This isn't a how-to as much as a show-and-tell. I was trying my hand at recycling old t-shirts into scarves, and this was my first design. I simply cut the t-shirt into two long strips, connected the ends and ran the edges through the Serger to get the lettuce edge ruffle (the same effect can be had by using a tight zig-zag on a regular machine). Since it's t-shirt material, you simply stretch it to get it over your head the second time.
I've been stuck on succulents lately, since they're so easy to grow that even my black thumb can't kill them (at least most of them, that is). So I wanted to make a few planters to bring some of them inside. I have an abundance of leftover tile from previous projects, so I decided to see if I could make good use of it.
Here are the supplies I used: premixed grout (love this stuff!), scrap wood, scissors, and of course, tile. This tile won't really match my decor, but I have so much of this color (and it was only .05 each at the Habitat store) that if I totally screwed up, I wouldn't feel bad about tossing it. And if it did work, I could always find another use for it.
First, I edged the tile with some of the grout.
Then applied one of the pieces of scrap wood. The size of the scrap doesn't really matter, as long as it is wide enough to attach to two sides of the planter.
Here is a side view. As you can see, I didn't use a huge amount of grout, but since the tile will be standing up, I needed to use a bit more than I would if the tile were to be laying flat.
Next I used the grout to attach another scrap.
Then I did the same with another tile and allowed them to dry overnight.
Next I took a third tile and applied the grout to two sides.
I stood that tile next to one of the tiles with scrap and pressed them together.
Then did the same with the second prepared tile.
I applied grout to the fourth tile the same as the third and attached it to complete the box.
Although the box could now stand on its own, the sides were not completely grouted, but I'll get to that in a bit.
Next I created the bottom of the box. I applied grout to four corners,
and placed it on "top," (which, of course, will later be the bottom). After pressing the edges together I ran my finger along the seam to smooth it out. All the edges now, though, will need an additional layer of grout to smooth and seal the edges.
For this application, I took just a small bit of grout
and applied it to the seam.
Then ran my finger over it to smooth it out.
Here is the planter after all the edges have been completely grouted and smoothed. I also wiped away the excess grout that had found its way to the surface of the tile (bad grout!). FYI, if you ever have dried grout on your tile, use a Popsicle stick to scrape it off--no scratches.
And here it is with a fake Ikea pretty plant. Now that I know it can be done, I feel more confident about using some of my more expensive tile that will actually match my decor, lol.
I was co-hosting a baby shower recently and needed a small container to hold the game prizes. I wanted something that the new mother might be able to use later, so I looked around my junk room studio and spied a leftover basket from last Easter. This is why it's so hard to throw/gift things away--they can always be upcycled into something else!
This was a simple upcycle. The handle was just glued in, so after a little wiggling it pulled right out.
Next came a coat of baby blue paint.
And finally, some beads to finish it off. I threaded the beads onto some string, then pulled the string through to the inside and tied it off.
For a fast project (completed the night before the shower, lol) I think it turned out super cute.
Here's the deal: You're at a rockin' party, dressed to the nines, jammin' with the music, a drink in one hand and fist bumpin' your favorite peeps with the other. You're halfway through the room when you spy the buffet table, piled so high with delish free food that you're going to need both hands to hold your plate. Here in lies the problem--what to do with your drink. Set it down on the food table where someone's peeled shrimp might take an unexpected dive? Carefully sandwich it under your arm and hope none of the margarita salt rubs off on your Armani silk shirt? Or leave it on the carefully polished coffee table and chance the wrath of your host by leaving a tell-tale ring?
No worries, my friend, because mankind long ago came up with the answer. No, it's not the beer drinker's helmet or the 6-pack holster--I'm talking about that age-old denotation of ultimate sophistication: the coaster.
And today I'm going to show you how to make that coaster the envy of all those purveyors of sophistication, by personalizing it with your own photos. And we're not just going to cut them out and slap them on with a little white school glue--we're going to use heat transfer.
We've all seen tile coasters, either decorated or painted or decoupaged with photos. Maybe you even created some last year for Christmas as a kid. I really thought I'd exhausted the different ways to decorate the common bathroom tile, but when I read about transferring photos to tile using iron on's, I couldn't wait to try it!
What you'll need:
4" x 4" Tile: This works easier with unglazed tile, but colors are brighter with glazed. (I sanded the glazed tiles before transferring the photo.)
Photo transfer paper
Cork or felt tabs
1. Print your photo on the photo transfer paper, following the manufacturer's directions. Cut around your image leaving a 1/2" border. Tape it upside down to the edge of the tile. This will help to keep the photo from slipping.
2. Preheat the iron using the highest setting (don't use steam!) and fold the photo back away from the tile.
3. Heat the tile: working on a protected surface, and using gloves to protect your hands from the hot tile, place your iron onto your tile for 1 minute.
4. Carefully flip the photo over onto the tile. Since the transfer paper smears easily when hot, you need to tack the transfer first by lightly gliding the tip of the iron across the back two or three times.
5. Iron it down: Using firm pressure, (and being careful not to move the transfer) iron the paper to the tile. Go back and forth, pressing firmly around all the image. Make sure to do the edges really well, because that's the area that seems to have the hardest time with the transfer. When you are finished, set the timer for one minute and do some deep breathing or something. You don't want to take the paper off too soon, but you also don't want to leave it on too long or the paper will get stuck to the tile. (If that happens, heat the paper again and you should be able to get it off.)
You can see that the edges do not come off sharp and crisp, and the image has sort of an aged look to it, but I think that only enhances the end result.
6. Wait till the tile completely cools (at least 10 to 15 minutes), then seal the tile using 2 to 3 coats of sealer.
7. Attach cork or felt to the bottom.
I just love the look of this! I can see a whole row of tiles lined up across a backsplash or several grouped together in a frame. I'm planning on making a tile planter for a friend, and I'm definitely going to incorporate this technique.
If you like this project idea, you would love the book that I got the idea from. There are 50 projects, and they're not your regular run-of-the-mill projects either! Just a few I plan to try: mirror frame, plexiglass accordion frame, rice paper screen and even a shower curtain! I don't usually purchase real hold-in-your-hands books for diy stuff any more, (that's why we have the internet, right?) but in this case I'm glad I broke down and got it.
A couple of months ago I blogged about a suitcase I retro-fitted to be a beading station. Here's an update on what I did with the leftover silky fabric "pocket." It became a super-cute pink and white polka dot skirt and bow for a super-cute grandchild! Sorry I don't have a step-by-step, but all I did to the skirt was add lace and sew a side seam (since it already had elastic at the top, I just wrapped it around her waist to get the measurement). For the bow, I turned the edges inside, folded it to make to loops, tied a cord around the middle and glued it to a hairpin.