Tag Archive: DIY

nailed it

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (6)

My ten year old wanted to make his big sister a special Christmas gift. A few weeks before the holiday they were both saying “nailed it” over and over and over to each other. Together we decided to get a piece of wood at the craft store, spray paint it, then hammer nails to form the words ‘nailed it’. He chose the font, and I did the nailing, because it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to nail those little things into the wood and he just couldn’t manage the hammer. This project took a few days and many sore fingers, but it was well worth it! His sister loved the present and it’s now displayed in her college apartment for all to see.

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (1)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (2)


twisterfishcrafts nailed it (4)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (5)

princess hat (hennin)

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 6

Okay, as of five minutes ago I had no idea the correct name for these conical princess hats. Now I do, thanks to the internet! Hennin. I learned something new today!


My daughter turned twenty last month. She’s a wonderful, kind, silly, lovely, funny, odd (in a good way) person. What did she want for her birthday? Anything odd or weird or strange. Anything you’d see in the store and think, “who the heck would want that?”

So that’s exactly what she got: a box full of odd and funny and strange gifts. One of them was a ‘make and decorate your own cardboard pony’ which she had seen at a store and got excited about, as silly 20 year old girls do. When I saw a felt princess hat at the dollar store, I knew it’d go great with her pony (which I instructed her to turn into a unicorn, because unicorns are cool!). The hat was pretty, purple with a bit of ribbon hanging down from the point. But…

I decided it needed more. While spending the evening on the sofa watching people select their new house (one of my favorite past-times), I added some decoration using more ribbon at the point, and embroidery thread in different stitches around the hat. The results were perfect (if you don’t look too closely to see that some of the rows of stitches are not perfectly straight).

She wore this beautiful one-of-a-kind princess hat while opening her other presents the morning of her birthday and sent me picture of her in the princess hat while ‘riding’ her cardboard pony later that day.

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 1

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 2

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 3

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 4

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 5

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 7

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 8

gift card wreath

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (2)

My memory is horrible…. I thought I had already posted this back in June, when I made it for my youngest son’s teacher as an end of year gift. The students in the class donated money for gift cards to the teacher’s favorite shops and restaurants. I purchased the gift cards in small amounts so that we could have many cards instead of a few larger ones.

On a large piece of foam board I cut out a circle and an inner circle. The largest was 12 inches in diameter. I used different sized bowls to trace the circles. My goal was to have the width of the ring the same size as the length of a clothes pin. I then traced this circle onto two sheets of 12×12 card stock (different patterns) and glued those onto the foam board. I put the paper on the front and the back, just to give it a nice look no matter where it was hanging. I then glued thin ribbon to the outer and inner edges, using hot glue.

On the clothes pins I used washi tape. My obsession with washi tape is bordering on insane, so I had plenty of patterns to choose from.

I then used hot glue to attach the clothes pins to the ring.

A ribbon finished off the wreath.

Added the gift cards, and voila! The gift was ready to go!

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (1)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (3)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (5)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (2)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (4)

washi tape notebook


twisterfishcrafts washi tape notebook (2)


I picked up a few hardcover notebooks from the dollar section of a favorite store years ago. I had the intention to cover them with wallpaper. But then I couldn’t find the extra roll of wallpaper that I had bought years prior to that. So these notebooks have been in my craft bin, waiting for the right time to be transformed. Today was the day! Washi tape to the rescue!


To hide the ends of the washi tape strips, I covered them with a wide tape on the inside front and back covers.

twisterfishcrafts washi tape notebook (3)


A notebook, before and after: 


twisterfishcrafts washi tape notebook (1)





gold hearts on glass bottle

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (8)

A few things I love:

  • IKEA
  • gold
  • decorative tape (such as washi tape)
  • spray paint
  • bottles
  • unique stuff

So there you have it. That list was my inspiration for this project. And it turned out GORGEOUS, if I do say so myself. Which I just did!

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (1)

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (2)

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (3)

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (4)

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (5)

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (6)

twiserfishcrafts gold hearts bottle (7)

painted vase


twisterfishcrafts painted vase

Recently I saw a pin on pinterest that got me excited due to it’s simplicity and because the results looked spectacular. You can see the site here.

So I tried it. I bought the paint she mentioned, and took one of my dollar store vases and got to work. The vase I had is tinted blue so I thought silver paint would look nice with it.

Notice her vase is a nice straight cylinder. Mine is not. Do you know how hard it is to tape around a vase that is curvy,while trying to keep the lines straight and not have any gaps? It’s not easy! But, the results are still beautiful!  Next time — because there will be a next time — I’ll use a straight vase.

The process:

#1: Prep (I decided on three stripes.)


twisterfishcrafts painted vase prep


#2: Paint (I did three coats. It didn’t take long for each coat to dry.)


twisterfishcrafts painted vase paint


#3: Remove tape and allow to dry completely.


twisterfishcrafts painted vase finished



#4: Display with other pretty things.


twisterfishcrafts painted vase display


painted canvas — song lyrics

twisterfish crafts song lyrics canvas (16)

I love painting canvases and I love words, so painting words on canvas is a favorite of mine. My daughter has been playing Ingrid Michaelson’s music while home on spring break, and I have fallen in love with the song, You and I. My daughter and I went to the craft store, purchased a black canvas (yahoo! that way we didn’t need to paint it black before putting the stickers on!), and some lower case stickers that not only had lots of each letter, but were on clearance. Then we went home and started the process.

Note to self: Never purchase stickers on clearance. There might just be a good reason why they are being sold cheaply.

Here are the photos of the process. Overall, we’re happy with how it turned out!

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Advent Calendars

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar bags (1)



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After years of Lego advent calendars, it was time to do something different.

I decided to make an advent calendar so I did a little online searching for ideas — I liked the ones that had an activity to do each day.

Using blank business cards I had leftover from another craft, I printed an idea for each day. I used a large font and printed them in red.

At a big box store I found packs of colorful paper goodie bags in the clearance section. Some of the packs were only 90 cents each while a few were almost $2. I purchased a few different colors and patterns. All totaled less than $10, and there are enough left over to do another set for next year.

With my star and snowflake paper punches I took scraps of paper in white, green, and gold, and punched out a bunch of these shapes.

Using scrapbook paper with numbers on them, along with a few number stickers, I was able to find enough numbers from 1 to 24.

Assembly was easy: I put a card in a paper bag and sewed it closed using my sewing machine, sewing the number and some of the snowflakes and stars along with it.

I was careful to put easier activities (such as “make a card for your grandparents”) on days I knew we’d be busy with school and piano practice and other obligations, and more complex activities (such as “make a bird feeder for the winter birds”) for the weekend days when we’d have more time.

Tied the stack of these bags up with a ribbon, and now they’re ready for December 1st!


But …

My almost 9 year old told me that advent calendars must have chocolate. I don’t know where he got this idea since the advent calendars he’s had in recent years (Lego) didn’t have chocolate, but he was insistent.

So I made a second advent calendar using a 24 mini muffin baking tin. We put 2 chocolate kisses in each of the 24 spots. Then we numbering circles I punched from card stock and used glue dots to adhere them to larger circle tags. I put ribbons on those tags, and two small pieces of sticky-back magnets on the back of each one, to keep the chocolates in and the numbers in place.

Ta-da! Advent calendar #2. With chocolate.

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar tin

word art — advice

I’ve done this project a few times … it’s my current favorite way to be crafty!  I call this one “advice”. If I had to give life advice, and only had a 5×7-inch canvas, what would I say? Well, this is it.

The first time I did this project I made the canvas as an anniversary gift to my husband. It has our names, our wedding date, and other personal info on it. It is displayed in our family room and I love it!

Here is where the inspiration came from:

wall art

I love the idea of art that is simple, and inexpensive, and unique … and a conversation starter.


Now, here’s my problem with crafts that I find online: I read about them, think about them, and then usually I don’t remember to go back and refer to them before doing the project. This can be good, and bad. Good in that it allows me to be creative, and to do the project in my own way, and with items I have on hand. And bad, because when I don’t follow the directions and instead do it my way, my way isn’t always easier.

So instead of doing this with wooden letters, I used large alphabet stickers. I like how this allows me to put almost anything I can imagine onto the canvas … quotes, names, advice, humor, etc. … but the problem is that some of the stickers I purchased aren’t very sticky, so they came off easily. I rectified that situation by putting a layer of Mod Podge over the stickers once they were placed where I wanted them. I did this carefully with a foam applicator and then let it dry completely before painting.

The first time I made one of these I did not remember that the instructions said to use spray paint. I tried using craft paint with a small brush and with a foam applicator, and, well, that didn’t work. It was a disaster. Spray paint saved the project and is what I’ve used since then. In the end, on each of the canvases I made, I used two coats of spray paint. It covered the pencil marks and gave the finished project a nice even look.


What I’ve learned from doing this project a few times:

  • Measure fourteen times, put stickers on once (or maybe twice).
  • Don’t worry about the pencil lines, unless you’re using white paint. But if using white paint, no worries if you make sure to do at least two coats of paint.
  • Wait for each coat of paint to dry before doing the second application.
  • Do not spray paint when it is windy outside.
  • Do not spray paint in the kitchen with the windows closed.
  • Do not waste hours of time doing online searches for favorite quotes. There are a gazillion quotes out there … a gazillion great quotes … and there just isn’t enough time to read them all.
  • Don’t pick a quote that is too long, or that won’t fit onto the canvas you want to put it on.
  • Using canvases that have been painted on before is a great way to reuse, reduce, recycle! Possibly a good idea to use a spray adhesive for the stickers, and might also be advisable to paint the canvas with a solid color prior to starting the project.
  • I really hope my family likes word art because I can think of about a million canvases I’d like to make using this technique.

Ideas for this project as a gift:

  • New baby: put baby name and date of birth and all those other important details on the canvas, or just the name
  • baby shower gift: (*this one is on my to-do list for the next project*) using large stickers or small wooden letters, put the ABCs on a large canvas and paint it yellow or light green — great gift for the nursery of a boy or girl … or twins!
  • Housewarming: put the street address, or the family name and the address, possibly with the year they moved in
  • Wedding: the names of the bride and groom and the date and city they were married in
  • Birthday: a favorite quote or inspirational quote
  • College or high school graduation: an inspirational quote or bits of wisdom

step 1 supplies

step 2 make lines

step 3 lines up the left side

step 4 keep going

step 5 all stickers on

step 6 ready for paint

step 7 finished