Thursday, April 29

Weenie Dog Pull Toy

When you think of Austin events like SXSW and ACL probably come to mind. A lesser known gem happens right down the road from Austin that blows both of those festivals away. I'm talking about the Buda Weenie Dog Races. To commemorate Tallulah's first visit to the races I made her a weenie dog pull toy that she can race any day of the year.

Aleene's Tacky Glue
Wooden Dowel
Wooden Wheels
Small Wooden Bead
1" thick piece of wood
Crafty Chica Little Chica Paint Pack
Household Drill
Cardboard Box
Paint Brush
Celluclay Paper Mache
Dremel Tool
4 Screws

Draw a profile of a weenie dog onto a piece of cardboard. You can find applique pictures online if your freehand skills are not up to par. Also remember you can make your pull toy any animal your little heart desires. Next cut out 2 ears, 4 legs and 18 quarter sized circles.

One side at a time you need to glue stacks of 3 circles on the two leg spots and ear spot. Use Aleene's Tacky Glue between each disc and limb.

Allow to dry completely and then flip over and do the same thing.

Once the glue has dried completely mix up a batch of Celluclay Paper Mache.

I worked in small batches and put my dog on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees to speed up the drying process. I did a section at a time to build up his body.

Let your paper mache weenie dog dry completely. For me this meant overnight and a few hours in the oven. When the dog is dry lightly sand him with sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots.

Once your puppy is smooth to the touch paint him brown. For a little added bonus I tied a pink ribbon around his neck that I glued in place with a little Aleene's Tacky Glue. He was the belle of the ball at the Weenie Dog Races.

This is where the husband comes in handy, not that I could not have done this by myself. My fabulously handy husband Chris offered to do the "heavy lifting" in the project. You will need a rectangular piece of wood for your base thick enough to run a dowel through. Depending on what size dowel you have drill two holes that size through your wood. What size wheels you get will also depend on the size dowel you have. We used a Dremel tool to sand the tips of the dowel so they fit into our wheels a little better. We also used another dab of Aleene's Tacky Glue to make sure the wheels stayed in place.

Plain wood will just not do. Gather up your Crafty Chica Little Chica Paint Packs and get to adorning. I mixed my red and white to get pink. I used a trick the Crafty Chica herself taught me on an episode of Craft Lab which is to use the end of a pencil to create a polka dot effect with your paint.

Once your paint has dried go back with your Dremel and drill a small hole in the front center of your wooden base. Using 1ft of yarn or thread tie a small wooden bead to one end of your string and attach the other end to the base of your toy. This is how you will pull the toy.


Getting the legs on your paper mache wiener dog even is tricky business. Using small screws I attached the legs to the wooden base. I also added more Aleene's Tacky Glue under each paw.

Lucky for me when I started looking for instructions on pull toys good ole' Martha Stewart pulled through with advice. I tweaked the original design a bit and love the daschund I ended up with. I'm pretty smitten with the little guy and more importantly Tallulah is too.

Wednesday, April 28

Quick-Fix Toy Decals


I've recently been turned on to buying toys from thrift stores. In the past, this was I practice I admittedly turned my nose up at--I mean, I've been buying second-hand clothes and housewares for myself since high school, but for some reason used toys for my babies made me sad. I realized though, that it was only if the toys looked overly tired that it bothered me.

My friend Jennifer clued me in to the fact that you can often order replacement parts from toy store manufacturer's website for super cheap (I got all new accessories for the toy house above for under $7!), and my friend Noelle turned me on to the wonder that is the Magic Eraser which easily rids plastic of scuff marks. Now, the only solution I needed was for fixing the icky, torn stickers that most, thrift-y toys seem to have. So, I came up with these quick-fix, vinyl decals!

Is all of this effort worth it, you're asking? Well, the bigger toy in this post retails for around $80--and when all was said and done, my refurbished version cost less than $20. You be the judge. :)

Tracing Paper
Oil Cloth or Vinyl
Craft Knife

Thrifted Toy Before (With Torn Stickers)

Close-Up of Before

How-to Toy Refresh Decals
  • Create a decal pattern by laying a piece of paper over area of toy where torn sticker is; use a pencil trace the needed shape. Cut out paper pattern.
  • Trace around pattern onto oil cloth or vinyl; cut out to create decal.
  • In a well-ventilated area, spray back of decal with Fast-Grab Tacky Spray; press piece in place on toy.
  • Since most stickers on toys go in indented areas, it's likely that the decal will not fit perfectly in its new home. To fix this, take a craft knife and trim off excess.
  • Repeat process for as many decals as desired.
Thrifted Toy After (With Oil Cloth Decal Replacements)

Close-Up After

Another Toy After Decals

Ok, now I'm off to the thrift store again!


Tuesday, April 27

Behind the Scenes at iLoveToCreate: Tie Dye Lion

Here in our design studios, we are revamping our walls with custom art we make ourselves using our iLoveToCreate products! Check out Ed's amazing tie dye lion creation he made using old tie dye t-shirt scraps (originally created using One-Step Fashion Dyes! Talk about upcycling! And a cool way to make an impact on a white wall!

ILoveToCreate Teen Crafts: Sparkle and Shimmy Earrings

ILoveToCreate Teen Crafts: Sparkle and Shimmy Earrings
Margot Potter for ILoveToCreate
“Mom crafted, kid approved.”

Avalon just got her ears pierced this year, so it will be a while before she can wear anything that swings and dangles.  Still she’s been observing my jewelry box with a glint in her eye. Teens love bold jewelry and these earrings fit the bill.

These feature the new Katiedids™ components my friend Katie Hacker created for Beadalon. They have empty chambers that can be filled with a variety of items. I don’t know why I thought wired tinsel when I saw these, but Aleene’s Platinum Bond Glass and Bead adhesive made quick work of this project. You can whip these puppies up in twenty minutes or less, which is the perfect project if you’re an impatient crafter like me! Try filling the chamber with fibers, crystal chain, regular chain, gemstone chips...just be sure you thread the head pin through so you can turn them into fun jewelry components.

Aleene’s Platinum Bond Glass and Bead Adhesive
4 Katiedids™ 1” open center circles
2 10mm black faux pearls
2 10mm acid green moonglow Lucite rounds
Wire sparkly tinsel
2 silver plated or sterling ear wires
4 thin gauge silver plated or sterling head pins

Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers

Cut tinsel to fit half of chamber. Repeat four times.

2. Thread the wire through the holes in the edge of the components and the center bead and back through.
For the green beads, you need to leave equal amounts of wire exposed on both sides, for the black beads bring the head pin flush to the bottom of the component.

3. Place a thread of glue into one of the components. Gently place tinsel into glue, compressing into chamber on either side of center head pin, repeat with second piece of tinsel. Repeat for all four components. Allow glue to dry.

4. Use round nose pliers to create loops at the top and bottom of both green bead components. Bend wire flush to component at a 90 degree angle, grasp wire end with round nose pliers and form a loop. Cut off excess wire with wire cutters.

5. Use round nose pliers to create wrapped loops at the top of the two pearl components. See my YouTube Channel for a video on how to do this.

6. Attach pearl components to the bottom of each green component. Attach the ear wires. Adjust loops so earrings hang properly.

Saturday, April 24

Steampunk Brooch fun with Pattiewack!

Check out this cute video of Pattiewack making a steampunk brooch! She gives you a fun tip for working with little jewelry pieces, plus also shows how easy it is to work with Aleene's Jewelry and Metal Glue!

Friday, April 23

Ribbon Lights

It's patio season (at least here in the southwest). How about adding some ambience?
Visit any home-decor store to find the perfect set of lantern lights and then embellish the heck out of each one. I love the basic paper lanterns because you can decoupage, paint or glue decorations on them.

I went with ribbon that I use on the scrapbooks. You can always find packages on clearance, and a little bit goes a long way.

Crafty Chica® Extreme Embellishment Glue™
Assorted ribbons and trims
Blue painters tape

Wrap strand of ribbon around to see where to cut. Cut remaining trims the same size. Affix with glue. Use the painter's tape to hold the ribbon in place until it dries.

Variation: Add sequins, crystals, even glitter!

Thursday, April 22

Toadstool Garden Stool

With spring in the air everyone needs a toadstool in their garden or on their patio. You could buy one from your local garden center or you could easily make one like I did.

White Felt
White Crafty Chica Paint
Red Felt
Concrete Pier Form
Liquid Fusion Glue
Staple Gun
Fabric Fusion Glue
Paint Brush
Wooden Disc (several inches larger in diameter than your stool base)

Actually I didn't do any dumpster diving. What I did do was cruise my neighborhood during bulk trash week. On a nearby street I found several large cardboard tubes which I was later informed are concrete pier forms. They were also filled with lots of wooden dowels that I snagged.

I covered the cardboard in 2 coats of white Crafty Chica paint.

Using a mug as my template I traced 12 circles onto white felt. I then cut the circles out and used Liquid Fusion Glue to attach them to a piece of red felt.

I traced my wooden disc onto foam and cut it out with scissors. If your foam is super thick you may need to use an electric knife.

I glued my foam to the wood using Liquid Fusion Glue. I also padded my stool with some extra batting.

Once the glue dried on my foam I sat it face down on the non-polka dotted side of my red felt. Using my staple gun and scissors I pulled, tucked, stapled and trimmed the felt. I tried to make sure the felt did not pucker and was nice and taunt on the top of the cushion.

I used a heaping helping of Liquid Fusion glue to attach my stool top to it's base.

Though my stool is not water proof on a sunny day it looks pretty dang cute sitting on my back porch just waiting for someone to pop a squat.

When someone is not sitting on my new polka dotted mushroom stool Tallulah enjoys playing with it. Next I need to make a giant paper mache garden gnome.

Wednesday, April 21

Pin Cushion Ring


A while back I was watching an episode of my friend Wendy Russell's TV show, She's Crafty, in which she wore the most adorable pin cushion ring. I had to have one! They're easy to make, super handy to have and offer yet another way for us to accessorize. For me, that's a trifecta of happy!

I got all fancy and used an adjustable ring blank (there are definite advantages to living a mile away from a jewelry designer--thanks Jennifer, for hooking me up!) to make this one, but a beer bottle cap & elastic would work, too. Either way the steps are simple: just cut, stitch, stuff & glue--enjoy!

Fabric Scrap
Small Handful of Stuffing
Ring Blank (with channel)
Needle & Thread


  • Cut an oval of fabric, approximately 4-5 times the size of the ring blank channel.
  • With a needle and thread, sew a long running stitch around the fabric piece, about 1/4" in from the edge.
  • Pull thread so fabric gathers to create a cup shape; add stuffing; pull thread again to close hole. Stitch shut to create cushion.
  • Spread a generous layer of Liquid Fusion in the ring blank channel; insert cushion. Use clothespins to keep cushion in place until glue dries.
  • Remove clothespins; wear the ring; get sewing on your next project!

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