How To Make A Papier-Mâché Snowman – Part 2

How To Make A Papier-Mâché Snowman – Part 2

Part 2 – How To Make A Papier- Mâché Snowman

After the little Papier-Mâché snowman from Part 1 was dry, I realized his feet weren’t so steady.  I had used the cream cheese box to cut out and make soles for his feet.  That cardboard was not so firm and somehow the ends of his feet curled in the front.  As you can imagine, that created a bit of a wobbly snowman.  Extra paper clay had to be applied there and flattened to make him a little more stable, which meant more drying time.  Sigh…

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To remedy this, on the second snowman, a pizza box lid was used to create soles for feet.  Let me tell you that this was a far better idea.   After stuffing the newspaper sleeve, applying the paper strips and allowing that to dry, I glued the pizza box lid soles in the appropriate spots and allowed the Tacky glue to dry.

Then, the paper clay was used to fill in the space around the bottom, creating a nice base.  Paper clay was also applied in a ring around the neck.  The clay was allowed to dry.  This helped to stabilize the head and the base.  I think I will start doing this with all of the snowmen!


How To Make A Papier-Mâché Snowman - Part 2


After the clay had completely dried, a coat of white primer and paint was applied.  I really liked the paint used on the pumpkins as a base but that particular paint does not come in white.  This Olympic primer and paint in one works really nicely, too.

He’s beginning to look more like a snowman now and less like an alien or a troll!  Lol!


Remember the Easy DIY Melted Snowman Tablescape from last year?  I had some of the fabric left from the flannel plaid scarf.  This was used to create a little scarf for this first snowman.  The snowman stands about 10″ tall.  The scarf measures 18″ long and ended up being 1 – 7/8″ wide.  The lines of the plaid were followed as a guide to cut straight lines.

How To Make A Papier-Mâché Snowman - Part 2

Threads were removed from both ends to create fringe.  I didn’t bother to sew up the edges.  They were left raw.  There shouldn’t be a lot of strain on them once they are tied around the little fellow’s neck.

How To Make A Papier-Mâché Snowman - Part 2

Since the plaid had green in it, too, florist wire was used to create a band for the earmuffs.  (I saw this done on a snowman in a store and thought it was so clever!  However, they had used some black wire.  The florist wire seemed perfect for this project.)


How To Make A Papier-Mâché Snowman - Part 2


His eyes were painted with regular acrylic craft paint.  Since they were supposed to look like coal, they were painted black.  Of course, his carrot nose was painted orange.  Red paint, to match the plaid fabric, was used for the mittens and the earmuffs.  And, he now looks more like a snowman, doesn’t he?


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A big crooked smile was painted on his face.  White twinkles were painted on his ‘coal’ eyes and white snowflakes brighten up his red mittens.

Frosty was looking a little too bright and new.  A waterbased antiquing medium by FokArt was used to take off the new look.  The antiquing medium was watered down with a wet brush and applied to the snowman in sections.  Then, the surface was quickly rubbed with a paper towel and most of the antiquing medium was removed.  It looks subtle but that is a good thing!

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After the antiquing was dry, it was time to add some sparkle to Frosty!  A light coat of Mod Podge was brushed on, a section at a time, as glue and then clear glitter was sprinkled over the wet Mod Podge.

I have to tell you right now, looking at this little snowman really puts a smile on my face.

Next, using the Loctite Super Glue, the ends of his coiled band for the earmuffs were glued into the little holes made earlier.

The plaid scarf was the finishing touch.  I love this little snowman!  Another two are in various stages of becoming snowmen, too.  

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How To Make A Papier-mâché Snowman

How To Make A Papier-mâché Snowman

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To make this  Papier-mâché snowman, first you’ll need newspaper and a newspaper sleeve.  Yep, I used the newspaper sleeve.  It seemed the right size for the snowman I had in mind.  Just imagine a row of these snowmen made from an item you usually toss in the trash…


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Since this was a little on the small side, I tore the newspaper in half and used the single sheets to wad into balls.  The balls of newspaper were then placed in the plastic sleeve.  When the sleeve was filled with enough of the newspaper, the plastic bag was tied in a knot.

I wanted legs to be visible.  Using masking tape, I taped the bag creating two ‘legs’.



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Then, a head was formed.  This was a more compacted ball of newspaper to create a round ball.  That was placed in the sleeve above the body and the knot.  Another knot was tied to hold the ball in place.



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As you can imagine, the head was a little ‘wonky’.  In order to make it more stable, I wrapped a piece of masking tape around it.  Awww, perfect!


Just like the pumpkins, strips of newspaper were glued to the shape with the Papier-mâché glue.  ◄ (You can find complete directions for making the glue and the clay here.  This makes a lot!  You might want to make half or a third of the recipe unless you are planning on making much bigger or a lot of these!)  I cut the strips for the snowman a little shorter and not as wide as the ones used on the pumpkins.

This was actually done in two settings, allowing the paper strips to dry and stiffen the figure a little before applying them to the head.  Take note, a few strips were applied to the neck area both times to help support the head.

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Once the paper strips were dry and the piece was completely covered, I felt the feet needed a better foundation.  This little snowman has to stand on his own, unsupported.  I had an empty cream cheese box and cut ‘soles’ for the feet from the cardboard box, glued them to the bottoms of the feet, and filled in the gaps with the paper clay.

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About two-thirds of the body was covered with the paper clay.  You can see the arms are beginning to take shape.  The little fellow was allowed to dry for a day at this point.  In order to hasten the drying, he was set next to the heat register in the kitchen.   (Yes, we already have the heater turned on this year!)

I learned with the pumpkins and the pumpkin stems, that you need to dry areas before applying too much of the paper clay or you might have a collapse.  The stems completely covered in one setting ended up having dropsy.  By covering the base of the stem, allowing it to dry, and then, covering the top, the stems had a better base.  They stand more erect.

Remember that.  You must have patience.  

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Once the lower body was completely covered with clay and dried, clay was applied to the head and some clay was added to his arms.  He was allowed to dry again.  The register expedited the drying process nicely.  He’s beginning to take shape.

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The idea of having earmuffs on this little guy was inspired by a snowman at a local store.  The band across the top was a spiraled wire and for whatever reason, I just wanted to recreate that look.   It just seemed so clever!

To make them, two equal-sized balls were shaped, flattened, and applied to the wet clay on both sides of the head.  Placing the wet clay on the wet clay helped the two fuse together.  (I wanted definition between the ear muffs and the head.  The wet on wet clay helped create that.  You can blend the wet clay out onto the dry clay and it will adhere easily without a line but in this case, the definition was preferable.)  At this point, you can poke a hole with a toothpick on both of the flattened shapes where the spiraled wire will be attached later.  If you would rather, or forget to do this, a drill can be used to drill a tiny hole for it after the piece has dried.

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After the Papier-mâché snowman dried overnight, another thin layer of the clay was spread over the head, smoothing out the clay, and subtle cheeks were formed.  You can see that a carrot nose was also shaped and applied to his face.  (Laying him on his back kept the carrot erect instead of drooping.)The eyes were shaped to resemble coal.  I tried to shape ridges on the edges to replicate the edges of chipped coal.  I’m not sure how successful that was but that was the objective.

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He was laid on his back to add the carrot nose, the coal eyes, and to cover the front with another smooth layer of clay.  At this point, he seems to resemble a troll more than a snowman but we are not done yet.  Another day of drying and working on the back will be the next step.

Part 2 will be posted in the next few days.  I can’t wait to get to the painting part and, ultimately, this little  Papier-mâché Snowman will be glistening, too.  Until then,

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Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated

Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated

Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated

March 7, 2017

    Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated.  Perhaps that is my mantra – ‘understated’.  If it is yours, too,  you’ve come to the right place.  If not, you can always embellish with more.  These ideas will give you a good foundation upon which to embellish.


   Last year, I found this adorable bunny at Hobby Lobby.  I loved it so much, I decided to go back and buy another one.  Wrong.  They were all gone by the time I got there!   Don’t you hate when that happens?


   This year, when I saw these bunnies back again at Hobby Lobby, I purchased another and a smaller version, too.  Aren’t these the cutest bunnies?   I could just imagine them on the fireplace mantel.

    Contemplating removing the clock again, I decided against it.  I love that it is black and loving those little black touches throughout the house, I couldn’t…   (Rationalizing.)  Besides, the tips of the bunny ears show up nicely in front of it.

    After placing the two larger bunnies on the mantel, it seemed something was missing.   They needed something nestled between them.  The thought of a little nest with the antique-looking eggs I made earlier this week came to mind.  A trip to Michael’s and the Dollar Tree was necessary.  Michael’s had the little 7-inch nest and Dollar Tree had inexpensive moss.

    Have you ever heard of ‘reindeer moss’?   Turns out reindeer moss is actually a lichen of the genus Cladonia, which the reindeer eat.  Who knew?   Regardless, I liked the green color of it and picked up a bag for a dollar!


    Although the reindeer moss-lined nest with the eggs looked okay, it seemed to need a little something more.

   So, a couple of pieces cut from a spring floral bouquet were gently bent to curve around the nest.    While that looked nice, the thought to add a little ivy to this to give it a little more interest came to mind.

    You see the workings of my simple mind.  While the flowers added a different color and texture, there was still something missing.  The little pieces of ivy added that little extra understated touch.   Subtle, but isn’t it perfect?


   A few weeks ago, the two orchids in the picture were purchased at the local grocery.  Although they are still blooming, it seemed replacement flowers a little more indicative of the season were needed to welcome spring.

    So at Sam’s Club, there were more orchids but as I was reaching for a white one to put in the cart, the thought of spring tulips popped into my head.  Yes, white or ivory spring tulips just seemed right at that moment.  

   Stopping at two local Kroger stores on the way home and searching in the floral departments, I couldn’t find an appropriate pair of tulip plants.  Where are the tulips now when I need them?  

    Totally disappointed, I headed home.  Looking at the mantel again, I contemplated using a different set of vases.  Setting one on the mantel, the idea of using some of the silk floral stems leftover from the nest came to mind.  

     Isn’t the big vase on the right beautiful?  Yes, but you know what?  I think the smaller vase actually looks a little more delicate and spring-like.  Don’t you?  


   Using little wire cutters, the stems were cut from the bouquet and placed in the vase.  When the stems were first placed in the vase, they were too short.  Wine corks do come in handy.  I just piled some in the vase and voila!  Perfect height!

    Notice that I also switched the birds around.  With the smaller vases, it seemed the one on the right would now draw the eye back to the mantel.  I like the negative space all around the elements.   You can definitely see the triangular composition in this one, which is always pleasing to the eye.

    Notice that in this triangular composition there are multiple secondary triangular compositions, as indicated by the blue and red lines in the picture below.  Although each of these triangular compositions has almost identical items, you could create a similar triangulation with completely different items.

   Typically, liking something a little understated, this is very appealing to yours truly.  More elements could be added but sometimes restraint is a good thing. Don’t you agree?

    Hope this has helped motivate and inspire you to create your own spring mantel decor!  Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated.





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DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

February 20, 2017

|Part 2 – Victorian Wreath

   “DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To” resumes.  

Click here ► if you missed part 1.



   After the accessories had all been duly decorated with tulle, beads, ribbons, and roses, attaching everything to the wreath began.   The stems of the flowers were attached with floral wire in a couple of places to hold them securely to the wreath.

       The ribbon for the bow was 2″ ribbon and I felt that it was perhaps a bit small.  More weight needed to be added there.   Taking two of the flower stems, I pushed the lower leaves up to the base of the flower spikes and cut the stems shorter.

   Here’s a tip.  When you are making a wreath, take pictures.  For some reason, anything that is out of place, or blank spaces, etc. seem to be magnified in pictures!  They seem to be so much more obvious.


  The first picture above has most of the items loosely pinned or lodged on the wreath to get an idea of where to put them.  You can see what I mean about the bow lacking some weight.  The picture on the right shows the bow attached a little higher and how the added weight of the spiked flowers adds the needed weight.

 (The ribbon tails will be manipulated and attached after the other items are attached.)

    Noticing that the metal hook of the hanger was so dark it wasn’t even visible, I thought spraying it with white paint would be a quick fix.  A can of white spray paint was found and I wrestled with the stupid thing and then threw it in the trash.  I think it was so old, it came out in oily drops.

    Undaunted, I pulled out the craft paint and painted the hanger white.   I painted about three coats of white acrylic paint onto it and used a piece of brown grocery bag to lightly sand between coats. (The brown grocery bag trick works great with acrylic paints.)

    Then hot gluing the elements onto the wreath began.   The little box at the bottom of the wreath was the first element to be glued.   I tried to be cognizant of where the little rosebuds would be seen on the hat, the fan, and the parasol.  I also added a couple of buds on the hanger.

     It seemed the bow needed some pink so a little open rose was tucked into the bow.  It seemed perfect!  Then, I began to add more of the pink roses around the wreath.  

    Since the little shoes didn’t have pink on them, I considered adding a little rosebud to each but decided to add an open rose right in between them.  More rosebuds were added on either side of the big blue bow and another between the box lid and the parasol.  The pink color helps your eye move around the wreath.

    Notice that ivy leaves were tucked here and there around the wreath.

    Oh, my gosh!  Isn’t this the cutest little wreath you have ever seen?  I love the bright blue with the pink rose accents!   It definitely ended up looking like a very fresh feminine spring wreath.



“DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To”    Has this inspired you to make one of your own?





DIY wreath


Home decor

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DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

February 18, 2017

Part 1 – Victorian Wreath

     DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To.  These wreath ideas are decidedly feminine and would be perfect for a little girl’s room.  What little girl wouldn’t love one?  

    Although I love Victorian decor and the opulence of that era, my preference is a Victorian look with a little restraint.


    The wreath in progress here and the wreath in the picture above were planned a few years ago!  The one with rose accents above was made and quickly sold.   The little Victorian dresses were made from a pattern, which I have been searching for in the massive pattern collection in the storage room in the basement! 

    That pattern seems to be elusive.  This week, the search has resulted in organizing patterns and sewing supplies, tossing some things, and putting the remainder in proper places, which includes some new clear bins!  (I am beginning to hate all of the opaque bins!)

     The wreath made a few years ago included dried roses and some dried tiny flowers, but I want this wreath to be more ‘Springlike’.  It needs brighter, fresher colors.  Aside from the sphagnum moss, there won’t be dried items.

    The wreath above has a little box and a heart-shaped frame, which were both handmade but I don’t think I will be making them for this wreath.  The little Mary Engelbreit box is the perfect shade of blue and it has the pink rose color in it, too.

   Often, when I am starting a wreath, it will look like the picture above.   The items being considered and the ones planned to be used will be loosely laid on the wreath until a design begins to take shape.  It’s my process.  Out of chaos, order begins to take shape!

    A wired blue ribbon was used as a base and layered under a lace covered blue ribbon.  Together, they were shaped into a bow to be used at the top of the wreath.  Ten loops were gathered in the middle and a floral wire was wrapped around the middle and secured by twisting the wire.

   Sphagnum peat moss was laid on the bottom and gently squeezed around the grapevine wreath.    A little bit of Tacky glue was used to hold it in a few places.

    In one of the bins I was searching through, I came across a silk rose candle ring.  The roses were tiny and I thought they would be perfect on this wreath.  After popping the buds off of the plastic stems, the hollow stem at the bottom of the rosebud was snipped off close to the silk sepal.  (They would not lay as flat when glued if this wasn’t done.)

    The little 1/4-inch blue ribbon was tied around the parasol handle in an overhand knot and then, tied into a bow.  Then, the ends were cut.  A tiny rosebud was glued at the bottom of the bow.

    A silk three-leaf piece was glued to the parasol and then two more of the rosebuds were glued on top of those.   The same process was used to add the leaf and bud to the crocheted fan and a ribbon was woven through the wide end.

    When you purchase a bouquet of stems like these blue flowers, the stems are usually straight.  Cut the stems at the base and manipulate them into a curve to mimic the shape of the wreath.  These were great to use because the stem had wire in it but the whole length with the little buds also was wired!

    The little hat needed to be spruced up, too.  I found some tulle in my stash and cut a small piece, which was fashioned into a cute little bow.  Of course, another little rosebud was attached to the bow.  After attaching the hat to the wreath, it will be decided how long to leave the tulle ends.

   Monday will be the big reveal of the finished wreath and the remainder of DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To.  See you then!  

Click here ►for part 2.





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