3 crafty things to do with an empty glass fish bowl
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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and there’s no better time than now to start planning your homemade present. This Valentine’s Day, I was thinking of putting a collection of my photographs together, shot from a Canon EOS Rebel T21 Digital SLR camera. At first, I wanted to purchase a couple picture frames for this project when I thought “why not make them myself?” For elaboration, you can draw, paint, or incorporate some scrapbook embellishments you have laying around and insert a nice picture/s of you and your significant other. You can go for something as creative as beach themed pictures frames or even a heart themed frame in honor of Valentine’s Day.
What you’ll need:
Wooden picture frame (normally $1 at craft supply stores)
Foam paint brush
Small cutting knife
What to do:
With your foam brush, paint the back side of the picture frame along with the outer edges as well as the inner edge of the picture window. Be sure to select a color that’ll compliment your scrapbook paper. It’s best if you keep your frame elevated on objects such as cans while you’re painting in order for it to dry properly.
Take your scrapbook paper and cut it down to the exact size of the frame. You don’t have to be precise here, but leave a little extra paper on each of the sides to be safe (these will be trimmed in the later stages). Once you’ve cut the appropriate size, set your scrapbook paper aside for the time being.
Apply your crafts glue to the front of your frame.
Place your scrapbook paper faced down (blank side facing up). You’ll want to take your frame and press the front area (glued side) up against the paper so you’re gluing the two together. Press down firmly.
Turn the frame over to where you’re now seeing the front of the frame. Take the edge of a credit card and smooth out any bubbles that may be trapped between the frame and paper and allow the frame to dry for a couple minutes.
Place the frame on your cutting board and use your small knife to trim the extra scrapbook paper that might be hanging off the frame.
Nothing captures the spirit of Valentine’s Day more than a unique gift made out of love. With these tips, give your partner a sweet and heartfelt gift this Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank!
Whether all your jewelry is new or you have mostly vintage rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, you’re going to want to know how to clean your possessions every once in awhile.
Ultimately, how you clean your jewelry will depend on what it is made of (gold, silver, pearls, diamonds).
Jewelry Store Cleaning
Many stores offer a free cleaning of jewelry that you purchased from them. By all mean, take advantage of this service if you can, but if you can’t, then you should know how to clean your jewelry at home—and without harsh chemicals.
Rest assured that you can clean all jewelry at home with a few simple ingredients that you probably already have around the house, like:
Mild dish soap
Soft toothbrush (dedicated to jewelry cleaning — don’t use on humans or pets)
Clean, soft cloth
To bring the shine back to your gold jewelry, fill a bowl with warm water and add just a few drops of mild dish soap. Submerge your gold jewelry and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse and gently scrub away any grime or residue with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Finally, dry with a soft cloth. Don’t use a paper towel because it might scratch.
Depending on how much gold jewelry you have, you can use a small bowl and work in batches or use a large bowl and clean everything all at once.
Of course, there is silver polish, but if you want to use a less harsh method, try a little toothpaste to remove the tarnish from your silver. Just dab some toothpaste onto your silver item, rub it in, and watch the tarnish disappear. Wipe the toothpaste off with a cloth. The toothpaste method works best with a ring or bangle bracelet or even a belt buckle.
If you have a delicate silver chain, try this:
Place aluminum foil (shiny side up) in the bottom of a bowl
Add one tablespoon baking soda
Add one tablespoon salt
Slowly add 1/2 cup white vinegar (it will fizz)
Slowly add one cup of boiling water
Wait for baking soda and salt to dissolve
Add silver jewelry
After a few minutes, remove each piece individually. Be careful of the hot water. Rinse and dry each piece with a soft cloth, and you’re done.
Making Diamonds Shine
To make your diamonds sparkle again, you can use a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl of warm water. Soak for a couple of minutes and then use a clean soft-bristled toothbrush to get stuck-on dirt or grease. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
Be careful around the settings. Don’t brush so hard that you loosen the diamond or damage the prongs.
If you find your diamond is particularly grimy, try cleaning every few weeks so the dirt doesn’t build up too much.
Careful with Porous Stones
Take extra care with any jewelry that has porous stones, like:
These types of stones absorb liquids, so you don’t want to soak them. Simply dip them in a bowl with lukewarm water and a few drops of gentle soap. Rinse off any residue and gently rub dry.
If you have a string of pearls or other porous stones, be careful that you don’t damage the knotting or stretch them by pulling or handling them too roughly. Try drying them them flat on a cloth.
You might consider investing in a jewelry polishing cloth to brighten up your jewelry between cleanings. They are easily available and not very expensive.
Storing Your Jewelry
After cleaning—and when you’re not wearing it—make sure you put your jewelry away in a dust proof box. Protect your pearls by storing them in tissue paper. That way you’ll always have clean and sparkly jewelry at the ready.
Since jewelry is exposed to make up, hair spray, and other residue-producing elements, it will always need a some cleaning. If you stick to a regular schedule of cleaning and polishing, and you store it away properly when you’re not wearing it, you will be able to enjoy your jewelry whenever you want without too much muss and fuss.
Leona J. Celis is a freelance writer and a professional jewelry appraiser from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience in the jewelry industry, she has worked with many different clients whose needs ranged from jewelry appraisal to gemstone repair and ring sales.
Guest Blogger: Stephanie Albright from My ‘Lil Pumpkin Patch
You’ve probably seen all kinds of “up-cycled” projects all over the internet. By “up-cycle,” I mean taking one item and making something else out of it. For example, buy a men’s sweater at the thrift store and turn it into a cute dress for a toddler girl, or some old drapes could be made into reusable brightly colored handbags. There are many ideas for up-cycling on the internet these days.
This past month, as I was sorting through my craft stash and trying to down-size, I came across a pair of size 7 boys corduroy pants that I previously gathered from my mom’s “going to the thrift store pile.” They were originally given to my younger brother – but he never wore them; they still had the tags on them.
I have a two-year-old son, and I figured I would save the pants until he could wear them. But, as I was sorting, I dreamed up another idea for the corduroy beauties (or should I say handsomes?) – what if I could make a nice little jacket for my son out of them? This challenge was something I couldn’t pass up.
I started by looking online for tutorials on making jackets. It seems that most DIY’ers make patterns out of clothing they already own. So, I grabbed a sweatshirt that fits my son, and created the front, back, and sleeve patterns from that. Then, using one of his button-up shirts, I created a pattern for the collar. (To create the pattern, I used some scrap paper that was large enough to trace each section. Don’t forget to add in seam allowances!)
After the pattern was completed, I unpicked all seams on the pants. I was a bit nervous about whether or not I would have enough fabric, and I figured this would be the best way not to waste any pieces. It turned out to be just enough! The scraps that are left are just that – they can’t be used to construct anything else!
The only thing I purchased for this jacket was some flannel fabric. I still need to add some sort of closure to the front of the jacket, but I am having a hard time deciding what will look the best! In the end, I spent $7 for the fabric and thread, and still have plenty of both to make something else!
Up-cycling is such a creative challenge, and after completing this project, I have found that it is possible to create just about anything from anything! If you would like to see more of my creations, please visit my blog, My Li’l Pumpkin Patch. Happy creating!
Making cupcakes is right for just about any occasion and who honestly doesn’t like cupcakes? You can embellish them up and down, fill its center with something sweet or leave them as is and top them with decorative frosting, candies, and so much more. These days, chefs and expert bakers are sprucing up their cupcakes designs better and more creative than ever before! Prepare the perfect, scrumptious candy cupcakes with these 7 easy steps!
The easiest way to make cupcakes it to prepare from the cake mix alone and follow the packaged directions in mixing the batter (unless you’re Betty Crocker and want to make your recipe from scratch).
Once you’ve chosen your cupcake recipe, preheat your oven for roughly 15 minutes to reach the required temperature. Preheating will ensure accurate heat baking.
For best results, line your silicone cupcake molds with decorative cupcake liners. Cupcakes bake taller in paper cupcake liners and are easier to remove from the pan. They are also easier to grasp when it comes time for frosting or decorating.
Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Be sure to avoid adding an excessive amount of batter or the cupcakes will overflow.
Once you’ve gotten all your rows filled, bake for about 15 to 25 minutes. Most cupcakes bake evenly at a 350 degree setting. You can discern whether or not a cupcake is ready by poking a toothpick through the center.
Once your cupcakes are done baking, give it about 10 minutes to cool down before any further embellishing.
Use a small flat metal spatula to distribute the frosting and enhance your cupcake by adding pieces of candy that makes out a creative design.
My favorite way to elaborately decorate a cupcake is to incorporate paste food coloring to color your frosting. For other garnishes besides M&M candy (which I personally used), try chopped nuts, colorful sugar or sprinkles.
If you’re planning to make cupcakes for a party but want to make something more creative and interesting, making cupcake cones can be your answer! You can use store bought ingredients and have fun decorating them as you wish. Here’s how.
Set up your ice cream cones in a cupcake pan, as in the picture above.
In a bowl, beat together your wet ingredients and set aside.
Add all dry ingredients into your spout mixing bowl, which will make for easy pouring later. You can use a fork to sift through the flour to make sure there are no clumps.
Slowly add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients in small batches, using your electric hand mixer to mix them together on low speed after each pour. Mixing in intervals will make sure there are less clumps and air bubbles in your mix.
Once your mix is complete, begin pouring it into the ice cream cones only filling it up to the top of the stem. Do not pour above it into the cup of the cone, as it could overflow when baking.
Place cupcake cones into the oven, and follow the baking directions on your cupcake mix package. To make sure cupcake cones are cooked through, you can use a fork or toothpick to poke them. If batter sticks to the fork or toothpick, it needs a few more minutes in the oven.
While regular cupcakes can be packed in plastic cupcake containers for transport, leaving your cupcake cones upside down (before decorating) in your cupcake pan and covered with foil will work and you can decorate them quickly on site. These are great because they fit any occasion and are fun for kids and children at heart!