Wednesday, March 28

Rainbow Inspiration

Here in the DC-area yesterday afternoon it was sunny and rainy, a.k.a. the perfect combination to create rainbows! I saw not one, but two during my drive home from work, and was more than a little distracted by the beautiful sight. So, today's blog post is all about the rainbow. Here's a few of my favorite rainbow-inspired art works via Pintrest. It's almost as good as seeing the real thing out your window. Almost.

Rainbow Painting via leearte on Etsy
Cloudy with a Chance of Rainbows via blockpartyprints on Etsy
Raining Rainbows Street Art
Rainbow Beach Photo by LarryCarlsonStudio via Etsy

Saturday, March 24

DIY IT: Cork Container

This week's DIY installment for National Craft Month is a couple days later than I'd planned, but I promise it's worth the wait! Earlier this week I saw these cork containers on a blog. My first thought was "How cool!" and my second was "I could make something like this!" So here it is, DIY cork containers. 

1) You'll need: an aluminum can (label removed), a roll of cork (must be a roll, the pre-cut squares aren't flexible enough. Remember the pins will only go in as far as your cork is thick), a glue gun, scissors, measuring tape (or ruler) and some ribbon. Got everything? Ok, let's get crafting!

2) Measure the height and circumference of your can with the measuring tape (or ruler and ribbon). Cut cork to fit. Tip: cut cork a bit larger than you need and then trim down the edges. You want the seam to match up, not overlap, even a little gap is ok.

3) Run a line of hot glue around the bottom of the can and adhere the cork, lining up the edge with the bottom. It's best to go in sections. 

4) Keeping the bottom attached, gently pull back one side of the cork. Starting about an inch back from the seam, apply hot glue to can. Push down firmly on cork as you move forward, ending at the seam. Repeat on other side. Again, it's ok if the edges don't line up (as you see clearly mine do not!).

5) Cut one piece of ribbon about two inches longer than the height of your can. Turn can bottom-side up, and adhere about half an inch of the ribbon to the bottom at the seam joint using hot glue.

6. Run hot glue along the seam joint, firmly pressing the ribbon in place as you move up the can. Adhere the extra ribbon to the inside of the can. 

7. Cut another piece of ribbon about twice the circumference of the your can. Tie in a bow around the can. I chose not to glue this down so I could change out the ribbon in the future, but you can glue it down if you'd like. 

8. And, we're done! This container makes a great pen holder in the office, utensil holder in the kitchen or make-up brush holder in the bedroom. Use it wherever you want to show off your crafty skills!

Tuesday, March 20

Thursday, March 15

DIY IT: Layered Candles

Our celebration of National Craft Month continues, with these beautiful (and upcycled!) layered candles. Be warned - this  DIY is easy but not the quickest. Set aside around an hour (depending on the number of your candles) for this project. And, get ready for a side bonus - your kitchen will smell amazing while you're working! In addition to the used jar candles (I know you have a stash of nearly-used candles hiding somewhere in your house) , you'll also need an unscented pillar candle and a empty (clear is best) glass jar. So pick those up, empty out your shelf and let's get crafting!

1. Gather up your candles, the glass jar and the pillar candle. Then boil a pot of water - you want to make sure the water level doesn't rise higher than your shortest jar candle.

2. While the water is warming up, look over your used candles and decide how you want to layer your scents. I went for a mishmash of scents, but if you wanted you could a food-themed candle (using all the remnants of your fruit- and desert-scented candles), a winter-themed candle (using all the remnants of your holidays-scented candles), etc. You get the idea. The key is to decide before you start getting into the project.

3. Take your pillar candle, and with an exacto-knife, cut it to the height of your glass jar. If you know your used candles will not fill the new glass jar completely, estimate what you think will be the final height - it's a good idea to go a bit longer than you think, just in case.

4. By now your pot of water should be going strong. Turn down the heat so it's just above a simmer. Using tongs, lower your first candle into the water. Leave it there until all of the wax has melted into liquid. How long this takes will depend on how much wax was left in the candle. Once all of the wax has melted, remove it from the water using your tongs. 

5. Holding the pillar candle in the center of the jar with one hand, use the other to gently pour the liquid wax into the jar. You may want to gently shake the jar to ensure an even layer. 

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 (minus holding the pillar candle) until you have gone through all of your used candles. You may want put the new candle in the fridge or freezer between layers to help speed up the drying process, particularly for an extra thick layer.

7. That's it! Break out the lighter and enjoy your new multi-scented candle!

Tuesday, March 13

Plant A Flower

Upcycled Homco Wall Flowers by BeautiSHE

Did you plant a flower yesterday? I hope so, since it was National Plant A Flower Day! I confess I didn't. But I'm hoping to score some points back with Mother Nature by sharing my favorite gardening website/book/gruru: You Grow Girl. In my neck of the woods it's still a bit early to think about gardening, but it's never too early for a little inspiration. Whether you're dreaming about rose blooms or actually getting some dirt under your fingernails, here are a few  of my favorite You Grow Girl articles (plus super cute matching handmade/vintage goodies!):

Bunting Planter by oneeyedog

Vintage Strawberry Gift Tags by AubreeLane

Vintage Pink Watering Can by Swede13

Saturday, March 10

Fun Finds: Clock Love

Since tomorrow marks the start of Daylight Savings Time (for those counties who observe it), I thought we'd take this opportunity to showcase some fun and funky timepieces...aka clocks. All pieces featured are vintage or upcycled. Highlights are below, and be sure to check out the full collection. Enjoy, and don't forget to move your clock, whatever it may look like, forward tomorrow!
Movie Reel Clock by Iahaine
Vintage Mechanical Alarm Clock by ClockWorkUniverse

Queen Anne's Lace Clock from Upcycled Vinyl Record by JessilynJoy

Thursday, March 8

DIY IT: Double-Braid T-Shirt Bracelet

Remember that extra scrap of t-shirt fabric from last week's tutorial? Time to break it out for this super easy, super quick and super cute double-braid t-shirt bracelet. It's my take on the ever popular t-shirt bracelet. Pull out that fabric and let's get crafting!

1. Cut a strip of fabric 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide. The length isn't super important, since you'll be cutting off the excess at the end, but at least long enough to fit around your wrist plus about an inch.

2. Take your strip of fabric and make five snips at one end, at equal internvals apart. The idea is to have six strands.

3. Cut along your snip marks to the opposite end, leaving at least 1/2 inch uncut. Then safety pin the uncut end to a pillow or anything else to stabilize the bracelet while you work. 

4. Tug on the individual strands to roll-up the edges. This will make the strands easier to handle while braiding. 

5. Take the three strands on the left and start braiding! (Pull the third strand over the second, the first strand over the third, the second one over the first and so on.) Leave at least 1/2 inch unbraided, and either tape or safety pin down the loose ends.

6. Repeat on the right side.

7. Carefully remove the tape/pins from all three ends and knot together. Remember the fabric is stretchy, so you don't need to allow extra length for getting the bracelet on and off your wrist. Trim the ends, and you're done!

Saturday, March 3

Vintage or Modern?

It's no secret that I have a bit of a hippie child in me. So when I was at the fabric store this week, picking out fabrics for a class project it was no surprise that I ended up with two flower prints pulled right from the Sixties and Seventies. The fabrics I chose are below, along with two  of their actual vintage cousins. Can you tell which two are vintage and which two are the updated versions? The answers are at the bottom - no peeking!

A. Modern
B. Vintage - via shopatmoxie on etsy
C. Modern
D. Vintage - via threemartinilunch on etsy

Thursday, March 1

DIY IT: T-Shirt Scarf

Awhile back I saw a tutorial from PinkPistachio for this no-sew t-shirt scarf on pinterest. Being someone who never picked up on anything over basic sewing skills, I thought - perfect! Here's my attempt and what I learned along the way. Give it a try - it took me hardly anytime at all and now I have bragging rights every time it gets worn!

1. Start off with a men's cotton t-shirt. The size will determine the length of the scarf so base your choice on how long you want the final product - I went with a medium.

2. Cut a straight line from armpit to armpit. The bottom half is what we'll use here, but keep the top for another t-shirt craft or maybe an art rag. 

3. Cut another straight line just above the hem line. Save this piece, we'll use it in a minute.

4. Cut small snips along the side at small intervals. I did 1 inch intervals, but you could vary this depending on the width you want the scarf strands. I don't think I'd go smaller than 1/2 inch. 

5. Once you have each interval marked, follow the snip to the opposite end of the t-shirt, leaving about 1/2 inch of uncut fabric. Try to do a smooth cut (no stopping or repositioning the scissors) to avoid jagged edges that will show in the final product. 

6. Place your hand on the un-cut edge and pull on each of the individual strands to roll up the fabric. Be careful not to pull to hard, or you could create one or two pieces that are longer than the rest. 

7. Gather the strands, and drape the hem strip through the strands at the un-cut edge. 

8. Tie the hem strip in a tight knot and cut the edges. Congrats! You just created a handmade scarf in less time than it probably takes you to make dinner most nights. Now wear, flaunt and repeat. 

P.S. - March is National Craft Month! We'll be celebrating by posting one super fun DIY project each week throughout the month.