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Posts Tagged ‘Craft’

During a move a couple of years back I found myself packing up hundreds and hundreds of CD cases.  The numbers were staggering, but their sheer volume, once in front of my face, was hard to handle.  After I’d filled a box (or three) I started to doubt the sanity of packing and moving the insane collection into my new home.  So, I decided to toss the cases.  One by one, I packed my discs into humongous CD binders.  In no time I had condensed the size of my music collection by 3/4.   Though I was relieved to see my burden shrunk, I felt a pang of sadness at letting go of the cases for all of my favorite albums.  How many countless hours had I spent pouring over each and every one of those liner notes?  I knew and loved each one.  How could I just chuck them into the garbage bin?  Being crafty, my mind fashioned a strange compromise.  I pulled the liner notes from the CD cases and stashed them away in a plastic bag in anticipation for the day that I figured out how to make something creative with them.

I used the stash as a sort of paper buffet for some time.  I used the pictures and text inside the liner notes to make buttons, magnets, and collages, but it wasn’t until much later that I came up with the greatest use for my old CD books ever, the Album Bouquet!  One day I got my hands on a flower shaped paper punch, some beads, and a spool of floral wire and it all came together.  Here’s what I made:

RadioHead: Kid A

The Misfits: Static Age

PJ Harvey: Is This Desire?

Here’s how you make them.

You’ll need:

  • CD Liner Notes
  • A Flower Shaped Paper Punch
  • A Mini Hole Punch (1/8 inch)
  • Floral Wire
  • Medium Sized Seed Beads
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Floral Tape

Directions:

  • Start by carefully removing the cover of the album and setting it aside.  This will be used as the vase, or wrapper for your bouquet.
  • Cut the remainder of the liner into strips that are just a little wider than your flower shaped punch.
  • Punch as many flowers as you can from the liner, then put them together into pairs of two.
  • Now punch two tiny holes into the middle of each pair of  flowers using your 1/8 inch hole punch.
  • Cut several 5 inch lengths of floral wire.
  • Line up a pair of flowers so that the holes in the middle align, then carefully thread a piece of wire through one of the holes.
  • Slip a bead onto the wire, then thread about 1 inch of the wire through the other hole in the flower so that the two ends of the wire are underneath the flower.  Carefully twist the two ends together.
  • Repeat the last two steps until you have tons of flowers.
  • Arrange the flowers into a pretty bunch, then secure the stems together using floral tape.
  • Roll the album cover into a cone and secure it from the inside with a piece of double sided tape.  Curl the edges on the outside cover down a little to make it extra pretty.
  • Place your bouquet of flowers into the wrapper and present it to your favorite music lover.

If you are wondering what to do with the empty jewel cases themselves, you will be happy to learn that they can be recycled.  However, your local recycling center is unlikely to take them, as they are made of a material that is notoriously difficult to recycle.  But fear not, the internet has come to the rescue.  Visit GreenDisk.com to learn how you can have your cases ethically disposed of.   Or, if you are feeling crafty,  check out the Top 14 Ways to Reuse Unwanted Jewel Cases.  Yet another option is to call up your local used CD store to see if they’d like to take your cases.  Second hand music stores are often in need of extra jewel cases, so your local shop may be happy to take them off your hands.

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Apparently, I can’t get enough of Amy Butler crafting paper.  After finishing off a tin of Green Tea the other day I got the bright idea to redecorate the can and give it a second life.

Supplies! Craft Paper, Empty Canisters, and Glue.

How To:

  • Find a canister you’d like to remodel.  You can probably find some likely candidates in your pantry.  Tea tins, tobacco canisters, coffee cans, and powdered drink containers are just a few examples.
  • Remove any problematic packaging from the container.  If it has a paper label, you may want to leave it on.  As long as it is smooth and well adhered, it will actually help to keep the decorative paper attached.  Things you may want to remove include stickers, pamphlets, or oddly places labels.  The best thing to use to remove them is a adhesive remover solution, but if you don’t have one handy, you can try mayonnaise, hot water, nail polish remover, or even vegetable oil.
  • Carefully cut a piece of decorative paper to fit around the container.  It is best to use thick papers like card stock or scrapbook paper, otherwise you may be able to see the original packaging underneath.
  • Using School Glue or Elmer’s Glue, spread a thin layer of glue evenly across the wrong side of your paper.  I like to spread thin circles instead of spreading it flat, but the choice is up to you.
  • Carefully attach your paper to the container and hold it firmly until it has dried enough to hold its own shape.
  • You can add a line of ribbon in a corresponding color to the paper’s edges to give the container a more finished look.  Just measure it out and attach it with a very thin coat of glue.

All done!

Your finished canisters can be used for about a million things.  Try using them to hold any number of little doo-dads. Take the lids off and they can hold paint brushes, pencils & pens, silverware, or faux floral arrangements.

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Lately I have been totally obsessed with the blog, Bakerella.  This amazingly talented lady creates oodles of gorgeous (and delicious, I suspect) baked and candied goodies.  On of her signature creations is the Cake Pop, a smooshed cupcake rolled into a ball, covered with melted candy, and popped onto a stick.  Basic Cake Pops are pretty cool, but what really blows me a away are amazing decoration ideas she comes up with for them.  She makes chicks, sheep, easter eggs, even mini cupcakes out of her Basic Cake Pop recipe.

Red Velvet Batter Looks Pretty Gorey

I have been dying to try these things out, so when my neighbor had a birthday I hopped on the excuse!  He’s a huge Bruce Campbell and horro movie fan, and I wanted to make something fun that would be unique, yummy, and hilarious.  So? I made him an army of Cake Pop Zombies!

I started out by making a run to my local party store, and then grocery store, to pick up supplies: lollipop sticks, candy melt wafers and dyes, red velvet cake mix, a tub of pre-made frosting, Red Hots, Baked Bean Candies, and a huge, red, gummy spider.  When I got home, I threw together the cake mix and popped it in the oven.  While the cake baked, then cooled, I prepped my candy for use as decorations.  I cut several of the Red Hots in half, giving me an assortment of creepy red eye shapes.  I chopped the Gummy Spider into bits so that it could be used as brains.

After the cake was cool, I popped it out of its pans and into a huge mixing bowl.  Using a spatula, then a fork, then a spoon, then back to the spatula, I smashed and crumbled the cake until it was totally pulverized.

Crumbling the Cake

Crumbling the Cake

Next, I mixed in the entire tub of frosting.  This is where I think I made my first mistake.  First of all, Bakerella’s recipe calls for Cream Cheese Frosting specifically.  This detail had abandoned my brain while I was at the store, so of course, I picked up Vanilla Frosting.  Secondly, Bakerella suggests adding just enough Frosting to moisten and bind the cake.  In my enthusiasm, I added the entire tub at once.  Not too bright.

Mixing the Cake with Frosting

Mixing the Cake with Frosting

Forming my Cake Balls was challenging.  They cracked, they crumbled, they were pretty much uncooperative in general, the little bastards.  They were more or less spherical by the time I popped them in the fridge to chill – that was good enough for me.  I melted the Candy Wafers as they chilled, then took them out to insert the lollipop sticks.

Oh Cake Balls!

Oh Cake Balls!

Now comes the really disastrous part!  For some reason, I found coating these Cake Pops to be extremely difficult.  Because the Cakes were a little loose, they left crumbs in the coating!  Plus, I could not get the candy to stop tracing so that it would leave a smooth surface.  In fact, I couldn’t even dip the pops because the coating was just way too thick.  I am totally clueless as to what went wrong here.  I wound up having to spread the coating on with a spoon, which looked sort of awful.  I suspect that A) my Cake Pops were too big, and too shoddily constructed, and B) my candy coating was maybe not hot enough.  I had it in a double boiler, but maybe it needed more heat?

Coated Cake Pops

Coated Cake Pops

Zombies turned out to be a great first run of the Cake Pop recipe.  I’m afraid the technique has escaped me a bit, and I couldn’t for the life of me achieve a smooth surface on my Pops.  These guys ended up with all kinds of weird deformities.  Good for zombies, but if I had been trying to make cute chickies or easter eggs I would have had to abandon ship.  Luckily, all these craters, cake crumbs, and cracks gave my little Zombie Heads extra charachter.  I even decorated the true casualties, the Pops that has smashed or fallen from sticks during the candy coating process.

Cake Pop Zombies

Cake Pop Zombies

I used a tiny paring knife to carve out mouths and eye sockets for my zombies.  I filled these cavities with colored candy coating, dribbling them with blood and black ooze.  Some of them even had their heads chopped open so that I could show off their gummy brains. Yum?

Yummy? Terrifying? Yummyfying?

Yummy? Terrifying? Yummyfying?

Dean, and his wife Meg,  seemed to like his Zombie Army, though I think they might have freaked out their kids. 🙂

The Zombie Cake Pop Army!

The Zombie Cake Pop Army!

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I stumbled upon these cute little house shaped knick knack shelves during a recent trip to Salvation Army.   I love tiny things, and anything that shows off tiny things, so these little shelves were definitely coming home with me.

The shelves before their crafty makeover

The shelves before their crafty makeover

I took a quick trip to Michaels and picked up some white craft paint and a stack of Amy Butler Scrapbook Card Stock then rushed home to get started on a makeover for my little house shelves.  If I had been thorough, which you probably should be if you decide to make a similar project, I would have sanded these shelves down.  I skipped that step and found that even three coats of white craft acrylic would not make my shelves pretty.  It just couldn’t overcome the nappy old brown varnish on the shelves.  Eventually, I whipped out some artist’s white acrylic, which was thick enough to do the job.  It worked, but a quick sanding would have saved me time and some expensive paint.  After painting both shelves completely, I picked out some paper from by Amy Butler stack and got to the fun part. Using newsprint to create templates for the shelf cavities, I carefully traced the shape of each shelf onto my decorative paper.  I cut each piece out and trimmed it as needed so that it would lay perfectly flat inside the shelf.  Then, I used a foam brush to apply a VERY thin coat of Elmer’s Glue (you can also use Mod Podge) to the back of each piece of paper.  After gluing, I placed the paper on the wall of the shelf, and smoothed it out with a dry foam brush.

Decorating the painted shelves

Decorating the painted shelves

I chose to leave my paper matte, but if you want to add a little shine, sparkle, or just some matte protection, I would suggest adding a thin layer of Mod Podge to the paper after you’ve glued it in place.  These dried lickety split, so I got to hang them on the wall right away to enjoy them.

House Shelves

House Shelves

House Shelves

House Shelves

House Shelves

Now what will I put inside?

*Post featured on CasaSugar.com!

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The long awaited Glamour Cross Tutorial is HERE!!! Woot woot. We’ve donned our chipmunk personalities to show you how to make the kitschiest crucifixes in town!

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