How-To Make a Cork Mirror Chalk Board: DIY Project Wednesday

Here’s a fun little snow day project for anyone looking to make their own cork/chalk board. Perfect for the kitchen (where I plan to use mine!), an office, dorm room, bathroom, or wherever! The best part of this is it requires minimal time/expertise & you can be as creative as you wish.

Difficulty level: Easy

Time Needed: About 1-2 Hours depending on how creative you want to be

What you will need:

(1) Mirror – any size/shape (I used an old mirror that was in pretty bad shape)

(1) glue gun -About 3-5 glue gun sticks depending on how many corks you wish to use

(40-50) Corks- Again, depends on how big you want your cork board, I used 41. Start cracking open that wine!

Chalkboard Paint & 1 sml. Brush

(1) Roll Blue Painters Tape

Lets Begin!

First you want to tape around the mirror, block off the parts you don’t want to accidentally get chalkboard paint on. If you want to do your chalkboard paint in a design, use the painters tape to create a custom design!

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I chose to make the end of the board in a wavy form. I also wanted to keep some mirror showing so decided to place my corks in an unusual pattern. I actually love this way more than the traditional half cork/half chalk tutorials you see online. Don’t be afraid to shape your corks however you wish! You won’t lose the function and you will add something different!

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Let dry and your board is complete! The wooden frame of this was scratched up so I decided to paint some vines up the sides! (using acrylic paints) Here’s the final product:

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How To Chevron Paint DIY-Tutorial 3 Easy Steps

Happy Wedneday Bloggers!

I’ve seen a ton of how-to chevron tutorials on the web, and they all make it look so easy! Anyone whose ever attempted this knows, getting that design right can be difficult. I am going to show you my tutorial of how I chevron paint. For me, it’s not all about getting the lines to match perfectly across the surface you’re painting. It can drive a person wild laying down tape at all the precise angles. I decided to use the chevron design on my bedroom door but I didn’t focus on making all the lines straight. Instead, I had slight imperfections in the line up which I think made this design all the more unique and fun to wake up to every morning!! So let’s get started…

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What you will need:

Paint- I used Martha Stewart Metallic Paints. 2-3 small containers you can find at your local Home Depot paint department.

Brushes- Two small paint brushes, 1 angled and 1 straight

Tape- Large (about 3 inch wide) Blue painters tape

 

 

 

 

Step 1:

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Don’t forget to tape around the door to keep the final product looking neat! Paint the entire door with your base color. This will be your lighter color, the one that you will have be the focus of the chevron design. This could take several coats and possibly two bottles of your base color-depending on the size of the door.  Remember this is the color that will cover the entire door so you will need more.

 

 

 

 

Step 2:

DSC00604I waited a full day between layers to be sure the paint would not peel from adding the tape too early. Once it has dried, you can begin adding your tape. As you can see, not all my lines are identical-because it’s nearly impossible to do so without driving yourself crazy!! Don’t worry, make your lines the best you can…I promise it will look even better in the end!

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3:

DSC00605Add your second color! Be sure all the edges of the tape are air tight against the door. If there is an opening, you can bet paint will drip in and leave a nasty drip mark in the middle of your design. Be sure to paint sparingly, don’t cover the tape entirely, try to paint just over the end of the tape. Once it dries it will be hard enough to pull off without paint sealing it to the door completely.

 

 

 

 

Wait sufficient time, I know…you’re anxious! But peeling the tape off too early could also result in drip marks or uneven edges between colors. I waited another day before pulling it all off to reveal this fun door!!

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Hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial! Good luck with your chevron creations!!

How-To DIY Chalkboard Paint Metal File Cabinets-Tax Season DIY Inspiration

With tax season vastly approaching and I attempt to organize all my paperwork, a lonely old file cabinet catches my eye. I picked up this dusty old thing a couple months ago with plans to make it fit in with my office. What better time to restore this cabinet than when it is needed most! I mistakenly erased my progress pictures but I will give a step by step of how-to go about fixing up and painting a metal cabinet. This tutorial doesn’t require excessive mod lodging, spending lots on materials, or any tools other than some tape and a paint brush! THIS IS FOR THE QUICK AND EASY DIY PROJECT SEEKERS!

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What you will need:

Martha Stewart Texured Paint -This stuff is amazing and cheap! about $6 per container and you can buy everything form sparkly black to crackle paint!

1 small canister of chalkboard paint

BLUE brand painters tape-if you plan to paint the handles as I did, it helps to tape off to make it as clean as possible

2 small paint brushes-1 angled, 1 straight

 

The Before: Of course, I accidentally deleted my before picture, my apologies. But this cabinet was a dinged up black cabinet with coffee mug marks on the top-to give you a visual.

There were a couple dings on the side-looks like it was preyed open before they found the lock key! To fix dings like this in a metal cabinet, all you need is to hammer them out. If hammering leaves chips on metal, just use a light sandpaper to smooth out.

First we used the Martha Stewart Textured Metallic Lampblack paint to cover the sides, top, and front of cabinet. This paint dries fairly quickly and should be applied with a small brush.

Next, pull out the drawers and lay down the first coat of chalkboard paint. Once dried, apply a second coat-chalkboard paint can chip when used if the application is too thin.

Once the second layer dried we taped around the handles and painted them with Martha Steward Anchor Gray Metallic paint.

This is a pretty simple how-to paint project for anyone looking for a quick spruce up on bland office equipment!

 

DIY Wednesday- Upcycled Holiday Centerpiece

With Thanksgiving just one day away, I thought it would be nice to share with everyone what I decided to do for my table’s centerpiece. There is plenty of holiday decor you can purchase to make your table look fabulous, but if you want to be a little crafty, why not try this quick project to make your very own! I made a couple things to piece together and each element of this project can be customized to fit your color scheme or theme!

DIY- Upcycled Holiday Centerpiece

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What you will need:

-Bottles (I used two SKYY Vodka bottles with the labels peeled off) -As many as you would like to use!

-Glue (Recommended: E-6000 industrial adhesive -I use it for everything)

-Mod Podge & brush

-1 Hot glue gun-E-6000 can be used if you do not own a glue gun

-1 Pumpkin (or more if you would like!)

-About 7-8 leaves from outside (Preferably ones that are still fresh and not too crispy)

Step 1:

Have you ever tried to use a flame to cut a bottle? This was my first try and it was not as simple as most tutorials make it seem. I had a bit of a jagged edge but since I was covering it, it wasn’t a big deal. Here is a quick how to:

-Fill a small dish with nail polish remover

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-Grab some string and wrap it around where you would like the bottle to break. I started with a hemp wire and it did not work at all.  I found using an old shoe lace wrapped 3 times around finally broke the thick bottle!

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-Remove the string and dip in polish remover until completely soaked

-Place back on to bottle and light the string

WARNING: Be sure the polish remover isn’t dripping down the bottle as this will also ignite and become quite dangerous to hold. -I know, because it happened to me!

-Hold both ends of the bottle until the flame has spread evenly and goes out.

-Immediately dump the bottle into ice cold water (filled my sink) and the bottle should crack immediately.

 

 

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Once this step was complete, I began gluing hemp string around the top of the bottle. Using a hot glue gun (or an alternative strong adhesive) place a line of glue around and follow with the string. Once the first bit is secure, continue to wrap the string around only adding glue when necessary. I used two bottles for this project, both SKYY Vodka bottles. By cutting one bottle and leaving the other, adding hemp tied together both looks!

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Next: The Pumpkin!

Since I decided to go for a natural theme for my centerpiece, I collected some leaves and attached them to a white pumpkin. The beauty of this step is that you can customize it however you’d like! Want to add some lace to that pumpkin? Go right ahead! Maybe get a black sharpie or paint and make a unique design. You can even add pearls or rhinestones glued into an elegant swirl!

If you would like to mod podge some leaves, here’s what to do:

1-Collect 7-8 leaves (for a medium sized pumpkin) Make sure you get leaves that are somewhat fresh and flexible without cracking and crumbling.

2-Since some of my leaves were a little weathered, I used the E-6000 glue to place them around the pumpkin

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2-Once laid flat, mod podge over the leaves to secure them.

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You can also crumble the leaves around the top to fill in some open spaces.

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Let this pumpkin dry for about an hour and voila! A unique addition to your centerpiece.

Once finished, I decided to take the tall bottle and add a twig with some berries on it from my yard. The other bottle was filled with water and a floating candle. I added a small ceramic squash candle holder and metal leaves from an old broken fall decor item. I plan to take these items and spread them across the runner on our table for Thanksgiving, making the piece run the length of the table. There are many ways to tackle this project, let your imagination play!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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DIY Wednesday: Wire Wrapped Earrings

Wire wrapping is something that I’ve been playing around with for a few weeks now. I love wrapping crystals to make pendants and pushing the boundaries to see what I am capable of. While playing around with wire the other night, I fashioned some wire wrapped earrings quite easily! This post is to help any new wire wrappers out there and I hope to inspire some awesome jewelry creations! In addition to these earrings, all of my wire wrapped jewelry is available in my Etsy store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/upcyclellc.

DIY Wire Wrapped Earrings

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What you will need:

Wire -for this project I used 20 gauge bronze craft wire

The Coiling Gizmo – a wire wrapping tool that makes those tight coils in just seconds! -you can opt to do it by hand, but know that it may take a bit longer and the double spiral may be very difficult. This tool can be found locally- (The Rock Garden, Branford, CT) or in most shops that specialize in crystals and wires for pendant making.

 

 

 

 

Step 1: Take a the wire (i usually don’t cut it so that I can use as much as needed) and tie the end around the coiling gizmo.

Begin to twist it to make a tightly wound coil.

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Step 2: String a new wire through the coil you just wound. Then repeat the first step. Wind the new coil, when you get to the middle, wind the twisted wire to create a larger coil design in the middle.

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The finished wire should look like this:

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Step 3: Take a few loose strands (I used 3) and twist them together by hand. Once twisted, string this through your coiled wire design.

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Step 4: Twist the wire at the top to create a loop for an earring hook.

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Additional Step (5): Adding a decorative feature. This is done by winding a new coil with the tool and stretching it out. Once this is done, it can be twisted around the middle of the earring. This keeps the bottom wire from sliding around and adds a little something extra!

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Step 6: add an earring hook-available at any craft store and you have your very own handmade wire wrapped hoop earrings!

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Have a wire wrapped DIY of your own? Share it here! Hope you enjoy this DIY project!

All my wire wrapped jewelry is available on my etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/upcyclellc !

DIY Wednesday: Upcycling Distressed Dressers

We have all seen those distressed, forgotten pieces of furniture sitting in Goodwill. Some disregard these old things while others, like myself, feel the need to hoard these end tables and dressers in hopes of restoring them on a rainy day! Well crafters, here is my first DIY furniture edition. I found this old dresser with indents and imperfections when I moved in about a year ago. I always planned to paint it but never knew what to do. Finally, I got some supplies and got to work. Restoring a wooden dresser isn’t as difficult as some may think.

Here is what you will need:
– 1 steel wool brush/pad
– 1 tacky cloth
– 1 drop cloth (or newspaper)
– small rollers (for as many colors as you will choose)
– small brushes (for as many colors as you will choose)
– paint colors of your choice (small containers)

First, you will take all the drawers out and knobs off the dresser and use the steel wool brush to smooth out all imperfections in the wood.

Once this is complete, use the tacky cloth (found at any hardware store), to clean off dresser. Since steel wool can leave behind small slivers, this type of cloth will be sure to get all of it off the wood.

Now, paint! Make sure you buy a paint/primer mix or use a primer base before adding color. This will ensure any forgotten bumps and dings will not be seen.

You may need several coats, I chose some very light colors and used about 3-4 coats for each color.

My color choice was made to match a tapestry hanging above the dresser. Unfortunately, it was a shade too light. I will be repainting the pink with a darker hue to get the desired look. So don’t fret if your colors don’t come out right, this is something you can change quickly!

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DIY Wednesday: Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes

This post is for all my fellow Halloween enthusiasts who like me, didn’t have much time or money to spend on their costume this year. Store bought costumes can be expensive and sometimes the homemade route becomes quite time consuming. This post is for all you last minute DIY-ers looking for a quick and good Halloween costume. I’m not talking bunny ears or a cat nose either. I want to show you guys how to make killer costumes that look like they took weeks, in 1 day! Lets start with my costume I just made for this year, Edward Scissorhands:

What you will need:
1 package shiny plastic knives
1 pair thin black gloves
1 roll black electrical tape
1 black outfit (tank&pants/jumpsuit/whatever you please)
4-7 black belts (variety is best!)
1 black straggly wig (or rock your own hair!)

The gloves: making these gloves is not as difficult as you may think.

1-take black gloves and put them on
2-place knife on side of finger
3-use electrical tape to secure
4-repeat for each finger until, voila! You have Scissorhands!

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Next, the belts! I used a variety of black belts with silver loops and large buckles. I used 6 belts total, I would suggest using as many as you want! If you can only find dark denim belts in the style you want, don’t fear, dye is here!

Optional step:

You can grab color dye at any fabric/craft store for a couple dollars and it will take about 20 minutes to complete this process.

Just follow the box instructions to dye!

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Last step: throw it all together!

I purchased a “rocker” black wig for $20 at the Halloween store. This is optional but unless you have black hair I suggest springing for it, it really made the costume work.

Makeup: use a dark eyeliner pen that won’t run to draw cuts along face and arms (I also added sparkle eye liner to make them really POP!)

The final outcome:

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Not feeling the scissorhands? Thats OKAY Here are a couple more quick ideas

Pictured right is a friend of mine who decided to be a tooth fairy. I helped her get this costume together in 1 day!

What you will need:

1-light blue/white dress

2- Tutu (any dance store will have these for a reasonable price)

3- 1 pkg. plastic tooth brushes

4- plastic tiara (party store $10-15)

For tooth wand:

1-tin foil

2-news paper

3- flower

4-metal rod

5-20 gauge wire

How to:

-Tutu: Attach plastic tooth brushes around tutu using a loose string/thread

-Wand:Paper mache a tooth:

mix water and flower to create paste

Form tooth out of tin foil and cut up strips of newspaper

Dip paper into paste and place on tinfoil tooth until smoothed and covered

Let dry for 12-24 hrs in sun (use a fan to speed up drying time) -do not use heat to speed drying time

Attach tooth to wand using a thing 20 gauge wire (craft stores-$5) to keep in place

One more quick idea!

The White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland)

What you will need:

Rabbit Ears (or a cardboard equivalent)

Maroon Vest -try Salvation Army!

Pocket Watch- again, vintage and second hand shops are the best places to find these!

1 pair of those genie pants (I call them MC Hammer pants) in a bright yellow

Viola! The White Rabbit!

Feel free to comment with ideas you have if you want some tips to DIY quick, cheap, and easy!

Happy Halloween!