Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Quick and Easy Pillow Slip Cover

Show of hands...who has ever tossed a pillow because it had a stain or because it just didn't match your decor anymore?  Well, what if I told you that there was a way that you could EASILY recover those pillows and make them match any decor?  There is a way and I'm going to show you how.  Let me reiterate - these are easy to make.  If you know me, you know sewing isn't a ton of fun for me and if I have to sew more than a few straight lines I won't even attempt it.  So without further ado....


I made my slip cover out of jeans that I picked up at a thrift store.  But you could use any piece of fabric that matches your decor.  Try using thrift store finds like sheets, curtains and clothing for a unique look on your pillows.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Easy Peasy Tie Cuff Bracelet

I love easy jewelry making projects!  Today I'll show you how to make a cuff bracelet from a thrift store tie and an old button with little more than a glue gun.  Yep, that's right....no jewelry tools are required.  Here are a few that I've made:


You'll need a few supplies that you're likely to have in your crafting arsenal already:

- Glue; both hot glue and E6000®
- Small scrap of felt
- A button, piece of broken jewelry or some other embellishment of your choosing
- A cuff bracelet blank
- Several binder clips (AKA: alligator clips)
- And....a tie, silk or otherwise

Of course there is a video tutorial for this one that you'll want to watch for all the little tips and tricks.  But in a nutshell, here's how I made these bracelets:

1. Cut your tie so the it completely covers the front of your bracelet blank with enough extra to fold over the edges.  It is best if it does not completely cover the back.
2. Use a bit of hot glue along the edges on the back to tack your tie into place.
3. Cut a piece of felt big enough to cover all of the rough edges that you just hot glued into place but small enough that it's not visible from the front of the bracelet.  Use E-6000 to glue it into place.
4.  Use your binder clips to hold the felt in place while it dries.
5.  Glue your embellishment (with E-6000) into place on the front of the bracelet and clip it into place with another binder clip.
6.  Let everything dry for an hour and remove your clips.  And, viola! Your cuff tie bracelet is done!

Monday, August 11, 2014

DIY Paper Bead Stretch Bracelet

I'm officially sick of the rain.  It's bad enough that it's chased me back inside to work on jewelry rather than playing in the garden or with power tools.  But, rather than be blue, I thought I'd whip up a little video tutorial to show you how to make your very own stretchy paper bead bracelet.


There are no jewelry tools required for this bracelet and it's as easy to make as it is to wear! All you'll need is:

  • Paper beads
  • A few store bought beads or smaller paper beads if you prefer
  • Stretch Magic beading cord
  • A dab of Krazy Glue
  • A pair of scissors 
Don't forget I have lots of paper bead making tutorials over on my YouTube channel.  So if you need some help making your paper beads, be sure to check out some of my other video tutorials.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Starbucks Cups to Earrings? Sure, Why Not?

About a month ago, I received a text from my brother.  It read, "Guess we are going to have some upcycled stuff at our house soon."  My twelve year old niece, Mikayala, was visiting him and wanted to do a project...a surprise project.  So the first place she looked for ideas was MY blog.  This was a proud day indeed!  My first familial convert, another dumpster diver in family.  The project that she picked was my most popular post to date, How to Make a Soup Can Herb Garden:


Not too shabby, eh? She used a power drill and everything to complete her project!  Proud. Day. In. Deed.  So this week, when she suggested that the design on her Starbucks cup would make for a cute pair of heart shaped earrings, I said "OK! Let's do it."  AND, "Let's make a video tutorial while we're at it."

We made quite a few pairs of these earrings in both heart and star shapes and they ranged in difficulty level from, "so easy a 5 year old could do 'em" to "okay, an adult could wear these too."  Here are a couple:



I hope you'll swing by my YouTube channel to see how we made these and show a little love to Mikayla for her YouTube debut!  After all, she did do her nails for you! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to Make a Bird Feeder from a Liquor Bottle

Anyone else have baby birds galore in their yard?  With lots of little mouths to feed, wouldn't it be nice to help out the adult birds with an extra feeder or two? I've been making and selling these fabulously upcycled bird feeders for two years now.  I only sell them at festivals, farmers markets and the like.  Because they are so expensive to ship, you won't find them in my Etsy shop anymore.  So I thought, why not show the rest of the world how I make them.  Check it out, I officially call them Booze Bottle Bird Feeders:


They're pretty easy to make once you get past the drilling a hole in glass part.  But, remember, I showed you how to do that in my last post.  You'll need just a few supplies:

1.  Wine or liquor bottle with the original cap or a cork
2.  A thrift store plate
3.  A 12-18" (ish) length of copper wire
4.  Vice Grip (best ten bucks I've spent in a long time!)
5.  Clear Silicone
6.  And if you don't already have one, a Diamond Hole Saw for drilling your holes in the bottle

Once you've drilled your holes in the "booze" bottle, you can use your vice grip to shape and coil the copper wire around the neck of the bottle to form your hanger.  Then simply add a solid bead of silicone adhesive to the bottom of your bottle and press it into place on your plate.  Set it aside to cure and in a short three hours time, you'll have your very own booze bottle bird feeder.  Now go raid your recycle bin...or the neighbors and get to it!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How to Drill a Hole in Glass...or Ceramic

I have such a bad habit of "forgetting" to blog during the summer months.  There's just so much to do, so many projects just a waitin' to be completed!  But I'm taking a breather, albeit a brief breather, to share a quickie how-to video that you can find on my YouTube channel.


Okay, so this project isn't exactly upcycled.  But once you know how to drill a hole in glass there are so many things that you can upcycle.  Not the least of which is my ever-popular Booze Bottle Bird Feeders...which by the way I will be showing you how to make next time.  Here's a sneak peek.


It's not that hard to drill a hole in glass IF you know the right way to do it and in my video, I not only show you how but I also show you how NOT to drill a hole in glass.  So gather up your supplies and meet me over on YouTube for the full instructions (and a little humor as you watch me screw up right before your very eyes).  Here's what you'll need:

  • A glass or ceramic vessel of your choosing
  • Diamond Hole Saw or, for those of you with far more patience than I....a Glass & Tile Drill Bit)
  • Hand Drill or better yet, a Drill Press if you have it
  • A tub of water just large enough to submerge your glass/ceramic vessel into
  • And don't forget the Safety Glasses!

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Oh So Upcycled Piece of Pallet Wall Art

So I made a fabulous little piece of wall art, and boy is it upcycled!  It all started with a few planks from a discarded pallet.  Then I added some paint from the "oopsie" paint table from my local Lowes and flowers made from thrifted T-shirts and scrap fabric.


Assembling the "canvas" portion of the artwork was the easy part.  Yes, I had to use a few power tools but it really was quite quick.  The steps are below, but if you'd like to see it done you can view the YouTube video here.

1.  Cut several planks from a pallet (or other pieces of weathered scrap wood) to the same size and sand them before proceeding
2.  Cut two more pieces of scrap wood to act as supports across the backside of the canvas
3.  Drill two pilot holes in one of the pieces and screw in your eye screws
4.  Glue and screw your support pieces into the planks
5.  Attach your picture wire

And that's that...for the canvas.

The artwork itself wasn't difficult but it was bit more involved. I found it easiest to prepare all my pieces and do a rough layout before making anything permanent.  I started with several flowers made from T-shirts.  These are a very simple flower that you can make from T-shirts or any other fabric scraps that you already have.  Check out the video tutorial of the flowers here.

To make the stems and the shaped flower petals I simple wrapped some craft wire with T-shirt and other scraps, securing it with a little E6000 Adhesive.  I used the same adhesive to attach all fabric pieces to the pallet canvas.  But before I did that, I used my Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine
to cut all of the letters out from contact paper.  I applied the letters to the pallet canvas and used a dry brush to paint over them.  Then I removed the contact paper and used a paint pen to make the letters pop.  You can see it ALL done in this video tutorial.
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