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Crystal Ball Jewelry DIY

Did you know you can grow your own crystals in the kitchen with Borax?  Well you can!  I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Why not fill some tiny glass globes with some crystals to make some magical jewelry pieces?!  It’s much easier than you think.
Have fun!  xo, Mark

A close up of my magical crystal ball pendant

Glass globes come small enough to make rings, too!

 YOU’LL NEED
Borax
Food coloring
Glass globes (DoreenBeads.com)
Pipe cleaners
Thread
Chopsticks
Glass jar

 Cut 1″ long pieces of pipe cleaner
Tie each piece to a piece of 8″ long thread
Tie the thread to a chopstick
Mix 1 tablespoon of Borax per cup of boiling water
Stir in food coloring if you want
Dangle the pipe cleaners inside of the Borax mixture making sure they don’t touch the glass

 Remove your crystals after about 6 hours
*The longer you leave them in, the larger they grow
Make sure they are completely dry
Fill your glass globes with the crystals
Add the globes to a ring or globe cap with E-6000 glue

Faux Malachite Obelisks (made from cardboard)

I’m a huge fan of malachite but unfortunately it’s a little too expensive for my taste.  Tony Duquette, one of my favorite designers, used it like crazy in his home decor.  He also painted tons of furniture in a faux malachite pattern and it always looked amazing!  I thought I’d give it a try with some simple cardboard obelisks.  These are perfect for a desk or bookshelf and if done right, people will think you’re rolling in dough!  Little do they know that they cost just pennies to make.
Enjoy!  xo, Mark

 My handsome pair

I love that they’re just cardboard and newspaper!

YOU’LL NEED
Newspaper
Cardboard
Ruler
White glue
Masking tape
Craft knife
Paintbrush

Print out and use to create your pattern
Each square is 1/2″ by 1/2″
Enlarge and make them any size

 Trace the obelisk pattern 4 times, side by side
*Clean up your lines with a ruler
Cut out the entire shape and score so it can be folded
Trace the base pattern, cut and score
Tape all pieces together with masking tape

 Water down some white glue to use as a decoupage medium
Cover the cardboard obelisk in at least one layer of newspaper
When dry, paint the entire obelisk in Sea Breeze and White Acrylic
*The paint doesn’t have to be perfect, it can vary from light to dark
*Make sure to paint all surfaces
Cut jagged edges on a 2″ x 2″ piece of cardboard
Mix equal parts of Evergreen and Glazing Medium
Paint one surface of the obelisk and immediately scrape the surface
with the jagged cardboard to create the malachite effect
*Try circles and scallops and overlap the patterns

 When all surfaces are dry, coat with at least two coats of Minwax Polycrylic

If you want, edge the base with a metallic paint marker by
running it along the edges

Cinderella’s Glass Slippers DIY

Who doesn’t love Cinderella?  This girl has a fairy godmother and an awesome pumpkin carriage….She rocks!  Not to mention the glass slippers.
Who doesn’t want a pair of those even just to display?
Today we’re making a wearable version of the glass slippers featured in the latest Cinderella movie which are perfect for cosplay, Halloween or your own perfect little princess.
Huge thanks to Beadaholique.com and TapeBrothers.com
Enjoy!  xo, Mark

A wearable glass slipper!

The original from the latest Cinderella movie

They wouldn’t be complete without the butterfly shoe clips!

YOU’LL NEED
White heels (Got these at Payless)
Minwax Polycrylic
Small piece of faux suede
Paintbrush and scissors

 Make sure your shoes are clear of dirt and dust
Cut the holographic tape into different sized triangles
Artfully stick them to the shoe with a small space in between each triangle
When you’ve covered the entire shoe, apply two coats of Minwax Polycrylic and let dry
Add sparkly crystals around the shoe opening with E-6000

 Cut 4 small circles the size of a quarter from the faux suede (you could use felt or thick fabric)
Glue two circles to each side of the flat part of the clip on earring findings
Slightly bend the butterfly upward so it’s not flat
With more E-6000, glue the other metal part of the clip on to the back of the butterfly
Let dry and clip on the front of the shoes

Make sure to leave one behind for your prince!

Metallic Tyvek Beads DIY

I get tons of Tyvek envelopes in the mail and one of my favorite things to do with them is make beads!  Just cut them into long triangles and add some heat….It’s that easy!
Plus, you can make them in almost any size and color.  Wrap them with wire and beads and you have something truly wonderful for your jewelry projects.
Have fun!  xo, Mark

I got a little carried away making these!

A close up of my wire wrapped beauties

YOU’LL NEED
Tyvek envelopes (Fed ex and USP use them)
Heat gun (or very hot hair dryer)
Wood skewers
Beads
Wire
Wire cutters
Scissors
Straight pins
Paintbrush

Cut your envelopes in 6″ wide pieces
Paint them with several different colors of DecoArt Dazzling Metallic paints
Cut them in long triangles that are about 1″ – 2″ at the base

Roll them around a wood skewer and pin in place
Heat them until they start to melt
Cut 6″ wire pieces with wire cutters
Add beads and wrap around your beads
*Make sure to bend in the sharp ends

3-Step Kimono DIY

Danielle has been bugging me to make a kimono video and we finally got around to it.  This one is made with two faux pashmina scarves that I bought for $5 dollars each.  Check stores like Marshall’s and Kohl’s for these kinds of scarves which are always on sale for not very much.  The more pattern the scarves have, the better your kimono will look!
Have fun and big hugs,  Mark

Danielle showing off her new Kimono in our magic garden

This is a great way to add a little boho chic to a plain outfit

 YOU’LL NEED
2 long “pashmina” scarves
Sewing machine
Matching thread
Scissors
Straight pins
Measuring tape

Lay the scarves face to face matching the design
Mark the 1/2 way point on one side of the scarves
Pin the scarves together up to 5″ before the 1/2 way point
Stitch them together using 1/2″ seam allowance
*This is your center back seam

Fold one scarf in half lengthwise (right sides together)
Measure up 19″ on the open side (the side you didn’t stitch)
Measure 9″ across the bottom
Connect these two points with pins in a curve as shown with the little black dots
Stitch along the pins and cut out leaving 1/2″ seam allowance
*This will create your sleeve and side seam

Now repeat on the other scarf:
Fold the other scarf in half right sides together
Place the cut pieces from the first side on top for a guide
Cut along the shape and pin together
Stitch using 1/2″ seam allowance

 Keep the cut edges from fraying with E-6000 Fray Lock

Roadside Rescue! Bench to Headboard DIY

Not too long ago I found an amazing headboard on the street and dragged it up 3 flights of stairs to my house.  Yes, my neighbors looked at me AGAIN with those judging eyes, but I had a plan!  I was going to turn this headboard into a colorful bench for my yard and that is exactly what I did….
It was a much easier project than I thought it would be, too!  I still have to find a few matching pillows, but I’m pretty happy with the results so far!

My beautiful bench sitting under my favorite little tree

With my woven outdoor blanket on the seat

The sad, lonely, abandoned headboard

YOU’LL NEED
An old headboard
20″ x 80″ x 1″ birch plywood (seat)
*80″ was the width of my headboard so measure accordingly
2 pieces 1″ x 4″ x 80″ pine board (to frame seat)
3 pieces 1″ x 4″ x 20″ pine board (to frame seat)
4 pieces 2″ x 2″ x 18″ pine board (legs)
1 box of 1 3/4″ long wood screws
Drill
Paintbrush
Dropcloth

Screw the 1″ x 4″ x 80″ pine boards to each side of the 20″ x 80″ birch ply seat
Slide the 1″ x 4″ x 20″ pine boards on each side of the seat and screw in place
Slide the 3rd 1″ x 4″ x 20″ pine board 2″ away from the center of the seat and screw in place
*This is for support
Put screws on the sides and on the top of the bench to keep everything in place

Next we are adding 3 legs on the front of the bench
Screw the 2″ x 2″ x 18″ pieces on the inside corners of one side of the seat
Screw a 3rd 2″ x 2″ x 18″ in the center of the first two
Screw the 4th 2″ x 2″ x 18″ leg in the center on the other side
*You will have 3 legs on one side and 1 leg in the center on the other side
Flip the seat upright on it’s legs and screw the headboard to the side with one leg

For my bench I mixed red and blue chalky finish paint to make a deep purple
I painted the outer frame, legs and bench face purple
I painted the details and seat in two different colors of orange

Couture Military Jacket DIY

I love the vintage military style.  All of the gold embroidery and big beautiful brass buttons look look so chic!  It also looks fantastic with jeans and basic tee.  Now you can make yourself a beautiful military inspired jacket from one of your old blazers…and guess what….there is hardly any sewing involved!  The only thing you have to sew on is the buttons.

Danielle rocking her vintage military style blazer!

 Pair it with jeans and a basic tee for an amazing look!

YOU’LL NEED
Black blazer
Heavy black fabric (cotton twill)
Scissors
Gold buttons
Gold Ribbon
Needle and thread

Print out this pattern (or create your own)

 Trace the pattern on the black fabric and draw a line down the center
Fill in the feather with the Allure Metallic Gold and let dry
*You’ll need 14 feathers

 Remove the buttons from the blazer (on the cuff, too)
Press the lapel flat with an iron
Cut out the feathers and figure out the placement on the jacket
Glue on the feathers with E-6000 Fabri-fuse and let dry
Using needle and thread, stitch on the buttons at the base of each feather
Apply gold ribbon to the cuff with more Fabri-fuse

Huge Rubber Stamps and Mixed Media Envelopes!

Big Big week!  I’m hosting an ATE SWAP and if you want to get involved, e-mail me at MarkMontanoNYC@aol.com This week we’re making HUGE rubber stamps with kids sticky foam and we’re making mixed media envelopes with them. They’re like mini canvases and they’re super fun to trade with other artists. I really hope you join us.

A few of my favorites!

Preparing for the trade

Some of my HUGE rubber stamps!

YOU’LL NEED
Standard size envelopes
Iron
Stencils
Embossing folders (mine are from Spellbinders)
Crayons
Paintbrushes
Kids sticky foam letters
Sheets of sticky foam
Old credit card or hotel key
3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ wood blocks (or bigger)

 For the first stamp just press on tons of sticky foam letters to a wood block
For the next stamp cut two pieces of foam the size of the block
Stick them both to the block, one on top of the other
Using the protective paper, iron the foam until the edges curl
Quickly press the foam on top of the embossing folder
Use as much weight and pressure as possible!
Sometimes I even stand on mine for a minute

 To make the envelopes:
Slip an embossing folder into an envelope and create a rubbing
*Like you did when you were a kid
Scoop some paint onto an old credit card and scrape it across the envelope-
front and back
Stencil over everything with another color and let dry
Coat your large rubber stamp with another color of paint
Press on to the envelope
*I like to wipe my large stamps with a damp rag after use to keep them in great shape

 If you want you can
1.  Zigzag around the envelope with a contrasting thread
2.  Stitch fuzzy yarn around the edge of the envelope
3.  Put a fine tip on a bottle of paint and add dimension
4. Use glue and glitter to add some sparkle

Finally, add copied images and another wash of color!

Faux Quartz Crystal Jewelry DIY

I love quartz crystal, but because of it’s weight it’s almost impossible to wear more than one chunk of it. Well, now you can pile it on by casting it in Glaze Coat (2 part epoxy resin). All you need is one or two pieces of quartz to cast and you can make as much as you want. Color it, add glitter, wrap it with wire and paint it.  No one will be able to tell the difference, I promise.
Have fun! xoxo, Mark

Danielle wearing tons of “Quartz Crystal” jewelry

Wrap a piece in wire and attach it to a ring base….. Easy!

Drill two pieces and hang them from earring wires

YOU’LL NEED
Flat metal cuffs
One or two crystals to mold
Cups, stir sticks and gloves
Tape

 Mix equal parts of the Mold-N-Pour putty
Press your real crystal into the putty and surround it to create your mold
Wait 10 minutes and remove the real crystal
Mix equal parts of Glaze Coat and stir for 5 minutes
Fill your molds with the Glaze Coat

Remove the bubbles with a long arm lighter
Let cure overnight in an unoccupied room or outside
*You can also use colorants and glitter with this process
When cured, scrape of the edges with a craft knife (if you need to)
Glue the “quartz crystals” to a flat metal cuff with E-6000
Tape in place while they dry

Paint some in metallic gold
Drill them and hang them from earring wires

Paper Turquoise DIY

Hands down, this is one of my favorite projects from The Big Ass Book of Bling!  When I was a kid, my mom wore this huge chunk of turquoise and I always thought it was real.  I asked her about it recently and she told me that my youngest brother had made it in 2nd grade from paper!  I immediately tried to make some myself and here are the results.  The great thing about this is that it’s light and you can shape it any way you want.  Have fun!
xoxo, Mark

Danielle “rocking” some serious faux turquoise jewelry

I love the colors on this piece.  Try adding bits of brown and black.

YOU’LL NEED
Blender
Strainer
Wax paper
White school glue
Paintbrush
Newspaper

 Blend 2 large sheets of newspaper in 1 quart of water to create a pulp
Pour it over a strainer to remove about 95% of the water
Add 1/4 cup white school glue and mix
Create clumps and balls and place on wax paper to dry
*Make smooth balls for beads and bumpy clumps for stones
Let dry under a desk lamp overnight

 Drill holes in your round beads and pendants
Paint the “rocks” in different shades of green, turquoise and red
When they’re dry, paint them with watered down black
Immediately wipe of most of the black with a damp cloth
*This will leave black in the creases and divits
Try watering down brown to give more texture
Dust the “rocks” again with more color
Coat them with a generous amount of Minwax Polycrylic and let dry