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Category Archives: Mod Podge Rocks Projects

Day of the Dead Luminaries

After Abbot Kinney (which went really well despite record heat) I took a  trip to Ohio to see my family.

Upon my return I  was overjoyed  to discover two things:

1) My home had not been turned into a pop-up Halloween store which seems to be the fate of every other empty or temporarily unused building in America (do we really need that many?  Is it like that where you are?  It’s insane in LA); and

2) Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks had posted my latest tutorial!day-of-the-dead-luminary-tutorial-cheltenham-road-for-mod-podge-rocksIt would appear that I’m a bit obsessed with making glowing, creepy luminaries out of things I find at the Dollar Store.  I think this is the third variation on that theme I’ve done.Halloween Decoration Tutorial

As obsessions go it’s not necessarily a bad one (beats that time I was hooked on Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups…. I shouldn’t have reminded myself of that….I’ll be right back) addiction


So, I’d decided I wanted to do these using some napkins and since it seems like Day of the Dead graphics are everywhere and very “in” I thought I’d use Day of the Dead napkins.

However, uttering the words “I’m going to go get some Day of the Dead napkins” caused my super-power to kick in.

What is my super power you may ask?

My super power is the ability to cause any item that I have seen all over the place to completely evaporate from store shelves the minute I decide to buy it.

I went everywhere.  No napkins.  I found stores that were selling (I’m not kidding) coordinated Day of the Dead tablecloths, cups and plates but NOT NAPKINS.

It’s insane.

Happily I did finally find some but from now on I’m using my powers only for good.

My next project will be made entirely out of broccoli.  Do you hear me powers-that-be?!  I MUST HAVE BROCCOLI!!!! LOTS OF IT!!!!!!

You’re welcome children of the world (and former President Bush).

Anyway, after finding the elusive napkins the project came together very easily.

easy-mod-podge-halloween-luminaries-tutorialAnd I think it’s adaptable in a lot of different ways and worth a perusal if you’re in the market for quick, simple, inexpensive Halloween decor.easy-diy-halloween-decor

And, now that I’m back and have just a bit of breathing room between now and multiple upcoming  holiday shows it’s time to get to work!

CCP (Constant Coaster Production) will have to continuecoaster productions along with all the other HOME signsLots of Letter Blanks….. and Subway signs… and magnets…..and wine charms……. but I hope to get to some of the other fun, one-off projects I have been itching to do.

For instance, the front porch light quit working and had to be replaced.  I always thought is was pretty dang uglyporch-light but now it seems like I should be able to use it for something interesting maybe?

UPDATE: reader Denise came up with a inspiring suggestion for what to do with the old porch light.    I will fill it with various kinds of broccoli .  I’M GOING TO HOT GLUE BROCCOLI TO THE OUTSIDE!!!!!  I will need lots and lots of broccoli for this project. 

Thanks Denise!

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime Happy October!

Halloween Preview (and a fail)

Hmmmm, well this post is going to be a bit of grab-bag because what I planned to blog about, my latest Halloween decoration idea ended up straddling the wrong side of that line between:

“how charming, rustic and vintage!”


“something went wrong didn’t it?”

(and also, in all honesty, it involved image transfer and the other possible phrase that might be uttered upon seeing it would be: “isn’t’ that upside down?”)


So, it’s back to the drawing board but I have hope!!!

In the meantime, my latest Mod Podge Rocks project is up and ready for review.Simple DIY Candle Holder Tutorial

I’ve continued to play around with my scrap-wood candle holders (although I’m going to run out of scrap wood in a second which will change the playing field).

This one was fun to put together and kind of embarrassingly easy.

As I worked on it it seemed to me that the idea could be adapted to a lot of different themes and styles.Simple Scrap Wood Candle Holder

You could go with Christmas paper, it could match wedding colors and be used on a reception table.  It could be made larger, or longer or taller – really the scrap wood sky is the limit!

If you’re intrigued please head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for all the details on the project.

I do have some Halloween stuff to share as I managed to get a few, new Halloween themed items on Etsy.

At the first of my two recent Halloween shows folks really liked the Horror Novel Wine Charms Classic Horror Novel Halloween Drink Tag set by Cheltenham Road on Etsybut a few of them wanted those images as coasters.

So, after a bit of struggle (I wanted to add a Sleepy Hollow graphic and it took forever to design) I put together a set that I’m happy with.Horror Novel Book Cover Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

I really had fun working on these designs as I tried to boild down each novel to one simple, evocative graphicHorror Novel Coaster Set Jekyll and Hyde by Cheltenham Road

And finally  you may remember my Halloween Subway Sign from years back.  I’ve done a minor update incorporating some of the ideas suggested by customersClassic Halloween Subway Art Wood Sign by Cheltenham Road

And, also, while playing around came up with a variation (I may have been drinking at the time) on the layout that folks seemed to like.Vintage Style Subway Art Halloween Wood Sign by Cheltenham Road

OK, it’s back to work on my failed project and a couple of Plaid Ambassador crafts that I’ve been itching to get to.  Happy (early) Halloween to all!

Easy Father’s Day Wall Art Tutorial

My dad is the best.

However he’s a bit hard to shop for for Father’s Day and I always get sorta stuck for unique gift ideas (the man needs another book like I need to bump my head on something)

But this year,  I had two  ideas!  TWO!!!!!

The only problem was that I had to make them both and being me (oh-so-very-me) I left it until just a bit late to get going.

Happily, my first idea came together so fast, so easily and so inexpensively that  I thought it might be useful for others and so I made it into my latest Mod Podge Rocks tutorial.   Father's Day Gift Idea

A simple scan of an old baseball ticket

An oversize Engineering print from StaplesEasy DIY Father's Day Wall Art Tutorial

And BOOM! A super-fast, totally customize-able piece of potential Father’s Day Wall Art!DIY Fathers Day Wall Art

I think it’s……..JUST THE TICKET!!!!!


(there’s actually a worse one of those puns on the MPR post)

If you’re keen to make your own head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for all the details.

Oh! and if you’re local don’t forget to visit me at this weekend’s Long Beach Patchwork show (click on the pic for all the details)!Patchwork Long Beach Craft Show

Post-Jackalope and a Mini Tray Makeover Tutorial

The Jackalope show was awesome!   Beautiful weather, great crowds and lots of sales – you couldn’t ask for better.  And thank you all for your good wishes and positive thoughts – they totally paid off.

Jenni requested a closer look at the ashtrays (seriously people?!) terra-cotta coasters I had in the booth.  I snapped a quick  pic Sunday morning and I was glad I did because by Sunday evening they were gone.Ceramic Coasters by Cheltenham RoadI’m really digging these.  They open up a whole new world of possibilities.  For this round I supplemented the soda pop ones I shared previously some of my much loved vintage dairy labels and, going for the man-cave crowd, vintage oil can graphics (question: can man caves have coasters?  Seems kind of antithetical).

In my crazy lead-up-to-Jackalope week I also had a major thrift store score.  Rummaging around I found, in their manufacturer’s package, these nesting traysDIY Wood Tray Makeover by Cheltenham RoadThe cost?  $4.50!

I had been toying around with a tray idea for a few weeks and this seemed perfect.  I had planned to do a full-on tutorial but, um, I sold it before I could get the beauty shot.  So, herewith is a mini version.

I first, sanded, primed and painted one of the smaller trays.

I cut some thin wood (pressboard really) down into slats that were wide enough to fill the bottom of the tray but just leave little space between each strip.  I also printed out an enlarged version of one of my favorite vintage Los Angeles postcards and cut it into strips.wooden tray tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI attached the graphics to the pressboard using mod podge and painted the bottom of the tray black.thrift store tray makeoverAfter gluing the strips in place and sealing them with another coat of Mod Podge I poured in a good layer of Envirotex Lite.Thirft store tray makeover by Cheltenham RoadI used a couple of the other trays in the group as well – using my other vintage postcard collage but I have a couple left and I think I want to make more like this.

Also, during my crazy week, I finished up my latest Mod Podge Rocks project.  It’s a very easy to make coat rack that uses plaques from Michaels, Mod Podge Transfer Medium  and some of my favorite vintage luggage tag graphics.Easy Coat Rack Tutorial by Cheltenham Road(side note: if you want to see a super cool, totally charming coat rack visit my friend Julie’s blog Follow Your Heart Woodworking and check out her latest work.  I think they are awesome!)

In slightly more unsettling news….whatever critter that had died in the Blair Witch room is, um, gone.  On Monday when I steeled myself to open the garage door there was nothing, no smell, nuthin’.  I feel like I’m in a Hitchcock film.  “I SWEAR the body was here a second ago!” * I’ve now pulled everything out and haven’t found a thing.  And while I guess that’s good it’s also a bit creepy.

So, Jackalope went well!  Dead Animal Disappeared!  Garage is now clean and organized (almost)!  What is there to complain about?  Well, I’m afraid I have to reset the board:0 DAYS

stupid, low, door frame……


*does this scenario make me Cary Grant?! I’m totally down with that then!


My Own Hollywood Backlot in the Backyard

I’ve been ramping up the factory this past week getting prepped for two, big, new shows.

First up is Rendezvous MarketRendezvous Market Santa Monica

This is a new one (for me and them – first time!) and I’m looking forward to it.

After that comes the Jakalope Festival in lovely Pasadena.3f6dde38-e134-4175-903d-746c5a8520f8

I’ve heard great things about this show and Pasadena is one of my favorite places.

So, of course, this means that my life of late (and going forward) is all about building up inventory so there are….

coasters  coasters everywhereCoasters Coasters Everywhere

Not my favorite look for the dining room but such is life.

In the meantime (because endlessly detailing the fact that I’m making coasters somehow does not make for compelling blog reading) I wanted to share photo set-up that I put together.

So photography is…not my favorite aspect of all of this.  I’m just not very good at it.

I bought a fancy new camera a while ago and a tome of an instruction book that just sits here on my desk….mocking me.

I mean, I’m improving but it’s all a bit beyond me – so many buttons!!!! So many math-like things to adjust!  So many considerations about where the sun is at that particular moment.

Anyway, I was trying to get a picture of that little chair I did for my last Mod Podge Rocks projectIkea chair makeover by Cheltenham Road but I was having a terrible time.

I couldn’t find a good spot in the house, I couldn’t get a good angle on it.  But I was so pleased with the project and I wanted a good shot.

I decided to go outside but then all I got were horrible shadows and more frustration until I noticed a spot up against the back of the house  that was shaded and I had


I wanted to make the chair look like it was sitting in a room so I grabbed one of my work tables, some old boards I had that were painted white and a chunk of beadboard leftover from a show display.

I pushed the table up against the back of my house to hold up the beadboard and just laid the wood pieces down like a floor.

And then got fancy adding another piece of wood as a “baseboard” and clamped another across the top as a “chair rail”.

Easy Photo Shoot set up

Once you crop it down to “edit” out the edges it looks sorta like an actual room.Easy chair makeover idea by Cheltenham Road

It’s a bit bright and still a little flat but so much better than what I was getting and so easy to set up.

I even could swap out the back wall by just using any other random piece of board that was large enough

How about white!DSC_4526

Perhaps blue!Decoupage Kids Chair with bok covers by Cheltenham RoadI settled on green.  I always choose green (Kermit is my spirit animal).

I’m so happy because this could be just the ticket for solving a lot of my photo-taking-problems going forward (there is kind of a list).

I just need to create some fake-but-interesting walls to hang HOME signs and Subway signs on!

It’s like my own little Hollywood backlot!

OK, gotta go make more coasters.

And HOME signs

And Magnets

And Knobs

And Candle Blocks

And Subway Signs

And Patent Signs

And coasters

Or perhaps a nap……..

Life is all about options.



Children’s Chair Makeover Tutorial and a huge THANK YOU!

First of all a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who went out and pinned (and favorited which was very kind as well) stuff from Etsy.

Etsy is going through a bunch of behind-the-scenes changes and it’s sort of messing with my views on there but I just have to show you something.

These were my stats for Saturday – which were crazy low:CR Stats March 19

And these were my shop stats after you all got to work!CR Stats March 20And the ripple has continued so, truly, THANK YOU!

In other news.

My hinted at furniture project for Mod Podge Rocks is up and ready for review.Ikea chair makeover by Cheltenham Road

So, some background.

I come from a family of readers.

My grandfather had a full-fledged library in his basement complete with a card catalogue.

As a kid our pre-dinner ritual was to gather around the table and read a book aloud (this devolved eventually into just snacking and drinking martinis* which is an equally valuable use of time).

Some of my fondest memories are of my dad reading to me at bedtime and I still have the abridged Classic Tales books he used. (Of course, being a petulant and not particularly bright child, when I was mad at him I would REFUSE TO ALLOW HIM TO READ TO ME! and I’m sure he was like, “son, you’re an idiot. Go to bed”)

I was also one of those children whose mom had to say “I’m taking your book away and you are going outdoors!” on a semi-regular basis.

Anyway.  Books.  Good!

So, when I saw this little chair at the thrift store I had one of those moments when you know EXACTLY what you’re going to do and you take it home and do EXACTLY what you had in mind.Child Chair Makeover with Mod Podge Ikea Hack Tutorial

I love those moments.

Rare as they are……

As a bonus it was crazy easychair makeover tutorial by Cheltenham Road

and didn’t take very long – most of the time was spent waiting for things to dry.Easy chair makeover idea by Cheltenham Road

I hope you enjoy the full tutorial and thanks so much again for all the support!

*just to be clear I was not allowed to drink martinis as a child.  HOWEVER, as a child I thought I loved olives.  But once, when offered one outside my loving home, I didn’t like it.  So, in actuality, I didn’t love olives….I loved gin – namely the gin-soaked olives I would beg from my parents.  This realization has helped explain a lot.

Wine Bottle Coaster from PVC Cap Tutorial

Wine Bottle Coaster Tutorial Cheltenham RoadOne of the things I admire most about my mom and my sisters is their ability to look at something mundane and see all the possibilities for what that thing could be.

My sister’s annual luncheon is a great example and my mom was always doing crazy inventive things for parties or school projects.

I don’t have quite the same gift – or at least I have it on a much more basic level.  Whereas I tend more toward the “Eureka!  that round thing could be a different round thing!”  they see a round thing and think “three of those round things could be serving platter shaped like a Christmas tree!” So, although I’m not quite in their league I do enjoy prowling around the aisle of Home Depot playing the “what else could that be?” game.

My latest Mod Podge Rocks project comes from the plumbing section of Home Depot and I thought it might be good for upcoming spring/summer parties.PVC Cap becomes a Wine Bottle Coaster Tutorial Cheltenham Road

And while I’m not really under the illusion that anyone really NEEDS wine bottle coasters I thought they might be fun to have on a table. The project is so inexpensive and so simple you could do one just to coordinate with a specific event and not have blown the budget.

I just combined a basic plumbing part ($1.80), some paper and cork to make a simple, decorative one.Cheap DIY Wine Bottle Coaster Tutorial

Head on over to Mod Podge Rocks if this might be up your alley.

It also occurred to me as I made this that you could do the same thing to make cool little dishes to hold keys, coins etc.

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