LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

LulaBelle’s “Bed”

LulaBelle aka Kiko loves many things about the holidays – knocking ornaments off the tree, shredding wrapping paper, harassing relatives, etc. Her very favorite thing about Christmas is a basket that I bought when she was kitten. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about this basket, but she adores it. The day that I brought the basket home, before I could even take it out of the shopping bag, I found Kiko laying in it. Yes, snuggled up inside of the basket inside a plastic bag. That’s my cat!

LulaBelle's Bed | LulaBelle Handicrafts

When I brought the holiday decorations down from the attic this year, I caught her nosing around the tubs. I opened the one with the basket and left the room, not giving it a second thought. When I came back into the living room, Kiko was trying to worm her way into the basket. I tried my best to keep her out of the basket once the house was decorated, and I failed miserably. Anytime that I couldn’t find Kiko and called her name, I would see two, black ears emerge from the basket. Eventually I gave just gave in. I figured if it made her that happy, I should let her enjoy the basket. Plus it has a canvas liner, so I could wash all her beautiful, black hair off at the end of the holiday season.

LulaBelle's Bed | LulaBelle Handicrafts

With the holidays winding down, I was itching to pack away the decorations and return my living room to its normal setup. My boyfriend tried to convince me to leave the basket out for Kiko. I love her, but the last thing that our living room needs permanently adorning it is a Christmas basket. So began the quest for a Kiko-sized basket with a washable liner. Eventually we found one at Home Goods.

LulaBelle's Bed | LulaBelle Handicrafts

I’m hopeful that this basket will keep Kiko happy until the Christmas basket returns next November. To entice her, I added some ribbons to one handle of the basket. A little bribery never hurts. Happy pet parenting!

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Marble Magnets Revisited

I sat down to crank out a bunch of marble magnets and thought it might be a good idea to reference my first ever blog post here on LulaBelle Handicrafts. It features marble magnets as made with Sarah Ortega’s instructions. Her tutorial is great, but I realized that my current method is a little different than hers. Mine is geared towards making a lot of them at once. You know that I like assembly line crafts, especially for when you are making them as gifts or maybe even to sell. Keep on reading to see how I made them this time. I’ll let you be the judge as to which method is better for you!

Marble Magnets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Clear, Glass Marbles with a Flat Side
  • 1 1/2 in. Circle Punch
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Magnets
  • Amazing Goop

Step One:

Pick out your paper. I am notorious for hanging on to paper scraps. Let’s be honest. Scrapbook paper ain’t cheap, so I do my very best to use as much of every piece as I can. I rifled through my stash and chose lots of lovely leftovers. I am intending to sell my finished magnets at an upcoming craft fair, so I thought of my magnets in groups of four and chose coordinating papers for each set. In the past, I’ve also used old maps. I’ve seen other folks use photos. You choose what you prefer.

Step Two:

With your paper selected, use a circle paper punch to cut our your pieces. I used a 1 1/2 in. punch because it was roughly the size of my marbles.

Marble Magnets | Step Two  LulaBelle Handicrafts

This is where I diverge from Sarah Ortega’s tutorial a bit. Using a punch is much quicker for me than tracing the shape onto a piece of paper and then cutting it out.

Step Three:

Match up each circle of paper to a large, glass marble.

Marble Magnets | Step Three LulaBelle Handicrafts

I started off using glass marbles that I had bought at Dollar Tree, and I discovered that many of them were chipped or cracked. Essentially only half of each bag was usable. Unacceptable. I decided to try looking for them at Michaels because although theirs are more expensive I was confident that the quality would be better. I was not only correct, but I also lucked out and got them on sale for $1 per bag. If you haven’t shopped for glass marbles before, look for them in the floral design section, and make sure to buy the large ones with the flat back.

Step Four:

Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the flat back of the glass marble with a paintbrush.

Marble Magnets | Step Four LulaBelle Handicrafts

Adhere a paper circle to the marble. Make sure to press the paper and marble together to get a good bond. Don’t be alarmed that the marble looks cloudy.

Marble Magnets | Step Four Cloudy LulaBelle Handicrafts

When the Mod Podge dries, it will be crystal clear again. Once you’ve Mod Podged all your marbles, leave them alone, and allow them to dry.

Step Five:

After the marbles finish drying, use an X-Acto knife to cut away any excess paper from the edges of the marbles.

Marble Magnets | Step Five LulaBelle Handicrafts

Depending on the size your marbles, you may not even need to do this step.

Step Six:

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the paper on the back of the marbles to seal the paper and make sure that it is well attached to the marbles.

Marble Magnets Step Six  | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Allow the Mod Podge to dry thoroughly.

Step Seven:

Place a small dot of Amazing Goop in the center of the back of the marble. Press a magnet onto the Amazing Goop.

Marble Magnets Step Seven | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Once you’ve attached a magnet to the back of each marble, store the completed magnets in a safe place for at least 72 hrs. to allow the Amazing Goop to cure. I know that seems like a long time, but it is necessary. If you try to place your magnets on the fridge before the Amazing Goop has had a chance to form a permanent bond, you’ll find your beautiful marble laying on the floor.

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Alcohol Ink Candles

At Christmastime, I was so excited about my gift to myself: 6 bright colors of Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks. I made some really cool stuff that I shared (Alcohol Ink OrnamentInk Splatter Coasters, and Alcohol Ink Votive Holders), but I then tucked my inks away into a box in my craft room. There they have sat just waiting for me to find the right project to pull them out and have some fun. Browsing my Ink Craftiness Board on Pinterest, I found the perfect project – alcohol ink candles.

I watched a how-to video from Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames before I went shopping for my candles. They used pillar candles, and I intended to buy some, really I did. When I got to the craft store, I found round, orb-shaped candles and had to have them. I find them to be much more interesting than pillars. What I didn’t consider at the time was the difficulty of covering of all those lovely curves with ink…

Before you get started dying your candles, make sure to cover your work surface with something non-porous and disposable or cleanable. I luckily own an Inkssentials Non-Stick Craft Mat. If you do not, I recommend wax paper. You’ll also want to wear gloves unless you have the type of job where you can show up with multicolored fingers and not getting funny looks.

Back to all those curves on the orb candles. The Ben Franklin video instructs you to apply a line of ink to your craft mat and then roll the candle around over it for maximum coverage. That is a little hard to do with a sphere and definitely messier. Be patient, and wear gloves! With my base coat applied, I added drops of other colored inks directly onto the candle and allowed them to drip down the sides. I then spritzed it with my cheap skate version of Alcohol Blending Solution, aka rubbing alcohol, and allowed the candle to dry.

Cool Colors Warm Colors

After I made a couple of candles this way, I decided to experiment with my last one. I covered the candle with rubbing alcohol first. I then applied drops of ink to the candle. The resulting effect looks almost like tie-dye to me because lots of the white remains. I’m calling this experiment a success.

The Experiment

These candles make great gifts because they are fairly easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and unique. If you are looking for something that will wow the receiver, I definitely recommend them. Happy alcohol ink crafting!

Alcohol Ink Candles

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