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My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Making a paper-recycling tote, originally published January 2008.

Recycling tote on shelf

Ever need something that you’re sure exists, but once you go looking for it, you come up empty? I searched for a bin in which to toss all my paper recycling (let’s face it: junk mail). And I wanted it to fit on the bottom pull-out shelf of my not-so-attractive-but-necessary microwave cart. I found zilch. So I made my own out of a cardboard box and fabric.

toteMobile

The tote is not exactly pretty, but it’s oh-so-handy for carrying paper products downstairs to the recycling bins, and it only cost me $16.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

Glass bead mirror

Oval mirror

I removed this old, scratched, chipped mirror from an ugly plastic frame (which I turned into a bulletin board). Even though the mirror had seen better days, I couldn’t just throw it out. Despite it’s flaws, I loved the shape and thickness of the mirror.

I wanted to glue on some sort of frame and either hang it or use it as a vanity tray. The leftover glass gems from my studded tile mirror were the perfect solution. And they cover up most of the mirror’s flaws. But all the glass gems had popped off of my studded mirror, one-by-one, so I hunted for a better glue. After trying three other glues, I found it. For the tiered jewelry tray tutorial, click here.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

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 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 »

Painted lampshade - on & off

Table lamp - before

You probably remember this lamp. Its first makeover was four years ago. Frankly, the fabric-covered lamp shade was a disappointment, and brass just isn’t my thing. When I found an eBay store that sells nickel-plated lamp parts at unbeatable prices, I almost cried tears of joy. Then all I needed was a new lamp shade to paint. This off-white fabric drum shade was perfect.

This isn’t my first time rewiring a table lamp either. Last time I used a lamp kit and didn’t go into much detail. This time I’ll show you how to assemble the individual parts, which should be of more use to you.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Coffee filter Snowball light - on/off

Lately I’ve been working with wire and wire mesh. First I made jewelry holders, then a jingle bell ornament, and now this decorative light fixture.

When I tell you what it took to make this Snowball light, you’ll think I’m crazy. So I’m not going to tell you right away. Just know that its basic components are basket-style coffee filters, a sheet of hardware cloth, and a string of LED lights.

I call it the snowball light because it reminds me of the giant snowballs that terrorize Scrat, the acorn-obsessed saber-toothed squirrel in Ice Age. But if you look closer, the delicate ruffles of the coffee filters look like carnations. I thought it would be fun to dye the coffee filters or dip the tips in paint to mimic red-tipped carnations. In the end, I kept it simple.

The snowball light also resembles Serena & Lily’s Feathered African Headdress. Although not as elegant, it’s fun and a lot more affordable.

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 »

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