Upcycled

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I know. You are wondering what this bright yellow-green tennis ball is doing in the middle of all these pumpkins, right? Well, at an antique shop the other day, I saw some pumpkins made from an old chenille bedspread. I thought an old sweater would work just as well, and I was pondering what to use as a form. I walked to the garage, and lo and behold, there was a tennis ball hanging down on a piece of fishing line. Saint put it there so I’d Know when to stop my car…to keep from running into the house, I suppose. No, it lets me know when my car has cleared the electric eye on the garage door, actually. Anyway, I asked if he had any more old tennis balls. I knew they’d be old since we haven’t played in months years a while. He found ONE! I also spotted some quilt batting, or pillow stuffing, depending upon the project. I cut out a circle that would completely encompass the tennis ball. I used both Tacky Glue and hot glue for this project, starting with Tacky, which I squeezed onto the tennis ball, pulling up the batting around it and patting it all down smoothly.

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Next, I cut a slightly larger circle from the sweater and followed the same procedure.

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This time, I pressed all the fabric in at the top, pushing down really hard, and hot glued the top shut. Next, I used jute twine to wrap around the form in places to create the pumpkin “creases” and tied a bow at the top. I added some bittersweet, and, voila! A pumpkin from an old tennis ball.

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On the hardness scale from 1-10, this was definitely an easy 1. This is a fun thing to do with your kids. If it is too late for the Thanksgiving table, you could play around with making them into Christmas ornaments. They would add warmth and texture to your tree decor.

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Holidays Stressing You Out? Get Plastered!

Wait, my friends who know that, aside from the celebratory glass of wine, I’m pretty much a teetotaler; before you judge me, this post has nothing to do with forbidden fruit. Or beverage, although fruit would probably work well in this project. In fact, the only similarity to that getting plastered and this getting plastered is that it gets messy.

I came across this technique blog hopping at http://www.songbirdblog.com  and thought…hmmm. This should work on all sorts of fake stuff. I meant to get Dollar Tree plastic pumpkins, but they sold out at Halloween. I already had lots of fake leaves, but I finally found the pumpkins at an antique shop on clearance for cheap. Here’s what I started with:

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And this is how it ended:

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I do love orange, but it doesn’t go with much my decor, and whites are trending right now, so…not bad for pennies, huh?

Here is the tutorial for the technique:

Mix Plaster of Paris with water until you have a mixture similar to ranch dressing. If you get gravy, throw it out and start over.

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I moved outside to do this because I thought I needed my clothesline to hang the leaves. I spread a plastic sheet under the clothesline and started dipping.

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I dipped once and hung them on the line. MAJOR MISTAKE!

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What a mess! See how one hangs down like it is supposed to and the other one does not? The process of it going from hanging down to sticking up showered me with wet plaster and just made a mess of my clothes pins and clothes line. No problem, because, you know, clothes lines and clothes pins need to be cleaned often occasionally at least once in their lives, right? But I found that laying the items down on the plastic to dry worked fine.

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I gave the pumpkins (and the hanging leaves) two coats. How easy is that?!

In fact, I tried some old cheap roses and other small silk flowers and greenery. I found that the small ones turn out great…the larger ones droop!

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These will be pretty for Christmas!

 

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There you have it! Quite a transformation, I think. An easy holiday centerpiece or added decor for your Thanksgiving celebration. I think these plastered items would look elegant on a white ironstone platter, or in a ceramic turkey. Best of all…no hangover.   :))

 

Presto Chango into fall

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This has been my summer mantel since the baby shower decor was taken down. Pretty boring, huh?

A seasonal change is a comin’. I found this very old oval frame at a flea market last month, and this little scroll with one of my favorite scriptures on it was a couple of dollars at a yard sale. The frame was in pretty bad shape, so I did not hesitate to get out the twine, burlap, and glue gun.

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I made a few loops of natural and white burlap, added some leaves, and twisted some jute twine around the frame and added some braided rope. I like the textures, don’t you?

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Next, I found some rusty flower tins in the basement, added some sheer bronze fabric ribbons and dried florals to the votives I already had. The little wooden pumpkins were purchased at a wonderful gift shop called Boomland Square several years ago and have been used as place card holders, cloche decor, and a number of other fall displays.

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Views from upstairs and then from the living room:

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In less than 30 minutes, Presto-chango! I may need to play with the flower buckets a bit and scatter a few leaves or acorns around, but…better, don’t you think?