Craft – Altered Clock

Altered or repurposed artwork is very popular right now ranging from repurposed jewelry made into decorative frames and bridal bouquets to utensils made into jewelry to altered books and clocks made into decorative items. An altered item by definition is a form of mixed media artwork that changes an item from its original form giving it a new and decorative appearance.

Whenever I am looking for inspiration for craft projects I always search the internet and Pinterest is a great source for looking for inspiration on a variety of items.  In this post I will focus on one of the most popular repurposed items – the altered clock.  For this craft project I will take a simple table clock (which I purchased on sale at my local craft store) and make it into a lovely decorative item for my office bookshelf by using some inexpensive materials that I already had in my craft closet.

Altered Clock  – supplies

  • Table clock
  • Sturdy cardboard
  • Scrapbook paper for background
  • Small flowers, ferns and other floral items
  • Decorative item (I used an artificial butterfly)

Altered clock - supplies

Altered Clock – instructions

  1. Disassemble the table clock, separate the clock from the frame but leave the glass in place.Altered clock - disassembled
  2. Since a new frame backing was needed after the removal of the clock, I used the clock as a template and I cut a new backing using a sturdy piece of cardboard.Altered clock - cardboard insert
  3. Next, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper again using the clock backing as a template; I glued this to the cardboard piece.Altered clock - inserts
  4. Then, cutting the fern to fit the clock frame, I arrange three pieces and glued them to the scrapbook paper.
  5. I continued layering the small flowers and floral sprays, also gluing them to the scrapbook paper.
    Altered clock - floral supplies  Altered clock - floral insert
  6. To finish the arrangement, I glued a small butterfly in the center (as shown in the photo above)
  7. Next, before setting the floral arrangement and cardboard piece back into the clock frame, I added a small amount of Spanish moss to the bottom portion of the interior of the clock frame (as shown in the photo below)Altered clock - moss

(Special Note: The clock that I used had a foam piece in the back which created a space between the glass and backing that allowed room for the floral arrangement which is an important point to keep in mind when selecting a clock for the craft project)

Shown below is a photo of the altered clock before the alterations
and after as it sits on the bookshelf in my home office.

Original clock on shelf  20160909_064007-1

Crafts – Bridal Gift Boxes

Something old, etc. box - finished

Several years ago I posted an article about the old wedding tradition of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for the shoe”. The exact origin of the Old English rhyme is unknown but the custom can be traced back to the Victorian era.  Usually the items are given by the bridal couple’s family and friends or more recently the modern bride will collect some of these items herself.  This is a perfect opportunity to add special meaning to a wedding and the items used should be personal and sentimental to the bride and groom.

In this post, I created special decorative boxes that could be used to present the items in a beautiful way.  The previous Craft Post, Decorated Wooden Gift Boxes, are very similar in design and construction to the Bridal Gift Boxes but a set of paper mache stacking boxes are used instead of a wooden box.  To make the Bridal Gift Boxes I have included a list of the supplies needed and complete instructions.  Then at the end of the post, I will also discuss the meaning of each item from the old wedding tradition and offer suggestions and choices for selecting each item to give to the bridal couple.   

Bridal Gift Boxes – supplies

I found the paper mache boxes at a local craft store, the boxes came in a set of three so I had to add a fourth smaller bow.  I liked them because the boxes could be stacked with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top which would resemble a wedding cake.  The embossed and textured scrapbook paper I selected also mimics the frosting of a wedding cake and the self-stick pearls seemed like the perfect touch.

Something old, etc. box - supplies 1

  • 4 paper mache boxes in graduated sizes
  • Scrapbook paper – amount would depend on the size of the boxes (wrapping paper can be another option to use)
  • Self-stick pearls – color determined by the scrapbook paper (crystals could be used as an option)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Bridal Gift Boxes – instructions 

  • Measure the side of the box and then the bottom of the box to determine the size of the scrapbook paper.
  • Set the paper face down, place the box on the top and cut a diagonal slit at each of the four corners.
  • Glue the bottom of the box and attach the paper.
  • Fold the paper onto the sides of the box and glue in place, trimming the excess.
  • Repeat the same procedures to paper the top (lid) of the box.
  • To finish the boxes, add pearls (or crystals) to the sides.

Something old, etc. box - finished 1

Presentation of the “something old, etc” gift boxes

To start the gift presentation at the bridal shower or luncheon, explain the tradition of why the items are collected for a bride on her wedding day and what the meaning of each item represents.  Then, I would suggest that each item should be opened individually.  To make the presentation more meaningful, explain the story behind why that particular item was chosen which I think would be very interesting for the bride and the guests to hear.

The meaning of each item with ideas and suggestions

“Something old” represents a past link to the bride’s life or her family.  This is probably the easiest item of the four to acquire; usually a mother or a grandmother of the bride or the groom will have a special piece of jewelry that can be passed down from one generation to the next.  Sentimental items can be a first communion cross, a pearl necklace from the mother or a special locket from a grandmother, other pieces of jewelry could be a bracelet, earrings or a necklace.  An old rosary or an antique handkerchief or perhaps a button from an old suit of the bride’s father which can be sown into the bridal dress, or a piece of fabric from an old dress of the bride, mother or grandmother can be wrapped around the bridal bouquet are other ideas for something old.

“Something new” represents a hope for the future of the bride and the groom on the occasion of their marriage.  The obvious choice for most brides will be her wedding dress, headpiece or shoes.  Perhaps the bride’s future husband will have purchased a special piece of jewelry to mark their wedding, such as a pair of earrings, necklace or a charm bracelet with a special charm for the wedding day.  Another suggestion for something new could be simply a new bottle of a special perfume.

“Something borrowed” is traditionally an item that comes from a happily married woman who is letting the bride borrow some of her martial success.  The borrowed item could be something as sentimental as a wedding dress or veil that was worn by a parent or grandparent.  Another idea could be a piece of jewelry loaned from a family member, a parent, grandparent or even a great grandparent.  The important thing to remember is that the something borrowed needs to be returned after the wedding.           

“Something blue” represents fidelity and loyalty; this item can be a fun way to express the bride’s personality or her quirky sense of humor.  This item can be something that is hidden from sight or it can be used as a bold fashion statement of the bride’s style.  Traditionally, this item is usually a blue garter decorated with blue ribbon and white lace.  Another traditional idea is blue-stone jewelry, such as: sapphire, aquamarine or tanzanite.  A fun idea which is now popular with the modern bride are blue shoes or blue nail polish on her toes!           

The last optional item is the sixpence which represents good fortune and prosperity for the bridal couple.  The sixpence is traditionally an item carried by British brides and it is placed in the bride’s left shoe.  Today’s modern brides can have a sixpence or another special coin sewn into the hem of her bridal gown or she can carry it in the purse used on her wedding day.

Craft – Decorated Wooden Boxes

This decorated wooden gift box craft project can be created in an endless variety of colors for a customized look perfect for any occasion.  The three different types of wooden boxes in this post are decorated with paint, specialty paper, pearls, crystals and additional wooden or plastic embellishments.  The boxes can be used to hold any small present for a birthday, anniversary, wedding, bridal or baby shower.

Below is a complete list of supplies and instructions for making the three different versions of decorated wooden gift box.  The first version uses a square laser-cut wooden box and the second versions use a solid round and a solid square wooden box.

Version #1 Decorated Wooden Gift Box – supplies

  • One square laser-cut wooden box
  • Two different color paints – lighter for exterior and darker for interior
  • Several self-stick crystals (or pearls)
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Optional – varnish or clear paint for a glossy finish

laser cut square box 1

Version #1 Decorated Wooden Gift Box – instructions

  1. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface and edges of the wooden box
  2. Paint the interior of the box in a darker paint, let dry
  3. Paint the exterior of the box in a lighter paint, let dry
  4. Attach several self-stick crystals (or pearls)

laser cut square box

Version #2 Decorated Wooden Gift Box – supplies

  • One wooden box (used a round box for one and a square box for another)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Embellishment – (used a flower for one and a plastic initial for another)
  • White glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper

round wooden box 1  square wooden box - papered
Version #2 Decorated Wooden Gift Box – instructions

    1. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface and edges of the wooden box
    2. Cut the scrapbook paper in several sections, long strips to wrap around the edges of the lid and the base sections and two pieces to fit the top and bottom of the wooden box.  Craft Note: Allow at least a quarter inch or a half inch to the width of the measurements
    3. Use a white glue stick to attach the scrapbook paper to the wooden box, trim any access to create a custom fit
    4. Optional: For the second box I painted the white embossed scrapbook paper with bronze paint (Photo below shows the box before paint)

square wooden box

  1. Attach an embellishment to the top of the box  (The first version uses a paper flower and for the second I painted a plastic initial with gold paint)   

round wooden box - scrapbook paper and flower  square wooden box with initial - papered and painted

Craft – Framed Floral Decoration for Spring


A few years ago I made a Framed Floral Decoration for Autumn which I displayed in our dining room for Thanksgiving.  (Please click on the link to view photos of this craft project)  Now, for spring I wanted to make another seasonal framed floral decoration and I decided to recycle the old display.  I re-used the golden frames that I had originally found in the clearance section at a local craft store that I had previously used for the autumn craft project and added some different flowers, greenery and a cloth-covered backing.

Listed below are the complete supply list and full instructions for the Framed Floral Decoration For Spring.

Supplies for one framed floral decoration

  • 1 frame, any size (the frame’s glass and backing are not used for this craft project)
  • 1 cloth covered backing
  • Flowers, number of flowers needed is determined by the size of the frame
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Optional – Painter’s tape


Instructions for one framed floral decoration

1.  Select a frame to use, remove the frame’s glass or picture backing, you will not need them for this craft project.  Frames can be any size with an opening from a smaller size of 5 X 7” to a larger 10 X 13”.  (I am using frames with a 5 X 7” opening)

2.  I used a pre-cut cloth covered backing  to fit the frame opening, but one could easily be made with a sturdy board with a piece of cloth stapled or taped to the backside

3.  Backing can either be taped into place with painter’s tape or hot glue

20160801_0940454.  Place flowers and other decorations into a pleasing arrangement and hot glue to the backing

Shown below in the photo is the finished framed floral decoration.  I think it looks wonderful in the dining room of our home.  I have used the same frames for both this Spring Framed Floral and also for the previous Autumn Framed Floral for two very different styles. Framed Floral decorations can be created for any season throughout the year, just use flowers or decorations that are appropriate for the particular holiday.




Craft – Beatrix Potter-inspired Decoration

Beatrix Potter - finished 1 exterior

This Spring I decided to make a special Beatrix Potter-inspired Decoration to display in our home for the Easter holiday.  Over a hundred years ago, an English author and illustrator named Helen Beatrix Potter (Born: July 28, 1866 Died: December 22, 1943) published her first book “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” in 1902.  Eventually she would write a wonderful series of charming children’s books featuring not only Peter Rabbit but Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle Duck and also Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail to name just a few of the delightful characters.  (For more information about Beatrix Potter and the history of the Peter Rabbit books, please click on the link)

Several years ago I started to collect a series of Hallmark Peter Rabbit themed ornaments and I decided to use these to create several Beatrix Potter-inspired decorations.  These charming ornaments are beautifully detailed and readers might recognize them from photos of my annual Spring/Easter display in our china cabinet in our dining room.  (click on the link to see the photos)  Inspired by the beautiful illustrations that are featured in the books, I printed copies of lovely English countryside paintings done by Beatrix Potter and I used these as backgrounds for the craft projects.  

Special Note:  For this craft project, I had a unique Beatrix Potter “book” that I had found in a local retail store several years ago which I thought would be perfect.  I know this type of item was very unusual and probably could not be found again, so I have a solution! Purchase a paper mache “book”, these are generally available in craft stores.  Copy the cover of a Peter Rabbit book and paste it to the front to create a similar Beatrix Potter “book”.

Beatrix Potter - supplies 1 exterior

Beatrix Potter-inspired Decoration supply list

  • Beatrix Potter “book”
  • Beatrix Potter Hallmark ornaments (ceramic figurines could also be used)
  • Printed copy of a Beatrix Potter illustrations (to use for the background)
  • (Optional) Moss
  • (Optional) Floral stems
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Beatrix Potter - finished 1 interior

Beatrix Potter-inspired Decoration instructions

  1. Search the internet to find a background picture for the shadowbox, print a copy in the appropriate size to fit.  (I found a Beatrix Potter illustration and printed a copy on our home printer)
  2. Arrange the Hallmark Peter Rabbit themed ornament.  When pleased with the placement, hot glue the ornaments in position.
  3. Option: To create an additional dimension to the shadowboxes for these enchanting characters to “live”, floral stems and moss can be used.  Add the moss to the shadowbox to simulate grass, this will also cover the bottom of the ornaments

Shown below are two “shadowboxes” that I improvised using two beautiful frames:

Beatrix Potter - finished 2b  Beatrix Potter - finished 2a

The Beatrix Potter-inspired shadowbox will make a great seasonal decoration for any home and can be hung on the wall, placed on a side table or set on a bookshelf.