DIY Tutorials

Alright....brace yourself....this is gonna be heavy on the pics!  I will keep my blogging to a minimum so you can get right to the tutorials!  I am NOT a garden...in fact I kill every plant I get.  For this segment I paid a visit to Ebert's Greenhouse where they helped me come up with some ideas.  Let me just say...if you haven't been to Ebert's...it is TOTALLY worth a trip out there.  You WILL leave with something, I guarantee it!  Below are 6 fun, easy and CHEAP ways to get into the mood for summer.  Flowers make me happy....gardening does not.  However, throw in some cute kids and it is a lot more enjoyable!  Happy gardening! 

We found some super cute gardening aprons in the dollar section at Target.  (they were actually $3...so don't show up with $1!)  We used some leftover fabric paint from our DIY pillows from the last segment and made some handprints.  I wrote their names in puffy paint....and boom....cute garden aprons!  That is all folks....easy peasy!  



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Drip Terra-Cotta Pots

I am not kidding when I say this....these are SO easy and SO cheap to make.  They would be perfect for Mother's Day gifts, teacher gifts, or really any gift!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Terra Cotta Pot
  2. Craft Paint
  3. Wax paper
  4. Outdoor sealer (if pots will be outside) 

 First put a piece of wax paper down and flip your pot over.
 Choose your paint colors and start dripping the paint down the side.  The paint will follow gravity and drip down more....so be patient. 
 Add more colors on top.  Totally up to your preference! 
 Let the paint drip down and add more if you want to! 
 We let our pots dry overnight. 
 Finally, we took some outdoor sealer in a spray can and sprayed the pots so the paint wouldn't wash away! ( I did spray them 2-3 times letting them dry between coats)  I told you these were easy!  I love all the color combinations....the possibilities are endless! 



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DIY Milk Jug Watering Cans

My kids LOVE to water the flowers.  However, we only have one watering can.  The watering can is big and bulky and can get really heavy....so here is our make shift version of our own watering cans!  Again...another cheap and easy craft!!

Supplies Needed:

  1. Milk jug (washed out, of course!) 
  2. Craft paint
  3. Paint brushes
  4. Waterproof sealer
  5. Push Pin

I gave my kids creative freedom with their watering cans.  They picked out their own colors and started painting.  I was really impressed with their painting skills!  
We let the paint dry completely.  I sealed the milk jugs with 2-3 coats of waterproof sealer.  We have used the watering jugs multiply times and so far and the paint hasn't washed away!  

 While the sealer was drying...I took a push pin and poked holes through the cap of the milk jug.  I poked through the top and then also went back and poked the holes through the underside of the cap too.  This made the holes just a little bit bigger for water to pour out of! 

 Once everything was dry and the flowers needed watering...we pulled our milk jugs out and watered away!  These are nice because you don't have to fill them all the way.  For the smaller kids, just fill the jug 1/4 of the way.  Trust me....they will be super excited to water the flowers! 

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Paint Can Bird Feeders

We have a ton of birds flying around our house right now.  Actually, we have a ton of birds living in our garage too, but that is a story for another blog!  So, why not feed the birds so they don't leave and keep living in the garage, right?  Right!  Here is a cheap and colorful way to make up some bird feeders that will make the birds happy and give you something pretty to look at!  

Supplies Needed:

  1. Paint cans (I got mine at home depot)
  2. Craft Paint
  3. Paint Brush
  4. Waterproof sealer
  5. Thin wooden dowel
  6. Ribbon
  7. Hot Glue
  8. Bird Seed

 First, we started by painting the cans.  We squirted the paint right on to the can and painted it that way.  I am sure there is a more sophisticated way to do this...but this worked just great for us! 
We worked our way around the can and then let the can dry.  We did put 2-3 coats on each of the cans....letting the paint dry completely between each coat.  (If you don't let the paint dry, when you go to brush more paint on...the tacky paint will peel right off) 

Once the cans were painted and dried, I took them outside and put 2 coats of waterproof sealer on them.  Let that dry completely as well.  



 Next, I picked out some ribbons that would match the cans and cut long pieces of the ribbon.  I tied the ribbon around each can with a double knot.  We used a thin wooden dowel and hot glued one end right into the rim of the paint can. 

 Finally, we took the cans outside and hung them in a tree.  We waited only an hour or so and the birds started coming!  Can you see the birds? 
I have these feeders hanging in a tree right as you pull up our driveway.  They make me happy.  I love pulling in and seeing the colorful feeders...they make me forget just for a minute before I pull into the garage and have to dodge all the birds flying at my head while making nests in our garage!  





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Fairy and Dino Gardens...on the cheap!

Have you guys seen all these adorable fairy gardens that people are doing?  I mean, seriously, amazing stuff.  Well, you won't see that here!  I looked into ordering some fairy garden pieces to do a garden and holy buckets....it can be a bit pricey.  So...I went with the fairy garden idea and went the Wilke way....use stuff we had around the house!  Renee, from Ebert's helped me with some ideas and even borrowed me a few fairy pieces to pull this off!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Bucket or pot of some kind for the garden
  2. Misc items to complete your gardens....get creative here!
  3. Dirt
  4. Flowers if you want
  5. People/animals/dinosaurs

We started by filling a watering can pot with some dirt.  Next, we added some sand for the "beach" part of our garden.  I took the glass lid from a Yankee candle to make a little pool.  I wanted to use fairies...but we didn't have any...so Polly Pockets it was!  
 I let the little kids add some seashells and sea creatures.  I did plant two pansies in the garden as well.  Lanie put some pebbles around the pool and added a little tiny boat.  I used blue food coloring to turn the water blue.  I know it's not nearly as fancy as the Pinterest fairy gardens, but my kids are having a blast playing with this!

 I would NOT recommend putting your fairy garden on the stairs leading up to your front door.  A certain 7 year boy of yours may accidentally run into your fairy garden and dump the entire thing so you have to start over.  Just a word of advice from me.
 Now, I know that boys aren't totally in to fairy gardens so Renee at Ebert's told me she has made dinosaur gardens.  Are you kidding me??? BRILLIANT!  A dinosaur garden we made!  Renee had this cool wooden box that we were able to use to make our garden in. 
 Lanie and Griffin filled it with dirt and then we added some dino type looking plants we found at Ebert's. 

 The kids added a few rocks and sticks...but were most excited to get the dinosaurs into the garden!  Griffin was adamant that we put an alligator in the dino garden.  Ok, then.  It's a dinosaur/alligator garden! 

 We really didn't do anything too fancy with our gardens.  First of all, I know that the plants will die at some point because we won't remember to water them.  Also, the kids don't need all the fancy fairy garden stuff....they are happy with using the toys we have around the house in a new way! 

 Go find some fun toys and make a garden of your own!  Your kids will LOVE them!  (just don't leave them on the steps to dump over!)

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Toad Abode

We love toads here....correction...my kids and husband LOVE toads here.  I want nothing to do with them.  They freak me out.  Their skin gives me the heebie-geebies.  I showed my older girls some pictures of frog/toad houses and they went to work.  No help from me....those are the best kind of kid projects!  


Supplies Needed:

  1. Pot of some kind
  2. Paint
  3. Brush
  4. Waterproof sealer
The girls started by painting the pot with craft paint.  Get creative here.  They drew a little window on the pot and some flowers.  






Be sure to use a thin brush if you want to do small details like a window or small flowers.  When the pot was all dry, we sprayed a waterproof sealer on the pot.  (2-3 coats, again!)  

Then we put our toad home outside by our tire planters.  Wouldn't that be awesome if a toad actually jumped right in the toad house?  Yeah, I thought so too...but it hasn't happened yet!  We found a toad while doing some other gardening and introduced him to his new home.  I am pretty sure this wasn't a toad....I think the kids called it a "sticky frog"....no wonder he didn't like our toad home and hopped out as soon as he could escape!  Good think we were able to capture a few pictures before he made his grand escape!  


PHEW!!!  Now, that is a lot of gardening crafts!  Hopefully you are inspired to make one or two of these crafts as a way to welcome summer time!  

Thank you to Ebert's Greenhouse for taking the time to help me with this segment!  If you haven't been to Ebert's.... GO!!!!  Trust me....it's amazing!  (bring a camera and take some family pics while you are there too!) 
I don't know about you, but this girl is ready for spring...and more ready for warm weather!  When I think of spring, I think of colors....so why not add some color to your winter gray right now?!?!!?  I have searched Pinterest and found 6 ways to add a pop of color into your life....are you ready to craft?  

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A "pop" of color picture jar!

Take a simple mason jar and old paint and turn it into just the little "pop" of color you need to brighten up a dull space!  

Supplies Needed:

  1. Mason jar (or really any glass jar)
  2. Paint (I used old paint samples from our walls)
  3. Sticky back vinyl (found at local craft stores) 
  4. Picture (I printed mine on a regular piece of paper)
  5. Paint brush
  6. Painter's tape
  7. Twine (optional) 




I started with 3 mason jars from goodwill.  You could use a pickle jar or a pizza sauce jar...anything glass.  
Next, I used my cricut to cut out 3 vinyl scalloped shapes on sticky back vinyl.  If you don't have a cricut you can cut out your shapes just the same using a pencil and scissors.  Once your shape is cut out, peel off the paper backing so the back part is sticky.  Place the sticky side down on the jar making sure you press all the edges down.  
Next, paint your jar.  I painted right over the vinyl sticker.  



I used three different colors for my jars.  
 I waited until the jars were almost dry...still a little tacky and carefully peeled off the vinyl sticker. 
While the jars finished drying, I headed over to my computer and printed small images right on plain copy paper.  
 I cut the image out and flipped it over and attached painters tape.  Then I taped the picture to the inside of the jar so the picture would show through the opening.  Boom....adorbs!!  You have to place a small cup on the inside of the jar if you are going to put real flowers and water in it....otherwise your picture will get wet!  This is a fun way to do it so you can change the picture out!  I wrapped a piece of jute around my jar, but you don't have to!  This is just an easy and cheap way to add a little "pop" to your life!! 



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Inspirational Pallet Wood Sign

Take old or new wood and turn it into a piece of art work that will bring color to any space!  So easy to make and such a bold statement piece!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Pallet board or wood pieces
  2. Spray paint (or acrylic paint) 
  3. Paint Pens

A sweet friend actually gave me this as a Christmas gift and I fell in love with it.  We had a huge empty space that was in need of a pop of color and I knew these boards would be the PERFECT touch to our dreary plain wall!  
 I started by gathering some old pallet wood boards and laying them out the way I wanted them to hang on our wall. 
 Next, I dug into my spray paint stash and started spray painting the boards.  Since it has been too cold to spray paint outside, I have turned to spraying in a large box inside the house.  Not recommended but you gotta do what you gotta do! 
 Once I had all my boards painted, I set them out to dry .  (I did end up using some acrylic craft paint on a couple of the boards because I didn't have all the colors I wanted in the spray paint form)  Both paint options worked extremely well. 
 After the boards were dry, I used paint pens to write my words.  Now, I admit, I don't have the best free handing writing....so yeah.  However, I was ok with my weird writing and went with it. 
 I totally winged my phrases too.  Whatever came to my mind, I wrote down. 
 My sweet hubby attached them all together for me and hung them on the wall.  The larger set we have hanging in our staircase (see photos above) are hanging on the wall with 3-M strips attached to the back.  That has worked perfectly and not one has yet to fall!  I dare say...this is one of my favorite crafts...so me and SO easy! 
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DIY Hand Stamped and Painted Pillows (trust me...they are EASY!!)

Ok, so I saw this idea on Pinterest and FREAKED out.  There was NO way I could pull this off.  Let me just say that our pillows in our living room are lame.  They are SO not me.  I have been wanting new pillows for a while now, but they are pricey and I am cheap.  Insert craft time.  We had these two ugly yellow pillows...don't mind the gross stains of who knows what on them.  While strolling through Hobby Lobby I came across these canvas pillow covers.  Uh...you mean I don't actually have to SEW pillow covers??  SCORE!!!!  Those two pillow covers made their way into my cart and I got to crafting!  Yes, even YOU can do this!! 

 (I told you the pillows were yellow, ugly, and gross!)

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Fabric paint
  2. Blank pillow cases (or if you can sew....canvas material to make your own)
  3. Sticky back foam
  4. Wood circles
  5. Paint brushes
  6. Scissors 
  7. Iron (I did break down and iron my pillow cases before painting them) 


Ok, the first step for the circle pillow was to cut out five free handed circles on the sticky back foam.  Cut out the circles and peel the paper backing off.  Stick the foam to the wood circle.  
Next, I used a large paper plate to place my paint on and got a brush for each color of paint.
I used the brush to paint the fabric paint on the foam circle and started stamping on the canvas pillow cover. ( oh, I did put a layer of wax paper inside the pillow case to prevent the paint from leaking through to the back) I really just used the wood circles as my guide.  I had no color pattern and just stamped with what color I thought would look good.  You could lay it out more strategically than what I did....but I was super happy with how mine turned out.  

Stamp after stamp I added more circles.  Each time I used a stamp I would add more paint to the stamp. 


 I filled the entire pillow case up using the 5 different stamps and colors. 
I waited for it to dry and took the yellow pillow case off and put the new polka dot one on!  


 For the second pillow case I went with more of a "free spirited" approach.  I used my paint brush and basically made "V" shapes for the flowers.  Next, I took the end of the paint brush (like the stick part) and dipped that into the black paint and made dots.  I had no rhyme or reason....I just went with it.  I think that is why I love them so much.  I didn't want perfection. 



 I let the second pillow case dry and slide the pillow into the case.  I could not be more pleased with how these turned out!  I am on the hunt for more covers to paint for our other ugly couch pillows....they were too ugly to even post a picture of!! 



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Finger Print Heart Canvas

We had an empty gray wall which was screaming for some color.  There is no better way to add some color than with a colorful canvas that we were able to create together as a family!  

Supplies Needed:

  1. Large Canvas
  2. Acrylic Craft Paints
  3. Pencil
  4. Sharpie
  5. Felt (optional)
  6. Cloths pins (optional)

 We started by having each child in our family pick a paint color.  Each of our kids have a favorite color which happen to blend nicely so that totally worked out in my favor! 

Next, I free handed a large heart on the canvas with a pencil.  I thought about erasing it and doing another one, but I was loving the wonky heart shape I drew.  We squeezed a dab of each person's paint color onto a paper plate and taught them how to dip their finger in the paint.  
 Then...it was time to fill it in.  One finger print at a time.  We rotated the canvas as it filled up to spread the colors out evenly. 
 After the heart was filled with the prints, I had each person put one single finger print on the lower right hand side.  I took a sharpie and wrote the name that each color represented from our family. 

 I wanted to put our last name on the print, but didn't want to free hand it.  I cut our last name out of some scraps of felt instead. 
 I attached them together with a piece of baker's twine and hot glued two clothespins on the canvas.  I hung the baker's twine inside the clothespins and had a complete canvas.  I did add our marriage year to it for a final touch!  I know it's not perfect...but it totally represents our crazy family!  One of the best "pops" of color to remind us of just how blessed we are! 


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 DIY Pinwheel

I am in love with these pinwheels.  Just by switching your paper choice, you can make these fun pinwheels add a pop of color to any color scheme!  

Supplies Needed:

  1. Pinwheel maker (made by memory keepers)
  2. Double sided scrapbook paper
  3. Pinwheel sticks (memory keepers) 
  4. Paper cutter (or scissors and ruler) 

 I found this pinwheel maker at a local craft store and just knew the possibilities were endless with this!  I have made quite a lot of pinwheels I must say! 
 The nice thing about this pinwheel maker is that you can make the pinwheel in any size up to 12 inches...now that's a BIG pinwheel!  My favorite size is a 6x6 inch pinwheel.  First you need to cut your paper into a perfect square. 
 Then you will punch a hole in each corner of the square using the built in hole punch. 
 Next, you line you hole punched corner up with the correct inch marking on the pinwheel maker.  Once you have it lined up, you used the razor cutter to slide down to make the cut.
 You can make a single pinwheel or a double pinwheel.  For this demo I made a double pinwheel.  (meaning I used two pieces of paper)  You will need to follow the directions on the pinwheel maker when making a double one....there are two different cuts you need to make for a double one. 
 Here are my two finished squares punched and cut and ready to assemble. 
 I used the pinwheel attachment and straw to make the part to hold the pinwheel. 
 Next, you will lay your two pieces of paper together to start creating the pinwheel.  (I did watch a You-tube video on how to do this because it can be a bit confusing if you have never done it before).
 Next, you will poke the pinwheel holder through the back of the paper and start folding the paper over. 
 One piece at a time going in order. 

 Finally you will put the little plastic cap on the tip of the middle of the plastic pinwheel maker to hold the pinwheel in place! 
I know, I know...it sounds confusing...but trust me.  Once you get the hang of it, you will be cranking these pinwheels out for every possible thing you can think of!  I even put one as an added touch to a birthday gift the other day!  Who doesn't love a pinwheel to bring a little happiness and color into the day?!?!?! 

*There are you-tube videos on how to make these...it is hard to explain in a picture tutorial so utilize those videos if you are confused!*
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It's amazing how just a little "pop" of color can brighten up a dull space or bring a little sunshine to your day!  I hope you are inspired to craft the day away!  

Happy Spring...I think Spring is coming soon, right?!?!  


DIY Tic Tac Toe

 I love when the kids are off for spring break, but I will be honest....the week can be a long one!  Thank goodness Fox 6 Real Milwaukee was ahead of the game on this one for me!  My upcoming segment on Monday, March 21st is on keeping kids entertained during spring break.  Let the "fun" begin!!

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Rocks (I got mine from Michael's...only because the lake was too cold to go collect rocks from!)
  2. Tree Stump slice (You can find these at craft stores now if you don't have a huge tree stump in your yard!)
  3. Sharpie
  4. Ruler
  5. Paint brush
  6. Craft paint
  7. White spray paint (optional)
  8. Acrylic sealer (optional) 


 We had a huge huge tree fall in our yard last fall which only meant one thing....send the hubby out with a chainsaw to cut me a slice of stump!  (Ok...he may have had to go back out 2 or 3 times to get it just "right" but that's only because I'm a perfectionist!!) 
I didn't do any measuring and just eyeballed the tic tac toe lines....weird for my perfectionist self, I know.  I used a thin sharpie first with a ruler and then went back over the lines with a thicker marker.  That was it for making the tic tac toe board itself. 
I wanted the stones to have a nice solid base coat so the paint color on top would look more vibrant.  I used a plain white spray paint to give the rocks one coat of white. 
When the white spray paint dried, the kids painted half of the rocks teal and half of the rocks red.  They only had to use one coat of paint.  (If the rocks didn't have the solid white coat underneath it, they may need one or two more coats of the teal and red). 

When the teal and red paint was dry they started decorating them to make them look like bugs.  Simple black stripes for the teal bugs and a little more detailed lines for the lady bugs.  They painted a white dot for the eyes and then added a smaller black dot for the pupil of the eye.  After the kids played a few games of tic tac toe I noticed the rocks were getting a little chipped up from the rocks getting knocked together.  I added a clear acrylic sealer to the rocks to hopefully prevent any more chips!!


We put the tic tac toe board in the middle of our kitchen table and game upon game has been played during spring break of tic tac toe!  I can't wait to add this set to our table on the front porch during summer!

Again, hours and hours of fun for so little money!  Happy family game time!!!
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Watercolor Stencil Painting

I don't know about you, but my kids LOVE to use paints.  Sometimes I can be quick to say no to painting because of the mess, but watercolors are the BEST paints to use for less mess and easy clean up.  We got a little creative and tried to incorporate sharpies with our painting project and we were so very happy with the final outcome!  It has my house decorated with flowers and getting me in the mood for spring, that is for sure! 

 Supplies Needed: 

  1. Thin tipped sharpie
  2. Watercolor paints
  3. Stencils
  4. Paint Paper 
  5. Thin paint brush
 First, you want to outline the stencil shapes onto your paper using the sharpie.  Be careful in the tracing because this will act as the outline for you to paint inside of.  You can set up a carefully laid out template to trace or you can be a little more free and trace without a game plan. 
 Once you have your stencil shapes all outlined in the sharpie you can start painting inside the lines!  Make sure to use a very thin paint brush if you have small lines to paint inside of. 
 Since we used such intricate stencils, it took the kids a bit of time to paint inside the lines....and that is exactly how you keep kids entertained during spring break!!! 
 Some of the more "detail orientated" kids took their time and completed their painting...and some of the "not so detail orientated " kids may not have finished their painting!  (I mean, I guess playing with our chickens was a little more interesting to some than painting was!)



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Bunny Cupcakes

I decided to mix in some baking along with the crafting for this segment.  My older girls are really into baking lately so I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce them to some simple decorating techniques and candy making.  This was a win for keeping them busy and a win for them to eat!!

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Cupcakes (made of course!)
  2. Frosting (we made a simple buttercream frosting)
  3. Green food coloring (I like Wilton)
  4. Frosting bag and grass tip
  5. Bunny butt candy mold (we found ours at Michael's)
  6. Chocolate, pink and white candy melts
  7. Knife for spreading frosting
 We started off by baking the cupcakes and setting them out to cool. 
 When the cupcakes were completely cool we put a base layer of the green on the cupcake.  (a crumb coat as the "real" baker's call it, I think)
 We filled the bag with the green frosting with the grass tip secured on the end.  This took just a few squeezes to get the hang of making the grass.  Push down and pull up.  Again and again.  Our grass was a little longer and some was a little shorter.  We are no professionals here! 
 The bag can get a little hard to squeeze for tiny hands so they helped with the crumb coat while the big kids helped make the grass. 
 Next, we got on to making the bunny butts.  We melted a little of the pink candy melts in a small bowl in the microwave.  When it was nice and smooth we actually took a medicine dispenser (the kind you use to give small kids liquid medicine) and sucked up the pink frosting inside it.  Then, we squeezed just a little bit inside the paw marks to make the paws turn up pink. 
Next, for the chocolate bunny butts, we melted the white candy melts and added the white to the tail part of the candy mold.  
Then, we finished by filling the rest of the bunny butt with the chocolate brown melted candy.  

 For the white bunnies, we just added the pink to the paws and filled the rest in with the white melted candy.  The more bunny butts we made, the better we got! 


 We put our candy mold in the fridge for about 10 minutes for them to cool and then popped them out.    We placed them right on top of the grass and Boom....we had the most adorable cupcakes! 
 The kids LOVED making these, but I do feel they loved eating them more!  My older girls love to make candy with the candy melts and molds.  The possibilities are endless with candy melts and all the molds you can purchase!  Happy baking!

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Clay Donut Necklaces 

Let me start off by saying, "Yes, these are as cute in person as they look in pictures!"  This craft was the biggest hit with my kids and their friends.  In one day, the clay was pulled back out 4 different times.  Imagination was in full gear and each child loved creating clay creatures and necklaces.  My four year old was even making donuts and animals!  I would highly encourage you to try this with your kids!!!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Polymer clay (I bought mine at Joann's while it was 50% off and with an additional 25% off coupon.  We used the "sculpey" brand.  It is the kind of clay that you bake...not modeling clay) If you are making the donut you need a beige color, a frosting color and sprinkle colors.
  2. Mod Podge dimensional magic
  3. Oven
  4. Cookie sheet
  5. Eye pin (I found in the jewelry section)
  6. Pliers
  7. Brown chalk
  8. Tape
  9. Paint brush (we used the end of a paintbrush to make the hole in the middle of the donut)
  10. Necklace
 I made these with a group of my daughter's friends over spring break.  I am pretty sure I had more fun then they did making these....they are just so adorable! 
 We started by rolling a small ball out of the beige clay.  It is really easy to work with after you roll it around for a few seconds.  Our ball was about the size of a dime. 
Next, we used our thumb to make the ball flat on the top and bottom.  
 Then, we took the end of a paintbrush and made a hole in the middle of our donut.
 You don't have to do this next step.....we took a very thin thin piece of washi tape and wrapped it around the middle part of the donut. 
 We took some brown chalk to color the donut and then peeled off the washi tape.  This makes it look like a real donut that has been fried in the donut fryer!  (how do I know that?...I used to fry donuts....for reals!)
 After our donut was made we covered the top with a small piece of teal to make it look like the frosting. 
 Once again, we pushed the paint brush end though the hole to finish off the donut. 
 For the last step before we baked the donut, we inserted an eye pin into the clay.
 The girls got creative and made some basketballs and popscicles  and smiley faces.  We placed the clay on a cookie sheet and preheated the oven to 275 degrees.  (we baked our clay shapes for about 20 minutes...this hardens the clay)
 While the clay was baking, we rolled some of the clay into super thin "snakes" and placed them on a plate.  Then I put the plate in the freezer so the clay would harden.  When it was nice and hard, I took a small knife and cut the "snakes" into tiny pieces to make it look like sprinkles. 
 To add the sprinkles, we squeezed some of the mod podge dimensional magic on top of the frosting (after the clay had cooled down from being baked) and then added the sprinkles.  The mod podge makes the frosting and sprinkles "pop" a little bit and make it look more like a real donut!
 I inserted some paper clips into a few donuts to use as a book mark.  I baked the donut with the paper clip in it. 

 Here are some of the finished products the girls made.  Some of the pieces fell off the eye pins because they were larger in size.  If they fell off we just put a little bit of super glue back into the small hole and re-inserted the eye pin!  We used the pliers to open up the eye pin and wrap it around the necklace and then pinched it back together. 

 The kids kept coming back to make more and more!  I was hoping to be able to return some of the clay I had purchased, but they used it all up!  It was a full day of clay making and baking!  The older girls pulled up Pinterest and did a search for "Polymer Clay Animals" and they created the day away!

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Hand-Made T-Shirts

My daughter's team was headed to the national basketball tournament this past weekend and I thought it would be fun to make our kids matching t-shirts.  (I am not sure they thought it was very cool to have matching shirts, but that's why I am the mom!) I was super happy with how they turned out and I think they kids loved wearing them at the tournament....secretly of course!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Iron on material ( I used cricut iron on and silhouette iron on material)  
  2. Cricut...optional.  (If you don't have a cricut, don't panic...you can use the material the same way and just hand cut out your letters!!!)
  3. Iron
  4. T-shirt (I found ours at Michael's on sale 2 for $6 and then added and additional 20% off coupon....I also did wash and dry it before we made the t-shirts) 


I used my cricut to do my cutting for me.  I programmed it to cut out the letters I needed and placed the dial on the iron on setting.  If you are using a cricut, make sure you don't forget to click the "mirror image" button and place the material liner side down.  (follow the directions on the box for cutting...they are way better than my directions) 

 Once the letters are cut out, you need to remove the excess paper so you only have the letter you want to iron on left on the sticky liner. 

 Here is an example of pulling the extra material off to leave the letter on the liner.  If you are not using a cricut you could trace your letter on the paper and then cut out your letters.  You won't have extra liner hanging off the sides like we did, but it will still iron on and work. 

 My husband and I did all the cutting and circuting and then the kids did the rest.  I showed them how to peel all their letters off and peel away they did! 
 Once the letters are good to go, we placed them on the shirt.  The shiny liner side will be on the top now and the sticky part will be on the t-shirt. 
 We placed a thin kitchen towel down once our letters were in place and with our iron on the hottest setting, we started to iron the letters down.  We have a super old and super cheap iron so our hottest setting might be different if you are using a real legit iron....just keep that in mind!  You have to get it pretty hot for it to iron on. 
 You will be able to test by pulling up the shiny liner.  If the letter pulls up with it, it's not ironed down.  We ended up letting the iron just sit in one place and counting to 15 seconds.  Then we would move it and count again.   The shiny liner will come right off when it is done and you will throw that away. 
 Once our front side was ironed down, we flipped the shirt over and added to the back of the shirt.  We put our name and the birth order number for each of our kids. 
 I love the way they turned out.  A few of our letters did start to peel off after the kids wore them because we hadn't ironed them down enough.  It was the letters on the far ends of the shirts that didn't get as much of the heat.  Keep that in mind if you make some shirts for your family! 
I don't think there was a cuter bunch of kids at the national tournament wearing matching shirts....but I am a little biased!  






And....today our spring break ends.  The kids head back to school tomorrow morning and I head to Fox 6 Real Milwaukee to talk about what we did to stay busy during the week!  I know many of you haven't had your spring break yet....and that's a perfect time to craft!!!  

Happy Spring!
and 
Happy Easter!  

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Well, I have said it before and I'll say it again...I love love love decorating for Valentine's Day.  It is my favorite "holiday" to decorate for.  (and, yes, I know it's not a holiday...but anything I get to decorate for is a holiday in my head!) So...when the producer from Real Milwaukee asked me to do a segment on Valentine's Day kid crafts I had a party in my brain!  I hosted a mother/daughter craft session for this segment.  12 sets of moms and daughters came to create 8 Valentine's Day crafts....are you ready?  Here we go!  

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Paper Heart Wreath

This adorable wreath makes me so happy to look at!  So easy to make and a craft that doesn't use a lot of materials.  This wreath looks so cute on our front door!  

Supplies Needed: 
  1. Scrap book Paper (double sided paper works best)
  2. Glue dots or hot glue or double sided tape (we used glue dots)
  3. Thin ribbon
  4. Paper cutter or ruler and scissors
We made 8 hearts to complete our wreath.  You will need 8 strips of paper cut into 2 inch wide by 11 inch long strips.  Once you have your strips of paper cut you need to fold them in half and crease the fold. (this will be the bottom pointy part of your heart)
Then you will fold the two ends around to create the heart shape.  We used glue dots to make the two ends stick together. 

 Once you have all 8 hearts made, you need to attach them together.  Again, we used glue dots for this.  When we placed the glue dots on the outsides of the hearts to make them stick together we left a space in the middle of the glue dots. (this will help for stringing the ribbon).  Once the hearts were all glued together forming the circle shape we cut a piece of thin ribbon.  We threaded that through the opening between the glue dots and then tied a knot at the end of the ribbon so it wouldn't slide through.  Do the same thing a few hearts over with the other side of the ribbon and you have yourself a paper heart wreath! 

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Valentine Pom Pom Guys

These Valentine pom pom yarn guys are crazy adorable and lovable.  These are so fun to make and so fun to decorate with!  Get your pom pom makers out and make some of these!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Pom pom maker (I use Clover makers found at local craft stores)
  2. Pipe cleaners
  3. Yarn
  4. Googly eyes
  5. Felt for ears and feet
  6. Sharp scissors
  7. Hot glue


 Start by making your pom poms using the clover maker or any other pom pom maker.  We used a medium sized pom pom maker for the perfect size yarn guys.  Remember to pull the yarn from the middle of the skein so it doesn't knot up on you.  My girls are pros at making pom poms!  We used these makers all the time for so many things! 
Once your pom poms are made you need to hot glue on the eyes.  Once the eyes are in place you will need to cut out a larger heart for the feet and 2 smaller hearts for the ears.  We hot glued the hearts onto the pipe cleaners for the ears and then hot glued the pipe cleaner onto the pom pom guy.  (we cut the pipe cleaner in half and then bended that half in half again to get the right sized antennas). My girls have been making these daily for friends and teachers!  I mean, really, who wouldn't want to have a few of these cute guys sitting around their house or on their desk?!?!?  
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Felt Heart Garland

I love the way this felt heart garland turned out.  To be honest, I wasn't sure how well the kids would be able to hand sew, and they amazed me with their sewing talents!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Felt (I purchased mine precut already from a local store)
  2. Scissors (the sharper the better if you are cutting your own hearts out)
  3. Needle
  4. Thread (I used crochet thread)
  5. Bakers twine
  6. Stuffing

I was lucky to have found precut out hearts which saved me a step.  If you have to cut your own hearts, you need two of the same color.  (one for the front and one for the back).  We just did a basic stitch for our hearts.  In and out in and out.  When the heart was sewn about 3/4 of the way you need to stop and stuff your heart.  Once you have the stuffing in you can finish sewing.  Tie knot at the end and start on your next heart!  


Since we did so many hearts it took a bit to complete it.  You could make a heart garland with more or less depending on your patience! The end product is super cute!  Lastly, take the bakers twine and sew that through the back of the hearts to connect them all.  Leave enough twine to hang your garland and enjoy your masterpiece!  


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Valentine Hot Air Balloon Canvas

This canvas art is not only perfect for Valentine's day but for any day!  Change up the colors or the shape to create you very own art canvas!

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Blank Canvas
  2. Paint (I used acrylic paint)
  3. Heart Punch
  4. Paint chip sample cards
  5. Scrapbook paper
  6. Bakers twine
  7. Hot glue



First you will need to paint your canvas.  I put two coats of paint on mine, letting each coat dry before the next.  While your canvas is drying you can start punching out your hearts.  I had stopped at a few different hardware stores and stocked up on some paint chips.  Use your heart punch to punch out the hearts on the paint samples.  
When your canvas is all dry you want to lay out your hearts to get your balloon shape.  We used old scrapbook paper to cut out the basket of the balloon.  
 Lastly, start gluing!  If you are using a hot glue gun, make sure an adult is actually doing the gluing. 

We had some girls make their balloons in the shape of a heart which turned out really cute as well.  I simply love looking at this art work and will be keeping it up year 'round for sure!  
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 Felt Arrow

What a simple craft that adds so much cuteness!  Hang these from windows or give as gifts to help celebrate Valentine's Day! 

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Stick
  2. Felt
  3. Hot Glue
  4. Scissors
  5. Bakers twine

We didn't use a pattern or anything for this craft.  We used some pink felt to cut out two triangles and hot glued them to the stick at one end.  
On the other end we cut  a rectangle and then did some trimming to get the bottom of the arrow look.  Using your scissors make small cuts in the the bottom part for the frayed look.  Hot glue those pieces on to the end of the arrow.  If you want, tie a cute little bow using bakers twine and boom....felt arrow is done!  


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 Valentine's Hoop Art

I know, how cute are these?!?!  I saw something similar to this on Pinterest and put my own spin on them.  I am so in love with these!  I am totally not taking these down either!  These will stay up all year long! 

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Embroidery hoops
  2. Felt
  3. Fabric
  4. Buttons
  5. Needle
  6. Thread
  7. Scissors


 I didn't provide a template for these for our craft session.  I just laid my samples out and the girls got to work!  First you will need to cut a piece of your fabric and get it nice and tight inside the hoop.  (we used flannel, corduroy and regular fabric as our backgrounds).  Leave the extra material just hang out of the hoop until you are all done with the sewing. 



 Next, you need to figure out what you are going to stick on your fabric.  We used felt to cut out clouds and used pre-cut hearts from Benzie Deign's Shop. 
 You can choose to pin down  your felt pieces so they don't shift around while you are sewing. 
Then using your thread and needle you can start hand stitching your design on.  Make sure you start from underneath so all the knots are on the underside of the hoop hiding the mess!  
 You can add buttons for an extra effect as well!  I wish I would have been able to capture more pictures of the completed hoops.  They were super cute!  Some of the girls cut out words and stitched those on as well. 
 After you are all done, cut the excess material of and hang your hoop art on your wall!  I cannot wait to create more of these! 

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Glitter Rocks

These glitter rocks are so very easy to make but that doesn't take away from how simple and adorable they are!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Rocks (Any size will work.  I also bought some flat rocks at a local craft store)
  2. Elmer's glue
  3. Extra Fine Glitter


 Take your glue and put a very thin layer of glue on in whatever shape you want.  Anywhere you put the glue, the glitter will stick to it.  If you use a lot of glue on a rock that isn't flat, the glue may drip. 

 Once you have your glue down, sprinkle your glitter on.  I waited to tap off the extra glitter until the glue had dried.  Yes, my friends, it is that easy!  These would make adorable paper weights or special touches to any decor! 


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 Heart Mobile

I have my heart mobile hanging in my kitchen window and each time it catches my eye it makes me smile!  Not only is this adorable, it is a great way to teach a simple sewing stitch on the sewing machine! 

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Felt (I purchase all my felt from Benzie Design who makes the best wool felt ever.  They were kind enough to donate some of the felt hearts...that were precut out for the mobile.  You can visit their store HERE.  These were the heart die cuts that come in 3 different sizes.)
  2. Scissors (if cutting your own hearts)
  3. Sewing machine
  4. Stick
  5. Bakers Twine
I'll be honest, I was a little nervous teaching girls how to sew.  I was pleasantly surprised on how quickly they picked it up!  

I showed them how to feed the hearts into the machine right under the presser foot.  My sewing machine is awesome and even lets you sew if there is no material to sew so that gave us the spaced out hearts.  We had a few glitches from our first timers, but nothing we couldn't fix!  

 After they completed their heart strands we tied them onto a branch.  (we left a long enough string at the beginning before we started sewing to give us thread to use to tie onto the branch).  We hung our branch up with bakers twine and some 3M hooks on our kitchen window.  I have fallen in love with this and have an even great plan for something like this for spring!  I cannot wait to order more felt from Benzie Design and get sewing! 



I really enjoyed putting together these crafts for this segment.  I can't decide which one I like the best!  It was so much fun to watch mothers and daughters get creative together and craft with each other.  I hope they had as much fun making the crafts as I did watching them all craft!

REAL MILWAUKEE HOLIDY DIY DECOR SEGMENT....DEC 3rd 2015

It's December now which means it's time to decorate for Christmas!  This can be exciting for some and overwhelming for others.  I have put together a few DIY craft ideas straight from Pinterest that I KNOW you can do!  Happy Crafting my friends! 
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Ornament Picture holders or place card holders

These are simply adorable.  Use them to display pictures, Christmas cards or a name card and place at each table setting! So very simple to make and an easy way to impress your friends and family!  

Supplies Needed:

  1. Tree stumps (cut to your sizing preference)
  2. Ornaments
  3. Wire (I used OOK 18 gauge wire that I found at Home Depot)
  4. Tacky Glue/Wood glue
  5. Pictures or Place Card Names
  6. Pen or something skinny to wrap wire around





The steps to make these are very basic.  Take a piece of your wire and wrap it around the top of the ornament.  I was able to bend the wire with my hands but you may want to use a pliers or a strong man!  Once I had the wire wrapped around the top I took the extra wire and wrapped it around a pen to give it the curly look.  You can make this as long or as short as you would like.  At the top I twisted the two loops of wire close together so I could slide my picture in it.  It took me a few tries to get the wire exactly how I wanted it for the first one, but by the 7th one I was a pro!  Next,  glue the ornament onto a piece of wood/stump.  I used tacky glue.  It took quite a bit of time to dry and my ornament kept slipping down.  I had to prop it up against something so the ornament wouldn't slip until the glue was dry.   You could try hot glue or wood glue as well.  There you have it!  You could add some glitter or even paint the tree stumps if you want.  Lots of possibilities with these for sure!  


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Lighted Garland

This lighted garland is SO very easy to make and it will add such an extra special touch to your holiday decor this year!  I have made these for Valentine's day as well!  Nothing makes me happier than some bright colors, lights and some fun fabric!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Stand of Christmas lights.  (I used white mini lights 100 count-make sure they are on a  white wire and not green...unless you want the green wire ones!)
  2. Fabric
  3. Scissors or cutting mat and rotary blade



First you will want to cut your strips of fabric.  I cut mine into 2 inch wide by 6 in long strips.  (You will need quite a bit of these if your strand is as long as mine was!)  You can use fabric or burlap to wrap around your lights.  I, of course, went with bright colors but you can use any selection of fabric that you would like!  I don't think you could pick wrong fabric options for this! 
After you have your strips of fabric cut, you simply tie each strip around the strand of the lights.  One at a time.  I was able to get about 4-5 strips between each set of lights.  Give yourself some time to do this.  It takes quite a bit of time to tie all of these strips to a long strand of lights!  


That is it!  I told you it was that easy!  I have hung these around my windows before as decorations as well.  Right now I have a set running down the center of my table with my ornament picture holders.  

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Glittered Pine Cones and Pears

I love anything with glitter on it!  These pine cones and pears are such a fun yet classy way to add some sparkle to your home this Christmas!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Pine Cones
  2. Spray paint (optional)
  3. Glitter
  4. Spray Adhesive
  5. Tacky glue

 

I started off by spraying my pine cones with a base color.  I used silver and gold metallic spray paint.  I wasn't set on coating the pine cones fully...just give them a little bit of a base coat.  

After the spray paint dried I headed inside to add the glitter.  I used some spray adhesive to coat the pine cones and then sprinkled on glitter.  Not all of the glitter will stick so make sure to do this over paper or a garbage can.  Any glitter that falls off I put back into the glitter bottle to not waste.  The Tacky Spray (spray adhesive) can be pretty sticky so be careful of that when using it!  I let my pine cones sit and dry and then tapped off the extra glitter that didn't stick.  I was pretty gentle when I tapped the pine cones....tapping too hard might cause more glitter to fall off!  Again, these are so very easy to make!  I ended up putting my phone cones in a glass vase with a strand of battery operated Christmas lights.  

I also wanted to try some sparkling fruit this year.  I headed to the dollar store and found 3 pears which was just perfect!  I used some tacky glue (the same glue I used for the ornament picture holders) and painted it on with a paint brush (the spray adhesive would be an option as well).  The I took some extra fine glitter and sprinkled it on to each pear.  I did have to do some touching up with more glue and glitter when they dried.  I used a sliver, gold and a white extra fine glitter that I got at Michael's.  Again, super easy and fast to make!  I am sitting here thinking of finding more things to cover in glitter!  


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Hot Cocoa Bar (Snowballs and Mason Jar) 

Want snowballs that don't melt?  I was super excited to make some real looking snowballs that I could use to decorate our hot cocoa bar with!  Add a mason jar with an extra special touch to give it a completed look!  The best part of our hot cocoa bar is that I pulled different jars and containers from all over our house!  I am ok that it doesn't all match :)   --The mugs I found at Goodwill for .25 each-SCORE! 

Supplies Needed:

  1. Styrofoam balls (you can use any size you want...I found some at the dollar store and some at Hobby Lobby)
  2. Fake snow (found at your local craft stores) 
  3. Extra fine white glitter
  4. Tacky Glue (craft glue) 
  5. Skewer sticks (optional)
  6. Mason Jar
  7. White craft paint or chalk paint
  8. Bakers twine, pine cone, pine needed (optional) 



The snowballs are another super easy craft to make that will wow your guests!  I took 3 different sized styrofoam balls and stuck a skewer in each one.  I thought this would help with keeping the mess of the glue contained to just the ball.  I took a small craft paint brush and painted craft glue (aka as tacky glue) all over the styrofoam ball.  The glue does soak in a little bit and it is a bit tricky to paint on the glue!  Once the ball is covered in glue, dip your ball in fake snow.  I just opened the top of the fake snow bag and stuck the ball right in the bag of fake snow.  Once I made sure there was snow covering the entire ball I sprinkled a little bit of white fine glitter over the ball to give it some sparkle.  I also tried to sprinkle some Epsom salt on it to give it an "ice" look but the salt didn't stick very well and you couldn't even see a difference.  Instead I used the container to stick my skewers in while the snowballs dried!  I put the snowballs in a tin container I had at home with a strand of battery operated Christmas lights.  I added a pair of wool gloves I picked up at goodwill for .50 and a candy cane for a pop of color!  I took some left over fake snow and sprinkled it on the fabric I laid down.  Just a warning.....the fake snow may be played with by little hands!!  
 For the mason jar, I used white craft paint to cover the jar.  I had to put on 2 coats of the paint.  When the paint was completely dry I took a piece of sand paper and sanded very lightly over the words on the jar to make them "pop" a little bit.  I took some bakers twine and wrapped it around the neck of the jar and then added a pine cone and a small pine branch as well.  I stuck some red and white paper straws in the jar and just love how it turned out!  

 I added the  snowman vase with flowers to the bar from the last real milwaukee segment.  (directions for that are in the last tutorial!) Overall, I am super happy with the way our hot cocoa bar turned out.  Our kids are waiting patiently to use the bar!  (I am making them wait until the segment airs just in case the break something!)  




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 Barn Wood Box & Cranberry Mason Jars

Using old barn boards is super trendy right now.  Thankfully we have a bunch of old barn wood in a junk pile at the back of our property!  The possibilities for this box are endless.  Most definitely you can use this to decorate for every season!  


 Supplies Needed:

  1. Barn Wood (or you can buy one of these boxes pre done) 
  2. Mason Jars
  3. Cranberries
  4. Pine branches
  5. Floating Candles
  6. Accent pieces to taste 
  7. Tea light candles
  8. 1 1/2 inch drill bit and drill
 I had my husband create this bard wood box for me.  A piece on the bottom and 4 pieces on the side. I am pretty sure he didn't really measure and kind of eye balled it.  I was ok with that.  It is supposed to be rustic looking!  I added some fake pine branches that I found at Hobby Lobby along with some silver ball sticks I found there as well.  (make sure to buy them when they are 50% off!)  I added some tree stumps to put the mason jars on.  I filled the jars with water, pine branches from our fresh Christmas tree and some real cranberries.  To finish it off I added a floating candle.  For the stumps that don't have a jar on top of them, I asked Dan to drill a hole in the top of the stump for a tea light to sit in.

The drill bit he used was 1 1/2 inches.  I put the tea lights in the hole and shazaam....a beautiful looking decoration.  I can't wait to change this out for every season! 

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Phew...I think that is it!! 
I am also going to be demonstrating how to make pom pom garland on air!  We have made the pom pom garland as a Friday at the Farm session before and they are always a big hit! 

Happy crafting to you and a very Merry Christmas from our crazy farm life family to yours!   



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DIY HOSTESS GIFT TUTORIALS

It is that time of year again!!!  Party Time!!  Unlike us, I am positive you all get invited to many holiday parties!  We are usually invited to maybe one ugly sweater party...which is about enough for my introverted husband and myself to attend.  We are homebodies.  We love to host parties, however, so when Fox 6 Real Milwaukee's producer asked me to do a segment on DIY hostess gifts I channeled my inner party self.  What would I like to receive as a hostess gift from a guest?  I have done my due diligence on Pinterest and have created 6 hostess gifts for the simple crafter to the more advanced crafter!!  Are you ready to PaRtY?!?!  Here we go....


You can download your very own FREE printable gift tags HERE!  Thank you to NellieDesign for creating a free printable for our DIY hostess gifts! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Painted Bamboo Utensil Set


How adorable are these painted serving utensils?  I know... I smile just looking at them!  

Supplies Needed:

  1. Wooden Utensil Set (I found this set at Walmart for $4.97 for all 5)
  2. Craft Paint
  3. Painters Tape
  4. Paint Brush
  5. Clear Acrylic Spray






 Alright, let's get down to business.  First, you have to make the hard decision on the paint colors for your utensil/s.  I went super colorful because that is what I like.  Keep in mind...if you are giving these as a hostess gift, keep the hostess in mind.  What would they like?  What color is their kitchen?
 I worked my way from the bottom of the spoon up to the top of the handle.  I left a few inches towards the bottom of the spoon because that part will be touching the food.  I started with a piece of painters tape and put it at the bottom point of where I wanted me paint to be.  I then placed another piece of tape where I wanted my color to end.
 Next, I painted in-between the tape pieces.  I ended up needed to put at least two coats of paint on so do NOT remove the tape until all your coats for each color are on!
 I did all 5 pieces at the same time so when I was working on one utensil the other ones could be drying.
 After I had the first color on (the lightest blue one) I took the tape off and place another piece of tape at the next color mark (where I wanted that color to end)  I used a really thin brush to paint the next color on ( I didn't use tape....between the light blue and the middle shade of blue.)  I didn't want the tape to rip off any color I had already painted and since I am such an impatient person, I also didn't wait for the paint to dry 100% before removing the tape and moving on to the next color.

 See how on this spoon below I put a piece of painters tape above the green to keep that line clean, but used my small brush to paint the green down to the bluish color?
 When I was all done painting and my utensils were dry, I slid them into some aluminum foil.  I headed outside and sprayed a clear spray paint coat over the paint part to seal in the paint.  I put two layers of the spray paint on.  I personally used a clear spray paint.  You could also use a clear acrylic spray as well.

 I don't know about you, but if I received these as a hostess gift for throwing a party, I would be super excited!  It would totally make all the hard work and prep for a party worth it!!

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Hand Stamped Utensil Set

I have completely fallen in love with making these Hand Stamped Utensils!!!  



Supplies Needed: 

  1. Wooden Utensil/s (again, I purchased a set of 5 from Walmart for $4.97)
  2. Alphabet Stamp Set (I found mine at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon)
  3. Ruler
  4. Hammer
  5. Pencil
  6. Thin Black Sharpie







Don't let these scare you!  They are SO so so very easy to make!!  
First you want to figure out what word you are going to stamp.  Next, you want to use a pencil and a ruler to draw a straight line to guide you when you stamp.  


 Work your way from the end of the word to the beginning.  I was ok if my words weren't spaced super evenly and if there were a little crooked.  I think that gives the utensils a bit of character.  If you are a bit more OCD about that, you will need to take the time to measure and use hash marks for each of your letters.  You take the letter stamp that you need and put it facing the right way on the spoon.  Hold it firmly in place and use your hammer to imprint the stamp.  One very firm pound is all it takes.  Once you remove the stamp it can be hard to get it back in exactly the right place.  Just be aware of that.  One firm pound is really all I needed to do!!    ( I hammered mine on a steel block....if you don't have one you just need to make sure you are hammering on something firm and solid!)

  I worked my way backwards trying to place each letter stamp in the middle of my pencil line.  They all didn't line up perfectly, which again, I was ok with.  After you have your word stamped, erase your pencil line.
Next, you will take the tip of you black sharpie and trace over the imprinted letters.  Yes, it is simply that easy!  
  
 I added a few "special" stamps to my utensils just because I had them.  Even without the added heart or cross, I still adore these!!  You could tie a ribbon around a few or gift them with a hot pad or a new kitchen towel.  I don't know about you, but these are a great gift for ANY host or hostess!!!  The best part is that you can personalized them with whatever you want them to say!   Get creative!


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Reusable Hand Warmers

When I saw this idea on Pinterest I was kind-a a hand warmer doubter.... after a week of having them in my house I am a full on reusable hand warmer LOVER!!!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Fabric Pieces
  2. Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread
  3. Rice
  4. Dried Herbs/Spices/Scents (optional)
  5. Funnel or Paper & tape to make funnel
  6. Sewing Pins
  7. Scissors (normal and pinking shears) 








Alright...I am gonna be honest here.  I really truly only know how to sew a straight line.  Trust me.  I have a sewing machine and am pretty much clueless on how it works.  I even had to call JoAnn's the other day because it was making a "clunking" sound.  Apparently I just needed to read thread it....thank you for the phone support kind JoAnn Fabric worker ;)  Anyways, the thought of making this panicked me.  Cutting fabric and sewing just seemed like a bit too much for me to handle!!  THEN...I was walking around Ben Franklin the other night and saw pre-cut fabric squares.  Well, hello making my life easier fabric squares!   AND....and and and....the squares came pre finished on the edges just like I had wanted!!!  You can make these....yes you can!!!!  (especially if you know how to thread your sewing machine) 
First, if you aren't using precut squares you need to cut your fabric into squares.  My pieces are about 5x5 inches.  You can make them any size...larger or smaller.  
Next I arranged my fabric pieces with a front and back piece of fabric.  You put the two wrong ends together so the two right sides are exposed or facing out.  I did not pin my fabric together because the material really didn't shift around.  Again, I am not a perfectionist when it comes to crafting.  If you are, you can pin your squares together.  Then, you just sew around the edges.  I used the presser foot of the sewing machine as my guide.  You need to leave about 1/4 of one side open so you can fill it with rice.  I backstitched so no thread would come undone.  (Ok all you sewers out there...I know I am not using the correct terminology!)  

Next, I filled the fabric with rice through the opening.  I tried to use a funnel but the rice kept getting stuck so my daughter and I made a funnel out of paper and tape with a much wider opening.  That worked perfectly!
Once the hand warmer is about 3/4 of the way full of rice we also added 1 teaspoon of dried herbs/spices.  We used dried lavender, peppermint, spearamint and cinnamon chunks.  A very crafty friend of mine actually dries her own lavender (I know!!!  I was SO impressed!) I found the peppermint, spearmint and cinnamon chunks at Penzey Spices.  I am sure you can order them online. I only used dried scents.  I was going to try oils, but was concerned with it being an actual liquid mixing with the rice.  Once we added the scents we secured the rice in with a pin.  (FYI...we only used one scent per hand warmer.  We didn't mix all the scents together!)

I headed back over to the sewing maching and finished stitching up the last part of the hand warmer.  If you are using regular fabric that isn't pre cut on the edges, you will want to use a pinking shears (to make the zig zag cut) around to make sure the fabric doesn't fray.  I removed the pin and trimmed all the long threads and there you have it.....a perfect size hand warmer.  We placed them in our microwave for about 20 seconds to warm them up.  *Be careful, they might be too hot for little hands!*
I made one for each of our kids.  They have been using them non stop.  Can't you just see warming them up on a cold day when you come inside from playing outside?  I thought these would be a perfect hostess gift for a family.  We are headed to our dear friend's home for Thanksgiving and I have a set all made and ready to give to their 5 children!  They smell so nice when warmed up and just add an extra special touch.  Happy sewing everyone!!  (If I can do it....so can you!)
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Snowman Vase

What a super easy and perfect way to bring flowers to your host or hostess!  


Supplies Needed:

  1. Jar of any kind (I used an old pickle jar)
  2. White spray paint or paint
  3. 3 black buttons
  4. Hot glue
  5. Scrap of Fabric



I am not even kidding.  This was super super duper easy to make.  
First, find a jar.  We had just finished a jar of pickles so I washed that out and used it for my vase.  You could use a larger mason jar or any old vase you have lying around.  (from all those flowers you get!) I used a basic flat white spray paint and sprayed the outside of the jar with two coats.  Then I hot glued on 3 black buttons and tied a scrap of fabric around the neck of the jar.  Yes, it was simply that easy!  Wouldn't this be perfect to stick a dozen red roses in?  Flowers make a great hostess gift so why not add that extra special touch and put them in a simple to make snowman vase/jar?!?!?  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Etched Glass

I simply could not believe my eyes when I saw this product and then was amazed at how easy it was!

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Glass Jar/Vas/Pan/Bowl
  2. Armour Etch (I got mine at Michael's with a 50% off coupon)
  3. Sticker Vinyl
  4. Cricut or cutting machine or template
  5. Water
 As soon as I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I HAD to try it.  There was NO way it was going to work or be easy.  Well, it worked AND it was super easy!    First, I had to find my glass piece.  I didn't want to ruin anything I had at my house so I headed to goodwill and found this super awesome bowl.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  Thank you goodwill!  I think I let out a scream of joy when I saw it...and got a few weird looks from the people in the same aisle with me! I washed out the bowl and dried it and got ready to "etch."
 Again, I found this at Michael's.  I am sure any craft store has it or it can be ordered on line.  Please use a coupon!!  I think this small bottle would have been $14.99 without a coupon.  You can use any store's app to get a coupon while standing in line!!
 Next, I used my cricut to cut out the word "enjoy" on a piece of vinyl.  I know not everyone has access to one of these machines, but there are stencils at the craft stores as well for glass etching.  You can also get creative with stickers to create a space to etch.  I wanted to have a unique word but also an inviting word for my glass bowl...so I went with the word "enjoy"   After I cut out the vinyl, I peeled off the backing and I stuck it down onto my glass bowl.  I made sure it was pressed down completely.
 Next, I took a popsicle stick and gently rubbed the Armour Etch cream onto my bowl.  Be careful to not get the cream anywhere you don't want etched.  I let it sit for about 5-7 minutes and then ran it under warm water.  It washed right off.  I peeled off the vinyl and dried the bowl.
 I was 100% amazed at the outcome.  It was adorable.  I could totally see making some puppy chow and putting it in this bowl and giving to a hostess as a gift!  Think of the possibilities!  I have already "etched" an 8x8 glass pan with someone's last name and I "etched" a glass bread pan.  I plan on making someone a banana bread in it and giving it as a gift.  The etching cream goes quite a long way!  This would be perfect if you were asked to bring a dessert or appetizer - you could personalize the dish you bring it in and leave if for your hostess!  I can hear the excitement now!!!

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DIY Coaster Set


What a perfect gift to make to bring to a party!  Reusable and a gift that WILL be used!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Tiles (I purchased 4x4 inch tiles at Home Depot for .87 each) 
  2. Scrapbook paper or photos
  3. Scissors or paper cutter
  4. Cork or Felt
  5. Paint brush (small one) 
  6. Hot Glue or Fabric Glue
  7. Mod Podge
  8. Clear Acrylic Sealer

I was super excited to try out this craft!  I am always looking for gift ideas and this is a perfect one!  
First you will need to measure your tiles.  The ones I purchased were approximately 4x4.  I purchased some 12 x 12 inch scrap book paper and it cut perfectly with the dimensions.  You would be able to get 9- 4x4 inch paper squares per sheet.  I used my paper cutter, but you could easily do this with a ruler and a scissors.

Once you have your paper cut you need to apply a coat of mod podge.  I started by brushing it right on to the tile. I didn't really like the way my paper was sticking that way so I ended up brushing a layer of mod podge right to the back of the piece of scrapbook paper.  I then pressed that piece of paper down onto the top of the tile.  I used coordinating papers to make a set of 4 coasters.  Make sure you press down and make sure all the edges are sticking to the tile.  


Once that dries you will want to add a coat or two of Mod Podge to the top of the coaster.  I think I ended up putting two good coats on my tiles.  Don't worry, it will dry clear!!!  Wait until each layer dries before adding another coat!!!  
Once your Mod Podge is completely dried (maybe let it dry overnight) you will need to see the coaster with the clear acrylic sealer.  I found mine in the craft sections at Walmart.  I coated them twice with the sealer.  When they were dry I added cork to the bottom of the coasters.  You could also cut a piece of felt and glue that to the bottom of the coasters as well.  (I found 12 x 24 inch sheets of cork at Joann Fabrics by the specialty scrap book paper).  I added a cute pom pom to the top and tied a piece of bakers twine around them to hold it all together.   You could make coasters with your children's pictures on each tile or use different types of themed paper to personalize coasters for you host or hostess!  

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There you have it!  6 DIY hostess gift ideas for you to get started on for your upcoming holiday parties!  Thank you REAL MILWAUKEE for once again inviting me into your studio to do what I love to do!  Happy Crafting!

If you make any of these crafts, I would LOVE to see pictures of your completed crafts.  You can post them on my Fridays at the Farm Facebook page  found HERE











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Fall Craft Tutorials

I can't explain how excited I have been to work on these crafts for my upcoming Pinterest Segment.  Channeling my inner crafter is simply so much fun for me!  Now I know I have been blessed with craft juices running through my blood and get all excited for a new craft challenge....but I know that is maybe not the case for all of you.  When the producer from Real Milwaukee (Fox 6) contacted me about doing a Pinterest segment in October for Fall/Halloween crafts I knew right away that I wanted to create things that anyone can do....yes, even you!  So create (and copy) I did!  This is how my brain works...I can pretty much copy anything I see on Pinterest....I will basically copy the idea but modify it to fit what works for me and my budget and my style.  I have 6 crafts I am going to share with you today...yes 6!!!!  I will include a list of materials and give instructions.  You can do it, I know you can!  Here we go....

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 #1... Candy Pumpkin.

Supplies Needed:

  1. Carvable Pumpkin (Large one)-I purchased mine from Michael's when they were 50% off and with an additional 25% off coupon.  
  2. Small knife or carving tool
  3. Paint Brush (large and small)
  4. Black craft paint
  5. White craft paint
  6. Optional: candy & hang tag.

 First you start with a helper (if you have one at home).  I used a pencil to draw a basic outline on my pumpkin.  I drew a huge mouth, two triangle eyes and a circle nose.  I messed up, erased, and redrew my lines many times.  Next you realize your "helper" needs a haircut desperately.
 After I had my face drawn on the pumpkin, I took a small knife and started cutting out the shapes.  Slow and steady.  It's just like carving a regular pumpkin but without the messy inside.
 After the face was all cut out I painted the inside black with craft paint.  (I bought mine from Walmart for .50.  I still wasn't happy with it so I took some white paint and outlined the eyes, mouth and nose.  I added some special treats inside the mouth for little fingers to grab easily.  Finally I added a chalkboard arrow (purchased from Target in the dollar section for 4 of them).  
Finally, you take your "helper" to get a haircut.  This craft was on the easy side.  You could even do this with children.  Let them go crazy.  I wanted to paint my pumpkin fun colors...I still may do that !
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Craft #2...Glitter Pumpkin

Supplies Needed:

  1. Any Pumpkin ~ Real or Fake one
  2. Thumb Tacks
  3. Glue
  4. Glitter
  5. Template

If you know me at all, you know I LOVE glitter and sparkles.  I will put glitter on anything I can.  I especially love when it gets all over me and I have sparkles on me!  Personally, I believe there is no better way to decorate a pumpkin than with sparkles.  So sparkle I did!  First, I used my cricut to cut out a letter "W" for me to use as my template.  Now don't panic if you don't have a cricut.  (Remember I said anyone can do this!)  You can choose to free hand a letter and cut it out as your template (use a pencil so you can erase and redraw if you need to) OR you can use your software (microsoft word or pages or whatever you have) on your computer to make a jumbo letter and then print it out .  Cut out the letter you printed and use that as your template.  
 I positioned my "W" on my pumpkin where I wanted it and then used thumb tacks to hold it in place.  Next, trace around your template with a pencil and remove the template.
Next, fill in the pencil marks with glue.  I used regular elmer's school glue.  I perhaps used a little too much.  You don't have to put it on as thick as I did.  It took mine 2 days to dry completely!  Whoops.  After you have all the glue on, go outside and sprinkle your glitter all over the glue.  Try not to do it when it is super windy out or you may end up with glitter grass like me!  Make sure you cover all the glue.  If you missed spots with glue, add some more glue and glitter.  
 I laid my pumpkin on it's back to dry so the glue wouldn't drip down...because I used too much glue. When the glue is all dry you can tap off the extra glitter or wipe it away with a towel.  The glitter will only stick to where you put the glue!


It really is that easy.  My "W" isn't perfect.  Keep that in mind.  You are using a round bumpy object...it's not going to be perfect!  I say it gives it character!  You could use any color glitter and make a few in different colors.  I love the simplicity of it.  


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Craft #3... Candy Corn Inspired Vases

Supplies Needed:

  1. Emptied Wine Bottles (if you don't drink wine, ask your friends...that is what I did!)
  2. Spray Paint. (yellow, brown, orange, and white)
  3. Accessories of your choice.


This craft looks so amazing when it's done and it really doesn't require a lot of time or effort at all!  

First , you want to make sure your wine bottles are empty and dry on the outside.  I took mine outside and sprayed a coat of white over the entire bottle.  Make sure not to go too thick...the paint will drip if you spray too much.  Slow and steady for spray painting.  Add more if you need it.  I only did one good solid coat.  When the white was dry I sprayed the orange.  Don't go all the way to the top, leaving white to show at the top for the candy corn look.  Again, I did one solid good coat.  

 I usually use Rust-o-leum spray paint.  I find it the cheapest at Walmart.  It's the most expensive at your local hardware stores...keep that in mind!
 Finally, when the orange was dry I added yellow to two bottles and brown to one.  On one of the bottles I went back over the white and created the drippy look...I just oversprayed so the paint would drip down.  That, my friends, was it.  I didn't want perfect lines and I didn't care if some of the paint speckled on to the other colors.
 I added some candy corn on top of a charger that I had in my cabinet.  (If you want to put your bottles as a centerpiece like I did you can find a charger (the white plate I have the bottles sitting on) at your local craft store for $1 when they are on sale!

 I would have loved to add real flowers and actually that was my original plan.  Then I found glitter sunflowers...you had me at glitter.  I once again got them 50% off at Michael's with an additional 25% off coupon.  (I paid about $2.25) per flower.  I had also found these chalkboard tags in the dollar section of target (6 for $1) and added them as well.  To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like these....but now that they are sitting on my table I am in love with this centerpiece!

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Craft #4...Fall Wreath  (this one is kinda tricky!)

Supplies Needed:


  1. Twig Wreath (I found mine at Walmart for $3.97) 
  2. Fabric 
  3. Felt
  4. Hot Glue
  5. Twine
  6. Mini clothespins
Don't let this awesome wreath scare you away!  You can do it!  Yes, you can!  

What you want to do is start by ripping your fabric.  Yes, ripping it.  I cut a small slit in the fabric and then rip the rest.  Just rip from top to bottom.  It will rip smoothly and easily.  Trust me.  
 My strips were about 18 inches long.  They actually were all different lengths.  I didn't measure or anything.  I only used 8 flowers for my wreath so clearly I enjoyed the ripping of the fabric too much!
 The flowers are the tricky part.  First, you will start with a knot at the end of your strip of fabric.
 Then you will start wrapping and twisting the fabric around the knot.  This took me a few tries to conquer.  Basically you are just wrapping the fabric around the knot by twisting the strip of fabric.  These flowers are not meant to be perfect.  They are meant to be messy and frayed.  As soon as I finished a flower I hot glued it on my wreath.
 I tried to arrange the fabric colors so they would be colorful and not two colors next to each other.
 I only used 8 flowers, but you can add as many or as few as you want.  That is all up to personal preference!
 For the word "FALL" I went super easy.  I took 4 different colors of felt and used my pencil to create the letter on the felt.  Again, I wasn't looking for it to be perfect.  I freehanded the letters and then cut them out.  If you wanted, you could create a template on you word document and print it out, trace and then cut.  I found some random twine -rope (which I purchased at Michael's at one time) and some small clothes pins.  I hot glued the twine-rope to the back of the wreath and then clothes -pinned my letter on.  I used an extra strap of fabric that I had ripped and didn't use as the wreath hanger.  I just looped it around the wreath and tied a knot at the top.  I hung it on my wreath hanger on our front door.  ( I picked that up for $1 at the dollar store last year around this time!)



 Like I said, this wreath is a little more detailed and tricky.  I am going to see if I can make a video of myself making the flowers if you are dying to make this!  You could also use any word to complete your wreath.  i.e.  Thanks, BOO, Love, Happy.

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Craft #5... Wine Cork Pumpkin

Supplies Needed:

  1. 30 wine corks (A friend gave me a huge box of them.  You can purchase them as well from a craft store, save them from wine you drink, or check with local grocery stores that recycle them...they give them to people too!) 
  2. Fake leaves (I purchased a long strand of them from the dollar store)
  3. Spanish Moss
  4. Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue Sticks.
  5. Orange Craft paint (at least 3 colors) 


These wine cork pumpkins are really adorable AND really easy to make.  My kids have helped me make them before.  
First you want to paint the fatter side of all but 1 of the wine corks.  I would paint 10 one color orange, 10 another shade of orange and then last 9 a different shade of orange.  Having 3 shades will give the pumpkin a rustic look.  The last cork you will leave plain as that will act as the stem.  As soon as the paint dries you can start hot gluing the corks together.  Start at the bottom row and work your way up.  
5 on the bottom
6 on the next row
7 on the middle row
6 on the next row
5 on the top

Try and place the corks in the groves of the corks below it so they sit well.  Finally, to finish it off, I hot glued two leaves, some Spanish Moss and the final wine cork to the top.  Yes, it really is that easy!   If you are doing this with kids, please help them with the hot glue!  It is really hot! 

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Craft #6..... Leaf Mason Jars

Supplies Needed:

  1. Mason Jars or Glass Jars of any size (I purchased mine at goodwill and then also used a pickle jar)
  2. Spray Paint (any color you want to paint your jars...I used yellow, orange, white and brown~from the wine bottle craft)
  3. Leaf Template.... You can download a template HERE if you would like!
  4. Sticker paper or sticker vinyl( or double sided tape or removable spray adhesive with paper)
  5. Twine and/or Raffia and/or bakers twine
  6. Battery operated tea lights  (I found a two pack of the battery operated ones are the dollar store and also glitter ones in the dollar section at Target) 
  7. Candy or seeds to put in jars

Ok, so this craft is another one that surprised me.  I love love love the way these turned out.  They look a lot harder to make than they really are!  Here we go..
 I used my cricut to cut out two leaf shapes on my sticker back vinyl.  Now, again, I realize you all don't have access to that so it IS possible to do this without that!  My friend (who happens to be an amazing graphic designer) has created a leaf template for you to use.  You can find a FREE downloadable leaf template HERE.  Print those leaves out and then cut them out.  The easiest thing to do would be to trace them on a sticker paper.  You can find that at your local craft store.  You can even use the sticker vinyl I use.  It is about $1.99 for a 12 by 24 inch piece....you could get a lot of leaves out of that!  It is located by the scrapbooking paper at Joanns.  If you don't have access to either of those...you could use paper with double sided tape on the back or removable adhesive spray.  Basically, what you want to do is get your leaf cut out to stick to the jar but then be able to remove it after the paint dries.  After you get your leaf adhered to the jar, you can spray paint your jar/s.  Spray paint right over the leaf.  Again, make sure to not spray so thick that the paint drips.  Slow and steady and even.  


When  the paint dries you will peel off the sticker leaf off of each jar.  That will leave you with a glorious leaf shape!


 You are going to need to fill the bottom of the jars with some fun fall colored items to set your candle on.  I used things I had around the house.  Popcorn kernels, candy corn, mini chocolate chips, leaf sprinkles that I had an abundance of for some reason and fall colored M&Ms.  I added those items just covering the stem part of the leaf.  You want people to be able to see them!
 Then I added the battery operated tea lights to each jar.
 Finally, I added some twine and raffia around the tops of the jars to make them look complete!  If you want to add the "give thanks" tag to your jars like I did on the white one...you can download that for FREE as well!  Click HERE to print your own tag!



 You could use these as centerpieces for your table for Thanksgiving or set them outside for Trick or Treat.  The possibilities with these are endless!


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And there you have it!  

6 crafts that you CAN do!
Make one or make them all like I did!  

I will be demoing a couple of these on Real Milwaukee on Thursday, October 15th at 9:40!  Watch for me there!

If you have any questions, leave me a comment!  

Happy Fall decorating!  

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