The Art of Cookie Decorating

Cookie Decorating

Designing cakes may be too challenging, but anyone can decorate cookies.  And remember if you make a mistake, eat it and nobody will ever know.  Let’s review our decorating options first, and then see eye-catching photos of delicious cookies.  I’m hungry already.  Let’s go…

Cookie Decorating Options:

Cookie Cutters

Cookie Cutters

Choosing the best cookie cutters is the first step in cookie design.  Easily recognizable shapes and built-in details provide the perfect canvas for your artistic vision. 


Icing St Patrick's Day Cookies

Chocolates, Candies & Sprinkles

Chocolates Candies & Sprinkles

Melted Chocolate

Chocolate Covered Cookies

Granulated Sugar

Sugar Coated Cookies

Powdered Sugar

Powdered Sugar on Cookie

Fruit Pieces & Fillings

Fruit Filled Cookies

Food Coloring

Colorful Macarons

Stenciling, Airbrushing & Edible Inks

Stenciled Cookies

Easy to Make Decorated Cookies:

Iced Cookies with Candy Pearls

Icing & Candy Cookies

Fruit-Filled Cookies

Jelly Filled Smiley Cookies

Iced Cookies with Sprinkles

Icing & Sprinkles Cookies

Marbleized Icing Cookies

Marbleized Icing Cookies

Chocolate Dipped & Homemade Candy Cookies

Chocolate Fancy Cookies

Themed Cookies:

Seasonal Cookies – Winter

Winter Cookies

Seasonal Cookies – Summer

Summer Cookies

Holidays – Easter

Easter Cookies

Holidays – Halloween

Halloween Cookies

Holidays – Christmas

Christmas Cookies

Special Occasions – New Baby

New Baby Cookies

Special Occasions – Birthday

Birthday Cookies

All Occasions – Oversized Cookies

All Occasion Oversize Cookies

Best of the Best:

Best Thematic Cookies

Best Cookie Design

It all starts with a great cookie cutter, followed by lots of snowflake textures in a wintry color palette.  As in nature, no two are exactly alike.  Granulated sugar simulates the appearance of ice and snow. 

Most Elegant Cookies

Best Elegant Cookies

This looks professionally made but it is a basic sandwich cookie.  The swan cut out in the top layer reveals the raspberry filling inside. Sprinkle powdered sugar for a beautiful bakery finish. 

Most Clever & Humorous Cookies

Best Funny & Clever Cookies

What do you get if you turn a simple gingerbread man cookie upside down?  A team of silly reindeer to pull Santa’s sleigh. 

Best Icing Details

Best Piping & Icing Details Cookies

Multiple decorating elements were utilized to achieve these artistic beauties, including, stenciling, piping, and hand-applied edible ink. 

Best Cookie Presentation

Best Presentation Cookies

Individually decorated cookies have been sculpturally layered, creating a three-dimensional bow of holly.  It just might be too pretty to eat. 

This completes our exploration of cookie decorating.  It’s time to create a few cookie masterpieces of your own.  You might want to take a few photos because this type of art doesn’t last long.  Enjoy!

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Halloween’s Mascots

Black Cat & Pumpkin

When you think of Halloween, what images come to mind?  Most likely there’s a black cat and a few pumpkins in the mix, and rightly so since these mascots of Halloween have been honored for centuries. 

Black Cat & Pumpkins

In this vintage illustration, a cuddly kitten saunters through a pumpkin patch.

Ceramic Cat & Pumpkin – Front

Ceramic Cat in Pumpkin Front

Our project this week is an adorable kitten sitting inside a jack-o-lantern. 

Ceramic Cat & Pumpkin – Back

Ceramic Cat & Pumpkin Back

This three-dimensional Halloween decoration is available at Michaels. 

Ceramic Cat Closeup

Ceramic Cat Closeup

The top of the pumpkin sits on the kitten’s head like a little hat.  Aww, so cute!

Ceramic Pumpkin Closeup

Ceramic Pumpkin Closeup

The cut-outs in the faces of the cat and pumpkin hint at a surprise, which will be revealed at the end of this post in the last photo. 


Acrylic Paints

Ceramic Cat in a Pumpkin (6” wide x 6” deep x 8” high)
Acrylic Paints – dark green, black, metallic gold, buttercrunch yellow & orange

Painted Pumpkin – Front

Painted Pumpkin Front

Paint the pumpkin orange and the stem green.  Be sure to paint all the edges of the cut-outs too. 

Painted Pumpkin – Back

Painted Pumpkin Back

It will probably require two coats of paint for a nice even finish. 

Painted Cat’s Eyes & Pumpkin Top Edge

Painted Eyes & Pumpkin Interior

Paint the cat’s eyes metallic gold, including the inner edges.  Add black for the pupils and a dot of white in each.  Paint the top edge of the pumpkin, around the cat’s body, with buttercrunch yellow. 

Painted Pumpkin Top Edge – Back

Painted Pumpkin Interior

Painted Cat Closeup

Cat Closeup

Painted Pumpkin Closeup

Pumpkin Closeup

Painted Cat – Front

Painted Cat Front

Paint the cat with two coats of black paint, including the front paws draped over the pumpkin.  Add black lines on both sides of the pumpkin stem. 

Painted Cat – Back

Painted Cat Back

Working out the Details

Drawn Details Closeup

At this point I noticed something funny.  It looks like this kitten is sitting in a bowl of soup, and his disembodied paws appear to be floating on top!  To fix these issues, draw lines in pencil to thicken the pumpkin’s rim and connect the paws, via legs, to the body. 

Painted Details – Front

Painted Details Front

Paint the legs black, and the pumpkin rim orange.  With a fine brush, paint the whiskers white and the mouth pink.  Indicate toes with thin white lines on the front paws.

Painted Details – Back

Painted Details Back

Finished Cat Closeup

Finished Cat Closeup

Finished Pumpkin Closeup

Finished Pumpkin Closeup

Glowing LED Lights

Lit Cat in Pumpkin

This is the finished project.  Concealed LED lights illuminate the inside, just like a real jack-o-lantern.  I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy Halloween project. 

Thanks for reading!

Happy Halloween & Happy Crafting!

Halloween in Salem

Trick or Treaters

Salem, Massachusetts is an interesting place to visit, especially in October.  The residents really know how to throw a month-long party, and all are invited. 

Live Music

Live Music

There’s live music and lots of costumes.  You never know who or what might appear around the next corner. 

Live Street Performances

Ghostbusters Street Performers

Street performers entertain the crowds.  We were fortunate to see the ghostbusters arrive in their famous Ecto-1 ambulance.  “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”

Salem Cemetery

Salem Cemetery

Wander the streets and cemetery by lantern light on a haunted walking tour. 

Good Witches

Good Witches

See a bronze statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens from the television show, “Bewitched,” or conjure up a little magic of your own during a Halloween photo shoot. 

Hocus Pocus Films

Hocus Pocus

Take a trolley ride around town to see numerous historic sites as well as film locations from both of Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” films. 

While visiting Salem, my mom and I noticed several unique Halloween decorations.  Here are a few of our favorites…


Two Ghosts

In a place with such a long history, there are bound to be a few ghosts. 

Pumpkin & Witch

Lucite Pumpkin & Witch

This pumpkin makes spooky sounds and appears to glow in sunlight.  The orange-haired witch holds a bouquet of shooting stars and a friendly bat. 

Goblin & Crow

Goblin & Crow

The goblin looks perfectly happy for a night of trick or treating, but the crow appears quite annoyed to be wearing his pumpkin costume.  More than a few of his tail feathers are ruffled. lol

Mom Ghost & Baby Pumpkin

Ghost Mom Baby Pumpkin

This one is my mom’s favorite because she loves mother and child themes.  We have always loved celebrating Halloween with decorations, costumes, and parties.  Lots of warm memories are attached to this popular holiday, and this adorable figurine bring them all to mind. 

Metal Spider Candleholders

Metal Spider Candleholders

Here’s an important travel tip: If your carry-on bag contains spikey metal objects, it’s going to be searched! lol.  An airport security guard carefully unwrapped the odd-looking objects.  When he saw the spiders, he burst out laughing and held them up to share the laughter with all the guards and passengers.  It’s still one of my favorite Halloween memories. 

Thanks for reading! 

Happy Halloween & Happy Crafting!

Halloween: Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice Costumes

There are all sorts of Halloween themes and characters to help us celebrate this imaginative holiday.  Every year you decide what costume to wear, so why not choose a style for your decorations?  Each of the photos below shows Naughty on the left and Nice on the right.  At the end are exemplary displays to inspire your Halloween décor. 





Pumpkin Pals

Pumpkin Pals

Spooky Pets

Spooky Pets

Pumpkinhead Monsters

Pumpkinhead Monsters

Pumpkin Trios

Pumpkin Trios

Ghostly Trios

Ghostly Trios

Flying Witches

Flying Witches

Pumpkins in the Fog

Pumpkins in the Fog





Pathway Lights

Pathway Lights

Pumpkin Personalities

Pumpkin Personalities

Halloween Beverages

Halloween Beverages

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Cats & Full Moons

Cats & Full Moon

Pumpkins & Vines

Pumpkins & Vines

Halloween Displays:

Nice – Pumpkin Patch Family

Pumpkin Patch Nice

Naughty – Graveyard

Halloween Graveyard Naughty

Naughty & Nice – Interior & Exterior Display

Halloween Window Decor Naughty & Nice

Naughty & Nice – Ghostly Pumpkin Family

Halloween Display Naughty & Nice

Naughty & Nice – Gated Entry

Halloween Gated Entrance Naughty & Nice

Naughty & Nice – Pumpkin Creatures

Halloween Display Naughty & Nice

Naughty & Nice – Sunbathing Skeleton

Halloween Skeleton Coffin Naughty & Nice

Naughty – Watchful Tree

Halloween Owls & Bats in Tree Naughty

I hope you have found some ideas to awaken your Halloween spirit. (Pun intended.)  Now, you have a decision to make … What will it be – Naughty or Nice?  I look forward to reading your answers in the comments section.  Thanks for reading! 

Happy Halloween & Happy Crafting!

Blogging Vacation

Sunset at the Beach

Throughout the summer, I usually take a break, by posting every other week.  This year there were so many inspirations to share, that simply I kept going.  I can’t believe it is September already.  Where does the time go?  I will be taking a vacation from blogging and will return in time to celebrate the month of October with lots of Halloween fun.

Metal Owl Sculpture

You may be wondering what I will be doing during the break. First, I have some ideas for new arts and crafts projects to explore. 

Writing a Book

Second, I wrote a mystery thriller novel and hoped to get it published, but the timing wasn’t right.  I will edit the manuscript and start sending it out. I know many of you have written and published books. Any advice regarding publishing and/or literary agents will be greatly appreciated.

Woman in Kayak

Most importantly, I plan to rest and relax, taking in nature in all its splendor.

I will do my best to keep up with all your blog posts and look forward to reading and commenting.  I truly appreciate my followers and visitors and send best wishes to all.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting

The Beauty of Yarn Crafts

Yarn Skeins
Yarn has come a long way over the years, from single color wool skeins to multicolored, textured fibers, made from manmade and natural sources, suitable for clothing, home décor and accessories. Let’s look at a few of the types of crafts made with yarn.

Very little is required for any knitting project. All you need is some yarn, two knitting needles, and a pair of scissors, which easily fits into a small tote bag, making this one of the most portable crafts. Knitted clothing and accessories are the most popular items.

Knitted Wool Scarf
Knitted scarves provide a cheerful pop of color to help dispel the dismal winter grays.  They’re easy to make and are great gifts too.

Needlepoint Gazebo
If you are unfamiliar with needlepoint, it consists of a variety of stitches applied by hand using a needle and yarn through a canvas, which is preprinted with an attractive design. The kit instructions include the color and stitch type to be used for each part of the pattern, and a full color photo of the finished project. Every style of needlepoint stitch is represented in the gazebo shown above.

Needlepoint Leopard
This leopard needlepoint presents the challenge to create a three-dimensional figure and a complex pattern in the animal’s fur. Gaze upon his face and you’ll realize his eyes are looking right back at you.

Needlepoint Rabbit Pillow
Needlepoint is not limited to square and rectilinear shapes. This adorable rabbit pillow has coordinating blue piping along the edges and light blue velvet fabric on the back.

Crocheted Afghan
Having an extra blanket around is always handy, especially for an afternoon nap. An afghan is easy to make and gives you a great sense of accomplishment every time you or a family member uses it.

Crocheted Jacket
Recently, crocheted jackets, sweaters, and dresses have become very fashionable, made with lightweight yarns perfect for summer.

P25 Crocheted Horse
Stuffed Animals & Home Décor can also be crocheted. The little pony shown above was made in individual pieces, like using granny squares, and then sewn together using matching lavender yarn.

Cross Stitch:
Cross Stitch
Cross Stitch is similar to needlepoint, except that there is only one type of stitch in the shape of an “X,” and an open weave cotton fabric is used instead of canvas. Many different shades of yarn create light and shadow. The photo above is a project in progress, with the yarn being matched to a detailed color chart.

Cross Stitch Design
With needlepoint, the entire background canvas is covered. In cross stitch, the base, such as this bold red fabric, becomes part of the finished design.

Floral Embroider
Embroidery uses a special type of yarn called floss, which consists of fine, lustrous fibers. A washable transfer pen can be utilized to trace or draw a pattern upon the fabric of your choice. Embroidery can be done by hand, but today’s technology has developed machines to do the work for you in less time.

Floral Embroidery on Denim
Denim jackets & jeans are commonly embellished with floral embroidery and may include additional beads and studded details.

Floral Embroidery on Velvet
Luxurious fabrics, such as velvet and lace, create the perfect background for showcasing these intricately stitched designs.

Embroidered Burlap Fabric
Against a stiffer background fabric, embroidery becomes sculptural.

Embroidered Japanese Kimono
The embroidery on silk kimonos is not only beautiful, but also illustrates scenes from daily life, as well as mystical legends and historical events.

Latch Hooked versus Hand Hooked:
Latch Hook Balloon
To make this latch hook hot air balloon (AC Moore), yarn is pulled through an open weave canvas using a specialty tool. Latch hooked items have a tufted surface just like plush cut-pile carpeting. It’s hard to resist the urge to run your hands through the soft yarn as you admire your handiwork.

Hand Hooked Fish Pillow
For hand hooked items, such as this pillow, the yarn is pulled through to the back. The front has thick textured stitches, while the loose ends are concealed on the back with fabric. Because the yarns are bulkier, pillows tend to be large-scale.

Hand Hooked Rug
Hand hooked rugs are beautifully patterned and collectible due to their intricate handwork and lengthy time for completion. This loon is actually swimming underwater in search of a fish for breakfast.

Hand Hooked Rug 2
The imaginative designs in hand hooked rugs are truly works of art for your floors.

Baby Gifts:
Nursery Mobile
A newborn nursery would not be complete without a beautiful mobile.

Crocheted Bear
Knitted or crocheted stuffed animals are perfect for babies because they are super soft and washable. For safety reasons, the decorative pink tie around this teddy bear’s neck would have to be removed.

Decorative Trims:
Pompoms adorn throw pillows, curtains, wall hangings, keychains, and many other home furnishing and apparel products.

Jewelry & Accessories:
Yarn Bracelets
Handmade jewelry, belts, and even handbags can be found in fashionista’s wardrobes around the world.

There are so many opportunities to use yarn for your next project. The yarn departments in many stores are brimming over with the latest colors as well as new fibers, such as bamboo, and interesting finishes such as ombré and iridescent. Do you enjoy working with yarn? What types of items have you created? Please let me know in the comments.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Inspiration: Lost & Found – Part 3

Inspired Jump for Joy

This is the final post in this series, and so far, we have seen many inspirations and corresponding artistic expressions. I think it is important to mention that you don’t have to travel far in your search. In fact, you can be inspired in the comfort of your own home by paging through books and magazines, watching television shows or movies. Look outside a window or take a walk around the block. Flip through photos from past vacations. The inspirations are there waiting to be discovered.

Inspiration – Formula 1 Racing:

Ferrari Formula 1 Car

High-precision engines roar to life. Sleek racecars swerve side to side on the track, warming up their tires before taking their places upon the starting grid. When the lights go out, pure power explodes accompanied by an adrenaline rush, propelling the cars and drivers forward at speeds of up to 200 mph and the fans go wild. Formula 1 Racing is sure to inspire.

Go Kart Racing / Formula 1 Car Driving Simulator

Go Karts & F1 Simulator

Car Painting / Model Building

Car Painting & Model Build

Beaded Jewelry & Precision Watches

Jewelry & Watch Making

Formula 1 Fan Apparel / Luxury Leather Goods

Fan Apparel & Luxury Leather Goods

Watercolor Painting / Special Effects Photography

Watercolor & Special FX Photography

Inspiration – Colorful Parrot:

Red, Blue & Yellow Parrot

Playful, curious, and never at a loss for words, parrots are the entertainers in the animal world. Spend a little time with one of these colorful, expressive birds and you will be smiling before you know it. share that joy with family and friends through your next creative project.

Latch Hook Wall Art / Sculptural Metal Wall Art

Latch Hook & Metal Sculpture

Paint Pouring / Digital Painting

Paint Pouring & Digital Painting

Tie Dye Clothing / Wildlife Abstract Art

Tie Dye & Abstract Art

Jungle-Themed Stained Glass / Tropical Candleholders

Glass Jungle & Candleholders

Ceramic Tile / Tropical Throw Pillow

Ceramic Tile & Throw Pillow

Inspiration – Buddhist Temple in Oahu, Hawaii:

Byodo In Temple

Located in Hawaii, the Byodo-In Temple offers visitors the gifts of peace and tranquility as they admire intricate architectural details, reflecting pools teeming with koi, and lush Eden-like gardens. This gentle, meditative energy can be expressed artistically.

Koi Painting / Marble Buddha Sculpture

Koi Painting & Sculpture

Water Fountains / Calligraphy

Water Fountains & Calligraphy

Bonsai / Japanese Fabric Design

Bonsai & Fabric Design

Water Garden / Meditation Space

Water Garden & Meditation

Origami / Koi Mixed Media

Origami & Mixed Media Koi

Inspiration – Painted Lady Butterfly in a Garden:

Painted Lady Butterfly

With no particular destination, and obviously in no rush, butterflies flutter from bloom to bloom like colorful little fairies brightening our gardens and our spirits. Their vibrant colors, graceful movements, and eye-catching patterns are excellent resources for artistic endeavors.

Watercolor Garden & Butterfly Paintings

Garden Watercolors

Butterfly Earrings / Digital Portraiture

Jewelry & Portraiture

Mosaic Tile / Butterfly Scrapbooking

Mosaics & Scrapbooking

Butterfly Wall Mural / Butterfly Illustration

Wall Mural & Illustration

Butterfly Metal Sculpture / Butterfly Special Effects Photography

Metal Sculpture & Special FX Photography

As you can see, inspiration can come anytime or anywhere, when you least expect it. Sometimes inspiration comes from your favorite pair of pajamas, and other times it may be an awe-inspiring view of the Grand Canyon. Whenever you find inspiration, let it into your heart and mind, stirring your passion and creativity. Your next work of art might really surprise you! Please share your thoughts in the comments section. If you missed the previous posts in this series, please click here for Part 1 or click here for Part 2.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Inspiration: Lost & Found – Part 2

Inspiration at the Seashore

Inspiration is everywhere. With our hectic schedules, we sometimes fail to notice. Let’s take a few minutes for some much needed “Me Time” to look for sources of inspiration and then figure out how to channel that energy into a burst of creativity. Let’s go…

Inspiration – Sunset at the Beach:

Maui Sunset

Key West, Florida is just one of the many places around the world where people gather to watch the setting sun. Nature puts on quite a dazzling show with bursts of color, luminous clouds and reflections upon the rippling water, thrilling viewers of all ages.

Birds of Paradise Flower Arrangement / Hand Dipped & Carved Turtle Candle

Bird Paradise & Turtle Candle

Fabric & Fashion Design / Fire Dancing

Tropical Fabric & Fire Dancer

Sun Mosaic Tile / Writing & Playing Music

Sun Mosaic Mural & Sunset Music

Sunset Illustration / Abstract Sun Stained-Glass Window

Tropical Sunset Illustration & Stained Glass

Sunset Painting / Sun Metal Sculpture

Lighthouse Sunset Painting & Sun Metal Sculpture

Inspiration – A Nebula & Starry Sky:

Blue Nebula

Staring up at the night sky, we realize how small we really are in such a vast universe. From the time we are children, we wish upon the stars, hoping one day the person, place, or thing we want most will magically appear. United we stand under the twinkling night sky and realize anything is possible.

Cool Tone Crocheted Afghan / Astrology

Afghan & Astrology

Faux Finishes

Faux Finishes

Digital Portraiture / Pansies Flower Arrangement

Fantasy Portrait & Pansies

Abstract Art / Star Wars CGI

Galactic Abstract Art & Star Wars Special FX

Stained Glass Picture Frame / Iridescent Beaded Necklace

Stained Glass & Necklace

Inspiration – Plumeria Tree Blossoms:

Pink & Yellow Plumeria

Although they are native to Central and South America, plumeria trees are best known for their colorful, aromatic presence in Hawaii. Visitors are often greeted with plumeria flower leis, which have an unforgettably sweet scent, perfuming the air in this island paradise.

Perfumes, Bath & Body Products / Plumeria Flower Lei

Perfume & Flower Lei

Floral Ceramic Tile / Exotic Flower Arrangement

Ceramic Tile & Exotic Silk Flowers

Silver Plumeria Jewelry / Vibrant Crocheted Afghan

Plumeria Jewelry & Crochet Afghan

Handmade Scented Soaps / Digital Collage

Decorative Soaps & Digital Collage

Tropical Illustration / Flower Petal Mandala

This concludes part two of this creativity post. Do you have any favorites? Have you been inspired by an experience to create a new work of art? Please share your thoughts in the comments section and stay tuned for part three next week. If you missed part one in this series, please click here.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

Inspiration: Lost & Found – Part 1

Lost & Found in the Wilderness

Sometimes it feels like inspiration is impossible to find. It hides in plain sight, masquerading as mundane items in our daily lives. Once you find it, you are faced with another question: What should I do with it? In this three-part series, we shall delve into several inspirations and interpret creative expressions for each one. Please join me on this artistic journey in search of inspiration.

Inspiration – A Beautiful Day at the Beach in Maui, Hawaii:

Maui Beach

Spending time at the beach is so relaxing and refreshing. Fluffy clouds drift across the azure sky, palm trees sway in the gentle breeze, and the foamy surf tickles your toes as it ebbs and flows. What’s not to like? Tranquil blues and greens abound, while the soft sand cushions every step as you wander aimlessly picking up scalloped shells in this tropical paradise. Below are a few ways to express this inspiration.

Paint Pouring / Fabric & Apparel Design

Paint Pour & Fabrics

Monkey Carved Coconut Sculpture / Sea Turtles Sand Sculpture

Coconut & Sand Sculptures

Seashell Wall Art / Tropical Illustration

Seashell Art & Illustration

Tropical Leaf Wall Sconces / Hibiscus Fabric Placemats

Wall Sconces & Placemats

Ceramic Sea Turtle / Abalone Shell Earrings

Ceramic Sea Turtle & Abalone Earrings

Inspiration – Scuba Diving:


Dive beneath the waves into a hidden world of exotic creatures, bold colors, intricate patterns and textures soft as sand or razor sharp as coral. Each new discovery becomes a snapshot in your memory, filling you with excitement and the need to creatively express these newfound treasures.

Sea Life Wreath / Fish & Coral Throw Pillow

Ocean Wreath & Fish Pillow

Fish Sand Sculpture / Humpback Whale Carved Wood Sculpture

Sand Sculpt & Wood Carving

Framed Fish Collage / Aquatic Wall Mural

Collage & Wall Mural

Aquatic Stained Glass Dome / Tropical Fish Wall Art

Stained Glass & Wood Fish

Sea Horses Ceramic Tile / Aquatic Mosaic Wall Mural

Ceramic Tile & Mosaic Mural

Inspiration – Garden of Irises:

Green Blue & Purple Irises

World renowned artists, including Monet, Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keeffe, have been inspired by flowers for centuries. Delicate petals in the most exquisite colors beckon us to come closer to appreciate these living works of art.

Hydrangea Wreath / Hydrangea Hand Hooked Rug

Wreath & Hand Hook Rug

Floral Fabric Painting / Hydrangea Fabric Placemats

Floral Fabric & Placemats

Flower Garden Painting / Floral Embroidery

Floral Painting & Embroidery

Garden Gazebo Needlepoint / Beaded Jewelry

Needlepoint & Flower Jewelry

Butterfly Watercolor / Stained Glass Flowers

Watercolor & Stained Glass

This completes part one of this artistic inspiration post. I hope you have found some interesting ideas for your future projects. What inspires you? Please let me know in the comments section. Please click here to read part two.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

What do Pigs & Cats have in Common? Decoupage

Spotted Piglet
Look at that little face! Is he cute or what? The inspiration for this project is an adorable spotted piglet. In a previous post, “Year of the Pig 2019,” I mentioned my brother’s affinity for pigs. We usually find a way to include a pig at any gift-giving occasion. Sometimes it’s just a card, or a flying pig ornament for the Christmas tree. We all share the same sense of humor, and the more ridiculous the pig, the greater the laughter.

Pig Plaque Details
For my brother’s birthday this year, I decided to combine two of his favorites: pigs and cats. Believe it or not, he and his wife share their home with 11 feline fur babies. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s a lot of mouths to feed! Each cat started out in life under very difficult circumstances, but after being rescued, they live comfortable, happy lives filled with play and lots of tender loving care. Such an unusual family deserves an equally unique family portrait.

How to Create a Wooden Pig Photo Plaque
On a recent visit to AC Moore, I noticed a large wooden pig plaque. It was really cute, but I held off buying until I could come up with something my brother would appreciate and ended up liking the idea of a family portrait. The pig is large enough to accommodate photos of all eleven cats with my brother and his wife in the center. Any size or shape plaque will work as long as it is large enough to fit all the images. You could also create a plaque to commemorate a special event, such as a graduation, a birthday, or your favorite vacation. Let’s get started.

Raw Wooden Pig
You may need to do some light sanding to ensure the surface and edges are smooth.

Pig Photo Plaque Supplies
Wooden Pig (20-1/2” wide x 11-1/4” high x 1/2” thick)
Acrylic Paint – tan & black
1) Jar of Mod Podge Gloss
1) Oval Mop Paintbrush
1) Elmer’s Permanent Glue Stick
2) Paintbrushes – one for base coat, and a fine brush for details
Heavyweight Matte Finish Photo Paper

Photo Layout
You might want to print a quick draft version of your photos to make it easier to lay out on the plaque. This will also give you a chance to experiment with different ways of cutting them out to make your design look more attractive. Be sure to reprint your photos on heavyweight paper for the final project. If you try to use regular printer paper, it will bubble and curl as soon as you apply the Mod Podge, and you’ll have to peel it off and start over. How do I know this you ask? Because it happened to me! It was awful!

How NOT to Complete a Photo Plaque
I watched a tutorial video to learn how to use Mod Podge for decoupage. They made it look sooooo easy but looks can be deceiving. They mentioned you could use laser printer color copies but said nothing about needing heavyweight paper. All my photos had been meticulously cut out and glued down using Mod Podge on the backs. Initially there was a little bubbling, but it smoothed out as it dried. While the Mod Podge does dry clear, the recommended sponge applicator leaves streaks behind and it dries that way! Instead, I recommend using an oval mop paintbrush, which produces a smoother finish. Next, I applied an even coat over the entire plaque. This should have been the finale, but I knew I was in trouble after the first few cats had been coated. Within seconds, the photos bubbled and curled up into little blobs! It was horrifying! They didn’t mention that in the how-to video! Frantically, I scraped the photos off and then used soap and water to clean the surface of the plaque. Back to the drawing board!

The Correct Way to Create a Pig Photo Plaque
This time I suggest a few changes to the process:
First, print your images on heavyweight matte finish photo paper.
Apply one coat of Mod Podge over the entire page of photos, using an oval mop paintbrush.
Allow drying time.
Cut out the individual photos. I chose to cut out the cat’s ears and round the bottom edges so that they would resemble spots on the pig.
Lay out the photos upon the plaque.
Trace the photos to determine the locations of the spots.

Painted Black Spots
Paint each of the black spots a little larger than the photos. I ended up making all the spots solid black to prevent tan paint from peeking out from behind the photos.
Paint the pig’s face, ears, hooves and tail. A painted smile goes a long way to give this little guy some character.

Glued Photos & Sealer Coat
Trim the photos and/or adjust the painted black spots as needed.
One at a time, paste each photo using Elmer’s Glue Stick.
Place a clean sheet of paper on top and firmly rub the surface and edges to ensure a good seal. Repeat this process. Let dry.

Finished Plaque
Apply a coat of Mod Podge over the entire plaque. Congratulations! Mission accomplished!

This is a fun and unique way to display family photos. Although pigs may not be for everyone, there are plenty of interesting wooden plaque shapes to match your family’s unique style and personality. Deciding which photos to use is a fun and adventurous activity. Let your creativity soar and be open to new possibilities as you create this memorable family portrait for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!