Sunday, November 30, 2014

Milk Bottle Snowman

I found some vintage style milk bottles at Michaels the other day.  I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with them, but I played around awhile and this is what I came up with - a Frosty the Snowman candle!

Isn't he cute!  And, he's so easy to make.... this is what you'll need:

1.  Etch the bottle:
To give Frosty his special look, I filled the bottle with etchall® dip'n etch, glass etching liquid from B&B Products.  Leave for 20 mins then pour the dip'n etch back into its container.  Rinse the bottle thoroughly. Now to etch the outside of the bottle.  You'll need a plastic container a little taller and a little wider than the bottle.  Fill the bottle with marbles, pebbles, or something that will stop it from floating, then place it into your container.  Fill the container with water up to the neck of the bottle. Carefully remove the bottle.  The water level will sink.  Mark the water level on the outside of the container, then empty the water.  Dry the container thoroughly then fill with dip'n etch up to the mark.  Carefully place the milk bottle into the container. The etching liquid will rise to the occasion.  Let stand for 20 mins.  Remove the bottle, rinse thoroughly then dry with a soft cloth.  Pour the dip'n etch back into the dip'n etch container to be used again at a later time.

2.  Nose:
Holding the brush upright, dip the rounded end of a paintbrush handle into a puddle of orange glass paint.  Make a dot on the glass where you want his nose to be, then without removing the handle from the surface, slide it downwards and to one side.  Practice on a piece of wax paper first.

3.  Eyes:
Using a paintbrush handle, make 2 black dots on each side of the nose.

4.  Mouth
Dip the paintbrush handle into black glass paint then place the first dot where the center of the mouth will be.  Continue to add 3 dots on one side.  Each dot will be smaller than the preceding dot. To add dots to the other side, dip the handle into black paint then make the first dot on wax paper, then add 3 dots to the opposite side of the center dot. 

5. Tea Light:
Use the paint dauber to lightly sponge black paint onto the bottom of the tea light.

6.  Hat:
Cut a strip of black felt about 1" wide and long enough to go around the neck of the bottle. Glue the overlapped ends together.  To make the brim, cut a 3" circle of black felt with a hole at the center large enough to place over the tall part of the hat. Place the LED tea light upside down inside the top of the hat.  It is a little larger than the bottle opening, so it won't fall in.  Don't glue in place, or you won't be able to replace it when the battery eventually wears out. Decorate the hat if you like.  Frosty the snowman never looked so good! Especially in the evening when his light is turned on.


There are lots of other glass containers you can use for this technique.  What will you make?  

See the post below this one for more, easy to make etched gifts.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Friday, November 28, 2014

99 Handmade Holiday Gifts - Etched Glass Votives

There's always something special about candlelight around the holidays.  Use on tables, mantels above the fireplace, in guest bathrooms, or give them as a hostess gift.  Votives are relatively inexpensive and I buy the boxes of clear ones (without the wax candles) from Michaels using my 40-50% off coupon if they're not already on sale, plus the LED tea lights.  I do like to jazz them up a bit though so I used a sheet of peel off (or outline stickers) and dip'n etch, from B&B products to etch star designs on each votive.  As you know, I like EZPZ and these fit the bill perfectly.

To create the negative star design, I placed star stickers around each glass, then realized that after removing all the stars, the leftover sheet had a pretty neat design on it too!  That's what I used to create the carpet of etched stars on the other votive.

This is what you do:

1. Carefully remove the sticker backing sheet from the carrier sheet. You can discard, or use this to etch the stars as seen on the sample above by placing it carefully around the outside of the glass votive.

2.  Roll the carrier sheet back away from the star stickers and the points of the stars will pop up, making it easier to remove them with the tip of a craft knife, or a pick tool.  Decorate the outside of the glass with stars.

3. Now to etch. You'll need a plastic container that's just a little larger than the glass votive.  Fill the votive with something to weigh it down (I use glass marbles) then place it inside your plastic container.  Fill with water until it almost reaches the top of the glass then remove the glass.  Mark the water level in the container.  This is so you'll know how much etching liquid to use.  Empty the water then dry the container and the glass votive thoroughly.  (Use a votive without stickers for this step.) Fill to the line with dip'n etch then carefully place the glass votive into the container.  The etching liquid will rise to the occasion to the top of the votive.  Let sit for 20 mins, then repeat with your second glass votive.  etchall® Dip'n etch from B&B products is re-usable, so you can use it multiple times.

4.  Remove the votive from your container, rinse well then dry with a soft cloth.  Remove the stickers to reveal your design.

CAUTION - Etchall dip'n etch is a permanent etching product.  It is very easy to use, but please read the directions on the container.  Do not let the liquid touch a surface you do not want to etch. I work on a laminate counter top, not granite for example, and my sink is stainless steel, not porcelain. Always use caution.

So here are the etched votives with their LED tea lights.  I put red cellophane around the inside of one of them.  It ended up looking a bit too pink for Christmas, but it was an idea worth trying! My granddaughter loves pink though, so it will look nice in her bedroom...........

Look for more Handmade Gifts from the 365 Days of Crafts,  99+ Handmade Holiday Gifts blog hop.  Find instructions by selecting the links below.  If you see projects you like, follow the designers on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram to keep up with their creations. You'll find gifts that are perfect for friends, family, teachers and almost everyone on your list. There are handmade food items, paper crafts, ornament ideas, sewn items, home decor and so much more.  Be sure to visit each blogger and see what they created.  There is also a giveaway for  a $100 Amazon Gift Card.  You can enter the giveaway by using Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.............

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Monday, November 24, 2014

Handmade Holiday Gifts - Christmas from the Beach

Life's a beach, even during the holidays.  I'm a shell collector and love creating with shells.  I've found all kinds washed up on the beaches I've visited and many of them have ended up as decorations in our home.  Have to admit however that I didn't collect these Helmet starfish.  These are from US Shell, and I found them at my local Michaels' store.  I have a shell mirror and a shell basket in our guest bathroom and since my sister and her husband are coming for Christmas, I thought it would be fun to add a small Christmas tree and it was easy to make! My sister has a "beachy" bathroom too, so this will be an additional gift to take home.

Here's what you need:

    •  Smoothfoam® cupcake shape
    •  5 Helmet Star fish (in graduating sizes large to small). You buy the larger ones in eaches, but there are packages of the smaller ones.
    •  2 Tiny Starfish (found in a package of assorted shells)
    •  Burlap ribbon
    •  Cool-temp glue sticks and glue gun

1. Glue the burlap ribbon around the cupcake shape for the base.
2. Glue the largest starfish to the top of the base then glue the others on top.
3. Glue two tiny starfish together (back to back) then glue to the top for the star.

Yep, it's that easy and it really does add that perfect little bit of merry to my bathroom beach theme!

These are the other shell projects:  The mirror was made by gluing a craft store mirror to the center of a Smoothfoam disc then adding shells around the edge.  To make the baseket, I glued clam shells around the outside of a Smoothfoam bowl.  Shells are surprisingly heavy, so Smoothfoam is the perfect surface for these pieces since it's very sturdy yet lightweight.


These are just a few of the Handmade Gifts from the 365 Days of Crafts 99+ Handmade Holiday Gifts Blog hop.  Look for more by selecting the links below.  If you see projects you like, follow the designers on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram to keep up with their creations. You'll find gifts that are perfect for friends, family, teachers and almost everyone on your list. There are handmade food items, paper crafts, ornament ideas, sewn items, home decor and so much more.  Be sure to visit each blogger and see what they created.  There is also a giveaway for  a $100 Amazon Gift Card.  You can enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy! Y'all come back now........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Etched Glass = Easy Gift Giving

I was looking thru a cabinet the other day for some Christmas CDs and came across this small, hand painted vase.  I was about to put it in the Goodwill box, but decided to improve it a bit.  It's not that I didn't like it, it's just that it could be so much prettier.   It's a busy time of year, so whatever I needed to do had to be quick and easy.  You don't need 3 guesses to know what I did........ yep, I filled it with etchall® dip'n etch.  It doesn't get much easier than that and I just love the "milk glass" look! 

As you can imagine, it's not going in the Goodwill box.  It will be an amazing gift for a friend, or neighbour!

So, next time you find a glass container, decorated or not, fill it with dip'n etch for a simple and elegant, upscale look...   


BTW, if you need to know how much dip'n etch you'll need to fill your glass container, fill it first with water, then pour the water into a measuring cup.  Dip'n etch comes in different sizes, but I use it a lot, so I buy the large container.  This etching product is re-usable, so after 15 minutes, pour it back into its container to use again, and again and again!  It lasts a very long time.  You can check the etchall Facebook page for holiday sale offers then purchase directly thru the "buy now" tab on their page, or click on their logo in my sidebar to go directly to the etchall website.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Review - Upcycled Jewelry, Bags, Belts and More

Do you remember the term "waste not, want not"?  or how about "one man's trash is another man's treasure"?  Sayings to remind us that it isn't always necessary to throw things away.

Upcycled Jewelry, Bags Belts and More  by Linda Peterson is full of ideas on how creative we can be with many of the day to day items we nonchalantly throw in the trash.  I've known Linda since the early 90's and have always admired her amazing creativity with products like Friendly Plastic, clay (she makes the cuuuutest clay figures and animals) and jewelry pieces.  Linda definitely put that creativity in overdrive when she created the projects for this book.  From soda can tabs and empty plastic soda bottles to bicycle chains and inner tubes, there's something for everyone here, but more importantly it makes each one of us think twice about throwing things away.......

My hubby says I'm a hoarder, but I'm really just a born and bred Yorkshire lass who hates to throw anything away.  I know that one day I'll find a use for it - after all, that's what being "crafty" is all about.  Here's a recycled project I still have around the house:

We used to have the prettiest chandelier that hung in our entryway for many, many years.  After many, many moves however, it simply fell apart, but I couldn't bear to part with those pretty little crystals that picked up the sunshine and filled our home with rainbows.  So - I purchased 2 glass candlesticks and glued a "bowl" from the chandelier onto the top of each one. Then I simply added short strands of crystals around the edge.  I also gave some crystals to my brother-in-law to include in his stained glass pieces, but I still have quite a lot of crystals left just waiting to be given new life when I turn them into something fabulous! 

Now you know what I think about Linda's book, check out what other designers are saying using the links below:

Enjoy!  Y'all come back now............

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Gifts

November 3rd is First Monday and this month Designer Crafts Connection is sharing ways to say "Thank You"...  For more inspiration, hop thru the webring using the "hop forward" link in the DCC logo found in the sidebar of each member.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday.  Catherine Millard wrote: "We can trace this historic American Christian tradition to the year 1623. After the harvest crops were gathered in November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, “Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed:
"All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings."
Although Thanksgiving seems to be more about getting ready for the Christmas holidays and looking for the best shopping bargains on Black Friday, I think the majority of families still remember this as the day to give thanks for our many blessings and to share with family, friends and neighbours.  Here's a gift idea using a large, clear glass mason jar with smooth sides:


 Step 1:  Etch the outside of the jar with etchall® by immersing the jar in dip'n etch up to the neck.  (See instructions for glass etching in the second part of this previous post, which will explain how to dip using an empty soda bottle.

Step 2:  To decorate the outside, I printed a photo (sized to 4" x 11") on to Craft Attitude printable film then wrapped it around the center of the jar. I secured the ends with tape, so the wrap could be removed later when the jar needed to be washed.  The photo I used was a pile of apples taken with my phone at the grocery store, but you can use any photo.

Step 3:  Cover the top and bottom edges of the wrap with 1/2" wide burlap ribbon.  Secure the ends with 3D glue dots then adhere additional embellishments to the front with glue dots.  Cover the rim of the lid if desired.

You can fill the jar with a mix to make an apple dump cake, then place it in a basket of red apples and your favourite dump cake recipe to give to a friend or neighbour, or simply place a small LED tea light inside and use as a decorative accent in your own home.  


For a different look, fill the mason jar with etchall dip'n etch then d├ęcoupage the printed layer of a fall themed napkin onto the bottom half of the jar with DecoArt® Americana® D├ęcouPage.  Embellish as shown.  Etching the inside of the jar will give the jar a milky look, but it will still be shiny on the outside.

              Etched on the outside of the jar                Etched on the inside of the jar
There are so many other designs you can create using these easy techniques.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now...........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Craft Fail

ROTFLMAO because this book is SO real!

Heather sent me a copy of her book to review a couple of weeks ago and I haven't stopped giggling since.  These are the stories that make crafting fun and they're an important reminder that none of us is perfect.  It made me think of more than a couple of times when things went horribly wrong for me.

I love decorative painting and in the 80's and early 90's I sold my painted pieces at craft fairs and craft malls. One of my popular pieces was this "Sweetheart Clock" designed by Scottie Foster.

It was carefully painted then antiqued.  Now the thing about antiquing is that you have to let the patina dry in a dust free environment for at least 24 hours before adding a sealer.  Dust free? In my house? That was a challenge until I came up with what I thought was the perfect solution - I'd put it in the oven.  Definitely no dust in there!  It was a pat myself on the back moment and in it went.

With 2 teenagers in the house plus friends, there was always something going on, so said clock was completely forgotten until I decided to cook pizza for dinner and - you guessed it, I turned the oven on......  it was the smell that reminded me what was already in the oven.  I should have taken photos, but Instagram hadn't been invented then, so I'll let you have the fun of visualizing the clock in all its glory.  The glue that held the wood pieces together had kinda melted and dripped and the paint had cracked in places, but I have to say, it was the BEST LOOKING ANTIQUE clock I ever made!

My story isn't in her book, but you will totally enjoy the ones that are and, yes, there are photos of what each project should have looked like and how they turned out........ The underlying moral of the stories is to learn from mistakes - preferably other people's......

You can follow Heather at Dollar Store Crafts a great resource for tons of great projects, with easy to follow instructions and supplies that won't break the bank!  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie :)

In true British fashion - KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!