Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall Projects

I recently found some great projects to go along with my favorite time of year...
Lowe's Creative ideas is an excellent resource for any time of the year projects.

House Ghost

Create lighted ghouls from common household items in less than an hour
Step 1: For each ghost, wrap a wire tomato cage with a string of clear rope lights (#146228).
Step 2: Cut a 6‐ x 9‐foot drop cloth (#126317) to approximately 41/2 x 7 feet to cover the tomato cage. Use a black permanent marker to draw eyes and a mouth.
Step 3: Plug the lights into a secure grounded outlet

Candy Corn Planters

Paint a terra‐cotta container in a familiar pattern that complements fall blooms.
Step 1: Use painter’s tape to cover sections of a 12‐inch terra‐cotta planter. Paint the rim white (Valspar Ultra Premium, Bistro White 7006‐4, satin), the middle section orange (Valspar Ultra Premium, Fresh Persimmons 2009‐1, satin), and the bottom portion yellow (Valspar Ultra Premium, Gold Abundance 3003‐1A, satin). Be sure to allow each section to dry before removing and reapplying the painter’s tape
to cover other sections.
Step 2: Spray the painted planter with a coat of exterior polyurethane (#282329).


Step 1: Assemble the round lantern lights according to the manufacturer’s instructions and set them aside.

Step 2: From the sheet of vinyl letters, cut simple leaf shapes with a pair of scissors. (Or draw leaf patterns onto the stickers first, if you prefer.) The large lanterns take 25–35 leaves each, and the small ones take about 20–30 leaves each.

Step 3: Peel the backing off one leaf sticker at a time, and randomly stick them onto the outside surfaces of the lanterns. Press each leaf into place by placing one hand inside lantern and one hand on top of the leaf. Apply leaf stickers until you achieve the look you want.

Step 4: Hang lanterns outdoors for painting (low branches of a tree work well). Prepare all three cans of spray paint by removing lids and shaking each for one minute.

Step 5: To spray-paint in a gradated pattern of yellow to orange to red, begin at the top by spraying yellow spray paint while spinning the lantern. Next, spray the orange through the middle area, then the red on the bottom third. Allow the colors to bleed one into the next. Spray each color until the desired opacity is achieved. Or apply spray paint in another pattern of your choice. Allow the paint to dry before you remove the stickers.


Mount the post cap

Remove the dowel screw from the post cap with pliers or cut it off with a hacksaw. Mark four equally spaced hole centers around the perimeter of the bottom of the post cap, 3/8" in from the edge. Drill 5/8"-deep holes to accept the tomato cage legs, angling them to match the taper of the tomato cage. (We used a 3/16" drill bit.)
TIP: All four holes must be the same depth for the post cap to sit level. To ensure uniformity, attach a masking tape “flag” to the drill bit to indicate the 5/8" drilling depth.
Mark two equally spaced eye-screw pilot-hole centers between each pair of leg holes, 3/8" in from the edge of the post cap and drill the eight holes. (We used a 3/32" drill bit.) Drive in the screw eyes with pliers, aligning the eyes perpendicular to the edge of the post cap (like the minute dashes on a clock face). With the tomato cage upside down, insert the cage legs into the angled holes in the post cap

Weave in vertical wires

Measure the distance from the bottom cage ring to a screw eye. Double this measurement, add 6”, and cut eight pieces of 20-gauge, four-strand wire to this length. (We cut our wire 112" long.) Thread one piece of wire through a screw eye to the midpoint. Bend the wire at the midpoint and use pliers to tightly pinch it onto the screw eye.

Starting at the top cage ring, wrap one leg of the 20-gauge wire once around the ring, pulling the wire snug. Proceed to the remaining rings, wrapping the wire once around the second and third rings and several times around the fourth (bottom) ring, pulling the wire snug at each ring. Run the wire straight from top to bottom. Cut the excess wire at the bottom ring. Repeat with the second leg of the 20-gauge wire. In turn, insert the remaining seven wires into the screw eyes, wrap them around the rings, and trim the excess wire.

Add another ring

Mark the tomato-cage legs halfway between the post cap and the top ring with a permanent felt-tip marker. Make an additional ring by wrapping a piece of 20-gauge wire around the legs at the marks, cutting it so the ends overlap by 2". Cut four 11"-long ties from 22-gauge single-strand wire. Center the 20-gauge ring overlap on one cage leg at the mark and use one tie to bind the 20-gauge ring to the leg and wrap the overlapping ends together. Bind the 20-gauge ring to the other three legs at the marks with the remaining ties. When binding the ring to the cage legs, wrap the tie wire diagonally across the joint, alternating the direction one way and then the other to make wire bundles resembling little baskets.

Cut eight more 11"-long, 22-gauge wire ties. Gather together each pair of vertical 20-gauge wires where they cross the just-completed 20-gauge wire ring and bind them to each other and the 20-gauge ring with the ties. Use the same alternating diagonal wrap as before.

Finishing up

For a decorative effect, cut 22 additional ties and bind the vertical 20-gauge wires to the tomato cage rings in a random pattern, using the alternating diagonal tie wrap.

Then, spread newspaper, cardboard, or a drop cloth outdoors on the ground or driveway and spray paint the entire piece. (We used oil-rubbed bronze color paint.) With the paint dry, move the cage to the desired location, wrap with two strings of decorative lights, and plug them in.

I think this next project looks so cute!  And the extra that you could add is endless...they could even go inside...with a touch of glam!


Step 1: Inflate balloons to desired size (ours are 9 inches in diameter).

Step 2: Cut twine to length. We used 200 feet per ball.
GOOD TO KNOW: Don’t unwrap the roll of twine to measure length. Instead, pull from the inside of the roll to keep it from rolling away and tangling.

Step 3: Dip the tip of the twine in polyurethane (A) and stick the tip to the balloon. Wrap twine around balloon to cover it completely.

Step 4: Once the twine is wrapped around the balloon, paint it with polyurethane and let dry overnight on waxed paper. Tip: Rotate twine ball to ensure it dries evenly (without any flat edges).
Step 5: When the ball is dry, carefully cut a small hole in the tip of the balloon to let the air out. Use the eraser end of a pencil to pry the deflated balloon from the twine ball (B). Discard balloon. Tip: Keep a firm grip on the balloon stem while deflating to avoid losing the balloon inside the ball.
Step 6: Use a 6" piece of twine to tie each ball to a piece of rope (C). Hang with a swag.
Happy Project Hunting!

Thanks to Lowe's Creative ideas  

Always Smiling...
Sarah :)

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