Making do: Salvaging the broken

I LOVED that big white ceramic bread box!  It was ‘one of those thing’s that I was REALLY tempted to keep for myself.  But I talked myself into taking it to Camas (back when!) because it was such a great addition to all the other white dishware I had for sale.   You can see it on the second to the bottom shelf.

I almost CRIED the day I went in to find it sitting on the FLOOR, with the lid cracked in half!!!  Such a beautiful piece; RUINED!  I couldn’t throw it away though.  For quite some time it sat on my paper craft work table as a ‘catch all’  for scraps of paper I wanted to save.  Finally decided to try to ‘dress it up’ and ready it to sell again.

I used some double-sided tape to hold the burlap ribbon in place.  I didn’t want it PERMANENTLY attached, and it just slid right down without anything holding it in place, so the tape worked best for that.

Added a little just string and an embossed kraft tag, and called it good!

So now it;s at Stars, awaiting a new home.  Who knows!  Maybe someone had one like it and broke the BASE and kept the lid?!?!  It’s makes a nice planter box otherwise.

UPCYCLED cupcake or Wedding cake pedestal stand

Why spend a small fortune on a nice BIG Wedding cake or cupcake pedestal stand; when you can easily make your own?!?!

This big scalloped edge aluminum platter had been sitting on my ‘to do’ PILE for quite some time.  My original thought was to use it as a ‘canvas’ for an altered art piece.

I bought the white ‘vase’ intending to use it as the pedestal for a cake stand made using a regular size plate.  Alas, it was just too BIG and just looked too heavy underneath a white dinner plate.

As I went to put it in my ‘spare parts’ box to use some other time, my big platter caught my eye!

I stacked them together to eyeball the proportions.  PERFECT!

These vases from Edible Arrangements are fairly easy to find at thrift stores.  This particular one is much fancier than the others I usually find.  But they are PERFECT to use pedestal bases for projects like this.  Be sure you put you WIDEST part facing DOWN, for the best balance.  (sometimes that will be the RIM, like here; and sometimes it will be the actual base)

Attached my base to my platter with some e6000 adhesive, and let cure for 24 hours.

Then I just spray painted the WHOLE thing flat white.  Yes, the base WAS already white, but GLOSSY.  I wanted the top and pedestal to match perfectly, so I painted the whole thing.

A perfect display stand for a quaint country wedding!

It is available for purchase in my booth at Stars Antiques in Portland.

Little sea horse table do-over

The longer I looked at my painted sea-horse table, the LESS I liked it.  See the entire  original project HERE.

I TRIED to like the neutral black/tan color combo.  Really I did!!

And THEN I painted these little metal  wall sculpture sea horses.  Had multiples of them so I could try different colors.  Liked the aqua SO much better on these, that I decided to repaint the table too.

Bits of the tan paint still show through in spots, adding more interest.

NOW it’s ready for me to take to Stars!


Spring has sprung with new bird and nest decor

Bird topped cloches.  Birds from Michael’s (40% off!) attached to thrifted glass containers with e6000 adhesive.

BIG thrifted hurricane globe topped with thrifted bird.  Bird was the solid dark color.  I lightened up and brought out the details by sponge painting on a bit of light tan craft paint.

Thrifted hurricane vase topped with Dollar Tree rooster.

ALL of the following pedestals came from thrift stores.  I stockpile them until I am ready to repurpose them in a craft project.  They were various colors; I spray painted them all white to match the white birds I bought at Michael’s (40% off of course!)  All the birds are glued in place using e6000.

SO, I had all these pretty white birds on white pedestals all finished up and sitting on the dining room table; awaiting price tags and to be packed up for their destination of either Stars or the spring show.  The ones for Stars have been taken in . . . but after looking at the rest of them sitting on the table I decided they weren’t DONE!  One more little detail to add. . .

CROWNS!!  Pretty little glittery crowns!

MUCH better with the crowns, don’t you think???  Now I’m going to have to bring home all the ones I took to Stars, add the crowns and take them back in!

Visit my Dollar Diva blog   to see the tutorial for these bird cloches with nest.

And now for some nests!  Again, thrifted bases, spray painted white.  Nests glued onto containers using e6000.  Little blue eggs were leftover from ones I painted last year.

And yes, I even glue down the eggs and feather!

And to some I added some little Dollar Tree birds; glued down

Some of the WOOD bases I decided to distress.

Decided the nests needed a little ‘fluff’, so I added a pinch of Spanish moss (buy mine at Dollar Tree for MUCH less than the same size bag sells at craft store!)

Added little birds, bought at Dollar Tree.

 Couldn’t find the nests I needed anywhere locally; so I ended up ordering a CASE of them from Craft Wholesalers on line.

These little cuties also got the ‘royal treatment’  . . .

But their crowns are made of vintage sheet music instead of being glittered.

This little shadow boxed bird got a crown also.  I just didn’t get a picture of it.

Look for these items in my booth at Stars and at Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar at the Washington County Fairplex; April 24th – 28th.  

AFTER the show, I will be adding what’s left (OR will make more!) to my etsy shop.

Finally! completely done with my faux Santos doll!

You’ll have to look back at  this post if you haven’t already read about how this project began, or just can’t remember.

So I did finally go back and paint the cage and the base white, then added some Ralph Lauren tobacco glaze.  Better now?  I tucked a few vintage looking post cards into the cage.  Here’s a little history on Santos dolls.

Published in: on April 6, 2012 at 8:39 am  Comments (1)  
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Re-purposed old canvases – BACKWARDS!

Now, I consider myself pretty creative in coming up with ideas for re-using and re-purposing stuff, but I don’t think I’d have EVER thought of this!  Taking old canvases and flipping them  BACKWARDS to make into wall pockets is the brainchild of Cathe Holden HERE.  Click on that link and visit the original post for the complete how to’s.

As always (or so it seems!) as soon as I see a great idea like this, my wheels REALLY start turning.  It’s like a spark that ignites the creativity in me.  I immediately thought of how frequently I’ve come across those old open box type little wall display shelves; with four wide sides and NO backing.    I see them ALL the time and have NEVER bought one because I had NO IDEA what I could do with it.  They would be PERFECT for this project!

It really wouldn’t even be that hard to make your own frame from scratch!  Just take four boards (all the same size for a square, or 2 different sizes for a rectangle)  and nail them together, no mitred corners necessary!  Add a backing and take it from there.

So NOW when I go out shabbyshopping, I’ll have to remember to look at things BACKWARDS too when searching for inspiration!

The votes are in on the angel wings controversy

Not everyone who commented specified ‘up’ or ‘down'; but of those who did; 4 voted for up and 12 voted for facing down.  I didn’t want to tell you which direction I preferred vs. what Michael liked better, so as to not influence the voting process.  I liked them better down, but almost immediately after I posted the pictures I decided on NEITHER, and set to work on a SMALLER pair, using tea stained music pages cut into leaf shapes.  And made them ‘not so directional’.


Here’s the previous options.  I still LIKE that pair of wings, just not ON this doll.  Will probably make them to just hang on the wall as a decoration.

Now that I’ve solved the wing debacle, I’m kicking myself for having not painted the base and cage before I attached them.  And I’m not sure I even CAN go back and do it now because I’d need to use spray paint and she is NOT removable anymore at this point!  sigh.

Looks like this one will end up in my ‘personal collection’ of ‘not quite right’ projects.  I can never seem to keep the ‘perfect ones’ for myself.  So I end up with the ones that aren’t good enough to sell.  I still LOVE them, imperfect as they are; because they are the ‘first fruits’ (so to speak) of my inspiration and have sentimental value.

Maybe I will display her among my globe collection, which will kind of hide her base.  Might be kinda cool having an angel overlooking the world (s!)

Post card holder

I just happen to prefer using  post cards over business cards for putting out in my space at Stars and at craft shows.  Biz cards are great for handing out when needed, but a post card will catch the customers eye better.  I’m always looking for creative ways to display my post cards.

Which is why this little wood settee caught my eye.  And even IF it wasn’t the right size for a post card holder, little chairs and benches always sell well.

A little bit of paint . . .


Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Glittered witch hats

I know you you can buy the unfinished paper mache witch hats at craft stores, but that’s too EASY for me!  And a tad pricey when I am trying to make stuff to sell at a mall when I pay rent and commission, and need to make a little profit!  Time to put on my thinking cap and come up with some creative and inexpensive way to make some witch hats.


I hunted through my ‘favorite store’ for a reasonable facimile of a witch hat and headed home to create a new masterpiece.  I completely covered them with glitter, and added some ‘eyelash yarn’ around the rim. 

To keep my selling price ‘reasonable’ I decided to make them about 1/2 size.  The BIG witch hats are great, but can get pricey and are hard to store away because the take up so much space.

 I’m quite pleased with the outcome!  You’ll NEVER guess what materilas I repurposed to make the hat!!  And you’ll have to pop over to my

Dollar Diva blog to see.


I’ll be selling the finished hats at Stars for $9.00


Repurposed spice rack: Halloween decor

Just for fun.  Turned an old spice rack into a Halloween “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” apothecary set.

I almost passed this set up.  (includes spice jars)  But Michael pointed out that I could al least ‘use the little jars’, so I went ahead and bought it at a local rummage sale a few weeks ago.

With a little bit of work and creativity, I turned it into this!

Having NO idea what I could use the knife  for, I used some scrap cardboard to glue on and cover it up.  On second thought, I could maybe use ONE hole to post some sort of banner in, so I punched one hole in the cardboard at the back corner.  Then painted the entire holder black.

The bottles DID have their glass toppers, but when I washed the bottles, they all came apart.  (the plastic cork part came off the glass knob part.  sorry, no pic!) I could have glued them back together and then glued them in place on the jars, but decided to save them for another project. (they kinda look like little ‘genie’ bottles!)

So, after I spent a couple of HOURS scrounging the house and my craft supplies for bottle contents and clever labels for such contents; I cut out circular topper from stained cardstock to glue to the tops of the bottles.  (things like this tend to get opened up and messed with in the mall, IF you make them accessible!)  Then I cut apart a skull and bones border paper I had to put on the top of each.  Glued on a little rubber mouse too.

Thought long and hard about what to print on the banner.  Didn’t want it to be TOO Halloween exclusive; so Sorcerer’s Apprentice fit the bill.

Close up of some of the jar labels.


Eyes of newt.

Snake eggs.  These little round ‘things’ are ‘vase fillers’ I bought at Dollar Tree.  Used a magic marker for the newt eyes.  You could also make the white ones into eyes if you wanted to.

Wing of bat; made by cutting up some black fabric leaves.

Ash of eel; a little black glitter mixed with sand.


Magic dust: iridescent glitter

Wombat hair: Short cuts bits of excelsior

Spider legs: trimmed some black brush bristles

Firefly wings: Cut up little pieces of screen

Dragon’s breath: Some cream colored tulle

Poison: coarse gravel



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