Christmas Ornaments #1: Cheap Christmas Balls for the Tree!

Have you ever seen those REALLY expensive multi-colored Christmas tree ornaments?  I always wanted a set, but never wanted to spend the money on them…

Well, here I will show you how I learned to MAKE them, or something similar to them, for less than $2.00 an ornament!  You’ll need is some pigment powder (here is an example) which you can get in packs of multiple colors for $20-$30, but these packs will make literally dozens of ornaments (and the powder has a lot of other uses – see some of my other posts).  You can also buy individual colors for a few bucks each from your local craft store.

The powders used for cosmetics may also work – and they are even cheaper – but I haven’t tried them.  If anyone does, please leave comments with your results.

Get some acrylic medium as well. This is basically an acrylic additive that is made to be blended with acrylic paints to add different texture or finish qualities to the paint.  Just about anything clear, free flowing, and sticky will work here.  It comes under many names, including acrylic gloss medium, floating medium, blending medium, etc.

As for the ornament itself, any clear plastic or glass Christmas ball (or shaped ornament) will do as long as it has an opening on one end.  I’ve used everything from glass balls purchased in the holiday section of a craft store to the plastic ones made for kids crafts you get at WalMart.  Even the super cheap ones you find on clearance at the dollar store will work.

Now the “hard” part!  Coat the inside of your ornament with the acrylic medium, add your colored powders and tap the ornament from all directions to disperse.  Repeat with other colors until fully coated.  That’s it!  It really is that simple, and the results look terrific!  Here’s the video with a full demo:

Halloween Tombstone for (Nearly) Free!

Hello, fellow Halloweenies!  You know the fake foam tombstones you can buy at the Halloween store or WalMart?  Yeah, the ones they charge $8 – $20 for…

Just thought I’d share a video I made on how to make ones that look even better, but will cost you next to nothing.  All you need are some old cardboard boxes and spray paint with a fleck stone or other stone look texture!  If you’re like me, you can never get enough deco for your haunted yard, and buying these things gets expensive quick.

Using this technique, I can fill my yard with all different shapes and sizes.  You can even use the boxes your other Halloween decorations came in!

Check out the tutorial below and let me know how it works for you.

New Uses for Craft Supplies #1

Just thought I would post a quick project to make life a little easier today.

Any crafty person probably has Velcro lying around from previous projects.  And if you’re like me, you also have a tendency to read Kindle, play a game on your tablet, or browse the web in bed.

This, as you probably already know, is not the best situation for your tablet, as being left in bed after I fall asleep can lead to twisted cords, falls, or potential screen damage.

Well, remember that Velcro?  By adding just a few of the round Velcro “dots” to the back of my tablet, and a few strips of the usual roll kind to the wall, I was able to make a pretty handy tablet holder!  I can now read until I’m tired and then just stick the tablet to the wall and roll over!  Just make sure you have adhesive back Velcro and put the softer loop side on the tablet and the hook side on the wall so it doesn’t scratch you up when holding the tablet.

Also, as in the diagram below, make sure your Velcro dots (white) are positioned so they do not interfere with the speaker and camera locations typically found on these devices, and space your strips on the wall the same distance as the dots on the tablet.

wall

Just 4 dots hold my 8″ Samsung tablet just fine, and it’s also handy for remote controls or any other device that you don’t want sleeping in bed with you!

Demonstrating Crafts and Creativity