Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Repurposing City Maps & Picture Frames



Our older daughter lives in "The City by the Bay," which also happens to be my old hometown.  She absolutely loves everything about San Francisco.  On our last visit, I noticed she didn't have any coasters, and since she is "borrowing" her grandparents' antique furniture...let's just say, the coffee table will soon need a new coat of varnish.  Until then, I decided to combine fun with functional, and use an old SF map to create coasters and a coordinating serving tray for her.

Here is the tray I started with, found at a thrift store for $3.

Someone had previously added handles onto a picture frame, so it saved me a step.

I painted the frame with an antique white paint using a light brush stroke here and there to give the tray a distressed, vintage look.  After all, paper maps are vintage, right?

After deciding on the section of the map for the tray, I cut it to size to fit inside the frame and decoupaged it into place.  Then I painted the handles sage green to match the green parks on the map.  I sealed the entire tray with antique-colored decoupage to emphasize a vintage look.

Then I cut four 4" squares from another section of the map and decoupaged them onto stone tiles.  



Not leaving well enough alone, I decoupaged a small box to neatly hold the four tile coasters when not being used.
tile coasters using maps

For the photo op, I leaned the tray against my kitchen wall, coincidently right under a schematic of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Now I'm going to pop the tray and coaster set into the mail -- marked fragile, handle with care -- and surprise my daughter with a little handmade DIY.

I've been featured: Thinking Closet

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Industrial Chic Craft Storage

how to store my crafts

It's been a peculiar year.  Sometimes, life throws you curves.  I guess that's what makes us stronger.  As I'm turning 58 years young next week, I guess it's time to admit I'm a real grown up--whatever that means.  My Dad passed away early this year, and while we are all grateful he lived almost 91 years, it wasn't without its bumps along the way.  Yes, we are grateful, but that doesn't make me feel less sad.  

My Dad was the optimal optimist.  His thoughts were always positive, believing that tomorrow will be a better day.  With the crazy world we live in, it is important to think, hope and believe that tomorrow will, indeed, be better.  

To help with all the insanity, I'm glad for my arts & crafts--it's the best therapy ever.  Although I haven't posted anything new this year, I have spent many a day, wandering up and down the junk-treasure-packed aisles at the local flea market and at a few yard sales.  I hide my quirky and rusty finds in the corner of our backyard, hidden from view.
  
I'm in the process of replacing my plastic storage bins with industrial chic organization.  Remember my 33-drawer metal cabinet and my very cool-for-school locker transformations?  Recently, I purchased a wonderfully rusty, 18-drawer metal cabinet, and knew it would make a perfect storage unit for my rubber stamp collection.    

Here is a photo of it in its original glory:restore metal cabinets

First things first, comes the mundane: cleaning each one of those 18 drawers.  Ugh -- remind me again why I bought this.  It was hot outside, so hosing down those little monsters was actually keeping me cool.

I spray-primed the entire piece and each drawer, then hand-brushed the drawers with a pretty shade of green, leaving the label holders white.


Then it was time to re-organize my stamps and move the ones I want to keep into the metal drawers.  Here is a photo of the old and new storage side-by-side:
my stamp collection

And here is the [almost] finished cabinet.  [I still need to create the labels.]  This cabinet also has three large openings at the top which are perfect for housing card stock, stamp pads, and miscellaneous other very important items.


Once the labels are in place, I should easily be able to find specific stamps to create a personal, handmade card or gift.  Come on over and craft with me!
craft storage

You may also like:

painting school locker


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Graduation Time is Here

Got some Pomp & Circumstance happening in your home?  
Whether you'll be crying for joy at your child's
college commencement or kindergarten graduation,
here are a few great DIY ideas for handmade gifts. 
Create a one-of-a-kind graduation wall canvas, celebrating the great achievement.  Using scrapbooking techniques, I kicked them up a notch, creating a 3-D canvas that is proudly displayed.  Pull together your favorite photo from the big day, the graduation announcement, and coordinated embellishments.  For all the details, click here.



What better way to say "I'm so proud of you" than with a jar full of chocolate?  Here's a fun idea that would make great party favors or for your child to give to their friends.  Grab a bag of chocolate peanut butter cups, a small hinged or mason jar, a few graduation embellishments, and you'll have those kids eating out of your hands (literally).  For the complete tutorial, click here.



A simple wooden frame can easily be embellished into a special graduation keepsake.  One quick trip to your local craft room (or arts & crafts store, if you prefer) to pick up a few graduation-theme accents, and you'll be ready to create this wonderful treasure.  Click here for the tutorial.

For a little something extra, why not alter a mini chunky notebook for the new grad?  It may be too small to keep track of all their job interviews, but it will work well for them to jot down their summer to-do list.   And it's the perfect size to hold a gift card! The link is here.
Hope these projects inspire you to create your own handmade treasured memories for your special graduate.  Now pass the tissues...

And don't forget Father's Day is this Sunday.  
Here's another wall canvas project you 
and the kids can create for Dad.  
sHandmade gifts for Dad
Partying here and

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Handmade Mother's Day Project

With everyone's busy lives, I'm glad the calendar tells us to take one day to celebrate Mom.  However, my Mom says "everyday is Mother's Day," and I tend to agree with her.  Hopefully, your kids tell you how much they love you more than just one day a year!

However, next Sunday, go ahead and lavish your Mother with more than a hug and kiss--give her several! And if you still feel like you want to give her a gift, make a handmade one that she will treasure always.

Here is an art canvas I made for my Mom several years ago.  It's still one of my most favorite projects ever. Even though I've posted this before, I'd like to share it again in case you missed it the first time.

Gifts for MomPin It
 8" x 8" and 8" x 4" canvasses tied together with ribbon;
each canvas painted and then decoupaged with designer papers;
Photos added.

Yes, that's really me, just minutes after I was born.
Note the year:  1956
(Ohhhhh!  Am I THAT old?)

Unconditional Love
Scrabble tiles spell out "DAUGHTERS"
Chipboard used to spell "LOVE" 

Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Additional embellishments:  chipboard scroll, button and
silver heart charm tied to "E"

Then added ribbon, brads and flower

Finally, current year of bottom photo:  2010

I had so much fun creating this wall hanging canvas for my Mom.  It still hangs in her kitchen so she sees ii everyday.  

Every few years, I update the bottom photo of my daughters and me and change the date.  So this year, when my daughters are home, we'll snap a few new photos, and decoupage it to the canvas when we visit my Mom.  

Sharing at these parties. 







Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lockers: The Right Combination

When the going gets tough, the tough get the paint out!  That's my mantra right now as I work towards giving my craft room a complete overhaul.

I'm happy with the way I transformed the Industrial Chic Cabinet, so I got started on this old school locker.

First things first, it got a much-needed cleaning.  Just simple dishwasher liquid and hot water did the trick.

I wanted to keep the handles in their original gray finish, so I taped them before painting the rest of the locker.

First, I sprayed a quick heirloom white metal primer onto the entire locker [inside and out].  To achieve some level of cohesiveness in my craft room, I decided to paint the locker the same color as the Industrial Chic Cabinet, a seafoam-aqua hue.  I again mixed the paint with some Plaster of Paris to create chalk paint. I used a small foam roller to easily apply the chalk paint to the five compartment doors.   I used a small painting brush to get inside all the nooks and crannies of the air vents.

Here is the newly-painted locker:




 Of course, I can't just leave well enough alone, so I lined the shelves with coordinating scrapbook paper.
use scrapbook paper for lining shelves

I decided the front of the locker needed something extra as well, so I printed out numerals 1-5, and using my Xyron, turned them into stickers, and adhered them to the cabinet faces.
pretty fonts

old scales

Help me say good riddance goodbye to the plastic bins:

And hello to my transformed locker:

school lockers

I've been collecting vintage, rusty and old graters (and anything that resembles a grater), so now I have a place to display them.
grater vignette

Two graters hang on the side of the locker; one holds a memo pad.

Also displayed on top of the locker is a smaller version of my 
printed burlap and chicken wire

Here is a photo of two 2-drawer file cabinets.
rubber stamping on metal
 One is painted; and the other one is on the waiting list.
[Blame it on the locker.]

As you can see, my craft room is slowly being transformed 
from a bunch of plastic storage containers into 
Vintage Industrial Chic 

Craft Storage



 How do you store your craft supplies?

You may be interested in these projects: