Do you love to text? Are your hands cold? Do you get tired of taking your gloves on and off so you can text? Power Texting Gloves to the rescue! They’re inexpensive, simple to make and best of all you can add whatever power words you’d like and save all that time and money and pain on finger tattoos that your mom, husband, wife or whomever won’t let you get anyway. This is a win win DIY all around! You might want to sit down here because it just keeps getting better… guess where we got our gloves? That’s right… THE DOLLAR STORE! Oh my gosh… I know, I know… it’s almost too much to take in. And you get the free instructions below plus a list of words to pick from. Catch your breath from all this excitement, then grab you some gloves and get busy!
Power Texting Gloves Supplies
- Tightly knit cheap gloves
- Fray Check
- Puff Paint (for paint words)
- Heavy String (for string words)
- Fabric Glue (for string words) Tacky Glue might work well as long as the gloves are not washed.
NOTE ON FABRIC GLUE: After a lot of research I use Beacons fabric glue because it has the highest reviews.
Download Word Idea List
pdf of word list and direction image
NOTE: You do need to treat your gloves with care and don’t stretch out the finger holes anymore than necessary. The Frey Check helps a lot but they are still knit gloves and will pull apart if you are too rough with them. Just use a gentle “hand” so to speak.
These are the supplies needed for the Puffy Paint Power Texting Gloves. Gloves, Fray Check and Puffy Paint of choice.
These are the supplies you will need for the string text gloves. Gloves, Fray Check Fabric Glue and heavy String.
Begin by cutting off the tips of the gloves where they start to curve.
Carefully put them on and see where they fall on your fingers. This lets you know if any need trimmed. You want to be extra careful at this stage to not stretch the ends out as they will fray easily at this point.
The pinky finger needed trimmed as you could see so I trimmed it a little.
You then want to test them, again being careful to stretch them out as little as possible, to make sure they work fine for texting. Trim more if needed.
Once one glove is trimmed to the exact length needed, lay it over the other glove and trim it to match.
Find a slim object you can stick your gloves over to hold them up while you put the Fray Check on the ends of each finger. I used two small spray cans.
Make sure each finger hole is spread out.
It’s now time to pull out the Fray Check which is perfect for things like this.
You will run a bead of Fray Check around the edge of each finger hole. Don’t be afraid to rub it in as you go with the tip of the applicator. Put plenty on. If the end of any finger is curved under slightly make sure to pull it up so you can coat the area that has been cut. Fray Check dries quickly. Go over the ends again if needed to make sure you get a good coat around it. Do this on both gloves.
Make sure the tips don’t touch each other and stay open so they don’t stick together from the Fray Check as it dries, which takes only minutes.
For the puffy paint text I suggest practicing on paper first then apply your text to the four fingers. MAKE SURE TO DO IT THE RIGHT DIRECTION. Puffy paint normally takes about 4 hours to dry lying flat.
For the string words, cut pieces of string for the words you choose.
You’ll want to make the words in sections as I did with the M. I laid all my words out ahead of time to make sure they were the correct size.
Once all your letters are cut, grab your fabric glue.
Glue where the letters will be placed and attach them.
Who doesn’t need a little more positivity in their life? Surround yourself in good energy with our anti bad vibe shield! Customize with your favorite colors and patterns to create a one of a kind work of art in just 5 minutes! A great way to add a little flair to your decor while sending a positive message, this lightweight construction hangs anywhere to keep the negativity away. Don’t forget to check out our multiple FREE downloads below for different color schemes.
If you would like to wear your positive good vibes check out our Good Vibe Necklace made with shrinky dinks!
- Foam board
- Glue stick or spray adhesive
- Scrapbook paper or wrapping paper
- Soda Can Tab, for hanging
- Hot Glue Gun
- X-acto Knife
- Downloaded Graphic
Print the download of choice and cut just inside the black outline.
Cut the scrapbook paper or gift wrap paper of your choice. When the downloaded cutout is placed on the paper, it should have at least an inch of space all around the cutout.
Using a glue stick or spray glue, cover the back of the scrapbook/wrapping paper completely.
Lay the sticky side of the paper onto a sheet of foam board and smooth out any creases.
Cover the back of the download cutout with a glue stick or spray glue. Apply to the center of the previous sheet of paper, smoothing as you go.
Let dry for 1 minute.
Using a ruler and pencil, measure 1/2 an inch around the downloaded cutout.
When complete, there should be a 1/2 inch “frame” surrounding the center image.
Using an X-acto knife, place the foam board onto a cutting board and cut along the pencil line.
When complete, gently pop the shield out.
If any pencil lines can still be seen, gently erase, being careful not to pull up the paper.
Slightly bend the soda pull tab. It is common for the edges of the tab to break, however, the remaining aluminum will still hold the tab together.
Place a small amount of hot glue onto the bottom (solid) portion of the tab.
Adhere to the upper center of the shield. To be sure the tab is centered, use a ruler to draw a line down the center of the back of the shield.
Your Anti Bad Vibe Shield will definitely make a statement!
Make a Silly Selfie “quiet book” in just 15 minutes! All you need is a small inexpensive 4×6 mini photo book and some dry erase markers. This amazingly simple project is guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment to kids of all ages! Customize with your favorite photos and let the fun begin. It’s a perfect travel activity too!
Looking for more fun activities for both kids and adults? Check out our Mini Toy Box in a Drawer!
Quiet Book Supplies
- Hand size 4×6 photo album (can be purchased at many stores)
- 4×6 photos of your choice, close-ups work best
- Dry erase markers with built in eraser
- Downloaded book cover below
Gather your supplies! We used pictures uploaded to the closest Walgreen’s but there are a variety of other stores that do one hour photos and let you upload them online and pick them up!
Print and cut out your book cover.
Many of these books have an insert in the front. You can take them out if desired or place your cover over them. If your book does not allow an insert on the front you can also glue the cover on the front.
Slide in your printed cover.
Add your photos!
Pick a photo and start drawing. Keep in mind these take a couple minutes to dry if you want to save them. The back of the opposite page will smudge them otherwise.
Using markers with a built in erase is very handy.
The Silly Selfies Quiet Book makes a wonderful gift too. You can give it with just one black marker or a whole set of colors.
Work your jigsaw puzzles in style with this quick portable DIY work station and storage set. (You might recall our mini puzzle holder and mat post.) We feature a 1000 piece puzzle. The main board is made from an old large dry erase board and a foam sheet to create extra working mats. When your not using it you can slide it under the couch or bed!
Jigsaw puzzles are great for learning to focus and pay attention to detail. They promote patience, goal setting, collaboration and concentration, qualities which are important for kids and adults alike. When I was younger my dad always had a large family puzzle in the works on a card table and we would sit down and work on it anytime we felt like it. It was a relaxing activity that gave a sense of satisfaction and brought the family together. Roy and I have done puzzles with our kids and my dad and mom now have the pleasure of doing puzzles with their great-granddaughter. Traditions are awesome things!
Jigsaw Puzzles Work Station Supplies
NOTE: We used an old dry erase board we had lying around. Because the front was worn and also because the frame had gaps around the edge we chose to use the back for our puzzle mat so we painted it white. You can use the front if you purchase a new board for your puzzles and then no white paint is needed.
- Wood Framed Dry Erase Board. For a 1000 piece puzzle you need a 36″ x 24″ size.
- Handles (these are mainly for decor)
- E6000 Glue for handles
- White acrylic paint (see note above)
- Silver paint for frame, if desired
- 1 white foam sheet
- Utility knife to cut the foam sheet
- Roll of Washi tape (we used this one to match our silver frame)
This post features Ravensburger Bizarre Bookshop 2 1000 Piece Puzzle.
This 35″ x 23″ wood framed dry erase board was perfect for my main puzzle mat. I had painted the frame around it at an earlier date for another purpose.
The front had a gap around the edge and I was concerned about the puzzle pieces sliding under it.
The frame on the back of the dry erase board was snug so that was used for the front of the mat.
Two coats of white interior paint was used to cover the back of the board.
The frame itself was painted silver to match our living room. I protected the inner white mat with sheets of paper taped into place.
The frame was then spray painted.
Two silver drawer handles were added to the ends, mainly for looks.
The handles could not be attached in the typical way so small holes were drilled down into the frame on each end. One end at a time was completed. The holes were filled with E6000, a very strong glue, and the holes in the handle was also filled. The handle was then put into place and the board stood on end and allowed to dry overnight. This was repeated the next day for the other handle.
A piece of white foam board was used to make two extra working mats.
Measure and cut the foam board into two pieces that are the size you desire.
A strip of matching Washi tape was cut for each side.
The tape was folded over onto the back on each side to give it a finished edge.
Any extra was snipped off.
The work station is now ready to use!
We found all the edge pieces first.
We then put the frame together by matching it up to the photo.
Next we decided to find certain colors and gather those.
The extra mats come in very handy!
When not in use you can slide your puzzle under the bed or couch.
It was a sad day indeed when the phrase “Hold the door!” became part of our culture. Never has there been a more beloved character than Hodor, the very large man with a very large heart who can only utter one word. This little doorstop is in honor of that great man. The graphic was drawn by our daughter Jennifer.
Hold the Door Doorstop Supplies
- Wood wedge aprox 4″ long and 1.5″ at high point
- 4″x6″ piece of 1/4″ wood. We used thin Lauan Plywood (Lowes has small sheets for $4.00)
- Free printables below
- Spray paint of choice. We used gold and silver.
- Thumb tacks silver or brass
- Wire cutters
- Wood or other strong glue
- Mod Podge
- Spray Adhesive (Used to apply the printables
- Clear Sealer (Optional. Helps prevent smearing when Mod Podging over printables)
Cut your wood. Wedges are super easy to cut. Any thin wood can be used for the 4×6 piece.
Sand your wood pieces.
Carefully cut out your graphic of choice.
Paint your wood and wedge.
We used spray adhesive to attach our printables. Spray them evenly or else they will bubble when you Mod Podge over them.
Attach your printables.
Thumbtacks with the ends clipped off make great embellishments. (You might recall we used them for our Recycle CDs Wall Pouches. )
The thumbtacks will have a small bit of the stem on them which can be pushed into softer wood. Otherwise you can glue them on.
You can also tap them in with a hammer.
Before using the Mod Podge make sure your ink is dry. It’s also helpful to spray a clear coat of sealer over the ink. This helps prevent smudging.
With long gentle strokes cover brush Mod Podge over the front of your doorstop.
Glue the wedge on with strong glue.
I’ll admit it. A black light flashlight is fun to play with. But aside from the novelty aspect they also have a variety of practical uses inside the house and out that you never thought of! The flashlights are very inexpensive and small so you can easily carry one with you. Read on and learn just how helpful a black light flashlight can be. By the way, it would be a perfect addition to a Well Organized Junk Drawer. We put ours in our “Mini Toy Box in a Drawer for Adults and Kids.”
A word of warning though… in some cases ignorance can indeed be bliss. Just saying.
Black Light Basics
Without boring you with a bunch of scientific stuff, basically a black light emits ultraviolet rays which are invisible to the human eye. It makes any item glow if it contains phosphors. Phosphors are any substance that absorbs energy and re-emits it as visible light. All you need to know is that there are many things that have phosphors. This is what makes a black light flashlight useful.
Black Light Flashlight
There are many options for black light flashlights. The one on the top left is what we own. Most small ones run between $7 and $15. Depending on what you want to use it for, you may opt to pay more for a larger one. Here is a UV marker you can use to protect your property. We talk about that below under security.
Uses for Your Black Light
IS YOUR MONEY FAKE?
Newer money has been equipped with florescence of bands that show up under a black light.
Anyone who’s watched a crime show is probably aware that body fluids show up under a black light. Hence they are great for detecting pet stains.
This photo was an example using this black light flashlight.
In case of theft your valuables can easily be traced to you if you’ve marked them with a special UV marker.
We used this UV Pen. PEN
Allow the ink to dry before touching.
Ink can be removed with cotton ball and alcohol.
HOW CLEAN ARE YOUR HANDS?
Kids not washing their hands good enough? Give ’em the old black light test!
SHOPPING FOR USED FURNITURE
Checking out Craig’s List for a used couch? Pack your black light for some on the spot icky stain sleuthing.
INSPECTING FOR MOLD
Yep, mold is full of phosphors hence you can easily detect it by shining your black light flashlight onto it. Another good idea of your buying a home.
BUYING A HOME
A black light will come in handy for checking for a variety of things, the aforementioned mold being one of them. On the slightly more disturbing side you could also tell if there are blood stains on the floor.
If puzzles are your thing, you’re gonna love this creative little puzzle mat! It’s a way to store small mini puzzles and it’s an upcycle project, meaning it uses some things you most likely already have in your home! The only thing you might need to grab is the large sheet of felt. It’s small enough to take and store anywhere.
We put ours in our “Mini Toy Box in a Drawer for Adults and Kids.” So get your puzzle and make one or two or five of these awesome little puzzle mats. Great for inexpensive gifts too! For another great portable activity, idea check out our DIY Portable Lego Table.
Puzzle Mat Supplies
- Sturdy paper towel tube
- Paper egg carton
- 12″ x 18″ felt sheet (soft)
- Hot glue gun
- Mini puzzle Completed size no more than 10.5″x 11″
Gather your supplies. Make sure your paper towel roll is not bent or squished. Make sure you get soft felt. The thin, stiffer kind will not roll up the puzzle well.
The area for the puzzle will be 11″x 12″ approximately. Make sure your puzzle will fit on the mat and that the puzzle pieces will fit into the tube.
For the bottom end cap, trim a single egg carton section as shown, then glue it in.
For the top open ended cap, trim another egg carton section as shown. Add holes to attach it with string. Paint it before attaching. We added a coat of Mod Podge. (Optional)
After painting, attach your top cap as shown. We added some glue to the inside to secure the string. Glue on a small piece of ribbon as the pull tab.
Your felt will be a small amount taller than your tube. Measure it and trim the felt down to fit. Glue your felt around the tube as shown. Glue two pieces of ribbon as shown to tie the mat up when not in use.
Have you ever been frustrated when shopping online and what you want is listed in metrics? (Assuming you are from the U.S. of course.) Well, this helpful metric chart will be indispensable!
It’s not that I have anything against metrics, it’s just that growing up in the U.S. inches and feet are ingrained in my brain. Being a crafter I buy quite a bit of supplies online. I regularly come across things that are listed in metrics for length or width, such as ribbon and jewelry parts. I created this metric chart which can be kept or taped up somewhere handy. Though after you go over it and read the hints I doubt you’ll need to look at it again. For another handy printable, check out our Daylight Savings Time Reminders.
Nice metal ruler with both inches and cm/mm
Awesome metric placement (plastic coated) We purchased one of these. It shows all the metrics. Great for kids and adults!
Metric Chart Download
The chart only focuses on millimeters, centimeters and meters. (pdf)
Online Metric Converters
Still Struggling? Bookmark this page and use these online converters. (Millimeters and centimeters to inches)
Talk about a classy upcycle project! We’ll show you how to turn small cardboard boxes into beautiful Celtic style containers with nothing more than a knife, hot glue gun and some paint. This is one of those truly amazing crafts! You’re containers can be used for anything. We used them for our Positive Potions Kit. FYI this is the same technique we used on our Small Dragon Egg.
Upcycled Box Supplies
You can use any colors you want. I’ve found that black and silver give a nice look.
- Small cardboard box
- Hot glue gun
- Black paint
- Silver paint
- X-acto type knife
You can use pretty much any size box. Just depends on how much hot glue you have! I used a small box that some items from Amazon were delivered in.
Measure it as high as you want.
Trace on handles if you want them. Then carefully cut out along the lines.
Paint the inside of your box silver.
Paint the outside of your box black.
Using a hot glue gun make designs on the outside of your box. As I’m not all that artistic, drawing wise, I tend to make the same type of simplistic curly design. These do not have to be perfect. I actually touched the tip of the glue gun to the cardboard lightly as I drew them on. (I suggest first practicing on a plain piece of cardboard.)
Carefully run a line of hot glue along the edge of your box.
Using silver paint, brush a thin coat over one side of your box at a time. You don’t want it to dry.
Quickly and lightly rub the side you just painted silver over. This gives it the effect. Move onto the next side until all of them are done.
Don’t forget to paint the edge where you ran the hot glue.
We also use a box for our Positive Potions Kit!
Kids and adults alike love Lego and our family is no different. I wanted a portable DIY Lego table for my newly updated living room and I wanted it to match. I went through my garage and found an old wooden TV tray. It was perfect! I painted it to match my living room and even added some gold stickers and leg tips. It’s chic and fun!
DIY Lego Table Supplies
- Wood TV tray (you can find these at thrift stores)
- Paints of choice. We used white acrylic indoor paint and Rust-Oleum Gold spray paint
- Lego mat (We used a 15″x15″.)
- Fine tooth saw or utility knife (We had a saw and used that but I’ve seen people cut the mats with a heavy duty utility knife.)
- Sand paper (optional)
- Stencils or labels (optional)
If you’d like to use the “CREATE” text you can download it as either a pdf or Silhouette file. It is sized to fit a standard tv tray.
Silhouette File (zipped)
This was the old TV stand I started with.
Most of the top will be covered so sanding is optional depending on the shape its in.
It took about four coats of paint. I hand painted mine but spray painting would work great also and be much quicker.
Because my tray had rounded edges I wanted my Lego mat to match so we traced the corners.
My TV tray measured 19″ x 15 1/4″. The Lego mat was 15″ square so we had to cut one row off of one side for a nice fit. Then we cut the rounded edges. I’ve seen people cut these mats with a strong utility knife also. Just be very careful if you choose to do it that way. After we sawed the corners I took a light sandpaper to them to smooth them out.
I could have ordered two mats to cover the entire top of my tray but I liked the idea of having text on one side. I chose the word “create”. As I had a Silhouette cutting machine, I cut my letters out of vinyl and then spray painted them metallic gold before applying. You could also print out the letters, cut them out and then Mod Podge them onto your tray.
I used hot glue to attach my mat on all edges. Any glue would work.
I wanted gold tipped legs so we taped them up for painting.
We added plastic bags to keep the paint from spraying onto the rest of the tray.
I toyed with the idea of adding a handle on the edge but as the tray is so light I decided against it. My tray stands against the wall in my living room ready for use.
This simple DIY Steampunk dry erase board is perfect for keeping track of upcoming events or reminders. All you need is foil, foam board and metal parts! Credit for this basic idea goes to our son Adam who mentioned he had seen foil used as a wipe off board. Ends up it works great! Though we chose steampunk as our theme you could obviously create a variety of looks and styles! If you like the metallic look check out our DIY Dragon Egg or our Upcycled Celtic Box.
DIY Steampunk Supplies
- Foam board
- Heavy duty foil
- Spray adhesive (optional but it helps)
- Metal stuff. Bolts, washers, springs, cogs, old keys, old metal buttons etc.
- Gold & silver spray paint
- Dry erase marker
- Large black pom pom (optional for eraser)
My dad has a workshop that he let me raid. I found the most awesome stuff!
Gather your supplies. TIP: Use heavy duty foil.
Cut your foam so that the foil will cover it easily and fold over onto the back.
For a better hold coat your board with spray adhesive before applying the foil. Fold it around the back and secure with glue or tape.
If needed, spray paint your metal pieces. I used a mixture of gold and silver.
Layout our pieces on the edges of your board then glue into place using any firm glue.
I had a spring that was perfect for using as the dry erase marker holder.
Dry Erase Marker: I spray painted the bottom portion of the marker and glued on a large black pom pom to use as a quick eraser.
I wrapped some wire around my marker to keep it in place in the spring holder.
This trendy Star Wars lamp is easy to make and costs very little. All you need is an old lamp, spray paint, Mod Podge and some Star Wars material. Check out our other Star Wars crafts page including our Star Wars Boots and a Star Wars T-shirt. This project is courtesy of our daughter Amy Grace. She’s a phenomenal artist and you can find her work at her various online stores.
Star Wars Lamp Supplies
Spray paint your lamp base if desired.
Make a pattern of your lamp shade. This is very easy to do using a piece of butcher paper or newspaper. After you’ve traced it allow 1/2 inch extra on the top and bottom to allow for the fabric to fold over the top and bottom of your shade. Cut out your material then coat the shade with Mod Podge and smooth your fabric over it. No overcoat is needed. Use a small amount of Mod Podge inside the top and bottom rim and fold the fabric over into the inside.
These small plastic parts chest are not just for nails and screws! (As you can see in our Craft Room Organization Ideas.) With a little paint, labels and some bling, you can transform them into a classy and stylish way to organize office supplies. We’ve got printable standard drawer size labels you can use for your own cabinets if desired. Your office supplies never looked so good!
Organize Office Supplies Project
LABEL SIZES & CHESTS: Many of these types of chests have drawers that are generally standard in size but they may vary slightly. These labels will fit drawers that measure approx. 4.5″x2.25″ for the large size and 2″x1.25″ for the small size. Also, some drawers can have a divider slot on the inner front of the drawers. Those cannot easily have labels on the inside but you can attach them easily to the outside. I personally have three different brands and sizes of chests and the labels fit all of them.
- Plastic parts or craft chest. The labels fit this typical size chest.
- Spray paint
- Printable labels below (or make your own)
- Spray adhesive. (Make sure you get the type that allows for temporary bonds and use out outside.
Blank Labels (pdf)
- Remove the drawers from the chest. Spray paint the chest the color of your choice, using two or three thin layers, allowing them to dry completely in between each coat.
- Lay out the drawers, gather all your office supplies and place them in.
- Write the titles on your labels to match the drawers.
- Print and cut out your labels. They are aligned in such a way that you should be able to cut directly between them with no trimming required. (Unless a specific drawer needs it.)
- I attached my labels inside the front of each drawer but you can also attach them to the outside if desired.
- Using a spray adhesive that allows for temporary bonds, lightly spray the fronts of your labels (or the backs if you’re placing them on the outside of the drawers.) I used 3M General Purpose Adhesive which does both permanent and temporary bonds depending on how long you let the glue dry before affixing to the item. I let the spray set for 60 seconds to make the bond temporary. I barely sprayed mine with tiny short spurts as I just wanted enough adhesive to tack the label into place. This allows you to easily replace labels in the future.
- Fill up the chest with your drawers!
My office supplies had gotten a bit out of hand.
I purchased a plastic parts chest.
I spray painted it to match my office.
I set up a card table and laid out all the drawers and then proceeded to fill them up with my various office supplies.
I titled all my labels to match the drawer contents, then printed and cut them out.
I chose to put my labels on the inside of the drawers facing outward. I took them outside and laid them all face up on a piece of old poster board. Then I did a very light spritz on all of them and let them set for 60 seconds for a temporary bond. This way I can change my labels easily in the future if needed.
Add on your bling! I chose rhinestones.
Do you own a pair of leather type boots? Are you a Star Wars fan? Then before you know it you can be kicking it Star Wars style! Star Wars boots are simple and inexpensive to make. All you need is some Mod Podge and some Star Wars fabric. (You can of course use any type of fabric you want, but why would you?)
Looking for more Star Wars stuff you can wear? Check out our Star Wars T-Shirt Applique. You’ll find this and more on our Star Wars craft page. This project is courtesy of our daughter Amy Grace. She’s phenomenally creative and you can find her artwork at her various online stores.
Star Wars Boots Supplies
Mod Podge is not water proof so you will need to be careful where you wear your boots.
Take some paper and lay it over the area of the boot you will cover, then trace it as best you can. Cut your fabric out making it a little larger to allow for trimming as needed for a perfect fit.
Coat your boot area with Mod Podge and lay the material over it, Coat again over the material.
We suggest giving it several coats allowing it to dry in between. Remember, Mod Podge is not water proof so be careful where you wear your boots.
If you’ve had trouble finding a decent sized mouse pad or one that matches your decor our DIY mouse pad does both! All it takes is foam board, material and spray adhesive! You can make it any size you want and cover it with any fabric! It’s inexpensive and easy to do following our instructions and detailed photos.
DIY Mouse Pad Supplies
- 1 sheet of foam board (typically $1)
- Material to cover your mouse pad. (We suggest using a heavier type.)
- Spray adhesive
- Craft knife, ruler, marker
- Scotch Gard (optional but will help keep your fabric clean)
- Mounting strips (optional but helpful to hold mouse pad in place)
Because of how my desk is laid out I needed an extra wide mouse pad. There are few of those available and they are very expensive and not in the colors I wanted so I decided to make my own.
Measure the width and depth you want your mouse pad to be.
Buy an inexpensive sheet of foam board, white or black works, and chose some heavier fabric in the color of your choice. This fabric will get a lot of wear so keep that in mind. Darker fabric will show the dirt less.
Measure and mark your foam board and cut it carefully with a craft knife.
Cut your fabric to fit your foam board.
You only want a small overhang on the back. About 1/2″ or so. I didn’t finish the edge of my fabric as I felt it wasn’t necessary.
Use some spray adhesive to mount your fabric on your board. You could probably use other glue but this is the easiest.
Spray a light coat on your board.
Quickly and carefully place your fabric on your board while smoothing to avoid wrinkles.
Turn your board over and mask off the center area with paper. This allows you to use the spray adhesive on the edges to hold them down.
Fold the edges over.
The finished edges.
Because this is not made of the typical spongy and flexible mouse pad material it might need some help staying in place. I used some Command brand poster Strips to hold the corners down. Whatever you use make sure it won’t damage your desk. Command Strips come off clean and easily.
Your material is going to get dirty from the oils in your hands. Lighter material will show dirt more. Using Scotch Gard on your finished mouse pad will help protect it.
Get your family organized with a Star Wars Family Command Center! We made ours from an old magnetic dry erase board we had lying around. (We put chalkboard contact paper on half of it.) There’s a variety of ways you can create yours and we’ve got a printable quote plus printable Star Wars planets you can make magnets from.
We’ll also show you how to quickly turn a plastic chalk holder into a lightsaber! Add a small family photo for each person, a catch all box and some hooks and you’ve got a spot everyone can keep track of what’s going on in the family. (P.S. For those who have a Silhouette cutting machine we have those files for download in addition to the pdfs.)
Want more Star Wars ideas? Check out our Star Wars craft page!
Supplies for Family Command Center
These are what we used for our center. Other options are easily available!
- Large dry erase type board. (You could use an old frame and turn it into a full chalkboard using the same concept and ideas.)
- Chalkboard Contact Paper
- Chalk holder (Many choices for these, some of which already look a bit like a lightsaber!)
- Silver Spray Paint
- 1″ Wood Rounds (for magnets)
- Magnets for back of wood.
- Cup hooks (for keys)
- Small cheap frames, one per family member.
- Mod Podge (for planet magnets)
- Box to use for container. (We used a long shipping box.)
- Downloadable planets and quote below.
We’ve got two versions for you. The first is a PDF. The quote is only the size that a normal sheet of paper will allow. The second is for those who have a Silhouette cutting machine which allows you to cut out longer quotes on vinyl.
Silhouette files (zipped)
Family Command Center Instructions
You can make a Star Wars Family Command Center in a variety of ways. Hopefully ours will inspire you!
THE CATCH ALL BOX
You could use a variety of boxes, even a cereal box, for a holder on your family command center. I had a long mailing box that was the perfect size so I used that. Just cut off the top, cover it something or paint it, then glue it on your board.
PLANET MAGNETS (if your board is magnetic)
We grabbed some small flat frames at our local Dollar store. They didn’t need to be painted as they were already the right color… bonus! You could also attach plain photos to your board with no frames!
If you use chalkboard contact paper, or even paint on your center you can get these nifty little chalk holders. We had one that we spray painted and quickly made into a lightsaber using Sharpie markers!
This shows all the parts to our Star Wars Family Command Center. We used things we already had so use our ideas as a jumping off point for your own center!
The chalk holder and Star Wars magnets you can make using our free printables.
This is the end of our Tolkien Week & Hobbit Day Celebration. We’ve had a blast creating these ideas and sharing them and hope you’ve enjoyed reveling along with us in the joy of all things Tolkien.
In each of our weekly newsletters we’ve given away a free high resolution printable quote. During our celebration those were all Tolkien quotes. We wanted to give this last quote to everyone, not just our subscribers. We felt it was a fitting end to the celebration.
If you missed any of our Tolkien Celebration posts please click the link below to see them all! Thank you so much for being part of our online lives. To share a sentiment from Bilbo himself “May your beards never grow thin!” Metaphorically speaking that is.
Tolkien Quote Download (pdf)
In honor of Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week here are some FREE Tolkien Fonts! Plus, if you’ve always wanted to see your name written in runes or the Elven language we have those fonts too! After downloading them install them onto your computer to begin using each font. For Windows you just need to double click on each font file after unzipping it. This then allows you to install the Tolkien font quickly and easily!
DOWNLOAD EACH TOLKIEN FONT BELOW
So, you’re an honest, hard working website owner and blogger. You spend a great deal of time and money to present quality posts. In doing so you make use of Pinterest, which is the most awesome of tools out there, to promote your own website. Then one day you’re literally minding your own business and you get a notice from Pinterest. One of your images has been pulled as someone claimed copyright infringement. But wait a minute… this is YOUR image. You created the item. It was your idea and your work. You took the photo and placed it on your own blog and pinned it from there. How can this be?
This happens because, unfortunately, there are just some mean pinners out there. Using Pinterest’s simple form, they maliciously report your pin just so it will be pulled. And it works like a charm. Because of the very real problem of those who do indeed steal the work of others, the image is taken down without question. In one fell swoop your image is gone along with all the repins it had which means you lose that traffic. This is a different slant on copyright infringement but still boils down to someone taking credit for your own work and possibly hurting your business.
Hey, That’s Illegal!
What this means is that the person lied. They digitally signed Pinterest’s official form stating that the work is theirs and they did so under penalty of perjury. It’s illegal and they hurt your business by doing so. Here is the form on Pinterest’s website and below is the text from it that they must sign to claim a copyright infringement:
“I hereby state that the information in this Notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that I am the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyright or of an exclusive right under the copyright that is allegedly infringed.”
This happened to me. I had several of the same image pulled. This was from my own site and an item I had the idea for, created, photographed and uploaded. It’s the fairy door seen at the right which links my personal post on Fairy Doors here.
After my initial shock, I spent time filling out my counterclaims according to Pinterest’s instructions. Meanwhile the person who reported my images continued to do so, having the image pulled regularly from other places on Pinterest. My image had a lot of repins so I immediately lost traffic due to that.
Through research I learned that this person was doing this to others and the sole purpose appeared to be removing competition to their own items that are of similar nature. That’s just plain wrong.
The Pinterest Notification Letter
Here is an image of just one of many emails I’ve received from Pinterest. I’ve also received basic letters stating that my image, pinned by someone else to their own boards, was removed but those are much shorter. Interestingly enough they give you the name of the person who reported you. This is where my research began and I learned what the person was doing to others and not just me.
What’s the Answer?
Lets face it, its not like this is a horrible life altering thing. Plus the service is free. But it does do damage and for those of us who work diligently and honorably only to have this happen, its pretty disheartening. The problem is Pinterest’s policy is set up backwards from the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing. The work is pulled and it’s up to you to prove its yours, which is a time consuming process, filling out forms, sending in all your links and then waiting an extended period of time to hear back. (I’m currently still waiting and I’ll update here once I do.)
But the main purpose of this post is to give a voice to the problem and to also give a link to the Facebook Group “Mean Pinners” I created. I searched all over to find some place I could talk about this with others but found none, hence the group. Hopefully it will give those who have experienced this problem a place to speak out about it.
I’m not sure what the answer is. Copyright infringement is indeed a huge problem. This is the reverse of that… or maybe its the same but a different angle. What I would have liked to have had happen was instead of pulling my image without question Pinterest would have given me an opportunity to prove its mine, which I could very easily and quickly do. Or to have the other person prove its theirs, which in this case they could not. But again, Pinterest is a free service using by millions. I have no doubt that limits what they can do.
What You Can and Should Do
Never let anyone bully you in this manner. Though the system is not the best you still need to respond back. Unfortunately you need to do this for another reason. You need to get the negative mark that is now on your account removed as that will hurt you. Follow Pinterest’s instructions for filing a counterclaim and letting them know the image is yours. Here are the instructions copied from their site on the very bottom of this page. All you can do at this point is wait to hear back from Pinterest which unfortunately can take a while. I will update this post with new info as I receive it.
REMEMBER: You MUST file a claim or each of these reports is a strike against your Pinterest account and you can eventually have your account banned. How sad is that?
A. How to File a Counter-Notice
- Email your counter-notice to email@example.com
- Include ALL of the following:
- Your name, address, and telephone number.
- DMCA ID printed at the bottom of the notification email.
- The source address of the content that was removed (copy and paste the link in the notification email).
- A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the content was removed in error.
- A statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Pinterest may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided the original complaint under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
- A physical or electronic signature (for example, typing your full name).
B. Contact the Person
As you have the name of the person who reported the image (from the email Pinterest sent you) you can search for them. You will most likely find their Pinterest account which may or may not list their website, Facebook etc. I’d suggest dropping them a note on either one of their personal pins or by using the contact form on their site and discuss the situation. Don’t be mean or angry or rude or threatening. Be polite but to the point. You want to deal with the situation in an honorable manner. And do not repeatedly harass them on Pinterest. This will just get YOU banned. Never stoop to their level.
After doing these things, all you can do is wait and hope that the person will be dealt with by Pinterest.
What Happens After Your File
It can make a few weeks to get a response. If you sent in all the info requested you should receive one that says they have removed the mark from your account. That’s all that happens. Your image is not put back. So the system favors the person who did this unfortunately and they are not sanctioned in any way. Which means nothing stops them from doing it over and over. They got your image pulled and it stays pulled no matter the outcome. If you don’t do a rebuttal your account keeps the bad mark and with enough of them you will be terminated from Pinterest.
Mean People Suck
I have a very low tolerance for meanness and dishonesty. When things like this happen I have to do something. In this case I started a Facebook group and created this post. Only when enough people speak out can change occur. And though the problem would be considered small to many, its important to me. I work hard on my blog and it’s a means to help support my family. No one should be able to harm mine or anyone else s efforts.
Pinterest is a phenomenal tool for bloggers. They are, however, so large that problems like this are difficult to handle. Just do the best you can and then move forward. I’d like to think that in the end acting with integrity is what matters. If others don’t at least we can.
September 23 2015 Update
Its been a week since I sent in my claim and they just now replied back letting me know they needed more info. Here is what I’m required to send in. This can be a bit daunting for some and #6 might scan someone off. I’m still in awe at what I have to do because someone claimed something I made was there’s. I sent in all the info they requested.
Your counter-claim is incomplete because it is missing these parts:
1. “Your name, address, and telephone number” (part a)
2. “DMCA ID printed at the bottom of the notification email” (part b)
3. “The source address of the content that was removed (copy and paste the link in the notification email)” (part c)
4. “A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the content was removed in error” (part d)
5. “A statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Pinterest may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided the original complaint, or their agent” (part e)
6. “A physical or electronic signature (for example, typing your full name)” (part f)
September 25 2015 Update
Received the following email from Pinterest. Nothing about if my images were replaced, my lost pins or what happens if the same person does it again to the same image. I’ve asked them those questions three times now with no reply. I’m happy that the strike against me is removed but it appears the damage was allowed to be done with no punitive actions against the other person. I’ve asked Pinterest these questions one more time. I’ll add any reply if I get one. If they don’t replace a person’s image and the repins the system is pretty unjust.
Pinterest IP Support(Pinterest Help)
Sep 24, 16:38
We have received your counter claim. After review of your notice, we have removed the strike against your account.
Pinterest IP Support
September 30 2015
I received my last reply to my questions. They only answered one short and sweet:
Unfortunately, we cannot restore these Pins at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience and will use this to improve our review process in the future.
Pinterest IP Support
Grab our free printable pattern and make this double sided Gandalf You Shall Not Pass door hanger. The flip side has Speak Friend and Enter depending on your mood. We made ours with foam board but cardboard or even poster board would work! There’s a color version and a black and white version to download. Make sure to check out our other Tolkien crafts and ideas on our Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week page.
- Print hangers on regular paper (choose white or colored below)
- Foam board
- Paint (optional of you want to paint your foam board edges)
- Marker (optional if you want to use for the edges)
- X-Acto Knife
- Glue (I used spray glue)
Print out the hangers of choice on either paper or cardstock. Glue one of them to your foam board. I used spray glue but any glue will work. Carefully cut around the edges using a knife. If you do not want white edges you can color them with a marker or carefully paint them before applying the back of the hanger.
Make these gorgeous dragon eyes from flat clear filler marbles and use them for dragon jewelry or to carry around in a simple pouch. Adults and children alike love them. Best dragon craft ever! (Except for our Dragon Egg of course.) You can use regular paints to make these but I’ve listed the things I found that make them the easiest to create. View detailed photos and a video below!
NOTE: You can use regular paints with tiny thin brushes in place of the Sharpie paint pens. I tested both methods and preferred the pens as it was neater, easier and quicker to use.
- Flat Clear filler marbles in the size you want. Typical is 3/4″ inch.(You can get these at most Dollar Stores, Walmart etc.)
- Metallic Sharpie Paint Pens, Thin Or regular gold or silver metallic paint and a thin brush.
- Black Sharpie Paint Pen or Black Paint and a thin brush.
- Metallic acrylic paint for background. (I used green, purple and blue and purchased them at Walmart)
- Jewelry findings if desired to make necklaces, rings, pins etc.
The marbles come in various sizes. The typical size is about 3/4″.
These are the tools I found work the easiest. However you can use regular paints to make the pupils and outline them. It just takes a very fine brush and a steadier hand. The paint markers make it a lot easier.
Because the marbles act as a magnifying glass it’s important to make the pupil very thin and keep it away from the edges. Otherwise when it’s turned over it appears to run over the edge. Make sure to let it dry well before doing the metallic outlines.
If you’re using regular paint for your edging you can use a toothpick to make the dots. Allow your outlines and dots to dry before moving on.
Make sure to put the back color on a bit thick and keep it away from the edge. Allow to dry thoroughly before handling.
We put our Dragon Eyes into our No Sew Drawstring Pouch.
Make this classy Lord of the Rings art wood rack with some simple tools and supplies (and of course our free pattern.) You do NOT have to be an artist to do it! Its easy and would make a wonderful gift! Use it for necklaces, belts, scarves, or any other lightweight items you can hang. We’ve got a regular pdf version of the artwork plus a Silhouette file version for those who have that machine. One thing’s for certain… if I can make it, anyone can make it!
Supplies for Lord of the Rings Art Wood Rack
- 1″x6″ piece of wood. *cut to 18″ long)
- One 1/4″ round dowel cut into seven 2″ sections.
- Wood glue
- 7 wood plug buttons approx. 3/8″ (optional)
- Saw to cut wood (a hand saw works great!)
- Sawtooth no-nail hangers (optional)
- X-acto knife (or Silhouette machine)
- Paper or cardstock for the part members. (You can use black and trace the pattern onto it or white and print the pdf as is onto it and then cut it out.)
- Drill. For 1/4″ dowel pieces we used a 1/4″ bit which made a nice snug fit.
- Mod Podge or other clear gloss.
- Our free pattern downloaded
Silhouette File Version (zip)
Notes: You can use different sizes of wood and dowels if desired, adjusting things as needed. You can also purchase your own hooks to insert it rather than use dowels.
You can either cut a larger piece of wood down or buy a typical 1×6 board and cut it to the length you need, which is what we did. The wood plugs are optional but they are inexpensive and really make it look extra nice.
Print out your background pattern. Cut it out and tape it together then trace it onto your wood however you like. You can even just press hard with a pencil and it leaves a light indent on the wood that you can use as your painting guide.
No Nail Sawtooth Hangers
I added these after the hanger was completed. These are my favorite type of hangers. They just hammer right into the wood.
There are three ways you can cut out the Lord of the Rings art and us it. 1. You can print it out onto white paper or cardstock on high quality. Then you have to take an X-acto knife and carefully cut around it. (Yes, this will take a while and some patience.) Carefully tape it together. 2. You can print it out on normal paper then lay it over black paper or cardstock and carefully cut it out using the top piece as a pattern. Again, tape it together carefully. 3. For those of you who own a Silhouette cutting machine you can use the files for that and the machine does all the work for you.
Use your paints of choice and paint the areas as shown. No artistic skill required!
Don’t forget the edges!
Glue your party graphic onto the wood using Mod Podge or another method, making sure to align it carefully.
Top it with your choice of gloss or semi gloss coating.
You will now drill the holes to place your 2″ peg hooks into. We used a 1/4″ drill bit. You want your pegs to fit into the hole snug. We choose 7 hooks and drilled the holes as follows: 1/2″ up from the bottom of the board. We started 1 1/2″ in from each end. Each hole was 2 1/2″ apart. Please measure your own board to make sure this spacing works for you.
Getting Peg Hooks Ready
You can do this two ways. After cutting your dowels 2″ long you can glue your wood button ends onto them before inserting them. We did this by taping them upright to a board and then gluing the buttons on and letting them dry. We then inserted them into the board and painted them. In retrospect we suggest you insert the wood dowels into the board and then glue on the wood buttons and let them dry and then paint them as its simpler.
Place a small amount of wood glue on the ends of your dowels before placing them into the holes. You may need to use a hammer to tap them into place.
Wipe off any glue overflow.
After they dry, paint the pegs.
Make sure to give them a coat of gloss after the paint dries.
Completed Lord of the Rings Art Rack! Attach a hanger on the back and hang it up.
Here’s a fun way to cool off. You may recall we showed you how to create some pretty hand fans using clothespins. For this modern version you can download and print our Free Emoji Fan graphics and glue them onto an old CD or DVD then attach a tongue depressor! Kids and adults alike would enjoy these. Keep a bundle in a container for handing out. Give them as party favors. Hand them out at outdoor events. No matter how you use them they’re sure to put a smile on faces!
- Downloaded, printed and cut out emoji faces below
- CDs or DVDs
- Tongue Depressors
- Glue (I used spray glue to attach the faces to the CDs and hot glue to attach the tongue depressors)
- Paint if desired for tongue depressors.
Free Emoji Download Printables
Have a Silhouette Cutter? Grab files for that below!
Print out your patterns and cut them carefully. Glue the emojis on to CDs. Paint your tongue depressors if desired and glue them onto your CD putting them at least 1/3rd the way into the CD so they are sturdy. You can cut two of each image and glue one to the back of your fan too so it’s two sided. Only use one CD however as using two will make it too heavy.
Now this is an interstellar beauty! And it takes just a few minutes to make! It’s so easy you could create your own solar system of planets! All you need is a little paint, a Styrofoam ball, a CD and some glue and glitter. So get started creating your own universe!
Saturn Model Supplies
- 3″ Styrofoam ball
- Spray paint color of choice
- CD or DVD with no label or writing preferably
- Glitter of choice
- Spray adhesive
- Hot glue gun or any thick adhesive
- Fishing line and an eyelet hook (for hanging)
- Wood base and dowel (for placing on a stand.)
- Drill for stand.
Cut your Styrofoam ball exactly in half
Gather all your supplies. You also need some spray paint and hot glue or thick adhesive.
Spray your CD on one side, use glitter and repeat on other side.
To make using glitter easier take a piece of paper and fold it in half.
Lay your CD on the paper and sprinkle your glitter onto it.
Shake off the excess.
When you’re done bend the paper along the crease you previously made and carefully pour the extra glitter back in the container!
Spray your Styrofoam halves.
Using hot glue or any thick adhesive of choice attach your Styrofoam halves onto the center of each side of your CD.
TWO WAYS TO DISPLAY SATURN MODEL: Place a small metal eyelet hook in the top and use fishing line to hang it. Or you can use any small piece of wood as a base. Drill a hole in it to fit a small wooden dowel than push your Saturn down onto the dowel. Both methods are shown below.
You can easily attach some fishing line to your planet for hanging.
Check this out!
113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute.1 I tell you this so you won’t feel bad if it happens to you more than you care to admit. But fear not! We have some very basic tips that can help you keep track of that expensive little gadget and a couple things you can do if it does slip through your fingers now and then. Lets all stop losing cell phones!
The most bizarre place I ever found my phone.
Roy’s still asleep as I wake and reach over to grab my cell phone which I place on my nightstand every night. It’s not there. Then I remembered reading on it before bed. I must have fallen asleep with it in my hand. I look under my pillow and don’t see it. Well, maybe it fell off the side of the bed. I grab a flashlight and start shining it on the floor. No phone. Maybe it bounced under the bed or nightstand. I get down on all fours peering under everything. Nope. Could it have gotten wedged behind the bed? I carefully pull the mattress out from the wall, so as not to wake Roy. Nothing there. OK… maybe it fell off Roy’s side of the bed. Uh uh.
Now I’m lifting the covers and shaking them. I take my pillow and turn it on end in the event it crawled into the case. I carefully feel under Roy’s pillow. At this point I’m thinking… “What the crap!?!” As I’m standing there wondering if maybe it was transported into another dimension, Roy shifts in bed and turns over onto this stomach. And there, stuck on his bare back like a piece of toilet paper stuck to a shoe, is my phone. Evidently he was so tired he laid down on top of it and didn’t notice. The slick screen stuck to his back and embedded there for who knows how long, until he turned over. Being me, I of course had to take a photo before I peeled it off. I used his cell for that. I guess things are always in the last place you look.
Ideas To Help Stop Losing Cell Phones
1. Get Off Auto Pilot
We tend to do so many things without thinking. Practice being more aware of your actions. As you lay your phone down just focus your attention on it. It’s that simple!
That’s actually good advice in any situation. Work on being less distracted and paying more attention to what you’re doing.
2. Say It Don’t Spray It
When you lay your phone down actually speak out loud where you put it. “I put my phone on the bookcase.” “I put my phone on the bathroom shelf.” etc.
You’d be amazed at what that one little focused statement can do for your memory! It forces you to be present and aware.
3. You Don’t See That Everyday
This one is kinda fun. When you lay your phone down whip up a quick mental image of something weird that incorporates the phone.
Lay it on the kitchen counter? Create an image of a cell phone eating a plate of food. Lay it someplace in the bathroom? An image of your phone sitting on the toilet. You get the idea.
4. Home Sweet Home
Have a designated spot or spots in your home where your phone lives. A pretty little basket by the door, a decorative plate on the kitchen counter etc. You can have one in all the main rooms if you want. The trick is to get into the habit of using those spots. After three weeks it should be natural!
I saw this Command plastic cell phone pouch (to the right) and thought it was pretty cool. Cheap too. You can stick it anywhere you want as a spot to store your phone.
These tend to work really well as a “home” for your phone because it’s not just a place to store your phone, it actually charges it. You can buy or make all kinds of these.
If You DO Misplace Your Phone
Install one of those apps… the one’s that literally show you where your phone is via gps. Those are worth their weight in gold. Even if your phone is on vibrate they can make it beep. You put the app on your phone and then on your computer or another digital device such as an iPad etc.
We used the app when Roy lost his phone and had no idea where. His second copy of the app was on his iPad so he opened that up and saw the phone was in the house. (Thank goodness.) We just had to narrow down the location. We told the app to make it beep while he and I walked around trying to locate just where in the house it was. Ends up it was in the bottom of his closet… inside a boot. Go figure.
A Few Apps To Find Your Phone
If the phone is turned up and you know its close by you can always call it from another phone. If you don’t have another phone handy there is a cool site that lets you plug in your number and it will call your phone for you. http://www.wheresmycellphone.com
Getting your old photos and negatives onto your computer is not all that difficult. Just a little time consuming! I have literally thousands of black and white photo negatives which have been stuffed in a box for decades. I also had thousands of slides from my youth that were never converted into photos. So I finally took several big breaths (trying not to hyperventilate) and decided to start scanning them into my computer.
The negatives came in all shapes and sizes, from the very tiny 110’s to the normal 35mm and then a bunch of larger 120’s. I even had a few negatives that were bigger than that, two of which were 6 inches tall! This required me to find a way to import all these various forms and sizes of media into my computer. Below I’ll detail how I worked with each type of media and was able to bring it all into my computer.
Scanning In Old Photos
Photos are the easiest to digitize. Many printers now come with on board scanners and they are fairly reasonably priced. Though I had a printer with a built in scanner, due to how many photos I had, I decided to purchase a small portable scanner. This saved me hours and hours of work. The scanner I purchased for around $100 is no longer available but they have a Doxie Personal Scanner that is even rated better than mine was for the same price. It will scan up to an 8×10
Benefits of Portable Scanner
- You can scan anywhere there is an outlet.
- You feed photos into it and it pulls them through automatically.
- It saves the images to a memory card.
- Has the option to connect to a computer and save directly to it.
Because I didn’t have to have it connected to my computer to scan I would sit on my couch and scan while I watched TV. I would then bring the memory cards to my computer and pull the images off. If you use memory cards your computer either needs to have slots for reading memory cards or you can purchase an inexpensive USB dongle for ease of importing the cards in.
I scan to small memory cards which allows you to sit and do it anywhere there is an outlet.
I set up a small table next to my couch with all my supplies. Then I would scan in things while watching TV. I had several memory cards and would fill them up before taking them to my computer and pulling them off.
Scanning in Slides, 35mm & 110 Negatives
As I said I had a wide variety of media and negatives in all shapes and sizes. What I didn’t have was a negative scanner. There are other ways to scan in the smaller negatives but it’s too tedious to really work well. Especially when your dealing with as many negatives as I was. I began researching the issue and finally found a scanner by Wolverine that worked wonderfully. It scans in 35mm, 110mm and slides. It scans only to memory cards, which was fine with me. Again, I could sit on the couch or anywhere there was an outlet and scan my negatives. (They also have a model that additionally let’s you scan in frames from super 8 film.) The scanner comes with the tray for 35mm and slides. You have to purchase the 110 trays separately.
Trays for Wolverine Negative Scanner. (110 size purchased separately.)
Scan negatives to memory cards. This also allows you to sit and scan anywhere.
Insert negatives into tray.
Insert tray into side of scanner. Press to take a photo of the image on the negative. You can then take your memory card to your computer to pull the images off.
Scanning in Larger Negatives
My older, larger negatives proved a bit tricky. They were anywhere from 2 inches square up to 6 inches. So back to the internet yet again to research. I learned of a way to scan them in using a Light Tracer Light Box and my iPhone. Believe it or not the quality was great. You could rig up your own light box such as this one but I used one I already had. The only added work using this method is that you have to reverse the negative image manually in some sort of photo software after putting it on your computer. I’ll show you the basics of how to do that.
Lay your negative on the light box and then take a close up photo of it with your iPhone, using a tripod or holding it as still as possible. Copy the photo from your phone to your computer and move to the next step below.
Reversing Large Negatives
If you have scanned in larger negatives using the method above you’ll find you now have digital copies of negatives that still need reversed. To do that you need photo editing software. There is a variety out there including free ones such as Picasa and most will have the feature you need to reverse the image color. (For Picasa the tool you want is “Invert Colors”) I use Paint Shop Pro for all my photo work. It has a choice called “Negative Effect”. I just pull in my negative I scanned in and use that effect. I can then crop, align and adjust the image as needed. You can see the stages below from a screen capture I took.
My Main Scanning Tools
VARIOUS OTHER ITEMS
USB Dongle (for copying memory cards to computer)
Picasa (free photo editing software)
Have you ever wanted to read a book on your Kindle or other eReader but quickly learned that there were no digital versions available? That’s happens more times than I can count on older books and as I’m someone who’s gotten pretty spoiled to only reading electronically it’s pretty annoying. But where there’s a will there’s a way and I found how make my own pdf eBooks so I could put it on my Kindle. It’s a little time consuming but if you want a book bad enough in that format it’s well worth it.
It does help to have some basic computer skills to convert your book. But as with anything if you put the time in you can learn to do it. The format will be PDF which can pretty much be viewed on any digital device. I placed links to the tools I personally use.
The book you see above is one I’ve had for many years as a hard back. I really wanted to read it on my Kindle for a long time but there were no digital versions available. So I purchased a cheap used paperback of the same book on Amazon and took it apart for scanning and turning into the version you see on my Kindle. My original hard back copy still sits in my regular library. LEGALITY NOTE: Only do this for your own personal use and only from a book you own. This falls under the “fair use” clause, the same as does ripping a music CD that you’ve purchased.
Tools to Create PDF eBooks
Steps To Creating a Digital Version of a Hard Copy Book
Here are the basic steps. Everything is shown using a Windows PC.
- Buy a paperback version of the book you want to convert. I typically buy a used version on Amazon. I do this so I can keep my original hard copy version intact.
- Take the paperback version apart page by page. You can also do this with a hardback if no paper back is available.
- Scan in each side of each page of your book.
- Bring each page into a graphic software and crop/straighten/adjust brightness if needed.
- Use a free software to combine your final images into one pdf.
Visual Steps With Detailed Instructions
Buy a Paperback Version (optional)
If you have a hard copy of your book and want to keep it intact then purchase a used paperback of the book if you can find one. I buy all my used books on Amazon. You can find quite a few books for dirt cheap plus typically $3.99 shipping. Many times they are as low as .01 as you can see in the example. Just check the person’s ratings and book details before buying. You can even get used books using Amazon Prime occasionally. The one below has a bunch of them for free Prime shipping for less than $4.00 total.
Take Book Apart
Take your book apart page by page. For some books you can easily just tear the pages out because they come apart with a fairly clean edge. If it’s a tighter binding you can cut them in groups with an X-acto knife. You can also trim rough edges with a paper cutter if needed. NOTE: For flat bed scanners rough edges won’t matter. If you’re using the type of scanner that pulls the pages in as I did, you need a fairly clean edge or it won’t pull them in easily.
Scan in Your Pages
You can use a flatbed scanner and whatever scanning software you have however this takes a longer time. I purchased a small portable scanner that pulls in the pages. It allowed me to sit in the living room and watch TV as I scanned which made the process much less tedious. The small scanner takes a memory card which it scans the images to in sequential order. Make sure you scan them in the right direction so you don’t have to flip each one after the fact. Try to scan in as straight as possible. NOTE: For my book I tore the pages out which gave me some rough edges. I then used a sheet protector that I had trimmed side off of and placed the pages in it if they had a hard time feeding into my scanner. This allowed them to feed smoothly.
NOTE ON THIS EXACT SCANNER
It will scan in two resolutions 300 and 600. You only need the 300. Every memory card has a small sliding button type thing on the side. This will “lock” the card so images can’t be erased. It must be set to “unlocked” for it to scan images to or the scanner won’t work. It also will not work if you forget to put a memory card in the back.
Move Images To Computer (For Scanner Shown)
If using a scanner like mine you now need to move the images from the memory card to your computer. (If you use a flat bed scanner it of course puts them right on your computer.) Some computers have built in memory card readers. I have a cool little thingy that allows me to insert a card and plug it right into a USB port on my computer. You need to be able to navigate to the card on your computer to get your images. Save them to a folder on the desktop for easy access.
Adjusting Your Page Images
Adjust your images using photo software or the online program below. NOTE: If you used a flatbed scanner you can typically set the area it scans which means your pages do not need adjusted in any way after scanning. Using my portable scanner required me to adjust them. Some might need brightness/contrast adjusted but normally its a matter of cropping them or possibly straightening the image if its crooked.
NOTE: I’ve just learned of Canva, another great online photo editing software that is very simple to use. You can check out Canva here.
TO ADJUST IMAGES ONLINE
Go Here: http://editor.pho.to For a quick tutorial watch me using the program in this video.
If you’d prefer to download a free software from this site that you can install, click here: http://pho.to/editor/download.php
Making Your PDF eBook
This requires you to download and install a free simple software. You’ll want to download the item titled “Free Image To PDF Converter” (10 files down on the page) http://www.weenysoft.com/downloads.html
For a quick tutorial, watch me using the program in this video.
You now have a PDF eBooks you can read on your computer to send to your devices. For Kindle users there is an invaluable little program called “Send To Kindle” which lets you send files quickly to your device. You can also attach your device if you know how and copy the file there.
As a blogger I know the importance of having high quality photos for my articles. Since I write so many articles I needed a spot in my home that was assigned just for my photo taking needs. I came up with an idea that works great! I partitioned out a room using bookshelves and made myself a photo shoot nook complete with a pull down backdrop using a shade. All the details are below!
Everyones photo area will be different but below are the things I used for mine.
- Table. I used an old wood kitchen table that was 30″ x 47″. It’s a perfect size.
- Good quality roller shade. I tried a cheap one and it was a waste of money as it was far to thin and got ruined easily. I finally ordered one online from blinds.com where you can choose the exact size you need. I chose the Economy Room Darkening Roller Shade. I also chose the roller mechanism rather than the spring type blind. It’s a perfect quality for your photo shoot area!
- Various material for other backdrops. I purchased 1 1/3 yards of 4 basic colors for the times I don’t want a white background.
- Spring tension rod. Because of how my nook was set up I use a tension rod to hold other fabrics in place if I need a different color background.
- Clothespins to hold my fabric to the rod.
- Photo lights. Lighting makes a HUGE difference in photo quality. I purchased this set of three. They were reasonably priced and have worked great for me.
- Camera. I purchased a Canon Rebel T3 and I LOVE it! iPhone camera’s actually take pretty good pictures too!
My photo area is in my library room. I used bookshelves to create a nook that is hidden behind them.
This is how my small room is laid out.
Whether you mount your blind on a wall or on the back of bookcases as I did it’s a good idea to measure a 1″x4″ piece of wood to mount it too. Roy measured the wood to fit for my situation. He painted the wood white then attached it to the back of the bookcases. Then he attached the blind mounts on each end to hang the blind. Extra Backdrops: I use the white shade 99% of the time as it gives a nice clean look. However, sometimes I have an item that is clear or white and it needs to have a darker background in order to show up well. For these few cases I purchased 1 1/3 yard of several fabrics I found on clearance for $1.00 a yard. I hemmed around each each folding it over and using a zig zag stitch. I then clip on one small binder clip to the corner of each one. This clip stays there at all times and lets you easily hang the fabric on tiny hooks or nails. This is how I keep my fabric from getting wrinkles.
Because of how my space is set up I use a tension rod for draping my fabrics over when I need a different color background. I hold them in place with clothespins.
This set up makes it very quick to use a fabric background when needed.
To decorate I just used what I had for now. This included a photo from the 70’s of me in my dad’s darkroom and also a framed image that my daughter Amy created and sells in her online store. It says “I’d Love To Shoot You With My Canon”. (Amy’s store.) Then I tossed on some other items and a basket to hold some of my camera accessories.
The large photos you see are of our family dressed as pirates for a party we went too.
For a little help redoing your own rooms download our FREE ROOM MAKEOVER KIT!
Need a phone stand in a pinch? (And I do mean “pinch”) Grab four clothespins! I spray painted mine as you can see. These are not glued together… you clamp them together each time you want to use them. Clamp one on each side and then clamp the other two legs on the ends.Tada!
- 4 clothespins
Paint or dye your clothespins if desired. You can also decorate them with Washi Tape.
VIEW OUR EAR BUD POST, ALSO MADE WITH CLOTHESPINS!
Everyone hates tangled earbuds! Here’s a quick wonderful way to make earbud holders using two clothespins. Customize them in any color you like with matching Washi tape. These make great little gifts and are simple enough even kids can make them.
DIY Earbuds Supplies
Glue clothespins together as shown.
Paint your clothespins.
Add a strip of Washi tape on each side.
VIEW OUR IPHONE STAND ALSO MADE WITH CLOTHESPINS!