One of my sisters has a huge collection of rings. I wanted to make her a ring box so she could both display them and keep them from being misplaced. I picked up a standard wooden jewelry box from a thrift store.

Retrofitted Ring Box

Retrofitted Ring Box

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I’ve seen loads and loads of craft projects using wine corks, especially on Pinterest. I’ve seen jewelry displays, bulletin boards, coasters, and even bath mats. It took me over a year of saving up corks, but I finally had enough to do a proper project. I set my sights on a trivet that would both protect the table/counter from hot dishes as well as look beautiful. Several of the trivets I’ve seen used frames or shadow boxes as the structure. I had a great wooden art box from my younger years. The depth of the box was the same as corks–definitely meant to be.

Wine Cork Trivet

Wine Cork Trivet

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I always keep birthday and get well cards family and friends have sent me. I used to keep them tucked safely away in a box, but I wanted to find a better way to store them. I’ve seen a few examples where cards are stacked and held together with rings. I wanted mine to be easy to browse through and still look gorgeous when on display.

Greeting Card Keepsake Book

Greeting Card Keepsake Book

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Some of my most rewarding projects have come from unused items found around the house. Given a little ingenuity and a few supplies, I like to transform these sad saps into something useful and beautiful. I love doing lighting projects in particular. This little guy got a major overall with just a few coats of spray paint and a sleek lampshade.

Mighty metallic lamp!

Mighty metallic lamp!

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I’ve seen several of different styles of e-reader cases made from hardcover books. I went to a great craft fair where one artist was selling a bunch of really beautiful cases. Only problem—they were $80! Wayyyy out of my price range, especially since I knew I could make one myself.  I looked all over the house for a hardback book that would be the right size and thickness for a Kindle Fire. I also wanted the book to have interesting cover art and preferably be a book that I’ve read and enjoyed. My sisters and I loved reading Nancy Drew when we were growing up. We had loads of copies, and I had a feeling they would be the right dimensions for a Kindle Fire. After searching the house from top to bottom, I came up empty. I did find a few well-loved copies of the Hardy Boys, but I wanted to make this case for my sister, who was never a fan of those tricksters.

FInished & ready for use!

Finished & ready for use!

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I spend a lot of time in my craft studio. Even when I’m not making things, I just like to hang out there. I keep all of my supplies there and display a lot different medium on walls and shelves so I can get inspired. Formally a bland study, the studio is only 6 months old–we’re just about to start eating solid foods. I try to keep the space as organized as possible while maintaining a relaxed, cheery environment that’s bursting with color. Over the last couple months, I’ve noticed a real need for a place to display clippings, notes, pictures, and other bits of paper so they won’t accidentally get thrown out. A regular old corkboard just wouldn’t do. I started rummaging around and came across a few matching canvas frames. With a little decoration and some engineering, I knew they would become the perfect bulletin board triptych. To give the canvas some personality, I settled on three different geometric stencils. I wanted them to coordinate with my dry erase frame that also hangs in my craft studio, so I chose a yellow and teal palette. They also would coordinate well with the gorgey rug that lays in the center of the room beneath my large counter-height table.

Stenciled Geometric Bulletin Triptych

Stenciled Geometric Bulletin Triptych

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As I mentioned in a previous post,  I hate tossing my jewelry in a box at the end of the day. I love being able to find a full set of hanging earrings and throwing on a necklace without spending ten minutes untangling it. After making jewelry frames for myself, I wanted to make some larger earring and necklace displays to give as gifts. I’ve used plastic embroidery canvas to hang earrings, but I wanted to find a material that was a little sturdier and added a bit more interest than a standard grid pattern. I came upon some decorative aluminium sheeting at Home Depot and knew it would be perfect. After finding and painting some wooden frames, I cut the sheeting with sharp scissors and attached it to the frame with Gorilla super glue. Clear thumbtacks got topped with large stone beads so bracelets and necklaces could be hung as well. I ended up making a couple matching ones in a white and teal palette because I liked the color combination so much.

I don’t like to get too crazy in the decor of the display because once the frame is filled with jewelry, there will be a ton to look at. Too much competition with the earrings and necklaces distracts from the beauty of each individual piece. Hope this inspires you to dig your precious gems out of their boxy coffins and display for all the world to see! (or maybe for your eyes only!)

I got this frame for $1 and added the sheeting leftover from my gift making. Saved it for myself!

I got this frame for $1 and added the sheeting leftover from my gift making. Saved it for myself!

I gave this one to my sister. It matches the one I made for my friend--I loved the teal and white combination too much to do a new design.

I gave this one to my sister. It matches the one I made for my friend–I loved the teal and white combination too much to do a new design.

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I wanted to challenge myself on this next project. The only rule was I couldn’t make a single purchase from start to finish and still had to create a usable and pretty item. I decided on a small clutch bag since I didn’t have the energy to delve into making a big tote bag.  I would get extra points if I repurposed an item or incorporated an odd material. Mind you, I’m also the one doing the final judging and score tallying. Safe to say I’ve got this one in the bag (zing!).

Front of clutch

Front of clutch

I dug through my drawers of fabric and found a piece of light colored fabric that would be large enough to make the basic structure of the bag. After a quick rummaging through my odds-n-ends bin, I found a few cute appliques that could add some interest. I found an old date book from 2010 that was made of a great navy reptile embossed cardboard. I cut off the back and attached it to the front of the fabric. I ended up using the thin black lining of an old skirt to line the inside of the clutch.  I hate flimsy clutches, so I added a layer of cardboard in between the lining and the back of the bag.  After a few passes around the ol’ Singer, I was happy with the clutch’s structure.  It ended up being an envelope style.  I had some hook and eye closures in my sewing bin, so they worked perfectly to keep the top closed.   Read More →

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While perusing my favorite Goodwill, I came upon this gorgey chair for $10. I knew as soon as I saw it I had to have it. It has great lines, is in really good shape, and isn’t too complexly designed for an at-home upholstery job. Upholstering can be a complicated task–you have to remove piles and piles of teeny tiny staples and be really careful when attaching the new fabric. I originally thought I would cover this chair in a bright yellow and replace the matching tufting buttons with white ones. The chair’s cording matches the fabric, but I wanted to change that white as well so it would really stand out against a bright yellow.

Image

Mid Century Modern PRE-rehab

Then I found this tremendous navy patterned fabric at another thrift store. 3 1/4 yards for $13! The fabric has a retro feel so I think it will complement the chair’s style well. I’m hoping I’ll have enough to cover the entire chair, but fortunately the fabric is 60″ wide instead of the standard 44/45″. Fingers crossed some careful pattern placing will do the trick!

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I love me some scarves. Silk scarves, woolen scarves, knitted scarves, patterned scarves, solid scarves, any kind of scarves call to me. Be crafty, I love making them too. They make great gifts and are usually pretty quick projects–as long as I’m not knitting them. Then its a 25 hour investment. Merry Christmas for the next 10 years! Enjoy this one scarf!

In my craft carousing I came across these gorgey braided infinity scarves. Keight at Put Up Your Dukes did a tremendous tutorial complete with a video. Once you get a hang of the braiding bit, its super easy, and you’ll be able to pop them out in no time.  I’ve used a few different fabrics–standard cotton quilting weight, poly blend with a bit of stretch, and a thin satin-y material. Each fabric gives a very different look to the braid so its up to you and your preferences. Of the scarves I’ve made thus far, I’m partial to the heavier cotton fabric. I like how strong the braid is and how it hangs more sturdily around the neck than a more silky material would. They don’t require too much fabric so you could easily repurpose some old shirts into a jazzy new scarf. Let me know what you and your creative minds come up with!

Happy crafting! -Olivia

This one is my personal fave. I love the color combination and the strong quilting weight fabric.

This one is my personal fave. I love the color combination and the strong quilting weight fabric.

I used the same gray fabric as the yellow scarf but swapped out the brightness for a cheery teal.

I used the same gray fabric as the yellow scarf but swapped out the brightness for a cheery teal.

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