Saturday, March 28, 2015

Personalized Home-Warming Gift

Silent Saturday? Instead of a Wordless Wednesday?

I wanted a personalized house-warming gift for my friend who recently moved out of state.

Capital "M" for the their last name.
State Maps from where my friend:
1. Met her husband
2. Had her kids
3. Moved to recently


Cut around the cities where she lived. 
Tore edges and overlapped the map pieces.

Sealed with Mod Podge in matte finish.


I really liked how this turned out...think I'll make one for us. Its a fun way to tell our story. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Upcycled Beer Bottle Caps

I just can't let anything go to waste. My husband can testify to the mounds of "junk" that gets stacked everywhere. Just today I was telling him of a recent epiphany: I have an aversion to empty space and feel compelled to put something in said empty space. After ten years of marriage, this wasn't news to him. Seems he knows me better than I know myself! 

This is a few months worth of beer bottle caps originally collected for a tray makeover, an idea that I never totally committed too. 

Here the caps were sorted either according to color or interesting picture. 

PROJECT 1: Magnets
My sister collects beer bottle stickers and adores a good home brew from the state of her birth. I thought these magnet caps would make a cute house-warming gift for her newish place.

Magnets seem like a pretty straightforward craft project, one would think. How can you screw up magnets + glue + bottle cap? Oh, it can be done. Especially if the wrong glue is used. 

not the best glue choice for this project
Magnet Bottle Caps FAIL
I had made letter magnets to help the kids learn how to spell our ridiculously long last name. Great idea but the wrong glue quickly had the caps falling to the floor and under the fridge. Its a "fun" way to find out that you can rearrange the letters in your name to spell lame

Usually Tacky Glue is a favorite of mine but something about the plastic in the bottle cap and the plastic coated magnet just didn't gel with the Glue. 

Using Gorilla Glue presented its own problem: ugly bubbly. 

When all was said and done, the magnets came out cute! As a plus, they work! No falling to the floor and hanging out under the fridge. 

Project 2: Alphabet Letter Match
Upper Case & Lower Case

This project is left over from my teaching days. In class we used lima beans with the lower case letters written on them. After a few uses, though, the lima beans would start to break apart. Grrrrrrr! 

The board is actually laminated construction paper. The upper case letters were a set of stamps from Oriental Trading Company (some ten years ago). 

All these bottle caps had a gold base and the tops only were coated with chalk paint from Hobby Lobby. I used actual chalk to write the lower case letters, then sprayed with a clear coat of spray paint. 
To sharpen the letters, I retraced in chalk and resprayed. 

Already to go.

There is still a decent amount of bottle caps to use and no shortage of future caps to be added! 

Hmmmm, maybe save enough to make my own Halloween costume???? 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Glass Hoarder: Distressed Pieces

I'm a sucker for quirky glass jars/vases/jugs, etc. I have absolutely no practical use for them but they are too cute to pass up!

My husband does not share in the enthusiasm, but he's a good sport about my glass hoarding as long as I keep it contained to a couple areas.

Have you seen the amazing distressed glasses at Anderson and Grant??? It was the inspiration for a few of the more fun glass pieces in my collection. Her page also has a fantastic tutorial to follow.

displayed above my kitchen cabinets

Dollar Tree Salt & Pepper Shakers

Home-made Chalkpaint in some beige color from my paint hoard...yes, glass jars and paint "collector"
 The jars above include: rum jug, spagetti jar, honey jar, maple syrup jar, and other fun finds. On occasion I have been known to buy a certain brand of sauce based on my attraction to the jar verses its contents. 

is it me, or does this kinda look like worms?

luckily the finished product didn't turn out looking like worms, lol

The jars aren't sealed yet in case I want to change the color. Day2daysupmom's colorful take on the same idea is also intriguing.

The salt & pepper shakers were sealed, though, with polycrylic. There is an imminent future of grubby hands leaving all manner of sauces and goo on their pretty selves. 

love these made-over dollar store shakers

A question for other glass hoarders: What do you do with your quirky finds? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Face-Lift for a Medicine Cabinet turned Shelf

 This is a much needed face-lift on one of my first ever DIY projects (click here for original post, its boring, you've been warned). I'm sure its not unusual to "play it safe" when one first starts out with DIY home renovation/decoration. This original post is a solid example of that! 

When we bought our town home it had these lovely, gorgeous, 80's style bathroom cabinets. I know, you're jealous and wish you had them, too.

Just kidding. They're ugly & out-dated but structurally sound. It seemed a waste to toss it out.

Here's the how-to: 

typo correction: draw evenly spaced lines

Home-made Chalk Paint in Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams (a hazmat find: click here to see my post on getting free paint at the local hazmat.)


To achieve the desired color was a too step process: coat one was home made chalk paint in Trattoria Teal. I've used this color in several projects recently: fence-pieces-to-bookshelf and turquoise-dining-chairs
It takes on a greener hue when coated with Dark Walnut Stain, another look I'm favoring as well, which was step two.

In addition to coating the edges with stain, I also lightly wiped it over the faux-wood planks in random spots. It added dimension to the color. 

Close-up of the finished faux-wood after a light
application of stain in random spots.

VAST improvement with a little bit of paint & stain. 
After curing it will be sealed with polycrylic. 

Some Close-up Shots:

I'm in love with the finished product. ~smitten~

What do you think?

My PinterventuresFeatured via The Kolb Corner for Merry Monday.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reusable Grocery Bag Upcycle

We get a lot of mileage out of our reusable grocery bags. "Load 'em up," I ask the bagger, fewer trips from the car to the house. 

This poor bag had one too many groceries shoved into it and the strap broke off. The print was too adorable to toss it out. 

So: I turned it into a car caddy for my daughter: 

1. cut off straps
2. fold bag into itself and glue down (I used Tacky Glue)

3. thread elastic strip through one of the straps
4. stretch out and use sewing machine to secure to inside of bag
5. reattach strap to use when hanging the bag 

I had some difficulty with step 4. My first attempt was a fail...the bag hung open too much. 
So....I readjusted the elastic (tediously used the seam ripper to remove then re-stretch it further) 
Then, folded over the top sides near the strap and stitched them down.  
oh, that's embarrassing...forgot to remove the staples after gluing/stitching the straps on 
can we pretend you don't see them? ;)

It still hangs open more than I pictured, but the bag is deep enough so the items are secure. 

To fix the "saggy look" I just folded the top over. 

Hopefully this will eliminate the plethora of paper, crayons, books, toys, and water bottles that previously carpeted the van floor. 

~fingers crossed~