DIY Colourful Suncatchers

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Today is a special post because this is my last post as a single lady. In fact, I’ll be getting married tomorrow! So you’ll have to forgive the simplicity of the post but I wanted to find something colourful, beautiful and easy to match my mood. So I’ve got a really easy sun catcher tutorial that is just so cheerful that I couldn’t resist. The original tutorial is from Life In the Nuthouse, which can be found here with all the photos you might need.

So I love that this can be made into an upcycling project as you will need plastic cups. Look for ones that are clear and colourful, rather than just the red solo cups. So if you’re at birthday parties through the summer, maybe save some, or you can buy some at the varying places around that carry plastic cups :).  Look for type 6 recycling plastic as those will be the ones that will shrink down. You can buy ones for you to use or you can buy some to bring to parties and then reuse them.

First, you will need to start with clean cups and cut off the base.

Next you will need to punch two holes across from each other.

Preheat your oven to 250 Farenheit, and line your pans with parchment paper. Place the cups top side down. They won’t really melt too much, but leave a little room between them so they can collapse. If they aren’t completely flat, use a spatula right after you remove them from the oven to flatten them. If your oven is hot, it will only take 2 minutes for them to melt. Scoop them off and let them cool either on a cool pan or if you have a granite counter top, you can let them cool on there. Don’t use cookie racks or you’ll have indents.

When they’re cooled. use some string/yarn/fishing line to string them up with an outer circular layer and an inner one.

For the top of the chandelier, you can use any round plate but the packing boxes from clocks from Ikea can be repurposed and painted. Since the clock used was octagonal, 8 strands of discs made sense, as well as an inner ring of 8 for a total of 16 strands. The outer ring has 5 discs (one of each color) and the inner ring has 7 discs, so that they would hang down a little more.

Hang your strands how you like them, and for your last step, you can glue a last ring to the top of the sun catcher facing the ceiling (with a string hanging from the holes) so you can hang it. And voila, you have a cheerful, beautiful sun catcher.

Hope you guys enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 

 


DIY Spindle Windchimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Last week I posted on a DIY for sun catcher wind chimes. This week, I have a tutorial for you from Confessions of a Serial DIYer on making some wooden wind chimes, and the full tutorial can be visited here.

I love wooden wind chimes for a number of reasons, but the biggest is probably the sound. Its pretty unique and you can use different wood types and lengths to make different sounds. The other part of this tutorial that I love is that the tools and materials are very simple.

For this project you’ll need spray paint in the colours of your choice, spindles from old chairs (for a good size). You can also use wooden dowels in various lengths for different sounds, or cut these ones to varying lengths. You’ll need fishing line, scissors, a drill and a very small drill bit (the size just needs to be big enough to drill holes through the wood for the fishing line) and super glue. For the hanging base, you will need a round piece of wood like the one pictured, but you can find bases like this attached to lamps or candle holders at thrift stores, or you can just buy a round disk of wood to use to the same end. You’ll also need a metal ring, the size is up to you, but you will just need something to tie your fishing line to so that you can hang your chimes.  Your last thing is a topper. it isn’t necessary, but it can be something you find in a thrift store, or something at home you’d like to repurpose.

Your first step is to spray paint your wooden parts. Please do this in a well ventilated area outside, and give them some time to dry.

When they’re dry, your next step is to drill tiny holes horizontally at the top of each spindle. For safety, wear safety glasses and have a spare piece of wood underneath where you’re drilling to catch the drill bit. This should keep you and your furniture safe.

Next, mark and measure where the spindles will hang on your base.  They should be hanging around the base in a circle, and be more or less equidistant from each other along the outer rim. The tutorial writer sanded everything to antique it a little, but this is a step that you can skip if it isn’t your preference.

Next, you can thread your spindles. Cut enough fishing line for each of your spindles. Cut half of the lengths at 12 inches, and half at 24 (so if you have 8 spindles, you’ll be cutting 4 and 4).

Thread the sorter string through the hole in the spindle, and then thread both ends through the top of the disk. Tie the string so that there’s a knot big enough not to fall through. If your holes are a little too big, you can thread a button onto the end and tie the thread around the button so that you basically have an easy peasy stopper.

With your 24 inch thread, thread it through the spindle and tie a couple knots a few inches up from the spindle before pulling it through the holes in the top piece – this will keep them from pulling through the top  and you can use the same trick with the button if your holes are too big.. Try to keep them hanging at about the same length as the 12 inch pieces, and then tie them to the ring when they’ve been threaded through.

Next, use superglue to affix your topper, whatever you’ve chosen it to be. Hang in your garden and enjoy!

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


DIY: Suncatcher Wind Chimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a really neat DIY project for you. I was looking around at DIY wind chimes, as I absolutely love them. I grew up with someone in my family who always had them, and though I can’t remember who it was, I am always transported back to that time. There’s quite a few different tutorials online for making your own wind chimes, and I might post another one next week. But I came across this:

… and I just fell in love with the idea of suncatcher wind chimes, and thanks to this tutorial from Hands On as We Grow, there’s an easy way to make them, and not just that, but to have it be a project that you can do with your kids. You will need some supplies to do this though: Contact paper (you will want transparent rather than a patterned one) that can be found at any craft store, and maybe even some kitchen stores, scissors, a marker or pen, rings (your choice of size) from mason jar lids, string or cord, and a sturdy stick. Outside of these materials, you will need to go in search of foliage to actually keep inside the suncatcher portion of these chimes.

Your first step (other than collecting flowers) is to cut a piece of contact paper and trace mason jar rings onto the paper side of the stuff. Do as many as you have the rings for. Then you’ll want to peel the adhesive off and – very carefully – lay it on the table with the sticky side up.

When you have your foliage where you would like it, peel the other contact paper, and try to stick it as smoothly as you can over your creation. Cut out the circles.

Tie a knot around the rings using the string, and then simply push the suncatcher circles into the ring. They might be the right size enough to fit, or you might have to tape them in place. Then just attach them to a stick to turn them into some beautiful windchimes to hang near your window.

Hope you enjoyed this easy and beautiful tutorial.

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


DIY: Concrete Lamps

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers,

Last week we looked at making vases out of concrete. Today, with a tutorial from Brit + Co we will be looking at using concrete again, and using them to make some stylish hanging lamps. You will be able to find the full tutorial here, should you need some more info.

I love that these projects have minimal materials cost and are pretty stylish and sleek. They also recycle some garbage and use it to make these awesome things! Most of the materials are fairly inexpensive and available at most hardware stores. The original poster used Quikrete 5000 concrete mix, an electrical socket, switch and cord, two plastic bottles (one larger and one smaller – think 2 liter and 1 liter… something along those lines), a threaded tube and nuts (3/8th inch diameter tube), 3 1/2 inch deck screw, 120 grit sandpaper and a metal can. Your tools are also pretty simple. A box cutter or knife, a cordless drill with 3/8th diameter standard bit for drilling holes into the caps, wire cutters to cut the cord and strip wires.

First, poke a hole in the soda bottle with a box cutter and use scissors to cut off the bottom of the bottle. Next, drill a hole in the caps of both bottles, which is made significantly easier by keeping the cap on the bottle. The hole should be just big enough to screw the metal tube through.

To connect the bottle caps together, screw the tube through both caps and use nuts on either side of each cap to hold them in place.

Screw both bottles into their caps.

Use the desk screws to keep the bottles stabilized.

Mix the concrete to the manufacturer’s directions and fill the mold. It might be easier to use a spoon to get it in there rather than pouring. Shake and tap the mold after each spoon to make sure everything settles without air bubbles. Use the metal can to stabilize your mold.

After you’ve given the concrete time to dry – I would say at least a couple days, but again, follow the manufacturer’s directions, then it’s time to remove the bottles. You can cut the external bottle away using a box cutter and scissors. With a hair drier you can heat the internal bottle to make it a little softer so you can pull it out with pliers. Sand any rough edges.

Cut the socket end of the wire and thread the cut end through the bolt hole. Strip the wires and twist them together. Cover the exposed metal with electrical tape or wire nuts and make sure the pendant is securely fastened. You can find brackets from furnishing stores with which to hang and the one in this tutorial came from Ikea.

You can mix concrete colours, use different bottles and even change  the way you pour the concrete to get some different and really cool effects.

 

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


DIY : Upcycled Concrete Vases

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Good morning, Thursday readers!

I have a special love in my heart for upcycling projects. I love the ability to make something old new again, even if it’s a completely different purpose you never would have thought of.  This project is probably not one I would do myself, given my lack of working space, but I think it’s super cool. These vases can be made from old bottles – glass or plastic, and boy do they look awesome. The original article can be found here posted by Brit.Co, who always has some great and unique diy projects.

You will need some tools and supplies: Commercial grade countertop mix in grey and white (you can ask at your local hardware store), plastic or glass bottles with caps, and some pens, candles or test tubes. As for tools, you’ll need a cordless drill, a box cutter and 7 inch diagonal pliers.

If you’re using plastic, you can cut the bottom off to create a large hole to work with, but with glass ones, only use bottles with a wide mouth. Start by drilling a hole in the caps of bottles large enough to hold your hole making device (the pen, test tube or candle) as this will leave a space in the inner chamber for these to be useful vases. Screw the caps back on with the piece inside.

Mix the concrete according to the manufacturers directions. You can use a mixture of different colours if you like as this tutorial used white and grey. For glass bottles, you want it to be a little runnier since the mouths are small and concrete is hard to pour. You next want to fill the bottles, and remember, you will be pouring overtop of your internal space maker. It will be messy. Prepare accordingly with drop sheets and outside spaces.  Tap and shake the bottles to remove air bubbles. If they have caps, screw them back on and let them sit for at least 24 hours, up to 4 or 5 days if you used a glass bottle.

When the concrete is dry and set and you’ve left none of that part to chance, if your bottle is plastic, you can cut away the plastic carefully with your box cutter and pliers. Though it’s concrete, it’s still fragile right now so you’ll have to be careful. If you used a glass bottle, break the glass with a hammer very carefully, and by tapping lightly. If you’re using glass, again, safety first so goggles, drop sheets, outdoor areas, etc.

Remove the caps. If you used a plastic pen or candle to create the inner chamber,  apply heat before removing. If you used a test tube, you can crush it with your pliers and pour out the fragments – by the way. I’ve seen test tubes at craft and dollar stores, so this might be a little easier. Level the bottoms with the knife if you need to, and then you might want to let them sit another day or two if you’re planning anything else with them.

You can add them to your home decor as is, or you can decorate them by painting them partially, or maybe sculpting into the concrete. Dealer’s choice, of course. Be creative!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and happy crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish

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Good morning, Thursday folks!

I’ve got a cute little DIY for you. I saw this as I was browsing earlier this week and said to myself, “Self, we would use one of those, wouldn’t we?” Well. Who doesn’t need a dinosaur serving plate?

The materials are simple, and can be found at second hand and craft stores. You’ll need a hard plastic dinosaur toy (it has to be sturdy and balanced so that it can be useful), a small melamine plate, sandpaper, strong adhesive, spray paint of your choice, a hand held saw and parchment paper for lining the plate (for food safety reasons). You can find the original tutorial here at Three Little Monkeys Studio.

First, use the saw to cut off the dino’s head just above the shoulders. Try to keep your cut level and use the sandpaper to smooth the cut edges. Also use the sandpaper to score the surface on the top and bottom of your plate so that your adhesive will hold better and have something to grip to.

Apply your adhesive to the body and plate (use the manufacturers directions on your adhesive, as some may want you to let it set before adhering). When you’re ready, attach the plate to the body and allow to cure for 24 hours. When everything has dried and cured, do the same for the dino’s head.

When you’re dry, you can start painting. If you’re feeling super creative, you can do multiple colours, designs of your own, or you can use your favorite spray paint in your favourite colour. A white dino plate is chic. A silver dino plate might be out of this world!

Happy crafting!

Megan

 

 


DIY: Paint Chip Calendar

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers,

I saw this and though tit was pretty awesome, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a customizable calendar made out of paint chips. Which does mean that you can do whatever colour scheme you’d like and you can absolutely customize the sizing outside of what we’re showing you here. You can find the original tutorial here at DIY Projects.

For this project you will need a few things: A 12″ by 16″ picture frame (check your craft stores – they often have interesting and larger sizes), 35 paint chips in your choice of colours, scotch tape, scissors, a ruler and a dry erase marker. Your first step is to open the frame and take out the stock photo they have there. If you want a white background, just flip this over and use it as your background. If you’d like something a little more festive, you can use a piece of wrapping paper, wall paper, or you can wrap the back cardboard piece in fabric (though you may want to use a glue gun in that case rather than tape).  Next, measure a paint chip and cut it into a 3 and a quarter inches square – do this for all of them.

Lay out and affix the paint swatches to your board, and put 5 chips for each day. You can use a piece of some of the chips as a header for the day of the week if you like. Affix these by using tape – don’t worry, the picture frame will hold everything securely in place.

Your last step is to use your marker to label the calendar – the glass will work with the dry erase so you can customize it every month and add whatever you have going on through the month.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Scented Firestarters

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Good morning, Crafthackers!

It’s Friday morning, and here in Hamilton where I live, it’s snowy and cold. And when I say cold, I mean cold. With the windchill it’s -30 degrees Celsius today, so as you can guess, my day will consist of tea, sewing and embroidery! I was wandering around the internet though, and thought what a nice gift this would make for anyone who has a working fireplace. This tutorial is from Design Sponge, and it is relatively simple but super impressive! They’re pine cone fire starters.

Now I know what you’re thinking. That pine cones are natural fire starters… and they are, but for an indoor fireplace, you sometimes need a little extra burn time, and the scents that you can add to this project make it just that much better. You will need some stuff: You’ll need pine cones – which you can find yourself or you can often buy them at craft/hobby stores, twine (or candle wick), a double boiler (or a saucepan and large glass measuring cup), candle wax (about 3/4 cup per pinecone) – you can use beeswax or paraffin wax, it’s dealer’s choice. You will also need some bowls for setting the wax as well as any essential oils you’d like to use to scent the wax.

So, first get your double boiler boiling, and pour the wax beads/pieces into the top portion of the boiler, and add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. Cinnamon or vanilla are great warming smells for the time of year that requires a fire.

Wrap your twine around the base of the pine cone, and feel free to be generous with your wrapping, but do keep it closer to the bottom of the pine cone – we’d like it to stay covered in wax – with the exception of a tail to hang outside of the wax (I’d leave a few inches)

Find a bowl (or other container) that the pine cone fits into nice and snug so there’s room for the wax but so that the edges of the pine cone are close to the edges of the dish. You’ll need to rub some oil all around the inside of the bowl to make it easier to get the wax out. Place the pine cone into the bowl with the wick tail sitting outside the bowl.

When the scented wax is fully melted, slowly pour it into the bowl. If the bowl is clear it will be hard to tell how full it is, but do what you can as you can always add more wax once it’s dry. 3/4 of an inch of wax is a good place to aim for.

When they are cooled, twist and pull your fire starters out of the bowl, and trim the wick down to about 3/4 of an inch , and you’re done. They’re ready to be used or gifted!

Happy crafting and stay warm out there!

~ Megan


Crystalline Light

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In honor of the Winter Solstice this week, I thought I’d show case that ~Winter Aesthetic~ today with some really lovely crystal light fixtures designed by Melbourne Australia artist: Christopher Boots.

All his work is made by hand and with real metals and naturally formed crystals. Much like a traditional jeweler, he will spend hours scouring crystals to find the ones with just the right hardness/crystalline structure/fracture/transparency. A lot of his work plays with the organic yet geometric form of his medium and the results are just wonderful to behold.

You can find more of his work on his instagram page, as well as see glimpses of his upcoming projects/inspirations. Worth the follow if you have the app and are an art lover. ^_^


Felted Decor and Ornaments

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The Holidays are always the time to show off your best crafting skills. The one time of the year you can fill the house with what you love and no one will bat an eye; they’ll simply call you festive. 😉 I’ve got 2 artists today that both specialize in wonderfully detailed hand felted items that work great on a tree or even around your home!

Miri of Noristudio specializes in making adorable woodland creature who often have an adorable acorn beret on their head. I personally loved this little hedgehog, but you can find a whole collection of them in her shop, including a set of ornaments to hang up in your home! Another thing I love is that they’re interested in bringing new people to the medium with their DIY kits for beginners. Something that could make an excellent gift for the crafter in your life that’s seeking a new and challenging medium to tackle. 🙂

The second artist is just as exciting with their dedication to realism in their pieces. I mean, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear some of these pieces were real.

Made by Natalja of TaFiOLand, these pieces are really quite wonderful. They are a German based artist of quite some talent, imho, and I just find their precision with the medium to be considerably well honed. Several of their pieces can be used as table decoration or hanging on your tree, but there are even a few pieces that can be used for lighting fixtures around the home. Really just lovely work that I highly recommend checking out. 🙂