Category Archives: Decorating

Creating a Fabulous Home!

Spooky Halloween Candle

Recently on Pinterest, I found a picture of some adorable Halloween candle sculptures! The sculptures were fabulous, but I was disappointed by the fact that they could not be used as candles!  For Halloween there is nothing better than the ominous glow of candle light! Lots of candle light!!

The wonderful thing about Pinterest is the inspiration it provides and that’s exactly what happened!  Seeing the adorable Halloween candle sculptures on Pinterest inspired me to create my own Halloween candles!

This post is about molding candles into eerie faces, with eyes that ooze out of their sockets as the candles melt!
Now that’s a Halloween candle!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

First things first – What kind of candles?

After much trial and error, I discovered that the candles with a rough texture on the surface work the best.  Why?  The wax is consistent throughout the entire candle.

In the picture below, you can see the two rough candles to the right and the smooth candle on the left. Do not use the candles with the smooth outer layer.  The wax beneath this smooth layer is different and crumbles as you sculpt.

Also,  as much as I hate to say it,  beeswax candles are very difficult to use for this project. The wax is just too hard.  Save those candles for all the other holidays!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

On to the eyeballs!  I used FIMO clay.  I formed different sized and shaped eyeballs, baked them for the appropriate length of time and viola – eyeballs!

Clay for Halloween Candle Eyes
Clay for Halloween Candle Eyes

Some of the eyes I painted ahead of time and others I painted later, after inserting them into the candle!  It’s totally up to you!

Halloween Candle Eyes
Halloween Candle Eyes

Softening the candle!

I found the best way to do this was to put the candle in the sun and create a greenhouse effect by covering the candle with glass.  The candle will become warm and soft enough to be molded into a face.

When working with wax you must always be careful because it is flammable and can be dangerous!  I found  the candles, when heated this way, became quite warm and did begin to melt so you must watch them because you do not want a puddle!

Bottom line – always be careful with wax!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

Now on to the molding of the face!

Once the candle is soft, push in a couple of eyeballs and start molding.  I have wooden carving tools shown below that I use, but it’s not necessary.  Kitchen utensils will work too!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

Using your hands and tools, mold a face onto the candle.  Along with eyebrows, nose and mouth, I like to add lots of wrinkles!

Here is a short video showing the molding and painting process!

 

One more thing, while the candle is still soft, press the bottom flat against your working surface to be sure the candle stands straight.  We don’t want any tippy candles!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

On to the painting!

As you can see in the above picture, it is difficult to see all the features of the candles face. By adding color in the right places on the wrinkles, nose, eyes… all those features will pop!

Below you can see that I covered the candle with paint to fill in all the wrinkles and features I added in the molding process.  Once I have all the crevices filled, I removed most of the paint with paper towels.  That way all that is left are the accents in all the right places!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

To lengthen the drying time of your paint, which will make it easier to remove the excess paint from your candle, I mixed in an acrylic medium.  You will find it right along side the acrylic paint and it is translucent white.  This is useful stuff to always have on hand!

A few finishing touches around the eyes and the candle is ready for Halloween!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

What a fun way to create the ominous glow of candle light for Halloween this year!

Spooky Halloween Candle
Spooky Halloween Candle

IKEA Rusch Wall Clock Transformation

I am so glad to be back working on my blog!  Life has been crazy with this and that, but now I am back!

As I am currently living in Switzerland, it is difficult to find affordable home products so my go-to retailer is IKEA.  One of the really great things about IKEA is not just their fun and inexpensive products, but what you can create with them. There is even a website called IKEA Hackers which contains a vast collection of  IKEA products that have been transformed into something else!  The IKEA “hack”  I am showing here, doesn’t really change its original use, but it vastly improves it!

IKEA Clock Hack
IKEA Clock Hack

The IKEA Rusch Wall Clock seen below can be purchased for less than $2!  I know – even Switzerland’s price is 1.99 franc!  Crazy!  The problem with this clock is number 1 – the color is boring and number 2 – it is incredibly loud!  I’ve read posts from people asking how to quiet it and I have a solution!

IKEA Wall Clock Hack
IKEA Wall Clock Hack

First how to quiet the Rusch IKEA Clock – Remove the cover using a flat head screw driver.

If you look carefully, you can see where the cover fits into the clock base.  A little pressure in the right places and it will pop off easily.
Now – simply remove the second hand.
That’s it!
The second hand is creating most of the noise and the clock will work perfectly without it!
How easy was that?

IKEA Wall Clock Hack
IKEA Wall Clock Hack

Now – on to that boring color!

It’s so simple!  Paint the back side of the clock and because the plastic is translucent, the color will show through and look flawless!

For my clock, I used an inexpensive acrylic paint.  I brushed on two coats to the back side of the clock, letting the paint dry between applications.  When the second coat was finished, my paint job did not look great. The problem was that light was shining through the clock showing all the imperfections. Once I hung the clock against the wall, where there was no light behind it, it  looked perfect!

IKEA Clock Hack
IKEA Clock Hack

Because my family is spread across the world, I need multiple clocks for all the different time zones!

How to paint and quiet a Rusch IKEA Wall Clock!
How to paint and quiet a Rusch IKEA Wall Clock!

I hung my IKEA clock with two different clocks, but it would be really cute and inexpensive to do a wall of Rusch IKEA Wall Clocks in many different colors.

Something to think about!!

Halloween Decorations for 2014

Enter if you dare!
Enter if you dare!

There is nothing scary about the Etched Pumpkins, but they are beautiful!

Costume Basket
Costume Basket

For those guests who forgot their costumes, a basket full of treasures for them to discover who they will become for the night!

Entry Way Spider
Entry Way Spider

Don’t look up!

The mantel is all decked out for Halloween!
The mantel is all decked out for Halloween!

The Mantel was my favorite!  Find out how to make the Cheese Cloth Spider Webs and Creepy Captured Critters on the links provided!  The bats on the wall are cut from card stock and create a nice effect!

 

Bloody Candles for Halloween
Bloody Candles for Halloween

The Bloody Halloween Candles were very fun, but we almost had a mishap!  A guest ran into the candles with her fabulously large floppy hat.  Luckily, the hat snuffed out the candle and a crisis was averted!  I immediately relocated the candles to an area absent of floppy hats!

Halloween Party Chandelier
Halloween Party Chandelier

I loved the chandelier!  It was so easy and is simply draped with Spider Web Cheese Cloth!  The Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins worked wonderfully under all those webs!  Definitely not a place for burning candles!

Floating Witch Hats
Floating Witch Hats
Floating Witch Hats
Floating Witch Hats

Everyone loved the floating witch hats!  Using fishing line, I simply suspended the hats between my two pendant lights.  Fishing line is easily threaded into a needle so sewing the fishing line into the tip of the hat was easy!  I threw on a few embellishments  and voila – fun floating witch hats!

Halloween Cupcakes
Halloween Cupcakes

I wanted a delicious, but creepy dessert.  I topped red velvet cupcakes with black dyed cream cheese frosting and dripped them with blood (red frosting gel) before serving!

Guests of Honor
Guests of Honor

Even my parents attended my party this year and they had a wonderful time – those devils!

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Creepy Critters Halloween Decoration

 

This is so easy and so fun!  I saw something similar on Pottery Barn where they sell the most wonderful creepy bug vase filler!  They placed the bugs in jars, lit them from behind and what you see  will make your skin crawl – I love it!!

What do you need?
Large Plastic Bugs
Clear Glass Jars
Tulle
Rubberbands
Ribbon

A string of lights

Creepy Critter Halloween Decoration
Creepy Critter Halloween Decoration

How did I do it:   I stuffed a large plastic bug into a jar so the beast is standing up, for the most part!  I then “sealed” my jar with netting or tulle, secured it with a rubber band and tied on a ribbon. I could have simply placed the lid on the jar, but we all know bugs need air, thus the netting!  Plus, it creates a creepy feeling that they might just escape!

Creepy Critter Halloween Decoration
Creepy Critter Halloween Decoration

Now for the light part!  I have fairy lights so I used them.  Fairy lights are LEDs and look like tiny little droplets of light on a thin wire.  These worked perfectly tucked behind the bug filled jars!  Fairy lights are very cool!

If you don’t have fairy lights, regular white christmas lights will work too.  I like to use led lights because they don’t get hot and they use a lot less electricity!  To camouflage the lights, I used a bit of cheese cloth spiderweb! Yes – I have a post on Cheese Cloth Spiderwebs too!  Check it out!

Enjoy your captured critters!

Creepy Critter Halloween Decorations
Creepy Critter Halloween Decorations

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Halloween Cheese Cloth Spider Webs

Cheese Cloth Spider Webs
Cheese Cloth Spider Webs

What I love the most about cheese cloth spider webs is how easy they are to put up, take down and store!

I like to go a little crazy decorating for Halloween, but I don’t want to spend days putting it all together and days taking it all down.

Cheese Cloth for Spider Webs
Cheese Cloth for Spider Webs

What do you need:
Cheese Cloth
Tea

How to make them:
Purchase cheese cloth from any fabric store.  It is very inexpensive!  I like to make my cheese cloth look dirty so I pull out all the old tea bags that have been sitting in the cupboard for way too long and make a big pot of tea.  After the tea is a nice dark color, I place the unfolded cheese cloth in the tea and let it soak.  I allow the cheese cloth to soak 10-20 minutes.

Cheese Cloth for Spider Webs
Cheese Cloth for Spider Webs

After dyeing, I remove the cheese cloth from the tea, gently rinse and let dry.  You can see in the above picture the difference in color after soaking in tea!

Halloween Cheese Cloth Spider Webs
Halloween Cheese Cloth Spider Webs

Now for the fun part!  Drape the cheese cloth wherever you want that eerie effect!  As you do this, rip holes in the cloth, and cut it where you want it to hang down.  Where ever you cut the cloth, pull on it and the sharpness of the cut will disappear!  Experiment with the cloth to create the effect you want!

Halloween Cheese Cloth Spider Webs
Halloween Cheese Cloth Spider Webs

I also like to use a length of the stained cheese cloth as a table runner for my Halloween table!

Spider Web Halloween Table Runner
Spider Web Halloween Table Runner

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Pumpkins Wrapped in Tulle

Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween
Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween

Wrapping pumpkins has become quite popular lately and is something I have been doing for years!  Rather than purchase a wrap, make your own with tulle.

Tulle is a netting like material that is very inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors!  Go to the fabric store and purchase tulle and ribbon, that is all you will need.  I like to get black tulle and orange ribbon, but whatever colors you choose will be great!

 

What do you need?
Pumpkins
Tulle
Ribbon
Rubberbands

Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween
Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween

For large pumpkins, measure the height of your pumpkin and cut a square of tulle that is double the height plus 12-18 inches!  Place your pumpkin in the center of your square, gather the ends at the top and secure at the stem with a rubber band.  Now tie on your ribbon and trim the edges of the tulle – done and beautiful!

Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween
Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween

I also like to cover small pumpkins and place them on candles holders!  This makes for a wonderful centerpiece!

The small pumpkins require a 12 inch square of tulle.  Tie it up with a ribbon and you have created a delightful Halloween decoration that will last right into Thanksgiving!

Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween
Tulle Wrapped Pumpkins for Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Bloody Halloween Candles

Bloody Candles
Bloody Candles

Here is a super easy Halloween decoration anyone can make in just a few minutes with  candles and empty wine bottles.  If you don’t have any empty bottles, then my advice is to take your time – empty the bottles slowly!  No need to chug!

Supplies:
White Candles
One Red Candle
Empty Wine Bottles
Dirt!

Candle Supplies
Candle Supplies

Let’s begin!

I wanted my wine bottles labels to look old so my plan was to pull out my paint and glaze and attempt to give the labels an antiqued look when I thought of a much easier idea!  Just rub dirt on the label!  Dirt is safe enough!  Just last week,  I watched my nephew eat dirt and he seems fine!

After rubbing the dirt into my wine bottle labels, I gently washed them and let them dry!

Now for the blood!

Light the red candle and as the wax melts simply drip it over the candles and the wine bottles.  The wax will form nice drips and clumps that look like coagulated blood – disgusting!

Bloody Candles
Bloody Candles

That’s it – see how easy that was!

Make sure the candle is firmly inserted into the wine bottle and that you burn them in a safe location!

Bloody Candles
Bloody Candles

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Pumpkins Decorated with Etchings

I love Halloween and I love to carve pumpkins!  Mid-September I start picking up pumpkins for fall  decorations around my home.  Because carved pumpkins will only last a short time, I  wait to carve them until a few days before  Halloween.

This year I am trying something new!  I am etching my pumpkins with a design and leaving them whole – at least for the time being!  I have etched pumpkins before, but then my process was to “gut” the pumpkin, thin the wall, and light a candle inside to see the etching glow!  It is very cool.

This year I am doing my etchings early, leaving the pumpkins whole and later I can “gut” them if I wish.

 

Pumpkin Carving Tools
Pumpkin Carving Tools

The tools I used for this project were purchased from Williams Sonoma.  They are excellent quality and should last for years!  Currently, they have a similar product – the  Pumpkin Carving Tools 3-piece Set.  Included in this set is an etching tool, which is what I used here.  The etching tool is also called a linoleum cutter and if you happen to have wood carving tools, they may work as well.  For whatever tool you use, the goal is to remove the top layer of skin from the pumpkin!

Pumpkin with Vine Drawing
Pumpkin with Vine Drawing

Before I began the etching process, I  drew an image on my pumpkin.  Here I show a roughly drawn simple vine.  It was not necessary for it to be perfect since it is just a guideline.

Etching a Vine on a Pumpkin
Etching a Vine on a Pumpkin

Then, using my etching tool, I carved  out the vine.

Etching a Vine on a Pumpkin
Etching a Vine on a Pumpkin

When I finished etching, I used a Magic Eraser to remove any visible ink.  The Magic Erasers are a fabulous product so if you have never tried them – you must test  them out for yourself!

My next pumpkin I etched with maple leaves.  I went to my backyard, picked a couple of different sized leaves and roughly traced them onto my pumpkin.

Preparing Pumpkin for Leaf Etching
Preparing Pumpkin for Leaf Etching

I etched out the edge of the leaves then added the veining detail.  If you are not sure how to add the veining, just examine the leaf in front of you.  Of course, I had to simplify the detail – I am not as good as  mother nature!

Pumpkin with Leaf Etching
Pumpkin with Leaf Etching

If you are unsure how to lay out a vine or leaves to make them look natural, just google drawings of the images you want to replicate and you will get wonderful guidance from the many fabulous artist whose images are on the web!

Pumpkin with Vine Etching
Pumpkin with Vine Etching
Pumpkin with Leaf Etching
Pumpkin with Leaf Etching

Have a Happy Fall!

I linked up at I Heart Nap Time!
I linked up at I Heart Nap Time!

 

Peeps Bouquet

Peeps Bouquet
Peeps Bouquet

Brighten someone’s day with a fun, fall, edible bouquet!

The Peep bouquet is perfect for any college student.  It’s an easy treat for your student to share with fellow roommates or dorm mates!  It is easy, fun and inexpensive!

Peeps Bouquet
Peeps Bouquet

My daughter’s freshman year, she was living in the dorms and I thought it would be fun to send a gift easily shared with others.  I sent her the Peeps bouquet and she was so excited to receive it, she promptly hit the hall and shared the treat with other homesick freshmen.  It worked perfectly!

This year, even though she is in an apartment, I thought it would be fun for the treat bouquet to double as a Halloween decoration!  OK – it probably won’t last long as a decoration, but it will be cute for a little while!

Peeps
Peeps
Supplies:

Peeps – I used one package of pumpkin peeps and one package of ghosts – scary!!

Bamboo Skewers

Container – I filled the container with foam and covered the foam with dried moss!  The container I found at Target for $1

Ribbon – I created a bow and attached it to a Bamboo fork with floral wire!

Pots for Peeps Bouquet
Pots for Peeps Bouquet
Bow for Peeps Bouquet
Bow for Peeps Bouquet

Since I needed to mail my bouquet, I bagged the Peeps and sealed the moss covered pot with GLAD’s Press’n Seal (love that stuff)

Peeps Bouquet ready for sending!
Peeps Bouquet ready for sending!

Now go out and make someone’s day with a Peeps Bouquet!

Peeps Bouquet ready for sending!
Peeps Bouquet ready for sending!

Here is my daughter with her Peeps Bouquet!
If I’m not mistaken, I believe a few Peeps are missing!

Robyn & her Peeps Bouquet
Robyn & her Peeps Bouquet

Creating a Fabulous & Functional Entryway

 

Boring foyer
Boring foyer

Check out my entryway – Boring!

The wood work is beautiful, the door is lovely, but the space needed inspiration!

It needed –
A Mirror – nothing is nicer than to take a quick peek in a mirror before heading out the door – even if what you find scares you!
Hooks – a spot for your guests to hang a jacket where they can easily find it again and it keeps them out of the front closet dumping ground!
Bench – a place to have a seat and slip on your boots on cold and snowy, winter days in Wisconsin!

Mirror
Mirror

Inspiration for me arrived in the form of a mirror.

One day while strolling thru T.J. Maxx I spotted the most lovely mirror!  I strode past it…circled around the store and strode past it again….debating with myself…should I…no, you don’t need it…it’s so cute…no, really, you don’t’ need it.  I left the store without the mirror.

Upon returning home – I took one look at my foyer, grabbed my keys and pointed the car in the direction of T.J. Maxx.

Luckily, the mirror was still there. If you are a T.J. Maxx shopper you know – if you think you want it – grab it or it will be gone by the time you get back!

The stars were aligned for me that day – the mirror was mine! As I was walking to the checkout with my prize – not one, but two ladies commented on the mirror and how they too had been thinking about purchasing it –  sorry ladies – too late!

The mirror is by Sheffield Home.  I tried to find a similar one online, but I was unsuccessful.  You may have better luck!

To finish my foyer I needed to hang my mirror and a super cool set of Three Dot Coat Hooks that I ordered from CB2…love that store!  In an earlier post this week – Applying Varnish to Beautify and Protect Wood, I talk about CB2 and how to varnish the coat hooks since they come unfinished.

I gathered my tools – ok – my husband gathered the tools.  I couldn’t find the level or the stud finder.  Maybe I didn’t look hard enough!  The other tools I needed were a hammer, measuring tape, phillips head screw driver, a couple of nails and a wonderful invention called the  EZ Anchor!  When I discovered these, I never waited for my husband again to hang up a picture – so easy to use!

Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade

The last tool I utilized was a drill, since I was lucky enough to find a stud in the right spot for my mirror!

The first thing to go up was the mirror!
Did you see it – it’s so pretty!  You can tell I love it – can’t ya!

Mirror
Mirror

I started with the mirror because I really wanted to find at least one stud to hang it on.  Then, depending on the location of the mirror, the coat hook locations could be adjusted.

Using my trusty stud finder, I located the spot and hammered in a nail.  I always start with a nail because the stud finder only gives you a general area.  Usually it’s very close, but sometimes your stud may be just to the right or left and you don’t want to drill a bunch of holes in your wall.  My wish is to use the drill once!

After locating the stud, I pulled the nail, drilled the hole and secured a screw for my mirror to hang on.  This mirror came with two hooks.  To make sure the second screw was level with the first  – I used the level!  I located the spot, and this time I used an EZ anchor.  I secured it then screwed my screw into the anchor and hung my mirror!

Voila – it was perfectly level!

Am I good or what?

Now on to hanging those fabulous Dot Coat Hooks!

CB2 Dot Coat Hooks
CB2 Dot Coat Hooks

To help me decide on the placement of the hooks, I cut out three brown paper circles and taped them to the wall in the area I wanted the hooks to be hung.  The paper circles were much easier to move than the real thing.

After that it was easy! I marked my spot, made a hole with my nail, then secured an EZ anchor.  The dots came with their own anchors, but I like these so much I used them instead. Finally, the  coat hooks arrive with screws attached to the back so a simple twist of the coat hook into the anchor was all that was required!I

Beautiful black walnut bench
Beautiful black walnut bench

My final addition to the entryway was a beautiful black walnut bench crafted by my father. Check out the post about the bench!

Finally – somewhere to sit!

The lack of seating was a common complaint from my 83 year old father.   The bench not only remedied that problem, but does it with style!

Foyer
Foyer

Here is my beautiful Foyer where I am excited to greet my guests.

I have combined traditional, modern and distressed styles to create a beautiful space.  You can too!  The key is – Don’t be afraid!  Just try it!   (And get some EZ anchors!)