Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Posts tagged ‘Craft Storage’

Simple Storage Box DIY

To start the new year as I mean to go on, I have been having a tidy up of any bits and bobs that seem to be without a proper home. I needed a box to store some papers and photographs (a kind of memory box), but didn’t want to pay the kind of price required to purchase a nice decorative one! I found a brown cardboard box of perfect proportions at the local bargain shop, and decorated it myself using (imitation) gold leaf to make rustic-looking polka dots.

I drew circles in pencil onto the box as a guide (I drew around the base of a small plastic pot), and then glued torn up pieces of gold leaf in place (they were leftover pieces from other projects). For a super simple DIY project, I am pleased with the outcome: decorative storage at a bargain price! I like storage to be attractive as well as useful (you do have to look at it after all), and this technique could be applied to boxes of any size or shape, and would also be a nice way to make decorative gift boxes.

For a few other storage ideas please see these posts:

gold-dot-box

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Monday Mood Board: Christmas Craft Hamper

Christmas-hamper

With Christmas fast approaching I am currently inspired by all things present-like, and came up with this idea for a craft-loving friend. The basket/wicker hamper was a second-hand/vintage bargain (only £2!), clean and in excellent condition.  Using a stencil and black acrylic paint I added the recipient’s initials to the lid of the hamper.

wicker-basket

I am filling the inside of the hamper with a variety of craft materials and haberdashery tailored to the recipient, and am really enjoying choosing things that I think she will like! This is definitely one of the quickest ideas for a handmade present (if you don’t count the time spent choosing the contents!), and it’s nice to give a personalised gift. The hamper can easily be adapted for non-craft lovers, simply by choosing different contents (e.g. baking paraphernalia, toys, food etc).

The hamper by itself is a nice craft storage idea, and a set of baskets of different sizes would look good on a studio shelf: beautiful as well as useful!

personalised-wicker-basket

Handmade Crochet Hooks DIY

handmade-crochet-hooks

With Christmas approaching, this is a great handmade present for a lover of crochet: a set of hand-carved crochet hooks, in a handmade case. Of course, if time is short, you could always just make the case, and fill it with a set of bought crochet hooks.

decorated-crochet-hooks

To make the crochet hooks I used:

Freshly-cut twigs from an apple tree (of a slightly larger diameter than I wanted the finished hooks to be)

A sharp pen knife

Clear varnish

A paintbrush

Acrylic paint

A hacksaw

Sandpaper

hand-carved-crochet-hooks

The crochet hooks were made by first cutting the twigs to length using a hacksaw. Next, a penknife was used to remove the bark from the twigs. The hook was carved using first a hacksaw, and then a penknife, and was refined using rough sandpaper.

In this project I embraced the slightly rustic look, as without using a lathe it would be incredibly difficult to carve beautifully straight crochet hooks (especially for a novice wood-carver like me!). I made sure that I got a lovely smooth finish to the wood, but showcased the slightly wonky shape of the twigs- this does have the added bonus of showing that the crochet hooks were handmade!

crochet-hooks-DIY

The hooks were made smooth using sandpaper, and I also cut a decorative groove around the handle to mark the edge of the painted area.

It is much easier to make the crochet hooks using green (freshly cut) twigs, but after carving they need to be left to thoroughly dry out before painting, as they will shrink slightly when drying.

I chose to paint a cheerful polka dot pattern on the handles, and once the paint was dry I coated the painted area with clear varnish (as the acrylic paint on it’s own wasn’t as shiny a finish as I wanted).

crochet-hook-case

I used a knitting and crochet gauge to find out the sizes of the hooks, and then used metal number stamps to impress the size just below the painted area on each hook (you could instead paint or write the size on to each hook).

I was surprised how easy I found it to make these hooks, it just took careful selection of appropriate twigs, and some patience (particularly when waiting for the wood to dry out after carving, which took 3-4 days). The wood I used was from an apple tree in my parents’ garden, which added a bit of meaning to the gift as I made the crochet hooks for my mum.

handmade-crochet-hook-case

The case was made to fit this set of handmade crochet hooks, and I chose to sew it by hand. The case is fastened simply using a loop of elastic that hooks over a decorative button. The basic design of this case could easily be adapted to store other craft tools, such as pens, paintbrushes or knitting needles etc.

Monday Mood Board

Jar of silk threads

In this unassuming glass jar live all of my precious silk threads. I have come by most of them when buying assortments of vintage sewing items at car boot sales and jumble sales, and some of the nicest are on lovely old wooden reels. I use these lustrous silk threads on particularly special projects, like an embroidery for a friend’s wedding present, or decorating a silk blouse or scarf.

I think that on the whole stitchers must be quite clean and tidy people, as I’ve very rarely had to throw any second-hand thread away due to discolouration (and I am fussy about quality and condition!). I don’t buy any haberdashery or sewing supplies that smell like they may have come from the house of a smoker, as I’ve found that the smell is impossible to get rid of (sadly the same applies to second hand books). Pieces of fabric, lace or ribbon can, or course be washed, but this isn’t possible with reels of thread, and isn’t worth the trouble with balls of yarn.

It is amazing how many good quality sewing and other craft supplies you can find very cheaply if you are prepared to have a rummage in a charity shop or at a summer fete!

Happy hunting xxx

Monday Mood Board

Crafty Bits & Pieces

At the moment I am looking through my stash of craft materials for inspiration for home made Christmas presents…

Simple Craft Storage DIY

Decorated Jar Lids

As anyone who makes things- whether it be sewing or painting, jewellery making or book binding- will know, suitable storage for tools and materials is always needed. If that storage is also good looking and unique, then so much the better.

The upcycled jars here required a minimal amount of time and effort, but they look much better on the shelf in my studio after a bit of a makeover.

Decorated Jar Lids 1

All that is needed for this project is some glass jars with flat lids, some patterned self-adhesive vinyl, a pair of scissors and compasses.

Decorated Jar Lids 2

The self-adhesive patterned vinyl that I used was a great vintage find- two unopened rolls of stick-on ‘shelf lining’ from the 1970s/80s.

Decorated Jar Lids 3

As well as (or instead of) sticking a patterned disc to the jar lids, a broad band could also be placed horizontally around the glass jar itself.

This is a very simple project, but I think it results in a much more attractive form of storage than just using the plain jars, with the added bonus that it just took a few minutes to do!

For some of my previous posts on craft storage DIYs please see here, here, here and here.

 

 

Unusual Upcycled Craft Storage

I came across a small box of unused glass test tubes at a car boot fair (I’m starting to think that there can’t be many things that you couldn’t find at a car boot sale…!), and have been thinking of ways to upcycle them into a form of craft storage.

Test Tube Pencil Pots

The tubes are very light weight, so as long as they aren’t filled with anything too heavy then Washi tape seems to be an effective way of attaching them to the wall.

As with the vintage silver trophies that I use to store pens and pencils (see this post), the shape does limit their uses, but they make an eye-catching display when filled with something colourful!

 Dice in Test Tubes

For some more of my posts on DIY craft storage see here, here and here.

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