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Spooky Halloween Lantern

Spooky Halloween Lantern

I really shouldn’t be allowed to go to Michaels with a great coupon but no plan.

So, having said that, let’s all agree to pretend that this project is EXACTLY the project I had in mind when I started and that everything went swimmingly.

Are we all on board?

Great!

Welcome to a tutorial about exactly the thing I planned to make.

It all started when I saw some lanterns at a ridiculously low price and scooped them up (knowing, as you’ll recall,  EXACTLY what I was going to do with them!).  I also grabbed a bag-o-skulls (fun to say) at a great discount.  After getting everything home I gathered some other supplies got to work.SUPPLIES

  • Lantern
  • Skulls
  • Tealights (the kind that change color – available at Michaels)
  • Painters tape
  • (because this is EXACTLY the project I had in mind I ended up using a bunch of different paints and other supplies after I took that picture)

  • Folk Art Coastal Creations
  • Waverly Super Premium Craft paint
  • Flat black spray paint
  • Gold paint
  • Texture Paint
  • Dowels cut to length
  • Velcro tape

All my paints – with the exception of the black Spray Paint and Frosted Glass Paint – were supplied to me by Plaid as part of their Ambassador program (although I sort of fear I’m not using things the way they had in mind – sorry!)

The lanterns were a great shape but not very Halloweeny.

After removing the glass panes and hardware I painted the interior black.

On the exterior I wanted a decrepit, textured look so I grabbed my new favorite paint – Folk Art Coastal Creations – and dabbed on some white

After letting it dry I went back in with Waverly Black and darkened things up by dabbing and rubbing it into the textured white paint until I got the look I wanted.

I then worked on the metal tops, first painting them with Folk Art Brushed Antique Gold.

And then going back in with Folk Art Painted Finishes Rust to, again, add texture and decay.

Then it was onto the skulls.

Being me, and somewhat overly dedicated to things lighting up, I wanted them to…..light up!

The skulls are hollow but had a hole in the bottom that was just big enough to insert a tealight.  However, the white tealight base looked like exactly like what it was and the light tended to shine through the white plastic.  So after taping off the “candle” part

I gave them a quick coat of flat black spray paint.  

This helped focus the light and also made the candle base “disappear”.

For a bit more “glow” I then drilled out the eye holes.

(PLEASE NOTE:  if you do this you would be wise to brace the skull in some way rather than just holding it with your hand…..or so I’m told…. I mean it’s not like I had a bad experience with the drill slipping….why would you think that?! who told you that?!  Also, unlike this picture implies, you do not want to drill a hole in the eye socket with the tealight already inserted… that would be stupid and neither I nor any of you are stupid.)

I created different levels for the skull by just painting out some random bits of dowel and, because I wanted them to be stable but still be able to access the on/off switch on the lights,  attaching the tealight/skull to the dowel using some velcro tape.

I then did a quick, light coat of Frosted Glass spray on the glass panels  – just to dirty them up a bit really – and re-assembled the lanterns.

After some careful arranging I was done!  Spooky, light up skulls

As I mentioned some of the tealights change color so still pictures don’t quite capture the shifting, glowing effect.

I think they’d make a fun centerpiece 

or perhaps some mantle decor.

OK, I’m ready for my next project.  And I know EXACTLY what I’m going to do!!!!  Trust me!

 

 

 

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Easy Halloween Garland

The other day I was wandering around at Michaels enjoying perusing all the Halloween stuff* and lookng for inspiration.

I did come across this – which made me think that perhaps someone needed a refresher course on how, exactly “clearance” is supposed to work…**

and I was about to leave when I stumbled upon these:

“Interesting!”  I thought.

“What would you do with them?”  I wondered.

“Oh!  They light up!” I realized

“I MUST HAVE THEM!!!!!”  I decided.

In truth, I was partially motivated to purchase them because they were 30% off and I had 20%-off the-entire-purchase coupon burning a hole in my pocket.

…..of course they were only $2.99 to begin with so I may not be vacationing on my savings but it still felt like I’d successfully played the system!

So, since I had no plan I must apologize for the fact that this isn’t one of those projects that has a nice, pretty, organized picture of “all the stuff you need.” I just kind of made it up as I went along.

But here is what I ended up using:

  • Light Up Coffins (why not?!)
  • Waverly Craft Paint and Brushes
  • Velum Paper
  • E600 glue
  • Eye screws
  • Black spray paint
  • Ribbon

I am lucky to have a lot of paint on hand courtesy of the good folks at the Plaid Ambassador Program and for this project I used their Waverly Super Premium Line of paint and brushes.

(OK, I try not to be too “salesy” but I really do love this paint and these brushes.  The paint comes in great colors, goes on beautifully in one coat and the various brushes are the perfect size for a lot of different projects)

After removing the hardware I painted the lids and boxes in alternating colors.

So far so good.

I decided that, while I loved the “lights up” aspect, you could actually see the bulbs and it didn’t look quite right to me.

So I grabbed some Velum paper which would add a frosty look and diffuse the light.I traced the inside of the lid

cut it out and stuck it in place with just a little spot of E6000.

I had decided at this point that they would make a cool garland and, after painting some eye-hole screws black and screwing them into the top I hung the whole set on a black ribbon.

They look just fine as is but they pop quite a bit you light them up (it’s hard to get a picture partly because the lights themselves flash and change colors and one always seems to be cycling off while the others are cycling on)

Ah! there we go!

So this is the first of what I hope are several Halloween themed ideas I’ve had lately so stay tuned.

*I can’t help on occasion, when perusing the shelves  at Michaels, picturing the Chinese factory workers looking at all  this stuff that they know is headed to America and thinking “those people are very weird.”

** also, sorry, am I wrong that when I think of “clearance” prices a 50 cent savings (regardless of how you’ve filled out the price sticker) isn’t exactly what I have in mind?

 

Galvanized Metal Tray Makeover and Jet Lag

I’ve come (back) from the Land Down Under!

It was a great trip.  I saw amazing sites, drank a lot of beer, watched a lot of tennis and truly enjoyed my first full-fledged vacation in years.

Australia maintained its reputation for vicious insect attacks (I stepped on a bee at the beach).  Fortunately the area is named “Manly Beach” and my response to was, I assure you, very Manly.

Sometimes men emit high pitched screams.  We can do that.  Don’t judge.

I also discovered that I no longer tan.

I used to.  I used to turn a nice olive color but now I just become bright red and then, overnight,  it fades back to my natural color, Pasty Accountant White (part of Sherwin Williams new spring color collection).

Disappointing.

I flew back on Friday and discovered Michaels Craft Store was celebrating my return with one of their super-rare 60% off coupons (thoughtful!)  so I dragged my severely jet-lagged self to the store.

I’d intended to just stock up on a supply item but stumbled across this metal tray michaels-tray-makeover

And for 60% the cost came down to $10 and my, admittedly somewhat addled, mind saw possibilities!

It’s a cool tray but, being  me , I thought it could use some graphic enhancement and had been curious to see if the polycrylic technique I’d tried with my yardstick tray  and Halloween candle holder would work on metal.

Back home I got right to work (…after accidentally falling asleep for approximately two days…..)!

I pulled some bicycle graphics from the ever-reliable Graphics Fairy (her blog is also the source for the polycrylic transfer method)graphic-fairy-bicycle-imagegraphics-fairy-bicycle-ad

and did a little mixing and matching in Photoshop to get the look I wanted.crescent-bicycle-tray-master-2017

Of course, as always, the tray was larger than my printing capabilities so, after reversing the graphic, I printed it out in three sections on my laser printer (I just use plain old Staples brand legal sized paper for this).diy-metal-tray

The transfer method is the same as for the signs.

I laid down a nice layer of polycrylic on the bottom of the trayMetal Tray Makeover with Image Transfer

I laid the pieces in place, smoothed them down with a brayer, wiped away any excess polycrilic and…..went back to bed.

After letting it dry overnight I began to rub away the paper with a wet cloth until the image was revealed.diy-michaels-crafts-tray-transformation

It worked great!  galvanized-tray-makeover-project-by-cheltenham-roadIt actually worked a little too great and I had to go back in and rub really hard to remove some of the image to get the distressed look I wanted.image-transfer-on-metal-tray-from-michaels-crafts

I think this opens up a lot of fun possibilities.  My image is black and white but I’m quite sure colors would work just as well.

And now I must go back to factory mode for a short while.  200 coasters due at a store and my sister Sally arrives on Thursday for a visit!

Easy to Make Soda Pop Coasters with Plant Saucers

Easy DIY Coaster IdeaAs you’ve witnessed I’ve been having a good time for the last few weeks playing around with new ideas.

My goal, of course, is to come up with new products. And, hopefully, new products that don’t require me to fabricate

Every. Single. Part

Don’t get me wrong – power tools are awesome. I truly enjoy wood working, sanding and painting but sometimes a guy wants to do something a bit less…..involved.

Also, I’ve been wanting to make round coasters.

Actually, when I first started out I made round ones

The sold well but they were tough to make and wasted a fair amount of wood.Vintage Dairy Label CoastersBut I think I’ve found a work around that has possibilities

So, after last week’s earth shattering reveal that my super clever super secret tool was water this week I ask you to bear with me as I proffer the amazing idea to use terra cotta plant saucers as coaster bases.

I KNOW!!!!!

Pick your jaw up off the floor people ’cause it’s just gonna get crazier from here as I use Mod Podge and Envirotex!!!!!

(remember my goal is to come up with new ideas but not reinvent the wheel)

OK, so I’m not the first person to come up with this (and I haven’t Googled it for fear of confronting my lack of uniqueness) but it turned out to be fun, insanely easy and, I think filled with possibilities.

I grabbed some saucers from Micheals and some gloss white spray paint.Easy DIY Coasters Tutorial(Note: I first did this with bases from Lowes but apparently those are much more porous. They sucked up paint like a vacuum. The ones from Michaels worked beautifully and cost the same).

After a good coating with the paint and some drying time I moved onto the graphics.

I figured everyone here is probably crazy super tired of me and dairy labels (I could hear you all muttering “yes, David, we get it. They’re cool. Buy a cow and move on with your life”) so I thought I’d go with something similar but different (it’s a theme!!)

I had purchased soda pop bottle top graphics from Digital Alice on Etsy a while ago (to use on the knob project) and thought they’d be fun as coasters.

After resizing the graphics I mod Podged them into place and when they were dry sealed them with another good coat of Mod Podge.Easy to make coasters by Cheltenham RoadOnce dry I added some Envirotex and I had myself some fun, round coasters!Soda Pop Label Coasters by Cheltenham RoadI’m thinking I could use these graphics or make up a few of my own.Simple DIY drink coasters

I was also contemplating ones that look like old postage marks.

Record labels would also work!

And, of course, they don’t have to be coasters. Maybe little dishes for keys and such.

Or since these come in all sizes maybe big dishes?

Lots of possibilities I think.  And I didn’t have to sand anything!

Mini Dresser Vintage Camera Project

Vintage Camera Bureau by Cheltenham RoadRecently a blogger, describing a project that was giving her some difficulty, used the phrase “I enjoy a good challenge.”

That sounded good – character building even – encountering problems and through patience and skill rising above them.

And I suddenly realized something.

I do not, in fact, “enjoy a good challenge.”

No, I prefer to get an idea, know exactly how to do it, execute it quickly and then sit back, eat ice cream and bask in my own cleverness.

(The fact that this never happens is completely beside the point.  It also does not stop me from eating ice cream.)

So, a while ago my sister sent me a picture of a dresser made up to look like an old camera and I was intrigued.

I know what you’re thinking, “old cameras?! David! We never saw this coming! Who knew you liked old cameras?! You have so many layers! You’re just an endlessly mysterious onion of a person”

Any you are correct but you really might have had a just few hints…Vintage Camera CollectionRecycle Pallet Wood Display Shelf Cheltenham Road TutorialVintage Camera Coaster Setvintage camera print gallery wal Cheltenham Roadl

Anyway, the creator of the awesome bureau is very talented (you really should check out her blog) and quite an artist.  She hand-painted the camera graphic which is super cool.

But sounds kinda challenging.

So I had to figure out the easy, cheaty way to make my own version.

I wasn’t totally sure my plan would work so I was pretty happy when I found that Michaels sells little, tiny “starter bureaus.”  Perfect!

I grabbed a vintage camera and got to work.Vintage Camera Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadI snapped a high resolution picture of my camera, resized it to the dimensions of the bureau and printed it out.

I then I cut the little knobs off the bureau.

(I also then lost the little knobs and later had to dig through the trash to find them.  Challenging!)

The only problem was that the drawers had spacers between them and if i just painted them black it would break up the camera graphic too much. So I tried it this way:

I removed the drawers, ran a bead of Mod Podge around all the edges and adhered the photo in place.Michaels mini-burea made into a vintage cameraOnce it had really dried I carefully ran my knife around all the openings so that I had sections that were the size of the drawers. DIY Make a Jewelry Box look like a vintage cameraThen I mod podged those sections into place on the drawer fronts and trimmed away any excess.

Once it was dry I sealed it with more Mod Podge.

After recovering the wayward knobs (and feeling my character build in the process) I “painted” them with a sharpie and stuck them on with some E-6000 glue.

I also painted the sides and back of the bureau black and gave it a light sanding for a slightly distressed look.Little vintage dresser camera projectAnd there you have it.  Not too challenging.  My character remains relatively shallow and I feel that ice-cream is within my grasp!

Bonus:  I have a tiny, little dresser that looks like a camera!Michaels Store Craft - Mini Dresser Vintage Camera Project by Cheltenham Road

So, since that worked now the quest is on for a real-sized piece of furniture to work on.  I don’t know that I want an entire dresser (I also don’t need a new dresser) but perhaps I could replace my sofa end tables?  That would look kinda cool I think.

UPDATE:  I’ve been asked if I could include my picture of the Brownie so that others can make this project.  If you right click on the link below it should give you a high resolution PDF of the front of the camera.  Brownie Camera Graphic

 

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