Feb 27, 2012

Pull Tab Picture Hook Project

I love finding ways of replacing one item with another item that was due to be discarded or thrown away. This idea  is so simple but amazingly clever.

Using a soda can pull tab to hang pictures.

Image: Make
All you need to do is remove the tab from a soda can with the rivet-ring intact.

Image: Make
Image: Make

Step 1: Rotate the tab around the rivet until the pull tab is directly over the open mouth of the can.

Image: Make
Image: Make

Step 2: Grasp the short end of the tab with a pair of pliers, as shown.

Bend the tab down into the mouth of the can while pulling up at the same time.

The tab should pop neatly off the rivet with the ring intact.

Step 3: Attaching the pull tab.
Mark a convenient centered location in the upper back surface of the piece to be hung. Set the tab in position with the rivet hole over the mark. Drive a short wood screw through the tab's rivet hole into the marked location. If your piece is softwood, like pine, a pilot hole is probably not necessary. If it's hardwood, you may want to drill a very small pilot hole first.

Image: Make

You may find that the pull ring on the mounted tab does not have sufficient clearance from the wood to go over a nail head. If so, insert a flat-blade screwdriver under the pull ring, as shown, and gently pry it out away from the wood.

Image: Make

Naturally, you should use caution when hanging heavy, valuable or fragile items, but you will probably be surprised at how strong these hangers are.

I've also found a great use for the rest of the can, but that's for another time.


Feb 23, 2012

Plastic Bag Kite Project

Here's a fun video tutorial that I just found, showing you how to make a traditional kite out of old plastic bags (or even newspapers - whatever you have handy)

It should take about half an hour to make.

You can also pop over to Storm The Castle for a full set of photos and instuctions along with a huge range of other projects to help you be creative.

Feb 20, 2012

Garden Table Project

I'm having a small love affair.

Last week in London I was out and about with my wife and son, on my way to The Old Cinema to check out some upcycled furniture, when I found my eye wandering slightly.

It's happened before and I've become very adept at hiding these sly glances while in my wifes company but one of these days she's going to catch me out. In a way, I've already tried to prepare her for what comes next. Some days, while she is out, I'll  take my car and drive the back streets in the vain hope of fulfilling my growing obsession and I know one of these days, in her company, I'm just going to walk straight up to one and bring them home.

I am, of course, talking about pallets and this is the latest project I've found for turning these sturdy, discarded items into a unique piece of garden furniture.

Image: joy ever after

This particular table was made using 2 – 4′ x 4′ wood pallets, 1 – 4″x4″, 4 caster wheels, some L-brackets and screws and gray stain. The result is a very practical outdoor rolling table that can act as a coffee table when you’re sitting outside, interacting with your friends or family, or as a mini dining table when having a snack and you want to enjoy it outside.

Jump over to joy ever after for the 'how to'.

Feb 16, 2012

Doodle Duvet Project

Image: A Thousand Words

Last weekend I paid a visit to The Old Cinema on Chiswick High Road in London. A shop devoted to selling antique, vintage, retro, industrial and upcycled furniture. I could have spent hours (and every penny I have) browsing their amazing unique collection.

Some people may feel the same way about IKEA (and that's ok*)

The great thing about IKEA is that it provides a user friendly 'identikit' for home decor which is also it's greatest weakness. When choosing a rug, bedspread or curtains, you constantly run the risk of ending up in someone else's home, confused it's not your home, as everything appears almost identical in every way to yours.
Top tip - a quick scan of the reading material on the billy bookcase will usually reveal your true surroundings.

That is why, when I saw this idea, I felt a comfortable nudge back into the 'one of a kind' shaped world I live in. This idea for a doodle covered duvet comes from Jen Morris over at A Thousand Words

Image: A Thousand Words

You can have a look at how Jen created this Duvet over on her website here.

All you need are some doodles (she used some of her sons drawings) which she took photographs of and then using photoshop, she removed the colour so that all she was left with were simple black and white images. If creating your own you can just simply sketch them with a black pen.

Image: A Thousand Words

Once she had a simple drawing, Jen scaled the images up in size and printed them onto A4 sheets, ready to trace onto her blank white duvet with a felt tip fabric marker

Image: A Thousand Words

Start with your first image under the duvet and begin tracing.

Image: A Thousand Words

Repeat this process for all of your doodles and pretty soon ('soon' being a few hours) you will have a truly unique, one of a kind duvet cover.

Image: A Thousand Words

 (*I have actually wandered aimlessly around the winding paths of my local IKEA for hours and I'll admit here that I've never come out empty handed - but I will say this, I always go against the arrows!)


Feb 13, 2012

Last Minute Valentine's Day Printables

Ok, It's Valentine's Day tomorrow.

You haven't taken my previous advice and gone for the simple option and now you are almost out of time and in a panic as to what to do.

There's still time though. LOVE vs DESIGN have kindly provided a free printable Valentine's card and some fun coupons. They've even designed them so that you can fill them out yourself and added an expiration date and terms & conditions.....just in case.

To download them, follow the instructions below these images.


Step 1: Go to the The Printable Templates Page page
Step 2: Click on 'Download the free template here' link
Step 3: Print, cut and fold your cards and coupons together. For your envelope liners use some glue.
The pattern can be printed on the backside of the coupons or as an envelope liner.

If that wasn't enough, ISharePrintables have over 90 FREE Valentine Printables.

Image: howdoesshe
Here is the link to all of the Printables.

Now, If none of this takes your fancy and you'd much prefer to steer well clear of anything 'Valentines' then I suggest you go sit in the corner, sip on some bourbon and have a listen to a little bit of this.

Feb 6, 2012

Valentines Dish Project

I've mentioned before that I don't get caught up in the whole "must buy flowers, must buy big flowers, must buy big red flowers" sentiment of valentine's day. However, I do go to some effort and I find, a little effort goes along way.

Here's a clever idea from How About Orange that really achieves some great results.
Decorated dishes with icing sugar.

Image: How About Orange
All you need is 3 tablespoons of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of water, and 2 drops of liquid food coloring.
Mix them together and grab your paintbrush.

Image: How About Orange

Image: How About Orange
 If you make a mistake, it's perfectly edible so lick it off and start again!

Image: How About Orange
So this valentine's day, instead of getting into a panic and trying to book a restaurant on one of the busiest nights of the year or desperately trying to think of something stunningly romantic to write in a shop bought card, why not make sure your loved one starts their day with a nice breakfast and a touch of added sweetness.

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