Friday, April 27, 2012

Eight Amazing DIY Potting Benches

As summer approaches and we are spending more and more time on the back porch, I keep thinking how one corner of that porch would be so much nicer with a potting bench--not to mention I'd have a place to put my gardening junk tools.  Check out these amazing benches created by some equally amazing bloggers--hopefully I'll be adding my own photo soon!

Robin at ROBINS NESTING PLACE made this DIY Potting Bench 
From Rummage Sale Junk.  No, I'm not kidding.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Leibster Award !

We are really honored to be chosen to receive a Liebster Award!

If you have not heard of it,  Liebster is German for ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’-- but it can also mean ‘favorite.’ The Liebster award was created to give some attention to blogs with less than 200 followers (that's definitely us!).

Adrienne from Free Time Frolics is the kind blogger who made this possible by nominating me for this award.  You should check out her blog--it's full of fun sewing and crafting tips and projects.  This week she's hosting a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Mommy Board Book: Photoshop Tutorial

We have a beautiful little girl staying with us until her mother returns from deployment (you might have seen here in my post about printed fabric pillow dolls).  I decided to make a board book for the baby (she is still a baby, relatively speaking) with photos of her mother.  

Here is the first stage:  Creating the Pages in Photoshop
(Note:  this can also be seen at where I blog about Photoshop.)
Recycled crafts:  boardbook diy Photoshop image showing original boardbook

First I found a board book at the thrift store that had seen better days.  This one,
in fact, was destined for the trash bin at the end of the week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

7 Great Photo Board Books

I'd really like to make a photo board book for a special girl (you might have seen here in my post about printed fabric pillow dolls) whose mother is deployed to the Middle East.  I love using Mixbooks, and I've made several photo books through them (their scrapbooking software is very user friendly, and they have wonderful designers who are constantly coming up with new designs) so I naturally looked there first.

Collage of Photo board books from Memory Mixer
Personalized Board Books

Beautiful, right?  However, although they look awesome, the price tag is a little too 
steep for my budget right now.  So I set out looking for alternatives.  Below are some of the creative Board Books I came across in my search.

But first, I did come across this blank board book from Amazon.  I was tempted to buy it, because I couldn't bear the thought of destroying a book, but a quick trip to the thrift store uncovered a 
few that were headed to the trash bin.

So on with the inspiration... 
Recycled crafts:  ABC upcycled altered board book made with Modge Podge for kid's crafts and reading
ABC homemade board book
 Audrey from Audrey Pettit's Weblog created a 
nursery rhyme/ABC board book from a recycled kid’s meal toy.

Recycled crafts:  Upcycled altered board book about baby madle with Modge Podge and scrapbook papers
Homemade board book for baby
Katie created this board book to celebrate her child.  
You can see it over at Katies Nesting Spot
Recycled crafts:  upcycled altered word board book made with Modge Podge for child's first words
Homemade "first words" board book
I love this board book from Chef Messy that is making its rounds on Pinterest. 

Recycled crafts:  Upcycled altered board book of colors for child's first reading
Homemade board book of colors
Here's a cute altered board book I saw at Modge Podge Rocks.  (Love that site!)
Recycled crafts:  Upcycled altered board book of family
Family memories homemade board book

This one over at is really listed as an altered board book.  
Different name, same concept.  Same adorable-ness!

Recycled crafts:  Upcycled altered board book with father's face pasted on background
Homemade board book about Dad
Don't you just love this board book idea from  Dad's face is pasted on top of different "environments" cut out of magazines.

Recycled crafts:  upcycled altered baby board book with baby's first days
Baby's birth recorded in a homemade board book
Another homemade board book celebrating a child!  Oscar will love having this book read to him!  
You can see it, as well as one titled "Oscar's Black and White Book," over at Homemade By Jill.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Retro-fitted Suitcase

Pin It  A few weeks ago I blogged about my secret love for vintage suitcases, and posted a photo of a suitcase I had recently acquired.

Recycled crafts:  suitcase ready to be repurposed

Since then I have been working hard to turn that hot pink baby into a portable "Beading Station" for my jewelry making.  I hesitate to actually call it "making," since my main contributions to this hobby have only been "making repairs" and especially "making purchases."  But soon that will no longer be the case!  (Get it?  Case?  Hyuck hyuck.  :)

Here's a quick look at the finished product:

Recycled crafts:  finished repurposed suitcase
Pin It Retro Suitcase Beading Station
Before I start, you have to take a look at what I was dealing with:
Recycled crafts:  what will go into the repurposed suitcase
A huge pile of jewelry making stuff--boxes upon boxes!
And here is how the transformation went:
Recycled crafts:  beginning the repurposed suitcase
In the pictures it doesn't look too bad, in real life it was tattered and torn.  This all had to come out.
(FYI, check back in a few days to see what I did with the elasticized pocket!)

Recycled crafts:  the Skil Cutter used on the repurposed suitcase
My handy Skil Cutter--love this thing!  
It cut through the thick cardboard flap as well as the cardboard 
covered trim around all the edges.  

Recycled crafts:  removing lining from the repurposed suitcase
After the flap and edging, the fabric was easy to rip out.  (I should have used a mask to keep from breathing in the completely disgusting buildup of dust and who-knows-what-else that had accumulated underneath...)

Recycled crafts:  cleaning the repurposed suitcase
Then came the cleaning and scraping, lots of cleaning and scraping.

Recycled crafts:  industrial glue, tile and paper used in the repurposed suitcase
Next came a tube of industrial strength glue, a bunch of old parquet tile leftover from a project, and a bunch of business letterhead paper wasting space in my paper box.

Recycled crafts:  gluing in the magnet strip for the repurposed suitcase
I used some more glue on the back of a magnet strip I had bought from Ikea.   (fyi, this is actually supposed to be a knife rack for the kitchen.  I do use one in the kitchen... and three in my studio.)

Recycled crafts:  magnet strip and tile in the repurposed suitcase

Problem was:
Too brown, too blah, too yuck!
I agonized over it a couple of days, and then I knew I had to make a decision:    
Should I keep going, or should I rethink this project?
I really hated it.  It was so UNINSPIRING!

Recycled crafts:  magazines used to modge podge the repurposed suitcase
So I broke out some old beading magazines and started cutting and pasting again.

Recycled crafts:  almost finished with the repurposed suitcase
Pin It And just like that (actually it was a couple more hours of work) 
I went from hating it to loving it!
Now I was ready to finish the project:
Recycled crafts:  creating the table supports for the repurposed suitcase
I inserted two nuts and bolts to hold up a removable
work "table" that would span the depth of the case, 
wrapped the ends in plumbers tape to prevent scratches.
Recycled crafts:  brackets for the table for the repurposed suitcase
One of the brackets that had held up the cardboard flap I left in place. 
It would hold up the other side of the table.
Recycled crafts:  worktable for the repurposed suitcase
I also papered the table (a piece of thin plywood) with more magazine pictures.    
Recycled crafts:  clear tubes and velcro for the repurposed suitcase
Tubes attached with Velcro will hold beads.

Recycled crafts:  organizers for the repurposed suitcase
Heavy duty Velcro holds two plastic organizers in place.

More Velcro holds a round metal plate (which is actually the top of a cookie tin)
that can be left in place as a magnet board or be removed to use during projects.  

The magnet bar holds metal containers for storing larger beads and charms
as well as tools being used during projects.  

Boxes in the bottom have clear tops for easy identification.
Recycled crafts:  finished repurposed suitcase
And here she is with the worktable in place.  This is going to be so awesome to use!

Recycled crafts:  before and after repurposed suitcase
Pin It Before and After

Well, what do you think?  Was it worth the time and effort?
After a few projects, I'll let you know.  ;)

Until next time,
Go get crafty, Sister!
~Sister #2

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Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy
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