Painted Clothespin Magnet Gift Set

I’m a big fan of handmade magnet sets as hostess or thank you gifts, since they are useful, pretty, and can be made relatively quickly.  These mini-clothespin magnets are the perfect size to hold a note or photo.  Paired with a homemade layered soup mix, the magnets make a cozy, thoughtful gift for fall.

Painted mini clothespin magnet set and layered soup in a jar gift set from Carla Schauer Designs.

Mini clothespin magnets and layered soup mix.

To make these clothespin magnets, I used mini-sized clothespins in a dark finish and cork ribbon for a natural look, along with a light cream paint.  I also needed liquid glue, cut-to-size magnet strips, and a fine-detail paint brush.

Main supplies to make a painted min clothespin magnet set.  Tutorial from Carla Schauer Designs

Main supplies to make clothespin magnets

This cork ribbon is one of my favorite craft store finds.  The cork is backed with a thin layer of polyester to allow it to be flexible without splitting or cracking.  Once the cork ribbon was glued to the mini-clothespin, I used fine-tip scissors to trim away the excess.

On the cork, I handpainted some simple designs using my detail brush and cream acrylic paint.  You can be as elaborate or as simple as you like in your designs.  When the paint was completely dry, I added 2 small pieces of magnet strip cut to fit the clothespins.

Steps to make a clothespin magnet gift set.  Tutorial from Carla Schauer Designs.

Steps to make clothespin magnets.

I clipped my painted clothespin magnets onto a small “thanks” card that I can wrap up in a box or tuck in a gift bag.

Cothespin magnet gift set with card.  Tutorial from Carla Schauer Designs

 A layered soup mix is a tasty addition to the gift, with a Mason Jar showing off the pretty layers of ingredients.  I embellished the jar to coordinate with the clothespin magnet set using orange burlap ribbon layered with the cork ribbon around the body of the jar and strips of cork ribbon on the jar lid.  The instructions for the soup mix are written on the patterned tag tied around the ring.

Embellished layered soup mix in a jar from blog.

Embellished layered soup mix in a jar

That’s it!  A thoughtful handmade gift for a friend, neighbor or co-worker.

Clothespin magnet & layered jar set tutorial from blog.

Clothespin magnet & layered jar set

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,

Printable Halloween Mini-Banner

Why bring your potluck dessert to the party in plastic, when a simple Halloween mini-banner can make it festive?  Today I’m showing you an easy way to dress up your dish, using a printable banner designed by the super-talented Jen Goode at 100 Directions.

Happy Halloween Printable Mini-Banner on blog.

Plus, my banner is part of a blog hop chock full of ideas using all of Jen’s free Halloween printables.  For this banner, I used the smallest doll-sized banner from the Black & White Swirl collection (bottom, second from left).


After I cut out the banner pieces using micro-tipped scissors, I punched holes in the top corners of each triangle.  My 1/16th punch was the ideal size for the mini-banner.

Make a Halloween mini-banner for topping cakes or other baked goods.  Tutorial on blog.

I used a large needle to thread orange craft pom-poms and the banner triangles onto black and white bakers’ twine.  The needle goes easily through the center of the pom, and makes the threading of the twine through the small holes much smoother.

Make a mini Halloween banner with printables and craft poms. Learn how on the blog.

Once all my orange poms and mini-banner pieces were threaded onto the 2 lengths of bakers’ twine (as shown), I tied the banners to orange paper straws for an extra pop of color.

Printable Halloween Mini-Banner with pom-poms on blog.And there you have it, pastries with pizzazz!  So much prettier than a plastic tray.

To see more great ideas using all the free printables from 100 Directions, click the graphic below.

Thanks for stopping by to see my printable Halloween mini-banner!

Until next time…

Decorate Halloween Potion Bottles with Paint

I am a scaredy-cat.  I freely admit to hating scary movies, haunted houses, anything with blood, and all monsters scarier than Grover from Sesame Street.  So when I decorate for Halloween, I stick to fun.

DIY Halloween Potion Bottle tutorial from

These Halloween potion bottles fit the bill perfectly.  The matte black bottles contrast with the sparkly silver buckles (inspired by witch’s shoes)and look mystical instead of creepy. With just a wave of your magic spray can and a little embellishment Hocus Pocus, you can make potion bottles in under 15 minutes.

How to make Halloween Potion Bottles from Carla Schauer Designs

I started with a variety of glass and plastic bottles I have collected.  Many are old craft product packaging, one is from a candle I never burned, and one is an old vinegar bottle.  One of the bottles is glued to a glass candlestick for height. (Savings tip: keep clean, empty food jars and find great shaped bottles at dollar-type stores to fill in.)

Spray painted Halloween potion bottles from

Two coats of matte black spray paint gave the bottles exactly the look I wanted. (I used 2–1 Paint & Primer by Krylon.) It works well for both glass and plastic.

DIY Halloween potion bottle buckles tutorial from

While the paint was drying, I made my silver “buckles” using premade chipboard squares.  You could also cut or punch your own if you don’t have premade ones handy.  A Silver Leafing Pen (also from Krylon) gave the chipboard squares their metallic look.

Decorating potion bottle DIY tutorial from

I also wired together a little metal frog, some crystal-looking beads, and a black feather to make a “charm” with a loop, threaded it on some black fiber, and hung it from one of the bottles.  The No. 9 was written directly on the painted bottle with the leafing pen, and the buckles glued on.  A few extra pieces of twine and fiber wrapped around other bottles completed my Halloween potions.

Painted Magic Potion Bottles for Halloween

That’s it!  Non-scary, Magical Halloween Potions in minutes!  For more Halloween DIY, check out the rest of the Craft Lightning projects by clicking on the button below:

Thanks for stopping by!

Tied Ribbon Wreath for Fall

A tied ribbon wreath is a great way to include beautiful colors and textures in your home decor.  In this fall version, I used earth toned ribbons in a variety of materials, along with a metal leaf and wood buttons to add some natural flair.  Cut or torn fabric strips would make a pretty alternative for a more rustic wreath.

Fall Tied Wribbon Wreath from Carla Schauer Designs


For this wreath, I used a STYROFOAM Brand Foam wreath form approximately 8″ in diameter.  Tip: Painting the front of the wreath using a foam brush and acrylic paint will camouflage the form in case it happens to peek through the ribbons.


While the painted wreath form dries, cut several lengths of each ribbon type.  The amount of ribbon needed will vary, depending on the size of the wreath form and the width of the ribbon. My form required around 50 pieces, each 10″ long.  Widths ranged from 1/2 to 1″.


Beginning with the wider ribbons, tie the pieces around the form. Fill in the spaces with the narrower pieces, adjusting the position of the knots as necessary to cover any gaps.


Once all the ribbons are tied around the wreath form, the whole project might look a little scary.  Mine resembled a big autumn-colored ribbon Medusa.  No worries, though, we’ll fix that.

ribbon-wreath-ties-2_webOnce all the ribbon ends have been trimmed to approximately 1.5 inches long (use sharp fabric scissors for clean edges), scary Medusa will be transformed into a pretty tied ribbon wreath ready for embellishing.


Glue dark brown button “berries” tied with orange embroidery floss around the wreath, and a large aged metal leaf as an accent.  More buttons tied with cream floss can be glued on top of the leaf for additional coordinating color and texture.


With no time or labor-intensive techniques to deal with, this tied ribbon wreath can be assembled quickly and easily.   Plus, it makes a great stash-buster project, using pieces that may be left over from previous projects.  Dive into your ribbon stash and make one today!

ribbon-wreath-final_webThanks for stopping by!