Saturday, July 2, 2016

Last Minute DIY Patriotic Centerpiece

Happy 4th of July Weekend! If you are still looking for the perfect centerpiece for your 4th of July picnic, this may be the perfect idea! It is easy, quick, versatile, inexpensive, and looks great!

Needed Supplies
3 Vases or Jars
Red, White, and Blue Spray Paint
Paint Tape
Star Stickers

Step 1: Spray paint 2 of the vases red. Let them dry 2 hours.

Step 2: Spray paint 1 of the vases white. Let it dry 2 hours.

Step 3: Tape stripes on the red vases.

Step 4: Spray paint the taped vases white. Let them dry 2 hours.

Step 5: Put stickers on the white vase. I used normal stickers from the Dollar Store. But if you have a vinyl sticker maker, I would use those instead. The reason I suggest using vinyl is because I found that the normal stickers can be difficult to remove after you have painted over them.

Step 6: Spray paint the vase with stickers blue. Let it dry 2 hours.

Step 7: Take the tape and the stickers off the vases.

Step 8: Enjoy your patriotic decoration! I cut some daisies from the yard and used mine as a centerpiece. You could also use these to hold other things, like eating utensils or fun items for the kids.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Fabric Toilet Paper Holder

I have a toilet paper problem in my house... Whenever I hang it on the holder, my cat decides that it is a toy and this is how it ends up.
This is the result of only a few minutes of her time. If I would not have taken it away, she would have shredded the entire roll. Because of this, I have been putting the roll on the back of the toilet. I have been doing this for years. I've tried different storage methods through the years, but the back of the toilet was the only thing that did not result in it being shredded.

A few years ago, I saw a fabric toilet paper holder at a craft sale. It actually was made to store 3 extra rolls and was to be used in homes with minimal bathroom storage. I thought it was a neat idea, but didn't think much about it. A couple weeks ago, I saw the same thing and I knew that something similar would be the solution to my shredding problem. I came up with this.

I do not sew very often or very well, so making this was quite a bit of trial and error. If you decide to make this, please read the entire post prior to beginning. I tried a few different things and changed it up as I went, so read through the entire post and then make necessary changes to yours.

Needed materials:
Interfacing (optional)
Sewing machine (or needle if you want to do it by hand)

Step 1:
Cut your fabric for the holder. I used fat quarters to make mine, so mine was about 18" long. I then made two strips that were 6.5"wide. Originally, I thought that I could make it reversible so I used two different fabrics. Once I started making it, I figured out that it would not be reversible, so I could have used the same fabric for both strips.
Step 2:
Cut your fabric for the ties or loops. I originally made this holder with ties, but later changed it to loops. I made four ties 14" x 2".
Step 3: Attach interfacing (optional). 
I used a fat quarter to make mine, so the fabric was pretty flimsy. I had some iron-on interfacing from another project, so I attached that to the backside of both pieces. I used a medium-weight because I already had it at home. I probably would have been fine using a light-weight. This step is not necessary, especially if you are using a thicker fabric.
Step 4: Sew the two pieces together.
With the right sides together, sew the two pieces together. I used the 1/2" marker on the sewing machine for mine, but I could have made the margin smaller. Like I mentioned, I am not skilled at sewing. 
Sew both long sides and one short side shut, but leave about a 3 - 4" opening on one of the short sides.
Step 5: Cut the corners
Cut off the corners of the sewn together pieces. Initially, I did not do this and it was bulky at the corners. 
Step 6: Turn right-side out.
Turn the piece right-side out. Use a knitting needle, pencil, screwdriver, or something similar to poke out the corners.
Step 7: Sew the end shut.
Sew the hole that you left open closed. I sewed mine as close to the edge as I could.

Step 8: Make your ties or loops. 
Fold your tie in half and iron it flat.
Flip the tie over, unfold it, and fold the two sides in to the middle crease. Iron the two sides down.
Fold the tie back together with the original crease. The tie should now be folded in fourths.
Unfold the tie at one end and fold down the top 1/4" or so. Iron that flat. You may need to iron the top again to keep it down.

Sew the short side with the folded edge and the open, long side of the tie. Sew it as close to the edge as you can.
Knot the ends that are sewn shut.

Step 9: Sew the ties to the holder.
Sew the open end of the ties to what will be the inside of the holder. I placed my ties about 1/4" in from the sides and about an 1" down from the top. I sewed it about 1/2" from the top. Do this for all 4 ties.

Step 10: Sew the two ends together to form the holder. I made three lines across to ensure that it held.

Step 11: Hang the holder!

I am not using mine to store extra rolls. But if you are, just tie the holder lower. You will have the current roll on top and the spare roll in the holder.
After I had this hanging up, I realized that ties were not necessary. I had made ties because that is what the one I saw at the craft sale had. But I decided that I just wanted to make loops instead of dealing with ties. I ripped out the top. Detached two of the ties and then cut it down to about 6.5". I sewed the other ends down to the inside of the holder.
Then, sew the two ends of the holder together.
Hang it from the loops!

I made this version over two weeks ago and I am happy to report that I have not had any shredded toilet paper incidents! I think this is going to be a keeper!

 Additional notes:

  • This will hold a toilet paper roll with a circumference of about 14". I know not all rolls are the same size. So if you buy the larger rolls, you will need to increase the length of the pieces.
  • If I was to make this again, I would make the strips for the ties/loops thinner. I would probably cut them to be 1" wide. This would result in a 1/4" wide tie instead of the 1/2" tie that I have.
  • You could leave the top open if you wanted. Just sew the ties or loops on, but then don't close the top. That would allow you to use larger rolls, but it will not hold the rolls as securely.
  • If you use the loops instead of the ties, keep in mind that I am not using my for storage, so it hangs pretty close to the top of the holder. If you are going to use it for storage, be sure to increase the length of the loops to accommodate the current roll.

If you decide to make one, be sure to share a picture! I would love to see it! I'm sure anyone who is more skilled at sewing than I am would do a much better job!

Friday, April 29, 2016

DIY Simple Chalkboard Crate

Lately, I have been trying to change out some of my storage containers in my house. I thought about purchasing a few wood crates, but after looking at them I knew I could build a better crate at a cheaper price. If you are looking for a simple storage solution, this may be the perfect project for you!

I had started designing one on my own, but then I noticed that Ana White had a few plans on her site. I decided to base it on her Chalkboard Produce Crate. I was able to make mine out of scrap wood that I already had, so it was free for me. If you had to buy all the wood, you could still build it for under $5 and this crate is pretty big.

I did not follow the plan exactly, but it is based on that plan. Here are the steps that I took to make mine. 

Needed materials:
1 - 1" x 2" x 8'

2 - 1" x 3" x 8'
1/4" plywood - if you don't have scraps you could get away with buying a 2' x 2' piece.

1" spade drill bit
Jig Saw
Kreg Jig 
1 1/4" pocket hole screws

Wood glue
3/4" finishing nails 
Wood filler
Sander or sandpaper
Chalkboard paint
Paint or stain of your choice

Step 1: Cut your boards.

Needed Cuts:
2 - 1" x 3" at 13" (chalkboard side tops)
4 - 1" x 2" at 5" (chalkboard side sides)
2 - 1" x 2" at 13" (chalkboard side bottoms)
6 - 1" x 3" at 15 3/4" (slat sides)
1 - 1/4" plywood at 17 1/4" x 13" (crate bottom)
2 - 1/4" plywood at 7 1/4" x 11 1/2" (chalkboards) 

*Note: If you bought a 2' x 2' piece of plywood, cut the bottom piece first. Then cut the 2 smaller pieces. The opening for the chalkboard will be 10" x 5", so just make sure it is larger than the opening. 

Step 2: Drill two 1" holes in the chalkboard side tops. Drill the holes about 5" in from the ends and centered between the top and bottom.

Step 3: Use your jig saw to cut from one hole to the other to form the handles. I am not great with the jig saw. Hopefully, you are better at it than I am!

Step 4: Using a Kreg jig set at the 3/4" setting, drill pocket holes in each end of the chalkboard side sides.

Step 5: Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the side pieces to the handle piece - one on each end. 

Step 6: Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the side pieces to the chalkboard side bottom pieces - one on each end. 

Step 7: Using a Kreg jig set at the 3/4" setting, drill pocket holes in each end of the slats.

Step 8: Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the slats to the chalkboard sides. I did not leave a gap between the slats. but you may choose to do that.

Step 9: Using finishing nails and glue, attach the bottom.

Step 10: Fill any holes with wood filler.

Step 11: Sand all surfaces.

Step 12: Paint your chalkboards. Paint one side of each board with the chalkboard paint and paint or stain the other side to match whatever the rest of your crate is going to be painted.

Step 13: Paint or stain the crate.

Step 14: Once everything is dry, use glue to attach the two chalkboards.

Step 12: Find the perfect place for your new crate!

This is really easy to make and they can be used for so many different things! I like this crate so much that I am actually planning on making a bunch of these of different sizes for different purposes.

Here are just a few ideas for these crates, but the possibilities are endless!

Welcome your out of town guests with a crate full of supplies that they may need while visiting.

Use a crate to corral the kid's or dog's toys. You could even attach some casters to make it easy for the kids to roll around.

Store extra blankets in a crate in the guest bedroom. 

This crate is quite large. If you need a different size, just increase or decrease the length of the boards or change the size of the boards to meet your specific needs.

If you decide to make one of your own, I would love to see it! Have fun building!