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: Decoupage Lamps…Thursday Edition!

After battling some technical difficulties, the DIY Wednesday post is back. I apologize for the delay, I’m sure many of you bloggers out there have experienced this scenario: write the whole blog and tags just to have the computer freeze and erase it! twice!! So, without further adieu, DIY decoupage lamps!

What you will need:

Mod Podge (store bought or home made: equal parts elmer’s glue & water) I prefer the store bought gloss finish mod podge

1 Medium Brush

Lamp Shade

Scraps paper, maps, memorabilia, etc -whatever you wish to decoupage! I chose to use some memorabilia:

Two Lamps- Two Themes -Vintage McCall’s Magazine from the 70s and a newspaper from the first day of the first ever US Tomorrowworld Festival.

Step 1:

If you have any sort of lip on the shade make sure to peel it back so that you have a smooth even surface to work with. Cut up any papers or articles you wish to use on the shade to appropriate size. 

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Step 2: Begin applying Mod Podge to the shade-work in sections as it dries quickly. Be generous and use enough to get the first piece down.

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Step 3: Lay the first piece down and mod podge over the top. Cover the piece completely but try to keep it smoothed out. Don’t worry if there are little creases, they usually smooth out when drying. Continue to mod podge until the lamp is covered.

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Step 4: If you have excess hanging over the edge, either cut it to fit or smooth it over to the inside of the shade with mod podge.

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Step 5: Let Dry and Viola! Enjoy your new fabulous lamps! Below are some pics of ouImage

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If you use gloss finish mod podge, these will dry to a nice shine finish!

Here is a little extra fun find: From the McCall’s magazine- an ad to tell readers that mannequins will be made to model real life women. Love it! Plump is Pretty! 

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Happy Crafting! 

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!

DIY Wednesday: Decorative Pen Holder

Good morning fellow Upcyclers! Today we will be doing our first DIY Wednesday Project! Every Wednesday, we will post a new DIY project. Since we do focus on reinventing items we already own, most of these projects will involve doing just that.

I recently stumbled upon this picture on Pinterest, which sparked this DIY project idea:

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I LOVE the gold accent of the Mason jar and the crispness of the white flowers but I thought this project could use a bit more function. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have tons of pens scattered around my work desk on a daily basis. Not only are they messy, they’re not very flattering to the eye. I decided to put together this quick DIY project to (1) organize my workspace and (2) make my workspace a bit more eye-catching. Therefore, I am combining this gorgeous room decor with a method for organizing the mess on my desk.

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What you will need:

1. Mason jar(s)

2. Metallic gold spray paint

3. Clear coat spray paint (optional)

4. Twine (optional)

5. 6-8 capped pens (per jar)

6. Faux flowers (1-2 bouquets)

7. Green floral tape

8. Wire cutters

Steps:

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1)   First, clean your mason jar. Flip the jar upside down on a covered surface (I put mine inside a cardboard box) and spray with the metallic spray paint. If you see a drip, wipe it and re-spray! You want the paint to look even and clean. Allow time to dry.

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2)   While your mason jar is drying, use your wire cutters to cut each flower off of the bouquet. You should end up with about 6 separate flowers.

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3)   Line up the bottom of one pen (flat) to right underneath the leaves on one flower. Tape with clear tape to keep steady.

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4)   Next, wrap green floral tape around base of pen creating a spiral effect. This will be the part of the pen sticking out from the opening in the Mason jar so you want the pen to blend in with the bouquet. Tape all the way to bottom of pen until the two blend. Cut tape and pinch to seal. Repeat this step on about 5-6 pens.

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5) Your finished pens should sit in a mason jar as so (I had an extra jar so I kept it around to make sure the flower-pens sat in the jar nicely):

6)   Optional step: If you are worried about the durability of your Mason jar, you can spray over the metallic paint with a clear coat. Although I did this step, I would not recommend it since the metallic spray paint already has a coat, which gives it its metallic look.

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6)   Once Mason jar has dried (24 hours), place your flower-pens in the jar and voila, you have a gorgeous pen jar for your work desk! This could be a great gift for someone you know who works in a dreary office or even a teacher’s gift!

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Happy crafting!

Upcycle Team

Hula Hoop DIY

Hello Blog World! I have been away for a bit working like crazy on new jewelry, getting the website up and running, and future plans for Upcycle. I am happy to say our vintage and handmade online shop is almost ready to launch and we’ve got some great new handmade products in store. I have expanded the handmade line when I was inspired by my newest hobby-hula hooping! Two years ago I began hula hooping after a close friend showed me all the amazing tricks she was able to do with a hoop. I began making my own hoops for sale locally and soon they will be available through my Etsy and online store! (www.etsy.com/shop/upcyclellc & http://www.shopupcycle.com) I wanted to share with everyone how I make my hoops. It’s no secret, the most difficult part is taping it perfectly! Here is a step by step of my hoop creating process, I hope this helps other fellow hoop makers! If anyone would like to purchase a hoop made by me please send me an email at upcyclellc@gmail.com!

To begin: start with PVC pipe. (I purchased 100 ft of 120 psi 3/4 inch PVC pipe) Best to use either 3/4 inch or 1 inch PVC.

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Grab some couplings (100 ft of PVC makes about 7-8 hoops, if you are getting 3/4 in pipe get 3/4 inch connectors-as seen below)

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Measure it out! Hoop size should be at about your belly button- I like to make a variety of larger and smaller ones-the difference being the bigger the hoop, the slower it moves. (A slower hoop can be good for learning because it gives you time to play around but as you progress, a smaller hoop is ideal.)

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After you measure it out, cut your hoop using PVC pipe cutters. ($20 at hardware store) A hack saw can also work as an alternative to the cutters. With a saw you may need to sand down the ends.

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Next, heat up a pot of water and stick one end of the hoop in it for about 1 minute. After you take it out, insert the coupling. Repeat for the other side.

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Once you have the coupling in, grab some electrical tape and cover the connector.

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Now the fun part! Tape your hoop up! Best tapes to use are gaffe tape and decor tape. Not many local hardware stores sell this tape but a great site to use is hoopsupplies.com! Make sure you grab enough tape for the amount of hoops you are making!

Personal tip: go slow with taping! Take your time and make sure you don’t wind up with creases or empty spaces. I personally like to cover the entire pipe with my base tape-usually a gaffe tape, and then add decor tape to layer!

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Hope this helps any fellow hoop makers! If anyone would like to order one of my custom made hoops just send me an email @ upcyclellc@gmail.com!