If the birds are out in your area, chances are they are looking for a place to nest. Try your hand at doodle-painting a cute little birdhouse to help them start a family. Who knows, they may be lurking in your yard like a depressed House Hunter’s couple who can’t get past the color on your neighbor’s birdhouse. Check out this cute Doodle-Painted Birdhouse.

Doodle Painted Birdhouse

Doodle-Painted Birdhouse

Have you lost your mind Brittany? This looks like a Christmas tutorial in May? No, I haven’t lost my mind and yes, this is May (for those of us who have lost track of the days. But, this is the perfect project for anyone who has a simple birdhouse that needs sprucing up for those discerning House Hunter birds.

Although I created this little painted birdhouse to function as a tree topper, you can forgo drilling a hole in the bottom and add a hook to have a fully functional birdhouse for those bird watchers in your home.

This is a project you can do for fun or meditation. And kids can also get in the fun. All you need is some acrylic paint and a paint pen and you can have a blast making this Doodle-Painted Birdhouse for yourself or as a gift.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional:

 

Instructions:

Spray prime the unfinished birdhouse and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Sketch a star shape on the sides of the birdhouse. Mark the location where you wish to drill holes. (If you are using this for an outdoor birdhouse, it’s nice to have a little ventilation for the house. But, feel free to skip this step if you wish.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If your birdhouse is a double-decker, you will probably want to drill holes through the sides at angle and down into the first floor roof. This will allow some of the light to come through the top story holes as well.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

For Tree Topper Only:

Mark the center location on the bottom and drill a 5/8″ hole through the bottom of the birdhouse. (Skip this step if you want a functional birdhouse.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Dump any wood shavings out of the birdhouse. Set up the birdhouse on the drop cloth for painting.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the sides of the birdhouse red (or any color you like.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the roof, steeple, and perches gold. Add a star and tree shape on the sides to accentuate the drilled hole patterns.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

After the gold and red paint has dried completely, use the white paint pen to doodle-paint all over the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Afraid to Doodle-Paint?

Nonsense, there is no rhyme or reason to the doodling, just make lots of little curly q’s, c’s, and loops. You can start by outlining the window structures. Then embellish them. Regardless of your doodle-painting style, it’s important to have fun!

You can see how I used the same technique on the chalkboard ornaments on my Feathered Nest Christmas Tree and they came out really cute.

Doodle Chalkboard Ornament | Pretty Handy Girl

When the paint pen lines have dried, add a few coats of an outdoor sealant.

Birdhouse Tree Topper:

You can use it as a tree topper by feeding the top branch(es) into the hole on the bottom of the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Outdoor Birdhouse:

Add the screw eye hook and hang the birdhouse from a tree in your yard.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Décor Birdhouse:

If you simply want to display your birdhouse as décor, set a little battery-powered light inside the hole in the bottom and enjoy a homey birdhouse on a shelf.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to decorate your birdhouse more? You can see how I created this little Christmas painted birdhouse and embellished the roof.

Christmas Wreath handpainted birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Doodle-painted birdhouses are adorable gifts and very frugal. Make it May is almost over, but stay tuned for one more project!

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How to Make a Painted Bird House Tree Topper | Pretty Handy Girl

Teaching children to sew can be a fun and rewarding lesson if you let them take the lead and design their own monster dolls.

let your child make their own monster doll

Make Your Own Monster Dolls

Aren’t they cute?! Okay, they may have a few imperfections, but I don’t want to hear about it because my boys made them! That’s right my 4 and 7-year-old sons made their own Monster Dolls (with a little help from me). It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon together. And as a bonus they learned some basic sewing skills.

My 7 year old really dove in and enjoyed every aspect of making his monster. He used the sewing machine with my help. My 4 year old needed a bit more guidance and help. He was very tentative about the sewing machine, but I convinced him to push the pedal. After one time pushing it, he was LOVING puttin’ the pedal to the metal! LOL!

Materials:

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Let your child draw their monster on a piece of paper.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Help your child draw the outline of the monster onto the backside of the fleece. Explain that you might need to fatten up any skinny appendages so you can turn the monster right side out and stuff (him or her) after sewing.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin two pieces of fleece together (right sides together.) Help your child cut out around the outline of the monster’s body. This will give you two identical pieces for the monster doll body.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut eyes, nose, and mouthparts out of colored felt. Pin the facial features to the right side of one of the body cut-outs. Let your child use the vanishing marker to mark other facial features that will be stitched.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Using the sewing machine, stitch the facial features and attach the felt pieces.

Helping Children Learn to Use a Sewing Machine:

To help my boys learn to sew, I let them depress the pedal on the sewing machine. We focus on light pressure, slowing down, and stopping. Meanwhile, I guide the fabric through the foot.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

To emphasize the features we drew over the stitching with the Sharpie marker.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Use buttons or the Sharpie to create pupils for your monster doll.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin the right sides together (facial features inside) of the doll. Stitch around the edge, leaving a small three-inch opening for stuffing.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Trim any excess fabric away from the edges before turning the doll right sides out.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn the monster doll right sides out. Use a pencil’s eraser side to poke out any corners and turns. Stuff the monster with polyfill stuffing. Use the pencil to push filling into small areas.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Whipstitch the opening closed after the doll has been fully stuffed.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Your child’s monster doll is complete!

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Ugly Monsters or Adorable Monsters? What do you think?

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Your child will surely love his creation and will definitely feel a huge sense of pride that he (or she) designed it themselves!

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

I let my boys do as much as possible so they could feel a HUGE sense of accomplishment when they were done. They both were so proud of their monsters. They tote their monster dolls everywhere and tell friends and family, “I made it!”

 

 

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This is by far one of my favorite gift crafts. Grab a few recycled jars or bottles and use your favorite chalk paint to create simple chalk-painted jars!

DIY Chalk Paint Mason Jar Flower Vase

Simple Chalk-Painted Jars

Two weeks ago I spent less than 20 minutes whipping up some really cute vases using recycled jars painted with Farmhouse Paint. Wait…What is this paint?

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Well, it’s a one-step furniture paint (previously known as chalk paint.) I was sent a few jars to try. But, you can use any chalk paint you already have or make your own using this tutorial to make any color chalk paint.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

The key material is recycled jars, I like to keep a fair amount on hand.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

All you have to do is wash the jars well. Remove the labels and any glue residue. Here’s a great tutorial for easily removing glue from bottles.

Dry the jars thoroughly then coat with two coats of chalk paint. I’m in love with the Farmhouse paint. The colors are vibrant and you don’t need to wax after painting. Just a light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper and it gives you the same soft sheen as waxing would.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, sand some areas (especially on any writing) to distress them.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Finally, add some fresh cut flowers from the yard and tie a string around the neck with a personal message.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

These little vases were adorable. They were cute and they seriously took me less than half an hour to put together (20 minutes to paint and a few more minutes cutting flowers in the yard.)

In the past, I made these little chalk painted vases for teacher gifts. This year, sadly we never got to say goodbye to my sons’ teachers. For all you teachers out there, we appreciate you more than you can imagine. Especially as we do our best to homeschool our children during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you say? Why not whip up a little chalk-painted vase to appreciate a friend, a loved one, an essential worker, or just to brighten your day!

PHGFancySign

P.s. Did you like the chippy paint board backdrop I used? It’s not real wood, it is actually a vinyl backdrop made by my good friend Leen the Graphics Queen. It rolls up and stores neatly away. She should be selling them soon.

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DIY Chalk Paint Mason Jar Flower Vase

Spring is here and there are countless flowers awakening from the cold winter slumber. When it happens you can pick some blooms and turn them into easy gift ideas. Today I’ll show you how to make easy pounded flower art.

easy_pounded_Flower_Gift_ideasjpg

Easy Pounded Flower Gift Ideas

The results can be used for a framed quote, a paper-wrapped vase, notecards, and much more! I’d go so far to say, the results are close to high end (and expensive) handmade pressed flower paper.

Ready to make some beautiful pounded flower paper? I am (because I could also use an activity to get a little frustration out 😉.)

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials

Instructions:

First, you’ll want to collect some flowers. Smaller colorful flowers work best. But, you can collect larger ones and experiment.

Lay one sheet of paper on top of the block of wood. Arrange your flowers on top of the paper and tape down any strands that don’t cooperate. (The flowers I picked are from a money plant that grows in our woods.)

tape_flower_into_shape

Lay a second sheet of paper on top of the flowers.

cover_flower_with_2nd_paper

Pound the hammer around the paper until you have squished all of the flowers beneath. (This doubles as a stress relief exercise, trust me!)
hammer_paper_and_flowers

Peel apart the papers and you’ll have a pulpy mess.

pull_apart_papers

Remove the flowers and wipe off the excess bits and pieces with a clean chip brush.

wipe_off_flower_guts

Look at that! You got two prints that are a mirror image.

duplicate_pounded_flower_prints

Print out a quote or type a message on coordinating paper and tear around it. Tape it onto flower paper.

tape_phrase_onto_paper

Put your verse artwork into a frame for a sweet gift to your sister, your mother, or a friend.

close_up_phrase_flower_art

Take the other sheet and wrap it around a can, mason jar, or vase.

roll_paper_around_mason_jar

Wrap some twine around the paper to hold it in place. Add water to the vase and pop some fresh flowers in it.

close_up_pounded_flower_vase

Quick and easy gift idea, right?! Give a vase to brighten someone’s day. The best part of this gift is it only cost a pound! (Get it? Like a British £? I know, I have a corny sense of humor. You can blame it on my Dad, it runs on his side of the family.)

Maybe I’ve also been hammering a little too much lately. Leave me a comment if you have any corny jokes to share!

pounded_Flower_art

Do you have any creative ideas for using this pretty flower paper? I set some up for the kids and they had a blast pounding flowers.

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Look around your house or the next time you’re at a thrift shop. Find either an unpainted tray or a tray that needs a makeover. This is a quick project to create a Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining for a beautiful and elegant tray to display or organize things in your home.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining

Today I have a really adorable and easy DIY idea for you! Scrapbook paper lined and painted trays. These trays are so versatile, they can be used in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or anywhere you want to corral items or have a flat surface available. And best of all, you can change their look in a snap.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

As I mentioned above unfinished trays can be purchased at many places. If you want a new one, look at your local craft supply store or order one online on Amazon for cheap.

You’ll also want some decorative scrapbook paper, gift wrap, or fabric to line the bottom of your tray.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Lightly sand and wipe off tray with a damp rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Prime tray (if using non-chalk paint.) Paint tray desired color. For this tray I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, brush antiquing wax onto your tray if desired. Buff off excess with a dry rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scrapbook paper to fit inside the tray. When overlapping paper, make sure to line up the repeating pattern.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

For the best durability, line the tray with a piece of plexiglass cut to fit inside the tray. (Ask your local home improvement store to cut or order online.)

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The paper you use to line the tray doesn’t have to necessarily be scrapbook paper. I got this paper from Ballard Designs. It’s actually cheese paper, but I loved the design. It doesn’t quite match up, so I just rotated the paper.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

When you put something on top of the tray, you hardly notice the seam.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The nifty thing about these trays is the decorative paper can be swapped out when you bore of the design.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Once again, I’m loving this idea too much…I might be keeping this one for myself ;-).

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Do tell me, are you enjoying the Make It May series?

Check back tomorrow for yet another great DIY gift idea!

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DIY Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining | Pretty Handy Girl

Need a quick gift using scrap wood? A Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder is an easy and fun gift to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. Best of all, the kids can help with the painting step!

create_art_block_holders_sm

Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder

Mother’s Day is this coming weekend! Have you decided how to show her your appreciation and love?! I did! My mother is a professional artist. She creates amazing paintings that inspire others and brightens their homes. For Mother’s Day I wanted to brighten her studio with these art utensil holders. I call them “Creative Blocks.”

Go ahead and raid your scrap pile and join us as we make these colorful and fun Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holders.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials_wood_blocks_sm

Instructions:

1. Block assembly: Select two 2×4″ scraps cut to the same length. Spread glue on one board and sandwich them together.

glue_blocks_together_sm

Clamp the wood together and drill two small holes to countersink the heads of the screws. Drive two screws into the bottom of the wood to hold the pieces together.

drill_blocks_together_sm

Use a band saw, jigsaw, or table saw to trim off the rounded edges of the wood so you have a square block of wood with straight corners.

square_off_2x4s_bandsaw_sm

Putty any cracks or holes. Sand until smooth.

putty_and_sand_blocks_sm

2. Creating the mask:

If you have a craft cutter (Silhouette or Cricut) you can create a mask in vinyl easily. But, if you don’t you can use the computer to print out your words. Lay the print out on top of a strip of Painter’s Tape. Use a few pieces of tape to secure the corners.

create_art_printout

Trace around the words with the X-acto knife (be sure to have a few fresh blades on hand.) Transfer the resulting cut-out tape onto the block of wood. Press the edges of the tape mask to secure the tape.

add_scotch_blue_tape_letters

3. Painting the block: Paint a base color onto the block. Then use a brush and/or palette knife to dab thick paint over the block (minus the base.) Use the X-acto knife to gently peel off the tape mask. Let the paint dry thoroughly overnight.

lift_tape_up

4. Drilling Holes:  After the paint has dried completely, mark the location of the utensil holes with a pencil. Put a piece of painter’s tape on the drill bit to mark the depth of your holes. Clamp the block and drill holes at each pencil mark.

drill_holes

Dump sawdust out of the holes.

Wrap up the blocks in gift wrap and enjoy the look of joy as your Mom opens her Creative Block Mother’s Day gift!

create_pencil_holder_sm

art_brush_holder

You know, as an artist myself, I almost loved these too much to give them away. But, my Mom is worth it. (And I can make another set if I want ;-).)

create_art_block_holders_sm

For more last-minute Mother’s Day gift ideas and many other creative projects, check out the Gift Ideas section here on the blog.

PHGFancySignIf you liked this project, you’ll love these floating picture frames using more 2×4 scrap wood.

wood-block-picture-frames

Can you think of anything more spring-like than a nest full of blue eggs? Today I want to show you how to make Faux Blue Speckled Bird Eggs and a Nest!

Faux Blue Bird Eggs and Nest

Spring has arrived in North Carolina and I want to dance and sing and tiptoe through the tulips. Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it is the perfect time to start decorating for Easter! A nest of Blue Speckled Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece! Mother Robin sure does create beautiful blue eggs, but we’d never think of disturbing those precious eggs.

Instead, I’ll show you how to turn regular chicken eggs…

…into a beautiful nest of blue speckled eggs to decorate for Easter or Spring.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

It’s time to get messy. Put down a drop cloth or tarp to cover your work area (and beyond.) First, I’ll show you a magic trick! Learn how to remove the white and yolk out of eggs without breaking the shell. Rest an egg inside the empty carton. Gently tap a nail into the top of your egg.

Turn the egg upside down and put another hole into the other side. Typically you’ll need one hole slightly larger.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Pucker up and blow through the smaller hole until the egg white and yolk drain out the larger bottom hole. (Of course, you’ll probably want to save the eggs for omelets or scrambled eggs.)

Once you have emptied your eggs, clean them off. Then close your egg carton and flip it upside down to create a raised support for your eggs.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Gather your blue, black, and white acrylic paints. Paint the egg a robin’s egg blue color and allow them to dry.

Put on rubber gloves. Pour a small amount of black acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Add a little water to create a runny consistency. Dip the toothbrush into the paint mixture. Aim the toothbrush at the eggs and stroke your finger along the bristles to spatter black dots all over the eggs.

Allow the black speckles to dry and repeat the process using the white paint.

While the eggs are drying, pull out your pasta maker. (Am I the only one who never uses my pasta maker for making pasta?) Cut the paper bag into sections wide enough to fit into the pasta maker.

Feed the paper bag through the pasta maker to shred it. (You can shred the bag with a paper shredder or scissors if you don’t have a pasta maker.) Arrange the shreds into a nest form in a bowl, urn, or basket.

Set your faux blue bird eggs into the nest and admire your beautiful Spring décor!

This centerpiece can be left out until you are tired of looking at it. Then store the eggs in the carton and bring them out again next year.

 

Have a great week! I hope the weather is warming up where you are!

 

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This DIY nest of Blue Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter decor! | DIY Easter table centerpiece | Pretty Handy Girl #prettyhandygirl #easterdecor #tablecenterpiece

How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkinHow to Fake a Fake Pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean—get real—everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and fool your friends.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with Chalk Paint (use gray, white, green and blue paint.) Allow the pumpkins to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins:

It helps to look up some pictures of real pumpkins to refer to.

pure-white-country-grey

Using the stencil brush, paint a mixture of grey and white on one of the pumpkins.

paint-white-mixture

Before the paint dries, dab some of it off with the sea sponge. (Keep your sea sponge dry, not wet during the process.)

sponge-off-white

Dip the stencil brush into the white paint and add paint on the outer most bumps on the pumpkins. This is adding highlights.

highlights_on-white-pumpkin

Dab the highlights gently with the sea sponge to blend.

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Use the fan brush dipped in a small amount of green paint inside the pumpkin ridges. Dab the ridges with the sea sponge to blend.

white-gourd-pumpkin

Have you ever seen a truly unblemished pumpkin? I think not. It’s time to add some spots or marks on the pumpkin to truly fool your friends. Dip the end of the paint brush into brown paint and dot it onto the pumpkin. Blot the spot with a sea sponge and maybe even transfer a few new spots with the sponge.

add-blemishes

Paint grey around the base of the stem and into the grooves with the round paint brush.

add-dark-depth-around-stem

Paint brown and green paint onto the pumpkin stem. Blend slightly with the sea sponge.

paint-sponge-stem

Can you spot my fake white pumpkin? Well, of course you can because I just showed you how to paint it. But, it will definitely fool your friends!

grouping_left_pumpkins

Painting Realistic Blue Pumpkins:

Painting blue pumpkins uses the same technique as painting the white pumpkins, only using a few different colors.

Use the stencil brush to paint blue onto another pumpkin. Dab the blue paint while it’s still wet with the sea sponge.

add-duck-egg-blue-sponge

Use the fan brush dipped in gray and brown craft paint to fill in the ridges.

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Dab the paint with the dry sea sponge to blend.

sponge-crevices

Add some highlights with a mixture of grey and white. This serves two purposes. 1) It adds dimension. 2) It tones down the excess blue on the pumpkin.

add-highlights

Paint the stem the same way you learned above.

To truly fool people, set up your fake pumpkins with some real pumpkins and real gourds. Sooo, can you spot the fakes?

guess-the-fakes

How many did you get right? The metallic gourd is simply spray-painted with copper spray paint. But, I did try my hand at faking a green and yellow gourd using the same technique as the pumpkins, but adding green to the top and yellow to the bottom.

the_fakes

Okay, I’ll give you a second shot. Guess the fakes:

vertical-fall-vignette

How did you do this time? Ha, you can now apply for a job as an art forgery detective ;-).

truth_fake_gourds
Now seriously, how many people will be viewing your pumpkins that close? Umm, next to no one. Normally they’ll view them from afar.

full-living-room-shot

Get your paints and palette out and go fake some fakes! It will be our little secret.

fall-vignette-grouping

PHGFancySignDid you like this painting post? Ahhh, then I know you’ll like this Ballard Pear painting tutorial:

Or if you’re feeling like taking on a larger scale project…how about Faux painted bricks!

Or perhaps you’d like to perform some faux zinc painting magic:

You can do it! I know you can.

Make an inexpensive (but beautiful) Fall Leaves Garden Flag using a Dollar Store Placemat! Pull out your sewing machine (or skip the stitching and use your iron and some hem tape instead.) You can have a gorgeous fall garden flag in an hour or less. Plus, this is the perfect activity to do with the kids before school starts.

Sure, we’re in the thick of a heat wave here in Raleigh, NC. But luckily fall is around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about fall decorating! I like to create a beautiful garden flag for each season using a few simple supplies from the Dollar Store. Ready to make one? Great, let’s get to it.

Materials:

*Optional: hand sew or use hem tape if you don’t have a sewing machine

Instructions:

1. Fold over the top of your placemat 2 inches. Stitch across the edge. (I used a decorative stitch, but a straight stitch is fine too.)

2. Create a stencil using a Silhouette, other craft cutter, or use pre-cut letter stencils. Adhere the stencil to the placemat. (Place centers of letters if needed.)

3. Squeeze out a small amount of fabric paint onto a paper plate.

4.  Pounce or use a stencil brush to dab paint over the stencil. For more colorful letters, use yellow on one side and orange on the other. Let the colors overlap in the middle.

5. Remove stencil. Allow the fabric paint to dry.

6. Arrange and pin silk leaves onto garden flag.

7. Stitch leaves onto the flag along the “veins”.

8. Trim the excess threads off the flag.

9. Lay flag out on a flat surface.

10. Paint on glittery curly trails to simulate the path of a falling leaf.

When the flag is dry, thread it onto a garden flag stand and place it by your entryway. At the end of the season, store the flag flat to keep it looking fresh for many years to come.

If you liked this tutorial you may like my other garden flag tutorials:

Summer

 

Winter

 

Valentine’s Day

I hope you enjoy this fall season and experience beautiful fall weather soon!

Make glass bead magnets with the kids for a simple and easy craft project to help you get through those long summer days when the kids are home.

how to make glass bead magnets horizontal photo

How to Make Glass Bead Magnets

I love working with mod podge, especially for this decorative book with a secret hiding place and this vintage map lampshade. But, when it comes to a craft the kids can safely work on, I chose these Easy Decorative DIY Glass Bead Magnets.

We recently visited the Art Museum in Chicago and I found myself swooning over the beautiful paperweight collection. The glass magnifies the design inside the weights allowing you to see all the intricate details. While I don’t foresee making my own glass paperweights, the kids and I could get creative and use glass beads to make some beautiful magnets.

beautiful paper weight collection

A while ago, I happened upon a craft tutorial creating decorative push pins with glass beads. The next day my boys and I picked out glass beads and the rest of the supplies at AC Moore. My 3 and 6 year old were so excited when I pulled out the Oriental Trading Catalog and asked them to pick out their favorite pictures. We spent over an hour chatting and giggling as they cut out pictures from catalogs and magazines. If your children are looking for specific photos, you can always print them out from your computer first. Once you have your images, you are ready to get creative!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

glass bead magnet materials - scissors, mod podge, pencil, E-6000

Instructions:

Lay your bead on top of a picture you want to use.

boy laying out glass beads onto magazine pictures

Trace around the pictures and cut them out with an x-acto knife.

Paint mod podge on the front of the picture.

Center the glass bead on top of the picture. Then seal the picture by coating the back of the image with more mod podge.

After the beads dry, take out the magnets. Apply a dab of E-6000 glue to the magnet…

adding a small amount of E-6000 glue to the magnet

…then set the glass bead on top.


Within 30 – 45 minutes they should be dry and hardened.

Now you have beautiful custom glass bead magnets.

finished glass bead magnets

I chose mostly black and white images and graphic numbers and letters for my set.


The kids on the other hand – well, let’s just say they do love their cartoon shows!


Let me know if you make your own glass bead magnets. What images will you use?

Be sure to pin this image for a friend. You know how hard it is to keep the kids entertained over the summer, right?!

how to make glass bead magnets vertical photo