December 10, 2016

Santa Hat Decor DIY Tall Whimsical Santa Hats

Santa hat decor
This little project all started when one of my sweet nieces mentioned that she was looking
 for tall Santa Hats that she had seen at a store years ago and wanted to find them again.

whimsical Santa hat
They looked like this, whimsical Santa hats from Cracker Barrel but no longer available.
I was inspired to create something similar for her, about 24" tall and and narrow
enough to fit on a mantel.

DIY Santa hat using aluminum screen and wire
I stopped at Lowe's and bought a roll of aluminum window screen
48" x 84" for $10 and a roll of duct tape. I wasn't exactly sure of my process 
at this point but thought I may need duct tape for it.
Next stop was the fabric store and purchased 1 yard of beautiful stretchy red velvet.
I also spotted curly white fur fabric that I thought would look great for the hat trim so 
I  bought 1/8 yard of the curly fur.

wood circles for Santa hats
I drew an 8" diameter circle on scrap plywood and cut out with jigsaw.
I used a gallon paint can as my template.

Diy Santa hat with aluminum screen
I used a staple gun to attach the screen to the wood circle.
Use the smooth machine edge of the screen at the bottom, no need to cut the 
screen at this point, just start stapling around the wood circle.

staple gun wire to wood circle for Santa hat
Since I was stapling into plywood, I tried to place my staples
on an angle so they will be less likely to wiggle out.

Tall Santa hat decor DIY
You will end up with a 48" tall tube of wire on a wood circle base.

Whimsical Santa hats with wire and fabric
I realized the aluminum wire was not quite as substantial
as I envisioned so I used crumpled up pieces of newspaper end rolls
to beef it up. I glued the first bit down with the glue gun,
probably not necessary but it's what I did.
Since I do a lot of shipping with my Online Store, I had these paper rolls handy.
I get them from my local newspaper office for $1 each.

sew aluminum screen pieces with wire for Santa hat
To secure the screen together, I wove small pieces of 20 gauge
wire through both screen pieces and folded the ends of 
the wire back into the hat shape using needle nose pliers.

This is what I used, I happened to have it on hand.

Santa hat decor DIY
As you go along, stuffing paper, and "sewing" your screen together with the 
wire pieces, you will want to keep standing it up on it's base  to make sure you 
are liking the shape it is taking and that it is standing straight.
As you get closer to the top, you have to put your hand inside the cone
shape to really start twisting it tighter and smaller.

Diy Santa hat whimsical white and red with screen
I ended up cutting some of the bulk of the screen off when I was
getting to the end to be able to make it small enough.
I saved this chunk of screen I cut from each hat to create the 
pom pom ball for the tip of the hat.

Santa hat shape for decor
In addition to "sewing" the screen with the wire pieces, I also used duct tape
as I got closer to the top to help get that pointy shape.

Santa hat made with aluminum mesh and fabric
I used duct tape on a couple of other areas that were kind of "pokey" 
from the cut edges of the aluminum . Just use it as necessary and you
 may even be able to use duct tape for the whole piece without the wire "sewing" part.

DIY Santa hat
To give a smoother finish to apply my fabric on, I used Mod Podge and more
of the newspaper end rolls to decoupage a final layer on the hat forms.
I only used one layer of paper. I left them to dry in my heated room 
for about an hour and they were dry and ready to go.

creating Santa hat decor
I used hot glue to secure the red fabric at the base and worked my
way around the form. I only used the glue at the bottom, the very top
point of the hat and at the seam I created.

The glue did seep through and leave a mark on my fabric at
the bottom but it will be covered with the white fur trim.

Santa hat how to
I made a seam using hot glue along the side of the hat to secure the ends together.

Santa hat diy pom pom
I know I took a photo of the ball making process but they weren't in
my photos...not sure what happened!
To create the pom pom, I shaped the scrap screen pieces into a ball shape, "sewed" the 
ball top closed with wire and left the end of the wire exposed. They looked
like metal lollipops if you can't visualize what I mean.
I used hot glue to cover the balls with the white trim and stuck the 
exposed wire end into the hat tip and secured with more hot glue.

Whimsical Santa hats
I think they turned out pretty cute and will get these in the mail to her.
They are about 27" tall, 8" diameter and are lightweight but stand sturdily.
I spend under $20 to make 2 hats and it took just a few hours.

Here they are in her home on her fireplace mantel.

Whimsical Santa hat decor
Thanks for reading about my Santa hats!
visit my new online store featuring my mosaic art and coastal ornaments or

November 16, 2016

Octopus and Sea Turtle Coastal Mosaics, Stained Glass Mosaic Surfboards, Octopus and Sea Turtles

octopus mosaic stained glass mosaic surfboard
I've been in a mosaic frenzy lately.

red octopus mosaic
I've made several octopus surfboards in this wonderful red and teal 
color combo over the last year... that I realize I'm just now blogging about.

octopus mosaic art
I adore octopuses and I love these colors together.

octopus mosaic red octopus
I still offer this design but wanted to create a more versatile octopus 
 that could be hung vertically or horizontally.

mosaic surfboard art octopus
This is the new octopus surfboard design I came up with.

large scale art mosaic octopus surfboard
And I think he looks great hung in either direction.
See the video.

Oh yes! Forgot to mention, I have created a YouTube Channel.
I've been using short videos on Instagram here and there to share current work
and love the way videos can capture detail that photos 
sometimes can't. I figured I would expand on that and add short clips
of current artwork on my own YouTube Channel. 

mosaic octopus
While I was in octopus mode, I decided to retire my previous 
octopus designs and create something new.

coastal octopus art
The first one I made was in a beautiful teal and purple glass color.
This one has sold but you can still view the video
octopus art
I used the same pattern to create a blue/green mosaic octopus.

octopus art blue octopus

coastal octopus art
This mosaic octopus is large, about 34" wide and looks great in a coastal setting,
bathroom or anywhere you need a one of a kind piece of octopus art ;)

sea turtle art mosaic surfboard swimming turtles
Since I was in the mode of revamping designs,  I also retired the previous
sea turtle surfboard design and created this entirely different version.

sea turtles and kelp
This sea turtle mosaic depicts two sea turtles swimming in beautiful Caribbean 
blue water with ribbons of kelp or sea grass. I love how it turned out. 

tempered glass art crash glass
For the fins and head, I use broken tempered glass,
it's perfect for this application and gives a great look.

stained glass mosaic sea turtle art
I actually created these two mosaic turtles a while back
before I made the new sea turtle surfboard.

sea turtle art stained glass mosaic coastal art
They are both sold.

tempered glass mosaic
I used the tempered glass again on the fins and head.

beach house art sea turtle
I'm thinking of creating more pieces using the tempered glass,
it's so cool and fun to work with.

mosaic sea turtle
I tried to create dimension on this piece using lighter and 
darker areas of the glass and I think it gives it a great look.

stained glass mosaic sea turtle

coastal art sea turtle mosaic
I used the WallApp tool again to place this turtle in a 
virtual room. It really helps you see the scale of a piece of art.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading about my mosaics!

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October 16, 2016

How to paint decorative ceramic objects, DIY makeover with spray paint tutorial

painting ceramic

Did you know you can paint decorative ceramic items? Well, you can!

I'm one of those people that will paint pretty much anything.
to name a few, so I didn't bat an eyelash over the thought of painting over 
a pair of of ceramic vases I had.

before and after diy painting ceramic vases
This is what I was starting with.
I love these handmade vases that I bought years ago at a fancy shop.
They are large and heavy with hand applied ceramic petal pieces.

Although beautiful, this beige color just wasn't jiving in my new home 
so I decided to change them up rather than get rid of them.

how to paint ceramic pieces with spray paint
I started by spraying them with light blue satin spray paint that had
built in primer. This part can be a little scary because they 
look horrible at this point, but keep going!

spray painted decor idea
Next up, I dry brushed a warmer aqua color on top.
The before is on the left, after the aqua is on the right.

***Important...You must spray with a clear satin sealer at 
this point and let dry before going to the next step.
If you haven't sealed and start applying watery paint in the
next step, you will remove your previous paint layer.
Make sure to use satin finish. If it is too glossy, the brown
wash in the next step will not adhere at all.

add brown paint wash to painted finish
After they were sealed and dry, I brushed on watered down brown
acrylic paint over the petals. I turned them upside down so the
paint could seep into all the nooks and crannies.

ceramic vase makeover
While the paint is still wet, quickly...and patiently in this case with
all the petals!...wipe away the excess brown paint with soft rags.

"Before" the brown wash is shown on the left and "after" on the right.

diy how to paint ceramic decor
The brown adds a lovely toned down look with lots of color 

Rustoleum clear laquer spray sealer
Seal with several coats of Rustoleum clear laquer, it gives a great high gloss finish.

I almost exclusively use Rustoleum spray paints (unless I can't find
a certain color) because they are just wonderful... and they didn't pay me to say that.

how to paint decorative ceramic pieces
I didn't show this step but before I sealed with the laquer, I 
dry brushed a little gold metallic paint on the edges of the petals.
Metallics are so hard for me to capture in a photo but you can see 
glimpses of it in this photo.

Dazzling metallics in glorious gold is my go-to gold paint.

ceramic vase makeover diy painting ceramic
The "new" vases fit much better in our color scheme.

decorative ceramic orb makeover
While I was at it I had a large cut work ceramic orb in bright 
white that didn't really go with our decor either, so I applied 
the same technique.

diy ceramic orb makeover
I used the same color paints as the vases. After completing all the 
steps above, I used Rustoleum Bright Coat in gold and sprayed it very heavily at the
top of the ball until it puddled and let it drip down randomly around the ball.
I coated with with the high glass laquer for the final coat.

It looks much more shiny and metallic than this photo shows!

Thanks for stopping by!

Visit my new online store or
Find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
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clips of current artwork in my Etsy shop

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