Monday, September 18, 2017

How to paint a beautiful, and colorful autumn leaf rock

If you are like me you are having fun painting rocks and leaving them for someone to discover.  It is so quick and easy to paint this beautiful autumn leaf rock that you will want to paint several. Just use some acrylic paints and the pattern is right outside your door!

You can alter the colors that you use slightly for each autumn leaf rock, for rocks as varied as the real leaves!  This is a great group or kids craft too!


Rock, that you pick up or buy from the home improvement store.  You will need one that will fit the size you want.
Leaf  (real or a silk one that will fit on your rock)
Small flat paintbrush
Small liner or spotter brush
Paper plate for palette
Newspaper to protect your work surface
Acrylic paint, orange, yellow, red, burnt umber, burnt sienna, red, and green
Dark brown permanent fine line marker
Acrylic gloss or matte finish


1.     First, gather your supplies.  Protect your work surface with some newspaper or newsprint.  Place your rock on the paper and using either a real or silk leaf trace around it onto the rock with a pencil.

2.     Next, Using a small brush, fill in the entire leaf with orange acrylic paint.  Add the stem with a liner brush and burnt umber acrylic paint. Faintly paint the vein lines as well.

3.     Now, while the orange paint is still a little wet, add some yellow, red, and green, blending with the orange randomly on sections of the leaf.  Blend well.

4.     Continue adding the colors all around until you are pleased with the gradation of colors.

5.     Let all the paint dry completely.

6.     Finish by outlining the entire leaf and veins with the fine line marker.

7.     Add a coat of clear gloss or matte finish on the entire leaf to protect it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

How to easily decorate a special rock with decoupage or paint

Painting rocks are all the rage at the moment, but I've been painting and decorating rocks for ages.  When I travel out of state or country I skip the gift shops with their souvenirs often made in China. Instead, I pick up a local rock.  This special rock is actually a piece of your trip. It doesn't have to be large, just large enough to paint or decoupage on.

So for a real souvenir of your travels, pick up a rock, paper, and scissors and you will be all set.  If you are not into decorating rocks, shells or driftwood works just as well.

If you choose to paint your rock instead of decoupage, simply use a small paintbrush and acrylic paints of your choice. What a great way for kids to create a very special rock!

You will need:

Rock, shell, or driftwood in your choice of size

Modpodge decoupage glue (You can use outdoor modpodge if your rock is large and you want to display it outdoors)

Sharpie marker

Computer and printer


Small paintbrush

Waxed paper

1.     Wash and dry the rock.  Gather your supplies and cover your work surface with some waxed paper. Use your printer to print an image that represents the area or an even a small personal photo on all-purpose paper.  Carefully cut out the image. (I like to use the state seals)

2.     Brush some Modpodge glue generously on the flattest side of the rock.  Place the image on the glued area and brush some more glue on top.  Let dry.  When dry brush another coat over entire rock.  Let dry. The glue dries clear.

3.     When the glue has dried use a sharpie marker to write the place and date on the rock.  You can also write a small quote if you wish.  You can write on the back or the bottom optionally.  Brush another coat of Modpodge glue on the writing to protect it.

Note:  You can also use personal vacation photos, tickets, images cut out from travel pamphlets.  The sky is the limit for personalization! When you have finished you will have a lasting memento of your travels that is actually a piece of the place.

I'd love to hear your comments!  And be sure and stop by Make it easy crafts again and say hello!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How to make an easy indian corn tea light holder

Indian corn tea light holder

      So it’s almost fall, my favorite time of year.  Who doesn’t love the crisp morning air, the pumpkin spice everywhere you look, and the colors of the season?  It is the perfect time to paint an Indian corn tea light holder on an upside down wine glass! 

      It's so easy to paint this cute Indian corn tea light holder!  Decorate it with some raffia and simply add a flameless or regular tea light candle for a d├ęcor piece that everyone will love!


Small and medium sized paintbrushes

Gloss acrylic paint, tan, gold, yellow, lt. yellow, red, purple, white, sienna, and orange

Brown sharpie marker


Tea Light

Waxed paper or cardboard to protect your work surface


Paper towels

1.     Wash and wipe down your wine glass with a paper towel and alcohol.

2.     Using the brown sharpie marker, make a mark from the base of the stem to the rim on each side.  In essence you are marking half your wine glass.  

3.     On one side begin making small circles across with the marker continue making circles across and down until you reach the rim.  These are the Indian corn kernels.  See photo.  You will use these guidelines much like a coloring book and fill them in individually.


4.     Using the larger paintbrush and the tan gloss paint, cover the side that is not marked with kernels brushing with a downward motion.  Continue with tan on the stem and the base.  Let dry.  Turn rim side down and paint the bottom with tan and let dry.  Repeat with second coat.  When the second coat is dry, make some downward marks with sienna and white for a textural effect.  Repeat this step on the bottom of the base (which will be the candle holder) but brush the sienna and white in a spoke like pattern.

5.     Using the marks you made for kernels begin filling each one individually with the smaller paintbrush.  Use yellow, orange, purple, and red, varying the locations until you have filled in every one to the bottom.  Let dry and repeat with a second coat.

6.     Cute a 12-inch piece of raffia.  Cut and tie a six-inch piece of raffia onto the longer piece.  Continue adding raffia pieces until you have about six.  Trim up the ends.

7.     Tie the raffia strip with the fringe on the stem.  (See photo)

If you don't like how your marks are coming out when marking your glass, simply rub with some alcohol and start over.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How to make one pan chicken and orzo dinner

chicken and orzo recipe

I love cooking, but sometimes, like most people, I’m short on time.  So instead of heading for a carry out for dinner, I enjoy this quick and easy one-pan dinner of Chicken and Orzo. I put all the ingredients together in one pan so the clean up is a breeze.

And bonus!  The Chicken and Orzo dinner is delicious and healthy!  I always buy chicken tenders, which usually come already in strips and are perfect for making the one pan Chicken and Orzo. 

Leftovers heat up great and make a super lunch the next day too!

Chicken and Orzo one pan dinner


1 can 14.5 ounces chicken broth
One cup uncooked orzo
Tbsp. olive oil
Chicken tenders, about 1 lb. cut into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1-cup zucchini cut into ½” pieces
½ tsp. red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese


Heat a tbsp. olive oil in a large deep pan.  Add the chicken, garlic, and mushrooms.  Cook on medium heat till browned stirring often.  (About 6-10 minutes.)

Next, add the uncooked pasta and broth.  Heat to boiling, then cover and lower the heat to medium.  Cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently till pasta is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Now stir in tomatoes, zucchini, and Italian seasoning and cook about 5 more minutes.  Finish by adding the red pepper flakes and top with Parmesan cheese.

Serve with a salad on the side for a complete and healthy family meal!

Please visit Make it easy crafts again next week for more quick and easy recipes, crafts, and so much more!

Note:  I know this is off topic but I just wanted to mention the issue with third party hosting on Photobucket.   As I am sure many of you know that I run this website free of charge and it takes a lot of work and effort to design, photograph, and write instructions for all the craft tutorials and recipes.  Factor in the monies I pay for a domain name, the fee for extra photos, photo editing, Microsoft word, supplies and more I am pretty much paying to run this website.  Now Photobucket wants $399.  They put a giant, ugly sticker over all of the Photobucket hosted images from your buttons from all of your wonderful websites. Whoever wants to visit them all you have to do is go to the link at the top of this blog for link parties and you will find them there.  I have removed all the Photobucket stickers and good luck to them!