Category Archives: Tutorials

Dollar Store Bird Tutorial

I’ve had some requests to do a tutorial on my little bird featured in a Phrase Art Phriday post I did a few weeks ago. I’m so happy to share with you today my Dollar Store Bird Tutorial. I knew it would take a while to capture all of the instructions in photos but I really prefer to produce my tutorials that way for all the visual learners (like me). It would have been easier to just type a bunch of instructions and include a few photos, and for some that would have been sufficient to follow along. But when a project has more than 3 or 4 steps it can be difficult to follow without instructional photos. So, you’re welcome! :) But seriously, thank you for visiting and showing an interest in my projects.

I’ll begin by showing you my finished product, just completed for this tutorial.


Each bird I have created has had its own personality.

The bird I used this time as a base was a tiny bit smaller than the one I used last time. You just never know what you’re going to find at the dollar store. I’ve had good luck finding them in the florals, usually attached to a branch of leaves or some evergreen. You can of course also get inexpensive bird bases at the craft store.



I decided to use pearls for this little birdie’s crown.


It suits her, don’t you think?

If you would like to create your own upcycled bird, here’s what you’ll need:

Supply specifics are given in the individual steps.


And this. I think I always forget to photograph at least one supply!

And now for the instructions:

Step 1: Tear a piece of tissue paper into tiny pieces, approximately the size of your thumbnail and smaller. It won’t take an entire piece of tissue paper. Just start with a pile and tear more as you need it.

Step 2: Brush your chosen medium (water based sealer, Mod-Podge, etc.) on a small section of the bird, apply tissue pieces, and brush over them to flatten and secure.

Step 3: Continue applying tissue until the bird is completely covered, including the feathers, beak and eyes. Brush on a thin coat of metallic pearl white paint with a watery brush.

Step 4: Now it’s time to dig out the eyes (eewww). Using your fingernails or tweezers, poke through the tissue, grasping the eyes and wiggle them out. This will create a socket effect.

Step 5: Cover over the eye area with one layer of tissue paper. Then poke a tiny slit to create the eye, using a pin or needle.


Step 6: Now for the crown. Cut 5 pieces of fine gauge wire 2 inches long each. Fold the wire in half, pinching together at the fold with pliers to form a point.

Step 7: Using a pin or needle, poke a pair of holes in the top of the bird’s head, approx. 1/8 inch apart. and 1/2 inch or so deep. Place the first crown spike in the holes and press in. You may have to reshape the spike a little after its in place. This is easy to do by pinching the top and running a toothpick or other slim item along the insides.


Step 8: Repeat step 7 until all 5 crown spikes are in place.

Step 9: To create the crown band, cut a piece of wire 6 inches in length. Wrap the wire around a tubular object (I used a permanent marker). Before placing the band on the bird’s head, push the 5 spikes toward the center to allow room for the band to fit over.

Step 10: Once the band is in place, spread the spikes back out again and place pearls or your chosen jewels onto the spikes, using a dot of glue to secure.

Next and lastly, we’ll give the bird her wings and tail feathers.

I included 3 pattern sizes to accommodate varying bird sizes. Just right click the images and save to your computer.

Step 11: Print and cut a wing and tail feathers from the pattern provided, using paper or card stock. You can use the same wing pattern twice instead of cutting it out twice.

Step 12: If you were only able to find white velvet, you can tea stain it. Just dip it in very hot tea, let sit for 5-10 minutes and blot with a paper towel to absorb most of the moisture and give it the desired depth of color. Allow it to air dry, right side up.

Step 13: Place wing and feather patterns on wrong side of velvet, attaching with a glue stick. Cut out the velvet, concentrating mainly on the outline of the pattern. The slits can be cut to desired length (I ended up cutting the slits in my velvet longer than the pattern slits.) If using one wing pattern twice, be sure to flip it over so it faces the other direction for the second wing.

Step 14: Before attaching the tail feather, trim the tissue on the bird’s tail as shown. Apply glue to the bird’s tail, spreading glue very, very thin over the surface (if glue is thick or too wet it will soak through to front of velvet.) Once the velvet is in place, you may have to cut slits in the base tail if it’s showing through the velvet tail slits.

dollar_store_bird_tutorial_step_22_23_24Step 15: Apply glue to the first wing, along part of the outer edge as shown. Please note: I feathered out the glue line more than is shown here before applying wing to bird. Attach the wing so that the inner top corner is up against the base of the bird’s head and the 5 feathers are angled as shown. Press gently into place along glued border and allow to dry.

Step 16: Repeat step 15 for second wing.

Note: After I made this bird I decided the tail feather was one feather too wide. So the pattern provided has been edited since then and for that reason you can see six feathers in my example instead of the five feathers in the pattern. Just in case anyone noticed!


If you like my aqua moss nest, see how to dye your own Spanish moss.

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions about materials, instructions, etc.


Linking with: Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Mod Vintage Life, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Style Elixir, Shabby Art Boutique, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Classy Clutter, French Country Cottage, Amaze Me Monday , VMG206, That DIY Party,The 36th Avenue,

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DIY Double Dip Flip: Lacy Box to Lacy Jeans

Welcome to the second installment of DIY Double Dip Flip where we start with an inspiration piece from either fashion or decor, then we each show you our unique take on how to use the idea on something entirely different in decor or fashion.


And now for a look at this month’s inspiration:
A pair of antique green lace metal boxes Lacy Metal Boxes

Here’s how I interpreted the design to turn plain jane jeans into lacy jeans.
It’s really easy to create a lace insert in the pocket of a pair of jeans or jean jacket.

Here’s what you’ll need:
vA pair of jeans, jean shorts or jean jacket with a pocket
vA scrap of lace that has been washed
vA piece of card stock or paper
vA shape to trace around or a computer printer
vA washable fabric glue such as Aleene’s OK to Wash-It
vA button
vMarker or pen

Trace desired shape such as a star or heart, or print one from your computer

Cut out the shape.

Place the cut out shape on the pocket and trace around it with a marker or pen

Cut the shape out of the pocket

Wash the pair of jeans. After washing, the pocket will look something like this. You can fray the inside of the shape more if you want by pulling on the threads.

Iron the design until it’s flat.

Cut your washed lace roughly the shape of the whole pocket. Glue the lace inside the front panel of the pocket.

Sew the button onto the lace and through the back layer of the jeans.

There you go, you now have a pair of lacy couture jeans! Be sure to read the instructions on your fabric glue. Most of them have a dry time of several days to allow it to cure before washing.

So now you’ve seen my take on the design. Heather is sharing her super fun project on her blog using the same pair of boxes as her inspiration. I know you’re going to love it but you have to visit her to see what it is! Be sure to check out her flip over at Woods of Bell Trees.


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Vase Styling + How To Dye Moss

Floral design is not one of my strong suits but I do like to dabble in it occasionally. After all, I am a DIY-er to the core, and being frugal, I can’t fork over the money that most of the beautiful arrangements go for. I like to think of it more as vase styling, it’s more in my comfort zone that way.:)

One of my favorite “vases” is a cast iron urn. I often leave it empty or put a candle in it. My usual style when I fill it with flowers is to keep it very simple.

Here I simply placed two sprays from the craft store in it. Can’t get any easier than that!

Here it is filled with a single dried hydrangea bloom. It’s very plain but adds a nice texture and sometimes I want a monochrome look.

Now that spring is almost here I wanted to change it up with something a little more colorful and fitting for the season. Following the formula I have heard on gardening shows, I wanted something tall and spiky in the center, something with roundness and “mound-ness”, and something trailing over the sides. So I gathered up a few faux blue hibiscus, some Spanish moss and a few sprigs of a dried silver dollar plant (lunaria) also known as money plant or honesty.

I was underwhelmed by the result. It seemed too drab, but these were the materials I had to work with. I wanted to add a little spring green. The thought occurred to me that I could try dying the moss.

The “before” picture.

Using acrylic craft paint I mixed together yellow and aqua to get the chartreuse color I wanted. Then I mixed approximately 3 parts water to 1 part paint in a cup.

Using a handful of moss at a time, I dipped a clump into the paint mixture and squeezed out the excess liquid. I then set each clump of moss aside to dry.

I was so happy with the result! It worked perfectly and was very quick and easy.

The green moss made all the difference. It perked up the arrangement and made it feel much more like springtime. And it didn’t cost a thing! Maybe I’ll take the money I saved and buy a new spring dress.

Lunaria is a perennial plant. We grow our own and I have tons of seeds that I would happily share. Would you like to grow your own? Leave me a comment if you would like me to send you some.


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DIY Double Dip Flip: From Dress to Tassel


Welcome to our first ever DIY Double Dip Flip! Heather and I are very excited to share our DIY inspiration with you, born out of our passion for both decor and fashion. For each installment in this series, we’ll start with an inspiration piece from either fashion or decor. Then we will each show you our unique take on how to use the idea on something entirely different in decor or fashion.

Are you ready to see our first inspiration piece?

Isn’t this a beautiful dress? The Dress

Here’s how I interpreted the design to make a hanging ball tassel.

Using teal chiffon I created a piece that would show off the floaty feeling of the fabric.I used jute twine to add a rustic contrast to the formal chiffon.

A single tassel can add interest to a doorknob, a chandelier or other hanging light.

Other fun ways to decorate with ball tassels:
v How about a pair used as curtain tie backs?
v A string of tassels hung loosely as a garland on a mantel
v A mix of large and small for fun and different party decorations
v I can see them hanging by the DOZENS in white or ivory for a WEDDING or shower

Of course the color possibilities are endless.

Now for the tutorial portion of the post:

Cut three pieces of fabric, 7 inches wide by 14 inches long each (1/3 yard of fabric was plenty to do one tassel ball).

Cut strips of varying widths in each piece of fabric, stopping 8 inches in, lengthwise.

Twist off the tassel portion of each piece of fabric using an elastic hair band or wire (I forgot to show this in the supplies graphic).

Cut a 1/2 inch hole in each end of a 3 inch Styrofoam ball. The hole doesn’t need to go all the way through, just about a half inch or so.

Place the ball on the non-strip portion of the first piece of fabric. Bringing the fabric to the top of the ball, twist and tuck the fabric into the hole. Place a drop of glue on a straight pin and push it inside the hole to secure the fabric.

Push the twisted part of the strip portion into the hole in the bottom of the ball. Place a drop of glue on a straight pin and push it inside the hole to secure the fabric.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the other two pieces of fabric, slightly overlapping each piece.

Cut a piece of twine a couple inches longer than you want your hanger to be. Tie the two ends of the twine together to form a knot. Tuck the knot inside the hole at the top of the ball, then dot a straight pin with glue and push into the knot to secure. Repeat with a second pin for extra holding power.

Cut another piece of twine to wrap around the top of the “fringe.” Wrap the twine around a few times, tie off and tuck the ends in the hole at the bottom of the ball.

Thank you so much for stopping in. Heather has a fantastic project to share with you using the same beautiful dress as her inspiration. She went a totally different direction with hers and I know you’ll love it. Be sure to check out Heather’s flip!


Linking with: Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Mod Vintage Life, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Style Elixir, Shabby Art Boutique, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Classy Clutter, French Country Cottage, Amaze Me Monday , VMG206, That DIY Party

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Cheap, Easy DIY + New Series Announcement

Hey readers! Today I have a cheap, easy DIY project to show you. Now that we’re on the other side of January, it feels like there’s light at the end of the winter tunnel. It’s the perfect time to get out some of those projects that you keep meaning to get to before the really nice weather gets here and all you want to do is play! This project is one that I planned last summer when I was putting the finishing touches on the wine cellar / man cave. Keeping with both the masculine look and the minimal budget, I hunted through yard sales to find some “manly” animal figures. Since I was going to paint them gold and white, I didn’t care how ugly they were. A little paint can do wonders!

Here’s the before picture of a few pieces I came up with. Some plastic deer, one that had flocked “fur” and an eagle cologne bottle.

How different they look with just a couple of coats of spray paint!

I didn’t prime the items, I just roughed them up a tiny bit with sandpaper and sprayed metallic gold paint on some and white on the others. They won’t really be handled, so it should wear fine.

And for a really cheap (like free!) but impactful display just gather some branches and spray.

Now I have some exciting news! I’m teaming up with Heather of Woods of Bell Trees for a brand new series all about DIY!

We’re calling it DIY Double Dip Flip. We’ll take our queue from a trending technique in fashion and show you our 2 takes using the same inspiration on a decor piece. And sometimes the decor piece will be our inspiration for some fun DIY twists with fashion.

Our first flip will be this Monday. Stay tuned for a double dip of DIY inspiration!


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Girls Want Pearls #52! Cross Sun Catcher

Well, here we are. At the end of a year long journey. Has it really been a year? We have looked at pearls from every angle, how they’re made and how to make them into something unexpected. We spent time appreciating their beauty as displayed in history, fashion and decor. We looked at a handful of scripture references from the Bible that use the pearl to illustrate valuable truths. We used them to make everyday and seasonal decor, items with practical uses like bookmarks, photo holders and gift bags, and spruced up items in our closet like sandals and scarves, belts and bags. And now it’s time for the final Girls Want Pearls project.Since we have our Creator to thank for the beauty of pearls, and all the beauty around us, I have decided to conclude the series with a project that points to Him. It is my pleasure to show you how to make a
Cross Sun Catcher
Here are the supplies you will need:

  • 20 gauge wire
  • 4 pearl strands with graduating sizes from small to large to small as shown
  • sparkly beads in three sizes OR a sparkly cluster type earring
  • any type of ribbon, torn fabric strips or leather for hanging the cross

Step 1
Cut 2 pieces of 20 guage wire, approx. 20 inches in length. Take the first wire and bend it approx. 8 inches from one end. This will divide the portions for the top and bottom of the cross. Starting with the smallest pearl, string the pearls onto the 8 inch portion of wire keeping their graduating sizes in order from smallest to largest, then largest to smallest to form the top of the cross. Curve the wire strung with pearls to form a loop. This is the top of the cross.
Twist the “tail” wire around the center where the bend is, twice to secure and let the tail remain.

Step 2
Repeat the process from step one to form the bottom of the cross. Twist the tail wire as in step 1, leaving an approx. 1/2 inch gap between the two loops and let the tail remain. Take each pearl loop and twist the entire piece at the center two or three times to tighten.

Step 3
Take your second piece of wire and bend it in half. This divides the portions for the two horizontal cross pieces. String the pearls on in the same manner as you did for the vertical cross pieces, twisting the tail wires to secure and leaving 1/2 inch between the two loops.

Step 4
Lay the horizontal cross piece over the vertical cross piece, lining up the wire centers. To secure and tighten: Take each end of the horizontal piece and wrap it around the vertical cross piece center, bringing the loops around to opposite sides from where they started. Take each end of the vertical piece and wrap it around, pulling the loops around to be on opposite ends from where they started. Take one of the 4 wire tails and wrap it around the center 2-3 times and pull to the back of the cross. Bring the other 3 wire tails to the front of the cross.

Step 5
Take one of the wire tails and string a large bead onto the center. Wrap the wire around the center of the cross to the back and twist together with the one you pulled to the back in the previous step.

Step 6
Take a second wire tail and string on the medium size beads.

Step 7
Wrap the beaded wire around to encircle the center bead. Bring the remainder of that piece of wire to the back of the cross and twist together with the other two wires.

Step 8
Take a third wire tail and string on the smallest beads.

Step 9
Wrap the beaded wire around to encircle the previous row. Bring the remainder of that piece of wire to the back of the cross and twist together with the other three.
Now you’re ready to add the hanger. Take your chosen ribbon, leather, etc. and tie around top loop of cross, slipknot style. Tie again at the top.

As you look at the cross in your window, may you be reminded to take up your cross. As the jewels on the cross catch and reflect the light of the sun, let’s reflect the light and love of the one who went to Calvary to show us how to live beautiful lives.

Thank you to all my readers who let me know how much you enjoyed this series. I hope you keep coming back to read my posts ~ you never know what could be coming up next!

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Linking with: Savvy Southern Style,The 36th Avenue, No Minimalist Here, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Mod Vintage Life, Between Naps on the Porch,From My Front Porch to Yours,Cozy Little House, Knick of Time,A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Jennifer Rizzo, Style Elixir, Shabby Art Boutique, Cheerios and Lattes, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Classy Clutter, French Country Cottage, C.R.A.F.T. Monday Funday , VMG206, Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo, That DIY Party

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