Vintage Postcard Ornament Tutorial

| December 15, 2012

If you are looking to make a unique Christmas tree ornament, this Vintage Postcard Ornament tutorial is just right for you! It is pretty quick and truly charming!

Supplies:

  • (Vintage) Postcards
  • Glitter Glue
  • Hole Punch
  • Ribbon

Pick your postcard. Punch a hole in the center near the top. The ribbon will hang from this spot.

I prefer vintage postcards, of course! (The date on the back of two of these is 1910!) Make sure to use a hole punch just wide enough to fit the ribbon you will use to hang your creation from the tree.

Apply Glitter Glue

Apply glitter glue to the edges of your postcard, and to any spots you’d like to highlight. The glitter may look a bit thick and goopy but it should dry flat and perfect! There are many color options, available.  Choose what works best for your postcard and according to your preferences.

When the glue dries, add the ribbons of your choice.

After the glue has dried (time will vary depending on how thick you apply it and what brand you use), then you can attach the ribbon of your choosing. I like to put the tied bow right in the front as part of the decoration.

Finished Ornaments with the Red Glitter Edging

Here they are! Don’t they look adorable?! Each ornament is a unique work of art, with it’s own special message on the back. These were written long ago and sent at Christmas time to loved ones. As I give these as gifts, I like to imagine a wonderful cousin or sister-in-law writing their note near candle light, never guessing that I’d be passing their Christmas message on one more time, today. Just think how far off 2012 must have seemed to them, over 100 years ago!
Oh! Isn’t it just marvelous to make old things into new treasures!?
Merry Christmas!

 

Vintage Toy Trucks

| December 1, 2012

I just LOVE vintage toy trucks!  I’m hoping to put one in my garden, come Spring!
Here are a few beauties I was able to photograph at Junk Bonanza, this fall. I was so inspired by all the vintage goodies, creative booth displays, and crafty ideas I discovered during the amazing bi-annual event. These toy trucks were just one shining example of the unique treasures to be found! Enjoy these shots!

Wouldn’t each truck be just perfect with a very green plant in the back? Or as a letter-keeper? What about with some rusty vintage toy characters riding around inside? Or modern-day softies!? So many possibilities! I just love these trucks and the possibilities they provide! Don’t you?
Maybe you could get to the next Junk Bonanza event in Canterbury Park on April 18, 19 and 20th in 2013? There’s sure to be lots of good junk!
Have you been to a junk event? What items did you like best?

 

Vintage Storybook Star Wreath Tutorial

| November 30, 2012

Here’s just a glimpse of the awesome star wreath project, below!

Inspired by a star wreath I found on Pinterest months ago, I decided to use vintage pages from two nursery rhyme books to put my special touch on this lovely project. Here’s my tutorial, just for you, in case you are interested in creating your own vintage storybook star wreath! Of course, you could always just go to Altered Story Handmade Goods and snatch one of these up… that’s a little easier!
Make sure you start with all your supplies, and cover your working area with newspaper or anything else you don’t mind getting all glued up!

  • Vintage Storybook Pages – images/text cut out
  • Cardboard piece – any size  (will determine the size of your wreath)
  • Cardstock – complementary color to your images/text
  • Star Templates – either printed onto cardstock from the internet or hand stenciled directly on your card stock
  • Mod Podge (lots!)
  • Paint brush or foam brush (for the Mod Podge)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Ribbon – for wrapping around circle and/or for hanging
  • Scoring tool (an awl or a bone folder will do just fine)
  • Martha Stewart Scoreboard or soft cardboard for scoring
  • A sink nearby! This project gets messy!

Step 1 – Print out star images (found on the internet) onto cardstock of your choice. This will be the base color for your stars. The paper color can be seen from the backside of your finished wreath, so make sure to pick a color that suits the project!

Step 2 – Mod Podge your images onto the cardstock, ensuring that you adhere your image to the exact opposite side of the paper from your star image (basically: do not glue images directly onto your star image or you will not know where to cut!)

Step 3 – After the Mod Podge dries, cut out star images. Using the Martha Stewart Scoreboard (or a soft piece of cardboard), score your stars from each point to the opposite side. Make sure that your image is facing down when you do this, so your stars “pop” outward, not inward.

Step 4 – When each star is scored properly, you will be able to push into the middle of the star, making it 3 dimensional. If the center juts out from the points, you’re on the right track!

Step 5 – Fold each line with your fingers to achieve the desired depth of your finished star. (You will have certain control over the “oomph” you give your star, based on this step and how you hold it as you hot glue it to the base.)

Step 6 – When you’ve achieved your desired star “zing-zang”  (height, depth, pop… whatever you choose to call it!), then you can slather it with more Mod Podge. I wanted mine to have a really lacquered look. I used matte Mod Podge, but you could use glossy or even glittery or metallic… there are lots of options! This will help to secure the shape of your stars and make them more durable.

Step 7 – Now for the Base! I just used good ‘ole cardboard! Decide what size you want your base to be and find something around the house that you can use as a circle template (or square or whatever shape you decide is best!) I found a big bowl and a cookie jar cover. Cut this out. You’ll probably want your stars to protrude outside the edges of the wreath. 

Step 8 – Now you’ll want to do something sassy with your circle base… so nobody even knows it was just a piece of cardboard! I used more Mod Podge to decoupage hand-cut strips of the text from the nursery rhymes onto this wreath. Just slather, adhere your paper and slather some more!

Here’s a finished product! Getting to this point was just a few more steps. Step 9 – Decide how you will hang your wreath. I used some durable metalic cording and tied it around the top and then hot glued it to the front of the wreath to keep it secured. Step 10 – I picked out the cutest polka dotted ribbon I could find and hot glued it to my wreath across the front (with a little “give”). Then, I glued on the previously Mod Podged Mother Goose text from the book across the front like a banner. Step 11 – I experimented a bit in deciding which star I wanted to place at which spot, and then attached each star with hot glue just along the edges that touched the base. This is a bit tricky to ensure that the backside still looks tidy. So, I suggest you either make little pencil marks where you want to glue, or do your best at eyeing it up!

Here’s the front side of my yellow-ribbon wreath. I like the colors! I feel like dancing with the dishes! This one is now available at a local gift shop in my area.

On this wreath, I wrapped ribbon around the circle a million times (well it seemed like it!) to cover the base. I hot glued it each time around. I admit, I had a little more control with the paper decoupaged wreath base. And with the ribbon one, I didn’t like that I could tell where it was hot glued through the ribbon. But, both are very cute!

Here they are together! Which one do you like best?

I must admit, this was a satisfying project. There were a lot of steps, but the end results were so unique and beautiful! However, I would only suggest spending most of  your day to make this for a loved one or to liven up your own space. It’s definitely not a project that I could justifiably continue to make for the sole purpose of selling through my handmade goods business. Although it will not end up a financially profitable project, considering all that went into it, I know that whoever takes these home will surely feel blessed!
Do you have a little baby in mind who would love to grow up with these keepsake treasures?
Each vintage storybook wreath is surely one of a kind! If fact, I give each one 5 stars!

 

Red Wagon Fairy Garden

| September 10, 2012

Red Wagon Fairy Garden

I have a new fancy for fairy gardens.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s more about the accessorizing than the actual gardening or the fact that tiny little things are just SO cute, but I can’t get enough! When I noticed my neighbor, through my window, putting this scruffy red wagon out on the curb, I dropped everything and ran out, barefoot, to snatch it up. I didn’t know what I would do with it exactly, but I knew I would use it in my garden. Soon after that, I decided to create a mobile fairy garden! What fun!

Repurposed Wagon sitting pretty in front of the picket fence

So, I looked all over Pinterest for neato ideas, and then came up with some of my very own. I researched which little plants I should try to find at my local garden shop, and I journeyed into unchartered territory. (You’ve heard of having a green thumb? Well, I used to have a brown thumb. But, I forgot to water it and it fell off). I still couldn’t help feeling some hope for success when I saw such beautiful tiny white daisy flowers on Irish moss and little succulents that looked like puffy little forest bushes. I just couldn’t screw up such sweet little miracles, could I?

There’s enough room here for the extended fairy family, too!

I once spied on an apron-wearing fairy plucking out weeds. Her head was down, so she didn’t see me!

I also ransacked my craft room and went through all my little goodies to decide what might work well for my new creative endeavor. I decided to put my antique tin collection to use. I found red and white toadstools that would match the wagon, along with some cute strawberry bells that I purchased on Etsy. I used some black and white polka-dotted tape (repurposed from my SMASH book) to make wee little water-proof flags for the “backyard”. They match the domino welcome mat. At the front door, there’s a sign reading “snail mail” posted on a matchstick poking out of a little snail shell.  I also used some felt flowers that I had pieced together with some lovely buttons. They grow right next to the veggie garden… simply colorful yarn “edibles” growing strong next to toothpick stakes.

I do like the little mirror lake that the fairies come to swim in. It’s glistens with brilliant dew after a chilly night’s sleep. Pretty at sunset, too!

The lake stones are smooth on the fairies’ feet.

A vintage stir stick makes a great wind whistler!

In the side “field”, I put a wind chime, of sorts. What could catch a Mid-Western breeze better than a little vintage harmonica hidden in the sedum?! Clever, I thought!

Can’t you just imagine the fairies playing games by the backyard flags and strawberry bells?

Not-so-clever was adding little birthday candle holders as pathway lights to the lake. I didn’t account for the hot summer days we would have. (Goodbye, melty lights.) Another live-and-learn idea was the little fluffy smoke coming out of the chimney- the final outcome of which I wasn’t thrilled with. Imagine wet cotton after a rain storm. I also wished it wasn’t such a brown landscape.  I’ll definitely invest in some nice green moss to cover the entire area, next year. Maybe it’s just me, but the dirty landscape kind of reminds me of a dusty southern farm, where chickens run fast-away from the barking hound dogs. I’m almost sure most of the fairies who used this garden wore calico dresses and cowboy boots.

I must sheepishly admit that yessss, by the end of the summer, some of my green fairy yards looked more like dry miniature driftwood collections. I haven’t quite mastered gardening, you could say. Even fairy gardening. I’m hoping my plants will resurrect after a quiet winter hiding in the basement. If not, now I know just where to go to find some living dwarf plants to begin, again! I still can’t help but have some fairy gardening hope, even with my lack of bloomin’ skills!

It’s a small start (hehehehe), but it’s only my first year. Next spring, I plan to cut little arched doors into my little tin boxes. Houses complete with tin roofs, and maybe a window or two. I will surely allow space for a little wooden swing under a dwarf boxwood “tree.”  I have a few other dreams for my next fairy garden that I can’t wait to put wings to. (Stop me!)

Do you have any tips or ideas for this newbie fairy gardener? What’s in your fairy garden?