Concrete Leaf Yard Art Tutorial

*Concrete Leaf  Yard Art Tutorial by Heidi @ greendoodle for her win of the Outdoor challenge of season 15*

You will be surprised how quick and fun this project is.  It has a definate wow factor!  Hopefully this tutorial has the information you need, however, feel free to contact me over at greendoodle if you have any questions.

step 1 supplies: plastic sheeting, sand, mortar (we used TradeCraft Premixed Sanded High Strength Mortar TypeS) which is construction grade mortar cement and NOT what you put under your floors).
step 2:  don’t forget gloves!
step 3: lay plastic on ground and mound sand on plastic, cover with plastic
step 4: choose a leaf with deep veins (rhubard is excellent)
step 5: lay leaf on plastic covered sand mound and mold to desired shape
step 6:  keep mounding and patting
step 7:  mix mortar and water to “thick icing consistency”
step 8: mix, mix, mix, mix – and then mix a little more
step 9: begin building a mortar cake at stem, patting air bubbles out
step 10: continue adding mortar to mound letting it flow outward.  Do NOT cover edge of leaf
step 11:  pat, pat, pat, pat air bubbles
step 12: leave it alone for 3 days to cure
step 11 1/2:  (oops)  leave a trademark stamp on the back.  Doodle, write your name…be creative.


step 13: after mortar is sufficiently cured, gently remove leaf


You did it!  Now go place your leaf in your garden and enjoy!

Hand Stamped Seed Sacks {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Jess @ Spool & Spoon for her win of the Kids Can Do challenge of season 15*

I have always been a big fan of Earth Day so I was delighted to create a kid-friendly and planet-friendly project this past week.

To make your own set of hand stamped seed sacks you only need a few supplies: a foam sheet, wood blocks, linen bags, double-sided tape, paint/ink pads, and scissors.

1. Let the kids loose on the foam sheet. Instruct them to draw small blossoms and stems all over:

2. If they are old enough, let the little ones cut them out. If they are not, use a small pair of scissors (or even an xacto knife) to cut them out yourself

3. Gather an assortment of small wooden blocks that  are just the right size for the cut shapes (mine ranged in size from 1 to 2.5″ cubes)

4. Attach a piece of permanent double-sided tape to one side of the cutouts.

5. Take the shape and put the tape side down on the center of a wooden block. Push down on the foam shape to adhere it securely to the block.

6. Repeat steps four and five on all of the remaining foam shapes

7. Before letting the kids go crazy with the stamps, stick a piece of scrap paper inside the sacks to prevent colors from bleeding through.

8. Now it’s time for the kids to go wild. Using thin layers of paint or pigment ink pads, the stamps work either way. I like the mix and match aspect most of all since your little ones have the freedom of expression — they can use a variety of colors and combinations that is only limited by their imagination.

Let the paint dry completely and pack the sacks full of wildflower seeds or whatever plants you adore.

And just think, those stamps can be made into any shape your babes can dream up! Think mix and match monsters, faces, weather patterns, etc. I hope you and your little munchkins have a blast with this simple springtime project.

Butterflies in the Wind {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Amber C @ The Craft Project for her win of the “Scrap”tastic Challenge of season 15*


To create my “Butterflies in the Wind” project you will need:

  • A picture frame with a wide mat and the glass removed (mine was 16″ x 20″)
  • A piece of good watercolour paper
  • A selection of paint chips in a range of colours (grab them from the paint section of a hardware store)
  • Black and white sharpie paint pens
  • Thin wire
  • A strong glue, like E-6000
  • Three sizes of butterfly punches (2″ wide, 1″ wide, 1/4″ wide)
  • A bone folder helps, but isn’t necessary


I started with punching out a wide range of butterflies from paint chips. I wanted the piece to be very 3D so I folded each of the largest size of butterflies in half with the bone folder. To add a bit more visual interest to the piece I added geometric patterns with alternating white and black paint pens to one half of each of the larger butterflies.


I put the watercolour paper and mat into the frame after I pulled the glass out of it. I wanted to extend the piece beyond the rigid boundary of the frame so I twisted a some wire into tight curls and glued them to the back of the frame, with the plan of using these as extra bases for the butterflies.


I then arranged the butterflies in a swirl across the entire piece – working through a range of colours. I set the butterflies in a swirl that started on the wires and went across the piece, touching the paper, mat, and frame throughout the piece. I used E-6000 glue to put secure them in place.


I hope you enjoy making your version as much as I did with this one.


Vintage Jar Lighting {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Heidi @ greendoodle for her win of the Knock-off challenge of season 16*

Wow!  Thanks for the votes.  This project has elements of super frustration (cutting glass and photographing glass) and really easy rewarding elements (like coloring the glass).  If you can get past the bottle cutting phase you are sure to have a really cool D.I.Y. light fixture.


bottle cutter

large bottle/jar (can be purchased here)

food coloring

colored nail polish

Modge Podge

small paint brush

automotive chrome tape

medium base porcelain socket (hardware store)

desired length lamp cord

chrome spray paint (optional)


Step One: Cut

Research bottle cutting on YouTube.  Then research some more.  This is by far the hardest step. I am super cheap frugal, so I only bought a glass cutter and my husband rigged up a bottle cutting device.  His tool worked like a champ, but it is still very tricky to get a perfect cut.


Score the glass then slowly pour HOT water over the cut.  Pour cold tap water, then HOT water again.  The bottom of your bottle should fall off at this point. (Again, YouTube is your resource for this step).

Throw away the junked bottles and get ready to paint any that are to your satisfaction.  (I cut three bottles with one perfect success, and one that had a large crack.  When painted however, the large crack was undetectable).

Step Two: Color

Mix 3T hot water, 1/2 c Modge Podge and desired food coloring.  I used 20 drops of blue and 10 drops of green.  Your finished product will dry much lighter.  Add colored nail polish if desired.  This creates a seed glass look, however clear nail polish will be your enemy.  Also, color all of your glass from the same batch.  It is really tricky to recreate the exact color. Trust me.

Pour a small amount of glue mixture and slowly swirl. I found this part of the project to be really fun.  Keep turning the bottle until all the glass has been covered.

Set right side up on paper to drip dry for 5-10 minutes. Paint any handles with mixture.  Place in a warm, dirty oven (170 degrees) for about 30 minutes.

Step Three: Chrome it up


I was unhappy with my first attempt to trim the light with chrome.  I used a chrome tape from the auto parts store, the price was great ($4) but ended up bubbling and lifting.  My second try was more successful.  I still used an auto chrome tape – but this time bought the more expensive product ($20).  I used custom chrome flexible interior exterior molding and lays beautifully. I used 3/4″ but would have preferred 1/2″.  This tape is firm and covers any imperfections in your cut.

Also, I spray painted the lid chrome (but don’t love it).  The original pendant reminded me of an oil dispenser so I grabbed one from the dollar store.  The look is similar, but unnecessary.

Step Four:  Electrical

This step varies for each bottle.  I experimented with a pendant kit ($15 Home Depot), but found the fixtures to be too big for this bottle.  I ended up using lamp cord and a porcelain keyless light socket.  This part was not hard, but will you will need to customize the electrical for each bottle.  Best of Luck!

Easter Dress {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Heidi @ Green Doodle for her win of the Spring challenge of season 15*

First off, thank you to Missy for hosting SYTYC and giving me the chance to test my creative limits. Next, thank you for supporting the Easter Frocks.  These dresses were very rewarding to make, and with a few pattern modifications you can make a dress (or two) as well.

The dress was made from McCalls 5033 with a few changes.  I raised the arm and neckline, added pintucks for visual interest and omitted the zipper – using bridal button looping instead.
The jackets were from Simplicity 1723 with a shortened sleeve and an added peter pan collar. As I have learned most of these techniques on the web, I’d rather share a technique I experimented with on my own. [Read more…]

Grandfather Clock Make Over Tutorial

*Tutorial by Kim @ Maiden D’Shade for her win in the Finale round of Season 14!*

Once again, thank you all for this amazing honor of winning season 14! But I’ve got to say, even though it was fun, I’m glad it’s over!

Here’s how I transformed this “seen better days” clock from my husbands side of the family and gave it new life.


This clock was built in 1987 by a friend of my in-laws. It has spent many years in my basement. It had some damage (bottom corners and the weight sleeves are scratched and oxidized) and some missing pieces (pendulum bob and tall door glass) likely due to many moves over the years.

First thing I did was clean the surface. I wanted to give it a more commanding presence so I added some molding along the front edges to give it more interest. Because the molding wood is “raw” I sprayed it with shellac so the surface wasn’t as porous and would be more like the surface of the rest of the clock when I went to paint it. I also thought this front molding piece matched the molding on the top of the clock quite nicely and gave that “blank” space some interest! I added the molding with wood glue.

I took it apart and laid it down, using some really [Read more…]

Dyed & Screenprinted Quilt {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Catherine @ CathGrace for her win of the RIT Dye challenge of season 14*

Oh my goodness you guys, thanks for all the votes this last week, I was so excited to win this week, and I am so excited to be here to share my tutorial for my quilt with you!
Because I am here in S. Korea, I can’t just go into a store and buy RIT dye, but luckily I had dye supplies already on hand. (I didn’t have any RIT, but I figured the brand didn’t matter!) The dyes I have are not an all in one like RIT is, so I had to take a couple of extra steps to dye my fabric. (The dyes I used were Procion cold water dye, by Jaquard.) I had to make up some chemical water (click on the link for a recipe) and then I thickened the chemical water with sodium alginate, in order to make a pudding textured goop. After letting the thickened chemical water sit for a bit, I put half a cup of the chemical water into a cup, and mixed in brown dye (made from 2 tsp. of dye powder mixed in about 2 Tbs of tap water) and then just a sprinkle of soda ash (the soda ash activates the dye so it will actually permanently stick to the fabric. RIT dye doesn’t need to be activated, and would in theory only need to be thickened) OKAY now I am ready to begin putting color onto fabric!
Just kidding, I am totally not. First I had to pin my fabric to my print table (a board covered in thick industrial felt, and then canvas, in order to give me a pin-able surface.) The fabric came from one 3 yard length of white cotton fabric that I ripped into 1 yard sections, and then used t-pins to pin the fabric to the surface of the print table. NOW we are ready to dye!
For the first yard, I used a picture frame (I use the glass as a pallet,) a foam paint roller, and a Lego base plate.
I began by sliding the Lego plate UNDER my fabric, and then I loaded my paint roller with the thick brown dye (don’t forget to activate it with soda ash!)

And then gently roll over the Lego base plate, you can get a feel for the amount of pressure you want to place on the roller, as you go. I moved the plate around randomly so that sometimes it was skew, and overlapping where I had already rolled. I covered the whole yard of fabric this way. (My other two base textures, not pictured here, are the suction cups on the bottom of a $1 store, rubber bath mat, and just rolling on the surface of the fabric with the foam roller, alternating the amount of pressure.)

After laying down all of my brown, I mixed up 12 other colors (one at a time actually) in the same tap water, powdered dye, thickened chemical water, soda ash, mix as the brown dye. I ripped all of my yardage into four fat quarters per yard, (for a total of 12) and pinned 2 fat quarters to my print table surface. (does that make sense?) I laid my color down, by smearing it onto each fat quarter by hand in a swirling motion. (I definitely recommend the rubber glove unless you want a very excitingly colored hand)

Here’s what the pink and green fat quarters look like once smeared and waiting to dry. By the way, the print table has a couple of old flat sheets pinned to it, so that my canvas surface doesn’t get [Read more…]