Tag Archives: hot glue gun

A Place to Hang Your Hat

January 4, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Wintery months in Nebraska can be a real drag. Literally. We drag the outdoors in, sludging with us mud, snow, and salt. And unfortunately, not all of us are blessed to have a mud room or even an entryway closet. This year,  after your kiddos get done shoveling the driveway, give them a place to hang their sweaty hats, wet coats, and snowy gloves. Use it as a towel rack in the bathroom, or in the bedroom to hang those clothes that are always on the floor. This coat rack can add some vertical interest to an otherwise empty corner and bring some functionality to your space. And best of all, because the poles collapse, it can be easily stowed away during the summer months when your house doesn’t resemble a public pool.

What You’ll Need:

  • Three 5-foot wooden dowels
  • Hot glue gun
  • Jute string
  • Three s-hooks


  1. Gather your dowels together in a bunch and space out the bottoms into an even triangle.
  2. Lean the dowels together and cross them about a quarter of the way down.
  3. Tie the jute string around one of the dowels and dab a bit of hot glue between the knot and the dowel to keep it in place.
  4. Weave the jute in and around all three dowels, securing them together. This may be done easier if you have a friend holding them in place while you wrap.
  5. Tie off the jute when you are finished, again securing it with a dab of hot glue.
  6. Give the jute a cleaner and more dramatic look by wrapping a single string up each dowel, securing it with some hot glue.
  7. Hang the s-hooks on the jute bindings.



Autumn Wreaths

November 16, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

About this time each year our minds start drifting away from work and daily responsibilities, and our thoughts are filled with excitement for the cold air and holiday season. I walk into craft stores looking for something to adorn my door, but the wreaths that I find always seem to be too gaudy—bursting with mini-pumpkins, monograms, and sparkly fake leaves. While many women love to decorate their homes in all that is glitter, I prefer to decorate with the natural elements of autumn. So, I decided to make one myself out of things I love the most about this season.

What You’ll Need:

  • Natural vine wreath
  • Foliage, pheasant feathers,pine cones, acorns
  • Wire cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Door hanger


  1. Do some research. Look at different shapes and styles of wreaths to figure out what you prefer.
  2. Choose a natural vine wreath that fits the size of your door. If it is too large, it may overwhelm your entry. If it is too small, it may not pack enough punch to do your door credit.
  3. Pick out some foliage (real or faux) that draws your eye. For fall colors, it is safe to stay in the warmer color range, but do not be afraid to throw some green or purple into the mix.
  4. With a wire cutter, clip off individual pieces from each bunch of foliage. Weave the ends of each piece through the natural vine wreath until secure. Be sure to tuck in any end that is sticking out, unless you mean for it to hang down.
  5. Wreaths tend to look best when they are heavy on the bottom left or bottom right side. Make this section full, and disperse foliage sparingly as you work your way around the wreath.
  6. Hot glue any pieces that cannot be woven through the natural vine, such as pine cones or acorns. Be sure to use a generous amount of glue since the surface will most likely not be flat.
  7. Hook the door hanger under the top of the wreath, and proudly display on your front door.


Going Nuts

September 18, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sometimes you only need to look in your backyard to get an unlikely inspiration. Do you want something unique, do you enjoy bringing a little of the outside in? You may be inspired to think more outside the box when creating something unique for your home.

First things first, this is not the easiest project I have done. You may need to think ahead for when you want to start, because working with nature sometimes throws you off course.

I started this project last year, knowing that pictures had to be taken in July for a September/October issue project. If you read my letter on page H9, you will know the history behind this project, and it’s worth the read.

Items Needed:

Hot glue gun

Glue sticks

Acorns/caps variety if you can

Styroform balls of different sizes

Optional moss or other dried substance for coating styroform before gluing

Start with clean acorns, then bake them on a cookie sheet at a low temperature for several hours. No, you’re not cooking them, just ensuring nothing decides to creep out later (I learned the first time the hard way).

Once the acorns are baked and cooled, check them over, gluing the caps onto the acorns if they are falling, or haven fallen, off. If you want to make them shine, just use a little furniture polish and that will bring out the color. Do not polish the caps, however. Sort them by size and shape.

Start with the smallest styrofoam ball first, which is easiest to manipulate as you glue the acorns onto it. You can choose to put moss over the ball first, or anything that will help coat the ball prior to placing the acorns. If you choose to forego this step, you will see styrofoam between the nuts. Coating the ball with moss or other material also creates a more finished project.

Start in the middle and then start gluing acorns to the ball, working around it until complete. I choose to use some with caps and some without caps. I turned some of them upside down for a different look. You want to mix it up to add color and texture.

Use different size balls for interest. I like things in threes—small, medium, and large—but I wanted another texture so I added a fourth ball.

To display the pieces, I used a favorite rough-hewn bowl that helps capture the essence of the whole nature look I wanted. I placed some of the acorns at the bottom of the bowl with a little moss and an artificial tree limb to add even more drama. Then I included some candles.

It makes for a great centerpiece throughout the year by adding a little of this and that.

Think outside the box if you enjoy creating decor for your home. It is worth the time and effort, and you get something one-of-a kind!