Recycled Plastic Container Bonus

I have another little bonus project to do with leftovers from the recycled yogurt container earrings- make a bracelet!

This project will give a quick, bright, fiber art accessory without all the macrame. You can keep it simple, or you can add more colors and weaving designs.

Supplies:

  • Plastic ring from left-over container
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Beads or buttons
  • Spray Paint
  • Hole Punch
  • Double-sided tape

Method:

1. Cut a section of the plastic ring that is about half of the circumference of your wrist. Punch holes on both ends and then spray paint to cover the ends.

2. Lay double-sided tape across the front. Pick two colors of floss and attach one vertically and one horizontally on one end.

3. Hold the horizontal strands (pink) off to the side as you wrap the vertical strand (green) around the plastic. Press floss onto tape. After a bit fold the pink floss down and wrap the green floss over it- alternate until the end.

4. Leave extra pink floss at the end and braid, then finish with a loop. On the other end, thread more pink floss through the holes and tie on a button or a bead. Make sure to measure around wrist and adjust the placement of the button/bead to fit.

5. Wear and enjoy!

-Fearn

Recycle Plastic Container

Reduce * Re-Use * Recycle
One of my favorite parts about crafting and up-cycling is that it trains your brain to look at the usefulness of all objects, instead of the uselessness of treating everything like waste. It is not just about consuming trendiness and well-marketed craft supplies, but rather, a contemplative way of observing and re-imagining the objects around you. A broken chair becomes a table, an old dress becomes a fancy shirt, and in this case, left-over containers are turned into jewelery.

I also really like this project because you really get down to the geometry and design of an object that you would usually take for granted. A yogurt container. It has colors and shapes, curves, slopes, and designs.

The Supplies

  • Light-weight plastic container, I’m using a large yogurt container
  • Heavy scissors, kitchen shears
  • Small hole punch
  • Basic earring/jewelry findings
  • Small pliers (for the jewelry findings)
  • Optional paint: opaque nail polish, paint pen, spray paint

A note on the paint: I really love the look of the unaltered plastic- original design of the label is lost and you are left with the colors and you can mix the colors from different containers. I made some paint swatches to see how different types of paint would stick on the plastic if you wanted to paint them. From left to right: acrylic paint, opaque nail polish, thin nail polish, Sharpie pen, Sharpie Paint pen, Paint pen with acrylic on top, spray paint.

The ones I recommend the most are the opaque nail polish and especially the spray paint, although you should probably put a clear coat over anything you paint as to seal it in.

The Method

1. Cut the plastic container into rings. I found it easier to cut mine into 1 inch rings at first and then cut them to a smaller size. The rings will make concentric circles if you lay them on the table on top of each other. The smaller rings will have a sharper curve.

2. Decide the longest length for the earrings and cut that length from the largest ring. Cut a smaller length from the next size ring until you get to the last ring with the smallest length.

3. Cut the pieces in half lengthwise so you have two sets of each- one for each ear.

4. Use the hole punch to make a small hole in the top of each piece.

5. Paint if desired.

6. Arrange in concave series or mix it up. I like the mixed-up version the best!

7. Wear

Bonus Artsy Photo:

Happy Recycling Times!

-Fearn

DIY Man-Shion: Leather Wallet

….look at that beautiful mug shot

In this world of DIY Divas, I think the men are missing out on some DIY Fashion Love. Not all DIY Fashion has to be covered in glitter and pastels, not that real men can’t wear glitter and pastels…. but you get the point- there is certainly a place for rustic-a in this little corner of the internet. Leather is a great material and since I have never really worked with it I really wanted to use it in a project in order to learn me some leather skills. If you have worked with leather before you can probably skip most of the words and just get some inspiration from the pictures. Speaking of inspiration, I drafted the patter for this project straight from the much-more-creative-and-talented Whipping Post: This is my pattern that I drafted onto graph paper:

I used this pattern as a guide and I first made a mock-up of the wallet using fabric scraps. That allowed me to understand the method and sequence of putting the pieces together. The basic idea is that there are two stiff pieces of leather sewn together to create a money pocket, and they have have soft leather pockets sewn to the outside.

Supplies:

  • Stiff leather- I bought a sheet of this stuff at the big-box craft store
  • Soft leather (mine was actually a pleather-esque substance, but it worked!)
  • Marking pen
  • Pattern draft: this is the mock-up of the pattern done in scrap fabric
  • Wooden block- to hammer on top of so you don’t ruin your counters
  • Nail or awl- this is what will punch the holes in your leather
  • Hammer
  • Leather thread (a thicker, usually wax coated thread)
  • Darning or tapestry needle large enough to hold thread

Method:

One: cut out your pattern pieces from the graph paper. Use them to trace onto the wrong side of your stiff leather with the marking pen. Also mark the place to punch the holes along the outside seam. The outside seams need to match up on both pieces so either mark them the same or punch them out at the same time.

Two: Punch the holes. Place leather over wooden block and hammer nail through leather all the way. Make sure the hole is big enough for the needle to pull through without killing your fingers. Punch the inside pocket seam holes with the leather that will go on top of them. In my case the pleather-esque stuff I had could be punched with just the needle tip so I didn’t need to punch them both. I did punch the outside seam holes with both pieces of leather stacked on top of each other so that the sewing lines matched.

Three: Cut pocket pieces from soft leather measuring several times for fit.

Four: Sew the base pocket on first by using a back-stitch type of stitch along the bottom seam. The side seam will be sewn together with the second pocket so hold off on that until the second pocket is ready.

Five: Drink beer and let your little leather sewing fingers have a rest. Also, forget to count whilst photoshoping.

Six: Sew on that dapper little guitar pick pocket before you sew the top pocket on. I just used a standard sewing machine- yay synthetics!

Seven: Finish sewing on the top pocket and be sure that when you are stitching up the sides that you go through both pocket layers. Once the pockets are stitched onto both sides then sew the stiff leather pieces together using the matching side holes. Knot thread and add a touch of glue to the knot to keep it secure.

Show off your work!

-Fearn

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace

So I’ve had this idea sitting around in my head for a few months, it is really quite novel and I’m sure no one has thought of it before: paint wooden beads and string them into an awesome necklace! Put paint on things! Well, apparently Kate Spade beat me to the punch here, which I found from another DIY on painted wooden beads here, and then another one here. Damn. Someone else had the idea to paint things! Balls. (wooden ones. with paint). Also, holyshitthatballnecklaceis128dollars. americandollars. thatslike5euros. So I thought I better get on the ball with this before it swarms pinterest and I’m just another “craft your own painted ball thing.”

This little project was actually quite fun and I’ve done it with two color pallets and with different stringing methods. One of the great things about a project like this is being able to develop a particular color and texture set that you can use on multiple projects to give yourself coordinating accessories. For my first color scheme I’m using the same paint and ribbon from my DIY Summer Glitter Shoes, so I will have at least one thing that will match my shoes perfectly! This project also allows you to experiment with top trending colors (tangerine tango, neons, bright pastels, etc) without having to commit a lot of money to something that will be passe in a few months.

Painting the Beads:

Step 1:  Decide how many beads you want to be painted half color/wood, half color/color, whole, striped, or anything else you can imagine. On the aqua necklace I just randomly picked up beads and painted them, but with the neon one I did the painting more systematically. On the half ones, use the painter’s tape to tape off half of the bead- this is much more difficult than it seems. If you are OCD you may want to not do this part, because it is almost impossible to get it perfectly in half.

Step 2: Paint the beads!! Using the toothpick really helps, and I would also prop up the bead using my nails. Not recommended to do after a manicure.

Step 3: I also decided to glitter some of the beads. While the paint is still wet dip in glitter (this was easy to do with the glitter mixed into a bowl) and gently tap off of the excess. Warning. Glitter will get everywhere and will show up five weeks later still in your hair.

Step 4: Let each bead dry after each step. I found that hanging them between two paint bottles worked the best.

Step 5: When painting half and half beads, first paint one bead a whole color and when the paint is dry wrap it with painter’s tape and then paint the other color. Choose high contrasting colors and paint the second color thick enough to cover the first color- use multiple thin coats instead of one thick one.

Step 6: The same goes with the stripe beads- just use a thin bit of painter’s tape.

Step 7: Use clear nail polish to seal in the glitter (do this!!!) and add to the other beads to give a nice high-gloss finish. This will also smooth out brush strokes and make everything shiny. I suggest trying some with the wood left bare (Aqua Necklace) and some with the wood glossed (Neon Necklace).

Step 8: Let the beads dry again by suspension. Now, marvel at your awesomeness.

Stringing the Beads:

For my Aqua Necklace I did a simple stringing of the beads onto some coordinating ribbons and then used lots of bows to tie them together. See the photos below these instructions. With the Neon Necklace, I used chains and some ribbon along with some basic wire beading to string the beads onto the chain.

Step 1: Look at the awesome beads that are black and neon.

Step 2: The necklace bits: chain, chain with ribbon woven inside of it, and ribbon. I cut the chain to 22″, the woven chain to 24″, and the ribbon I just looped back around to the other side to get a length close to 26.”

Step 3: Wire bits: Get some needle-nose pliers and another set of pliers that you like to use, spacer beads (I chose black), and some straight pins. If you plan on doing more jewelry crafts then I suggest getting a set of jewelry pliers- they sell them at craft stores and bead shops.

Step 4: Find the place on your chain that you wish to attach the wooden bead. Run the straight pin through the spacer bead, then through the wooden bead, and then through the chain link.

Step 5: Use the needle-nose pliers to bend the wire down and then carefully cut the excess with a wire cutter.

Step 6: With the needle-nose pliers, bend the wire into a loop encasing the chain link. Make sure rough edges are not sticking out.

Step 7: Attach chain parts together with a jump ring on each side and tie the ribbon together in a knot. You can dab glue or Fray-Check on the knot to keep it tied. On one jump ring also attach a lobster hook and on the other jump ring attach a bit of left-over chain to make the necklace a bit adjustable.

Finished Products:

note: I used Fray-Check on the cut portions of the ribbons to keep them from unraveling.

I hope you enjoy this little project! Also, credit for the photography and the studio set up goes to Andre LaFleur, go see more of his work.

-Fearn

DIY Summer Glitter Shoes

…….and now for the DIY! I just love how these turned out! Below you can see how these little spats began their journey home as a pair of boring $7 canvas shoes, and that is the heart of upcycling: learning to see the potential in objects that are easily overlooked. I think the key is to have inspiration in your mind, and then you are looking at the world in terms of glitter and paint- instead of last season’s Payless leftovers.

The supplies for this project are great staples to keep in your craft drawer: painter’s tape, acrylic paint, paint brushes. I highly suggest getting painter’s tape in various widths- you can always buy the basic kind and size it yourself, but unless you are procrastinating on a grad paper, who has time for that? There are also a million kind of acrylic paints that you can get at your local craft store and for this kind of project any kind will work- artists or the little craft kind. You can either mix loose glitter into a solid color or buy one that already has glitter in it. Luckily, the craft queen Martha Stewart has an amazing line of such glittery satiny paints and all the accoutrements one could desire in the craft world. She also just happens to have the perfect colors for my inspiration- yay easy one-source multi-use products!

Method:

Step 1: Use big pieces of painters tape to section of the part of the shoe you want to paint. Mine had these little flaps for the laces that I also had to tape back so I had full access to the top of the shoe. Paint your base coat, and for this I used a simple white acrylic.

Step 2: When then paint is dry use the smaller widths of painter’s tape to tape off stripes. You can make the sections even or play with some various widths, just keep in mind the total area that you are working on and don’t make a pattern that will overwhelm the shoe or get lost in the small space.

Step 3: Make sure the edges of the tape have good contact and apply several coats of the glitter paint until you achieve a nice concentration of glitter. Just remember the contrast will be stronger when the paint is sitting next to the white paint instead of the blue tape.

Step 4: Before the paint dries, peel the painters tape off; be careful not to smudge the wet paint. As you can see on my shoes there is some paint bleed-through, and you can avoid that by really making sure the painter’s tape has a good seal.

Step 5: While the shoes are drying I cut some ribbons of a coordinating color the length of the removed laces and I sniped the ends. To prevent fraying I applied a product called Fray Check but you could use some of the glitter paint or a clear drying glue.

Step 6: Finito! I let my shoes dry completely and then laced them up. If you wanted to add a layer of protection on the paint you could apply a clear or matte gloss product (like Modge Podge), or just let those puppies roam free!

-Fearn