DIY: Painting Pumpkins!

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Howdy!

I actually have a new Halloween/pumpkin craft for you! I am so excited! So I guess I should explain why I didn’t think I’d ever do a craft again and how exactly we got these pumpkins.

My poor nana and I, we really loved doing our crafts, and we got in such a system to do them every September so the posts I’d write of them would go up sometime later that month or early October. They were basically everybody’s favorite thing to read during those two months and I always had a lot of writing them up, while trying to remember what all we did, spills and all! So when she went to the hospital and eventually went to stay at the nursing home, I kind of didn’t want to admit it but I knew my days of doing our Halloween or any crafts weren’t going to happen as much.

I have a creative soul and I’ve been hating the fact that I’ve had to basically shut down those desires and saying that makes me laugh because I hated painting in school. I’ve had these urges to purchase some paints since the end of August because it would be that time of the year where we’d be getting ready and so I’ve been really sad. My mom doesn’t carry the craft bug and you all should know about my dad by now! I also didn’t want to ask Blondie and Brandon because I didn’t know if they really wanted to do anything like that or had the time to do it. So I’m just kind of left to do nothing and it really sucks!

And then one evening my mom came into my bedroom, I had thought she had went to bed about a half hour before so it freaked me out at first. She came in to tell me that we’ll have to get me some paints because dad found some pumpkins out in the field and I was instantly happy! He literally brought home like seven of these large pumpkins and they sat on our porch for like a week or so, and then one morning my mom came in again and she said that Blondie and Brandon were coming over to paint the pumpkins. According to mom, it wasn’t even Blondie’s idea, it was Brandon’s! Poor guy had to work that day but he still wanted to paint pumpkins afterwards!

What you will need for this:

  • Pumpkins
  • Old newspapers
  • Paper plates
  • Toilet Paper Roll
  • Water Bowl
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • aaand some ideas ahead of time!

We started out doing this outside because that would have been a smart choice or so we thought! I have to say, it wasn’t too bad sitting outside on the porch but the bugs were driving us nuts throughout the time we were out there. Poor Blondie was covered in mosquito bites, mostly on her right side – she had a total of 12 bites!

Now when I do this with my nana I am usually sitting in my wheelchair and use a chair or box to prop the pumpkin up to a certain level so I can reach it on all sides. Well, I didn’t have any of those for this so mom just had Brandon put me on the ground and I will admit it had been a while since I did that because it is so difficult to get me back up since I am so low. However, it did make things a lot easier for me but I definitely forgot about my legs and feet falling asleep every ten minutes! So I had some issues with gripping my brushes and figuring out how to sit again.

If anybody noticed the last bullet, the three of us were having a tough time figuring out ideas to paint our pumpkins. The only idea that I knew I really wanted to do was a minion. I am obsessed with these characters and yet, I have not seen them on a movie! I like to think of them of little Twinkies! So I had a rough idea on how to make one, I also had references considering I was still in my pajama bottoms with them on it. This time, I knew I had them on and didn’t do what I did with Brandon’s Christmas gift bag last year! Over the years of doing these crafts, I’ve learned to relax and not be such a perfectionist while working on these different characters. Poor Blondie hasn’t mastered that and was really giving herself a tough time with her sugar skull. I think it looked awesome but of course she was growing to hate it as she was finishing it. I’m glad I’m no longer like that anymore!

It had actually become a sort of game for both Blondie and Brandon because they definitely didn’t have any ideas to do for their pumpkins so they went on Pinterest and that’s where Blondie found hers. I still don’t know if Brandon used Pinterest but we were having the most difficult time guessing what his could be. He was not telling anyone and it even started to bother dad after he got up and looked at all three of us and our big mess! He finally had to tell us or maybe Blondie actually guessed it? I don’t remember how it came about, but I did catch a glimpse of it on his phone when he went inside for something but I will admit I had no idea what the hell he was making, all he said was it was a DC character and it wasn’t The Flash. Dad kept saying it was either Ant-Man or Iron Man, but we were all stumped. It is Red Hood, all he gave us as a hint was that he was once a Robin.

After we had finished our first pumpkins, we were thinking of stopping altogether but Brandon wanted to continue. He cracks me up sometimes! So dad made the suggestion of moving our stuff into the kitchen. So we packed up everything and moved into the center of our kitchen, the cats were confused because we were at the door but not paying attention to them. They actually never came up to the front porch to investigate, which was probably good or else some would have ended up with different colored paws and we would have little paw prints up and down the porch! As cute that would have been, they wouldn’t let us clean their little toes!

Anyways, we got started on our second batch of pumpkins. What was different for me in this round was that I had two ideas but only memories of what they looked like on Pinterest. I didn’t make any real reference like I had for my minions, so I just had to wing it and this was where I like not being a perfectionist. I decided to do a Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas and I have to say, I did a fairly good job on it. I was very proud! I also put the word “Boo” on the back of it in a baby blue because I kept seeing it in the corner of my eye and I thought, what the hell? This one will hopefully go to my Aunt Cindy soon, if we don’t get any more rain beforehand!

Blondie made a very cute Nemo from Finding Nemo and it is genuinely the cutest thing, I kind of like it more than her sugar skull and you guys know how much I like my skulls! Poor Brandon though, he tried doing the Greek lettering of his fraternity but couldn’t get it to turn out right so he ended up covering it up with an old school American flag. You have to give the boy some props for trying it out though!

After a good two or three hours in two different spots, we were finally done! Well, technically there’s still one naked pumpkin left but it’s sort of big so nobody may paint him. Blondie and Brandon took pictures with their pumpkins and when she came back inside with my minion to take mine, I realized I forgot to paint a mouth on my minion so Brandon being a good boy, he took two brushes of black and white and made him a cute little mouth for me!

What are some of your favorite ways to decorate a pumpkin? Do you carve it, paint, or use sharpies? 

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DIY: Easter Wreath!

Howdy!

The first couple of weeks of March were pretty interesting! My nana and I decided to get a head start on our DIY projects! We hardly ever do anything for Easter, which I’ve always thought was interesting because people normally do the eggs, but why is that the only thing they do for Easter?

Technically, she didn’t say anything about doing any big Easter crafts! The only thing she wanted to do was a holiday tree, which I’ll explain in another post soon! We worked on this project throughout the beginning of March. We have NEVER done a wreath before! This wreath was our trail and error. My nana wants one for herself and we’re waiting to do this one with my Aunt Laurie maybe! So this is actually for my mom at her workplace! Thankfully she didn’t mind if the whole thing looked rustic!

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What you will need for this:

  • Sheet of Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Cake Tin
  • Xacto Knife or Scissors
  • Plastic Eggs
  • Fake Grass
  • Glue

Like I said above, this was our trail and error wreath, so I’m going to tell you a better way of doing it than how we did it. We realized a couple of times halfway that we should have done a certain part first. I am also including the original link I found on Pinterest of the craft, in case you wanted a better source!

Okay, so the first thing we did was take a 9″ cake tin on top of a fairly medium sheet of cardboard that my nana surprisingly still had after all these months! I used the cake tin as a guide and it’s better to get the middle one traced and cut as well! This was one of our first mistakes! Mostly because we were rushing and decided to get the first row of eggs on the actual circle before I had to leave for the day! Anyways, what we used was a 6″ snow globe (I’m a resourceful person – use what you got!) to trace around and then nana cut out the middle hole with a xacto knife! The first one she just used scissors!

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As you will see in the next batch of pictures, we did have to move our circle further into the middle after we glued the first row of eggs to the edge, but in general it was already like that even without having the eggs on there!

On the original directions, the person uses a hot glue gun, well we decided to go with regular glue which was a semi bad and good idea, only because we’ve had to reglue like five or six eggs and luckily it’s mostly the same eggs that have been loose on us! This is where we tried to do what the original link tells you do next and place the eggs close to the edge because you need room to put the second batch of eggs! However, since the cake tins weren’t that big we couldn’t glue the eggs how they were supposed to, so nana thought we put them on their sides like they’re forming a train! And that’s how we figured out that problem!

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We actually did all of this in three days, so they had multiple days to dry and were left alone unless a couple were loose and then nana put extra glue underneath them!

When we finally got to adding the fake grass throughout the empty spaces. I was really worried we weren’t going to be able to put much on or shall I say, I didn’t think I’d be able to put my big freaking toes in some of these teeny areas! Somehow I was wrong again but I did have nana do most because towards the end as I was getting more and more frustrated! Fake grass likes to stick to you when you’re sitting directly underneath a vent! Anyways, we finally found a way to stuff a small ball of it into the crevices and use a pen or colored pencil to shove it into the areas it all worked out pretty good after that!

Once we got as much “green” grass we could get on it, my mom put in a request to add more into the areas I couldn’t get into. So we had some yellow grass here and there to make her happy! Next time we’re going to actually glue on the glass first before even do the eggs to see if that is better! We never got to doing the back, so she would be able to hang it up somewhere. She says it is now on top of her work’s activity center’s door!

After a couple of days, my mom actually had a co-worker asking if we could make her one for her door as “it was bare” so essentially my nana and I got our very first order! We are still getting the last of the details done with it, but yeah! It seemed like a cool way to end out this post!

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The next DIY project we’re doing is actually for me! There are some similarities between the two, but you’ll have to wait to find out! If you’re following my blog’s Facebook page I will share sneak peeks so keep an eye out there too!

Hope you all have enjoyed this post!

Are you doing any Easter crafts this year? 

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DIY: Christmas Gift Bags!

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Howdy!

My nana and I decided to do our annual goody bags like we did last year, however We’ve added quite a bit of homemade things to the bags! First is our addition of a lone Holly ornament that we ultimately decided to include inside the baggies! I also wanted to do something else besides our normal Christmas cookies we do every year, so I thought about doing a chocolate bark. We made two different kinds of it and I will be publishing that post once January comes along! I figured if I included it into this post, nobody would want to read the post in general. I hope you understand!

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What you will need for this:

  • Brown paper bags
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Wax paper
  • Glitter glue (optional)
  • Tags (optional)

Now I have to say this before we start, my nana and I separated our family in two stacks. She decorated a number of bags and I picked out the ones I wanted to do. She went the simple route while I wanted to paint, of course! We also got each other! We also put regular tags on the bottom of each baggy so we could keep track of who we were decorating for and we just glued them with a regular glue stick, well I did!

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I had a total of 9 people I had to decorate bags for and I only had two designs that I was already sort of comfortable with so everybody essentially got the same thing but I did try to mix up the colors a bit on each one, so nobody would get jealous! I went with a standard Christmas tree and a snowman. I wanted to make it as easy on me as possible!

How I made the Christmas trees:

Something that my nana used while she was busy doing hers was she placed a sheet of wax paper inside the bags so the paint or glue doesn’t seep through to the other side and basically stain or stick together! After I completed each baggy, I removed the folded sheet and placed it inside the next one because I didn’t want to waste any more sheets at the rate I was moving!

Do you remember when we made those banners and I said I made circles in the middle of the paper plates so we would know when to stop painting? Well, I used this method for this project too! It seems to do me well to start out like this, so I grabbed a normal pencil that my nana had in the kitchen and started drawing a simple triangle and rectangle at the bottom the tree for the stump!

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I picked the darkest green I could find in our storage bin and I tried to stay inside the lines of the shapes and I used a medium size brush so it didn’t go too far out of the drawing and then after I was finished with the green (which was the perfect shade!) I switched brushes and color to a brown and it was called “nutmeg brown” but I was just happy that when I placed the first stroke of paint that it showed up–leave it to me to forget about the whole brown paper bag part!

When we went out for Black Friday, my Aunt Laurie found these specialty glue sticks full of glitter in different colors. She got two brands and they each had a tip at the end, so it was easy for me to squeeze the container and make the designs from there. For this bag, I used the gold for tinsel and tried to make an even line across and then I used both silver and red as the ornaments; this took a bit to master as I like to basically hold everything to a tilt and I noticed everytime I would do this the glue would drag and no longer look like a ball so it wasn’t until I straightened it up that it would just drip down nice and pretty without dragging along. Everyone is a beginner at something!

After each step and bag I finished, I would place the bags in front of her screen door because I thought the cold air would dry the paint and glue a lot faster than waiting an hour for each one. This actually worked a lot better than I thought it would, even my nana was surprised!

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How I made the Snowmen:

When I decided to make the snowmen, I sort of thought these would be easier to work on but that was not the case! It was fun, don’t get me wrong but I realized that circles were not the easiest to paint with a pair of frozen toes!

I did the same thing with the Christmas trees, I drew three circles on top of each other, starting with the smallest and working my way down. The middle sort of turned into an oval while I was both drawing and painting it because the center of the bag wasn’t as flat as I’d like it to be, but it was okay. When I started coating the white on it, I started to realize it sort of looked like a fancy dollop of whipped cream and this was my Uncle David’s bag and while we had pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, he gave himself a generous helping of whipped cream on top that you didn’t even see the pumpkin pie anymore!

Once the white paint was dried, I picked the red glitter glue again but this time used the green as the dots on his belly. I squeezed the container of red glitter across its little neck and made a swoop at the side to act like wind had blown it that way! I get really creative sometimes! When I started doing the dots, I realized I made its body too small so the last one is a little lower than I originally wanted it to be! As far as decorating its face, I had to use black paint because we didn’t have any glittery black which was fine, I don’t think my uncle would like that much glitter on his bag!

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How I made the Batman:

I had written on Brandon’s tag “Batman” because that’s what I tend to call him, but I went one step further when I thought about painting a Batman/Snowman on his bag. It started out innocently and then it somehow turned into a disaster!

I did the same thing I had done with the Snowman bags, I originally was going to give him a Snowman but I just added the bat ears at the top so I would remember to paint in that area too! This was actually fine, nothing went wrong here it was what happened afterwards when I went to put on its face and body. I could not for the life of me think of how to decorate him or what the bat symbol looked like so I improvised… I made the eyes yellow in arrows looking down and he has an aqua chest. It looks awful! I’m not talking in past tense either because I’m still not a fan of it!

Later on that day, my nana and I had to do some chores in the rest of her house and I had left my jacket on throughout the first half of the visit, even while I was painting because I was still located around her door, so it can get pretty chilly in that area so sometimes I just leave my coat on. When we went into her office, I had her take off my jacket and she started laughing and I couldn’t figure out why she was cracking up until I looked down at my chest and saw what I was wearing. I had my Batman shirt on and then I started laughing at myself because I knew I had it on but I literally forgot about it in that short time span!

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The Batman design wasn’t only the silly thing that happened. While I was working on my cousin Chris’s bag, which I wanted to make completely goofy but I thought I already ruined one bag, I didn’t need to do that again. Anyways, after I had painted the scarf and put on his buttons, I was moving on to his face and I saw this royal blue on the table so I grabbed it and attempted to take off the lid like I had been doing the whole time and I guess I flicked it open too fast or something because the next thing I knew my feet and half of the board we paint on top of was covered in this blue paint. I felt like Harriet in Harriet The Spy just felt disgusted being covered in paint and my nana was in the other room and I hollered for her with “uh, I am in need of your assistance!” I think I made her laugh more that day than I had in the last month or so!

I wanted to end this post with a simple message to everybody out there. Even if you didn’t celebrate Christmas or hang out with your family, I hope you still enjoy the day doing whatever you’re doing, whether if you’re at work or lounging around at home! I hope you have liked this post and are ready for the new year posts coming later this week!

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Now that both are finished, what do you think of the gift bags? Do you think this is something you might do for a birthday or next Christmas?

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DIY: The “America” Pumpkin

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Howdy!

Okay, so I guess I wasn’t done talking about pumpkins this year! In my defense, I was finished because this isn’t my project, it’s my nana’s!

When my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Mike were down last, they took her out and she got a mixture of different size pumpkins and a couple of squashes too! She allowed me to pick out my favorites and I left her all the “perfect” ones while I took home the deformed ones. I didn’t want the squashes so she kept them in her kitchen along with the other tiny pumpkins. A few days later, my parents bought her two orange pumpkins for outside.

If you didn’t read the previous pumpkin DIY post, I had mentioned that while we were busy working on mine we were very tired and our whole set up was different. She had to find another way to decorate her lonesome white pumpkin and surprisingly, paint was not involved with this one!

What you will need for this:

  • Pumpkin
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paintbrush (optional)

I apologize for not taking pictures ahead of time, this was technically a last minute project for her! I also hope I haven’t left out a step!

This was actually pretty simple compared to the melted crayons on the other post, because it basically only involves two things! She used the lines going down the grues of the pumpkin and squeezed the bottle of glitter and let it drip down the sides of it; only using the paintbrush to help guide it if the amount was not enough to go down… sounds so dirty! This is where having a sheet of aluminium foil comes in handy, because it tends to get messy once you get passed this stage!

After covering every inch that she wanted to start off with, she quickly grabbed the blue and white glitter bottles. Since she used a special Elmer’s glue that made the glue red, it also had specks of glitter within it, so she only had to use the white and blue to make it patriotic. Once she was finished with the top and sides, she realized the bottom was too “naked” and decided to cover it with some more glue and sprinkled gold glitter on that area.

I don’t think it would look as good if it was a normal orange pumpkin, the white makes the colors of the glue and glitter stand out! It’s unique! 🙂

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In the United States, we are voting today (well, some of us are!) and I think everybody can agree that we’ve been dreading this day and in an act to make the ease the time and (perhaps the pain) of the election, my nana had created this project to show her pride as American.

We hope you are enjoying all of the DIY posts!

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DIY: Hallow-Sicles!

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Today I am back with my second DIY post for this month! If you haven’t seen last week’s post, it was called “Candy Corn Banner” and you can check out the instructions on how to make your own banner!

This craft, we got started on it the same day we did the banner. Despite the fact that we were both losing energy, we were both positive and very creative that we thought we’d end up finishing both projects in one day! I still think it was accomplishment that we were able to get the first steps completed and the day I came back to her house we finished the rest of it and made a few more characters!

Again, I found this one on Pinterest but unlike the banner where it was just one link, people make crafts with Popsicle sticks all the time so there’s a mass quantities of them all over the site! However, I will include the one that gave me the idea to help you out, but everything was really simple!

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What you will need for this:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper Plates
  • Napkins

Most that we used for these guys my nana already had in her “craft drawer” and yes, she has one of those and it’s glorious! Anyways, in the original link they used only five sticks for the characters but I honestly can’t create a whole face in that amount of room so we upped the number to eleven sticks. We lined the sticks side-by-side to make a little fence.

After we figured that out and counted multiple times to make sure we had the right amount of sticks we got started on getting them to stay together. We used a glittery Elmer’s glue that kept drying up on us everytime we tried to use it. My poor nana had so much trouble that she ended up having to take off the cap and actually paint on the glue on the sticks! Surprisingly, that worked a lot better than we thought it would!

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We ended up stopping on the project to finish the banner, so I can’t exactly tell you how long it took for it to dry completely, but it wasn’t that long! I want to say less than five minutes!

I wanted to really give myself room to be creative considering my nana was the one who had to do the beginning steps. So I decided to draw out the characters on a pieces of paper, I made a vampire, Frankenstein, witch, ghost, etc. I just wanted an outline of what I wanted on these canvases. I had my nana measure out the fences and they came out to be 4×1/2 by 4×1/2 and then I had my dad take those measurements and make me four squares on my ole sketch pad.

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When I went to actually draw anything, everything literally went to hell. I am an artist, but I’ve sort of been in retirement for the last 4 or 5 years and apparently parts of me like the status and when I started to draw out a witch, I basically tore myself down.. It was awful! Anyways, I had to find a new way to go about this so I treated it like I was coloring as that doesn’t bother me as much! And I started coloring a witch, and somehow I made what looks like a cross between a warlock and a Frankenstein monster!

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The next day I went back to my nana’s and added another DIY “experiment” to this project! I went on Pinterest to find a way to make homemade paints and I found one, but I will not deny, it is a pain in the butt because you only get the recipe. There’s nothing about getting the lumps out or how long to let it rest. So that part became the actual “experiment” but it was sort of a success! The day after my dad bought us some new paints so we no longer had to use the homemade paint, which is the reason why I’m not including the recipe in this post!

To finish our pumpkins, we didn’t necessarily know what would be easier for us to do as far as the faces went, so she drew out the eyes and nose on hers but I had to figure out a mouth and I went with the standard buck teeth; she did pretty good with this and I ended up doing the same thing but did my eyes differently. She also wanted to add “hair” onto her pumpkin. She originally was going to glue orange yarn, but we both thought it was too much orange so she used a last bit of black glitter for the hair and now he’s very cute!

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I decided to do two more, well at least get started on two others. After I finished my Jack O’ Lantern, that I’ve named “Jackie” I moved on to my next character! I still wanted to try for a witch so I painted a fence in a limeade green and while I let it dry I painted another fence white. For this fence, I decided to go freehand or in this case, “freefoot” and didn’t make an outline of the face. I made the mouth first and then worked my way up! It looked so cute, I was very proud of myself by the end of it!

I let it dry before I moved onto the next stage, which was doing the iris of the eyes. After that, I realized that I didn’t have enough room for the cap and I made a last minute decision to make it a Frankenstein monster, so I made a small hairline and luckily I had the ends of the sticks on the back showing so I painted those areas in black and lastly I added a lavender pupil so he still looked silly, unlike the scary monster I had pictured into my mind! His name is “Frankie” if you wanted to know!

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We officially finished the craft the next day, but I felt if I added any more onto this post, nobody would want to read it. So that’s why I’ve decided to stop here! If you would like to see any others, go check out my Facebook page! I posted some sneak peeks!

Hope you all have enjoyed these posts! 🙂

What do you think of our fence characters? Who is your favorite?

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snowflake

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