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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Four Upcycled Creations That are for the Birds!

Baby season is upon us....for birds and other creatures who call your yard home it is anyway.  Wouldn't it be nice to offer a helping hand to all those new little families?  Especially if you can add some whimsy to your yard and garden for not a lot of cash at the same time.  Check out these four super quick, cheap and upcycled pieces that grace my garden:

Just have to have one?  You will not believe how incredibly simple each one of these is to make!

1.  Seed Feeder made from a thrifted bud vase, plate and planter
2.  Hummingbird Feeder made from a wine bottle
3.  Bird Bath made from a thrifted plant pot and a decorative bowl
4.  Nest Box made from a thrifted tea kettle and a piece of pallet wood

Most of these projects required not much more than silicone adhesive to complete and are a snap to make!

Which one will you make?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Make a Strawberry Pot from a Kitty Litter Bucket

If you've been a follower of my blog for any length of time, you know that I love a good Kitty Litter Bucket upcycle!  Who remembers my Kitty Litter Bucket Garden Helper?

Well today, I have a new one...a strawberry pot.  

And, of course, I had to add a little hint (grow babies, grow!).  Yes, there's a tutorial for carving rocks, too:

So, how did I make my strawberry pot you ask.  Well, of course I made a video tutorial for it but here are the instructions:

1.  Using a Hole Saw,make holes in the sides of your kitty litter bucket.  In a smaller Tidy Cats litter bucket I can comfortably fit 3 holes in the narrow side and four on the wider side.  In the larger bucket I like 4 and 5 holes.

2.  Prepare and paint the outside surface of the litter bucket.

3.  Fit a piece of landscapers fabric (or old window screen) to the inside of your bucket and make an X-shaped opening in the fabric everywhere you drilled a hole.

4.  Fill the bottom of your bucket with a nutrient rich soil/compost mixture to the first row of holes and then insert a strawberry plant into each opening.

5.  Add more soil to the second row and add more plants, then to the third row...

6.  Add a few plants to the top of your bucket and place in a sunny location.

7.  Enjoy your strawberries!

So tell me, how do you reuse your kitty litter buckets?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How to Carve a House Number Plaque from Pallet Wood

My final little DIY project for mom and dad's Mailbox Makeover is this scrap wood house number plaque that I carved with my Dremel.

It's big, you can see it clear down the road...that's what I was going for.  Unfortunately, as the parents age we have to think about things like clearly marked house numbers for the ambulance.  A lesson learned when my dad started having unexplained seizures last summer.  He's better, but big numbers are a good thing.  And this one is totally unique, not another one like it on the block.

This was a pretty easy project.  After painting my wood, I used a High Speed Cutter
in my Dremel to carve the numbers.  Then a few eye screws and a couple plant hooks were all I needed to hang the plaque.  Of course I whipped up a video tutorial so be sure to check it out.

And that wraps up the Mailbox Makeover.  Here's one more look at the finished project:

If you missed my post on that DIY pallet wood edging you can find it here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

YAAAAAY! Spring Has Sprung!

Happy Spring everyone, it is my favorite time of the year!! Everything is awakening from their Winter Slumber, flowers are starting to show their pretty little heads and the sun (should be) making a few more appearances than it has been.  For many of you, Spring indicates the start of Spring cleaning...not for me.  Unless of course you're referring to cleaning up the garden and outdoor living spaces, then I'm all for Spring Cleaning.

If the same goes for you, then you'll likely be painting something(s).  So check out this disaster:

A rocking chair or two on the front porch is as Southern as fried chicken and since I live in the South...this hot mess just won't do.  However, prepping this baby for painting was NOT going to be fun.  I don't sand anything by hand and my palm sander wouldn't fit between all those spindles.  Enter the Coarse Drill Radial Wire Brush, the best eight bucks I ever spent!

Talk about steel wool on steroids!  This bad boy made such quick work of removing all the loose, chippy paint that I decided to do the wicker love seat too.

After a couple coats of paint and poly here's what we have:

Oh so much better, no?  And the pretty love seat to match, it too was covered in chippy white paint:

The pillows even received a makeover.  They were super faded so they were covered with handmade slip covers.

What will you be "cleaning" this week?
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