Homemade Birdseed Ornaments – December 2017
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin (1 envelope of .25 oz. equals 1 skinny Tablespoon)
- 3 Tablespoons corn syrup
- ¾ cup flour
- 4 cups birdseed mix (with or without sunflower seeds)
- Open backed cookie cutters
- Cooking spray (PAM or any other brand will work)
- Parchment paper or waxpaper
- Larger cookie sheet
- Large bowl for mixing birdseed and flour
- Medium to large pot for on top of the stove and a wooden spoon
- Straws (to create hole in ornament)
- Ribbon or twine
- Tape (masking or scotch)
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut straws into 1-2 inch lengths
- Heat water, gelatin, and corn syrup together over low heat
- No need to boil
- Mix flour and birdseed together in large bowl
- Remove from stove and slowly add birdseed mix to gelatin mixture in cooking pot
- Stir well
- Spray the inside of the cookie cutters with non-stick spray & put back on cookie sheet.
- Using a regular teaspoon, spoon birdseed mixture into cookie cutter surrounding the piece of straw.
- Make sure that the bird seed it tight up around the straw.
- Leave straw in place.
- Press down on the mix making sure there are no air pockets and the seed fills the entire cookie cutter.
- Continue filling the other cookie cutters until you run out of birdseed
- As the birdseed mixture sits it will harden and you can gently remove both the cookie cutter and the straw piece after about 5-10 minutes.
- Let dry for several hours and then turn over and repeat the drying.
- Cut string or twine 12” or so and tape both ends.
- Thread both ends through the hole and thread back through the loop formed on the other side of the cookie cutter. Gently snug it.
- Cut the taped ends off and throw away.
- Hang from a tree branch and wait for the birds to discover their new treats.
- Try to hang the birdseed cake where the birds will have a place to sit while eating and feel protected.
Tabletop Turkey Decorations – November 2017
STOP EATING THE CANDY CORN. YOU NEED IT FOR FILLER!
Each turkey will require:
- 9 ½ inch square brown tulle (or netting)
- Pipe cleaners-1 brown and 1 orange or red
- 2 googly eyes
- 6 inch minimum length of colorful skinny ribbon (longer if you want a bow)
- glue gun or white glue
- ¼ c. small candies (M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, or Skittles) (THIS IS WHERE I THINK CANDY CORN WOULD BE PERFECT!)
- Scissors or rotary cutter and quilting ruler
- Cut the tulle into 9 ½” squares. Be careful because the tulle is slippery.
- Tightly roll the brown pipe cleaner into a circle forming the head.
- Leave a minimum of 5-6” of pipe cleaner straight to form the neck
- Cut a piece of orange or red pipe cleaner 1 ½-2 “ long and fold in half forming the beak
- Dry fit the beak and 1 googly eye on the flat circle part of the brown pipe cleaner
- Glue one googly eye to the flat side of the circle, turn over and glue the remaining googly eye on the other. Let glue dry.
- Glue the beak on slightly under the eyes. (I just put a drop of glue on each end of the beak, slipped it on the brown circle and squeezed.
- Fill brown tulle with approximately ¼ cup small candies and pull edges together and tie with a ribbon.
- A second person is helpful when doing this step. Either knot the ribbon or tie into a bow.
- Holding the straight part of the brown pipe cleaner carefully wrap it around the tulle where the ribbon is tied.
- Bring the end of the pipe cleaner to the front and wrap it around the neck or cut the extra length off with a scissors.
- This is where you can adjust the length of the “neck” of your turkey.
I had fun making the sample turkey for the library. I called the different craft stores to find out if they had brown tulle and purchased it off the bolt at Hobby Lobby on Peach St. It was approximately $1.25 and I got over 25 squares.
I used a hot glue gun but I think white glue would work just as easy and you wouldn’t burn your fingers when glueing the beak like I did.
I plan on putting a turkey on each plate at Thanksgiving dinner as a decoration.
Let me know if you are enjoying the Krafts with Kathy items posted. I would love to put photos of your projects on the website. Just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with Krafts with Kathy in the subject line.
Melted Crayon Pumpkin – October 2017
- Spread out newspaper/drop cloth covering a large area
- Peel the paper off the crayons
- Break the crayons in half
- Glue about 16 crayon pieces using tacky glue to the pumpkin
- You made need to put a push pin at the bottom of the crayon to hold the crayon in place until the tacky glue dries
- Place the crayons next to each other to get better melted coverage
- After the glue has dried, remove push pins (if used)
- Use a hair dryer to melt the crayons
- It will take a moment or two for the crayon to start melting but when it does it can splatter so be careful.
- The wax will harden as it cools.
- Throw away the newspaper/drop cloth and enjoy your pumpkin
Melting crayons can be really messy so beware.
Some crayons melt much faster than others.
While melting the crayon, it will go from dull to shiny and then melt.
The Care and Feeding of Jack O’Lanterns – October 2017
DIY Pumpkin Preserving Wash
- 2 gallons of warm water
- 3 cups of bleach
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- Petroleum jelly
- White craft glue
1. In a large bucket or bin, pour your warm water, vinegar, and bleach in. Stir well. Place your pumpkins prior to cutting them into the wash. Allow them to soak for one hour then remove. The water will hydrate the pumpkin, the vinegar cleans away dirt, while the bleach kills bacteria that would love to eat the pumpkin.
2. Carve the pumpkin as you normally would. When done, place it back into the bleach and water wash. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
3. When you remove your pumpkin, dry it well. Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the cuts of the pumpkins. For example, the eyes, nose, and mouth.
4. Last, pour some white glue into the pumpkin. Use your fingers or a paint brush to spread a layer of the glue on the inside. This will help seal in moisture.
Once your glue is dry, your pumpkin can now be displayed. Add petroleum jelly to the carved areas each day to keep the pumpkin looking fresh and to avoid dryness.
Other Suggestions for Preservation
Did you know that you can reuse those silica packets that you find in new shoes? Save them and place them in your pumpkin after carving it as they have preserving properties. You don’t need to tear the pack open, just place it inside whole. Remove before lighting your pumpkin.
The longer the stem is on a pumpkin, the longer the pumpkin will last. The stem contains a great deal of nutrients that it is continuing to feed the pumpkin, so the healthier the stem, the healthier the pumpkin. Avoid pumpkins where the stem has been broken off or severely cracked
Soak your pumpkin in water for 12 hours after you carve it (face side down). It will extend the life of your carved pumpkins. You can do this in your kitchen sink or in your bath tub
You can also add 1 tsp of bleach to 1 gallon of water if you want. The bleach will help kill bacteria and delay decay and help your pumpkin stay fresher longer.
Pat your pumpkin dry and then brush the inside and around all of the carvings with 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar diluted in 1 quart of water. Use a pastry brush to apply or you can place the mixture in a clean spray bottle and lightly spray your pumpkin.
Another tip is to rub petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the cut edges of your carving, it will help it from drying out. If you place a lit candle inside your pumpkin be sure to coat the lid with ground cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice. It makes for a great smell.
Magnetic Cup – August/September 2017
- Plastic cup
- Hot glue gun
- 2-3 larger round magnets per cup
- Remove any sticky labels and wash cup. Dry thoroughly.
- Remove magnets from packaging.
- Using the glue gun, place a “blob” of glue slightly larger than the magnet on the outside of the cup near the top. Immediately place magnet in glue “blob” and press magnet firmly into glue. Be careful of your fingers as the glue will be HOT !
- Repeat applying another magnet equal distance from the bottom of the cup. Make sure the magnets line up with each other.
- Let sit for a while for the glue to completely harden.
- Take to school and stick inside your locker. Fill with spare pens, Lifesavers or other hard candy, etc. You are only limited by the size of the container AND school policy.
- I tried to use the magnets that are “peel and press” that come on a roll. The magnet strip would not lay flat nor stick to my cup.
- I ended up getting my cup as part of a 4 pack from the local dollar store and the magnets came from the local hardware store.
- You can experiment with containers other than plastic cups. I do not know how well the hot glue will work on other materials.
Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub – July 2017
Hands or feet-the coconut oil sugar scrub works great. Your skin feels really soft. Just a little goes a long way. It makes a great gift or keep it for yourself. I had a lot of fun making it as a party favor.
- ½ cup coconut oil*
- 1 cup white sugar
- 10 drops Vanilla Essential Oil**
- Container with lid***
- Place ½ cup coconut oil in microwave safe dish and microwave for 45 seconds or until completely melted.
- Transfer melted coconut oil to small mixing bowl.
- Stir in 1 cup of white sugar.
- Mix well.
- Add 10 drops of essential oil in the flavor/fragrance of your choice.
- Mix well.
- Transfer to container .
- Add gift tag or label to jar.
*I found the coconut oil at Aldi’s. You can also buy it at Wal-Mart and other stores. The price varies greatly.
**I looked all over and finally found the essential oil at CVS here in North East (by the pharmacy counter). They had lots of choices and it was very inexpensive.
***I used mason jars with screw bands but any pretty container with a tightly fitting lid would work.
School Spirit Necklace – June 2017
- Flat washer (5/8″ is a good size but any will work)
- Nail polish in school colors
- Painter’s tape
- Cord for jewelry making
- Wax paper, vinyl placemat or other stuff to protect the work surface
- Put down your drop cloth or surface protection before beginning.
- Put your washer down on a flat surface and cover half of it with painter’s tape taping it to the work surface.
- Use your lightest color paint one half of the washer.
- Let the nail polish dry for a minute or two & then carefully remove the painter’s tape.
- Let your first half dry completely before moving on to the other half.
- Next, carefully cover your painted half with painter’s tape.
- You want to make sure your painted half is completely dry before covering it in painter’s tape so you don’t smudge the nail polish.
- Paint the second half of your washer with your darker color.
- Let dry for one or two minutes, then carefully remove the painter’s tape.
- Let your washer dry fully and then flip it over and paint the other side same as the front.
- Once your washer necklace is completely dry, add the cord.
- Take a length of cord about 28-inches to 30-inches. (Length is a personal preference)
- Tie the cord together at the top to make a large circle.
- Lay your tied cord down on a table so that it’s in one narrow strip.
- Place your painted washer on top and pull the looped end through the middle of the washer.
- String your knotted end through the loop and pull all the way up to secure your washer on the end of the cording.
Viola! You have a spirit necklace to wear to school events and such.
Sharpie Dyed Coasters – May 2017
- Ceramic tiles- glazed work best, 4×4 or 6×6
- Assorted Sharpies in the colors of your choice (not fine point)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Eye dropper, straw, or spritzer
- Fixative spray
- Sealer spray
- Felt scrap (large enough to cover the bottom of the tile)
- Elmer’s glue
- Newspapers to use as a drop cloth/surface protector
- Wipe the tile with rubbing alcohol to make sure it is clean of dirt & or grease and let dry.
- Scribble on the tile using 3 or 4 different colors of Sharpie marker. Make sure that the tile is saturated in color.
- Using the spritzer, eye dropper, or even a smaller diameter straw, place a small drop of alcohol on the tile. The colors will run. At this time you can add more drops of alcohol scattered on the tile. Let dry completely.
- Assess your tile.
- If you like what you see-stop.
- If you are not completely happy with your tile
- Add more alcohol drops, 1 at a time. Let dry.
- Add more marker color and then more drops of alcohol. Let dry.
- Wipe the tile entirely clean with an alcohol soaked paper towel and start completely over.
- Place a layer of newspaper on the surface before spraying the tiles. As always, spray in a well ventilated area and ask an adult’s permission first.
- Spray a light coat of fixative to the tile. Let it dry.
- Spray a light coat of sealer on the tile and let dry. Add 1 or 2 more coats, drying completely in between coats.
- Cut a square of felt just slightly smaller than the tile and glue to the bottom of the tile.
- Let dry.
Concerning the fixative and sealer- spray cans of both work best as the liquid/paste ModPodge tends to leave a grainy or textured surface I am told.
Shaving Cream Dyed Easter Eggs – April 2017
- Dishwashing gloves, latex gloves or some kind of hand protection.
- (I forgot to use the tongs and my fingers ended up all kinds of colors !)
- Artificial paper craft eggs (not plastic)
- Box of food coloring
- Jelly roll pan, disposable baking tray or whatever.
- (Remember the food coloring will permanently dye many of the surfaces it touches.)
- Unsharpened pencil, toothpick, or something to swirl the shave cream with
- Cookie cooling rack
- Paper towels
- Newspaper or drop cloth to put under drying rack
- Sealing spray
- Set up the cooling rack with the newspaper underneath
- Fill the tray with approximately 1 inch of shave cream. Smooth the surface using the spatula.
- Squeeze several thin lines of food coloring on top of the shave cream using different colors.
- Using the pencil, toothpick, etc gently swirl the colors. Do NOT over swirl!
- Using the tongs place an egg in the shave cream and gently turn the egg making sure all of the egg is covered in shave cream.
- Using the tongs again, remove the egg from the shave cream to the drying rack. It will be messy but don’t touch.
- Pick up egg #2 and do the whole thing over again but start in an unused portion of the shave cream.
- If the colors get too muted you can add more food coloring and re-swirl.
- Let the eggs dry completely overnight or longer. Do NOT touch !
- Using a paper towel clean the egg removing all of the left over shave cream.
- Spray the eggs with clear sealer-matte or gloss is entirely your choice.
- If you do not spray the eggs you run the risk of the colors rubbing off onto whatever they touch.
Melted Crayon Decorated Eggs – March 2017
These eggs are edible so when you are done coloring them please place them in the refrigerator.
- white raw eggs (in the shell)
- Stove, water, pot, tongs, timer (stuff to hot hard boil eggs)
- Hand held pencil/crayon sharpener (or maybe a vegetable peeler)
- Dixie cups to hold the shavings-sorted by color
- Plastic tray or old dish to hold egg*
*You can create a “cup” for your egg by shaping aluminum foil into an egg shape and placing the foil “cup” on an old pot holder or just use an old potholder. The potholder will protect your hands from the heat of the egg. Experiment !
- Create crayon shavings using a hand held pencil sharpener or maybe a vegetable peeler. You want to create larger one piece shavings if possible. Don’t forget to remove the paper wrapper first. You need more shavings than you think.
- Put shavings in Dixie cups or other small dish keeping the colors separated.
- Hard boil eggs using Mom’s recipe. Leave in hot water. Do not drain or rinse.
- Use egg tongs to remove one egg from the pot.
- Place 1 egg into the tray or cup.
- Gently place the larger shavings by hand on the egg one color at a time.
- For different looks rotate the egg and place or sprinkle other colors on the egg.
- Allow crayon shavings to cool and egg to dry before handling.
- This whole method of dying eggs is very MESSY from making the shavings to actually coloring the eggs.
- I ended up holding the sharpened crayon to the egg and letting it melt onto the hot egg in spots where the shavings didn’t cover.
- A friend suggested using the vegetable peeler after I had finished coloring the eggs. I wish I had thought of it sooner. I would recommend trying the peeler first.
Scratch Off Valentine Day Cards – February 2017
- cardstock paper
- Card template* (found on Pinterest)
- white or light colored crayon
- acrylic paint
- dishwashing soap
- measuring spoons
- paint brush
- dixie cup
- stir stick (You can use a q-tip, the paint brush, or whatever to stir)
- Design a Valentine Day card using cardstock as the base. Make sure there are word bubbles in the design.
- Write a message using a regular pen inside the word bubble.
- HEAVILY color over the word bubble with the white crayon. You can color match the crayon to the paint color if you wish.
- Mix 2 parts acrylic paint with 1 part dishwashing soap (I used Dawn) and stir. A little goes a long way. (I used 2 tablespoons of paint to 1 tablespoon of soap)
- Apply a heavy coat of paint over the crayoned word bubble. It works best to daub on the paint rather than brushing it on.
- Let dry.
Give the Valentine Day card to a friend or relative. Include a shiny penny with instructions to “scratch off the paint on the word bubble to find the hidden message.”
Waterless Snow Globes – December 2016/January 2017
- Glass or plastic jar with lid
- Artificial snow*
- Small decorative items to put inside the jar**
- Glue gun or strong glue
- Ribbon (optional)
- Spray paint (optional) white and color of your choice
- Risers- bottle cap, pink erasers, etc (use your imagination)
*Any type of artificial snow will work as there is no water inside the jar.
(Eco-friendly snow will dissolve in water.)
** I purchased small figurines and some bottle brush trees in the trim a tree department at the local Wal-Mart and Michael’s Craft Store. I suggest you take your jar and lid with you to the store.
- Do a “dry run” by placing your decorative pieces on the lid of the jar. Screw the jar on the upside down lid. This will tell you whether the opening of your jar is large enough for the decorations you have selected.
- Prepare the jar by removing the label and any glue residue.
- Spray paint the lid the color of your choice or at the end of your project cover with decorative tape or ribbon.
- You will need to place your items on a “riser” so that the items are above the screw threads of the jar. The risers can be anything that is glue-able and preferably paintable.
- Glue the riser to the inside of the jar lid.
- Glue your items to the riser.
- Pour a small amount of artificial snow in the jar.
- Carefully screw the lid onto the jar and turn upside down. At this point decide if you need to add more snow or maybe take some out.
- Place decorative ribbon around edge of jar and glue in place (optional).
- Get creative in what you put in the jar. Photos, sea shells or whatever fits in the jar.
- If you want to make a true snow globe with water inside make sure everything inside the jar is waterproof.
- Test your items by placing them in a bowl of water for a couple of hours and see if any of the color runs or the item starts to dissolve.
- After placing the snow in the jar add water with a few drops of glycerin and screw the lid on.
- Seal with waterproof glue (E6000 works well) and let dry.
- Warning: I have never made a water filled snow globe. The directions are what I found on Pinterest.