coils and apply a small amount off glue to hold the hemp in place. I highly recommend using a low temp glue gun as you will be touching the hemp in places where the glue has been applied!

how to make twine embellishments a spiral center for flower

I used sparkly embellishments as the flower centers.

twine embellishment shabby chic

To create the leaves, freehand cut the wool felt into leaf shapes. Use the sewing machine and thread to freeform sew leaf details.  Some people call the sewing freestyle.  You can use what ever term you want.  Just make it happen.

hand made leaves

Assemble the door hanger pieces and hot glue in place.

handmade embellishements

Use stamps and ink to stamp sentiments on the door hanger. I decided on “do not disturb” (wedding), “guest room” and “baby dreaming.”

hand stamped embellishemnts

Finally, drill some holes in the top corners, insert some hemp and you have a sweet shabby door hanger.
Shabby Chic gift tags and gift bags