Posted in Apartment Living, Crafts

Apothecary Jars: 12 Months of Decor Using Dollar Tree Items-March

March- St. Patrick’s Day

March is almost here! For $4 you can fill your Apothecary Jars with festive decor.

I used a bag and a half of plastic gold coins, a St. Patrick’s Day scarf, and cut 2 feet of St. Patrick’s Day Garland, all purchased at Dollar Tree.

Then, either keep the stuff for next March, since it doesn’t take up too much space or donate them and skip the storage. This apartment friendly decor allows you to have fun with something festive without having to store boxes of stuff!

lucky Gold Coins- saving space
Lucky Gold Coins- saving space- just use a small container on the inside of your jar.
Gold Coins- Dollar Tree
Gold Coins- Dollar Tree

These coins are so useful for so many craft projects if you end up with extras. Stay tuned for another St. Patrick’s Day craft I used the rest of my coins for . . .

lucky Gold Coins- Dollar Tree
Lucky Gold Coins- Dollar Tree
Lucky garland
Lucky garland- Cut two feet off of the garland to place in your largest jar.
St. Patrick's Day Window
My St. Patrick’s Day window using the remaining garland and window clings I bought at the Dollar Tree last year.

Click here to find instructions on how to make your own Apothecary Jar.

Does anyone know of any green candies I could use in these jars? Please write a few ideas in the comments below.

I couldn’t find green m&ms, but maybe that is for the best because then I would want to eat them all . . .

Posted in Crafts, Harry Potter Stuff

Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part I

Creating a Fawkes Christmas tree-topper/ lamp seemed like a pipe dream when I discovered Harry Potter themed Christmas trees this summer. Fawkes is by far one of the coolest magical creatures in Harry Potter and the colors scarlet and gold are perfect for Christmas!

Fawkes as seen on Epbot.com

But I’ll get very real with you, I was deterred by the cost to make it almost immediately. I mentally added up the decoy bird, the lights, the paint, the feathers, etc. after reading epbot’s post on her incredible creation and imagined it would one of those pins I admired but never got around to making.

In December, however, I found some amazing things at Dollar Tree that encouraged me to make other Harry Potter decorations and then got another opportunity to make decor for a Harry Potter themed table and just couldn’t help myself. I would make my own lit Phoenix!

I laugh now realizing that I not only underestimated the cost of making this bird but also the time involved to make this tree topper. Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way! It was so much fun, especially when I finally got to share what I created.

Why did I end up making Fakes then? That is a story for another post which you can read here. It’s time to get going on making your very own light-up Fawkes the Phoenix from Harry Potter! I assure you it is well worth the time and effort required.

Materials Needed:

  • acetone- the smallest amount I found was 32 oz. Lowes
  • plastic decoy hawkAmazon
  • Red feather boa, red and orange feathers, black acrylic paint, Hobby Lobby
  • wine, fire, soft butter, coffee bean acrylic multi-surface paints Michaels (to be honest I’d go with brighter primary colored traditional acrylic paints to match my feathers if I ever made another phoenix) so use your best judgment on your color choices.
  • Glitter Glue- Ice Red Dollar Tree
  • Brilliant Red Simply acrylic paint- Walmart
  • Battery Powered 7.2 ft. fairy lightsAmazon
  • Red and Gold Glitter- Dollar Tree (optional)

Tools Needed:

  • a rag
  • a plastic bin
  • sponge paint brushes
  • a small drill (mine is a small and cost around $20 at Walmart and came with two bits)
  • a drill bit
  • sponges brushes, small/fine detail and large paint brushes
  • old plastic lid or tin for pouring your paints onto
  • hot glue and glue sticks for the feathers
  • pliers for pulling the plastic eyes from the bird
  • a razor blade
  • Time Required: 15 hours approx to complete
  • Cost:$40-$50 approx

Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way!

Steps to Making Fawkes

Part I- Prep the Bird

  1. Pull out your decoy, acetone, rag, and plastic bin. I would recommend using gloves for this step. Put your plastic bird into the bin. Pour a generous amount of acetone onto your rag and scrub a section of the bird until all of the paint is gone in that area. Pour more onto a new spot on your rag until that section of the rag is dirty. Repeat until all of the paint has been removed from the decoy.
  2. Let the bird dry in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Use your pliers to remove the eyes from the bird. This will require a lot of pulling.
  4. Get out your drill and drill bit. I used the largest drill bit I had knowing that the paint would cover up part of the holes I made. Make holes in the bird everywhere except the head, feet, and the tree stump.
  5. Vary the location of your holes so they don’t line up.
  6. Use your drill bit to remove some of the glue in the eye sockets so that the light will have plenty of room to escape from the Phoenix’s eyes.
  7. Using your razor blade cut a hole big enough to fit the light bulb of your lamp through it. If you choose to use a just a string of LED lights you won’t need to cut the hole at the bottom of the bird any bigger.

For the next steps please see my second post on making Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part II. Coming soon . . .

All the parts are appropriote considering the way they split the last Harry Potter Movie into two movies right!? JK! This post would just be too massive with this entire tutorial in one place . . . or would it?

Please let me know in the comments below if you’d rather have this tutorial all as one large post . . .

Click here to see more of my Harry Potter creations!

Posted in Crafts

A Harry Potter Christmas: Fawkes the Phoenix A Tree Topper in progress . . .

The Idea to make Fawkes the Pheonix

I found the idea for the tree-topper pictured below on epbot.com. I fell in love with the idea immediately, but with no real hope of undertaking it. So when I did decide to take it on, like many craft projects I undertake, I completely underestimated the time and supplies it would require to make.

Due to my impatience and efforts to be thrifty I bought a different decoy bird than the one the epbot post referenced on Amazon. WELL, it turns out that my bird was not white under all of the paint, but black. My bird also has wings that are completely folded to it’s sides vs. the bird in her posts.

With those setbacks and December getting really busy I lost some steam and put Fawkes away for a few weeks to finish later. Then at church, they decided to throw a Broadway production themed dinner and asked me to host a table. I love musicals, but knowing I had been making all of the Harry Potter decor I had, I asked them if they’d let me theme mine after the Broadway play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. They agreed and I was given the green flag to host a Harry Potter themed table.

So now, Fawkes is back, but a work in progress. I decided against putting Fawkes on a perch for now and just leaving him on the log/stump he came on.

I drilled holes in his body to emit light and am looking to put some kind of lights inside of him.

This is what I have so far:

I’d love some opinions on putting feathers on him or not and if you think the holes look goofy and need to be covered up.

I’m also in charge of a small 2-minute presentation on our theme. I thought we’d do a little song called Harry Potter in 60 seconds, but it would only be my husband and I singing so that idea might be out . . . I was thinking about Harry Potter Mad Libs (like they do on Jimmy Fallon). What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!

UPDATE: I finished the project! Check out the pictures below to see the finished product. Check out my full tutorial on Fawkes the Pheonix coming soon . . .