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Skeleton Key Shadow Box Craft

There was a time recently that I had a little obsession with skeleton keys. Rob got me a really pretty necklace a couple years ago through Etsy and I started collecting them from vintage shops and flea markets. So I had a collection of keys. Now what. I wanted to display them, show them off, admire their tarnished and rusty appearance.  So this Skeleton Key Shadow Box was made.Skeleton Key Shadow Box #craft #upcycle

I bought the shadow box frame for a few dollars from Ikea I believe. Everything there is so cheap it definitely wasn’t a wallet buster. The keys were bought over many shopping trips but I would estimate I spent $15 on the all of the keys. The scrapbook paper came as part of a gift from ACMoore so that was free.

I spent more time arranging the keys in than anything else. The shadowbox came together quickly.


Shadow Box or Frame without glass

Scrapbook paper, old map or music paper

Skeleton keys

Adhesive ( I used E-6000)


Start playing with the placement of your keys.  I had way to many to fit in the shadowbox but was able to fit a good amount in the small space. Play with sizes and direction to get something that is pleasing to the eye.  Then play with different backgrounds. Arranging your keys on the glass and sliding different papers underneath makes this step super simple.

I went with a 6X6 map with a vintage feel. It fit the area that I planned on hanging this and to me felt like the best fit. Wedding music or a favorite poem would be great choices too.

Skeleton Key Shadow Box #craft #upcycle

Skeleton Key Shadow Box #craft #upcycleTake a picture of your arrangement then using a quick drying glue start placing your keys in their spot on the paper. Let the keys set for 1 hour then put your frame back together and hang.

I love old thing but I have to find ways to incorporate them into my cookie cutter home. This shadow box can be done with anything you’re collecting.

Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

I’m always on the hunt for inexpensive decor items for my home. It’s only recently that I realized what a huge difference art and sculptures and glassware can do to make a difference on a boring shelf.  For a long time I decorated with photos. While I still have tons of photos in my house I’ve starting incorporating more trends like this Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle.
Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

I spotted him in a thrift store for $3. I hated the color of him but loved the size the shape. He was small enough to fit anywhere and had a good look. Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

I took him home and scrubbed him clean and set him on a shelf for a couple days till I decided what I wanted to do. I went with simple. I gave him 3-4 coats of bright white glossy spray paint.

It took most of the day to get all the coats on with a good amount of drying time in-between then another 2 days of him sitting on a shelf to completely cure and then he went on a small shelf along with some picture frames and a simple candle holder with candle.

Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle


Sometimes he takes up residence on a shelf in the kitchen. He’s adorable with his new coat of paint. Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

If I had decided on moving him to our bedroom he would’ve gotten a coat of Tiffany Blue to match our end tables.

This is an easy and expensive way to add a little something you didn’t know that you needed. See more of my crafty projects and upcycle ventures.

Lace Covered Candle Holder #upcycle #craft

In honor of Earth Day 2014 (today) I’m sharing an upcycle project I did a couple week back. In a spring cleaning frenzy I cleaned out the kids drawers of outgrown clothing. This gorgeous blue satiny and lace shirt was in the pile. Sabreena picked it up in a thrift store but it never really fit right. It killed me to get rid of it, the lace was so pretty so I figured I could create something pretty with it. This Lace Covered Candle Holder was the perfect fit.Lace Covered Candle Holder #upcycle #craft

I had an empty Yankee Candle jar, a sleeker shape than the traditional jar, cleaned it really well and ran it through the dishwasher. I left the lace intact as I covered it. i didn’t want any cuts or gaps.

Lace Covered Candle Holder #upcycle #craft

Lace Covered Candle Holder #upcycle #craftLace Covered Candle Holder #upcycle #craft

With some glossy mod podge I started to attached the lace.

I worked in small sections so the lace stayed taut and in place. I left each section for 15 minutes so it set up then worked on another section and pulled the lace over the mod podge again.

I covered the entire piece of lace with mod podge again once the jar was covered. This gave it it’s final sheen. Using super sharp scissors I trimmed the lace off the top and bottom of the jar leaving a clean finish. I might go back and trim with wide grosgrain ribbon.

A lit tealight is enough light to shine through to still see the intricate lace pattern.

I have another jar, still have wax in it, but that will be transformed into a Lace Candle Holder too.

Fabric Flower Headband for Kids #craft #handmade

Shae is a mix of girly girl and tomboy. She’s got a collection of jewelry and lip glosses stored next to her Xbox games and Skylanders figures. She’s always asking for costumes and new shoes so it’s only natural that I make her hair accessories to wear. She recently got her haircut and I wanted to emphasize the bump in the back so I made her this “hipster” fabric flower headband that wraps around her entire head.

Even better is I didn’t purchase one single thing in order to make it. Saving fabric from outgrown clothing is the best way to create things like this.

First I took a stretchy, shimmery black knit and measured it 8 inches bigger than her head from the base of her head to her forehead. Laying flat it measured about 3″ wide. Scrunched up this was a good fit for her.

With a needle and thread I made bow shape without the huge knot.

Rolled Fabric Flower Headband for Kids #craft

Then I started rolling strips of fabric to create rosettes. These are so simple to make. Essentially you take a strip of fabric, fold it in half (printed side facing out) then twist it. Then you roll in around itself using spots of hot glue to keep it in place. The harder your twist the tighter your flower will be. Don’t stop at fabric though. Ribbons and lace work perfectly too. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube to show you how to make a rolled fabric or ribbon flower.

Rolled Fabric Flower Headband for Kids #craft

I made a few flowers, layered them on a piece of fabric and glued them along with a scrunched up piece of black satin tucked behind a flower for embellishment. Feathers, lace and even leaves would work great here.

Rolled Fabric Flower Headband for Kids #craft

Glue the fabric to the headband, set aside to dry and it’s ready to wear. I wanted to add tiny seed beads but Shae was very impatient and wanted to wear it to school. I’ve done these rolled flowers many many times. They take just a couple minutes to make and are ready to tack on an existing headband, barrette or brooch.
Rolled Fabric Flower Headband for Kids #craft
Use what you have on hand, no need to shop for new fabrics or crystals.

DIY Necklace and Pendant Upcycle #craft #jewelry

I love love love jewelry.  I especially love necklaces.  My earrings are diamond studs Rob got me a few years ago that I never take out. My wedding band stays in place with the occasional fashion ring on the other hand. But necklaces get changed often dependent on my mood. I have some favorites like this Lisa Leonard Lots of Love pendant and necklace. I was shopping last week and rummaging through a clearance section in the craft aisle and found a pendant. I knew it was missing something but knew immediately I could rescue it and upcycle it into something adorable.

DIY Upcycled Necklace #bird #clay

I had a broken silver necklace at home so I knew I could resurrect it into something pretty.DIY Upcycled Necklace #bird #clay


I started by fixing the necklace with a heavy gauge jump ring and then cutting the chain right in the center. Fixing Broken Necklace #bird #clay

Then I added the same heavy gauge jump rings to the pendant and attached it to the necklace. This is an instructional video on how to work with jump rings correctly. Using a heavy/thick ring will lessen the chance of it coming apart while wearing. There is always the soldering option but I’m not there yet.

necklace on pendant

attaching jumprings

The empty nest needed eggs. Blue is a my favorite color so I knew a couple Robin’s eggs would look like they belonged.  Rolling out the clay into the right shape took the longest time;  making sure to tap the ends to get it round but not flat. After getting 2 almost identical eggs  I was ready to bake. It just takes 20 minutes in a 225° oven and they are hard like little pebbles.

I have a glaze that gives the clay a shine after baking but clear nail polish would work just fine.

Using a couple dabs of glue I placed the eggs in the nest and let it set for a couple hours. This glue dries completely clear.

making eggs for necklace

Don’t throw away broken jewelry. Give it a new life with the purchase of a $2 pendant or create your own pendant with buttons, clay, earrings or beads.DIY Upcycled Necklace #bird #clay

 DIY Upcycled Necklace #bird #clay

A Family of Christmas Stockings #PCHoliday

trackable pixelBlog Post Disclosure BannerWay back in the day when  we were just a family of 4 I spent a Christmas finding the “perfect” stockings and stocking hangers to display on our mantel.  I trudged out in the cold, snipped fresh holly branches and weave tiny twinkling lights through them and flaunted the beautiful design I had come up with.  Fast forward to the next 6 years and you’ll see only 3 stockings each Christmas attached to anything that had a flat surface. This year when the note came through that I could pick out new stockings for the whole family from Personal Creations I almost leapt out of my seat.  I knew we’d finally have what I’ve been wanting for a long time, these Ribbon Stockings personalized with our names.

Personalized Christmas Stockings

Personal Creations carries a HUGE selection for just about everyone.  The best part of their choices are most of them can be personalized to reflect a name, initial, special date or even more.  With hundreds of gifts to choose from for any occasion Personal Creations can be your shopping destination throughout the year.

I knew our stocking were on their way so I knew I had to come up with a new idea to hang all five of them. this house does not have the fireplace mantel that we used to have so I knew I had to get creative.  I scoured our makeshift workshop and found something that would work perfectly with some tweaking.

Christmas Stocking Holder DIY

Christmas Stocking Holder DIY

Using a simple unused wood shelf, existing paint & stain and some bought decorations and hardware I came up this Christmas Stocking Holder. The project was very easy. I painted and stained a plain wood shelf till I achieved a color I like and took an old wrench and a hammer to it to add some distressed details.  The words and stickers were less than $10 from the craft store and Rob found these antique brass bolts. I thought there were a unique and better alternative to plain hooks.

Christmas Stocking Holder DIY

The stockings look great hanging up.  Even without a mantel they stand out with this special new home. I’m not forgetting about our new ornament.  Each year I get new ornaments for the kids or family that mark a significant point in the year or commemorate another wonderful year together.  The Family in Bed ornament was adorable and I knew it was a good fit for our family.

Family Ornament

This ornament will stay on the family tree but individual ornaments that the kids received are put right on their own trees. When they are grown up and have families of their own they’ll have a great start for the holidays and great stories and memories to share.

Shop today for your own personalized ornaments and stockings to ensure availability and delivery in time for the holidays. Personal Creations is offering you 20% off all of your purchases through the end of December. Click here to start shopping and the 20% will be applied in your shopping cart.

Follow Personal Creations Blogger Board: Christmas Ideas on Pinterest

Spooky Haunted Village made by kids #halloween #craft

Decorating for Halloween is always fun. Getting the kids to help out if even more fun. I’ve been saving up the boxes and containers from the kitchen so Shae could build her own Haunted Village.Spooky Village #halloween #craft

Using cereal boxes, orange juice bottles, cinnamon shakers and more Shae and I put together a rather large village that is now taking up residence on our bookcase in the living room.

Spooky Village #halloween #craft


boxes and containers headed for the trash or recycle bin.

paint, themed stickers, foam shapes, glitter glue, construction paper.


Arrange your boxes into your village. Think about height and dimension  and layers when arranging it. Decide on your buildings and colors and let your child get to work.
Spooky Village #halloween #craft

Spooky Village #halloween #craft

Spooky Village #halloween #craft

Spooky Village #halloween #craft

This activity can be done for any holiday or season just by changing colors and flourishes.

Decoupage Makeover Wall Art #upcycle #bird

This project came about because we were forced to change the entire look of a room.

Decoupage Art on Wood  #diy #upcycle

What started out as a mini project of new end tables turned into a whole bedroom makeover. I had these grand plans of doing an Ikea Hack of mini dressers but like usual with Ikea, the plans didn’t go our way. But then these adorable cabinets appeared in another display and immediately became our new end tables.

Ikea Enamel End Table
What we didn’t think through was the rest of the room. Our furniture didn’t match our new cute end tables or our bed. The drapes were horrendous and the bedding was too dark and heavy overall. The next couple of days we spent shopping for new dressers, rearranging art and photos and thinking up new design elements for the room.

I found this odd art piece at the Goodwill outlet.  It had a good shape and even though I knew the eye chart design wasn’t my style I liked it. It cost just a couple dollars so the investment was a easy YES.

Wooded Eye Chart #upcycle

It lingered in the garage for a couple of weeks while I thought about how to upcycle it and that’s when I knew it should be used for the bedroom makeover for it. I settled on a simple bird silhouette found on Google images.

To start Rob sanded the eye chart off and left me with a smooth finish. It was just a simple box someone had made and nailed together but it was very sturdy and straight.  Next he painted the top with a couple light coats of white and the outside edges a chalky black. The same color as my paper wreath covered shutters.

Sanding and Painting #decoupage #art #upcycle

Then it was time to decoupage the image onto the wood. Arranging the image was the hardest part. I purposely overlapped some of the pages and left space between others. I was not going for a perfectly smooth finish.

Layered Leather Look Decoupaged Bird

Layered Leather Look Decoupaged Bird

I applied 3 thin layers of decoupage medium (letting them each dry inbetween) then went for a unique step by adding color. As you can see it just took a couple drops in a small amount of decoupage and a couple stirs for an uneven blend. Using a dry brush method I gently applied the tint randomly over the art. I again let each color dry completely.

tinting decoupage #upcycle #art

One final layer of decoupage then a polyurethane finish and it went on the wall. I love the texture and layered colors. It reminds me of leather.

Decoupaged Bird on a Branch #art #upcycle

Decoupage Bedroom #Art #upcycle

There’s still work to be done in the bedroom but this really is a lovely handmade touch. Best of all this cost me less than $10 for the entire project.

Painted Wooden Tray #upcycled #craft

I’m the kind of person that sees something that goes in the trash and wonders “Can that be reused or re purposed?”. This happens with toilet paper rolls, milk jugs and CoffeeMate creamer bottles. The problem with wanting to “re purpose” everything is having a place for the final project. Things headed for the trash usually end up there unless I have an idea for it.

For Christmas Shae received a few Melissa and Doug bead kits. I love Melissa and Doug toys because they are wood and non-toxic and last forever. I especially love the bead kits because they come in this simple wood trays that DON’T have lids. Not having a lid usually isn’t something I would applaud but that just meant I could dump the beads together in a box and set the tray aside for something prettier.

Wooden bead tray from Melissa and Doug

This is my something prettier. My make-up collection is getting out of hand. The vanity drawer that is dedicated to brushes has to make way for real cosmetics. I figured I could make a pretty-fied tray to sit on my vanity to house the brushes and fragrances and it would still look organized.

Painted Wooden Tray #upcycling #recycle

The tray ended up looking nicer than anticipated and is now sitting in the coffee table with my grandmother’s handmade doily and treasured milk glass. I’m not sure if this is its final resting place but for now it works to showcase these things that mean a lot to me.

The tray is a simple, lightweight, pine tray. There was nothing special about it except it was a blank canvas for so many ideas.


  • Wooden tray
  • Acrylic Metallic Blue Paint
  • Waterbased Walnut Wood Stain
  • Polyurethane Spray
  • Painters Tape
  • Foam brushes
  • Paper plates or palettes to hold paint
  • Decorative details, optional

painting supplies


I prepped my tray by vigorously wiping with a dry microfiber towel, being sure to remove any adhesives. My tray had a mark in the shape of a strip of tape but I wiped until it wasn’t sticky. I then taped off top edges to keep the paint off. I applied 3 coats of Metallic paint in order to get the shiny finish.

Metallic Paint, wooden tray

Metallic Paint, wooden tray

After a couple hours I removed the tape and applied new painters tape on top of the blue so the stain didn’t drip onto the tray. As you can see the Melissa and Doug logo is still there, I thought about sanding it off but ended up leaving it.

logo showing on wooden tray
I applied 3 coats of stain, letting each one dry in between. I wanted a deep brown color but still wanted to see the wood grain.

Painted Wooden Tray #upcycle #recycle
The next day and day after I sprayed thin but thorough coats of Polyurethane to protect against scratches and nicks. I made sure to get all sides, inside and out.
The tray ended up with a slight gloss but still looks like wood where it should. The tray was no additional cost, the paint and stain cost me less than $3 and the clear coat is something I always have on hand for projects. This thrifty little project makes me smile.
An old frame would work well for a tray too. A couple coats of paint can transform almost anything.