Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gardening: Make Cheap Row Markers

I didn't want to spend $1 for a marker at Meijer, as cute as they were. They had one for every type of vegetable you can imagine but they were flimsy and I knew I'd need at least 100 of them.

So, I decided it would be much easier to make markers of my own. What's cheap, plastic and will stick up out of the ground? Plastic knives, of course!

I used a sharpie to write the veggie names and then made markers. They are all stuck into my garden now but it was too dark for a proper picture outdoors.

Of course, you can mark the handle instead of the blade if you're worried about safety, but last time I checked, plastic butter knives had trouble cutting butter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Make It: Fight Cancer with Polymer Clay

I volunteer each year with the Relay For Life. I'm also a co-captain of a team in my county and I spend 4-5 months raising money before the big event. This year, I've been given a booth inside the relay and I'm allowed to sell my wares there to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

If you're not familiar with the Relay For Life, it's a 24 hour community event that brings together cancer survivors, caretakers, loved ones, those battling cancer, and anyone effected by cancer. Everyone rallies to raise money for the American Cancer Society and the Relay itself is the culmination and a great time to let off some steam, kick back, and relax with other volunteers and the community at large.

At my booth I want to have some affordable trinkets for kids. There are a LOT of kids at Relay and most of them have a bit of pocket money to spend in the vendors' area. Here's my little contribution. I hope it will help you raise money for your Relay or Cancer fighting event, too!

You'll need:
  • Polymer Clay
  • A "Ribbon" or other shaped charm or stamp
  • A ceramic tile (on which to bake the clay).
  • Acrylic paint (I chose white)
  • A fine paint brush (I got mine from a model store)
  • Spray sealer (I prefer matte over gloss)
  • A bottle cap (flat)

1. Roll a small ball of polymer clay

2. Using the smooth top of the bottle cap, flatten the clay onto your baking tile (in order to keep the charms from breaking, I'd keep it no less than 1/8" thick).

3. Remove the bottle cap from the clay

4. Press the charm or stamp into the clay, leaving an imprint.

5. Remove the charm or stamp.

6. Bake the clay according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remove the hot tile from the oven (careful!) and let it cool

7. Use your acrylic paint to "paint in" the ribbon logo or other stamped design. Paint on someone's name or a message if you'd like.

8. Spray sealer over the finished clay pieces. Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area. Once dry, flip the clay pieces over and spray the back.

9. Add a magnet, drill a hole to make a necklace, or simply sell as a worry stone or pocket trinket.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gardening: What To Do With Broken Flowers

I have a hard time after a freak storm. My plants often "break their necks" so to speak, as the blooms, heavy with the extra weight of the rain, bend and break. I feel bad that their blooms are going to waste.

While at the Salvation Army Store I noticed a box full of free vases outside. We are big proponents of our local store, often donating and purchasing several times per week.

Of course, I felt I could give some of these vases a home and I had a great idea in mind!

You'll need a short vase and some ribbon, and, of course, some broken flowers.

1. Cut the flowers off above or below their breaks.
2. Remove any extra leaves and foliage.
3. Fill your vase nearly to the top with water and add plant food if you'd like.
4. Arrange your broken blooms, which will float nicely at the top of the vase.
5. Tie some ribbon around the vase and display!

Make It: Super Cute Refrigerator Magnets

I'm just starting this blog based on some posts I've made for my Facebook friends. I'll be sure to detail processes in future, rather than just end results.

Here are some DIY Refrigerator Magnets that I made from using old Calendar Magnets and old Wall Calendars.

You'll need:
  • Calendar Magnets like the ones pictured blow
  • A favorite Wall Calendar
  • A paintbrush
  • Mod Podge (Satin or Gloss finish)
  • Scissors

  Refrigerator Magnets are usually ads from local businesses.

I always have an abundance of fridge magnets from local businesses. Some are business card size and then there are the ridiculously huge calendars. They're great if it's still 2009, but for the most part after that calendar year, they get thrown away. I'm a keeper of all things, a bit of a craft hoarder, and I always keep my old wall calendars if I like the subject. I just can't bear to throw away those beautiful photographs.

  1. Cut out a picture from one of your wall calendars. 
  2. Brush mod podge onto a calendar magnet.
  3. Lay the wall calendar picture over the magnet.
  4. Cut out around the magnet.
  5. Brush more mod podge over the photo.
  6. Wait until the mod podge has lost its white color and smooth out any bubbles.
  7. Stick on your fridge!
Here are some photos of my finished products. You can use any magnets, really.

 At left, a magnet still drying. At right, the finished product.

 Some of my finished wall magnets.

Mod Podge is so amazing. I do so much with it, too! You can also use old tiles and mod podge images onto them to make nice coasters. I would suggest spraying them with a sealant as well, to make them more waterproof.