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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Repurposing vintage jello molds

I’ve been collecting all sizes of metal jello molds from the early years of the 1900s.  They are cute, nostalgic and intrigue me with their charm.
My first upcycled project using one of the molds I found at my Mom’s was a pincushion made from some vintage fabric, lace and a button from the button box I had spent hours sorting through as a child.

This year, after looking at several ideas for creating Christmas ornaments out of little jello molds with bottle brush trees and glistening snow.  I pulled out my stash and started playing.
I had a few small wooden candle sticks, a metal stand from a paper company, various sizes of molds, and some wooden beads and bamboo skewers.
To start, I used a nail to punch a small in the bottom of each mold.

Once I get into a project, I’m terrible at recording my progress or the process in pictures.  This one was after sorting sizes, stacking and restacking the molds with beads in between  as needed to keep the shapes from nesting too much.  After getting them the way that looked best to me, I started by gluing the skewer into the base.

I didn’t glue every level but if the hole I’d punched in the tin wasn’t right in the center and that tier was tilty, a little glue helped keep things in line.
At this point, I hadn’t given any thought to how I would finish off the top.  A star seemed like the obvious choice, but what kind....?
After digging through more stash, I found two tiny cookie cutters that seemed made for the job.  One was an angel, perfect!  The other a tiny gingerbread man!  For the third tree, I was at a loss.  This little silver finial looks great!

Here are the finished trees.  They are still a little tilty in places but whimsy is what repurposing is all about so I think it works.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Recycling with Paperwhites

 It’s been a while since I’ve forced bulbs indoors.  With the holiday season approaching, I came across a tiny little dish with one dormant paperwhite bulb in it.  After placing a few marbles in the bottom of the dish, I placed the bulb in the window and watched to see what would happen.  After a week, this is how much it had grown!It was so exciting to see the brown bulb come to life and grow so quickly!  So...of course I started looking at paperwhite ideas on Pinterest.  There were lots of ideas and I quickly thought of some things I had on hand that I could use to create some lovely presentations to share with some folks this holiday season.
Several years ago I had picked up some very pretty, tall glass vases at a friends’s garage sale. They would be perfect for the tall blooms I expect from paperwhites.

I gathered all the things I had on hand, made a wuick trip to Lowe’s for the bulbs.  I had only planned to make 3 vases full but when I bought the bulbs, they were 75% off.  Of course I bought all that they had for a total of 40 bulbs.  Each vase was big enough to hold 5 bulbs without crowding and, as it turned out, I had picked up 8 vases for $1 each. The bulbs totaled $13.25. The moss was left over, the river rocks were purchased for these vases but the glass beads were purchaed new but left over from another project. All in all, the cost of things purchased for my paperwhite project came to around $27... that’s just a little over $3 for each one!  

As soon as I got home I spread everything out on the kitchen table and got to work.  No...I didn’t stop to take before pictures.  The project is pretty transparent...see what I did there? I think you can figure it all out.

Here are the other 4 vases with glass beads instead of river rocks and moss.  I love the earthy look of the natural materials but the sunlight shining through the sparkling glass beads is so pretty...especially for Christmas gift giving.

I don’t know if these bulbs will flower before Christmas or shortly after but I’m sure they will bring a spot of cheer to their new homes.  

Here’s what they should look like...

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