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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Eaisly remove labels with a heat gun.

My dear friend  Paula passed this tip along to me a few years back:  Use a heat gun to easily remove labels from jars, and cans.  Heat it up a bit, but not too much.  You'll see the glue starting to melt.  Just wipe it off with a damp cloth.  Be sure to do this in a safe area, and make sure there is nothing laying around that may catch fire.  Always use caution!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Witch coffe can treat container

This is such a cute project.  A coffee can made into a witch, that can be filled with candy or anything of your liking.  Here's what you will need:
One 33 oz coffee can-I used the kind that are made from a heavy cardboard as they are a smooth surface
An old funnel, or you could use a large plastic kitchen funnel.  Just be sure to spray it with a primer so that the black paint sticks to it
One piece of black felt
Spanish moss-natural color
Hot glue/glue sticks
Spray sealer-matte finish-I used Krylon matte finish
Le Plume pigmented marker-I would imagine a fine and medium tip bic marker would work also.  Although I have not actually tried it
Lots of candy
Bag of shredded paper or you could crumble newspaper-to put in the bottom of your can
Homespun Black and Orange material, or a color of your choice-one piece cut to 1 1/2" wide x 18" long
(for the brim of her hat) and one piece big enough to go around the top and tie a bow
A can of light colored spray paint in a matte finish- I used Krylon indoor-outdoor Almond
A light colored crayon-to trace the brim or her hat
These are the paints I used.  You can use whatever brand works best for you.
Flat Black-Apple Barrel
Burnt Orange-Americana
Apple Orchard-Folk Art
Flat White-Apple Barrel

3/4"-1" flat brush
#6 filbert

Peel off the label and spray paint the entire can including the top of the lid with 2-3 light coats of spray paint.  This will act as a primer so that your paint will stick to it.  Allow to dry in-between coats and be sure to do this in a well ventilated area.   Read the instructions on the can.  Once dry brush on 2-3 coats of Coco using the 3/4" flat brush and allow to dry.  Apply her cheeks with a mix of Burnt Orange and Coco with the #6 filbert, brushing in a circular, tapping, motion.  Lightly draw on her face with a pencil.  Using the #6 filbert- apply the eyes in 2 coats of white, the pupils in black, and her nose in Apple Orchard. Using the Le Plume marker  add her mouth and  teeth, outline around her nose, eyes, and the eyelashes. Add the highlight in her pupil using the #6 filbert, in white.  Allow to dry and add 2 light coats of spray sealer.  When dry add her hair by cutting long pieces of spanish moss  with your scissors, and hot gluing it the her head.  Apply as much or as little as you like.  Now give her a hair cut if need be.  Remember as a child you were not allowed to cut your doll's this part!  Now for the hat it will depend on what you are using.  I had a metal funnel with a handle that already had a primer on it, so I just painted it  with 2 coats of  black using the 3/4" flat brush.  If you are using a plastic funnel you will need to spray it with some type of primer, then apply the black paint.  I also painted the top of the lid in 2 coats of black with the 3/4" flat brush and sprayed 2 light coats of the matte sealer.  Now  find a round item, like an ice cream pail lid, or the lid to a pan that is about an inch or so bigger than your coffee can lid and trace around it onto the black felt, using a light colored crayon.  As you can see in the pics above I used a lid to a pan.  You can easily wipe the crayon mark off with a damp cloth.  Now providing your lid is dry hot glue the felt to the top of the lid.  I just added the hot glue all the way around the edge.  Press firmly in place.  Now tear, not cut, your homespun material to the lengths listed above and hot glue on the funnel for the band on her hat.  I folded it over a bit to fit, leaving the torn edges at the top(see pics above). Add the bow at the top of the funnel.  Now glue the funnel to the felt part of the lid, and you now have a one-of-a-kind treat can, that can also be used for a cute center piece.  Fill the bottom with some shredded paper and fill with candy, bath and body items, or anything of your liking.  I'll be adding more coffee can treat containers soon....snowman, scarecrow,santa,prim pumpkin........

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cinnamon ginger boy cutouts

How to make mini cinnamon, applesauce, ginger boy cutouts

My friend asked me a while back why I don't make those good smelling little ginger boy cutouts anymore.  My reply was you know I don't know.    I have not made them in years.  Not sure why cause they smell sooooooooo good, and they are really cute.  So, I decided to dig out my recipe and get some made.  They look good in a bowl filled with potpourri. Cute and festive. 

Here's what you will need:
A small ginger boy cutout
Measuring cup and measuring spoons
A bowl to mix it in
Spoon to mix it up
3/4 cup of applesauce
1 cup of cinnamon-2/$1.00 at dollar store-oh ya! You will need some extra to sprinkle on your rolling surface
2 tablespoons of white glue-any white glue will work
Ground cloves-a few sprinkles to your liking
Ground nutmeg-a few sprinkles to your liking.
Rolling pin
Wax paper
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix until a dough forms. If your dough seems a bit dry just add a little more applesauce.  Lay out your wax paper and use it for a rolling surface.  Sprinkle the wax paper with a little of all three spices.  Roll and cut.  Allow to dry for several days.  I flip them every day until they are completely dry.  They will get fairly hard when completely dry.  Lay them out to dry onto a piece of wax paper, and whatever you do....don't leave your cookie cutter in the garbage disposal.  This is what happens when you do.  I think I have had this cutter for 20 years.  Dang! now I have to go find a new one.


Friday, January 20, 2012

How to make "grungy" flicker lights

How to make your own grungy tea lights.

 These are so easy to make and smell really good too!  Here's what you will need:
Electric flicker lights
A small container to pour your glue into.
Any white glue, such as Elmer's white glue
A small stiff flat brush to apply the glue-doesn't have to be a stiff bristle, but I think it goes on easier
Wax paper-makes clean up much easier
Ground Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg-You can grind your own, if you have a coffee grinder.  You can get more of a course chunkiness(made that word up) by doing it this way.

Begin by laying out your wax paper, or your work area.  Gotta love this stuff.  So easy to clean up when done.  Pour some white glue into your container, add a little bit of all your spices,mix it into the glue, and simply apply with your brush to the flicker light.  Apply it in kinda heavy, clumpy coats, but not to where the glue is running all over the place.  Just play around with it and you'll get it.  Be careful not to get it on the flicker light like I did.  Allow it to dry and add as many coats as you desire.  More than one coat is required to get a good grungy appearance.  When you are done adding your grungy brew, apply another coat of plain thinned down white glue, and allow to dry.  There ya have it, grungy flicker lights.    You can use this recipe on alot of things, just be careful it is something you can safely apply it too. For example do not apply it to a candle you are going to burn!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowman mitten, hat, or note hanger

I made this cute snowman hanger to dry your mittens and hats. You could also use it to hold important notes, or make a single one to hold special holiday pictures, or recipes.  It was pretty simple to make.  You need 3 large wooden clips.  They can be purchased  at some craft stores.  I do believe cabin crafters  and  Viking Wood Crafts still  carries them also.  The ones I used were about 6" in length.  They come in a variety of sizes.  You will also need an old barn board or whatever you choose for the back board, or you could attach them directly to the wall. 

Basic instructions
 Other supplies needed:
3 small pieces of homespun material, or a material of your choice for the scarves
Medium grit sand paper-to rough him up a bit
An all purpose sealer
7 small screws-3 to attach the snowmen to the board, and 4 to attach to the walls
Drill with appropriate bit(Phillips or straight) depending on what kind of screws you are using
Hot glue and glue sticks
Small drill bit-to drill pilot holes

PAINTS-black, white, dk. blue, red, burnt orange, and yellow
BRUSHES-small liner, #6 or 8 filbert, and a 3/4"-1" flat

I cleaned my backboard with soap and water, and allowed to dry.  Once dry I brushed a wash of white onto the backboard and set aside to dry.  To make a wash simply thin down the paint with water, and  LIGHTLY  apply.  I brushed 2 coats of black onto all the snowmen and allowed to dry.  Once dry brush 2 coats of white over top of the black and allow to dry, leaving the top part black for his hat.  Mix a very small amount of red with the white for his cheeks and lightly brush onto his face with the #6 or 8 filbert.  Add the eyes by mixing a very small amount of dark blue to some white.  Add the pupil in dark blue and the twinkle in white.  Add the nose in burnt orange and highlight the left side in yellow  Add the outline around his eyes, and his mouth in some thinned down black, using the small liner brush. Now rough him up a bit by sanding the edges with medium grit sand paper.  Wipe clean with a paper a damp paper towel.  Apply a sealer of your choice to the barn board, and all the snowmen.  Once dry hot glue the bows to the snowmen.  Now lay out your snowmen on the board  for proper placement and apply a bit of hot glue to hold them in place.  Flip your board over and drill a pilot hole so that you can easily add a screw to each one.  This will  hold each snowman in place.  It is important to drill a pilot hole as the wood may split if you don't.  The hot glue is not enough to permanently hold the snowmen in place. 
I have all kinds of characters I want to make with this project. I'm  going to be adding a page here for pics of your  projects.  If you try this project I would love to see pics to be posted onto my blog.  You can email me pics at phyllisspawdesigns@gmail
Happy painting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inexpensive paint palettes and tracing paper

Use wax paper or freezer paper for an inexpensive paint palette.  Makes for an easy cleanup.  You can just dispose of it when your done. 
Use parchment paper for tracing paper.  You can buy this at Wal-Mart in the section that has foil, and Saran wrap.