I have a confession to make... I didn't read Harry Potter when I was a kid (enter shocked faces)! I know, I know, how could I not have?! To be honest, I remember my parents buying the first book for me and coming home with it. I remember one of them saying "Here, everyone's talking about this, kids supposedly are obsessed with it". Well, maybe that comment was what threw me off because I, for as long as I can remember, hate doing what everyone else does. I do remember trying to read it, however, but never made it past the first chapter. So, once I became a librarian, I decided that this shame was unacceptable, I MUST read HP and ASAP! Well, I don't know what changed, but I read them all within a a couple of weeks and was in love with them. So yes, I am an HP fan, but it just took me 20 years!
With my job at the library I am constantly receiving strange and unusual things from customers and fellow staff members in the hopes that I will save the item from the dumpster. To be honest, I kind of love it! It's like... a "thing" now and I love the challenge. One of our patrons who I have grown to know quite well over the last couple of years, is a gentleman named Ralph. I first met him when he came into the library saying he worked at a warehouse that was closing and asked if we librarians would want anything for crafts or programs. Well on to his warehouse I went and ever since then he stops by and gives me more fun things to use, I love it.
One item he gave me was 2 hugeeee boxes of long skinny green boxes. I had no idea what I'd use them for but as always I said, "Yep, I'll take 'em". So there I was staring at 200 of these narrow boxes and the only thing I could think of... wand box. These boxes were perfect, I mean perrrrrfect for a wand so that's what they became! Below are the steps I took to make a simple wand with easily found materials, hopefully you can find a similar box to use too or just make the wand itself!
1. Layer 2 sheets of copy paper and begin rolling from one corner into a cone shape (it might take a few tries to get the right look/size).
4. This will leave a hole at the end, fill this in with crumpled up paper so the wand becomes sturdier, and fill the end with hot glue to secure.
5. Paint your wand whatever color you would like. It may take a couple of coats to cover completely.
7. Use hot glue to create the character of your wand. While holding the wand, slowly rotate it as you create your lines and shapes with the glue and be careful with your fingers!
8. Place some of your beads into the hot glue for a “jeweled” effect. One at the end looks very authentic!
9. Paint over the hot glue with your base color and then again with the metallic paint.
11. Lastly, I wanted to make the box look more "legit". I found both velvet and adhesive mirror pieces to use. I measured and cut the pieces to fit the interior of each side and glued them in each spot. And ta-da! Just look at that beautiful wand! I think it'd be really cool to make a velvet pillow for the inside of the box for the wand to rest on as well!
This painting is what I chose to mimic for my October Painted Canvas program at work. I run a "Painted Canvas" program once every quarter along with other monthly craft programs, but the Painted Canvas is, by far, people's favorite. With my other craft programs I usually always have empty seats even if the class had a full registration list but that is definitely not the case with Painted Canvas! The seats are always full!
I wanted to do something "spooky" for this quarter's painting program especially since it's October. I had something else in mind originally but ended up picking this one! I followed the tutorial from "Painting with Jane" on Youtube, she's amazing! I didn't go about it exactly as she did. She used a gold metallic canvas (have never seen those before!!) and a paint/gel medium mixture to create translucent paint. I changed mine to just using a sponge on top of gold metallic paint. It's an "ok" effect, and one I think is easier for people in my class but maybe sometime I'll give the gel medium technique a shot!
1. The first step is to trace your large circular object for your blood moon (I used a large plastic bowl). You want it to be nice and big to fill up your background. Paint this circle with your gold metallic paint (you should do 2 coats).
2. "Painting with Jane" recommended using translucent paint so that the colors do not get "muddy". I understood what she meant when I started sponge painting the colors. It did seem to get muddy but I was ok with it overall once it was done. Like I said earlier, I would like to try the original artist's technique in the future. I used a dry sponge and dipped it slightly in the paint, do not saturated your sponge! I started with brown for the dark shadows on the moon, then went into orange, blending slightly, I went back through with more gold to still have the gold represented, it's too pretty not to!
3. Before we are done with the moon, add some silver highlights with your sponge, you can add a dab of white too if you're feeling daring!
4. Retrace the same object you used to reemphasize your circle. With a flat or angled brush, trace the outline of your moon with black paint. Take your time and be patient on this step. Paint the remaining white space black. I used two coats of black paint. As I put the second coat on, I also mixed in a bit of silver to make the background seem "shimmery". You don't have to do this part, it is a personal preference. You will notice this effect more in later photos.
5. Trace your bird/branch template or free draw a bird if you feel comfortable. Paint this entire space black for a good base coat. I left a spot open for the raven's eye so that some of the gold shows through later.
7. In between painting feathers, I went in for the beak and tried to mimic the shape done in the video.
8. I highlighted everything with white. I used my smallest/pointiest brush for this and went over the previous grey with light, quick strokes.
9. The last step is to highlight the gnarly tree branch! To do this, I lightly added some silver in various spots then, again, lightly added some white to those same highlights in smaller strokes.
That's really it! Sign your painting with your initials and you are good to go! Talk about an awesome addition to some holiday decor! (And let's all be honest here, this would look pretty good with some glitter too)
I've done this fairy lantern craft before with glass jars and people loved it! They couldn't wait to take it home, show it off, and replicate it with kids/grandkids/friends. I left that night feeling really great about the program and that I helped people create something they fell in love with.
Time for some self-shaming. David, my boyfriend, and I eat a tonnnnn of peanut butter. Like, a tonnnnn, probably way more than we should to be honest. We've actually recently cut down on it but, boy oh boy, do we love us some PB.
On that note, I was getting anxiety over using up so many plastic containers. There had to be something I could use them for! With no plan in mind, I started soaking them, washing them, and de-labeling them meticulously one at a time with no purpose at the end of the tunnel.
Then, the fairy lanterns came into mind. I had done it before with glass and thought, well, why not give it a try... I have plenty more to use if it doesn't work! I gotta say it turned out pretty darn cute. I think it's decently disguised but if I were doing it for myself, or for a gift, I think I would choose to add a lot more moss and other items to disguise it even more. Anywho, the instructions are as follows, happy crafting!
Note: I did not cover the entire lip of the jar so that it can still be twisted shut if desired.
4. Next, I did the same thing with the lid of the jar. I knew I wanted to paint it and glue items to it so I thought covering it with tissue paper would create a nice textured layer for this purpose.
Note: I did not cover the inside of the lid and afterwards, I wish I had. I can, of course, do this at any time but I wanted to point this out. I feel if you do not cover the inside, you can see the red of the lid on the outside. It isn't super noticeable, but I notice it.
7. Here is where I painted my lid to camouflage it. I knew I would be adding moss later, but I didn't want any of the white tissue paper coming through! I sponged on a layer of green, then brown, then black with the foam brush, just enough to cover most of the white.
Note: I wanted to point out that I noticed the expiration date and other numbers was printed on the plastic and was totally showing through the tissue paper! Eww! I covered this up with yet another leaf and some more moss.
Turn that beauty on and look at her glow!
Were using the PB Jar method at work for a mother-daughter craft program. This makes it even better that we are using plastic jars instead of glass in case we have any little ones attend! We are also including in the description that these are actually Peanut Butter jars and that if you have a peanut allergy we do not recommend attending just in case any residue is leftover.
Let me know if you have any questions!
This is a pretty quick fall craft to spruce up your shelf space for the autumn weather or maybe a gift idea! The one I originally saw on Pinterest was very cute with bright fall colors. There are so many options with this type of craft, it's almost overwhelming. I thought about going with a subtle brown, tan, and white color combination at first. I thought it would be very elegant for Thanksgiving but somehow I ended up switching to more of a Halloween based theme with a distressed frame and distressed pages. The possibilities are endless but I hope you find one that you love!
1. Gather up all of your supplies so that you have them near and dear to your project space.
2. If you're like me, I had a few frames to choose from and was very stressed with all the options! Finally, I decided on something medium-sized and relatively simple in structure. I forgot to take a picture ahead of time, but I "distressed" my frame a bit by very lightly adding black in light strokes to make it seem old/give it some more depth to the frame.
3. The original post I saw for this project involved using cute polka dot scrapbook paper as a background. I was going to do this as well, but saw I had some old book pages lying around and thought that would be a much cooler effect! If you're using a piece of scrapbook paper make sure you glue/tape it on carefully, making sure there are no air bubbles forming on your background! For me, I added torn strips of book pages by gluing each piece one by one to the background. Keep adding and adding until your background is full.
4. While your background is setting/drying, this is a good time to decide what you're going to do with your acorns. I decided to paint mine a metallic gold. I used 3 "craft" acorns and 3 real acorns that I found in the woods just to try out the different types to see if there were any differences... there aren't (but if you use real ones make sure you "bake" them to get rid of all the little buggies in there!) You'll want to do a couple of coats.
There are many ways to do this. You could leave the acorns in their natural state, paint them, decorate them, wrap them with thread/yarn/twine, oooo!
6. While my acorns were drying I also made the glued book pages look more distressed/eerie for a more Halloween look. I lightly brushed very little black and brown paint over the pages giving them that look which you can see in the following photo.
7. Lay out your acorns and see how you like them before you glue them. I used hot glue. Make sure you put enough on there and hold the acorn while it sets.
8. Lastly, I decided to add a little extra somethin' somethin' to the frame and hot glued a flower to the upper corner.
That's it, we're all done!
Who doesn't love wildflowers?! This is a fun, whimsical painting to do with friends during the spring or summer months, they'll love it!
14. After adding some more grass in, it’s time for the really messy part!
Rebecca Myers (Dickinson)
Hey there, I'm Becca, or Rebecca, but not Becky, never Becky, unless you're my family from down south! I'm a simply modern librarian by day and an artist by night. My pursuit is for a simple, happy, healthy, and more fulfilling life! I hope I inspire you to get crafty!