Crafty Cathy

Garden games

by cathym on March 17, 2020

by Cathy Monrad

Who doesn’t love lady bugs? Or bumblebees? Or a good game of Tic Tac Toe? This cute project from Alecia at chickenscratchny.com mashes up the three for a bit of garden fun for all ages.

MATERIALS
Wood slice; 1-inch thick and 9–12 inches diameter
10 smooth black river rocks; 5 round and 5 oblong
Acrylic paint in colors red, yellow, black and white
Acrylic sealer (optional)

TOOLS
Pencil
Ruler
Assorted paint brushes 
Pencil with eraser
Toothpick

Figure 1

Create the game board
1. Use a pencil and ruler to mark a grid on the wood slice as pictured in Figure 1. Start and end grid lines about an inch from the edge of wood.
2. Paint over pencil lines with black paint. Let paint dry completely.

Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4

Create the lady bugs on round rocks
3. Using red paint, paint on the rock tops as pictured in Figure 2. You may need 3–5 coats for complete coverage. Let dry completely.
4. Dip the eraser end of a pencil in black paint and dab onto the rock to create a pattern as shown in Figure 3. Let dry completely.
5. Dip a toothpick in white paint and dab onto rock to create the eyes as shown in Figure 4. 

Figure 5
Figure 6

Create the bumblebees on oblong rocks
6. Using yellow paint, paint stripes on the rock tops as pictured in Figure 5. You may need 3–5 coats for complete coverage. Let dry completely.
7. Dip a toothpick in white paint and dab onto rock to create the eyes as shown in Figure 6. 

Note:  If game will be kept outside in the elements, use a sealer to protect the board and pieces. Follow instructions for use on label and let dry completely. 

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

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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 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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