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- 4 Step Wire Wrap Ring Tutorial

So I know everyone has seen those awesome chevron rings and wire wrapped rings on Pinterest, and many of you may have attempted to create them. They aren’t too difficult, and we all love them! This tutorial is for those of you looking for a quick, awesome ring that takes less than 5 minutes to make! 

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Here is what you will need:

Craft wire- I prefer 16 gauge wire, it is easy to bend yet stays in shape!

Wire Cutters-can get these at any craft store

Ring Sizer- If you don’t have one, you can use a marker 

Beads- Two beads, I like to use old beads from broken jewelry

Glue- E-6000 is my go-to for jewelry making

 

Step 1: Cut about one ring of wire 

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Step 2: Wrap the wire around your sizer (or maker) 3 times. Cut excess so the ends are on the same side of the ring.

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Step 3: Fit your beads, make sure they don’t budge when you put them on. If they do, I suggest finding something with a smaller bead hole.

Step 4: Apply some E-6000 to the ends and slide your beads on. If there is a bit of wire sticking out, use a nail file to smooth it down.

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Let it dry and enjoy rocking your new statement piece!!

 

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 !

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!

Welcome to Upcycle!

This blog is to focus on all things Upcycle!

Inspired by my business venture for an online store that sells vintage, consignment, and upcycled products!

If you want to learn how to create new, stylish outfits from some old rags you have laying around, this is the place to look! I will also post updates on jewelry made from recycled materials as well as some side projects in home decor.

We will post pictures as they are taken of our inventory and where you can find our items. Upcycle will also give tips on ways to rock crazy cool vintage looks and (for New Haven readers) where you can find even more local vintage boutiques!

We share a passion for vintage, a passion for upcycling, and a passion for quality garments. If you do too, please follow this blog and be sure to check out all that we can offer the DIY-ers and vintage enthusiasts!