Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pumpkin Head Wire Dolls DIY

Don't you just love making cute Halloween decorations! Here's a easy to follow but rather lengthy tutorial for making pumpkin head wire dolls! These handcrafted dolls are such a fun craft for anyone to make! You can dress them up in so many ways using colorful and adorable fall flowers and leaves!  And the best part, most of the materials used are $1 or less!
  • Small Pumpkins
  • Floral Wire 
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Faux Fall Leaves
  • Faux Fluffy Flowers
  • Ice Pick or Sharp Pointed End                                       
  • Hot Glue Gun/Glue Sticks
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Skewer Sticks
  • Wire Cutters/Scissors
Begin by inserting an ice pick or sharp pointed end into the bottom of a small pumpkin (which will be the head) about halve way up.
Next,  cut a 24" piece of floral wire (Dollar Tree) for the taller doll and fold in half. The smaller doll was made with an 18" piece of floral wire. Next, place a dab of glue on the folded end and insert up into the base of pumpkin. Let dry.

Next, twist the wire a couple of times, creating the neck. To make the arms,  take one of the wires, stretching it horizontally and measure 1 1/2"  from neck, folding the wire towards the neck, wrap around the vertical wire and down.

*I painted on the eyes by dipping the flat end of a skewer stick in black paint and dabbing it onto the pumpkin. Next, I dipped the pointed end of the stick into the paint and made triangles on top of the circles, blending them in. I also used the pointed end of the stick to add the mouth. And after drying, I added white dots on the eyes by also using the pointed end of the stick.

 For the left arm, stretch the wire out horizontally, measure again 1 1/2" and fold back towards neck and wrap over the first arm and down.  

Next, to create the torso, grab the two long ends and twist together four or five times, measuring 3/4 of an inch and be sure to match up the length of the legs, cutting off any excess wire.

 To wrap the doll,  Place a dab of hot glue on the middle of the torso and lay the end of the embroidery thread on top, and begin wrapping the thread around the torso a few times and up towards the arm .  .  .

 and begin wrapping the arm as evenly and neatly as possible. If the wrapping becomes open and uneven, just push back the threads together.

When reaching the end of the arm, place a small dab of glue on the end and wrap the thread around several times and back towards the torso.

 After wrapping the arm back and reaching the torso, wrap around the torso a few times and then begin wrapping around the other arm, the same, as before,

 dabbing hot glue on the end, wrapping around end a few times and then wrapping back towards the torso, wrapping around it a few times, up towards the neck. Then wrap around the neck towards the base of the pumpkin head, wrapping evenly as you go up, then wrap back down to the arms .  .  .
 there, wrap a few times diagonal across the shoulders, one side at a time, criss-crossing, creating an X around the shoulders and arms. 
Continue to wrap down towards the leg and end, applying hot glue and wrapping several times and back up to the other leg, wrapping around bottom torso before starting on the leg.

 Once back up to the torso, wrap several times, filling in any open spots, then place a dab of glue on center of torso, wrapping thread around several times to seal and cutting off excess thread.

 To make a cover dress suit, add a dab of glue on torso and place a coordinating color thread on top. 
Begin wrapping torso, up to underneath the arms, wrapping each side, creating an X around the shoulders, back up to form the top of the suit and wrapping down and around the torso and then each leg and back to the torso for the bottom portion. Finish with a dab of glue on torso and wrapping thread around to seal and complete the look. 

To dress the dolls:

1.  Take a bunch of fluffy flowers .  .  .
2.  And separate the layers of the flower.
3.  Line up the layers into sizes from large to small.
4.  Beginning with the smallest flower layer, fold in half, and make very small slits in a + pattern to widen opening.
5.  Make tiny slits on all the layers - from small to large to pull on to the wire dolls, layering by sizes for a fluffy look!

 And finally, adding the smallest layer to the pumpkin top for an adorable hat!


For the larger wire doll, I glued on leaves to the front and back, and added the plastic flower sepal from the bunch for the hat.

What cute little pumpkin head boy and girl wire dolls!

Thanks for stopping by
and take a little time to enjoy,

Happy Halloween Crafting!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dollar Store Fall Leaf Handcrafted Pumpkin

It's that time again for our Monthly Challenge Blog Hop!
I've joined a group of creative bloggers to bring you a monthly challenge blog hop. On the 2nd Monday of each month we share our themed creations for the month, be it Upcycling, Family Recipes or Dollar Store Crafts.  This month, it's Dollar Store Crafts, new or old and it's one of my favorites! Who doesn't love creating dollar store crafts???  

It's amazing what can be created with items from the dollar store!  For this month's theme, I created a handcrafted leaf covered pumpkin out of items from the dollar store that included punch balloons, faux fall leaves, brown craft paper and even mod podge. 
While looking around the store for ideas, I didn't realize the dollar store carried punch balloons until I saw them near the regular balloons. Yes, 3 for $1.They're so much larger and stronger than regular balloons and very easy to blow up! But did you know they make great faux pumpkins, too!!!!  Here's how:
Gather the following -
  • punch ball
  • twine
  • newspaper
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • brown craft paper
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • stem wire
  • acrylic paint or stain
To make the pumpkin, after blowing up a punch balloon to around 12 inches, knot and push the blow up end into the balloon to grab the opposite end, pulling it up and tying both ends together with twine into a .  .  .
pumpkin shape. 
This might be a bit tricky to do for some, but keep trying until you've pulled the balloon together and tied it off. I've done it before here, when I made a paper mache vase.
Then take four strips of twine - more than enough to cover the entire balloon and wrapped each one evenly spaced around the balloon, tying and knotting as tightly as you can to make grooves similar to a pumpkin. Knot all the twine ends together at the top and cut off excess. 
Next, paper mache (just like you did as a kid, except we're using mod podge instead of homemade flour, salt and water glue) the balloon by tearing small strips of newspapers and applying mod podge using a sponge brush over the entire balloon. Apply four or more layers of newspapers for strength, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Be sure to paper mache over the twine, and to rub between the grooves, too!
Once dry, paint the pumpkin in a color to match the leaves. I didn't care that the print from the newspaper showed through since I was covering it with leaves, but painting on a primer first would have covered the print, if you prefer. 

Next, turn the pumpkin upside down (it's so much easier to glue on the leaves this way) to begin hot gluing the leaves on, one row around at a time. I just added a dab of hot glue to the center of the back of the leaves for a fluffy look. Start each new row by overlapping above and between the previous  leaves. 
Continue adding leaves, row by row until the pumpkin is completely covered. 
To make the pumpkin stem, crumple small pieces (the length you want) of dampen brown craft paper together and then smooth them out.  You can also use a brown paper bag to make this.  Lay a shorten stem wire on top and roll up the paper - adding more to thicken the stem.
Twist and bend the stem into shape with one end wider as the base. Add mod podge to the twisted paper and any open areas to seal and allow to dry. 

Place the wider stem base on top of a piece of brown paper and draw around the base for a cover pattern. Cut out and glue on cover to the stem base.   Paint stem and let dry. 
And finally, hot glue the twisted paper stem to the center top of the leafy pumpkin and Ta Da!
What a beauty!
So adorable!!!
This is such a great and inexpensive way to make your own decorative pumpkins for just a few dollars!!!!  Have you noticed how much the larger faux pumpkins are? Even with a discount? So, why not make your own!

Be sure to visit all of the ladies' blogs for their awesome Dollar Store Crafts:

And don't forget to come back next month for our Upcycle Challenge using clothing!  What a fabulous challenge that will be!
Thanks for stopping by, and
Happy Fall Crafting!

Create Colors of the Season Bows to Decorate

Hi everybody! This is Gail @Purple Hues and Me, and I'm over on Bowdabrablog today where I'm showing you how to create stacked bows using colors of the season to decorate for Fall!   I love creating Bows for any occasion using the Bowdabra You won't believe how easy it is to make professional looking bows!

So, please stop by and get all the details in my easy to follow tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by, 
Have Fun & Keep Crafting!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Quick Way to Preserve Your Summer Blooms

Summer will be over soon and so will those beautiful blooms you've enjoyed.  Why not save a little piece of summer and that wonderful memory of pretty flowers by pressing some of those blooms and capturing the last bit of summer .  .  .  perhaps a stunning zinnia that caught your eye, or a few impatiens that exploded with cheerfulness and color, or a group of geraniums that's so perfect for framing! And the easiest and quickest way to preserve those memories is by pressing your own flowers in the microwave, using absorbent paper, two ceramic tiles and rubber bands.  Can you believe it? Normally, it takes several days or maybe weeks to press those lovely beauties in heavy-weighted books, but by using a microwave, it can take less than five minutes!   Here's how:  

It's best to start with fresh flowers.  When picking flowers from your garden, select flowers that are either new blooms or buds about to burst open. Do this in late morning or early afternoon, after the dew has evaporated and no moisture is seen.

Next, place a continuous sheet of two paper towels on top of the smooth side of a ceramic tile.  Then place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the paper towels - enough to fold over and cover the flowers.  Arrange the flowers down on the parchment paper, making sure none of the flowers touch unless you want them to, otherwise they will be stuck together. 

Gently fold over the papers on top of the flowers .  .  .
 and place the smooth side of the second ceramic tile on top.  Secure with two rubber bands .  .  .
 and place in the microwave.  Set at 50% power level for 40 seconds intervals.
When the time ends, turn the tile press over and let it cool off, then microwave again for an additional 40 seconds at 50% power level.

Once done, open the tile press and check to see if there is any moisture on the papers.  You can still see moisture stains on the picture below.

Continue this process again and again - making sure you let the ceramic tiles cool off between times, until you don't see any moisture on the papers and your flowers are dry. It took me less than four minutes to dry these impatiens.

After allowing the flowers to cool off and completely dry, it might be a bit tricky to remove them from the parchment paper, especially if they're impatiens, without pulling or tearing them apart. They are quite delicate, so you'll have to be careful. To do this, lift the paper up and with your fingers, scratch the back of the paper where the flowers are to release them from the paper.  And I seriously don't recommend using wax paper.  The seal was just too strong to remove the delicate petals from the wax paper after drying. 

 The impatiens are so fragile - almost translucent like.
But the zinnias were quite easy to remove  .  .  .
 and the details and colors of the flowers were really fascinating up close.
The colors and hues seem to be a bit more intense and enriched!
 but the geraniums were a bit tricky, too, with a few coming apart.

Once all the flowers are removed from the papers, it's time to frame them.

You can use whatever type of frames you like, but I got three black frames from the dollar store that looked too formal or business like .  .  .
 so I decided to painted them with white chalk paint and let dry.  Not liking the plain looking finish .  .  .

 used the closed blade of scissors, and scratched the edges of the frame to reveal the straight black trim.

Next, placed the flowers on 8"x10" cardstock and once satisfied with the design,

added a dab of tacky glue to the back of the flowers to secure and placed the glass over the design.  Then added the backing and placed in the frame.

Enjoy preserving your beautiful blooms quickly by pressing flowers in the microwave for an everlasting effect .  .  . for so many craft projects!

Thanks for stopping by

and take a little time to enjoy -
Happy Crafting!