Light Bulb Snowmen

I’m back! I’ve recovered a good portion of my data from the hard drive crash and I’m getting things back on track. Thanks for your patience during my week off. Today, I want to introduce you to some chilly little recycled friends. 
Light Bulb Snowmen
Level of Difficulty: Complicated steps and materials
Time: Not a short project because of dry time and detailed steps
I taught a class on these cute little snowmen recently. I had found the idea on About.com and then modified it to fit my supplies. Well I modified it because I never follow directions. And, for the class, I needed something that would be dry enough to finish in an hour or two, so traditional paper mache wouldn’t work. It’s the perfect way to recycle some light bulbs and make Christmas gifts. These little guys can be used as stand-up figures or can be tied or wired to hang on the Christmas tree, your choice.

Step One  

Supplies for Step One:

  • plaster of paris
  • water
  • measuring cup or disposable cup to scoop plaster
  • disposable bowl or pie tin and a plastic fork or spoon
  • small piece of plastic wrap or foil for setting wet snowman on.
  • burned out light bulbs in different sizes
  • paper towel
  • newpaper to protect work surface
  • disposable gloves

To make my snowmen, I used plaster of paris and paper towels. First, I tore the white paper towels, (a good quality quilted Bounty towel) and tore it into pieces approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. They can be random and ragged. It takes around one towel per light bulb snowman. 

Next, I mixed up a small amount of plaster of paris in a disposable bowl. It is important that yo do not begin mixing until you are ready to go because it begins the chemical process very quickly and you have little time to work. That means, get your surface ready with some sort of protection like newspaper and a something to set your snowmen on to dry.Have a pair of disposable gloves ready too. For mixing, it works best to put the plaster of paris power into the bowl and then add water until it is the consistency of pancake batter. Stir quickly!

Then, very quickly, dip the paper towel pieces into the plaster mix. It’s only necessary to dip one side. Then put the dipped side down on the light bulb and smooth out. Keep working quickly as the mixture will begin to harden soon. Keep dipping and smoothing without trying to be too precise. If you want your snowman to stand up, then you’ll need to put a blob of the paper towel/plaster stuff on the bottom and then smoosh it down on your work surface to make it stand.

Keep your paper mache layer as thin as possible. 


Your gloves will begin to get caked with the mixture and it will get more difficult to dip the towels as it begins to set. The most light bulbs I could get done per batch was 1-2. Any more and the mixture was too hard.


When you begin a new batch to do more light bulbs, be sure that your bowl and equipment is fresh as a small amount of hardened plaster will speed up the hardening of the next batch. Bummer. I learned it the hard way.


I also learned once the hard way that you cannot wash plaster of paris bowls in the sink. It will harden in your drain and someone, like an understanding husband, will need to take apart the plumbing to chisel it out. 


So, we’ve completed the plastering step.

Now, if you think this plaster of paris stuff sounds difficult and you have extra days to allow your critters to dry, then I would suggest the old newspaper, glue, paper mache method. Much more kid-friendly if you’re doing this with children too!

Step Two
Supplies:
  • Tacky glue or hot glue
  • scraps of fabric (felt, fleece, quilting cotton,)
  • small sticks
  • black paint or marker
  • buttons
  • White paint

If you used plaster of paris, it isn’t really necessary to paint your snowment since they are already snowy white. Although, it can let off a chalky film, and they aren’t waterproof, so you may wish to seal them with white paint. If you did the traditional paper mache, you’ll need to paint them for sure.

Next, it’s time to embellish. If you visit the About.com instructions, you’ll see how they made the hat. I did mine with a piece that was 3×4 inches and I used fleece. It’s all glue, no sew. You basically fold a brim on the long side, then form it into a tube overlapping the short ends with a little bit of glue. Then you tie the top and snip it to look like a pom pom. I used a little glue to keep it on the snowman. Side note: if your plaster is a little damp, hot glue will not stick, but tacky glue will work wonderfully since it is water based.

Keep embellishing by adding buttons, stick arms and a scarf. My noses were made from orange fleece cut in a tiny triangle. You could use craft foam too. The arms stayed on best if I used a pencil to make a little hole where I was going to glue an arm.

To dab on the eyes and mouth, if you don’t have a paint pen, just dip the tip of a pencil into craft paint and dab it on in a row. You can sharpen the pencil again later and get the paint off.

I hope you have fun with your snowmen! My favorite light bulbs to use are my bathroom vanity ones because they are shorter and rounder. But the taller utility bulbs and regular incandescent bulbs make a fun little family of different sizes.

Happy Recycling!


See this post on tour at these blogs:

Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On



Reinvented – Trash to Treasure Tuesday
http://www.thethriftyhome.com
The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party
The Inspired Room Holiday Link Party

ASPTL

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

2nd Time Around Tuesday at A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Ocean-Deep Thankfulness

It’s Thanksgiving week. Not turkey week. Not Black Friday week. Not deer hunting week. Well, it’s all of those things but over all of them, it’s the week to give thanks to God. It’s so easy to get distracted and think of the external things. I know. I’ve been distracted lately. My laptop crashed and I’m still waiting for the data and it’s easy to become wrapped up in obsessing about getting back my data. It’s easy to get lost in my own pity over the inconvenience of having to get it repaired or spend money on the recovery. It’s easy to forget that there a much more important things in life than computers and files!

As I think about giving thanks to God, sometimes my thankfulness is so shallow. My kiddie pool of thankfulness goes as deep as, “Thank you Lord for my house, my car, my bank account…”. But I overlook God’s grace as deep as an ocean. I overlook the patience of my loving family and the incredible gift of their support. Today as I splash around in my wading pool of superficial concerns, I’m reflecting on how much the stuff doesn’t matter. Day-after-Thanksgiving sale…not even going to look at the ads. Computer repair guy…take all the time you need. I’m taking a step deeper and looking for the real blessings that God has given me, and I’m swimming out towards the whitecaps in search of something worthy of deep gratitude.

I’m praising God for Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation. I’m thanking God that I live in a free country where I can boldly proclaim that I love Jesus without fear of imprisonment. I’m giving thanks that the struggles I experience right now are nothing in light of the glorious future that God has planned for me in heaven someday.

What are you thankful for today? See if you can dive below the surface of material things and possessions to look for lasting blessings.

Blessed Computers and Borrowed Ideas

My laptop crashed this week, the laptop that contains everything. My pictures. My data. My kidneys. Ok, well not the kidneys. But it feels like a part of my body is missing!  It’s in for repair and I’m hoping to have it back by Friday. In the meantime, the regularTrash to Treasure is on a little break until I get my material back. Yes, I know. External hard drive. I ordered one and it’s on the way. It would have saved me some panic this week.
And while I’m waiting for my data to come home, I’m dreaming up some new ideas for T2T features.  Can’t wait to share! For this week, I’m sharing some ideas that come from my favorite T2T decorators and some I’ve just discovered.
Kara shares this made-over pedestal bowl this week at Creations by Kara.
 Photo by Creations by Kara
Or how about these totally cool fabric scrap Christmas trees from Ashley at All Things Heart and Home?
 Photo by All Things Heart and Home
And finally, here’s a classy hutch makeover from Studio JRU 

 Photos by Studio JRU

Thanks for the inspiration everyone! 

Michelle

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

11/13 Blog Hop #4

It’s Trash to Treasure Follow Friday #4
“T2Tff”

What is your favorite link or site of the week?  Link up and tell us what’s hot in the Trash to Treasure world this week.You’ll have until Sunday evening to post your links.Show us your favorite post of the week, your latest project, or a trash to treasure feature.


Here’s one I found this week. A Soft Place to Land just moved to a new page on the web and Kimba has a great idea for a low-cost Thanksgiving decoration, a thankful tree. See the directions for this tree on A Soft Place to Land
 
Photo belongs to Kimba at A Soft Place to Land

Thanks for the inspiration, Kimba!

Blog Hop guidelines:
Trash to Treasure Decorating1-Add a permalink to your specific post. Be sure to check that the link works after you post.


2-Add a short title for your post. This could be your name or project title if you’d like.


3- Link back to this post from your blog, or send a link to your facebook friends or tweeps (mention @trash2treas).


4-Check out the links and leave some comments on the sites you enjoy.


That’s all there is to it! I can’t wait to see your links and ideas. Never used MckLinky? It’s super easy. You don’t need an account or any software. Just click on “you are next” below and type a title for the post (or your name) and add a link to the location on the web. It’s that simple!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Christmas Miracles

Another New Book from Cec Murphey 
and Another Chance to Win a Gift Basket
(Atlanta, GA) Many ordinary people experience Christmas miracles—those special moments during the season of giving and receiving when Christmas becomes more than just a holiday. In Christmas Miracles (St. Martin’s Press, October 2009), Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson share the stories of those who have recognized the special moments that transcend daily experience and transform their lives.

In these stories, people overcome desperate situations through a miraculous twist of fate—all during the most wonderful time of the year. A young boy sits down to read a Christmas book and discovers that his learning disability has vanished. A woman stranded in a blizzard is rescued by a mysterious stranger who she suspects is an angel. And a woman living far from home gets an answer to her prayer in the form of an unexpected gift.
Bestselling author Cecil Murphey says, “We all face discouraging times, whether it’s the lack of money, being stuck on a road in a snowstorm, feeling stress, or being hungry and homeless. But God’s help is available. I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural. We start by asking, and in strange and wonderful ways God tiptoes into our dark nights; we experience renewed joy in life and witness God in action through people and unexpected events.”
Award-winning writer Cecil Murphey is the author or co-author of 114 published books, including the NY Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). He’s also the author of When Someone You Love Has Cancer and When God Turned Off the Lights, both 2009 releases. Murphey’s books have sold millions and have given hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. For more information, visit www.cecilmurphey.com.
Marley Gibson is a young adult author whose first published books in the Sorority 101 series were released by Penguin Group in 2008 under the pen name of Kate Harmon. She has a new Ghost Huntress series with Houghton Mifflin written under her own name. She can be found online at www.marleygibson.com.
Interview with Cecil “Cec” Murphey
by Marley Gibson
Co-authors of Christmas Miracles, from St. Martin’s Press

I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity today to talk to my friend and co-author, Cecil “Cec” Murphey, and to chat about our upcoming book, Christmas Miracles.

Marley:  Cec, thanks for spending some time with me today.
Cec:    Marley, it’s great that you could take time away from important things like making a living to spend a little time with me.

Marley:  I’m so jazzed about our Christmas Miracles book that’s coming out soon. I’ve had a lot of questions from folks wanting to know how we met, what brought us together, etc. So, I thought we’d do a back and forth on how it all came to be. Of course, I have to give props to our amazing agent and friend, Deidre Knight, for bringing us together. For those of you who don’t know, Cec co-authored the runaway New York Times bestselling hit 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper.
Cec:  I have to say thanks to Deidre Knight as well. Between Deidre and my assistant, Twila Belk, I’ve been able to sell quite a few books. 90 Minutes in Heaven has been my big book. I’m also proud of a book I wrote in 1990 called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The book has never been out of print and has hit close to four million in sales. Early this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in the made-for-TV film version.

Marley:  That’s amazing! You are truly prophetic and definitely “the man behind the words.” Now, people ask how we teamed up. Sadly, there was a personal tragedy that brought Cec and me together as friends.
Cec:  True. In early 2007, our house burned and our son-in-law died. Aside from the grief over Alan, we lost everything. Deidre and Jan, my-then-assistant, sent the word out of our tragedy without telling me. I’m immensely grateful for every gift people sent, but I probably wouldn’t have admitted I needed help and wouldn’t have asked. They taught me how much we need other people.

MarleyDeidre put out a call to other clients of The Knight Agency, to help Cec and his family out in any way in their time of need. At the time, my company was moving and we were cleaning house. We had a ton of office supplies that we were either going to throw away or give to some of the charities the company worked with.  I got my boss’ permission to send a large care package to Cec…full of office supplies for him to re-stock his writer’s office. You name it…post-its, staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, markers, white out, ruler, scissors, paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes, a laptop case, tape, glue, folders, binder clips…etc. A veritable potpourri of office delights.  I was hoping that it would help Cec have a sense of getting his office back so he could keep working.
Cec: Marley’s gift was the most unexpected I received. We hadn’t met, although Deidre Knight had spoken of her many times and kept telling me she was wonderful. I wonder if you can imagine what it was like for me to open that box from someone I didn’t know. I saw all those practical things for my office and yelled for my wife.  I felt as if I were reading a first-grade book. “Look! Look and see! Oh, look!” I was overwhelmed by the gift and even more to receive it from a stranger. Those supplies were the most practical gift anyone could have given me. I’m still using black paper clips and red folders from Marley. 

Marley:  Awww…thanks, Cec! I didn’t have to think twice about doing it. Writing is such a solitary “sport,” but the writing community always astounds me with how they help their own.  Not long after that, over plates of spinach and Gouda omelets, Deidre introduced me to Cec in person and I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind the words. Deidre knew we needed to work on a project together and thus began our brainstorming. What did you think of that first meeting, Cec, and cooking up the idea to work together?
Cec:  Deidre and I had already spoken about a Christmas book and I had some idea about what it should contain, but nothing had come together. One day Deidre told me that Marley was coming to visit her and she wanted us to work together on a Christmas project. Marley and I talked before we ate and again during the meal. Everything felt right to me. I knew my strengths and Marley knew hers (and Deidre knew both of us). Everything clicked. Marley, a far better networker than I am, immediately sent out the word for submissions. Within days she had almost four times more than we could use. (She read every one of them!)

MarleyI was truly impressed with the submissions we received and it was hard narrowing it down to the ones we chose for the book. We’re fortunate to have such a go-getter agent in Deidre Knight. Cec, can you share how the whole idea of Christmas Miracles came about and what you thought of the project originally?
Cec:  For me, it actually started while I was on the rapid-rail train from the Atlanta airport when I listened to teens talk about Christmas and it was mostly about gifts. I had the idea then, but nothing really came together. Months later when Deidre I and had a meeting, she brought up the idea of a compilation and mentioned my working with Marley. I’ve been Deidre Knight’s client since 1997 and I’ve learned to listen carefully when she comes up with an idea. I said yes before she gave me all the information.

Marley:  That’s the truth about Deidre! Getting back to those submissions, I want to say we got more than two hundred submissions for Christmas Miracles. So many wonderful stories to read through and select for the book. It was a challenge to pick and choose which ones were right for the book, but I loved every minute of it. After I chose the entries that would go into the book, Cec toiled long hours editing the works for a unified voice. What was the biggest challenge you found in the editing process, Cec?
Cec I’ve been a ghostwriter and collaborator for twenty-plus years and this was a switch to give the book a unified voice—which was mine. It would have been easier to stay with each writer’s voice, but the book—like many compilations—would have been uneven in tone and quality. When I discussed this via email with our delightful editor, Rose Hilliard, she was (to my surprise) familiar with my work. She told me she liked the warm tone of my writing and that I don’t waste words. “That’s the voice we want,” she said. It still wasn’t easy, but it was an exciting challenge. After Marley and I agreed on the stories and gave them that unified voice, our editor pulled six contributions. Although different, Rose felt they were too similar to other stories. 

Marley:  Can you give our readers a preview of the book? A favorite story perhaps…or one that moved you to tears?  (I have to say the little boy who wished for nothing but to be able to read a book all the way through because of his stutter had me bawling when I read the submission.)
CecThat’s not fair! I liked them all. The one that touched me most, however, is the last story in the book, “Sean’s Question.” We had almost finished the book and I was teaching at a conference in Florida. I felt we needed one strong story at the end. Despite all the good ones, I didn’t feel fully satisfied to conclude the book. On the last day of the conference, I met a conferee named Sara Zinn for a consultation. As we talked, I mentioned Christmas Miracles and that I still needed one more story. “I have a Christmas story,” she said and told me about Sean. As I listened, tears filled my eyes—but, being the macho type I am, I was sure it was an allergy. Sara wrote the story, and it became the one I sought.

Marley:  Oh yes…that one is an emotional one all right. It was meant to be in the book because of how you met at the conference. Now, you and I have both had challenges in our lives that others might have found too much to take, but we are both very strong in our faith and our relationship with God. How do you think Christmas Miracles is going to help others feel closer to God and experience His miracles in their own lives?
Cec: Awareness and appreciation are the two things I want readers to grasp. Awareness means for them to realize that they’re never totally alone in life. Those unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary events remind us of that. Appreciation means to be thankful for what we already have. Too often, and especially at Christmas, we focus on what we’d like or what is supposed to make us happy. Christmas Miracles gently reminds readers of both.

Marley:  In this day and age when our country is fighting two wars, unemployment is high, and a lot of people have a lack of hope and faith for their future, what do you want readers of the book to take away from Christmas Miracles and how can the stories in our book help provide comfort to those struggling?
Cec:  I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural (as in one of Marley’s stories). I call myself a serious Christian. For me, the world’s greatest miracle began with the birth of Jesus. Regardless of a person’s religion, this book encourages readers to think about life during the Christmas season and see that life as more than gifts and celebrations. It’s also a reminder that God loves us and hears our needy cries.

Marley:  Beautifully put, Cec, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Can we share what’s next after Christmas Miracles? J
CecWhy it’s the Cec and Marley show, of course. Because of our go-getter agent and our enthusiastic editor, we’ve already received thumbs up for The Christmas Spirit. This will be stories of people who express the true spirit of Christmas by acts of love and kindness, for release in the fall of 2011.

MarleyAnd I can’t wait to start working on that project!  Thank you so much for your time, Cec, and answering my questions. It was a privilege and honor to work with you and I look forward to our future projects together. You’ve helped me along during a trying time and I appreciate your friendship and support.
CecI liked this project because Marley had to send out the word, collect submissions, read them, and discard the weaker ones. I get to see only the better-written stories. (Don’t tell her that I have the better job.) Although I mentioned only one story, all of those in the book touched me because of the poignancy of their situations and the miraculous answers. I won’t say the stories increased my faith, but they increased my appreciation for the delightful mix of human need and divine intervention.

Marley: Thanks again, Cec! God Bless! And to our readers, please be sure to pick up a copy of CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, out October 13, 2009 from St. Martin’s Press. It’s a great stocking stuffer or gift basket filler. We hope you, too, will discover your own Christmas Miracles in your life.
Leave a comment for a chance to win the Christmas Miracles gift basket.

Wouldn’t you love to take home this amazing basket filled with Christmas goodies galore? This amazing gift basket contains everything you’ll need to make your Christmas holiday a success. Inside you’ll find a stocking stuffed with hard candies, kitchen towels and oven mitts, seasonal potpourri, holiday-colored candles, stuffed animals that talk, snowman candle, nutcrackers, Christmas ornaments, gift bags, gift tags, gift bows, ornament hangers, Christmas cookie cutters, a Merry Christmas doorstopper, a picture frame, Christmas cards, Santa ear muffs, and not just one, but two copies of Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson’s Christmas Miracles – one to keep and one to give away to someone special.
All comments to this post will be eligible. I’ll choose one reader name on November 23 to be entered into the grand prize drawing from Cec’s publicist.
What miracle have you experienced? Tell us what special thing happened that changed your life, or about those special moments when you know it had to be something God did. Leave your comments below…

Book Review – When God Turned Off the Lights

Book Review and Book Winner Announced

Imagine total darkness. No street lights. No moonlight. Not even a firefly. You reach out, but can’t feel anything. Uncertain of which way you should go, you choose to wait—wait for a little crack of light and the hope it represents.

Now, imagine that you’ve been plunged into a deep spiritual darkness and you aren’t sure how or why it happened. It’s as if someone turned off a switch and left you fumbling and wondering when you’d find a small beam of light. 

Cec Murphey writes about these times when it feels like we are waiting on God in “When God Turned Off the Lights.” We may wonder, how does a man of God, a pastor who has been a faithful follower of Christ find himself wondering where God went? Readers will discover that no Christian is immune from the possibility of going through a spiritual blackout.

I finished reading my free advance review copy of the book recently and at first I felt like the darkness was long and drawn out for the reader, as though we were never going to get to the hope or solution. But then I realized that this brought me into the author’s darkness and helped me understand it much better. As the book progressed, I felt a sampling of how Cec must have felt in a time in his life when God seemed absent. Frankly, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the sense of abandonment. I didn’t like waiting. I didn’t like the long unanswered requests for light from God. However, I liked the book very much and I was very glad to discover hope and joy along with the author. 

One thing that inspired me about the book was that Cec Murphey kept pursuing God. He kept reading scripture, kept praying, and kept attending church even when his feelings didn’t line up with his faith. He used his time of spiritual emptiness as an opportunity to grow and learn. Anyone who feels as if God has turned his face away, and who feels the despair of spiritual darkness needs a copy of this book.

Book Winner


I’m giving away my free copy of the book. I did a random number drawing and the blog reader who wins the book is the reader who goes by the identity:

Transmetteur fm (from blog post on October 29)


If this is your ID, please send me an e-mail with your mailing address by the end of November to win your free copy.

Pottery Barn vs Thrift Store

Pottery Barn 3-Tier Server, Goodwill Style

I taught a craft class this past weekend and I thought I’d share the project on the blog. Since my budget fits Goodwill or flea markets much better than it fits the price of the treasures in the Pottery Barn catalog, it’s necessary to figure out how to achieve the look at, well, 1/8th of the price if ever possible.

This 3-tier serving platter retails for $45 on the Pottery Barn website:
Photo from Pottery Barn catalog

Here’s my knock-off version of the 3-tier platter:
I purchased the plates (the middle layer is actually a shallow bowl) for 75 cents each at the Goodwill store. Actually, they came to more like 63 cents each because I was able to purchase an entire set at 50% off if I bought it by the box. They were a white with a gold rim around the edge.
The plates are connected by taper candle holders which were available for $1 at my local dollar tree, and I found a few with 1/2 off tags at the thrift shop.
I used an all purpose cement to glue the layers together. I looked for a glue that was for porcelain or ceramic and for one that would dry in a quick amount of time after contact. I learned that hard way that super glue isn’t the best since it clouds up, and my sample had a white film inside the candle holders, but it did hold well! At any rate,  you’ll want to look for a glue that dries clear because that will prevent the clouding problem. The glue I chose was just $1 per tube in the paint/hardware department and it also claimed to be dishwasher safe, although I don’t plan to put something as clunky as this into the dishwasher. Another friend made one this week and she used epoxy and said it worked well, so you have several glue options.
To assemble your plates, be sure all layers are clean and dry. Then layer by layer, glue around the rim of the candle holder (bottom or top) and stick them together. I eyeballed mine for being centered, but if you aren’t sure your eyeballs are working right, you could measure and mark the centers.
I experimented a little with a clear plate and I liked that too! Instead of a plate on top, I glued on a candy dish on that one.

Total cost for the project, including glue–$4.89. That means it was 1/9th of the price of the Pottery Barn item. At more than $40 in savings, that’s not too shabby!
This project is touring the web this week at:

Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
Reinvented’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday
2nd Time Around Tuesday at A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
Just a Girl’s “I Can Make That” Party
 DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

The Inspired Room Beautiful Life Friday


Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

11/6 Follow Friday Blog Hop

It’s Follow Friday!
“T2Tff”

I almost forgot to post Follow Friday today! It’s my 3rd Friday blog hop and I can’t wait to see your posts.

What is your favorite link or site of the week?  Link up and tell us what’s hot in the Trash to Treasure world this week.You’ll have until Sunday evening to post your links.Show us your favorite post of the week, your latest project, or a trash to treasure feature.

Blog Hop guidelines:

Trash to Treasure Decorating1-Add a permalink to your specific post. Be sure to check that the link works after you post.

2-Add a short title for your post. This could be your name or project title if you’d like.

3- Link back to this post from your blog, or send a link to your facebook friends or tweeps (mention @trash2treas).

4-Check out the links and leave some comments on the sites you enjoy.

That’s all there is to it! I can’t wait to see your links and ideas. Never used MckLinky? It’s super easy. You don’t need an account or any software. Just click on “you are next” below and type a title for the post (or your name) and add a link to the location on the web. It’s that simple!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Book Wreath

Recycle Those Broken Old Books
I saw this great project on another blog this week and I just have to share. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with an old book that is falling apart Living with Lindsay has a fantastic step-by-step tutorial on how to make this project:

Photo belongs to Lindsay from Living with Lindsay
Lindsay asks her librarian readers to avert their eyes as she takes a book and turns it into an attractive wreath. It’s the ultimate trash to treasure! You’ll find the supply list on Lindsay’s site as well as a video tutorial.
Being a musician, I can see doing this with old sheet music as well. Or how about leftover wedding programs? Or an old cookbook…The possibilities are endless. What ideas come to mind for you?
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Kitchen Night Light

Recycled Bottles 
 Maybe you’ve seen something similar to the night-lights I made for my kitchen. My sister-in-law has one on her counter made from a wine bottle. But like with any project I see, I can’t help but try to come up with my own twist on it. 
The typical wine bottle with lights in it is made by drilling a hole in the back of the bottom of the bottle and stuffing lights into the bottle. However, I read stories on the Internet about how many bottles crack when someone tries to drill the hole. So I decided to make mine even simpler. I stuffed the lights in the top of the bottle.
 

In my picture, the bottle on the left is a wine bottle. I put a few colored glass marbles into the bottom of the bottle. To keep the bottle from shattering when you bounce marbles into it, tilt the bottle on its side, and let the marbles gently slide down the side. 

Then I stuffed in the lights. I used a string of 20 which is the perfect size for this project. This is the time of year when the lights start coming out and right after Christmas, I stocked up on them last year when they were 75% off. I left the tail of the light string sticking out the top of the bottle and then pressed the cork in place to hold the light cord securely. Then I tied raffia around the neck and wired on a cluster of artificial grapes. 

The green bottle on the right is an olive oil bottle. I put clear lights in it and they glow green. A sparkling cider bottle would look cool and so would any kind of vintage bottle.

So, my twist on the project is two-fold: skipping the drilling and using something other than a wine bottle. Think about the bottles you have around. I have a cool one from 1883 coffee flavoring that would make a good bottle for lights. I have also saved some clear bottles with the plan to make frosted designs, so I tried one out today. 

First, I got out the painters tape and a snowflake punch (from my scrapbook supplies). 

 The painters tape is easier to remove later than other kinds of tape. With the adhesive side of the tape facing down, I pressed the tape through my snowflake punch. This could also be done with laser cut stickers in place of the tape shapes. 
Then I stuck the tape snowflakes randomly on my clear bottle. 
 Next, I got out my frosted glass spray paint. This is sold wherever you buy spray paint. I used it to create privacy glass on my bathroom window and this was left over. I sprayed all over the bottle and let it dry (dries quickly). 

Then I carefully peeled off the blue tape snowflakes to reveal the pattern Make sure your paint has cured a little before you peel off the tape. I was a little hasty in peeling mine and it peeled off a little of the paint I wanted left on. 

Here is a picture of my finished frosted glass with the lights stuffed inside. I haven’t accessorized the bottle yet, but you get the idea. To get the lights distributed, use the skinny handle of a wooden spoon or a sturdy skewer. Although the green cords from the lights are noticeable as shadows in the picture, the camera picked up more than what really showed. Still, I’m planning to add some marbles when I have a chance to get some because they help diffuse the light. 
 Just think, you could do so much with the frosted method!
Have you tried a similar project? How did yours differ from my method? Share your ideas in the comments below.  

I’m linking up with these sites:
 

 

And at Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party 

 

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words 2nd Time Around Tuesday

 
 
 
DIY Day @ ASPTL 
DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

 

 
  
 
 
Metamorphosis Monday at 
Between Naps on the Porch 
 

http://www.thethriftyhome.com 
 
 
The Thrifty Home Penny Pinching Party


 
 
 
Stop by these sites to see other great projects!


Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com