Recycled crafts

Dream Catcher’s Tutorial

Easy Tutorial for DIY Dream CatcherIn honor of MLK day that just recently passed, I am going to share with you my “I have a dream” Dream catchers. (Cheezy, I know. My kids didn’t laugh either.)

We have all seen these in the gift shops in various places. Most of the time they are made out of cheap ‘faux’ material that you can just as easily get from Joann’s or Michael’s.

So I said to myself, “I can do that!” and I did as you can see in this quick tutorial. Now, remember that I’m purging my craft room, so I’m doing this with the tools that I have on hand. Use materials that you have on hand OR you can easily go get the “faux” authentic stuff. lol

Materials:dreamcatcher-1

*16guage floral wire

*Cotton strip of fabric (some remnants from a jelly roll I had)

*Floss (approx. 3-4ft) (aka embroidery thread. I used 571)

*Random beads

*Glue stick  

The first thing you need to do is make your ring. I used a sugar canister to help ‘mold’ the shape. I then wrapped the two ends together to form a loop, and then cut off the excess with a wire clipper.dreamcatcher-2

Next, cut the jelly roll strip in half down the middle. dreamcatcher-3Then cut one end at an angle. dreamcatcher-4Smear some glue and proceed to wrap the wire around with the fabric.dreamcatcher-5

When you get to the end of the loop, wrap over to the beginning side. You can either glue it down or do what I did and made a cut down the middle for a small split. Then I took the took pieces and wrapped them on the hook post. I glued the flaps AFTER I was done placing the string around the circle. (Click picture to make bigger.)dreamcatcher-6

Now to make the circle, you will connect by wrapping the floss in small angles along the circle. First wrap around the circle and then have the floss come back through the hole you just created.dreamcatcher-7Continue this way all the way around till you get to the beginning.dreamcatcher-8

You will now go through your first hole the same way you went around the circle. Do this to each hole all the way around in a continues motion. (See picture. I have my beads showing to help with emphasis.)dreamcatcher-9

*Tip: To prevent the floss from moving around I held it tightly while stringing it on the next hole. Once I had a tight grip I then moved and grabbed the new knot while creating the next one.

*BEAD Tip: Wait till your 3rd round before placing beads. And remember, less is always better.dreamcatcher-10

Once you have gone completely around and are about to run out of string. Just knot at the end and trim excess. Just be sure that you don’t create a closed hole dream catcher. (IMO, they just look weird.)

*Tip: Try to end close to a bead or at a joint to help hide the knot.

Please feel free to comment if you need any help. 🙂

Cheers!

~Gin

DIY Wire Trees Tutorial

Make your own Wire Tree TutorialJanuary 16th is Tu B’Shevat for all Jews. It celebrates the beginning of a “new year” for trees as this is the time of the season when the earliest-blooming trees can be seen emerging from their winter sleep in Israel. It is like a Jewish version of Arbor Day. We celebrate it by eating fruit that has been singled out in the Torah (aka Old Testament) such as grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.

Typically we plant trees. As gifts I decided to make some decorative trees for my children’s Hebrew teachers. I plan to give them in baskets filled with some of the fruits.

We start with supplies:supplies

*24 gauge copper jewelry wire

*medium size stones

*Small decorative Mother-of-pearl stones (I found mine in the floral section of Michael’s)

*Tacky glue

First, start of by cutting 5 pieces of copper wire 2ft in length.

*Depending on the size of the tree you will need to adjust the size of your wire. 1 foot for smaller stones and 3 ft for larger. wire-2

Next, fold the wire in half and wrap the middle around a pencil. Twist approx. four to five times. Removed the pencil and you will see a nice round shape.wire-3

Next bend the wire on the left, hold where it connects with the main wire and twist. As you twist, try not lose your loop.wire-4

You will then repeat twist the two pieces of wire again in the middle about three to four times. You will notice that one piece of wire will be longer than the other now. This will be your “working” wire. Bend this wire to make your next “branch” on the opposite side. Twist till you have a small loop. Then combine the two to twist three to four times again. Repeat this back and forth until you have at least 5 branches on each piece of wire. When you have all the small branches end the branch by twisting about 12 to 15 times. Do this for all five wires.wire-5

Now, you are ready to make the tree. Take each branch and fold near the first branch of each. You will then connect each branch to each other at the fold line. Try to scatter them as you go down the tree. Be sure to twist them tight enough together so they will not come loose. Leave enough space for the “roots”.wire-6

Flatten the roots out and spread them to see how they form against the “trunk” of your tree. You will then twist two or three pieces of “roots” together to form thicker roots.wire-7

Once you have the roots together you will then wrap them around your chosen stone twist tying them together underneath the stone. If you want you can also get decorative by curling the roots, but keeping them down can be difficult during the gluing process.

wire-8

Next, to prevent your tree from coming loose and moving around, glue the base of the trunk to the rock with tacky glue. Don’t worry. It will dry clear. (I do NOT recommend using hot glue as most hot glue will bead up and be much more noticeable in a project like this. Give the glue of few hours or overnight to dry before you place your “leaves” on.

Once the glue is dry or you feel the trunck is secure enough, shape your branches so that all the round ends are laying flat. This will make it easy for you when you place your small stones on top.wire-9

Using Tacky glue, place a small dab on the underside of your stones and carefully lay it on top of the round ends of your branches. If you have them flat then you will not have to worry about them sliding off. (Again, I do not recommend using hot glue because it ends up beading up and tends to raise the rocks vs having them sit flat.)wire-10

Let it sit overnight or for at least 12 hours.

Once the glue is dry, you can then shape your tree more to give your tree a more Bonsai-ish look. Now you have a tree that you never have to worry about raking the leaves! 🙂

Happy Tu B’Shevat!

~Gin

Decou-Podge Vase

Decou Podge VaseThe one thing I just hate about vases sometimes they are see through. I mean, ug! I don’t want to sit there and admire my beautiful flowers only to look down and the icky water that is showing how they were all cut up at the stems. Plus, if you have the typical “filler” flowers that the florist gives you, you get some really ugly pieces. Many times, you will even get a “saving” block that will help your flowers last longer, but will not make your water look pretty.

Sure you could put some decorative rock in there to “pretty it up”, but that just ends up being a pain to clean up once the flowers are all dead and you have bits of flowers all over your rock chards. (Ew! )vase-5

So here was my solution. I recently took a clear vase that I had received from a recent birthday. I priced these one time for a Teacher’s Appreciation week at school, and they typically cost around $6 to $10 if you get them at the grocer. Sometimes you get lucky and they are a steal at the dollar store.

Anyhow, I took some tissue paper that I had left over from my flower bouquet that I made for my wedding this year and ripped them all up into little bits. About an inch in size, give or take. This made it easy to conform to the curves of the vase.vase-4

My solution was basically find a spot to put it on and then slather it with Decou-Podge using a wet brush. Now the brush needs to be merely damp to help the paper stick down to the glass. Too much water with cause it to tear or if you have colored paper, the color to run.

* I used a Glossy finish type of podge so it would give it a more “glass” look once it has dried.vase-3

My suggestion would be to first glue your sides curving at the tip if there is an exposed lid. Then once the top and sides are dry, then gluing your pieces on the bottom. If you slather it up with as much glue as I did, you are looking at waiting overnight for it to dry.

*Be sure to use a brush to lay it down smoothly.

*BUT, Don’t worry if it gets too crinkled. It add character.

*Let the paper overlap to give it a more rough look.vase-1

As you can see, I didn’t have any fresh flowers, so I put in the paper flower bouquet that I made for my wedding.  If I kill these flowers, I am seriously doomed with the green thumb!

~Gin

Book Cell Phone Charger

Book Cell Phone ChargerCaught on a Whim” ‘s blogger, Erica, has inspired me for my next creative piece. Taking a cue from her blog I created my own little Book Cell Phone Charger. My husband hates when the flashing lights from my phone go off in the middle of the night and as soon as I saw this piece I thought of him. You can also click on her image for her more detailed instructions.Inspiration

So I gathered up my materials and painstakingly located a book to be massacred. (In no way was the title the reason I chose my book. Just because I’m Jewish does not mean I have something against A Christmas Carol. We just have two copies for some reason. Weird? Right?)BCC-1

I then lined it up on the fabric to be traced out, giving about an inch on each side.BCC-2

Then with a gulf of my throat, I coated the cover with glue. (I’m a book worm so this is seriously the hardest craft I have ever done.)BCC-3

But the shame was quick as I quickly covered my sin with my fabric. (Look you can’t see the cover anymore! Per-ty!)BCC-4

I then trimmed up my corners to be folded over like Erica shows in her post about fabric covered books. She has lots of tutorials so please check her out.BCC-5

Next I glued the SIDES and placed some wax paper to prevent them from sticking. I found that this helped with keeping pages together before I went to gut the book for the charger.BCC-6

Now placed some heavy books on top to prevent the paper from warping while it dried.

One dried I measured the inside out and traced my block that I would cut at using a pencil so I could erase any marks that showed up. Then I cut.BCC-7

AHHHHHHHGGGG!!!! WHAT HAVE I DONE???!! WHAT HAVE I DONE???!! THAT POOR, POOR BOOK!!!! WHAT HAVE I DONE!!?!???!?!?! {{{SOB}}}BCC-8

The inside of the book. Now gutted. (OMG! I can’t look. {{barf}} )BCC-9

Ok. Once I composed myself from the sacrificial killing and mutilation of the book, I then sanded out the inner parts of the pages to help smooth out any nicks that might be sticking out.BCC-10

I then placed another cover of glue over the inner pages to help keep it from wiggling as well as a final coat of glue to the back page to the back cover to keep it down from opening. By not having the back glue together initially I was able to cut out the pages much easier without worrying that I would hit the cover. BCC-11

I then placed the heavy books AGAIN on top to keep them smooth.BCC-12

Once the glue was dry, I placed my NEW phone inside and it fit like a glove. I used the book last night and it worked out well. I’m still getting use to seeing book guts when I open the book and my heart drops, but I look at this as a necessary evil. However, I do not think that I will EVER again mutilate a book again. This was the first and very last time I will ever do something like this again. It was just to gut retching for the book nerd in me.

~Gin

My 2014 New Year’s Resolution to Purge My Craft Room

2014 New Year's Resolution2014 is already looking to be a busy year for me. I’m homeschooling my son, operating my travel agency business, and planning on blogging on two blogs. Here is to hoping that I will remember to do the laundry and keep the house clean, too!

Speaking of keeping clean, recently my daughters have decided they no longer wanted to share a room and I have lost our classroom/craft  space. We moved the classroom into my office, which is great because I can multi task much more efficiently. The bad news is that now, I have craft projects and materials ALL over my office. I’m convinced that if I just went through it I would happily have oodles of space. So in an effort to make sure that my husband never doubts my craft staff again, I plan to make SOMETHING every day for the next 365 days in 2014 using my stash of yarn, paper stock, beads, chipboard, string, wire, etc. The only thing I plan to restock on would be things such as adhesives and glues.

So if you are one of my close friends or family, prepared to be bombarded with DIY gifts.  So far I have already planned out what I would like or need to make for the next three months. If you have ideas, please post/comment them to me. I feel like I’ve almost exhausted Google. Many of these ideas will NOT be my own nor will I lay any claim to them. I will promptly link my inspiration or the tutorials so please follow along with me as we Craft 2014!

~Gin

Paper Bead Necklace

So, now that I’m homeschooling my youngest I can share with you some of my FUN FUN projects. This week we are learning about Ancient Africa. Today’s project is Paper Bead Necklaces. If you google this you will find a bunch of information on the web and I’ve even seen some You Tubes about this. So if the instructions in Story of the World book is not helpful or you want to try it differently I urge you to look it. I’ve listed how I did this below, as my instructions are a bit different. (Not much though.)

Materials:
*Paper (copy paper, magazine pages, construction paper, wallpaper samples, old ads,etc. just no newspaper)
*markers, crayons, pens
*a glue stick
*Decoupage (glossy) *this is optional
*a toothpick or pencil (the end of a thin paint brush will work too)
*Scissors
*string (or embroidery floss for some more color)

Really, there is a lot you can leave to the imagination when it comes to paper, string and even glue with this project. I’ve seen some use distressed markers on the edges to give it an even cooler look with plain white paper. (Watch the Youtube on that one.)

This is what they look like if you to it only 4inches high.

Ok. Now that you have your stuff time to make the triangles. The book recommends doing them 4 inches high by 1 to 2 inches for the base. For younger kids, I would probably agree as a 2 inch base with a pencil is REALLY easy to roll. You need a toothpick to roll a one inch triangle and that might be hard for younger kids. As you can see. I just didn’t like how the 4 inch height came out. Just too cylinder for me. I made another one with a one inch base and 8.5 inches high. When I asked my son which he preferred, he said he liked latter one. So my instructions are as followed.

*Take plan copy paper (8.5×11)and mark ever half inch along the long side. Next take a ruler and draw a line from every other mark on one side to every other mark on the other side. (don’t worry about too many pencil lines, it will get covered up anyways) This will make your triangles. What is nice it that they just back to back one another for and easy cut. (If you have copier and plan to make may, I recommend just photocopying a bunch to save on having to do this repeatedly). Now cut your triangles out. I use a paper cutter but you can easily use regular old scissors.

20131030-082419.jpg*(if you using color paper you can skip this) Next you then color the edges as you can see. Just make sure you color the entire tip as that will be shown. If you have pencil marks on your paper be sure to color on the side with no marks. You can attempt a pattern by drawing squiggly lines or straight lines on the edges.

Once everything is colored, you then roll. You take the larger end of the strip and place just a tiny part of glue on the end that is colored. This will help when you go to roll it on the toothpick. Next, you then roll the strip tightly around the middle of the toothpick with the colored side facing up.

Keep rolling till you hit the tail. Usually I stick a bit of glue on the tail and it sticks. If you find that it won’t stick, smother the top with glue and then gently press and smooth it down on your newly formed bead.

I kept mine on the toothpicks and then glazed them with glossy Decoupage. This made them a bit more shinier and harder. More like a bead. Just be careful as you could Decoupage them to the toothpick. Not that I would know this from experience. lol

20131030-082436.jpg

Once you are done with all the beads, (and the Decoupage is dry, if you Decoupaged) you just place them on the string through the center hole. Be sure to make the string long enough that your child can fit it over their head.

Cheers!

~Gin

Container UPCYCLED crafts

 

garbage pail blog    Ok, today I was a busy bee. I was in my master bathroom when I realized, we REALLY need a bathroom rubbish bin. I starting thinking about going to IKEA and getting one that MIGHT match by bath decor or would fit in the small space in general. My pocketbook started to groan a bit at me. Then I remembered I had a popcorn tin that we had given my partner. (ok. the intent was for him but the kids and I partake before he got home. Sorry, honey!) I decided I would decorate it. I thought about the covering it with paper from the stationary project that I had done but decided that might be bad idea because it might get damaged in the bathroom. I ended up using and old white cloth shower curtain that I had.Container UPCYCLED crafts

Now I ended up using Spray adhesive ONLY because it was what I had on hand. I don’t think Mod glue or Elmer’s would really work well on the metal to be honest. I use the Spray adhesive for my photos so this is  a product I use frequently. In lue of the spray you can just wrap the fabric around twice and then tie in front with a knot to be a bit decorative. It should stay on just as well.Container UPCYCLED crafts

Next I cut it the the same height at the container when folded, because I didn’t want the holiday design to show through. I left a two itch variance at the top to give it a seam less look later. I did notice that the glue left a greenish stain in spots where i sprayed to much or it seeped through. But I’m not really concerned about that. Then I sprayed the container and rolled it along the cloth, with the bottom of the rim at the folded edge. 4cdd3-upcycle-4

Once I was done, I smoothed it down with my hand to make sure that the cloth layed flat on the tin. Next, I folded over the excess top and sprayed the area of the tin beneath them and clipped them down. Here I use clothing pins but any binding clips will work. Just as long as the cloth makes contact with the tin so the glue will stick.

When the glue was dried I removed the clips GENTLY. I then placed a plastic grocery bag in side the container and to keep in place, I fold it over slightly of the edges, wrapped the top with scarf (that just happens to match my bath decor) and wala! It hides the “bag” look and looks still feminine too!garbage pail

 

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plastic bag tote blogMy bag tot here is actually from a book that I found recently called Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts . I have to admit there are some REALLY cool ideas in here. Some are just, probably won’t happen ideas but some I think are adjustable to my style. So I won’t lay claim to this creative solution to grocery bags.  I can’t tell you EXACTLY what I did because of copyright laws, but I can give you the gist. It took me about 18 bags to do this projectc9802-upcycle-9. Considering the amount of bags I had, this was still worth it. You fuse 6 or more bags (depending on how thick you want it) together with an iron. You have to place paper under and on top of the bags so they don’t melt all over the iron. Next you cut them into pieces. You can make it any size you want. For my bag the bag height was only 12 inches so to make it square I made 2- 12×12 pieces for the front and back, 2- 2×12 pieces for the handles, 3-5 1/2×12 pieces for the sides and bottom. I added the top design (which wasn’t in the ordinal instructions) from an iron on t-shirt to emphasize the bag was “earth friendly” now.

I’m looking forward to other projects in this book. I also foundplastic bag tote Craftcycle: 100+ Earth-Friendly Projects and Ideas for Everyday Living. I think I might give that one a look over too. I’m still working on my crochet a day projects. With school, I just haven’t been able to put as much time into it as I want to. Hopefully, I can get it done soon!  I will post when I have more.

Cheers!

Gin

 

Recontructed T-shirts and Crooked Crochet!

So if you remember I got the Generation T  book and my daughter, Amie, was willing to try some items out. We only really got to one. The first thing we did was a bit of dying some things to what we thought was black, but they ended up coming out a sort of purplish gray??? In either case, the results of the new dye jobs that came out were really kewl…I’m sorry. But I don’t have any “before” pics only the resulting piece…In this shirt was a bit stained down the front so we dyed it that “black”. I cut the neck off and the arms and hemmed all the edges so they were smoother and not jagged. (I’ve posted picures but if your reading this via Facebook you will need to click the hyperlink that allows you to see the orginal blog to see the photos, i think) So I took a pic of the after project. Front and back. We left the arms the orginal color since they were still rather white.

I rather like how it turned out and Amie even wore it to school. I think we will try some more ideas when we get the chance.Recontructed T-shirts and Crooked Crochet!Recontructed T-shirts and Crooked Crochet!

 

I’m very disappointed in the Crochet Calendar Crochet: 2011 Day-to-Day Calendar that I got. Although I’m not able to get the same yarn on some of the projects I am able to fudge most of them. However, some projects required some highly specialized yarn that I was only able to get from Italy, they do not ship to the US, AND its discontinued. How annoying. I did manage to make the first scarf. It wanted me to use a speclized metlic yarn but I was unable to find anything that would subsistute it so I just got something made with similar materials and the same yarn weight.  What came out was a the green keyhole scarf you see. The reason they call it a keyhole scarf is because it criss crosses through the hole in the middle of the scarf. Its suppose to be alot longer, but I’m not a huge fan of overly long scarfs. Plus, if I was to spread this out you could see the hour glass wobbly effect i had from lack of straight lines. SOmething I feared if I kept at doing crochet by hand. What I think I might do then is stick to my looms and convert the projects with the loom. I might redo this same pattern but with the loom this next time. Right now though, I recently received my sock loom and I’m already starting on learning how to do my socks. I’m following the directins from Isela Phelps  Loom Knitting Socks book as I got one of her families EFG Wonderlooms at DaLooms. I will post pics when I’m done.

This will be a busy month for me with school starting and with all the projects I plan to do to keep me busy. At least I should have plenty of “homemade” presents to give out. 🙂

Until then!

Cheers!

~Gin

Stationary Kit from Cereal Box

Ok. So I gave the kids all their presents and they seemed ok with the lower budget gifts. It sucks that we can’t do much for Hannukah. I’m hoping that in the future it will get better. Now, for presents for all my friends and family who still celebrate good old X-mas. There is my Mom, my sister, my boyfriend, my best-friend (and her family), my Dad, My stepmom and dad, my boyfriends parents, and then G-d knows who else!
 stationary
For my mom though, I found this cute Stationary Box video to make my own cute box. In the effort to keep Upcycling I used the same pattern but with old cereal boxes and recycled paper. Then decorated with some scrap paper. I really like how the finished product came out in the end. Although I like the way the cereal box one came out, I think I will send her one that I made using card stock, like in the video. I’ll see. I did find though becuase of the size of the boxes. I needed to use at least two cereal boxes to make the product. One for the base and the other for the top and the little compartments. SO if you want to make your own, I would recommend that. Even when I used a giant Cereal box I found I still needed the second box for the top. This wasn’t a big issue for my family as we typically go through a box of cereal in one sitting.
 ca87b-box-finished
I have a few ideas out there. When I get them done (and the respective parties have received them) I will post what I ended up with. Until then, I better get crackelacking (sp?)

~Gin