Make Your Own Can Man!

Can Man Burlap Hipsters and/or fancy people like to throw around the word “upcycled” when they make stuff out of trash. I don’t know so much about that, but I DO know that I have a lot of beer cans laying around and some art and craft supplies. And folk-y art inspiration! The people at Patience Brewster love to find ways to find a new purpose for a discarded or unused holiday decorations. Oddly (or not oddly) I saved the tinsel from our tree this year. You never know when you might need a wad of tinsel? And I’m pretty sure anything alcohol-related can count as a discarded holiday item, am I right? While you’re on their website, check out the ornaments! Holy CRAP! So you can see why I’m so jazzed at being thought of by these guys. So let’s get this project started!

Project: Metal-y Hair for a Metal-y Man Materials:


  • One clean and dry can (PBR?)
  • Apoxie Sculpt
  • Four curly-cue swizzle sticks
  • An awl or a big nail to make holes
  • Card stock
  • Tinsel
  • Paint and paint supplies
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Black colored pencil
  • Matte Mod Podge

Let’s do this!

  1. Snap off the tab. Bend your can in such a way that the “face” is facing the front of your man.Can
  2. Cut a piece of card stock to cover the “face”, cutting a “mouth” hole where the can opening is. If you think that you might make a batch of can men you might want to make a nice pattern to re-use over and over. Use more card stock to make things like a nose and ears or whatever extra items you think your can man needs. I cut little teeth in the opening. You can do that too if you wish. Glue the card stock face to the can face and glue on the extra parts. Allow that shit to dry thoroughly.
  3. With the awl or nail, poke two holes in the bottom of the can and two holes where arms should go. Well, where arms should go if you were a can man.Step Two
  4. Mix a small amount (like the size of a grape) of Apoxie Sculpt according to the directions (which is just a 1:1 ratio). Jam a bit of clay into each of the holes so that there’s some in and some out. Stick your swizzle sticks in a little bit. Use more clay to build up a little mound around each limb to hold each securely.Step Three
  5. Once the clay cures (this will vary depending on things like temperature and magic) you can paint your can. I would suggest painting the WHOLE can including the face and limbs. Maybe add two coats. Do you have to use white? Of course not.
  6. Once everything’s dry, you can draw on little details with your black colored pencil. Or just add googly eyes. This part is truly up to you.
  7. After I had all of the details worked out, I scraped off a little paint from the can to give it a rustic look then stained it with a bit of watered-down black paint to give it an even rustic-er look. Then I did a little more pencil tweaking.
  8. Almost there! Gather a bunch of strands of tinsel and tie the bunch at the center. Glue the tinsel bunch to the can man’s head. Trim as desired.
  9. Brush on a coat of Mod Podge to seal in all of the details and to make the surface water/schmootz-proof. Drop the mic muthaeffas!

And just because I have A LOT of cans laying around (don’t judge), I’m planning on making an army of can men. I’m putting these guys in my Etsy store. $25. That’s almost free.Can Man Case

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Penis Bone?

Oh, if I had a nickle…

So the story goes that I bought a bunch of raccoon penis bones for stocking stuffers one Christmas (they’re good luck charms!), but apparently my enthusiasm surrounding this unique find was outweighed by the actual humans that would appreciate such a gift. So for over a month I’ve had one last, lonely bone staring longingly at me, dreaming of a purpose. Little chance that the penis bone dreamed of the following scenario…

Project: Is That a Worm in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy To See Me?


Let’s do this!

1. Use the mixed epoxy clay to make a ball shape at the smaller, weirder-looking side of the bone. You will be using the end part for the nose of your worm, so leave a section exposed for this purpose.

2. Add a little extra clay to make a neck for your worm’s head. Use a bit of water to smooth the clay so that there is a seamless transition from head to neck and from clay to bone.

3. Break the toothpick in two and stick each half into the top of the head to make antennae. Smooth clay around toothpick halves.

4. Add details to the face of the worm. I used the end of a paintbrush to make the indents for the eyes and for the space below the nose and an X-ACTO knife to add the mouth and other lines.

5. Wait for the clay to harden. You can start to paint the clay as soon as it’s hard to the touch, but a 24 hour curing time is recommended before proceeding.

6. After the clay is ready, you can paint the worm head. I used a white primer coat first before using color. I added several coats of colored paint, but the amount of coats YOU will need depends on what kind of paint you are using. Acrylic craft paint is not as pigment rich as art store paint, so if you are using the cheaper stuff from the craft store, just be prepared for more layers.

7. When your paint is dry, you can decide if you would like to stain your worm. I’m sort of stain crazy, so I did. Mix a tiny amount of black and brown paint, brush it on, and quickly wipe it off with a paper towel. If you get too much on, just add a bit of water to the paper towel and wipe more off. After all of your painting is complete, you can add more detail if you like with colored pencils.

8. Make a little hat for your worm by cutting a little half circle from fabric, wrapping it into a cone shape, and gluing the seam with tacky glue. Glue the finished hat onto the head of your worm and KABAAAM! You are finished!

Somewhere in between one of those steps above you’re all like, “For what purpose are we doing this? Like seriously, what the eff!? This is pretty messed up!” Then I’m all like, “Tell me ONE friend of yours who has EVER received a worm made out of a penis bone as a gift?” Yeah, I thought so…

But seriously, what do we do with this when we’re done? Good question. Gooood question…

Art! Yes, it is art! It is to look at and to make us ponder stuff. And there is even a precedent for art made with penis bones! Check THIS out!


OMG, these are gorgeous! Loooooove!

So next time you have a spare penis bone sitting around in your studio you can give it a new purpose by creating a unique and one-of-a-kind sculpture!

Have a bonetastic day!

Super Easy Group Craft Project!

Seriously, this project can be made for just some spare change and for about a spare hour and with some spare people of all ages. And while Cornelius may look a bit morbid next to YOUR home decor, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Add some ribbon, fabric scraps, lace crap, and YOURS could actually look pretty!

Project: Cornelius Clothespinhands (not to be legally confused in any way with a certain scissor-handed character owned by Twentieth Century Fox)


  • Two hinge-style clothespins
  • Doll Pin
  • Doll Pin Stand
  • Head Bead 
  • Chenille stem (a.k.a. pipe cleaner)
  • Masking tape
  • Antique white, black, and brown craft paint and paint supplies
  • Drill with a (roughly) 1/8″ bit
  • Bit o’ wood glue
  • Black colored pencil
  • Blackish hair material (I used some wool fleece)

Let’s do this!

  1. Glue the pin, stand, and head together to make a little doll. Let that dry.
  2. Drill a hole through the body where the arms will go.
  3. Fold the chenille stem in half, twist it a bit, and thread it through the hole to make arms.
  4. Drill a hole at the end of one side of each hinge-style clothespin.
  5. Thread the ends of the arms in the hinge-style clothespin hole and with enough extra to wrap around and secure it all snug-like. It’s a good idea to add some glue to the section of stem that’s inside the doll body. That will keep the arms from being jenky whilst holding things with the clothespin hands.
  6. Wrap the fuzzy part of the arms with masking tape.
  7. Paint the entire thing with antique white paint. Let that dry.
  8. With black paint, fashion some shoes, pants, and shirt stripes on Cornelius. Hell yeah!
  9. With a black colored pencil, draw on some facial features.
  10. Thin down some black/brown paint and stain your doll (if you want). After that dries, continue to add detail with the colored pencil (if you want).
  11. When everything is dry, glue on Cornelius’s hair. KA-BAM!!!


D.I.Y. Rock Salt Taxidermy

BatSo sometimes when friends find interesting creatures dead on the pavement they find their way to my desk in a baggie. My co-worker found this adorable little guy behind our studio and she knew that I’d want him (her?) for my collection. But he was fresh and quickly starting to rot. Gotta hurry! I took him home and covered him in rock salt in an airtight container to dry him out and preserve him for display. A month later I freed him from his casket and EWWW! Flies! Apparently the little guy had maggots that I wasn’t savvy to, and during my little bat’s cloistering they matured and rose to the top as flies who unfortunately (fortunately?) found their demise.

Haven’t come up with a name yet. If you have any ideas, feel free to share!

Making Cornelia

Besides my day job, I design projects for an online resource for activity directors. One of the projects I recently finished required corn husks. I got a big bag from the Mexican grocery down the street ($5.49), and I had TONS left over so today I decided to make a corn husk doll. Most of the instructions online were for more traditional dolls. I wanted my doll to look like “the kids today” so I did some editing. I’ve written down the process I used so that you can make one, and then our dolls can be best friends! I made mine into a puppet by ramming a 12″ bamboo skewer up her bottom. You can do that too if you like.

Project: Cornelia (get it, corn?) the corn husk doll


  • 7 intact corn husks
  • Paper towels
  • Twine
  • Scissors, ruler

Optional materials:

  • 12″ bamboo skewer
  • Apoxie Sculpt
  • Craft paint, painting supplies (brushes, water, paper towels)
  • Hot glue

Let’s do it!

  1. Soak the corn husks in warm water for a bit to get them nice and soft. Maybe you should do that now while you’re reading this. Or maybe while you’re making dinner. Like that amount of time. Maybe a half hour. When you’re ready to rock and roll, take them out and blot them on some paper towels.
  2. Cut twenty 10″ pieces of twine. Gather them together and make a huge knot at one end. This is going to be your doll’s skull and hair. O.k., you know how all of the corn husks have a tapered end and a wide end? Well, take four of the corn husks and like wrap them around the twine bundle like the picture down below. The tapered ends go at the knot end. After your twine bundle is “burrito-ed” in the four corn husks, wrap a piece of twine tightly around the “neck”.
  3. Now peel down the four husks like a banana so that the nicely wrapped head and the twine hair is emancipated. Tie another piece of neck-making twine. I swear this is the last time I’ll tell you to make a neck with twine.
  4. O.k., you’re going to do this next part three times, so listen up. With the three remaining husks, tear lengthwise into three equal pieces (so you’ll have a pile of nine pieces). Take three pieces (bundle them without all wides on one side or all tapered on one side, like mix that up). Use a piece of twine and tie one end, braid those pieces, then tie another piece of twine on the other end. I should have told you to cut six small pieces of twine to begin with so you’re not holding your braid and trying to cut a piece of twine. Live and learn. So do that three times. One is for the arms, and the other two are legs. Maybe I should have included a photo of that step, but really, it’s just braiding three strips of husk and tying twine on each end. You’ll figure it out.
  5. Sandwich one of the braids between the body husks to make arms (like two lengths of body husk should be in front of the arms and two behind). Now, this part is a little bit trickier. You’re going to tie an end of each leg braid to one of the inner lengths of body husk. You can sort of shove them up in there and burrito the body husks around the legs. The photo sort of shows what I’m talking about.
  6. Dude, you’re almost finished! Now all you have to do is tie one last piece of twine around the waist. Look at that! You made a corn husk doll with an updated outfit! You can braid the hair if you want or make a fine hat. Dress it up. Make her fancy.
  7. OR if you’re less than satisfied with mediocrity, you can take some Apoxie Sculpt and make a lovely face. When that’s cured, you can glue it on and paint the whole shebang. Yeah, that’s not at ALL creepy. THEN if you’re sort of obsessed with puppets, stick a skewer up the butt of your doll to make it a puppet.