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Custom Turntable for Craft Supplies

To say our girls love art is a huge understatement. To say they make a mess is an even bigger understatement. I’d initially planned to make their art space in our basement, but I don’t want to kick them out of our kitchen/living room (where all the action is). It’s their house too, after all.

Despite many promises to pick up their scrap paper and put caps on their markers, our kitchen island daily looked like the picture below. It was both a constant mess AND the girls couldn’t find anything. So how was I to fix this?? (And to be honest, I took this picture on a good day. 😆)

BEFORE: Craft supplies everywhere.

My mom actually came up with the idea to make a turntable with cups to hold their supplies. I’ll give her the credit for this one since, despite my expectations that it would make no difference, the girls really seem to be doing better with this system! 🤞🤞 At the very least, it’s easier for me to clean up their stuff.

You could make these with different containers – plastic cups, plastic baskets, tin cans, whatever. I used mason jars because they’re clear and so let the girls see what’s in them, plus they’re strong. I used old berry baskets because I’ve had them lying around forever. Basically, I used what I had and this project cost me $0. If you had to buy every single thing, I think you could still do it for under $50.


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Step 1: Paint/seal the base. Since I had 18-inch MDF rounds left over from when I’d bought a bunch on Etsy, that’s what I used for my lazy Susan’s base. But a wood round as a base would be pretty too. You could buy one at pretty much any store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, or you could even buy a preassembled turntable at Target, etc. If you don’t want to paint the wood, I’d suggest at least sealing it with polyurethane to help keep them stain-free and easier to clean up.

Since my round base was MDF, I had to paint and seal it. I went with a nice white paint that I applied with a roller in 2 coats. I didn’t bother with the underside, just the top and all around the sides.

White base painted.

Easy. I did consider getting creative and making a line down the middle of the circle, painting one half one color and one half another color. This would make it very clear which girl had which side. However, I knew there’d be a few things they’d have to share – tape, big glue bottles, etc. – so I decided to leave the base white so there’d be less arguing about where these things ended up. 🤷‍♀️ But “color coding” sections of the base would be a cute way to go too!

Once the white paint was dry, I took my base outside and sprayed on a clear gloss to seal and protect it.

Step 2: Color code the containers. I wanted each girl to have 3 mason jars and one basket. All of one girl’s containers would be pink; the other’s would be green. I knew I could easily paint the baskets, but I debated for a while how to distinguish which jars belonged to which girl. Tie on ribbons? Paint the jars but lose some of the transparency? I probably could have done a number of things, but the obvious answer hit me eventually – painting the jar rings and twisting them back on the appropriate jars.

Side note: Test to make sure your supplies fit in your containers! After testing with the girls’ new markers, I knew one of the mason jars for each girl would have to be ring-less so that the markers would fit better. Not a huge deal, but I’m glad I checked.

I used pink spray paint but had to paint the green containers by hand because that was the paint I had to work with. Spray painting the pink rings and basket was definitely easier, but still this whole painting step only took me about 20 minutes.

Once the paint was dry, I sprayed everything with the same clear gloss as the base.

Spray painting containers.

Step 3: Attach the turntable hardware. (If you bought a preassembled turntable to begin with, this whole step is done for you.) I already had a cheap little plastic turntable that’s worked great as a helper when doing other projects. Since I got a bigger one for myself, I had my little one to use for this project.

Since the base needed to sit level on the turntable hardware, I flipped over the base and did quick measurements to find the center of the base’s underside. This center I marked with a pencil. Then I simply used some hot glue, drizzled it all over the turntable hardware, and stuck it over that center mark on the base.

Finding center for the turntable.

Once the turntable was attached, I also stuck on some little bumpers to help the turntable not slip around or scratch my counters. If you use metal hardware, this would be extra important.

Attached hardware with bumpers.

Step 4: Attach the containers to the base. Next, I flipped the base back over. I used the same hot glue and spread it around the undersides of the baskets, then firmly pressed them in place – one on each side of the circle.

Attached baskets.

That done, it was time to arrange and place the jars. Because hot glue doesn’t work on glass that great (I needed a really tight hold), I used some construction adhesive and squeezed it from a caulk gun around the undersides of the mason jars. Carefully positioning them in place, I pushed them down like I had with the baskets.

Adding jars.

With all that on, I still had room between the baskets, so I decided to hot glue a crayon box facing each girl’s basket. This works really well so they don’t drop and spill the whole box, and they can see all their crayons right there facing them.

Step 5: Add the craft supplies! I’d made a run to Target for all new markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, etc. I’d also gotten a pink pair of scissors and a green pair of scissors, keeping with my color-coding plan. All these supplies I divided up equally and stuck in the containers, or else between the containers. Some things, like glue bottles and stencils, I sat on the base’s sides or right in the middle, hoping these “no man’s land” supplies would be shared amicably. For the markers that fit better in the jars without rings, it was still pretty clear whose was whose because those jars were right by the pink or green jars with other markers.

AFTER: Organized craft supplies!

All done, I gave the turntable a test whirl and was glad to see everything stayed put! (I also tested at max velocity and still was safe! 😜)

A week later, I’m happy to report this all has stayed intact despite aggressive craft processes. It’s easy for the girls to see what they have to work with. They’ve so far been MUCH better about putting their things away because they like having their own sides and not having to share.

All in all, my mom might know what she’s talking about. My kitchen island and I are thankful.

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Using a Pallet to Make a Toddler Daybed with Bookshelf Headboard

Kids never do anything according to best-laid plans, do they? For Baby #1’s baby shower registry, we thought we were smart when we asked for a crib that would convert to a toddler bed and later to a full-sized bed. It was an absolutely beautiful crib/bed…which she never slept in unless you were lying beside her on a floor mattress. Then Baby #2 came along, so we decided to give it another go and bump Kid #1 up to a Montessori/ floor bed that we could fit on with her (that battle was lost). Baby #2 would sleep in the crib (hooray!). But, later when it became a toddler bed, she’d wake up every time she moved or touched something (a regular “princess and the pea,” that one).

BEFORE: This was not working.

So, unfortunately, this crib/bed had to leave us long before planned. Even after 2 babies it was still in great shape, so I didn’t have the heart to take it apart and use the pieces for other projects. Instead, it’ll become a hopefully well-loved hand-me-down.

So. Kid #2 made it clear she wanted a bed more like her big sister’s, and I started planning. We did not have room for a full-sized bed in her room, so I couldn’t copy the exact construction plans of her sister’s bed. I realized that the best way to leave her with as much room as possible was to create a daybed that would run along her wall, but I’d make it be on the floor like her sister’s. (It would be great to have storage underneath, but our girls roll and slide off their beds. Not worth it just yet 🤷‍♀️)

I scoured Pinterest for plans, and I found one tutorial that was similar to how I’d built the base frame for my oldest’s bed, except this was for a twin-sized bed. Perfect! Almost. Once upon a time, this tutorial’s supplies had cost only $25. Now, as I ran the totals for the same supplies, it was closer to $150! Thanks, inflation. 😳 But, I also came up with an idea for using a spare pallet to make the headboard, so all total this wouldn’t be too bad.


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  • 1x4x8 boards, 10
  • 2x2x8 boards, 3
  • A pallet in good shape
  • 1/8 inch plywood sheet (or fabric)
  • 8-foot piece of baseboard
  • 8-foot piece of wood casing
  • Unicorn Spit

Step 1: Measure and cut for base. The twin mattress we got was 75×39 inches, so I added a little to give some wiggle room. This meant I needed 2 of my 1x4s to be 41 inches for the ends. I needed 2 more 1x4s to be 76 inches for the sides. I also needed all 3 of my 2x2s to be 76 inches. I then needed 12 pieces of 39 1/4 inch 1x4s to run across for the mattress supports.

Step 2: Sand. Cutting all my pieces with a miter saw was simple enough, and I quickly sanded my boards so the ends were smooth. I also made sure to sand the corners down of the side board that would be stepped/crawled/jumped over to get into the daybed. I did the same with the board that would be at the foot of the bed.

Step 3: Attach the base frame pieces. I carried all the boards into my daughter’s room and assembled the bed frame in place. First, I took a 2×2 and lined up one of my long side boards against it so that they made a stubby “L” shape. Using Brad (my nail gun) I nailed in 1-inch nails so that the 2 boards were secure. I did the same with the other side board and a 2×2.

Attaching 2×2 to a side 1×4.

Side note: I used brad nails to connect everything. You could use screws and/or wood glue, but this did the job quite well. Since the base rests right on the floor, I don’t need to worry about the nails supporting any of the weight.

Next, I took an end board and used it to know how far to place my “L” side pieces apart on the floor. Make sure the sides’ 2x2s are resting on the floor on the inside of the base frame.

Laying out the base frame.

After positioning the boards to make corners, I held them in place and nailed the end board onto the 2×2 of the side piece as well as into the 1×4 of the side piece.

Nailing on ends.

I then did this for the other end of the end board, then repeated this at the other end of the base frame. Now I had a complete rectangle.

Next, I rested the final 2×2 on the floor in the center of the base frame. This I simply nailed onto the end pieces with 1 nail through either end.

Base frame with middle 2×2.

Finally, I took all 12 of the 1×4 supports and laid them across the interior of the base’s rectangle. They should rest flat across all the 2x2s. I spaced them out just by eyeballing it, making sure to push the flat 1x4s tight against either end board – this will keep a lot of “treasures” and junk from falling underneath the mattress at the head and foot of the bed as my daughter plays with toys. I again used Brad and nailed the support boards onto the 2x2s at either end and also down the middle.

Base frame complete.

Base done! This took a little less than an hour.

Step 4: Cut and attach the back pieces. I now turned to making the back of the bed that would run along the wall. For this, all I did was use the scrap pieces from my other cuts, plus 1 more 1×4 running at 77 1/2 inches – the full length of my bed. For all the shorter boards, I made sure they were even at about 17 1/2 inches and then used my miter saw to cut the tops at a 30-degree angle. You don’t have to do this at all, but I wanted slightly “fancy” boards rather than bluntly cut tops.

Leftovers cut at 30-degree angled tops.

After quickly sanding these boards, I piled them by the base frame and set about spacing them. I again eyeballed this spacing, and then I used a very professional tool – the book “Goodnight Moon.” 😜 I first nailed on one board standing up at the far end of the back side board, then placed the book right against that board, took the next board and held it against the book, nailed that board on, and repeated all the way to the other end. If you don’t have a copy of “Goodnight Moon” at the ready, I suppose you could use a tape measure or something. Do be sure that if you make 30-degree cuts to the tops that they’re facing all the same way.

Attaching back pieces.

For the rest of the back, I took that long 77 1/2 inch 1×4 and moved it up and down until I liked the spacing. It made a kind of “picket fence” design that was cute. To hold this long board in place while I nailed it into the backs of the shorter boards, I again used a professional spacing tool – this time “Goodnight Groot.” I nailed the board onto one of the middle short boards, then used the book to keep the board at the same level to nail on either end. After the board was secure, I set aside the book and nailed many more securing nails into the long board and also the shorter boards where they connected to the base’s 1×4 at the floor.

Thank you, “Goodnight Groot.”

This took me about 15 minutes.

Step 5: Find a good pallet and measure. I had a pallet that was in pretty good condition and was a perfect 42 inches long. I didn’t need to make any cuts for this one to work as I needed, but if your pallet is too big you can cut them down and re-attach the pieces to make them the size you need. Or, you could also buy wood and make a “pallet” of your own. Fortunately, all mine needed was a good sanding!

BEFORE: Plain old pallet.

First I needed to measure the space between the inside supports that would become my shelves. I had 2 such spaces to work with, and they were 42 x 2 1/4 inches. I also measured for what would become the backsides of my shelving unit/headboard. I had 2 of these areas, each about 30×17.

Step 6: Cut and attach plywood sheets for the back panels. I used 1/8 inch plywood sheets simply because that’s what I had lying around, but you could also use a nice fabric. If you do, you’d just have to be sure it was attached in a way that would be taut enough to hold books from falling through any gaps in the wood at the back of the pallet. Personally, I’m more comfortable working with wood, but fabric would be cute!

Anyway, I cut 2 pieces of plywood at 30×17 each, then quickly sanded the rough edges. I fit these in place against the pallet and used short brad nails to secure them on as the backs of my shelves.

Adding plywood backs.

Step 7: Cut and attach shelf boards. I again used scrap for this, but I like how it worked. I found 2 pieces of wood trim that had been molding around some doors. Because one side is higher than the other, I could use this to help books tip back rather than risk them falling out of the shelves as easily.

Scrap molding for shelves.

I cut these to my 42 inches and then laid them across the supports to make shelf bottoms. I made sure to place the higher side at the front, again so books would tilt back. I only had to put a few nails at either end to hold them secure.

Adding shelf bottoms.

Next, I took scrap baseboard wood and cut 2 more 42-inch pieces. These I slid in place on top of my shelves’ bottom pieces, and I held these shelf fronts tightly in place while nailing them from below onto the bottom pieces. I also nailed through the pallet supports to hold these shelf fronts in place.

Nailing on shelf fronts.

Side note: I also nailed on a piece of corner molding along the very top of the pallet to cover some uneven spots along the back, but this was just for looks and not at all necessary.

Shelves ready!

Step 8: Paint. Oh, boy. LOL. My girls were begging to help, so I let them paint the headboard/bookshelves. I was smart enough to put a drop cloth under us, but things got a little out of control once the 2-year-old started finger painting when I wasn’t looking. In case you’re wondering, Unicorn Spit REALLY stains your hands. 🤦‍♀️ But they had fun and were proud of their work, even if their zealousness turned everything basically purple from over-mixing the colors.

Painting the shelves…and ourselves.

While that dried, I snuck upstairs and used the same Unicorn Spit colors to paint the tall back of the bed frame. I tried to match the “style” implemented by my apprentices earlier, and it ended up looking colorful and rather like a 2-year-old had helped. So… 👍 I guess. You could paint however you like.

Painting the back.

Step 9: Attach the headboard shelves. This was surprisingly easy because the pallet fit right down between the wall and the bed frame and stayed put nicely. I did secure it by screwing 3 screws through the head’s 1×4 into the pallet’s bottom wood supports. I thought about also attaching the headboard to the tall back of the bed to make a corner, but it was so stable that I ended up leaving it.

Headboard shelves in place.

So that was it! This took very little time (granted, painting took way longer than it needed to), and by that night my kiddo was happily grabbing books and chilling on her “Rapunzel rainbow” bed.

Kid approved!
AFTER: Daybed with bookshelf headboard.

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Homemade Geode Sun-Catchers

One of the unexpected, great things about having kids is that they 100% have forced me to be less of a perfectionist. I’ve never said “good enough” as often as I have since trying to complete projects with two little bundles of attention-seeking joy underfoot. I’ve learned to not fix their art projects or crafts or sections of my own projects that they help with. Sometimes a goof or quirkily finished section of molding paint is a good thing – it stays as a reminder of a good time when “we helped mommy there” and shows that this is their home too.

I’ve always been crafty, and I love that I’m seeing that interest in my girls more and more. This also means that I have little people to make crafts for rather than just having a bunch of ideas but no one to give things to (or any place to put them).

But making crafts with kids means the final product might not be quite what I had in mind.

Enter my homemade geode sun-catchers. I made these and will certainly use this method to make nicer ones for myself in the future, but this batch went to my kids after my 3-yo “helped” me assemble the pieces, so they’re not quite what I’d had in mind. However, rather than gritting my teeth whenever I see these hanging in their rooms, I’ll let these sun-catchers be one of those things that I smile at and know Alice is proud of because she was a part of its creation.

So here we go.


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Step 1: Make molds. You can easily skip this step and buy silicone molds made specifically for resin, but part of this experiment was to see if I could save some $$ (those things aren’t cheap!) and make my own. I did buy one set of 3 and used those first, but I quickly realized I didn’t want to take forever making the geodes in batches of 3. They weren’t terribly expensive, but I was fairly confident I could make my own. I watched a few videos on YouTube to confirm I was on the right track, and then I gathered my supplies and had at it.

I used a spare silicone sheet I’d partially ruined earlier (more on that another time), but I’ve seen this done on silicone baking sheets and will use those next time to make different shapes (Christmas tree ornaments!). Simply lay your sheet flat and make sure it’s clean.

Then take silicone caulk, cut the tip so the hole is about as wide as your pinky finger, and place the caulk container in a caulk gun. This stuff is a bit smelly, so be sure to do this in a ventilated area.

Silicone mat about to be transformed into a mold!
Wipe to smooth edges.

Then all you do is gently squeeze out the caulk as you outline whatever mold shape you want to make. Make sure the caulk is pretty thick and stands up a decent amount from the sheet base. I tapped mine down a bit and smoothed the insides by putting a wet wipe over my finger, and this also helps to make sure you don’t have any gaps between the caulk and the base. If you want a really smooth edge to the sides of your epoxy creations, you can mix some water with dish soap and really rub it smooth. But since I was going for a rougher, “geode edge” look, I didn’t worry about getting my sides smooth.

Once I had my mold shapes made, I let them dry overnight.

Step 2: Water test. Once the silicone was dry, it was REALLY well stuck to the sheet. So, now it was time to test if the molds I’d made would work. To make sure I wouldn’t have any leaks of epoxy, I filled one of my little measuring cups with water and poured it into the molds. If it leaks out anywhere, you know where you need to patch up with another squirt of caulk.

Water test

Lesson learned: BE SURE to fill the molds all the way with water. I only poured one mold about halfway, and of course that was the one that had a small gap higher up . So, once filled with epoxy all the way, that gap caused a leak. 🤦‍♀️

If you need to patch your mold, make sure that the added silicone dries again, then try another water test if you want to be safe. If you’re lucky and you have no leaks in the first place, simply use a cloth or paper towel and soak up the water to get your molds dry again.

Step 3: Epoxy time! It’s fun to pick which colors and additives to use. I have this awesome pack of mica powders that have lasted me forever, and the colors are so bright and perfect for this project for my kids. Unfortunately that particular brand of mica powders is unavailable on Amazon right now, but I linked in my “Supplies” section to a similar kind. I used yellow, purple, emerald, and scarlet mica powders. Plus I used some glitters for additional sparkle.

For the epoxy itself, I always use Stonecoat Countertops epoxy because it’s what I use on my countertops, it doesn’t smell or have fumes, and I know it’s tough enough to stand up to anything my kids throw at it – literally. If you use another kind of epoxy (there are many craft epoxies out these) be sure to follow those particular instructions for mixing, curing times, and safety precautions.

Supplies ready to start!

So how much epoxy does this take? It feels wasteful to mix a bunch and then have too much, so a great way to get an idea of how much epoxy to mix is to keep track of how much water you use in your water test. Once you know how much water it takes to fill all your molds, that’s how much epoxy it will obviously take too.

I needed a little over 4 ounces for all my molds, including my 3 purchased little molds. Stonecoat Countertops epoxy is a 1:1 mixing ratio, so I needed 2 ounces of part A and 2 ounces of part B. Because I have done over 100 square feet with this epoxy, here are a few things I do to make this process go smoothly without creating a huge mess.

  • I use silicone measuring cups and stir sticks as much as possible to avoid too much trash/waste. It washed easily with 91% alcohol OR you can wait until the epoxy dries and then you just peel it off, which is strangely satisfying. 😆
  • Be sure to measure out the epoxy in containers you KNOW have accurate measurements. If you don’t mix it at very, very close to a 1:1 ratio, it won’t cure correctly.
  • I use wet wipes to clean as I go. This way I don’t accidentally touch sticky drips that then transfer from my hands to EVERYWHERE. (Another lesson learned.)
  • Turn part A upside-down to make sure it mixes well.
  • Always start with part B because it’s less dense. That way, part A will settle down THROUGH part B and start mixing itself as you pour it in with part B. Otherwise part A is harder to get off the bottom and stirred as thoroughly.
  • Take the lids off while holding a wet wipe so you don’t get any on your hands or gloves, and also wipe the lid’s threads before putting the lid back on so it doesn’t stick next time you try to open it.
  • Put the mica powders and additives like glitter in your separate color containers first. It’s easier to open and scoop in the mica powders if you don’t have sticky epoxy possibly on your hands/gloves already. Plus, mica powders can kick up in a poof! and get everywhere, so better to have that happen in the bottom of a container rather than near the top if the epoxy is already in your container.
  • Be SURE your working surface is level. Epoxy is self-leveling and will run if your table/desk/counter is not extremely level.

Ok. So once you’ve got your parts A and B mixed (for about 2 minutes until it’s a clear, evenly thick consistency), pour the epoxy into your separate color containers. Then stir the epoxy and mica powders until it’s thoroughly mixed. If one of your colors isn’t strong enough, you can always add a bit more mica powder. But I’ve found that a little goes a long way. Just be sure to really stir it up so there aren’t chunks or streaks.

Mix your epoxy and colorants

Once mixed, pour each color into your molds however you like. I mostly filled each mold, leaving a little bit in each container. Then I used different colors to pour little rings around a few future “geode” to add something cool.

Pour it into your molds

The last part of this epoxy step was to add extra glitter to really help these look like geodes. I followed my ring patterns and added just enough to clearly add some sparkle.

Adding circles of color and glitter

Step 4: Let it cure! It’s hard to know when to stop with epoxy art, but I forced myself to stop playing at this point and left my creations alone to cure! lol

For best result, I find that keeping the room around 70 degrees will let epoxy cure in 24 hours. Depending on your climate, this might vary. But a solid 24 hours is usually good for me. If you can touch your epoxy and it leaves a mark or feels squishy, it helps to turn on a heater and give it more time. Especially if your molds are thicker, it might take longer.

Step 5: Remove from molds and see what you’ve got! I was very relieved to find that my epoxy geodes popped right out of my molds without any issue. And they looked pretty cool!

Pop them out!

Step 6: Sand. A few of my edges were a little sharp, so I simply used some sand paper on my multitool and buffed down those spots. Then I wiped off the dust with a wet wipe and they looked great. If you find that your shape isn’t quite right, you can sand down to get rounder curves or whatever.

Sand sharp edges.

Step 7: Find a hanging base. I had elaborate plans to find wooden rings at a craft store, but my 3-yo was impatient. Hence I used pieces of scrap molding since they at least had neat curves and were already white. 🤷‍♀️ I’m SURE you can find something better, but this also proves that just about anything would work. The geode creations aren’t heavy at all, so just about anything would support their weight.

Step 8: Attach with fishing line. I played with different lengths, but you really can hang your geodes however you want and it will look pretty neat. For my first string, I left a long end hanging below the wood piece, then tied securely around the wood, then made a loop above the wood to hang, tied it again on the other end of the wood, then left a long end hanging from that other side. “Snip!” went the scissors, and now I could tie on the geodes to those two ends.

Attaching the line to make a hanging loop

For the rest, I tied the fishing line to the wood, left a long end, cut, and then played around with the positions of the geodes until I liked how long they hung in relation to each other. Once they were on, it was easy to slide the line along the wood if I wanted to adjust a bit.

Attaching the “geodes”

Fun fact: I worked with my 3-yo during this assembly process, and we made a pile of geodes for her and a pile for her sister. While I tied on the strings, she picked one from her pile and would hand it to me to add. To my surprise, once I was done with hers…her sister’s pile was considerably smaller than it had been. 🤦‍♀️ Oh well, at least my 2-yo hasn’t seemed to notice.

Once all were attached and positioned “good enough,” I snipped off the extra bits of fishing line on the ends and made doubly sure that my knots were tight.

Last Step: Hang the assembled sun-catcher! My girls were very excited to pick spots in their rooms to hang these up. Little sister copied big sister (and fortunately made it easy on me) by hanging them from the curtain rod braces in front of their windows.

They look nice! They are bright and let sun through, and the glitter adds some cool sparkle.

Done! Big sister’s on the left. Little sister’s on the right.

Easy enough. If they’re happy, I’m happy! 😆

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Faux Stained Glass for Windows or Cabinet Doors

My Catholic husband always rolls his eyes at me when we visit a church and I “ooh” and “ahh” over the stained glass windows. I, the Protestant, did not grow up with regular exposure to these beautiful works of art and therefore usually growl at him. Anyway…they’re so pretty!

I’ve seen many DIY stained glass projects on Pinterest that are also gorgeous. Since DIY is kind of my thing, you’d think I’d give it a go, right? The only problem is that I’m accident-prone and I know myself well enough to avoid working with glass. My mother was SUPER into the idea of making stained glass at one point, and for a birthday gift we got her all the tools and supplies to make her own. Since she she got over that potential hobby about a week later and never used the stuff, I even have supplies available should I ever decide to take the plunge. But for now, I’m:

  1. worried about my fingers
  2. reluctant to make stained glass décor because my girls are small and likely to bump or dislodge whatever breakable décor I set out or hang
  3. hesitant to paint my actual windows to look like stained glass because I will inevitably want to change it before too long

So, to give this a try, I decided to add some “stained glass” touches to my pantry’s glass cabinet doors. And while I was at it, I’d let my girls add some to the pantry’s window.

But this week, I had an idea. I remembered how, as a renter, I often painted plastic window wrapping to hang on walls that I wasn’t allowed to paint otherwise. Couldn’t I do something similar to make temporary, faux stained glass?

BEFORE. Nice but I wanted more.

I didn’t have any window plastic on hand, so since the kiddos NEEDED a craft on that rainy day, I picked from what I had and used Saran Wrap. Turns out, this is a pretty good and cheaper alternative.


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Window Version Step 1: Measure and cut Saran Wrap. First, I measured where I wanted the “stained glass” to cover the windows. Because the girls were doing these, I cut extra to give them room and allow myself the option of cutting off the “best” parts to use. 😜 Then I used scotch tape on the corners of these long sections of Saran Wrap and taped them to our countertop, making sure they were flat and relatively wrinkle-free.

Window Version Step 2: Paint. I gave the girls small dabs of paint at a time and let them brush it around as their artistic little hands saw fit. Even for adults, only work with a small amount of the paint at a time, because this dries pretty quickly. It has a gooey consistency that was different from anything I’ve worked with before, but you learn pretty quickly how thick or thin to apply it based on how strong you want the color. You can also mix colors over each other for a cool effect.

3–year-old’s masterpiece
2-year-old’s masterpiece

As you can see, my girls went VERY abstract. 😂 But this should also prove that even non-crafty adults can do this project too.

Window Version Step 3: Outline with liquid lead. Once the color was dry (I gave it about an hour), the next step was to use the simulated liquid leading to trace each color blob that the girls had made. You can apply this paint straight from the container to make nice lines if you squeeze slowly and consistently. This took only a little practice. And it looked pretty cool!

The liquid lead is obviously not real lead. It kind of works like puff paint in that it has some dimension rather than drying flat. In spots you get too thick, it will take about 6-8 hours to dry, so keep that in mind.

Side note: You could do the liquid lead outlining first, let that dry, and then paint your color after. But you have to wait to let the liquid lead dry, so for the sake of my girls’ patience I had them color first. If you have a specific pattern (or picture you want to trace – that would work GREAT) you may want to do the lead outlining first to be sure you have the pattern down before painting the color.

Window Version Step 4: Tape in place on windows. I didn’t exactly want scotch tape showing on the windows. But, what if I made a “frame” with black electrical tape? The adhesive of the electrical tape won’t leave residue on my glass when I want to remove these eventually, but it’s strong enough to hold on Saran Wrap, for sure.

To start, I placed straight lines of electrical tape at the top and bottom of each painting. This gave me a way to make sure the paintings would look level where I placed them on the window. There was some extra Saran Wrap on either end, so I cut this off.

Taking the paintings to the windows, I held them in place and placed another strip of electrical tape along the top and bottom to stick it on the window. I adjusted a few times, which was also a good way to test and make sure my tape didn’t mess up the glass – 👍 all good.

When it looked level enough, I measured top corner to bottom corner on each side and then cut those lengths of electrical tape to complete the sides of my “frames.”

Carefully holding the electrical tape in place along the first side, I made sure it would cover the edge of the painting and also stick to the window. Do NOT press this tape down until you’re sure it’s in the right place, as it will stick to the Saran Wrap and tear if you try to reposition. Once lined up correctly, I pressed down the tape. Then I did the same on the other side, pulling the Saran Wrap a little to stretch out any wrinkles.

I finished these frames for each painting, and they were done! The girls were very proud of themselves, and again this end result tells me anyone can do this and make cool-looking faux stained glass for their windows.

(I know they’re different lengths, but the 2-year-old yelled at me not to cut it shorter, so what was I gonna do? LOL)

Once the girls were satisfied and out of my hair… My turn!

Cabinet Version Step 1: Measure and Cut Saran Wrap. For my own project, I measured how long I would need based on the sections of my cabinet doors that I wanted to decorate. I didn’t want to overdo it and so decided to try this out on only my middle sections, so I needed 40 inches. This I taped to the counter, same as before.

Cabinet Version Step 2: Outline with liquid lead. Purely as an experiment, I did the leading first this time. Honestly, it just depends on your pattern and personal preference. I thought about tracing a picture (which again would work GREAT if you want), but I decided to freehand some simple leaves and vines.

Cabinet Version Step 3: Paint. I let the outlines dry for about 6 hours. Then I dabbed paint in several leaves and brushes it on, starting with dark green. By the time I got done with that, it was dry enough to go over with a lighter green to add some depth. Very simple and pretty!

Cabinet Version Step 4: Cut sections and tape inside cabinet doors. I double-checked how big each section needed to be for my cabinet doors and simply cut my big strip into sections, then taped them on the inside of the doors. If you’re doing a whole glass door, obviously your measurements will be for the whole door and you don’t need to cut into sections. Also, since we hardly use these cabinets and therefore rarely open the doors, I just used scotch tape. If you’re going to see the insides a lot, I’d use electrical tape like before so it’s a less messy “frame” inside.

Side note: If you use window plastic, you can blow dry to get out wrinkles, but the Saran Wrap worked pretty well with adjustments to get a mostly smooth look. If I’d used electric tape inside, I could’ve gotten them even tighter and smoother…but I said good enough for now!

And that was is!

Again, this is a good craft project for artists of any skill level – kids OR adults. Although you might not leave these faux stained glass creations up as permanent decorations, they’re a nice way to add color in the spring after looking at the same cabinets/windows all winter.

AFTER. A nice, temporary touch of faux stained glass.

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Kid Craft – Our Take on Rainbows

It’s finally Spring! Well, of course as I write this it’s back to the high 40s and rainy, but I’ll take it because it means we’re inching out of winter. In our house, two little girls are eager to get outside and enjoy their sandbox. I’m eager to get on with bigger projects that require the use of the garage! But for now, we’re shifting our daily crafts from coloring snowmen and Christmas trees to now making rainbows and flowers.

EVERYONE seems to have a craft idea about rainbows right now, so maybe my/our take on this fad will be nothing new to you. But it’s one small DIY decoration that my 3-year-old could be a part of, so if you’ve got little kids to entertain, this works great! And she loves it hanging on her wall now, so that’s a bonus – not like so many colored snowmen that are now in the garbage. PLUS, this is a great way to use up some of that fluffy fake snow that you too might have lying around from winter decorations.


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The plain rings before we started.

Step 1: Cut the metal rings. I used a wire cutter and snapped the 12″ lampshade plain ring so I had 2 sections that were equal half-circles. Then I cut the 16″ ring, also creating 2 half-circles. (I used the lampshade fitter rings of each set for a hanging chandelier project I’ll post about another day – nothing gets wasted around here!) One note here is, be sure to make the first cut where the metal naturally is welded together, since the ring is weakest here anyway and you don’t want a weak spot in the half-circles of your rainbow sections.

Once I had the half-circles, I played around with how I wanted them spaced and decided I wanted to use just 3, so I took one of the 12″ ring’s halves and bent it to make my smallest/inner/bottom rainbow section, cutting off a bit from one end to make it the right size.

Plan out your rainbow.

Step 2: Bend one end of each rainbow section. To keep the beads from sliding right off the rainbow as we put them on, I used pliers and bent one end of each rainbow section. I did this at a 90-ish degree angle, and it worked great without having to secure the beads any other way.

Bend the end.

Step 3: Pop on the beads. My little helper enjoyed this part, sliding the beads onto the metal half-ring and hearing them clack together as they built up.

Step 4: Bend the other end. Once all the beads were on, I made sure a little wiggle room was available to bend the other end of the rainbow section. This held the beads on nicely.

Beads on!

Step 5: Paint the beads! I’m a bit of a control freak, but I managed to let my daughter paint the beads all on her own. We tried to get the idea of the colors of the rainbow… but that devolved quickly into just painting them however she wanted. Sigh. But she loved how it turned out, so who am I to judge? To make sure she could paint all the sides of the round beads, I stuck the ends in a spare cardboard box so the rainbow sections stayed upright and she could use the brush to spin the beads and get every side.

My little painter.

Step 6: Hang the rainbow sections. I used 3 small nails and spaced them evenly in a vertical row, then hung the rainbow sections by wiggling the beads out of the way so the nail rested on the metal ring and the whole thing hung evenly.

Hang with small nails.

Step 7: Attach the fake snow like clouds. I used packing tape and looped it so the sticky side was out. I made sure to use enough tape to loop wide enough to cover the full width of all 3 rainbows to hide the bent metal ends. Then I stuck the looped tape at the very bottom of the rainbow ends. (You could also hot glue the snow ONTO the rainbow ends, but I liked how the tape stuck out and added a 3D effect. Plus this was less messy and more befitting the patience level of a particular 3-year-old.) Once each end of the rainbow had tape ready, I simple tore off 2 sections of fake snow and fluffed them out a bit until they looked cloud-like. Then I pressed the snow onto the tape, rubbing a bit to make sure it stuck. Once the snow was on, I fluffed the snow-turned-cloud by tugging here and there. This also helped to make sure all the tape was covered. In the end, I really liked how the cloud stuck out from the wall.

And that was it! Again, everyone has rainbow décor ideas these days, but this was easy enough for a 3-year-old to master, and it made for a good afternoon activity. And it’s STILL on her wall and makes her happy, so this one’s a win in my book.

Finished Rainbow!

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