More Functional Art

I’ve been working on some more functional art for Matter Gallery in Olympia. It was fun working on the pieces and a little hard to hand them off  – like saying good-bye to your children. Check out their shop either online or in person, Olympia is full of interesting places to visit!

You can see more functional art here.

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

This Plus That Equals: Industrial Coffee Table

We found these HUGE casters at Second Use (where else?) and immediately thought “coffee table”. (Actually what I immediately thought was that the husband would kill me if I brought home another big metal piece of randomness – like this and this and this.)

RedCasters_Before

8″ diameter industrial casters.

Plus

WoodPlanks

Planks from RE-Store, planed.

Plus

GasolineCan

Old Gas Can from Habitat for Humanity.

Equals_reverseRedCasterCoffeeTable_after

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Make Gift Wrap from Old Books

We made several sheets of this gift wrap for the holidays and it was a hit, so here’s a quick how-to tutorial. Change the color scheme and it can work for any occasion throughout the year. GiftWrap_Box

Project: Sew pages of a book together with contrasting top-stitch thread and roll on ink with a brayer to create unique, recycled gift wrap. We used an old encyclopedia and pulled out pages that related to people’s interests – the music section for our musician friend, printing press section for our graphic designer friend, and the biography section for our literate friend. Continue reading

Mod Podge a Salvaged Window

We always see cool, old, beautiful windows – whether in salvage yards or being given away along the curb. It is hard to know what do with these great old relics – a person only needs so many greenhouses! We found a way to re-purpose a window into a “vintage” sign with coat hooks, using Mod Podge (of course!) and clip art.

Continue reading

Make: Lamp from Tripod and Lampshade from Ductwork

I know I said a few weeks ago that we were going to get started on utilitarian house projects soon. Well, not quite yet… because first we had to make this old tripod into a floor lamp. And here’s Monica, reading the paper by the light of the finished lamp (when she should be caulking or doing something useful!).

We found this old telescope tripod at 2nd Use Building Materials. It was very cool – a silverish patina on the wood, with black metal details. Our friend Cliff said “Hey, you should make a floor lamp!”. Ok, that sounds more fun than caulking any day. Continue reading

Patio Fire Pit: Re-purposed Scrap Metal Box

Roasted marshmallows, smores and warmth out the back door. SWEET!

I had a rusting scrap metal box that Heidi gave me when she and her husband decided to purge some of their….treasures. Lucky me! She originally got it at one of our favorite spots, ReStore. It sat in her garage for a couple of years and then literally sat up-ended in my back yard for another 6-7 years. Getting more and more beautiful with exposure all the while. Continue reading

Covering Lampshades

After taking a summer “hiatus” from house projects, we were finding it hard to get motivated to start tackling real projects on our houses – like caulking leaky gaps, repairing a broken window pane, sanding/cutting/sealing/finishing 30 pieces of window trim….. SO, we decided to ease into it with a totally just-for-fun project: designing and covering pendant lampshades. (It is our way of procrastination.)

An easy and inexpensive way to spice up some plain white lampshades – print a design onto dictionary pages and glue them to the shades.

I wanted some fun lampshades for the 3 pendant lights which hang at the top of the stairs. I bought 3 plain white Ikea shades, long ago, thinking that I would do something with them, so it was time to dig them out and actually follow through. Design-wise, I wanted something warm and funky. So…. I did what I always do in a situation like this: got out my Gramma’s old dictionary and called Mary Jean and Monica. (There are people in my house who are starting to fear that soon every surface will be covered with dictionary pages.)

I’ll show you how we covered the lampshades here, but you are going to have to find your own Mary Jean and Monica. ;o) Continue reading

Make Your Own Curtain Rod Finials

This is a really simple way to use those beautiful pine cones you probably have hanging around – make some curtain rod finials. Continue reading

Salvaged Metal Cupboard

When I brought this old metal cupboard home from RE-Store, this is the reaction I got from my friends and family:

13 year old daughter: “You paid money for that?”

Monica: “I’m not seeing it.”

Husband: “Where are you going to put that?”

A little offended and put-out, I went to work cleaning it up. (After first letting it sit in the garage for about 3 months.) The steps: Continue reading