Thursday, August 30, 2012

Recycle Craft: Crystal Light Container to Magnetic Organizer

This is a very easy project to take something that would have ended up in the recycling bin and create something useful.

You Will Need the Following: 
A piece of scrapbook paper
Glue--I used Mod Podge
A foam brush
Neodymium magnets and glue to attach them

I used my paper cutter to cut a piece of paper that was 5 inches tall.  I then wrapped the strip around my container and marked where it would overlap just a tiny bit and cut the excess off.  I then brushed Mod Podge onto the paper with a foam brush and carefully applied it to the container making sure to line the seam up in the middle of one of the flat sides of the container. I put some extra glue along the seam and let it dry. 

If you want a really secure and water resistant covering, you could take the time to cover the whole container in a couple of layers of Mod Podge after you've applied the paper. I opted not to since this scrapbook paper has a bit of a shimmer to it that would have been dulled by the Mod Podge (and it was faster). After the glue dries, attach your magnets to the back of the container with some E6000 or hot glue.

I tried it with just one magnet, but it slid down the fridge when I put a scissors in the container. Two of these strong neodymium magnets was just right, but your magnets might not be as strong, and you may need more. Now I'll always know where my scissors are! You could decorate the container with trim or glitter or decals, but I wanted to make a basic one to make sure the container would work as a fridge organizer. I always love making something useful out of trash!

2021 Update: This container has been on my fridge storing pens and scissors for nearly a decade. I'm tempted to update it with some new scrapbook paper just for fun, but if it aint broke... :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Magnetic Pin Dish

As soon as I saw a photo on Pinterest showing a magnetic pin dish made out of a pretty old dish from a thrift store, I knew I wanted to make one. 

From then on, I was on the hunt for the perfect plate or bowl that would work for this project.  I had a list of criteria for the dish:

It needed to cost less than a dollar, have a bit of a lip around the edge so that pins couldn't be bumped off the dish, be pretty to look at, and have a little ridge on the bottom so that it would still sit flat after I glued the magnets on.

I finally found this beauty for 79 cents at my local goodwill that met all of the criteria.

I used two neodymium magnet that I picked up at the craft store (ones like these from Michael's) and glued them to the bottom of my dish with E-6000 glue.  After a few minutes of drying, I was able to put a handful of pins in the bowl and turn it over without any falling out.  Of course, your results may vary based on the strength of your magnets and the thickness of your dish, etc....test them out before gluing and you should be good to go.

 The result: a pretty, inexpensive, and very functional pin dish.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thrift Store Makeover: Plastic Key Wall Art

I'm proud to share with you my very first thrift store redo. I love going to thrift stores, but I rarely find decor at thrift stores that isn't terribly outdated. I have seen some adorable projects from people taking things they find at thrift stores and painting them or deconstructing them when I saw these keys, I thought I'd give it a go. 

These light plastic key wall hangings were originally done up in this lovely outdated gold/brass finish (update: gold accessories have come back into fashion...crazy how that works). I thought they looked a little steam punk-like and that they had some potential.  The larger key is about 2 feet wide and cost $1.99 and the smaller one was marked at 99 cents.  With only 3 dollars to lose, I took the gamble. My first thought was to spray paint them. A good coat of black spray paint would hopefully help them blend in with a more modern decor and play down some of the ornate details a bit.  So that's exactly what I did.

I propped them up inside a cardboard box and took them out onto the deck and sprayed the crap out of them with a can of glossy black spray paint. It took several trips to the deck of spraying and turning and letting them dry, but when they were all finished, they turned out much better looking than the original...and darn cute for $2.98 plus spray paint.

(Update: I still have these hanging on my wall. They've held up very well over the years!)

Monday, August 20, 2012

More Scrapbook Paper Tile Coasters

I made a new batch of ceramic tile coasters covered in scrapbook paper. For a full tutorial, check out my earlier post here. But it's really as simple as cutting your scrapbook paper to size, decoupaging it  it on the tile with mod podge, and then gluing (with hot glue or tacky glue) some felt on to the back of the tile. 

These are really fun to make, and if you have a steady hand (or a paper cutter) they turn out really professional looking!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Craft Foam Paint Stamp

This super simple project is full of potential. Buy a sheet of the extra thick craft foam from your local craft store (you may be able to laminate the thin stuff together with a strong but flexible glue, but I haven't tried it). 

Next, carve out your design with a craft knife and use a small pair of scissors to smooth out any ragged edges. In the photo below, you can see how it was not a very clean cut on the curved arms of my meeple pattern, so I cleaned that part up with a small sharp scissors.

Once you've cut out your shape in foam, glue it to a very thick piece of cardboard or a scrap of wood. I laminated some thick non-corrugated cardboard together to make my stamp and it's held up to being painted and washed off a couple of times without problems.

Once the stamp is done, go to town with your paint.  I used mine to make some homemade gift wrap out of brown craft paper from the dollar store and some leftover craft acrylic paints.  Cheap, quick, and totally customizeable!

I can't wait to make more stamps with fun foam. You can make pretty much anything you can think of.

Note: Since this post, I have made some other fun foam/craft foam stamps. Check them out: Fun Foam Stamps Part 1, Fun Foam Stamps Part 2Impression Stamps, and Death Star Stamp 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scrapbook Paper Star Wreath

Before the 4th of July, I saw this adorable paper star wreath.  It was themed for Christmas, but I thought it would work great for the 4th of July.  Unfortunately I didn't have enough red, white, and blue scrapbook paper lying around to really give it a go.  I did, however, have some cute coordinating paper that I had had so long that I didn't even remember buying it, so I thought I'd give the whole 3-D star thing a whirl.

I found a picture of a simple star online and printed it out on card stock so that I could use it as a template.  I traced around the star on to the back of my scrapbook paper and cut the stars out with a scissors (If you have a cutting machine or die cutter, that might be a bit faster--but this worked fine).  

After the stars were cut out, I then begin the process of creating the dimensional folds. The inspiration wreath was created using a bone creasing tool--no need, you can just fold the star in half at each of its points. The photo below shows the first fold.

This photo shows the star folded along all of its points but before it's been creased.

I tried a couple of different methods for getting the star to pop up, but the easiest was to fold the star up along all of the folds you've just made (as seen in the photo below) and then gently push down on the center of the star until it looks right.

After I had several stars folded, I found a cardboard ring that I had cut out of an old box. (It was actually a leftover from my Plastic Easter Egg Wreath Project.) I then covered it with stars. Unlike in the inspiration wreath, I didn't have enough paper of the same color to overlap the stars, so I filled in the gaps with scraps. What I neglected to read from the inspirational tutorial was that the stars underneath should be a little smaller than the stars you cut and folded (because they are smaller once they've been creased and folded).

I found that using tacky glue made the paper wrinkle a bit (so mod podge may be a better choice), but it wasn't visible once it dried and the dimensional stars were added. I used hot glue to attach the 3-D stars, and I decorated the rest of the wreath (on the star points and in between) with tiny stars I made using two different sized star punches.

I didn't have a large ribbon of coordinating color, so to continue the theme of making due with what I had, I used a little white ribbon to hang it on the door. It wasn't quite what I had intended, but I learned a lot for when I make the true 4th of July themed version (I already picked up a few sheets of red, white, and blue paper at the last Michael's sale to make it).  At any rate, it turned out cute enough to hang on the door for a while, and was created almost entirely with stuff I had lying around the house--so it was a win-win.