December 2020 Sugar Ornaments
Makes 4 average ornaments
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp water (measuring spoon)
- string or ribbon for hanging
- plastic straw and scissors
- decorations such as sprinkles, glitter, non perils, etc (optional)
- cookie cutters-open shape frame
- cooking spray (optional)
- wax paper
- cookie sheet
- large bowl, mixing spoon and small spoon
- Pour sugar and optional glitter in bowl and mix.
- Add water and mix well until all of the sugar is wet and starts to pack together (like snow).
- Cover cookie sheet with wax paper.
- Cut plastic straw in about 3 inch pieces.
- Lightly spray inside of cookie cutter with cooking spray. *
- Place cookie cutter on wax paper and start filling with sugar. Continually firmly pack the sugar using a small spoon.
- Before removing the cookie cutter add sprinkles, etc for decorations. Push gently into sugar mixture.
- When completely filled, place straw piece near the top (but not too close) and push until straw touches cookie sheet. Leave in place.
- Gently shake and remove cookie cutter.
- Fix any of the sugar smoothing as needed.
- Let dry for 24 hours.
- Gently twist and remove straw from cookie cutter mold.
- Add ribbon or yarn as a hanger.
- I did not spray my cookie cutters with baking spray and it was difficult to remove the cookie cutters later.
- The cookie cutters I used had higher side walls than usual and therefore my ornaments were rather thick.
- Some suggested that the ornaments could be sprayed with sealer for preservation. I did not spray seal mine.
- If trying to save them for next year, wrap in paper towels and then in plastic. Seal all in a tin with a tight fitting lid.
November 2020- Edible Acorns
- mini Nilla wafer cookies
- Hershey Kisses
- chocolate chip morsels
- tub of chocolate frosting (room temperature)
- Unwrap Hershey Kisses
- Using tip of knife place a small dab of frosting on the flat side of the Hershey Kiss.
- Centering the kiss, stick it on the underside of Nilla wafer cookie.
- Using a very small dab of frosting as the glue, place chocolate morsel on top of the Nilla wafer
- Place several on a fancy plate and set out for people to nibble on before Thanksgiving dinner is served.
- Place the materials needed out on a side table and have guests (of all ages) try their hand at making several while waiting for dinner to be served.
- Any flavor Kisses can be substituted for the original Hershey Kisses.
- Butterscotch morsels can be substituted for the chocolate morsels.
- Remember to change the color of the frosting that will glue the morsel to the top of the Nilla wafer.
Make more than needed since some will probably be eaten during the making of the “acorns”.
October 2020 Screw Band Pumpkin
- Orange spray paint
- Drop cloth or homemade spray booth
- 20 canning jar screw bands (I prefer to use old, rusty ones rather than new ones)
- Cinnamon stick, wine cork, or twig for stem
- Artificial autumn leaf (optional)
- Florist wire, string, ribbon, pipe cleaner, etc. ( approximately 10” in length)
- Spread the screw bands out on the drop cloth and spray them orange
- Several light coats work the best
- Turn the bands over and paint the underside
- Temperature will affect the quality of your spray painting.
- Warmer is better than colder
- Using the floral wire, ribbon, etc. thread the screw bands onto the wire making sure the bands are all facing in the same direction.
- Cut the ends short or tuck them inside the rings.
- Loosely tie a knot in the ribbon and arrange the screw bands in a circle.
- 14 bands create a loose pumpkin.
- 18-20 create a tight pumpkin
- 9-10 create a half pumpkin (lies flat against the wall)
- Place a cinnamon stick or twig in the center of the rings creating a stem for the pumpkin.
- If using a wine work you need to leave a little extra room when tying the string around the bands.
- Place a leaf in the center of the bands (optional)
I choose a more rustic look, having an uneven coat of paint on my screw bands. I also alternated painted and unpainted screw bands on my half pumpkin.
Clay Pot Gnome- September 2020
- terra cotta pots in 3 graduated sizes (Pinterest suggests 2”,4”, & 6”)
- acrylic craft paint ( red, black, white & coat color)
- 1 bottle of Puffy paint in either white, gray or sparkle
- wooden plug, button or whatever to create a nose
- pipe cleaner (optional)
- wooden ball for top of hat creating the pompom (hole or hole-less will work)
- pipe cleaner (color of choice)
- paint palette, Dixie cup or piece of aluminum foil to put paint on
- paintbrushes (foam and thin regular)
- glue for attaching nose to pot (Gorilla, E6000, hot glue gun, etc)
- Paint the two smaller pots red with a minimum of 2 coats of paint allowing them to dry between coats. Using a foam brush will give you the smoothest coverage.
- Paint largest pot with “coat” color. Let dry and repeat until you have the coverage you want. Paint entire outside of pot.
- Fold pipe cleaner in half and insert the end into the hole on the wooden ball. Holding the pipe cleaner paint the wooden ball white with several coats and let dry.
- Using the paint brush paint a thin black line just above the rim to the upside down pot creating a belt.
- Paint 2 half circles of black on the rim of the pot either side of center. Let dry. These are the feet.
- Apply the “beard” by scribbling the paint onto the pot front forming a loose “v” shape which ends near the bottom of the pot. When scribbling the paint onto the pot try to make it look like strands of hair, keeping the lines vertical.
- Wooden Ball:
- wooden ball with a hole thru the center: thread the pipe cleaner with the wooden ball still on the end thru the hole in the top pot, then the next pot, and into the bottom pot. Leave just a little tuft of the pipe cleaner showing thru the hole.
- Wooden ball with only 1 hole in bottom of ball: glue to the top pot creating the “pompom”
- After beard is completely dry glue wooden disc, flat button, etc to the larger pot just under the rim of the middle pot creating the gnome’s nose
- After the paint has completely dried, spray several coats of sealer on the gnome, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one.
- Place in garden and smile.
As it was well past flower pot season I was forced to purchase my terra cotta pots at the craft store.
Pinterest suggested using 2”, 4” , and 6” flower pots. I simply stacked 3 pots of different sizes on top of each other at the craft store until I had a combination that was leasing to my eye.
You can glue the pots together before applying the sealer and create a permanent gnome. Run a bead of glue around the inside of the smaller pot near the bottom and place on top of the larger pot. Repeat with next set of 2 pots and then spray the sealer.
Spray sealer on each of the 3 pots making sure to cover the bottom edge of each pot. Stack after sealer has dried. This allows you to nest the pots together into the largest pot for winter storage
Winecork Tissue Box Cover- August 2020
- lots of dry wine corks (you will need more than you think)
- hot glue gun and extra glue sticks
- tissue box (Boutique size box used for this project
- drop cloth or table protection
- Using the tissue box to be covered as a pattern “dry fit” the corks around the base of the box. This will help you determine the pattern you need to follow in making the sides. You can choose to place the corks all horizontally, vertically or a mix of both.
- Make sure you have enough corks to cover the sides and most of the top of the box.
- Make sure enough room is left so that the tissue box can easily slide in and out of the finished cork cover.
- Placing the glue on the smaller circle end, hot glue the bottom layer of corks together. You may need to glue in a different place when you reach the corners.
- Working in a circular motion, continue gluing corks onto the wall of the box being created. Keep the walls straight.
- Make sure the last row of corks is slightly higher than the tissue box.
- Dry fit where you want to place the corks to create the top of the tissue box cover. Remember to leave an opening for the tissues to stick up through.
- Hot glue the corks to the top. After the glue has had time to harden, remove any “strings” or “threads” of glue.
- Place your tissue box inside the cork box and display.
WARNING-I should have practiced my wine cork tissue box cover at home first before trying to create my first ever while on camera. I might have decided-
- It’s best to build each wall laying the corks on the table top insuring the wall comes out flat and then gluing the sides together.
- Maybe putting a piece of card stock on top of the tissue box in order to have something to glue the corks to when creating the top.
- I made the full size corks fit my project rather than cutting additional corks to the needed size or even turning some in a vertical direction rather than all in a horizontal pattern.
I would not rate this project a Pinterest fail but it certainly does not get an A+ either. Rest assured I will be more careful in selecting next month’s project.
Bottle Bird Feeder- July 2020
- Empty plastic beverage bottle with cap (20 oz, 2 liter, etc)
- Sharpie marker
- Bird seed
- Duct tape
- Hook to place on tree branch
- Clean and dry the plastic bottle. Set the cap aside.
- With a sharpie draw lines on the bottle resembling a door or large window.
- Take into account the shape of the bottle when drawing the lines. You need to keep the bottom line several inches from the bottom of the bottle as this is the reservoir for the bird seed.
- Carefully poke a starter hole in the bottle
- Using scissors following the drawn lines, cut the piece of plastic out on all 4 sides.
- Cut pieces of duct tape and place over the cut edges of the plastic bottle. Smooth in place.
- If the duct tape does not fit smoothly simply cut a few lines from the bottom edge up towards but not touching the fold over part of the duct tape and smooth down to the bottle.
- You can either cover the bottom edge or all 4 sides-your choice.
- Put cap on bottle
- Cut 2 pieces of yarn 12-18 inches long
- Tie 1 string around the top of the bottle just under the neck of the bottle leaving the ends long.
- Tie the other string onto the bottle but this time tie the knot directly opposite of the first knot.
- Keeping the strings of equal length, tie 1 knot at the end of all the strings. The bottle needs to hang straight so the birdseed does not spill out.
- Fill with several inches of bird seed and hang on a tree limb outside.
Irish Pot of Gold – March 2020
- Terracotta flower pot
- Green acrylic paint
- St Patty’s Day fabric
- Mod Podge & foam brush
- Scissors (pinking shears works well)
- Paint flower pot green. Let dry and apply 2nd coat
- Cut pieces of fabric with pinking shears and Mod Podge to flower pot
- Apply second coat of Mod Podge to flower pot.
- Fill with candy
Cork Recipe Card or Cell Phone holder
Recipe Card Holder
- Discarded dry wine corks: 16 about the same size
- Hot glue gun and several hot glue sticks
- Recipe card/index card
- Arrange the corks lengthwise in rows of 2
- Glue the circular ends together and set aside to harden
- Glue along the length of the double cork and attach to a set of corks similar in length.
- Do this 4 times to form the base of the cork holder.
- Take 2 similar cork units and glue to the base forming the second layer.
- Take the remaining 2 cork units and hot glue them on top of the second layer, staggered
- Let completely harden and remove any glue strings.
- Place recipe card on holder.
Cell Phone Holder
- Same as above except use 17 corks.
- Utility knife
- Large binder clip to hold cork in place when cutting in half.
- Craft pot
See below for suggested methods on cutting the corks.
- Make as directed above for the cell phone holder.
- Add lip if desired by cutting 1 cork in half lengthwise and gluing both split halves along the bottom layer of corks.
- Rotate cell phone to horizontal and use.
- Since cleanly cutting dry corks is next to impossible, you’ll need to soften them first by steaming them for 10 minutes. When they’re cool enough to touch, cut them with a serrated knife and glue to project.
Boil your corks if you don’t have a steamer or if they’re store-bought. Fill a large pot about halfway with water, add the corks, and bring the water to a rolling boil. After 10 minutes, drain the water and let the corks cool.
- Steaming works well for corks pulled from wine bottles, but it’s harder to soften unused corks purchased at craft stores or in bulk online.
- If you boil the corks, they’ll absorb more water and swell more than if you’d steamed them. They’ll shrink back down to size as they dry, so don’t worry.
- If your project involves glue, you’ll need to give boiled corks a little longer to dry than steamed corks.