I decided to let my son choose his costume this year instead of picking one for him. We asked him over the period of a week about what he wanted to be and at first he said he wanted to be his daddy, but then he decided he wanted to be a blue train and he was stuck on that idea. So we got to work!
I gathered a few diaper boxes and we started cutting and gluing parts together.
Then we went to Ben Franklin in search of something that we could use for the round part in the front. In their craft section they had two empty spools which usually have ribbon wrapped around them. I asked if I could have or purchase them and they gave them to me - YES! So I glued the two spools together and then glued them to the front of the train.
Then I just got a piece of plain construction paper and covered the spools.
Next we were ready to paint!
After the paint was dry I got some paper plates and spray painted them silver as well as a few decals for the train which I then glued securely.
And I had one happy boy!
We ended up going to the hardware store and finding a metal funnel for the pipe. I also inserted a small plastic bottle underneath it, because the plan was to get some dry ice and have a real looking steam engine, but apparently our town doesn't carry dry ice! Darn! Just imagine it looking even cooler.
We were able to stick a headlamp to the front of the train though, so at least he had a light.
And the little brother was a Railroad Crossing sign! I just took a black onesie, and sewed a white "X" to the front and painted the letters on. I then cut off one of the sleeves and replaced it with a white one and then wrapped that with some red fabric. Over all these were pretty easy costumes to make and we got a lot of compliments!
A few weeks back I was doing my Saturday ritual of hitting up all the yard sales and came across a giant canvas picture of a mountain in a big frame. The family selling it wanted $5 for it. I stood and stared at it for a long time trying to figure out if it was something I really wanted to bring into my home. I offered them $3 since I was unsure and they said, "Take it!" So I miraculously got it into my car and took it home.
I took the canvas out of the frame and tried sanding the picture off since it had a lot of texture in it. This did not work as I hoped it would. Infact it barely got any of the paint off at all.
So I took some yellow interior house paint that I got at Lowes the week before for $1.50 in their "cheap paint bin" and gave it a few good coats. The texture obviously still showed through, but you couldn't see the picture. I had planned on painting a picture of some lovebirds sitting in some branches on it, but with the texture showing through, I wasn't loving the idea. Then one evening I was flipping through a Martha Stewart magazine and I kept thinking how all the pictures looked so pretty and it was too bad I couldn't just frame all the magazines pictures... and it hit me! I was going to do a collage painting!
I started cutting away at the pictures that I really loved and started organizing them onto my canvas. I already had an idea of what I wanted my picture to look like, so instead of covering the whole canvas I just modge podged (or half glue half water if you're cheap like me) the areas where I wanted my design to go.
Then I started making an outline of the design I wanted and covered the appropriate spots with paint. If you don't already have a design in mind, it would be very easy to print off a picture and just trace it onto your canvas that way.
This is what I ended up with on my first coat. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to do the birds yet and I added a few extra squares of magazine clippings here and there to cover with paint later just to add some texture in areas where there wasn't much.
And here is the final product after the second coat of paint!
I then painted the frame that it came with because it looked really grungy.
We recently moved into a new house and the master bathroom is awesome... other then no cabinets to hold all my stuff! There is this one big shelf:
and since there is no door on that shelf everything looks messy!
Enter the pallet:
My Ace Hardware gives these little babies to me FREE! They are certainly not in great shape, but I am usually able salvage some boards from it and I'm really into the "vintage" (or as my husband calls it - junky) look.
So while the kids were playing in the yard, I started hammering together some boards. The boards weren't exactly even, so I had to do some trimming.
But I came to realize one of the best parts of this project, is it doesn't need to look that great. It's vintage, remember?
Even my son got invovled.
Then just slap on some clear coat wood sealer, drill some holes and attach a vintage looking rope (my husband said the rope looked like it had been dragged through manure - I really just got it at Ace Hardware for $0.59 a foot. He REALLY doesn't get this whole vintage thing.)
Then I slipped them onto the shelf and filled them with goodies!
It does look a little rough, but I like it. And it cost me next to nothing! If anything, they'll get me by until I can come up with something else.
My grandma is probably one of the hardest people to find presents for, so I start thinking of ideas for her Christmas present way in advance! I was flipping through a magazine and saw these succulent wreaths going for $100+ and thought that is perfect! She lives in Las Vegas, so it's the perfect climate for succulents and it is just so pretty! The price however, was not so much in my budget so this is what I came up with!
Here's my how to - What you'll need:
*Wire Wreath Frame - You could pick any size. I chose a 12" frame that was $2.99 in my local craft store. You could probably find one cheaper at a place like Joanns or Michaels.
*Spagmum Moss - $4.99 for a package at Lowes and comes with enough to make two 12" wreaths.
* Fishing line or floral floss. (I just used fishing line because it's what I had in my garage)
*Succulent clippings - start scavenging! I found quite a bit of my clippings from my friends and relatives yards! The owner of my local nursery also gave me some clippings at a discounted price since I didn't need the whole plant, and then I also found a few on clearance at Lowes for a total of $1.95.
*Optional: Bobby Pins or Floral Pins (I used floral pins that were $1.99 for a pack, which was more then enough at my local craft store.)
*Optional: root growth hormone. You could use this if you want, but everyone I talked to said it wasn't necessary.
What you do:
First you'll need to collect your succulent clippings. Put them in a box or bag and wait a few days until the ends of the clippings become dry. If you want you could try ommitting this step. Several people told me that you don't even need to wait for them to dry. I only waited one day.
Next soak your moss in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes until it is thouroughly wet. Then get your wire frame wreath and start stuffing it with the wet moss from the back side. Wrap fishing line or floral floss to around the moss just to secure it.
You can see that the front part of the wreath is still showing through. You now want to go back over this with more moss and secure it with more line. Once you're done you won't be able to see the wire frame or fishing line for that matter.
Then start arranging your succulents! I used a pen to make little holes in the moss before I stuck my succulent clipping in.
You really can't go wrong with how you arrange it!
If you are planning on hanging your wreath immediately, then you'll want to secure your clippings with the bobby pins or floral pins. If you have patience, you'll need to let your wreath lay flat for 3-6 months so that the succulents can root into the moss. I secured all my succulents, because I want to enjoy the wreath before I have to give it away.
Once you are done, find the perfect place inside or outside to hang it!
Isn't that neat?! This is a real living wreath. All you have to do is spritz it with water and it will continue to grow! Also make sure that you let your succulents get some sun every once in awhile, they'll appreciate that. I think this would even make a great center piece on a table. Just throw a big white candle in the middle of it or something!