Archive | Household Objects RSS feed for this section

A Sweet Treat: Recycled Bracelet

28 Oct

Welcome to bottle cap bracelet day!  This craft is awesome because it uses recycled materials and it is completely customizable to match your outfit, your mood or even your favorite cat.

finalCU

The finished bracelet

Total Craft Time: About an hour

Materials:

– 7 or 8 bottle caps depending on the thickness of your wrist

– 7 or 8 bottle cap sized images

-pliers

-hot glue gun

– 8″ of 1″ ribbon

– 1″ x 1/2″ square of velcro (both sticky and non-sticky side)

I found this super cute image of a girl in a cupcake store so the theme of this bracelet is sweet treats!treatpage

I made a little template by tracing a bottle cap and then I started tracing circles around all the tasty treats.

drawingcircles

I then cut out the circles, glued them inside bottle caps and painted a layer of craft lacquer on top to give the cupcakes a nice sheen.  After it dried, I used pliers to clamp down the edges and the freshly pressed treats were ready for braceleting!

caps

Check out my bottle cap ring post for a complete, in-depth tutorial on how to make these little bottle cap trinkets.

Now, it’s ribbon time!  I chose a nice blue ribbon to go with the pastel colors in my dessert themed bottle caps.

ribbon

pretty in blue!

I took my ribbon and wrapped it around my wrist to measure just how much I would need.  I added and extra 1/2″ so the velcro can overlap. Meanwhile, I plugged in my trusty glue gun so it could start heating up!

measuringribbon

Then, I lined up all of my bottle caps along the ribbon to make sure they fit and arranged them in a pleasing color order.

linedup

I took my nice and toasty glue gun and put a dollop of glue on the ribbon and placed the cap on top.  I continued this all down the line until all the caps were glued.  The reason I used a little dot instead of a long line of glue is so that the caps are still flexible to bend around the natural curves of the wrist when the bracelet is worn.

gluedot

Once the caps were all glued it was time for velcro!

velcro

I attached the prickly side of the velcro to the side of the ribbon with the bottlecaps and the soft side the the underside of the ribbon.  Then I put the bracelet on and spent the day drooling overvmy wrist!  Mmm cupcakes 😀

closeup

fullbodyfinal

You can make bracelets like these in any color and with any images.  They make a great personalized gift for friends, too!  Enjoy 🙂

 

Advertisements

Girl Scouting is My Bag

24 Oct

This weekend I went with my little buddy on a Girl Scout Camping trip.  This trip was right up my alley because we visited a colonial village where we got to try our hands at all sorts of traditional crafts such as candle dipping, butter churning, weaving and writing with a quill and ink!  Before going on the trip we had some crafting of our own to do – making  swaps!  Swaps are little objects such as beads, buttons, origami and anything else you can think of attached to safety pins.  Girl Scouts make about 50 each and bring them to camping trips like these in order to swap with their friends and collect all the different ones; hence the name “swaps.”  We had a pretty hefty crafting set-up:

supplies

This is a great craft for using all the leftover scraps you may have saved from other crafts.  I used a penny, a seashell and a scrap piece of fabric to get us started.

pennyandfabric

First, I put a dollop of hot glue on the penny and placed it on the back side of the fabric.

glueingpenny

gluedpenny

Then I put some glue on the penny and folded in all the fabric edges to make a diamond.

gluedfabric

Lastly, I flipped the diamond over to the clean, non-gluey side, hot glued a pretty seashell on top and glued a safety pin to the bottom.  Ta-da!

finalfabricswap

We continued cutting and hot-glueing away, pairing together pretty random objects until we ended up with this lovely assortment:

finalswaps

Lots of use out of those bottlecaps!

And a high five for a job well done 😀

highfive

Check out my sweet girl scouting t-shirt!

After a four hour drive out into the woods the swapping began!

swappingswaps

 Now, a hundred years ago when I was a kid it was all the rage to pin your swaps to a hat like a fisherman.  It seems the cool thing to do now is pin your swaps to a lanyard around your neck.  Kids these days. 😉

lanyard

After the swapping was complete we checked out other crafts.  Here we are learning to churn butter.  The woman in the picture told us it would take about 2 hours to make one cup of butter by hand!

churningbutter

 

We also learned how to write with feathers that come from turkeys and geese.  I have a whole new appreciation for my ballpoint pen!

quillandink

Lastly, we got to learn about my favorite craft: weaving!  This type of weaving was done on a very small, hand-held loom which was great for learning.  The kids learned all about the warp and the weft and the shuttle.   You can find an in-depth weaving tutorial in one of my earlier posts here.

womanweaving

kidsweaving

I was a Girl Scout for many years so this was a great way to re-live the experience and spend some time out in nature.  Visiting the colonial village reminded me that although most of my crafts are a luxury, the whole concept of crafting began out of necessity to make the things we need in order to survive!

Fense Sense

13 Oct

Welcome to landscaping craft day!  I wanted to spruce up my courtyard a bit and give myself some privacy from the neighbors.  Right now, the only thing between myself and them is a gnarly bush and some white lattice fencing – not very effective or pleasing to the eye!

fencebefore

The first thing to do was rip down that scraggly bush and start with a clean slate!

fenceafterplantremoval

It’s lookin’ better already 😀  I didn’t have the manpower to put up a whole new fence, so I decided to just accessorize the lattice with some basic 2’x3′ wooden boards bought at the local hardware store.

blankboards

I put darker boards on each end to give the wood some contrast.  Here is a close-up so you can see the difference in color.

boardsCU

Now, it’s time to decorate!  I wanted to make two horizontal stripes with tape so that once I painted over the stripes and peeled the tape away, there would be perfect, natural wood stripes running across my backyard.

This project called for one of my favorite all-purpose materials: duct tape!  It was a two-person job to run the duct tape across each board and measure every few feet to make sure it was still the same distance from the edge of the board.

melstriping

measuring

I did one stripe about 4 inches down from the top edge of the top boards and one stripe 4 inches up from the bottom edge of the bottom board.  Already the stripes looked pretty cool!

tapestripes

Next it was time for painting!  I got out my roller and tray and rolled one solid coat of burgundy red over the whole thing.

paintingstripes

Once the paint was thoroughly dried, I slowly peeled off the duct tape to reveal the beautiful wood underneath!

peelingtape

Peeling off the tape was definitely my favorite part, so satisfactory!  The final product really jazzed up the backyard and reminded me of a sweet, vintage surfboard; perfect since I live right by the beach 😀

finishedstripes

finishedstripes2

stripesCU

This was a simple and quick afternoon project that left my yard looking very cool…and there is sill lot of blank space on that wood for some super sweet mural action…

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make Bottlecap Jewelry!

11 Oct

A few months ago, I mounted a household campaign to save all of the bottlecaps we twist off of our beverages!  I didn’t know exactly what I would do with them at first, but I just couldn’t resist amassing a large collection of colorful tin.  Now that I have a sizeable sack of caps, I have been playing around with different usages.  Get ready for a slew of bottlecap related posts!  Today, I am going to show you how to make a bottlecap ring using almost all recycled materials!

For this project you will need the following materials:

materials

 

 

-pencil

-a bottlecap

-duct tape

-scissors

-a magazine, photo or drawing to cut up

-key ring, wire or a ring you no longer wear

-glue (or crafting glaze)

-pliers

Step 1: Trace the outline of a bottlecap onto a scrap piece of paper.

tracingbottlecap

Step 2: Cut out your circle template.

cuttingtemplate

Step 3: Find an image you would like to place inside your bottlecap ring.  I looked inside magazines for mine, but yours could come from anywhere.  You could even draw it yourself!  Trace your template around your desired image.

tracingcircle

Step 4: Cut out the circle around your image.  I found a bunch of cool images but in the photo below I’m cutting out a cool old postage stamp.

cuttingcircle

Step 5: Dab some glue on the back of the circle and glue it face-up on the inside of the bottlecap.

glueingcircle

Step 6: Dab and spread around some glaze on top of the image as well to make it nice and shiny 🙂

glazingtop

Step 7: Wait for the glue to dry and then use pliers to clamp down the serrated edges of the bottlecap.  For this one, I chose a bottlecap that would match the cool red robot image inside.

clampingedges

Step 8: Flip the bottle cap over and tape the ring down in the center with some duct tape.

       apedring

Step 9: Slip the ring on your finger and admire your handy work!  I chose a lovely picture of Audrey Hepburn for my final ring.  This is a very versatile project because you can make as many rings as you want and have one to match every outfit! 😀

final-ring

 

 

The Art of Recycling

10 Oct

Happy Columbus Day!  After a week long hiatus due to moving and some re-decorating, I am back in action!  Over the weekend, I helped my local elementary school spruce up their recycling cans!  This was a hands-on project for the kids in order to help them learn the importance of recycling and how it can benefit their school.

Remember, only decorate your trash cans if you take them to the dump and/or recycling center yourself.  They may look pretty, but the city won’t be able to collect your trash if it’s too beautifully disguised!

The first thing to do was hose down and wipe dry all the cans.  No surprise there!

trashcanbefore

Next, I used typical house paint to paint the cans a solid color to work with as a background.  I painted one light blue and one green.  You could use acrylic paint for this as well, but house paint is definitely more cost effective.

solidcolor

After the background colors were completely dry, I assigned one of the cans to the kids to go to town on.  It was like a painting frenzy, especially once I broke out the metallic silver and hot pink paint!  I think something about being outside in the sunshine and painting something that isn’t a piece of paper really got their creative juices flowing.
kidspainting

The kids recognized right away that this was a collaborative piece of art and did a beautiful job working together to create a cohesive and colorful piece.

kidspaintingfront

Here is their finished product from all sides!
kids-can-finished

While supervising the kids, I worked on my own can to get across a slightly more concrete message about recycling.

melpainting

I also painted the words ‘cans’ and ‘plastic’ on the top so everyone would know which is which!

paintingwords

And the finished product!
bunnycanfinal

Luckily, we still have two more trash cans to paint another time so stay tuned for more trash can art!  It’s good to be back 🙂

Tutorial Tuesday: Paper Towel Flowers

27 Sep

Welcome back to the second ever edition of Tutorial Tuesday!  Today I will show you all how to turn one of the most common household objects into a wearable work of art: paper towel flowers!

With just a few simple steps you can turn an ordinary paper towel into a beautiful flower to wear as a bracelet, headband, brooch or any other accessory you can think of!

For this project, you will need the following materials:

-paper towel (s)

-pen and/or pencil

-scissors

-glue (preferably super glue but any kind will work)

-needle and thread

-ribbon or headband (or string, in a pinch!)

-a plate or something else circular for tracing out a circle

-OPTIONAL: some coffee or tea in a bowl for coloring the flower

Step 1:  Lay a plate or other circular object on top of the paper towel and trace.

tracing

Step 2: Cut out the paper towel so that you have a lovely circle.  Then, cut the circle into a spiral shape starting from the outside and working your way in.  spiral

Step 3: Starting from the outside end, roll the arm of the spiral towards the center, gathering bit by bit into your thumb and forefinger.

wrapping

Be sure to hold firmly onto the base of the flower as you wrap so that it doesn’t come undone!

wrapping2

completedwrapping

Step 4: Wrap the entire arm of the spiral until you get to the little circle part at the end (the center of the spiral that you cut), leave the circle loose for now and get out your needle and thread.  Tie a knot at one end of the thread and push the needle through the top center of the flower and out through the bottom.

topneedle

flowerbottom

Step 5: Sew back and forth through the pinched center of the bottom of the flower a few times to secure all the wrapping.

sewing-bottom

finished-stitching

After the stitching is complete

Step 6: Once the bottom is secured, dab some glue on the little circle that you left unwrapped and glue the circle over the bottom end of the flower to make it look nice and clean.

bottomcircle

Step 7: Use your paper towel scraps to cut out another circle one inch in diameter.

scraps

scraps!

cut-little-circle

Step 8: Take the headband or ribbon you want to use and place it upside-down on top of the underside of the flower.  Dab some glue on your newly cut circle and glue the circle on top of the headband.

gluedabbing

glue dabbin'

glueing-headband

Step 9:  Let the glue dry and then rock out in your fancy new headband!

whiteheadband

whitetop

If you want to color your headband, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Complete steps 1 through 6 above.

completedwrapping

Step 2: Pour enough coffee or tea into a bowl to just cover the bottom.

coffeebowl

Step 3: Hold the flower by the bottom and gently dip the tips of the petals into the coffee.  For full coverage, you can plunge the whole thing in, but I opted for more of a tie-dye effect.

dippingflower

dippedflower

Step 4:  Let the flower dry and then follow steps 7 through 9 above in order to attach it to a ribbon or headband.  I used a nice green ribbon to complement the antiqued look of the coffee-dyed flower.

coffeeflowerdone

wearingcoffeeflower

There are many variations you can use to switch up the look of your flowers.  For example, you can cut a circle with wavy edges instead of straight ones:

wavyedges

The circle is folded into quarters so it is easier to cut out.

You can also dip-dye the circle before you wrap it into a flower.  Place the circle flat on top of the bowl and push the center into the coffee/tea with your fingers.  Let the paper towel sit for 10 minutes and it will slowly soak the coffee up into the edges.

dipdye

drieddipdye

The resulting flower looks like this:

wavyflower

You can also group flowers together for a real show-stopping headpiece or a lovely bouquet:

3flowersCU

The great thing about paper towels is they are pretty resilient.  If you squish your flower, just use your fingers to smooth it back into shape.  This project would also work well with fabric for a more durable accessory.  This craft offers endless possibilities to experiment with color, size, shape and anything else you can think of.  Send me your variations and I’ll post them here! Happy crafting 😀