Make Vintage Votive Candle Holders

This post originally appeared at Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Check it out for more great crafting ideas. DIY votives: vintage candle holders made from glassesOver at Hammer Like a Girl, we usually try to use materials that have been cast off, scrounged, or salvaged. So when we first were planning this DIY votive project, we thought it would be a great idea to use cut-off bottles. You’ve all seen the technique online – soak string in acetone, wrap it around a bottle, light it on fire, turn turn turn to get an even burn and when the flame starts to die down, dunk it ice water, and the bottle breaks where the string was, essentially turning a bottle into a glass. It sounds so cool (and easy). We went out and bought acetone, dug in our recycling bins and went to work. Maybe we were doing something wrong, but for the life of us, we could not get a nice clean break. The edges were jaggedy, like something you’d see in a bar fight. So with singed arm hair, we went to the Goodwill, where we bought 3 glasses for $.69/each instead. Here’s some instructions – not how to singe your arm hair – but for making unique decoupage votive candle holders. Continue reading

Vintage Railroad Crossing Sign

I’ve always coveted those big old Railroad Crossing signs. I’ve seen them at a couple antique stores here in Seattle, but they’ve always been super expensive. We were in Door County, Wisconsin, by Sturgeon Bay this summer for our annual family trip and I stopped by one of my favorite antique stores there – Richard’s Antiques. I wanted to back a truck up to the store and take everything with me, but settled on 2 sets of railroad signs (and some other things too numerous to mention here).

RailRoadCrossing

RailRoadCrossing_detail

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Contemporary Take on Vintage Photos

This originally appeared as a guest post on Seattle Magazine’s website. We recently were asked a question about working with large format graphics so thought we’d re-post the article here.

Here’s a relatively easy project to display old family photos in a contemporary way. Enlarge, mount on plywood, and frame with flat steel bar.

FramedPoster_final

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DIY: Lamp from Vintage Book Pages

We had some plastic “Zip” letters. We had an old 1961 Wizard of Oz book with cool illustrations. We thought “wouldn’t it be fun to make a lamp that reveals a little secret when you turn it on?”

This is how we made our magic-vintage-book-word-lamp.

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Farmer’s Market Booth Display

This is a little side project that I did for our friends who own a blueberry farm (Hunter’s Moon Organics). They are going to participate in local farmers’ markets and were in need of a display table, shelves and pricing sign for their booth. Using salvaged materials, this is what I made:

Table:

This is very similar to the tabletop we covered with dictionary pages. See that post here.

This table needed to be portable and easily dismantled, so to keep it light, the table top was made with a hollow core door from Second Use Building Materials. The legs are old metal saw horses, with glue-laminated beams uses as the supports. It all comes apart easily.

The top of the table is covered with cut-up brown re-enforced mailing envelopes and are glued them down with Mod Podge. The farm’s logo was printed large (in sections) onto the brown paper and positioned so only part of it appears on the top of the table. The outer edges are framed with flat bar metal and secured with galvanized lag bolts/washers. The top is coated with 2 coats of exterior Verathane, for easy cleanup.

Tiered Blueberry Display:

The tiered displays are made from old fence wood, sanded, and finished with Profin.

Pricing Chalkboard:

This will display the pricing and upcoming events at the farm. It’s made from an old school chalkboard, found at a yard sale. The “Local Harvest” type is printed on old magazine paper and Mod Podged onto a yardstick and secured with nails top/bottom.

These pieces will be used in combination with a canopy with banners with the farm logo. Can’t wait to see how it all looks together – we will keep you posted!

 

 

 

Staircase from Iron and Salvaged Wood

The other day someone wrote in and asked about the staircase that is shown in one of our posts about re-using old doors in a remodel. I realized that we had never posted about the stairs – mostly because they were completed before we ever started blogging. I don’t have any pictures of the process, but for those of you interested, here are some photos/details of the final staircase: 

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

The design came from our desire of wanting a mix of traditional Craftsman (like our downstairs) and a slightly contemporary look (like our upstairs).

The husband painstakingly built the staircase, using planed/salvaged Douglas Fir (when possible). We had a local metal fabricator, Atomic Fabricators, build the iron work, and provided them with plywood templates so the measurements and angles fit perfectly. We attached the iron to the wood with galvanized lag bolts.

The project took awhile and it was certainly challenging. In the middle of the process I would often catch the husband just gazing off into the distance in a trance-like state holding a tape measure.

One drawback: the fir treads are a little soft and we’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t a good idea to let your kids wear soccer cleats in the house.

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

 

 

 

Organize Your Spices: Make Labeled Tins

This post originally appeared last month on the blog Mod Podge Rocks. Check it out for great crafting ideas.

Do all of your spices in their random-sized containers drive you crazy? They have always bugged me – I could never find what I needed (so I would inadvertently buy duplicates) and no matter how neatly I placed them on a lazy susan, they never stayed organized.

Spices_beforeYou’ve seen spice organizers out there, and for good reason. But they can get a little expensive. Continue reading