Repurposing category

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Tiered jewelry trays & glass bead mirror

This one is for Alyson. She’s been asking me to blog about jewelry storage ideas for, um, years. I’ve had this tiered jewelry tray idea in the back of my mind for a long time. The delay came down to finding the right glue. I think I’ve found it—well, almost. This is the best glue by far for gluing glass to glass or ceramic to glass—and I’ve tried just about all of them. But there’s one caveat. (More on that later.)

The large tiered jewelry tray is great for watches, bracelets, brooches, and rings. The smaller one is ideal for earrings. Or you could just make the larger one and use it for both purposes. Next week I’ll show you how to make the beaded mirror in the photo above.

Plates, candlesticks, drawer knob

The three small plates are from a salvage yard. The medium plate is from Ikea. The large plate is from Crate & Barrel. If the Crate & Barrel plate looks lopsided, that’s because it is. I’ve had the salvaged plates for years. It took me a long time to find larger plates that were the same bluish-white color and the same basic shape. It wasn’t easy. The candlesticks were a thift-store find. And the knob is from The Home Depot.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

DIY checkers game

This checkerboard is made from two free carpet samples. By the way, if you can’t find carpet samples to make any of these crafts, FLOR modular carpet tiles work just as well, and they come in better colors.

Two carpet samples

I’m excited that my DIY checkerboard rug idea actually worked. I was a little trepidatious about cutting carpet. I thought it would be difficult and require special tools. I was wrong on both counts. Cutting the carpets was the easiest part of making this checkers set.

Sure, a black and ivory checkerboard would be more classic and classy, but I already have plans for those carpet samples. Plus, the blue and green is fun and unexpected.

Checkerboard at an angle

A carpet checkerboard and felt checkers makes for the quietest checkers game you’ve ever heard. And it’s transportable because the felt doesn’t slide off of the carpet. If you’re more of a chess person, you can buy chess pieces or make your own.

I made the entire game from supplies I already had on hand. I love it when it works out that way. And it only took half a day to make.

Click here for carpet-sample craft number one. Five more carpet crafts coming soon.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

Carpet sample placemats for Easter

This stack of carpet samples has been hanging around my apartment for three years. I picked them up for free on Craigslist. My original plan was to let the girls at camp paint them to make fun prayer rugs. The problem was that cheap craft paint didn’t work, and we didn’t have the budget to spring for something better. Plus, many of the carpet samples are puke-ugly colors (at least to young girls).

Stack of carpet samples

So I hung on to the little carpets—planning to create area rugs out of them. And they sat. And sat. And then I moved. And the carpets came with me. I finally got tired of storing them, so I broke them out of the closet last week and started planning. This is the first of seven projects I have planned for these rugs. And I can’t wait for you to see them!

Carpet sample placemat

These soft wool carpet samples made excellent placemats. The size was perfect, but the colors were a little drab and mismatched. I fixed that with bright-colored pom-pom fringe. Then I made matching pom-pom napkin rings, which, of course, meant that I had to make napkins for them. Luckily, I had the perfect fabric on hand. (Mitered-corner napkin tutorial coming soon.)

Pom-pom Easter eggs

Then I noticed that my brown eggs looked gorgeous with the colors of these placemats, so I decided to create an Easter centerpiece. A footed bowl, candlesticks, and several more pom poms scattered and glued onto eggs finished the fuzzy tablescape. Happy Easter, everyone!

Tutorials and photos after the jump. Read more »

DIY house number tiles

Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry for my long absence. One of my New Year Resolutions is to blog more often, so here it goes. This is a project I finished more than two years ago. I finally got around to blogging about it. I hope you like it.

ohmeganumbers

Inspired by house numbers spotted at a salvage yard.

A reader, Josie, emailed me quite a while ago asking for uses for leftover tiles. Subway tile nameplates was the first idea that came to mind, but I also thought 4-inch tiles would make excellent house numbers.

The idea was inspired by the house number tiles (at left) that Sarah from Sunset magazine found at a salvage yard years ago. She described them as “sunny and Parisian,” which is the look I tried to achieve with my Santiago numbers (above).

I had so much fun creating DIY house numbers that I got a little carried away. I finally stopped at 10 different sets. I based my Santiago house numbers on Karen Barbé’s gorgeous handcrafted textiles. I designed Stanford for the university town in which I used to live. Apple is a tribute to the late Steve Jobs, modeled after the classic keys of an Macintosh computer keyboard. Treehugger is for all you folks who love natural wood. New York is based on the actual colors and numbers of the NYC subway lines (except, of course, that an 8 line and 0 line don’t actually exist). Any guesses on what Squirrel is based?

10 House number designs

Download all these designs below after the jump. Read more »

Chicken wire jingle bell

When I blogged about my wire mesh jewelry holders with beads, I mentioned that I planned to make a Christmas ornament out of wire. Here it is. But instead of 1/4-inch hardware cloth, I went with chicken wire. Apparently, it’s called poultry netting these days, but my family raised chickens when I was growing up, and we called it chicken wire. We also raised pigeons, doves, and ducks—including a Mallard named Donald until a neighborhood cat killed him. This is one reason I don’t like cats. But I digress.

I got the idea for this ornament from an old issue of Marie Claire Idées, my favorite French magazine. As best I can tell in my limited French, they hung their diamond- and heart-shaped chimes in a cherry tree to keep birds away. I thought they would also make excellent Christmas ornaments or jingly door bells, hence the bell shape. This is my first one, so it’s a little lopsided. I show you how to not repeat my mistake.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Greeting card advent calendar

Remember when I told you three years ago that I was going to make an advent calendar the same way I made my hanging postcard collage? Well, I finally did it! Apologies for posting so late in the season. You probably already made or bought an advent calendar this year. But you can start saving Christmas cards to make one next year. The beauty of this design is that it rolls up and stores easily to be used year after year.

Candy tucked behind each card

Slip a thin, wrapped piece of chocolate (Ghirardelli Squares work well) or note behind each card for a daily Christmas treat. I cut out a square from the inside of each card, including the signature, and pasted it on the back so I will always remember who gave that card to me. You could also decorate the cards with glitter, brads, eyelets, ribbon, etc. All you scrapbookers know what I’m talkin’ about.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Bamboo orb pendant lights - on/off

Apologies for my long absence. A month ago I landed a full-time job (gotta pay the bills) along with a 3-hour round-trip commute. Ugh. It’s left little time for crafting. Not to worry, I’m still going to keep blogging, but it might be on an infrequent basis until I adjust to my new schedule. For now, it feels good to be back! I’ve missed you. I have three more camp crafts to show you, and I’m excited to share this year’s Christmas crafts, plus much more, so don’t give up on me yet.

Inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier.

Anyway, these bamboo orb pendant lights were inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International that I saw on the cover of the April 2011 issue of House Beautiful. And I noticed today in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog a similar one called Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier. While both of these are gorgeous lamps, their price tag is out of my reach.

So, I made my own version using bamboo strips instead of wrought iron and a single CFL bulb instead of five candelabras. You might be surprised where I got the bamboo (click the read more link below to find out). And you’ll have plenty of bamboo strips left over to make those paper lanterns that I blogged about last spring. I know I still owe you a tutorial. Coming soon!

Two more things: I found that fabulous shabby-chic trunk on the side of the road with a “free” sign taped to it! And, yes, I will be watermarking my photos from now on. The plethora of plagiarizers on the web drove me to it. Not happy about it, but there it is.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

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