Saturday, October 3, 2015

Upcycled Chandelier Ruffles From Starbucks Cups

Hi!  I do you like the effect of these ruffles on my thrift shop chandelier?

The 'Before' looked a little naked:

So, instead of buying mini-shades, I tried a very Mich upcycle:

Am I nuts, deluded and dangerous - or is this actually really pretty?  Doesn't it sort of go with that flared crystal centerpiece?  I am sure I like it, but not certain anyone else will.

As you have guessed, 'tis another project in my ongoing quest to recycle the Sbux cups that accumulate in my life.  This time, all I used was the lid.

The DIY is very, very easy.   Here goes.

Trim away the lid's outer edge and center, then flip inside out:

Nest four of them together.

Slip the nest down over the socket base.

Important reminder: the plastic is flammable, so make sure it does not touch anything hot!  I don't recommend using incandescent bulbs.  I used florescent candle bulbs, which have a cool-to-the-touch ceramic base.

Do this with all the sockets, and you are done!  In my five-arm chandy, that's the greater part of twenty cup lids transformed instead of tossed.

Cup lid ruffles - why not?   They made me happy this week. 

Thanks as always for coming to visit!  I really appreciate you guys.  I hope you take some creative time for yourself soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Colorful Filigree In A Flash

Hi, lovely people!  Today I have a small finding idea to share.  Check out the filigreed fun:

During a play date with some random jewelry findings, I found two filigrees which, aligned a certain way, fit each other precisely.  Added jump rings and ear wires to create these mixed-metal pretties:

Quite nice!  Simple and classy.  I wanted to keep going, mix things up.  But as I stared at the silver filigrees, I wished they weren't so dang shiny.  I am not a huge fan of metal with no patina.

I was about to put the too-bright critters back on the shelf and move on to something else.  But then...

Craft paint.  Only one coat, not heavily applied.  On some, I even dabbed away a bit to reveal glimpses of the silver.

After they dried, I took one more step.   A coat of clear spray acrylic sealer to protect the paint.

Now see how rich they look!  A bit like enameled metal.

I tried various finishes, to see how the look would change.  The red and purple pairs above used semi-transparent glitter paint.  On these bright chartreuse ones, opaque color:

Here's a pretty version with semi-transparent paint, no glitter (you can really see the silver shining through):

I also played with metallic colors and loved the patina'ed effect!  This subtle bronze pair is probably my favorite:

Definitely keeping those!  The rest will go in my small-but-growing stash of handmade holiday gifts.  

If you try this, here's my number one tip.  Painted findings are best suited for earrings, which don't get rubbed against clothing or skin.  For necklaces, add two extra coats of the acrylic sealer.  Avoid using these in rings or bracelets, which get a lot of handling.

Hope you enjoyed this one...see ya!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Victorian Mod

Hiya!  Have a look at this necklace...doesn't it have a bit of a Victorian feel to it?  But with a mod kind of twist, thanks to the distinctly non-Victorian fused glass cabochon focal.

I thought you guys might enjoy seeing where this concept came from.  I took a class on fused glass cabochon making, and here's some of what I created.

So yummy.  There's just something about glass.

A few of the cabs ended up super simple - just little square puddles of crystal-clear glass, with a bubble or two of color trapped inside.  (In the pic above, they are near the upper left corner.)

I wasn't sure how to use them; gluing on a bail would be weird, you would see the shape through the glass.  Then I got the idea to glue a large filigree finding across the entire back of the cabochon.

I used the corner holes of the filigree to add chains in a draped design, like so:

I just love how the filigree shows through and becomes an integral part of the necklaces.

Although you probably don't have a clear glass cabochon handy, I was thinking you could make this using the larger-size glass pebbles found at crafts stores or dollar stores.  I used E-6000 adhesive.

That's the story behind the jewel.  Hope you enjoyed it!   See you later, gators.

Pssst!  I have an article in Stampington's GreenCraft Magazine this month!  I'm excited, it's my first published jewelry project.  If you are into repurposed, recycled, eco-friendly crafts, I bet you'd love it.  It's the Autumn 2015 issue, and it's packed with wonderful stuff.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Old Drawer Becomes A Starry Side Table

Hi, guys!  Here's a cute little furniture upcycle to try.  A starry, starry side table, made from an old unwanted drawer.

The backstory: I saved a bunch of naked vintage drawers from the demolished kitchen of my old adobe fixer-upper.

I've been daydreaming for a year about ways to use them, and these little side tables are the first project I've actually completed.

My favorite thing about them is the reverse-stencil effect, which shows some of the natural wood.  The circles on the large drawer, and the stars on the skinny drawer, were created in the same way.

The DIY: find some big paper stencils, and pop out the center shapes.  (Of course, you could easily make your own  templates from cardstock.  I just happened to have these big stencils handy.)  Stick them to the natural wood surface, and spray paint around them.  Here are my circles on the natural wood drawer back:

To adhere my shapes to the drawer backs, I used just a few bits of double-sided tape to loosely stick  them down.  Caveat: that wasn't a perfect method - some paint did get in around the edges.  For these rustic l'il tables, I didn't mind!  But for a crisper edge, I'd make sure to tape all the way along every edge.  You could also use removable spray adhesive.

Then spray paint like mad, covering everything that isn't a paper stencil shape.  For the little white table, that's all you need to do!  Adorable, no?

For the two-tone blue table, there's one more step.  I popped the stars out of a bunch more stencils, and laid them out on the surface to decide on placement.

After I marked the locations, I just used my star stencils and a pouncer (well, a piece of kitchen sponge, 'cause I couldn't find my official pouncer) to stencil my stars in blue.

Hope you enjoyed this one, let me know what you think!

I have seven drawers left, and a couple more ideas for later.  Maybe, in a year or so, I will get around to one of 'em.  For now, I must really try to talk myself into thinking about attending that meeting of Procrastinators Anonymous I've been putting off.

See ya!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Miniature Craft With Drinking Straws

Hey, hey, hey!  I have a little tiny craft for you guys.  It's my first ever attempt at something miniature, and it's a cutie.  Beaded flower pots!

Sorry, I forgot to put something in the picture for scale - the littlest one is only an inch tall.  Each 'vase' is just an extra-large bead.  I'm always so excited to find a use for random honking big beads that are too bulky, ugly or weirdo for jewelry.

This is the latest in a series using upcycled Starbucks cups.  Right now I'm working with those unlovely green straws - you know the ones.

Today's tute features the opposite-pointing leaf sets on these pretty darlings:

Ready?  Let us DIY!

Take a short segment of drinking straw and make a diagonal cut on one end.

On the other end, make two two very tiny cuts, like so:

Create two leaves of approximately the same length.  Here's how they should look.

Use a pin to poke a hole in each double-snipped end.  On a headpin, thread a "flower" bead and a couple of green seed beads. Now here's the important bit: when adding the leaf segments, flip one leaf over, so the two pieces nest back-to-back.

String a few more seed beads and finish with a wrapped loop.  Like so:

Then simply place the stem into a random honking big bead.

Make sure the bead is heavy enough that it won't tip over from the weight of your flower.  Permanence is optional: if you like, add a drop of glue inside the vase bead.


For the ones with long swordlike leaves, I just cut scraps of straw and poked them into the hole after placing the bare flower stem. 

So what say ye?  I'm not experienced with miniatures, but I kinda think these bitty things would make adorable dollhouse decor.  Let's see, what else could you do...

How about tiny party favors or place card weights?
With a rustic terracotta bead vase, use it in a fairy garden.
Pink ones for Valentine's day - ooOOooh, I'm totally doing that next year!
Tiny gift toppers?
Reverse the headpin so the loop's on top = necklaces or ornaments.

Let me know if you have any other ideas!

To see all the ways I've recycled the dreaded Starbucks cup in its various parts, here are some links:

Long chandy earrings
Floofy cup lid flowers
Delicate leaf earrings
Magical jewelry storage system
Posy necklaces

Saturday, July 4, 2015

More Upcycled Drinking Straw Jewelry: Make A Posy Necklace

Here is my latest upcycled jewelry idea, featuring a flower in a little nest of green leaves:

If you've popped in recently, you've seen some of my efforts to upcycle every part of the nefarious Starbucks cup. 
So far I've turned them into awesome jewelry storage, cool beaded earrings, some wild chandy earrings, and some big floofy  flowers.

Today, the super easy DIY for another way to use those green plastic straws!

Create several short lengths of straw with diagonal cuts on both ends.

Poke holes through the centers with a pin.

On a long headpin, thread a flower bead and the straw segments.

Now add a bunch of little green seed beads.  Cinch everything up nice and tight - this will squish the straws flat so they look more leafy.  Finish with a wrapped loop to hold everything together.

Adjust the shape so the flower faces forward and the stem is a bit bendy.  Add a cord, neckwire or chain.

Done and done.  How cute is that?

Here's another version.  In place of the seed bead stem, make a big wrapped loop.  Then squoosh it semi-flat with a bend in the middle.  This pic shows how it should look:

Slide it onto a leather bracelet band.  Use pliers to gently crimp it against the band.  Voila!  A sweet little flower bracelet.

As you can probably tell, for the bracelet I used single-ended leaf segments instead of the double-ended ones, for a three-leaf effect.  Play around with the number of leaf points, until you get the right look to complement your flower bead.

I am having soooo much fun with these Starbucks straws!  Another idea for them coming soon - and it's not jewelry.  See you then!