July 8, 2011 § 25 Comments
I realize the crafts I’ve most enjoyed making on this blog are ones inspired by my musings at hardware stores. In hindsight, the four years I toiled running a hardware store customer service desk during my late teens have paid off in dividends in the form of knowledge of unlikely crafty materials. I hope you enjoyed this week’s no-carve stamps made of caulking because I am not done with caulking yet!
These teeny tiny ice cream charms are made of caulking. And wooden dowels. And screw eyes. Yes, all hardware store materials. And to make them, you will need hardware store equipment. Don’t be alarmed, these cute charms are amazingly simple to make!
a. 1/4″ wooden dowel.
b. 13/16″ screw eyes.
c. Tube of white caulking/sealant.
d. Pencil sharpener. A regular sharpener will do, however, I used my electric sharpener.
e. Hack saw.
f. Drill with the smallest bit you can find. Drilling is optional, but I promise it makes things a lot easier.
With under $5 worth of materials, you can make dozens of ice cream charms to give away this summer!
1. Sharpen the dowel.
2. Using a hack saw, cut the sharpened point of the dowel into a cone. I literally did a hack job. The cut edge does not have to be perfect because it will be covered with caulking.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have as many cones as you need.
4. Using a drill, create a very shallow pilot hole on the flat end of the cone. This will help ease the screw eye through.
5. Screw one screw eye into each cone, only deep enough to secure the screw eye, ensuring most of the length remains exposed.
6. Cut the tip of the caulking tube to create a hole no more than 1/8″ in diameter. Squeeze the caulking out onto the flat end of the cone, covering the edge. Continue squeezing the caulking while twirling the cone until you reach the eye of the screw.
7. Press each charm upright into a Styrofoam block to dry. Let cure for 24 hours.
I must say, this is a project I contemplated long and hard since my first caulking project, candy heart coasters, back in January. It was almost natural to arrive at the visual idea of soft-serve ice cream from caulking, however, I spent an absurd amount of time considering the material of the “cone”. At first, only considering the shape and size of what is available in stores, I thought: wall anchor. But the color selection and the disproportionate ridges left me with little interest to undertake the craft. I eventually considered cutting the shafts off of wooden golf tees and keeping the top wider portion of the tee to create flat-bottomed ice-cream cones, as most soft-serve typically come. But I wasn’t happy, I wanted a cone — pointy, as it should be, in the truest meaning of the word. Then yesterday, with a conscious glance at my pencil (the very one I use everyday to log my ideas on paper) it occurred to me that my pencil sharpener could go on a dowel-sharpening mission It’s almost miraculous that we can alter our perspectives when are minds are willing to do so!
July 5, 2011 § 13 Comments
Hope you had a wonderful Canada Day and 4th of July holiday weekend! I spent mine in Michigan at my parents’ with newfound relatives and without a moment to craft. And I couldn’t wait until today to show you my latest contribution to CRAFT. It feels like a while since I last posted a crafts tutorial using a totally random household material, so today I’m excited to introduce a technique that allows us all to design and illustrate our own stamps without having to carve rubber or linoleum or block or anything at all.
I illustrated and made my own peony, dahlia, and lilac clear rubber stamps to create these prints inspired by vintage botanicals, in celebration of summer, using a very simple technique with one household object that most of us would otherwise pass with little consideration for craft projects.
Yes, the random household object is silicone rubber caulking, which some of you may recognize as window or tub sealant. Head straight over to CRAFT to read my super duper simple tutorial. I promise it is easy and absolutely no carving is needed! Please show me the designs you come up with using this technique, as I’d love to see them. Enjoy!
June 25, 2011 § 7 Comments
Here’s a DIY-fashion kickoff to the first weekend of summer! Now, if I may say, the last time crop tops were this explosive was in 1991, twenty years ago. Yes, I have full recollection, considering I was already in sixth grade. Now, if I must add (if you can add the numbers) — I really couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t wear a crop top now at my age. Or…not at least without layering a tank underneath? I do not have the guts to wear the top alone, the irony of which is needless to say, my gut itself.
I’m sure you’re catching on, I am really loving the basket weave. I baked that gigantic basket-weave cornucopia cracker, crafted those eco basket-weave vases from milk and juice cartons, so why not basket-weave my clothes, too?
For this project, you will need two identical t-shirts, a rotary blade and cutting mat, or fabric scissors. Conveniently, when I started planning to make this tee two weeks ago, Michaels had their shirts on sale, 2 for $6.
1. On one shirt, cut a boat neck.
2. On the same shirt, trim the sleeves to your preference.
3. On the same shirt, cut equal vertical strips (I did 3/4″) from the left of center, starting from the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt. Make sure there is a centered strip. When you get to the end, trim off the last strip — this will provide the horizontal gaps on the sides.
4. Repeat from right of center, until your entire shirt has vertical strips across. Trim off the last strip, as above.
5. Take your second shirt, cut equal horizontal strips from the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt.
6. Start weaving. The easiest way is to fold back alternating vertical strips on the front and back of the shirt, then sliding one horizontal strip through.
7. Take your folded strips and bring on top of the horizontal strip, on the front and back.
8. Repeat the weaving by folding back alternating vertical strips on the front and back of the shirt, then sliding one horizontal strip through. Take your folded strips and bring on top of the horizontal strip, on the front and back.
9. Continue weaving until you have used all of your horizontal strips.
10. Tug on each strip to stretch it out.
11. Knot each vertical strip to the last horizontal strip. You can play with the distances of the vertical strips to create various gaps. I knotted about half of vertical strips close to center to be as close as possible to each other. Then I knotted the remaining strips on the side at about 1″ apart. Patterns can differ greatly from where these knots are tied.
Now wear it and bare it!!
May 31, 2011 § 18 Comments
Today, head right over to CRAFT to see my latest project contribution. It’s a fun three-tier cake-shaped chalkboard for you and your little ones to make. In fact, with little ones or without, anyone can indulge in this calorie-free craft. Who doesn’t love decorating cake!? Follow the easy steps in my tutorial.
May 7, 2011 § 30 Comments
Mother’s Day is hours away, but there’s still lots of time to make these beautiful foam roses in minutes. They’re much more dainty than the no-fuss paper roses I made for Valentine’s, and perhaps far more versatile. In a few simple steps, you can make these sweet rose magnets, rose pushpins, and rose jewelry.
You have probably made paper roses before by cutting and rolling spirals of paper. This applies the very same technique, however, I’ve added the petal details by employing a simple tool that many of us have stowed in our crafting bins — scalloped scissors.
You will need: scallop-blade scissors, hot glue gun with glue sticks, and thin foam sheets. I purchased a multi-colored package of 36 – 4″x6″ foam sheets from the dollar store. They quality is much thinner than what you would find at the craft stores, however, they are the perfect thickness for this purpose. The thinner the foam sheet, the smaller you can make your roses.
1. Cut your foam sheet into 2″x2″ squares. A 4″x6″ foam sheet can yield six roses.
2. Using your scalloped scissors, cut each square into a spiral. Two and a half revolutions around the spiral should be sufficient.
3. Starting from the outside of the spiral, roll the foam sheet inward.
4. Apply hot glue to the bottom of the rose.
While the glue is still hot, you can apply the rose immediately to a magnet, thumb tack, earring backing, or fashion ring.
Happy Mother’s Day!