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.

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.

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. 

Pin this image

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?

wood bird Christmas ornaments

wood bird Christmas ornaments – True to my fascination with everything avian, my Christmas tree has lots of bird ornaments.  The idea for this particular ornament came when I was out walking my dog.  I noticed the vast abundance of Georgia pinecones littering the ground. What could I do with these? If I used them inside, how was I to extract the little creatures living inside them?  I gathered up some of the little cones.  When I returned home I popped them on a tray in the oven at 150 for about 15 minutes to remove any friends.
I remembered I purchased some little pics after Christmas last year and they would be perfect for the wood bird Christmas ornaments I was planning too.  

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.Links below are affiliate links to Amazon where I earn a commission of sales.
I absolutely adore this “beautiful bird” applique die cut  by Sizzix.  I love this die cut so much that I have two or three ideas stewing in my head where I wan to show you how to create different ornaments with this die cut using unconventional materials to create stunning tree, mantle or package decorations.  

Supplies for wood bird Christmas ornaments:

Instructions for wood bird Christmas ornaments:

This version all starts with simple to find, good old foam board. Foam board can intimididate many of us because it usually requires using a craft knife to cut and that can take some practice. The best advice I can give you when cutting foam board (I prefer dElmer’s because it comes in many thicknesses, is high quality and can be purchased with grids on one side) is to utilize the “three cut rule.” That is, trace your shape, use one pass of your X Acto knife to score exactly (or as close as you can) on the traced line, make a deeper second pass and finally score deeper to cut completely through. Don’t try to cut all the way through with one cut, this doesn’t yield smooth-edged results.

As shown in the photo above, cut the foam board down to manageable pieces. Cut some to match the size of the bird image on the die and some to use for the wings.


The good news is that, if you choose to use the shape of wing I did, you only need to trace a large teardrop shape onto the foam board and cut them out with the X ACTO knife. Have handy a sanding block or nail file to smooth any jagged edges.

There is a wing shape included in the die cut that you can use if you wish but I have to admit I am partial to teardrop shaped wings.

The easier part of this project involves using the Sizzix BigShot pro to cut the bird shapes from the foam board. The BigShot Pro is a heavy-duty die cut machine that cuts thick materials such as foam board.

It makes cutting these foam board bird shapes so easy!

Now its time to cover the shapes with the real wood veneer comes in 12″ x 24″ Real Wood Thin Cherry.  It is ideal for card making,mixed media, veneering, paper crafting, custom embellishments, and wood modeling and it is compatible with most cutting dies.

You will need to use the wing template and an ink pen to trace the shape and a die cut machine to cut the real wood. For this smaller duty project, I went back to my lighter duty Big Shot machine and found that I could cut four sheets at once.

Once the sheets are cut, you can glue them to the foam core shapes to cover.


Use stamped sentiments for the wing and StazOn ink and I used chalk ink to smooth the edges of the foam.   I also used the brown ink to create the brown beak. 

And to coordinate with the pine cones I spray painted (which made those little creatures promptly vacate if they were not dead already) I added a small pine cone dusted with snow paint and a bit of holly spray.easy to make wood bird Christmas ornaments tutorial

These wood bird Christmas ornaments are the perfect addition to any nature themed tree.  They can be made fairly quickly and easily in multiples. I hope I inspired you to try to make your own ornaments from simple foam board. What other dies do you own you could use to create special creations? Don’t forget to check back here to see more unusual ideas using this wonderful die.

beach mat tote bag – an easy sew project

Get ready for the sand and the waves with this fast and fun sewing project.  Make yourself and your friends a beach mat tote bag with easy to find supplies.  The beach mat tote bag is an easy sew project that you can make in an hour or two depending on your sewing skills.
easy sew beach mat tote, a simple sewing project by mel bradly for niki meiners 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 beach mat tote bag:

The links below are for the Amazon affiliate program where I earn a commission off of sales.

beach mat toteInstructions for Beach Mat to Tote Bag

1. Cut 3″x width of fabric strips of small print fabric. Cut enough strips to go around outer edge of towel. Press in 1/2″ seam allowance on long edges of strips; press strip in half lengthwise with right sides out. Pin in place around edging of towel on all four sides, mitering corners as needed. Sew in place.

2. For pillow, cut two 13″x17″ panels of floral fabric. Sew right sides together on three sides, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff with insert. Sew pillow bottom closed with whipstitch by hand or by machine. Machine straight stitch pillow edge to top end of towel “front” as shown.

3. For pockets, cut four 9-1/2″x11″ panels, two each of floral and small print fabrics. Pair panels as desired with right side out. Press 1/4″ seams in all four edges, machine sew, then repeat to hide raw edges. Repeat for second pocket.

4. On towel “back” on opposite end from pillow, pin first pocket in place, centered on short side of towel with pocket facing away from edge. Pin second pocket in place with pocket openings facing each other, 4-6″ away from first. Cut twill tape into two 18″ lengths; pin in place beneath pockets. Machine sew in place.

5. Roll towel to form tote and determine closure position. Hand-sew frog closure in place.

Santa pants Christmas craft using cardboard tubes

Santa pants Favors made with cardboard tubes that you can recycle from paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls or you can buy tubes from the craft section.  We are all about recycling them and giving them another use before they go into the trash.  If you want to keep this a cleaner craft you can use red cardstock instead of the paint.  You can decide how much you want to clean up, on top of the glitter mess that is.  But hey! we love glitter in all it forms.  If you don’t want to use loose glitter you can use glitter glue. santa pants kids craft

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.MATERIALS for SantaPants:

TOOLS

  • Rubber stamp: Merry Christmas
  • Black inkpad
  • Clay-dedicated rolling pin or acrylic brayer
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Oven
  • scissors, ruler, plastic knife, black marker, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern – Santa Pants Favors

1. Adults, help kids when baking clay in oven.

2. Print out pattern.

3. On clean work surface, remove clay from package. To condition, roll clay in hands until soft, bending and rolling until pliable. If clay cracks, keep conditioning. Roll 1″ Gold clay ball; flatten. Cut buckle from Gold clay. Position buckle on parchment-lined baking sheet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake buckle in oven. Let cool.

4. On covered work surface, paint cardboard tubes (pants) Bright Red. Let dry. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue pants legs together. Paint wooden tags Apple Green. Let dry.

5. Measure and cut 2-1/2″x9″ red cardstock rectangle. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue red rectangle around top of pants legs. Measure and cut two 2-1/2″ red card stock circles. Use scissors to fringe edges of circles. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue circles on bottom of pants legs.

6. Measure and cut 1″x9″ black cardstock strip (belt). Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue belt around red rectangle. Apply Continuous Glue Lines strip onto center of belt; sprinkle with Gold or Silver glitter. Use Craft Glue Dots to glue buckle on center of belt.

7. Measure and cut two 1″x7″ red cardstock strips (suspenders). Use Craft Glue Dots to glue suspenders onto inside of pants legs.

8. Measure and cut two 3/4″x4″ white felt rectangles. Use Continuous Glue Lines to glue felt rectangles around bottom of pants legs.

9. Use black inkpad and Merry Christmas stamp to stamp saying on wooden tag. Use hole punch to punch hole on pants leg; insert metal brad through hole on tag and pants leg. Bend ends on inside.
FOR MORE CHRISTMAS CRAFT IDEAS CLICK HERE

 

easy sew mixed media christmas ornaments

The colorful mixed media Christmas ornaments  are a a little bit of painting, free motion sewing, polymer and stash busting combined into a pair of awesome ornaments you can give as a gift, decorate a package or gift bag, or to decorate your own tree. The mixed media ornaments can be made by beginners too.  There really is not a right or a wrong way to make them and no two are going to look alike and that is the beauty of doing things with mixed media and free style sewing. mixed media christmas ornaments

How do you get yourself in the Christmas spirit when its beginning to look a lot like Christmas but its still 75 degrees outside here in South Georgia? By making some “cool” canvas ornaments! Painted and sewn canvas has tons of possibilities.

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.The Canvas Corp items are no longer made and I have linked other items form amazon that work just as well and are at a better price.  I cold not let the items in my stash go to waste.

Supplies for the mixed media Christmas ornaments:

Instructions for the mixed media christmas ornaments:

  1. I started with a canvas fabric sheet and burlap circles by Canvas Corp and cut two 3″ circles and two 1 1/2″ circles from the canvas sheet. Using acrylic paint, I painted swatches of color on both large circles, letting colors dry in between.
  2. The smaller circles were painted white to resemble the head of a snowman. Once the paint was dry, I layered the snowman on top of the burlap circle and sewn the edges with a straight stitch. I layered this piece on top of one of the larger painted circles and sewed in place.
  3. To create a stuffed ornament, layer circles together and sew, leaving a small opening to insert stuffing. Then sew together by machine or by hand.
  4. I used polymer clay to create a nose and  I used fluted 12 x 12 paper to create the tag.

I used polymer clay to create a nose and  I used fluted 12 x 12 paper to create the tag.

Experiment with different themes, like I did with this heart themed canvas ornament.

mixed media christmas ornaments

 

FOR MORE CHRISTMAS CRAFT IDEAS CLICK HERE

 

Underwater party decorations

Underwater party decorations
Make underwater party decorations that are fun and colorful.  You can turn a blank wall into an underwater party with a few decorations like colorful pompom fish, seagrass and jellyfish.  To create the underwater party decorations I covered a wall with fabric from a bolt of spa blue and sandy tan fabric.  These were bolts purchased for a project that I had not started.  If you wanted to you could use Olyfun on the bolt, sheets, colored paper on the roll from the teachers supply store, plastic table clothes or really anything you want.  The wall of underwater decorations set the tone for the party room.

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.

Materials for underwater party decorations:

     Pompom fish

     Jellyfish lanterns

 

Instruction for Underwater party decorations:

  1. To make the fish I used Olyfun 12×12 sheets.  The 12×12 sheets of Olyfun a 6-8 are layered together and the sheets were folded in accordion fashion.
  2. Zip ties are added to the center and the edges were scalloped with scissors.  Once the edges are cut the layers are separated and fluffed up to make a half of a ball a semicircle a dome or what ever you want to call it… LOL.
  3. Place two halves together and add a dollop of glue to adhere them together.
  4. Add google eyes in the largest size you can find.
  5. The fins were freehanded with utility scissors.
  6. The seagrass is Olyfun cut into strips ad twisted with glue dots placed at the top and the bottom of each strip.

You are at complete liberty to make the fish any shaper color or size you would like and we had a few fish that did not make it to the party.  I should have thought to share a picture of them because they are a definite craft fail.  Your kids will love them no matter what so dont really worry about it.

These decorations are a part of the Mermaid Party click the links below the pictures to find more ideas on your underwter party and beach bash for your mermaid. 

If you would like to see other parts of the Mermaid party :

flamingo party favors – flamingo party invitation -DIY

Flamingo party favors and a flamingo party invitation DIY.  I’m getting ready for my daughter’s birthday pool party and we decided to go with a pink flamingo party theme.  Yes, I am one of those moms, not really I am not one of those moms.  I just happen to be a mom who gives not quite lavish and not quite over the top birthday parties but they are still more than a basic party.  We don’t give big gifts for any holiday or birthdays but we do throw parties.  Because parties are all about friends and fun and not the gifts.  Our kids know that the party really is their gift and they are cool with it.  So this year when I was talking to my friend Jen about the party she let me know she had just finished a fun flamingo printable. 

The printable will be used throughout the party in various ways and I am really excited to share my creative process with you and show you how a few simple printables can make the party look much more lavish and expensive than it really is. In my head, I am planning to make cupcake topper, food labels, invitations, a banner, a directional sign and if I have time flamingo bingo.  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 Flamingo party favors:

Instructions for the flamingo party favors:

  1. Assemble the clear boxes.  We are going to have 6-8 girls attend so I will make 10 just incase there are extras who show up.
  2. Print the free printable.  Cut a pink strip off the bottom of one of the printables. Wrap the paper strip around the clear box and adhere with a dot of glue.
  3. Use a scallop paper punch to punch out a flamingo. Add a dot of glue to the back and hold in place for a moment.
  4. Fill the box with candy.  I used colored Sixlets.
  5. Add Stickles to the flamingo, around the edges and let dry.

To make the flamingo card:

  1. Fold the precut card in half using the score mark as your guide.
  2. Cut a piece of pink cardstock to create card front and adhere to the card front.
  3. Cut a teal strip off of the printable and adhere to the card front.
  4. Use a paper punch to punch a scallop piece of cardstock and adhere to the card front.
  5. Punch out a pink flamingo with a smaller scallop punch and adhere to the card stock scallop.
  6. Add Stickles to the flamingo and let dry.

Stay tuned for the other pink flamingo party ideas.