candleThis week’s DIY project comes from one of my new favorite websites, Design*Sponge. They have gorgeous pictures and posts of all sorts of loveliness, and they update it with tons of new stuff daily. The blog has been around for years, so their archive is practically endless, and they have a ton of DIY projects for the at-home crafter. This project looks adorable and it’s one of many great ways to reuse cute Altoids tins. You could do this with any metal container, just be sure to put it on a heat-proof surface when lit. Find out how to make this cute project HERE.

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You can make a cute jewelry holder using old picture frames and some fabric. I’m making a few of these for the upcoming Red Hot Art Fair as jewelry displays, but I plan on keeping them after the festival to hold jewelry and as a mini bulletin board for my desk. You can also  hang them in a cluster on your wall for adorable framed art. 

SUPPLIES:

– picture frames – 5″x7″ or larger work best for bracelets and necklaces, but small frames would work great for earrings

– paint

– varnish (optional)

– foamcore, cardboard or cork bulletin board material

– fabric

no-sew fusible tape (check the sewing section at your local craft store – if you can’t find it, fabric glue will work, but it won’t look as nice)

– iron

– scissors and utility/craft knife

– straightedge/ruler

– straight pins or tacks

First, we need to prepare the frames. If you don’t have any old picture frames lying around your house, you can find them at any thrift store, garage sale, or parents’ or grandparents’ basement. Make sure you take out any glass or plastic on the front of the frame – we won’t be using it, so set aside for use in a different project. Take out the back of the frame as well – we will be using this later, so don’t get rid of it. Paint the frame as desired – if you used white or any light color like I did, be prepared to do several coats until you get a good solid color. I would recommend varnishing the frames to protect the paint job and give it a good finish, but this step is completely optional. 

Next, cut your insert material down to size – cut it about 1/8″ smaller than it should be to accomodate the fabric. I work at a sign shop, so I used some of the spare foamcore we always have lying around (hooray for recycling!). Lay your fabric down and put the insert on top. Cut around the fabric, giving yourself at least 2″ on all sides. Cut the hem tape in 4 equal strips and lay it across the insert material. Place the fabric on top, and make absolutely sure it’s lined up the way you want it because after it’s tacked down, there’s no going back. Fire up your iron and run it over the fabric to heat the tape  and stick the insert material and fabric together. (Note: If you’re using glue, spread it in a thin layer and lay the fabric over the insert). 

Once everything is stuck together and cooled down, flip the whole thing over. Now, class, we’re going to learn Upholstering 101: Cut the corners of the fabric off at a 45 degree angle. When you fold the excess fabric around the insert, there shouldn’t be any overlapping fabric and you should have a pretty clean corner (see diagram below).

fabric-corner-diagram1Cut some more hem tape to fit the end of the fabric flaps you just made. Fold the flaps up, put the tape underneath, heat up the iron, and tack the flaps down just like you did before. Put the insert into the frame and check the fit. If you have something on your frame that secures the back down, fantastic. If not, just run a bead of glue (hot glue works best but any glue will do) along the inner edge of the frame where the insert sits. Place the insert into the frame and if desired. run another bead of glue around the edge to caulk it in and make sure it’s completely sealed. Attach a cardboard easel or picture wire to the back for hanging. Hang bracelets and necklaces from the frame using straight pins or tacks, and stick earrings directly into the surface. Since we covered the inserts in fabric, the holes disappear once you take the pins out, so you can configure these however you like and make them hold as much as you want.

Lucy Ford album artI was hanging out with the lovely E.W. and her musician boyfriend on Saturday, and as payback for dragging him into Michael’s and asking his opinion on craft supplies we let him drag us to Cheapo. For those of you who aren’t from Minneapolis, Cheapo is a giant music store with a huge record collection in the basement. Now while E. Dub and I enjoy all sorts of music and wouldn’t ordinarily mind going to a huge record store on a balmy Saturday afternoon, I was unaware that doing so would result in us having to physically drag her BF out of the record-filled basement. (She tried to warn me – I didn’t believe her.) Since we spent a good hour roaming around the store, I had a lot of time to look at all of the amazing album art on display. It was almost like going into a museum filled with 12″ masterpieces just  piled together in racks. I have bought records on numerous occasions with no intention of listening to them. I honestly don’t even know how to work a record player. Album art is slowly dying, and I think it’s about time to display some of these gorgeous works of art instead of letting them languish in record store basements. 

It’s unbelievably easy to make art from albums. I’ll give you 2 different ways to do this and you can pick the one you like best. Both of these options look better when they’re hung in groups, so make sure you have a few albums to hang. 

1. Framed Art: Go to your local megastore (or to Michael’s if you have one near you) and find the frame section. Chances are, they will have frames specifically for albums. (Scrapbook frames usually work well, too.) If they don’t, look for a simple frame that’s at least 12″ x 12″ x .5″ deep. Remove the record from the sleeve, pop the sleeve in the frame, put the frame together and poof, you’ve got art. (Bonus points: paint  or collage ticket stubs onto the front for a custom frame). If you don’t want to listen to the record, save it for later craftiness (or make a music geek’s day by giving it to them).

2. Unframed Art: Go to a hardware store and pick up a few L-shaped screws (ask the counter person if you aren’t hardware-store savvy). Screw them into the wall about 9″ apart with the short leg of the “L” pointing up. Put the album on the rack you’ve just created and marvel at how you just decorated your room in less than 5 minutes.