Crafty Cathy

Wood Slice Wine Charms

by cathym on December 3, 2018

by Cathy Monrad

Keeping track of one’s glass of wine at holiday parties is always a challenge. These adorable wine charms will help your fellow oenophiles distinguish which glass belongs to them.

1 wood slice, approximately 1 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch thick
1 screw eye, 4 x 15 mm
1 stemware loop, 25 mm
Embellishment such as a small sticker
Acrylic sealer

Small nail or wire brad

1. Sand both faces of wood slices until smooth.

2. Use hammer to tap the nail into the edge of the wood slice to make a starter hole for screw eye.

3. Use pliers to remove nail. Start twisting screw eye into hole by hand. Once started, clasp screw eye with pliers and twist wood slice by hand until tight and the screw eye is perpendicular to wood slice as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1

4. Embellish one side of wood slice as desired. I used bird stickers, but if you have an artistic gene, you could hand draw a different design on each with markers.

5. Use paint brush to coat charm with acrylic sealer on both sides and around the edges.

6. Slip stemware loop through screw eye and afix to wine glass stem.

– Not feeling artsy? Use chalboard paint. Simply bypass step 4 and go on to step 5. After the acrylic sealer has dried completely, paint one wood slice face with 2 or 3 coats of chalkboard paint and let dry completely. With a piece of chalk, write a guest’s name or initials on each charm.

– Not into wine? Use a larger diameter wood slice to create an ornament, then use any technique you desire to create a unique holiday keepsake. Instead of a stemware loop, use ribbon or twine to create a hanger.

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


Shoo Fly

by cathym on September 9, 2018

by Cathy Monrad

This summer we had an unusual number of flies congregating near our back door. In my search for a homemade fly repellent, I found solutions that included spraying pine scented cleaner, burning coffee grounds, and inserting whole cloves into lemon halves, all of which are purported to offend the olfactory systems of these annoying insects.

One method utilized in Latin America seemed ridiculous to me, but I gave it a go since I had the materials on hand: Place three to five pennies in a plastic zipper bag, fill it halfway with water, then hang outside where the problem occurs.

Surprisely, it worked! But the execution wasn’t pretty—definitely not up to “Crafty Cathy” standards. Additional research uncovered that using an incandescent light bulb with tubes and filaments removed also works—and it looks trendy. I chose to hunt for a bulbous vase instead, and my shopping excursion netted a cool find: a light bulb–shaped glass jar.


Check out this post on the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation site:


1 small bulbous vase or jar*
3 or 4 pennies
20 gauge wire
S hook
Clear fishing line (optional)

Needle nose pliers
Wire cutter
Scissors (optional)
Drill and a 1∕16 inch bit (optional)

* Make sure the neck of vase is large enough to fit a penny through. If you decide to use an old light bulb instead, there are tutorials on the Internet showing safe removal of incandescent bulb insides.


1. Use needle nose pliers to bend wire into a nearly closed loop.

2. Hold loop in place and wind wire around vase. Slip wire through open loop and bend upward.

3. Create a looped wire handle, then cut and slip the end under wire as shown.

4. Use pliers to create a second loop. If desired, go on to steps 5 and/or 6 before completing project. To finish, fill vase with water nearly to top, add three pennies, then hang from desired location with S hook.

5. Optional: Wrap wire around top of vase. Create an unclosed loop of wire and hook it on loop created in step 1. Wrap as desired, finishing near starting point. Cut wire then slip the end through the first loop and bend backward.

6. Optional: Suspend a penny. Drill a hole in a penny as shown. Thread fishing line through hole and tie. Lower penny into vase to desired location, then tie other end of fishing line to one side of wire handle created in step 3.


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



Address Upgrade

by cathym on July 5, 2018

This house number planter will bump up the curb appeal of your homestead without breaking the bank, or taking too much time away from gardening. Some planning is required to customize it for your house number.

1 x 6 Dimensional lumber, 4 or 6 feet long (see Step 1 to detemine length needed)
House numbers with hardware
Wood glue
1 inch nails, 18 gauge
4 Screws, 3 inches long
(for attaching planter to house)
Desired plants

Tape measure
Circular or table saw
Sandpaper (optional)
Drill and various bits
Paint or stain
Paint brush

Fig. 1 Key
A. Start first number 1 inch from top
B. Center numbers on board
C. Space numbers equally as desired
D. Add 11 inches from bottom of last number
E. Each top corner hole is 3/4 inch from top and outer sides
F. Each bottom corner hole is 3/4 inch from outer side and 6 inches from bottom


Prepare: Plan, Cut and Drill
1. Place house numbers on uncut board as shown in Figure 1 and described in key. With pencil, mark back board height 11 inches from bottom of last number. Next, mark number hardware placements and corner screws.

2. Cut project pieces as follows:

1 back board (see Step 1)
1 front piece: 5 inches tall
1 bottom piece: 4 inches tall
2 side pieces: 4. inches x 4 inches

3. Dry fit pieces as shown in Figure 2 and make any adjustment cuts as needed.

4. Drill drainage holes in bottom piece using . drill bit. Drill corner holes in back board using bit that is slightly thinner than corner screws. Drill pilot holes for house number hardware.

Finish: Assemble, Paint and Plant
5. Run a bead of glue along front edge of bottom piece. Use nails to attach front piece to bottom pieces as shown in Figure 2. Wipe off excess glue.

6. Run a bead of glue along front and bottom edges of one side piece, then nail to front and bottom pieces as shown in Figure 2. Wipe off excess glue. Repeat with other side.

7. Paint or stain the inside of the planter before attaching to the back board. Take care not to paint or stain edges to ensure proper glue adherence in next step. Let dry.

8. Run a bead of glue along bottom and side edges of box, then attach to back board as shown in Figure 2. Wipe off excess glue. Let dry.

9. Paint or stain as desired and let dry.

10. Attach house numbers with screwdriver.

11. Attach planter to house using long screws, then plant as desired.


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