Mod Podge serving tray

Mod Podge Serving Tray DIY in bold colors using wrapping paper, Mod Podge and paint.  May 19th is National Mod Podge Day and the 50th Anniversary celebration and I’m pretty sure everyone has used it at some point in a childhood art project.  I fondly remember the giant jug always out on the counter in art class.  One of my favorite ways to use Mod Podge is the traditional way – to decopage paper to wood. In honor of this creative occasion I have partnered with Plaid, the makers of Mod Podge to bring you this bold bright Mod Podge serving tray and a giveaway. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to enter my giveaway.

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.To celebrate Plaid is giving away prize packages on their social media channels, live streams, and projects and I am giving away a $50 prize package. (scroll to bottom)  In Celebration of National Mod Podge day I made a bold bright serving tray that is perfect for breakfast in bed or as a gift all by itself. I used two of my favorite products to create the tray.  Basic Mod Podge  to adhere the wrapping paper and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to create a glossy finish that is easy to wipe off.

On National Mod Podge Day they will be giving away a BIG Mod Podge Prize pack! The prize is valued around $250 in Mod Podge and Plaid products. Just post your Mod Podge craft on Facebook (at this post) or on Instagram with hash tag #nationalmodpodgeday to enter to win! A winner will be chosen during the Plaid livestream at 2 PM on May 19th.

Supplies for the Mod Podge Serving tray:

To make the Mod Podge Serving tray:

  1. Sand any rough spots and remove dust with tack cloth.
  2. Paint the wood tray in your favorite color combinations.  I used a pearl on the inside and matte on the sides.  Sand if needed and apply a second coat of paint if you need more coverage.
  3. Trim the gift wrap to fit in the center of the tray. You can try to get it exact or use the craft knife to remove the excess once it is adhered to the bottom.
  4. Apply a layer of Mod Podge evenly along the bottom and place the gift wrap on top.  Gently smooth out any bubbles.  Allow to dry before adding the next layer.
  5. Pour contents of two bottles of Dimensional Magic to center of the tray covering the entire surface.  Allow to dry thoroughly .

I covered mine with a loose piece of foil to keep out dust. Once it is dry and cured until firm you can use it and I let mine sit for 24 hours to give it plenty of time to cure.

mod podge serving tray

The contents of the $50 prize package:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

mod lodge serving tray

fast painted planters for mother’s day

Fast painted planters for Mother’s day filled with succulents make a quick, easy and colorful gift for mom.  They also make nice end of the year teacher gifts.  Succulents are a nice filler plant because they are easy to maintain and are really trendy right now too.  And any gift you give should be easy to take care of and not require a lot of effort.  My husband gave me an orchid one year because he knows I love to go to the conservatory and photograph them.  Little did he know about how much love and attention they need.  Seriously they are a beautiful plant but ever so high maintenance.  I tried the once a week ice cube method and managed to keep it alive for a few months.  Then it died a slow painful death with over and under watering.   He felt bad for it and for the purchase.

This year I needed a bunch of teacher gifts and a Mother’s day gift.  So I thought I would make a batch of planters to give.  I like doing a bunch of similar things at once because it makes me feel really productive.  The planters were from a left over project I did for Oriental Trading Company and the paint was in a sample I received from a trade show I attended.  The only thing I had to purchase was  the dirt and the plants.  I picked them up from Home Depot but you can find them at many stores. The succulents  were in a 4 pack for $4 and I thought that was a great price.

painted planters for a quick DIY gift idea

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 fast painted planters:

  1. flower pots 
  2. Color Shift Paint
  3. Paint brush
  4. Gold paint
  5. Succulents (you can find them at a local store but just in case)
  6. Succulent Soil

Directions for fast painted planters.

  1. Base coat the planters and allow to dry.  You should not need to sand in-between coats.  Allow the paint to dry and repeat as many times as you need to get  solid coverage. 
  2. Add gold paint to the base of the flower-pot and allow to dry. You should not need to sand in-between coats.  Allow the paint to dry and repeat as many times as you need to get  solid coverage.
  3. Fill the planter with soil and add a plant into the pot.  Sprint with water and add a few rocks from outside to the planter if you want.  

Give the planter to the lucky gift recipient.  If they are not plant people explain how to take care of a succulent.  If you are looking for other easy gift ideas try these DIY Spa Gift Set, Dry Brushed Flower Pot DIY,  DIY Moroccan Bangles

painted planters

thank you for your kindness free printable

thank you for your kindness free printable

The thank you for your kindness free printable was inspired by free Kind bars and I like free stuff and I like puns! I thought they would be perfect for a thank you gift that I needed for a young adult friend who came over and helped me move some furniture around.  Clearly, I suffer from a case of chronic furniture rearranging or at least that is what my husband calls it. 

The monogram tool box comes with a cool bottle opener on the side that is perfect for craft beers with caps that do not twist off.

To make the “thank you for your KINDness” gift tags I created a whole sheet of tags to have for later use. You can click this link for the free thank you printable or you can right click the image and save it.  I had no clue what variety of craft beers he liked so I went to the store that carried them in singles and I don’t drink beer so I hope he likes the variety of beer I selected. 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 the thank you for your kindness gift:

  • free thank you printable printed on an 8.5×11 sheet of white cardstock
  • red cardstock
  • scissors
  • adhesive (I used glue dots)
  • twine
  • monogramed tool box
  • Kind bars
  • beer (probably Mike’s favorite part)
  • monogram tool box

Instructions for thank you for your kindness gift set:

  1. Order the tool box from Oriental Trading it is a great price and often you can get free shipping.
  2. Buy the beer and “Kind”ness bars. You can read about their healthy ingredients here.
  3. Print the labels and cut out the label of your choice.  Cut the red yardstick larger than the white yardstick to form a tag.  Use Glue Dots to adhere the yardstick together.
  4. Cut a piece of twine and form a bow.  Use a tiny piece of a glue dot to adhere the bow.  Place an additional glue dot on the back of the tag and stick it on the tool box.Give to the lucky person and if they are under 21 you could (should) give them a variety of non-alcoholic drinks.

boho chic gift packaging idea

 DIY boho chic gift packaging idea tie dye baby onesies

Try this boho chic gift packaging idea and DIY baby onesie tie dye idea for a great handmade baby gift that does not cost a lot of money but looks like a boutique gift!  I don’t know about you but my friends are still popping out the little ones and I am always trying to think of something unique to give them that they want and will actually use.  My kids went through baby onesies as fast as they did their diapers.  So I thought I would tie dye a bunch of onesies and package them up. I will give directions on how to make both the tie dyed onesies and the uber cool and creative boho chic gift packaging.

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 boho chic gift packaging :

learn how to create custom gift packaging with stencil and paint and clearbag kraft paper boxes

Supplies for Tie Dye Baby Onesies:

  • onesies
  • fabric dye in multiple colors
  • tongs
  • rubber bands
  • gloves
  • covered work surface
  • mason jars
  • a stove or a microwave
  • wear old clothes!

Instructions for boho chic gift packaging :

  1. Select your paint colors and stencil then place the surface to be stenciled on a covered work surface.  Place the stencil in the desired location and  dip the stencil brush into the paint. Tap off excess paint.  When stenciling less paint is better because you can always add layers. 
  2. You can change brushes in-between paint colors.  On this project I did not because I wanted blended colors.  Play around and get comfortable with paint and see what you like best.
  3. Stencil randomly all over the gift box and allow the paint to dry.  Use the same stencil that you used to apply the paint and use a micron pen to create an outline.  None of this has to be perfect because that is the nature of hand-made and part of the boho chic look.  

Instructions for Tie Dye Baby Onesies:

  1. Cover your work surface before you begin, wear gloves and old clothes.  As I say that, I am sitting here typing this in with blue fingernails and a splash of blue dye on the front of my shirt.
  2. Add rubber bands to the dyed item to create your pattern and then soak the items to be dyed in a bath of clean hot water.  This helps to get a better dye result.
  3. Either heat up your dye in a dye only pan on the stove or in a jar in the microwave.  Use caution when moving hot stuff.  
  4. Place the item in the mason jar or pan and allow to soak for 15-30 minutes.  The longer it soaks the stronger and brighter the color will be.  Remove the item dyed and rinse with cool clean water. 
  5. Wash with a mild detergent and air dry away from direct sunlight for best results.

Package the dyed baby onesies into the supper cute boho chic gift packaging and watch the delight other face when they see your cool creation.


Mother’s Day Spa gift set

Mother's Day Spa bath salt gift idea you can make

Mother’s Day Spa gift set is an easy gift you can make on the cheap with a few key ingredients and simple to make gift packaging. Essential oil, a colorant and epsom salt are really all you need. There are a few more things you can add in to make it relieving and relaxing.  Add on custom gift packaging and you have a super terrific gift that you can give to almost anyone.

When using essential oils do not go overboard a little goes a long way and same goes with the coloring. A couple of drops are really all you need.

Supplies for Mother’s Day Spa gift set:

Instructions or Mother’s Day Spa gift set:

The ratio for the ingredients is 3 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salt and 1 part baking soda. You can make as much as you want using the ratio above.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.

  1. Ink up the stamp and press firmly on flat box but do not rock the stamp.  Rocking will cause distortion and smudges.  I use the lid of the box with my clear stamps when I do not have a block handy and I am too lazy to go searching for one. 
  2. Stamp the images on the edges of the box similar to what is shown.  If you get ink on the clear part you can wipe it off with your finger or a paper towel.
  3. Assemble the box and add the pre-made black bow to the package and secure with a glue dot.  I am completely horrible at making bows so the already made bows so they were completely worth every penny to me! Mother's Day Spa creative gift packaging
  4. To make the bath salts use a large bowl, mix to combine: 3 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salts, and 1 part baking soda.
  5. Add a few drops of essential oils, and stir well.
  6. Add a few drops of food coloring, until you achieve the desired shade. If you want to purchase colorant for soaps you can, but food coloring works fine.
  7. Add the salt mixture to the clear bags.

    Join us each month for a new creative Challenge. Use the hashtag #mycreativechallenge on Instagram to join in the fun!

Visit Jen for a Mother’s Day Coloring card.

Cheese Markers – Make your own from polymer clay

DIY cheese markers from polymer clay. DIY cheese markers from polymer clay are easy to make.  These clever cheese markers will be the talk of your party.  You can wow your guests with your craftiness when they learn you made them yourself.  Make a list of your favorite cheese varieties and make a marker for each one.  You can create as many as you would like.  I think they would make great gifts too.  You could give it as a hostess gift or as a welcome to your new house gift.

custom cheese markers for a wine a cheese party

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 Cheese markers:

Instructions for DIY Cheese Markers:

Step 1:

Per the Sculpey website: Getting Started Polymer clay may stain. CLAY MAY DAMAGE UNPROTECTED FURNITURE OR FINISHED SURFACES. DO NOT USE polymer clay on unprotected surfaces. We recommend working on the Sculpey clay mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Start with clean hands and work surface area.

Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof glass or metal surface at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼” (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Wash hands after use. Baking should be completed by an adult. Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by working small amounts in your hand until smooth and soft.

Step 2:

After conditioning your clay roll it out at the 2nd thickest setting of your Clay Conditioning Machine. Divide it in two sheets that are large enough to accommodate multiple oval cut outs.

Step 3:

Gather the following supplies: largest oval cutter and word stamps. Cut out an even number of tops and bottoms. Stamp the words into the lower half of the top piece. Bake according to directions above. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Step 4:

Make a molded embellishment for each of your markers. Condition the clay and press into the mold. Remove the excess clay and then remove from mold. Bake according to thickness. Allow to cool before handling.

Step 5:

Apply a thin line of Liquid Sculpey to the back of the stamped piece and place on top of the back piece. Gently press together. Place a toothpick in-between the layers. Wiggle it around a tiny bit so it can be removed and can be replaced after each use. Smooth our any rough edges.

Step 6:

Apply a thin line of Liquid Sculpey to the back of the molded embellishment and gently press onto the top right corner of the piece. Smooth our any rough edges. Gently place stamped and embellished side up on the baking sheet.

Step 7:

Bake according to directions above and with the toothpick in place Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Step 8:

Remove tooth pick. Brush paint over the entire piece. Use a paper towel to remove the excess. Allow to dry.

How to dry brush a terra cotta pot

how to dry brush a terra cotta flower pot for a fast DIY mothers day gift idea

Dry brush a terra-cotta flower-pot for a fast and easy personalized gift.  You can hand stamp words with an alphabet stamp too.  For this fast craft project, that is a part of the Craft Lightning series, I had an idea in my head and lets just say that my execution started out great.  But did not end with perfection.  I love using the dry brush technique and making distressed finishes.  Personally, I think I am really good at it.  But sometimes I need to learn when to stop.  This would be one of those times.  The picture above is the pot with dry brushing turned around and hiding my not so perfect execution.

The flower-pot below is what I ended up with and quite frankly do not like.  Scroll on down to see what my vision for the dry brush pot was.

felix culpa - happy accident

This is what my vision looked liked in the picture below.  Nope not quite the same, I added that wording in Photoshop.   I am not sure why I thought the large and colorful font would work.  But the cool thing is, my mom will love it no matter what, because moms love anything their kids make, even if their “kid” is over 40.  Now, my mom is religious and I wanted to pick a phrase that would represent something from the bible.   I picked the latin phrase felix culpa.


This is what wiki has to say about Felix Culpa if you are interested.
Felix culpa is a Latin phrase that comes from the words felix (meaning “happy,” “lucky,” or “blessed”) and culpa (meaning “fault” or “fall”), and in the Catholic tradition is most often translated “happy fault,” as in the Paschal Vigil Mass Exsultet O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem, “O happy fault that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer.”  While my mom is not Catholic and I am, I still think it is fitting.

Now that you have the back ground of why the inspiration for the craft was, lets talk about how you can make your own dry brush flower-pot for a gift or your own home decor.  This is the tutorial to make the easy sew pot holder trivet thingy the flower-pot is sitting upon.  I am fast at sewing and it took me 15 minutes, maybe 20 to make it from scraps.

Supplies needed for a dry brush pot:

How to dry brush a terra-cotta pot:

  1. Clean and dry the dry before you paint it.  Place a very small dollop of paint on your pallet.  Lightly run the paint brush through the paint.  Brush off the excess paint.
  2. The key to dry brushing is small light layers.  Build up the paint in small layers and don’t be afraid to wipe off any excess.
  3. Paint the base of the pot white and the rim on the pot silver or any color combination you like.

Allow the paint to dry and stamp on a phase or word of your choice.  Take my advice and pick smaller stamps and ink in a dark grey or black. 

Click on the graphic below to find other great ideas you can make in a flash for a Mother’s day gift idea.

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Easy sew pot holder trivet

An easy sew pot holder trivet is a fast and fun gift to make using your fabric scraps. Add a little color to your home decor that is budget friendly.

An easy sew pot holder trivet is a fast and fun gift to make using your fabric scraps.  Add a little color to your home decor that is budget friendly.  The theme for this months #mycreativechallenge is Spring and I chose floral scraps from another project.  Click the link for the decorative flower-pot sitting on the pot holder trivet.  It is a 15 minute craft and could also be perfect for Spring.

If you would like to play a long with the challenge use the hashtag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.  We would love to see what you create and it does not have to be anything complex it can be simple like this pot holder or flower-pot.

Out of curiosity would you call the project a pot holder, trivet or something else?

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 the Easy sew pot holder trivet:

How to make the easy sew pot holder trivet:

  1. Cut fabric scraps into strips 2″x8″  and sew the strips together right sides facing each other.
  2. Press the seams open or to the darker fabric. Pressings important for a clean look.
  3. Square up the fabric by using a sewing ruler.
  4. Cut the batting and the fabric backing to the same size as the top and pin or clip together for sewing.
  5. If you want to be fancy sew along the edges of each strip.  If you want to be quick sew a simple X.  You do this by sewing a straight line from one corner to the next corner and repeat for the other side.
  6. Once the layers are sewn together you can square up again.  Somehow I always need to.
  7. Sew the bias tape around the edges.  You will want to pin in place or sew very slowly to make sure you are sewing on both sides.  

Sometimes I use a sewing cheat when working with bias tape.  I use a washable glue stick to hold the bias in place before I sew it on. Voila! you now have yourself a pot holder trivet.   Make sure you visit  Jen and Carla for their projects.

Jen Goode – 100 Directions – printable Spring floral image

Carla Schauer Designs – printable family chore chart magnets.

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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.