Upcycling Ideas, Upcycling Craft Ideas - DIY Inspired
13th Jan2014

15 Minute Craft: Paper Towel Roll Valentine Scroll

by Dinah Wulf

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Woo hoo! Another series of Craft Lightening is here and I am sharing a fun recycled Valentine that my daughter and I made for my husband (hopefully he doesn’t see this post before Valentine’s Day)! This craft only takes fifteen minutes (or less) to make.  Here is how we made our Paper Towel Roll Valentine Scroll.

Materials:

  • Two paper towel rolls
  • Three sheets of scrap book paper
  • Paper cutter
  • Double sided tape (or glue)
  • Computer (optional)
  • Ribbon

Instructions:

First cut two pieces of paper (in the same color) with a paper cutter in 8X11 pieces. These will cover the paper towel rolls at each end of the scroll. Cut a third piece of scrapbook paper in a size 11X12. This will be the center piece that the letter is on.

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On both of your 8X11 pieces, place double sided tape (or glue) down the center to secure each paper towel roll.

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Next tape one of the paper towel roll ends to the center piece as shown.

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Fold it over and secure it with tape or glue.

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Repeat on the other side.

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Write your message on the blank side of your scroll.  We typed it, printed it, and taped it inside with a boarder (optional).  Our message said:

Daddy,

On this special Valentine’s Day,

There are a few things I want to say.

Even though I’m only three years old,

I know you love me more than gold.

And when push comes to shove,

You’ll always be my first love.

Because when I’m older and give life a whirl,

I’ll remember that I’ll always be your little girl.

Will you be my Valentine, Daddy?

Love, Mia

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You can roll it right up with the message inside…

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…and the patterned part on the outside.

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Lastly, add a pretty bow!

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Thank you to Country Chic Cottage and 30 Minute Crafts for allowing me to participate in another fun Craft Lightening!  If you want to see some of my other 15 minute crafts you might like:

03rd Jan2014

Repurposed Cabinet Turned Jewelry Organizer

by Dinah Wulf

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A while ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest for this amazing trash to treasure idea for a jewelry organizer made by Liz Marie on her blog Liz Marie Blog. She did such an amazing job that I pinned it right away and tucked it away in my mind to do for a later date. I think it’s been months now and I finally got around to attempting it.  SOOOO, here is my version of a Repurposed Cabinet Turned Jewelry Organizer. Oh! And a HUGE thank you to Liz Marie for the inspiration.

Materials:

  • Cabinet Door
  • Spray paint
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Knobs and pulls

I decided to go to Habitat for Humanity Restore, one of my favorite places to buy the cabinet door. They have the best selection there at low prices.

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I decided on this one because it was nice and wide and perfect for repurposing.

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I looked for knobs and pulls as well, but didn’t find what I wanted so I ventured to Home Depot to get these.

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I had some left over spray paint from the thrift store shelf makeover I had done a while back. I love the color so I used what I had left for this jewelry organizer. I painted two coats allowing it to dry completely in between each coat.

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Once it was dry I measured and marked with a pencil where I wanted each knob and pull. I used a drill to drill a hole at each marker.

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I used the drill to add my pulls as well! I loved the way it turned out.

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Here are a couple close ups.

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For more repurposing ideas and trash to treasure ideas, check out this fun round-up of garage sale and thrift store transformations! There are over two dozen original projects I have done including housewares and furniture transformations.

27th Dec2013

Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece

by Dinah Wulf

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You KNOW I love a good Mason jar craft.  I’ve even done a round-up of Mason Jar Crafts in the past. Most recently, I glittered some for to look like candy corn for Halloween and Fall. This time, I wanted to come up with something quick and easy.  Specifically, I wanted to make this Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece because it was a great décor piece to transition from Christmas to New Years. As an added bonus, it only take about 15 minutes to make!

Here’s what I used, but you can make any variation to fit your décor.

Materials:

  • Mason jars or Recycled sauce jars
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Raffia and twine
  • Tea lights
  • Silver serving platter
  • Gold and silver ornaments
  • Tea light holders

My favorite jars to save are the Classico sauce jars (notice I don’t have any recipes on this blog… yes, I use sauce in a jar a lot of the time!) They come in a couple sizes and they are pretty without the label. Also, the label comes off SUPER easily. All you need is a little hot soapy water and the abrasive side of a sponge and you are good to go!

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I sprayed the jars upside down in a well-ventilated area. I only needed one coat for these.

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The jars look plain but I wanted to add a little raffia and twine to the top.

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I found the platter and ornaments at the 99 cent store… SCORE! I thought it turned out quite nice for a 15 minute craft project!

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Check out more of my Mason Jar Crafts!

 

17th Dec2013

Mason Jar Teacher’s Survival Gift Kits

by Dinah Wulf

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My daughter is only three years old but she is in her first year of pre-school. So, this is the first time she’s really had teachers AND the first time I’ve gotten to make a teacher’s gift for the end of winter break. I decided to break out the good old recycled Mason jars and make Mason Jar Teacher’s Survival Gift Kits for her teachers, Mrs. Shelly and her assistant Mrs. G.

Materials:

  • Mason jar per gift
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Paper cutter
  • Double sided tape
  • Paint
  • Brush
  • Circle craft punch
  • Computer and printer (optional)
  • Felt ribbon
  • Gifts (see below)

I started off by using two spaghetti sauce jars.  I had to REALLY wash them because they smelled like sauce!

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I decided to buy some fun small things to fit inside like, candy, mints, gum, note pad, pen, lip balm, mini lint roller, hand sanitizer, lotion, and band aides. The possibilities are endless for this gift.  Gift cards and movie tickets are great too.

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Next I designed, printed, and cut out my scrapbook paper to cover the jars. Since they are pre-school teachers I picked little blue mittens and red stockings for my decorative paper.

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I stuffed the jars and everything fit nicely.

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I added them to the jar and painted the lid blue and used a circle craft punch to cover the top with corresponding paper. I love the combo of blue and red.

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Finally, I used felt ribbon to mimic a scarf for the ribbon around the lid. That’s it! I thought they turned out so cute.  I really hope Mrs. Shelly and Mrs. G love them!

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13th Dec2013

9 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

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I was wrapping gifts the other day and realized that I have published some fun eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas here on DIY Inspired and on Inheriting Our Planet as well.  Since the holidays are just around the corner, I thought I’d share nine easy ideas from both sites. Make sure you check out the links for all the pictures and full step by step tutorials!  Here we go!

Recycled Food Containers & Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers

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I made these for my Twin God Daughter’s on their first birthday. Recycled food boxes worked out perfectly because their clothes were so small!

Brown Paper Bag with Neon Color Gift Wrapping

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These are a bright mix of fun neon colors mixed with the simplicity of the brown paper bag.  This wrapping is perfect for stocking stuffers and small gifts.

Dyed Book Page or Newspaper Flowers

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I used good old newspaper to wrap this present but gave it a colorful kick with some dyed water colored book page roses.  Check out the full tutorial.

Recycled Box Gift Bags

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I loved making these!!! And they were quite a hit with the recipient. All you need is boxes, scrapbook paper, ribbon, and decorative tape.                                                                                                                           

Recycled Food Box Gift Bags IOP

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On Inheriting Our Planet, I made similar ones for a Hello Kitty themed gift for my daughter’s best friend’s birthday.

Recycled Coin Wrapper Gift Embellishment

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These were the result of a challenge from one of my friends who works at a bank and handed me several rolls of coin wrappers.  These cute little flowers are perfect for embellishing gifts, especially at this time of the year.

Repurposed Coffee Can Gift Set

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This one was a quickie! I drink so much coffee that I always have these little buckets handy.  They are perfect as gift boxes.  You can paint and decorate them any which way you wish!

Recycled Baby Food Jar Gifts

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I made these on Inheriting Our Planet recently. These are perfect for an upcoming Christmas party for favors.  So ask your friends with little ones to save those jars for you!

Pringle’s Can “Pull Me” Gift Kits

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Last but not least! Another one from Inheriting Our Planet; these fun gift kits are great for anyone on your list and are fun to open too!

11th Dec2013

Gift Card Pairing Ideas for the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

Gift Card Pairing Ideas is sponsored by Ralph’s.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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I’ve often heard people say “gift cards are so impersonal”.  On the contrary, gift cards allow the recipient to buy what their hearts desire without the hassles and hurts of playing the return and exchange game. I’ve put together a fun list of creative gift card pairing ideas to make the “impersonal” a thoughtful and stand out holiday gift. Oh! And of course I had to throw in my own upcycled DIY tutorial!

My husband and I went to Ralph’s and were inspired by so many ideas.  We searched the aisles to look for creative gift card pairing ideas… and I must say we were EASILY inspired! We came up with several ideas to fit many different types of people like, co-workers, picky family members, and fellow Moms. More on this later… I want to share with you what I ended up buying my in-laws along with a gift card from Ralph’s.

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My in-laws are coffee drinkers like me, so we bought two recycled eco-friendly Aladdin coffee travel mugs, a bag of their favorite Starbucks coffee, and some Private Selection Carmel Sea Salt hot cocoa.

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I decided to make my own gift box out of a recycled food box. I cut it to size leaving the top open.

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To cover it, I used:

  • Recycled burlap coffee bean sack
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paper (optional)

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The burlap I used was a little see-through, so I covered the box with paper to hide the writing.  I had this burlap coffee sack left over from when I made my recycled coffee bean sack pillows. I used a glue gun to secure the burlap in place.

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I stuffed the inside with some extra burlap scraps and placed my items gift card inside.  It turned out quite sturdy and cute!

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Here are some other gift card pairing ideas we came up with while inspired by walking up and down the aisles of Ralph’s:

  1. Dessert theme:  ice cream cones, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauce, and cherries
  2. Baby theme: any baby products along with your gift card
  3. Nail theme: nail clippers, nail file, nail polish, cotton balls
  4. Spa theme: face mask, wash glove, loofa, sponge, lotion
  5. Mixed drink theme: any of the Bonny shakers, corckscrew, jigger, or cocktail strainers, and a bottle of liquor
  6. Wine theme: bottle of wine, wine charms, wine bag, and corkscrew

The list goes on and on but those are our favorites.  We wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Ralph’s for sponsoring this post and inspiring us!

27th Nov2013

Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets

by Dinah Wulf

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I love Christmas family cards because it showcases my friends and their families as they grow over the years.  The whole family is dressed up and looking their best.  The only problem is that the cards sit in a drawer, get tucked away in a box, or even get tossed in the trash.  Looking at these photos, I wanted to recycle them into something that I can look at daily, so I made these Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets and literally turn trash to treasure.

This project takes some time; days in fact. It takes a while because I, of course, took the cheap route! I chose to use decoupage medium because it was already in my craft closet.  For quicker results, you can use resin.

Here are the materials you need:

  • Bottle Caps
  • Decoupage medium like Mod Podge
  • Old pictures
  • A half inch circle craft punch
  • Magnets
  • Strong adhesive, like E 6000
  • Time

First, fill each bottle cap ¾ of the way with decoupage medium. Gently lift and tap the cap on your counter to even and smooth out the glue.  This also helps eliminate small air bubbles.  Set them aside (I waited 24 hours).  Meanwhile, use the craft punch to punch out pictures that you would like to use.  You don’t have to use pictures for this.  I have also tried patterned scrapbook paper and small stickers.  You can even use magazine photos as well.

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Once the glue has hardened (it doesn’t have to be COMPLETELY hardened), put another small dab of glue on top and insert your photo.  Add another layer of glue.  Again, gently tap the bottle cap to a hard surface to even and smooth out the glue.

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Allow the second layer to dry.  This time, I waited 48 hours.  This photo shows the 24 hour mark.  Next, attach the magnets to the back of the bottle cap using a strong adhesive.  The glue will dry completely clear over time (approximately 48-72 hours).

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Consider packaging these cute magnets in a small treat bag with a personalized label and give as homemade gifts!

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20th Nov2013

7 DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Christmas Ornaments For Kids

Thinking of new holiday crafts to do this year, I realized that I have done a few very easy to make Christmas ornaments.  So, I thought I’d put together a round-up of seven DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids today!

Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids

This one is a popular one that I did when I first started blogging.  All you need is a recycled toilet paper roll, glue, ribbon, and a rhinestone.  You can glitter or paint them if you want as well. It’s super easy and the kids will love it!

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Scrabble Christmas Ornaments

I don’t know about you but our household ended up with two Scrabble boards.  One had many missing pieces so I decided to reuse the tiles.  Your kids can spell out whatever their hearts desires!

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Skeleton Key Crafts

I found these skeleton keys in the dollar bin at a craft store. All I did was add a ribbon and a bead and you have an instant ornament!

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Happy Meal Toy Memory Ornaments

What do you do with all those toy figurines and Happy Meal toys your kids won’t let go? Turn them into a memory keepsake ornament!  I write the year on the bottom so I don’t forget. If you have multiple, you can give them away to friends at school as easy and inexpensive homemade gifts.

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Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments

Another great way to recycle and reuse is to turn old colorful Christmas cards into flower ornaments.  With a similar technique as the toilet paper roll ornaments, these are also really fun to make with the kids.

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Vintage Inspired Ornaments 15 Minute Craft

One of my most recent ornaments can be made with kids as well.  They’ll have fun working with paint and giving these ornaments a little shake.

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Vintage Handkerchief Ornaments

This is a great one to make and give to grandma.  Take one of her handkerchiefs and make a pretty keepsake ornament for her as a gift this year.  Add a tag with the year and a little message to Grandma.

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11th Nov2013

Antique Corner Chair Update

by Dinah Wulf

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Boy have I had this chair for a very long time.  I posted it on my Facebook page over the summer asking if I should make it over and I got over two dozen responses.  You can read them all here!  Oh! And if you’d also like to follow me on Facebook too, that would be a bonus. J I struggled on what to do with this antique chair update.  That is, should I leave it alone or make it over?

Here it is BEFORE.

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Pretty, right? Yes, but not EXACTLY my style.  You see, one of my best friends gave it to me.  I looked it up and I believe it is actually a real antique and could be worth a few hundred dollars.  With that said, I finally decided, not to harm the original wood, and just update the fabric.

I bought this new fabric.  It’s a little more modern in black and gold…. Still a slight oriental in style, but matched my décor a little better.

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Even though I think it’s been reupholstered from the original, I decided to leave the old fabric on just in case.

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I stapled the new fabric over it so that it can easily be removed…again…just in case.

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I like it!  It’s not a drastic change but it does go much better with the rest of my living room.  Now I can keep it, not worry about compromising the integrity of it, and think of my friend every time I look at it.

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06th Nov2013

Vintage Handkerchief Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

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One of my most favorite things about helping with the decorations a Vintage Inspired Baby Shower was going antique shopping with my Mother-In-Law and collecting vintage handkerchiefs.  I bought so many of them because I kept finding so many beautiful colors and patterns and even shapes. Now that the baby shower is over, I have all these beautiful handkerchiefs with nothing to do with them. After some thought, I decided to make some Vintage Handkerchief Ornaments.  Now I would be able to preserve and display them in a unique way.

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Aren’t they pretty? This post isn’t really a tutorial per se, because it’s obvious how to make them, HOWEVER I did run across some helpful tips when putting them together in these glass ornaments I got at the craft store.

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Being the Geek that I am, I was trying to figure out how to fold each handkerchief so that they would fit through a small hole, and look pretty while inside. After several trials and errors, I came upon Tip #1.

Tip #1: Don’t fold the handkerchief, it looks best when you start with a corner and stuff it in there haphazardly!

Because I tried several times at folding and stuffing I noticed that several (almost all) of these glass bulbs had sharp edges around the opening.

Tip #2: To prevent from cutting your fingers AND ripping the handkerchiefs, use a pen or chopstick to stuff the handkerchief inside the bulb.  You can also use the stick to maneuver and shape the handkerchief as you like.

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There were several times when I had to take the handkerchief out and start over.

Tip #3: Use a pair of tweezers to pull your handkerchief out if needed.  Be careful not to rip the handkerchief on those nasty sharp edges!

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After I stuffed all my bulbs, I used the ribbon from these baby shower decorations I made to re-use as a hanger for each ornament.  I used different colors, thicknesses, and materials.

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I thought they turned out quite nice and I can’t wait to put them on my tree!

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04th Nov2013

Another Ottoman Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

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At the end of this past summer, I was sent on a crazy thrift store shopping spree by one of my sponsors. One of the many treasures I found was this ottoman that I got for five dollars.  I ended up sharing my upcycle on my post, Five Dollar Thrift Store Ottoman Makeover.  I was happy with the final result until it sat in my living room for a while.  In the meantime, we redid our floors and painted and it just didn’t go with the rest of the living room anymore. Soooo, with the power of a little fabric and a staple gun, I did another ottoman makeover.

Here was the original ottoman.

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Here is the ottoman after I made it over the first time.

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The worst part of this project was taking out the staples AGAIN! My hands are still sore!

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I chose a more modern fabric to go with the living room. I needed less than a yard and of course I had a coupon so this makeover cost me less then $10.00.

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I cut the fabric to size and went to staple gunning, making sure to hold the fabric taut as I went. 

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I flipped the cushion back over drilled it back into the legs and within a few minutes I had a completely different look to this old five dollar ottoman. It now fits in perfectly with the rest of our décor (I’d show you more but the living room is still a work in progress!

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29th Oct2013

Vintage Wood Letterpress Tray Table

by Dinah Wulf

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I am always honored to share the amazing creativeness of Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box.  I have shared several of her projects in the past, including two of my favorites, her Repurposed Vintage Camera and her beautifully Upcycled Upholstered Chair.  Today, I am sharing an industrial chic Vintage Wood Letterpress Tray Table she made.

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Loren purchased this vintage wood letterpress drawer printer’s tray shadow box over a year ago on ebay.  She decided to turn it into a table with iron hairpin legs she also bought from ebay. I really need to check out the deals on ebay!  She loved the idea of storing little vintage items that she has collected through her travels to antique stores.

She decided to install poster frame plexiglass on each section of the vintage wood letterpress drawer printer tray. She used scissors to carefully cut it to fit each section.

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She bought the hinges from graphic 45 line that can be found at Aaron bothers. The hinges come with brads which she attached to the plexiglass and then nailed the hinges and attached them to the wooden letterpress tray.  She also added hitch fasteners to act as a door handle to each section of the letterpress printer tray.

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You can see Loren’s full tutorial along with more photos on her blog, Pandora’s Craft Box.  You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.  Thank you so much Loren for allowing me to share this fantastic project!  You are amazing and inspire me every day with your unique style and creative eye.

28th Oct2013

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint

by Dinah Wulf

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint is sponsored by Elmer’s. All opinions are 100% my own.

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I had the honor of testing out a fun craft product, Elmer’s Paint Markers.  They are great because you can use them on wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and even fabric.  When I received these markers I knew immediately what I wanted to try with some recent thrift store finds. 

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Here is a short four minute video tutorial I did on How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint.

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint

Before and After Painted Vase

Materials:

Instructions:

I purchased these glass vases at a thrift store for $2-$3 a piece.

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Step One:

Once you remove your Elmer’s Paint Markers from the package, shake them well.  Remove the cap and press the tip down onto a piece of scrap paper for approximately 60-90 seconds to allow the paint to bleed through.

Step Two:

Fill your glass with a generous amount of paint.

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Move and shake the glass until the paint coats the entire inside of the glass.  This takes time and patience!   Allow the paint to dry overnight.

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Step Three:

Apply an adhesive stencil to your vase.  Feel free to free-hand your design instead of using a stencil.

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Fill in the stencil with the desired Elmer’s paint Markers color.

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Remove the stencil.

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Here is another clear glass vase that I painted green and added polka dots with the metallic markers.

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Here is another vase I found at a thrift store that was already green in color. I painted a flower trim with the markers.

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There you have it!  The possibilities are endless.  Try these markers on canvas, metal, and wood too!

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Thank you to Elmer’s for sponsoring this video and post!

25th Oct2013

How to Make Candy Mason Jars

by Dinah Wulf

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Yet another recycled Mason jar craft project here! I saw this DIY project on the Nate Show a long time ago.  This project was super easy and took little time and money (my favorite combo).  Here is How to Make Candy Mason Jars.

Materials:

  • Clean Mason Jar
  • Drill
  • Knob
  • Sand Paper
  • Spray Paint (optional)
  • Remove the label from any recycled jar.  For label removal instructions click here.

On the Nate Show, they used sand paper to remove the printed image on the jar lid to give it a distressed industrial look.  I tried this… and gave up.  I tried three types of sand paper and my hand got tired and cramped.  I even tried watching TV to distract me and it didn’t help.

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I decided to use some left over silver metallic spray paint instead.  The sanding wasn’t a complete waste of time because the sanded surface allowed the spray paint to adhere well.

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After the spray paint is dry, drill a hole in the center of the lid.  I suggest putting the lid on the jar and then drill.  You have more control that way.  The drill bit size will depend on the knob you choose.  On a side note, Habitat for Humanity Restore is a GREAT resource for inexpensive knobs.  I have purchased them for as low as fifty cents apiece!

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I found these great knobs on sale for $2.50 each!

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Insert and tighten the knob onto the lid.

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Screw the lid onto the jar.  There you have it! Instant candy (or whatever) jar!  You can also frost your Mason jar for a different look.

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I added a tag, ribbon, and candy to give away as a gift.

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