Browsing Tag

upcycle

Craftiness, Thrifty

18 ways to upcycle old jars

12 November, 2012

If you are like us and eat a lot of lemon curd and peanut butter you have a spare jar, or several hundred, in your home. I keep all mine in the little alley way alongside our kitchen, accessible only by our back garden, a place we try to pretend doesn’t exist. It’s covered with a tarpaulin and houses our Projects. I also, bizarrely, buy extra jars from car boot sales, but just if they are especially pretty or vintage – yep, my huthband doth dethpair.

You see, you can NEVER have enough jars. They provide endless opportunities for giving thrifty but appealing gifts, for beautiful, craftilicious decoration and of course, simple and lovely storage. And for Christmas jars come into their own. Un fact, Christmas was MADE for jars. (Love and family and hope, they get a little look in too.) Despite there being already one million ways to up cycle a jar, I am still not sure the human race has even reached the full realms of what is possible.

But to get us started, here are 18 of the best…

Gift ideas

Use chalk board paint and sweets inside With a bit of tile grout and some ordinary acrylic paint you can whip up small, colourful batches of chalkboard paint. It slicks straight onto any surface, including jars, meaning you can fill a jar with sweets and label it with a cool message.

Put a figure on top and homemade finger paints inside Once you have glued a figure on top of a jar, and painted it, there is no turning back. It looks so wicked. In this instance I filled the jars up with matching homemade finger paints, and gave it as a gift to a toddler.
Decorate the lid and put a home made body scrub inside
Just a bit of cool paper and a decoupage technique (homemade mod podge) can transform a rubbish old jar. I filled mine with the easiest homemade body scrub ever.

Layer cake ingredients inside and give with instructions to make No, you  cynics, this isn’t a lazy way of giving some baking, it’s CUTE, all right? I like it.

Put together a tiny sewing kit and make the lid a pin cushion. A lovely friend gave me a sewing kit in a jar once and I just loved it. Such a gorgeous gift to receive.

Photo credit and How To from must-read Momtastic

Fill with reshaped old crayons Melting and reshaping old crayons makes a gorgeous gift for children. Putting them in a handy jar so you can see the shapes and colours against the side make it that bit more special.

Decoration Ideas

Use paper on the outside to create a beautiful tea light Cutting shapes into pages from a book and popping it around a jar to create a candle holder has to be the most simple decoration ever… oh wait, but look:

Decoupage leaf candle holder  Maybe that honour goes to the sticking of leaves to the outside of a jar to make a candle holder. So lush, and can be seasonal, in whatever season. A bit of nature in your home.

Photo credit and beautiful How to found at From Panka With Love

Glow in the dark jars You can get glow-in-the-dark paint from most craft shops, and it is put to stunning use here. How perfect for a child’s room.

A beautiful jar chandelier This is an upcycle that needs a bit more dedication, and possibly an electrician. But, if you are looking for a light feature THIS IS IT!

Christmas Ideas

Christmas snow globes A jar, a bit of glitter, some objects and some glue. Amazing. I am definitely going to craft up some of these with Ramona, I am going to keep my eyes peeled at car boot sales for especially kitcsh Christmas decorations I could feature in them.

Photo credit and stunning How To from Elisa McLaughlin Designs

Christmas in a jar Love this, giving someone everything they need to fill their home with the Christmas pong, I mean, SPIRIT. You could really adapt this idea, with what you can find that smells awesomely Christmassy.

Edible Ideas

A jar of DIY peppermint hot chocolate I love the idea of giving someone a little treat they can give themselves when the time arises. A ready to go drink would be something my husband would love.

Rainbow Cake in a jar All the glories of a classic 1980’s rainbow cake with the added gimmick of eating it out of a jar. Immense.

Photo credit and How to at the brilliant Run with Glitter blog

Berry crumble in a jar If someone was to serve me a pie in a jar I think I’d be their BFF.

You kind of get the idea here, I guess… bake things, but in jars.

Storage Ideas

Glue lids to underside of shelf, screw jars on to itThis is an ace idea, possible with just a glue gun, a shelf an some jars. Really ideal if you don’t have much surface space.

Photo Credit and How To from Good Housekeeping

Use a hot glue to spell out the contents of the jar and paint over  Another simple idea, but SO effective. I need this so that when I finally reach my one life’s ambition of having a cleaner they’ll know where to pop my tiny trinkets…

Tadah! They are my faves. What are the best ways you have seen to reuse a jar?

PS See beautiful pictures of all the above ideas on my Upcycle your Jars Pinterest board. (Crumbs, you know you have made it when you have a Pinterest board about Jars…)

Craftiness, Thrifty

Ten new uses for old lace

23 October, 2012

I love old lace, I gather reams of it whenever I visit car boot sales. I simply can’t say no. Fortunately there are a million and one craft projects you can create with lace, so even when I am buried beneath it, gasping through the intricate florals, I will be squawking  “Lace! More Lace!”

Here are some of the things I have whipped up, and some of the things I have plans for. Click the links to be taken through to the How-To’s and Tutorials.

1- Perfect rosettes. The picture above are some lace rosettles on a flapper-style head band I made for a favourite little rascal I know. Lace is quite forgiving and looks beautiful even if your rose is a bit haphazard!

2- Classy lightbulbs. Simply spraypainting through lace onto normal old lightbulbs just makes the most beautiful thing – and  imagine the shadow they cast! I spied this on Pinterest and it went straight on my “15 minute craft” board.

3- Encase it in resin. A little bit of resin goes along way in my books! I love encasing bits and pieces in resin – it is so easy but looks pretty pro. I love the look of this little snippet of lace, I  turned it into a delightful keyringby simply rilling a tiny hole in the corner- but it could easily be turned into some jewelry.

4- Gorgeous plant pots. Amazing what a small strip of lace can do to a boring old planter. Suddenly a gift of bulbs in a pot is taken to a lush new level, with just lick or two of homemade mod podge.

5- New t-shirts. I love making small adjustments to things in my wardrobe. Once I get some time I am going to add new life to my old tees with a touch of lace. I did it to my first DIY baby-sling too- turning it from a plain black number to something a bit, er, kinda saucy.

6- A no-sew skirt Kids love dressing up, and parents love it if the dressing up box is packed with bargainous, easy to make items, no?  Enter the no-sew lace skirt by the thrifty Missie Lizzie.

7- Handy bowl This bowl is just 15 sloppy minutes of making and you have a vessel that is tough and pretty.

8- Elegant pegs With just two minutes and a slick of home made mod podge you can upcycle some pegs. We use pegs for hanging all sorts; cards, photos, leaves we have collected.  (I also just got sent decorated pegs with strips of magnet on the back for the fridge- how genius is that?!)

9- Upcycled Scarf. I tend to keep my scarves for years (when I have managed to not leave them on the bus) so this idea of adding lace to the ends massively appeals to me, giving a bit of pizazz to a scarf you’ve had for yonks. And it looks stunning, hey?

10- And, finally… Snazzy slippers I made these slippers out of the armpit of a jumper I felted, they were so, so simple but the trim of vintage lace makes them look just a little bit fancier.

Have you made or spotted a new use for old lace? This is merely ten out of a whole UNIVERSE of ideas, so do share…

(Also, come and say hello on the Facebook page, or Twitter, or get thrifty/crafty/mother-y emails pinged into your inbox by hitting follow over on the right there.)

Craftiness, Thrifty

DIY lace bowl … in 10 minutes

9 September, 2012

Do you have a constant second hand shopping list floating around your mind at all times? It is almost certainly a waste of brain space (space that for me I suspect could have been used up in the area of knowing how to pronounce certain words)  but it does nurture patience and acceptance as you wander around charity shops and car boot fairs, not finding the things you want but knowing you will one day.

Mine goes something like:

Summer shoes

Vintage Toys

Midwinter Crockery

Retro Glass Jugs

Lexicon word game

Scrabble

Lace

(It goes from the specific to, er, kinda general…)

Any bargainous retro or vintage item

I pick up this stuff time and time again, whenever I see it. Often because I don’t believe a house can ever be too full of the delightful swirls of old crockery but also because I know this stuff will come in handy for craft purposes.  Lexicon and Scrabble are INVALUABLE. (Hmmm. Although I won’t dig out more than £1.50 for them. Invaluable might be a bit too strong a word. Hehe.)

And I have quite few reams of lace. I like to stack it in piles and have crafted a few lovely things out of it- my favourite being this flapper style head band for a friend’s little lass.

A little while ago I found a few tutorials for lace lampshades on Pinterest and, although we are not in need of lampshades as I am whipping these up all the time out of totally obvious things like zips, I wondered if the same principle could be use to craft up some bowls.

Turns out it can. HOORAY!

You need:

Step 1- Blow up a balloon to about the size you want the bowl to be.

Step 2 – Take a strip of lace  – the length needs to go around the balloon and will be the circumference of your bowl. The width will be the side of the bowl. Mine was around 27 inches long and I chose 5 inches in width.

Step 3 – Do a series of cuts, at one inch intervals all along the length, from the bottom up to about 2 inches  from the top. It will be like a flappy thing. (*wishes she had photo of this bit that wasn’t blurry!*)

Step 4 – Dunk this into mod podge.

Step 5- Wrap this around the bottom half of your balloon, overlapping each one inch segment by just a few millimetres. Doing this allows the lace to curve around, without having to have pleats. The bottom rim should be curving under the balloon, leaving an empty bit at base of balloon.

Step 6- Make sure the seam and each overlap is well pushed together.  Be warned, it does all get a bit slippy and slithery and your balloon my try and escape your grasp a bit!

Step 7- Leave it to dry (it should be done in an hour or two if left in a breezy, warm place)

Step 8- Add another layer of Mod Podge and leave to dry again

Step 9- Pop balloon! You should have a fairly sturdy bowl with no bottom!

Step 10-  Tweak it a little, bending it gently in to the right shape, if needed.

Step 11- Cut out a piece of lace to be the bottom. It needs to be whatever shape the balloon happens to have made it! Mine was a kind of small oval.

Step 12- Dunk it into the Mod Podge and place this into the inside of the bowl, covering the hole, pushing it gently onto the existing lace structure. Leave to dry flat on its bottom. (Otherwise you’ll have a wobbly bowl)

Step 13- Give a light coat of varnish around the outside. My varnish dries in an hour, if in warm, breezy place.

Step 14- Give a light coat of varnish throughout the inside. Especially seal off the edges of the bottom piece.

Step 14- If you like the original colour of the lace then VOILA! You are done.

Step 15- If, like me, you used an ancient tin of varnish because you are too stingy to throw it away and it was really yellow, you will need to find a spray can colour you are happy with. I went for neon orange and I LOVE IT!

DONE!

It isn’t perfect, if you were to inspect you would see it was slightly wonky and the seams would be quite obvious but I think the “lacey bowl” effect is nailed.  The overall paint coverage hides a whole load of the little discrepancies.

I am pretty sure, taking out drying time, that the whole thing is done in a matter of moments – possibly one of the quickest crafting up of a bowl ever? Of course, it isn’t water tight, so you cannae eat your cornflakes out of it, but as a vestibule for bits and bobs (of which our household needs many) it is purdy purfick.

I am definately making these again – perhaps as a way of displaying some small crafts I hope to see one day at a fair. (Vague plans, too lazy and flighty to make enough of one thing to purvey!)

It is sitting in my little kitchen pop of orange, underneath some heart palpitatingly beautiful pottery I found at a car booty last week. The pottery, it is called Lord Nelson Gaytime. Honestly. You couldn’t make it up.

Linking up with the magical Liz and the Magpies- celebrators of all things second hand.

And the final shout out for the Charity Shop Blog Hop! Being hosted here this Thursday – come along and link up your charity shop loving posts and get all kinds of blog loving 😀

Craftiness, DIY, Finding things, Thrifty

Punk Lamp: Upcycling with old zips

28 May, 2012

A few months ago a derelict, half burnt down house around the corner threw open it’s doors. The new owners needed to clear out the junk that had sat there untouched for 30 years. You can only IMAGINE what kind of state I was in when I arrived. Breathless with eagerness. Sweating with hope.

I sprinted into the darkened corners, fear of rats melting in the face of frozen scenes of the Seventies. I was on the hunt and returned successful. A set of drawers, several singular drawers without the set, a few rusty door knobs (you can’t BELIEVE my luck so far, can you?) and a bag full of ancient zips.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them until I was sitting next to a lamp I had kind of upcycled (okay, yeah, just tied ribbon onto) and knew it had to go through it’s third re-invention.

Forgive this shockingly poor picture, it is the Before shot and you KNOW these have to be badly lit, blurry, involve scummy crockery. Also, I had already begun picking off the ribbon before remembering to snap it – I realise it looks a little like a half plucked chicken-lamp.

I had a funny comment on a post the other day, where we were discussing the rich, quirky history some secondhand items must have.  I said “If only the furniture could talk, eh?” and Inkomplete said “I sometimes make up stories for mine.”

Well.

Meet Deakin, the punk-chic lamp from Peckham.

This lamp is a wealthy lamp, heralding from a plush and exquisite mansion in St James Park orphaned but rescued by us in his teen years in 2009. Deakin quickly shed his stuffy heritage, embraced his feminine side and went through a kitch be-ribboned look in his early twenties, as many do. Deakin has reached what some would call a mid life crisis, but what he calls an “awakening.” Deaki is now an anarchist; squatting with some ancient Peckham rockers,  only a hat-tip to his old, more elegant life in a small rosette.

I just hand sewed the zips on. And pushed a bit of my homemade chalk board paint (you haven’t seen that Homemade Chalkboard How To? But you must. It will blow your minds)  in a navy colour around the base. I thought using chalkboard paint would add another dimension but also didn’t want to cough up for expensive tile paint.

The beautiful thing about adding tile grout to your acrylic is that it adds an abrasiveness which means it will stick to ANYTHING, where as normal paint would peel right off a shiny ceramic surface.

So, what d’ya reckon about Deakin eh?

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*sings to the tune of Three in the Bed* Doooo remember to take a look at Magpie Monday!

and also *sings to the tune of The Happy Wanderer* Vote for Meeee, Vote for Meeeee, Vote for Meeee, Vote for Lu-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-stic (Yeah, that one didn’t quite work, anyway:  I got through to the finals of these amazing blog awards, in the Craft and Thrift section and I’d lurve you to vote, thanks so much!)