Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Denim Flowers

Found this wonderful idea at // Between the Lines //:

Materials Already On-Hand:         Cost of Project: $0
Denim material
Scissors, thread, needle

The amount of material used for the flower barely covered the pocket of a pre-preggo skirt that was stuffed away in the "someday-I'll-fit-back-into-this" pile.

Since the material was very dark I used my fingernails to fray the petal edges to create more character. A friend suggested adding a button to the center of the flower. Hmmmmm...

Ways to use this: clip onto a bag/purse, add to a scarf, make a mini one for a headband, adorn a pillow. Lots of ways this could be used. I look forward to making more and sharing the possibilities with you! 

Here are the directions from // Between the Lines //:

denim flowers :: a DIY

Tin Can Lanterns

Materials Already On-Hand:              
tin cans, towel
nails and hammer
needle nose pliers
assortment of acrylic paint, brushes
tea lights or other short candle
wire hangers

Materials Bought:                             Cost of Project: $1.00-ish
Spray Paint (about 98cents at Walmart)

Fill cans with water almost to the top and freeze. 
Roll towel up on sides to keep the tin from rolling while pounding the nails. 

I used three different nail sizes to create a variety of holes. Also, varied the depth to which I pounded them in. Pushed to widest part of nail to create larger holes and stuck with just the tip of the nail to make a smaller hole. 

Spray inside of tin with white spray paint to increase the glowing effect. 

I used coat hangers from the dry cleaners as hanging wire. One hanger for two lanterns. Used needle nose pliers to manipulate the stiff wire. 

I liked the original effect of the shiny gray tin but used acrylic paint on-hand out of curiosity. While colorful, they lack luster. Think I'll add something clear and shiny on top to bring back some shine to the outside. 

Live and Learn: 
Forgot to pound in extra holes near the rim to thread the wire through. Tried to add the holes afterwards but couldn't pound in the nails without the ice inside. This time I threaded the wire through existing holes further down which interfered with some of the patterns and light dispersion. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Peppermint Candy Crafts

These can be wrapped in a sandwich bag 
or piece of cellophane,
tied off, and give as gifts.
Or as a special treat in someone special's lunch box. 

Found this idea for peppermint serving trays at:

All of the ideas below came from the one bag of candies from the dollar store with three left over. 

Materials On Hand:                   Project Cost: about $5.00
Kabob Sticks

Materials Purchased: 
bag of Peppermints $1.00
Parchment Paper $4.00ish   (can use wax paper instead)

Pre-heat oven to 350degrees. Bake 8-10 minutes.

While waiting for the trays to melt I found some kabob sticks and tried making festive lollipops. Using a sharp knife I shortened the sticks while removing the sharp end. Then I pounded the ragged edge on the counter to dull the end.

On the "flower" one I set the middle peppermint on top of the stick and balanced it with the surrounding candies so it wouldn't tilt sideways.

All three Peppermint Lollipops baked securely to the stick. I think these would make a great Thank You present for teachers or fun stocking-stuffers. Since they are thin and fragile they will need a little TLC while wrapping and transporting.

Next Year (2013) I'm going to try and make something like this from Crafty Misadventures.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Braided T-Shirt Headband -- Updated

I love the bright color of this old shirt from Old Navy. It was too pretty to just toss or turn into rags after some bleach stained the front. Glad it was able to be Renewed and Reused! It is a very stretchy material...which posed a problem  later on. Following the directions I cut three strips across and then snipped one side to create three long strips. 

The website said to braid it tightly so I secured the knot to a pillow which allowed me to tug on the strips and make a tight braid. Notice where the seam is in the picture...again, this material is stretchy, not your usual t-shirt material.

Here is the braid at half point where the seam is. Its already too big for my head so I decide to end the braid here. I cut it at the seam and knotted it.

Then I braided the other half less tightly. Notice the length and width difference. 


 Here is a photo of the second headband. Its tied in a knot at the base of my neck.

I love how easy this idea is and plan to play around with it some more. 

One suggestion I want to try is to replace the knot with a portion of hair-tie so that it can be slipped on without having to tie it every time. Of course, this might work better with a less stretchy material. 

The first attempt at the braided headband did not survive a trip to the gym. Not sure if its the material or because my hair is a bit thin. 

So I un-braided the two strands and then re-braided it so the band is a bit thicker. I still have to secure it on the sides with a bobby pin so it survives the treadmill! The thicker band feels more secure and looks better. 

Mini "Deck"

This came from a Freecycle post for free lumber. The picture below shows the "deck" with some of the wood pried away. I replaced the damaged pieces with newer pieces from the same free cycle post. 

This can of outdoor stain was also at the same Freecycle post. As you can see from the picture, the gallon is mostly used but had enough left for me to stain the "deck." I still have some left over. Its great that none of this was wasted or dumped somewhere where it might hurt the environment. Its a great Reuse from a big project to a small project. (I'm guessing most of the stain went to a larger deck that they were staining.)

Materials On Hand:
Outdoor Latex Stain

Materials Bought:                 Total Project Cost: 25cents
25cents worth of screws and nails from the ReStore. 
Clink link here to find a Restore in your area:

This is our outdoor "step" before adding the "deck." We needed something so that the kids could get inside without stepping on the metal door frame (it gets HOT in the sun). Its functional but very small, especially for our adult feet. 

 And here is the finished project! Functional for little feet, big feet, and doggie feet! Good bye "stone steps!"

PS. This is one of my daughters favorite summer outfits. I hate the orange shorts but she loves color! 

Renewed Medicine Cabinet/Shelf

This is the ugly medicine cabinet that came with our master bathroom when we bought our home. Oh, what were they thinking in the 80's? UGLY! (It can't be said enough.)

Removed the doors and hardware, set both aside for some future use.
Washed, sanded, and primed.
Painted beige-ish in an eggshell finish. (Same eggshell paint used for the chest that came from Haz Mat.)

Secured to wall using two 3 inch toggle bolts, the same size that was used with the doors on. The final product was relocated to our half-bath downstairs. The decorations still need finishing but at least its functional at this point.

Materials On Hand:
Shelf/medicine cabinet
Eggshell Paint

Materials Purchased:
Toggle Bolts, roughly $2 at Home Depot

Live and Learn: When I drilled the holes in the wall I spaced them evenly from the edge of the walls. Mistake! The original drilling holes in the cabinet were not drilled evenly from the cabinet sides. Why? No idea. Guess it doesn't matter when you have doors on it. As a result, the cabinet-turned-shelf is not centered on the wall. It works out for us now since we keep our ironing board here and it fits perfectly. Will need to recenter it though before moving.

My motto for really big projects...although this one only took a couple of weeks!

A year from now you may wish you had started today.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Leaf Flower -- Updated

Curious to see how easy these flowers were to make I picked some fresh springs leaves and gave it a try. Easy and adorable! This is a keeper of an idea and I will most definitely make a bunch when the fall colors set in.

Materials On Hand:                                  Project Cost: $0
Floral Tape 


The larger flower took about seven leaves ranging from small to large. Wish this tree was closer to my house for easier access to these leaves. They are fun to make and am looking forward to experimenting more with this idea. 

Shag Rug

This is a fun idea found on The website lists 50 tutorials for Reusing, or Upcycling, t-shirts. I loved this idea so much that I'm going to make a bigger one! For the exact tutorial, click the link.

Materials Already On-Hand:           Project Cost: $0 (this time)
9-10 shirts
1 XL t-shirt
measuring tape
a lot of time

The XL shirt was an old t-shirt of my Hunny's. It was on its way to the it has been Renewed and Reused! (and we no longer have to look at the ugly stains on it!)

The finished product included a teal shirt raided from the garage sale pile. The colors don't match ANYTHING in our home decor, but I love its spunky textures. Its used as an accent rug on my side of the bed.

Notice the different textures. In addition to plain t-shirts or cotton shirts I also included a ribbed sweater, the lace from two camisoles, and the hems of all the shirts.

Soap Dispensers

This idea was adapted from a Mason Jar Soap/Lotion Dispenser from the following link:

I used only materials that were already in my home so this project cost $0. This is a great Reuse idea. Love the versatility of to find more interesting bottles/jars in my pantry...

Materials On-Hand:                              Project Cost: $0
Jar with matching lid
Drill or screwdriver and hammer
Soap/Lotion Dispenser to fit jar
Acrylic Paint
Clear Nail Polish
Liquid Soap

took a jam jar (center) to turn into a soap dispenser
used the dispenser from a soap bottle (left)

used acyrilc paint on the lid, then coated with clear nail polish

this is a Red Wine Vinegar bottle
instead of using the lid, I cut two horizontal slits across the opening to fit the  soap dispenser

this dispenser came from a family sized lotion bottle, it was the only one long enough to almost reach the bottom
this one holds dish washing soap 

Freecycle Find: toy chest to bedroom chest

I'm a "free" fanatic! This was part of a curb-alert posted on Craigslist that I responded to for a kids table and chair set. This goodie was too good to pass up so the chairs, table and box were wedged into the back of the van. My Hunny was none too happy seeing this dragged from the back of the van. "Its a piece of junk. Can we throw it away?"  "It has potential!" was my retort. After seeing the semi-finished project he now agrees. Its a convenient place to store all our winter blankets and little keepsakes from the kids. Its a keeper!
Box: free

washed, dried, sanded, fixed loose nails
Materials On-Hand:
Eggshell Paint in Creme color (free from the local Haz-Mat*)
Chocolate Sparkle Paint, left-overs from painting our dining room accent wall

Materials Bought:
Jacobean Stencil, roughly $5 at Michaels
Semi - Finished Product

No polyurethane, yet. Just waiting until it feels "done." Know what I mean?

Live and Learn: 
1. Since there is no polyurethane I do notice the paint has stuck and peeled a bit where the lid closes. This shouldn't be a problem once its applied. 
2. Not in love with the stencil design. Thought it would have more definition but the stencil was ruined by the eggshell paint. Should have stuck with acrylic paint like it recommended. 

*Special Note: 
Check with your local Haz-Mat (Hazardous Waste Disposal) for free paints, primers, paint thinners, polyurethane and a host of other materials. At ours, these items are set aside and people are welcome to browse and take home for FREE! Do check the age of the product before using. Some are at the Haz-Mat for a reason...others are good for a Reuse!