March 22, 2008

Old Window Frames for Picture Frames

I have three old window frames; one I bought at a yard sale, and two my mom gave me, given to her by a friend. These are fun to use and hang in your house if you have an eclectic style, country, or even shabby modern. They surprisingly fit in with many styles. (I'm no good at defining my style, I just know what I like. It's easiest that way.)

Usually old window frames like these need a bit of repair or reinforcement. This is easy with some small nails and wood glue. I would personally avoid gorilla glue, that isn't easy to hide if it drips, since there is no painting going on. I use picture wire and screw eyes to hang them.

This first one I filled with photographs of flowers I've taken. The panes are 8 x 12, so I easily had some photos enlarged for around $2 each.

This second one I cut thin pieces of board for each pane and covered them with wrapping paper. I then stippled some paint of pink, yellow and green lightly onto the flowers. It's so light you can't see it here, but it worked out cute. I made this frame first, it's been hanging in a bathroom for almost 2 years now, so I've decided to have some photos enlarged and replace these pieces of wrapping paper. This one I will fill with photos of cool buildings, instead of flowers. I have the photos chosen, I just need to get them printed.

The panes in this third frame are so long that I might end up doing something different. Yes, I think it would look real cool to have three long cropped photos in here, but I just don't know what theme. I'm currently trying to come up with an idea for it. Recently I saw an issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors, and there were some neat pieces of artwork that were mostly fabric and stitching. Lots of abstract fun stuff, so I kinda considered that.

If I put photos in this third frame, what should I photograph that would crop nicely long and narrow??? Any suggestions? Plus... with only 3 panes, there needs to be obvious cohesion.

There's loads of things you could do with old window frames:

*Put cork in each pane and use them for a family noteboard; different panes for different things. (shopping, errands, the kids sports games, postcards, business cards...etc.)

*Put metal sheets in each and use it for a magnet board in your craft room.

*Make a fun style of French noteboard, padding each section and running ribbon across it diagonally.

*Hang it on a wall and paint designs on the wall inside the panes.

*Use it for a family photo frame if you have the same number of family members as the window has panes.

*Make canvas' to put in each pane and paint still life onto them.

*Quilt mini coordinating squares! (this would be cute in a bedroom)

K, that's ideas for you, now if you have any for what I could photograph for my third window frame, I'm all ears.
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March 19, 2008

Window Wall

(My post Imported from Outta This Funk)
I was always bugged by how dark our stairs were, and with all the doors closed upstairs, it was like walking UP into a dungeon. I’d love to have a window in the side of the house where the stairs are, but that’s a bit big and expensive.

I came up with this idea that if I created windows in the wall to the stairs, I could get some light up there! And it worked!

My photos aren’t too detailed, but I just basically found the studs in the wall, cut the drywall out on both sides, and then framed the studs with new drywall. This was part of a project where I was covering the orange-peel texture of the whole room anyway, so I had myself a huge mudding project.

The descending size is my favorite part. I’m totally pleased with the way it turned out.

Also, see that Walnut hand rail in the first photo? I bought a bundle of wood from a yard sale for $5 and in it was two huge pieces of oak hand rail. I cut them to length, bought new brackets to attach them, gave ‘em a stain, and put them up! The only hard part on that project, was using a hand saw to cut through that thick stuff!! It gave me a bloody nose!

If I had to relate this project to Scrappy stuff, I'd say, you can't be inspired without sunlight! Having light and airy rooms is very important!!! TFL.
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March 18, 2008

Where You Live

I decided out of the blue to make my sister a new house number. These plastic numbers that come screwed to your house can yellow with time, and get real brittle. Plus they aren’t pretty.

I bought some wood numbers from a craft store for .50 cents each, and used a scrap piece of pine I had left over from a headboard I made. (Hey, that’s an easy project to share)

First, I didn’t care for the little tails on the 5 and 6, so I drew a pencil line where I wanted to trim them down, and I cut them off with a jig saw. (I hope you can see my pencil lines.)

Then I laid them on my piece of scrap pine and decided how wide the piece needed to be. I cut it to width and sanded the top edge so it was a little rounded. Then I stained everything walnut. (I never use the stain/varnish combination. It’s terrible.)

I purchased a bamboo blind for another project a couple months ago, and I saved all my scraps of bamboo. Using an old pair of large tin-snips, I cut the strips of bamboo to fit on top of my pine. I cut them shorter, so the walnut stain would show around the edges.

I set them out, looking at spacing and decided where to put them. I used my bargain E-6000 from Hobby Lobby (.99 cents) to attach each strip of bamboo.

Now, this is where it got just a little tricky. DH suggested I use wood glue to attach my bamboo, but I know how unreliable wood glue can be, especially when this house number is going outside, it’s likely crack and loose hold after a year or two. So I didn’t go with the quick drying wood glue. I decided on slow drying E-6000. This meant that my bamboo, which is slightly imperfect when it comes to ‘flatness’ had to some how be held in place while it dried. I got out every clamp I had (thanks to a yardsale) and spread them around and let it sit like this all day.

Then I put E-6000 on the backs of my letters, set them in place, and put a piece of newspaper over them with a chocolate weight of Cadbury Mini Eggs. :)

When this was dry, I sprayed it multiple times with a satin varnish. The can said indoor and outdoor, so I used it. I didn't want to try and brush a liquid into the groves. Plus it might puddle between the bamboo, and not look nice.

Then, with the old house numbers removed, I held a piece of paper up to the bricks and pushed a pencil through the paper where the holes in the bricks were. I then used this paper template to determine where the holes should be drilled into the house numbers. I figured dark screws would blend in better with the numbers than it would through the bamboo, plus I wasn’t sure how the bamboo was going to be to drill through. I couldn’t have it splitting now!

Two places from the old numbers lined up with the new numbers, and that was all I really needed to get the sign to hold.

Honestly, the hardest part of this project was needing patience for the glue to dry so I could move onto the next step!!!

And yes, Sister loves it!
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March 11, 2008

Scatty Letters ;b

Since my banner is a little small, and it's hard to appreciate how cute the letters are, I'll share this little project I did to create my banner.

I called Mom and asked her if she had some thin strips of wood. (Mom makes bird houses.) If not I was fully prepared to go to HomeDepot and buy a strip of wood for like $2. I had already decided my letters would only be 6" tall because I wanted to use BasicGrey's Two Scoops 6 x 6 paper pad. Mom had a bunch of "stick like" wood, so I went over and cut myself a bunch of pieces.

I layed them side by side and painted the edges with watered down brown paint so that I could still have the wood grain showing through. (tip: I used a bottle of acrylic paint that was nearly empty, put some water in it, and shook it up. Much quicker than trying to mix paint and water in a cup or bowl.)
When they were dry, I layed them on the edge of the wrong side of paper, drew a pencil line around it, and cut it out.

Then I applied a liquid glue to the smothest side of wood using a paint brush and a tiny bit of water to make the glue smooth. (These were scraps of wood, with rough edges which I wanted to keep. I thought pretty paper on rough wood, attached with screws would look fun. But I did choose the smoother of the two sides to adhere my paper.)

Then I used an emery board to sand the edges of the paper and reveal the white core.

Then I used Clearsnap's Color Box Fluid Chalk Ink in Creamy Brown to ink the edges. I like the "lived in" look Creamy Brown gives to everything.
I bought a pack of 30 short wood screws to attach the wood pieces together. ($1.29 w/o tax from the hardware store.) I layed out my letter pieces, and drilled a pilot hole for the screws, and then screwed them in.

Because I didn't use glue, once the screws were in, I was able to move the pieces so they weren't perfectly parallel and perpendicular. This made it easy to give a little character to my G.

These "Two Scoops" are so tasty, here's a pile of 'em!

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March 10, 2008

Well Hello There!

Those that know me, know I’m not the type to blog, and I don’t have blog-like-stuff to share. I do however have ideas. I’m constantly coming up with projects and ideas, some of which I execute, some I write down, and some I forget about. :P I decided to have a blog when I saw how much people were enjoying my projects on the blog I share with 11 friends: Outta This Funk. We call ourselves the Inspirational Team. Most of our projects are paper crafting related, and I’m honored to be associated with those girls.

In this blog I’m going to share my everyday projects and fun ideas that you might want to do/make yourself. Some of my projects involve changing something that already exists, and some I build from scratch. (btw, everyday projects is just an expression. A girl’s gotta go to work!)

I’m an “optimistic recycler” (that’s what I’ve decided to call it). I do try to recycle in general; plastic, aluminum, etc, but what I consider “optimistic recycling” is giving new life to an old thing. A Make-Over to something that is considered trash to someone else. Yep, I’m a big Yard Saler. That instantly paints a picture that I’m a bit of a junk hoarder. Nope, I’m not. My house isn’t full of junk and I only have about 5 unfinished projects in my garage that need me to find time for them (I can quickly think of 3). If I don’t have vision for a piece of junk, I pass it by. Maybe someone else will have vision for it.

I didn’t grow up spoiled, and it made me frugal. I marvel at the prices people are wiling to pay for some things. Sure you (me) can’t just build a widescreen TV, but things like those boxes to put under a front loading washer…. CRAZY MONEY. It’s a BOX! …Yes, I made my own. The washer and dryer cost enough, I wasn’t about to pay hundreds more to lift them up on a box. (If they were affordable, and sensibly priced, it might be different.)

This was longer than I intended, but maybe you’ll join in some of the fun and also become an optimistic recycler (OR). The next time DH tells you to throw something away, say “OR…. I could give it a make-over!”

Quickly before I go, don’t worry if you don’t have lots of tools at your disposal. I don’t. Sure I’d love a bunch more tools, but for now I use a jigsaw that I bought at a yard sale for $2 and looks like it was made in the 40’s. (It might be worth something to a jigsaw collector! ;P) I have a cheap drill and sander, and I go to my mom’s when I need to use a table saw. So don’t let the lack of tools stop you. Before you know it, you’re gunna Get Scatty!!!
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