Brown paper bags turned into holiday decorations

My sister-in-law is an amazing artist, one of those people who can do everything. She paints. She draws. She throws clay. She crafts. She crochets. She takes inspiring photographs. Even her name screams creative genius – Piper LaRue. Nice, right? So today I’m sharing a few of Piper’s masterpieces with you, specifically her hand-drawn gift bags. Yep, these all started as plain brown paper bags. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away after last Christmas so I trimmed, laminated, and framed them. Voila – handmade holiday decorations.

Santa Elvis

Santa fish

flying Santa

Santa puppet

If you don’t have access to an amazing young artist, you can find fabric and scrapbooking paper these days that’s frame-worthy. I’ve even seen some wrapping papers here that I would gladly hang on my wall. Do you have any “repurposed” holiday decorations? Send me a link, I’d love to see it.

Witch’s potion Halloween decorations

My house has a teeny, tiny entry space so decorating is always a challenge. This year I tried something new and I LOVE IT. The best part is I spent $0.00. Check me out.

potion chalkboard

potions bar

wool of bat

potions collage

Here’s a quick breakdown in case you wanna make your own.

1. Chalkboard & table: These are permanent fixtures in the space. They get updated every few weeks, depending on what’s happening around here. (FYI – both items were garage sale finds.) The quote was inspired by Shannon over at Madigan Made http://www.madiganmade.com/2010/10/october-new-month-new-scary-quote.html
2. Books: Those are real books that I pulled off my shelf and covered in paper. The graphics are just bits of clipart that I found online and pieced together.
3. Jars: The little jars were part of my existing Halloween decorations. The bigger ones were storing various things around the house. I dumped them out and repurposed them for the holiday.
4. Eyeballs: Again, part of my existing decorations. Me and my kids made them from clay several years ago but a friend told me she found eyeballs at the dollar store this year.
5. Jar labels: Free clipart, it’s a beautiful thing. I left some links for you at the end of this post.
6. Fabric: I had an unopened package of cheese cloth in my craft stash. I have no idea why. I soaked it in coffee for an hour or so to give it a little age and voila!
7. Jar contents: The bat wool is pillow stuffing with a few shots of brown spray paint. The eye of newt concentrate is water and neon food coloring. The petrified butterflies are some landscaping materials left over from a summer project.

I think that’s everything. I hope this inspires you to shop your house and try something new and creative this year. Happy Halloween!

Here are the free labels I promised.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovemanor/sets/72157602788222231/

http://cocoandbella.blogspot.com/2009/10/free-vintage-halloween-poison-labels.html

http://karencookiejar.com/2012/05/halloween-printable-labels/

Martini Drinking Witch Silhouettes

If you’re a crafty witch like me you’re already working on your Halloween goodies. In the spirit of the spooky season I’m sharing my all-time favorite decoration and a link to the FREE template.

These lovely ladies hang in the front windows of my house every October. I made them using a roll of black paper and this pattern from Better Homes & Gardens. I won’t lie and tell you it was a quick or easy project but the result was worth the effort.

Note: Rather than enlarging the template on a copier I drew a large grid on my black paper and then drew the same lines in each of my squares as I saw in the template. Think of it as one of the grid drawings your kids do for art class sometimes, but on a larger scale.

Tip: After you finish cutting out your martini drinking witches consider laminating them to protect your hard work. You may have to cut them apart to fit through the laminator but don’t panic. Just piece them back together in your window and no one will be able to tell. I cut the arms off mine and ran them through the laminator at my daughters’ elementary school.

What’s your favorite Halloween decorating masterpiece?

C is for Coffee Cup Gallery: A-Z Blog Challenge

We have a small collection of sentimental coffee cups. Some are hand-made. Some were special gifts. Others were purchased from places we’ve traveled or favorite places we’ve lived. Unfortunately, they’ve been stuffed in the back of my kitchen cupboard for years, rarely seen or used. When I told the hubs I wanted a better place to keep them he suggested hanging them on the kitchen wall. I took his idea one step further and created a coffee cup gallery, framing each mug as a piece of art.

Coffee cup gallery

Coffee cup gallery

Coffee cup gallery

All of the frames were thrift shop finds that I repainted to look. . . less thrifty. After arranging and hanging them I mounted simple hooks from K-Mart in each one and hung the mugs. Now we use one of them almost every day. Mission accomplished.

What creative way do you use to display your collections?

This post is the third in a series of 26 inspired by the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Click over and see all the amazing bloggers working their way through the alphabet in April.

DIY Masterpiece Monday: Martini Drinking Witch Silhouettes

I was planning to post Halloween masterpieces in October but I can’t wait any longer. It’s time to get this broom-riding season started. I’m kicking it off with my all-time favorite Halloween decoration – martini drinking witch silhouettes.

martini drinking witch silhouettes

martini drinking witch silhouettes

These lovely ladies hang in the front windows of my house every October (along with a few others I can’t seem to find pictures of). I made them using a roll of black paper and a pattern from Better Homes & Gardens. I won’t lie and tell you it was a quick or easy project but the result was worth the effort.

Tip: After you finish cutting out your martini drinking witches consider laminating them to protect your hard work. You may have to cut them apart to fit through the laminator but don’t panic. Just piece them back together in your window and no one will be able to tell. (I cut the arms off mine and ran them through the laminator at my daughters’ elementary school.)

Do you have a favorite Halloween decorating masterpiece to share? Attach a picture to your comment or send me a link to your post.

(Disclaimer: this Monday Masterpiece is being posted on a Wednesday. I would love to give you a long, detailed explanation/reason but I’m not gonna. Let’s just say I’m a couple days behind and leave it at that. Did you really want to know the tawdry details of my personal life? I didn’t think so.)