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Sunday, February 21, 2016

DIY Gift - A Coffee Bean Photo Holder

I try to make almost every gift I give throughout the year, whether for birthdays, weddings, showers or Christmas. I am always on the lookout for items I can use and things I can make. 


Like this cute photo/note holder that I made for a "Coffee Lover's" basket this last Christmas. And unlike other cute, crafty gift items, this one will actually get used to hold a photo or a note every day, either on a desk or next to the coffee pot.



When I am browsing my favorite thrift stores I always have a list of ideas and supplies in my hand so I can make some unique items.

Fortune favors the prepared mind. Look at all the good stuff!

Ahem.



On this trip I found several white espresso cups. They are thick and have a bit of weight so they were perfect for this little project.

I bought a scant 2 ounces of loose coffee beans and made sure to discard the broken or cracked ones.



In my stash at home I used florist foam cut to fill the little cup to the brim and used hot glue to secure it at the bottom and sides.


Here is one of the staples of my supplies stash - plain old black wire from the hardware store. It is listed as "rebar wire" for securing metal rebar rods for strength in concrete projects. It is inexpensive, pliable and very versatile. It does have a dark powderish coating so I usually spray paint the pieces black when I use it.


For this simple project I cut a piece about 12" long and made one end into a flat curl. This will be the photo holder. I "eyeballed" the curl to get the right proportion to the cup.  I left about 2" straight at the other end to stick down into the florist foam inside the cup. I secured that wire with lots of hot glue.



Now comes the deliciously fragrant and satisfying part of this project. Start gluing your coffee beans around the top of the cup and onto the florist foam. You can overlap the top edges as I did or keep it all inside like a "real" cup of joe. Keep on piling and gluing until you have a satisfactory heap of beans in your little cup.

You can melt the stray strings of hot glue with a heat gun or even a hair dryer. 

As a final detail paint some white glue (like Elmer's school glue) inside the nooks and crannies between the coffee beans. Set your cup on a piece of paper and sprinkle the beans generously with fine black glitter.


After the white glue dries, brush the excess glitter off onto the paper so you can save it for another project.

In this photo the blue areas are actually the black glitter reflecting the light. 
This looks awesome in real life and it smells wonderful!


I put this with a gift tag in the wire curl to the gift basket. I added flavored creamers and syrups, plus biscotti and a pair of cute mugs. It was a perfect themed gift basket!

Now my mind is working...what if I did the same thing but with a cupcake holder? I could use little glass beads for the sprinkles and clear glass glitter in between. Maybe make the "frosting" of something white and fluffy?

I'll have to think about that one a bit then try it out. I'll be sure to post about it when I do!

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