Cathy Monrad

Grateful tree gets a wintery update

by cathym on November 1, 2019

by Cathy Monrad

You can take the grateful tree project into the next season with some glue and Epsom salts.

Here’s how what I did:

  1. Prepare work area with newspaper or old tablecloth.
  2. Remove the leaves from your grateful tree.
  3. Use a paint brush to apply glue or Modge Podge liberally to the branch forks to mimic how snow sits on trees.
  4. Sprinkle Epsom salts on the glue. Let dry.
  5. Pour Epsom salts into the container as desired.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer and garden crafter for the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.

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Grateful tree

by cathym on November 1, 2019

by Cathy Monrad

Fall … it’s what leaves and branches do this time of year. You can use both as free craft materials for your holiday décor. Get the kids and grandkids involved to make a “Grateful Tree” for display during your Thanksgiving feast.

MATERIALS
Vase or other container
Container filler such as rocks or pinecones
Ribbon to decorate container (optional)
Small branches
Leaves of various sizes, types, and colors with stems attached
Paraffin wax
Wax paper
Marker or paint pen
Mini clothespins or narrow ribbon/string

TOOLS
Mini crockpot or nonstick saucepan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If desired, decorate your container with ribbon. Add filler to container, then arrange branches as desired.
  2. Melt wax in crock pot or saucepan. Holding stem, carefully dip each leaf in wax, then lightly shake off excess. Lay leaf flat on wax paper and let dry completely.
  3. Using marker or paint pen, write something you are grateful for on each leaf. Let dry.
  4. Attach leaves to branches using mini clothespins or tie with ribbon.

PROJECT NOTES
– Waxing “fresh” leaves works better than dried leaves.
– Give your leaves some pizzazz by tracing the edge with a gold marker or paint pen.
– After the turkey coma wears off, you can create a wintery look by removing the leaves and using Epsom salts as “snow.” See this post for details.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer and garden crafter for the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.


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Decorative Bee Skep

by cathym on October 16, 2019

by Cathy Monrad

Bee skeps are no longer used for bee keeping, but the primitive look of them has not fallen out of favor. This project is meant to be a decorative piece for indoors or the garden, however, it offers some functionality when entertaining outdoors: use as a cover to keep critters off the cheese ball.

MATERIALS
1 clean plastic flower pot
1 1/2 inch cardboard circle 
Sisal rope at least ¼ inch thick 

TOOLS
Drill with 1/2 inch bit
Scissors
Hot glue gun with glue sticks
Black marker

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Drill a hole through bottom of pot. 
  2. Cut an 8 inch length of rope for handle. Fold in half, then push through hole from inside.
  3. Glue both ends down as shown in Figure 1.
  4. Glue cardboard circle over rope ends as shown in Figure 2. 
  5. Starting at the lip of pot, glue rope one inch at a time around the pot for first two rows. 
  6. After second row, use glue intermittently, about every two inches as you wrap. 
  7. When about 1/2 inch from bottom, start gluing rope one inch at a time again. Continue until entire bottom of pot is covered as shown in Figure 3. Cut off remaining rope.
  8. About one inch from bottom of skep, use marker to draw and fill in a circle to create faux opening. 
  9. Dry fit rope around circle and cut to size. Glue cut piece around circle. 

PROJECT NOTES
– The project above uses an 8 inch diameter pot, 7 inches tall. 
– You need more rope than you think; I used most of a 100 foot roll of rope. 
– Purchase a new pot if purpose is to protect food.
– Use a shot glass as a template for cardboard and faux opening.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer and garden crafter for the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.


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