Upcycled Tin Can Snowman that Melts Your Heart

Where I live in Northern Wisconsin, we haven’t had a day where the temperatures have climbed to the 50s since sometime last year. Our winters can be long, and I leave snowman stuff out from November to the end of April.

Yep. We get our use out of our winter decorations!

My mom recently made me another snowman for my collection. She’s inspired by the plethora of ideas on Pinterest. And, being a school cook she has access to a lot of empty tin cans. So, she created this snowman for me.

His arms are a little long, and they went off my photo, and I might shorten them just a little to make it easier to store him away…granted our snow does stop and summer arrives here up ‘nort’.

Here’s the scoop on how she made him. She spray painted the cans with white. I suggest a rust-preventing type, especially if you store your decorations in a place where they encounter a little moisture. She glued them together. You can use hot glue, or if you plan to put it outside, try something like Gorilla glue, E-6000,  or Liquid Nails

She used buttons and hot glue for decoration and made a scarf and hat from scraps of felt. You could sew a hat, or if you have an aversion to needles flying across fabric too close to your fingers, you can make it from felt. The top of the hat is a circle glued to a tube of felt, with another Frisbee-like piece for the brim. You could also make a stocking hat by using an old wool sock tied at the top with a tassle added. Or, if you’re even more into Trash to Treasure, cut off the arm of an old sweater, tie one end for the top of the hat, and you have a knit stocking hat. I didn’t make a sample because, my husband wouldn’t consent to having a sweater in his closet with only one arm.

If you don’t have felt for the scarf, try a scrap of flannel and cut fringes on the ends. 

My dad got into the project by drilling holes for Mom in the sides where she wanted to glue stick arms. If you want to be able to store your snowman away during the summer, you could skip the glue and just “stick” [oh, I’m punny today] the arms into the holes. Then, you can remove them for storage. And if necessary, your snowman can get an arm transplant next winter if these arms don’t work out. Now, there’s a bonus.

Now, you’re probably wondering where you can get a nose. For the snowman, that is. I don’t know a thing about human nose suppliers. My mom made the nose from Model Magic clay. You know, the stuff that’s really light weight and dries quick? You’ll find it usually with the kids craft supplies. She used paint to make the rosy cheeks. 

For someone who doesn’t consider herself all that crafty, don’t you think Mom did a good job? And, thanks to our snowy weather, I don’t feel compelled to put him away for spring yet.


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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Repurposed: Decanter Turned Flower Jar

A long time ago on What Would You Do Wednesday, I asked what you would do with the decanter jar I have. See the original post

I really wanted to get a Beta fish, but then wasn’t sure if I could remember to feed it. But, wouldn’t that have been cool on my dining table?

The dear friend who gave me the jar gave me some flower sprigs at Christmas this year, and I knew it was time to do something with the jar.

I assembled my materials. I didn’t have any regular or floral clay, but I had some old paper clay that need using, so I got that out. I decided to put an arrangement inside the jar so it would be easy to clean. The clay would help me get the flowers to stick. The paper clay wasn’t ideal, since it didn’t want to stay put int he bottom as I worked, but I flexed with what I had on hand.

 Next, I pulled the stems apart. Gasp. I know, it seems like ruining it, but each type of material in a bunch is taped together at the base into one cluster. I pulled the cluster apart.

 I used a kitchen spoon handle to push some clay in the bottom. Um, you can see the clutter on my table. Please excuse the mail.

 I carefully inserted one cluster at a time, until they were all in there. I had to use a wooden spoon handle and some skewers to get everything poked where it looked best. 

Then, I added some clear marbles that I also had on hand. These covered the clay. I know, you can’t see much here. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all.

Marbles. Some days, I’m losing mine, but this time, I think I came up with a pretty nice table arrangement.

 Tried getting a good picture, but when you create something late at night, the lighting doesn’t cooperate. You get the idea. Perhaps this angle is a better picture.

 I love that it stays dust-free!


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

What Would You Do Wednesday

Could someone tell me where time goes? Seriously. Where did a whole week go already? It’s definitely time for another What Would You Do Wednesday. And it’s time to announce the winner of the last WWYD, the Tiffany style lamp.  
I loved all of the ideas and it was very difficult to choose since each had its own creative merit. But the idea that I thought most brought the lamp up to date in a new way, was the idea from Mattie about mod podge. I could see it with a shabby chic scrapbook paper mod podged over the dark panels with the white panels left as is. I think it would also look nice to rub something on the lead parts to shabby it up a little. Thanks Mattie!
This week, I want to talk about what to do with that leftover tile from a project. Sometimes it’s just a couple of tiles, and sometimes it’s half of a box. I have 8 or 9 of these tumbled marble 4 inch tiles left.
I’ve seen leftovers at yard sales too, but I passed them up since I already have some in my basement that I haven’t used. I also have at least 20 ceramic 4 inch tiles that look something like these.
So, what would you do? Would you come up with some sort of crafty project? Or perhaps you’d use it for something bigger, like a piece of furniture? Tell us below what you would do. And if you’ve already done something clever with tile, but sure to include a link to your blog post in your comments.
When I announce the winning idea, I’ll also include a picture of some of the things I came up with.

Trash to Treasure Decorating
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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
  • 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
The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party
The Inspired Room Holiday Link Party


DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

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


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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Fall Pumpkin Decoration

T.P. Pumpkins

My mom and some of her friends made these cute pumpkins for a ladies fall retreat and I thought I would show you how to make them. It’s an easy fall decoration that isn’t messy and you can even make these with kids.

This project is not quite trash to treasure, since toilet paper isn’t considered trash until it is used. But I thought it was close enough to share with my readers. It’s a perfect way to use up some scraps of fabric too.

What you need:

  • Fabric square, at least 18×18 inches. I suggest calico or other fall printed fabric. But you can even use old flannel shirts, a table cloth, or cloth napkins. If you’re purchasing fabric, a fat quarter is the perfect size.
  • 1 roll of toilet paper, jumbo size
  • a twig or stick around 6 inches long
  • silk floral leaves or dried leaves

As you can see from the ingredient list, this isn’t a precise project. You can make alterations depending on the supplies you have on hand. The beauty of it is that there is no glue, so the fabric isn’t harmed in any way. You can press it and reuse it after the season is over and put the toilet paper back in your stash cupboard.

Place the fabric wrong side up on your work surface and place the roll of toilet paper in the center of the square. Now, bring the edges of the fabric up to the top of the roll and begin stuffing the edges of the square into the center of the roll.

Keep stuffing until all of the rough edges are stuffed in the center of the roll. Keep the fabric loose and puffy as you are stuffing, not pulled tight around the roll. When you are done, adjust the “bunches” of fabric to look evenly puffy all the way around.

Now, gently push the stick into the center of the roll.

Finish the pumpkin by poking the stems of artificial leaves or real dried leaves around the stem. I used fall oak leaves, but you could use leaves from any silk flower. I scattered a few artificial leaves around the base of the pumpkin and put it on my table by my candelabra. It takes less then 30 minutes to gather the supplies and make a few of these easy fall decorations. Happy Fall Y’all!

See my link to this project on tour at these sites:

Katie Kubler’s Fall Decor Link Party.

And also on Today’s Creative Blog’s Tuesday Get Your Craft On

Creations by Kara
Link Party


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