April 2021- Gemstone Suncatchers
- CLEAR liquid glue
- gem stones (flat on the bottom) (found in floral dept)
- 2 identical soft plastic lids (4 ½ inches in diameter works well )
- plastic straw and scissors
- table protection
- paper plates (optional)
- Protect the work surface with plastic tablecloth, place mat, etc.
- Arrange gemstones in lid.
- Place other lid next to lid with gemstones
- Cut straw into a 2-3 inch piece
- Place lid on paper plate
- Pour glue in empty lid.
- Enough to cover the bottom and touch the sides of the lid but not too much as you place the gemstones in the lid the gemstones will disperse some of the glue.
- If the glue overflows the edge of the lid you will have a mess but it just means you had too much glue the first time.
- Set plate aside for 5-7 days for the glue to dry
- Peel away lid & gently remove straw piece from the sun catcher
- Throw away straw piece
- If back of sun catcher is still tacky to the touch lay the sun catcher upside down on a flat surface for a day or two to finish drying.
- Thread ribbon or cord through the hole made by the straw and hang in a window.
You don’t need a large bottle of glue but it MUST be “clear” glue. I raided my friend’s recycle bin for the plastic lids. They have to be soft or bendable or else you will have problems removing the sun catcher. They came from sour cream, yogurt, and butter tubs. Any size lid will work but the larger the lid the heavier the final product will be. Using 1 lid for the “dry” arrangement and the other lid for the glue and final placement works really well as once the gemstones hit the glue they pretty much are where they are. If you prefer not using the straw to make a hole in the sun catcher you can glue a ribbon or cord on the back of the sun catcher using E6000 glue.
March 2021-Crystal Easter Eggs
Confession time: I started out to make crystallized Styrofoam Easter eggs but didn’t read the directions carefully and it didn’t work. Totally my fault. I quickly substituted pipe cleaners for the Styrofoam eggs and made crystallized egg shapes.
- Wide mouth quart canning jar (or other wide mouth container)
- Pipe cleaners
- Borax laundry detergent (powder)
- Food coloring
- Hot but not boiling water
- Pencil, chop stick, etc. (lies across the top of the jar)
- Sewing thread (optional)
- Bend the pipe cleaners into an egg shape leaving a tail to attach to the pencil.
- You can tie a length of sewing thread to the pipe cleaner creation and then tie it to the pencil if you wish.
- You can use more than 1 pipe cleaner to create your shape but keep in mind that the shape must be able to fit inside the jar without touching the sides.
- Measure 1 cup Borax and add to jar.
- Heat the water to just before boiling and carefully pour into jar and stir well.
- You can add more Borax if desired. Stop when it no longer dissolves into the water.
- Add lots of food coloring and stir well. (finished product comes out very pale)
- Place pipe cleaner shape into jar and tie to pencil which is resting across the top of the jar. Make sure the form does not touch the sides or bottom of the jar.
- Place jar is an area out of the way and let sit for 24 hours.
- Remove form from the jar and remove from the pencil and let dry.
- Pour liquid from jar down the kitchen drain and flush with hot water.
- Make sure to wipe down the sink so the food coloring does not stain the surface.
- Scrape out the borax and throw in the garbage.
- Wash jars and put back where they were stored. There is no need to throw them away.
If you want to try and make crystallized Styrofoam eggs the process is the basically the same.
Styrofoam floats and needs to be weighted down which is where I made my mistake. Place the egg shape in the borax water in the jar. Take a much smaller jar filled with marbles, or some kind of weights and place inside the wide mouth jar to keep the Styrofoam egg below the surface of water. Be careful not to put so much water in the jar that when you push down on the egg the liquid flows out over the top of the jar. Follow the rest of the directions and GOOD LUCK! PS The original directions stated a wide mouth quart canning jar and a jelly jar.
NOTE-after dumping out the colored water you will have a hard deposit of Borax in the bottom of the jar. I filled the jar with boiling water and let it soak for a few minutes. I scraped the Borax out and threw away the lumps. Wash the jars thoroughly and reuse when needed.
February 2021-Valentine Jigsaw Puzzle Heart
- Jigsaw puzzle pieces
- Paint: red & white
- Scrap of cardstock or cardboard
- Dixie cup or plate
- Foam paint brush
- Scrap of ribbon
- Glue (liquid)
- Drop cloth/table protection
- (optional: tiny paint brush)
- Cut out a heart shape from the cardstock. It is your choice to use either a solid heart or one with the center cut out leaving just a frame.
- Cut the ribbon to length and glue both ends to the top of the heart creating a hanger.
- Let dry.
- Spread your table protection out on the table.
- Pour some paint in the Dixie cup or on the paper plate.
- Separate the puzzle pieces into 3 groups, turning them upside down with the cardboard side up
- Using the foam brush paint the puzzle pieces from one pile red.
- Set aside to dry.
- Repeat steps 7 & 8 painting the next pile white.
- Add red paint to the white paint cup mixing well to make pink.
- Paint the puzzle pieces pink
- Let dry.
- Alternating colors spread glue on the back of a puzzle piece and place on the outer edge of the heart.
- Outline the heart making sure to keep the point at the bottom and the indent at the top of the heart.
- Repeat layering puzzle pieces of different colors around the edge of the heart overlapping the pieces on each layer.
- Lay flat to dry.
- Hang and enjoy.
January 2021- Coffee mug bird feeder
- Coffee mug with handle
- Bird seed
- Twig or small branch
- Suet cake (store bought)
- Masking tape (optional)
- Microwave or stove top and pot
- Carabineer or twine
- Tree with low hanging branch
- Wash coffee mug
- Cut twig to length so it sticks out from the mug about 3 inches or so
- Twig needs to be sturdy enough for the bird to rest on it
- Place twig in mug touching the side of the mug and opposite from the handle
- Tape twig in place
- Fill mug half full with bird seed
- Melt suet cake in microwave or stove top
- I used 50% power for 2 minutes, stirred and did another 1 minute 30 at 50% power
- Carefully pour into mug filling mug to within ½-1 inch from the top of the mug
- Stir melted suet into the bird seed
- Make sure the twig stays in place next to the side of the mug
- Place in refrigerator to harden
- May take about 1 hour
- Stir once or twice to make sure the bird seed does not settle to the bottom of the mug.
- Hang mug from a low hanging branch with either the carabineer or some twine.
- Go inside and wait for the birds to find their new treat.
- Refill with suet/bird seed when empty.
The suet I purchased already had some birdseed mixed into it which I didn’t realize at the time. It did not produce as much liquid as I thought it would. I filled 1 mug and poured the remaining liquid into a 2nd mug which already had some bird seed in the bottom of it. It was a little difficult to stir the melted suet into the existing seed as it definitely needed more liquid. Both mugs turned out okay in the end. You might want to consider skipping the additional bird seed and just place the melted suet in the mug of your choosing.
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