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!




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!


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. 🙂

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!


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!





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