Snowman Hot Tub Tutorial

Not the toasty and bubbly hot tub we might enjoy, but perfect for Frosty and his friends! This is a craft that kids just love, and a perfect way to re-purpose some dollar store items

The supplies you will need are as follows:
1 - 3" pail (find these with the favor bags)
3 - fingers from a white cotton glove
1 - handful of fiberfil
6 - 5mm black poms
3 - tiny pieces of orange felt
1 - 3" length of wired greenery/garland
1 - 6" length of 1/8" red ribbon
1 - 4" length of a wooden stick (dowel rod, popsicle stick, etc.)
1 - 1" x 2" piece of white cardstock
1 - 8" length of square acrylic garland or substitute with individual pieces of "ice"
2 - decorative snowflake embelishments
For tools, you will need scissors and glue.

Begin by stuffing the fingers with fiberfil. It's not necessary to close off the bottom.

Next, shape the orange felt into noses and glue to the face of the snowmen.

Attach the eyes.
Arrange the 3 snowmen in a bundle, offsetting the height so that the snowmen in back aren't hidden by the snowman in the front. Glue them in position.

Now, set the snowmen in the bucket. If they sink too low, just add a little filler to the bottom of the bucket to raise them up (fiberfil, tissue paper, etc.) Glue the snowmen into the bucket, but be careful to leave open the areas around the snowmen to put the ice cubes.

Fill the open areas with the ice cubes, slightly overflowing the edges of the bucket.

Form the piece of greenery into a circle.

Tie the ribbon into a bow and glue it onto the piece of greenery to form a wreath.

Position the wreath on the front of the bucket and glue in place.

Write up the sign on the piece of card stock. Glue the stick to the back.

Insert the sign into the bucket behind the snowmen. Add a few snowflakes to the corners of the sign. And that's it!

If you love this craft, I love comments!

Dog Scarf Tutorial and GIVE-AWAY!!

My mom has a deep passion for homeless pets and has been working with adoption groups in one form or another for over 35 years. She currently fosters anywhere from 12 to 20 puppies at a time, plus a number of older "forever fosters." She truly puts in an amazing amount of time and effort, not to mention her own funds.

This is Starbuck, my rescued Border Collie. I could go on forever about all of the wonderful things about him, but I'll just sum it up by saying he is the best dog in the world. So needless to say -- but I'll say it anyway -- I am a fan of what she does. I could never do it myself, however, because the 20 puppies would never leave and soon I would be one of those people you see on television.

So I help in the ways that I can, which is all any of us can do. One of the things I do is make personalized dog scarves as a token of appreciation for an adoption. The adopted family picks a print style that suits them and I embroider it with the pup's new name. I also offer the personalized scarves at the adoption events as a fund-raiser for a minimum $5 donation.

Today I thought I would share the instructions for making them. They are quite simple and very cute and I think every beloved pet should have one.

You'll need a small square of fabric, with the size depending upon the size of the dog. My formula is as follows: to determine the size you need, measure the circumference of your pet's neck, loosely like a collar would fit. Then divide in half. The size you need will be the nearest size (equal to or less than) half the length.

So for example, if you have a good-sized dog like Starbuck with a 16" neck, you'd start with an 8" square of fabric. Generally, my sizes run 4"-extra small, 5"-small, 6"-medium, 8"-large, 10"=extra large.

You'll start by tucking in the ends. Fold in two opposing corners. The size of the fold depends upon the width of the collar. If you don't have the collar handy, this isn't an exact science and you can usually estimate pretty easily. Generally, small dogs have thin collars, larger dogs have thicker collars. You'll want to make the length of the fold a little over twice the thickness of the collar. So for my 8" scarf for Starbuck, my fold is usually 3" long. (As you read through the instructions, this should make more sense later.)

Stitch down the corner folds, running a stitch just inside the fold. Next, fold the scarf in half, right sides together, aligning the two remaining (unstitched) corners. Stitch along the raw edges.

After folding and stitching, you should have a scarf that looks like the picture above.

Next, turn the scarf right-side-out, using the opening in the folded corner.

Align and press the seams.

Now your scarf should be looking like the picture above.

Next, you'll need to run a stitch parallel to the top fold. This should be wide enough to fit the collar. Basically, the stitch should run from folded corner to folded corner and align with the ends of the corner fold. Wow! That's tough to describe! The pictures of the finished scarves at the bottom of the post show the alignment of the collar stitch, which might help if this isn't clear.

If you have fancy stitches on your machine, you can dress up the edges.

Next, feed one end of the collar through the opening in the scarf.

As long as the opening is wide enough, the collar should slide through easily. And that's it! You'll never have to worry about the scarf being too tight, or coming untied. When it gets dirty, just slip it off the collar, wash it out, and lay flat to dry.

Your pet will be so pleased with its new duds!

For my give-away this month, I'm offering a package of 12 personalized dog collars, one for each month. That's a $60 value! You'll get all the major holidays and a few seasonal prints too. Just tell me the size you need, the name of your pet, and I'll personalize them and have them to you before Christmas. Give-away ends 11/24. Just leave a comment to enter! (ps. I LOVE comments about your rescued pet!)

And don't forget to check out the many inspirational links at!

And the winner, thanks to RANDOM.ORG, is.....

(drum roll please...)

They have two adorable adopted pups named Oliver and Roxy, which are featured all over their blog LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH.

Thanks for your entries/comments! Hope to hear from you again soon!

Mini Fleece Hat

If you're looking for very cute but easy and inexpensive ornaments for this year, you'll definitely want to give this one a try. You can whip up one of these for about 10 cents and 10 minutes of your time. They're great for tree ornaments or package decorations. And with the wide variety of prints available in fleece, you can even personalize a few with your favorite sports team logos.

For materials, you'll need...
1 - piece of fleece measuring 4" x 6"
1 - 6" length of narrow ribbon
1 - small rubberband
1 - small snowflake embellishment

Begin by stitching the edge. Fold the piece of fleece in half so that you end up with a piece that is 4" x 3". Stitch the 3" side. I used a serger but it certainly isn't necessary.

Turn the fabric right-side out. You should have a tube 4" long.

If you're wanting to make a bunch of these, cut your piece of fabric 6" wide, and the length as long as you can. Stitch the side of the whole length, then cut it into 4"-long pieces. This is a real time-saver!

Next, fold the ribbon in half and tie a knot at the end. If you're using fairly thin ribbon, you might want to double or triple the knot.

Slip the knotted end of the ribbon into one end of the tube of fleece and gather the fleece around the ribbon.

Place the rubber band tightly around the gathering of fleece, about 1" from the edge of the fabric. The knotted end of the ribbon should stay securely in place if the rubber band is tight.

Using a sharp pair of scissors, snip the end of the fleece into strips to the rubber band, being careful not to cut the rubber band or the ribbon.

Now, on the opposite end of the piece of fleece, fold back a short cuff.

Apply the decorative snowflake onto the front of the hat. Glue dots work well for this and keep the project cleanup very easy.

You can also use fabric paint and put a name on the rim of the hat to make it more personal. This is really fun if you're using the hat for a gift tag.

Leave a comment if you can think of some other fun things to do with these!

Halloween Candy Wrapper Frame

The trick-or-treating is done, the costumes are put away, and you've already eaten far too much Halloween candy, but that doesn't mean the Halloween fun is over! Chow down a bit more candy, but this time, unwrap it a little more slowly, savor the yummy goodness, and save the wrappers to make this decoupage frame to help remember the season. (... just in case the extra 5 pounds you gained wasn't enough!)

You'll need a picture frame with a flat surface, decoupage and an applicator (I used a sponge brush,) a collection of clean candy wrappers and a pair of scissors, and optionally a small file. In addition, gather whatever small embellishments you might have leftover from your decorations or treat bags.

Because of the drying time needed for the decoupage, this project will take several short sittings.

Apply a generous layer of decoupage to the surface of the frame. Open the candy wrappers flat and trim as needed. Place the candy wrappers unto the decoupage.

Repeat the process all the way around the frame. Once all the wrappers are placed, apply another layer of decoupage over the top.

I learned with this project that candy wrappers are not like paper -- they don't absorb the decoupage, plus they have a little fight in them. So originally I had hoped to wrap the candy wrappers around the sides of the frame, but I wasn't able to get a good corner to the edge, plus the wrappers tended to peel back up. You might have more experience or better luck, but I was content with the front being covered.

Now, you'll need to set the frame someplace to dry. Since my candy wrappers were rather stubborn, I opted to place the frame face-down on a piece of plastic wrap with a weight pressing it down. This helped to ensure that none of the wrappers would pop-up at the edges when I wasn't looking. (They're sneaky that way.)

Once the decoupage is dry, use a scissors to trim the candy wrappers up to the edge of the frame.

Apply another layer of decoupage. I found that it wasn't necessary to lay the frame upside-down again, since all the wrappers were tacked down.

After finishing with the decoupage, I decided I didn't like the color of my frame showing around the edges, since I wasn't able to turn the wrappers around the edges. I used a small brush and carefully applied a coat of paint to the edges. With the wrappers I used, paint washed right off any unintentional spots.

Next, I took a file and sanded the edge of the decoupage to remove any rough spots from the scissors.

I still wasn't happy with the finished edges, so I decided to add a little ribbon to soften the edge. I used tacky glue and ran a thin line along the edge, then placed the ribbon and trimmed the ends. I'm a real fan of hot glue, but in this case, the white glue lets you adjust the alignment of the ribbon before it sets. And there's nothing worse in crafting than messing up a project when you're almost finished.

I also added ribbon to the inside edge.

I found an embroidered bat that I had left over from the badges I made for my son's boyscout caving expedition.

A couple of pom's with google eyes ...

... and a witch's broom add just a little charm and dimension. (To see how to make the broom from a dowel rod and raffia, see my instructions for the aluminum can snowman.)

Now, just include a picture of your little boo or ghoul and you're finished!.

I think what I like most about this project (well, besides eating the candy, of course) is how the frame is almost like a trophy for a "Super Candy Achievement Award," complete with a portrait in full team uniform.

Now to figure out something to do with the rest of the candy.....

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!