Thursday, April 4, 2013

Classy Beer Bottle Centerpiece

Yes, you read that right, folks.  "Classy" and "beer bottles" rarely go together, however, in this case I think I'm right.  Why?  Because, I said so.

After hanging out on Pinterest and seeing a bunch of fun cut bottle projects, I bought myself a bottle cutter for Christmas, thinking it would be the gift that keeps on giving (making things and emptying alcohol bottles).  I got the Generation Green g2 Bottle Cutter, I think I paid around $20.  I read the directions, twice, and rummaged through my empty liquor bottle collection (which is embarrassingly extensive).  Removing the labels and top off of my Smirnoff bottle took forever, so I was hoping this would be the hardest part.  Wrong.  After using the little gizmo to score around the bottle, I dipped it in boiling water and then in ice water, per the directions.  Nothing.  Tried again.  Nada.  Re-read the directions and it said to try the boil/ice dip 5 times, leaving the bottle submerged for 5 seconds.  I dipped it for 30, and finally got a break.  However, it wasn't a nice, clean cut.  It was something that you would use in a seedy bar to stab the dude you caught trying to slip roofies into your drink.  Not classy.  I tried again with a Kahlua bottle.  Same miserable result.  I didn't get any pictures, but it appears that this lady at Craft Test Dummies had the same results.  Trying not to get discouraged, I decided to try one more time on a beer bottle.  They are made out of thinner glass than liquor bottles, so I thought it might be easier to get a clean cut.  BOOM!  Success!  I was able to get 5 out of 6 bottles cleanly cut.  Which gives me 5 cute little juice (or something on the rocks) glasses.
Now, I have 5 bottle tops to deal with.  I decided to make a little candle holder/centerpiece for the outside table. 

5 bottle tops and a piece of driftwood
 I traced the bottom of the bottle and a tea light on to the drift wood, as the bottles need to be raised up a little bit so the candles get enough air to stay lit, but not so much to blow out.
Authentic beach tumbled tile pieces.  Collected and hoarded, by yours truly.

Glued the tile to the wood using a silicone tile adhesive, being careful to leave room for the tea light and also overlapping where the bottles would rest.

Done, and you can barely see Helper Cat under the table.

Classy, no?

I'm going to try the bottle cutter again on thicker glass, now that I've gained some confidence in the gizmo.  Hopefully I'll be able to showcase some more classy, crafty, recycled projects soon.  Better get drinking!  Glug, glug, glug.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Curtains to Rug

I usually don't have a hard time letting material things go.  It's just stuff, after all.  So when it came time to replace my daughter's bedroom curtains, I didn't hesitate.  My mom was here, and volunteered to make new ones.  Done. 

The old curtains were ones that I had made during my "nesting" phase while pregnant, 8 years ago, which feels like another lifetime.  Cute bright green with hot pink, topped with ribbon.  I even made floor pillows to match.  The curtains hung in her nursery in San Francisco, made the move to Utah with us, and eventually were hung in her bedroom here in Cozumel.  The tropical sun had faded the material pretty badly, so it was time.  But once the curtains were down, I couldn't bring myself to just throw them out.

Faded panel #1
 I had 2 of the curtains above.  I took off the ribbon, as it was still in pretty good shape, and I have a ribbon addiction problem, so into the stash it went.
Ripped up curtains
 I cut 1"-2" snips into the bottom of the curtains and started to rip them into a huge pile of strips.

And started to braid...
 I took 3 strips of material and started to braid, simply running a couple of stitches through the ends.  I soon realized that this project was going to take awhile to complete...

The finished pile.
 I estimate it took about a week to get all of the strips braided together.  I mainly worked on it at night while watching TV.

Leo Cat loves helping with projects...
 I began the spiral and hand sewed a couple of stitches to get things started.

 I then moved things over to the machine and started sewing.  I used a large zig zag stitch, and just kept sewing and sewing and sewing...

 The edges kind of curled up on me, not sure why, but maybe I was stretching the material while sewing?  Who knows.  I tried ironing the edges down, and I washed it, but still curly.  Oh well.

New little rug for the reading corner. with matching pillows!
Overall, pretty pleased with my reuse of the old curtains.  I wish the rug would have turned out a little flatter, but the princess didn't seem to care.  She told me it looked like a flower.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Simple Knit Skirt From a Huge Tank Top

I'm a sucker for two things.  Well maybe more than two, but I am for sure a sucker for the clearance rack at any store, and I'm also a sucker for knit skirts.

I found this gem of a find at Walmart for a buck.
It's a 5XL cotton/poly blend light-weight knit tank top.  I couldn't leave it there for $1.  Like I said, I'm a sucker.

I wanted to leave the original hem of the shirt intact, as I'm not really a fan of sewing knits, and I'm lazy. So I chopped off the top portion, right under the arm pits.

 I pinned down about an inch for an elastic casing, making sure to leave a couple of inches open to feed the elastic through.

 I sewed a zig-zag stitch, fed the elastic through, and sewed her up, and TA DA...
Missing part of my head...

Me.  The awkward model in a breezy knit skirt.
Super easy, cheap, comfy, and cool for the hot summer ahead.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Favorite Dress (rescued from donation)

I'm a slacker.  There, I've said it.  I have been doing projects, either forgetting to take pictures, or not posting the ones that I have.  Sigh.

I'm beginning to think that the princess has a borderline unhealthy attachment to some of her clothes.  She has a really hard time getting rid of her favorite pieces, even when they no longer fit or are full of holes.  This next dress fits both bills.  Granted it is a super cute little number from Gymboree, but alas, it is a size 6, and her 8 year old butt was hanging out of the bottom.  Not ok.  I didn't get any before pictures (of course), but what I did was pretty straight forward and simple.

I used an old black t-shirt to add about 4 or 5 inches to the bottom.  I made the strip longer than I needed and gathered it to make a little ruffle action.

Dress with added black ruffle.
Interior shot with screen printing from the t-shirt that I used.  It's on the inside, so I didn't think it would be a big deal.

 The appliques on the front are literally falling off, so I did a couple of quick repairs on those too.  She'll get another couple of months of use out of this one until she makes me come up with a miracle to keep it forever.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cute PJs, Too Bad You've Grown

I'm baaaack.  I guess I took a couple of months off.  Don't worry, I've spent the majority of my time off of the blog collecting more project material (aka junk) or pinning things to Pinterest.  Time well spent, no?

I was also able to travel back to the good ol' U.S. of A, and of course while there I came across things at my mom's house that I couldn't bring myself to part with.  Example number one, these super cute PJs.  Originally from Japan, 100% cotton in a SUPER pretty flower and butterfly print.  Perfect, no?  Except they are around a kids' size 3/4.  My kid is 8, so needless to say, they were a little snug.  They were in the donation pile, and I rescued them (you're welcome pretty PJs).

I painstakingly took apart both the pants and the kimono top, and ended up with quite a bit of material to work with.  I decided to make the princess a simple skirt.  I used the pieces from the pants and the back of the top and came up with this:

I still have a couple of pieces of the pretty material left, so I may make something else, as soon as I can figure out what.  Maybe I'll head over to Pinterest :)

So that's what I did today.  It's good to be back.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Business-ish In The Front, Party In The Rear T-shirt Refashion

The weather is hot, and I have an overwhelming desire to wear as little as possible.  Unfortunately, society dictates that the "mom crowd" should remain clothed (booo).  I'm not sure if there is an age cut off for open back t-shirts.  If there is, screw it, I need air flow.

I sacrificed a long sleeve t-shirt that I've had since before the princess was born.  Yikes, about 8 years.
Sacrificial long sleeve T
I proceeded to chop off the sleeves.
Fresher already.

 I also cut a straight line up the middle of the back of the shirt, which of course I didn't take a picture of.

Cut off the seams and cuff of one of the sleeves.

Cut 8 inches long by 4 inches tall.
 Sewed the strips down the back, and bunched the middle together and tied with a piece of scrap.
Also tied the shoulders with more scraps.

Now, when the wind is at my back, I can actually feel it.  Ahhhhh.  Thanks for looking!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recycled Desk Organizers

I'm baaaaack.  I took a couple of weeks off without even realizing it.  Time flies at the end of the school year, I guess.

I thought I would share my end of year gift for the Princess's teachers.  Super easy, made of recycled materials, and super handy.

First, collect Tetra Paks.  It seems like everything here comes in these containers.  Milk, juice, soy milk, tomato sauce...  I hate throwing them away, so I came up with a neat organizer.  I've been using mine for paint brushes, colored pencils, tools, markers, etc, etc.  I even made a smaller one out of little juice boxes to organize my make up and vast collection of lip gloss.

We're thirsty around here...

Cut the boxes in half.  It doesn't have to be exact.

Find some scrap cardboard.

Line up your boxes.

Trim the cardboard to fit.

Cut a handle.

Bust out the hot glue gun and glue the boxes to both sides of the cardboard and to each other.

Paint a base coat of white.  You really only have to do this if the paper you are using in the next step is see-through.  If you're using magazines or thicker paper, you can skip this step.
Glue and paper to decorate.  On these I used tissue paper in purple hues, but I've also done magazine collages and just painted designs.  GET CREATIVE!

Finished product.  The teacher can store all of her pencils, pens, scissors, etc, etc.
Here are some of the magazine collage organizers I made a while back too.
All green.


Yellow in action.
Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you make some nifty organizers soon!