Tropical Splendor

Tropical Inspiration
Ah the tropics! I’m sure we all wish we could be basking in the sun on a tropical island -sand under your feet, a soft ocean breeze, and a cool fruity drink within reach. Our travel plans may be on hold for now, but we can dream. A tropical project may be just what we need to brighten the day and lift our spirits.

Inspiration
Tropical Inspiration
The thick vegetation and unusual wildlife is a constant reminder that this is a whole new world, and we are invited to come inside to explore.

Inspiration
Close-up Tropical Leaf
There’s an infinite variety of foliage and tropical leaves provide many interesting shapes, intricate patterns and vibrant colors.

Original Metal Leaf Wall Sconces
Original Metal Leaf Wall Sconces
In this project we will be refinishing these metal, leaf-shaped wall sconces. Purchased from an online home furnishing store, it was a great disappointment to open the box and discover their color schemes were completely mismatched. Because we liked the size and shape of these leaves, we decided to keep them anyway, with hopes of one day fixing the problem. That day is today!

Supplies
Paints
Supplies:
Metal Leaf Wall Sconces (18” high x 11-1/2” wide x 6-1/2” thick)
Acrylic Paint – medium green, dark green, yellow, and brilliant blue
Paintbrushes
Clear Spray Paint – gloss or matte finish

Paint the Base Coat
Leaves Painted Green
Step 1 – Paint each leaf medium green. They look better already. As you progress, remember this is your chance to experiment with colors as well as painting techniques. If you don’t like something, you can easily paint over it with another base coat and try again.

Choose your Color Scheme
Blue Wash vs. Blue Stippling
Step 2 –On the left, a blue wash was applied over the surface, using very watered down blue paint. The right leaf has a blue stippled pattern, made by applying blue paint with short brushstrokes. I like the light and shadow effect of the wash technique on the left, which provides depth and richness in the color, while also helping to define the leaf’s structure. The texture on the right leaf is interesting, but visually breaks up the surface, making it appear to be clustered leaves as opposed to one large leaf.

Define Light & Shadow
Highlight & Veining
Step 3 – The position of the sun in the sky creates the marvelous effects of light and shadow. I chose to have the light coming from above on the left. This means the left side of each leaf is lighter than the right. Washes of blue and green were applied, with the darker hues upon the right side of each leaf. The veins were given dimension with blue shadows beneath, which lighten gradually as they approach the next vein below. The leaf photo on the right has light yellow veins. Other shades were tested as well.

Veining details
Finalized Colors
Step 4 – Bright green (a mixture of yellow and dark green) was applied to all the veins on both leaves. The beaded edge around the perimeter of each leaf was painted yellow.

Completed Flat Finish Leaves
Finish Option 1
Step 5 –At this point you could stop. I highly recommend spraying each leaf, front and back, with a matte finish clear spray paint to seal the paints. Before installing candles, please see the Crafter Tip below. For a gloss finish, please continue to Step 6.

Flat Finish versus Gloss
Flat Finish versus Gloss
Step 6 – Tropical islands have high humidity and frequent rain. To achieve that wet-look, you will need to spray a few coats of glossy clear spray paint. This photo shows the dramatic difference between the flat and gloss finishes. Notice how much more vibrant the colors become with the gloss finish.

Completed Gloss Finish Leaves
Finish Option 2
These are the completed tropical leaves with new navy blue candles.

Crafter Tip: Each wall sconce has a metal spike to hold a candle. If you try to push a taper candle down onto the spike, it will inevitably split the candle. How do I know? I broke two! To avoid this, pre-drill a hole in the bottom of each candle using a very thin drill bit.

I hope you enjoyed this makeover process. These steps can be applied to all kinds of home décor. You don’t have to settle for anything. Take out your paints and let your imagination bring crafts to life in your own personal style.

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

How to Decorate Wood Crafts

Fawn
When I was a little girl, my bedroom was decorated with Disney’s Bambi characters. Each wooden plaque was painted in full color and beautifully detailed. Before falling asleep at night, I would sit and admire each one, imagining they came to life before my very eyes. You can create painted wood art (and memories) for your home.

Raw Wood Owl
Wooden Owl
Wood cutouts, figures and plaques can be a fun, inexpensive project. The projects described below are ocean creatures, however, many themes are available, including sports, nature, and holidays. This owl is predominately raw wood, with just a little color to accentuate the face.

Painted Wooden Heart
Wooden Heart
Decorating can be done with magic markers, acrylic paints, fabric paints (for 3-D effect), stickers, and self-stick gems. Finished items can be used as wall art, Christmas ornaments, wreath décor, place cards, window charms, and refrigerator magnets. These techniques can be used for larger woodcrafts as well. Outdoor items will require waterproof paints, and you will want to consider the fading effects of the sun.

Seahorses:

Inspiration
Seahorse
It’s always helpful to refer to a few photos to inspire your color palette. Note how textured the body is and any patterns naturally found in this unique sea creature.

Raw Wood Seahorse
Raw Wood Seahorse

Turquoise Seahorse Supplies
Turquoise Seahorse Paints
Supplies:
Wooden Seahorse (5-1/2” high x 3” wide x 3/8” thick)
Acrylic Paint – turquoise, yellow, and metallic blue (plus black for the pupil)
1) Bottle Dimensional Fabric Paint – light blue
Paintbrushes

Seahorse Close Up Detail
P7 Turquoise Seahorse Detail
Seahorses – Step By Step Process: Apply base coat of acrylic paint over the surface, and be sure to paint over all the dark brown edges. When it’s dry, you may want to draw details to define your design.

Choose accent paints and begin working across the body, being careful not to smear the fresh paint as you go. Allow the piece to dry for several hours.

Dab a paintbrush in undiluted acrylic paint to create the subtle bumpy effect on the seahorse’s body. The metallic paint down the center of the body gives it an iridescent finish, which visually transforms the flat wood into a rounded, three-dimensional figure.

Finished Seahorse
Finished Turquoise Seahorse
Lastly, the blue fabric paint was applied to form spikes along the contours of the body. You may need to do a second coat on the spikes to achieve the texture as shown.

Purple Seahorse Supplies
Purple Seahorse Paints
Supplies:
Wooden Seahorse (5-1/2” high x 3” wide x 3/8” thick)
Acrylic Paint – orange, fuschia, and metallic light purple (plus black for the pupil)
1) Bottle Dimensional Fabric Paint – light blue
Paintbrushes

Seahorse Close Up Detail
Purple Seahorse Detail
Follow the same steps noted above for the turquoise seahorse.

Finished Purple Seahorse
Finished Purple Seahorse
For a more three dimensional look, please click here to see a more advanced version of these seahorses.

Dolphin:

Inspiration
Swimming Dolphins
Unlike the seahorses, dolphins have smooth, sleek bodies with a glossy sheen. To reproduce that wet-look, dimensional fabric paints will be exclusively used for this project.

Raw Wood Dolphin
Raw Wood Dolphin

Dolphin Supplies
Dolphin Paints
Supplies:
Wooden Dolphin (3” high x 5-1/2” wide x 3/8” thick)
3) Bottles Dimensional Fabric Paint – white, pearl silver, black
Paintbrush

Dolphin Close Up Detail
Dolphin Detail
Dolphin – Step By Step Process: You will be working across the body one color at a time, being careful not to smear the fresh paint as you go, and cover all the dark brown edges.

As you squeeze the bottle, apply the paint in a thick layer, using long “strokes,” to give the dolphin’s body depth. A damp paintbrush can be used to level the surface.

Allow the piece to dry over night. Be sure to wash the paintbrush with soap and water to remove fabric paint, which tends to adhere to the bristles like glue.

Finished Dolphin
Finished Dolphin
It may require several paint applications to achieve the look you desire. Don’t worry about getting a perfectly smooth paint finish. The irregularities look like water rippling across his skin as he swims through the ocean.

Sea Turtle:

Inspiration
Swimming Sea Turtle
Sea turtles having fascinating patterns on their shells as well as their heads and flippers.

Raw Wood Sea Turtle
Raw Wood Turtle

Green Sea Turtle Supplies
Sea Turtle Paints
Supplies:
Wooden Turtle (3” high x 5-1/2” wide x 3/8” thick)
Acrylic Paint – cream
2) Bottles Dimensional Fabric Paint – brown, green
Paintbrushes

Sea Turtle Close Up Detail
Sea Turtle Detail
Sea Turtle – Step By Step Process: You will be working across the body, one color at a time, being careful not to smear the fresh paint as you go. Apply a thick coat of brown fabric paint over the entire body to create depth. Allow the piece to dry over night. Now apply a thick coat of green fabric paint upon the shell. As you squeeze the bottle, apply the paint using long spiral “strokes” starting at the shell perimeter and working toward the center. Repeat this process several times to achieve desired thickness and raised dome shell shape.

Finished Sea Turtle
Finished Sea Turtle
The final step is applying the detailed scales on the head and flippers, and the pattern on the turtle’s shell using acrylic paint and a fine paintbrush.

I hope you enjoy painting woodcrafts in your own unique style. It’s a lot of fun for the child in all of us and makes a great souvenir from your creative journey.

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

The Beauty of Woodcrafting

Wooden Heart Pendants
Painted Wood Hearts
Woodcrafts are a fun and inexpensive way to express your creativity. From birdhouses to toys and home décor, there’s something for everyone and these projects are great activities to do with the kids. With a few craft supplies and a little inspiration, you’ll be ready to create your next masterpiece. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Blue Floral Birdhouse
Floral Birdhouse
Birdhouses are very popular, easy to complete woodcrafts. A quick coat of paint and a few freehand leaves and flowers were all that was needed to complete this project. A realistic looking feathered bird perched in front of the entrance would be a cute addition to this indoor decoration. Crafter Tip: For outdoor use, choose a birdhouse with an access door for easy cleaning.

Accessorizing A Birdhouse
Gingerbread Birdhouse
This artist took woodcrafting to the next level by layering multiple wood decorations, upon a simple birdhouse frame, including a gingerbread man, festive white picket fence, signage, and a miniature birdhouse hanging from the roof. Enhancing a ready-made item adds personality, and unique design flare. Crafter Tip: It is helpful to keep sandpaper on hand. Most woodcrafts are ready to be painted or stained, but sometimes rough edges need a little attention before additional finishes can be applied.

Painted Carved Wood Birds
Painted Carved Wood Birds
These colorful fellows have wire attached to their feet for easy attachment on branches, or stakes. Be sure to always use the appropriate type of paint (indoor versus outdoor) depending upon where you choose to display your creations.

Painted Wood Relief Plaque
Wood Relief Plaque
This three-dimensional plaque proudly adorns a two-tone raised panel on an exterior door. Similar plaques would be a great way for kids to express their personalities on their bedroom doors.

Purple & White Heart Wall Hanging
Purple & White Heart
Hearts are a favorite décor item. Instead of using the usual red or pink color scheme, this crafter chose a pretty purple and black floral scrapbooking paper with a touch of lace. Although they can’t be seen in this photo, be sure to paint the edges to match the background color prior to attaching the paper. Crafter Tip: As a more romantic alternative, the edges could be wrapped with coordinating ribbon or lace.

Toy Train
Toy Train
If you are looking for an absolutely effortless craft store project, you could purchase a few train cars, set it up at home and call it done. Natural wood grain is beautiful just the way it is. There’s really no need to do any painting, but if you feel you want to add just a little color, stickers from the scrapbooking department will work just fine. Crafter Tip: Or let your kids handle it and everyone wins.

Jeweled Box
Jeweled Box
To create this jeweled box, start by painting the exterior iridescent purple, which will peek through the beads. Apply large mirrored pieces first and establish mid-size purple beaded borders. Fill in the remainder with tiny seed beads. The inside could be lined with velvet or satin fabric. Crafter Tips: Use full strands of beads for borders to make the gluing process easier, and ensure they are glued firmly in place at the edges of the lid because they may loosen over time with wear and tear.

Welcome Sign & Lawn Decor
Welcome Sign
Part of your exterior décor may include “Welcome” signs, house number plaques, and humorous lawn ornaments such as garden gnomes and sheep. Large-scale seasonal items are also ready to paint, such as pumpkins and reindeer.

Personalized Wall Clock
Wall Clock
After staining this wall clock, a floral and checkerboard scrapbooking paper was applied along with self-stick black numbers. Craft stores carry kits, which include clock hands and the battery operated mechanism for the back. The unfinished clocks in several shapes and sizes are sold separately.

Floral Letters Wall Art
Floral Letters Wall Art
Letters have become popular wall art. Simply use your initials, or any words you like. In this photo, silk flower petals were glued on the top and sides of each letter. It’s super easy to do and ready to hang up. Crafter Tip: As alternatives, you could use mini pom poms, glass marbles, or self-stick gemstones.

Decorated “Home” Wall Art
Decorated “Home” Wall Art
A distressed paint finish in four different colors, a few sprigs of silk foliage, and a butterfly create a casual, welcoming message. Hanging an antique key enhances the warm feelings associated with “Home.” Crafter Tip: To achieve this distressed look, allow the paint to dry, and then use sand paper to “age” the letters.

Freestanding Inspirational Art
Wooden Owls
Whether you work in an office or from home, it never hurts to have a little inspiration to lift you spirits and bring a smile to your face. These cute little owls fit the bill, along with an empowering message too.

Wooden Serving Tray
Wooden Serving Tray
A plain wooden serving tray was spruced up with some spray paint, and lined with a bamboo placemat. If necessary, trim the bamboo to fit. The dark gray paint, which peeks through the wood slats, contrasts nicely with the light color bamboo. Crafter Tip: Pier 1 has a large variety of unusual placemats, which can be used for many crafting projects.

Please stay tuned for next week’s post featuring detailed instructions for painting woodcrafts.

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

Problem Solving for Tree Frogs

Tree Frog
These beautiful candleholders were purchased many years ago in Sanibel Island, Florida. Unfortunately, there’s a hidden problem, and it’s not the tree frogs.

Candleholders Before
Thick layers of tropical leaves weave their way around the base with three colorful tree frogs crawling among the foliage. Can you spot the problem? If you think it’s the candles, you’re right!

Closeup Top Candleholder
As you can see from this photo, the glass top of each candleholder will only fit a votive size candle. Proportionally, they would look much better with tall slim candles but they just won’t fit. We’re going to change that! The same procedure can be followed for any candleholders you may have. Let’s get started!

Supplies:
Candleholder Supplies
Supplies:
2) Candleholders
6) 12” Navy taper candles
Cardstock (See Crafting Tip in Step 1 for alternatives)
Gluestick
Scissors (or an X-Acto knife)
Fillet glove (optional protection when cutting)
Circle template
2) Rubber bands
Crinkle Paper (or mini glass marbles)

Additional Supplies:
Candleholder Paints
Painting Supplies:
Acrylic Paint – brown
Bottles of fabric paint – brown, dark green, yellow, medium green
Paintbrush

Creating Candleholder Caps
Cardstock Circles & Glue
Step 1 – To accommodate slimmer candles, we need to create a cap for the top of each candleholder. Measure the top of the candleholder. If you are using cardstock, cut 3) small 2-1/2” circles, and 2) large 3” circles. Glue the small circles together, one on top of the other like a layer cake. Glue the two large circles together in the same fashion. Center the small circles on top of the large and glue them together. Repeat this step to make the cap for the second candleholder.

Crafter Tip: This project was completed during the Covid 19 lockdown. I had to work with what I had on hand. In hindsight, I believe caps made from matt board or a sheet of plastic would be more rigid, and would only require cutting out two circles, one for each candleholder.

Tracing the Candles
Trace Candles
Step 2 – I decided to use three 12” tall taper candles in each candleholder. Hold the three candles in the center of each cap and trace the shape with a pen or pencil. Cut out the center of each cap following the triad shape of the candles.

Finished Caps
Assembled Cardstock Caps
You now have two caps for the candleholders. Test each to ensure a good fit on the candleholders. Test-fit the candles for a snug fit in each cap. Make adjustments by trimming as needed. Because the taper candles vary in size, be sure to label the bottom of each cap with “L” for left and “R” for right to ensure the candles will fit in a later step.

Painted Base Coat & Glass Marbles
Cardstock Caps Painted Brown
Step 3 – Paint the tops and edges of the caps brown to blend with the branches in the base. You may need to add mini glass marbles or crinkle paper to the bottoms to adjust the candles to the desired height.

Candles in Caps
Banded Taper Candles
Step 4 – Slide the candles into the cap. Adjust the cap’s position as needed. Wrap the candles with a rubber band beneath the cap to secure their positioning.

Final Candle Placement
Fitting Tapers in Candleholders
Step 5 – Place the candles and cap into the top of the holder. Temporarily slide the cap up to fill the void with marbles or crinkle paper. This will stabilize the candles in an upright position. To ensure that the caps will stay in place, I tacked three spots along the edge of each cap with hot glue.

Crafter Tip: I found that the crinkle paper provided firmer support than the glass marbles, which have a tendency to shift.

First Layer of Leaves
1st Layer Leaves
Step 6 – Create 3-dimensional leaves on top with fabric paint in colors similar to those found in the base.

Second Layer of Leaves
2nd Layer Leaves
Step 7 – Allow drying time. Add another layer of leaves overlapping the previous one.

Fourth Layer of Leaves
4th Layer Leaves
Step 8 – Allow drying time between layers. Add as many layers as you like to build up thick foliage.

Finished Candleholders
Completed Candleholders
These are the completed candleholders with their new candles.

Candleholders – Before & After
Before & After Frog Candle Holders
Note how much better they look with the taller candles. The blue candles and new three-dimensional painted green and yellow leaves accentuate the rainforest colors in the frogs and foliage.

When you can’t find the candles you need, it’s time to flex your creativity muscles. If you have had a similar creative challenge, please share your experiences in the comments section.

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

Celebrating 100th Post

100th Post
Today marks a very important milestone – my 100th post! It has been a wonderful experience, and I thank all my readers and followers for taking this journey with me. Below are photos and links to each category of arts and crafts covered to date. Please take a few minutes to peruse your favorites.

Baking & Candy Making
Baking & Candy Making

Beaded Jewelry & Gemstones
Beaded Jewelry & Gemstones

Color Theory
Color Theory

Floral & Home Decor
Floral & Home Decor

“How To” Projects
How-to Projects

Inspiration
Inspiration

Miscellaneous Crafts
Miscellaneous Crafts

Painting – Decorative Techniques
Decorative Painting

Seasons & Holidays
Seasons & Holidays

Wood Crafts
Wood Crafts

Please let me know, in the comments section, if you have any suggestions for future arts and crafts topics. I am looking forward to the next 100 posts. This achievement would not be possible without all of you! Thank you!!

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

Trompe l’oeil – Painting Not Politics

Ruby Slippers & Yellow Brick Rd
In “The Wizard of Oz,” Judy Garland and friends danced their way along the yellow brick road. The next time you watch the movie, take a closer look at the scene when Dorothy meets the Scarecrow. You can see a line across the yellow bricks on the road to the left. This marks the bottom edge of a very large canvas, suspended from the ceiling, which provides the illusion that the road winds through the countryside and beyond. You may not know the terminology, but that is a perfect example of trompe l’oeil.

Polka Dot Eggs
Polka Dot Eggs
Translated into English as “fool the eye,” trompe l’oeil is an art technique used to create three-dimensional illusions. In order to fool the eye, the artist must excel at utilizing perspective, light and shadow, color, and scale. Each of these aspects lends another layer in a composition created solely to entertain and challenge human perception. In the above photo, I’m sure many pedestrians walk around the “protruding” polka dot eggs for fear of walking into one, but it’s actually a cleverly painted illusion.

Mountain Path
Mountain Path
The arched niche in this photograph is real, but the stone path, lavender flowers and mountain vista are painted illusions. Notice how well the path aligns with the opening of the arch, inviting you to begin an awesome hike through a beautiful landscape. The mist and snow covered peaks lend a chill to the air in this amazingly realistic scene.

Fluttering Fabric
Trompe l'oeil Facade Toronto
We’ve all seen window curtains fluttering in the breeze. This building appears to have the “curtains” on the exterior, held in place by four tacks. Including the windows and architectural details, none of it is real.

Waterfall Bridge
Waterfall Bridge
While some illusions evoke wonder and awe with their fanciful, storybook qualities, others tend to be appreciated from afar due to a projected sense of danger, particularly in regard to depth perception. Probably the most disorienting 3D illusions are located upon the floor. When you see what appears to be a gaping hole in the ground, you’re going to walk or ride around it. Notice the people in this photo are walking along the perimeter of the bridge, not down the center. Interestingly, the black dog in the background is not fooled by the illusion. Maybe dogs have a different way of sensing depth than we do. The water appears to pour in from both sides to become beautiful waterfalls plunging into a deep gorge below. Painted to resemble rushing blue water, a portion of the left side railing nearly disappears. It’s a shame the painted water doesn’t match the green color of the existing river to complete the illusion.

Town with a View
Town & Landscape
A first glance, it’s easy to see that the canyon view within the archway is a painting. However, everything you see, with the exception of the brown-framed window, is an illusion. The wooden bench, the sidewalk and even the trash can look real. I wonder how many people walk toward that bench to rest?

Old Fashioned Storefront
Old Fashioned Storefront
The proprietor of this store stands ready to serve his customers, while his wife sits nearby people watching. Epicerie is the French word for grocery store. This family-run business showcases fresh produce and vegetables in front of the store and upon shelves inside the store windows. The stacked merchandise, cast shadows, and event poster upon the wall add realistic touches to this beautiful artwork. It was clever of the artist to use the words on the store windows to advertise his or her painting business. Perhaps that is why they chose not to show reflections on the glass.

Charming Italian Restaurant
Restaurant
Romance meets fairy tales in the lovely formal gardens adorning the second floor of this popular Italian restaurant. White flowers follow the railing as if they are growing alongside the staircase. The open door at the top of the stairs teases the viewer to step “outside” to walk along the beautifully landscaped paths. The only downside to this mural is the unfortunate location of the air conditioning vents near the ceiling, which detract from the grand garden illusion.

Flower Boxes
Flowers
Petals and leaves appear to spill over a low wall from this imaginary window box. As with the previous photo, the vent locations are unfortunate, but in this case the artist has camouflaged them well.

Ornate Window Frame
Ornate Window Frame
Artisans, who trained a lifetime perfecting their crafts, constructed old world architecture. This simple wood framed window exudes that same Old World charm “sculpted” in paint. The ornate details, use of light and shadow successfully combine to give this window frame depth and a richness found only in some of the most prized buildings in Europe.

Deep Sea Diver
Deep Sea Diver
Treasure hunting on a pirate shipwreck in an underwater mine field is not for the faint of heart. This diver appears to have been successful in his search, but he’s not the only one interested. The 3D rendering has effectively created the illusion that the diver’s upper body leans out beyond the wall. The gold necklace is so real you could almost take it from his hand. An octopus tentacle reaches into the painting from our side in the real world – Yikes!

Architectural Details
Libreria Piccolomini Italy
The faux architectural details, such as the coffered ceiling, archways, and the ornate building in the background, visually expand the space.

Candlelit Bridge
Candlelit Bridge
It appears a section of this ultra contemporary bridge has collapsed, revealing an ancient chamber hidden below. This moody, mysterious scene is reminiscent of a Harry Potter film. As we peer into this strange stone-lined room, we are met with the vision of sands in an hourglass, which appear to have stopped flowing, and a burning candle, resting atop a pedestal. Wax drips down the sides and the flame flickers above the walkway surface. What other secrets lie hidden in the darkness? Should we dare to find out, or turn and run? I’m guessing most people would find another way to get to the other side.

Hailing a Taxi Cab
Hailing a Taxi Cab
What a phenomenal painting! The artist has an impressive grasp of perspective and the effects of light. Check out the shadows cast upon the brick wall by the man, the car, and the signpost. Nothing has been overlooked. Even the single orange balloon and string cast a shadow. A floating car would be a very cool way to travel with virtually no traffic. Descending could be problematic. I wonder if they give frequent flyer miles?

Trumpet Player
Trumpet Player
Let’s end on a high note! (lol) I think it’s safe to say that the trumpet in this amazing painting is a tripping hazard. It really looks as if it’s sticking right out of that wall. The only way to improve this illusion would be the relocation of the central air conditioning unit around the corner away from the painting.

Artwork tells a story in a universal language we can all understand. It evokes our emotions and challenges our senses. The next time you find yourself sidestepping around an optical illusion, remember you are as much a part of the artist’s composition as the paint itself.

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

Crafting Day & Night

Eiffel Tower Day & Night

“As different as day and night” is a common expression. As we find our selves stuck inside, we’re often looking for ways to be entertained. For many, crafting is the answer. A little effort goes a long way, and everyone loves seeing “Before” and “After” photos. These crafts will surprise and hopefully inspire you to create a little crafting magic of your own.

Sledding Centerpiece

Before:  Wooden Sled Wall Art.   After:  Snowman & Friends Centerpiece.
(Click here for how to instructions)

Foxy Santa

Before:  Misfit Christmas Decoration.   After:  Foxy Santa with new hat and tail.
(Click here for how to instructions)

Seashell Plaque

Before:  Drab Wall Art Print.   After:  Seashells, Sea Urchin & Starfish Framed Art.
(Click here for how to instructions)

Piggy Before and After

Before:  Colorless Pig Statue.   After:  Pink Pig with lots of personality.
(Click here for how to instructions)

Before & After Pumpkins

Before:  Faded Lawn Decoration.   After:  Bold Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns
(Click here for how to instructions)

Headless Dog Before & After

Before:  Snowman with Headless Dog.   After:  Restored Dog.
(Click here for how to instructions)

Light House Before & After

Before:  Incomplete Candleholder.   After:  New Lighthouse Roof & “Light.”
(Click here for how to instructions)

Octopus Before & After

Before:  Monochromatic Candleholder.   After:  Blue Ringed Octopus Sculpture.
(Click here for how to instructions)

Sneak Peak of Upcoming Projects:

Candlestick Before & After

Before:  Difficult Candle Size.   After:  Candleholder for Taper Candles.
(Stay tuned for how to instructions in a future post)

Leaves Before & After

Before:  Dull, “Muddy” Wall Sconces.   After:  Vibrant Tropical Leaves & Candles.
(Stay tuned for how to instructions in a future post)

I hope you enjoyed these projects. Take a look around your home for any items that could use a little refreshing. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Good Luck!

Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!

This Little Piggy Gets a Makeover

Flying Pig
We’ve all heard the expression, “when pigs fly,” implying impossibility. Well, the craft stores may be closed, but we won’t let that stop us from expressing our creativity!

Flying Pig Front
Sometimes you find your next art project in the most unlikely of places! I found this cute little winged pig at the local Rite Aid Pharmacy! Although it’s fine the way it is, I thought it would be nice to add some color. Break out your brushes and acrylic paints because we’re going to give this little piggy a makeover! In my excitement to get started, I had already painted the eyes when I realized I hadn’t taken a “Before” photo. In its original state, there was no color at all.

Flying Pig Back
Here’s a photo of the back. The wings are so cute.

Piglet
Before we get started, I found a photo of this piglet for inspiration. Please feel free to choose any colors you like. The mix of colors on the spotted pig featured at the top of this post would make a great color scheme as well.

Piggy Paints
To complete this project, you will need several acrylic paints and two paint brushes (1 large & 1 small). Clear spray paint is optional.

Painted Pig Details
Paint the details first, including the hooves, eyes, tongue, and the inside of each ear.

Closeup Facial Details
Here is a close up of his smiling little face. The eyes are painted brown, with black pupils and a dot of white in each eye to create a lively expression.

Pink Pig Front
Because the black hooves seemed to be too much contrast, I changed the color of the hooves to tan. In doing so, the eyes become the focal point. Mix white and fuchsia together to create the desired shade of pink, and use it to paint the entire body, except for the end of the snout, which is unpainted.

Pink Pig Back
Here is the back photo. The wings are also unpainted. If you like a challenge, you could come up with a unique scheme for the feathers, possibly using iridescent colors. To protect the acrylic paints, the entire statue was sprayed with clear spray paint.

Piggy Before and After
Before                                                             After

This fun and easy project is inexpensive and can be completed in a very short amount of time. All drug stores have a seasonal section, which is marked down after every holiday and at season’s end by as much as 50% -75% off. There are some great options for adults as well as kids.

Thanks for reading! Happy Crafts!

A Crafter’s Nightmare Before Christmas

Snowman Detail
It may seem like an odd time to be talking about Christmas, but stay with me because this funny story could happen to anyone regardless of the time of year. Did you ever buy something without noticing a major flaw? I did, and it actually took a few days to notice. I purchased several wintry figurines for use in a Christmas centerpiece. There was a cardinal, a penguin, and an adorable polar bear. I also chose a cute figure of a boy building a snowman, which resembled one of those warm family scenes in a Norman Rockwell painting.

Original Headless Dog
I set up the sleigh centerpiece and surrounded it with the new figures. There it sat in our family room for a few days. Occasionally I would look at it, but didn’t notice anything amiss. Then one night, while watching television, I picked up one of the figures for a closer look. There appeared to be a snow-covered object leaning against the base of the snowman. What could it be? Maybe it was a tree stump or a rock?

Close Up Headless Dog
Curiosity got the best of me. I held it under a lamp and was shocked by my discovery! It was a headless dog! Unless you happen to be Tim Burton, a headless dog is a little too macabre for such a festive season. The store where I purchased it was closing, and all sales were final. Maybe I could fix it myself, but how? I considered breaking off the rest of it, but that would most likely damage the snowman. I began wondering if I could create a new head using three-dimensional paint.

Headless Dog Painted Brown
Because the white dog was leaning against a white snowman, it was very difficult to see. To correct that problem, the first step was painting the dog’s body with acrylic brown paint. What a big improvement! He was actually a cute little dog if you overlooked the missing head!

New Dog Head
Next, using white three-dimensional paint, I built up a small head in proportion to the body. Because the dog was looking up at the snowman, the head needed to be angled upward. After allowing it to dry, I added the muzzle and the pointed ears with the same dimensional white paint.

Finished Dog
The last step was painting the new head with brown acrylic paint to match the body, and a toothpick was used to add black eyes and a nose. The completed dog looked pretty happy to be in one piece again!


The repaired snowman figurine had been restored to a Rockwell worthy appearance. Sorry, Tim, maybe next year – lol!

Did something like this ever happen to you? How did you fix it? Please share your experiences in the comments section.

Thanks for reading and Happy Crafting!

Pineapple Dreams

Pineapple Beach
I’m sure we are all dreaming of fun in the sun, days at the beach, and the freedom to go wherever we choose. Until then, we can find ways to bring a little sunshine into our homes and maybe a smile or two along the way. This week’s project is a painted wooden pineapple. As usual, we’ll need a little inspiration courtesy of Mother Nature.

Pineapple Colors
It’s amazing how many colors can be found in the outer skin of a pineapple.

Pineapple Texture
The complex textures and geometric patterns are beautiful.

Golden Pineapple
Pineapples have long been a symbol for hospitality. What could be a better way to greet everyone to your home than displaying a bright welcoming pineapple?

How to Paint a Textured Wooden Pineapple:
Pineapple CloseUp
Pineapple has such wonderful texture that needs to be touched. By using fabric paints, you can create thick, 3-D effects with very little effort.

Raw Wood Pineapple
Raw Wood Pineapple
Thick wood has been cut out in the shape of a pineapple and has the advantage of strong, rectangular base. Both sides and all the edges will need to be painted. Due to the raw nature of the wood, it may require a little sanding, especially along the edges.

Supplies
Pineapple Supplies
Supplies:
Wooden Pineapple (11-3/8” high x 5” wide x 1/2” thick) (Base is 5” wide x 2” deep)
Acrylic Paints – brown, yellow, green, tan
5) Bottles Fabric Paint – dark green, yellow, white (not shown)
Paintbrushes
Sandpaper
Black Sharpie Marker or pencil

Paint Base Colors
Pineapple Ptd Base Colors
Using acrylic paints and a brush, paint the leaves green, the remainder of the pineapple yellow and the base brown.

Define the Leaves
Draw Pineapple Leaf Details
Draw the leaf details with a Sharpie marker or pencil.

Texture the Leaves
Pineapple 3D Leaves
Trace the leaves with green fabric paint, including the perimeter edges. Allow the paint to dry overnight. Depending upon how thick you want the texture to be, it may require a second coat.

Texture the Pineapple
Pineapple Texture1
Starting at the base of the leaves, paint two horizontal rows of irregularly shaped rectangles with yellow fabric paint.

Directional Texture
Pineapple Texture2
Continue painting the yellow texture, working on a diagonal as shown. I started in the upper right corner and staggered the shapes, which get larger as you work toward the bottom.

Completed Yellow Texture
Pineapple Completed Texture
This photo shows the completed yellow texture. Allow it to dry overnight. If you accidentally get yellow paint on the brown base, simply touch up the paint as needed. It’s now ready for a few finishing touches.

Little Details
Pineapple Texture Detail
To complete the look, make a dot in the center of each yellow “block” and create an upward stroke of paint, which narrows to a point. Repeat this step across the entire yellow pineapple surface. Allow drying time. For the last step, use a tiny brush to apply tan acrylic paint to the tip of each white point.

Finished Pineapple
Pineapple Finshing Details
This completes the textured pineapple project. I hope you enjoyed it.

Have you painted any wooden home décor items? Do you have any secrets to creating texture? Please share your ideas in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Crafting!