This is one of the most awesome upcycle projects ever and its incredibly useful and so cheap to make! All you need are some marbles and 2 cheap cake pans to make a Lazy Susan that works as well as the one’s you buy. With a little spray paint and some contact paper or scrapbook paper, it’s also quite pretty. Lazy Susan’s are pretty pricey so this is a way to make several for only a couple dollars each. This was part of our outdated kitchen transformation which included some other fun posts such as our Chicken Wire Memo Board and our Lovely Little DIY Sugar Bowl
This DIY Lazy Susan is one of the most awesome upcycle projects ever and it’s incredibly useful and inexpensive to make. Plus, it has all kinds of uses!
Lazy Susan Supplies
- 2 cake pans any size (we got ours for .88 each at Walmart)
- Marbles, normal to smaller size. They must all be the same size. You need enough to almost cover the bottom of the pan.
- Spray paint (optional)
- Paper or contact paper for bottom of one pan (optional)
Video in Action
Gather your items. IMPORTANT: You need enough marbles to COVER NEARLY THE ENTIRE BOTTOM OF THE PAN.
Spray paint your pans whatever color you choose. You don’t need to paint the inside of the bottom pan where the marbles will go.
Measure the inside of the pan for cutting your liner.
Cut out your contact paper or liner paper.
Place it in your pan.
Fill the bottom pan most of the way with marbles.
Set your top pan onto the marbles and your Lazy Susan is ready to use!
I always wanted a chicken wire frame memo board and when we did our kitchen transformation, I decided to add one into my new kitchen. We’d used chicken wire once before in a really popular Dream Catcher Vision Board but this one was meant to be kitchen oriented, though I throw in a little twist using a pinecone craft succulent craft we did recently. It turned out gorgeous! I even made my own mail holder from a Malt-O-Meal box. The entire thing was a wonderful upcycle project. Fill yours with whatever pleases you!
Chicken Wire Frame Supplies
- Large Frame. We used an old rough wooden one we had lying around.
- 1″ size chicken wire to cover frame 24″x25″ roll
- Staple gun (I own this inexpensive stapler and brad nailer and its great. Manual but strong.)
- Mail Box Metal Label Holder
- X-acto Knife
- Spray Adhesive
- Glue gun
- Washi Tape
- Clips with Hooks These are PERFECT for using on your bulletin board and for a variety of other things! We used one to hold our notepad on.
- Pencil with tiny cup hook
- Small white clothespins
Please visit our Pinecone Craft post for details on making these.
- Pinecones of various shapes and sizes. You’ll be using bottoms and tops.
- Pruning shears or something to cut your pine cones with. They need a longer tip to get inside.
- Paint, acrylic or spray paint (after testing both, spray paint is much easier)
- Moss, if desired for containers
We had an old rough wood frame that we decided to use for our chicken wire frame. Roy cut some chicken wire to fit it.
Then he stapled it in place around the edges.
We did this backwards and painted it after we put the chicken wire on.
Next we made our pinecone succulents. It’s very easy to do and we have detailed instructions on our Pinecone Craft post here.
After our succulents were made and painted, we cut small circles out of felt to attach them to our chicken wire.
Place a large amount of hot glue on the felt circle.
Place it where you will be putting your succulent.
Push your succulent down onto the felt while pushing the felt with glue onto the succulent. Use something, if needed, to help push the felt so you don’t get burned.
This shows all of the succulents attached.
I decided to add moss in between the succulents.
I just poked it down in between and didn’t use any glue. It’s a messy job I suggest you do outside.
Next, I designed a note pad and pencil to hang on the board.
A tiny hook screw was twisted into the end of the pencil eraser.
I was painted silver and Washi tape was wrapped around the end.
We covered the top of our note pad with Washi tape to match.
I was originally going to use a binder clip and somehow rig a hook onto the chicken wire to hold the memo pad.
Then I remembered I had these awesome Clips with Hooks. They were perfect!
I wanted to have a pouch on my board to hold mail until we had a chance to open it. A Malt-O-Meal box was the perfect size.
I measured it and marked it how I wanted with a sharpie marker.
Then cut it with an X-acto knife.
I chose a color of scrapbook paper to cover it with.
I laid the box on the wrong side of the paper and carefully traced it.
Then I made two of the main folds.
At this point I pulled out my spray adhesive and gave the front and sides of the box a quick spray.
Then I pressed the paper carefully onto the box aligning the folds. I decided not to cover the back as it would not show.
I then proceeded to cut and fold the bottom paper.
I used stick glue to hold it in place.
Any extra was trimmed off.
On the top side I carefully decided where to make the cuts so I could fold the paper down and glue it into place while trimming away the excess.
I used a stick glue to do the seams.
For the finishing touch I added a metal label holder. It was bronze and I wanted silver so I used a little rub ‘n buff on it.
I glued it onto the front of the box and made a hole for the screws and pushed them through. Then I printed a label that said MAIL on my computer to insert into it.
I found a plastic hook and glued it upside down on the back of the box so I could hang it on the board. I could have also used felt to glue it on but I wanted the box to be removable.
Have you ever been walking through a thrift store looking for your next upcycling project and saw something that screamed “take me home and turn me into something awesome!” That’s what happened with this little retro coaster set. It was the proverbial puppy looking at me with big brown eyes. Well, maybe not quite that dramatic but I just knew I could do something special with it, though at the time I had no idea what. So I set in my basket and off to to the checkout I went, along with a few other finds.
It sat on my craft room shelf for quite a while as I pondered what I might create with it. Then I did what I always do when I have a “crafters block”. I called my daughter Jennifer. And thus from that old brown retro coaster set a beautiful gold and white picture holder was born. Nothing warms my heart more than an upcycling project where I give an old item a new home. FYI this is also fits into our Buff Your Stuff series so you might want to take a peek at those other items. Speaking of which, you’ve got to check out two of our other favorite things made from another time that seems to be in abundance in thrift stores: Brass candle holders. First is our Classy Jewelry Stand and the second is a Portable Recipe Holder!
Retro Coaster Upcycling Project Supplies
- Old Coaster Set
This is what the coaster looked like straight out of the thrift store.
It needed a little cleaning up.
I also had to remove the top pieces.
Then the spray painting began!
I found that a spray paint cap was the perfect size for tracing my photos.
I found photos I wanted and traced them.
I then cut them out.
There were just enough trays for each family member to have a photo with one extra so I made a special circle with our family name and printed it out to go on the very top tray.
I used Tacky Glue inside each tray to adhere the photos.
Then I pressed each one in place.
If you’re looking for a small token for Valentines day or anytime, here’s cute little heart keyring you can make while saving the planet! OK, that might be a little extreme but it does use up a plastic lid, which hopefully you grabbed by digging in your neighbors trash… those darned non-earth caring people. I won’t mention where I got my lid but they make the cutest little keyrings rather than adding to our bulging land fills. And if you’re looking to gain even more positive Karma, place the keyring in our lovely little Soda Bottle Pillow Box. And if you’re looking to increase your Karma with the person you’re giving it to, attach a key to a new car. Just saying.
Heart Keyring Supplies
- Plastic Lid (butter lid or other flat plastic items etc)
- Scraps fabric or burlap
- OR Washi Tape
- Keyring loop
- Mod Podge (protects and helps water proof it)
- Small hole punch
- Optional: Crop a Dile Eyelet Punch I had just received one of these and wanted to test it out so I used it for one of the hearts.
Gather your supplies. For this first heart we’re using fabric.
Choose the size of heart you want to make from our free printable patterns.
Cut out a heart from the plastic lid.
Trim the end a little so it’s not a sharp point.
I used my plastic heart as a pattern for the fabric. I used a tight weave burlap for one side. You can cut your other fabric at the same time if you want.
Add a generous amount of Mod Podge on one side of your plastic.
Place the burlap on.
Add a little extra Mod Podge on the edges to keep it from unraveling.
For the ring holder, take a small piece of fabric and cut it approximately 1/2″ wide and 2 1/2″ long. Coat it lightly with Mod Podge.
Fold it over.
Bend it over and trim it to about 1 1/2 to 2″. You just want a large enough loop to slip your ring through but also enough to glue under the fabric on your heart.
On the other side of the heart you will add another piece of fabric. If you have not cut it out yet do so with your pattern.
Glue the end of your loop onto the back of your heart using Mod Podge, then cover the entire back of the heart with Mod Podge.
Press your fabric down over the heart. Once it dries you can also give it another coat of Mod Podge for added gloss and protection.
You can now slip your ring into the loop.
All ready for keys!
For the next heart we used the lid from a plastic egg carton.
We traced the heart on.
For this heart we added strips of Washi tape touching each other. Once they are on we cut around the heart where we had drawn.
Remember to round the tip a little so that it’s not sharp.
Turn your heart over and apply Washi tape to the back just as you did on the front.
Trim off the extra Washi tap around your heart.
Coat each side with Mod Podge and let it dry between coats.
You can punch a small hole into the corner of the heart to hold the ring. I had just received this nifty Crop a Dile Eyelet Punch so I decided to try it out for the first time on this heart.
It’s a pretty neat little gadget and you can use at least two sizes of eyelets. Punch the hole.
Insert the eyelet, which comes in every color of the rainbow.
And clamp. Done!
I admit it’s cool and does give it a more professional finish but had I not had this, I’d have just used a 1/8″ hole punch.
Make a heart keyring as a gift for Valentine’s Day or any day! This upcycle uses a plastic lid, a split key ring & some fabric or Washi tape & Mod Podge!
You got three minutes? You got an old t-shirt? Add in a heart shaped pony bead and now what you’ve got are 3 minute DIY bracelets! Make them in bulk using our free printable cards for Valentines day giveaways or just make them to wear. It’s a wonderful way to upcycle those old t-shirts and they’re great for kids and adults! You could also put a set of these little bracelets in a variety of colors inside our Soda Bottle Pillow Box. And if you’re looking for other quick jewelry ideas check out our Charming Soda Bottle Bracelet DIY and our Easy DIY Necklace for Someone You Love.
DIY Bracelets Supplies
- T-shirt material
- Fabric Scissors
- Heart Pony Beads
- Card Printout Below (optional for giving them way)
Card Printout Download
Gather some old T-shirts and heart pony beads.
Cut approximately 12″ long by 1″ pieces in the same direction as the hem. You can trim the ends as needed when completed.
Grab each side of your piece of materiel.
Slowly stretch it out.
Continue stretching until it rolls up as shown.
Let go and you should have a roll as shown. Clip one end to a very skinny point to allow you to feed it into a bead.
You can trim it more if needed.
You can also use a large needled to help push it through.
Once you have your bead or beads on, tie it around your wrist where it just fits. Tie a square knot and trim the ends. It will slip on and off as needed because it stretchy. (Try not to pull or stretch it too much when you put it on and off.)
If you’re giving these DIY bracelets away as Valentines gifts, print and cut out the paper tags on cards stock.
They will be folded around each bracelet and glued.
Close them together to hold.
Have you been searching for those unique valentines crafts ideas? Well, here’s one we bet you’ve never seen before! That’s bold statement to make now a days! It’s two halves of one heart made from plastic soda bottles and it’s the perfect gift for a couple. Then we thought, what more perfect couple to give this too than good old mom and dad. I mean it’s their two loves that make you whole… or is it their two halves of love that made you a whole… well, you know what we mean. In any case they certainly deserve something special on this day so we think they are perfect candidates for a set of these. You can put something dad likes in one side and something mom likes in the other, add one of our free printable tags, and let them know just how glad you are that they both came together. Just like these soda bottles did! #lame But the gift works for any couple or for that special person of your own. And if you like this you just gotta check out our Pretzel Arrows Valentine Gift Idea which is placed inside our Clear DIY Pillow Box made from , you guessed it… a soda bottle!
Half Hearts Valentines Crafts Supplies
- Two Clear Straight Sided 32 oz Soda Bottles
- Two small pieces of sturdy white poster board
- GOOP Glue We tested hot glue but it just didn’t work well. You need a thick, clear glue of choice. GOOP worked great.
- Wipe off marker
- Red paint for lids
- Template below
- Tag of choice below
You’ll need two 32 oz bottles.
Print out the download template and cut off the top section.
Wrap the template around your bottle with the base touching the table.
Tape it into place.
Using a wipe off marker trace around the top curved part.
The two bottles, marked and ready for cutting.
Carefully cut as straight as possible along the lines you made.
Get two pieces of sturdy white poster board, large enough to set each bottle base onto.
You’ll need some thick glue. Hot glue was tested and didn’t work well for us so we used GOOP.
Place a line of glue on the cut rim of your bottle.
Very carefully, and without bending the bottle, place it down on the poster board. Assuming you cut the bottle straight it should touch all the way around. It will need to sit this way until it dries. NOTE: Every so often I would go in and lightly press down on the bottle to make sure it was firmly adhering to the poster board.
After it dries you will cut the poster board off around the edge of the bottle. You will also be cutting off any excess glue that may have spread out too far.
You will see glue around the edges which is fine.
If there happens to be any gaps because the bottle was not cut straight you can fill them in with a little extra glue if you desire.
Paint the bottle lids red.
Fill each side with any candy that will fit inside the bottle.
You can use each person’s favorite if you know what it is. M&M’s are also a great choice!
A pillow box is a nifty little invention that’s perfect for putting a small gift in. They are magically self closing and most are made from cardstock. But we’re going to show you how to make one from a plastic soda bottle! It’s easy and fun. Plus pillow boxes aren’t the only thing you can make from a soda bottle. (Not to brag or anything, but we kinda consider ourselves soda bottle gurus over here.) First, you gotta check out these other awesome Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas Using Soda Bottles (though you can use them any time of year of course.) Next, well… where to start… I’d have to say one of our more popular soda bottle posts is our Geometric & Confetti Plastic Bag Holder & Dispenser. It’s an upcycle that not only looks great but is useful!
Pillow Box Supplies
- Clear Straight Sided Soda Bottle (works with most sizes, 32 oz being a good average)
- X-acto knife
- Dry erase marker
- Small bowl, cup or plate to match the end of your bottle
- Bone folder or butter knife for pressing sides of bottle
When your finished, use the pillow box for a Valentines Gift idea!
I use a dry erase marker for making all my cutting lines because it wipes right off afterwards.
If you’re lucky there may be a line already near the bottom of your bottle. There was on this one so I used it as a cutting line. If not, you’ll have to measure up to cut off the base just where it stops curving in.
After I cut the bottom off I then measured up and marked the bottle using my dry erase marker where I would cut it on the top. Go as high as you can before it starts to curve.
Cut along where you marked.
Wipe off your marks and you should now have a cylinder.
Carefully flatten the cylinder and crease it on two sides. Press is with your hands and fingers to start but you will then need to use something to get a crisp crease on each side.
I use a bone folder which is made for the purpose of creasing paper and card stock. Its actually made out of bone and very strong. You can use pretty much anything, however, that will give you a good crease. The handle of a butter knife for example should work well. Just make sure to get a good crisp crease all the way to the ends.
You will now cut a curve around each end. To do this you need to find a cup, bowl or plate that fits your bottle end as shown. You want a nice gentle curve as shown, with very little being taken off. You want the bowl to barely touch the top of the end.
Mark it with your dry erase marker as shown.
Cut off the end where you marked and do the same on the other side.
This is the part is a little tricky. Take your bowl and face it the OTHER way on each end.
Make sure to score it with the knife all the way to the corners. As the scoring will not go through to the back side, you will need to flip the container over and do the same thing to the back side, then repeat the same thing on the other end.
Carefully bend down on the crease you made with the knife and fold it inward.
Pinch the crease some if needed to help it bend inward.
Once pressed in, it should stay. You can pop it out to do the other side.
To close your container you close one flap in, then the other. Do this on both sides.
Fill them with whatever you like and wrap a ribbon around them!
We also used this container for our Pretzel Arrows Valentines Gift Idea.
We made this cheap wall decor lightning bolt from a piece of foam that came packed in some furniture but the foam board you buy at the store works just as well. Most Dollar Stores, Craft Stores and Walmart carries it. You could literally make any design but this one went in our daughter Amy’s chic office and the lightning bolt fit her decor perfectly. This is one of those upcycles or basic crafts that costs next to nothing but looks phenomenal! If you’re looking for more great inexpensive ways to decorate, check out our DIY Cash Statement Piece and our Anti-Bad Vibe Shield, both made from foam board!
Lightning Bolt Cheap Wall Decor Supplies
- 40mm round gold sequins (we purchased ours at Hobby Lobby for 1.99 a pack)
- Foam board, 22″ x 28″ or any size you want your lightning bolt.
- Hot Glue Gun
- X-acto Knife or utility knife
There are three patterns. One is just a small example to look at so you can draw your own large one. The other two are larger version you can print out and tape together and use as an actual pattern.
Example to Copy 18″x11″ 24″x15″
Gather your supplies.
We upcycled a piece of foam packing that came in a small piece of furniture we ordered.
However, foam boards you buy at most stores will work fine also!
Trace your lightning bolt onto your foam board whatever size you like then cut out with an X-acto knife.
Begin at the bottom and add the sequins overlapping each row slightly. Try to cover all your foam.
Continue until all the lightning bolt is covered.
This particular lightning bolt was hung in a fun chic grouping in my daughter Amy’s office.
We’ve found yet another wonderful way to upcycle candle stick holders and turn them into a beautiful classy display for motivation quotes, ten of which we provide free below. This is a perfect match to go with our New Years Resolution Ideas Kit & Casual Resolutions. Change them in and out as desired. But that’s not all! Use it to display photos. Or how about artwork your children draw for you? You could also use it as a fancy note holder. Make different styles for each room. Give them as gifts! These candle stick holders can be found in a variety of styles and types at most thrift stores. You might remember seeing other ideas we used them for such as our Beautiful Classy Jewelry Stand and our Fun Upcycled Portable Recipe Holder. Who would have thought you could do so much with such a tiny object!
Motivational Quotes Stand Supplies
- Candle Stick Holder (Brass and glass ones such as ours can also be found at thrift stores and dollar stores.)
- Primer Spray Paint (This might be optional but since I was painting glass and I had some, I used it.)
- Gold Paint I used Martha Stewart’s Metallic Gold as it has a true gold look.
- White Paint
- E600 Glue or glue of choice
- Bobby Pins, 2″ size
- Wire Cutter
- Round Wood Ball with Flat Surface to fit your dowel.
- Dowel 3/4″ Average NOTE: This can vary with your holder and some can hold a variety of sizes of dowels. I chose a 3/4″ size for mine but I could have gone larger or smaller.
Ten 5″x7″ High Resolution Prints (pdf)
Though its free, we always appreciate donations.
Gather your basic supplies.
Because I used a glass candle stick holder I decided to use paint primer, because I had some.
I added white on the bottom of my candle stick.
I painted the rest of it metallic gold. I had to do two coats of each, drying in between.
I painted the stick and then the wood wall.
Squeeze glue into the bottom but only a small amount as you don’t want it seeping up the sides when you push your dowel down into it.Set the dowel down into the holder. NOTE: You will have to find a way to keep it from leaning while it dries, depending on the type of holder you have.
You need a single small bobby pin to use for the claps.
With a pair of wire cutters cut the bobby pin on the middle of the second curve up then cut it on the bottom at the same spot. Try not to bend it too much.
This is how it looks when you’re finished cutting. You can easily slip a paper in the top part.
Apply glue to the back of your bobby pin with a toothpick or paperclip.
Stick the bobby pin onto the top of your dowel as shown.
Paint the bobby pin gold to match, being careful not to get it between the pins.
If you do get paint between the pin, just slide something in until it dries to assure it does not stick together.
Cut out your quotes from our free download packet.
We give you ten choices of quotes to switch in and out of your holder.
They easily slip in and out of the clip when you want to change one.
If you’re always on the lookout for unique Christmas gift wrapping ideas, we’ve got some that will blow you away! Whether it’s for a small gift for a family member or a next door neighbor treat, the packaging will put a smile on the face of the receiver as much as the contents. They are made from plastic soda bottles and are as cute as can be. We have three versions, a clear square and a small petal flap and a tall mixture of both. We’ve also got some fun ways to fancy them up. If you’d like one more awesome way to use a soda bottle for gift giving, check out our other Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas! FYI we put our Quick Healthy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Recipe in one of ours!
Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas Supplies
- Soda Bottles with Straight Sides – 1 or 2 liters depending on size needed
- X-acto Knife
- Dry Erase Marker
- Ribbon / Washi Tape Etc. as desired
- Cardstock Paper For Holly and Berries
- Black Paint (for Santa pants)
- Bone Folder (I LOVE this for making creases on my bottles but you can use the end of a butter knife too.)
- Black Ribbon and Gold or yellow paper or felt for Santa belt
- Free Pattern Below
We have three styles! You can just start on down the list or click on of the links to jump to the one you want.
Style 1: Tall Mixed Style Container
We used a typical 2 Liter bottle for this one. Many of these have lines around them near the bottom or top. We use those as a base line for measuring, depending on how tall we want our container to be. Mark your container circle into four equal parts. Then mark it where you will be folding it at.
Fold straight down to your marked area on each “corner” area.
Once you fold one side you can easily fold the other straight across from it.
When you are finished you will have a perfect square on the top. The bottom of the container is the bottom of the bottle.
Cut each corner down to where you marked it. This will be how “high” the container will be. My bottle is still too high so I’ll end of trimming the petal flaps even more.
Keep in mind that the points where you cut are VERY SHARP. They will poke and draw blood. You’ll be fixing those in a minute. But be careful in the meantime.
Fold the flaps over to the inside and crease the edges sharply using a bone folder tool or the handle of a metal butter knife to press them down.
You will now pop the flaps back out and trim them down, curving the edges. The flaps will most likely be too long. Keep trimming them evenly until they fall halfway to the middle of the container. They can barely overlap each other or almost touch. Make a nice curved shape on the edges so they won’t poke anyone.
This shows a completed curved edge.
You can overlap the flaps one at a time to close them. They should stay closed on their own.
You can also punch a hole in two of the flaps for tying them together.
The container can be held together this way also.
I used ours for a 3 ingredient Chocolate Fudge Recipe you can get here. This is a perfect holiday neighbor gift.
To make it even more special, I happened upon these ornament cards from Shutterfly and fell in love with them. They are 50% off and typically stay that way during the holidays. There are many choices and you get to customize both sides and even add a photo if desired, which I did. Attach one to your gift and it doubles as a card/tag for neighbors and friends. (I love it when companies make me look good for a low cost.)
Hey, who’s that good looking dude I’m with? This is the back side of the Shutterfly card /tag. Their online system lets you design it up very easily. You can add all kinds of text in a huge variety of styles. (FYI, the tag I used is called “Merry Chalkboard Berries”. Again, it’s one of their Ornament Cards. Brilliant idea.
Style 2: Small Petal Box
I used a tall slim 32oz bottle for this one though any size will work. (Walmart has a wonderful slim tall 33oz size in their own brand that I use for quite a few crafts for 88 cents each.) Mark the bottle as high as you want it and cut around. In this case I cut off quite a bit as I wanted a fairly short gift container. The flaps themselves will only be 1.5″ or so long. The rest will be the height you wish the bottle to be.
For the petals you need six flaps, so measure around and divide the bottle into six even sections and mark accordingly. (Finally… that math you took in school comes in handy!) In all honesty it does NOT have to be exactly even. I eyeballed it to tell you the truth.
Remember, because we are making a short bottle we used the line that was already at the base of the bottle as our guide line to cut down to. Had that not been there we would have measured and marked around it with a dry erase marker. If you wanted the container taller you would just need to measure up from that line and cut higher.
Cut down to your base line. Also remember that those edges are sharp until you curve them! The petals will need to fold over about half way into the middle of the bottle. Trim them if they are too long.
Bend over each of the six flaps to the inside and press firmly with a bone folder, as you see me using, or a butter knife handle to get a nice clean edge.
Pull the flaps back out and trim around the sharp pointed edges making rounded petal shapes. You can draw on with a dry erase marker first if you’d like a pattern to follow. Remember, dry erase marker wipes right off when you’re done!
After your petals are trimmed and creased you can fold them one at a time, overlapping each, and they will close over the top.
This is the finished container.
It can hold not only treats but small gifts.
Since we made this at Christmas time, the more we looked at this one the more we thought it resembled the bottom of Santa’s pants. So we added a black ribbon belt. We toyed with the idea of a big red pom pom or a white bow. The bow won out.
We painted black on the four bumps to signify the boot parts and added a paper buckle.
Style 3: Square Box
This next container was made from another tall 32 oz bottle though you’d never know it! Measure and cut off both ends of your bottle making it the size you want. Then measure around making four even marks using a dry erase marker and crease each one as shown on above bottles. Make sure to get a nice sharp crease. I love using my bone folder for that but anything hard will work.
This shows two of the the nice creases. Now you’ve got a complete square.
For the bottom flaps you need to measure up on each corner. For my small container I measured up about 1.5″ then cut.
Fold them over like the top part and crease. Again, remember the points are very sharp. Overlap them to close and seal. The bottom could actually be glued if desired to keep it together. Round the very tips of the pointy parts for safety.
Curve the four top flaps either on just the edges or you can also make petal shapes if desired.
Overlap them to close the top.
We added a bit of gold Washi tape around the middle.
Two small holes were punched in two of the flaps to tie on a matching gold ribbon and bell.
This rustic little tree is made with six plastic hangers, some twinkle lights and burlap. It’s a great little, easy upcycle project and would make a perfect tree for a small family or an extra tree for another room in the home. Set it in a window and light it up for a beautiful eye catcher as people drive by. Make some of our rustic Twig & Twine Wooden Reindeer to go with it or adorn it with Christmas Spiders. Now that would be unique!
Burlap Christmas Tree Supplies
NOTE ON BURLAP: Use tight weave burlap. We bought a roll of 12″ at Walmart that had silver threads running through it. It was 10′ long. We cut it into two 6″ strips and it just did one tree. However, we did not overlap ours very much going up. In retrospect I would have put them a little closer, which means I would have needed a bit more. You can also use thinner strips but you will also have to use more burlap to cover the tree that way.
- 6 Plastic White Hangers
- Glue Gun
- Burlap, tight weave. For 6″ strips you will need at least 20′. For 5″ strips you will need more etc.
- White Chenille Stems or Twistie ties
- 50-60 String LED Lights You can also use This Type Easily! I would have preferred the second type but used what I had on hand. You want LED lights that last a long time and don’t get hot.
- 1″ Jingle Bells
- Star Pattern Below
3D Star Pattern Download
You are going to take two hangers and lay them as shown on top of each other. I’m using a blue and white one so you can see how they lay out easier.
Cut some chenille stems for tying your hangers together.
Tie them in the spots shown.
Two on each side and one on the top.
Make three sets like this. These form the three sides of your tree.
You will not attach the side together using more chenille stems plus the ones already attached.
The side ones can be twisted together if you left them long enough.
If the side pieces are too small you can just add more chenille stems.
You will now attach the top parts together using new chenille stems as shown.
Attach the three together, twisting the chenille stems tightly.
This is how it will stand up once it’s secured.
Taking a 3rd piece of chenille stem, tie the entire thing together.
Tie it together at the bottom also.
Here is your tree base!
Get your burlap ready. We used a 12″ by 10′ piece.
We folded it in half and cut it so each piece is 6″ wide.
Cut a few more pieces of chenille stems for attaching your lights to your frame.
Weave your lights in and out around your frame. You would also put them into the center but I was concerned they would not be bright enough to show through.
Attach your lights where needed to keep them from slipping. You can also hot glue your chenille stems in place to help.
Keep weaving your lights around, in and out and down.
As I tried to push a big wad of the lights through my frame it broke one of my hangers. I tied it back together with a chenille stem and held it with hot glue.
Keep in mind all of the lights that stick out will be pushed to the inside as you cover your frame with burlap.
Make the frame more sturdy by gluing the sides together in places as shown.
I ironed my 6″ piece in half for a nice sharp edge then cut up in 1″ slits about 1″ from the top. ONLY CUT ONE LAYER.
This shows how I only cut one layer. This assures that the frame does not show through.
Begin gluing your burlap around your frame. You will cut each side piece separate and wrap it around for gluing.
Make sure each side is glued well.
Overlap each piece as you go around so none of the frame shows through.
Push the lights into the back if they stick out too much.
After you have done one row move onto the next, overlapping.
Keep going around as before, overlapping the sides. As you can see, I didn’t cut enough on one row and the frame showed through. See the next photo for the fix.
I cut a single strip to cover the open spot.
As you get closer to the top you will need smaller strips. Near the very top one strip will cover three sides and possibly all four.
Usually, one last piece will wrap around the top completely.
You will have to curve it in a way that it makes the point. Make sure you aim the back of it towards the actual back of your tree.
You can now glue on your bells. Do this while the tree is on its side as the glue will run. Also, metal is a heat conductor so use something to help hold the bells as they will be hot from the hot glue as you hold them!
Paper Star Instructions
Attach a chenille stem to your star.
Insert it down into your tree top.
I’ve tried many recipe holders in my kitchen, the most recent was attaching a clip to my cupboard. The problem is I move around a lot while cooking. I decided what I needed was a portable recipe holder. I also needed one that would hold not only cards but also sheets of paper of various sizes. Well, I found one that does the job and does it with style and it’s got to be one of the cutest upcycles ever! All you need is a small brass candle stick holder that you can find at almost any thrift store. (You might recall that we made a Classy Jewelry Stand from one of the larger ones earlier this year.)
This recipe holder is lightweight and you can easily move it around, and when it’s not being used it looks darling sitting on our counter. Not to mention, talk about a wonderful unique gift! We also have some free matching recipe cards you can print out to go with it.
Recipe Holder Supplies
- Brass Candle Holder Amazon has the larger type which would still work fine as you can use the base to hold a mixing spoon.
- Large Kabob Stick (To fit inside the straw to give it stability. A very small dowel would also work. )
- Red Paper Straw
- Small Clothespin. We used a 2″ size.
- White Oven Bake Clay (Bakes 15 min. per 1/4″ thickness) I use both Sculpty and Fimo. Both bake up super quick. For one recipe holder you need a small square that comes in a set of colors. Or you can purchase just white.
- Shades of Brown Paint for base (or the cone) Markers can also be used over the base, lighter brown for cross hatching to resemble a cone.
- Hot Glue Gun
- Rice (Painted to make sprinkles!) We used markers to color them.
- Clear gloss spray to give it a nice shine.
This is what we started out with! You can find this at many thrift stores. I paid 50 cents for this one.
Gather up a few supplies.
Roll out your clay to make your ice cream.
Shape the clay as shown, twirling it around.
Keep swirling your ice cream around.
Make it fit onto your candle holder.
If the straw is strong enough, use it to push a hole into the clay at the angle it will be placed in your ice cream. It needs to go all the way through. You can also use a dowel that is the same size as your straw to make the hole. Now take your ice cream top and bake it in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes for each 1/4″ of thickness. We baked ours for about an hour.
While your clay is baking you can paint your base to resemble a cone and dish. The top portion was painted a lighter brown.
We took some permanent markers and used plastic gloves to help color the rice. We could just roll the rice around between our fingers. If you use water color markers, you won’t need the gloves. Color a few grains of rice whatever colors you wish for your sprinkles.
Glue your rice on however you want.
Add lines to the top part of your cone and paint the bottom of your “dish” white. Glue your ice cream to your candle holder.
Glue a 2″ clothes pin to the top. Make sure to put a coat of gloss over everything.
Learn how to make durable Chinese lanterns from soda cans! Paint them any color and fill with LED tea lights. Great upcycle decor for all occasions and unlike paper lanterns they last a long time. You can also hang them as is without lighting for a daytime event. We used LED tea lights with timers for these. Just like the ones used for our Upcycled Ceiling Fan.
Chinese Lantern Supplies
NOTE ABOUT SHARP EDGES: Most soda cans are now made with very thin, soft aluminum. It would be difficult to get cut on them.
- Soda cans (with tab still attached )
- Spray paint (We used Krylon Rich Plumb Gloss and Krylon Sun Yellow)
- Utility knife
- Raffia etc. for hanging
- Tea Lights, Battery Operated (this is the exact set I purchased which works on a timer 6 hours on 18 off) *
Note on these specific tea lights: I’ve not had mine long enough to determine the usage on these specific lights but from what I read it will be about two to three months if they are kept on the timer 24/7. The way the timer works is you turn them on at the time you want them to stay lit for 6 hours. They will then auto shut off for 18 hours and come on again the next day.
Video How To
You can measure around the can and make tiny marks where you will cut. You can also just eyeball it and cut, which is what I did. Make sure to keep the tab on!
Fill the can with water to about 1/2″ from the top and freeze. If you fill it too full it can split the can.
Frozen water in can.
Make cuts with a knife about 1/2″ apart and about 1″ or so from the top and bottom.
Set the can in the sink to let the ice melt.
Once the ice is melted paint the can. Handle the tab very carefully as you want it to stay firmly affixed to the can for hanging.
Carefully push down, making sure the cuts go outward.
Add battery operate tea lights if desired.
Carefully place them in the lantern.
Not your typical mason jar light, these wondrous woodland silhouettes will bring a whimsical touch of nature into your home. Get your free download of our own patterns below. (In both pdf and Silhouette Cutter format!) These will work on pint size or quart jars. The lovely paper rose that you see can be made using our simple tutorial 5 Minute Beautiful Paper Flowers. We also found a better way to tint those jars! So make sure you view How to Paint Mason Jars Easily with Less Mess.
- 1 quart and 1 pint mason jar
- X-acto Knife
- Regular white paper to print the graphics on
- Battery Operated Tea Light
- Printable patterns below
- Spray adhesive
Gather the few supplies you’ll need.
Painting the jars. What we did and suggest NOT doing. For the jars shown we placed some Mod Podge into a bowl and added a squirt or two of white paint. We then brushed it onto the sides of the inside of the jar. The result was not nearly as nice as we wanted. Though it looks great lit up in the dark, in the light it looks messy. So we tested another method that we suggest using instead.
A better method to paint your jars.
Because we were unhappy with our original jar painting, we did some testing. Then we created a post on how to paint mason jars which you can check out before moving on to the rest of your project.
You can cut out the graphics in minutes using an X-acto knife.
They’re now ready to place in your jars.
In order to hold the images inside the jar used a light spritz of spray adhesive.
Carefully put the image inside the jar, pressing it into place.
We placed a small amount of moss in the bottom of the jar and set our battery operated tea light on top of it.
Batteries for these lights are very cheap. The ones I use and linked to under supplies are on a timer.
For the top of the lid we used a 5 Minute Paper Flower.
Glue your twine around the edge of the lid.
We added an extra little flourish tied on with some twine.
You can decorate your own Mason jar lights however you wish!
We made this classy upcycled $100 bill statement piece out of a piece of foam board used as packing in something we ordered. Total Cost? ZERO. However, you can also buy sheets of foam cheap. The “frame” you see around it is actually a piece off of an old coffee table. But you could easily make a wood one or just hang it as is.
The fancy cupboard you see underneath of our cash art? That’s one of our “Buff Your Stuff” series where you take items you already own and give them a face lift. Check out our Refurbishing Furniture with Modern Colors post!
Cash Wall Decoration Supplies
NOTES ON FOAM SHEETS: Our foam sheet was in a box from a shelf we ordered. It was used as packing. We used it the size it came (24″ wide x 12″ tall and 1″ thick) and it had a nice texture. When buying foam sheets just make sure they are firm. We link to some below on Amazon but have not used them ourselves and our unsure of the texture. We suggest finding a sheet at a craft store or possibly Walmart. You can make it any size you want.
- Foam Sheet (please read notes above) Sheet 1 Sheet 2
- Black Paint
- Teal Paint
- Paint brushes
- Sharpie Marker
- Purchased Enlarger, Enlarger #2 (Uses light to enlarge images to then trace)
- X-acto Knife & Tape (if your do a stencil)
Enlarging or Stenciling the Graphic
You can either enlarge a smaller copy of the bill using a projector of some type or you can print out the larger 24″ bill and make a stencil.
ENLARGING WITH A PROJECTOR: If you have an enlarger you can place a small graphic underneath it and then it shines it up on the wall for tracing. You would hang your foam and then align the lighted graphic and trace it with a Sharpie marker. Then taking black paint, paint inside the area traced. We have an older model of this model projector. Its very handy for things like this.
STENCILING: You can also print out the 24 inch version provided. It will print on 3 sheets which you cut out and tape together. Then cut out the black areas with an X-acto knife. Lay the stencil over your foam and trace inside the cut out areas with a Sharpie marker. Remove the stencil and paint in the areas you traced with black.
Small size bills for using a projector. (pdf)
Large 24″ bill. .
This is one of the foam sheets that came inside a shipping box as packing. It was just the right size for our $100 bill. (24″ wide x 12″ tall and 1″ thick)
To stencil on your graphic print out the large 24″ dollar bill.
Cut the left and right margin off the middle piece.
Take the right and left pieces and match them up. The paper prints with a small overlap. Tape the pieces together across the entire back seams.
This is the fully taped bill.
Cut out your bill, then using an X-acto knife but out the stencil as shown. You will remove all the white parts.
Paint your foam board. We used a teal to match the decor. Take a black Sharpie marker and trace your graphic onto the board using either a projector or a large stencil as discussed above. Then paint in the black areas you traced on with a small brush.
We framed ours only because we had a piece of wood from an old coffee table that was the perfect size. We painted it gold.
Then we hung them on the wall. Instant glam and great money vibes! You can see how we created that beautiful cupboard from an old piece of furniture in our post Refurbished Furniture with Modern Colors.
We’ve got a wonderful way to inspire your kids to do their homework with a small portable desk homework helper station! It comes complete with pencil/pen holder, snack holder, inspirational quote and a place to store their homework. This very creative upcycle made from a TV tray comes together very quickly and you can color it however you want. We have THREE FREE PRINTABLE THEMES to choose from!
Homework Helper Supplies
NOTES: You can design the desk however you like, but we will link to the exact items we used below. You can use a variety of containers for the top. Use one longer one if you wish! Just make sure there is room for them to work.
- 1 wooden TV tray
- Snack bin (exact one shown)
- Pencil/Pen bins (set of 3) Exact set used
- Homework Helper Pocket (tutorial)
- Velcro, with a sticky back or regular Velcro you can glue on. You can also just glue the containers directly onto the desk.
- Package tape (for laminating the small labels if desired.
- Washi tape (optional)
- Printable Theme below
- Other basic pencil cases. Another type. (Keep them slim and not too tall.)
pdf (click download button under graphic)
NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND: Measure the top of our tray and purchase the containers ahead of time. You can then adjust the painting to fit the containers if desired. Keep in mind this is a small surface so you want fairly slim containers so there is still room to do homework on.
We started with an old wood TV tray you can find at many thrift stores.
The top was a bit worn so we sanded it.
Spray paint one side of the table the color you want.
After the first color dried, tape off the dividing area and paint the other side.
You can use Washi tape if desired to decorate it.
Designs work best if you don’t use a large container that will cover it up.
We decided to use sticky backed Velcro to hold our containers in place.
Decide where you will place the container(s)
Apply a strip of Velcro to the back and to the table. Though we used a larger strip, we decided a small piece on each end would work better.
Print out the labels and signs of choice and cut them out.
To make them sturdier and last longer we applied packing tape over the small ones before cutting them out.
Our TV stand had a cross bar that was in the middle of the legs and high enough to attach a pouch. We used one of our Homework Helper Wall Pockets to hang on the bar. We added two grommets to the container to allow it to hang. These are super easy to make and grommets are also cheap and easy to use! Check out our tutorial to make your own!This is the pouch we made for our homework helper desk.
Two small screws were placed in the cross bar to hang our pouch. You could also tie it on using ribbon or heavy string.
This is the “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do” theme.
A snack bin.
A container for pencils and pens etc.
Our pouch with an inspiring quote.
This is our Super Hero theme. We also have a Dr. Seuss theme.
Wall mounted file pockets are expensive. We’ll, we’ve found a way to make super cheap & creative wall mounted holders using 3 ring binders! The pockets can be used to organize or hold all types of things but we created 7 different printables so they can be used as a homework helper. You can even use wet erase markers to write on the charts and keep track of what needs done when! It’s a very unique and useful upcycle project. These would also go great with our small wall pouches made from recycled CDs! We used one of these pouches to make a Homework Helper Portable Desk.
Homework Helper Pouch Supplies
NOTE: The pouches are made to hold light weight items such as paper. If you would like a much stronger hold use E6000 and allow it to dry.
- 1″ 3 ring binders with insertable covers
- 1″ x 9″ or longer paint sticks
- Downloaded printables below
- Saw for cutting paint sticks
- Glue gun
- OR E6000 Glue
- Command Strips
- Wet Erase Markers
- Grommets Optional. We used the 3/8″ set for another pouch project.
The first thing you need to do is remove the metal ring strip from each of the binders. This can be a little tricky depending on the type, but generally you can carefully pry them off using screwdriver and pliers. We insert a large flat screwdriver next to where it was attached and then twisted the screwdriver to help pull the metal up.
After bending the metal center up a little we used pliers to reach under and twist the brad that attached it. The goal is to remove the rings with the least amount of damage to the binder itself.
We ended up having to pull the brads out after we twisted the metal bar off.
This does leave a hole on each side of the binder. But it is the back of the binder so it doesn’t matter as that part will be against the wall.
Cut your paint sticks to about 8.5″ or 9″. These will fall about an inch below the top so that there is a little give when placing items in the pouches.
Binders with metal removed and cut paint stick ready for gluing.
You can also insert two grommets in your binder before assembly. This allows them to be hung with nails or even ribbons rather than using Command Strips. Its super easy.
This is the pouch we made for our Homework Helper Desk.
This is how the wood will be placed in the binder.
Paint the sticks.
Start by gluing along one side of the binder as far up as the stick will go. (You could also glue directly onto the stick. Place the stick in place quickly. Do this for both sides of the binder.Place a line of glue on the tops of the sticks.
Fold the opposite side of your binder over onto the wood strips being careful to line them up correctly.
Print out the binder inserts.
Slide them into place.
Command Strips work wonderfully for hanging your binders on the wall.
The homework helper binders are completed and ready for use!
Wet erase markers work great on the surface! (Dry erase doesn’t rub off as well)
Make this beautiful, classy jewelry stand from something you can find at almost any thrift store… an old fashioned candle holder! I’ve yet to be in a thrift store where I didn’t come across several of these candle holders, usually for $1.00. With some dowels and a little paint you can turn them into a wonderful jewelry holder that even has a dish at the bottom for rings! (FYI: Get one with at least a 4″ base so that its sturdy!)
Jewelry Stand Supplies
- Old fashioned brass candle holder with larger base.
- 3/4″ dowel cut to 10″ (We made do with a 5/8″ and glued it in as it was loose.)
- 1/4″ dowel cut into two pieces, 7″ and 9″
- Hot Glue Gun
- E6000 or another clear solid glue.
- Silver Spray paint (Rust-Oleum has the best metallic look)
- Tiny birds
- Wood ball and wood plugs if desired.
- Drill and 1/4″ bit
You can almost always find these brass candle holders at second hand stores. You need one with a larger base to be sturdy.
Gather the supplies.
A 5/8″ dowel was used for the vertical, cut to 10″. (A 3/4″ would have fit snugger.) A 1/4″ dowels for the horizontal rods cut to 9″ and 7″.
Sand the ends of the dowels.
Mark where the holes will be drilled. 1 1/2″ and 4 1/2″ down from the top. It’s VERY important that the holes are lined up perfectly.
It’s also important that you drill the holes, using a 1/4″ bit, exactly straight through with not even a slight angle. Otherwise the rods will not be straight.
Sand a little if needed.
Slide the rods in. It should be a snug fit.
As the 5/8″ dowel is a little small it needs to be mounted in vertically. Use glue to hold it up in place. This, however, is not strong enough to hold it permanently.
Add a thin line of E6000 or other clear solid glue around the base. This will hold it firm.
You can add some small extras if desired such as these small wood plugs and a wood ball on the top.
Glue them on with E6000.
Use the E6000 glue to attach the tiny birds.
Hold them in place, then allow to dry.
Glue the wood ball on top the same way.
After everything has dried spray paint the entire stand.
Check out this “Berry” Amazing and Easy DIY Room Decor Light made from a small plastic cherub tomato container. Who doesn’t want to reduce and reuse? This brilliant upcycle project is not only simple, it’s absolutely adorable! It adds a whimsical pop of color during the day and makes a beautiful, soft night light in the evening. A great project for kids of all ages!
DIY Room Decor Berry Light Supplies
- Plastic container from Nature’s Sweet Cherub Tomatoes
- Spray paint, Berry Pink, Key Lime
- Light green and dark green craft foam
- Battery operated tealight
- Hot glue gun
- X-acto Knife
- Leaf stencil download below
Leaf Pattern Download
Little Cherub tomatoes are what you need. They come in the perfect container. (And the tomatoes are delicious!)
Separate the top and bottom of the plastic container. Spray paint the top pink and the bottom lime green.
Print the FREE DOWNLOAD. Cut out the leaf of choice and trace it onto a sheet of light and dark green craft foam.
Cut out the leaves.
Once dry, flip over the bottom half of the plastic container and draw a 1/2 inch circle. Using an X-acto knife, cut out the circle.
The tip of the tea light should fit easily into the hole.
Place a circle of hot glue around the flame tip of the tea light.
Put the flame tip of the tea light through the hole and hold into place until dry.
Place a dab of hot glue on the flat base of each leaf.
Apply to the bottom of the plastic container. Repeat with the second leaf.
Pop the pink top of the container back onto the green bottom and turn upside down to switch on light.
Make your summer sensational with this stunning DIY portable grill and skewer set! It’s a larger version of our Mini Campfire Smores Kit. This one is an inexpensive whimsical addition to your backyard barbecue. Not only is this simple and cost-effective, but it is sure to be a great conversation starter at your next get together. Great for every day grilling and late night S’mores on a warm summer evening. You won’t believe how easy it is to make.
Portable Grill Supplies
NOTE: Make sure you buy a typical heavy clay pot with no glaze on the inside. They are put through a kiln so will withstand high temperatures as long as the change is not sudden. Never put water on the briquettes when finished as the sudden temperature change will crack the pot. Also, NEVER touch the pot when cooking as it gets very hot.
- 12″ Plain Clay Pot (The one shown was $6.00 at Walmart)
- Charcoal Briquettes
- Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Paint (For inside the pot. Comes in various colors.)
- Copper Spray Paint
- Acrylic Paints of choice (we used two shades of teal and a coral)
- Welded Wire Mesh with 1/2″ grid that will be cut to 11.5″x 11.5″ (can be purchased at most hardware stores by the foot.)
- Wire cutters
- Set of 4 wire skewers ($2 at Walmart)
- Sticky Back Craft Foam Sheets
- Craft String or yarn
- Pattern download (below)
Though not shown on this pot this step is IMPORTANT if want the outside of your pot to not darken and discolor. Spray the inside of it with a high heat spray paint. It comes in a variety of colors. Spray the exterior of the pot with a metallic spray paint and let dry overnight.
Download, print and cut out the stencils provided above.
Align the top (flat side) of the leaf-shaped stencil just below the lip of the pot.
Using a light but visible marker, trace the leaf stencil onto the pot.
Repeat the process above, leaving a 1 1/2″ gap between stencils. When complete, there will be 4 outlines of this stencil surrounding the pot.
Using a ruler, draw a line down the center of each leaf outline, creating a geometric ‘leaf’ look.
Using the acrylic paint, fill in half of each ‘leaf’ with a separate color. This may take 2-3 coats.
Once the paint is dry, dilute a small amount of a lighter colored acrylic paint with water. Using a 1″ brush, lightly apply angled stripes to a few of the leaves. Pictured below, the lighter teal is applied to the dark teal sections only.
Gather the supplies for the skewers .
Cut out the arrow stencils provided above. Trace two of each pattern piece onto each color of sticky-back craft foam.
Remove backing paper and apply the sticky side of the foam ‘feathers’ just below the handle of the skewer.
Repeat with the second piece, cut from the same color and shape. Press sticky sides together to seal into place around the skewer.
Using the same method, place the ‘arrow’ tips roughly 5″ down from the ‘feathers’. Use an alternate color for the arrow tips. Be sure that the tip of the arrow is at least 8″ away from the tip of the skewer. Placing them too close to the end will cause them to melt during use.
Cut three small triangles out of each side of the ‘feather’.
Using the craft string, tie a knot near the tip of the arrow and begin to twist the string around the center section of the skewer. Tie a knot at the finished end to hold into place.
Roll out the welded wire and bend it into shape. The goal is to get it to lie as flat as possible across the top of the pot.
Using wire cutters, cut the welded wire into a 11 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ square.
For ease in handling, clip down protruding wires around the finished square.
Place the cut sheet of welded wire, centered, on top of the pot. Firmly bend down the four corners of the wire to hold it in place.
Lift the wire off and place a sheet of tin foil in the bottom of the pot to prevent debris from falling through the hole.
Tear off 3 or 4 sheets of tin foil, roughly 4 feet long. Lightly crush them into a tube or ‘snake’ shape.
Roll the tubes of foil into coils and place in the bottom of the pot.
Place briquettes on top of foil. Only one layer of briquettes is needed.
The portable grill in use!
The finished portable grill is wonderful for all kinds of things from hot dogs, and hamburgers to roasted veggies.
For dessert use the arrow skewers with your portable grill and roast marshmallows!
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.
Recycle CDs and DVDs into these useful and pretty wall pouches! They’re also a great way to use up those small scraps of fabric you have lying around. There are so many fun uses for these… office supplies, pencils, dry erase markers, coupons, small notes… the ideas are endless. One thing is for sure, it’s a great way to upcycle all those discs you’ve had lying around forever. This is just one of many ideas we have, such as how to “Make a Clock from a DVD” or “Quick DIY Bookends from CDs“. Check out all our CD & DVD Crafts here!
Recycled CDs Pouch Supplies
- CDs or DVDs
- Material Scraps
- Hot Glue
- Thumb tacks, white or silver or brass
- Wire cutters
- Patterns, free below
The basics of how to make your recycled CDs wall pouches are below. You can look at our photos to see different styles. The sky is the limit on design!
Use our free pattern to cut the back piece of your disc.
Following the circle of the disk dab on hot glue around the back edge and wrap your material around carefully. We suggest doing it on 1 to 2 inch intervals then going back around and pulling down the unglued sections to help give a smooth edge.
PULL THE MATERIAL SNUGLY as you go. This also assures a smooth edge.
If there are large pieces of material on the back, snip them off to reduce bulk.
Add ribbon or felt for a hanger.
Using our free pattern which is a tiny bit smaller than the CD, trace onto some felt. This will cover the back of your pouch.
Glue your backing piece onto the back of your pouch.
Take a piece of felt that will be the pouch and set it in place. We used pinking shears on the top edge. You want to allow for the pouch to stick out a little.
Place any small item in the middle to hold up the pouch then put a dab of hot glue on each of the top corners to hold it in place.
Remove your item and turn the CD over and carefully trim around the edge.
Glue the remaining edge to your CD.
We cut out an image from our material to glue to the front of our pouch.
You can also cut an angled pocket as shown. This effect was done for the version with a flower on the front of it.
You would now continue as above in attaching and cutting your pouch.
Cut out your flower pieces to glue on or you can make your own!
For the metal brads shown on two of the pouches, take wire cutters and cut off the point of thumbtacks.
Glue the thumbtack tops to your pouch for a nice effect.
For less than $4 you can make this lovely little sugar bowl. Not only is it inexpensive and simple to create, you can customize to match your own kitchen! The pots and glass bowl can be found at a Dollar store or the local Walmart. We filled ours with Xylitol as that’s what we use instead of sugar. You can also check out our other upcycling ideas!
Sugar Bowl Supplies
- 4″ Clay flower pot (this was the best size to fit a standard round bowl )
- Round decor bowl. (Dollar Store or Walmart in the craft section.)
- Hot Glue
- Printable flower download (optional)
- 2″ wing nut from hardware store (optional to make it look like a candy jar)
- Small wood ball or knob for top.
Glue on a large wing nut if desired.
Adding a vinyl or paper flower can be tricky on the curved surface. Vinyl works best.
We’ll show you how to make a DIY dog bed from a suitcase! It’s a fun project that you can style however you like. With the attached toy holder made from a mail bin, your pup will love it!
The one shown is made from a military shipping case which was perfect, but any straight sided suitcase without padding would work. You just need half of it. We’ve got step by step photos for you to follow along with. Once you’ve completed this project you can make a set of matching personalized dog bowls!
DIY Dog Bed Supplies
- 1/2 rectangle type suitcase or military shipping container (found at thrift store)
- 2″ wooden dowel cut down for legs
- 2×4 (cut down for inside brace)
- Peg board (cut down for pillow top)
- Old pillow
- Thick soft fabric to cover the pillow stuffing.
- Button Kit ( to make matching buttons from same material.
- Spare old buttons for the bottom of the tufting under the peg board
- Spray paint
- Staple gun
- Mail holder bin (attached for toys)
- Clear coat
I found these military shipping containers at a thrift store.
Tape off any areas that you don’t want painted. I liked the vintage look of the hinges so I decided to keep them. Then spray paint the container your color of choice. I recommend at least two coats.
Measure the interior of the container and cut your peg board to fit. Try to align the holes evenly from each edge so that you can accurately measure for your buttons when it comes time to do the tufting. Uneven holes mean uneven buttons.
I used a reciprocating saw to cut the shape but a circular saw would work just as well.
An old standard-sized pillow was used to create the padding. Depending on the size of your container you may need to remove some of the filling from the pillow or use a larger one. Either way, cutting a small hole in the pillow will allow you to reach a hand in and reshape the filling, which can sometimes be uneven and bunched up.
Be sure to check both sides as you staple to ensure that the pillow lies evenly. Adjust the filling as you go if needed.
Be sure to pull the pillow tight around the edges. If too much of the filling wraps around the edges as you staple, then your bed top may not fit into the container.
Trim off the excess material after stapling to prepare for the fabric.
Folding over the edges of the fabric prior to stapling gives the bottom a more finished look. I would recommend placing staples no more than 1/4″ apart to ensure they hold up over time.
Measure for buttons and circle the peg holes prior to tufting to ensure they are evenly aligned. Then thread a long needle with a thicker thread and tie an old button to the end. Thread the needle up through the marked holes on the bottom and then re-insert it about 1/8″ away from initial point, back through the same peg hole beneath. You’ll have to press down hard on your pillow padding to get it through. You’ll want to do this twice, adding your finished button to the top on your second round. Once you have pulled it back out of the bottom for the second time, the attached button gives you leverage to pull the string tight and create your tufted look. Then wrap the string around the button a few times, tie it off and cut.
Second time out, string through your button and reinsert.
Measure the length of your container and cut two 2×4’s to fit inside of it lengthwise. If you are using a shallower container you may need to use 2×3’s or even 2×2’s. Keep in mind that they should rest on the bottom of the container and their tops should be at least 1″ below the top of the container.
Outline where your support beams will go and drill holes so that you can attach them with screws.
With the support beams firmly mounted to the interior of the container, place the pillow inside. It should be a tight fit so be sure you don’t tear the fabric as you press it into place. The peg board bottom should rest firmly on the supports below. If everything lines up, remove the pillow and prepare to install the feet.
I opted for a simple 2″ dowel for the feet, cut down to 3″ lengths.
Measure and mark where the feet will go. Drill holes through the container to attach the feet. If you purchase self-tapping screws you may be able to screw the legs on directly through the container depending on what materials the container is made of. Being that mine was a metal-like fiber glass I opted to pre-drill small holes and used the self-tapping screws
Once complete, spray paint the legs and apply a clear coat to protect the bed from scratches. I would recommend at least 2 coats to hold up against little paws and the occasional cleaning. I suggest using clear coat over it when finished for added protection.
Right before I put my top back on I opted to attach a small mail bin that I picked up at a craft store for $5. This gave me a place for my dog toys and a name plate. I spray painted it the same white and installed it to one side of my container by drilling holes and using some old, small bolts.
This cute upcycled locket necklace will put a grin on anyone’s face and makes a wonderful gift for moms, grandmas or anyone who loves quirky jewelry. You’ll never guess what they are made from. Plastic spice bottle lids. They look amazing and are so fun to make. You can style them in an endless variety of ways.
Locket Necklace Supplies
- Lids with open hole from plastic spice bottles. (We used McCormick)
- Spray Paint
- Gems, flowers, beads etc.
- Photo of choice.
- Our printout patterns and template below.
- Chains, string etc.
- Drill with tiny bit
- Eye Screw (optional)
- Clear spray (optional but a good idea)
Additional Ideas: You can also use scrapbook paper cut into circles to place on your locket in various places.
Drill a small hole in the top of the lid for hanging a string or placing a eye screw into. Doing it before painting it is a good idea.
Spray paint your cap. After it dries a coat of clear sealer is a good idea.
If your using our free patterns, cut them out.
Cut a piece of poster board for backing using the appropriate pattern piece.
For a regular photograph use the appropriate circle to trace over the picture, then cut it out.
You can also print out a photo and do the same thing.
If you print a photo on regular paper we suggest covering it with packing tape.
Glue your photo face down into the lid.
Glue whatever you like on the front as long as it covers the logo portion on the lid.
You can also glue something inside the cover.
String can be added for the necklace.
Beads add a nice touch.
Attaching a chain is easiest if you insert an eyelet screw into the tiny hole.
You can add glue to the eyelet to hold it in. Place the backing poster board over it.
This tiny 10 minute pin cushion is a huge help for anyone who sews. Made using the lid from a plastic bottle you can make it any color or style you want! Great for keeping pins handy and putting pins back as you pull them out. Give them as gifts with a matching set of pins.
Pin Cushion Supplies
Note: The pom pom must be large enough to squeeze into the lid and give a nice puffy, thick surface. The 1″ size is too small. The one’s shown measured about 1 3/8″ which “might” be considered 1 1/2″ size. (I purchased mine in a large bag of mixed sizes.) The lids come in a variety of colors or you could also spray paint them if desired. The ones shown were kept as is.
- Lid from plastic soda bottles.
- Large Pom Pom (mine were at least 1 3/8″ in diameter.)
- 3/8″ Elastic strip about. 3″ in length.
- Hot Glue Gun
- Extras: Ribbon, Ric Rac, jewels, buttons etc.
These are the basics of what you need along with a glue gun.
You can decorate them using all types of items.
Place a large glob of hot glue in the bottom of your cap.
Squeeze and push your pom pom down into it firmly.
Decorate as desired.
Measure your elastic.
Glue the elastic onto the bottom.
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.
Looking for a more modern plastic bag holder you can make? We’ve got two of ’em! These Mid Century Modern bag dispensers (the ones you get at the grocery store) are made from a 2 liter soda bottle and a DVD or CD. Add spray paint and a few stickers along with our free label below and you’ve got not only a modern function piece to hang on the wall or inside a cupboard but also a great upcycle.
Plastic Bag Holder Supplies
- 2 Liter Plastic Bottle
- 1 CD or DVD
- Spray paint of choice (For the geometric shape we used Krylon Maxx Sea Glass Satin)
- Iron (optional, to round top edge of bottle)
- Utility Knife
- Hot Glue Gun
- Command Strips (optional, for hanging)
- Spray adhesive (optional, for applying cut out label)
- Dry erase marker (optional, for marking your bottle)
- Goo Gone (optional, for removing label residue)
- Circle stickers, washi tape or electrical tape
- Label below
We’ve got a pdf label you can cut out or a .studio3 file if you have a Silhouette cutting machine.
2 liter plastic soda bottle with the label removed.
Measure for your bag opening. You want about a 2″ opening. We use a dry erase marker for marking our bottle as it wipes off easily.
Cut along the lines you made.
Cut the bottom of the bottle off at whatever height you want your container. Our bottle had a natural line on it so we followed that. WE made our second dispenser shorter to allow it to fit inside a cupboard door.
Trim the ends with scissors to even them out if needed.
If desired, you can use an iron to round the top edge. Set the iron to high and press the top end against it for about 15 to 20 seconds until it starts to round. Only do this to the larger opening.
Heating the end gives it a very nice rounded edge.
Spray paint your bottle.
For the first bottle we applied a Silhouette label.
We used black electrical tape to make the triangle shapes.
Spray paint a DVD or CD. Glue on a small piece of ribbon to use for the hinge.
Attach your lid.
For the second dispenser we used a cut out label.
Spray adhesive was used to apply the label.
For the confetti design we used colored dot labels.
Paint the CD.
Apply the ribbon hing.
Sticky two sided Command Strips work wonderfully to attach your holder to the wall. You could also attach a ribbon to each side and hang it up or use a hole punch to hang it on a nail.
Fill your dispenser with plastic bags.
Completed plastic bag dispensers!
Make this awesome world clock for Earth Day or any day! It’s made from a CD or DVD and Roy drew the free artwork you can download. All you need is a clock mechanism purchased online or at any craft store. Read the details below. This is an addition to our other post How to Make a Clock from a DVD which has a variety of free clock faces.
World Clock Supplies
- CD or DVD
- Printed clock face (FREE DOWNLOAD BELOW)
- Small clock mechanism. I used this one.
- Spray adhesive or glue to glue clock face onto CD.
- Clear Spray (fixing agent so the ink won’t run if you use Mod Podge”
- Mod Podge for sealing (optional)
- Spray paint (optional for back of disc)
Other Clock Mechanisms that might work according to the details, though I’ve not used these personally. Double check things before purchasing. Many come with a hanging piece so the clock can be placed on the wall.
NOTE ON CLOCK MECHANISMS: If you purchase your own you must check to make sure it will fit your CD and that the hands are the right size. (Second hands are usually super thin and you could actually trim them with scissors.) Clock mechanisms come in a huge variety of sizes and only a certain size will work for your CD clock. The largest hand can generally not be longer than 2 1/4″ (Seconds hands tend to be really long and you can opt to leave that hand off if you like.) Also, the thread sections come in different lengths and will stick out in front of your CD because it is so thin. I didn’t find that to be a huge problem. I generally painted the threads to match, if needed.
Free pdf World Clock Face. This should fit a standard DVD or CD. Read the details below on printing them.
How to Print
Some printers will adjust a pdf to ‘fit to page”. If yours does that your clock face might be a tiny bit too small, showing a sliver of the CD around the edge. To correct this, when you go to print your sheet change the printer settings as shown. (Yours will look different but you should still have this setting.) Another option is to spray paint the front of your CD or DVD so that if the edge does show, it doesn’t matter. It will just have a nice border. P.S. It’s a good idea to print a fast “draft” quality of your template to make sure it will fit correctly. That way you don’t waste ink.
Glue your clock face onto the CD or DVD.
Mark the exact center of the CD where the mechanism will go. NOTE: You can spray paint the BACK of your CD or DVD which we did. You can see it at the bottom.
For an extra nice coating you can put a layer of Mod Podge on the face of the clock but we suggest before doing so that you give it a light coat with a clear spray to make sure the ink does not run.
You can choose to leave off the second hand if desired which I did. Make a hole in the center to allow for the clock threads to go through.
It will stick up a bit depending on how long your threads are. You can paint the threads if desired. Just make sure to not get anything on the center part that turns.
Following the instructions on the mechanism package, add your clock hands.
Hang on the wall if your mechanism allows it or place on an easel. Get our small easel pattern or ideas here.