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Do you know those stories about people who find bottles drifting away at the sea with an old letter within? I have always wanted to find one, hoping that I would be the one saving somebody stranded on a lost island far far away. Unfortunately, the most interesting thing I have ever found on a shore was a green shell with a piece of plastic wrapped all over it…

Well, boats are pretty interesting even if you don’t have plans to sail for saving a modern Robinson Crusoe. Since buying a boat or even building one is an expensive project, I choose to play small and build small. So I came up with this idea to craft a decorative boat on a budget. Actually, with no budget, because I did it without spending a dime.

Here’s how to craft this DIY project!

What You Need

If you have an yard and trees, then you already have the basic material – tree branches. Grab two of them – a thick one for the hull, and a thin one for the mast, in similar length – 8 to 9-in. Also get a triangular piece of cloth for the mainsail, a piece of wire (20-ga to 30-ga and 5-in long would be enough), two 3-in pieces of ribbon for the flags.

As for the tools, you need a short knife, a drilling machine with a 1-in drill bit for wood, some glue, a stapler, scissors, and a lighter. Some sanding paper might be useful too.

My hull was an apple tree branch that that I got after trimming the trees in the spring. Can you see those unique marks that look like the piece of wood has drifted away for thousand miles and was bit by the sharks? The wood was bit for sure, but there was no shark around, but only my playful dwarf rabbit called Puffy.

If you don’t have a rabbit to crunch your wood (and you probably don’t), use a screwdriver or a hammer and nail to scratch the branch and make it look old.

How to Build the Mini-boat

I choose to peel the mast to make it look like the hull, but it’s not mandatory to do so.

But you still have to take the following steps. Bend the ribbon in half on its length and make a cut on 45 degrees on each piece to craft the flags. Now it may sound weird, but here’s an old trick that my grandma taught me to prevent the ribbon from tearing apart. Light the lighter and smoothly get the fabric as close to the flame as possible to make the edges melt. Don’t get any closer, and approach should be bit by bit, because you don’t want to edges to become firm, but only to make the fibers stick. You actually use the flame as a tool to melt the edges and make them look neat.

Before starting to build the boat, you need to be sure that the hull will stay firm and won’t roll over when the boat is finished. If the branch is too round, then use the sanding paper to create a plane area on a side. That would be the bottom of your boat.

Use the drilling machine to make a hole in the upper side of the hull, right in the middle of the branch. Pour a pinch of glue, then insert the stick, in order to assemble the mast. Let them dry.

Now let’s fix the mainsail. You will need the stapler to fix the fabric on the main branch, aka the hull of the boat.

Now you will use the wire to make the upper part of the mainsail stick to the mast: bend it tight over the fabric, so it would not slip down. Right above the bended wire, you install the two flags. Pour a bit of glue on the raw end of the ribbon and roll it around the mast, to make the flag stay in line with the mainsail. Repeat the operation with the next flag, to get what you see below:

Well, your boat is ready. If you followed the same steps as I did, it should look pretty much like this:

Now let’s take a look closer. Can you feel the breeze? Can you smell the shells?


This was a surprising project for me. It started from the piece of orange wood that you saw upper in the article, and turned into a colorful picture about crystal clear water, golden sand and happy days on a quiet beach. This color pallet pleased me so much that all my plans about redecorating with beige, olive green and red started to melt. I might turn to turquoise instead…

I don’t know about you, but with a boat like this, I would go sailing with no Robinson Crusoe to save.

This is a boat that I crafted from scraps, with no plan in mind. but you can definitely do much more than that, and use one of the 16.000 woodworking project that cover anything you have in mind. Click the banner below to grab this offer now!

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I loved so much the idea of turning wine corks into knobs that I could not stop looking for other ways of home improvement using these small pieces of wood.

And pretty soon I realized that wine corks and glass pan lids would make a good pair. Here’s why!

Most of the glass pan lids have a holder that usually gets broken in time, because it’s made of plastic or bakelite, which doesn’t seem to resist on long term at high temperatures.

It happened to me too. The shiny polished holder broke to pieces while the glass was clear as new.

I didn’t buy another holder for that lid even if I could, and I thought to make a change and use a furniture knob instead. Poor choice, since I had only one knob at the moment in my stash, and it was a metallic one. You can imagine the burns on my fingers, can’t you?

Now it’s time to fix it up! I gave up the metallic knob and used a wine cork instead, and then I fell in love with the result!

What You Need for the Project
  • Pan lid (glass pan lids are prone to have this issue with the holder)
  • Reclaimed wine cork
  • Wood screw 3/4 of the cork long
  • Washer in the same size as the screw
  • Varnish (to protect the cork from getting wet while cooking)
  • Screwdriver

Optional, you might want to decorate your knobs like I did, so get some sharp thin markers to draw on the wine corks before applying the varnish coat. CLICK HERE to see how I decorated wine corks, and to get the inspiration for your own design.

Read more about small design:  DRAWING ON STONES FROM GREECE How to Do It

Whatever you choose about design, you still need to protect your knob from steam and humidity, so apply a good coat of varnish all over it, then let it dry.

In the meantime, unscrew the old holder from the lid and clean the surface that has been covered by it. Place the washer on the inner side of the lid, then screw the wood screw through the hole, to the other side.

Turn the cork upside down, and mark the center of it. Place the wood screw (with the lid attached) in the center and gently screw it until it stops drilling through the knob. Don’t push it too hard, or you might break it!

This is it!

But wait, here comes more about it! The following one has been painted by my kid, which means that this project is so affordable and easy that even a child could make it work.

Somebody asked me if this type of pan lid can be washed in the dishwasher. Probably not and I won’t do it, because it’s the same thing as dish-washing wood spoons or other wooden items from the kitchen. But I won’t mind washing it by hand, since it looks so lovely! And it’s not like I would have to was by hand everything in my kitchen in the end…

There’s a box full of wine corks waiting for the next project. I’m still counting them, and wondering if I should plan a party to get more corks, or stay with a smaller project.

What do you think I should do with them?

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First I wanted to get rid of them, but then one idea came into my mind. What if I give these pieces of old wood a second chance and turn them into something useful on long term? Like a log holder.

So I saved them from burning, and built the cheapest and easiest DIY log holder one can have. I did not cut, I did not glue. Just a few nails and a cup of paint, and here’s my lovely DIY log holder!

What You Need for This Project
  • 2 square wood poles 4ft 9 inches long  (reclaimed wood)
  • 2 square wood poles 3ft 11inches long  (reclaimed wood)
  • Wooden board 2ft long x 1ft 2in wide x 0.8 in thick  (reclaimed wood)
  • 2 wood boards 2 ft long  (reclaimed wood)
  • 2 wood boards 1 ft 2 inches long  (reclaimed wood)
  • 25 to 30 nails or wood screws 2 inches long
  • Hammer / screw driver / drill hammer
  • A cup of paint (9 oz. but it depends on the type of the paint)
  • A brush for painting
How to Build the Log Holder

I used 4 wood poles and a wooden board (2ft x 1ft 2in) to build a sort of table. Fix them on each corner as you see in the picture below, using the hammer and two or three nails for each corner. The nails I used were 2 inches long, and the wooden board was 0.8 inches thick.

Two of the poles were shorter (3ft 11in), while two others were longer (4ft 9 in), but this difference was useful later in the project.

I turned the so-called table upside down, then I used two boards (2 ft long each) to fix the poles on each side of the log holder. I did the same with the two rear poles, fixing them with a separate board, and two nails for each corner, too.

Be careful when hammering the nails into the wood, as the wood could easily split if you’re hitting too hard. That’s why I recommend using the wood screws instead, for fixing them better.

Since I had two long wooden board for the rear part, I used the second one to build a shelf between the two longer poles.

Sand the wooden holder and clean it with a piece of cloth before painting it. I needed a cup of paint to cover and protect the log holder. I love the sight of reclaimed wood, but it really needed protections since it’s going to stay outside.

When the paint dried, I moved the log holder into one corner of my backyard, and filled it with small cut branches and logs.

This is how it looks now! I am very proud of building it considering that fact that I did it all by myself in less than three hours (including the time needed for the paint to dry.)

Visit my blog to see more DIY projects and find out more about building things out of the reclaimed materials found around the house!

If you loved this project, then you also might like THE SIMPLEST ORGANIZER BUILT FOR FREE. Or, if you are a wood lover, you could learn HOW TO DIY AN AIRPLANE FLOATING SHELF FOR YOUR KID. Or maybe you have a friend that might use these ideas, so share this article with him!

Either way, I’d be happy to know what you think, leaving a comment below!

This project has been featured on Hometalk.

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I’ve had one of those “Ahhh… how did I miss it?” moments when I realized the potential of this project. I was standing out on the porch, at my parents-in-law, watching my husband choosing wood scraps for a barbeque. Two of the wood pieces were standing right on the edge of the box, and their profile imagined a skyline, as if an old village was sinking in the pile of wood. It was so obvious that I just couldn’t understand how did I miss that recycling resource from my DIY plans.

I grabbed the two wood pieces, and dug into the pile till I found another two. They were around 10-in high, like half-cube cut on diagonal, with sharp edges. Perfect for a roof. Perfect for an uncommon house. Perfect for a DIY block house.

Here’s how to do it!   

 What You Need

If you want to make your own block houses, you need pieces of wood that might look like houses, even if they wouldn’t be just regular houses. Let your imagination play, and imagine houses in different shapes and sizes, depending on what you have on hand. 

Here’s what I got from the wood pile:  Next, you need sand paper to smooth the surfaces, rubbing alcohol and a cloth cu clean them after sanding. In the end, you will use acrylic paint or chalk paint to color the wood scraps and turn them into beautiful houses. For accents, a thin black or grey marker would be needed too.

How to Do It 1. Sanding

Start by sanding the wood pieces in order to make the surfaces and the edges smoother, but also to prepare them for painting. Clean them with the cloth dumped into rubbing alcohol, to get rid of the dust and dirt left after sanding. You can see now how beautiful de wood fiber is…which means that the paint will penetrate the wood scraps and cover them in color easily.

2. Painting

There are two ways to color them: you can paint in one light color as a base or primer first (use chalk paint at this stage), then use your final color, or you just can skip this step and go further with the desired colors (acrylic or chalk). I tried both ways, and there aren’t big differences in the results, but only in the length of the process.

So, I chose two colors for each block, one of them being white for the walls, while the roofing was blue, grey or black. 

3. Adding Details

When the paint dried out, I was able to draw small windows, using orange, yellow or gold acrylic paint, and red and blue doors. You can even draw the windows and the doors using only ink pens, if you like, for a lighter design of your block houses. You can also play with shapes when comes to windows and doors, and use different decorative elements to picture old houses from different parts of the world.  Then I contoured the small windows with black ink, so they would look neat and finished.

 

Choosing colors was not an easy job, and I even mixed them up, drawing grey doors with the house with green windows, but it was fine, in the end.

Talking about the end, your block houses could use a coat of transparent vernis to protect the colors from moisture and UV lights.  

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Repurposing Wooden Toys

When the block houses made from wood scraps what finished, I realized that I needed to keep up the creative fever so I found a smaller canvas when looking in my kid’s toy box. Some old wooden cubes were perfect for drawing new, smaller houses. All you need for doing the same is shown below, except the vernis you really need at the end, to prevent the ink from washing off or fading away.

First, you need to know that nature wooden cubes are much better for this project than the painted one, because the paint easily penetrates the fiber and won’t be wiped out by mistake. Here comes a downside with this quality, meaning that the ink pen has to be really thin or the line will look bulky and inappropriate for this design. Clean them with rubbing alcohol, let them dry, then start working on your project.

So, color the wooden block but leave some areas uncovered for the next step.

Those area will be turned into doors windows, and you will contour them with black ink.

Be very careful when drawing on already painted blocks, as these drawings will be easily wiped out unless you fix them with a coat of spray vernis.

Finally Showing Off…

Once with a coat of vernis and dried, your block houses are ready to be displayed and admired. See the first house from the left: see the difference in color between the windows and the door? It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but I guess it was a good mistake in the end, wasn’t it?

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I don’t know about you, I’m totally in love with old furniture pieces. Every time I find one, I can’t help thinking about a million ways to make it look pretty again.

And here’s my latest DIY adventure, with an ancient stool that turned into a…

Ooooohh, wait, I wont tell you so quickly! Read the whole article and see by yourself! 

Let’s start with the beginning, namely a 50 years old handmade stool that my husband’s grandfather forged with his own hands. I found it under a pile of stuff at my parents-in-law, and nobody seemed to care about its age or potential. The legs were rusted, and the wooden seat has curved after facing rains and wind while left outdoors.  

I suddenly fell in love with its metal legs – so much that I could even project in mind mind his new appearance in black & wood, a lovely piece of furniture in industrial style. Good thing I have a big stash of wood scraps, because I found exactly what I needed for my DIY project: a few pieces of wood boards in same width (1-in). They were scraps, so they came in different lengths, but that was an easy fix, believe me!

What else did I use for this project beside a few wooden boards?

  • sand paper for sanding the wood, 
  • wood screws (1,5 to 1,8-in length),
  • black paint for the legs
  • waterbased varnish (for the wood panel),
  • a drill,
  • a cutting tool (a hand saw would be great)
  • a carpentry square, for marking the angles and cut the frame correctly.  

If you didn’t get it yet, let me tell you what was the purpose of this project: a side table to use in my garden. And I’ve reached my goal. I even overachieved since I like this table so much that I will use it indoor, in a very personal space.  

Let’s Do It!  

I had to cut off the old wooden seat, in order to replace it with a wood panel. Since I was using reclaimed wood, I could hardly find two pieces with the same color, but it really didn’t bother me. On the contrary: the board looked perfectly together in different shades of natural beige. They were sanded by my hubby, and prepared for the next step.   

I used a few boards with a minimum length of 20-in, aligned them and fixed them with a transversal board and screws.   

I told you that the boards had different lengths, and it was an easy fix, didn’t I? It took five minutes, another transversal board and one straight cut to have my wood panel almost ready.

Something was still missing… A frame! I made one from 4 pieces of wood board 2-in wide. My hubby cut the corners at 45 degree angles (here’s where the carpentry square turns out to be useful) so they would fit nicely together.

Painting comes next. I sanded and painted the legs black using special paint that prevents metal from rusting. For wood, I had some 3 in 1 varnish, a leftover from one of my previous DIY projects.

Once the legs and the panel have been painted and are well dried, I’ve assembled them and got the side table I’ve projected from the start.

Finally…

…I got my new side table. Wanna see how it looks?

Not sure about its fate right now, but leaving it outside is not an option any longer. I might introduce it to a few other dear items that I’m planning to have in my workshop.

…And my cup of coffee and the favorite book fit perfectly on it. 

Is there something else that I could have done with this old stool? Should I improve this projects one way or another? What do you think? I’ll be happy to read your thoughts in a comment below!

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After a few weeks of running here and there to solve things and prepare for the summer holiday, I finally found time to spend in my garden, with a cup of coffee and some cookies. And it was the perfect occasion to  use one of my latest creations – an old ammo box that I’ve turned into a fancy tray.

Actually, I’d call it “a tray on heels”. Keep reading to see why!

I’m talking about how to turn an old wooden box into a tray. This is one of those projects that I love doing because DIY meets paint, and they work together to give a new life to old items like this ammo box.

I was just throwing it away from one corner to another till I realized that it’s perfect for what I had in mind.

What You Need for the Project

I think that you can easily use any other wooden box that is wide enough to carry a cup of coffee (or two), and some cookies or a couple of glasses with whatever you like to drink in the garden, for example.

Second, get some paint in the desired color as a basic color for your tray, and a brush. I used ivory chalk paint for this project, as you see below. Talking about paint, you’ll also need an accent color – a small quantity of acrylic paint or even a Sharpie or a permanent marker. A touch of varnish to protect the words you’ll paint inside the tray will also be needed (spray varnish will work just fine.)

You will also need two holders to place on two sides, and four legs – and here you can improvise like I did. First, I choose some metal furniture knobs that I intended to spray paint in the same color as the holders, but I was not happy with the look. Then I thought about wine corks, but they looked too thick and tall for my tray, so I gave them up too. I put the project on hold for a few days, because I didn’t know what else to choose for legs at the moment. One morning, I broke a necklace by mistake, and the beads looked so perfect for the job that I took four of them and turned them into legs for my tray.

My tray has a funny quote inside about the importance of coffee in my daily routine. I bet that a lot of people hear me! You can easily make your own quotes, using different combination of fonts – like Moon Flower for the thin letters and Brusher for the thick word. Or you could download the quote that you see in the pictures along with other three about…coffee, of course, from HERE. Print it, and use carbon paper to transfer the quote on the tray, so you could paint it later.

So let’s recap:

  • wooden box (mine was 10-in x 12-in)
  • paint – two colors
  • two holders and four legs, along with proper screws
  • printed quote
  • carbon paper

So, let’s get to work!

How to Do It

First, clean and sand the wooden box, to prepare it for painting. Then cover it in paint (two coats of paint, for this project) and let it dry. Since I used chalk paint, I sanded it after drying too, I order to distress it, but not too much.

After painting, I had to attach the legs and the holders. For holders, choose the shorter sides and mark the middle on each of them, to make the holes (I needed only one hole for each holder, so it was right in the middle of the laterals.) The hubby gave a helping hand here, so it was him drilling the holes in the following picture.

Attach the holders on the sides, then make another four holes in the tray, pretty close to the corners, for the legs.

Painting the Quote on the Tray

Another difficult choice I had to make beside choosing the legs, was related to the quote that was supposed to be painted inside the tray. Definitely, it had to be about coffee, and it had to be vintage. Then the things got complicated when choosing the fonts, and the quote itself: “Life begins after coffee”, or “It’s coffee time”. Or maybe “Current mood: coffee”, or “Coffee it’s all I need to survive”…

Once you make your choice about the quote, you need carbon paper for transferring it on the tray.

Then you start painting…

Let it dry, add a coat of varnish, and here it is!

It’s a fancy tray that used to be an ammo box. You can highlight the edges of the thick letter by adding a darker accent, just before applying the coat of varnish, but it’s not mandatory to do so.

What I love the most about this project is that it has a vintage look but new at the same time. It’s really comfortable to use it for carrying coffee and treats, and also is very stable, considering the four legs that it has. Also, it won’t scratch any surface it’s put on since the legs are round and shiny.

As for the quote, It’s definitely the best for me: there’s no life before coffee!

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I don’t know about you, but I’m really deeply and totally in love with Fixer Upper TV show, and I love the design style that Joanna and Chip Gaines promote in their renovations. It’s not only me, but a few other million people are following them because they like them, for sure!

I love the idea of upcycling myself, so I’m happy to give a new appearance to any item that might support a makeover, like this 3 tier plate stand that I got as a birthday present and never used before. You won’t believe how different it looks after applying a few coats of paint…

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I’ll receive a commission.

I’ve always wanted a metallic 3 tier stand as I’ve seen in Fixer Upper show, but I could not find one around. Also, buying one online from Magnolia Market (the online store that Joanna and Chip Gaines own) or from any other American store is not an easy task while living in Europe.

So, I’ve checked my drawers, and found this useless 3 tier plate stand:

…which was perfect for what I wanted to do.

I grabbed some spray paint and started to work on my new metallic stand that I intended to use as a jewelry holder. All I needed for this project beside the basic item was the spray paint – in two colors: silver grey and black – and a piece of paper to protect the surface the tiers were put for painting.

There’s no other way I can explain that: you just have to spray paint each of the tiers (in silver), then the holders that come between them (in black). Be sure you paint the tiers on each side, as they will be visible on the upside and downside too.

Let them dry, then assemble the holder into one single piece, starting from the bottom, namely the biggest plate of all three.

Of course that you can paint them in any other way, and you could even use different colors and patterns for each tier. But I preferred a more classic look, so I choose to make the tiers silver, and paint in black the central holder, as you see below. Isn’t it awesome?

The silver paint looks like it was hammered, so you would hardly say these are porcelain plates, would you?

As for the holder, you’d rather say it’s forget iron instead of plastic. Still, porcelain and plastic are both hiding under this new painted look.

I’m totally in love with the result of this project, and happy about the fact that it was such a low hanging fruit. It took me less than 15 minutes to make it and what I got is a delicate and original jewelry holder that I could hardly find in a store.

Let’s take a look again to spot the difference!

Now it’s easier for me to find my favorite earrings. Can you guess which one of them are they?


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Few weeks ago I’ve been through a creative phase that changed the new look of my couch and gave my family a reason to fight over the pillows, when sharing the living in the evening. Old knits have been turned into cozy pillow covers and they were so nice that I could not give them up once the Christmas was over.

After upcycling those few old sweaters, I found myself having a bunch of colored knitted remains that were almost asking to be repurposed. Which I did and here’s how it went!

My Stripy Feet Warmers

One of the loveliest covers I’ve made is striped in different warm colors – orange, red, yellow, with a touch of grey and magenta. The sleeves were thin enough to be turned into socks or mittens. Since the other pair of sleeves were large enough to cut them into mittens and a hat, I decided to use the striped knit for a lovely pair of socks. 

Those sleeves were not perfect tubular, but a little larger at one end, that would make the socks to widen unevenly. So I measured both ends and cut then sew a straight stitch on the side of each sleeve, keeping the same width from one end to another. Then I marked a curve at one end to figure out the line of the toes, and sew on it to close the sock. I sew two stitches on the edge – a straight one to fix the knit, and a Zig Zag stitch to prevent the knit from unwinding.

For this operation, I used the side that I cut when sewing the pillow cover, so I would have the other one with a neat end and the border. Since the curved line marked on the knit follows the line of the toes, take care to mirror it on the other sleeve, so you won’t have two socks for the same foot.

Finally, the socks will have a sewed stitch on the inner side, which is different than our usual socks. It doesn’t bother me at all, but it helps me make the difference between the left leg and the right leg. Some people still need guidance, you know?!

Well, what you see above looks like a pair of socks, doesn’t it? I thought so when sewing them, but later I discovered that they were so warm that I renamed them. Sooooo, ladys and gents, let me introduce you… the stripy feet warmers!

They will fit perfectly in my rubber boots, but till then I’ll spend a little more time admiring them. Yes, they are a little bit large, but this is what makes them keep the feet warm. And the rubber boots are not an option anyway since we are facing a ruthless -13F these days if going outside…

Cap & Mittens for a Happy Kid

Another sweater, another set of remains. The blue-grey sweater had large sleeves and an enormous neck that were big enough to feed a pair of mittens and a cap for my 10-year old kid.

READ ALSO: How to Turn Old Knits and Yarns into Cozy Pillow Covers

First step in making the mittens is the easiest: use the hand as a pattern, and draw a mitten on the folded knit (the neck of the sweater), so you would have four similar pieces. Cut the mittens leaving 0.8-in outside the line for sewing two stitches: the straight one and the Zig Zag. Beware to make them long enough, meaning that the mittens should totally cover the wrists.

Let’s go further with the cap! You see above the sleeve that I used for making it, so you see the same problem here as we had before, when crafting the socks: the ends have different widths. There were two options for using this type of sleeves: to make it straight or to use them both for making a two sided cap, that has the “head entrance” on the larger side of the sleeve.

Well…between those two, I chose the third option and used the neat end for the border and crafted a funny pompom on the other one. First, you need to pleat the knit on its back using a needle and a thread, then fix it with another thread. Turn the knit inside out, and use another thread to tie the end of the cap in turn it into a pompom.

For a funny note, I’ve added a red string and and two pompons to the cap. I don’t know about you, but I love the contrast!

After 20 minutes of cutting and sewing, the kid has new cozy mittens and a lovely cap. Does he like them? What do you think??

This project was easy to craft and I really liked it. Whatever the project is, when I see the kid happy in the end, I know I’ve reached the best a parent can do. After all, this is the beauty of these projects… Crafting is thousand times more pleasant and motivating when a happy funny face is thanking you at the end.

These are my two cents on crafting. What is your motivation and what brings you happiness when your projects are finally done? Share your thoughts below! Who knows, maybe you will motivate some other people to start crafting!

This project has been featured on Hometalk.

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Do you remember that lovely sweater that used to make you look great, but you wore so many times that it widened so much that finally turned into a monk robe? Give it a new life by turning them into a set of cozy pillow covers.

You have probably seen this kind of project before, but you can’t imagine how adding some yarn would improve the result.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I’ll receive a commission.

Where to Start From

First, I had to decide what to use from the bunch of old sweaters I gathered for upcycling. I have a bunch of pillows in different sizes to choose from for dressing in new covers, so I picked up those sweaters whose colors seemed to fit together and look great in my living too.

Along with the old sweaters, I saved some green pompom yarn. The picture does no good: look for Pantone’s Greenery, color of the year 2017, with a touch of white, and you’ll have the right shade of my green yarn. It goes great with red, especially before Christmas. My yarn was recycled from an old scarf, but if you want to buy something similar, then you should know it has the same texture like this one that I found on Amazon.

I also saved some already made red pompoms from another old hat, and you will see them soon on another knitted pillow cover. Those green are brand new, and are waiting to become part of another DIY project.

Dress, Measure and Cut

But let’s get to work! First, measure the pillows, so you could pair the sweater with the right sized pillow. Or you could choose the easiest way and put the sweater on the pillow, and see how it fits. Either way, be aware that the size of the knit might change from one method to another, since the sweater will go wider when dressed up.

For me, measuring twice before cutting is common science, so I wouldn’t rely only on dressing up. When measuring, lay the sweater on a plane surface and don’t let the knit widen too much before cutting. Also, when cutting, choose a knitting line and cut on it so you would have a straight and neat side that wouldn’t unwind easily.

I put the two striped sleeves aside for later use, and used them for another project published on my blog.

READ HERE WHAT I DID WITH THE SLEEVES!

Sewing

The texture of the knit is much different than one that fabric has, so it widens easily when using the sewing machine. You need to harden the sides, to prevent the lines from unwinding, so I made zigzag stitch on the outside, before sewing a straight line a few millimeters inside the cover-to-be.

Once you did it, you need a way to keep the cover closed, and my choice was to sew a hidden zipper for each one of them.

Let’s Make A Difference!

As I told you before, the red one is the favorite one, so I choose it for a special design. I used that green yarn to make a funny border and also a star.

We all need stars around us on Christmas, right? And I also love green and red. Just check this example of how to DIY designer wrapping paper, and you will see how lovely green, red and gold look together in every design.

I used two thread of green yarn to design the star, then I sewed it here and there, to fix it. I also made this lovely border using one single thread of yarn. For fixing it, I sew it like you see in the picture below, then made a new sew all around with the sewing machine and caught the thin part of the yarn in between.

The red pillow is my favorite one, and also my kid’s. We actually fight over it every evening, when sharing the couch and watch a movie.

OK, I admit, I’m in love with this one, but I love the others, too: the blue one and also the striped pillow case.

Few days later, another one has joined the group: a green knit along with a few red pompons turned into a lovely pillow cover too.

Have fun upcycling your own old knits and yarns! Dream, dare, create, then come back here to share your lovely projects  with your peers!

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Recently I saw a video that brought tears to my eyes: a little girls was gifted a small box that only had a piece of string inside, and she was almost ecstatic receiving that totally worthless present. It reminded me once again that the best gifts are counted in the happiness of giving and receiving more than anything else.

Finding the perfect gift for a kid could be real challenging. Any gift is useless unless you put your heart in it. Do you want to make a kid happy with the gift you give him, then make him laugh and feel your love.

Crafting yourself a present for him or her might be the way to do it. And here’s something you could easily craft when you need a present for a child: wine cork stamps. Keep reading for more!

What You Need

Wine corks are one of my favorite material lately, and if you missed my projects about how to use them for your kitchen furniture makeover or for replacing the pan lid holder, now is the time to check them out.

Making stamps out of the wine corks was easy and fun. Keep a few corks on hand, along with a cutter, a pen and a piece of paper, and prepare the acrylic paint for testing. But before starting you project, leave the corks for 10 minutes in boiling water, to make them softer and easier to cut in shapes with sharp edges.

Choosing the Design

Use the piece of paper and a cork to draw a circle in the same size at the cork you are going to cut. If you’re not familiar to drawing, this circle will help you test your designs before chopping the cork. Draw a star or a tree within the circle using just a few simple lines. The less you draw, the easier will be the cutting.

Let’s draw a star! Place one point in the center of the cork, and another five points on the circle, distributed evenly. Another smaller points come between those five, closer to the center, as you see below, then draw a line from one big point to a smaller one till you get the contour of the star.  All you have to do now is to press the cutter on each side of the star in order to make a cut 2-3 millimeters deep, then cut small slices from outside to inside, between these cuts, so you would finally have a star left.

Use the same technique to chop the cork into a tree or a comet. Remember to draw the helping points then unite them with lines, to ease your creative effort.

Use the Stamps to Make Customized Wrapping Paper

Now that you have these stamps, try them on with some acrylic paint, as this type of paint is more flexible and resistant. Here are a few of my favorite colors – gold, red and green, which I used to create some gorgeous designer wrapping paper to use this Christmas.

Use a small brush to put the paint on the stamp for the first time. This is how you will see how the paint looks on cork and how easy will be transferred on paper. Press the painted cork on the paper without moving it otherwise the final print will look anything but neat. Also, take care not to put too much paint on the cork or your image will look bulky.

The problem is, that once you start stamping, you can hardly stop. If you didn’t craft these stamps for giving them as a present, then gift them to yourself and enjoy the fun of the stamping fury!

There are so many options for these stamps! You could have circles, letter or other signs, the limit is your own imagination.

What’s your favorite? What ideas for further development do you have? I’d be happy if you could share your thought below!

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