Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween witch lawn ornament from Martha!

I couldn't help myself.  I had to make a new Halloween decoration this year.  If you'd like to check out some of my past Halloween projects and decorations, click on the Halloween label to the right!
I've had my eye on this larger-than-life witch lawn ornament from Martha for a few years, and this was the year that I finally made her!
Martha gives great instructions, but I'll quickly walk you through what I did.
I started with an 4'x8' sheet of chipboard then free-handed the witch design on one sign with a Sharpie marker.  (You can print out the template from the link above if you want, then tape it to your board and just cut through the paper.  BUT it's 35 pages long and I just don't have that kind of printer ink!) 
Carefully cut out your design with a jig saw.

 Next I rolled on a couple of coats of black paint.  I used interior latex because that's what I had on hand, but if I had the option I'd buy exterior, just to make sure she lasts as long as possible.
 Because the chipboard was super textured I had to go back with a cruddy old paint brush to force the paint into the crevices.  Be sure you also paint around the edges really well!

You're also going to need to buy a 6' length of galvanized pipe, 3 straps that will fit over your pipe, 6 short screws to attach the straps to the witch, a screw hook, an old lantern and an old broom.

Using a small sledge hammer, bang your pipe into the ground at least a foot, or until it's sturdy enough to hold up your witch.  Strap the witch to the pipe...
 ...and an old broom to the back of her front hand...
 ...then screw your hook into her back hand.
 I bought an inexpensive outdoor ground light fixture, a flood light bulb and a reeeeeally long outdoor extension cord. If you can get your hands on an automatic timer that you can plug this into as well, that would be great. I wrapped the plugs in a plastic bag and duct tape, just to make sure they don't get wet.
I think her lantern is too small and the broom looks stupid, but that's okay.  Maybe I'll upgrade her next year.
 You can set up your ground light behind her for a back lit effect, but I found that lighting her from the front was pretty dramatic!

Oh, I'm so glad I finally made this!  I've gotten so many comments on her!

Go ahead, bust out your jig saw.  This is a Halloween decoration your neighborhood will be sure to notice!  ;)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Before and After: Bookcase

Friday AT LAST!  I don't know about you, but for me this week has dragged.  Maybe it had something to do with my thinking that yesterday was Friday for half the day.  Don't you hate when that happens?? 

Anyway, I've been puttering around the house trying REALLY hard to get it put together.  Most of the boxes are now unpacked or put away somewhere, we all have bedrooms that, while not really decorated much, are functional.  The kitchen is working, as is the bathroom, living room and family room.  My problem areas that remain are the pantry/laundry/craft/mud room and the dining room.

I'll get there.  Eventually.  But my motivation to get things done has abandoned me.  Stinkin' motivation. 

There are plenty of things that I should do around here, but occasionally I feel the need to do something unnecessary instead.  When I can't handle the thought of tackling yet another pile of our crap and trying to figure out where it should go, I do something entirely different.  Like paint the walls of my daughter's room or make over her dresser or hang curtains in the living room.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment, provides visual proof that I did indeed DO SOMETHING that day, and gets me away from the tedious task of sorting and putting stuff away for just a little longer.

Here's one of those little unnecessary projects from a few weeks ago.

When we moved here to Michigan from California, I got rid of quite a bit of stuff, including a couple of bookcases.  So when we got here that left me with, you guessed it, no bookcases!  We already had a pretty big list of things we'd need to buy, so instead of looking for a new one I dragged this grubby but sturdy one out of the garage and attacked it with my paint brush.  (Not sure why this one came with us, but I'm glad it did!)

I rolled on two coats of white paint and primer and intentionally ignored the back.

Instead of paint I applied some pretty contact paper to the back sections.  Pretty, huh?

I'd purchased two rolls of this contact paper at Marshall's a while ago, and it seems like every time I go they have several cute patterns to choose from.  Next time you're in there check out the stationary aisle.  (I think that's where I found it.) 

Projects like this that can be completed in a day or less are so gratifying, wouldn't you agree?

Now I really have no excuse to continue avoiding another project that's been hanging over me-- putting away the kids' books.  Ugh.  But at least they'll have a cute place to go if the motivation ever strikes!  :)