This simple dream catcher has extra special meaning. Taken from an old story, it carries the idea that while you sleep, the butterfly gathers up all negative energy, thoughts and dreams and cocoons them up, then carries them far away on its wings and drops them off. It then returns and when you awake you are filled with wonderful energy and love. There is a special poem to go with it which can be hung beside it or given rolled up as a scroll for a gift. Either way, children and adults alike will love it! You might also want to check out our Dream Catcher Vision Board post which combines two wonderful ideas into one!
POEM: This poem is a printable in the free download packet. Frame and hang it next to your dream catcher or roll it up and tie it with a ribbon and give with the dream catcher as a gift.
Special Thanks goes to Jessica Serrano-Gregg who shared the wonderful butterfly story which was one her abuela (grandmother) taught her as a child. We adapted it for the poem.
Dream Catcher Supplies
NOTE ON FRAMES: We used an 8×10 oval frame from Walmart. If you can’t find one of those, you could use any square or 8×10 frame and simply put scrapbook paper as the background and center your butterfly on it.
- Mainstays 8×10 Oval Black Frame (We used this exact one.)
- Frame choice on Amazon.
- 12×12 frames on Amazon
- Cardstock scrapbook paper with gold in the mix
- Feathers (we used 10)
- Metallic Paints For frame we used Martha Stewart’s Gold for the feathers and Martha Stewart’s Champagne
- Cream or Ivory Paint
- Hot Glue
- Cord/String for hanging feathers
- Pattern and Poem download below
Download Patterns & Poem
Gather your supplies.
Paint your fame if needed. We chose a cream color.
After your paint dries give it a solid coat of Martha Stewart’s Metallic Gold or something similar. Her metallic and pearl paints are amazing!
Print and cut out the butterfly templates. Because the poem speaks of the color “gold” you may want to keep some of that color involved. We used a solid gold glitter type sheet for the largest butterfly.
We traced our large butterfly on the back of our sparkle paper and cut it out.
The other two butterflies were cut out of matching cardstock.
Cut 8″ pieces of cord that will hold your feathers. We used 10 feathers and attached three to each of the outside cords and four to the inside cord.
Paint the ends of your feathers with a metallic gold paint.
Glue three feathers along each cord, one below the other.
These are the final feather groups ready to attach to the frame.
One set of butterfly templates should fit inside the oval 8×10 frame as shown. (You can do this other ways too and just center them in the middle of a normal frame.)
Use a small amount of hot glue to tack down the butterfly wings inside the frame edge. In this set up there is no backing sheet on the frame.
Fold your other two smaller butterflies so they bend upward.
Glue the smallest one onto the mid sized butterfly as shown.
Then glue them to the center of the largest butterfly.
Glue the feather pieces to the bottom inside of the frame spacing them evenly.
For the final touch, cut out the mini butterflies.
Fold them as shown.
Glue them onto the feather groupings.
Not your typical mason jar light, these wondrous woodland silhouettes will bring a whimsical touch of nature into your home. Get your free download of our own patterns below. (In both pdf and Silhouette Cutter format!) These will work on pint size or quart jars. The lovely paper rose that you see can be made using our simple tutorial 5 Minute Beautiful Paper Flowers. We also found a better way to tint those jars! So make sure you view How to Paint Mason Jars Easily with Less Mess.
- 1 quart and 1 pint mason jar
- X-acto Knife
- Regular white paper to print the graphics on
- Battery Operated Tea Light
- Printable patterns below
- Spray adhesive
Gather the few supplies you’ll need.
Painting the jars. What we did and suggest NOT doing. For the jars shown we placed some Mod Podge into a bowl and added a squirt or two of white paint. We then brushed it onto the sides of the inside of the jar. The result was not nearly as nice as we wanted. Though it looks great lit up in the dark, in the light it looks messy. So we tested another method that we suggest using instead.
A better method to paint your jars.
Because we were unhappy with our original jar painting, we did some testing. Then we created a post on how to paint mason jars which you can check out before moving on to the rest of your project.
You can cut out the graphics in minutes using an X-acto knife.
They’re now ready to place in your jars.
In order to hold the images inside the jar used a light spritz of spray adhesive.
Carefully put the image inside the jar, pressing it into place.
We placed a small amount of moss in the bottom of the jar and set our battery operated tea light on top of it.
Batteries for these lights are very cheap. The ones I use and linked to under supplies are on a timer.
For the top of the lid we used a 5 Minute Paper Flower.
Glue your twine around the edge of the lid.
We added an extra little flourish tied on with some twine.
You can decorate your own Mason jar lights however you wish!
Make these beautiful DIY paper flowers in 5 minutes or less! Use them in your crafts or decorating. Attach them to a lamp shade. Even use them in your hair! They are quick and almost free to make and they can adorn just about anything. Download our free pdf template and you’ll have a dozen made in no time! (There’s a silhouette file too if you own that machine!) These would go beautifully on our clothespin craft container or our lovely upcycled string dispenser! FYI: We have a specific craft coming up next week that utilizes them in a very unique way so stay tuned or better yet subscribe to our posts!
DIY Paper Flowers Supplies
Cardstock for flowers and leaves
3/16th dowel, or anything about that size for wrapping the flowers. We used the end of a paint brush!
Downloadable Flower Template
4 Different Sizes (pdf)
Print out the free template and firmly hold it over a piece of cardstock while you cut it out on the lines.
Starting with the outside end begin to wrap it around a small dowel or the end of a small paintbrush. A pencil can work but its a bit too large and makes it difficult.
Once you get to the end you will have the other ends round piece left.
The rest of the flower will sit on this “base” as shown. FYI even if you let go of the flower it will stay together.
Place a glob of glue onto the base.
You need to use enough glue to attach the entire flower.
Press your flower down carefully, twisting it in tighter if needed.
Hold it for a few seconds. (This is what the hands of a crafter looks like… covered in paint!)
That’s how to make DIY paper flowers! Cut out your leaves and glue on if desired.
This simple Dr. Seuss themed sign is part of our Over the Door Decor series: Easy plaques you create to send you out the door with a smile. We all could use a little confirmation as we make our way out into the world each day. Why not make a beautiful piece of art in the process? Get your FREE DOWNLOAD below and keep an eye on our site for many more Over the Door Decor projects including our last one for all Game of Thrones fans… a Hold the Door over the door plaque.
Dr. Seuss Art Supplies
Note: basswood is a thin light wood. You can find it at craft stores. The one’s shown were purchased at Ace Hardware for $3.00 each. You could use any type wood that is this size though it would require normal hanging hardware.
- Craft Basswood 4″ x 24″ x 1/8th (or .125) “
- Cardstock, pink, yellow, teal, light blue
- Hot Glue gun and lots of sticks (used to make balloons)
- Craft string, pink and yellow
- Mod Podge
- Paint, pink and white
- Masking tape
- Free printable below
Begin by painting the wood board a solid white.
When dry, apply the masking tape at an angle across the board, horizontally.
Using the pink paint, cover one side of the board up to the tape line.
Let dry and remove tape.
Cut the circle pattern out of the FREE DOWNLOAD.
Trace 2 circles onto each of the pieces of colored cardstock. Notice we are only using 7 circles.
Using the hot glue gun, apply a ring of hot glue just inside the traced line.
Continue circling towards the center until the initial ring of hot glue is filled.
Let the hot glue dry thoroughly.
Once dry, cut out the hot glue circles. Cut very close to the glue so that the paper is not visible from the front.
Take the remaining part of the FREE DOWNLOAD and cut out each word individually, leaving approximately a 1/4-1/2 inch of white paper around the letters.
Test out the placement of the words on the board and arrange as needed.
Once satisfied with the layout, remove 1 or 2 words at a time and cover the board in Mod Podge. Be sure to cover the entire board.
Place words back into place and cover with Mod Podge. *Keep in mind that, depending on the printer, this may cause ink to smear on the printout! If smearing is a concern, simply press the words onto the Mod Podge and do not cover them with additional Mod Podge*
Cut seven 6″ sections of craft string, alternating colors.
When the board is dry, arrange the balloons. Make a small dot on the board at the center of where each balloon will be placed.
Lay the craft string pieces onto an easy to clean surface and cover with Mod Podge, twisting the string to ensure all sides are coated.
Place one end of the string on the dot that represents the center of the balloon. Holding in place, work the string into it’s desired shape. Hold until dry.
Once the string is set, cover it generously in Mod Podge to ensure that it stays in place. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Once the strings are dry, heat the glue gun back up!
Place a ball of hot glue onto the back of each balloon.
Place the balloons over the ends of the strings.
Notice that the balloons are not confined to the board. Having them overhang edges adds to the ‘3D art’ look of the plaque.
When complete, hang above the door (or anywhere) for a motivational daily reminder that is sure to send you out into the world with a hop in your step!
You won’t believe how easy & inexpensive it is to do a dramatic fireplace makeover! All you need is some normal paint and a wadded up paper bag. No kidding! You can even use those small bottles of craft paint though you might need two or three. You’ll seldom see such an amazing difference for such little time and money.
Fireplace Makeover Supplies
- Brush to clean the bricks thoroughly before painting.
- House Paint 1 gallon, semi-gloss, for grout color and brick base. A cream was used for the sample.
- Paints for the brick surface. Typically one or two colors but its up to you. This type of craft paint works great. You’ll need a few bottles. Grey was used for the example.
- Bristle Paint brush
- Wadded up piece of paper bag
- Water-Base Polyurethane 1 quart (optional but a very good idea to keep the paint from wearing off)
Detailed Printable Instructions
Below we show you a close up view of the steps needed to paint your brick fireplace. As you can see it was an amazing difference for ours!
Brush the dirt off the entire fireplace making sure to get into the indentations.
Paint your brick with the color that will be your grout color. Make sure to get into all the crevices due to how porous brick is. Make sure the grout is covered well between the bricks.
You will now use the paint that will be the main brick color. You can add water if desired to make it thinner.
Wad up a piece of a paper bag tightly and dab it into the paint. Blot any excess paint off the bag before starting if needed.
Starting at one side of the brick start dabbing the paint onto the brick.
Determine how much or how little you want on the brick.
This is the brick blotted lightly and evenly.
In order to make it look a bit more realistic either blot more of the same color on parts of some bricks. I chose to use a darker grey to go over the brick in spots. After the coats have dried, it’s a good idea to cover the brick faces with a coat of sealant to help protect the color.
This is my finished brick. Your color options are endless for a fireplace makeover!
Who doesn’t need a little more positivity in their life? Surround yourself in good energy with our anti bad vibe shield! Customize with your favorite colors and patterns to create a one of a kind work of art in just 5 minutes! A great way to add a little flair to your decor while sending a positive message, this lightweight construction hangs anywhere to keep the negativity away. Don’t forget to check out our multiple FREE downloads below for different color schemes.
If you would like to wear your positive good vibes check out our Good Vibe Necklace made with shrinky dinks!
- Foam board
- Glue stick or spray adhesive
- Scrapbook paper or wrapping paper
- Soda Can Tab, for hanging
- Hot Glue Gun
- X-acto Knife
- Downloaded Graphic
Print the download of choice and cut just inside the black outline.
Cut the scrapbook paper or gift wrap paper of your choice. When the downloaded cutout is placed on the paper, it should have at least an inch of space all around the cutout.
Using a glue stick or spray glue, cover the back of the scrapbook/wrapping paper completely.
Lay the sticky side of the paper onto a sheet of foam board and smooth out any creases.
Cover the back of the download cutout with a glue stick or spray glue. Apply to the center of the previous sheet of paper, smoothing as you go.
Let dry for 1 minute.
Using a ruler and pencil, measure 1/2 an inch around the downloaded cutout.
When complete, there should be a 1/2 inch “frame” surrounding the center image.
Using an X-acto knife, place the foam board onto a cutting board and cut along the pencil line.
When complete, gently pop the shield out.
If any pencil lines can still be seen, gently erase, being careful not to pull up the paper.
Slightly bend the soda pull tab. It is common for the edges of the tab to break, however, the remaining aluminum will still hold the tab together.
Place a small amount of hot glue onto the bottom (solid) portion of the tab.
Adhere to the upper center of the shield. To be sure the tab is centered, use a ruler to draw a line down the center of the back of the shield.
Your Anti Bad Vibe Shield will definitely make a statement!
This isn’t your typical dream catcher! This beautiful, customizable work of art is a daily reminder of your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Fill it with everything that’s important to you and change it out as your dreams come true. It’s so easy to get so caught up in the day to day chaos that we forget what it is that we’re really working towards. Who couldn’t use a little daily reminder of their goals? And with an endless array of fabrics and colors, it’s sure to be an eye-catching addition to any room. Dare to dream big!
If you enjoy the simple DIY feathers in this post you’ll definitely like our Reusable Car Air Freshener feathers! This post also goes along with our other wall decor in DIY Frugal Bedroom Wall Ideas.
NOTE: We purchased a group of Fat Quarters (Pack of 18″ x 22″ rectangles) and used 4 of the 5 patterns given.) The dream catcher is very customizable to your own taste and colors.
- Wood Floral Craft Ring 18″
- Hot Glue gun and lots of sticks
- Chicken Wire with 1″ holes. aprox. 20″ square which will be cut to fit the ring
- Wide craft sticks (we used these to hold the chicken wire in place)\
- Wire Cutters
- Small white clothespins aprox. 2″ long.
- Braided Gold Trim to glue to feathers. Cut into approximately 11″ 13″, 18″ and 22″ pieces.
- Cardstock for feathers
- Feather pattern download below
Paint one side of the wood floral craft ring in the color of choice. We used white to fit with our color scheme.
Be sure to cover the edges of the ring with paint. Apply additional coats as needed.
Cut strips from the fabric, approximately 1-2″ wide and 18-20 inches long.
Keep in mind that the strips will overlay one another when complete. Lay the cut pieces out, overlapping edges, until the desired look is acquired.
The fabric pieces should fill approximately 1/4 of the ring, as shown.
Apply hot glue to the painted side of the ring and begin applying fabric strips.
Layer the strips of fabric about 1/2 an inch over one another, working from one side to the center at the base of the ring.
Once fabric reaches the base, begin at the opposite side and work towards the center again. The final pieces of fabric should be applied over the bottom (middle) of the ring.
Once fabric is applied, flip over the ring as shown.
Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the back of the ring and pull fabric around.
Pull tightly to ensure a smooth finish. Additional hot glue may be needed to hold down rogue edges.
Remember that this is the back and perfection is not necessary.
Lay the piece of chicken wire across the back of the ring and bend flat. Using wire cutters, trim the chicken wire to fit inside the ring. Be sure that the wire is cut as close to the edge as possible without being visible from the front. This gives ample room for adhering the wire to the back of the ring.
Once complete the wire should appear as shown. Be careful when handling wire to prevent pokes!
Using scissors, cut the wide craft sticks in half.
Apply a generous amount of hot glue on top of the chicken wire and press the craft stick pieces down onto the hot glue to hold the wire in place.
This requires a bit of patience as each piece must be held in place until dry to avoid a broken seal.
Little trick: use office binder clips to clamp pieces in place until dry.
Move around the ring, applying additional glue and sticks.
Print the FREE DOWNLOAD onto colored cardstock of choice. We used white and grey cardstock to fit our color scheme.
Be sure to cut inside the black line so that the finished feathers are nice and clean.
Lay the ring right side up and smooth out the fabric pieces. Starting at the center, trim the fabric up to each side at an angle.
This creates a beautiful tapered look when hung.
Measure and cut the braided trim into 4 pieces. (11″, 13″, 18″ & 22″)
Apply a small dab of hot glue to the edges to prevent fraying.
This gives a nice clean end to the trim.
Apply a line of hot glue down the center of each feather cutout.
Lay the gold trim over the hot glue with the finished (glued) end at the tip of the feather. When dry, gently fold the feathers inwards using the trim as the center. This gives them a lovely three dimensional look when they hang.
Gather the ends of each piece of trim and line them up on the ring. Placement is really based on preference. We chose to hang ours slightly off center. Once placed, apply hot glue behind the trim and then hold into place until dry. Be sure that there is 1-2 inches of trim hanging above the hot glue.
Flip over the ring and apply hot glue to the back of where the trim is overhanging. Pull the trim ends through the wire and press into hot glue to hold in place. Pull tight for a smooth finish.
Using wire cutters, cut off half of each pin on the thumbtacks. These little guys can go flying! So be sure to angle the pin downwards, towards the table, when cutting.
Place a drop of hot glue into the pre-made holes on the craft ring.
Insert the cut thumbtack into the hot glue.
Finally, using small clothespins, fill the Dreamcatcher Vision Board with hopes, dreams and aspirations. Check out our FREE DOWNLOAD of positive words to get started!
Make a Silly Selfie “quiet book” in just 15 minutes! All you need is a small inexpensive 4×6 mini photo book and some dry erase markers. This amazingly simple project is guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment to kids of all ages! Customize with your favorite photos and let the fun begin. It’s a perfect travel activity too!
Looking for more fun activities for both kids and adults? Check out our Mini Toy Box in a Drawer!
Quiet Book Supplies
- Hand size 4×6 photo album (can be purchased at many stores)
- 4×6 photos of your choice, close-ups work best
- Dry erase markers with built in eraser
- Downloaded book cover below
Gather your supplies! We used pictures uploaded to the closest Walgreen’s but there are a variety of other stores that do one hour photos and let you upload them online and pick them up!
Print and cut out your book cover.
Many of these books have an insert in the front. You can take them out if desired or place your cover over them. If your book does not allow an insert on the front you can also glue the cover on the front.
Slide in your printed cover.
Add your photos!
Pick a photo and start drawing. Keep in mind these take a couple minutes to dry if you want to save them. The back of the opposite page will smudge them otherwise.
Using markers with a built in erase is very handy.
The Silly Selfies Quiet Book makes a wonderful gift too. You can give it with just one black marker or a whole set of colors.
This little DIY smores kit comes complete with a mini campfire! Most of it can be made from items found at a dollar store. We’ve got a free printable tag with instructions should you want to give it as a unique gift. You can make one for each individual and use them for July 4th or anytime. They can be used indoors too!
If you’re looking for more fun outdoor party ideas check out our Outside Snack Holders.
Smores Kit Supplies
- 2″ or larger (we used a 4″ and a 2″) clay flower pot
- White Sand
- Bamboo skewers
- Tea lights
- Tiny Stones
- Graham Crackers
- Chocolate Bar
- Large Marshmallows
- Painting or masking tape for stripes
pdf printable tag
The photos are self-explanatory. After painting your pot however you wish, you want to cover the bottom so sand won’t leak out. We just used duct tape. Then fill it 2/3rds full with wadded up foil. Fill with clean white sand. Bury your tea light to the top edge and place stones around it. Paint the ends of your bamboo skewers. The kit can be placed on a tray or in a basket if given as a gift.
This American eagle is made entirely from foam board! Painted with thin paint it looks like wood. It’s a wonderful piece of artwork to display during the 4th of July or any time for that matter. We’ve got free variations of patterns below!
For another simple patriotic decor idea make our Americana Decor from Craft Sticks.
American Eagle Art Supplies
- 2 pieces of large good quality foam board (Cheaper foam board such as the kind from Dollar stores doesn’t paint well.)
- Glue gun
- Utility detail knife
- Pattern download
- Soda can tabs for hanging
Trace the pattern onto the foam board.
Carefully cut out the foam board eagle making smooth edges. Touch up if needed. Cut a backing board 14″ x 17 3/4″ (Double check everyting fits correctly before cutting.)
Cut out the overlayed frame section. 13″ x 6 3/4″ outer edge with a 1″ depth.
This is how things will layer.
Using a watered down brown paint, make long brush strokes up and down the backing board. The white board will show through your strokes.
DO NOT have too much liquid on the brush as it will bubble the paper. You want enough paint on the brush to do two or three strokes, then dab your brush in the paint and continue on.
Paint the overlaid frame red.
After the paint dries glue your overlaid frame onto the backing board.
There will be about a 1/4″ border around the edge.
You can trace your bird design onto the cut out eagle if desired for easier painting.
Using watered down paint, though not too much on the brush as once, paint your eagle.
Remember to paint the edges.
Once the eagle has dried hot glue it into the center of the foam plaque.
Because of how light the plaque is, soda can tabs are a wonderful way to hang it up.
Glue the tab onto the back of your plaque.
It’s ready to hang!
This rustic Americana decor flag can be hung year round and it’s so easy anyone can make it! All you need is a handful of long craft sticks, some watered down paint and hot glue. We used a soda can tab for the hanger which is perfect for lightweight items like this.
Americana Decor Supplies
- 8 Jumbo Extra Long Craft Sticks (tongue depressor width) Ours were about 7 3/4″ long and 1″wide. We bought them at Hobby Lobby.
- Scissors to cut the sticks
- Hot Glue
- Watered down paint, red, blue, white
- Soda bottle tab for hanging
NOTE: Always choose ACTUAL SIZE when printing or it will be too small.
Mark a small amount off the end of 6 craft sticks making them 7″ in length. Two others need to be cut to the 5″ inch. These will be the back bracing sticks.
Cut the sticks where you marked using standard scissors.
If desired, you can use our free printable to assist you.
Lay your sticks out, staggering as shown.
Take your two 5.25″ backing sticks and glue them carefully onto the back of your flag, keeping it pushed together. This will hold the flag together wonderfully. Just make sure the glue touches every cross stick. We had initially glued the seams of each cross stick together before putting the cross sticks on. This is NOT necessary.
Water down red, white and blue paint to make a wash. Carefully wash the correct sticks the color according to the pattern shown.
After painting each one, quickly wipe it with a tissue or cloth to remove excess and give it a washed look.
Hand paint your star on over the blue section. You can use our printout for a pattern or make your own.
Soda can tabs are perfect for hanging light weight items.
Bend them a tiny amount and glue them on.
It was a sad day indeed when the phrase “Hold the door!” became part of our culture. Never has there been a more beloved character than Hodor, the very large man with a very large heart who can only utter one word. This little doorstop is in honor of that great man. The graphic was drawn by our daughter Jennifer.
Hold the Door Doorstop Supplies
- Wood wedge aprox 4″ long and 1.5″ at high point
- 4″x6″ piece of 1/4″ wood. We used thin Lauan Plywood (Lowes has small sheets for $4.00)
- Free printables below
- Spray paint of choice. We used gold and silver.
- Thumb tacks silver or brass
- Wire cutters
- Wood or other strong glue
- Mod Podge
- Spray Adhesive (Used to apply the printables
- Clear Sealer (Optional. Helps prevent smearing when Mod Podging over printables)
Cut your wood. Wedges are super easy to cut. Any thin wood can be used for the 4×6 piece.
Sand your wood pieces.
Carefully cut out your graphic of choice.
Paint your wood and wedge.
We used spray adhesive to attach our printables. Spray them evenly or else they will bubble when you Mod Podge over them.
Attach your printables.
Thumbtacks with the ends clipped off make great embellishments. (You might recall we used them for our Recycle CDs Wall Pouches. )
The thumbtacks will have a small bit of the stem on them which can be pushed into softer wood. Otherwise you can glue them on.
You can also tap them in with a hammer.
Before using the Mod Podge make sure your ink is dry. It’s also helpful to spray a clear coat of sealer over the ink. This helps prevent smudging.
With long gentle strokes cover brush Mod Podge over the front of your doorstop.
Glue the wedge on with strong glue.
Recycle CDs and DVDs into these useful and pretty wall pouches! They’re also a great way to use up those small scraps of fabric you have lying around. There are so many fun uses for these… office supplies, pencils, dry erase markers, coupons, small notes… the ideas are endless. One thing is for sure, it’s a great way to upcycle all those discs you’ve had lying around forever. This is just one of many ideas we have, such as how to “Make a Clock from a DVD” or “Quick DIY Bookends from CDs“. Check out all our CD & DVD Crafts here!
Recycled CDs Pouch Supplies
- CDs or DVDs
- Material Scraps
- Hot Glue
- Thumb tacks, white or silver or brass
- Wire cutters
- Patterns, free below
The basics of how to make your recycled CDs wall pouches are below. You can look at our photos to see different styles. The sky is the limit on design!
Use our free pattern to cut the back piece of your disc.
Following the circle of the disk dab on hot glue around the back edge and wrap your material around carefully. We suggest doing it on 1 to 2 inch intervals then going back around and pulling down the unglued sections to help give a smooth edge.
PULL THE MATERIAL SNUGLY as you go. This also assures a smooth edge.
If there are large pieces of material on the back, snip them off to reduce bulk.
Add ribbon or felt for a hanger.
Using our free pattern which is a tiny bit smaller than the CD, trace onto some felt. This will cover the back of your pouch.
Glue your backing piece onto the back of your pouch.
Take a piece of felt that will be the pouch and set it in place. We used pinking shears on the top edge. You want to allow for the pouch to stick out a little.
Place any small item in the middle to hold up the pouch then put a dab of hot glue on each of the top corners to hold it in place.
Remove your item and turn the CD over and carefully trim around the edge.
Glue the remaining edge to your CD.
We cut out an image from our material to glue to the front of our pouch.
You can also cut an angled pocket as shown. This effect was done for the version with a flower on the front of it.
You would now continue as above in attaching and cutting your pouch.
Cut out your flower pieces to glue on or you can make your own!
For the metal brads shown on two of the pouches, take wire cutters and cut off the point of thumbtacks.
Glue the thumbtack tops to your pouch for a nice effect.
For less than $4 you can make this lovely little sugar bowl. Not only is it inexpensive and simple to create, you can customize to match your own kitchen! The pots and glass bowl can be found at a Dollar store or the local Walmart. We filled ours with Xylitol as that’s what we use instead of sugar. You can also check out our other upcycling ideas!
Sugar Bowl Supplies
- 4″ Clay flower pot (this was the best size to fit a standard round bowl )
- Round decor bowl. (Dollar Store or Walmart in the craft section.)
- Hot Glue
- Printable flower download (optional)
- 2″ wing nut from hardware store (optional to make it look like a candy jar)
- Small wood ball or knob for top.
Glue on a large wing nut if desired.
Adding a vinyl or paper flower can be tricky on the curved surface. Vinyl works best.
During those sleepless nights as parents, we never saw this person coming out of those troubled times. Nor did we see how close our relationship would be. And though at the time we would have opted out at any given moment, we would not trade any piece of the person she is because of those experiences and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t either.
When I think back on my life it does appear to be the really hard times that I grew and learned from. That seems to be part of the human condition as a quite I once saw validated: “Pain Instructs”. It also seems to be how we learn to be less judgmental. We only put ourselves in another’s shoes when we’ve had to walk in them ourselves. Like I said, on this journey, Roy and I also learned a great deal and became better people. Roy talked about one such lesson in “How I Learned to Never Judge a Book By It’s Cover.” Below are a few of the tips that we attribute to why things turned out so well for all concerned.
Tips for Parents
- Know your kids. Know who their friends are, where they are, what they are studying in school etc.
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day talking with and focusing only on them, without judgement.
- Give unconditional love. No matter what they do you love them, even if you don’t love their actions.
- When you have to discipline do it out of purpose, not anger.
- Shower your kids with love and acceptance every chance you get.
- Do not yell or use physical violence in any situation. Walk away until you can be calm.
- Do not be condescending. Be as logical as you can. And yes, that’s hard to do.
- Never, ever give up.
Our daughter told us in later years that even when things were at their worst she knew we were there for her. It didn’t matter what she had done she could come to us when she needed too. We were her safe haven. This is not about condoning bad behavior. This is about unconditional love for your child. Some of these kids will experience incredibly harsh aspects of life. Knowing that mom and dad are there no matter what they do, will save them.
Obviously there are some serious dangers depending on what your child is doing. All you can do is the best you can to keep them safe. (Roy used to nail her windows shut so she could not get out at night!) The worst can of course happen. But by far the largest portion of these kids grow up without serious damage. Keep that in mind.
This beautiful DIY chandelier is made from $3 foam board. It makes a wonderful accent to any room. We’ve got a free pattern in two sizes. You can hang it as is or add a little bling. We used some pieces from an old regular chandelier for the one shown.
If you’re into chandeliers check out our Ceiling Fan to Thrift Store Chandelier Makeover!
DIY Chandelier Supplies
- Foam board (These smaller size sheets work for both sizes of chandeliers.) Get a good quality foam board as cheaper types will not paint well.
- Utility knife (We used a Fiskar Fingertip Knife)
- Hot glue gun
- Paint of choice (We used gray paint though not this exact shade.)
- Rub N Buff (optional. We used silver Rub N Buff.)
- 1/4″ dowel This 12″ size will work for both sizes of chandeliers
- Screw eyelet for hanging
- Bling of choice. Teardrops. (We used 8 pieces from an old chandelier.)
Cut the pattern out. If you’re making the larger size, piece the pattern together. Trace the pattern four times onto the foam board.
Carefully cut out the pieces using a utility knife. Try to make very smooth even cuts.
After cutting it out, use the knife to even up edges or remove any pieces that stick out. This takes some time but will make the final chandelier look much nicer.
We used a grey paint that wasn’t too thick. Thick paint might bubble the paper. We wanted a light coat. Make sure you go over the edges of each piece.
After the paint dries, rub some Rub N Buff on very lightly using a dry tissue or paper towel. Do not coat it thickly. Just use light strokes.
Cut the dowel to fit the chandelier. Add an eye screw into the end for hanging.
Paint the dowel using the same method as your foam.
Lay the dowel against one foam piece and place small dabs of hot glue where it will attach. Press onto the foam.
Add the second piece of foam in the same manner.
Continue on with the third and fourth section.
You can leave it as is or add some bling. We had some crystal teardrops lying around so we attached four larger ones and four of the smaller ones.
We’ll show you how to make a DIY dog bed from a suitcase! It’s a fun project that you can style however you like. With the attached toy holder made from a mail bin, your pup will love it!
The one shown is made from a military shipping case which was perfect, but any straight sided suitcase without padding would work. You just need half of it. We’ve got step by step photos for you to follow along with. Once you’ve completed this project you can make a set of matching personalized dog bowls!
DIY Dog Bed Supplies
- 1/2 rectangle type suitcase or military shipping container (found at thrift store)
- 2″ wooden dowel cut down for legs
- 2×4 (cut down for inside brace)
- Peg board (cut down for pillow top)
- Old pillow
- Thick soft fabric to cover the pillow stuffing.
- Button Kit ( to make matching buttons from same material.
- Spare old buttons for the bottom of the tufting under the peg board
- Spray paint
- Staple gun
- Mail holder bin (attached for toys)
- Clear coat
I found these military shipping containers at a thrift store.
Tape off any areas that you don’t want painted. I liked the vintage look of the hinges so I decided to keep them. Then spray paint the container your color of choice. I recommend at least two coats.
Measure the interior of the container and cut your peg board to fit. Try to align the holes evenly from each edge so that you can accurately measure for your buttons when it comes time to do the tufting. Uneven holes mean uneven buttons.
I used a reciprocating saw to cut the shape but a circular saw would work just as well.
An old standard-sized pillow was used to create the padding. Depending on the size of your container you may need to remove some of the filling from the pillow or use a larger one. Either way, cutting a small hole in the pillow will allow you to reach a hand in and reshape the filling, which can sometimes be uneven and bunched up.
Be sure to check both sides as you staple to ensure that the pillow lies evenly. Adjust the filling as you go if needed.
Be sure to pull the pillow tight around the edges. If too much of the filling wraps around the edges as you staple, then your bed top may not fit into the container.
Trim off the excess material after stapling to prepare for the fabric.
Folding over the edges of the fabric prior to stapling gives the bottom a more finished look. I would recommend placing staples no more than 1/4″ apart to ensure they hold up over time.
Measure for buttons and circle the peg holes prior to tufting to ensure they are evenly aligned. Then thread a long needle with a thicker thread and tie an old button to the end. Thread the needle up through the marked holes on the bottom and then re-insert it about 1/8″ away from initial point, back through the same peg hole beneath. You’ll have to press down hard on your pillow padding to get it through. You’ll want to do this twice, adding your finished button to the top on your second round. Once you have pulled it back out of the bottom for the second time, the attached button gives you leverage to pull the string tight and create your tufted look. Then wrap the string around the button a few times, tie it off and cut.
Second time out, string through your button and reinsert.
Measure the length of your container and cut two 2×4’s to fit inside of it lengthwise. If you are using a shallower container you may need to use 2×3’s or even 2×2’s. Keep in mind that they should rest on the bottom of the container and their tops should be at least 1″ below the top of the container.
Outline where your support beams will go and drill holes so that you can attach them with screws.
With the support beams firmly mounted to the interior of the container, place the pillow inside. It should be a tight fit so be sure you don’t tear the fabric as you press it into place. The peg board bottom should rest firmly on the supports below. If everything lines up, remove the pillow and prepare to install the feet.
I opted for a simple 2″ dowel for the feet, cut down to 3″ lengths.
Measure and mark where the feet will go. Drill holes through the container to attach the feet. If you purchase self-tapping screws you may be able to screw the legs on directly through the container depending on what materials the container is made of. Being that mine was a metal-like fiber glass I opted to pre-drill small holes and used the self-tapping screws
Once complete, spray paint the legs and apply a clear coat to protect the bed from scratches. I would recommend at least 2 coats to hold up against little paws and the occasional cleaning. I suggest using clear coat over it when finished for added protection.
Right before I put my top back on I opted to attach a small mail bin that I picked up at a craft store for $5. This gave me a place for my dog toys and a name plate. I spray painted it the same white and installed it to one side of my container by drilling holes and using some old, small bolts.
Add some whimsy to your home with this DIY tree stump stool. Do you remember using paper mache in grammar school? (We put it over balloons we had blown up.) Well, that’s what creates the stump effect. It takes a little time but overall it’s easy to do and it’s one of those things that looks wonderful but you don’t need to be incredibly artistic to create. As always we’ve got some detailed photos and printable instructions to help you. This is another unique project created by our daughter Jennifer.
Tree Stump Stool Supplies
- 5 gallon pail Empty pails can be purchased at hardware stores and in the Walmart paint section.
- Small piece of wood (1 square foot of MDF (medium-density fiberboard or plywood)
- 2” flat head nut and bolt
- Jigsaw (to cut wood)
- Drill (for center hole)
- White glue
- Paint – dark brown, light brown, tan, black
- Toilet paper tubes
- Masking tape
- Clear satin or gloss finish, spray or brush on
Tree Stump Stool Instructions (pdf)
Remove handle from the bucket. Set bucket on piece of wood and trace around the base. Cut out the circle with a jigsaw.
Turn the bucket upside down and place wood piece on what is the bottom of the bucket but will be the top of the stool. Drill a hole through the center to fit the bolt through. Insert bolt and tighten nut onto the bolt from beneath (The nut should sink into wood and be flush with top of wood.
Gather toilet paper rolls and stuff them with newspaper – We used eight.
Choose where you want your branches and thick roots and use masking tape to apply toilet paper tubes to the bucket
Rip off a 1 to 2 foot piece of foil and loosely roll it up into a tube – press foil into seams between toilet paper tubes and bucket to smooth out connections and fill gaps. Tape into place.
Using the same foil forms, compress foil to make longer, thinner ropes to attach where you want the “veins” or more depth. We also folded some of the tubes of foil into a triangular shape with the wide part attached to the top lip or the bottom lip of the bucket to give it more depth as well. Tape down everything securely to avoid gaps and to cover all foil since it is rough when crinkled. TIP: the more you compress your foil and newspaper, the sturdier the outside of the stool will be.
Cut newspaper into strips – most of ours were larger strips, about 1-2” x 5-6”, but we also cut up some 1”x2” pieces for the areas that had more dips, grooves and edges because they lie flatter.
Mix your paper mache adhesive: We used 1.5 cups of Mod Podge, ½ cup of white glue and ¾ cup water. (Water and flour work fine as paper mache but it can leave a powdery residue which will end up using more paint to cover later since it is so absorbent. It also takes longer to dry.
Dip newspaper into mixture, wipe excess off both sides and apply to entire surface of bucket and tubes, layering over one another as you go – this is the most time consuming part as it took about 2 hours (we only did 1 layer). Try to make it as smooth as possible.
TIP: For long term use, let the layer dry and apply multiple coats of paper mache. This not only makes the paper exterior stronger, but it allows you to be more of a perfectionist since you can trim or sand off imperfections between coats. If you do more than one coat you only need to let the coats dry enough to not be tacky before applying the next coat.
Let the final layer dry thoroughly. (That means overnight – maybe longer if you did multiple coats of paper mache.) Paint the top of stump and top of any “cut branches” with the tan paint, coming about an inch down the sides.
Paint the rest of the stump with a dark brown, coming up to the inch of tan but not covering it.
The overlay of tan allows you to pull out a smaller brush and, using the same dark brown, paint up to the edges leaving “cracks” of tan. This gives it a more realistic look.
For the top of the stump and branches water down some of your light brown and wipe it around the edges of the circle – use your hand or a damp paper towel to wipe it off in a circular motion so that it gives it some light shading around the edges. Using the same watered down brown, take a thinner brush and draw a line around the top of the stool, about ½” in from the edge.
Continue drawing circles inward, about ¼” to ½” apart until you reach the center. Repeat with cut branches.
Once that is done mix the dark brown with some black to darken it and paint in the “dips” and grooves of the stump. You can be far from imperfect with this as it’s just a base coat for shading. We watered down the darker paint a little and put it into every dip and groove, outlining all of the forms we had built up with foil and tape.
Using a light brown you can now make it resemble a real tree. Notice how we did it in the photos, painting pieces that don’t touch, leaving the dark brown background. This is easy to do and does not require any exact drawing skills.
Mix the dark brown and black again, this time diluting with water. Go back over the light brown you painted on the stump, applying your watered down darker paint to the edges of each shape. Wipe with a paper towel if needed. Since the paint is diluted and the background is the same darker color, it’s almost impossible to mess this up. Just keep building up the layers of darker paint around the lighter brown bark you painted until it looks good to you. OPTIONAL METHOD: At this point you could actually bypass this part as a whole and just dip a damp paper towel into the watered down dark paint solution and rub it around where you see fit. You’re just giving it the perception of depth and shadow.
Lastly, let it dry and spray with two coats of Clear Coat or other satin or gloss finish. (We used satin.) This makes it look more professional and also allows for cleaning the surface easier if needed.
Your tree stump stool can also be used as a small table.
Your little dogs can be part of the Halloween festivities with these darling small dog Halloween costume ideas. All you need is some inexpensive craft foam sheets, glue and Velcro. We’ve got all the pattern basics you can download. Keep in mind that these are general patterns as each dog is unique so you’ll have to adjust them for your little guy or gal. These are super lightweight.
And of course a special thank you to our daughter Amy’s little dog Barnaby who was beyond tolerant in trying on our costumes. He got a treat after each outfit though so he was a pretty happy camper.
The Mad Hatter, Wizard and Superman costumes were the creation of my daughter Jennifer and her son, our grandson, Ashton.
While visiting us for a week they spent an entire day brainstorming ideas, created the patterns and then assembling the costumes.
Supplies for Dog Halloween Costume Ideas
NOTES: These are for small dogs only. Our little pug was 14″ tall from the floor to his shoulder and his was 11″ around his neck. The patterns are general in nature so take them and adjust as needed for your own dog. Cut them out on paper first to test the size. There are specific notes for each costume below. We used hot glue for our foam. This takes a minute for the glue to cool and hold well and must be held together during that time. Clothespins work perfect for this. The directors are minimal as we’ve relied on photos to show you how they go together.
- Craft Foam Sheets, 12″x 18″ size. (Make sure you get the larger size)
- Glue, we used hot glue
- Elastic for hats
- Cloth tape measure
- Clothespins OPTIONAL (These are a huge help in holding pieces together while they dry.)
- Markers, glitter, glue (Optional)
Pattern Packet Download
IMPORTANT: Craft foam is very light weight but even so many dogs do not like having things on their heads. Please don’t force a hat onto your dog if it bothers them. You always want to place your dogs comfort as a priority.
Print out our patterns. Measure your dog around the neck, body etc. Cut out test versions on paper, adjusting as necessary for your dog. Once you’ve got the right size, cut out the pieces on your foam. Pay attention to which pieces have to be cut on the fold.
Mad Hatter Dog Halloween Costume
This costume is fairly detailed. Remember, the patterns are one size and you will need to adjust them for your dog.
Wizard (Gandalf) Dog Halloween Costume
The hat on this one is a bit tricky. After measuring for your dog, cut out templates on paper to test how they go together. We did a paint wash on ours but that’s not necessary.
This hat needed extra support as shown by this circular piece we glued on underneath.
Flower Dog Halloween Costume
Necktie Dog Halloween Costume
You can try it without the brace piece.
This is with the brace piece added.
Dog Halloween Costume
This goes together the same as the wizard cape. Cover the seams with ribbon.
Superman’s curl is optional.
Bat and Angel Wings Dog Halloween Costume
This is a very simple costume. We did learn that the wings tended to slip around the dog so it needs an extra brace from the body piece to the dogs collar to hold it into place. We also added a pipe cleaner halo to the angel wings but it was a bit wobbly.
It was fun watching Barnaby run around with this on. The wings will flop up and down as if he was trying to take flight. This one did need the added brace as shown on the pattern to help keep it from slipping.
Titled Images & Collages
Despite the name, “Trash the Dress” is really about taking photos in very unusual situations while wearing your wedding dress. Should you choose, some of those ways can be fairly dramatic… and the dress might not make it out alive. But others are not so final in outcome and can even have very personal and lasting meaning.
No matter which route you choose, we’ve got a wonderful unique list of trash the dress ideas below that you can read and download plus a printable planning sheet and the list of ideas to help you decide how you want to handle this special tradition. Then you can take a peek at our daughter Jennifer’s beautiful Trash the Dress session below.
- Rollin’ In It Squirt paint onto a large area covered in plastic sheeting and roll in it.
- Hit Me With Your Best Shot! Get shot with paint ball guns.
- Go Hog Wild! Roll in the mud.
- Back to the Future: The bride and groom write messages to their future selves all over the dress in permanent sharpie markers.
- Hanging With the Homies Spray paint it with one large piece of graffiti art.
- Ease On Down the Road Ride a three wheeler through the dirt or mud.
- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Let little kids surround you and finger paint all over it.
- Out On a Limb! Climb a tree.
- Here Kitty, Kitty… Let kittens attach themselves to the lower part of the dress.
- Piece of Cake! Sit on the ground eating a huge piece of your wedding cake, chocolate is best, with cake and icing smeared all over your face and the dress.
- Can I Have Your Autograph? Everyone at the wedding or reception autographs your dress with sharpie markers. You can buy them in various colors too!
- Taking Root Compost your dress and plant a tree with it. (Natural fabrics such as wool, cotton, hemp etc.)
- Last Kiss Have guests put on red lipstick and cover the dress in kisses.
- Security Blanket Have a quilting party and cut it up and make a quilt out of the pieces.
- Don’t Burst My Bubble Sit in a bathtub overflowing with bubbles.
- New Beginnings Make a christening or blessing gown or suit for a new baby.
- For the Birds Sitting on the ground with the dress spread out, cover yourself with bread or birdseed near a pond with tame ducks or near a spot with lots of pigeons.
- No Strings Attached Give guests silly string. They squirt the bride with it while photos are taken.
- Full of Hot Air Attach helium filled balloons all over and around the dress.
- I’m Kinda Buried Right Now Bury the bride in a semi filled shallow hole with the dress sticking out in places.
- High Five! Guests dip hands in paint and place handprints all over the brides dress.
- You Light Up My Life String twinkle lights all around the bride.
- Head Over Heels Bride climbs monkey bars, hangs upside down. (Make sure the bride has underwear on. Ü)
- In Your Face Everyone tosses cream filled foil pie plates at the bride.
- Over My Dead Body Photograph the bride in a graveyard at night.
- Peeping Tom Eye Holes are cut in the dress and the groom gets under it and peers out.
- Come Rain Or Shine Photograph the bride in a rainstorm.
- Tie the Knot Bride is tied up completely with rope.
- A Drop in the Bucket Give guests buckets of water. Take photos at everyone pitches the water onto the bride.
- Zombie Apocalypse The bride is made to look like a Zombie with Halloween makeup and the dress is likewise converted to Zombie wear.
- Close To My Heart Purchase pendants that allow you to put photos in them. One’s with clear fronts are perfect! Put pieces of our wedding dress into them to keep and/or give to female family members.
Download Planning & Idea Kit
Contains a pdf of all the above ideas plus a sheet to plan your own Trash the Dress.
Jennifer was married on our property on a secluded hilltop in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She had a beautiful Fairyland Wedding which we wrote about previously.
For her Trash the Dress she choose the nearby Gulpha Gorge which is a stunning area complete with a creek. Her sister Amy did the photography.
Looking for something different to do for your wedding or reception? Invite the fairies! (Well, not literally though we can’t promise that they won’t attend.) Our daughter decided to have a fairyland themed outdoor wedding and reception combined. So we’re sharing her ideas and hints on how to add a little magic to your own special day. Plus we’ve got lots of photos!
To have a country type fairy themed wedding with a casual, fun feel and to feed the guests a full meal and have it all cost less than $2000. (You could do a fairy wedding for less if you desired using some of these great ideas and adapting them.)
The theme colors were taken entirely from this pieces of artwork entitled Oak Fairy by Josephine Wall. This is a great way to choose color pallets. Find some artwork you love the feel and energy of and use it as a focal point for colors. This artwork was perfect in content and colors for what she wanted.
The beautiful wedding dress you see cost…..<drum roll>….. $200 including shipping. She ordered it from a company/seller in China named mz_ioc on eBay. They have a large selection of styles and prices, all very inexpensive. The quality was wonderful. They take wedding dress photos from catalogs and custom make a “similar” version (not exact) to your measurements. She said when she received hers she had to adjust the sides just a bit to make it fit right – but it was worth every penny! Since she was going for a specific color scheme she bought some craft store flowers and pieced together a small bouquet to attach to the front of the dress.
Foot Attire: She chose to go barefoot as that seemed to fit the setting.
Groom & Ring Bearer Clothes
The Groom wore an inexpensive white linen shirts and tan pants to keep it simple as did Jennifer’s son Ashton who was the Ring Bearer. Purple fabric was purchased to make them matching vests.
Rather than the standard ring pillow a small artificial bonsai tree was purchased from craft store to hang the rings from as the ring bearer brought them up.
Goodies for Guests
A dozen fairy wings were made for the gals and a dozen head wreaths for the guys. Those who wanted to wear them could!
Fairy Wings: The wings were purchased online through an inexpensive party supply store. (We could not find the same one but this eBay seller from China has some smaller 19″ wide one’s that would work.) As the wings were not the right color they were easily spray painted. Three colors from the color scheme were used to give a gradient effect. Some glitter spray was also used. The wings came with cheap flowers in the center of each one which were removed before spraying. Then nicer flower’s that matched were glued to the center instead.
The wings were tied to the back of random chairs and the garlands were hung over random chairs.
Head Garland: The garlands were made from a long single strand pip garland 18′ long. It was cut into pieces and curled around two or three times to create the head garland then tied together.
Gift Bags: Gift bags were made to give everyone who attended as they left. They held a small triangular tea bag with a leaf tag , little mirrors from the crafts store with “Happily Ever After” in vinyl on the glass , cookies in the shape of sunflowers, and a few other things we can’t remember.
The wedding was held in Roy and my yard which was surrounded by trees. Jennifer did the following to turn the back yard into fairyland.
Lanterns: Battery operated paper lanterns were purchased to hang in the tree’s for evening time. Small paper butterfly silhouettes in the theme color were cut, bent so the wings would stand out a little and then glued onto the lanterns.
Fabric: Jennifer found a good deal on some wonderful silky fabric in her colors. She purchased yards and yards of it. Some of it had sparkles. It was perfect and was used to drape in various places such as the doors and hanging as backdrops from ropes tied between trees.
Photography: The brides sister, who is a professional photographer, took the staged photos. A couple of disposable cameras were placed on each table so guest could take photos for the bride and groom.
Doors Backdrop: An old set of doors were used as the backdrop for the ceremony and for photos afterwards. These can easily be found at larger thrift stores. They were draped with some fabric and a simple plaque was made with “Happily Ever After” on it to hang above the doors. Half curtain rods were stuck into the ground on each side of the door to drape fabric onto.
Tables, Chairs & Awning Tents: These were rented.
Table Decorations: Tablecloths were purchased from Wal-Mart in a matching color. Standing fairy dolls were ordered for each table. They were given as gifts at the end to those who helped. Flat clear marble pebbles were purchased at a thrift store to sprinkle on the tables. Real flowers were on each table along with small matching candles that could be lit at night.
As they didn’t want to be cliché they decided to forgo the wedding cake and put the money into having wonderful choices of foods. Ribs and sides from a local mom and pop barbeque joint. There was also a bar. Cheesecake for the “cakes” and bins of soda, beer, etc. The goal was to have people feel comfortable helping themselves to anything they wanted to eat and we wanted them to enjoy it. (Cause who REALLY likes white flavorless butter cream frosting and fondant?!!?)
As Jennifer’s dad is an entertainer and both her brothers play guitar and piano they were the entertainment.
The fire pit was already in our yard already. It was not lit but it made a nice focal point.
Material draped over rope tied to trees.
Even our little dog Maggie wore wings.
A small set of wings was made for Jennifer’s niece.
The flowers Jennifer added to her wedding dress.
Me and my 81 year old mother.
Jennifer and son Ashton.
Our entire family.
Jennifer’s Son Ashton
Jennifer’s Niece Alyssa Mae
This is another idea courtesy of our daughter Jennifer who’s creativity knows no bounds. We are both fans of twinkle lights. She was visiting Roy and I for a week and I awoke one morning to find these lit up on a shelf. The supplies? A string of twinkle lights, some coffee filters, raffia and some green floral tape. The result is a beautiful upcycle decor item. I had her reproduce the steps while I photographed them. Each flower takes about 1 minute to make and as you can see the result is gorgeous.
Twinkle Light Notes: Regular twinkle lights are very inexpensive but they do burn out eventually. I’ve started buying LED Twinkle Lights. They cost a little bit more but don’t burn out which is nice for projects like this. You can also buy the battery operated one’s that don’t need to be plugged in. All types are linked to Amazon at the very bottom of this post. I buy my LED and battery operated ones there. The cheap one’s can be found during the holidays at the dollar stores or pretty much any store.
- Twinkle Lights, any length. (I prefer LED s)
- Coffee Filters (Buy the 1 to 4 cup size)
- Raffia Ribbon (On a spool not in the bags. The ribbon holds a curl.)
- Green Floral Tape
Each flower takes about 1 minute to make once you get the method down. Scrunching the filter correctly is important so that it does not pull/apart easily and is sealed in place when you add the floral tape. You could possibly add a little hot glue to help hold the scrunch in place if needed. Just test a few out to see what works best for you.
This is exactly where I found these lights when I woke the morning after she made them as a surprise. I couldn’t have picked a more perfect spot. That’s Roy and me on our wedding day.
Turn an old wooden chair into something magical! While my daughter Jennifer was visiting us she helped me do some fun and unique decorating. She found this awesome old chair at a local thrift store and brought it home. She then proceeded to recover, paint and decorate it in a variety of ways giving it an enchanted twist. My only request was that it have a tree on it somewhere so she painted the gold one you see on the back. It’s been quite a conversation piece not to mention just a pretty fun place to sit.
This is about one of those times when everything comes together to create a little magic. It happened to our daughter Jennifer and her sister Amy, who took the photos you see. Jennifer wrote it up in her own words.
After returning to my parents from a shopping trip with Amy, we pulled up in the car and my young son Ashton saw a bird lying on its side in the flower garden in front of my parent’s window. I asked him what had happened and he said that a bird had hit the window and fallen down. I went inside to ask my mother and she said that this happens on occasion. Amy, Ash and I went back out front to see if we could do something to help it. The bird was lying in the dirt, shaking, and its right wing was sticking up as though it were hurt. To my surprise, the bird allowed me to pick it up and hold it, so long as I didn’t play with it’s right wing too much, seeing as it seemed to be hurt and would shake it away from me when I touched it.
Amy took her shoes off and stood on the earth out front, holding the bird in her hands, and we all took several deep breaths, telling Ashton to help by visualizing a bright light coming up from the earth, through our hands and into the injured bird. After Amy did this for several minutes she handed the bird to me. I took off my shoes and took it out to walk in the yard. Amazingly, this beautiful wild bird sat calmly in my hands as I walked around. It allowed me to stroke its back, clean dirt out of its eyes and even push its wing back into the proper position.
After several minutes, the bird was ready to get up and then stood on my fingers or in my palm as we continued to walk around. Amy, being the photographer of the family, went inside and got her camera. She set up a backdrop in the front yard and I came over with the bird, still sitting calmly on my fingers, to have our pictures taken. The bird allowed me to hand it back and forth to Amy and didn’t seem to mind in the least. After we were done with photos, a good twenty minutes later, Ashton came up to me and asked if we could keep the bird. I told him that the bird had to go home, so Ashton asked if he could name it before it left. I told him yes, and he said “ok. His name is Sherman. Go home Sherman.” And with that, the bird flew off into the trees instantly. Almost as if it were waiting for us to say goodbye.
Jennifer & the Wild Bird. Taken By Her Sister Amy
This platter is ALL PLASTIC and cost me $2.00 to make. All it took was a set of clear plastic plates and a set of cups from the dollar store. (My daughter Jennifer helped with the decor ideas for this one.) Grab some photos, paper and ribbon and you can create a variety of these. I put flowers in mine but you can put anything you want inside the cups! Wouldn’t this bee a wonderful Mother’s Day gift from the kids? Or an inexpensive “Thank You” for someone. It’s also perfect for any holiday just use the appropriate colors, photos and message. Spark up your imagination and go crazy!
- 2 Clear Plastic Plates
- 2 Clear Plastic Cups (9 oz size)
- Colored Paper
- Fake flowers etc. for center.
- Hot Glue Gun (or other glue of choice)
Be very careful on gluing the cups down or it gets messy looking. You can always put some trim around the base if needed to cover any flaws. Place anything you like inside the center!
Write whatever message you like on the heart.
Here are some other ways you can design your platter!
You might remember our black cat set we made from 2×4’s for Halloween. These are some other color kitty cats that you can display year round! A Siamese, a Tabby and Calico, though you can of course paint any breeds you wish. This is another craft designed by our very creative daughter Jennifer.
It was an appropriate craft for her to help with as she’s been a cat lover since she was very young. She and her husband and son, all animal lovers, currently have four cats and two dogs. She works at a pet rescue.
I made this set from 1x4s but 2x4s work great too! You can make them pretty much any height you wish but I’ve included a pdf pattern you can download for the sizes shown.
And a special thank you to my 83 year old dad who cuts all my wood patterns for me!
Download Free PDF Pattern
The ball of yarn was made from a wood ball painted and wrapped with brown string hot glued in place.
Paper fortune tellers have been around for decades. We called them “Cootie Catchers” when I was a kid. I made this one just for Halloween. My daughter Jennifer did all the artwork shown. I’ve provided a downloadable pdf that you can print, cut, fold and use. There are four versions. A colored version and a black and white version you can color yourself. There are two of each, one with the fortune inside and one that is blank so you can write your own. Below are the folding instructions and how to use them.
Supplies for Cootie Catcher Template
- PDF template below.
- Colored pencils (If you make the black and white one.)
Download the Free Printable PDF (Comes with all versions)
Folding Your Cootie Catcher Template
NOTE: Fold the opposite sides as shown as you go along. It lines up better that way. Make sharp clean folds.
How To Use
Using Your Cootie Catcher Template
(Also on pdf)
- Have someone ask a yes or no question. Then choose a symbol, witch, jack, ghost or skull.
- Spell out the name of the symbol as you move the fortune teller back and forth
- Have them pick a number from the spot it opened. Move fortune teller that many times.
- Have them pick a new number and open flap of it to get their answer
Who doesn’t need to learn to love themselves just a little bit more? This is especially true for children and teens though many adults need a refresher course! Our daughter Jennifer wrote this book to illustrate the importance of doing just that: loving one’s self.
It’s beautifully illustrated by her and her sister Amy and is available on Amazon in an 8 x 10 full color paperback or for Kindle. (The Kindle version is only $2.99 and is free for Prime members.)
I decided to do something extra special in my living room. I wanted it to literally feel magical to all who entered it. Now I’m pretty good at knowing how I want something to feel, but actually turning it into real life can be difficult for me. Luckily I have Jennifer. She’s my daughter who has helped me redo many a room in my homes. This time, however, she was not coming for a visit anytime soon. If she was going to help she’d have to do it all long distance. I wasn’t worried.
I wanted the room to be whimsical and have a lot of color. I also wanted to try and use mostly items I already had. So I told Jenny my general ideas and then proceeded with the standard drill where I email her a panorama shot of the room as it is. Then I take photos of some of my decor and furniture that’s available or in storage and send those so she knows what she has to work with. Below are her first sketch ideas and then a digital version of my living room she created completely using her computer and a graphic program.
HER INITIAL SKETCHES HAD ME PRETTY EXCITED.
THE BEFORE SHOT PANORAMA I SENT JENNIFER
JENNY PULLED MY PANORAMA SHOT INTO HER GRAPHIC PROGRAM AND WORKED IT OVER. EVERYTHING YOU SEE, INCLUDING THE WALL COLOR, WAS DONE BY HER ON HER COMPUTER.
Now MY work begins!