May 2009

So I know, we just got into summer, and no, I’m not trying to rush it… I just have had these crafts bookmarked and I wanted to get them on there so I would remember try them out this year (along with finishing my 3 year project of working on the wreath).

This one is Thanks to Martha Stewart:

Shimmering Stacked Trees

Shimmering Stacked Trees


Martha Stewart Show

This shimmering stacked tree will add a festive — and eco-friendly — touch to your home this holiday season. These magnificent trees can also be stacked using any leftover aluminum foil, felt, or crepe paper.

Tools and Materials
4 ounces Sculpey clay
10-inch, 6mm thick knitting needle
Craft glue
Clear glass glitter
Receipt spike (optional)
2 pieces 6-by-6-inch card stock
Utility knife
Bone folder
Adhesive spray
Hot-glue gun and glue
2 paper Dresden stars

Stacked Tree How-To
1. Roll and flatten 4 ounces sculpting clay to form dome shape. Poke knitting needle horizontally through flat area of clay dome. Remove knitting needle.

2. Bake clay in oven at 275 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Reinsert needle into baked clay. Glue felt on bottom of base for surface protection.

3. Apply glue, then glitter, to the base. A receipt spike can be used to create a smaller tree instead of building a base using the above instructions.

4. To form tree, place 2 pieces of 6-by-6-inch card stock onto spike for stability.

5. Cut newspaper into 50 sheets of each size:
-6 by 6 inches
-5 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches
-5 by 5 inches
-4 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches
-4 by 4 inches
-3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches
-3 by 3 inches
-2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches
-2 by 2 inches
-1 1/2 by 1/2 inch

6. Cut 25 1-inch sheets of newspaper.

7. Begin poking pieces of newspaper onto spike in descending order, folding and unfolding each piece of paper using a bone folder.

8. Spray tree with adhesive and immediately sprinkle with diamond dust. Set aside and let dry for 10 minutes.

9. Using a hot-glue gun, adhere 2 paper Dresden stars back-to-back to top of tree.

Paper Dresden stars and clear glass glitter can be found at D. Blumchen and Company, Martha’s Secret Source for vintage-inspired holiday decorations and crafting supplies. A receipt spike can be found at restaurant-supply stores. Knitting needles and clay can be purchased from most crafts stores.

And here is a gorgeous pinecone ornament courtesy of Inkspirations, thank you for teaching us how to do this!

It’s HERE!!!!!!! Tutorial for Pinecone Balls

Okay, due to the overwhelming demand for directions, I decided to do this a little earlier than I planned because SERIOUSLY you guys are all overloading my email box. I really hope you “get” them and that at the end of this tutorial you all will be happily playing with your pretty christmas ball. Bear with me, this will be my first time ever doing this . . .


1 sheet of 12×12 paper (or a couple if you like)
1 three inch foam ball (white foam kind)
1 package of pins (I use Applique pins – 19mm – you can get these at walmart)
1 length of ribbon (I prefer wide SU organdy)
1 thimble
1 paper cutter

Choose your paper(Mine is by K&I Memories). Small prints or loud paper work best when choosing which paper to use. As I learned with this one, white is not always the best color to have in the background. Once you have decided, cut the paper into 1 inch x 2 inch pieces (rectangles), the entire sheet.

Fold your papers to make a point (see picture). Both corners meet in the middle.

Pin points down on center of ball. Put all points together. Folds should be on the underside where they cannot be seen.

Pin down the other corner points on this first row, so that all three points of each triangle are pinned in on the first row. You will ONLY do this for the first row.

Begin row 2 by pinning down the two ends (not the main point) You center the main point on one of the lines, so that the base of the triangle is offset to the original pinned row. Then leave the point unpinned (this forms the pinecone like look) and pin down two other sides. Repeat this row over and over until you reach the halfway point (clear as mud? Maybe the pictures will help – I hope . . . )

At the halfway point, pin in your ribbon. I like to stick about 4 pins on each end. If you pin the ribbon in now, leave enough at the top to form a hanger. You are going to continue to work the paper over the ribbon, which will make it secure.

Continue rows up until you reach the top. As you near the top, it will become increasingly harder to push the pins into the ball and through your papers — this is where that thimble comes in handy. You will also probably run out of paper as you reach the top, or if you used 2 sheets of 12×12, will have used up 1/2 of each sheet.

Tie bow at top and add any extra ribbon you would like. “Pretty it up” You are done. Hang ball on your tree and enjoy. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section of this post and I will reply to them in that location. This will keep me from getting a bazillion emails asking the same questions. Thanks *smiles*

Here is another link for this craft from Stamping Starlette!


I love how simple cornhusk can add so much to a votive candle holder!  We are growing corn in our garden this year, and I am so excited to try this out!  Thank you for this idea, Martha!

Cornhusk Votives

Cornhusk Votives


Martha Stewart Living

Wrapped in dried cornhusks, votives cast a soft glow and serve as a reminder that corn was part of the first Thanksgiving feast.

Tools and Materials
Cutting mat
Utility knife
Dried cornhusks
Double-sided tape
Votive holders

Cornhusk Votives How-To
On a cutting mat, use a ruler and utility knife to cut the widest part of the dried cornhusks (available at crafts stores) to the height of your votive holders. Apply double-sided tape around a votive holder, about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Affix 2 or 3 cornhusks, overlapping the edges, to the holder. Finish by tying with a ribbon.

I’ve always thought these were so pretty, but Martha by far has the most beautiful one here.  Seems a bit more of a difficult craft, but definitely something to keep on file for when you’re feeling crafty!




Martha Stewart Living

A raffia cornucopia lined with a bed of dried wheat stalks holds an abundance of golden squashes, apples, and pears. Set on a wide sideboard or chest, it’s a natural Thanksgiving decorations that radiates good fortune: In Greek mythology, the cornucopia — Latin for “horn of plenty” — was a magical goat’s horn that filled itself with whatever food and drink its owner requested. It has become a universal symbol of bounty, and in America is closely tied to Thanksgiving.

Tools and Materials
2-foot-long wicker cornucopia (available at craft stores or floral shops)
2 yards of burlap
Hot-glue gun
3 two-hundred-gram packages of raffia
Spool of jute string
Large binder clip

Cornucopia How-To
1. Pull the burlap around the wicker cornucopia frame, and tuck it inside. Trim any extra burlap with scissors, leaving enough to fold under at edges for a finished look.

2. Hot-glue the burlap to the frame, lifting the fabric in several areas to apply glue. Press firmly for several seconds so the burlap sticks. Inside the frame, fold the burlap edges under to make a clean hem, and glue to the frame.

3. Assemble a hank of raffia about 3/4 inch thick; using string, tie a knot around one end of the hank, and clip it to the table. Then wind the string around the raffia at 2-inch intervals to make a yard-long rope.

4. When you get to the other end, tie a knot. Make another raffia rope. Then, using a short piece of jute string, tie the two ropes together end to end to create one double-length rope.

5. Make a total of nine double-length ropes to cover a cornucopia of this size. For the lip of the cornucopia, make one double-length raffia rope, about 2 1/4 inches thick, tying the string around it at 4-inch intervals so the result is looser.

6. Tie the end of a raffia rope to the tip of the frame with string. Wind the raffia around, and apply glue as you go. At the end of the rope, tie it to another with string, and continue. When all but the lip is covered, ties a long piece of string to the end of the last raffia rope and wrap it around the frame; knot it.

7. At the basket lip, attach the thicker raffia tope to the last thin rope with string, tying at 4-inch intervals. (Note: If your cornucopia has a protruding, traylike base, as this one does, you can cover it with more raffia; but if you line it with wheat, the base won’t show.)

8. Apply more hot glue where needed to secure the raffia ropes to the frame. To display, line the opening with stalks of dried wheat, and add long-lasting fruits and vegetables.

First Published: November 2004

So we recently planted a vegetable garden, and with it are pumpkins.  It’s more for my son, I know he will have so much fun watching them grow.  And while I love pumpkin pie, and will definitely puree some for future recipes, I’m sure we will find ourselves with pumpkins in excess.  So, Martha once again, has provided me with some GREAT pumpkin decor ideas!  I have wanted to try this one in the planters for a long time now—I hate how they look when they are bare—this will help fest them up! ;D

Outdoor Bouquet

Outdoor Bouquet


Martha Stewart Living

Showcase a sunset-hued medley of fall vegetables and foliage in decorative urns. In the process, containers languishing without summer blooms will get a new job. (If you don’t have an urn, look for one at a garden-supply store.) Leave the old soil in the vessels — or place large rocks inside — and cover the top with a variety of foliage from your backyard, such as maple leaves. Then pile on finds from farmers’ markets and pumpkin stands, such as viburnum berries, gourds, and mini pumpkins. The arrangement should last two to three weeks.

Pumpkin “Pie” Potpourri

Pumpkin "Pie" Potpourri


Martha Stewart Living

Use a pumpkin incense burner to suggest the cozy scent of pie just out of the oven. Cut off the pumpkin’s top and scrape out the innards; carve round vents with an apple corer. Rub cinnamon or pumpkin-pie spices onto the lid, or push cloves into it. With a lighted tealight candle inside, the pumpkin will give off a lovely fragrance for about six hours.

Okay, I love wreaths, I have been working on a Christmas wreath for the past 3 years and still have yet to finish it—yet I aspire to do them.  Maybe this fall I can get on my horse and do it!  This is once again from Martha Stewart—of course!

Midas Touches: In Full Feather

Midas Touches: In Full Feather


Martha Stewart Living

The harvest theme takes on new dimensions when executed in unexpected colors and materials. Turkey quill feathers and magnolia leaves, colored on one side with floral spray, are mixed with stalks of wheat to create a stunning wreath. The feathers reappear as gold imprints on pillar candles, which are paired with faux-bois versions in a rich green and gold. Quinces, a nest of golden eggs, and more gilded magnolia leaves continue the unusual color scheme. Below, the modern table setting picks up the palette with chartreuse place mats on a bleached-oak table, contrasted with matte white plates and Venetian glass tumblers. The feather motif is repeated on the napkin and the place card. Twig breadsticks and a butter pat etched with a faux-bois pattern further the natural references.

Golden Harvest Wreath How-To
This 22-inch wreath form was decorated with about 90 magnolia leaves, 150 wheat stems, and 25 feathers. If you can’t find magnolia leaves, use any other sturdy, broad leaf. This wreath can last for several years: After the holidays, place it, front side up, in a flat box cushioned with tissue paper. Keep it in a cool, dry place. If a few of the magnolia leaves look tired when you unpack it, replace them with freshly painted ones.

Tools and Materials
Floral spray in brilliant gold White feathers
Magnolia leaves
24-gauge gold wire
Gardening shears
Wheat stems
22-inch wire wreath form
Hot-glue gun

1. On a clean, dry surface protected by paper in a well-ventilated area, spray the feathers and the top sides of the magnolia leaves gold. Let dry.

2. Bundle 3 leaves with a small piece of wire; snip end. Bundle 5 wheat stems with wire, and snip end. Repeat with the remaining leaves and stems. Wrap the bundles to the wreath form with a single piece of wire, alternating and overlapping bundles of leaves and stems. Keep them tight and close together.

3. Once the wreath form is covered, insert the feathers at equal intervals. Glue in place.

Feather-Printed Candles, Napkins, and Place Cards How-To
A single feather can be reused on several surfaces. This technique works equally well on any type of candle, cotton or linen fabric, and on heavy paper, such as card stock. If making napkins, you will need an ink pad with ink designed for use on fabric. Feathers are available at crafts or fishing-gear stores.

Tools and Materials
Ink pad in metallic gold or brown, either fabric-safe or standard ink, depending on the project
Scrap paper, for blotting
Place cards, napkins, and candles

1. Place a feather on ink pad; place a piece of scrap paper on top. Flip, then press with fingertips. With tweezers, remove feather from paper.

2. Place the feather, ink side down, on the surface you wish to print. Lay a fresh piece of scrap paper over the feather, then carefully roll brayer over the surface. Remove the feather with tweezers. Let dry. For napkins: Check to see if the fabric ink needs to be heat-set with an iron. For candle: The ink will only partially dry on the candle’s wax surface. It is still suitable for use, but can smudge, so handle with care.

Faux-Bois Candles How-To
We used 6 sheets of smooth beeswax to roll a pillar candle from scratch, although you could wrap a sheet of beeswax around a store-bought pillar (start with step 3, below). Keep in mind that the color of the sheet of wax may not match the store-bought candle.

Tools and Materials
Ruler Craft knife
Smooth beeswax sheets
1-inch-wide craft brush
Glazing medium in gold
Wood-graining tool

1. With ruler and craft knife, cut a sheet of wax to the height you want your candle to be. Cut wicking 1 inch longer than this measurement. Lay wicking along 1 short edge of sheet, allowing a 1/2-inch overhang.

2. Fold edge of sheet over wicking, and roll tightly, adding sheets until candle is desired circumference. Trim. Smooth the seam with your fingertips.

3. With the ruler and craft knife, cut a sheet of wax to fit the just-rolled (or store-bought) candle. Lay sheet on a flat, clean surface protected with paper.

4. With the craft brush, coat the sheet with glazing medium.

5. Drag wood-graining tool across the wax. (If you don’t like the results, try again, wiping the tool between uses.) Let dry.

6. Align the edges of the glazed sheet with the top and bottom of the candle, and roll the sheet gently in place. The warmth of your fingertips should make it stick; if not, use a hair dryer set on medium to warm it slightly. Smooth out the seam with your fingertips, being careful not to smudge the glaze.

Return to Midas Touches.

Are you an artist?  I’m not, but I’ve always dreamed of being one.  Here’s a way you can display your art on the floor—for a better price than going out and purchasing a rug.  This is from Martha Stewart—she’s full of good ideas!!!

Canvas Rugs

Creating art underfoot is an easy step-by-step process, and no fancy supplies or skills are required. Just prime a piece of canvas, paint a design, and seal it with varnish. Our patterns are as simple to reproduce as scattering leaves from your backyard across a surface, marking stripes with tape rather than a ruler, tracing bowls for circles, and painting streaky brushstrokes on a grid. Use household tools and our stencils or create your own. Don’t worry about perfect lines; these rugs are handcrafted and should look it. So go ahead — make the floor your canvas.

Easy-Care Accents
These practical floorcloths are durable and inexpensive to make. They clean up with a damp mop and mild detergent. No wonder canvas rugs have been popular since colonial times. After the introduction of linoleum, they fell out of favor early in the last century. The craft was revived in the 1950s, when period rugs were made for historic homes. Modern materials have streamlined the technique; with today’s quick-drying, water-based products, you can paint a rug this weekend and have it for years.

Painting Tips
Use liquid acrylics (if you use heavy-body acrylics, which come in tubes, thin with water to the consistency of cream) and flat brushes in a variety of sizes. To match hues in your room’s decor, you can mix tints: Combine titanium white with other colors for lighter shades, or add a dab of burnt umber to give an earthy tint. If you would like a warm, neutral background, paint the canvas with a wash of titanium buff (1 tablespoon paint mixed with 4 cups water). When customizing a shade of paint, you won’t be able to reproduce it exactly once you’ve used it up, so don’t skimp on amounts; to paint a solid color on a door-size canvas, you’ll need about 2 cups. Use airtight jars to store the colors you’ve blended.

Prepping the Canvas
Tools and Materials
drop cloth
hollow-core door, or 1/2-inch plywood cut to size
number 10 canvas duck, cut to dimensions of door or board plus a 6-inch margin
staple gun
paper cups
paint roller on broomstick
roller tray and liner white acrylic gesso
medium-grit sandpaper

It’s easiest to stretch the canvas over a hollow-core door, which is lightweight and just the right size for a rug. For other dimensions, you can also use plywood cut to size. We primed both sides for added durability.

1. Working on a large table or on a drop cloth on the floor, center door or board on canvas. Smooth the fabric around to the back, stapling it at each side’s midpoint. Continue stapling from the center points outward, about every 3 inches. Fold one side neatly under the other; staple at each corner (far left).

2. Flip the door, and support it on upside-down paper cups. Using a roller, prime the surface and edges with gesso (if using plywood, prime 1 inch border of underside, too). Let dry. Lightly sand.

3. Remove staples, and flip the canvas. Reposition canvas on door, matching up fold lines; staple again.

4. Prime surface and edges with gesso. Let dry; sand surface and edges. Add another coat. Let dry; sand.

Making a Leaf Rug
Tools and Materials
liquid acrylic paints
paintbrushs in a variety of sizes
leaves or leaf stencil template
self-adhesive shelf liner
tracing paper

1. Paint canvas with a wash of titanium buff acrylic (1 tablespoon paint to 4 cups water). Let dry.

2. Gather leaves, and photocopy groupings of them, life-size or enlarged (or download our templates). Cut out shapes, and trace them onto self-adhesive shelf liner (to help them stay put while you work). Cut out stencils.

3. To create ring templates, place tracing paper over leaf patterns and draw abstract ovals around them. Cut out shapes, and trace them onto shelf liner. Cut out stencils; cut away inner circle of each to form a ring.

4. Scatter leaf stencils over canvas. Peel a corner of the backing from a leaf, and press down to adhere; then slowly peel and flatten remainder.

5. Adhere ring stencils over leaves.

6. Paint background canvas except inside rings. Let dry.

7. Slowly peel off ring stencils, but not those of leaves. Paint in rings. Let dry.

8. Remove leaf stencils; paint lines for leaf veins in background color. Let dry.

Finishing Your Rug
Tools and Materials
polyacrylic varnish
wide paintbrush
drop cloth
1 roll double-sided carpet tape
bone folder or butter knife

1. Apply two coats of varnish to painted surface, according to label instructions. Let final coat dry overnight. Turn the door over, and lay it on a drop cloth on the floor; then unstaple the canvas.

2. The door’s edges create two fold lines that delineate the hem. Trim excess canvas just outside outer fold line (if plywood was used, mark and trim to 1 inch outside the fold line).

3. To miter the corners, fold in the hem on both sides of a corner so their edges meet; mark that point on each.

4. Lay the fabric flat again, and draw a line between the two points; it should intersect the corner of the inner fold line. Trim just outside the line that you’ve marked. Repeat with remaining corners.

5. Affix carpet tape to underside of hem on each side of canvas; press hem flat, and burnish with bone folder or the handle of a butter knife. Carefully turn over rug without bending it; let dry 4 days, or according to varnish directions, before using it. Lay it on the floor over a nonslip pad of the same size.

Leaf Stencil Template

We offer this file in a portable document format, or PDF, in order to make the details clear and printable. To view and print the file, you need a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader, which most browsers already include. If you have trouble downloading the file, or if you’d like to upgrade to Acrobat Reader 8.0, you can obtain the software for free from Adobe’s website.

I love Martha Stewart’s craft ideas.  Here are some adorable ones I’m going to try with Pine Cones this Fall!!!  Can’t wait!

Martha Stewart Living
These are great for a fall party!

These are great for a fall party!

Florets burst from place cards, made by gluing card stock over veneer paper; prop up the cards with a triangle of heavy paper glued underneath, perpendicular to the veneer.

Blossom How-To
Fill a small bowl with scales. For the work surface, you’ll need a cardboard box (at least 4 inches square) with a hinged lid. Snip 4 inches of floral wire; form a small hook on one end. From card stock, cut a disk a bit larger than the desired size of the bloom’s center. Secure disk to box top by poking wire through both, letting hook rest in the center so the wire won’t fall through. Using tacky glue, affix scales in a flower shape to disk; the hook will become covered with glue. For a fuller blossom, add another layer inside the first, using smaller scales, adding up to five layers for larger blooms. Use tacky glue to attach one or more cloves or tiny plant parts in the center; let dry, and remove bloom from box.


Martha Stewart Living

This would be beautiful any time of year!

This would be beautiful any time of year!

Flowers and paper leaves accessorize hurricanes. After making the blossom, affix to decorative ribbon and wrap around hurricane vases.

Blossom How-To
Fill a small bowl with scales. For the work surface, you’ll need a cardboard box (at least 4 inches square) with a hinged lid. Snip 4 inches of floral wire; form a small hook on one end. From card stock, cut a disk a bit larger than the desired size of the bloom’s center. Secure disk to box top by poking wire through both, letting hook rest in the center so the wire won’t fall through. Using tacky glue, affix scales in a flower shape to disk; the hook will become covered with glue. For a fuller blossom, add another layer inside the first, using smaller scales, adding up to five layers for larger blooms. Use tacky glue to attach one or more cloves or tiny plant parts in the center; let dry, and remove bloom from box.

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