Money box

“Save” is the word for the world today! Let’s start by reusing old plastic bottles, pen and jar lids to make these cute money boxes. The material that you will need is the following:

– 2 liter plastic soda bottles
– paper tape
moneybox_by_mara_branco– rope
– cardboard
– kitchen paper
– glue
– pen lids
– yarn
– jar lid (~2”)
– spackling paste (optional)
– sand paper
– acrylic paint
– clear acrylic sealer
– scissor
– utility knife

Step 1


Cut the bottle carefully with a scissor and knife to the height that you prefer for your money box (shouldn’t be more than half of the bottle). You only need the bottom. Then tape the rope around the edge that you cut.
On the bottom of the bottle between the bumps make a gap to insert the money.

Step 2


Put the bottle with the cut edge down on the cardboard and mark the size of the circle that will cover the money box. Now cut the circle. Pick up the jar lid and put it on the center of the circle that you just cut and mark a new circle around the lid. This will be later the access to the inside of the box.

Step 3


Cut the pen lids and glue them in the cardboard circle as shown in the picture. You only need three pen lids. This will prevent the jar lid from falling inside the money box. Before cutting the pen lids check the height of the jar lid so you will have the right height.

Step 4


Now cover the bottle with glue and put the kitchen paper all around it. Do the same to the card board circle. Let it dry and then glue them together before covering everything with another layer of kitchen paper and glue. Let it dry.

Step 5


This step is optional. If you want to have a perfect surface without the plastic bottle indents you may cover them with speckling paste and sand it after dried. Then you will have to use a spray prime before painting.

Step 6 – Pom-pom


Although I made this the step number 6 you can do it when you feel like. The best option is to make the Pom-pom between the drying process of step 4 or 5.
Making the pom-pom is nothing new. You just need two cardboard circles with a small round hole in the middle and also the yarn that will go around the circles. Remember that the size of the circle determines the size of the pompom. Once you cover all the circle with the yarn use the scissors to cut between the card circles and tie a knot firmly around the stitches that meet in the center hole. If you need help with this process go to:

Step 7


This is the fun part. Here you just have to use your imagination and draw a cute face. To make the winter hat with a perfect line use paper tape all around bottle to serve as a mask. But do it after you have painted the face with the skin color.

Step 8


When you are done with the painting let it dry. Then spray all over with the clear acrylic sealer.  After drying out the sealer, you may glue the pom-pom on top of the winter hat.

Congratulations! You have a beautiful money box. Enjoy and save a lot 🙂 Give me some …

Christmas Collage

     happy_hollydays_collage_by_mara_branco    xmas_collage-2_by_mara_branco

It is that time of the year that we pile a lot of paper advertising all the christmas supplies that we can imagine, and more. Well, this year instead of throwing everything in the recycle bin I decided to do something out of it. I decided to make some collages and here is the result. Not bad, I think … I was surprised, since this is not something that I usually do.

First I selected the images that I liked the most from all magazines, catalogs, flyers, etc. cut them and grouped them in different categories, like colors, shapes, styles, etc. As I stared to do that ideas popped in to my mind, a piece of paper here a piece of paper there  and when I realized a composition was done. Sort of!

Once I had all my images pre-mounted in a paper with the right dimensions and in a place that satisfied me I had to make the background.

I used acrylic paint and painted the background in a different paper. With the background ready and dried I just had to transfer my composition piece by piece and glued them with glue stick on top of the background.

Happy Holidays!


Roses forever


Cinco rosas com muito amor! Recebi um precioso buquê que queria guardar para sempre.
No início, tinha um aspecto fresco e cheirava bem. A fragrância começou a desaparece rapidamente e mudar a água não ia evitar o facto das rosas começarem a perder a cor e acabarem por morrer. Eu queria fazer alguma coisa! Há sempre uma maneira de manter as coisas preciosas e os bons momentos durar para sempre, desde que essa seja a nossa vontade. E eu estava decidida a não deitar fora as minhas cinco rosas preciosas. O que fiz?
Decidi fazer um quadro com as cinco rosas. E para fazer isso, primeiro deixei o buquê secar completamente. Depois das rosas secas cortei-as e coloquei-as na configuração que queria. Só assim pode determinar a área total da minha composição. Utilizei cartão para a base do meu quadro e reforcei-o com papel e cola para ter uma superfície mais forte e mais espessa. Depois de aplicar a tinta primária, usei acrílico para pintar o fundo. Pincelei as rosas e as folhas com tinta antes de as colar. No final, envernizei com spray verniz e pendurei na parede. Oh … É verdade! Tive que colar dois triângulos, para pendurar quadros, nos cantos superiores na parte de trás. Voila!





Five roses with lots of love! I received a very precious bouquet that I wanted to keep forever.
In the beginning they looked fresh and smelled good. The fragrance usually goes away quickly and the water that I kept changing was not going to prevented the fact that the flowers were going to fade their colors and eventually die. I wanted to do something! There’s always a way to keep precious things and moments alive, as long it is our will. And I was determined to not throw away my five precious roses. What did I do?
I decided to make a painting with my five roses. And to do that, I first let the bouquet dry completely. Once the roses were dry I cut and aligned them in the configuration that I wanted. Only then I decided the size of the cardboard. The cardboard was used as the surface of my painting and was covered with paper and glue to have a stronger and thicker surface. After applying the primary paint I used acrylic to paint the background. I also applied  some paint to the roses and leafs before gluing them. In the end I sprayed everything with varnish and hung it on the wall. Oh… Thats right! I had to glue two frame hooks in the top corners in the back. Voila!