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What other people may see as junk is just a possibility for me. It’s a sickness really, one that I know I share with others of you out there. Left unchecked it will consume my house with endless projects. I’m on a mission lately to finish one project at a time and I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the cries for salvation that I hear from Craigslist or the curbside. This industrial chandelier is my latest finished project. I thought I’d share. Maybe it will help to spark an idea for someone else out there. If it does I’d love to hear about it!
The capiz shells came from a screen to hang in a door frame (think of the 70′s and beads and maybe Greg Brady and you know what I mean). I came across the discarded Capiz screen first, at Scrap, a place in San Francisco that accepts items to be reused mainly by artists. Then I found the metal frame, a salvaged piece from a 100 year-old house. It was the inner structure to a large and, I am assuming, very heavy ceiling light. I tied all the capiz shells to the frame with fishing wire.
I like the way the industrial metal and the delicate capiz contrast.
Pretty good for “junk” huh?
Finished Project/Inspiration via Apartment Therapy
When I came across this vertical shoe storage solution by stylist Sidsel Zachariassen in Apartment Therapy, I knew the neat vertical rows were going to be the only solution for the tight entryway I’m working on. While I liked the idea of purchasing a collector’s shelf for the job, I needed an exact width and I really preferred her cleaner version. So, I spent a little time in the aisles of Home Depot dreaming up my own creation. At about $12 a shelf for all of the materials, it was a steal (Pottery Barn Collector’s Shelf, $54). And, it really was incredibly easy to put together… I didn’t even pull out the electric screw driver. The hardest part for me was waiting for the paint to dry so that I could hang it. Make sure to pre-cut all your molding pieces to the desired width of the shelf (remembering to add the width of the baseboard ends to the final width) before you leave the Home Depot.
- 1 piece 1-1/2″ molding, cut to desired length
- 1 piece 4-1/2″ molding where the width tapers, cut to desired length
- 2 rectangular baseboard molding pieces
- 1/8″ screws
- 1″ L brackets
- 2″ x 1/2″ mending braces
- 2 keyhole fasteners
- wood glue (optional)
1. Screw 2 mending brackets on each end of 4-1/2″ molding to the bottom of the baseboard pieces. Use wood glue first and let dry to hold the pieces in place, if you have the patience for this extra step.
- 3. Attach each opposite corner of the L bracket to the inside of baseboard piece at the height you desire to hold the shoes vertically and so that the front of the 1-1/2″ molding piece is flush with the front of the baseboard piece. I attached my molding piece about 1-1/2″ from the top of the baseboard piece.
- 4. Attach the keyhole fasteners to the back of the baseboard pieces on both sides.
- 5. Paint your creation and viola your ready to hang!
Here’s a fun little holiday project and a brilliant reuse idea to boot. Give your old books new life by making one of these elegant wreaths. Hmm… if I can just get my James to part with some of the books stowed away in the back of our closet…
With an adult in charge of the glue gun, it could also be a great craft to do with some little ones who could help roll the paper. I first came across the how-to for this project at Living with Lindsay so click here for her great instructions. She even has a video. There are lots of variations, so I’ve included a few for inspiration.
I’ve also seen some great versions using used wrapping paper. Old fabric samples might work too. If you have a wreath idea or project made from upcycling something else, I would love to hear about it!
Here is my little Do-it-yourself holiday gift idea for 2010… herb infused vinegar and flavored oil. A perfect holiday gift to bring to all the end of the month holiday gatherings with friends and the best part is they are pretty easy to make. And of course anything food related rates high with me. Also, it’s great to be able to give the herbs that you grew all summer to friends and family.
These instructions are just for flavored vinegar. The vinegar should be refrigerated after it is made and it has the best flavor when used within 3 to 4 months. For the olive oil I choose to by flavored oil from We Olive. You can make a flavored oil too, but they are only good for 3 weeks. We Olive has many flavors to choose from, all from California, and the best part… you get to sample them all. Try the Blood Orange, it’s so yummy!
- 2 Small Bottles
- twine or ribbon
- gift tags
- stamp (optional)
- Fluid Chalk Ink Pad (optional)
- printable label sheets (optional)
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 1 teaspoon of peppercorns
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 quart of your choice of vinegar: cider, white distilled, rice wine, white wine, or red wine
Step 1: Place the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a 2 quart ceramic or glass bowl.
Step 2: Bring the vinegar to a boil. Pour the vinegar over the herbal mixture in the bowl. Cover and let the mixture stand for two days.
Step3: Strain the mixture and decant into a sterilized bottle. Add one to three sprigs of the herbs of your choice. Seal the bottle with a cork or lid. Let stand for two more weeks before using.
When I got these cute little bottles into my shop, my first idea was to use them as wedding favors/seating cards at J and my, date-as-yet-undisclosed, big day. Wouldn’t they make great little favors for a rustic wedding?
Image source left to right: South of Market, Domino Magazine
I love the character wallpaper adds to a room, especially when it is used in little doses. I am always lusting after it. But alas living in a rented space makes it a pretty intimidating prospect given the work it would take to remove it. That is why I was so excited to find that it is possible to use fabric and a little starch to create a removable version that does no harm to the wall or the fabric.
What a great way to highlight a little nook between some built-in bookshelves like above. The Little Green Notebook has step-by-step instructions for how to turn fabric into wallpaper (scroll down a bit in the post). You can also see a great use of fabric as wallpaper on the interior of kitchen cabinets. Which brings up a good point. You probably want to do this in an area that stays pretty clean… probably not ideal for kid’s rooms.
Stay tuned for a post on sustainable papers and removable wallpapers that even work in the bathrooms.
So this is a great way to bring new life to some tired accessories or to create beautiful objects from some glass bottles hanging out in your recycling. There are two ways to do this: paint inside or paint outside. If you are working with clear glass bottles a neat effect which adds depth is to take some paint and swirl it around to cover the interior. This method, pictured below, is borrowed from one of my favorite blogs Bodie and Fou
If you have colored accessories that you would like to make over, obviously you will have to paint the exterior. This gives a nice matte finish. You just need to use a primer first.
- primer (Make sure it bonds to glass. I already had the Glidden, but try a low or no VOC version.)
- no or low VOC spray paint in desired color
- paint brush if your primer is not spray
Here’s a picture of my finished vases mixed in with some other turquoise blue vases that I love. I have also included some images done by photographer Bonnie Tsang also via Bodie and Fou. If you would like to learn more about the turquoise vases, visit my site at Forma Living.
As we all know the best way to live sustainably is to resist the temptation to make a purchase every time we want to refresh the nest. That said, with a little creativity and a few supplies, I am a firm believer that we can make what we have, into something that we love. This idea for making a fabric cover for an existing lamp shade does just that. It comes from Lisa Konjicek-Segundo of Olive Juice Designs, a fabulous designer and a good friend here in the SF bay area. She created the super funky lamp shade pictured below for a client’s bedroom using Ikea fabric. I was so excited by the idea that I had to make my own (above) and thought I’d share the How To. In fact, I may have to make a couple using eco-friendly fabrics for my bedside lamp so that I can change them out in different seasons. See detailed instructions below.
- drum shade (a conical shade will require a lot more patience and a lot more velcro!)
- 1 yd. of fabric (maybe more if you are doing a very large shade)
- iron on velcro for fabric
- permanent fabric glue
- bias tape
- sponge head tool (optional)
- sewing machine
- measure the height and around your lamp shade with a tape measure.
- add 2″ to the height (for 1″ hem at top and bottom) and 7″ to the width (2″ for 1″ hem on both sides, plus 5″ where fabric will overlap and attach with velcro) and cut fabric to measurements.
- with fabric print side down, fold 1/2″ border on all sides of the fabric and iron the folds ( i use pins to keep the folds in place) then fold over 1/2″ once more on all sides and iron the creases.
- sew all the sides
- measure and cut 2 pieces of bias tape to the width of the sewn fabric. then place the fold of the bias tape over the top edge of the fabric. glue the bias tape both on the printed side and unprinted side of the fabric using fabric glue and the sponge tool to spread the glue evenly. repeat for the bottom edge of the shade cover. let the glue dry for 24 hours.
- this is the tricky part. wrap the fabric around the lamp shade and pin together. you will be attaching a 2″ piece of velcro horizontally at the top of the shade cover and at the bottom, so you need to mark with pins where the velcro will go both on the overlapping fabric and the fabric underneath
- remove the shade cover. at the top of the shade cover use the velcro’s adhesive to stick a 2″ strip of hook velcro on the back side (non print side) of the overlapping fabric and a corresponding 2″ of the loop velcro on the print side of the fabric underneath. make sure to place the strips inside the hem and the bias tape to ensure that the fabric will lay as flat as possible. repeat this step at the bottom of the shade cover. iron the velcro and viola!
For more inspiration: www.formaliving.com