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Archive for the tag “altered art”

BoTTle ChArMs

BoTTle ChArMs

This spring I found some really cute colored bottles with clear plastic daisy “charms”... and I wanted more, more, and even more – – – BUT of my OWN design and my OWN price of course!

So, the “bottle idea” that has slowly been simmering in the back of my head since February (and YES, that IS spring in Louisiana!) has FINALLY spring-ed sprung forth!

After several “comme ci, comme ça” (which is just about the extent on my high school French) attempts at using wire to attach beads or charms to bottles the perfect solution struck me – WINE CHARMS!

AND for further “wowzers”, I actually had some on hand AND I could put my stubby crafty little fingers on them! Well I finished off that package up in one sitting “sew” it was time to start looking for more charm rings and thought maybe, just MAYBE, I could make some of my own?

So, heigh-ho, heigh-ho it’s off to the web I go!  A search turned up several wine charm ring tutorials from wire loop earrings and memory wire and I had the further idea to use chain in place of the ring.

With the addition of a few fresh seasonal flowers wouldn’t these make adorable party decorations – any where from sweetly old-fashinned to casual to sime-formal?  I can see them as individual place setting decorations & take-home-party-favors for a wedding or shower.  Fill the bottles with colored water.  For Thanksgiving or a fall party group an old number of bottles of differing heights in the center of a round table for a greater impact as a centerpiece.  For a rectangular candle place a rattan table runner (or four placemats) down the center of the table.  For a beach wedding or party stagger bottles of differing heights, add water or sand and flowers to the bottles and lay sea shells & starfish, fishnet, etc. among the bottles.  The possibilities are endless!  You can even add paper hearts or other shapes on a bamboo skewer cut to fit the bottles.

B.T.W.: Did you know you can EASILY clean old bottles with SALT WATER? This tip comes courtesy of my friend Maggie. Pour about a half teaspoon of salt in the bottle and fill with warm water. Shake up and then let sit (I waited overnight). Then simple empty the salt water and rinse out with warm water. The air dry and your bottle should sparkle like new! I REALLY like that you do not have to rinse and rinse and rinse some more to get the soap residue out of the bottle.


  • Wine charm rings
  • Wire loop earrings
  • Memory wire
  • Chain
  • Small round beads
  • Seed beads
  • Charms
  • Old or broken jewelry:  beaded or charm bracelets, chains, necklaces and chain bracelets
  • Jump rings

 Also needed 

  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Round tip pliers (optinal)
  • Small bottles & vases

Costs: This is a great rainy day activity and “use-it-up craft” to make something with the odd bottles & vases (new or old) and those odd & end pieces of jewelry, charms and beads you have laying around the house!

Photo Tutorial:

Photo 1: Assemble supplies.


Photo 2: Add beads and a charm to the charm ring or hoop earring . If the ring is not big enough to close around the bottle extend the ring a little with jump rings!

Photo 3: As you can see darker beads show up better on clear bottles. White and translucent light colors will disappear against the clear glass. Use light colored beads on amber or other dark colored bottles.

Photo 4: Another alternative is to use chain. This actually is an old chain bracelet with a charm added.

Photo 5: The back of the bracelet closes with a toggle clasp.

Photo 6: You can even make your own chain by joining split ring jump rings!

Photo 7: I joined the jump ring chain on this bottle with a short piece of torn fabric and then knotted it. The bottle actually has a chip in the lip (say that five times fast!).

Photo 8: Add a key charm and you have the finished product. The fabric “knot” totally hides the chip!

Photo 9: Canalize old bracelets for beads and charms! I got two bottle charms out of one old bracelet I got on sale for $1 years ago. I never wore it and it came in handy for this project. Note that oval or rectangle beads with a horizontal hole can only be strung on flexible wire.

Thank you for taking the time to read my tutorial on decorating your bottle with bottle charms. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that you have great sucess in decoraing som four your windowsill . If you have any questions or if ANYthing is not clear, please let me know in a comment so that I can improve the tutorial.

I’d love to hear from you so please take a moment to leave a comment and rate this post. Really, please do  – – –

Thanks again.

buggalcrafts a.k.a. melba


Fourth of July Cookie Cutter Ornament Recycled From a Broken Cookie Cutter

Fourth of July Cookie Cutter Ornament Recycled From a Broken Cookie Cutter

I started with a broken cutter that I was reluctant to just couldn’t make myself throw away (“Do you hear my momma whispering in my ear too?”).  So it sat on my craft desk since Valentine’s Day until I was working on my Patriotic Garland (coming to you in a blog near you soon!) and ding, ding, ding it occurred to me I could make it into a cute ornament for my garland.

What I really like about this craft is that simply by changing the fabric, the trim, and the shape of the cutter you can easily customize this to any holiday or use it “as is” for a “Country Denim Christmas”.   And of course you don’t have to use a “don’t throw it out” cutter, you could use an unbroken one.



  • Red, White & Blue Torn Fabric Strips
  • Red, White & Blue Rick-Rack
  • Star or Heart Cookie Cutter

Also Needed

  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric Glue

Photo Tutorial

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.

Please take a moment to leave a comment and rate this post. Really, please do – I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again.

buggalcrafts a.k.a. melba

Mini Wooden Valentine’s Spoons

Mini Wooden Valentine’s Spoons

Make several of these little cuties for a Baking Wreath or to hang on a seasonal tree for Valentine’s Day or Christmas.  They are very easy to make and super inexpensive too!

  • Wooden ice cream spoons
  • Cardstock scraps
  • Metal ornament hanger

Also needed

  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Permanent markers
  • Brown colored pencil or marker
  • Cotton swabs or paint brush
  • 3/8ths inch heart punch


I bought some ice cream sticks in a bundle of arts & crafts supplies for $1 so maybe it cost me 15₵ for 25.  The paint, cardstock scraps, Mod Podge, and fabric were leftover from another project.  So basically this was a free craft for me.


Photo 1: Assemble materials. Punch hearts.

Photo 2: Draw a spoon pattern on the ice cream stick lightly with a brown colored pencil..

Photo 3: Begin cutting the handle out by making a horizontal cut on each side of the ice cream stick where the “handle” begins. Then cut vertically on each side down to the horizontal cuts.

Photo 4: Sand smooth CAREFULLY. This wood splinters very easily. Watch out!

Photo 6: Tie ribbon around the bottom of the handle. Insert metal ornament hanger (or short piece of wire) before pulling tight. May also glue a magnet to the back of the ornament instead of hanging it on a tree.

Photo 7: Tie ribbon into a bow. Push the bow up a lttle on the spoon handle and apply a little glue. Pull the bow back down and allow to dry. Hang on tree or wreath.











Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.   

Please take a moment to leave a comment and rate this post.

Thanks again. 


Curtain Ring Ornaments: Valentine’s, Mardi Gras, Theme

Curtain Ring Ornaments

You may never think of wooden and shower curtain rings in the same way again! Just don’t rip yours down and leave your shower curtain all caterwompass!

A trip to a thrift store netted me 18 wooden curtain rings for $1.99 last spring and I knew I just had to think of something to do with them!

Initially I thought of photo frames (which is still a good idea) but Vacation Bible School was coming up and I felt lead to use them in making Christmas ornaments for the VBS kickoff. I had on hand some religious sayings scrapbook paper and presto – the idea was born! I framed the words I wanted highlighted inside the curtain ring and it made a really cute ornament for the tree.   Since the theme was New York I added a freehanded skyline in blsck cardstock and a tiny apple punch.  The kids really enjoyed making them too and even a few adults made one!  They were a big hit!

So I have been on the lookout for more rings at the local thrift stores ever since, and have found some smaller ones that worked pretty well. But I wanted still more and was having trouble finding them (Did you know they are over $5 in stores?) – – – then, at a fairly recent trip I picked up some shower curtain rings for 99 cents. And they work just great too!  If you wrap the bottom part of the ring that comes open with ribbon (and then make it the top of the ornament) you would never be able to tell what they are.  You can find them in any color you need.

This is a great craft for kids as it is very easy to do. And at under 10 cents an ornament (using shower curtain rings) it is also very inexpensive – – – making it a great craft for a crowd.

You can customize it to the season simply by changing the scrapbook paper, color of the curtain ring, and ribbon. So it works for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras (fleru-de-lis), Easter, Harvest, Christmas, or other holidays equally well.

It makes a great package decoration as you can even use sticker letters to spell out the recipient’s name.


  • Curtain rings, wooden curtain or shower curtain
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Cardstock
  • Stickers: alphabet, seasonal
  • Torn fabric strips, ribbon, lace, etc.
  • Feathers, string of seed pearls, etc.


Also Needed

  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • White glue
  • Permanent markers
  • Pen
  • Cotton swabs or paint brush



The scrapbook paper was bought on sale for 20 to 44 cents a sheet and one sheet will make 12 to 18 ornaments, depending on the pattern.  The cardstock was on-hand from another project.  The rings cost 6 to 11 cents each.  So each ornament was 15 cents or less to make.  This makes it an excellent “bulk craft” for “Make Your Own Ornament” events.  It is easy enough for kids, yet adults can be challenged enough to keep their interest.


Photo 1: Assemble materials needed. Choose scrapbook paper with a pattern that fits inside the curtain ring. A large pattern does not work as well as a small pattern. Choose cardstock that coordinates with the paper.

Photo 2: Lay the rings out on scrapbook paper. Start by framing the design you want displayed within the curtain ring. Trace the ring with a pen or pencil then roughly cut around the ring with scissors.

Photo 3: Next glue cardstock to the back of the scrapbook paper with a glue stick to reinforce it. This way you can cut out the backing along with the “front” so that both circles will be even. It is very hard to get them to match up otherwise.

Photo 4: Cut out the circle. Write name, date, and any other information you’d like on the cardstock now with a marker. Add sticker letters or other stickers as desired.

Photo 5: Wrap the bottom of the shower curtain ring several times around with ribbon, lace, etc. and tie off. Insert feathers, string of seed pearls, etc. before pulling taunt. Insert a metal ornament hanger under at least one loop. Tie into a bow. The bottom of the ring now becomes the top of the ornament. If using wooden curtain rings with an eye hook, thread ribbon through the hook and then insert hanger then tie into a bow.

Photo 6: Now you are ready to glue the scrapbook paper to the ring. Apply a thin line of glue around the scrapbook paper/cardstock circle with a cotton swab. Apply a second line of glue around the back of the ornament. Allow to set for a few minutes to get tacky. You may also use a cool melt glue gun. I prefer the white glue because it gives you time to adjust the paper circle so the design is aligned.

Be sure to match the top of the paper to the top of the ring place the paper on the ring. Turn over to check placement of pattern within the ring and adjust as needed. Press firmly for at least 30 seconds. Lay the ornament face down to dry.


  1. I use Wal-Mart’s Foam Glue because I have found it has superior holding power and when it dries the bond remains slightly flexible and is less likely to come unglued when gluing to plastic.
  2. You can use Glue Dots if you need instant drying.
  3. When doing a crafting party where the ornaments need time to dry, give each participant a cheap white paper plate to place ornaments on to dry.  Have them write their name on the plate with a marker.  When it’s time to go home, it will be super easy for the participant to find their plate!


Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.   

Please take a moment to leave a comment and rate this post.

Thanks again. 

Altered-Art dot Net Review

Altered-Art dot Net


I call myself doing ‘altered art’ when I take something like a store bought Christmas ornament and then take it an change it by painting over it and starting fresh or I take something that is a decorative item and then add craft items to it.  I don’t know if this is really what is meant by the term ‘altered art’.  What is your opinion?  Since I didn’t have a clear picture of what the term meant I went to the web for a search and this is one of the best sites I found.

Up for your consideration is this site that tries to answer the apparently simple question ‘What is altered art?’.

Did you know that “the practice of altering existing works of art goes all the way back to the Middle Ages?”

And some great names in the art world that you will recognize immediately engaged in the practice of “altered art”?

It appears there are two stances on what ‘altered art’ is.

  • “Involves altering or combining existing works of art to produce new pieces of artwork.”
  • “The transformation or ‘alteration’ of ordinary, everyday objects into artistic pieces using, for example, rubber stamps, fabric, paper, paint and fibers.”Read more: http://www.altered-art.net/altered-art.html

This site has some great background information and instructions on techniques.

Read more: http://www.altered-art.net/altered-art-techniques.html

David and Maria, the site’s founders, are on hand to answer all your questions about this exciting form of creative expression.

I have started posting some of the things I do on my brand new craft blog. Take a look and comment to let me know your opinion on my projects – ‘altered art’ or not!

Making a wooden spoon & measuring cups into a work of art:




Making a cookie cutter into a work of art:


 Making a plastic lid into a work of art:


Altered Art: Gingerbread Santa Tree Topper

Altered Art Santa Tree TopperAltered Art:  Gingerbread Santa Tree Topper

I bought this Santa last year after Christmas for no more than 30 cents.  When I decided on having a “Gingerbread Christmas Cookie Tree” I just had to alter this little Santa. I bent his arms so he could carry a trio of gingerbread men, added a plaid patch (draw in stiches with a marker) to his suit, tucked a candy cane under one arm, glued a rick rack hem border and cookie accent (mini gingerbread ornament) on the other side of his suit, and glued a mini cookie cutter to his hat.

In the end I decided to use a gingerbread man as a topper so he is just hanging around (pun intended!).

Thanks for taking a look!


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