DIY Casette Tape Wallet

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I have a lovely DIY tutorial that works those retro stylings with a cassette tape wallet. Now, I know there are those of you around who have never seen a cassette tape in real life before but they do still exist! Raid your parent’s basements or you can find them at second hand stores or used music stores pretty easily.  By the way, I took this tutorial from Wonderful DIY and you can check out the original here.

Your tools are pretty simple: You’ll need glue (E600 is excellent as it will work on porous and non porous materials), and a screwdriver. You’ll also need some materials: a fabric zipper, scrap fabric, a disposable plate for mixing epoxy and a wooden stir stick, if you’re using a glue that is an epoxy.

Next, you’ll need to open your tape. If your cassette is screwed together, you can use the screwdriver to loosen the screws so the tape will come apart. If they’re welded with fasteners, gently pry the sides apart until the fasteners break. Be gentle and it should come apart just fine.

Empty the cassette of the tape and any other bits, and make sure that you take off anything extra with pliers or a box cutter. You basically just want the shell.

Measure your zipper. It should be the same length as three sides (the bottom long edge will basically be the hinge). Trim the zipper at the right length and sew the end so it doesn’t come off where you cut it. Glue the zipper around the edge of each side of the cassette.

Open the zipper, and start at one side and then the other, apply glue around the inside edges of the plastic and carefully press the outer fabric of the zipper into it. Make sure the side of the zipper with the pull is facing outwards so you can open and close your wallet when it’s done. Let everything dry.

Along the edge of the cassette that doesn’t have zipper attached to it, create a fabric pouch. This will help the wallet open and close. Unzip the wallet and lay the sides open and flat so the unglued sides lay parallel. To do this, measure a rectangle of fabric as long as the middle side. The strip should be about as thick as the zipper when it’s zipped. glue the pouch fabric in place and let it dry.

Cover the holes in the sides of the cassette by gluing paper or fabric over them. Cover the insides of the wallet. You can use graphic fabric or the paper booklet that came with your cassette. Let it dry. Test it, and make sure the zipper works.

Now you have a totally awesome retro wallet that you can reminisce about the good times with your friends when you pull it out of your back pocket.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


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

 

 

 

 


Friendship Bracelets

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When I was a kid, one thing I remember doing was sitting and hand-making lovely little bracelets that we called Friendship bracelets. I used to love doing that so I thought it would be fun to revisit. They are really easy to make, don’t require any additional tools (like needles or hooks) and can be made almost anywhere! Heck, I remember my sister sitting in the back seat of the family car on long road trips, her floss pinned to the knee of her jeans, braiding & knotting away as we traveled.

All you need for this project are the following items:

  • embroidery floss (thin yarn also works)
  • scissors
  • scotch tape or safety pins
  • tape measure

First step is to cut your floss. I always used to hold the floss in my left hand and measure it up to my shoulder (that’s how my mom taught me). But you can also measure the width of your wrist and multiple by 5 to get an appropriate length. This is going to seem really long but remember, you are braiding/weaving/knotting it so it will shorten the finished product. If you are using different colors for patterns, cut one stand with measure and then you can use that as a ruler for the other strands/colors!

Let’s just focus this post on easiest, basic beginner so we will only do six strands of floss and only three colors in one bracelet. Once your floss is cut, you will lay all three colors together and tie a knot into one end. Then adhere it to a table top or your pant leg or a pillow. Braid a simple braid three inches down (you will be doing this at the end of the bracelet too). After you have your 3 inches of braid, knot under the braid again.

 

Now to the detailed part of our bracelet! Choose what order you want your colors to go in. Example: I’m using yellow, green, pink, blue, orange and purple in that order. Arrange your floss in the order you want from left to right. The first row will be the farthest left-hand color. So my first row will be yellow, followed by green, then pink, then blue, then orange, and finally purple.

Take the first two strands (yellow and green) and pass the first strand OVER the second, then behind the same strand. Basically, you are knotting your first color around the second strand. Pull this up toward the top knot gently to tighten it. Don’t pull it super tight, just pull it up lightly so that it is knotted around the strand snug. Do this a second time on the same strand (there should be TWO knots on each strand). Follow these same steps for the rest of the row. So same snug knot of yellow around the pink strand, then the blue strand, then the orange strand, then the purple strand.

You will now have a row of yellow bumps across the top of your bracelet.

Start again at the left (this would now be my green strand) and do exact same steps across the row. Continue doing this until you have 3-4 inches of knotting done.

Once you have the amount of rows you need (roughly 3-4 inches worth), gather all the strands together and make a large knot (like we did at the very start). Then simply braid three more inches, knot again and snip excess floss from ends.

Voila! Friendship Bracelet Achievement Unlocked!

Happy crafting, friends!


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: Upcycled Paper Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

If you’re living in a condo where decorating might need to be kept to a minimum, or in an apartment, or really anywhere where you have a front door that is safely kept away from all the elements, this paper wreath might be just the thing for you! It’s beautiful, upcycled, and can be customized more than what is shown. The original post can be found here from A Piece of Rainbow.

You will need a few things: Some old books, about a cup of white craft glue, natural twine for hanging, and any embellishments you’d like to add. You’ll also need an old stock pot so that you can get a circular form without using a foam wreath form, and clamps or possibly clothespins would work, to hold things together while they dry. The original poster used outdoor faucet handles, but you can add anything to spruce this puppy up.

Cut some book pages out, and glue 2-3, end to end to make a longer piece. Make about 20-30 pieces.

Crumple each piece and dip in glue that has been diluted with an equal amount of water. Squeeze out the glue while twisting and rotating to make a paper vine, and then drape your vines over the outside of a stewpot laying on its side. You’ll want to cover the size with a garbage bag or a shopping bag to keep the glue from sticking to the pot.

When the vines are dry, take three pieces and glue them together to form a circle. Use your clamps to hold everything together until the glue dries.

After they’re dry, add three more and glue to the mid point of the first three pieces. This will give a base to start with and provide many openings to weave the vines.

When the base is dry and sturdy, weave the rest of the paper vines around and through the base in a circular way so that they look like they’re growing around each other. If you find anything feels loose, just add some glue to secure them down.

To make flowers from the book pages, just cut two connected petals, crumple in the centre. Do this a number of times as all you need to do is glue a few pairs of these petals together to make beautiful flowers. You can tie your flowers to the faucet handles, or just glue (if you’re not holding something heavy) or tie them to the wreath.

Keep in mind that here’s where you can decorate and use your imagination. you can add rhinestones, glitter, you can add painted details, or paint just the flowers to give them some pop. You can add antique jewelry findings, or old coins that you have laying around. With the book prints, old and antiqued accents look amazing.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and as always,

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 


Easter Eggs, Dyed Naturally.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was thinking about the traditions we had when we were kids with dying eggs that were hidden for us in the morning by the Easter bunny. When I was a kid, we always used the little vinegar/food colouring pellets. In the last few years, I’ve done Ukranian egg dying, which was entirely different and special also (you can see the post about it here). Today, I found a tutorial for how to not only make your own dye from natural ingredients, but how to dye these eggs with reliefs of interesting leaves.

The original tutorial is from Cynthia Weber and can be found here for the full tutorial. The dyes are made from cabbage, onion and beets, and as you can see, the colours that they make are pretty darn awesome. To do this, boil separate pots of chopped up red cabbage, onion skins and chopped beets (covered with enough water that when you add eggs later they’ll be covered). Allow to boil for about twenty minutes and let them cool slightly. Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar to each pot.

 

While the pots boil, you can get your eggs ready. You will need nylons, twist ties or string, and some interesting pieces of foliage either from outside or from the herb garden. Use thin nylons for this, as if they are too thick, you won’t get enough of the dye to the egg to do it’s job. Cut the toes out a few inches to make a pocket (you can use the rest of the nylons, just cut pieces large enough to encircle your eggs). Place your interesting herb or flower into the nylon and lay the egg on top. Tie the nylon off so that the plant is held tightly against the egg.

When your eggs are ready, put them into the dye of your choice, and bring that pot back up to a slow boil and boil them for at least 20 minutes, though for more vibrant colours, you can let them sit in the bath for longer.

Pull your eggs out, remove the nylons and herbs, pat to dry and rub with oil. The cabbage dye makes a blue colour, and you can make two tone eggs by dying them first with the nylons and the foliage, then taking that out, taking the nylon and the greenery off, and letting it sit in the cabbage pot.

I love the natural colours, and I love the look of the leaves on the eggs. I hope you guys have a very nice holiday, and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 

 

 


DIY: Easy Easter Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a beautiful little tutorial for you to make an Easter/spring time wreath. The best part is this wreath reuses plastic egg containers that you find all over this time of year for toys, chocolates, and such. So make sure you’re hanging onto the ones that you get, or you can also find plastic eggs in craft stores also.

The original post for this tutorial can be found here, and what you’ll need for this project is relatively simple and easy to find (at your local craft shop). You will need a Styrofoam wreath form, pink (or your choice of colour) streamer paper, and a selection of small, synthetic flowers that match your eggs,  plastic Easter eggs – this tutorial used a package of pink eggs that were purchased from a store, but you can  use any colour you like, decorate your own plastic eggs, or reuse ones that you have laying around from this time of year. You’ll also need a glue gun (low temp to avoid burning) and a wire cutter.

Your first step is to wrap your wreath form in your streamer paper. Just a dab of glue to hold the ends in place will do, and make sure when you’re wrapping, that you’re keeping it tight. You can also use thick ribbon or even tulle for this step. Whatever your preference is!

Start adding your eggs to your wreath. Use a generous dab of glue, and mix up the colours and positions to create a more random style. Make sure to add eggs to the inside and outside edges of the wreath. It’s advised to keep the wreath’s back on a flat surface as you work so that you don’t over egg your wreath to the point of it not laying flat on your door or wall.

Cut your artificial flowers from their stems using a wire cutter, though just make sure to leave about an inch of the stem at the end of the bloom. Add your flowers to the wreath by poking them straight into the foam – this will hold them in place. Fill in any gaps between your eggs with the flowers, and you can put as many or as little as you’d like, and keep adding them until you get the mix of eggs and flowers that you like.

Just as an fyi, this is a better indoor or covered porch wreath as it is slightly fragile. So keep that in mind when you’re looking for a spot to hang. Also keep in mind that if you wanted to add any glitter, or glitter any eggs before attaching them you can do that too!

Happy crafting!

Megan

 


DIY: Marbled Phone Case

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Good Morning Crafthackers.

I have for you a neat little tutorial for making your own marbled phone case. This is a simple little DIY that would be great for teens or for helping you to accessorize your own phone. This is a great way to add your own subtle customization to your phone without breaking the bank while also being durable. You can use your favorite colours and make a number of different cases to switch out in the different seasons, if you’re the accessorizing type.  I’ve used this tutorial from Lovely Indeed, and feel free to peruse their other DIY projects as well.

 

Your materials and tools are simple. All you need for this DIY is a clear plastic phone case, nail polish in 3 different shades, a large bowl filled with water and a toothpick or paintbrush.

You need to start with a bowl of clean, room temperature water. When you start this project, you will need to work fast so that the polish doesn’t dry out too quickly, so read to the end of the tutorial before you begin.  You will want to have your nail polish ready and open and within arms reach. Take your first colour and use the nail polish brush to let a few drops drip onto the surface of the water. Drop from about an inch above the surface of the water as much higher will make the polish sink to the bottom of the bowl rather than sitting on the surface. It will begin spreading when it hits the water.

Use the same technique with your other colours, putting a few drops of each over top of the first colour in random spots. The colours should start to mingle and swirl around each other. Use a toothpick or the end of a paintbrush to swirl the colours together to create a marble effect in the water.

Hold your cell phone case – without your phone in it, of course – so that the outside of the case is face down towards the water’s surface. Gently touch it to the surface of the water so that the nail polish adheres to the case. You shouldn’t need to fully submerge it.

When the case is fully covered, remove it and let it dry. If you find there’s any water droplets that got captured under the nail polish, just lightly press on the areas that have a little bubble of water and help work it out towards the edge of the marble effect where you can absorb it with a piece of tissue.

Remember, you can use whatever colours you like. Just be aware that ones with heavy sparkles may sink. You can also do as many colours as you like, just keep in mind, too many may make the marbling just seem a little too messy. Hope you enjoyed!

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