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Posts Tagged ‘DIY projects’

DIY Bookend Using Wine Corks

My trash to treasure imagination came alive while I was checking out the status of my husband’s office remodel. “Office supply heaven,” I thought to myself as I walked around and looked through piles of stuff. A few mismatched metal bookends sat dejected-looking on the floor. “Are these up for grabs?” I asked my husband. While giving me the I-knew-I shouldn’t-have-brought-her-here look, he replied, “Sure, take them.”

When I got home I pulled out a plastic bag filled with wine corks that a neighbor gave to me before she moved. I’d been trying to think of something I could make for her new home with these corks and my newly acquired bookend inspired an idea. After I completed the project, I presented her with a combination bookend and mini cork board.

Supplies:
Wine cork bookend Bookend(s)
Wine corks
Glue
Paper
Pen

Instructions:
1. Gather supplies.

2. Place the upright side of the bookend down flat on a piece of paper and trace around it with a pen. This will be your template for cork layout.
make template

3. Because wine corks are different lengths and circumferences, you’ll want to play around with their arrangement before you settle on your final layout. Arrange the wine corks on the paper to your satisfaction, remembering to place their best-looking sides facing up. Carefully cut any cork with a sharp knife to make it fit. template

4. Lay the bookend flat on your work surface, with the side to be decorated facing up. Allow the stand/support portion to hang over the edge of your work surface.position bookend

5. One by one, remove a cork from your layout paper and glue it to the bookend. Repeat until all the wine corks have been glued to the bookend. Let dry.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The bookend I used flared out slightly at the bottom, so one row of corks looks tilted. It’s okay, though, because nothing’s perfect in life. Right?

2. My former neighbor immediately recognized her corks. Though not the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, I was glad I could rework something of hers into something more useable for her new home. I figured some of the wine corks must hold a few special memories for her.

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Three envelopes with photo transfers

Print, cut, dip, rub, dry, and voilà you’ve just made custom tape! Use your custom tape to personalize greeting cards and envelopes. I first learned about the process of transferring photocopy ink from my oldest son when he was in high school. Back then I thought it was a pretty cool artistic process, but one that I could never see myself using. Now fifteen years later, I’m personalizing envelopes using a technique similar to his. Thanks to the site Lil Blue Boo for the inspiration. I can’t wait to experiment more with this technique and to try using it in other ways.

Supplies:
Supplies 1. Photo images on paper
2. Scissors
3. Clear packing tape
4. Straight edge
5. Bowl of water

Directions:
1. Select the photo image you want to use. Make a photocopy of the photo or print it up using a laser printer, not an ink jet printer. Larger images work better than smaller images that contain a lot of details. Images with a fair amount of contrast will also show up better. If printing the image from your computer, you can format it to have multiple copies on one page, thus creating a strip of photos. This technique also works with images from a magazine. Black and white wedding photos

2. Cut out your image and lay it face up on your work surface. Cut off a piece of packing tape about four inches longer than your piece of paper. Center the tape over the paper with sticky-side down and 2 inches of extra tape at each end. Press tape down gently on paper. Rub a straight edge, a ruler, or a paper boning tool over the entire surface of the tape-covered paper to ease out any bubbles and to make sure the ink is evenly and securely adhered to the adhesive.

Place tape over photos

Place tape over photos

3. Holding the two ends of the tape, immerse the paper-side of the tape into a bowl of water until the paper absorbs water and softens.

place tape with photos in bowl of water

Place tape with photos in bowl of water

4. Using your fingers, gently rub off all the paper from the tape. You may need to dip the paper in the water several times to remove all of it.

Rub paper off of tape

Rub paper off of tape

5. When all the paper is removed, the tape will resemble a clear photo negative (even though it is a positive). Hang to dry.

6. Press the dry tape to your desired surface.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I made custom tape to decorate Valentine’s Day cards for my favorite couples and for anniversary cards, but I think personalized tape would be cute for other occasions, such as baby showers, birth announcements, etc.

2. You are not restricted to photos. You could also create personalized text. Again, just make sure you use either a photocopy or a print out from a laser printer.

3. I also transferred a color image from a page out of a magazine. That opens a whole new realm of possibilities!

4. This process would be a fun activity to do with children!

Enjoy!

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DIY jar and jute candleholders

Get out those skeins of macrame cord you’ve been saving since the 1970s and pull out those empty glass jars from underneath your kitchen sink. It’s time to upcycle them into retro-chic candle holders! I made these candle holders in just one morning. Their relaxed vibe makes for great centerpieces (outdoor or indoor) or thoughtful gifts. For a morning coffee gathering or a brunch, put a base layer of coffee beans in the jars and let the candles help release the aroma of freshly-roasted coffee!

Materials:
Glass jars (for a more interesting arrangement, choose jars of different heights)
Jute, twine, or macrame cord
Hot glue gun
Assorted lace trim
Bamboo skewers
Tealights
Nonflammable base material such as rice, beans, coffee beans, sand, etc.
Scissors

General Directions:
1. Remove labels from jars. If some adhesive remains, use a solvent such as Goo Gone to remove it.
2. Wash and try jars thoroughly.
3. Heat up your glue gun.
4. Place a little bit of glue on the twine and press it down on the glass jar using a bamboo skewer or your fingers. Using a bamboo skewer prevents burning your fingers on the hot glue. Putting the glue on the twine versus directly on the glass prevents globs of glue from showing up on the glass or getting all over the glass.
5. Because you’re not using a lot of glue, it will set quickly, so work fast. It helps to have a design in mind before you start.
6. Rub off stray glue “threads,” fill jars with base material, and insert tealights.
7. Tie a bow or wrap twine several times around the top of the jar for a more finished look.

Heart Jar:
Laying down a little glue at a time, create a heart-shape perimeter with the twine. Gradually, coil the twine around and around inside the heart-shape, putting down small spots of glue on the back side of the twine as you go. I coiled small circles in between the hearts to balance the design.

Lace Jar:
Starting at the “back” of the jar, I tacked one end of lace to the jar, wrapped it around the jar cutting off the right length, and glued it down on top of where I started. Twine was then centered on the ribbon in between the lace and glued down on the back of the jar. Lace jars in of themselves are pretty, but I felt twine had to be incorporated into the lace design to create a cohesive design grouping.

Loopy Jar:
I started at the bottom of the jar and just looped the jute in a free-form pattern around the jar. When making the loops, it is easier to glue the contact points of a loop before tacking it to the jar.

Love Jar:
This was created in a similar fashion as the loopy jar, except I spelled out the word “love” on the front and back of the jar.

candle holders made from glass jars and jute

Enjoy your candle holders!

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