Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dartboard Jewelry Cabinet

It's the season finale over at So You Think You're Crafty!  I'm so excited that I made it this far!  For the finale week theme of "Purple" I made an old dartboard cabinet into a jewelry storage cabinet for my daughters' closet.

I'll be posting the tutorial on the blog after the contest is over, but in the meantime, I would really appreciate your vote!

Head over to So You Think You're Crafty sometime before Thursday night and cast your vote!

I really appreciate everyone's support throughout this whole contest!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wind Turbine Light Fixture

I was pretty excited about the Hardware Store Week challenge at So You Think You're Crafty.  Lowe's is my absolute favorite store, followed by Home Depot for a close second.  It's so fun to walk around the aisles and try to see a new use for all of those supplies.

I had seen vintage turbine fans turned into light fixtures on some pricey websites.  All that I had seen were well over a couple hundred dollars.  I loved the look, but couldn't justify the price.  I needed a light fixture for my craft studio and I had a feeling I could DIY my own version.

I started with a wind turbine exhaust fan from Lowe's.  It was about $35, but I have since seen a few on clearance at my local Lowe's.  I think these are mainly used in attics or barns.  They came in a couple of different colors, but I planned on painting mine, so I wasn't picky.

Here's what she looked like after taking her out of the box.  There are basically two pieces.  In addition to this fan piece, there is a tube type of piece that the fan sits on.  I didn't use any part of that piece for this project, but maybe I can find a new use for it in the future.

At this point, my dad and I just started taking pieces apart.  We were trying to get all of the "extra" pieces off so that we were left with just the fan blades for the light fixture.  This little plastic piece was at the top, holding the apparatus that allowed the thing to turn.  We pried it off with a screwdriver.

We started unscrewing pieces, trying to cause the least amount of damage.  We still wanted it to be structurally sound, but I didn't want all of the inner workings.  They would be in the way of my pendant light.

We ended up doing more work than we had to.  In the end, we just took some metal snips and cut the three support bars that were holding all of the pieces in.  Once those were cut, we were left with the outer shell which was going to function as the shade for the fixture.

At Lowe's, I picked up one of the pendant light kits.  It was sold in the small endcap area with different types of glass shades so that you can mix and match to make your light fixture.

 I unscrewed the metal rod that covers the electrical wiring and threaded this part of the fixture up through the bottom of my shade.  Then, I had to thread the wiring back through that metal rod and screw the rod back into the fixture.  Basically, think of it as sandwiching your shade (the exhaust fan) between the light socket and the metal pendant rod.

Here she is, all ready for paint!  I gave the whole thing a couple of good coats of oil rubbed bronze spray paint, let it dry well, and it was ready to go!

The light fixture now hangs in my studio and casts the prettiest design on the ceiling when the light is on in the evenings.  It's the first thing that gets a comment when people walk into that room.  Everyone wants to know more about it.

Home Stories A2Z

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Trim the Tree Pillow

For Knock Off Week of So You Think You're Crafty, I found this cute Trim the Tree pillow when I was looking through the new holiday items at Land of Nod.  When I saw the name of the pillow, I got very excited because I thought that it was a Christmas tree that little ones could actually decorate.  It turned out that the ornaments were stitched on and not removable.
So, when I made my knock off version, I decided to give it my own twist and make the ornaments removable.  I sewed snaps onto my tree pillow and then attached snaps to the backs of buttons so that my little ones could decorate the tree however they liked, over and over again.

 I started with a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric to find some green trim for my tree.  When I turned up empty handed, I decided to just dye my own.  I'd never used fabric dye before, but it wasn't too difficult.  I attempted to remove my eyelet trim from the dye at three different intervals in order to get different shades, but that didn't really work.  So, I just ended up with a tree that was all the same color, which was fine with me.

 After my trim dried well, I ironed it and laid it out.  I trimmed up my pieces for length, folded over the ends, and ironed them.

 I randomly started sewing on snaps to hold my "ornaments".

 I pinned everything into place before sewing it all down.

I stitched my trim on and then zig-zagged a piece of burlap for the tree trunk.

I attached my buttons to snaps by either sewing them on or using super strong glue, depending on the button.

My mom also had the idea that it would be cute to add some snaps around the trunk and attach some snaps to square buttons for gifts or even buttons that look like toys.  I just ran out of time for this step before my contest entry was due, but I think that would be a fun addition.

Obviously, these button ornaments would be a choking hazard for young children.  My girls are old enough that this isn't an issue, but please don't make this for young kids who might be tempted to put the buttons in their mouth!

Little hands have been busy decorating and re-decorating this tree pillow.  I tried to put it away with the Christmas decorations, but it's since been pulled back out.  I guess we just started decorating a little early this year!

Home Stories A2Z

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Mantel

 The girls and I finished up our Halloween mantel over the weekend.

 I had wanted to buy some vintage sign letters to spell out "BOO", but after I checked out the prices on Etsy and ebay, I decided to just make my own.  I used some scrap wood and cut out some big letters with a jigsaw.  The girls helped me to paint and distress them.

The large spider web is from Dollar Tree.  What a deal for $1!

 We made a banner to display their past Halloween costumes.

 We folded scrapbook paper accordion style and glued them into medallion shapes.  We then hot glued the photos and some buttons on and attached it all to some jute.

Lastly, I left up this big print of the girls, but added some black paper masks.  I just freehanded a few different mask shapes on some cardstock, cut them out, and them lightly taped them onto the print.

A little bit spooky, but mainly fun -- that's how we like Halloween around here!
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Halloween Mantels

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quilt Calendar

Sometimes you end up with family "heirlooms" that you're not quite sure what to do with.  I had this old quilt that was stained, tattered, filled with holes, and quite literally falling apart.  I don't like it when things just get stored away and never seen, so I knew I needed to come up with a way that we could enjoy this piece of the past.  Week #4 of So You Think You're Crafty had the theme of Sentimental, so I thought this would be the perfect entry.

Normally, I wouldn't dream of cutting up an antique like this, but it was really no good to anyone otherwise.  So, I cut out a rectangle of the quilt, paired it with an open back frame and some glass, and used my embroidery skills to make a wall calendar.

If I'm embroidering text, I always start off in Microsoft Word to get a font and size that I like.  I print off my text and tape it up on a window.  You could also use a lightbox, but I was too lazy to dig mine out.

I then tape my piece of fabric, unbleached muslin in this case, over the text.  I use a water soluble fabric marker to then trace the letters onto my fabric.

There are a ton of embroidery tutorials out there, but I'll give you the basics.  I'm not an expert, but I get by.  I usually use three strands of embroidery floss and try to keep my stitches super small on text.  It helps to keep the curves looking good on the letters.  Start by pushing your needle up through the fabric ahead of where you want your stitch.

Then, go back down through the fabric overlapping the last stitch slightly.  I push my needle through the last stitch.  I think it makes it look more like a solid line.

After I stitched my days of the week, I trimmed each one to have roughly the same size border around each word.  I didn't finish off the edges at all.  I wanted it to look a little rough and worn.

I laid my tired, old quilt out and picked out a useable area to work for my calendar.  I picked up my barnwood open back frame at Hobby Lobby (wait til it's on sale or use a coupon) and got a glass and backing kit at Michael's.

I cut a rectangle out of the quilt that was about 2" larger than the frame opening.  I laid my days of the week labels where I wanted them, along with a larger piece of blank muslin to use for the month label.  You could also stitch these into place, but I just sandwiched them between the quilt and the glass.

Once everything was in place, I flipped it over and set it all into the frame.  I squished the backer board down into place and trimmed up any edges that were sticking out too much.

I used a staple gun to place staples at angle to hold my backer board in place in the frame.  If I ever want to change something or use the frame for something else, they will be easy to pull out with pliers.

I added a large sawtooth hanger and it was ready to hang!

The grid pattern of the quilt makes up the calendar blocks for each day of the month. 

A dry erase marker makes it easy to change the month and dates.  I opted not to embroider the months onto fabric because I knew that it would be December and our calendar would still say July.  So, I left that strip of fabric blank so I can just change the month with a dry erase marker.

This dilapidated quilt has found a new life in our mudroom, where it gives my family a quick glance at our month.  Even though it was cut, the quilt is sure to be appreciated more now that it's a part of our daily routine instead of folded away in a box.

Home Stories A2Z

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hanging Pumpkin Lantern

I submitted this entry to So You Think You're Crafty for Halloween week.  I had the idea for a hanging pumpkin lantern, but I wanted to to be something that would last.  I hate to spend a lot of time making something that can't be reused in the coming years.

I started with three artificial pumpkins from Hobby Lobby.  I tried to get a large, medium, and small size for a tiered effect.  I also picked up wooden embroidery hoops that were small enough to fit inside of each pumpkin.

I laid the embroidery hoop on top of the pumpkin and traced a smaller circle inside of it.  You want your cut circle to be significantly smaller than the hoop to create a lip so that the hoop will not slide out of the opening.

I used a serrated kitchen knife to cut the openings in my pumpkins.

Remove the inner portion of your embroidery hoop and completely unscrew the outer portion so that it is more flexible.  Carefully overlap the ends of the hoop until you can fit it inside the pumpkin opening.

Once it's inside the pumpkin, screw the opening closed again for stability.

I used the smallest black chain at Home Depot and hooked it around each embroidery hoop in three places.

Some of my pumpkins had holes in the bottom while one did not.  For the one with no opening, I used a drill to make three holes big enough to thread the chain through.  Once the chain was run up through the pumpkin, I hooked the lower pumpkin's chain onto the higher pumpkin's chain and it was all attached.

Obviously, you don't want to place real candles in these fake pumpkins.  I put a couple of the battery powered tealights in each pumpkin and it looks really cool when it starts to get dark.

You could really get creative with this lantern.  It would be fun to go ahead and carve jack o'lantern faces on the pumpkins or some fancy geometric designs.

Now, the only problem is deciding where I'll be displaying mine!  I loved it hanging on my covered front porch just as much as inside over the kitchen table.

I'm linking this project up to the following link parties: