Second life for a Chocolate box (belated Mother’s Day post)

For Mother’s Day, my sweet son and precious daughter-in-law took me out to lunch on Saturday*,  gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a ‘carefully selected’ box of (my favorite flavor, salted caramel!) Moonstruck chocolates.

*You couldn’t PAY me enough to get me to go out to eat ON Mother’s Day!!  After working in the restaurant biz for 27 years, I KNOW it’s one of the WORST days to go out to eat.  

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Oh!  And a pair of hand carved salad tongs they bought in Fiji while on their honeymoon in February.

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Isn’t this the most beautiful floral arrangements you’ve ever seen!  Simple but elegant!  The roses are as big ans my fist!!  I don’t know what the purple ones are, the buds look a lot like rosebuds.  ALL of them are hanging to dry right now so I can save them.

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This little box that the chocolates came in was emptied pretty quickly.  Much too cute of a box to just toss into the recycle bin.  Time for a craft project!

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So I wouldn’t need to cover the WHOLE thing, I found some paper that worked well with the gold on the bottom of the box.  The paper is actually wrapping paper that I bought on-line, specifically to use for craft projects.

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After looking at the photos I took, I realized that the ‘seams’ on the box bottom were VERY noticeable.  I probably should have covered the bottom too.  Instead I decided to fill the box with some brown paper shred.  (but I didn’t get a pic of that.)

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I rifled through several different metal charms I had on hand in search of something to decorate the top of the box.  Settled upon a pair of gold tome arrows because they worked best with re-using the gold elastic bow.

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I love prettying up little boxes like this!  I think if I could make a living doing so, I’d spend ALL my time doing this!

 

Mini mixed media easel collages

I did the ‘backgrounds’ on these a while ago, along with several others.  Set them aside for a while until I decided what MORE to do with them.

Assorted scrap papers, book pages, sheet music and pattern tissue papers.  No real ‘method’; just layer upon layer upon layer until it ‘feels’ right.

This is what the easels looked like when I bought them at Dollar Tree several years ago.

I decided they would make cute backgrounds for the Fimo fauxzen Charlotte’s that I make.  It’s really handy having the attached easel.

This first one I added just a ‘bust’; with kraft cardboard wings and cut one of my mini sheet music crowns in half to glue the flat side to the backing.

Some Monarch butterfly wings and a paper crown on this one.

Monarch butterfly wings #2; the other half of the previous sheet music crown and letters cut from a book.

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I’ve only taken this one to Stars; saving the rest for ?????

Upcycled soap box

Hello, my name is aj; and I’m a ‘soapaholic’. 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably already figured that out!  I must confess that my addiction goes further than that.

I can’t resist ‘sniffing soaps’ at the store.

No, not the soaps in the soap aisle at the grocery store.  The ‘fancy’ soaps that come in pretty boxes.  Marshall’s is my favorite store for ‘soap sniffing’.  But I don’t sniff just ‘any soap’!  No ‘floral’ fragrances for me (except Lavender).  Other floral scents make me sneeze!  And I only like ‘neutral color’ soaps.P1260297I I was attracted to this box of soap because of the pretty box.  When I opened it and saw that it was PINK, I quickly put the lid back on and replaced it on the shelf withOUT even smelling it.  Because I don’t like pink soaps!

Just as I was starting to reach for the next box to open and sniff; the fragrance from that box with pink soap gently wafted by and it was AMAZING!  It smelled like a fresh strawberry pie.  I could NOT resist a full on sniff.  I HAD to buy it!

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The soap itself went directly into my shower and the box to my craft table.  I especially like how the box was decorated with the baker’s twine.  (will have to remember that trick!)

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I love upcycling these pretty soap boxes.  Usually I have to re-cover the entire box; but this one was already decorated so nicely that I only had to cover the ‘soap’ information.

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I found some print scrap book paper that coordinated with the paper on the box to cover the front label.

Used a piece of the same paper to cover the bottom of the box.

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There was a removable ‘riser’ in the bottom of the box that I wanted to leave in place because it SMELLED so good; so I added some of the same paper to it.

Easy peasey pretty (and fragrant!) little gift box ready to go!

Upcycled glass bottle SNOW FOLK

Lots of assorted collected bottles.  Time for a project to use them!

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I decided to make them into ‘snow folk’.

P1230906Assorted styrofoam balls, covered with a layer of paper because glitter does not stick to styro very well.  I painted on some ‘pink cheeks’ and covered the balls with white glitter.

P1230911I filled the wider mouth bottles with artificial snow.

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For the bottles with really small holes that the snow wouldn’t fit into, I used white sand mixed with a little glitter for sparkle!

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A batch of ‘carrot noses’; toothpicks cut in half and painted orange.

P1230919Poked a hole with a nail for the nose in the middle of the face then glued the glittered heads to the show filled bottles with tacky glue.

P1230920Put a dot of tacky glue into the nose hole and push the nose in place.

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Time for eyes!

P1230923I used little black upholstery tacks for the eyes.  Poke a tiny hole with the same nail used for the noses, squirt in a dot of glue, the push the tacks in.

P1230926And here they all are!

P1230928I decided to make them ‘party hats’ out of old sheet music.  Cut circles into thirds and glue.  (circle size varies, as do the sizes of the styro balls used for the heads).  I made little ‘pom-poms’ for the tip of the hats.

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The pom-poms are made from 1/4 of a chenille stem, rolled into a ball with just enough of the stem left to stick into the top of the hat.  (snip off the tip of the hat, add a dot of glue and push the pom-pom in)

P1230929Then I added a bit more glue from the underside to be sure the pom-poms were nice and secure.  Let the glue dry for 15 minutes or so, with the hats upside down.

P1230930 Put a generous line of glue around the inside rim of the hat and plop it on his head.  Press it down after a few minutes if it starts to loosen.

P1230936For the trim for the hats I used a while gold chenille stem.  Sized it to the hat that is already on the head, and twist the ends to make a circle.  Wrap the rest of the end around your circle.

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Put a line of glue around the outside rim of the hat and slide the gold rim into place.

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 Hold it in place for a few seconds to be sure it doesn’t slide up.

P1230940Lots of snow folk in hats!

P1230935I used a couple of gold chenille stems to wrap around the neck; embellished with a rusty jingle bell.

P1230937The smaller bottles just needed one chenille stem around the neck.

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And here they all are!

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Wire cloche with pedestal base

Upcycled wire cloche with pedestal base.P1220090Here’s my latest upcycled wire cloche with pedestal base; in aqua.

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Here are a couple others that I’ve done in the past.  The wire baskets come in black so previously I had made the whole thing black.  The bases on these are a vintage cherub candy dish; glued to a charger plate and spray painted.

I did one in white also.

Here are the components, before.  Plus any kind of finial to use as your knob on top.

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It’s easier to attach your knob/finial if it has a screw in the base.  You just have to find a nut to fit the screw to hold it in place.

4.29.13 Curiosity SIGNS 030

I’ve also made wire cloches out of old lamp shad frames with the fabric removed.

But back to the present and the newest cloche and pedestal!

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I used a thrifted big candle pedestal for the base.

P1220081Attached a round wood piece that I had on hand for the table part.

P1220092I decided that I wanted this one to be aqua.

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The wood round needed a black basecoat first.  Glued it to the candle base, then painted both aqua and distressed.

P1220089I wanted to wire cloche to be aqua too, but I didn’t want to spray paint the base.  Plus,  the aqua spray paint doesn’t match my brush on paint.  So I decided to see if I could ‘dry brush paint’ the wire basket.  It worked great.

P1220091And now I have an aqua one to add to my repertoire!

Re-purposed curtain rod finials

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Quick and easy DIY wood fence-post toppers.P1190816

Start with an unfinished pair of curtain rod finials.  (I found mine at the thrift store, of course!)
P1190815Rummaged though my wood stash to find two square 4″x4″ routed edge wood plaques (form craft store) and two smaller square pieces of scrap wood.  Glued the two together, and drilled a pilot hole in the center top.

P1190817Put a dot of glue in the hole, and a little around the bottom rim of the balls and screwed them down.

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  I painted them both aqua and sanded a bit.  Decided to try a different ‘aging method’ on each one, as I’ve never actually compared the two side by side.

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The darker distressing is from using the Ralph Lauren tobacco stain; brush on and wipe off excess.

P1200017The lighter colored aging formula is one of my own concoctions that I call ‘weathered wood wash’, which was invented back when I mostly did primitive style stuff.  W

I invented it because when I would use old naturally grayed wood fence boards, I hated how the freshly cut edges looked NEW.  So I formulated a water based ‘wash’ to brush on and make the new wood match the old stuff.

***This is just about the ONLY  ‘recipe’ that I do not share.   I’ve always hoped to someday be able to ‘sell’ the formula and ‘make it rich’!! LOL!!

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Which color do you like best?

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UPcycled spice rack

It all started with a scalloped spice shelf I found at a rummage sale.

P1190117Try to visualize JUST the part shown above with the scalloped edges by itself and turned upside down from how it is.  Looked to be some sort of make-do spice rack, but I had BIGGER plans for it.

P1190113I envisioned it as the top of a petite step-back cupboard.  And thanks to Michael’s help . . . here it is!


P1190114He built the base for me, we attached the two and painted a soft putty color.  (my new favorite color, in case you hadn’t noticed!)

P1190115Added this little carved wood applique at the bottom.

P1190118Simple, cottage chic style.

P1190108In the process of figuring out ‘just the right size’ of a base to fit with that scalloped top, we ended up with a couple of extra base units.  So I just painted them up as little shelves.  This is two of them, stacked.

P1190107Painted the same putty color as the step-back; with different wood appliques along the base kick plate; and a stamped design on the backing.

P1190103Base of the larger one.

P1190105Base of the larger one.

P1190102And a better look at the stamped design on the backing.  I always (ALWAYS!!) build shelves withOUT the backing attached.  SO much easier to paint that way.  AND easy peasey to add a decorative element like this TO the backing.  I just used a foam stamp from the craft store and stamped away.  Once dry, I attached it to my shelf.

P1190703The step-back has bone to Stars; $84.00.  The two shelves will be headed there soon.

Dollar store prayer candles

P1180905I started with the tall plain white prayer candles from Dollar Tree.  You CAN buy them lots of other places, but not for just $1.00.  And the more expensive ones are EXACTLY the same.

P1180904They are ALL filled with plain old boring white paraffin wax.  And they are always only filled to 2-3 inches below the top AND always have lots of extra wick!

P1180906WHY are those last 2 facts important??? Because you can add some of your YUMMY smelling melted candle was to the TOP of them.  Just leave 1/4″ of the wick, and be sure your wick stays in the center.  Also BECAUSE you are only ‘topping off’ with the scented wax, you want to be sure your decorative paper covers ALL the way around so the ugly wax line doesn’t show.

P1180907I took these black tea light holders (turned upside down!) and used them as bases to put my candles on!

P1180908Feeling pretty darn clever for thinking of that one!

P1180909This is how the tea light holders are supposed to be used!

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These will be headed to Stars soon, along with that batch of black finials I showed you a while back.

New batch of finials – black this time

I haven’t made any new finials in a LONG time!

P1180373Used some old ‘lawn chess’ pieces, wood pillars, round plaques and wood fence post topper.  Glued them together like this.

P1180374Added two round base pieces, in graduated sizes to this base to better balance out the width of the middle of it.

P1180376Really just ‘played around’ with the parts and pieces to see what looked the best, then glued them in place.

P1180480A can of black spray paint and some tea stained muslin ribbon and voila!

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P1180488Found a candle holder after I had put all the finials together and decided to paint it black to use in the grouping.

P1180489Used a sheer bow on the candle holder to break up the look of all the muslin ribbons.

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P1180491I’ll be taking these to Stars in the near future; and be adding more Paris Apartment style items.

Re-purposed hand-me-down desk

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 I’m dubbing it the ‘blue beast’!  One of the strays Michael dragged home YEARS ago after someone left it on the curb.  He gave it to some friends who had young school aged kids.  Nice homework desk.  I had totally forgotten about it.  Until Michael’s friend called and asked him if he wanted it back, as their kids had out grown it.

 It’s a lot more ‘beat up’ than you can see in the picture, especially the shelf side.  And it’s GLOSSY paint.  The HARDEST paint to paint over.  I really did NOT want it as a project.  Unleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees . . . .


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 He was willing to cut it down into just a three drawer night stand.  I can ALWAYS sell a night stand with drawers.   The more drawers, the better!  Doesn’t look half bad from the front, does it?

P1180389Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . .but the SIDE where the center desk drawer was connected could be an issue!  It took a LOT of sanding to ‘even’ that side out, a bit of wood filler and then several extra layers of paint!  And while I am attempting to move AWAY from a LOT of aqua items for a while, given that this piece was already blue and I didn’t want to spend an entire WEEK working on it…….

P1180928I went with my ‘beachy blue’ color on this piece.  Tossed the old wood knobs into my ‘knob box’ and used these vintage porcelain pulls with back plates for a more vintage look.

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