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

DIY- Apartment Planter Pots!!

Hey Everyone!

WARNING: this blog is for plant killers- or if you are in denial….. plant lovers. (They are quite easy to grow)

I’m soooo sorry that I haven’t posted anything in SUCH a long time. I’ve been super busy- but more about that later. This DIY is all about being GREEN and growing your own herbs in a city (where space is limited, and decks are tiny). So find your green thumbs and follow me!

You will need:

-Dirt (preferably seed starting dirt)

-Dirt cakes- as I affectionally called them or (Peat pellets)

-Galvanized metal pots

-Wire

-Wire Cutters

-Seeds (I used Basil, cilantro, and spring onions. Also Thyme, and mint are fairly easy to grow)

-A drill OR a nail and a hammmer

-A tray or a glass dish you don’t mind giving up for a couple of weeks

Step one- Place your dirt cakes in water until the fully expand.

Before they expand….

peat pellets

After!!

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Step 2- Plant seeds! I just used a chopstick to gently make a dent in the dirt- dropped in a couple of seeds and pushed some dirt back over to cover them.

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Step 3- Wait patiently. I am the worst at waiting and even more terrible at trying not to kill plants. But basically all seedlings need is water and sunlight (Duh!). The dirt cakes make it hard to over water them, which was a really good thing in my case. So I just placed them in some sunlight near my patio door. I used a glass dish because the plastic ones at the store were too flimsy and I knew that when I went to go and move the tray around the house I would inevitably end up with dirt in my carpet. :s

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Step 4- Prep your containers (for when they are big enough to plant) I bought 5 “Shocker” planter pots at Ikea for about $1 each. Drill 4 holes into the bottom of them or poke 4 holes into the bottom of them using a nail and a hammer for drainage. I put a flyer under my pots to catch the little metal shavings from drilling.

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Step 5- Bend a portion of wire all the way around the top of your container to hold it, and then bend the 2 end pieces of wire to make hooks (or something to hang over one side of your railing) it should look something like this. It took a couple of tries for me to get the hang of it. I also doubled up the wire on the hook parts because I didn’t want my pots to sag or fall off the railing.

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Step 6- Transplant the seedlings into the bigger pots, and hang on the deck.

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Step 7- Don’t forget to water!! Seriously… These things need MEGA water- Which doesn’t mean LOTS of water…. it means water CONSISTENTLY. Skip even 1 day and the basil will start to wilt. I like to water mine at night, and I will occasionally mist them.

Here they are after the summer!

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Unfortunately the cilantro didn’t work out too well. As soon as it started to flower, it stopped growing big leaves. I did get some off of it in the beginning… but I think this is as good as it gets for now.

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As you can probably tell I have enjoyed all of my herbs by the snip marks. There is honestly nothing better then fresh basil on a veggie burger! MMMMMM!!

 

Well here’s to being green and healthy!! And hopefully being able to spruce up your deck a little!

Designer tip of the week: Keeping your plants off of the deck will protect them from bugs and slugs, as well as free up some much coveted floor space! 🙂

Please bare with me guys I’ve got a lot of other projects that I’ve completed but just haven’t found the time to post yet (see all that time away from blogging wasn’t spent on nothing!). I’m going to try and get all of my projects up in the next month or so. 🙂

 

-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

Forget Silk Screening!

Hi Everyone!

So today I made my first shirt ever!! And when I say “made” I mean designed. I have sewn a lot of shirts and various other garments in my day, but today I played with paints! 🙂

My brothers birthday is coming up on August 2nd and I really wanted to make him something that he would think is cool. But what do you make a 17yr boy? And it came to me in something that I pinned on pinterest. It was a T-shirt design.

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My only problem is I couldn’t figure out where to buy it because the pin ended up leading me somewhere else entirely! (Don’t you hate that!) Plus with his birthday is days away, and I couldn’t wait for shipping. So… what else was there to do except say… “I could make that!” So I surveyed my craft box and grabbed my car keys and headed out. There were a couple of things that I needed that I didn’t have.

First things first… you will need:

A T-shirt to paint on (I found mine at The Super Store for $8- I know that Michaels also sells shirts for about the same price)

An fabric medium for acrylic paint (I used GAC900 by Golden- I found it at an artist store)

A very fine paint brush, along with some cheap dollar store brushes in various shapes

Some acrylic paint in whatever shades you want (I got mine for $1 a bottle at the dollar store)

Some dishes to mix the paint in

A pencil

And some scrap cardboard

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Step 1: It is VERY important to wash your shirt first in very hot water. This will get rid of any starches or additives it has in it when it left the factory, and to preshrink it so your design won’t look funny after. Make sure to dry it on the highest setting afterwards as well. Once you have done that you are going to need to iron it to get our all the wrinkles (if there are any.) Trust me… you don’t want to try and paint over wrinkles- Nightmare!

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Step 2: If you are going to be putting words on your shirt you need to figure out what font and size will look right for your project. Print it out on some paper and slip it under your shirt in the location that you want it at. You should also at this time place the scrap cardboard in-between your shirt at this time. This will help give you a hard surface to write on, and later when you paint, will stop paint from seeping through to the back of your shirt. (You can see the cardboard in the shirt in the picture)

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Step 3: Trace your words on to the T-shirt lightly in pencil (if you are using a coloured T-shirt this might be difficult.)

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Step 4: Prepare your paint! Using your dish and acrylic paint, blend the fabric medium in with your colour at a 1:1 ratio. The GAC900 was about $14 for the bottle and I didn’t need to use very much, which is a bonus because now I can make tons of other things with it! I think it will be one of my craft box staples from now on.

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Step 5: This isn’t really a step but I was a little leery about the consistently of the mixture and was worried about it bleeding, so I tested it first on a piece of scrap fabric I had laying around. Turns out it didn’t bleed and was the perfect consistently! This was also good practice for me in how the brush would react with less or more paint. I would advise testing your designs first as well.

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Step 6: Begin to carefully fill in your designs! You will notice I said CAREFULLY because I wasn’t. Being the innate klutz I am, I had barely started when the brush slipped out of my hand when I when to reload it, and of course landed on my shirt. CRAP! I tried to use a pin I had found a while ago on how to get acrylic paint out of clothing by using rubbing alcohol. (Thats what the wet spot is around it) No luck… I think because it has a fabric additive; it did what the product claimed and stuck to the fabric. Well… being an artist… I’ll just blend that in later. I would maybe recommend laying paper over top of your shirt while you paint in the areas where you DONT want paint… just in case. Make sure to watch your hands to so that they don’t get paint on them and accidentally transfer to your shirt later.

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Step 7: For the blood design I needed it to look realistic so I mixed up 3 different shades of red, ranging from a burgundy to a slightly less bright red, to blend together. I then used a combination of brushes and in the end -my fingers to get the look I wanted. (I found the brush strokes to precise) At this point I used some of the red paint to cover up the black splotch I had made earlier from my slip. Oops! Oh well… it all worked out in the end. Sorry I didn’t take a pic at this point as my fingers were all mucky.

Also as a side note.. I find it really difficult to remember to stop and take picture of what I’m doing because I am one of those people who just looses themselves in a project, and is so focused that if a bomb went off beside me I probably wouldn’t even blink.

Step 8: I used a straw to help me create some realistic splatters along the edges of my design. I did this by sucking up one of the 3 colours -one at a time (just a little bit… you don’t want to drink it, or flood your T-shirt.) and then carefully blowing it onto the T-shirt. I would suggest that if you have writing on your shirt that you don’t want to get paint on that you cover it with some paper or something. Also make sure your cardboard is in place! I used a lot of paint in this area and it did happen to bleed through.

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Step 9: Lay it flat somewhere to dry. I put mine in the sun so it would dry faster. A piece of wax paper wouldn’t be a bad idea either on top of your cardboard in your shirt. Because there was so much paint, it seeped through my shirt and when it dried the cardboard had stuck to it. Luckily for me though the scrap cardboard I used was an old frozen pizza box and the inside of it was waxed to keep the food fresh I guess.

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Step 10: Iron, Iron, Iron! I guess depending on what type of additive to your paint you use it might have different instruction. The GAC900 said to iron over your design for 3-5mins on a high temperature.

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Additional Step 11: I decide to wash my shirt again after I had ironed it because I had used so much paint in the one area It had gotten a little stiff. Also this is a good way to test if your shirt is going to bleed and a good way to prevent it! I used 1/2c of salt and 1/2c of white vinegar in a pot of water that I had simmering on low. (Just so that little bubbles form on the walls of the pot but not enough to boil.) I then chucked my shirt it and stirred occasionally for 30mins. After that I dumped it all into the sink and washed in regular detergent (just to get rid of the vinegar smell) and dried it.

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Voila! A shirt that cost less to make that to buy! And if I do say so myself, I think looks just as good as the original! So forget expensive screen printing! All you need is a little GAC, some paint, and a little bit of a “can do” attitude!

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Let me know what you thought down below, and if you are a teenage boy if you would wear something like this. (I explained in my brothers bday card that I thought he needed something that he didn’t have to worry about getting dirty, and that let everyone know how awesome he is. Haha… He is always pulling stunts that leave him in the hospital.) And if you have any ideas on what fabric I should paint next send me a comment and I’ll make a post about it!

-Pearl

Ikea Hacker

Hey Everyone!

Well… here goes nothing! So here is the story… I bought this Ikea paper shade and light cord about a year ago for a school project that I never ended up using. I did plan on using it for just a plain old light source though- except of course my plans had nothing to do with looking “plain or old”. So here is what I did to make it a show stopper!

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You will need:

Approx 20 sheets of tissue paper (maybe coloured or white)

1/2 bottle of clear craft glue

something to spread the glue (I used dollarstore paint brushes)

some kind of circle template (Remember the smaller the circle the longer it will take)

a pencil

a pair of sharp scissors

Of course…. a paper shade (I bought mine at Ikea… but I’m sure you could find one at a dollar store)

Optional:

A light cord (I say optional because it would easily look just as nice without a light in it. Perhaps as just decor)

And an additional option is a dimmer switch. (I put on one just because it was easier than plugging and unplugging the cord every time I wanted light)

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Step 1: Cut out a million tissue paper circles. I did this by tracing and cutting through 10 sheets of tissue at a time- instead of one by one… other wise I would still be here! Try to draw the lightest line possible when tracing otherwise you will see the pencil marks on your lamp later. Either that or you could just throw out the top circle with the pencil marks.

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Step 2: The pinch- I say this literally because I put pinch marks in all of my circles before I glued them down because I wanted them to sit off of the lamp and not lay flat. You could just glue them on as is if you wanted but it wouldn’t look as fluffy as mine.

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Step 3: Place your lantern UPSIDE DOWN in a bowl or a dish (something to keep it still). The reason you need to start at the BOTTOM of your lantern is because you are going to overlap the circles. It would be harder to start at the top because then you are trying to glue circles UNDER other circles instead of just placing them on top.

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Step 4: Apply glue to the lantern and place a circle on top of the glue. It was easier and less messy for me to do it this way, than to individually apply it the circles. (Less likely to tear, or get all stuck to itself) It was also faster as I could spread a bunch of glue over a whole area and then stick a bunch of circle on at a time. Plus you don’t have to worry about the glue showing because its clear.

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Step 5: Overlapping- once you have done your first row, the second row should overlap by about 1/2- 1/4 of the first circles. Just keep it random, and as you go you will see how far apart you will have to space them. Also the bottom of the lap is a good place to learn spacing because it is the most forgiving.

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Step 6: Just continue gluing away until its all covered! I think I should have used a bigger size circle because to cover this lamp it must have taken me 6-7hrs of just cutting, pinching, and gluing to finish this beauty! Ugh! But I think I paid off.

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Optional- Step 7: Add a light cord and hang from the ceiling! As an extra added bonus- if your like me and don’t won’t to have to plug in a cord to turn it on you can add a dimmer. I got mine at Home Depot for about $15 (well worth it) Just follow the instruction on the package and you are good to go! The dimmer was actually REALLY easy to install- a bit intimidating… but easy.

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I think in the future I might spray paint it to co-ordinate with my living room… but we will see about that. If I do I will be sure to keep you updated with how it goes!

Let me know what you think down below in the comments! If there are any crafts you would like to see me do, just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

-Pearl

Hello world!

Hi Everyone!

Well, first things first…Why? In a world littered with blogs about anything and everything, and sites like Pinterest and Etsy popping up, why would you make a blog about crafts? Because why not! I know there are a million and one blogs out there with crafts on them, but I would argue…none like mine! I’m inspired mostly by dollar store items, and things I’ve seen. I’ve read a lot of other blogs on crafts, and DIY projects but I usually find I want to add to them. Make them better or take an idea further. I like to push the envelope and see how far I can go, admittedly not everything turns out. But every mistake I make, I just learn “how not to do something!”

So save yourself some tears and money and follow me! As we take the world by storm one craft at a time- with glitter and scissors in hand! (Never running of course, its dangerous to run with scissors. :P)

-Pearl