Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

...a 2 minute no-sew emergency superhero cape!!!!

Ever needed to save the world RIGHT NOW?  Recently I had a superhero cape emergency.  Here's the idea  that came to my rescue.

All you need are scissors, a cheap tote bag with one side plain, and markers or paint.

I took this dollar store tote bag:

The front had a monkey cartoon, but I used the undecorated back.  I cut a rough triangle shape, starting at the outside of the handle.

Then I snipped the handle in half.

Now you have this:

People, that is it!  You have made a 2 minute no-sew cape, all done but the superhero identification!

Now just decorate with lettering, symbol or logo.  Spend as much or as little time on this as you have.  The easiest route: a quickie sketch with magic markers.  "Superkid" or a Batman logo or whatever your little hero requires.

Ta-da!!!  Here is your finished cape.  What did that take, five minutes total?  w00t!

If you have a little extra time before Godzilla attacks, you can paint a fancier logo.  A pencil sketch...

Then fabric paints and a marker...

Ta-da redux!  Super Eli in the house.

Once I gave it to him, there was only time for this quick, out-of-focus shot before he was off.

His little brother (Mr. Super Cute) would not pose at all.  Later, his dad and uncle posed for you all to get a better look.  Don't they look cool?  (The capes, not the grownups.)

They also discovered another use for them.


A couple of notes.  These are small capes - they will fit a toddler, or work as a mini-cape for a bigger kid.  And yes, the edges are raw and will fray.  Remember, these are emergency superhero capes, for when a world in imminent peril just can't wait for finished edges!  After the world has been saved, you can go back and Fray-Check the edges, or sew a hem all around, if you can sew.

Well, so ends our story.  The world is safe for another day.  Thanks to Super Eli and his little sidekick.  Hooray!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some chopsticks.

Hey, look what I found at the dollar store.

I deconstructed them in a flash: just a few quick zips with a pull saw.

 How much fun am I going to have with these?

This much fun!

I had lots of plain wooden demi-chopsticks left over.

What to do with them, what to do...?

Ah, I know!

Hair sticks, of course!

This is my favorite kind of project: fast and simple and cheep-cheep-cheap!  Three bucks netted thirty hair sticks and two dozen pieces of jewelry.  Whee!

Of course, an hour later I wanted to craft again...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fun for a girl and a boy!

Well, fun for a girl, anyway.  Look, I made some new pink jewels:

Do you like them?  Did you guess what they are?

So I bought this Slinky Jr. at the dollar store.

If you have a cute little wrist, like my friend Kim, you can wear it as is.  Just choose how many coils you care to sport, and snip that much off your slinky.  Scissors or a wire cutter both work.

But of course that's not the end of the story.  This material is surprisingly malleable.  And my wrist is neither little nor cute.  Enter the tugging method:

Just give little tugs along the entire length, and here's what you get...

It is now big enough to wrap any size wrist as a coil bracelet.

If you aren't in the mood to wear multiple loops, tug yourself this simple, mod-looking set:

Earrings, a bangle and a choker-length necklace!  Don't you love how the plastic becomes two-toned from the tugging?

Then there's the bending method:

Bend back and forth every inch or so - keep going, all the way to the end - and voila!  A sexy, swirly coil.

The number of loops is up to you.

Then, of course, there is the self-explanatory twister method:

Don't forget the Sharpie-a-bunch-of-hieroglyphics method, and the wire-on-some-plastic-pearls method.

So how fun is a Slinky?  IMHO, it's super fun.

Hey, you know it's true.  Everyone loves a Slinky!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Put a lid on it: shiny, pretty upcycled vessels.

Look what I made!  Little clear storage vessels, with ornamental lids.

(You can click on the photo to see more detail.)

Their origin is probably pretty obvious, eh?

The fun thing about these (besides the awesome upcycling factor) is mixing and matching.  The bottom end of one bottle can become a lid that will fit many others, all different sizes and shapes, to create tons of variations.

Cut the bottom ends off some bottles.  And cut the tops off some other bottles.

It works best to cut the top off fairly close to the mouth of the bottle, as pictured above, so the top of the vessel is narrower than the body.  Those four pieces are from four different bottles.  See, mix and match! Test various combinations until you find a bottom that fits nicely as a lid to one of the vessels.

Drill a hole in the bottle end.

Put a headpin through a silver spacer and a big bead.

Fold the wire down flat against the plastic underside.  Snip off any excess wire, leaving about 1/2 inch, as in the pic below:

Then make a teeny loop, like so:

The trick is to really tighten that loop well, to secure the bead.  And you're done!  Just pop your ornamental lid onto the topless bottle of your choice.

Doesn't that coke-bottle one above look kinda rocket-ship-retro?  Use this easy method and have fun with different beads and bottle shapes.

Cute, yes?  And thrifty to the max!

If the lid is too large for the vessel, or is flat on the bottom, add a small plastic screw-top to the underside, then secure with a loop, as before.

The screw top will nestle into the mouth of the vessel and act as a lip to hold your lid in place.

I kinda like the mushroom-y look of the oversize lid.  On this one I added a silver filigree, for some extra gussy:

And these feature that oddball flower from my previous post.

By the way, these lids are great on glass bottles, too.  It's all about finding the right pairing.  This one was the perfect fit to this mini coffee jar.

So go see what you can find in your recycling bin...

...then put a lid on it.