Dia de los Muertos Shrine for Conan

Candace 31 Days Conan's Shrine

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a wonderful holiday that celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed.  One of the symbols of the holiday is the sugar skull, usually decorated in bright colors.   I wanted to use the sugar skull icon in a shrine for our dog that we lost early in the year, but I did not want them to be the focus.  I punched out skulls from colorful card stock and glittered them in monotones.

I started the shrine by covering  Conan’s bowls with handmade tiles, beads, baubles and all kinds of things that have meaning for our family.  It’s not a traditional mosaic process.  I glued everything on with hot glue and did not grout.

I made a polymer clay sugar skull to add as a finishing touch.  Let’s start with that tutorial and go from there.


Polymer clay
Mark making tools – needle tool, pencil, craft knife
Glitter in several colors
Black felt pen
Card stick in several bright colors
Skull shaped punch – I used Martha Stewart’s
Glitter glue in the colors of your card stock
Silk flowers in bright colors
Hot glue

I was so happy to find Martha Stewart’s Halloween glitter kit!.

The little glue bottle has a tiny nozzle – perfect for delicate work.

To make the polymer clay skull – use my shape as a guide.

Shape it on your work surface to keep the back flat.  Bake as directed.

Color in the eyes, nose and teeth with the felt pen.

Add tiny dots of glue where you want one color of glitter.
Sprinkle glitter.  Tap off excess glitter.  Repeat for each color.

Allow to dry.

Now for the Dia de los Muertos border:

Punch out the skulls.

Outline and make designs with glitter glue the same color as the paper.

Allow to dry.

Here are the mosaiced bowls in a dimensional frame.  Due to the heavyness of the bowls, I glued and screwed them on the backing.
Alternate silk flowers and skulls all the way around the inside edge.


Hot Chocolate Wall Art by Candace Jedrowicz

Candace Jedrowicz Hot Chocolate Wall Art 300x150

Hot Chocolate Wall Art by Candace Jedrowicz

Hot chocolate on a chilly gray day is one of those things that brings warmth to the soul.  Candace Jedrowicz shares a bit of a warm reminder that you can make for your wall!  Featured on Cool2Craft TV.

Watch Candace’s Hot Chocolate Wall Art YouTube video tutorial!


Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Foam core board
Craft knife
Sand paper or nail file
Decorative paper
Brown acrylic paint
White craft foam for marshmallows
Clear gloss sealer
Glitter glue
Hanging wire
Needle tool

Hot Chocolate Wall Art Template – click for pdf

1. Print the template and cut out the whole cup.  Trace on foam core board.

2. Use a fresh craft blade to cut out the whole cup.

3. Cut the cup rim and handle off the template, trace and cut as before.

4. Sand the edges of the foam core board until smooth.

5. Make 2 holes with needle tool on the whole cup piece – 2″ from the top.

6. On the front of the whole cup piece, wear a grove between the 2 holes for the wire to lay flat between the front and back cup pieces.

7. Feed the wire ends through the holes from front to back.  Twist the ends together on the back side.

8. Spread Tacky Glue on the back of the partial cup piece, lay on the whole cup piece and put a bit of weight on the top while drying.

9. Paint the whole piece brown and allow to dry.

10. Cut decorative paper and glue in place.  Cut a 1/4″ rim of paper to glue across the very top to represent the back rim of the cup, leaving an oval of brown paint exposed for the hot chocolate.

11. Cut bits of white craft foam for marshmallows and glue in place.

12. Dot glitter glue where you’d like it to be.

13. Add a clear gloss sealer to the “liquid” in the cup -the exposed brown paint.

Blinged Out Witch’s Hat by Candace Jedrowicz

Candace 31 Days Witch's Hat

What does every witch need to shine at a Witch’s Tea?  A fabulous hat! I started with a cool hat I found on line after last year’s Witch’s Tea, for a huge discount!  That was my very first Witches tea and I wore a hooded cloak, which I love, but…there was a best hat contest!  Who knew!  So, as I said, I started with one that was already cool and had a ball blinging it up!


A  pointed hat
Hot glue
Knick knacks, doo dads and glitter glue

Here’s my cool hat.I love all the black gauze and and bent over point!
You may recognize many of the bling I’m adding as Halloween projects from earlier in the October.This is the first bling – a small bat pendant with a skull bead dangle.  I sewed it on to make it easy to switch out for next year’s tea.
I cut 6 3″ to 4″ strips of tulle 36″ wide and tied them in a bow.
I hot glued the bow on the back and added this bauble.It’s Smeared Ink’s It’s About Time Pocket Watchstamp glued on the back of a glass blob.I added glitter glue to the tulle.
I glued feathers all the way around and sewed on a pendant piece and added wires that I curled up and attached dangles to.


Edible Zombie Morsels by Candace Jedrowicz

Candace 31 Days Zombie Candy

Now will come the making of the zombie candy!  Muhuhuahahahhhh!  No baking required, but you do need clean hands, warm pockets and fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls!


Tootsie Roll Fruit Flavors – make sure the mix includes vanilla

Tootsie Rolls take a little time and moderate strength to condition, so the first rule of Tootsie Roll Sculpting is:Put the wrapped candies in your pockets for at least half and hour before conditioning it.

Rule 2:

The Tootsie Roll will pretend it doesn’t want to stick to itself at first.  After a moment, you won’t be able to separate it!

Condition them as you would polymer clay – smooshing and rolling them in your hands until they are soft enough to shape.

For a toe, you will need 2 green, A tiny piece of white, purple and pink.
Combine the 2 green and shape into a cylinder.Flatten and widen one end.

Roll the purple and fatten it into a circle, place it on the toe and tear the end away to make a gross toenail.

Make a button shape with the white and push it in the back of the toe.Roll a tiny piece of the pink and lay it around the white.  You can put some pink under the toenail if you like.
For an eyeball, you will need 2 White, 1 pink and a tiny bit of blue.Combine the 2 white pieces and roll into a ball.
Twist all but a little of the pink to make the root and then roll small strings to to make veins.Mix a tiny bit of white and blue together to make a hazy looking iris.
For the teeth I used 1 white mixed with 1/2 a yellow for the piece of bone, yellow for the teeth and a bit of pink for the little bit of gums.The brain bit is a blue and white combined. Make a random lump and roll the rest into a long string to wind back and forth all over the lump.
And there you have it!  Zombie Morsels!  Oh, and the slogan is:

Zombie Morsels

When you care enough to send the very beast

Wicked Wire Wrapping for a Pendant

Candace 31 Days Wicked Wire Wrapping #2

Wicked Wire Wrapping by Candace Jedrowicz

Making jewelry findings can be lots of fun and way easier than you think!  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a bail for a pendant.  It can be used on anything that has a front to back hole that you want to string on a chain.

See how the pendant was made

Watch Candace’s Wire Wrapping video tutorial


20 Gauge wire – 6″
Accent bead
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Wire Cutters

1. Measuring 1 1/2″ from one end of the wire, bend the wire around something large enough for your pendant piece.  I used a jump ring sizer, but you could use anything.  Crimp the wrapped wire just below where they meet.

2. You just made the loop to go through the hole on your pendant piece.  Slide the pendant piece on the loop.

3. Grasp the loop on the outside of the pendant piece using the round nose pliers.   Bend the short wire tail to the side and wrap it around the long wire tail.

4. Slide on and accent bead.  In the video, I didn’t wrap the short tail before adding the bead.  I chose a bead with a hole large enough to fit over both wire tails and wrapped the short tail above the bead.  Either way is fine.

5. Starting just above the bead, wrap the long tail around a pencil (or anything you have handy) twice.  At the end of the second wrap, cross the wire over to the other side of the first wrap and wrap the tail around between the double loop and the bead.

It won’t look manufactured, but I happen to like the wabi-sabi style.  Imperfect is charming to me!

Whimsical Articulated Skeleton by Candace Jedrowicz

Candace 31 Days Monster Football copy

Candace Jedrowicz creates a spectacularly silly skeleton with polymer clay and wire!  The secret?  Each bone is a bead!  You can make one too with her easy-to-follow instructions.  Featured on Cool2Craft TV.

Watch Candace’s Whimsical Skeleton video tutorial


Polymer clay – white and any color you want to make accessories
26 gauge wire – I used white coated wire
Permanent markers – fine and regular points
Accessory supplies – feathers, gems, etc.

Here are two completed skeletons with polymer clay pieces next to the bone beads they will make.
Long bone beads and vertebra beads are cut from a small roll. Holes are made with a needle tool, which is large enough to accommodate two 26 gauge wires at a time.
To make holes in the long bones, hold the clay without applying any pressure at all.Twist the needle tool back and forth as you gently push it through.
The skull is made from two clay balls.  One is twice the size of the other.Place the smaller ball close to one edge of the larger – that’s the jaws. Insert a 12″ wire folded in half in behind the jaws.Press tooth patterns on the jaw section and cut the mouth open.
Press eyes into the skull.  If you plan to use gems in the eyes, make sure the hole is large enough.
The rib cage is a flattened, elongated piece.Squeeze the center for the front of the ribs.Mark any number of ribs you want.
Bend the ends of the rib cage back and join to a bone shaped bead.Shape it into an oval to open up the top to be wider than the bottom.
The pelvis is kind of a bicycle seat shape. Make holes in the sides and bend them up slightly.
The pelvis has two leg wire holes that start near the center and angle out to the sides of what would be the hips. Bake according to polymer clay package directions.
Use your permanent markers to draw lines and mark the ends of the bones.String 2 or 3 vertebra beads on the doubled wire.Add the rib cage and 3 or 4 more beads. Add beads until it looks right to you.
Separate the doubled wire and put one wire through each leg hole. Add another 12″ length of wire through the leg holes so that each leg has a double wire.
String a upper leg bone bead, a vertebra bead, a lower leg bead and a foot or shoe bead. Coil the tail of the wire being careful not to tighten the leg wire too much.  You should be able to position the leg easily.Flatten the coil to the bottom of the foot or shoe.Or you can wrap the tail of the wire around the ankle bone.
Cut a 14″ length of wire and fold in half. Wrap around the neck just above the rib cage.String on both arm bones and hands.  Secure by wrapping the wire around the wrist.
Articulated Skeletons by Candace Jedrowicz - Hero Glue accessories in place.

Polymer Clay Skull Bead by Candace Jedrowicz

9-24-12-Candace-Skull Bead

Polymer clay is such a versatile medium!  I love making small beads in all kinds of shapes, but funny little skulls just tickle me.  That being said, skull beads are easy and anyone can do it!

Watch Candace’s Polymer Clay Skull Bead video tutorial


Polymer clay – white
Black slick paint
Craft knife
Needle tool or toothpick
Paper towel

1. Roll the clay into a small ball

2. Pinch the bottom into an upper and lower jaw area

3. Use the blade of the craft knife to cut teeth with vertical lines

4. Use the blade again to cut across the middle of the teeth, opening the mouth

5. Use the end of the needle tool to make eyes

6. Use the craft knife blade turned sideways to make the nose holes

7. Use the needle tool or toothpick to make a hole down the center

8.  Bake according to directions

9. Apply the slick paint directly from the tube into the mouth, eyes and nose

10. Wipe off excess paint with a paper towel

Pretty Please with an Eyeball on Top!

Candace 31 Days Zipper Pull

Today’s Halloween treat is a polymer clay cupcake zipper pull a la Smeared Ink.  The cartoony cupcake is from a collection of cool digital stamps called Candy is Dandy.  My cupcake is a nod the incredible group of artists I was blessed to hook up with recently through Smeared Ink.  The group is the Smeared and Smudged Forum and they are a hoot!


Polymer Clay – purple, brown and orange
Colorful micro beads
Glossy sealer
Needle tool
20 Gauge wire
Accent beads
Eyeball bead
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Wire cutters
Lanyard clip

You can see here the simple shapes required to make a cupcake shape.

Make a hole in the cupcake with the needle tool.

Bake according to directions.


When the cupcake bead is cool, paint some glossy sealer on the orange icing.

Drizzle some micro beads on the icing while the sealer is still wet.

Allow to dry.

I chose an orange accent bead and stacked a tiny green bead on that to make a little pumpkin dangle.

Cut a 4″ piece of wire.

Fold 1/2″ over the round nose pliers to form a loop.

Slide the dangle onto the loop.

Slide the folded wire into the cupcake bead from the bottom up.
Add the eyeball bead.

fold the wire over, just above the eyeball bead and make another loop.

Slide the loop on the lanyard clip.

Wrap the wire tail around just below the loop to secure it.

Click here for detailed photos of the wire wrapping techniques described in this tutorial.

From Pin to Pendant by Candace Jedrowicz

Pin to Pendant by Candace Jedrowicz 300x150

Every once in a while you come across something that you’ve stashed away because you don’t use it, but you can’t let go of it. Candace Jedrowicz saved a cute little bouquet of violets pin that was her mother’s and decided to make it into a pendant. The question is – how do you do that without causing damage to the pin? Featured on Cool2Craft TV.

Watch Candace’s From Pin to Pendant video tutorial!


Small spacer beads

1. Open the pin back and slide on enough spacer beads to almost fill the pin wire.  Close the pin back.

2. Fold chain in half and slide under the pin wire so a small loop of chain shows.  Pass the rest of the chain through the loop and, as you tighten the chain, guide it to the middle of the pin wire between the spacer beads.  This is so the chain stays in place.

3. Attach a charm to the pin wire between the two strands of chain.  This will keep the pin from falling forward.

Frankie Door Hanger by Candace Jedorwicz

Candace 31 Days Frankie

By now, you know that I save – nay- seek out fun tissue boxes.  The whole sides are usable for just about anything, but the overlapping sides are only partially useable.  Well I liked this little guy enough to carefully take him apart and put him back together.  Apropo, no?

Watch Candace’s Frankie Door Hanger video tutorial


Halloween tissue box
Hole punch – 1/8″ – I used the small hole punch on my Cropadile
Cropadile or grommet setter
Glitter glue – I used black to make the “stitches”
20 Gauge wire
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers

1. Cut out your focal panel and decorate with glitter glue if desired and allow to dry.

2. Punch 2 holes toward the outer edges on the top and punch 5 holes on the bottom edge.

3. Add grommets to the holes.

4. Cut a 16″ piece of wire and fill half way with beads.

5. Slide all the beads to the middle of the wire and put the wire tails through the top 2 holes from back to front.

6. Use the round nose pliers to start a spiral on the wire tails and roll them up to the holes.

7. Make or buy 5 charms.  If you make them, slide 2 or 3 beads on a headpin and make a large loop.

8. Slide the charms though the grommets on the bottom and wrap the wire tails around to secure.