Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bottlecap Ladybug Magnets

Happy first day of spring everyone! To celebrate today I thought it would be fun to make some ladybug magnets out of bottle caps. I seem to have a healthy supply of them. People found out I craft and now they save them just for me (Thank you).

For this project you will need glue (super gel glue works and so does high temp hot glue). 1" wood disks (the ones I used are made by Lara's craft found at craft stores), craft magnets ( I used .75" craft magnets made by Artminds (also found at craft stores), and of course bottle caps.

The first step is to take a nail or sharp object and scratch or remove the rubbery surface on the inside of the bottle cap. This make is easy for the glue to stick.

Next glue the wood circle inside the bottle cap. This will raise the magnet up so that the bottle cap does not rest directly on your refrigerator and scratch it. You can use anything for this step, but I think that wood works best.

Place the magnet on top of the wood disk to make sure that the magnet is higher than the rim of the bottle cap. If it's not high enough add another wood layer before gluing the magnet on. Then glue the magnet to the wood disk.

Finally paint the bottle caps to look like ladybugs. Let the red layer dry before painting the head and spots. Some bottle caps are real interesting and would be fun to leave unpainted.

There you have it. Adorable ladybug magnets just in time for the first day of spring. I wish that I had some googly eyes on hand for this project but I think they turned out cute enough without them. Happy First Day of Spring and Have Fun!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I Have one last "Green" blog for today. I spent the day potting up my seeds in preparation for my garden. Our growing season is so short that starting them inside helps stretch out my growing season. It yields a larger harvest and I save money by planting my own seeds instead of buying seedlings from the store. I can hardly wait to plant them outside. I remember when I was young sitting with my Mum while there was snow out in the yard and our entire kitchen being covered in mud as we prepared seedling cups. We were covered in mud from fingers to forehead and ear to ear grins as we giggled and planed for spring. One simple little trick that I learned from her was to save the papery egg cartons. The egg part makes a wonderful nursery for our seedlings to start in. Come time to transplant them into larger starter pots the egg carton will gently tear away and not disturb the tender little roots. They are cheaper than peat pots or other store bought tearaway pots. May the blessing of light be upon you. Light on the inside and light on the outside as some of us head into the warmth of spring and some of us cozy up under piles of quilts before the warmth of a fire for winter. Erin go Bragh.

Monday, March 15, 2010


It's hard to think that less than a week ago our yard was still buried under a minimum of two feet of snow. Then the rains came relentlessly pelting and melting the snow until our streets were rivers. This weekend Bear and I had to get out to take advantage of the warmer weather and go for a walk in the woods. Snow can still be found in the lower places (like this stream bed), but it is quickly melting.

Our crocus bulbs made it though the winter. They are about an inch high. I look forward to starting my first real garden. This afternoon I will begin potting the seeds for my herbs and tomatoes. Things like my pumpkins and squashes will be planted later directly in the ground.

The squirrels are happy for the treats that we leave out. They have been our clowns all winter long. I'm glad they left our bulbs alone.

The lake is still frozen over. One more week and spring will be here. It's sad to see the snow leave (I love it so) but the excitement in seeing the world wake up is over whelming. I wish you all a blessed day whether you are just going into spring or just starting to cozy up for winter. Where ever you are, whatever you are doing, Have Fun!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Glass Jar Tea Lantern

When I was a child whenever a canning jar got a chip in the rim it was re-purposed as a craft jar. This is one of the simple crafts I remember making. You will need a glass jar; any size will do. Some glue or Mod Podge, and scissors. Ribbons and felt are optional.

Cut several pieces of tissue paper. They can be any size or shape. For this craft I chose to cut half inch squares of three different shades of green in keeping with my Saint Patrick's Day theme.

Mix 3 tea spoons of the glue or Mod Podge with 10 teaspoons of water. It should have the consistency of milk when it is ready. I prefer Mod Podge to glue because it is a sealant and adhesive in one, but it makes no difference which you use. I think as a child we used water, corn starch, and egg whites.

Spread the watery glue directly on the outside of the jar and then carefully place the tissue paper on top of the glue. Continue all the way around the jar till every inch is covered. Do not glue tissue paper inside the jar; it might catch fire.

Once you have covered the outside of the jar pat one more layer of the watery glue to the outside to make sure that every piece of tissue paper has been covered. Rest the jar on it's lid while it dries. An optional step would be to add a felt circle to the bottom of the jar to prevent it from scratching surfaces you display it on. Another option is to glue a pretty ribbon around the outside of the rim of the jar. I think it gives it a nice finished look.

Once it is dry place a candle inside and enjoy the colors. Have fun!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Cardboard tube Leprechauns

Go Green this Saint Patrick's day with recycled cardboard leprechauns for decorations. I thought it would be fun to make some tube people like I made when I was a child for decorating. No toilet paper tube, wrapping paper tube, or egg carton was safe from my crafting when I was a young. I used this same method to make castle people, pirates, angels, family portraits... You name it! So grab your lads and lassies and sit yourself down for a wee bit o' Saint Patrick's day fun.

You can use any type of tube. Toilet paper tubes are usually handy. You will also need an adhesive (I used double sided scrap booking tape). To dress your leprechaun you can use anything you want; construction paper, scrap cloth, glitter, paint, buttons, and felt are good ideas...
To make the feet use the tube as a template to draw a circle on construction paper. Next draw a heart around it (or just two bumps for feet). Cut the bumps out and cut through the center of the circle.

Cut notches out of the half circle part and fold them down. Use adhesive to attach them to the inside of the card board tube.

Cut strips of colored paper for the "pants" "shirt" and "Face". Wrap them around the tube and attach them in the back. I used a marker to draw a line on the pants to make it look like legs.

Now we will make the hat. I want my leprechaun to have a green hat so I used green paper. Trace around the tube to make a circle. Then draw a bigger circle around that one. Cut notches inside of the smaller circle. This is going to be the brim of the hat.

Fold the notches up and slip it over the top of the tube. If it doesn't fit just cut the notches slightly bigger. Make sure that the notches are facing up, then attach them with an adhesive.

Make a strip of paper that matches the color of the brim and wrap it around the notches on the brim. Secure it with adhesive in back and along where it is covering the notches or it will just slip off.

If you want to cover the hole in the top of the tube make another circle with the tube and draw a slightly bigger circle around that (like how you made the brim). Cut notches on the outside circle going in and fold them up. It should look kind of like a bottle cap.

Tuck the notches inside the top of the tube and glue or tape them as you go. It's helpful to have an extra set of hands for this part.

Use markers or paint to make a jolly face and to decorate the clothing. The little leprechaun in this picture was made with a painted face and felt for clothing. Don't forget to wear green. Happy Saint Patrick's day, Erin Go Bragh, and Have Fun!