DIY: Rag Rug

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you today a tale as old as time… well. Maybe not quite that old, but it is something that’s been around for quite some time and I have to say, it makes me feel great that these things are still being made. Rag rugs. That’s right. I know people who had them, I used to make yarn rugs, and the process is similar. They’re easy to do, and the best part is you can use your fabric scraps and you can also customize the colours you want for whatever room they will be staying in.

As with many older crafts, there’s many places to find tutorials, and many different ways to do it. This one  has a few extra photos on the site and is from Craftaholics Anonymous.

This rug is super simple to make. You will need strips of your choice of fabric about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long, and you will need thousands. Lots and lots in the colours of your choice. I would personally recommend cotton (quilting or otherwise) as anything else would probably fray too much. The bottom of the rug is a non skid rug mat, which you might need to order, but also may find in home stores and possibly craft stores.

Basically, this tutorial doesn’t even tie the stips. They are just looped through the mat so that the centre of the strip hugs the rug mat. The rubber of the mat should hold it in place, but keep in mind, if you are going to be washing this mat, you will want to tie a knot or slipknot them like rug hooking. The tutorial also recommends that you skip some of the holes as the pieces are fluffy and big and having a piece of fabric on every part will make it overly fluffy. You can also use a latch hook like for rug hooking, if you would like. It’s simple, but it’s a great way to use your scraps and to make something that colour coordinates so easily with whatever your rooms are like.

 

Enjoy, and happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY: Salt Water Etching

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I found a tutorial that I wanted to share, especially since it will be brought to you by SCIENCE! Also by this tutorial from Upstarter Ramblings. But by SCIENCE! Check out how super cool this looks.

So, there are some things you’ll need. First, you will need whatever it is that is stainless steel that you will be etching – this tutorial uses a water bottle… which are pretty easy to find hanging around at your local home, school camping… many stores have them. You will also need a lead set with alligator clips, a stencil of the pattern to be etched, 1/2 C of water, 1/2 tsp salt, 9 Volt battery and cotton swabs.

Your first step is to find a design you want to put on your stainless steel thing. It will need to be a stencil that you can cut out on vinyl, a prepared stencil, or one that you make from masking tape it it is a simple design. As long as the stencil is sticky, you will be good as the parts that aren’t stuck to the surface  (the exposed parts) will be what gets etched.

Mix the water and salt together into a jar and stir. Add a bunch of cotton swabs to the jar. Next, hook  one wire from the positive terminal of the batter to the metal water bottle. You can attach it to the open lid with the clip.

Hook the other wire from the negative terminal of the battery to the wet end of one of the cotton swabs. The clip has to be on the wet part of the swab.

Place the swab on the bottle where you want your design to show – in the negative spaces of the stencil, and make sure to dab the entire area.

The tip of the swab will get discoloured as metal is transferred from the bottle to the swab so replace it often – hence the handful of cotton swabs needed.

Try to cover the area evenly and when you’re done, dry off the design and remove the stencil. Wash away any remaining liquid.

And there you have it. A super impressive, super complicated looking project that you can do yourself.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan

 

 

 

 


DIY: Antique Flatware Rings

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers.

I have to say, I have always loved flatware rings. Whether it’s spoons or forks. There’s one catch though: they need to be silver. Which means you can check out your local antique stores or you can order them on Ebay. I’m using this tutorial from Kristen Danielle Designs as my reference.

So, you do need some specialty tools, but this is also a specialty DIY. You of course will need a sterling silver spoon or fork. A metal cutter, hacksaw or jewelry saw, file or sandpaper – coarse and fine, a dowel or ring mandrel, a paper and pen, a hammer or mallet (optional) and a butane torch (also optional but good for creme brule also). You’ll also have to decide what type of ring you want to make. You can make one that wraps up your finger, like so:

Or you can make one that wraps around itself, like so:

You can make whatever you like, you just need to make the wrap ring (the top image) a little longer.

When you’ve picked out which ring you want to make, pick out your cutlery and make sure it’s sterling silver – it will be stamped on the back of the spoon (900 or 925).

Next, measure your finger. You can do this by cutting a strip of paper and cutting it to measure or marking the overlap. If you’re doing a wrap ring, add an extra 1/4 inch for the overlap. If it’s the other type, you can just wrap it on itself.

For the next step you’ll need your saw or cutter. If you’re making a wrap ring, you’re going to want to cut the handle at the length you measured. The other ring, you can cut it just below the bowl of the spoon. File/sand the cut tend with a metal file or coarse grit sandpaper, and work your way down to fine grit sandpaper to get it super smooth so you don’t cut yourself or others.

Your next step is to bed the spoon. You can bend it around a dowel using the force of your muscles, you can hammer it around the dowel, or you can heat it with a butane torch before you bend. I would test which method works best for you.

If you are going to use a hammer, to avoid scratches, wrap the head of the hammer in a folded dishtowel. If you torch it, you’ll need to heat it for a little while, but don’t let it start glowing orange, that’s bad. The last step is to buff or polish the ring to get it to shine.

And voila, you have rings that you can give as gifts, or sell if you’re so inclined. Have fun!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Teacup Makeup Stand

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Hello Thursday readers.

I found something I thought was rather lovely, and I thought I’d share it with you. At first glance it’s really cool. But on top of that, it’s actually pretty useful for the intended purpose, which is even better. You will need some supplies and tools and a little technical know how: A plate, bowl and cup (it’s really nice if they match, and you can totally find some on the cheap at second hand and vintage stores), a threaded rod for lamps with nuts, 1/2″ (hole) washers, 1/2″ diamond drill bit and drill, spray primer and paint, a drawer knob and 8-32 machine screw for the drawer knob. You can find the original post here from Design by Studio C, if you’d like to check back for reference or check for some other awesome posts.

Your first step is to mark the position of the holes to be drilled into the pieces. You can find the original poster’s video on how to do this here. Using the diamond bit, drill holes and then set the dinnerware to the side. Keep in mind, if you want to add any decor, such as decals or any paint, or you want to decorate the plates on your own, this is the time.

Determine the height of the organizer (and take into account any room needed to grasp the top to move the thing) and cut a length for the rod. You can use a metal primer to prime the metal bits (including the nuts, rod and washers) and you can spray paint them a particular colour, if you so choose.

 

Thread a nut onto the rod and leave it as close to the bottom as possible. Add a washer and then the plate. Add another washer and then a nut to hold the plate securely in place.

Thread a third nut onto the rod and add another washer. Adjust the height for where you would like the bowl to sit. Leave a little room so you can get your hands underneath it to access anything that gets pushed closer to the middle. Add the bowl, another washer and a fourth nut to secure it in place.

Do the same with the cup.

Remember that so long as you’ve left enough height, you can adjust things at this point so that there’s enough space and every piece is at the height you’d like it to be.

Insert the machine screw in the bottom of the drawer knob, making sure the head of the screw will fit through the opening in the rod.

The last step is to glue the drawer knob to the top of the rod inside the cup so that it can be a functional handle. Voila! your project is complete. Super easy and makes a really beautiful gift.

Happy crafting!

 

~Megan

 

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DIY Wax Luminaries

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Good morning, Thursday readers.

I found a really cool tutorial from Candle Tech that caught my eye and initially I thought it might be a little silly, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Tea light/votive holders made from wax. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but what makes it work is the type of wax used. And plus, they look really cool.

You do need some supplies and tools: High-melt paraffin wax – IGI-1260 – (this one is super important – don’t use something that isn’t high melt), party balloons, a double boiler and a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You will need to start by filling your balloon with tepid water.

Your next step is to melt your wax in a double boiler. The best temperature for this project is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a double boiler will help to keep things from overheating, and you can use a thermometer to double check if you have one.

Slowly dip your balloon into the wax to just below the water level inside the balloon. If you go past the water level, your balloon can pop. Hold the balloon in the wax for a few seconds and then slowly lift it out. Let it cool between dips, but you’ll need to do this a few more times to get a good thickness of wax on the balloon.

When the wax is still fairly warm, put the balloon on a piece of parchment or on a cookie sheet. This will allow a flat bottom to be created so it’s level and won’t topple over. Allow to cool a little, and then repeat the above process a few more times. You’re going to want a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of wax on your balloon. Set it aside again to let it cool.

 

When the water inside the balloon and the wax are completely cool, holding the wax portion so it doesn’t fall and aiming the mouth away from you, pop the balloon over this sink with something sharp to let the water drain out and toss the deflated rubber.

If the top of your luminary isn’t level, that’s okay. There’s an easy fix, since you’re working with wax. Just heat up a cookie sheet in the oven and place the luminary top down onto the hot metal (you can put some parchment paper down to catch the wax) and melt the edges until it’s level. You can wipe the paper with a paper towel if you’re going to need to do it a couple times.

And you’re ready to go with a tea light or a votive (remember, votives need some kind of container to keep them from melting everywhere). So long as you’re just using those types of candles, the luminary won’t melt. Remember, it’s high temp wax, so you need more heat to melt it. If you want to add some colour to your wax, you can add some crushed crayons (though it might make them a little less transparant). You can also think about adding glitter or even doing a few white layers of wax as a base with a couple colour layers over top. You could even dip the top rim in glitter once you’ve melted it to make it level or you might want to carve your creations afterwards… but regardless of what you end up doing, they do look super cool!

Happy Crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 


Galaxy Teas

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a small business to introduce you to. If you love tea, and I know many of you will, then this is an interesting business for you! I work a couple conventions with this gentleman, and he is the first person I have met who can make you your own custom tea blend. May I introduce the very steampunk Galaxy Teas.

Galaxy Teas sells loose leaf tea off the rack at conventions – with super cool names and flavours – and does offer to make a custom flavour for you if you’re looking for a special blend.

Whether you’re looking for a unique flavour blend for a gift for a friend, or whether you’re looking for favours for a wedding or a shower, these teas are beautifully packaged in metallic, colourful little packages with awesome labels for the awesome tea names. We have flavours like Robyn Hood’s Black Forrest and Emma Frost Vanilla Chai.  There might seem to be limited flavours available online, but don’t let that deter you. Send a message to Galaxy teas, as they have many more available that you can buy at conventions or request via email.

You can keep up to date on the shows that Galaxy Teas will be at by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Customizable DIY Colouring Fabric.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

This isn’t quite a DIY but it is a neat little piece of info for those of you who are looking to make things that can be coloured. That’s right, fabric that can be coloured – for clutches, pillow cases, shirts… whatever you like. This is more of a step by step for how to order what you need, but I didn’t realize that this could even be done, so I thought I’d share. There’s a full tutorial on Damask Love, but this post will focus on the resources you need to get this fabric to you.

Your first step is to find a design that you like at a place like Creative Market. If you search the term “seamless” it will pull up all kinds of designs that are appropriate for a colouring item. Purchase your design and save it to an easy to find place in your computer.

Next, hop on over to Zazzle (which also has a Canadian site). On this site you can order all kinds of blank things that you can have images printed on. If you’re looking to make a tote or a pillow or clutch, I suggest searching for “twill” to order some plain fabric with your design printed on it. Note that you can also make other custom stuff, so of course, play around! All you have to do is upload the design, and fidget with the scale if you choose. Since the design is seamless, you won’t have to work with edges or things like that.

After you’ve chosen the design and the fabric, just order it and wait for it to arrive. See? Not so much a tutorial but until seeing this I had no idea that I could order colouring fabric (of course you’ll want to use fabric markers for the actual colouring), or that I could customize it, so I thought you guys needed to know too.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Tie Die Dog Leash.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

Love this little tutorial from StudioDIY, partly because it’s super easy, but also because it involves some minimal materials to make a great gift for you and your pooch or for another dog lover. I also love that it uses tie dye paint, which is meant to have things dipped in it, and is also meant to blend with the other colours, so makes something like this super easy.

Your first step is to get some tie dye paint – you should be able to find some at any craft store but it can also be ordered. Mix the dye with water in the bottles according to the package directions. The dyes are super bright when made this way, and if you want a bit of a softer colour, you can squeeze some into glass bowls and mix with additional water (1:3 ratio). It just depends how bright you’d like your piece.  You’ll also need to buy a white cotton leash from any pet store.

 

Next, choose which colours you’d like to use, and how long your leash is. If your leash is 6 feet long, you could choose 6 colours, one for each foot. But you can do whatever combination you’d like. Just organize everything beforehand so you don’t have to be fiddling with dye in the middle of your project.

Lay down some protective plastic, make sure you’re wearing some gloves so you don’t dye your hands, and then start dying the handle end of the leash first. Dip it into your first colour and let it sit for about one minute. Remove and continue with the next colour.

The colours will (and should) blend together, so don’t worry if there’s some bleeding or overlap. If you have an extra pair of hands, this will make everything easier, so you might want to phone a friend to come by. When you’re done, let the colour sit in the leash for 8 or more hours before you give it a thorough wash in the sink.

And that’s a super easy way to make gifts for your animal loving friends, to to have a fantastic dog leash for yourself.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY: Mini Mummies

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I found an amazingly cute and easy Halloween decor DIY that I couldn’t pass up sharing with you. They are as the title describes, and the original post I came across can be found here.

For this project you need a few supplies, but they’re pretty easy to find at any craft and fabric shop. You’ll need some styrofoam balls (whatever size you like, or varying sizes), muslin (at least 1/4 yard, but more if you’re going to be making many), eyelets or brads, tea bags, a spray bottle, 22 gague floral wire and glue.

Your first step? Make a cup of tea for you and a cup of tea for your mummies. That’s right… the tea for you is fuel for your day. The tea for your mummies is to give them a spray at the end for colour.

Next, select a styofoam ball and press two eyelets or brads between the middle and top of the ball as eyes (you can dab them in a little glue for better hold, if you like).  For legs, cut two pieces of the floral wire, and bend each into an oval. Stick them into the bottom of the ball. You can choose to make them whatever length you prefer, so if you want a mummy with super long legs and a wee little head, it can be done!

Cut 3/8 inch wide strips of muslin and begin wrapping the ball until it is covered, going around the eyes and legs. Use glue to adhere the ends of the strips on the ball.

Remove the tea bag from the mummy tea and put it into the spray bottle. Spray the mummy lightly and let it dry. When it’s dry, give it another spray and continue this process until you get the colouring you like, and just like that, you have a cute collection of the undead.

Happy Crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY: Light Up Halloween Tree

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I came across this lovely DIY that is amazingly versatile since you can apply the same techniques to different holidays. All you need to do is use different colours and accents. Since Halloween is coming up soon though, it’s going to be a Halloween one, because it’s a holiday I love. I didn’t make this up myself, so you can find the full and original tutorial here.

You’ll need some materials, but they can be found at craft stores or hardware stores. If you make these a little closer to the holiday, you can often find the seasonal stuff on sale. You will need a 54″ tomato cage (lots of hardware stores sell them year round, but if not in your area, you could always order one) and you could do it any size for your space with a tutorial for making one from a larger cage here, but we will do this larger size for outdoor. You will also need 10-15 zip ties, 2 sets of 100 christmas lights (white works well with any colour ribbon, but keep in mind, if you can find other colours, purple or green would look just amazing), 5 rolls of mesh ribbon, 100 black pipe cleaners and extra seasonal decorations of your choice (like spiders, witches hats, sparkly pumpkins…)

If you’re going to be putting your tree into some soil, in a pot or on the ground, you can cut the widest ring off the cage so you can create stakes to hold them in place.You could also skip this step and have it sit on a flat surface, though you might need some extra ribbon.

Use a zip tie to attach together the top of the tree (the bottom of the cage) to create a tip that comes together.

 

Start adding lights and loop them around and around, using the zip ties to secure them every so often when they get droopy. You’re now ready to cut your ribbon.

 

You can use scissors. But if you have a rotary cutter, you can go for that too. Cut them at 10″ each so if you have 10″ wide ribbon, you’ll end up with 10″ squares.

Attach one pipe cleaner to the cage.

 

Accordion fold two pieces of mesh and hold them side by side.

This photos is with the two sets of two (so there’s 4 accordion folded pieces of mesh)

Twist them in the pipe cleaner. Repeat this at least twice per pipe cleaner, and keep adding the mesh until the tree is covered. You can clip any ends of pipe cleaners if they are a little long, but save them so you can use them to attach the decor.

Attach your little seasonal decorations to the pipe cleaners (or add in any extras you might want to). This tutorial writer even added witches legs, that would be super easy to do and super cute coming out of the bottom of a planter pot.

It just looks so good with the lights, it’s unbelievable!

 

And you’re done. And  you’re fabulous. And the best part is that after this tutorial you have a beautiful Halloween tree that’s covered in sparkly decorations and lights up when you plug it in.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan