Tuesday, September 21, 2010

love: the DIY tshirt necklace

my current dirt-cheap obsession: DIY tshirt necklaces...google it for a tutorial...there are a million out there...here are some of my favorites from Google Image....

the braided tshirt necklace:
elaborately draped with fabric beads:
classic, in charcoal gray:
beaded, studded, and layered with other colors:
classic style, yummy green color:
whimsical, with charms, keys, pearls added:
i LOVE this teal color:
two of my favorite fall colors:
i tried my first DIY tshirt necklace last night...nothing to blog about...but i did learn a few things that i will share with you if you are considering cutting up an old tshirt of your own and trying this out:
Basic Tutorial: take tshirt. cut straight line across it under neck and arm holes, so that the top is taken off and you are left with a rectangle. then cut rectangular piece into strips...stretch strips out so they roll up into themselves...fashion into a necklace. thats it!
1)if your tshirt is the same color inside and out, then you can cut your strips any way you like: up-and-down or across.
2) if its not the same color inside, then you need to cut WITH the grain (usually up-and-down)...
3) its best to choose a shirt without side seams...these dont roll so well...
4) it might be a good idea to stop at goodwill and grab a shirt that is XL or larger...i used a Large, and the necklace is of average length...if you want to layer it several times, a larger shirt will work better.
hope this helps! let me know if you make one! happy tuesday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

create: upcycled shipping crate

before: vintage international shipping crate that i found for $5 at my favorite STL antique mall (on Big Bend)...
after: add a little fabric, and becomes the perfect storage chest!
i saw this crate, and the $5 price tag, and i knew it had a ton of potential...after a little vacuuming out the cobwebs, it was prepped and ready for its makeover...
the exterior of the trunk is covered in all types of authentic shipping labels...like the one you see below...
here are my tools: some clearance fabric from Hancock's (sorry Hobby Lobby....i still love you, but you dont sell beautiful prints for $1.50 a yard)...my staple gun, scissors, and my DD chai latte (it was early!)
now i suppose if you are one of those have-things-well-thought-out-before-you-start types, you would measure the dimensions of the crate, cut your fabric to size, then proceed....i however, loathe accurate measurements, and thus I just took my fabric, began draping and stapling, cutting the excess as I went....
example A:
i started with the lid, moved to the large sides, then the small ones....here is a close up of one corner....i love the contrast between the worn, aged, imperfect wood and the lovely floral print behind it....
so here is my finished crate! i think i am going to use it at the foot of our bed to hold blankets/bedding, etc....you never can have too much [adorable] storage space!

create: silverware hooks

if you have been a faithful reader of my blog posts, you may remember seeing this ABC-silverware hook-business in one of my earliest posts....the photo in that post was blurry, dark, the hooks had yet to be put to use....these days they are sitting pretty in our kitchen, holding an array of vintage pot holders and oven mitts...
here is a close up of the hooks....basically, i scoured my goodwill for beautiful silverware pieces (forks or spoons...knives are too thick to manipulate)...used two pairs of pliers and broke off the head of the utensil, bending the remaining end into a slight curve....once bent, i arranged them on my ABC board (another goodwill find) and glued them down with Gorilla Glue (sealing all the edges in the back with hot glue)....
i had tampered with boiling the silverware prior to working with it, but i found it didnt make much difference....patience, a little arm strength, and a steady hand made the most difference...also, i found that the older the silverware, the more likely it is to be made of a pliable material....these days i dont know if i could bend my ikea spoons if i tried!
this is totally unrelated to silverware hooks, but isnt this little basket of apples adorable?... call me crazy, but i have found that the more adorable my fruit looks (piled in a basket vs. hidden away in the crisper drawer) the more likely i am to eat it....silly, i know, but it works for me :-)

happy friday! eat an apple and bend your own silverware hooks this weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

create: cheap bookcase makeover

on the same note as the mid century table that i made over earlier this week, here is a project from a few weeks back using decoupage and book pages....

if you were perched in my windowsill, this is the view you would have of the living room wall.... (yes, i am perched as i take this photo)...the sign that hangs above our doorway is the one that i painted and used to direct guests into the parking lot at our wedding....a lasting memory from a lovely day :-)
we were desperate for bookshelves (my husband and i = massive book hoarders)...so we finally broke down and bought these cheap ones from Target...i liked the espresso color, but the construction left a little to be desired....so i grabbed a duplicate copy of Jane Austin's Emma, ripped out the pages, and decoupaged the interior of these cheap Target shelves... in addition to the decoupaging, i overloaded the shelves with fun junk like candles, decorative balls, quirky little figurines, etc.... above this bookshelf hangs this AMAZING antique bubble frame photo of my great grandmother and her brother...
a close up of the 2nd book shelf....you can see the book page background a little more clearly....and do you notice those silly president busts from an earlier post? i think they look quite dashing on my bookshelf :-)
as you may notice in the first photo, i hung these fun grapevine baskets on the sides of each bookcase, filling them with yummy red and orange foliage (hurray for autumn!)
another close up of the Emma pages....a fun bookend (hobby lobby, 60 cent clearance find) and decorative ball (salvation army)...and a copy of "Godless Morality", if that interests you :-)...i suppose i should have chosen some less weighty reading to photograph...
president truman hanging out with a few votives from my "crazy-awesome-vintage-votive-holder" collection...and a copy of Winnie the Pooh...also the Jesus Storybook Bible...this is our "kid section" if you hadn't noticed...no "Godless Morality" here :-)
so thats just about it....a simple bookcase makeover....thank you Jane Austin. thank you President Truman....thank you cheap Target bookshelves....
P.S. one last plug for the Jesus Storybook Bible: do you have kids? do you own this? if not, RUN out and SNATCH up a copy....im telling you, this is the most amazing child-themed story of salvation i have ever read....as in: i cant make it through one story with out losing it and crying all over the place...your kids will think you are nuts for becoming so emotional over a children's book, but its AMAZING. i just thought i would let you know :-)
happy thursday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

create: mid century side table revamp

So our friends Todd and Juliette (their blog love:stl here) gave me this mid century side table that they found out by their apartment dumpsters... it was dusty, worn, and covered in blotches of random white stuff (i hope it wasnt bird poop!)...but it certainly had potential. I was excited for the opportunity to glam it up and pass it on to someone else....share the dumpster-treasure love, i suppose :-)
So first step: sand. wash. dry. then i covered the table in a few coats of gloss black spray paint...because the faux wood veneer business was so worn, black was really my only option...i tried and failed to use a lighter, more burnt orange shade...but the table was having none of it...so black it was!
then i broke out my decoupage and used these pages from a 1909 copy of the Sears-Roebuck catalogue...a $1 find at Dunaway Books on South Grand...i loved these pages because they were so worn and water-damaged that they gave a great multi-dimensional feel to the table....
once decoupaged on to the table, i finished it with a few coats of triple-thick gloss sealer...making it waterproof, shiny, and ready to adorn someone's living room!
*one last plug for Dunaway Books....scour their shelves, and you will find vintage and antique books that, due to their damaged condition, are priced anywhere from 25 cents to $1! A great find for crafters like me that simply want to tear the pages out of the books anyway! If you stop in, peek at the children's books....so many amazing vintage storybooks with beautiful artwork just waiting to crafted into something amazing!

love: fall wreaths

so as my crafty friend Marti suggested, here are some of my favorite ideas for a fall door wreath....

Rachel (from P.S. I Quilt) put together this super cute fabric scrap wreath:
V and Co.'s pinecone wreath:
Centsational Girl's magnolia wreath (created from leaves she gathered at the park!):
Reynie's southern wine cork wreath: (You can also find a good tutorial video from Nikki in Stitches here.)
T. Matthews' recycled magazine wreath:
A new way to reuse an old grapevine wreath...Super QT's burlap wreath:
Alisa Burke's driftwood wreath (Anyone want to scour the shores of the Mississippi with me?):
And finally, my favorite and most quirky design of the bunch..... Sunset's farmer's market radish wreath:
finding these fun ideas makes me want to go wander the aisles of my local grocer to find my own quirky wreath making supplies! Maybe you will see my own fall wreath up in a few days!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

create: chicken wire memory frame

here is a super fun and easy project that i got from ashleyannphotography.com...click HERE to see her original design....heres mine:

basically, take an old frame (i found mine in a dumpster)....paint it up with your favorite color (i used the same yellow that was used for my shutter headboard)....while you have your paint out, go ahead and paint up some clothes pins in complimenting colors (mine are barn red, avocado green, and yellow).....staple some chicken wire (thanks Ace Hardware!) to the back, along with something to hang it with (i chose knotted twine)....mount on the wall, clip up your photos, and you are done!
and heres the best part about this project...my step-sister-in-law (long title!) gave me these BEAUTIFUL frames this past weekend...which will be perfect for trying out variations of this project...im thinking...smaller chicken wire could turn this into an earring/jewelry holder? does anyone have any brilliant ideas of how else to use these lovely frames?