Showing posts with label Thrifty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thrifty. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

Paint Chip Wall Art

After our relatives left, I really noticed how empty our place seemed.  Although we moved here almost a year ago, I haven't put much effort into making our place more personal.  Chuck's room is the only one that's sort of decorated.

So, I'm going to do my best to add some decorations to the walls.  I'm not too picky, but I do have three requirements for wall art:

1.  It must be bright and happy.
Chuck and I spend quite a bit of time at home.  We need to be surrounded by lovely, happy things.  

2.  It must be removable.
We live in an apartment.  We're not going to live here forever.  I really really don't want to re-paint rooms or fill holes when we leave.

3.  It must be relatively inexpensive.
I'm uber cheap.  One day we'd like to own our own house, so we're slowly saving up.  (Plus, we had a rather traumatic experience with movers breaking stuff, so I worry about expensive art being destroyed.)

Making wall art with paint chips fits all three requirements.  Inspired by A Beautiful Mess's modern paint chip wall art and How About Orange's triangle paint chip art, I thought I'd give paint chips a try.  Here's my result:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Make a stained glass house using cellophane

A while ago, a cousin sent me a beautiful faux stained glass panel that her friend made using colored cellophane and a picture frame.  I've since lost the photo, but every so often I keep thinking back to that image and wanting to make my own faux stained glass using cellophane.

Here's a fun kids' craft that I came up with:  a 3D stained glass house constructed out of cellophane and plastic containers:
- paper
- pencil
- scissors
- clean and dry plastic lids (sturdier plastic works better than flimsier plastic)
- Mod Podge
- foam brush
- different colored cellophane (you could probably substitute colored tissue paper too)
- clear tape

1.  Cut out your six house pieces. (I cut them out of paper first to make sure everything fit and then traced my paper shapes onto plastic lids.)  You'll need two same-sized "house" shaped pieces for the front and back, two rectangles for the roof,  and two rectangles for the side of your house.  (I ended up making the two side and two roof pieces four identical squares so that I wouldn't have to worry too much about measuring.)

2.  Cut out random small pieces of cellophane.  I chose to cut out hearts and rectangles.

3.  Cover your work area.  Use your foam brush and Mod Podge the cellophane onto your house pieces.  Don't worry if the cellophane dangles off the edges.
 4. After the Mod Podge dries, trim any excess hanging cellophane pieces.  Your cellophane will dry crinkled, but that's ok.
 5.  Tape your pieces together to create a house.  (I first taped the pieces into the flat arrangement below.  Then, I bent and taped the pieces into their final 3D house shape.  I also made sure that the Mod Podged cellophane pieces were facing inside my stained glass house.  I figured this way the cellophane wouldn't rub off as easily.)

 Voila!  Done.  I think this would be a really fun craft to do with kids.  It's a different take on the traditional stained glass or sun catcher craft.    Let me know if you try it out!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

String art thread and milk jug necklace

Spring is here!

I love feeling the warmer temperatures and seeing the trees bursting with delicate pink and white blooms.  And I don't know about you, but I can't wait to exchange my dark, winter wardrobe for a lighter, more colorful one.

Inspired by the warmer weather and this gorgeous necklace from Modcloth, I welcomed the new season by crapting a wearable, string art necklace out of two materials:  a milk jug and embroidery thread. 

- empty milk jug, cleaned and dried
- scissors
- hole puncher
- 2 colors of embroidery thread
- Sharpie marker

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kids' Cheesy Cardboard Camera

Hi everoyne!  

Happy belated Earth Day!

 Today I'll share about how I made this cheesy cardboard camera for Chuck.   This crapt was inspired by his love for eating cheese and touching my camera.  Here's what the camera looks like from the front:
 And here's what it looks like from the back:

- small metal cylinder container with lid (or you could probably use a paper towel roll)
- can opener
- small, sturdy cardboard box
- craft knife
- scissors
- self-healing mat
- drill
- pencil
- 3 caps (I used 3 baby food squeeze pack caps)
- 3 brass fasteners
- packing tape
- lanyard (or string)
- disposable baking sheet (or plastic container lid or heavy duty aluminum foil)
- glue
- craft paint
- paint brushes and foam brush
- Mod Podge

1.  I used a can opener to remove the bottom of my small, cylinder container.  I made sure that the can opener made clean cuts so that I wouldn't cut Chuck's fingers.  This cylinder became my camera "lens."

2.   The photo below shows my original box.  It was initially too big, so I chopped off a couple of inches off the right side of the box.  I used the cut off bits to fashion a top for the camera.

 3.  I cut out two circles, one in the front and one in the back of my camera.  The circle in the front was the same size as my cylinder.  (I just traced the cylinder and then cut the circle out.) The circle in the back of the box was slightly smaller than my cylinder.  (This ensured that my lens would poke out through the front, but not slide out through the back.)

4.  I also cut a rectangle from in the top, right hand corner of the front of my camera.  This became my "flash."

5.  Hubby drilled five holes in my cardboard:
- Two holes in the back to insert my back red knobs
- One hole on my top piece to insert my top green knob
- A hole on each side of the camera to string my lanyard strap through the body

He also drilled a hole into each of my three caps.  All the holes had to be big enough so that a fastener could fit through them.

 Here's a photo showing how the pieces fit together on the inside.  (I didn't use fasteners on the sides of my camera. I just poked them through the holes to show you where the holes were)

Here's how the camera  looked like with the top piece on:
I took this photo before cutting out the rectangle hole for the flash.
6.  After making sure my camera parts fit together, it was time to paint.  I gave the cardboard parts and cylinder two coats of yellow craft paint.  I also painted on my grey circles.
 7. Once the paint dried, I attached my "knobs", "lens", and "flash."  I used the brass fasteners to fasten the knobs onto the cardboard pieces.   I cut out a rectangle from my disposable baking pan and taped it over my rectangular "flash" hole.  I used a lot of packing tape to attach my cylinder to the inside of my camera.
8. I touched up my paint job a bit. Then, I coated my camera with Mod Podge to protect the paint.

9.  I strung lanyard through the body of the camera and then used glue and packing tape to attach the top piece to the body.

10.  To further protect my paint job, I ended up putting a thin strip of packing tape on the edges of the camera. (I've noticed that paint chips off the edges first, so I made sure to protect those with tape.)  I also put some tape near the lanyard hole in case the weight of the camera pulled on the lanyard and ripped the cardboard.

Phew.  Once I was done, I couldn't help but smile a cheesy grin.  (Hee hee.)  Here are some photos of Chuck playing around with his new cardboard camera.

Say "Cheese!"

Thanks for joining me on another crapty adventure.  If you're interested in making other crapty cardboard toys, check out my cardboard guitarcardboard rattle drumcereal box elephant, or cereal box giraffe.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Use fabric paint and painters tape to paint a purse

This month is going to be a busy one for us.  Hubby's relatives are arriving next weekend and staying with us for a couple of weeks.  I'm also going to Massachusetts to attend the long-awaited, two day wedding celebration of an old college friend.

I'm super excited for both big events, but time is just passing by way too quickly.  Right now we're busy preparing our apartment and I'm still on the search for wedding appropriate clothes.  (Sadly my old dresses just don't fit.  After having the baby, my body is a whole new shape.  Moms out there... is that normal?)

Even though I have yet to find two dresses, I may not have to worry about finding a purse.  Awhile back, I acquired a lovely, gently used purse.   I really like its gold chain (not shown) and woven outer design.  Since I enjoy painting things, I thought I would paint a bunch of white stripes on it to make it a little more summery and fun.

Front:  Ooh.  I see some stripes.

Back:  Wham!  Stripey.
I'm sure you can guess how I made it.  But in case you want the details, here's what I did:

I taped stripes onto the front and back using painters tape.  I also taped the edges to protect them from paint.  Then, using a sponge brush, I covered the area with fabric paint.  After my paint dried, I gently peeled off the tape to reveal the striped design.

Overall, I like how the purse turned out.  The white lines really pop and the design is (mostly) clean and graphic.  However, I was sad that the tape slightly damaged the trim.  Boo!  If I were going to try this technique out on another purse, I would make sure to test my painters tape on a small area first.

Boo scratches!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Make two crapty kites: Newspaper Kite and Plastic Bag kite

With temperatures soaring higher and higher, I'm looking forward to spending more days outside with Chuck.  In anticipation of the nicer weather, we tried flying two homemade kites last weekend.  (I never actually flew a kite before, so I was way too extremely excited to try the activity out.)  To cover all my crapty bases, I crapted one kite out of newspaper and another kite out of a plastic bag.

Two notes before we start:
-  I'm not an expert in kites or kite flying.  But, I thought I'd post up our experiences in case someone out there wanted to try making kites with their kids.  Both were easy to make.  And guess what?  *Gasp*  Even though it wasn't very windy outside,  the newspaper kite actually flew!

- When flying these kites, be sure to bring out extra supplies like string, packing tape, scissors, plastic bag,  and newspaper.  We found that we had to do some quick taping and tweaking to fix broken skewers and lengthen tails.

Kite 1:  Newspaper Kite
This kite was made out of a grocery store flyer, skewers, yarn, packing tape, and a Popsicle stick.  It's hexagon shaped and super light.  (I modeled my design after this newspaper kite found on Instructables.)

- Newspaper flyer  (or wrapping paper)
- Yarn (about 25 feet)
- Popsicle stick (or piece of cardboard, or pencil, or random stick you find on the ground)
- 2 skewers
- Scissors
- Packing tape
- Hole Puncher
- Ruler

1.  Trim the sharp points off your skewers.  Make your skewer the same width as your grocery store flyer.

2.  Fold the flyer in half and cut off the corners from your flyer.  Make your cuts in such a way that the skewer (lined up parallel to your fold) forms a triangle with your two cuts.  (Here's another way to think about it:  You want the height of your resulting hexagon to be the same length as the skewers.)  When you open the flyer, you should have a hexagon with two symmetrical sides.

3.  Tape down your skewers with packing tape.

4.  Cut out two thin rectangle tails out of newspaper.  Tape them to your kite.  (Kite tails are pretty important.  They stabilize the kite.  I made our tails pretty short, but you could try cutting out different lengths and testing how the tail length affects flight.)

4.  Place tape on both sides of your hexagon.  (This will ensure that the newspaper is strong enough to take the hole punch.)  Hole punch both sides.  Then, string a piece of yarn across your hexagon.

5.  Wind about 22 feet of yarn onto your Popsicle stick.  Tape down the beginning of your string to the stick so that the yarn doesn't fall off your stick.  Tie the other end of your yarn to the middle of your horizontal string.

Enjoy your newspaper kite.  As you can see on the photo, this kite actually flew even though we only had a bit of wind.

Kite 2:  Plastic Bag Kite
This kite was made out of a plastic bag, four skewers, packing tape, yarn, and a Popsicle stick.  It has the lovely traditional diamond kite shape, but sadly... it didn't really fly.  (I blame the lack of wind.)  There are a lot of great instructions online, but in the end modeled my design after this plastic bag diamond shaped kite from My Best Kites.

- Plastic bag
- Yarn (around 30 feet)
- Ruler
- 4 skewers
- Scissors
- Pen
- Packing tape
- Popsicle stick (or cardboard strip, or pencil, or random stick you find on the ground)

1.  Cut open your bag and decide how big you want your kite.

2.  Cut off the points from your skewers.  Use packing tape to tape your skewers together.  (It's better if you use longer sticks, but I just used what I had.  The points where the sticks were taped together were a bit flimsy, so take that into account if you have super strong winds in your neck of the woods.)

3.  Lay your sticks on your plastic bag and mark where the corners of your diamond kite shape should be.

4.  Use ruler and pen to connect the points, creating a diamond kite shape.  Cut that shape out.

5. Use packing tape to tape the skewers to the corners of your kite.  Then, pierce two holes through the center of the kite so that you can use a piece of yarn to tie the skewers together and to the kite.

6. Wind the rest of your string around your Popsicle stick (making sure to tape the beginning to the stick).  Then, tie your string to the lower end of the vertical stick and to the piece of yarn that you previously used to tie the skewers together. 
7. Tie together strips of plastic bag to create a tail.  (We initially made our tail 16 inches long, but after trying the kite out, we added several more strips to better stabilize the kite and keep it right side up.)  Attach your tail to the kite with packing tape.

Voila.  Now you have a plastic bag kite.  And since you made it to the end of this very long post,  I thought I'd treat you to a short video showing me huffing and puffing as I try to fly the kite.

P4063100 from Pink Stripey Socks on Vimeo.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter egg crafts

Hi everyone!

I hope you had an egg-cellent Easter.
We had a really nice time eating and celebrating with our egg-stended family.
I think I went a bit overboard with this Easter's egg-related crafts:

Inspired by Krokotak's egg carton hens, I made my own chicken and ladybug egg holders.

I also blew out a bunch of eggs, colored them, and then turned them into confetti eggs for our family Easter egg hunt.

Blowing out the eggs:  
I used a safety pin and pricked the top and bottom of the egg.  Then, I used the safety pin to enlarge the bottom hole.  Then, I placed my mouth over the smaller top hole and blew the egg out over a bowl.  Once the egg was emptied, I rinsed the shell out and left it to dry on a paper towel.

Marbleizing eggs with nail polish:
Once the eggs were hollowed out, my sister and I marbleized some of the eggs using Camille Styles' instructions.  (Note:  Her eggs came out beautifully!  As you can see, I had a lot of trouble getting even results. Maybe it's because my nail polish was the cheap 2 dollar kind... or too old?  Or, perhaps my water wasn't the right temperature?  Hrmm...  Did anyone else have trouble making these eggs?)

Designing with masking tape  and dying eggs:
I had much better luck dying the rest of my eggs.  Hubby and I used masking tape to first create designs and then we dyed them.  To create each color, we simply combined 1 cup of boiling water, 20 drops of food coloring, and 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a large mug.  Then, we held our eggs in the dye until they took on the hue that we liked.

Filling the confetti eggs:
Once all the dye dried (and the nail polish smell dissipated... yuck), I filled the hollowed out eggs with  rice krispy treats (poured through a simple funnel made from rolling a piece of paper) and sealed up the holes with masking tape.

The kids had fun finding these special eggs and stomping on them to reveal the rice krispies within.

Although these eggs were fun to make, it was even more fun to see the kids smile each time they found a special "stomping egg."

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Guest Post: Sumo Plastic Bottle Bowling Pins

Did you ever look at plastic bottles and think... whoa... those look just like sumo wrestlers?

(Am I the only one who does this?)

If you want to make yourself a whole bunch of these fun guys, you can get my full sumo wrestler plastic bowling pin  tutorial here!

Buy Now

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Styrofoam gliders

Guess what?  We won the lottery.  Then we took our winnings and purchased a small fleet of planes.

Ok, ok, ok.  I'm just kidding.  We didn't win the lottery, but Chuck and I are the proud new owners of three airplanes, Styrofoam gliders, to be exact.

One of the nicest things about being a mom is that I get to let go and do fun kid things again.  Currently, Chuck is still too young to fully appreciate flying toy airplanes.  However, he is old enough to enjoy throwing things and seeing them float around.

Armed with leftover Styrofoam plates, I made him some Styrofoam gliders.  Then we had a lovely day enjoying the sunny weather, the company of some feathered friends, and our new gliders.

(Psst- If you want to make your own, you can get the templates from NASA here  and here.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Make a Cardboard Bunny Tissue Box Holder

With Easter just around the corner, bunnies, chicks, and carrots seem to be  popping up everywhere.  Since I had some practice crapting a whale tissue box holder, I thought I'd try making a bunny tissue holder for Easter.

Meet Pinky.  
This little rabbit is my newest cardboard animal creation.  
She's super girly and cute.

And bonus- her tail provides comforting tissues when you sneeze.
Chuck can't resist pulling on her tail...

Want to crapt your own?  Read on!

- cardboard (not bent, in good condition)
- pencil
- exacto knife
- self healing cutting mat
- scissors
- packing tape
- ruler
- paint
- paint brushes
- Sharpie markers
- Mod Podge

Step 1:  Measure and cut out your pieces from cardboard.  (See pdf below) You'll need:
a.  1 long rectangular piece (15 3/4 inches x 5 1/2 inches)
     - folded lengthwise every 5 1/4 inches
     - with two tiny, thin rectangular holes cut out from middle section (for ears)
     - with two rectangles cut out from each side (for feet)

b.  2 identical ear pieces (about 4 1/2 inches tall)
     - bent 1/2 inch from bottom
     - two tabs cut at bottom (tape tabs down to attach ears)

c.  1 bottom piece (5 1/4 inch x 5 1/2 inch)
     - sides will probably be trimmed down and corners rounded when you assemble pieces

d.  1 front and 1 back piece (5 1/4 inch x 5 1/4 inch)
     - rectangle cut out from bottom of both pieces (for feet)
     - circle (approx 1 1/2 inch in diameter) cut out from back piece (for tissue tail)

Bunny Tissue Holder Measurements

Step 2:  Bend the long piece into three equal 5 1/4 inch parts.  (I found that it helped if I first scored the cardboard with my ruler or scissors).

Step 3:  Carefully tape front piece in front of your bent piece  (It was easier to maneuver smaller pieces of packing tape.  Try your hardest to make sure that the tape sits right against the cardboard.)

Step 4:  Attach bottom piece with tape.  Before taping, make sure that your tissue box fits into your construction.  You may need to trim the edges of the bottom piece and round off some corners to make sure that it fits.  (Honestly, I wish I trimmed a bit more off my bottom piece.  It's still slightly too wide and it pushed the sides out in a funny way.  So, I ended up taping them down from the outside... which ruined the effect a bit... )

Step 5:   Place your tissue box into the cardboard container.  Then, attach the back piece with packing tape.  (First I taped the top of the back piece to the bent long piece.  This created a nice hinge effect and the back piece could open and close.  I could have left it like that, but with Chuck on the loose it was safer if I taped the feet portions together too.)

Step 5:  Paint your piece.  (Honestly, I liked the au natural look.  But, pink just felt more spring-y, so I went with it.) To protect the tissue tail, push a plastic bag into your hole.  Pull it out when you're done.  Don't forget to use Mod Podge to protect your paint job.

And there you have it- some bunny to hand you tissues when you need them.  (Har, har, har.... )