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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / White Elephants! on: December 10, 2011 01:05:38 PM

My family does a White Elephant Gift Exchange every year instead of the traditional "break the bank buy for everybody exchange".  It tends to be loads of fun, with the recycling of favorite gifts from previous years (ex.  a framed photo of a family friend holding up lottery tickets.  It pops up each year with new tickets!).  There is the occasional dud, but more often than not everyone is satisfied. 
Last year, Artum, a relative made a last minute White Elephant.  It was rather primitive elephant with newspaper paper mache body, toilet paper tube legs and a sock trunk.  But it was insanely cute and a hit (even before the $50 gift card was revealed).  Artum promised to build a better elephant for this year and challenged us to come up with something similar.
This year at Thanksgiving he reminded me, and he seemed rather disappointed that I already had purchased White Elephant gifts and that I wouldn't be making a White Elephant.  After I got home, I felt bad and I tried to think of ideas that wouldn't intrude on Artum's original Elephant.
So long story longer... These are my White Elephants. 

I found a cute elephant face stencil using a search on Google Images.  I bought a pack of 36x36 White Felt at Michael's and it provided me with just enough Felt to make two 10x12 Gift Totes.

This was my first attempt at applique and if you don't look too closely you won't spot my mess-ups.

I made each one slightly different.  One has wider shorter straps, and the other has exposed seams.  I found some red buttons in my Grandmother's collection (because White Elephants are albinos, right?) for the eyes.

All ready to be stuffed with presents!

Did I do good? I'm hoping yes, so that these are able to be re-used and will become a regular fixture at future Christmases.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / How to Ruin A Perfectly Good Set of Collectiable Dawn of the Dead Cards (Table) on: November 20, 2011 02:31:27 PM
At last year's Famous Monsters Convention in Indy, DH picked up a couple of sets of Horror Trading Cards. They sat on our mantle for over a year until he mentioned how cool it would be to put them on the coffee table and cover them in resin.

He decided that the set to be sacrificed would be the Original Dawn of the Dead set. I agreed and immediately went to Michael's with a 40% off coupon and purchased the 32oz kit of Envirotex Lite.

Here is a before shot, the table had been painted black a couple of years ago and had a great distressed feel.

It took 3 coats to properly cover the cards, and we did the first coat outside. We failed to cover it, and several bugs committed suicide in the sticky substance. We did the final 2 coats inside after we realized that the resin was very low odor and probably wouldn't kill us or the cats. We also had to buy another 8 oz kit to do the final coat.

It took 72 hours to do the hard cure, but we could actually knock on it after about 8 hours. I went ahead and did another coat of poly to the rest of the table to give it a high gloss sheen.

The final product, which DH was completely happy with.

3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Ouija Lamp on: November 20, 2011 02:19:52 PM
I have a couple of Ouija Boards that I have picked up at Goodwill that have been sitting on a shelf ignored and unused.
So when I came across this lamp on https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=199527.0, I knew I wanted to do the same.
Fast forward months later and I still hadn't begun. I had collected a lampshade, but alas I couldn't find the perfect one used in the inspiration lamp, so I made do. I carefully peeled the paper top from the board and decoupaged it onto the shade. I robbed a black feather boa from an old piece of lingerie, added some ribbon and a dollar store bird and called it done.
But it sat unused until the end of September when DH called me out on my laziness and said I would never finish it. That lit a fire under my butt and I quickly found a lamp at Goodwill that I could robbed the light kit from. DH then promptly attached the light kit, added a red bulb and hung it for me in the dining room.

And without further ado, here is my Ouija Lamp.

And with the red light on.

I do admit that I think the original lamp looks better, but I am happy with the end result. I have delighted in my BIL's freaking out, and the admiring glances of friends who appreciate my spooky decor.
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Recycled Jean Recliner on: June 29, 2011 06:37:24 PM
Here's my Dumpster Dive Challenge Entry. 

Truthfully, this should have been in the dumpster or burned.  It's my husband's recliner from his bachelor days that he refuses to get rid of.  The upholstery is a crusty old beige cord. There were little holes all over the fabric, along with one massive one that is more than obvious.

But he loves it. He sits in it every day and before we got our Sleep Number bed, he often would sleep in in it. Now it sits in our office with a Devil's Rejects throw blanket hiding the worst.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a jeans covered recliner here on craftster. That's when I knew I wanted to recover DH's recliner, and vowed that when I had collected enough old jeans it would happen.
Fast forward to April 2011, I finally had enough jeans! I cut 2 different size blocks, 5"x5" and 10"x10" and began piecing them together. This was the most time consuming and back breaking part of the construction.
I then took an old bed sheet and turned the recliner on it's side to get a pattern. I could have removed the old fabric and made a pattern from it, but it is such a poor condition I feared it would be more hassle than it's worth.

After many hours of cutting and sewing and stapling and hot-glue, on June 4th it was finally done!

There's even pockets on the side for whatever he wants to stuff in there!

And my Grand total spent on this project?  Nada, zip, zero, nothing.  I already had the supplies in my craft bin, and my husband's recliner has been saved from the landfill.

And my husband's reaction when he saw the finished product? "YOU RUINED MY RECLINER!"
haha, he was just kidding and he loves it too. 

5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / I want your SKULL... I need your SKULL.... on: October 30, 2010 01:53:50 PM
So I discovered this lovely Wilton Skull Cake Pan at Michaels, and I knew I had to buy it.  It being the most expensive cake pan I own, I vow I will use it at every chance.

I made a test one last week that looked like a Mummy's head, and I made one for a friend's Halloween Party tonight.  It looks bloody disgusting, but I promise it's super yummy.

It's Devil's Food, Vanilla Jelly beans for maggots, Gummy worms, White Whipped Frosting to glue the skull together and sprayed with Black Frosting Spray, and Strawberry Syrup for the blood.

And just because I don't want to do a separate post, here is the Mummy one from last week.

6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / No One Likes the Colts Jersey Tote on: December 19, 2009 01:44:13 PM

So my SIL bought me a White and Pink Peyton Manning Colts Jersey in a Ladies XL, similar to this one at the Colts Pro Shop.

Well, normally that would be fine and dandy, but anyone who has ever owned a Ladies cut NFL jersey knows that they run small.  This Jersey is more of a Large and fits a little snug.
So after a couple of years of not wearing it, I came across several ladies at the games who had those lovely Colts purses and thought "I can make that!".

So here is my buddy Blue modeling the results.  It's more of a reversible tote with pockets than a purse, but I am proud of the results.
Blue hitching a ride to the game:

Blue ready to leave:

Blue is a little impatient, he decided to go without me:

C and C is always welcomed! Thanks for letting me share.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Special Request Tissue box on: November 14, 2009 11:15:57 AM
DH asked me if I could make him a tissue box cover to go with the Budweiser coasters on our coffee table.

I told him to peel the labels off the bottle of Bud and I would accommodate his request. 

I started out with an empty Budweiser box.  Then I used an existing tissue box to trace the pattern. I then cut out the pattern 1/4 bigger then the original. 

A little bit of painters tape was used to assemble the box.

I then decoupaged the Bud labels randomly all over.

Super easy!

After wards, DH decided it looked better in the office, where he shows it off to his friends when they visit.  I have several requests from his friends for more, but they need to provide me with the labels.
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Frankenstein errr... Lampshade on: November 14, 2009 11:08:20 AM

DH has this bo... Lamp.  It's one of those cool monster green deals that he could not seem to refuse buying.  It's a rarely used decorative item, but he wanted to keep it on display to show off to his friends.

I however, did not want it out for unexpected visitors or kids to see.  We compromised.

I bought a nasty pink shade from the thrift store, then stripped it down.  A few coats of black and green paint made it look like it matched the... lamp. I then printed off some Frankenstein art from the internet to go with out not so typical decorating theme.

And with a few coats of white glue and he has a... lamp that I am not embarrassed to have in the living room.
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / I think he's wrong. on: November 14, 2009 10:44:49 AM
So, a co-worker mentioned that she had some of those cheap white craft store columns that she was getting rid of and offered them to me.

I took them home and did a base coat of black and decided they were too boring plain black. 
So I broke out my craft acrylics and sponge painted it to look like rock.

DH came out and told me he hated it and wanted them black.  I relented and back
to black they went.

Sorry I don't have a better pic of them black, DH is sleeping right now and I can't seem to find the "after" pics I took.

So now they sit in our bedroom and I can't help but think they were better looking my way.

So what do you think?
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Boring Target Toilet Cabinet No More! on: November 14, 2009 10:42:48 AM
Okay, when we moved into our apartment we failed to notice that we did not have linen closet.  Only when we started unpacking did I realize this not so great fact.

We bought the one of those crappy Target Over the Toilet Cabinet and dealt with it's boring yet functional appearance.
A few months later, I bought a hanging Cabinet at the thrift store for $1.50.  They didn't really match and there was wax stain all over the front of the door.

At a random visit to Michaels, I found black wrinkled scrapbook paper and knew I had to buy every sheet they had.  8 sheets for 19cents a piece!

My husband was suspicious when he saw me break out the white glue and started measuring the cabinets and cutting up the paper.  He then followed me into the bathroom and watched as I glued them onto the doors. 

15 minutes later, and with only one coat of white glue for protection I was done.

Technically I still need to change the knobs on the bottom cabinets to match the upper, but I otherwise I am very happy with it.

Six months later, they are holding up really well, and you can't see where I had to piece the paper together. 

Comments and Criticisms welcome.  Thanks for viewing!

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