I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

by Dinah Wulf

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas for two reasons! The first reason is because my favorite color is green, and secondly because “green” also means eco-friendly. Same word, two meanings.  What do you call that again? Think think think… ah yes! A homonym!  See? I did pay attention in school.  That or I Googled it, but you’ll never know! ;) Anyway, here we go! Some of the following inspiration are green in color, some are eco, and some are both! Enjoy!

I love these!  Tassels made from pine needles add a very clever repurposing idea to a holiday wreath.

A fun idea from Party City are these adorable candy cane Christmas cookies perched on a green cup of hot cocoa.

OK, for this one, the site it in Bulgarian, but you get the picture! They transformed 2 liter bottles into fun Eco friendly Christmas trees!  So very clever!

Here’s another fantastic repurposing idea of using a hula hoop to make a giant Christmas wreath! I picture this outside hanging off the eaves of a roof.

You have to try these Emerald Fir Candles.   The colors are fantastic in person, especially the metallic green.  Emerald Fir is Colonial Candle’s December fragrance of the month, featuring a festive swirl of ground cinnamon, peppered clove and maple.  So good!  It’s the perfect Christmas sent without being too over powering.

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A fun and simple craft you can do with your kids, is make these adorable yarn Christmas trees to add to your holiday décor.

Both green in color and eco-friendly green, recycling wine bottles into a candle centerpiece is another easy and inexpensive way to add oomph to your dinner table. Embellish them with velvet ribbon in hues of green and add rhinestones to glam them up a bit!

I heart this Christmas ball wall art! What a unique and beautiful way to reuse an old picture frame.

So simple, yet lovely, here is another whimsical green idea from Good Houskeeping.

Are YOU dreaming of a green Christmas?
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Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow

by Dinah Wulf

Flea Market Coffee Bean Sacks

I purchased these coffee bean sacks from a flea market a while ago.  They have been sitting in my craft closet just waiting to be transformed.  Ever since we remodeled our patio, I knew I wanted to make this Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow.  I knew it would look fabulous on my new outdoor furniture.  It also helps that the wood looked perfectly refinished thanks to Teak Master.  Here is how it turned out.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (1)

So, you know my issues with sewing.  So here is the spot where I make a disclaimer… since I’m not confident in my sewing skills, this is not a tutorial (in my head anyway), it’s rather a post showing you how I made this.  I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong.  I just know how I happen to make it!

First I cut out the area of the coffee bean sack that I wanted to showcase.  I cut it about an inch and a half wider and longer than my pillow.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (2)

I pinned it inside out using straight pins.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (3)

I broke out my sewing machine and… yep… you guessed it… sewed in a straight line, leaving an opening for the pillow.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (4)

I turned the pillow case right side out and inserted the pillow.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (5)

Next, I pinned the opening to make it easier to hand stitch.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (6)

Finally I hand stitched it closed.  The beauty of working with a burlap sack is that you can’t really notice the hand stitching.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (7)

Voila!  Now you have a fun Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow!  Here are some after photos.

Burlap Sack Pillow

 

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (8)

If you need some tips on how to care for burlap, I have a few for you!

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials!

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Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know about you but I receive a lot of Christmas cards in the mail.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE receiving them, especially the ones with the family photos.  I love seeing my loved one’s kids grow up, seeing new additions, and even seeing what funny costumes their pets will be wearing.  You can always make recycled bottle cap magnets out of them but that was SOOOO last year!  Just kidding ;)  This year, I decided to make Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments.  This is a fun and easy kid-friendly craft.  Here’s is what you’ll need:

  • Christmas Cards
  • Paper Cutter or Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Hot Glue
  • Embellishments (I used a scrapbook embellishment and plastic rhinestone gems)
  • Ribbon

Step One: Gather your Christmas Cards! I chose by color… red and green of course! Oh yeah… plug in your glue gun.

Step Two: Cut them up.  I cut them in one inch strips.  I cut two lengths just depending on the size of the card. I cut 16 strips all together (8 in two different lengths).

Step Three: To make them easy to maneuver, I stapled four groups of four together.  I also creased a few to make the shape more interesting.

Step Four: Put the four pieces together and pinch with your fingers.  This is the easiest way to apply the glue.  Apply your hot glue and hold it for a few seconds to allow it to harden slightly and then add your embellishment.

Step Five: Add a ribbon.

Step Six: Hang it! So easy AND your Christmas cards don’t get thrown away AND you just made your kid happy by doing a craft with them! P.S. Notice my recycled Scrabble tile ornaments in the background? :)

Bonus!  Guess what?  Here are two other fun ornament tutorials done by my friends and favorite Bloggers over at Pandora’s Craft Box and Chase The Star.

Here is Loren’s DIY Snow Globe from Pandora’s Craft Box!

Here is Barbara’s DIY Ornament from Chase the Star!

I hope you try them out!

 

Book Folding Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

I am so excited to share one of my favorite tutorials from Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box.  This book folding art is a great way to upcycle an old book.

Written By Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box

Here’s a new craft idea I learned it’s called book folding. I occasionally saw it in store displays and I found it fascinating.  I could never figure out how they made them, then a couple of days ago I took a class and they showed me how it was done. It can be a very tedious job and mind numbing, but the outcome can be fantastic. I use them as decorations on my dining room table and on my fireplace mantle. They are so easy to make and convenient if you find yourself hating the idea of throwing a book away. I love to read and throwing a book away should never be an option. So here is a great way to keep using those books you no longer want or you can go purchase bargain books at your local bookstore. I love all my books and I just can’t see myself damaging them so purchasing $1 books is the next best thing.

Here I did a simple folding which is just folding the pages in half in the same direction. It’s so easy to make! It only took me about 15 min, but it depends on how many pages the book contains. I would like to mention that a book with 600 pages would be too difficult to manage. The first picture on the page was made with a book of 600 pages, but I had to rip out the last 50 pages because the pages started to rip at the top while folding and the book became very heavy.

Now I am going to show you a very simple fold that has a dramatic effect.

Step 1: First, you want to start with using a paperback book. Tear off both covers from the spine.

Step 2: Fold the first page into a triangle.

Step 3: On the following page, fold the top part to form a 90 degree triangle.

Step 4: Again make a triangle on the next page.

Step 5: Now do a 90 degree triangle from the bottom of the following page.

Step 6: Keep alternating and repeating the pattern until you get to the end of the book.

You can make different pattern depending on the fold of the page. The sky is the limit. I hope you have fun with it. Please do post your pic of what you came up with.

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

CD Tower Advent Calendar

by Dinah Wulf

 

I was so excited to make an advent calendar this year because my daughter is finally old enough.  I searched online for some inspiration and saw some great advent calendar ideas but none that I really wanted to do.  Then one day, I was getting my guest room ready for some visiting friends and saw a CD tower that I had from college.  I currently use this piece of repurposed furniture to house guest room necessities like towels, toiletries, pens, paper, and such.  The cubbies are so useful and would be perfect to hold little wrapped gifts for my advent calendar… and it’s RED!  Here’s how I made my CD Tower Advent Calendar.

This project only costs me $20, including all the little trinkets and presents inside.  I know that’s a little more than most advent calendars, but still budget friendly.  I bought items in the dollar bins that had three or more items in a package and broke the package up to save money.  Some things I bought were pens, erasers, candy, stickers, hair clips, plastic play jewelry, and the last one… the grand finale… a Dora Explorer jump rope that costs $1.50.

I bought red and green paper sacks and different types of ribbon to embellish the packages (of course using my coupons AND shopping on black Friday).  I used circle craft punches and printed numbers and letters on my computer.  I thought the circles were perfect because they looked like ornaments.   I punched a small hole on top and added ribbon for each number ornament.  I also alternated the colors.  With my left over paper and ribbon, I made a “days til Christmas” banner to go down the middle on the CD Tower.

Here are some more pictures.

Hope you like it!

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Oh! By the way! Uncarved (it that a word?) pumpkins last forever!  Geesh!  So I had to turn my Hello Kitty pumpkin into a Christmas Hello Kitty!

Until tomorrow!

 

 

Recycled T Shirt Bunting

by Dinah Wulf

I wanted to spruce up my mantle for the holidays so I decided to make a Thanksgiving banner.  Naturally, I wanted to use recycled materials so I found an old wrinkled cotton T shirt in my husband’s side of the closet (my side is neat and tidy of course!).  There was a huge stain on the front right on the chest so this was perfect for my recycled T shirt bunting.

Here are the materials you will need:

  • Old clothing item
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper (to make your flag pattern)
  • Iron
  • Spray starch
  • Fabric paint
  • Spouncer
  • Stencils
  • Ribbon or rope
  • Hot glue

Instructions:

Step One: Grab and old T shirt or any other piece of clothing.  Feel free to play with colors and textures.

Step Two: Make your flag pattern.  I used a piece of cardstock (8”X6”).  It’s easiest to start with a rectangle, measure the center of one end, and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the center mark for both sides and cut.

Step Three: Cut out your flags.  I chose to spell out “Give Thanks”.

Step Four: Lay out your flags to iron and spray it with starch.

Step Five: Iron your flags.

Step Six: Stencil your letters using a spouncer.  I chose green my favorite color!  Check out my stenciling tips I from my stenciled place mat project. You can purchase these stencils online.

Step Seven: Allow your letters to dry and then hot glue each flag to your rope.  I bought 3 yards of rope they had on sale for the holidays and cut it in half.  It was perfect for my recycled T shirt banner!

Here are some AFTER photos.

I took these during the day…

 

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Shoe Box Lid Wall Art

by Dinah Wulf

I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again!  I’m cheap!  Let me add to that; I may have an acute hoarding problem as well.  Wait. Is “acute hoarding” and oxymoron?   Anyway, I recently painted my guest room and I wanted to add some DIY wall art so I decided to recycled some shoe boxes and make shoe box lid wall art instead of buying paint canvases from the craft store.  They turned out great, I must say!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Shoe box lids (Papa sized, Mama sized, and Baby sized)
  • Craft Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencils
  • Spouncers (sponge stencil brush)

I started off by choosing my color pallet and laying out my shoe box lids in the arrangement I wanted to hang them.  Next I painted each box lid a different color.  I used two coats for each.  Using stencils and spouncers, I added my design by carefully saturating the tip of the brush, removing some excess, and stamping the paint down onto the stencil in an up and down motion.  This helps prevent bleeding.  Allow each box to dry in between stencils.

I ended up hanging each lid with a thumbtack.  You can add rubber putty at the tip of your thumbtack to prevent slipping.  For one of my paintings I added a clock (I’ll show you that tutorial later).

Here are some more after photos.

Tip:  I have used many different brands of craft paint in my day and I have to say that the easiest and best to work with is Martha Stewart’s craft paint.  It goes on like butter!  For these I used the satin finish… oh and I used her stencils too!

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials!

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Repurposed Inspiration from Antique Shopping

by Dinah Wulf

I can’t believe this is my 400th post!  Thought I’d celebrate by sharing a lovely event I went to.  Recently, I attended the Socal Social here in Orange County, a local get together for Bloggers.  I didn’t know what to expect, as this was the first blog conference I had ever attended.  All I have to say is, WOW! Well, OK that’s not exactly ALL I have to say.  It was fantastic and far exceeded my expectations.  From meeting the most inspiring women to finding repurposed inspiration from antique shopping all day, I had a blast.  There were lots of swag, giveaways, and even celebrity writer and television personality, Mark Montano. By the way, you have to check out his new book, The Big Ass Book of Bling!  Some of my favorite projects are jewelry made from bobby pins or safety pins.  It’s fabulous!

I spent most of the day with Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box and Jen from Something Turquois.  I was also able to chat with Barbara from Chase the Star, Tara from A Spectacled Owl, Erica from Gee Whiz Designs, among so many other amazing fellow bloggers.  Of course, our hosts were Vivienne from The V Spot and Bev from Flamingo Toes.

The event was held in the historic Orange circle if Orange, California also known as the Orange Circle Antique Mall.  Needless to say, I found some fabulous repurposed and upcycled antique finds that I wanted to share with you.

Baskets turned Wall Storage

Utensil Chandelier (Check out the spooky picture at the bottom…ew!)

Umbrella Pendant Lamp

Vintage Suitcase Vanity

Chair Swing Flower Pot

Mason Jar Glasses (love these!!)

OK, these bottles aren’t necessarily repurposed, but I thought they were pretty!

Last but definitely not least… MY FAVORITE… Bird Cage Chandelier

I can tell you how great it was to meet like-minded ambitious women that knew EXACTLY what I do day in and day out.  Thank you ladies!  I had the time of my life… until next year!

 

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Tissue Box Monster

by Dinah Wulf

Seventh Generation came out with the cutest DIY tissue box monster video on YouTube showing appreciation for their one million Facebook fans.  Congratulations, Seventh Generation!  Check the adorable video out here:

As a fan of Seventh Generation products myself (I love that they promote healthy products, healthy environment, healthy communities, and healthy company!), I decided to make my own DIY tissue box monster.  This is the perfect family craft to do with your kids.  It’s creative, fun, and quite easy.  Even better, you repurpose and reinvent!

For my monster, I decided to make a partner in crime for my Monster wreath since I had some extra feather boas.  I started by painting my empty tissue box yellow.  I added black (rotten of course) teeth with black construction paper.  I wrapped my feather boas around the box and glued it with hot glue.

Next I created my monster feet by painting and cutting a paper towel roll into fourths.  I cut a jagged edge on one end and folded them up for toes.

I used scrapbook paper for my monster eye and glued it on.  Here he is!

Here he is, a little more sophisticated, with a bow tie.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

******Now for the Seventh Generation Swag GIVEAWAY RULES!******

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Good luck!

 

Repurposed Doors

by Dinah Wulf

There is so much inspiration out there for recycled DIY repurposed furniture ideas.  I’ve noticed during my recent flea market trips and visits to Habitat for Humanity Restore that you can easily pick up an inexpensive wooden door.  Here are some amazing ideas I found for repurposed doors.

How about making a kitchen island?  This is gorgeous.

This door frames a coat hanger from Buckets Of Burlap.

This salvaged door headboard is from Goodhousekeeping.com.

I love this bright yellow upcycled barn sliding door!  What a fantastic statement piece! You can never go wrong with a yellow, white, and gray color combination.

Door to door versus wall-to-wall!!

So very clever!  This is a salvaged door painted with chalkboard paint.  You can very chicly stay organized every day of the week!

This is a repurposed screen door from ApartmentTherapy.com. I love the double storage for both up top and hanging underneath.

Not my style, but love and appreciate the creativity of this coat hanger and organization station!  There are several hooks, knobs, shelves, and even a basket to hold all of your things.

Green is definitely my color!  I love this idea for a door coffee table.  It looks fairly simple to make as well.

Lastly, this is a recycled door turned shelving unit.

 

 

Mudroom Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know why but when I think about a mudroom, I think about the Fall season, perhaps because that’s when school starts.  I think about a place where the kids leave for school in the morning and all their necessities for the school day are all in one place.  I think about a place for when the kids come home from school or Dad or Mom comes home from work and there is a place to put your keys or change from lunch and a place to hang your coat and scarf.  It’s a place where you can stomp your muddy shoes on a durable floor, take them off, and leave them there to go spend time with your family after an exhausting day.  With that said, I thought I’d put together a few of my favorite BHG inspirations for a mudroom makeover.

Use an old tall and slender shelving unit in small area for perfect mudroom storage.  Add hooks inside and on the side.  Hang a chalkboard, whiteboard, and/or magnetic board on the side for appointments and reminders.  You can add decorative wall paper to add personality and character and match your decor.

This is a fun and simple repurposing idea.  Use a vintage metal label as a place to put your change.

An inexpensive storage idea is to use a shadow box with hooks to hang your keys.  Decorate it with a pattered and colorful sheet of scrapbook paper to fit your décor style.

Set a flea market tray atop a table for items you need before you leave to go somewhere like keys, jewelry, or accessories.

Find inexpensive flea market or thrift store baskets, wood crates, or metal tubs for fun and decorative storage.

Use colorful metal pales for storing gloves, hats, scarves, and such.  Label them so that everyone stays organize and can find them easily.  Consider getting a pail and putting each person’s name on it.

Photo Source: BHG

 

DIY Recycled Jar Tea Light

by Dinah Wulf

I’m pretty sure I save every single jar after it’s empty.  Pickle, spaghetti sauce, salsa… I don’t discriminate.  The Mason jar is beautiful but I think it gets too much credit (don’t get me wrong, I’ve done several Mason jar crafts in the past and I still LOVE them).  For this DIY Recycled Jar Tea Light, I decided to use a pickled beet jar.  Yes, I eat pickled beets…yum!!!

Materials:

  • Jar
  • Burlap scraps
  • Scissors
  • Wire or a wire coat hanger (I used 20 gauge because it’s easy to work with)
  • Spouncer
  • Craft paint in the color of your choice
  • Stencil of your choice
  • Wire cutter
  • Pliers
  • Hot glue
  • Tea Light

First, cut your burlap so that it fits nicely around your jar.  Next, stencil your burlap and set aside.  Wrap your wire around the mouth of the jar several (4-5) times depending on the desired thickness.  Cut another piece of wire for the handle wrapping each end securely around your wire circle as shown.  Place the wire circle with handle around the mouth of the jar.  Locate the ends of the wire circle and pull taught.  Pliers may help.  You may have to massage the circle accordingly.  Tuck in the ends of the wire.  Finally, hot glue the burlap around your jar and insert and light your tea light.

I thought six of these spelling out “boo” and “eek” would be really cute on the mantel for Halloween.  Hope you try it out!

 

Repurposed Shutters

by Dinah Wulf

Shutters are probably the one item that you can find in every flea market, garage sale, salvage yard, or recycling stores like Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Not only are they abundant, but they are usually inexpensive. With a little paint and creativity, you can literally turn trash into treasure.  Here are some great ideas for repurposed shutters.

In my search to find DIY inspiration for repurposed shutters, I found that most were used for organization.  Shutters could be used for organizing everything from mail to potted plants or from family photos and post cards to kitchen utensils.

 

Here is a great idea using shutters for decorative display from 221 Vision.

Make a big impact in the dining room with these beautiful ideas.

 

This repurposed furniture idea is an outdoor table is from Goodhouskeeping.com.

I LOVE this free standing headboard from a display at Anthropologie.  Once again, GREEN is my color!

This crafty shutter shelf is from BHG.com

Shutters work well for bathroom organization as well.

Additional Photo Sources: Etsy.com, Goodhousekeeping.com, Pintrest.com, Dwellinggawker.com

More Ways to Repurpose! 

Thirty creative ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose:

Repurposed Storage Ideas to Update an Entryway

by Dinah Wulf

The foyer or entryway to a home is usually the first impression your guests have when they come over.  It’s often an inexpensive and budget-friendly area to remodel, since it is typically a small area.  You may consider installing a durable wood or slate floor as a DIY idea to freshen this high traffic area.  You can even repaint your front door an unexpected yet inviting color.  Other simple and extremely low-cost updates are these repurposed storage ideas to update an entryway.  These are my favorite ideas from BHG.  Recycling or upcycling a flea market or garage sale finds is a fantastic way to add character and interest.

Use a collection of old mailboxes to help organize mail.  Paint them in fun bold colors to add charm and personality.

This shabby chic mail storage idea is an upcycled porch railing.  I wish I thought of this! What a beautiful way to organize an otherwise unsightly pile of paper (at least that’s what it is at my house).

I have an assortment of glass apothecary jars I use in my kitchen.  This is also a great idea for an entryway.  It’s a fabulous and beautiful way to display a collection. Apothecary jars are great investments because they are so versatile.  You can use them in a bathroom or atop a mantel to display holiday decorations throughout the year.

Repurposing molding as a shelf is an unexpected upcycling idea.  I love the thickness and detail of this particular piece.  It adds character that a normal shelf would not have.  You can find molding like this one at an architectural salvage or antique flea market.

Finally, use old shutters adding decorative brackets as a shelf for an entryway.  Add hooks underneath for coats and hats for added storage.  Shutters can be found at most flea markets and recycling centers like Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Photo Source: BHG

 

Repurposed Table Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I have been blogging for what seems to be a while now.  In my search for repurposed furniture I have seen some really cool and creative stuff.  Today, I wanted to write about repurposed table ideas.  I’ve seen a ton of suitcase tables and pallet tables but this time I wanted to find some truly unique pieces.  Here is what I came up with!

I love this wood soda crate coffee table.  I could have sworn I saw it on Martha Stewart show.  She did a short DIY segment with the designer to create shadow boxes atop an old table base, with tempered glass securely placed on top.

This one is very clever and one I haven’t seen before.  Can you guess what it is?  It’s a repurposed fire hose reel!  I love the natural patina and the industrial look.  It also adds a great pop of color to a living, sitting, or family room.  As an added bonus, there is storage underneath as well!

You’ll never guess what this is! The base is from a 1931 stove from a knotty pine cottage.  I love the tri colors with a polished shine.  Very pretty!

This is an upcycled spool top with modern and slick red metal legs.  Love the combo of the two.

OK, so I have seen SEVERAL upcycled suitcase tables, but THIS one is awesome!!!! The storage underneath is fabulous and I love that it opens on both sides and looks like it folds up for easy storage…AMAZING!

Not much to say about this one except I had to post it in honor of my husband! LOL!

OK, not sure about this upcycled aquarium but someone out there liked it because it’s sold on Etsy!

 

 

Junk Drawer Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

I made these simple junk drawer crafts for a fundraiser coming up.  I call them “junk drawer crafts” because they are recycled crafts literally made out of items I found in my horrendous kitchen and completely unorganized kitchen drawer (I was totally inspired to do this because I’m watching Craft Wars…awesome show!).

I decided to make kitchen magnets out of these items I found:

  • Scrabble tiles
  • Used gift cards, flyers, and business cards
  • Paint color swatches
  • Bottle caps

Here is a quick two and a half minute YouTube video I did for these if you prefer not to read! LOL By the way, I apologize for saying “um” so much…

The Scrabble tile magnets are self-explanatory.  I actually had these left over from two crafts I had done last year, Scrabble tile art and Scrabble tile Christmas ornaments.  You simply make words, cut your gift card to size (they are the most sturdy), hot glue the tiles onto the card, and glue a magnet onto the back using a strong bonding agent like E6000.

The bottle cap magnets are essentially the same idea.  I had made these before with Mod Podge and recycled Christmas card photos.  This time however, since they were for a fundraiser and not me I used Easy Cast which is a Craft Casting Epoxy.

Materials:

First cut out the circles using your craft punch out of the color paint swatches.  You can get these in a variety of colors at any hardware or paint store. Place the desired sticker on top.  Consider using holiday, sports themed, school themed, or letters.  Next place it into the bottle cap.

Follow the instructions for your casting agent or resin.  For Easy Cast, you mix equal parts resin and hardening agent in a plastic cup.  Stir it for two minutes.  Transfer the mixture into a second cup.  With a new stick, stir for another minute.  Carefully pour the solution on top of the magnet.  Bubbles will appear, however they will go away as the solution hardens.  Allow it to dry.  I let mine dry overnight.  Attach your magnet to the back using a strong bonding agent like E6000 Multi-Purpose Adhesive.

Since these were for a fundraiser I made small packages using treat bags, scrapbook paper, and printed address labels.  Consider making these for stocking stuffers, party favors, or teacher gifts too!