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!