DIY

Wool Dryer Balls…an update

Just so you know…not everything I try comes out as planned.

Back in March of this year I decided to make wool dryer balls.  Seemed like an easy enough endeavor and I *thought* they turned out fine.  Fast forward six months later and I’d like to share an update with y’all in case you were considering making the same. 

Here’s how they looked when we last visited.  You can check out my tutorial on it by clicking here.

wool dryer balls part 1

Now if I really had thought about this, instead of just being so excited to use them, I would have noticed that despite washing/drying for about four times they still hadn’t really felted.  I *thought* they had, but just looking at this pic I should have had some doubts that they were ready.

Here is how one of them looks today.

wool dryer ball part 2

Yeah….not so much. 

So I of course read up on this and why it was happening and most sites said I didn’t wash/dry them enough to felt properly.  A couple sites suggested using lightly spun yarn and apparently the kind I chose was a more tightly spun yarn. 

{{ sigh }}

I think I will try one more time after I find some *lightly spun yarn* to see if it will felt better. 

Have you tried to make these before and if so, do you have any suggestions?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

How to make a wine cork initial

We drink wine and many of the bottles come with corks.  Our last name begins with the letter “H”.  I had a wooden “H” that I recently purchased from JoAnns.  Naturally I thought….what could I make and quickly decided to make a monogram “H” using wine corks.  Genius! 

I gathered all the corks and we didn’t quite have enough. 

…I vowed to drink more wine.  😉  

bowl of corks

I didn’t want to corks to stick out their entire length so I had my hubby cut them in half.  Of course that resulted in twice as many corks but still not quite enough so…

…I will have to keep my vow to drink more wine.  😉

corks cut in half

The letter “H” was plain wood so I painted it white and started hot gluing the corks on.  I didn’t start with any pattern or anything but by the time I was nearly done I had this….   

cork project

Ehhhh….not so much.  The corks on the right are a little wonky and the corks on the left are lined up a little neater.  I also am not happy with the white that shows through.  Hmmmm…..

So I decided to paint the “H” brown to see if that helped.  I removed all the glued on corks, painted the “H” and then began gluing the corks back on.  I also am putting them four across instead of three. 

brown cork H

I think it’s looking better….what do you think?

You will have to stay tuned to see the finished project.  🙂 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

Quick DIY Bookshelf

I collect Nancy Drew books and have since I was a kid.  Not the new ones but the *vintage* ones.  I occasionally still re-read them and if you have any that you don’t want…send them my way…haha!!  No, seriously, send them to me.  😉

When I moved into my new office/craft space I wanted to have my Nancy Drew books out where I could see them.  We had some extra wood left over from the shelves we installed in the closet, admittedly I was the one *that* calculated wrong, so I asked the hubby to help me create a simple bookshelf and he obliged! 

We had two pieces of wood that were 50” each in length so we used those for the outside frames.  I knew that the bookshelf would be holding my Nancy Drew collection so we calculated the number of books and the number of shelves to figure out spacing etc.  We ended up with four 15” wide shelves.  Your measurements would of course vary depending on the wood that you are using.  The cuts would leave scraps but for me that’s just a bonus as I think of them as future craft projects.  🙂

We measured the wood and he cut it down for me.

cutting the wood
{ if you look close you can see him making sawdust…haha! }

Then *we* began building the frame.  I say we because I was holding the nails and taking pics.  Both of which I consider crucial to the outcome of the project.  😉

putting the frame together

framing

The frame is complete!

complete frame

My hubby hung the shelf from a tree so that I could spray paint it.

hanging the shelf in the tree

Now don’t ask me why I don’t have a pic of the bookshelf hanging from the tree.  I mean, my only two jobs, aside from spray painting, were to hold the nails and take pics.  Oh well..

Here is the finished product. I chose gold because I was actually painting something else gold (that blog post is coming soon!) and so I thought it would be fun to have something else in the office that was gold as well.

painted shelf

Here’s the wall where it will hang.

where it will hang

Here’s the hubby using his awesome hanging skills to hang the shelf for me.

measuring

And here’s how it looks!  I’m not really adding anything else to the shelf as it is actually behind the door that is never closed so no one will ever really see it.  Except y’all, who are reading this blog…haha!!  If you have any ideas on how to liven it up, I’m all ears.  I’m just smiling because I can see it from my desk so that makes me happy. 😉

the finished shelf

And that’s it!  Super easy peasy and we completed this entire project in one day. 

What projects have you completed lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

How to make a mini piñata!

I love ALL things miniature.  I’m not sure why, but I do.  Maybe because I am only 5’ tall?  A subconscious bonding with things that are small? 

I came across a pic of a miniature piñata and immediately knew I had to try it.  It was just one of those things that called my name and I was more than happy to answer.  I was looking for some fun things to send my youngest triplet daughter who is on staff at a Christian camp this summer, and this looked like a super cute idea.  

After I decided I was going to make one, I found several blogs that had ideas to help me bring my mini piñata to life.

I had all the supplies for this project on hand, so there was nothing really stopping from getting my creative action on! 

You will need a cereal box, or other similar box

cereal box

Some tissue or crepe paper.  I saved some tissue paper that came in a gift bag.  It was a little wrinkly but for this project, it was perfect!

tissue paper

The pattern for my piñata came from, A Blackbird’s Epiphany.  More thoughts on that in a minute.

pinata pattern

Other items needed are tape, glue and scissors.

I cut out the two sides of the piñata out and then cut a long strip to use to put the two sides together. 

putting the sides together

Just before I had it completely closed up, I put in a couple of pennies, a small Hello Kitty rock that I had painted and a bottle cap.  It was more for the sound effects than anything.  If she does decide to bust it open I wanted at least a couple of little things inside.

Once I went completely around and taped the two sides together with the strip I was ready to add the tissue paper part.

finished base

It’s at this point where I was kind of thinking that this didn’t really look like a donkey so much as a dog.  The legs are a little chunky but I had already cut and taped everything so I figured that there was no going back now.

I cut several strips of tissue paper and then cut those to make a fringe.  I did not know this but they actually make fringe scissors!  Who knew?  They are actually quite inexpensive but since I don’t own a pair, I cut my fringe the old fashioned way. 😉

cutting fringe

Once I had all the fringe pieces ready to go, I started gluing it on, section by section.

adding fringe

Continue that process until your piñata is completely covered. 

Now…we can be completely honest with each, right?  I mean we are friends after all.

This is my finished piñata.  It is *supposed* to be a donkey.  But I think it looks more like some sort of colorful sheep dog or something.  So I guess I will tell folks that it is a sheep dog piñata!  Yeah, that’s it!!  That way folks will think that it was supposed to turn out this way!! 😉 

finished pinata

For my first attempt at making a piñata, I was pretty pleased with the results.  Next time, if I try to make another donkey, I’ll look for a little bit different pattern.  I actually plan on making another and *hopefully* it will resemble what it is supposed to look like.  We shall see!

Have you tried to create anything different lately?  I’d love to hear about it.

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

DIY

How to make a twine covered glass jar

This is a pretty easy project and is a great way to upcycle those glass jars you have been saving! 

twine covered glass jar

For this project you will need:

  • Glass jar(s)
  • Twine
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue
  • Embellishments

I chose a glass baby food jar.

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If you look closely you will see that I did not get all the label off of the jar.  No worries as it is about to be covered by the twine.

I chose a smaller size twine as the glass jar I was working with was smaller in scale than say, compared to a spaghetti jar.  It also depends on the “look” you are going for.

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I tied the twine around the top and put a few dabs of the craft glue down to help anchor it.  I then began wrapping around the jar being careful to keep the twine pulled tight and keep the rows close together.  After every three or four rows of twine, I would add a small line of craft glue and wrap over it. 

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After it was completely wrapped I cut the end off and glued it down with craft glue. 

I then used my hot glue gun to add a flower to the front of it. 

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I think it still needs a little something…what would you add?  Maybe some ribbon or lace around the middle? 

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I am using mine to hold my hot gun glue sticks so they are close by but not falling out of the  bag and all over my work table.  🙂

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What have you created lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

How to make a button covered initial

Is a tutorial really necessary?  Probably not, but I’ll do one anyway. 😉

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For this project you need some buttons in the color(s) you would like to use.  I also used some seashells and some beads.  I would suggest looking in the clearance area as well as the jewelry making aisle.  Don’t limit yourself to just buttons!  🙂  One of the next projects on my list is making another letter but using wine corks instead of buttons.  The key is to have fun with it! 

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You also need a wooden letter.  Because I was planning on using white/pale buttons, I chose a white letter.  You could always paint the letter a different base color as it will show through in spots.  The letters go on sale often enough but I usually wait until they are NOT on sale so I can use a coupon and get it for even less than when it is on sale.  

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A glue gun and possibly some snippers to cut off the back of some of the buttons so they lay flat. 

And yeah, that’s pretty much it. 

I didn’t want my buttons to have to uniform of a look about them so I started by gluing them in different areas.  Because some of the buttons were small, and because I don’t like burning myself with hot glue, I put a dab of glue directly on the letter instead of on the back of the button. 

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I kept adding buttons and trying to make it look a little random.  You can glue them however you would like.  Some may want a more uniform look to the way they are glued on.

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I really thought I had plenty of buttons but I actually ran out before the project was complete.

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After a quick stop at my local craft store, I had enough buttons to finish my project.

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See?  A pretty easy peasy project!  Let me know if you have tried this or a variation of it!

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

My Breakfast at Tiffany’s Painting

I tried something fun and new last night.  I went to my very first painting class!  It was held at a place called, Painting With A Twist and the concept of the class is that it pairs instructional art with friends and a lively instructor to produce individual works of art.  You can bring wine or other beverages as well as snacks to the class.  It’s great for bridal or baby showers, bachelorette parties, or just a fun evening with friends.

Not really knowing anything about painting or how these classes work it was hard to know what to expect. 

I sat down and saw this…

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And had these…

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And of course there was this…

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We did have an awesome teacher, Katie, who was there to guide us through each step.

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I was sharing this experience with some awesome ladies, most of whom I just met last night! 

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Okay y’all – let’s get started.

1

Basically you could loosely compare this to a paint by numbers kind of project.  But harder…haha!!  We had to mix paints, use different brushes and even pay attention!  😉 

Here is what we started with.  As you can see {if you look real close} the design is already lightly sketched onto the canvas.  So I didn’t have to learn how to draw AND paint in one class…haha!!

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Katie, our instructor, started us off with the big flat brush and had us fill some of it in with just black.

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I had actually painted down “too far” on the far right side of the page but no worries!  All the instructors are quick to come when you raise your hand for help! 

We mixed black and white to add gray to the canvas.

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Started painting in the bottom portion.

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Adding some detail with the smaller brush.

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Working on “Audrey” now.

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*FINALLY* painting the Tiffany box.

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We added the bow and we were done!  I am now officially a painter! 

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Our finished masterpieces!!

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One of the cool things about the whole experience is how different yet the same each one is. 

This particular painting we did was not an easy one.  It was a three hour class and I still felt that I could have taken a little more time on some of the steps.  All in all I am very pleased with the results though and would definitely go again.

Here are some examples of other things that you can create at these classes.

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This could be a couples painting or an individual piece.

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And this super cool photo prop.

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

How to make wood tea light candle holders

First you need some tree limbs.  Fortunately for me, my hubby was trimming the trees in the front yard anyway so the timing of this project was perfect.

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I measured out the size that I wanted.  I decided to go with a trio of tea light holders measuring at 12”, 10” and 8”. 

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Since I couldn’t hold the camera to take pics *and* saw the limb I asked my trusty assistant, aka my hubby, to do the honors.  Seriously, he really is very helpful and handy! 

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After we cut the limb to the various desired lengths we had to drill out a place at the top for the tea lights.  To do that you will need a 1 1/2” spade drill bit.

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The tree limb was not perfectly round so we placed an “x” as close to the center point as we could.  

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My hubby then clamped the wood to his work bench and used his drill and 1 1/2” spade drill bit to create the hole that the tea light would set in.

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Be sure to wear safety glasses when working as wood stuff will start flying everywhere and you don’t want it getting in your eyes. 

Let the drilling begin.

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I don’t know if you can actually tell or not but the “floor” of the hole is uneven.  We seemed to have two areas that had a bit of a bump instead of being flat. 

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We may not have been perfectly straight with the drilling and so my dad helped us out and smoothed the hole so the tea light would set in it more evenly.  The tea light should sit just slightly above the wood top to minimize the potential for the wood to catch fire. And of course, never leave a lit candle unattended. 

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And here’s the finished product!  You could even set these in a pretty dish or add some greenery.  Think of the possibilities for dressing this up!

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I hope this inspired you to upcycle something today! 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

Making over a footstool

It’s not like the stool was actually broken or anything.  It’s just that the bottom of the legs looked like this.

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And we have dark hardwood floors in the closet.  I am short so I need this stool to reach the top rods and didn’t want to risk the stool scratching the floor.

This was my temporary solution to that.

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Not quite the look I wanted in my closet so I thought that I’d add some felt to the bottom of the legs.  Sounds simple enough, right?

But first I have to tell you this.  When I turned over the stool I noticed it said this:

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I must say that anytime I hear or see the word, “Malaysia” I think of Zoolander and THIS SCENE,

Okay, back to my project. 

I turned the stool over to size the bottom of the legs.  Please disregard the current covering on my craft room stool (yes…it’s an old pair of shorts…I can only get to one project at a time…haha!!) and the pile of books on the floor.  The room is a work in progress.

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I figured out that the size of the bottom of the leg was approximately the same size as this paper die cut I just bought!  Hurray!!  This will make it faster and easier for sure.

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I had some felt that had adhesive on one side so all I had to do was press out four circles, right? 

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Wrong! 

As you can see at the top of the pic the die cut only worked on the peel away paper and not the felt material.  I then traced one of the washers I was using for another project and traced out 8 circles total.  I wanted to double up on the felt so there was enough padding between the bottom of the stool leg and the hardwood floor.

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After cutting the circles out I peeled off the adhesive cover.  I then applied a small amount of hot glue and put one circle on.  I waited just a couple of moments then put a little more hot glue on and then the second circle.  I repeated this for all four legs.

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It looks like it is going to work out just fine.  I am also going to apply the felt to the bottom of my laundry baskets so I can get rid of that bathroom rug that I am currently using. 

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Have you “fixed” anything around your house lately?  What projects are you working on?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

DIY

How to update a plain light switch

For those of you observant folks who read my Office/Craft Space reveal, you may have noticed the light switch had a makeover!  Here is the before:

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Gather your supplies, paper or fabric to adhere to your switch plate, scissors, pencil, mod podge and a sponge applicator or something to apply the mod podge.

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To create this light switch cover makeover, you need to measure the cover.  The sizes can vary which I did not know prior to trying this.

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Choose what you are going to cover it with.  Paper, fabric, rhinestones or even parts of a watch will work.  Be creative and let it be an expression of you.  I chose a map as it reminds me of taking a road trip and I love to travel!

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I cut out a portion of the map a little bigger than the cover.  Grabbed some mod podge and a sponge to apply it. 

I placed the cover on top of the map and outlined the area I was using.  I also faintly outlined where the switch was as well as marked with circles where the screws would go. 

The pic below was actually my first attempt but I wasn’t happy with how it turned out so I made another one.  This project is so inexpensive because the only real cost is whatever you are covering it with and some mod podge.  If you mess up you can pick up another light switch cover for less than a buck.

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I then mod podged it on and after it dried I put it on the wall.

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The portion of the map I chose has El Paso, where my gramma, and yes I *know* that you don’t spell grandma that way but we do…anyways that’s where my gramma and some relatives live.  On it as well as Ciudad Juarez where my dad is from.  Like I said, you can cover yours with just about anything.  Maps, pages from a book, sheet music, craft paper, fabric…just about anything! 

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What DIY projects have you tried lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa