Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guest Blogger - Crafts By Amanda - Monster Yard Lights!

Hi everyone, I'm excited to be here at Someday Crafts and a special thanks to Michelle for inviting me!
My name is Amanda Formaro and my blog is aptly named
I love making kid friendly crafts that are easy to make, appropriate for different age levels, and whenever possible don't require moms to run out to the store to buy supplies. Most of my projects use items from around the house.
One of my day jobs is making kid's crafts for Disney's and I love it! While the majority of what I make is centered around kids, I also post some of my makeovers and redos and adult friendly crafts. Some of you may also know me as the Home and Garden editor at Craft Gossip or maybe even from my cooking blog, Amanda's Cookin'. :)

Some of the most popular posts on my blog are the
painted jar luminaries I made last Halloween, the plastic lid ladybugs I made over the summer, and the bread tag monsters I made this year. As you can see, I love using plenty of color in my projects! :)

Michelle asked me to make something I thought her readers might be interested in. I know that many of you enjoy PB inspired projects, home decorating projects and the like. I'm also guessing that many of you have kids or grand kids, so I'm hoping you enjoy this. Being that it's almost Halloween, I decided to make some monster yard lights from some plastic milk and juice jugs.

Before making these I sketched out a couple of ideas.

Monster Yard Lights

You will need:

Empty plastic milk jug
Empty plastic Sunny D jug
Acrylic paint: white, black, green, yellow, purple, red, light blue, orange
1 1/4" spouncer
3/4" spouncer
Large paintbrush
Small paintbrush
Sharpie marker
White paint pen (optional)
Clear gloss sealer spray
2 battery operated tap lights
Wall mounting putty or hot glue
Old broom handles or tall branches or sticks

What you do:

Decide which side of the jug will be the front, where your monster's face will go. Turn the jug over to the other side and cut the bottom of the jug, about 2" from the bottom, in a horizontal line. Do not cut the entire jug open, just about a third of the way around, enough to open it. This will give you access to the light. Repeat this process on the Sunny D jug as well.

Paint the Sunny D jug green and the milk jug yellow. Let the paint dry completely then paint each jug with a second coat.

If you milk jug has circle indents in the side, that's a great place for the eyeball! I left mine unpainted when I did the yellow, then painted the indented circle white. If you jug doesn't have the indents you will simply paint the eyeball on instead.

Yellow Monster
To add the polka dots to the yellow jug, use the two spouncers and red, purple and light blue paint.

Simply dip the spouncer in the paint, remove excess by gently pressing onto plate or scrap paper and twirling. Then just place spouncer on jug and gently add pressure.

Use the larger spouncer dipped in orange paint to the add the center of the eye.

Dip large paintbrush into black paint. To create the eyebrow, bounce the paintbrush straight up and down across the top of the eye.

When the orange is dry, use the smaller spouncer to add the black of the eye.

Use the white paint pen (or a pencil) to draw on teeth. Fill in with white paint using small paintbrush. Use Sharpie marker to add the mouth line. Set the yellow jug aside to dry.

Green Monster
Use the large paintbrush to add the monster's hair. The hair will take up about 1/3 of the jug. Paint on the eyebrows.

Use the Sharpie marker to draw on the mouth, eyes, nose and stitches. When using the marker, use a light hand. Pressing too hard with the marker will tear through the paint.

Add the whites of the eyes then dot on the black with the handle end of the small paintbrush.
(NOTE! I realize the photo below differs from my instruction here. I'm a "work as I go" kinda crafter, then I provide the most logical instruction in the tutorial. The eyes were an after thought and I ended up building them backwards. The instructions however would be easier than how I ended up doing it ;))

Carefully draw over the stitch lines again with the marker for a second coat.

When everything has dried, give the jugs a coat of sealer. Let dry 20 minutes before applying a second coat of the sealer.

Press some wall putty to the bottom of a tap light. Insert the tap light inside the jug and attach it to the inside top of the head with the putty. Push the tap light to turn on. You could use a hot glue gun instead of wall mounting putty if you prefer.

Insert a broom handle or sturdy stick into the jug opening. If the stick is much smaller that the opening, causing the jug to wiggle around, take a sheet of felt and fold it in half. Place the felt on top of the stick then push the opening of the jug over the top of the felt and stick. This will fill the gap and give the jug stability.


1) Wall mounting putty is inexpensive and available at WalMart, craft stores and home improvement centers. It's ideal for many things and doesn't leave holes in your walls.

2) The tap lights I used I found at WalMart. They are battery operated and came in different sized packs. The one I purchased was a 4 pack, came complete with batteries and was a whopping $3.96. :)

3) If you have an old broom, rake or snow shovel that you aren't using those are great for the stakes. It's even better if the handle is removable as you can just put it back on after Halloween, no harm done. I actually needed a couple of rakes anyway, so I grabbed a couple of cheap ones from Walmart for $5 each and used those handles.

4) You could dress these up even more by attaching a long branch in a cross form with the broom handle. Attach it with tape and/or twine, then drape a sheet over it so it looks like it has arms :)

5) When painting on plastic, let the first coat dry completely before trying to add the second coat or the first coat may peel. When adding the second coat, be sure to use a light hand.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Again, thanks so much to Michelle for inviting me and thanks to all of you for having me! I'm on
Twitter, Facebook and Stumble Upon, so I hope to see you there as well.

Amanda ~ Crafts by Amanda

If you've never been to Crafts By Amanda, you are missing out! Her Halloween and monster crafts are so spectular. Amanda's ideas are AMAZINGLY CREATIVE! I would never think to make the ideas she comes up with! I Love these jug monsters! My kids would flip out over these outside! Looks like I will be saving my next couple of milk jugs!
You really should visit Crafts By Amanda and peruse her sidebars for her recent ideas and then look through her archives for more! You will be INSPIRED!

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  1. Thanks so much for inviting me and allowing me to a share a project with your readers Michelle! I love your blog and hope your readers like the tutorial :) Thanks again!

  2. So cute! I think my kids would enjoy making them.

  3. Some people are so creative, and some people are born to copy them. I consider myself in the latter group. These are so stinkin' cute and I must make some for my house.

  4. great tutorial, such a cute idea! I will definitely try this for Halloween and Christmas!

  5. So cute, Amanda. I had to make one myself!

  6. Love your blog! Come visit mine sometime!


Thanks for leaving a comment. I always like to know what you think of the projects I highlight!

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