Friday, August 24, 2012

17. Free Rustic Gift Boxes (Recycled Boxes)

My friend at work came up with this idea because we ran out of brown mailing paper. It was such a great idea I decided it could be used for gift boxes as well!

First I took apart a box. (Cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc. all work great! Take it apart carefully.) Actually I didn't do a great job on this one but I wanted to show you how to fix it if needed.

I had to trim off this extra where the cardboard tore.

 Next I folded it all backwards and used hot glue to put it back together inside out.

I inserted the gift, then hot glued the end shut. (Tape is fine also.)

I added ribbon and twine. (Lace or tulle is great also.)

I tied a little knot in the twine, it helps it not to unravel.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

16. Paper Bead Necklaces

I like seeing the words on this one!

Paper beads are not new, not my original idea. But, this is my version and what I learned when I tried it.

I used magazines. First I cut triangle shaped pieces of paper. I varied the size and shape and of course it affected the way the beads turned out. Wider paper made a wider bead. Thicker paper made a fatter bead, etc. I even found some use for beads made from rectangles.

This bead is made so that it would have blue edges and white in the middle, this is due to the way I cut the paper.

I used Elmer's Glue and rolled the paper up by hand. You might want to roll around something small but I didn't find that necessary.

Here is my well used bottle of glue and my bead..

After the beads dried well, I put them on a wire and painted them with fingernail polish. I especially liked the pearly white look of some white polishes. I hung them off of a curtain rod to dry but however you can hang them so they don't touch anything will work.

After the beads dried, I arranged them. I worked my way out from the center and strung them on jewelry wire. You can buy it and findings at any craft store. I also used a variety of beads I bought to complement my paper beads. I didn't shy away from plastic, I didn't care what the beads were as long as they complemented my paper ones.

Last I measured my neck so it would be the the size I wanted. (For my daughters, I made the necklaces a little smaller.) I used a variety of closures, I don't really have an opinion on what is best. I just stuck the wire ends back through several beads and made sure it wouldn't come loose and poke us in the neck. It was a fun little craft! I spent a lot of time doing this and kept a box of supplies under my coffee table. I got them out when we were watching a movie but for now, I've moved on. I have some new ideas so maybe I'll return to my beading someday...

Here are several necklaces I made.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15. Table Redo

This was a used table I got for my daughter. It is solid wood and from a distance didn't look bad. Up close it had some damage to the finish and she wanted a darker color.

I used an old sander we had around the house. I was able to sand the top of the table and the top of the stools really well. I didn't do a great job on the legs since it was much more difficult. My daughter and I decided it would be best to paint them. I had sanded them enough that they were at least scuffed up, so I applied primer, then paint. Then I used antiquing glaze. So far everything was water based and clean up was easy. It took a little work to make the antiquing look right. I used 2 foam brushes and a smaller artist brush to get the glaze in the corners, etc.

Next, I applied a few coats of stain. This was really messy and ate through my rubber gloves (they were cheap and thin.) I used foam brushes and rags. (Surely, there is a better way.)

My last step was to apply polyurethane. I bought a good brush for this and some mineral spirits to clean it. I put 2 coats on the legs and 3 on the top of the table and the stools. I had some trouble with runs and drips on the legs (and if you look for them, you can still find some.)

Here is the "after." My daughter is happy with the overall look and I told her the little imperfections give the furniture character. There are actually 2 more stools that didn't make it into the picture. They are done just like these.

Friday, August 10, 2012

14. Easy Quilted Throw and Pillow

When my kids were small they liked using their baby quilts while watching movies and playing in the family room. As they grew, I wanted to save those, so I made some similar size quilts. This is actually my 2nd set and we use these every day! We have 2 of the quilts and 2 pillows.

The quilts were made with strips of fabric sewn on the machine. I laid this on quilt batting, then on a piece of a sheet. I pinned it all together and used yarn ties since I didn't want to take time to actually quilt it all. I finished the edges by hand after trimming the excess batting. It wasn't too difficult even for those who have never attempted a quilt.

I also wanted to point out that the pillow cases I made to match are removable. Every couple of weeks I wash and dry it all, so I feel it is fresh and clean.

This is the back. It overlaps, but it's not difficult to insert the pillow.

Friday, August 3, 2012

13. Folding Chair Redo

My daughter actually started this redo. Unfortunately, I don't have the true before pictures. We had 2 of these chairs and found 2 more at Salvation Army for $1 each. She was on her way to grad school and it seemed like an appropriate choice for her. (Easy to move and affordable.) She painted them with Rust-Oleum. They were pretty scuffed up so she choose the hammered look paint. Then she used some bright and very inexpensive fabric. I think she got it on Wal-Mart's bargain table for $1 a yard. She actually purchased a few yards and made some matching things like pillows for her couch and a valance for her window. Now, 2 years later, she has a good job and plans to purchase some nice chairs. I decided I wanted to keep these to have on hand when we have company, but her bright fabric clashed with my kitchen and dining room.


First, I took them apart. They just have a few screws and it is not difficult to see how they work.

She had just taped the fabric on in the past and it seemed to work well. When it is assembled, the metal holds everything in place. I was worried that everything was too thick, so I took off the green fabric and cut back the quilt batting she used.  I taped it at the edges to hold it in place.

Note that the bottom of the chair is in pretty bad shape. These are really old, but seem sturdy.

Next, I cut my fabric a little larger the the chair bottom. Then, I just started folding it over and taping. I did this all the way around. Be careful on the corners. You don't want to cover the area where the screws go and you need to sort of arrange the puckers so they look nice.

Next, I began to reassemble the bottom. It is in two pieces so the tape is inside where no-one will see it. 

Now, I started on the back. Again I just took it apart, cut fabric a little larger and taped it on. I wasn't as worried about the thickness here so I just put everything over the top of what was already there.  

I did have to be extra careful not to cover the screw holes.  I cut slits to help with this and taped carefully in this area.

Next, I just reassembled and I'm done!

12. Another Way to Use Marker and Alcohol to Decorate

I still wasn't satisfied with my grandbaby's outfit. (See the beginning of this craft adventure in July 2012, it was number 10.)

I decided to try adding some alcohol since I had seen the tie dye idea where you use alcohol and permanent markers. I had already drawn the design and I just used a couple cotton swaps to put dots of alcohol over the line I made with the marker.

It looks interesting and I need to buy another t-shirt or something so I can try this again!

11. Decorative Chalkboard with Chalk Holder

I'm sure if you spend time on Pinterest you have seen all types of decorative chalkboards. Silly me, I kept thinking "Where will I keep my chalk?"

I have also seen many things made from plastic shampoo and lotion bottles so I had the idea to make a matching chalk holder.

These can be hung on the wall, they have ribbons at the top for that purpose.

I used a tray from Dollar Tree for my chalkboard and used the chalkboard contact paper. For this purpose, paint may be better. It was difficult to position the contact paper but that is what I had, so I used it. For the chalkboard shown below, I used foam stickers to decorate. However, mine were old so I had to use a little hot glue to hold them on. I poked a hole to add the ribbon. It left some sharp edges on the back so I put hot glue over it to protect fingers.

For the chalk holder, I used a green transparent shampoo bottle. I cut it with scissors but had trouble getting the edges smooth so I used electric tape to cover them. (I like electric tape - it's stretchy. Do they make it in colors?) I used a little foil to add some silver and more electric tape. Again I poked a hole in order to add the ribbon for the hanger. That's about it, easy as can be.

Here's another!