Use your wall space!

Hey Guys!

So after taking a long hiatus from the blog I am pleased to say I have hammered out a TON of projects! I’ve just been too busy to post them all! I’m going to try and post them all before I start any new crafts…. (or at least that is the idea ;).

So big changes with the New Year! I moved from Vancouver to Kelowna (about 4hrs away) to be closer to my family and to see what another city had to offer! One of my newest projects I did was for my kittens I adopted! (Oh yeah… I forgot to tell you guys! I adopted kittens!!)

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Here they are at 3month old! 😀

Anyways… I wanted to put up some wall shelves to give my cats somewhere they could climb. I wanted to put up some floating shelves but my boyfriend was less thrilled that we wouldn’t be able to display anything on them because the kittens would knock stuff off. So it was actually his idea that inspired this project. He said, “What if we made [shadow] boxes? That way they could walk on top and we could put stuff underneath.” I liked the idea, but instead of a bunch of random shadow boxes I thought… What if we interlocked a couple of boxes and make them look like art in and of it by themselves?

So after playing with different sizes and shapes I came up with a plan and headed to the hardware store with my dad (he’s done a lot more woodworking than I have). We decided to go with pine because it is light and affordable, and has a nice homey feel. It was his suggestion that we use different widths of wood to give it some interest. So we used 10″ wide and 8″wide planks (you can buy them in different lengths to suit your own projects). I then snagged a free scrap of carpet (something that would compliment the wood finish) and we got to work!

Like most of my projects I got carried away and too focused to actually take step by step photos so this is blog is going to be more about sharing my design idea and then giving tips and pointers and letting you guys run with it! 🙂

Materials and tools used:

– 10″ wide knotty pine

-8″ wide knotty pine

-Table saw

-Router (to cut key holes on the back of your shelf to hang and create a floating look)

-Cordless drill and screws

-Electric rotary sander

-Hand sander

-180 and 320 grit sand papers

-Nail gun and nails

-Staple gun

-Utility Knife and metal ruler

-Carpet

-Wood glue

-Wood filler

-Oil based satin polyurethane (I used Varathane brand)

-Pure bristle brush 2″ wide

-Paint thinner (for clean up)

Basic instructions:

-Measure and cut out all of your pieces (Use as little pencil as possible! This will save you time sanding!)

-Assemble each box individually first using a nail gun and wood glue. Clamp boxes and let dry over night.

-Sand all of your boxes and clean off the dust

-Mark the corner of the (8″ wide- or less wide if you are using different widths of wood) and cut out those corners using the table saw.

-Screw the remaining box to the larger box from the inside (the screws will be covered up by the corner you will reinsert later)

– Trim up the corner you cut off. Then using wood glue and clamps, glue it inside the adjoining box (to create your interlocking looking boxes). Let dry over night.

– Set up your jig to the correct size of keyhole for the thickness of your wood. Mark your keyholes the same on either side of your boxes and router them out!

– Apply one coat of satin finish and let dry. Sand in-between coats with 320 grit. Apply one more coat for a total of 2 coats.

– Using the staple gun, attach the carpet to the top of the shelves.

-Using wall anchors and screws, level and hang your shelves!

-Voila! You’re done!

***Disclaimers!***

– This is an ADVANCED project!!! I did get A LOT of help from my dad. I am pretty handy but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to woodworking (plus and extra pair of hands is super helpful when you are putting together the corners!) So find a friend who is good at this stuff and is willing to give you a hand or hire a woodworker to make you some if you don’t think you can tackle this one. This project took about 20-30hrs or so for the both of us.

– Be very careful when selecting your project wood. Pine is a very soft wood so it marks up easily and is prone to cupping (warping). We had some problems along the way with this. If you can afford a hard wood it will definitely make your project easier to put together but will add some weight.

– If you plan to stain your wood DON’T use pine! I stained one of my boxes and it stained so unevenly I’m going to have to use it for a planter box now. Pine DOES NOT stain evenly, it turns out blotchy no matter how you condition it. This is why I went with a clear finish in the end.

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Finished product!

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Gluing and screwing in process!

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Clamped in place and ready to dry!

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Some more boxes drying

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Box set number 3. All finished and hung!

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Box set number 2

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Box set number 1

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Showing the kitties around their new jungle gym 🙂

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Lilo and Stitch hanging out up high.

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Lilo checking out the view.

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Can you tell Lilo is more curious?

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Saying Hello 🙂

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Lilo napping in the designated kitty box 🙂

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Designer tip of the week: Take advantage of your wall space even if you don’t have cats. By maximizing your wall space you will actually ADD floor space, decrease clutter, and create storage by making a less usable space- USABLE!

If any of you guys attempt this one send me pics! I would love to see as always! And if you get stuck- holler! I’m here to help!

-Pearl

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Room for growth

Hey Everyone!

So I know its been a long time since I posted…. I’m not a very devoted blogger. My problem is not a lack of inspiration or creativity. The first problem is the time to do these crafts, the second is to find the time after to write the blog!!

Well lets get straight to it shall we! This craft was something I dreamed up probably 2yrs ago. The concept behind it was an old book that had been thrown out and started to decompose. As it started to rot a new tree started to grow out of the book-essentially a tree because of the paper. So it was based off the life cycle and products of a tree.

I got so many compliments on it, I have since made 2. One was for my sister as a present, and the other was for a charity raffle. The one I made for this blog was commissioned by my friend Courtney. 🙂

 

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(The one in the picture above is the very first necklace tree that I made for myself! 🙂

So to make this “Necklace tree” you will need:

  • Tin snips (or metal sheers)
  • Metal mesh (I found mine at Home Depot- its a type of subfloor 24″ x 48″??)
  • An old hard cover book
  • Some copper wire (I used 2 meters of 5 strand- if you want more branches than mine I would suggest 3 meters)
  • Some gloves
  • A screw gun (or something you can drill holes with)
  • Wire Cutters

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Step 1: Cut the metal mesh with the sheers into a strip approx 6″ x 24″ (24″ is automatically the width because of the sheet size)

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Step 2: Tightly roll the metal into a roll. I laid down a towel to protect the floor. I accidentally cut off a piece too big so I rolled it and cut off the excess.

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Step 3: Cut 4-5 slits in one end of the “tube” of metal and bend them out to create a base.

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Step 4: Cut a small strip of the mesh and wrap it around the top of the tree. Then cut slits in it and flare them out. This will create the “top” of the tree.

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Step 5: Using your glove squish the flared parts to create “mini” branches.

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Step 5: Cut varying lengths of the copper wire and folding back and forth and twisting it create branches. Leave enough copper at the end of the branch to be able to attach it to the tree, by bending it on.

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Step 6: Attach the branches to the top of the tree. There really isn’t a technique to this… its just kind of how ever you can mash them on there and get them to stay. Haha.

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Continue doing that until it looks something like this….

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I also added reinforcements aka copper wire that I ran up the tree and taped- just to give it some temporary stability. The hardest part about this stage is the tree is going to want to tip over because its top heavy without much of a base.

Step 7: Tear some pages out of your book and rip them in strips. As a note… don’t rip all the pages from one section of the book because it will look funny later. Just tear a couple of pages- skip a couple of pages- tear a couple of pages (You get the idea). You could use newspaper if you wanted… but the ink gets all “smeary” when you try to paper mache it. Plus I like the idea that this whole project came from one book.

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Step 8: Paper mache the crap out of the tree! (Mache is just flour and  warm water mixed together until its the consistency of pudding). For your first layer just wrap and twist the paper around the branches so you cover everything. Let that dry over night and then do a second layer. The second layer is where it gets its strength. I couldn’t take pics of this stage because my hands were all covered in goo. But heres what it should look like.

***Do not use mod podge!!!***

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Step 9: Stain your tree! Using an OIL based stain and a rag (or brush if you want) brush on a thin layer. I used Varathane’s Dark Walnut colour. I like these little jars of stain because they come in LOTS of colours and are about $5 (again another a Home Depot special). I would advise wearing gloves if your the type of person who wears more of their dinner then they do eat it. As well I laid down some plastic so I didn’t end up re-staining the table. Haha. Who knew that my go to craft shop was a hardware store.

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Step 10: Open your book to the middle. Drill 4 holes in your book- BEING careful not to drill through the cover. 2 holes on either side of the page.

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Step 11: Wire the pages shut using a smaller gauge copper wire. Hot glue the wired clump of pages to the inside of the hardcover. Essentially making the book into one solid platform.

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Step 12: Trim the excess paper around the bottom of your tree, and hot glue it into the book covering the wire in the pages.

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Step 13: Using some left over paper strips hot glue them on the base of the tree and book to make it look like the tree is growing out of book.

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Voila!!

Step 14: Decorate with your favourite jewellery! I works really well to help keep your jewellery untangled as well. Below is the picture of the one I made for my friend with all her jewellery. 🙂

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Well thats it! I also think they make great art, or book ends.

Let me know what you think below or if you have any other suggestions on how to use them! Keep it crafty guys!

-Pearl

A new type of silhoutte

Hey guys!

Today I recreated my collage silhouette of the little bird seen in my blog “Not Your average Photo Collage!” Its fairly easy to do, and exceedingly cheap to make. It would make a good teen craft (lots of personalized art in any colour you want it!).

First things first. Materials:

-A bunch of magazines you can chop up

-Various paint brushes (You might need some precise tips depending on your design)

-Clear glue

-A fine point pen

-Acrylic paint any colour

-A cheap frame (I got mine for $2 at the dollar store)

-Scrap cardboard (To put your glue and paint on)

Step 1: Rip out some colourful pages with some fun patterns on it and glue them in the general location that you want. You can glue them on anything. The bird collage I glued right to the back of the frame. You could do it on an artist canvas if you wanted, or a piece of cardboard like I did for this tutorial.

Step 2: Let your glued down pages dry.

Step 3: Draw out your design on top of the magazine pages.

Step 4: Paint carefully around your design. Depending on the quality of the paint you might have to do multiple coats. Mine took about 2-3 coats.

Step 5: Let it dry and frame it!

See! Pretty easy! Other variations I’ve seen have included old music sheets, gift wrap, old maps, and newspaper. All the tutorials that I found used vinyl letters that were placed over top of the pages and then painted over and removed, so you could create saying. I found it hard to find vinyl letters in a font that I liked and in the size I was looking for so I improvised. I’ll leave a link to some other peoples ideas, to help get your creative juices flowing. Click here to see them.

Let me know what you think!

-Pearl

Not just your average photo collage!

Hi Guys!

Sorry for the mass posts lately, its just that I have a bunch of projects that I’ve already done that are lying around the house just begging to be put online!

So this project is pretty simple… I just bought a bunch of photo frames from a dollar store ranging from $.75- $2 (I wouldn’t spend any more than that because you need a lot of them.) I then just arranged them on the floor how I wanted them to look and began transferring them to the wall. I chose an A-symetrical design because then I will be able to add more photos later to it. The only difference between a regular collage and mine is that it wraps around the corner! What a perfect way to spruce up a boring hallway!

The beauty of this project is that NONE of the frames have to match and there are no rules! Also if you have ugly things i.e. a thermostat, or an intercom system you can kind of blend them into the collage, so you don’t see them as much!

In the last picture there is a silhouette of a little bird surrounded by a tan foreground… that is another one of my crafts that I have to make a post about. I’ll let you know when that gets posted.

Finally because I used dollar store frames most of them didn’t come with a hook on the back, and being that they are mostly plastic I couldn’t use a picture hanging kit because there was nothing to nail into. So…. pinterest here we go! I found a post about using a pop tab as a hook, but in the pin it said to screw it in. They could because it was a wooden frame, and they needed to because the weight of the frame. I sort of cheated and just hot glued the tab onto the back of my pictures. It worked like a charm!

Well…. there you have it! A little something to spice up that bland corner of yours! Plus you can add to it! Cool hey!

Let me know what you think down below, and any suggestions for future crafts!

-Pearl