It’s not even October yet, but we’re in full-on Halloween mode at our house. This weekend we set up a small cemetery in our front yard … more on that soon. In the meantime, here are some lanterns that Jenna and I made recently using a simple melted crayon technique. You can read the full tutorial on Modern Parents, Messy Kids today.
Jenna has asked to be a skeleton princess for Halloween. While past years have been filled with ladybug, kitten and other sweet costume themes, this year is the first time that something on the spookier side has been requested. Kind of a turning point, I think.
In addition to her dress (which we purchased here), she’s also asked for matching jewelry. We decided to make the jewelry ourselves, and last weekend we got started on a few rings and necklaces. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, and even if I don’t dress up this year, I’ll definitely be sporting some matching skeleton princess rings.
When I wrote this post earlier in the week about copper spray paint, I mentioned a similar project using copper contact paper. And while I had purchased the contact paper along with the spray paint, I hadn’t actually completed said project. Over the course of the week, I attempted to cover a small cylindrical vase with contact paper. Wow. I had no idea how difficult it would be. The sides of the vase were perfectly straight - no tapering at all – and, yet, there seemed to be no way the paper would adhere smoothly to the vase.
So that’s when I started thinking, how can I make this easier? And sure enough, not only did I make it way easier, I think I made it way cuter. Since working with a large, continuous area was beyond my crafting ability, I opted for small cut-out scallop shapes.
Here’s how I made them:
I started by cutting a 1 x 11 inch strip of contact paper. Next, I used a paper punch to create a half-circle pattern which I used to trace the scallop shapes onto the back of the contact paper. I cut out the half-circle shapes and then attached them to the side of my ceramic vase.
The process is so simple it hardly requires a tutorial.
Here’s the result:
Here’s a comparison of the two methods I tried for creating copper home accessories. For more info about copper spray paint, read Part 1.
This weekend I attended a class on vertical succulent gardening at the Dallas Arboretum. I don’t think I would have figured out how to create a structure strong enough to support sideways plants and soil, so I was pretty excited to have an expert walk me through step-by-step. And I haven’t yet installed my garden along a wall, but when I turn it sideways, it seems to stay in place pretty well.
We started with the following materials:
- Wooden Frame (our instructor made his own out of fence wood)
- Flat piece of wood cut to the size of your frame
- Plastic fence netting (I’ve also seen chicken wire used)
- Black mesh fabric
- Staple gun
- Light soil suitable for succulents (our instructed recommended this soil mixed with crushed shells)
- Succulent plants
Here are the steps we followed:
Step 1: To create a strong framework, we cut the plastic netting and black mesh into rectangles that were slightly larger than the size of our frames. We pressed the plastic netting into the frame and stapled it along the inside of the frame; we repeated this step with the mesh fabric and trimmed both so that there wasn’t any extra coming out of the frame.
Step 2: Fill the frame with soil. We used a mix of lightweight soil and crushed shells. While sand is often mixed into soil for succulents, our instructor cautioned against this because it adds extra weight to the structure.
Step 3: Secure the flat piece of wood to the frame using screws.
Step 4: Once the framework was complete, we selected our succulents and arranged our design by setting the plants on top of the grid before we started planting.
Step 5: To plant each succulent, we cut a small square out of the netting and mesh – cutting an almost 2-inch square per 3 inch plant. Inserting each plant into the grid was the hardest part. We had to push all of the soil in the frame out of the way and then push the plant in, using a pencil to help push the base of the plant further into the soil.
This is my final garden:
I’ve been working on Jenna’s closet for an upcoming post on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, and one of the items in need of an update was her mirror. It’s a basic, tall, white-framed mirror that we most likely purchased at Target or IKEA years ago. It’s held up pretty well, but it just didn’t fit the girly look I was going for.
My solution: add a border of paper half circles to create a scalloped frame.
Here’s how I did it. For a more sturdy and permanent solution, you could also use balsam wood circles (found at many craft stores) painted in any color.
This weekend I made a really simple paper garland to serve as a backdrop for a cookie party.
I started by creating a large batch of paper circles using a 3-inch paper punch.
To make each paper ornament, I folded the circles in half and glued the halves together, using 5 circles for each ornament (4 to 6 circles work the best).
I left one side of the ornament unglued until all of the paper ornaments were created. Then, I attached the ornaments to twine by gluing the twine inside of the remaining two sides.
And once the garland was complete, I placed in along our kitchen windows, behind the table where I’ll set up the cookie display.
Buzzfeed recently asked me to participate in their DIY craft series. I was thrilled to be invited but also a bit intimidated. I’m crafty in a glitter and glue gun sort of way, but the theme was Lightbulbs. Eek. Luckily, my husband knows his way around Radio Shack and was willing to dedicate quite a bit of time to creating battery-powered lights to make my lightbulb centerpiece idea see the light of day. Thank you, Joe. I could never have done this one without you.
So check out 3 Things to Do with Old Lightbulbs for details on my project above, along with a few other crafty ideas for putting old lightbulbs to use.