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This project is the result of reading a post on I Spy DIY about painted vases, and thinking about how the dressing table in our spare room is a blank expanse of white. I didn’t have any spraypaint in my two crates of crafting materials (sigh) but I did have chalkboard paint, chalk, and three empty jars.
You will need:
- Chalkboard paint – I had black paint, but you could also buy coloured chalkboard paint for this project
- Clean, dry jars or bottles in a variety of sizes
- A medium-size paintbrush
- An old towel
Once you have gathered your materials and made sure your glass objects are clean and dry, it’s as simple as could be. Give your paint a really good stir (really good) and then brush onto the outside of the bottle. Avoid the very top of the jar and don’t paint the base – the former gives you something to hold and the latter ensures you don’t get black marks on the furniture every time you use the vases!
Use thin coats of paint. Although the first coat may look streaky, if you lay it on too thick it will dribble and the finish on your jars won’t be smooth. At this stage the paint will look glossy. Allow to dry overnight.
Once the paint is nice and dry, gently buff the surface with an old towel. I find that this makes it easier to draw on the chalkboard paint with the chalk. Then just go to town drawing whatever patterns take your fancy! If you break a new stick of chalk, the rough surface is much easier to draw with (the outside tends to be too hard). Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect – just tell yourself it’s all part of the DIY charm.
The paint will hold up pretty well on the glass surface so you can use a damp sponge in future to gently clean off the chalk designs and update the jars.
Fill your vases with hastily-arranged flowers and enjoy!
There will be a heap of leftover paint so I suggest you might want to team up with some other crafty friends and all make a vase or two. These would also make a cute Christmas present if you have a few girlfriends to buy for – decorate each vase to reflect that particular friend’s interests and fill it with their favourite flower (or delicious treats!).
You can also use chalkboard paint on:
- the glass in old picture frames to create chalkboards for the kitchen or your office. Just spraypaint the frame white or gold. I also made a chalkboard for a friend’s photobooth at her wedding this way;
- the outside of plastic storage containers. A swipe of paint gives you a surface to label and re-label indefinitely; or
- cheap glasses from the Salvation Army to create customisable glasses for parties – don’t paint all the way to the top of the glass though, just to be on the safe side!
When the weather is poop, you spend a lot of time inside. Twiddling your thumbs. Online shopping. Eating cheese straight off the block. Crafting random stuff you find on Pinterest.
I am borderline craft-disabled, as in: huge amount
s of enthusiasm and much less ability. Do I let this hold me back? HELLS no. Ages ago I “pinned” a picture of a sweet-as braided scarf, which I would include but Pinterest’s server has been down most of the day. Cools.
I really wanted to make that awesome braided scarf so, having taken a cursory look at the picture, I got to work.
You will need:
- jersey-like fabric – needs a bit of stretch in it. I bought mine as a fabric remnant for $8.90 and got
1.7m by 1m.
- very sharp scissors.
- an inflated sense of optimism.
Step one: cut strips out of your fabric. I did two braids – the first one used strips about 3″ wide and the second one used strips about 5″ wide. It didn’t actually make a huge difference to the outcome.
Plait that sucker! I used tiny strips of my fabric to tie the three ends together and then plaited. Because my strips were 1.7m long, this stage was a bit annoying because my fabric got tangled but it still didn’t take me long. Using a multi-hued fabric made it look even cooler.
Once you have at least two long plaits, cut the remainder of your fabric into two long, wide pieces. One should be wider than the other. You will also need to retain about 5 or six pieces that are about 1-2″ wide.
Drape the big pieces around your neck like a scarf (surprise) and knot the corners at the back of your neck to “fix” the length in place. You might need to trim the length of your fabric a bit to make it fit your height etc. Because I am fun-size, I was able to get each piece to go around twice, so I ended up with four loops. This created a good amount of bulk.
Next, take your braided pieces and do the same sort of thing. Fiddle with the length and once you have it right, take a piece of leftover fabric about 1″ wide and use it to lash together the two end
bits of braid to the right length, like this:
Trim off the excess bits of braid. I actually lashed my two braids together into one Mighty Braid and so I ended up being able to get it around in three loops.
By this point, you’ve basically completed your scarf, but obviously it’s still in various bits and isn’t one cohesive thing. All I did was take another 1″ strip and tie together all the elements in the back of my neck (with the knot underneath so it would lie on my skin). This is the cheap and dirty no-sew approach but it looks totally okay. If you wanted, you could actually sew your large flat planes into a proper infinity loop (by just sewing the ends together to form a circle) and then layer the braids over, but I didn’t have sewing facilities and this way was much faster.
You’ll end up with a pretty boss finished product:
Your Mum will be really proud of you. Mine was.
If you make the braided scarf, send us a picture!
Last month, it was my birthday. At the time I was sick of theme parties in an all-new-all-angry kind of way, so I decided the “theme” of my birthday party would be “dress up real nice”. Basically, I asked all my guests just to wear whatever made them feel super fancy and nice and amazing.
I spent quite some time thinking about what to wear to this shindig, and then one blessed day it came to me – glitter shoes. Really, really glittery shoes.
However, I am a serious lady on the day-to-day so I knew that these also needed to be cheap glitter shoes. That immediately ruled out 99.99999999999999999999999% of the Internet (also, I am lazy and couldn’t be bothered searching any further after I realised that the glittery Christian Louboutin’s were a touch out of my price range). This left me with only one option:
To know me is to know my inability to do anything with finesse. I cannot count how many times I have hot-glued my own hand. The other week I made a cushion cover which was AMAZING except that the zip is funked up. Most of my DIY attempts look okay until you turn them over and see the unholy mess I made. This couldn’t really happen with glitter shoes as they would be clearly visible from many angles during the evening.
You might think I would have done tonnes of research then. Nah. This is what I did:
I bought glitter (three colours VERY IMPORTANT), good old PVA glue, and cheap-ass shoes from The Warehouse for 50% off. They weren’t as high as I wanted them to be but this was probs for the best. I already had newspaper, various bowls, and a paintbrush.
Yes, that is gold wrapping paper. I didn’t have any old newspaper and I am awesome like that.
I mixed the THREE glitters together in a plastic cup, thusly:
Then I poured the glue into a bowl, got the glitter back into its convenient sprinkle containers, and got amongst it. Basically, I brushed some of the glue on, then sprinkled that area generously with the glitter mix. Observe:
Yeah, I got glitter all over the joint. It is still all through my flat and the place has been vacuumed several times. Try not to be so…flamboyant…with the glitter, okay?
I would then kinda shake the shoe and the excess glitter fell off. Perfect.
Eventually, the shoes looked like this:
Which I feel is pretty good for shoes that cost $25ish. They also held up well (some mild areas of wear) which is great considering I ran around in these holding various cocktails for many hours. However, I didn’t go dancing in them, which might have been another issue.
If you want to make these, I suggest the following:
- really look at where the glue is going. You can always wipe off extra glue and glitter, but make sure you get right to the edges on the first go as this is much easier than going back to do the fiddly bits;
- seriously, use various similar shades of glitter. This created a cool effect. I think red, pink and gold might also look good together;
- you can buy sealant sprays to lock the glitter on, but if you’re just doing it for one night, probably save the money and buy a drink instead.
I know a lot of our readers are crafty, and I know a lot of our readers care about the environment, so would you guys make your own makeup removal pads? I wouldn’t, because I am lazy, and don’t sew and don’t own a laundry bag and I hate hate hate doing laundry anyway. But I’m not a good person.
(Thanks Ginger for the link!)
On a mostly different but slightly similar note, I was really impressed by the Hotel on Devonport that offered up dark-coloured face clothes especially marked “for makeup removal” – as I’m sure anyone who’s ever tried to wash mascara out of white towels could appreciate.
Forgot to blog earlier, but I went to The Knack craft market in Wellington last weekend and met a load of wonderful crafters that deserve big ups. Here’s just a few of the lovelies crafters I got details from to share with you:
phersu dancing jewellery
There were of course many more insprirational people at the market with so many pretty, pretty, pretty things. But I can’t list them all. You’ll really have to go along yourself if you can.