Five years ago, I made a star out of cardboard and masking tape. I really really wanted to have a star parol, or something akin to the Christmas stars that I grew up with. I covered it in golden sequins which I got from a 5 and Dime store. I used it as an accent to a wreath that I made. Years later, the wreath was abandoned and the star became a children's toy. The children started chipping the sequins off.
This year, I decided to refurbish the star - I do not have much time to create a new one. It is still sturdy despite the use it got.
To make a 3 dimensional star, I made two pieces of star shapes from cardboard and cut them towards the center. Then I put the two pieces together and bound them with masking tape. I folded each section of the star in the middle as I did so. To make the star decorative, I had to think of other ways to cover the frame other than by painting. Painting over the masking tape will not hide the edges of the tape.
One morning, my husband was making scrambled eggs. And something clicked in my head - Eggshells! Years ago, when I was a child, eggshells were popular artwork materials for schoolchildren. I remember my sister saving whole eggshells (there was only a tiny bit of hole at the top of the egg for the egg to be emptied) and drying them under the sun. Our neighbors would have this whole eggshells on the tips of agave plants. Just imagine these plants wearing little egg hats. So, I decided to use eggshells to cover my little star.
I cleaned the eggshells and heated them in the oven - just to make sure that they are clean and dry. Afterwards, I crushed them into fine little pieces. I covered my star with glue and put ground eggshells over it. I just shook off the extra so that there would be no lumps.
When the star was completely dry, I painted it red. I used enamel paint. I added some glitters after the red layer dried out. Then I poked a hole through one of the points and put a tiny wire through it (I used a piece of wire holding decorative Christmas berries for this purpose - because that was the suitable thing I had as I was finishing off this project) and made a loop.
I made ribbons out of tulle and gold organza. Here, I explained how I made my ribbons. I attached the star to the ribbons by threading a gold thread through the loop that I mentioned above.
The eggshells gave the star a nice texture.
Thank you for dropping by and reading. And here's a popular Christmas song in the Philippines. It is called Kumukutikutitap, which roughly means 'twinkling'.
One day, when I was tossing things in the recycling bin, I saw an empty bottle of Contreau. I thought it was pretty with its square base and frosty white color. I saved it with the intention of turning it into a candleholder. Christmas crafting days are just around the corner after all. Several days later, I decided to start with my bottle project. But but but, I could not do with just one bottle. I have children who might be interested to make projects with me. So, I looked for empty bottles in Dear Husband's stash of liquor and found a Bailey's. And happily, I emptied a wine bottle the night before. I used the wine for cooking. Honest. I got three in all. I should have enough.
I soaked the bottles to remove the labels and the glue. I rinsed the inside. Gasp! The Bailey's was not empty. It had enough to make a tasty hot cocoa. Shhh... I did not tell my Husband. :-D
Since we have been painting glass ornaments just three weeks ago, I decided to paint the bottles as well. And to compensate for my accidental extravagance, I worked on the Bailey's brown bottle and decided that by hook or by crook, I would do something with it. Covering the dark brown color was quite difficult. The dark tint kind of sucked out the colors. But after several coats, I think I came up with something passable. I found some 'gems' somewhere in my craft box and put them on (more like to hide the uneven tips than anything). ) I was thinking of gluing smaller and different colored beads - like shiny red beads! - but I do not have them and stingy me did not want to spend more on baubles. So, I made do with what I already have. And here is my colorful harlequin of a bottle.
As for the Contreau, I chose the easy route and painted it green. When I got done, I just could not resist the gold paint. I wanted to write 'Merry Christmas' on the bottle but one curlicue lead to another. Before long, I had a little garden of vines and flowers. I thought that the result was pretty so I kept the design that way. Afterwards, I put a little ribbon and some leftover ornaments from years ago to make the bottle Christmas-sy. And you be the judge. )
Joseph painted the wine bottle. He is fascinated with stripes, so he made a green and gold motiff. Then, he finished off his project with gems from my stash. He had fun. And I think that my not so little boy did a good job. He patiently waited for the first layers of (green) paint to dry before he applied a new coat. He is learning well. ;-) He finished off his project with gems from my stash. He had fun and was pleased with his work.
So, here are the three stooges once again in all their painted glory.
This project was a fun thing to do. It was a nice bonding time for us. It was not too expensive. More importantly, if the project did not turn out right, the recycling bin is always an option.
A weekend or two ago, the children and I painted some glass ornaments for the Christmas tree. I have been waiting for the right time to decorate the 4-piece set of Christmas balls that I got cheaply from a yard sale last summer. We ended up buying some more from the craft store though because all of the children expressed interest in decorating.
At first, we used crayola kiddie paints. The paint did not work well because when it dried, it was matted and dull. So, John hauled us to Michaels' to get glass paint. We got paints in Red Red, Emerald Green, Silver, Gold, Yellow, and Pearlized Blue.
The children had fun painting -
and so did I. I was glad to see them having an interest in these things. I consider that as part of their homeschooling.
At the end of that weekend and some days spent reworking some pieces, these are what we got:
These ornaments were done by Joseph.
He liked solid colors and stripes.
This one is by Raphael. It has plenty of butterflies.
This one is by Gabriel. He liked painting. A lot.
These are mine.
Here are some things that I have learned from doing this project:
1. There is a reason why there are paints for different kinds of surfaces and different purposes. For glass, paint suitable for glass is best. Kiddie paints are for kiddie projects. Here is why -
The paint looked glossy and lovely when it was wet. But, as I have said noted earlier, the paint was dull when it dried. But no worries. The paint was easily washed off the ball with water. After the ball was dry, we were able to use it with the appropriate kind of paint.
2.It helped to have a sort of a drying rack where the wet glass can hang to dry nicely. But if there is none, it is best to paint the balls by section leaving a dry spot which can rest on a surface. That way, the paint will not get ruined during the drying process. For example, I had to paint the gold section of this ball and let it dry before I did the other parts since I found the mug rack (which I used here in these photos) late in the day.
3.To avoid clumping and too much dripping, it is good to apply thin layers of paint at a time. New coats can be applied to make a deeper hue. That was what I did with the above ball after I had some trouble with the first one that I painted - the one with the poinsettias.
4. For glass ornaments, I think that the pearlized paints work better because they leave a nice sheen on the glass. As you can see below, the red of the Red Red paint seems to be a little dull (I hope it is not because I did not put a glaze over the paint as directed by the manufacturer ). To make the red pop, I added some glitters on the design. For this purpose, I used the point of the Elmer's glue like a pencil to trace the lines and the edges, as the case may be. Except that the glitters can only do so much.
Apart from the dull red color, I had an extra reason for putting glitters on this one - the flowers which I painted looked like a blob of paint. So to define the design a little bit, I put glitters around the edges of the flowers.
5. It is important to keep the brushes clean. After a while, the paint kindof dries up and forms clumps at the tips of the brushes. Not only does the brush not work well, but it also leaves some grime that make the surface bumpy and the color uneven.
6.To avoid ruining the work area, i.e., the table in our case, put something over it to catch the dripping paint. This is especially urgent if children are involved. Of course, I learned this too late - the table we were working on now have paint splashes. Happily, that table is something that we found cheap in craiglist for my homeschooling purposes. Anyway ....
7. Lastly, enjoy. An unsatisfactory work can always be redone. I found out that the paint can be washed off (for as long as it is not to dry) or scraped, or otherwise covered where necessary.
Thank you for reading. I hoped that this has been helpful, even if only a little.
Christmas is coming and these past Christmases, I have been making decorations for our house. I am kind of tired with the ribbons that I have done years ago and thought that it is time to refresh our decor. Since I like making things out of cardboard and masking tape anyway, I decided to make an ornament involving cardboard and masking tape. After some cutting and taping and gluing and twisting and threading, here is what I came up with:
To make this, I did the following:
1. Cut a circle about 6.5 inches in diameter, about the size of a coffee saucer (or use something bigger or smaller, depending on your preference);
2. Cut the circle in half and turn each half into cones;
3. Put the cones together and cover the two pieces with masking tape;
4. Decorate the thingy. Since I have a lot of gold strings left over from previous years, and I found out that this shape is quite difficult to wrap in any thing other than a thin string, I covered it with a golden string. I used a glue gun to make the string adhere to the cardboard.
5. Make the ribbons to trim the ornament. For this, I used tulle, (6 - 8 inches wide) and skinny red, green and gold ribbons. I also used, at the last minute, a golden bead string that I found in my crafting chest. It was such a last minute find that it was not included in this picture.
6. Cut a 21 inch piece of tulle; two (2) 13 inch green ribbons; two (2) 13 inch red ribbons; and, two (2) 13 inch gold ribbons.
7. Make a ribbon out of the tulle. Fold the tulle in half. Mark the middle of the tulle - this will be the middle of the ribbon. Get one of the halves of the tulle and fold towards the middle as marked and continue folding until the end of the ribbon is aligned with the edge of the fold. At this point, one complete bow has been made. Repeat the procedure with the other half of the tulle. After all of that folding, you will have a two layered ribbon as shown below.
8. Get one piece each of the red, green, and gold ribbons, align them, and fold them in half. Get one of the halves and turn them towards the center. Make a loop about 1 1/2 inches long. Repeat with the other group of halves. Sew, bind or whatever to secure the middle and make a ribbon. Curl the tips of the ribbons by pressing the dull side of scissors over the flat side of the ribbon, stretching it a bit.
9. Attach the skinny ribbons on either side of the tulle ribbon.
10. Put the assembled ribbons inside the loop of the string that will be used to hang the ornament.
Up to this point, I have not thought about how this ornament should hang. I knew that, somehow, I will have to have a string at one of the points of the cone. I just did not know whether I would poke a hole through the cardboard or just put something inside the hole to hold the string. I settled for the latter. I inserted a paperclip through the opening. But before I did that, I inserted the golden bead strings and the gold string through the paperclip. Once the paperclip was in place, I had to make sure that it would not be pulled out. Sealing the hole with glue would be a good idea which I have not yet done though.
11. Secure the ribbon.
Now, at the start of the project, I had a fat red ribbon with gold at the center. I was thinking of making a rosette out of it as shown below.
But when I tried it on with the other ribbons, I thought that it was a little bit too much and overwhelmed the design. So, it was just left out of this ornament. It will come in handy later.
My husband who rarely makes comments about my little projects finds this ornament pretty and worthy of being part of our garlands. So, I suppose I will be making a couple more, maybe, in different designs.
P.S. I did not realize how difficult it was to do a how-to essay. Setting the procedure in words, the right words at that, is quite a daunting task. So, please pardon the wrong prepositions and funny directions. I do hope that somehow they were useful though.
Finally, I finished making the little house that I started several days ago to entertain my children. I was hoping that doing a little project would keep them away from their online games and make them interested in other things. It worked I suppose. My children, at least the older two, stayed with me as I cut and taped and built the house. My eldest boy, Joseph even did his own project, a little birdhouse. My second son, on the other hand, decided that he wanted the house for himself so that he could decorate it for Christmas. Well and good. :-)
It took me a few days of a few minutes work to finish the house. Without any interruptions, which is not possible in my situation, a couple of hours would be sufficient for the project.
In any case, I began with cutting the cardboard to the sizes I needed.
When most of the pieces were cut, I put them together with masking tape.
Until finally, the frame was complete!
Meanwhile, here is what Joseph was working on - all by himself.
Back to the little house. After completing the frame, I wrapped it in masking tape. And voila! It was ready for painting or whatever decorating one might choose.
I used Crayola kiddie paints for this little thingy.
My kid loves his little house. I just hope it can be lit as he plans.
Peace of soul comes to those with the right kind of anxiety about attaining perfect happiness, which is God. A soul has anxiety because it final and eternal state is not yet decided, it is still and always at the crossroads of life. This fundamental anxiety cannot be cured by a surrender to passions and instincts; the basic cause of our anxiety is a restlessness within time that comes because we are made for eternity.
If there were anywhere on earth a resting place other than God, we may be very sure that the human soul in its long history would have found it before this. ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen