DIY Awesome Framed shelves.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a lovely tutorial today brought to you by Shanty 2 Chic  that transforms frames into fabulous little shelves where you can display anything from books to collectables. You can find the whole tutorial here, but I’ll give you the basic rundown with some photos from both this website and others to give you some inspiration.

Beautiful white painted frame shelves.

Your first task is to assemble what you need to make this business happen! First you will need your frames. You can decorate old ones you have lying around, buy cheap ones at a garage sale or second hand store to dress up, or buy new ones that you can dress up or leave bare, whatever you prefer! And of course the number you make is up to you. With your frames, you’ll need to remove the glass, the backing and any hardware that is attached to the frame itself.

Your next step is to measure your frames – measure the inside of the frame and cut the wood (1 inch by 4 inch cut to your measurements). You can use scrap boards, as long as you have the means to cut it, and it doesn’t really matter the type of wood. If you don’t have the means to cut it, many hardware stores that sell unfinished wood will help you with this. Make two cuts for each side (as pictured above). Keep in mind that you do not need to have the boards set inside the lip where the glass used to sit. Just keep it a little bit bigger than that edge so that you have a little room for error and a little breathing room so we don’t give ourselves anxiety attacks over worrying about millimeters.

Next you will need to build your square. This tutorial recommends first gluing all the sides together with Gorilla Glue or wood glue, and then nailing them together either with a nailgun or just a good old fashioned hammer.

You should end up with a frame like this (pictured above), that is smaller than your actual frame.

This poster uses the same process of first gluing the picture frame to the crafted frame and then using 1 1/4 inch brad nails, they nailed through the front of the frame to hold onto the back securely.

You have a couple small last steps before you can display your marvelous DIY for all the world to see. First you’ll need to get a little tube of hole filler (found at your local hardware store) to fill the little holes left by the nails. And after that is dry, it’s time to paint your frame! You can use a spray paint to do it all one colour, whether it’s metallic or neon pink or just a plain, sophisticated white, or you can crack out your artist’s palate and paint them all individually by hand in whatever artistic way you can imagine.

Your last step is to hang them on the wall. Just be sure to buy some picture hanging supplies so that you don’t do any undue damage to your walls, especially if you’re going to be putting anything heavy on your shelves. If you’re not going to be putting anything too heavy inside, you can use these types of picture hanging supplies (one on each side) to hold your frame up and these types of no hole hanging supplies can be found at hardware stores. If you’re going to be putting something heavier on your shelves, I fully recommend heavier hardware.

Taken from Porch – using larger, more ornate frames to create these. Check out second hand and vintage stores for these babies!

I hope that this was an inspiring little DIY. I think it’s a fantastic alternative to bookshelves or whole shelving units that looks a whole bunch more unique and amazing.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Pallet Swing Chair

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I saw this, Saturday readers, and I thought I needed to share it with you.

This is super cool and the materials are super cheap. The full tutorial can be found here, on Instructables. You just need a few tools and a ploace to hang it and you’re all set to relax. You’ll need some tools: A drill, mask and gloves, a saw and a lighter. You will need some materials: Paracord (you should be able to find this at any hardware store), a pallet (you may be able to do it with one, but it depends on the usable wood) and possibly some sandpaper and wood sealant.

Pallet wood is hardwood and can be found if not for free, for very cheap. Pallets are what shipments are brought into stores on. This is treated wood, so you will need to wear a mask and gloves at all times, and when you are finished cutting and drilling, it’s very important that you seal your wood. You can use other ropes, but this tutorial recommends paracord because it’s small, strong and doesn’t tend to stretch. You can also keep it from unravelling or fraying by using fire to melt the ends of the cords.

Your first step is to take apart your pallet. The trick is to get the wood apart without breaking it (prying it can cause a lot of breakage but can be done). A sawzall (pictured above) can be used to cut the pieces apart through the nails. You can pop the rest of the nail out of the wood after you’re done.

Before you cut your wood, you’ll need to decide how wide to cut your wood for your chair. This tutorial was done with 20 inch long boards, but you can opt for bigger or smaller. Bigger would allow for more sizes of bottoms to fit in it. But it’s up to you. 16 boards at 20 inches long were used for this particular project. Make sure if you’re swing yourself that you keep your eyes open for any nails you didn’t get out of the wood. If you don’t have a table saw, and don’t want to do it manually ( and I wouldn’t blame you) go talk to a local hardware store and you can see if they have a service of having someone use their tools for your needs.

Next you will need to mark the holes for your cord to go through. This tutorial put laces 1/2″ from the edge of the board and then 2″ apart. You can choose whatever dimensions suit your project and your tastes so long as the holes are far enough in from the edge of the board  so that it does not break once it has weight on it. Also, be aware that boards with laces that are spaced further apart will tend to pull away from each other more, which can create a gap that can pinch fingers, legs, and cheeks.


With everything marked, it’s time to drill. You can use a regular or table drill and just be sure to drill holes just slightly bigger than your cord. And as always… safety first! So be sure to be taking proper precautions for whichever method you choose.

Please check out the instructable for more photos.

Now it is time to lace, like you would shoes, with your paracord. You can melt the ends with the lighter to make it easier.

When you reach the end, cut the paracord, making sure you leave enough slack to tie a strong knot at the end. You should be using one piece to tie two slats together, and you can measure your first piece to use as a template for the rest. I would make them a little longer so you have a little room for error, in case you need it. Make sure you are aware of which side of the board is up and which is down so that you can end up with all of the nice looking wood facing up, and it looks better to have all the knots sticking out the bottom. When you finish a lace, go back and pull the cords tight at each “X” so that there’s no slack.

Now all you have to do is hang the chair from whatever structure you have available.
I used some 2×4’s between the trees in the back yard (not the prettiest but it works). Just drill a couple of holes in each of the four corners you would like to hang the chair from and thread the paracord through them, though I would drill a hole in the second last slat where your legs would hang so that it will be more comfortable. You can even adjust the lounge factor – hanging these further apart will let you lay back, and closer together will be more upright. Two strands of paracords were used for this one, but for extra strength, you can braid together more.

Once you get the idea you can stain it, use different cord colours, build a structure... really whatever you like

Once you get the idea you can stain it, use different cord colours, build a structure… really whatever you like

Hope you enjoyed this little DIY. I thought it was so simple, and so cool. You need a little know how with tools, but I find that even if I don’t have it, someone I know does. Which works for me.

Happy crafting!

 


Levitating Book Shelves

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Hello Thursday Crafthackers!

I thought I would bring you another quick DIY since the last one I presented took a little bit of time and effort. I want to bring you something that’s super cool. You might have seen them in some deep dark internet hole, but I bring you a tutorial for making floating book shelves (Or trinket shelves) that are made out of books.

 

The end look is really cool and is super useful if you don’t have a space where having bookshelves will really work (think basement apartments that aren’t that tall, for example) and they’re super easy to do. They just take a little bit of hardware and that’s it. I’ve used the tutorial from Instructables to guide you through but there’s many out there.

You’ll need a few tools and materials. First you’ll need to find a book to make into a shelf. A coffee table book or a book from a vintage store would look super neat, but pick one you won’t read again as this will make it unreadable. A thrift store is an excellent option for this, as well you can sometimes find old sets of encyclopedias that would make lovely shelves. You’ll need an L bracket that you can purchase from your local hardware store, small wood screws (flat top) and large wood screws, and you’ll also need a box cutter, pen, measuring aparatus (ruler or measuring tape), glue and a stack of books for weight.

Measure the mid point of the book (length wise) on the inside of the back pages of your book so that your bracket will sit with the book balanced on either side of it. Position your bracket at this centre point and trace it and the holes so that you have a reference point as once you’re ready, you will be cutting into the pages to make a little home for the bracket to live without bulking the book up.

You will also want to make sure that your book will be sitting flush against the wall so make sure there isn’t much space between the edge of the book and the bracket. Also, there’s a lot more photos that are included in the original tutorial so please make sure to check back for reference when needed.

Notice how the book is level and that the bracket is pretty close to the pages. This is good. And this means you’ve cut a little pocket just the right size for your bracket. But wait, there’s more…

…you have to cut a little notch in the spine so that the bracket can be pushed right up against the pages.

Next you will need to start screwing… er… Yes. You will need to screw down the book pages (using the flat ones) on either side of the bracket so they don’t move. You will need to apply pressure and please work on a work table and not your leg as this person is.  The writer of this tutorial recommended adding pressure to keep the pages from getting wavy from the screwing… and also (despite the photo that was taken) using a manual screwdriver worked better.

Next, glue (you can use whatever strong glue you have on hand) and then close the book and apply pressure. And by pressure, I mean, pile a whole bunch of other books on top while it dries overnight, pressure.

Your last step is to attach the bracket to the wall with the larger wood screws, and trying your very best to find a stud that you can screw the bracket into…. er… yes. And voila! Your shelf is complete and quite sturdy. You can use it to pile a few books on top and even display some nick knacks.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy crafting,

~Megan

 


Remake your Shoes Anew!

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Hey there Thursday crafters!

 

I have an idea for you for either refreshing shoes that you already own or decorating a new pair to better suit your amazing personality.  This is a project that is good for any kind of shoe with a stiff, smooth exterior – so it works quite well with heels and with hard shelled flats. This is a tutorial from PSHeart that is fairly simple (although a little time consuming) to do, but the result is super awesome and can be done for a lot less than what it would cost to find shoes painted or made with this type of fabric.

You really will only need some of your favourite comic books, some Mod Podge, some scissors, a glue brush and a pair of hard shelled shoes. It’s recommended that you use a shoe that isn’t flexible so that you don’t get cracks in your work from movement.

Your first step is to cut out your favourite scenes from your comic book – making sure that you don’t cut pieces that are bigger than a couple of inches so that everything can be attached without folding – and be ready with your Mod Podge and brush.

You will need to put a layer of mod podge on the back side of the clipping that needs to be glued down, and press it down onto the shoe so it is smooth. Either trim the edges or fold them over the shoe so they’re not sticking up, and then brush your mod podge over the outside of the pasted comic/shoe.  Continue this process until your shoes are covered, and then let them dry.

Once your work is dry, you will need to do a couple more coats of the glue, letting the shoes dry between each application. You may want to consider getting glittery Mod Podge for your exterior coats, and to waterproof your shoes a little better, I would even recommend spraying them with a sealant to make sure that your work won’t be ruined by moisture. If you’re going to do this, I would stuff the inside of your shoe with paper, to keep the spray from getting on the inside.

Another tutorial from Wedding Bee.

If you’re feeling really ambitious and have extra bows, stones, glitter, words or flowers that you want to glue on, then you can do that at the ery end. And voila! You’re done and have these super cool, personalized shoes.

Happy crafting!

 

~Megan


Recycling in a New Light.

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Hi there folks!

Just a quick and easy diy from Practically Functional for candle lovers! Additional photos and a second tutorial can be found here.

So for this project you’ll need some old washed and de-labeled tuna cans (or cans of equivalent size), some string if you’d like to hang them, spray paint (or regular paint), and some beautiful wrapping paper. You’ll also need a few tools, a glue gun and a hammer and nail will do the trick. If you’d like to hang these on the walls without string you’ll need some adhesive tape.

 

First thing you’ll need to do is clean your cans and then when they’re dry, paint the insides a different colour if you’re not a fan of the silver. If you like the tin, you can just skip this step.

 

Next, you’ll need to cut your wrapping paper into strips that are the same size as the outside of your can, and glue these to the outside.

The last step, is to simply decide how you would like to hang them. You can use some double sided adhesive tape to stick them to the walls since they’re so light, or you can also use a hammer and nail to make a hole in the side of the tin which you can tie a string to so that you can hang them.

Add a lighted candle and, voila! A diy that is super impressive for how easy it is.  I hope that you have a fantastic week!

~Megan


DIY Necklace Hanger

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Hey Thursday readers!

 

I come bearing a swift tutorial for you that looks hugely impressive for less effort than you might think.  If you’re like me and have  lots of different necklaces, even if they’re organized in a jewelry box, they get tangled. No more, I say, no more. This wee tutorial will help you to make a hanger that is super cool and super easy, brought to you by the Visibly Moved tutorial here.

You just need piece of wood as a base, and for this you should be creative. The blogger used driftwood, which looks super cool, but you can paint, stain, carve, or cover with a decorative paper/fabric any piece of wood that you can find. Whatever your creative spark inspires you with.  Driftwood is easy, however, and a super cool display piece.

If you like, you can order driftwood here.

You will also need to find some knobs. They could be all the same, they could be all different. You can get brand new ones at your local hardware store, or if you like antiquing, you may be able to find a store that has a mismatched collection. Choose 4 or 5 that you think would look good on your decor.

Next, measure where you would like your knobs to be on your anchor wood, and drill holes for the knobs to be fit inside. If you’d like you can use glue to secure them inside without too much messing with tools, since they’re not going to be holding jackets or other things to pull them down.

Lastly, you will need to decide how to put this on your wall. You can just screw through the wood to the wall or you can buy some picture hanging hardware to put on the back. It’s your choice. And voila! A beautiful necklace holder that one doesn’t have to be ashamed of.

 

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Interactive Scrabble Art

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Good afternoon Thursday readers.

I have a wonderful little tutorial for you that is super fun and easy, though it does require some specific materials to do.Twice Remembered Cottage put out a tutorial for how to make a beautiful magnet board. You can find the full tutorial here with lots of photos and instruction. But that’s not the best part. The best part is that they also go on to use scrabble pieces as the decor which are movable so that you can play scrabble, make words or arrange a message. For this project you will need…

  • Scrabble tiles, about 200-300 depending on the size of the board. You should keep your eye open at thrift stores for used games that might be missing pieces or you could even order a couple bags of replacement from Amazon
  • Metal sheet
  • Thin plywood – have the hardware store that you buy this from trim it for you. Your metal sheet will be sitting on top of this, so it would be a good idea to leave a  little boarder to nail your frame to.
  • Trim or a picture frame. If you don’t plan on nailing your frame (or trim) to the boards, you can find one that you can have the boards cut to fit and glue it in place. If you plan on using a hammer, please measure the width of the frame and make your border of plywood the same width or slightly smaller.
  • Magnets (1/4″ wide X 1/16″ thick)
  • An old newspaper or a book – look at a used bookstore for something interesting.
  • Liquid nail ( a glue found at your local hardware store)
  • Clear coat spray
  • Regular glue
  • Hardware for picture hanging (if you would like to hang it)

Though the materials may seem a little daunting, the actual project is fairly simple. Your first step is to make sure everything is cut down to the sizes that you need. Get help with this at the hardware store. Generally, the staff are willing to cut things down to the sizes that you need. Make sure that both the sheet of metal and wood are cut a little bit smaller than your frame/trim so that you don’t have anything hanging over the edge. After you have your sizes, apply the liquid nail to the sheet of wood and apply the metal sheet on top. Put something heavy on top, like some dictionaries or a a box of old magazines, so as to ensure good contact and wait for a while. Give it a good few hours to set.

After you attach your metal, your project should look something like this:

At this point, you can choose to either attach the frame, or you can do this after you’ve done your decoupage, but you will need to apply your trim/frame to the board. You can use liquid nail to hold it in place and then secure it more firmly with some nails afterwards. You can then paint the frame if you’d like and do any finishing.

Once that everything is dry and ready to be worked on, you can rip pages out of the book that you’ve chosen to sacrifice, and then use a brush to apply regular crafters glue or mod podge to your metal board. You can do a couple of layers so as not to have any metal showing through and you can arrange them as neatly or creatively as you’d like. Again, you will need to let this dry thoroughly before moving on.

While you wait for everything to dry, you can use super glue to glue your magnets onto the back of the scrabble pieces. And yes. I know you know, but you’ll also need to let these dry too.

When your book pages are dry on the metal sheet,  you should spray the paper with two or three layers of a satin clear coat. This is an important step to ensure durability of the paper and keep your project beautiful. If you would like to hang this on  your wall, you will need to attach picture hanging hardware now.

Voila! You have a beautiful piece that you can hang in your home, give as a gift, use in a restaurant… you can use it any way your imagination runs! I love the idea of using something like this as an interactive picture.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Battle Recycle

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It’s spring now, right? Sorta?

Well, with Easter only 2 weeks away I’m calling close enough to make a post about a bunny. This isn’t just any bunny though. This Asian twitter user turned this:

Into this:

The robo he’s got there was made from parts as well, so don’t think this was just a sewing project! The twitter handle is almighty0404 if you’d like to check out their picture progression of the process, but sadly I don’t read what I believe is Japanese kata kana (could easily be wrong though) so if they post about what it’s made from or how it’s done, I sadly cannot tell you. DO check out their picture progression though as it really is a crafting delight to see. They seem to make sculptures like these a lot so just a scroll down their twitter feed it a marvel. 🙂

~Nicole


It’s a Mat(ter) of Cork.

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Hello  Thursday readers!

 

Today I have a simple tutorial from CraftyNest for you to make something awesome for your bathroom. You just need a whole bunch of natural – as opposed to synthetic – corks,  (the tutorial I’m using for reference uses 175 to give you an idea of just how many you’ll need) to make the most awesome of bathmats.  You need a few other things too.  Hot glue stucks and a hot glue gun, non adhesive shelf liner – which you can find at local hardware, bath, kitchen or craft stores.  Y ou’ll also need some tools. A sharpened knife and cutting board, scissors (or a rotary cutter/mat if you have one) a long ruler and coarse sandpaper.

So, using your knife, and being very careful not to cut your fingers off, you will need to cut each cork in half lengthwise.   If the cuts are super jagged, you can sand them down to be a little more smooth. Your next step is to arrange them as straight as possible in the shape of your matt. This tutorial made an 18.5 x 30 inch matt, which is a little smaller than a standard bath mat. The size you choose is entirely up to you, however. Just make sure that you have enough corks, and shelf liner. You will need to measure and cut your shelf liner to size.

Now is when you can transfer and glue the outer rows and columns of corks to the shelf liner, making sure to glue them  to the top side of the liner. Apply a rectangle shaped glue line to the flat sides of each cork.  About 1/8 inch away from the edge, line up the cork with the edge of the matt and press hard. Make sure to wipe away any glue that squishes out, though please make sure to do this once it has cooled a little so you don’t burn your fingers.

Once the frame has been applied, you can transfer the rest of the corks to their rightful positions on the mat. You might have to do some arranging and rearranging to get a good fit. Once you have everything laid out the way you like it, then you can glue it in place!  When everything is dry, you’re done.

There is a second part to this tutorial. There is a debate on whether you should seal the corks or not. This is up to you, but you can read the tutorial writer’s test and findings here.

I hope you enjoyed! Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Dip Dyed Candles

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Hello Thursday readers.

As we get into the cooler weather, it becomes time once again, to use fire to warm and light our living places. Fireplaces. Lanterns. Candles. Oh my! You know how much of a fan I am of DIY tutorials that are easy to do in an afternoon that don’t require too much space – since both space and time are in short supply in my home. I also love tutorials that would work really well both for myself and for gifts, so when I came across this I was very excited!

Image from HelloHomeBody

Your materials are simple.  All you need are crayons (they can be leftover from a craft drawer, they don’t have to be new), some white candles – they can be pillar or taper, whatever size you like. If you don’t have enough crayons to make a batch of melted wax that is deep enough to dip (or roll your candles in on an angle) then you’ll also need a spare white candle to melt down into the wax. Just remember that this extra candle will make the colour softer and more pale. The last thing that you need is possibly the most important.  It’s a double boiler. If you don’t know what this is, they can be found at kitchen shops, antique shops, or they can be made with what you have on hand at home.  Basically, a double boiler is a pot that sits on another pot that holds boiling water so that what you are melting doesn’t touch direct heat. This means that whatever is inside isn’t going to burn and it will melt evenly. Martha Stewart’s tutorial actually suggests using a crock pot, which would make for super easy clean up. The Free People blog has a great tutorial for those of you who don’t have a double boiler as well as lots of cool pictures to show you the result, and there are plenty of resources on the internet to help you out.

From the FreePeople tutorial

Your process is simple:  All you need to do is to crush up the crayons you would like to use into a double boiler. Using a knife will break them down easier than using your hands, but be careful.

A makeshift double boiler, also from Free People. They used a can big enough to fit a pillar candle as well as to move it around to get the desired dip shape.

Try to also keep similar colours together, so even if you don’t have enough of a specific blue, you can add in other colours as since it’s going to melt, they will all become one glorious blue that will throw all other blues to shame. Or… you know. Use what you have rather than spending more money than you need to on something like this. Put your crayons into a double boiler and melt them down. They should melt pretty quickly. You don’t need a huge amount of wax but you need enough that if you tilt your double boiler pot on the side so that the wax is made deeper in the corner of the pot, that it will get as far up  your candle as you would like.  As I said, if you don’t have enough on hand, add some white wax from an old candle or from a new one that you’ve bought to bring the volume up.  You can even use paraffin wax, which you can find in the canning section of a grocery store.

Photo courtesy of Fraeulein Zebra’s blog.

Be very careful as you do the next step and please use heat resistant gloves if you’re using an improvised double boiler as it will be very hot, you need to dip the bottoms of your candles into the coloured wax.  You can do a few layers of the wax as you’d like, dipping 2 or 3 or 4 layers. Or even dipping less deep each dip so that it’s a more graduated and fading effect.  When you’re finished, hold the candle for a few seconds while the wax dries before putting it on a tray to dry fully. The wax will harden quickly so this should only take about 30 seconds.

Photo courtesy of Ehow.com

And that’s it! Easy right?  The only catch is that you can only do one colour at a time, so if you’re planning on multiple colours, you may have to do this in different stages, though you could get some very interesting effects with layering.

I hope you have some fun making beautiful light to add to yours or someone else’s home!

~Megan