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

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 Shot at Hygiene

Well today’s project was based around on of my particular frustrations…. my GIANT Costco sized bottle of Listerine. (The deal was just too good to pass up) The only problem is that my bathroom counter is to small to accommodate it, so I remains for the most part under the sink where I tend to forget about it. Finally fed up that my deal wasn’t paying off because I wasn’t using it, I decided to so something about it. I’ve been playing around with some different ideas before I landed the one that gave this project the “cute” factor. My first thought was about reusing an old soap pump… but somehow that didn’t seem right. I could just see my clumsy self at night trying to for Listerine and getting my mouth unintentionally washed out with soap. :s Yuck!

Well… here is what you will need:

-An empty clear bottle (Mine was a Jones Soda bottle)

-Some spare white kitchen cupboard liner (Or new I think Home Depot sells it for $2 a roll)

-Some decent scissors

-A fine pen or sharpie

-A liquor pour spout (I found mine at Save-on-foods) You could also probably find it at a beer and liquor store

-Some cheap shot glasses (I got mine at the dollar store)

-An exacto knife

-A favourite colour of nail polish

-Some painters tape or just utility tape

-And possibly a funnel (Unless you are good at free pouring liquids)

Step 1: I think its when I went out to dinner and noticed the liquor bottles behind the bar with the pour spouts, and thought “That would be perfect!” the only thing though is those bottles were still to big. So I opted for an empty Jones Soda bottle I got at a Starbucks. I cleaned it thoroughly and removed the label and glue (With a LOT of scrubbing.) And voila! The perfect miniature liquor bottle.

Step 2: Using a steady hand and your fine sharpie, draw your letters out on the BACK of the kitchen liner. As a note you will have to draw your letters out backward so that when it comes time to put them on the bottle they will be the right way around.

Step 3: Using your sharp scissors cut out the letters carefully, they don’t have to be perfect because you can fix them up later with your exacto; but I would still encourage trying to do your best to save time later.

Step 4: Peel off the backing to your letters and arrange them on the bottle how you would like them.

Step 5: If you would like, you can now clean up the shape of your letters by using the exact knife to trim away any mistakes. Its easier when the letters are on a hard surface then bending around in your hand as your try to cut them out.

Step 6: Fill your bottle with your brand of mouth wash, using a funnel (if you have one) and place the pour spout in the neck of the bottle. Make sure that your little black cap is on the spout when you aren’t using it, because over time I bet you it could evaporate. As an additional note- if you are worried about your letters peeling off you can always put some clear packing tape over them to hold it in place. I didn’t just because it seems to be ok by its self, and I did’t want to deal with the air bubbles. The key is a good clean surface on the bottle to allow the letters to adhere.

Step 7: You don’t have to… but you can decorate your shot glasses by painting the bottom of them. I did this by taping off the parts I didn’t want to get paint on, and then using the brush on my nail polish began to fill it in. Make sure to let them dry fully before placing the on any surface.

Step 8: Arrange on your bathroom counter and have a drink (and when I say drink I mean swish and spit) to oral hygiene! Your dentist will love you, and your house guest will love it!

I hope this helps de-clutter your bathroom a little bit! Happy Crafting! Let me know in the comments down below how yours turned out, or if there is a craft idea that your are dying to see!

-Pearl