Thursday, November 11, 2010

Countdown to Christmas!

Six weeks to go! I've started an inspiration board on
Check it out here


P.S Time to start collecting pine cones and greenery now, before it gets too cold.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Craft idea: Wooden Shapes

I bought some unfinished wood shapes from the dollarstore. One package of flowers, and one of butterflies. 10 shapes for $1. Not bad. But what to do with them? Here are some fun and frugal ideas. They make great gifts and are simple enough for children to make. This can also be incorporated into a party, as both an activity to occupy guests and as a take home favour.

Fridge Magnets

Unfinished wood shapes
Craft paint in assorted colours
Tray or palette for mixing colours (try an ice cube tray!)
Paint brushes, smaller are better
Adhesive craft magnets

Step one:
Lay down some newspaper, especially if you want to do this craft with children. Assemble the painting supplies and pick out which colours to use.

Step two:
Paint your wooden piece with a base coat. I found the paint soaked in, so two coats are usually needed. Don't forget to paint the edges! This is where it can get a bit messy.

Step three:
Once the base is try, it's time to add the details! This is the fun part. Use a small brush and take your time. Do darker colours first, then add the lighter colours. Let dry thoroughly.

Step four:
Once completely dry, flip your peice over and attach a small magnet. I used a roll of adhesive magnet and snipped off a small piece of maget for each shape. Ta da! That's it! Super easy, right?

So, what else can we do with these?

Gift Bags:
Glue a shape on to a plain gift bag. Bonus if you make a magnet first, and then tape it to the bag.

Ribbon garland:
Glue the shapes onto a ribbon for a fun garland. Great for parties. Why not a christmas themed one to decorate your tree or fireplace?

Carefully poke a hole into each shape with a large needle or awl. Hang the shapes from an embroidery hoop with string or fishing line. Hang some longer and some shorter, being careful to balance the weight so it hangs evenly. It would make a very inexpensive and customized mobile.

Christmas decorations:
Poke a hole into each, thread with metallic thread and hang on your tree. Use shapes such as stars and snowflakes.

Try it out! It's fun and cheap!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Clown Fish Pumpkin

From this...

To this!

  • pumpkin, preferably medium sized and fairly round
  • cereal boxes or other thin cardboard
  • bamboo skewers
  • craft glue
  • scotch tape
  • craft paint: orange, black and white
  • permanent black marker
  • dark and light blue tissue paper
  • white card stock or bristol board
Step one:
Wash and dry the pumpkin. Once it is thoroughly dry, figure out which side is the face. On the opposite side (the tail) draw a circle with black marker. Draw some stripes on each side. Draw two eyes and a mouth, The eyes look best oversized. Then draw a large circle around the entire face.

Step two:
Fill in the black stripes with white paint. Fill in the eyes and the mouth. Two or three coats will be needed. One the eyes are dry, paint in the pupils.

Close up shot of the face

Step three:
While the paint is drying, draw out the shapes for the two sides fins and the tail. I based the size of the fins on the size of the pumpkin. Took a bit of trial and error until I was happy with the shape of the fins.

Make two drawings of each piece (the fins will be double sided). Paint all the pieces orange. When the base layer is dry, outline with black and add black lines, shown in the pictures. You will need one dorsal fin (the top), two side fins, and a tail. In this picture I also made some extra front fins, but I didn't end up using them.

Flip one half of each fin over. Tape bamboo skewers to the plain side. I used three skewers for the tail, and two skewers for each fin. Add some glue and sandwhich the two halves together. Let dry. Some touch ups of the black lines may be needed. The hard part is over! Assembly is easy, just stick the skewers into the flesh of the pumpkin. Touch up any areas as needed.

Side View

Back View


To make the reef:
I used a lazy susan as the base, and wrapped it with dark blue tissue paper. Next I freehand drew the shapes of the coral on white card stock. Then outlined the shapes in black marker and cut out carefully with small scissors. Next I taped the coral shapes to the base, leaving gaps for the tail and fins. Next I layered the dark and light blue tissue, alternating the colours to make a "bed". I set the pumpkin on top, and it was ready to go!