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Pet Craft: Pet Themed Banners

Pet Craft: Pet Themed Banners

love banner

I recently moved in to a new home in KY.  Our new house has seven fireplaces, two of which are in my art studio.  I decided that I needed some cute pet themed banners to hang over my fireplaces.  I made all three of these with supplies I had laying around my studio.  Here is how I made them:

woof banner upclosegot rescue 2

Supplies: burlap (any color will work), Stiff felt (any color you like), craft paint, mod podge, stencil brushes or sponges, hot glue/gun, ribbon, Archival Stamp pad, paw print stamps, twine

I made my white WOOF banner first. woof banner

The first step is make a pattern shape for your banner.  I make my patterns on my computer (in powerpoint), cut them out and pin them to my banner fabric and cut each one.  Here is a pdf file of the template for this banner : WOOF Banner.  Particularly when you are cutting burlap you are going to want to pin your pattern securely to the burlap. 20140914_160333 Line the top edge of the pattern up with a strand of the burlap when you pin.  Once you cut your burlap piece, iron it and be gentle with it as you work so it will not fray (we will address stopping the fray shortly).

To create my letter stencils I printed out WOOF in the size and font I wanted in Microsoft Word and carefully cut out my letters. 20140914_185532

When I put the stencils down I tape them in place, and use a flat brush or sponge to dab the paint on (I use a minimal amount of paint and dab lightly).  Let the stencil sit for a few minutes to dry.  After I pull the stencil off I touch up the letter with a pointed brush to make it a darker and cleaner paint job.  If you use too much paint or press to hard with the initial stenciling you risk bleeding under the stencil.  I used a large paw print stamp to make my end banners. I stamped the paw prints with archival ink and then went back over the stamped image with paint.

20140916_183805When my banners were dry I flipped them upside down on my craft mat (important to use a craft mat underneath).  I ran my twine across the back and covered the crevice behind the twine with hot glue, folded the burlap over the twine and held it down until the glue was cooled.

20140916_143813 Measure the space between each flag as you glue it to the twine for an even look to your finished project.  Once your glue is cool, trim your folded edges so they look neat and tidy.20140916_184556

To address the fraying of the burlap and make this a lasting project I used Mod Podge.20140916_184819  For this project I used Matte but you could use Gloss if you want.  I set my banner on my craft mat (important to reduce the mess).  20140916_185336  I used a very generous amount of mod podge applied with sponge to each banner and then I hung it to dry over night.  It is only necessary to apply the mod podge to one side with burlap.  The flags of the banner may curl a bit after the mod podge dries.   To reflatten the banners I set them on my ironing board, put a piece of card stock over them (important) and gave them a quick iron.

To finish off this banner I added some paw print bows; I tied them first and then hot glued them on.

love banner 2  My second banner was my love banner.  Here is the template I used to make the pattern: LOVE Banner Template.20140916_160115  The banners are made from stiff felt that I purchased at JoAnne’s, it comes in a variety of tie die color themes.  I just love this pink and orange…so girly!  I did the same process with letter stenciling on these banners.20140917_142134  I used a smaller paw print stamp but followed the same process as the WOOF banner; stamp with archival ink and then paint over it with craft paint.  I added some pink gem stones to the banner and some orange bows to finish it off.

got rescue 2  My last banner is my Got Rescue Banner.  Here are the templates I used to cut the banners: Got Rescue Banner.  The back piece of the banner is made from stiff black felt and the front from brown burlap.20140917_151730  I cut both my banner shapes and then hot glued my burlap to the felt right away (I did each one as I cut) to keep my burlap from fraying.  Before I glued each piece of burlap down I ran an iron over it to make it nice and flat.  I used a paw print stamp and archival stamp pad to make my paw prints (again going over them with paint) 20140917_152327.  To make my “Got Rescue” letters I used some wood letters that I purchased at Walmart and painted them with red glossy craft paint.  20140917_151456.  To make the question mark I flipped an “S” backward and cut part of it off.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful.  For more tutorials check out my Craft Page and/or sign up to follow my blog.  Here is a picture of what my sweet labs were doing while I was working on this tutorial:


If you are an animal lover consider following my blog for pet news, Pet Rescue Art and free tutorials for fun projects for you and your pet.  I post 1-3 times per week on my blog and daily on my Facebook and Pinterest pages.


Rescue On!




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Pet Rescue Art: Pawprints and hearts is what it’s all about!

Pet Rescue Art:  Pawprints and hearts is what it’s all about!

They say that if we reflect on whatever it is that dominates our time tells it will tell us what we love the most.  For myself and my husband our first love is our house full of rescued pets.  When I sit down to paint it is very rare that it ever occurs to me to paint something that isn’t about pet rescue.  I will never get rich painting pet rescue art but it is what comes from my heart and for me it is a way I can help animals that I cannot adopt myself.

20140905_174126 In 2013 I made up my own definition of the word rescue and it has been creeping in to my art ever since.  This is an acrylic painting that I recently finished.  I wanted to make a colorful but simple way to highlight what rescue is all about; an action that brings great things to rescuer and rescuee.  This acrylic on canvas is 20X16 and it is highly textured.  The texture in the hearts is different than the texture of the paw print.   I have been having a lot of fun with modeling paste lately; texture adds such nice richness to paintings and the changes in surface allow for really cool dry brush effects to add richness to colors.

side view When I paint on canvas I stick with a canvas that has at least a 1.5 inch mounting board.  I like the space it affords me to wrap my paintings around the canvas.  I might just be a simple girl but another favorite aspect of painting on mounted canvas is that my paintings do not need framing…the cost of framing is absurd these days!

This painting is for sale at my Shop.  What do you think of this one?


Here are some other creations that have been born out of my rescue definition…I guess I am a bit stuck on this concept!

dog tag necklace 006

These are dog tag necklaces that I sell at my shop and have used for auction items at pet rescue events to raise money for homeless animals.  They are always a hit at rescue events.

These ornaments were a ton of fun to make.   I made them out of paper mache hearts that I covered with illustrations from Golden Books.  I have a free tutorial on how I made these ornaments on my Craft Page.  There is one set for sale at my Shop.

Front imprint close up cat dog large imprint dog back imprint cat back close up

This is one of my handmade cards for celebrating pet adoption.

rescue cards 002

If you are a rescue advocate consider following my blog for rescue news, rescue inspired art and all sorts of pet gift and craft ideas…I love creating new things for the pets and pet lovers and sharing those ideas with others!   My Craft Page is full of free tutorials and my ETSY shop is full of reasonably priced gifts for the pet lover.

Rescue On!








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Pawffiti…important messages from the pets we love…

Pet Rescue Themed Art

I call this style of painting Pawffiti…important messages from the pets we love.  I finished this one last week, its 12x16x1.5…what do you think?

main pic

















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Gift tags for the pet lover

Hand made gift tags for the pet lover!

good imprint

I love making packages pretty and personal, don’t you?

What do you think of these gift tags?

I made a set for myself and put three sets up for sale on my shop.  I am charging $6.99 for four – does that seem like a fair price?

Rescue On,


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Prevent Pet Poisoning

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Monthmr yukc

Pet poisonings are far more common than we think and usually come from household items that we tend to believe would be harmless to our pets (things like sugarless gum).  I am attaching an article I wrote last year about how my husband and I poison proof our home, garage and yard.  We also talk about what the experts recommend you do (or not do) if your pet is poisoned; we had our own poison incident many years ago, it turned out fine but we went in to panic mode and missed some key actions we should have taken.

Article: Prevent Pet Poisoning

Rescue On,


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The reality of pet theft

kringles in car seatPet Theft

Who wants to think about pet theft?  I sure don’t and frankly in the past I never thought much about it…that is until one day we got an alert via our local newspaper…a home, not too far from ours had been robbed.  What was the only thing the robbers took?  The family dog.  This news story really started me thinking more about this topic more and given that February 14th is National Pet Theft Awareness Day I thought I should do my part to spread some awareness.  Pet theft is real and it can happen to any of us.

According to PetFinder at least 5 million pets are reported missing each year.  Of that 5 million it is believed that 2 million are stolen and only 10% of those of stolen are recovered.  According to the AKC the top five breeds that are stolen are Yorkies, Chihuahaus, Pomeranians, Labs and Frenchies.    The AKC also reports that the number of pet thefts has been increasing every year since 2008.  Ok, here is the rough part and the big reason why we all need to think about protecting our pets from thieves…the pernicious reasons why these creepy people steal our pets.  This is a tough list to stomach but here are the leading reasons pets are stolen;

  • to be sold to laboratories for experiments
  • to be held until the thief can collect a reward from you
  • to be used as bait dogs to train fighters
  • to be used as breeders
  • to be used as meat to feed exotics (i.e. snakes, etc)
  • to be used as meat for human consumption
  • to be used as fur
  • to be sold in pet stores
  • to be used in satanic rituals (black dogs and cats especially)
  • to be used in sadistic acts

source:Pet Finder

dealing dogsIf your interested in more information on this nefarious underworld of stealing and using pets there is an HBO Documentary that focuses on the topic.  It is available on Amazon for $19.95.

I know for most of us it is almost to much to process.  How can anyone even think of a sweet pet being used in such ways but the reality is that it does happen and it can happen to any of us in an instant.

So what can we do as pet parents to protect our pets?

The absolute Golden Rule for protecting your pet from theft is simply to never leave your pet unattended.  Pets are routinely stolen from yards (especially dogs that are tied in the front yard unattended), when unattended in cars or tied up outside a shop where the owner is just running in for a minute or two.  I have a six foot fenced back yard and I still won’t leave my pets out unattended.

Other really important things you can do are;

  • Microchip your pet – I can’t emphasize this enough.  Your odds of recovering your pet are so much higher if your pet is micro-chipped.  There are many, many stories of lost micro-chipped pets being returned to their families even years after they had originally went missing. The Microchip is also undeniable proof that the pet is your if there is a dispute.  If you want to learn more about micro-chipping talk to your vet or check out Home Again or AVID.
  • Spay/neuter your pet. It’s obvious, your pet is less likely to be taken for breeding purposes if it can’t breed.  A pet that is spayed/neutered is also less likely to wander.
  • Have plenty of pictures of your pet handy and know any special identifying physical marks on your pet (moles, missing teeth, the color of the wick on their claws, etc.). The burden will be on you to prove that a cat or dog is yours if someone has stolen it and is claiming it as their own.
  • Be part of a community effort to help recover lost or stolen pets.  You can sign up on Home Again to get an email alert anytime a pet is missing in your area.
  • Don’t turn a blind eye when something doesn’t look right.  If you think a pet theft is in process call the police immediately.

What if the unthinkable happens and our pet is stolen?  Well, thankfully there is a lot we can do but it is important to act fast.

  • Call the police and your local animal control to report your pet missing (and any shelter/rescue groups in the area).  Check with your local animal control/pound daily.
  • Call the local vet clinics and animal hospitals in your area and let them know your pet is missing (give them a picture if you can).
  • Start with your neighborhood and move out from there canvasing with fliers to let people know your pet is missing.
  • Contact your local news outlets and ask them if they do alerts for missing pets (many of them will).
  • Get information out about your lost pet via social media – good people will spread the word fast to help find a pet (watch out for scam artists who will claim to have your pet and want a reward).
  • Watch for any local ads that are advertising the sale of a pet that matches the description of yours.

There are web resources you can use.  You can get a pet amber alert at  They do charge for their service but it is worth contacting their pet detectives to find out about the service (1-877-875-7387).  You can also post information about your lost or stolen pet on the following sites Pet Finder, Missing Pet and Findfido.   There is also a facebook page; StopPetTheft that you can post to.

I realize this is a dark subject that none of us likes to think about but pet theft is real and it can happen to any of us.  The more aware and prepared we are the less the likely we ever face such a terrible situation.  I hope you found this helpful.

Rescue On!