Thursday, June 19, 2014

DIY Craft: A Few of my Favorite Things




After a very involved painting, I still wanted to use what time I had left to create something else.  Still had that itch, you know, but didn’t have the time to get too involved.  I like those involved pieces, but sometimes, “simple” is nice.

This took less than an hour and I think I’ll just keep it for myself.

2 pieces of barn wood

2 mending plates

White acrylic paint

Tropical Blue acrylic paint

Paper doily from  a wedding or cake baking isle

Paper butterfly stencil

copper nails

2 wood strips (paint sticks will do fine)

If you’d like to construct this yourself, here’s how---

Lay the boards together, the sides that fit the best.  Turn them over and nail the wood strips to each side to keep them together.

Turn the boards over and lay the paper doily on top of the boards, positioning it where you like.  Dabbing your brush in the white acrylic paint, stencil on the doily pattern.

Using the tropical blue paint, watered down a bit, paint the inside circle of the doily.  You might rather use another color depending on your preferences.  Then paint the mending plates with a light coat of this color too, preferably not watered down.

Lay the butterfly doily inside the doily circle you just painted and stencil the butterfly on with the white paint.

Nail the mending plates on, one toward the top and one at the bottom connecting the two boards.

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With the copper nails, nail around the inside circle of the doily.

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I wanted to put more nails and more butterflies, but I tend to over work things.  I was trying to keep this project simple and light.

Don’t forget to put a hanger on the back.  I knew I’d have to stress about something and I can’t decide if I want a burlap bow or just a wire.  So there you go.  If you have no problems making those types of decisions then just hang it and enjoy.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DIY Craft: Decorate an old End Table


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It took about 4 hours to give this little table new life.  Some may not like it, but I do, simply because it has a butterfly or two on it and a lacey look.  It did look like this………………….

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1.  Just lightly sand the shine off with very fine sand paper.

2.  Next give it a white wash over the top of the dark stain with Apple Barrel White Acrylic Paint by Plaid.

3.  Using paper rush or twisted paper some may call it, decide what areas of the table you’d like to wrap.  I chose the legs.  Using a small nail, find a spot on the back of the leg where the tack won’t show and use it to secure the paper rush.  Then begin wrapping covering up the nail as you go.  No need to measure the strand you are wrapping with, when you come to the end, just secure it with another nail in an inconspicuous spot and begin again til you have the area covered you want.

4.  If you want to paint your paper rush you can do that too.  Once you have completed the wrapping, use water and acrylic paint, whatever color you choose and paint with a brush.

5.  I also used the same color paint and a small tip brush to put little scroll designs and flowers all around the table.

6.  For the top, instead of making it a solid color, I chose to just put a little.  But you can completely cover it, it’s up to you.  I used butterfly stencils and paper lace doilies for my stencils.

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The hardest application and the one that also took the longest was the wrapping.  Everything else went quickly.  Acrylic paint dries fast and the finish was almost already gone on this old table so the sanding was a breeze too.

I have another table just like this.  What would you suggest I do to it?  What would you like to see?  Give me some ideas.

The top might need a sealer, I’m going to try it with out one just to see how well the acrylic paint holds up.  It doesn’t scratch off, I tried.  Just can’t understand why people are buying milk paint and other expensive things when the paint we have had around for years does just as well.

Oh and here’s a tip:  If your item is dark and you want it some color besides white, you will probably have to mix your color with white or white wash your piece first for it to show up good.

One more view……………………

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Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kitchen Island: DIY



This is my kitchen island.  I thought at one time I would just buy one, not.  Then I thought of several different ways I  could make one, if I had this and if I had that, didn’t happen either. 

Love, love, love this little chest, but my house is small and after I emptied the chest out, I was just staring at it wondering if I could possibly give it up, couldn’t do it.  So…………………….

I removed the hinges and hardware from the top backside and top front side.

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The top lifted off.  I turned the chest on its side, put the top on what was once the side, secured the top to the side and bingo, I had my kitchen island.  Took me about 20 minutes and it was free.  Yay!

Just put a basket I had made with paint sticks and paper rope in the opening, filled it full of eucalyptus and I was just so, so happy!


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Happy recycling!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DIY Craft: Small Center Piece Crate

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I wanted to share with you how to make this amazing little crate.  It’s really very simple and you can use it for a lot of different things.  I’m going to use mine for a centerpiece, but you could also put a handle made of ribbon on it and use it for an Easter basket.  It will also hold your favorite CD’s and many other things.  Paint it any color you like.  It’s made from paint sticks, paper rush, glue and nails.  That’s all the supplies you need to make this except for the tools. 
What you will need:
15 ----- 12” long paint sticks
Paper rush
40 small nails
Tropical Blue Acrylic Craft Paint
wire clipper
hand saw

1.  Begin by building the four panels:

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Take three of your paint sticks and cut them in half.

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You will end up with six sticks 3”long.

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Take two of the sticks, one with the handle of the stick at the top and one without the handle to be the bottom of your panel.  Place a dot of glue at each edge.

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Place two sticks with handle cutouts on each side.  Put a dot of glue at each top and bottom edge.

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Next put two more straight sticks on top.  Even up the edges to make it square.

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Build four, these will make your crate.

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Once your glue is dry, tack the four corners of each panel with the small nails.

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Put in paper rush:

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Make marks with a pencil at 1 7/8”, at 3”, and again at 4 1/8” along the top and bottom sticks of  your panel.  These marks are for keeping the paper rush straight.

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Run the paper rush between the opening of the front side and back side of the top and bottom sticks.

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Line up the paper rush with the pencil marks and tack with a small nail, top and bottom.  Then with a wire clipper, clip the paper rush even with the edge of the paint sticks.

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Do this to all four of your panels.  Before moving on to the next step, be sure to clip all sharp ends of the small nails that came through the layers of sticks with your wire clippers.

2.  Put your four panels together:

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Put a generous amount of glue on both edges of the top and bottom sticks of the panels.

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Stand them up and add the other two panels, then tape to help keep them tight until the glue dries.

3.  Weave:

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Once the glue dries, begin at the bottom edge placing the end of the paper rush between the side sticks at the corner.

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Run the paper rush over the top of the paint stick and then under and over the paper rush that runs vertically and then again over the paint sticks at the corner.  Go all the way around the crate until you reach where you began.  Clip the paper rush and put through the opening at the corner where you began.  Glue.  Run as many strands of paper rush as you desire around your crate.  I used four as you can see.  My experience with this paper rush is as you add more it gets tighter and could end up warping the wood. 

Put in the bottom:

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Cut six paint sticks to approximately 5 1/4”  long.  You can do this with three sticks.  Run a line of glue along the top edge of the bottom inside paint stick, then lay the sticks along the inside edge of the bottom paint sticks.  You may have to gently raise the bottom strand of paper rush to get the stick exactly where it’s suppose to be.  Just push the strand back down when you get the stick in place.
You have a small crate!


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Paint with whatever color you desire with a watered down acrylic craft paint.
Now you can decorate your crate or leave it as it is.  It will be pretty and practical whatever you do.
If you build this crate I’d love to see it.  I’d like to see some of the ways you decorate it.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY: Wood and Screen Wire Crate


This is the sweetest little crate.  It’s made a bit differently than the basic all wood crate because we have inserted screenwire on the side panels.  At the bottom of this tutorial I have included links to get some of the supplies needed for this project if you need some things you don't have.

You will need:
36--- 12” paint sticks

Hand saw to cut the lengths of the paint sticks (a mitre box will help with the 45 degree angle we will be cutting)

screen wire---- 4 panels 11 1/2”x 5 1/2”



wood burning tool with a sharp point attachment (to burn the holes in the side panels for lacing the corners)

acrylic paint and 1” brush

stencil of your choice (I used a lacey paper doily)

small wire nails--- 1/2 x 19 and hammer

Upholstery needle (or a needle with a large enough hole to thread the hemp through)

Let’s build a crate:
Hand saw all the paint sticks to size. Once you have cut all the pieces you will end up with……………..

8……6” pieces (saw 4 in half, these are the ends of the side panels)

8……3 3/4” pieces (these pieces fit on the end pieces of the side panels to enable the screenwire to lay flat)

4……4” pieces with a 45 degree angle on both ends  (these are braces for the bottom of your crate)

2……12” pieces with a 45 degree angle on both ends (these are additional braces for the bottom of your crate)

Lay out and begin building:
1.  Build the side panels of your crate.

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Using the eight 6” sticks lay them out flat, put a dot of glue on one side at the top and bottom of the sticks.  Carefully lay a 12” stick across the top of two of the sticks and across the bottom of the same two sticks, building a 12” x 6” frame for the side panels.  Build 4 of these panels.

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Glue two of the 3 3/4 “ sticks we cut and place them on top of the two 6” pieces of the side panels between the top and bottom 12” sections.  See below…………..

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Cut 4 screen wire panels 11 1/2” wide x 5 1/2” long.
Run a line of glue all the way around the side panel frame we just built.
Lay the screen wire panel over the top of the glue.

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Using two more 12” sticks, lay one over the top of the screen wire panel and one over the bottom, keeping all edges flush.

Once the glue has dried, nail the four corners on both sides.  When one side is nailed, turn the panel over and nail the other side, keeping the nails as close together as you can.  If there are any sharp tips of the nails protruding, clip them off with a wire cutter or beat them down with your hammer.

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You have built all four side panels of your crate. Yay!

With the wood burning tool, burn three holes  in the sides of each panel through the 6” pieces and 3 3/4” pieces.  Making sure the holes go completely through and centering them underneath the top 12” piece of the panel and just above the bottom 12” piece of the panel.  We will be lacing them together after we build the crate.

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Optional step:  At this point if you’d like to paint a design on your screen wire this is the time.  I used paper doilies as a stencil and just kind of blotted around, but you can get as detailed as you like with this step.

Let’s put the four panels together.
Put glue on the very side edge at the top and the bottom of one panel.  Attach another panel and tape the edges on the outside of the panel together.  Go ahead and join the other two panels to these two the same way.  Make sure that which ever panel is on the outside, the panel directly opposite to it is also on the the outside or this will throw your measurements off for the bottom of the crate.

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Once all four sides are joined, check to make sure the bottom, top and sides are as flush with each other as you can get them.  Put more tape on as you adjust to keep them in place.

Before it dries we will put the bottom in to help it squared up.

Using the four pieces that we cut 4” long and then put a 45 degree angle at each end, glue the edge of the bottom side of these pieces and set on the paint stick at the bottom of each panel on the inside of your crate.  Don’t push it up against the screen wire or it will push the wire and stretch it, which is unsightly.

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We also cut 45 degree angles in two 12” paint sticks, glue and place them in the same way.  We are creating a brace for our bottom.

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Once this is accomplished run a line of glue over the top of each of the pieces with the angles we just attached.

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Now lay the bottom of the crate placing one 12” stick at a time on top of these braces, beginning at the corners and pushing them snuggly into the corners.  You will use ten, 12” sticks for the bottom.  Careful not to poke the screen wire, these sticks will fit one way and not the other.  This is why we had to make the brace first, to give the paint sticks something to lay on.

Once dry, you are ready  to lace the sides together.  Thread the one  end of the hemp through the needle.  Looking at the crate upside down, go in from one of the openings at the bottom, pull the thread up and into the first hole, (leaving enough thread to tie a knot with) then through the next hole up on the opposite side, then through the top hole an the opposite side.  Turn and start sewing downward making X’s.  Bring the needle back down through the same hole at the bottom of the crate where we first began, tie a knot with both strings and glue.  Do all four corners.

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All that’s left to do is paint your crate.  I use white and just washed with a very watered down mixture.  If it’s too light you can always go back and add another light coat till you get the coverage you desire.

Get your supplies here:

Screen Wire
New York Wire 33105 Fiberglass Screening, 36-Inch by 84-Inch, Charcoal

Acrylic Craft Paint
Plaid PROMOABI Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, 2-Ounce, Best Selling Colors I

One Package of 400 feet 100% Natural Hemp Cord #20

Wood Burning Tool
Stanley 20-600 Clamping Mitre Box with Saw

Wood Burning Kit
Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner Value Pen

Paint Sticks
Paint Sticks - (Wooden Stirring Paddles), These are the Best Hardwood Paint Stirrers for Mixing, Garden Markers, Crafts, Hand Fans; Same Professional Grade Stick Henry was using in the 1930s, Expertly Made in the State of Maine

ALEENES 15599 All Purpose Glue, 8-Ounce

Wire Nails
National Hardware V7710 1/2" x 19 Ga. Wire Nails in Galvanized