Valentine’s Day Craft Project – Pom Pom Critter

Fuzzy_Pom_Pom_CritterValentine’s Day is just around the corner! Here is a cute and simple project that is great for the little ones. This cute little pom pom critter will bring enjoyment in the classroom or for anyone involved. It’s easy to put together and fun! (Plus everyone will love his soft and cuddley appearance.)

Things you need:
2 – 2″ Pom Poms (We used pink)
2 – 10mm Googly Eyes
Bag of Heart Foamies
Foamie Conversation Hearts
Aleene’s Craft and School Glue or Hot Glue*

Things to do:
1. Place two of the large foamie hearts on the table side by side and place a little glue on each towards the center where they both meet. Gently place one pom pom on top and press. Let glue dry or cool. The rounded tops of the hearts should stick out and these will become feet.
2. Take your remaining pom pom and glue two of the small heart foamies on one side of the pom pom. This will become the head of the small critter. Glue on another small heart for the nose and add the googly eyes above the nose. Let the glue dry or cool.
3. Finally, add two more small foamie hearts on the sides of the body for the hands and one more small heart onto the front of the body (you can use a plain foamie heart or use a foamie conversation heart to leave a little saying). Take your pom pom head and glue onto the pom pom body. Now your pom pom love critter is finished! Quick and simple! **Tip** You may also want to think about using craft magnets as a way to display and show off the little creations on teacher’s filing cabinets, or even the fridge at home.

Project Notes:
Aleene’s craft glue works well on craft foam and pom poms. It is also safer for little hands but it will take longer to dry and for the project to be finished. Hot glue is a lot faster but we advise strict adult supervision.

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Craft Project – Loopy Chenille Ducky Basket

ducky_basket_loopy_chenille
This cute ducky basket is made from loopy chenille! Loopy chenille is soft and you can bend it however you would like. This loopy chenille ducky basket is easy to make and would be perfect for an Easter basket! You could even use this loopy chenille basket for a baby shower gift basket and fill it up with baby power, baby oil, shampoo and more!

Things you will need:
An Easter Basket of your Choice ( we used this basket and made the handle with paper twist)
1 Hank – Yellow Loopy Chenille
1 Hank – Orange Loopy Chenille
1 – 4″ Styrofoam Ball
2 – 20mm Googly Eyes
1 – Craft Stick
Yellow Marabou Feathers
Floral U Pins
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Ribbon and Flowers of Your Choice

Things to Do:
1. To make the the basket’s handle, cut about 19″ of paper twist and braid together. *** This is what we did for our basket. If you have your own basket, skip this step.
2. To begin your loopy chenille ducky basket, work the craft stick through the weave of your basket on one side of the basket and secure with hot glue.
3. Take your styrofoam ball and push onto the other end of the craft stick. Secure with some hot glue.
4. Wrap the styrofoam ball with the yellow loopy chenille until covered. Secure the loopy chenille with floral pins and hot glue.
5. Cut two-20″ strips of yellow loopy chenille. Fold the loopy chenille strips in half and glue to the outside of the basket under the head. Wrap the arms around the basket and bend the ends so that your ducky is holding onto the basket. Glue the arms to the basket with hot glue.
6. Cut a 7″ strip of yellow loopy chenille. Wind the loopy chenille in a ball and glue under the ducky’s arms for a tail.
7. Cut two – 8″ strips of orange loopy chenille. Form two oval shapes with the orange loopy chenille strips, then flatten one side of each oval shape and glue onto the ducky’s head to make his bill. Add floral pins for extra security.
8. Cut two – 18″ strips of orange loopy chenille. Fold each strip into three toes. Each toe should be about 6″ each. Place the feet at the opposite side of the head, glue the feet onto the basket with hot glue.
9. Glue the googly eyes onto the ducky’s head. Place and glue yellow feathers as desired.
10. Finally, adorn your basket with desired ribbons or flowers and fill the basket with your treats!

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Unique Discoveries and Tips at Scott’s Antique Market with Eddie Ross

atlanta_expo_eddie_ross4Two of our buyers, Shari and Paul, were in Atlanta, Georgia looking for new products for our customers. While they were in Atlanta they were lucky enough to have some time to stop by Scott’s Antique Market, where they were able to spend time, learning shopping tips from Eddie Ross! You may remember Eddie from the HGTV blog post where he showed us how to make ornaments using old shirts. atlanta_expo_eddie_rossRoss, led the group on an amazing tour, through the antique market, looking at previously selected booths. The first stop was furniture, both upholstered and wood could be seen. During this time Ross showed how one could take a piece, restore it and paint it, and by doing so create a unique accent that no one else will have.
As they progressed from booth to booth, many items were passed, each with their own unique suggestions by Ross. For example, why not take old vintage linens, napkins…etc and mix them with new items. Doing this you can create a unique look by accenting the old with the new. Even better, what if you have a vintage rug that has seen better days? It was suggested one could use the undamaged parts to make pillows or even frame it for a unique piece of art.
Another favorite booth was Haute, who specializes in trim and fabric. These too can be turned into pillows or used for covering small objects. atlanta_expo_eddie_ross2However, by far the most fascinating booth was the “silver booth”, which included Tiffany Flatware and other vintage items. One piece in particular was astounding, a Tiffany Dessert Set, placed within the 1800’s, was priced at $49,000! And another was priced at $100,000! The booth could only be described by one word, decadent!
After the day was winded down, and after listening to many of Ross’s information tips, it is safe to say we are addicted to both Eddie Ross and Scott’s Antique Market. We can’t wait to do it all again, and hope you enjoy mixing and matching the old with the new to create a style you can call your own!atlanta_expo_eddie_ross3

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DIY Cat Toys Using Basic Craft Supplies

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Cats love to play with little toys that shake, rattle, or smell great. Creating toys that mimic the shape of movement of a cat’s favorite prey is a great way to engage their interest, and help them get some exercise as well. You can make a sweet treat for your favorite feline using these ideas.

cat_toysGrow Catnip: One of the easiest ways to please your cat is to grow your own catnip! Select a small plastic container to start your seeds, plant, and watch your catnip grow in just a few weeks! Catnip looks just like grass, and like grass, it will continue to grow if you trim it regularly. Once your catnip is established, you can transfer it to another pot, like any of our planters and tubs that suit your particular decor. Your cat will adore the scent of fresh catnip, and you can trim and dry the blades to use in your own handmade cat toys. Drying increases the potency. so your cat will be sure to love her new toys if they are stuffed with freshly dried catnip!

cat_toys3Fabric Mice: Use scrap fabric to quickly whip up a batch of mice for your favorite feline. Cut two teardrop shaped pieces for each mouse, and sew together, leaving an area for turning. Stuff with catnip and a jingle bell if desired. You can use white fabric or felt for the ears, and even add a cute yarn tail (you can also try adding a jingle bell at the end of the tail if you wanted instead of stuffing it on the inside) as pictured. These mice are small enough for kitty to carry around. so don’t be surprised if you find them all over the house!

cat_toys5Knitted and Felted Mice: Don’t want to sew? Make your own knitted mice from wool yarn, and then toss them into the washer to felt. With a small amount of scrap yarn and catnip you can create your feline friend a catnip mouse. Stuff them with catnip when dry, and present to your cat. These are fast and easy to make (search for free patterns online such as Mollie’s Blog of Stuff), and very durable! Photo copyright Mollie’s Blog of Stuff. 2008

cat_toys6Dangly Toys: Cat adore little items like feathers, pom-poms and bells, but these items can pose a hazard to your pet if they are too small. Instead of simply handing a few feathers over to your cat, assemble your own dangler toy with a few simple craft supplies. Paint a 3/16″ x 12″ long unfinished wood dowel, and use flexible wire (remember the higher the gauge the thinner and more flexible the wire will be) or ribbon to attach pom poms, feathers, and other items such as jingle bells. Another idea for the “string” part of the dangler would be to use a small section of a marabou feather boa of your choice. Consider using yarn pom poms to add heft, and a few long marabou feathers to attract your cat’s interest.

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Valentine’s Day Craft Project – Valentine Paper Mache Mailbox

valentines_mailbox
Every Valentines Day, kids can be seen exchanging cards, featuring their favorite cartoon and singer idols or even showing their creative side and making their own. However, what are they to collect them in? Your child can create their own mailbox for all those lovely little love letters! This mailbox is super easy to make and would be perfect for the little ones school parties. These paper mache mailboxes are perfect solution for storing all those Valentines and special treats. Your child can use a variety of items to create their own special and unique Valentines mailbox. Your child can decorate their plain old paper mache mailbox with fun foamie craft items like sport, conversation heart, fun and funky stickers, or heart shaped foamies. You can also use glitter to add a little glitz and glam. You may also want to consider scrapbooking embellishments such as ribbon, tags, and stickers. To help create a critter mailbox you could cut out shapes using foamie sheets, use googly eyes, and even use pipe cleaners for the antennas! Your child can simply paint the mailbox with Apple Barrel acrylic paints of your choice or cover with decorative paper (trace each part of the mailbox, cut and then glue onto the box…with adult supervision of course) and your child can begin creating their master piece!
valentines_mailbox2
When working, be sure to let your child let them do the majority of the work. Otherwise, you won’t be able to take pride in what they’ve created. Involving the whole family to help create your child’s mailbox can quickly become a fun night, filled with fun and laughter. You may even want to consider sneaking in your own Valentine in the box before your child heads off to school. Later, they will be reminded how much they are loved. Being loved on Valentine’s Day is cool… even if it is just by your mom!

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Craft Project – Loopy Chenille Bunny and Carrot

bunny_carrot_loopy_chenilleHow cute is this loopy chenille bunny and carrot!? This little loopy chenille bunny is really easy to make and takes no time at all. Loopy chenille adds a plush feel to any project and is intertwined with wire that is easy to bend to create wonderful craft projects.

Things you will need:
1 Hank – White Loopy Chenille
1 Hank – Orange Loopy Chenille
1 Hank – Emerald Green Loopy Chenille
1 Hank – Pink Loopy Chenille
1 – 3″ Styrofoam Egg
1 – 4-3/4″ Styrofoam Egg
1 – 4″ x 12″ Styrofoam Cone
2 – 1-1/2″ White Pom Poms
1 – 1/2″ Pink Pom Pom
2 – 25mm Googly Eyes
1 – Craft Stick
Green Bumpy Pipe Cleaners
Floral U Pins
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Ribbon and Flowers as Desired

Things to do:
1. To start your loopy chenille bunny and carrot, we will start making the carrot first. Take the styrofoam cone and wrap the orange loopy chenille around the cone starting at the point and work your way up. Leave about a 1/2″ of cone for the green loopy chenille in the next step. Secure the orange loopy chenille with hot glue and floral pins.
2. Finish the styrofoam cone up with the emerald green loopy chenille, covering the entire top of the styrofoam carrot and secure with floral pins.
3. Place and secure the green bumpy chenille stems where desired on the top of the loopy chenille carrot. Secure with hot glue.
3. To cover up the bumpy chenille stems and to add a little bit more dimension, cut a 6″ strip of emerald green loopy chenille and wind into a circle. Secure to the wide, flat end of the styrofoam cone with floral pins.
4. To start the bunny, cut a 32″ strip of white loopy chenille and wrap the 3″ styrofoam egg. Secure with hot glue and floral pins. Place the craft into the bottom of the head and glue. This will later be used to attach the head to the body.
5. To create the bunny’s body, cut 2 yards of white loopy chenille and wrap around the 4-3/4″ styrofoam egg. Secure the loopy chenille to the styrofoam egg with floral pins and hot glue.
6. Attach the head and body together with a dab of hot glue to the top of the bunny’s body and push the craft stick that is attached to the head through the top of the body. Let cool.
7. To create the bunny’s ears, cut two- 8″ strips of white loopy chenille and fold them in half. Secure to the top of the head with hot glue and floral pins.
8. Cut two- 3″ strips of pink loopy chenille and place in the middle of the white loopy chenille ears. Secure with hot glue.
9. Cut two- 18″ strips of white loopy chenille to make the bunny’s legs. Fold the white loopy chenille strips in half and twist once, creating little bunny feet and legs. Attach the two loopy chenille legs with floral pins towards the bottom of the bunny’s body.
10. Cut another two- 18″ strips from the white loopy chenille to make the bunny’s arms. Fold the white loopy chenille strips in half and twist once, creating bunny paws and arms. Attach the arms with floral pins and hot glue.
11. Glue on googly eyes, the two white pom poms for the muzzle and finally the pink pom pom for the bunny’s nose. Cut a 12″ strip of white loopy chenille and wind the loopy chenille strip into a ball. Attach to the back of the bunny at the bottom for the bunny’s tail with hot glue and floral pins.
12. Add a dab of hot glue here and there on the side of the carrot to attach the bunny, press the bunny against the carrot until the glue has cooled. Secure the arms and legs to the carrot with hot glue and floral pins.
13. Finally, adorn your bunny with ribbon of your choice and attach a ribbon on the top of the carrot to hang your beloved bunny!

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DIY Primitive Decor – Primitive Chamber Candle Decoration

primitive_chamber_candle_holderAre you looking for a primitive decor project? Are you looking for a simple DIY primitive gift? Create your own inexpensive primitive decor! Primitive decor is very popular and can be seen in stores everywhere. This small rusty tin chamber candle holder with wood candle would be perfect for when you want a small inexpensive primitive gift, or other country primitive decor!

Materials Needed:
Rusty Tin Heart Chamber Candle Holder
1/2″ Unfinished Wood Dowel Rod
2ply Natural Jute
Folk Art Down Home Brown Antiquing Medium
Paint Brush and Accessories
Weldbond Universal Glue
General Use Scissors
An Old Rag

Instructions:
1. First cut a 2-1/2″ piece from one unfinished wood dowel rod to form the wood candle.
2. Next, take your paint brush and brush the Down Home Brown antiquing medium onto the piece of unfinished wood dowel rod and then immediately wipe off with a rag. If you want a darker candle simply apply another coat of the Down Home Brown antiquing medium .
3. Once the “candle” has dried, cut a piece of the 2ply natural jute with your general use scissors and tie a knot to the bottom. Trim off the excess jute below the knot. Clip the piece of jute above the knot to approx 3/4″ (this will be your flame of the candle)
4. Take your Weldbond Universal glue and glue the jute flame to the top of the wood candle piece. Your candle is now done and may be inserted into the rusty tin heart chamber candle holder.

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DIY Bath Bombs Using Acrylic Fillable Ornaments

Why pay up to $5.00 each for bath bombs when you can make your own? Bath bombs are fast and easy to make and you can customize the ingredients and scent to get a perfect bath every time!
bath_bombs
Things you need: ( Makes approx. 4 round or 6 heart shaped bombs)

Dry Ingredients:
4 cups baking soda
2 cups citric acid *
2 cups Epsom salt

Wet ingredients:
2 tbsp olive or other oil
Witch Hazel
Soap Expressions fragrance oil of your choice
Food coloring (optional)

Equipment:
70mm Clear Plastic Acrylic Fillable Ball Ornament** or 80mm Clear Plastic Acrylic Fillable Heart Ornament**
Large mixing bowl
Empty spray bottle

Things to do:
1. Pour the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
2. Add fragrance oil, a few drops at a time, until you are happy with the amount of scent. For a batch this size, a teaspoon or so of skin safe fragrance oil like Soap Expressions is a good choice. You can also use essential oils, as long as they are skin safe.
3. If you are using food coloring, add a few drops to the mixture and blend it in with the spoon. You can use your hands if you prefer.
4. Pour the witch hazel into the spray bottle, and spray it onto the bath bomb mixture. Spray a very small amount at a time. if the mixture starts foaming, you are using too much. Use the spoon or your hands to blend in the with hazel, a few spritzes at a time.
5. Pick up a handful of the mixture and squeeze it in your hands. It is ready to mold when it holds together like a clump of damp sand or snow.
6. Quickly pack some of the mixture into both halves of an acrylic fillable ball ornament or acrylic fillable . Press it in firmly, and squeeze the halves together with firm pressure.
7. Carefully remove the piece from the mold, and place it on a wire rack to dry.
8. Your bath bombs should harden up and dry in about a day or so, depending on how much witch hazel you used, and how humid your home is.
9. To use, simply drop one finished bomb in a tub of water. Relax and enjoy!

bath_bombs2Project Notes:
Bath bombs make a great gift. you can wrap a single large bomb in colorful tissue, or place a few in an organza gift bag for a thoughtful, handmade present. You can vary the scent and color of your finished bath bombs by using different fragrance oils and colors. just be sure any product you use is skin safe.

*Citric acid can be found in the canning section of some grocery stores, in health food stores, or online. If you can’t find citric acid, you can replace it with a mixture of half cornstarch and half baking soda. your bombs will still work, they just won’t fizz when you drop them in the tub!

**Acrylic fillable ornaments do not usually create perfect balls. Acrylic fillable ornaments usually leave the imprint of the seams once the bomb is finished. If you are striving for the perfect and flawless bath bomb then maybe using candy molds.

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Craft Project – Loopy Chenille Bunny Candy Holder

bunny_candy_holder_loopy_chenille
Loopy chenille is great for projects. Loopy chenille is soft and plush like with wire so that you are able bend and form as you please. This loopy chenille bunny candy holder is super easy to make and can be used for more than just candy. This loopy chenille bunny would be perfect for a gift from the Easter bunny or you could even use this bunny for a baby shower!
Things You’ll Need:
1 Hank – Mint Jumbo Loopy Chenille (or color of your choice)
1 Hank – Pink Jumbo Loopy Chenille
1 Hank – White Jumbo Loopy Chenille
2 – 15mm Googly Eyes
1 – 3/4″ Pink Pom Pom
1 – 3″ Styrofoam Ball
1 – 110mm Acrylic Ball Fillable Ornament
Floral U Pins
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Gun Sticks

Things to Do:
1. Begin by wrapping the styrofoam ball with the mint loopy chenille. Secure the loopy chenille with floral u pins.
2. Cut two-9″ strips from the mint loopy chenille. Fold the two loopy chenille strips in half and secure to the top of the head for ears.
3. Cut two-3″ strips from the pink loopy chenille for the inside of the bunny’s ear. Secure the pink loopy chenille with hot glue.
4. Cut two-3″ strips from the white loopy chenille. Wind the white loopy chenille strips in a circle for the muzzle. Glue the white loopy chenille muzzle onto the bunny head.
5. Glue on the pink pom pom for the nose and glue on the googly eyes.
6. Fill the acrylic ball ornament with candy or whatever else you may have in mind for this bunny holder. ***You may need to secure the acrylic fillable ball ornament with a small amount of hot glue on the sides if you fill it up or if the candy is heavy.
6. Next, cut two-11″ strips from the mint loopy chenille. Fold the two loopy chenille strips in half and glue to the bottom of the acrylic fillable ball ornament for the bunny’s feet. Cut two-4″ strips from the pink loopy chenille for the inside of the bunny’s feet. Secure the pink loopy chenille with hot glue.
7. Finally, cut two-9″ strips from the mint loopy chenille and fold them in half for the bunny’s arms. Secure the loopy chenille arms to the acrylic fillable ball ornament with hot glue.

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It’s a Hoot! Felt Owls from Styrofoam Balls

felt_owlsInspired from Your Best Handmade Creations” on Martha Stewart and Not Just a Mommy, these chubby felt owls are a hoot and easy to make after all the cutting! These felt owls could be made around the colors of your themed party. You could use pastels or gender specific colors for a baby shower. You could also choose specific colors for a birthday or even a holiday such as Valentine’s Day!

Things you need:
2 – 4″ Styrofoam Balls
4 – 25mm Googly Eyes
Felt sheets – colors of your choice
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Owl One Template
Owl Two Template

Things to do for Owl One:
1. Flatten your styrofoam ball by gently pressing against a table’s surface. This will be helpful later, to keep the owl from rolling.
2. Print out the Owl One Template. Cut out each piece. Begin by tracing and cutting out your feathers (this is number 3 in the owl one template) from your felt squares. You may want to cut out two different colors of feathers, depending on the owl you may have in mind. Glue the felt feathers onto the styrofoam ball, starting from the bottom and go up. Stagger and glue on the feathers on top of one another until you have almost reached the the top of the styrofoam ball. Since owl two does not have a head covering, cover the entire styrofoam ball with feathers. One color should be used for the front of the owl and the other color should be used as the backside of the owl.
3. To make owl one’s face cut out shapes 1, 2, and 5 from the owl one template in felt of your choice. To make the beak of the owl, cut a feather out of brown felt. Place and glue the small eye piece (#2) onto the larger eye piece (#1). Glue on the googly eyes and brown felt feather nose with a dab of hot glue. Next, glue the cone shape (#5) over the glued felt eye pieces. Be sure that the point of the felt cone is aligned with the middle of the eyes as pictured. Do not round off the corners of the felt cone yet. This will come later.
4. To make the ears of the owl, trace and cut out two triangles (#4) from brown felt. Pinch the two corners of the brown felt triangles and hot glue together. Here comes the tricky part of putting together your owl… you have to glue the felt ears onto the styrofoam body first. You will have to figure out the placement of the owl’s face, then glue on the ears. After you have glued on the ears, hot glue the front of the face onto the styrofoam body. Gently wrap the remaining part of the felt cone shape around the styrofoam ball and round out the corners as needed before gluing.

Things to do for Owl Two:
1. Flatten your styrofoam ball by gently pressing against a table’s surface. This will be helpful later, to keep the owl from rolling.
2. Print out Owl Two Template. Cut out each piece. Begin by tracing and cutting out your feathers (this is number 3 in the owl two template) from your felt squares. You may want to cut out two different colors of feathers, depending on the owl you may have in mind. Glue the felt feathers onto the styrofoam ball, starting from the bottom and go up. Stagger and glue on the feathers on top of one another. Since owl two does not have a head covering, cover the entire styrofoam ball with feathers. One color should be used for the front of the owl and the other color should be used as the backside of the owl.
3. To make the eyes for your owl, cut out two of the large circles (#1) and cut two of the smaller circles (#2) from felt of your choice. Glue the smaller circles on top of the larger circles once you like the placement. Then hot glue the two googly eyes onto the smaller circles. Cut a brown feather (#3) for the beak.
4. To make the ears of the owl, trace and cut out two triangles (#4) from brown felt. Pinch the two corners of the brown felt triangles and hot glue together. Place and glue the ears onto the owl. This will be your guide for the rest of the owl’s face. Place and glue the beak onto the owl. Finally, glue on the eyes with hot glue.

Photo Credits: Your Best Handmade Creations

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