Home+Decor

Michele Pacey merrily explores the crafty possibilities of simple materials (especially those found in her recycling bin) on her blog: (Michele Made Me). She has just recently opened a little tutorial and pattern shop: (The Tute ‘n Pattern).

A Milk Carton Sun Wreath

In my world, the ideal craft is like a treasure-hunt-science-experiment. It involves scrounging around the house for something I already own, and then taking that thing and turning it into something else entirely. There’s so much fun in that, I find. My crafty adventures very often lead me here, to my basement, where I park my significant recyclable stash, a collection of junk from toilet rolls to candy wrappers and everything in between. And, speak of the devil, here’s a little family of empty milk cartons just waiting to come into their own. Come on. I have an idea… Let’s build something together.

Tutorial: Milk Carton Sun Wreath

For this project you will need:

  • 3 empty and clean milk cartons
  • String
  • Cereal Box
  • Ribbon
  • Large-eyed needle
  • Pair of scissors/Exacto knife
  • Ruler
  • Marker (I love my Sharpie)
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Circle templates (I used two different bowls)

1. Use an Exacto knife to remove both the tops and bottoms from all three milk cartons. Clean up the edges with scissors if necessary.

2. With a marker, draw pairs of horizontal lines around each milk carton as follows:
Milk Carton 1 (MC1): draw lines at 2 inches (5 cm) and 2-1/2 inches (6.4 cm)
Milk Carton 2 (MC2): draw lines at 2-3/4 inches (7 cm) and 3-1/8 inches (8 cm)
Milk Carton 3 (MC3): draw lines at 3-1/2 inches (9 cm) and 3-3/4 (9.5 cm)

3. For each milk carton: make a set of vertical cuts every 3/16 inches (4 mm) all around each carton and from the top edge of the carton to the nearest marker line. Do not cross the marker line while cutting. You must not cut through the zone between the two marker lines. Flip the milk carton over, and make a second set of vertical cuts from the top edge of the carton to the nearest marker line. Again do not cross the line. (Step 3 will take some time. Be patient, do one milk carton at a time, have a spot of tea with cookies, and keep at it!)

4. Once a carton is cut up, work the zone between the marker lines with your fingers, until the carton is nicely rounded.

5. Now, fold down all the rays to make a double-layered sun shape. Repeat steps 4 to 5 for Milk Cartons 2 and 3.

6. With your scissors, cut open Milk Carton 2 (MC2). Thread a large eyed-needle with some string. Use the needle to poke a hole in each side of MC2. Thread the string through these holes.

7. Now slip MC2 around MC1 between the top and bottom rays of MC1 and bring the string around and over the rays of MC1.

8. Tie off the ends of the string with a tight knot so that MC2 is nestled snuggly around MC1. Trim the ends of the string.

9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 with Milk Carton 3.

10. Draw out a ring on a cereal box using your circle templates (or some bowls). The ring must be larger than the diameter of the inner hole of the wreath. Cut out the ring. Glue it with carpenter’s glue to the back of your wreath. This will help the wreath hold its lovely round shape.

Behold! You have successfully wrested a wreath from those old milk cartons. Add a pretty ribbon, hang up your wreath, and enjoy!

{ 19 comments }

The ladies at The Polka-Dot Umbrella love DIY projects.  They blog about adventures with sewing, quilting, decorating, thrifting, entertaining their kids, cooking and baking, and giving new life to old furniture. Each member of the team has a different style and perspective, but they all share in their love for making and creating!    

I am Erica, and I am one of the five ladies who blog over at The Polka-Dot Umbrella  I am a slow decorator.  My husband and I bought our first home around three years ago, and I am just barely getting around to decorating the master bedroom.  I finally decided what colors and style I wanted to go with.  When I refinished a hand-me-down dresser in February in a gorgeous blue color,  I knew I wanted to bring more blue into the room, and since my husband is an awesome artist, we (well actually I) decided to do a hand drawn wall mural. When we first moved in we painted all of the walls tan, except for one wall in the master bedroom that we painted dark brown. I knew this would be the perfect wall to add something to.

This is what we did:

There are a few ways we tried to paint this huge wall mural.  The first technique we tried was to use a projector to project the image on the wall.  We wanted to make sure this idea would work, so we just started with the area to the right of the window.  We were afraid of not getting straight lines, so my husband had the great idea of using painters tape.

First we overlapped the tape and covered the area where we wanted the image.  We projected the image onto the wall, then traced the outline with a sharpie.  Finally we used an X-Acto knife to cut out the space that we wanted to paint.  We used left over white paint that we already had on hand.  Here comes the problem with technique number one.  When we pulled the tape off, the paint had run.  We were able to fix it after wards using a white paint pen.


For the rest of the tree, we tried out a second technique.  We did the same thing using the tape, sharpie, and X-Acto knife, the only difference was we used white spray paint.  We were afraid it wouldn’t match the first part we had done, but since they aren’t actually touching you can’t tell at all.  The other change was that my husband drew the rest of the tree freehand, because we had to take the projector back.  I actually like his freehand work better than the original.

The final step was to add cute little blue birds.  Yet again using the same technique, my husband drew some birds that we painted the same color blue as my refinished dresser.  I absolutely love how it turned out.  I also love that it was hand drawn by my adorable husband, he truly is amazing.

Thanks Whipup for giving me the chance to share!

{ 0 comments }

Stefanie Fail makes her jewelry and crafts in Brooklyn. When she’s not playing dress-up in her creations, she’s working on her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and making the world more user-friendly. Read her blog and find her creations at A common thread.

This is a tutorial for a pom pom garland, great for adding a little DIY decor for a party, kid’s room, or just to add a bit of color around the house. This is a great project for kids or adults, and an excellent way of using up those bits of leftover yarn. I really love a mix of different colors and yarn types — fuzzy, plain, fat, skinny, metallic and bright.

Materials:

  • Scraps and leftover balls of yarn.
  • Scissors
  • Cotton thread yarn (or string or baker’s twine)
  • 2″ x 3″ piece of cardboard (or any length you’d like. The length = the diameter of your pom pom; width doesn’t matter)
  • Yarn needle

1. Fold your cardboard in half and wrap your yarn lengthwise. You’ll want to wrap it until it’s nice a think. The number of wraps depends on the thickness of your yarn but about 100-200 wraps should do it. Cut your yarn.

2. Cut about a 6″ piece of yarn and thread it through the middle of the cardboard. You can use your yarn needle to make this a bit easier. Bring the piece of yarn up to where the slit in the cardboard is and tie a tight knot around the bundle of yarn.

3. On the opposite end of your knot, cut through the bundle of yarn.

4. Fluff and trim your little puff. And repeat for each of your pom poms. I like when the pom poms are a bit different, so experiment with different cardboard sizes to get different sized pom poms.

6. Thread your yarn needle with the cotton thread, and string it through each of your pom poms.

Hang your garland and enjoy!

{ 2 comments }

Jennifer Perkins is a compulsive crafter, wife and mother living in Austin, TX. You can read more of her crafty escapades on her blog Naughty Secretary Club.

I think each time I go to a flea market my husband sits at home and dreads what I will be bringing home. There was the giant 4 foot tall panda head, the dining room chairs on wheels and once there was a grocery cart. When my husband and his green thumb heard my master plan for the shopping cart all was well on the home front.

SUPPLIES

  • Old Grocery Cart
  • Scissors
  • Potting Soil
  • Herbs
  • Coconut Husk Liners

  1. The first thing to do is cut your husk liners to fit in the baskets of your cart. Dirt will fall right through those small cracks so you have to line it.
  2. After the cart is lined fill with potting soil.
  3. All that is left to do is plant your favorite herbs. Be sure to water your cart frequently as it is like a big hanging basket and will dry out easily.
  4. Harvest your herbs to your hearts content. The nice thing about your herb garden on wheels is you can easily transport it around to catch the best sun and have the easiest access.

{ 1 comment }

Nicole Mallalieu is a designer-patternmaker and a rather obsessed crafty type. She designs sewing patterns and her business specialises in the patterns and supplies to make purses, handbags and hats. Nicole is dedicated to teaching people to become better and more confident with their sewing skills, while they make fun, fashionable things they’ll want to wear and use. Her book You Sew, Girl! (ABC Books/HarperCollins) is dedicated to the same cause.

Quite a few new babies have arrived in my circle of friends and family in the last month or so, and I’ve been trying to think of gifts that are not my usual hats and bibs. I think my friends and family have seen enough bibs and hats from me. So…. it’s time to expand the repertoire a bit ….although I struggle to get away from using a bias tape maker, quilt basting spray and a tailors awl, it seems. (I find them to be my most-used baby-gift-making tools).

Casting my mind back to the early months of motherhood, I remembered all the weird and wonderful places I was caught without a place to change baby’s nappy (diaper). It’s always good to have a ready-made soft surface to lay baby on, and even better if it can carry spare nappies and wipes, and be machine washable, to boot. I wish I’d been organised enough at the time, to have made something like this for myself!

I made this one using a quilting fabric (Candy Shop by Michael Miller fabrics) and some chenille fabric, simply because they toned in nicely together. You could equally use a towel instead of chenille and/or oilcloth instead of the quilting fabric. You could also carefully measure the pocket divisions to fit specific sized objects (like lotion, a box of wipes, a folded cloth nappy or change-mat liner etc).

I plan to give this one to a new family member, complete with the basic ‘kit’ for a few nappy-changes… with possibly a bib… and a hat.

Download the detailed 4 page PDF with instructions right here.

 

{ 11 comments }