Stenciled Monogrammed Placemats Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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I love my Thanksgiving placemats.  They are simple, black and white, with a script style.  It has words like, “gratitude”, “share”, “Blessings”, and “thanks”… perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner party.  BUT you know me, and I had to spruce them up a little.  I thought a little shimmer of gold would be a nice touch.  I did a similar post in the past on burlap placemats I made.  It’s quite the popular post! With that said, here is my stenciled monogrammed placemats tutorial.

Materials:           

  • Fabric placemats
  • Stencil of choice
  • Spouncer stencil brush
  • Small paper plate
  • Craft paint good for fabric
  • Two clean towels

Here are my lovely placemats. Pretty but needed a little oomph.

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I chose a “W” for our last name, Wulf.  I love collecting “W’s” and they are all over my house.

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First, place a small amount of paint onto your paper plate.  Dip the spouncer brush in the paint and allow the paint to saturate the end of the brush.  Stamp the excess paint onto the plate BEFORE you apply it to the placemat.  Once your brush is saturated (without any clumps of paint), apply the paint in an up and down stamping motion.  This will avoid bleeding.

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You can immediately remove the stencil.  I rinsed the stencil from paint in between each placemat and dried it with two dish towels.  I had quite the system going on! I was actually able to finish this project very quickly (about a half hour).

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Allow your placemats to dry completely.

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That’s it!  These would make great personalized gifts.  I was thinking of making sets of 4 for my friends.  You can also stencil on cloth napkins and give them as a set. Make a set of two for your favorite couple and give it as a hostess gift as well!

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How to Make a Secret Book Safe

by Dinah Wulf

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Making a secret book safe is a lot easier than I thought.  It’s one of those things that I thought I’d have to buy because I thought it’d be a really cool gift.  But before I spend any money to buy one, why not try to make it myself??? Here is how to make a secret book safe.

Materials:

  • Thick hardback book
  • Decoupage medium or glue and water mixture
  • Paint brush
  • Sharp knife
  • Metal straightedge

Step One:

I wanted to keep a few of the front pages in tact to show the copy-write date and an illustration. I covered the front cover and those pages plus one page with plastic wrap.

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Step Two:

I used Mod Podge, a decoupage medium, and a paint brush to seal the three edges. Make sure you saturate them with approximately three coats.  Allow the Mod Podge to dry (about 15 minutes), meanwhile set something heavy on top of the book to create pressure.

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Step Three:

Next, using a straightedge and a pencil, I marked the area I wanted to cut out.

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Step Four:

Using a sharp knife and a metal straightedge, I carefully cut out a few pages at a time, making sure to remove small bits and pieces along the way. Take your time while doing this step.

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Step Five:

After I reached the desired depth, I sealed the inside edges with Mod Podge and allowed it to dry completely.

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Step Six:

I then used Mod Podge around the top edges and glued the extra front page on top.  After a few minutes, I used the knife to cut out the center.  This top page gives it a nice clean look.

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Notes:

Save the book pages for other book page craft projects. Also, consider using ribbon to cover the inside edges or decorative paper to cover the inside back for a more finished look.

Seven Step By Step Burlap Craft Tutorials

by Dinah Wulf

I think all Crafters these days love making crafts out of burlap.  It’s inexpensive, rustic yet feminine in style, and timeless. We use it for weddings, showers, and even home décor projects.  The possibilities of its use are endless.  As I sat here the other night I realized that I have done several burlap crafts myself, so as usual, I put together a round-up of some of my favorites. From a simple upcycled vase to an upholstered ottoman, here is my list of seven step by step burlap craft tutorials.

7 step by step burlap craft tutorials

Burlap Wire Hanger Wreath- my most recent tutorial this one is easy with only two materials 1) burlap and 2) a wire hanger…duh!

Repurposed Earring Burlap Napkin Rings- perfect for your holiday table this season.

Five Dollar Thrift Store Ottoman- You guessed it!  I found this baby for $5, and reupholstered it in a cool printed burlap material with all the places I’d love to travel to on it. BTW, I actually ended re-doing this one again {here it is}.

Recycled Patron Bottle Vase- A super simple way to upcycle a tequila bottle using burlap and lace.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillows- An easy sewing tutorial using coffee bean sacks for durable outdoor pillows.

DIY Recycled Jar Tea Light- A stenciled monogramed tea light holder made out of an old sauce jar.

Burlap Stenciled Placemats- Probably my most popular post of all time! It includes tips and tricks for washing and caring for burlap.

Hope you enjoyed my list! And I hope you try some of them!  Leave a comment if you have any questions. :) Have a great weekend!

Vintage Handkerchief Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

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One of my most favorite things about helping with the decorations a Vintage Inspired Baby Shower was going antique shopping with my Mother-In-Law and collecting vintage handkerchiefs.  I bought so many of them because I kept finding so many beautiful colors and patterns and even shapes. Now that the baby shower is over, I have all these beautiful handkerchiefs with nothing to do with them. After some thought, I decided to make some Vintage Handkerchief Ornaments.  Now I would be able to preserve and display them in a unique way.

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Aren’t they pretty? This post isn’t really a tutorial per se, because it’s obvious how to make them, HOWEVER I did run across some helpful tips when putting them together in these glass ornaments I got at the craft store.

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Being the Geek that I am, I was trying to figure out how to fold each handkerchief so that they would fit through a small hole, and look pretty while inside. After several trials and errors, I came upon Tip #1.

Tip #1: Don’t fold the handkerchief, it looks best when you start with a corner and stuff it in there haphazardly!

Because I tried several times at folding and stuffing I noticed that several (almost all) of these glass bulbs had sharp edges around the opening.

Tip #2: To prevent from cutting your fingers AND ripping the handkerchiefs, use a pen or chopstick to stuff the handkerchief inside the bulb.  You can also use the stick to maneuver and shape the handkerchief as you like.

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There were several times when I had to take the handkerchief out and start over.

Tip #3: Use a pair of tweezers to pull your handkerchief out if needed.  Be careful not to rip the handkerchief on those nasty sharp edges!

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After I stuffed all my bulbs, I used the ribbon from these baby shower decorations I made to re-use as a hanger for each ornament.  I used different colors, thicknesses, and materials.

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I thought they turned out quite nice and I can’t wait to put them on my tree!

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Burlap Wire Hanger Wreath Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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I wanted to make a small wreath to hang on the door to my guest bathroom downstairs.  A friend of mine used a wire hanger for a Christmas wreath in the past, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I also have made a recycled book page butterfly wreath with a wire hanger.   I have to say it turned out pretty cute! Here is my burlap wire hanger wreath tutorial.

Materials:

  • One yard of burlap
  • Wire Hanger
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Flower embellishment

WARNING: Burlap crafts are messy!  Here are some more tips for working with burlap and caring for it as well.

Instructions:

Unwind a wire hanger and maneuver and bend it to shape a circle and set it aside.

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For this wreath, I cut 2” thick strips of burlap.  I also used about 14 strips for this wreath. You can make the wreath as thick and as full as you like.

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Fold each strip with two inch width as shown.

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The wire hanger makes it easy to poke through the burlap with the strip completely folded. Continue to add folded strips until your wire hanger is covered.

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Using wire cutters, trim off any access wire if needed.

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Secure the ends of the wire hanger as shown.

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Spread and fluff the burlap to make a continuous ring.  Cut off any access fraying.

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Turn and twist the burlap until you get the desired look.

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I added a pre-made burlap flower as an embellishment. Here is the finished project!

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This wreath is smaller than normal; the perfect size for my bathroom.  You can easily add more wire to make it larger.  If you are making a larger wreath, I would also suggest making the strips wider as well.

More Burlap Craft Ideas:

Burlap Accent Crafts:

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint

by Dinah Wulf

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint is sponsored by Elmer’s. All opinions are 100% my own.

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I had the honor of testing out a fun craft product, Elmer’s Paint Markers.  They are great because you can use them on wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and even fabric.  When I received these markers I knew immediately what I wanted to try with some recent thrift store finds. 

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Here is a short four minute video tutorial I did on How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint.

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint

Before and After Painted Vase

Materials:

Instructions:

I purchased these glass vases at a thrift store for $2-$3 a piece.

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Step One:

Once you remove your Elmer’s Paint Markers from the package, shake them well.  Remove the cap and press the tip down onto a piece of scrap paper for approximately 60-90 seconds to allow the paint to bleed through.

Step Two:

Fill your glass with a generous amount of paint.

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Move and shake the glass until the paint coats the entire inside of the glass.  This takes time and patience!   Allow the paint to dry overnight.

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Step Three:

Apply an adhesive stencil to your vase.  Feel free to free-hand your design instead of using a stencil.

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Fill in the stencil with the desired Elmer’s paint Markers color.

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Remove the stencil.

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Here is another clear glass vase that I painted green and added polka dots with the metallic markers.

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Here is another vase I found at a thrift store that was already green in color. I painted a flower trim with the markers.

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There you have it!  The possibilities are endless.  Try these markers on canvas, metal, and wood too!

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Thank you to Elmer’s for sponsoring this video and post!

How to Make Candy Mason Jars

by Dinah Wulf

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Yet another recycled Mason jar craft project here! I saw this DIY project on the Nate Show a long time ago.  This project was super easy and took little time and money (my favorite combo).  Here is How to Make Candy Mason Jars.

Materials:

  • Clean Mason Jar
  • Drill
  • Knob
  • Sand Paper
  • Spray Paint (optional)
  • Remove the label from any recycled jar.  For label removal instructions click here.

On the Nate Show, they used sand paper to remove the printed image on the jar lid to give it a distressed industrial look.  I tried this… and gave up.  I tried three types of sand paper and my hand got tired and cramped.  I even tried watching TV to distract me and it didn’t help.

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I decided to use some left over silver metallic spray paint instead.  The sanding wasn’t a complete waste of time because the sanded surface allowed the spray paint to adhere well.

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After the spray paint is dry, drill a hole in the center of the lid.  I suggest putting the lid on the jar and then drill.  You have more control that way.  The drill bit size will depend on the knob you choose.  On a side note, Habitat for Humanity Restore is a GREAT resource for inexpensive knobs.  I have purchased them for as low as fifty cents apiece!

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I found these great knobs on sale for $2.50 each!

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Insert and tighten the knob onto the lid.

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Screw the lid onto the jar.  There you have it! Instant candy (or whatever) jar!  You can also frost your Mason jar for a different look.

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I added a tag, ribbon, and candy to give away as a gift.

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Repurposed Earring Burlap and Feather Napkin Rings

by Dinah Wulf

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Since I got a little taste of my glittery and “bling-ed” out Halloween, I thought I’d definitely want to bring a little glitz and glam to my dinner table this year for Thanksgiving.  I guess you could call it rustic chic!  Plus, I love burlap crafts. I found some sparkly earrings in my closet and thought I would make Repurposed Earring Burlap and Feather Napkin Rings.

You only need 3 things:

  • Earrings of choice, one per napkin ring
  • Burlap strips
  • Scissors

Here are the earrings I found. I think it’s been close to a decade since I’ve worn them… yikes! Dangly rhinestone earrings MUST have been in!

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I went to Joann Fabrics and Crafts and found these fun blue feathers in the floral section.

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I gave them a little bend and they were the perfect size for napkin rings.

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First I folded my cloth napkins and wrapped a strip of burlap around it.  I didn’t secure it in any way.

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The feather wraps nicely around the burlap and keeps it in place.  This will also make it easy for your guests to take off when they are ready to use them. Next, I simply pierced the earring through the burlap and out the backing on the earring to keep it on.  This way, you won’t ruin your earrings and you can still wear them…that s if they are still in style!

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I thought they turned out cute!  They are definitely the inspiration for my whole Thanksgiving table scape… now for the centerpieces!

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More Burlap Craft Ideas:

Burlap Accent Crafts:

Thrift Store Apothecary Jars How To

by Dinah Wulf

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Apothecary jars are so beautiful and can serve several display purposes.  You can use them for candy, holiday decorations, or even display your collections. They look pretty on a mantel or kitchen island or even a bathroom filled with sponges or shells.  I like to use them for candy on a candy bar dessert table for parties. Apothecary jars start at about twenty dollars apiece for the small ones, I decided to try a little do it yourself thrift store apothecary jars project.

I found a box of four glass canisters at a discount housewares store for twelve dollars.

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On one of my recent thrift store ventures, I found some candle holders for $1.50 apiece.

Additional materials needed are:

  • Spray paint of your choice
  • A strong adhesive

In my case, I chose a metallic silver spray paint and Gorilla glue.

Before you start, make sure your jars candle holders are clean and free of wax especially if you purchased them at a thrift store.  When you spray paint them, every little bump will show (I learned this the hard way).

Spray paint your candlesticks holding the can about 12 inches away in a well-ventilated area.

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When the paint is completely dry, approximately two hours, glue the candlestick to the canister. I let the glue set overnight before picking it up, just to be safe.

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Voila! Instant DIY apothecary jar! Fill it with whatever you like… pinecones, peppermint sticks, or ornaments for the holidays are perfect for this time of year.

Envelope Pillow Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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Making your own personalized pillows cost literally a quarter of what decorative throw pillows cost you at retail department store prices. This is what I love about this project! Even at a discount, doing it yourself is a much more creative option that allows you to show off your personality (and your sewing skills).

Pillows are also a simple and budget friendly way to update any bedroom or living room and alter the decor throughout the changing seasons and holidays. For this project, I decided to use an outdoor/indoor fabric from Joann’s Fabrics toad the pillows to my patio. 

Just so you know I am not very good at the sewing machine, well, sewing period.  These pillows are very easy to make (even for me) because you don’t have to mess with buttons or zippers. This was also perfect for me because I’ve had these old pillows that have been collecting dust in my linen closet.  I ended up making four pillows and spent $20.00; AND I had fabric left over!

Materials Needed:

  • An old pillow
  • Fabric of choice ( 1” wider and 2.5 times longer than your pillow’s dimensions)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

Directions:

Step one: Cut the width of your fabric to the size of your pillow plus one inch to allow for ½ inch seam allowances. Next, cut your length at 2 and ½ times the length of your pillow.

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Step two: With right side of fabric facing you, fold bottom of fabric up about 1/3. Then fold that raw edge back about 1/3.

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Step three: Fold the top of your fabric down, covering the fold you made in step two and pin raw edges.

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Step four: Sew raw edges, using ½ seam allowances.

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Step five: Turn pillow slipcover inside out.

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Step six: Insert your pillow.

12 Homemade Gift Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know about you but I’m a planner. I need to know what I’m doing next week two weeks ago. OK, not really, but when it comes to events and holidays I DO plan WAY in advance.  I was just sitting in my craft room thinking about Christmas and thought I’d put together a round-up of a dozen homemade gift ideas that I have personally made in the past. Here we go!

12 Homemade Gift Ideas

DIY Lip Balm

I made these little tins for a few of my girlfriends.  They are so fun to make and actually VERY easy.  My favorite part is decorating the tin!

Make Your Own Bath Salts

I made these lavender bath salts to go with the lip balm.  It smells amazing and once again… my fave was decorating the jars…ha!

Wine Cork Wine Charms

These are great party favors.  One wine cork will make six wine charms.  You can personalize them to fit any party theme or holiday.

Upcycled Vase with Flowers

This is a fun and easy way to upcycle an old bottle or jar. I prettied up a tequila bottle.  I didn’t give this one away, it’s actually on my kitchen table and I use it for everyday flowers.

Flower Cluster Headpiece

This was so fun to make and perfect for the girly girl in your life!

Personalized Mugs

I love these!  I made a “Mr. and Mrs.” set, great for a  wedding or shower gift but you can also personalize any monogram to fit that special someone.

DIY Serving Tray

One of my most favorite makeovers, this thrift store mirror turned serving tray is the perfect fit for the hostess in your life.

Hand Painted Wooden Bowl

Gracing every thrift store shelf you can find these wooden bowls.  Make them a little more modern with a hand-painted dipped look.

Nautical Inspired Rope Vase

A fun and easy, 15 minute craft, this nautical inspired rope vase is great for beach lovers.

Coffee Bean Sack Pillow

Upcycling at its best, these recycled coffee bean sacks are great for an outdoor patio set.

Heat Transfer Tote Bag

If you’re recipient is anything like me, his/her trunk is filled with recycled bags!  Personalize your gift with this heat transfer tutorial.

Burlap Stenciled Placemats

One of my most popular posts, I think I may do this one again! Make your own burlap stenciled placemats for your friends or even your pets!

Recycled Book Page Wreath Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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This recycled book page wreath tutorial was an oldie but goodie trash to treasure idea.  I wanted to re-share it because I thought it may have gotten lost in the mix of over 600 posts I’ve published and I thought it was a fun book page craft! I had a damaged antique book with beautiful gold leafed pages.  The book is a book of poems by Keats, however it is falling apart and some pages are missing, so I decided to upcycle it into a wreath and turn it from trash to treasure.

Here is what you need:

  • Plumbing Insulation Tube
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Book
  • Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Sharp Knife

Instructions:

Start by cutting the plumbing insulation tube in half (one tube makes two wreaths).  Set aside one tube for another project. Carefully and gradually peel away the adhesive strip and stick the two sides together.  I say “carefully and gradually” because this sucker’s extremely sticky.  Next, tape the two ends together with duct tape. If you pinch and massage the tube, it will form into a circle and end up looking like this.

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Next, cut your pages out of the book.  I found that the fastest and cleanest way is to use a sharp knife. One by one, roll each page to make a cone shape and flatten the bottom part.

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Using a hot glue gun, glue the cones onto the foam wreath. After your first layer, turn the wreath over.  You have just finished the back of the wreath. I used approximately 35 pages for the first layer. Start your second layer. For the third, fourth, and fifth layer, you will glue the cone over the ring as shown below.  After the fifth layer, “QC” your wreath and fill any open gaps with another cone.

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Here are some after pictures.

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Five Fun Home Décor Tutorials

by Dinah Wulf

Did you know that I’m a regular Home Decor contributor over at GMC Trade Secrets? I have had the honor of sharing some fun ideas over there for the last several months and I just wanted to share a round-up of five of the DIY Home Décor Tutorials.

5 Fun Home Decor Tutorials

How to Etch Glass

Etching glass is so simple! What’s great about it is that you can upcycled almost any glass piece like a vase, mug, or wine glass, personalize it, and give it as a unique gift.

How to Update Kitchen Canisters with Chalkboard Paint

These were outdated canisters that just needed a little update.  Chalkboard paint is perfect for something like this so that the label can change as your contents change. Mine are currently labeled, “junk”, “more junk”, and “a lot more junk”!

How to Make a Recycled Candle in a Mason Jar

This one was a lot more fun than I thought it would be (not that I didn’t think it’d be fun!). I’m considering doing this for Christmas gifts because I have a lot of used candles that could use Mason jar face-lift!

DIY Upcycled Book Ends

This is also a great way to personalize a gift.  I made these with some decorative ledges that I had.

How to Make a Decorative Fall Banner

I love this one!  It’s still hanging up in my home.  Before you work with leaves however, make sure you prep them with these tips I wrote for Preparing Branches and Other Natural Elements for Decorating.

I’d love it if you checked out all my Home Décor articles and tips over at GMC Trade Secrets!

Spooky Halloween Apothecary Display

by Dinah Wulf

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I’m on a roll with my Halloween decorations this year.  I’ve already made my 15 minute Boo Pumpkins, my glam skulls, and my eerie Halloween wreath.  Today, I want to share my spooky Halloween apothecary display.  I made a lot of it with some cool Martha Stewart Halloween craft supplies. I will show you how I made this metallic spider pumpkin and used Martha Stewart Halloween beverage labels on recycled jars for some frightful looking props.

Materials:

  • Craft Pumpkin
  • Martha Stewart Crafts ™ Metallic Craft Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Martha Stewart Crafts ™ Spider Pumpkin Transfers
  • Wet Paper Towel
  • Old jars, all sizes
  • Black card stock
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Double-sided tape
  • Martha Stewart Crafts™ Gothic Manor Beverage Labels

Metallic Spider Pumpkin

First I used Martha Stewart Crafts ™ Metallic Craft Paint and a craft pumpkin I found at the Goodwill for 99 cents!

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I ended up painting two coats, plus one touch up.  Here is the first coat.  Make sure the paint dries completely in between coats.

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Next, I followed the instructions for the spider pumpkin transfers.  Cut out the desired transfer.

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Remove the transparent covering and place it on the pumpkin.  Dampen the transfer with a wet paper towel.

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Remove the white paper.  I found that you can use the wet paper towel to gently smooth out the spider.

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Repeat this process until you have all your spiders in place.

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Spooky Apothecary Bottles

I have been saving these bottles for a while because I like the shape.

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The labels were impossible to remove, so I covered them with black cardstock.

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Next, I simply placed my Gothic Manor Beverage Label on top. I made some other labels for the smaller jars.  I added a skull with a rhinestone on one of them and typed “Cerebrospinal Fluid of Unwelcome Intruders” on an old lotion bottle.

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There you have it! With the help of some old books, a metal cabinet, and the spider lace doily I made, these fun crafts make a perfect frightening Halloween apothecary display!

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What are you crafting up for Halloween this year???

Eerie DIY Halloween Wreath

by Dinah Wulf

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I loved making this wreath! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I used to plan my costume months in advance.  Now that I have a daughter, we take her trick-or-treating every year so I rarely dress up.  In lieu of my obsession for Halloween costumes, I now put my creativity into the decorations! Here is how I made my eerie DIY Halloween wreath.

Materials:

  • Grape Vine Wreath
  • Gauze
  • Craft Letters (ours spell “eek”)
  • Black Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Rhinestones and Rhinestone Stickers
  • Small Plastic Halloween Skull
  • Feathers
  • Hot Glue and Glue Sticks

Instructions:

First I covered my grape vine wreath with the gauze I had.  I purchased the gauze in the Halloween section of the dollar store.

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I found these feather bunches on sale at Jo-Ann’s for less than $2.00 a piece in the floral department… score!

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I added them to the bottom right of the wreath.

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Meanwhile, my daughter Mia painted the EEK letters black on both sides.

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Once they were dry, I added pre-made rhinestone cluster stickers to each letter to go with my glam theme this year (check out my glam skulls!).

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Next, I thought this little guy needed some bling too…

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So I added a couple rhinestones in his eyes and on his forehead.  Much better!

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I glued the skull in the center of the feathers…

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…and glues the EEK letters on the top right.

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Tah dah!  There you have it…my eerie DIY Halloween wreath. Mia is a little scared to walk by it!

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Halloween Glam Skulls

by Dinah Wulf

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I FINALLY started decorating for Halloween! I know I have a whole month but I feel so far behind… I know I know… I broke out my bin of fake skulls and bones from the garage. Yes, I have a GIANT bin filled to the rim of fake Halloween bones and skulls…it’s a sickness. I brought a few to the craft room and decided that this year, I wanted to glam them up a bit.  Who says I can’t have scary AND pretty skulls? So, I went to work and made these Halloween Glam Skulls.

Here is what I used:

  • Foam and plastic Halloween bones and skulls
  • Rhinestones
  • Rhinestone and pearl stickers
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush

For my first set, I used a small plastic skull and a foam skeleton hand.  Here they are before.

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In seconds I glammed them up with rhinestones!  I even added a diamond ring to the skeleton hand (this was actually a rhinestone button I had.

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For this next skull I got a little more adventurous.

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I used a combination of stickers and rhinestones.  I just added as I went, with no plan in mind.  Be forewarned… once you add hot glue to a foam skull, the rhinestone is pretty much permanent (don’t ask me how I know that… ha!).  So, if you add it and don’t like it, too bad!  Here’s how it turned out.

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Finally, like the skulls I made last year, I added glitter with a paint brush and white glue to just the front of this skull.  I like the mix of the glitter and grossness!

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Now…where to put them????

P.S. Check out the rhinestone skull I made last year… love this one!

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