Jan 31, 2011

DIY Box Town Project

I found this over at Under the Sycamore

Here is the actual post over on the site. DIY Box Town

Looks like a great site too. Lots of ideas for Kids. And some Great Photography.

Check it out.

Jan 30, 2011

Spice Rack Project *update

Last week I posted this article about recycling Baby Food Jars.

Well, this weekend I sat down to build the Spice Rack and try to make it as simple as possible to follow so that you might have a go. If you don't have any Baby Food Jars pop out to The Brocante Market or The Dublin Flea Market where I'm sure you'll pick up some nice, small, unusually styled jars.

Anyway, on with it...

Time to Make: About 1-2 Hours

Cost: Between 5 - 10 Euro

The Materials.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

1. 2 Lengths of 14" x 3"
2. 4 Lengths of 8" x 3"
3. Backing Board(or Cardboard)
4. Hammer
5. Nails (about 10 - 15)
6. Wood Glue
7. Craft Knife or Blade (not shown in picture)

(Click on image to make bigger)
Step 1: Put some Glue onto the end of one of the 8" x 3" lengths.
Image: Patent Pending Projects
Nail the 14" x 3" length to it.
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Repeat for all 4 corners.
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Step 2: Place the internal shelves at equal points. Glue and nail to the frame.
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Step 3: Using the Craft knife, cut the Backing Board about 3mm smaller than the frame of your Spice Rack.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

Step 4:(this one is optional)
Holding the Backing Board in place with your hand, turn the frame over and with a pencil draw a rectangle on the inside of each shelf.
Image: Patent Pending Projects
Remove the frame and cover the 3 rectangles with some old wrapping paper or pictures of Food or maybe an old recipe from a cookbook. I used some colourful paper that I found in the House.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

Step 5: Nail the Backing Board (on all 4 corners)to the back of the frame.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

And that's it. All you need to do is fill the jars with you Herbs and Spices and you are all set to get cooking.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

I'm going to put some Labels

on the jars so I don't mix up the spices. You can find a handy template here that allows you to add your own names of Spices.

If all of this looks far too hard to do I have another easier version of a spice rack to make.
This one fits nicely on the inside of a cupboard door. I'll try this one out in a few weeks maybe.

Jan 28, 2011

Colouring Book Project

This is a great idea if you have young kids in the house or a young niece or nephew.

Here's a really quick and easy way to make Colouring Pictures out of your family Photos. Go to GIMP and download the free software.

Once you have installed the software open up the image you want to convert.

(You can click on the following pictures for a larger image)
Step 1: Brighten the image
Image: Patent Pending Projects
Set the brightness to the maximum. Every photo is different so this might be a bit of trial and error. Setting it to 127 worked on this photo but a brighter photo may end up completely washed out but if you don't like the results just press Ctrl+Z to undo.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

Step 2: Under "Filters" Select "Artistic" and then "Cartoon"
Image: Patent Pending Projects
This tool creates dark lines around everything in the image so, again, try out a few different ways but i found if you set the Mask Radius to 7.0 and the percent black to 0.2 it gave a pretty nice outline.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

Step 3: Remove the Colour from the image.
Image: Patent Pending Projects
Select "Use Black and White palette" and hit "Convert"
Image: Patent Pending Projects

You should now have a fantastic outline of your Photograph ready to print onto A4 paper.

Choose a few photos of different family members and let your Son, Daughter, Neice or Nephew give their Grandad Green or Purple Hair for the first time in their lives!

Jan 24, 2011

Spice Rack Project

A few weeks ago we started our son on solid foods. It was a very exciting time for us as our "little boy" was not so little any more.

Ok - he is still pretty little, but in our mind he's growing up too quickly.

Anyway, this is not the place to go into all that.
It's not the place to discuss the incredible look of surprise on his face at the new taste explosion in his mouth and it's not the place to discuss the absolute disaster when disgusted at the food put in front of him his only reaction was to hurl it to towards any and all available surfaces.

No, this is not that place.

This is the place, a fortnight later, that he has worked his way through carrot, cauliflower, parsnip, sweet potato & courgette and about half a dozen little jars of baby food.

This is in fact the place where those empty, half a dozen, baby food jars sit on my kitchen counter waiting to end up in the glass recycling bin.

Image: Patent Pending Projects

Until I saw this.

Which can be found at Elle Decor (Thailand)

This is now the place where I will try out these ideas that I find on the Internet and in books.

I've given myself a time limit to do this. I need to have this made before I do the next run to the recycling depot, otherwise they will go in with the rest of the glass bottles and jars.

I'll update this post next week with details. So if you want to know about the materials that I'm going to use, how long it takes and how easy it was on a scale of 1-5 for this and other future projects, well this is now THAT place.

Click here for the update.

CD Case Photo Cube Project

Here's a great little idea.

Kelly Wilkinson, from the craft blog Make Grow Gather, posted this simple "upcycling" project that seems like the perfect Saturday afternoon activity.

Kelly's helpful step-by-step guide on flickr (link broken - see comments for updated links) shows how she dismantled a bunch of old jewel cases and glued them together into a cube.
She printed her images on vellum paper (or tracing paper) so that the candle would produce a soft glow.
Then, using the CD label as a template, she cut her images to fit and inserted them on all sides.
Lastly she finished the whole thing off with a bit of ribbon to hide the edges of the CD cases.

Jan 20, 2011

Slide Lamp Project

Every so often you get to a point when you have to start clearing out those boxes that are stuffed under beds or crammed behind wardrobes.

You know, The ones filled with your "special" papers and trinkets from years gone by. The kind of stuff that's so important to you that when you moved House it was best just to leave them in the original tatty, sellotaped, broke down cardboard box used to transport them during the last move.....and until it's time to move again.

Well, this weekend I decided to tackle this enormous task. Amongst the broken License Plates (When did I get them??) and the Bags of Beermats and Napkins covered with scrawls that, once deciphered, appear to be just Random jabberings. I'm sure though, at the time, I felt they were an incredible insight into the Human psyche and would form part of my Epic First Novel.
(Actually, better hold on to these. They may prove valuable!!)

Anyway, in among all of this garbag...I mean memories, I found a box of old Picture Slides from an old photography project. Lots of perspective shots and out of focus flowers. Rather than throw them out I had an idea to recycle them but first I needed to change the Pictures. As much as I wanted to have an artistic life I was never a great photographer and it's safe to say, now with the help of Digital cameras - I can take hundreds of photos of the same subject and know I'll get (hopefully) one that looks OK.

So, the out of focus flowers had to go and instead I downscaled some family pictures. I then created my own unique slides and fashioned them together to make a Slide Lamp for my Son's room. The photos I selected are of his relatives that he would not see on a daily basis. Aunts/Uncle's & Cousins in California and Sydney. Family in London, Cork & Spain along with Loved Ones no longer with us. It's important to me that my Son gets to see and know this family as he grows up.

Here's a photo of the lamp.
Image: Patent Pending Projects

The great thing about this Lamp is that I can chop and change the photos as he grows up. It might even end up being a Lamp full of Superman / Batman / Spiderman Pics.

Or Barbie! (Just Sayin')

Jan 19, 2011

Vintage Suitcase Project

I've seen a couple of really great ideas for Upcycled Vintage Suitcases.

From Vanity Case

to Side Table.

From Bachelor Pad
to Duplex.


You know, they say Headphones are getting bigger. Like, the 1980's BIGGER!
Well, try strutting down the street with one of these puppies plugged into your ipod.
See how long you'll be swingin' and swayin' with records playin' while dancing in the street...

Check out the site @ www.theboomcase.wordpress.com

Jan 15, 2011

Newspaper Bag Project

If you are anything like me, at the weekend you take a leisurely stroll to the shops and buy the Sunday Papers. Come home, have breakfast and settle down to relaxing reading.
After discarding the travel section (because who can afford to go anywhere?), The car section (because I'd be lucky to have a reg from the last decade let alone this one), The business section (well,...because it's all doom and gloom) and finally the sports section as I'm really more of a movies kind of guy...

(Remind me why I buy the Sunday Papers??)

Anyway, all I'm left with now is the news section, the review section, some weekly tv/story of the week style magazines and a new pile of what I like to call "cleaning out the fire" paraphenalia.
Most of the time this "pile" just ends up in the recycling bin - along with the news section, review section and tv/story of the week style magazines.

Until I found this little video @ The Newspaper Bag Project

And here's some other examples

Have a go. Try it out.
Even if you only try one, at least you'll have a bag to put all those discarded newspapers in until it's time to start the cycle all over again.

Jan 14, 2011

First Project

I had this idea to create a piece from Letterpress Blocks.

I've seen people spell out different Words like "Home Sweet Home" and "Love" and I wanted to use the Letters to spell out my Sons Name and Birth Date but buying all the necessary letters Online was proving difficult and expensive.

So, I decided to make my own.

Image: Patent Pending Projects

Here's some close up shots of the detail

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Image: Patent Pending Projects

Each Block is individually hand stained, painted and varnished.

I have to say I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.

The keen-eyed will notice that they are not traditional Letterpress replica's as they're the right way (or positive way) round.
Letterpress Blocks are basically negative blocks which give a positive print when put to paper but because I was making them myself I felt I could take certain liberties and have them the right way around.

The Materials I used were a fret saw to cut out the Letters from plywood, some coloured charcoals to stain and age the mounting blocks which was part of an old wardrobe I had taken apart and some Modge Podge (or a satin varnish) to finish the look. I think it works well.

Image: Patent Pending Projects

I really enjoyed the process and there's lots of ideas for future projects.

Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries. The plan is to come up with a few different designs and build a collection of Letters so that I can pick and choose quite easily when I need to create a new piece.

Patent Pending Project

Patent Pending Projects is simple to describe.

There is a wealth of information - on the internet, in books and by word of mouth about how and why we recycle what some may think is a useless item.

This Blog is a reminder that everything has a use. Sometimes with a little bit of clever thinking it can take on a new meaning. A new use. Nothing is worthless.

Sometimes I will add ideas I have found for you to try out. Sometimes I will try out the idea and see how easy or hard it is. I don't have a huge knowledge about recycling but I am willing to give it a try.

So if you find anything useful on these pages. Simple Ideas for Recycling please try them out and adapt them to yourself and if they work pass on the information.
Recycle that Idea.
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