Thursday, January 23, 2014

The "Trader Joe's Collection"

I can honestly say that I am pretty good at promoting others....other blogs, other products, other whatevers.  When it comes to self-promotion, I suck.  It's true.  This might lead you to believe that I don't actually like my own creations and this is not true. So I decided it was high time that I start sharing some of my favorite things - made by me.  And when it comes to picking my most favorite things I really have to go with Trader Joe's.  More specifically, my Trader Joe's line of paper bead jewelry.  Here are a few of the highlights and of course you can find more in my Etsy shop:

I fell in love with the box from Trader Joe's French Toast!  Well, I actually fell in love with the French Toast - but I digress.  The very first chunky style paper bead that I ever made was from this box:

And this is what I did with it:

Stretch Paper Bead Bracelet
And this:

Floating Paper Bead Necklace
And recently, I rolled up a bunch of paper beads from a Trader Joe's grocery shopping bags for the first time.  I think these are my favorite, I really like the little faces:

Trader Joe's Shopping Bag Earrings 
And, of course, I whipped up a little something for Valentine's Day:

Trader Joe's Shopping Bag Valentine's Necklace
So what do you think?  Do you have a taste for some french toast?

Monday, January 20, 2014

An Upcycled Easel Clock

The New Year has a funny way of reminding us that time continues to pass whether we like it or not!  Maybe that's why there are so many resolutions made at the beginning of the year.  It's like someone lit a fire under our little rumps to spur us into action; to hurry up and get all those things done that we let fall to the wayside last year.  Well, I have projects to get to...many of them.  One of them is a clock for my bathroom to remind just how late I am every morning!  So while I'm not much for resolutions, I figured it was time.  Here's what I came up with:

Is that upcycled you ask?  But, of course it is!  And I'm going to show you both how I made this one with a plank from a pallet and the easel from a thrifted picture frame.  The concept behind this little clock was pretty simple:

1.  Cut the plank from a pallet to size
2.  Glue it to the easel portion of an old frame
3.  Paint it
4.  Add clock components
...and viola, a simple, one-of-a-kind clock for my bathroom!

Anyone who upcycles on the regular, knows that nothing is ever that simple! Be sure to check out the YouTube video to see all the hiccups I encountered AND how I was actually successful in the end!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thrift Store Refashion: A Fish Bowl Vase Update

Ah, the thrift store!  An upcyclers dream come true, junk piled upon junk.  One such piece of "junk" is a very common find....the fish bowl flower vase.  You know... the "throw away" type that florists send bouquets out in every day.  I made one over with a little bit of sisal rope, which coincidentally was also an upcycled find.  Check it out:

It's a pretty easy project to complete and requires only a bit of sisal rope, hot glue, paint and a button.  But just in case you're interested in seeing it done here's the video tutorial.

Here's another option, using a large soup can:

Happy upcycling!

Monday, January 6, 2014

DIY Valentine Earrings: From Paper Beads and Soda Cans

And we jump straight from Christmas and New Year's to....Valentine's Day!  I'm actually not a fan of Valentine's Day, at least not the over commercialized Valentine's Day that we've all come to know and love.  Receiving highly over priced roses that will be dead in a week's time or waiting in line for two hours to get a table at your favorite restaurant are not all that romantic to me!! I'd much rather enjoy the company of loved one's while making dinner together and sharing handmade gifts from the heart.  To me, that says love! But I digress...

Today, I want to show you how I made these.

I did a video tutorial for this one so hop over to YouTube to get the step-by-step instructions.  You might find the following videos helpful, too, when making this pair of earrings:

How to cut an aluminum can

How to make a paper bead

Have fun with them!

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