Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm eight years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Page Projects for my Craft Room

For my craft studio update I used book pages to make LOTS of complementary storage boxes using Elmer's to glue the pages down and Mod Podge to seal them. I made almost 4 dozen and I'm very happy with the way they, and my craft room, came out. I also made over a dozen decoupaged with tissue paper and contact paper. That's ALOT of cheap, stylish storage!

Don't let this sight scare you. This old paperback dictionary was falling apart and the pages were so brittle they tore when you turned the page. I love books, but I don't feel badly recycling an old book like this into great storage and decor on a budget.

I used full book pages on the back of this painted shelf to add visual interest. Then I loaded it up with jars and bottles full of my craft and sewing supplies. It was the start of something good.

I put torn book pages on the back side of these little painted cubby shelves and they give them just a bit more style, don't you think?

And whenever I got my hands on a good, sturdy box that fits on my shelves I knew I had a candidate for more matching storage. I taped the flaps up or down so I had different box sizes.

The school glue and Mod Podge really brings out the aged edges on the book pages and makes the boxes look like vintage storage boxes. I love the mellow golden tone of this old paper.

Here is that little box all "done up." Much better than it was before!

Boxes with "lids" work up nicely, too. I used chalkboard contact paper to make labels.

I had a pair of these beat up gold foil star containers knocking around in my stash and I knew I wanted to use them on my shelves, so here comes the book paper!

Completely changed the look of this star from Christmas to vintage shabby chic. Love it! I covered the other one in black and white damask tissue paper and it looks just as good.

I love to use old jars and bottles for storage but some of them had labels that wouldn't come off cleanly or sticky spots where the labels used to be. Book paper to the rescue! Plus some lace and trims and rosettes and buttons and some hot glue. I really like the way these came out, too.

Here's that front and center jar in a little cubby hole. Love it.

And another. What a nice contrast to the bright color of the wood sign.

I even added book paper to this painted and glazed frame, then put the vintage butterfly print on top. The jar next to it looks so sweet.


I just blogged about redoing this plastic clock with book pages. It used to be royal blue and now it is perfect for the shelf above my desk. It makes me smile.

And here's an oldie but a goody. I used E 6000 (jewelry adhesive) to put together a Dollar Store sundae glass and a glass plate. Then I used book paper and Mod Podge to give it a cool vintage look, almost like aged bakelite. Then I added the neat glass cloche on top.

Here it is in my room. I still love it! I added 3 balls that I decorated with cutout stars, vintage buttons and old lace and covered them with the cloche. I change out the display when I want to see something new.

I have more book page projects in the works and I'll be sharing them here. What about you, what have you done with this easiest and cheapest craft technique?

I'll be linking up to the blog parties in my sidebar. Come visit and join the fun!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Page Chandelier

I made this book page chandelier today, and I LOVE the way it came out!

It's Sunday, and I decided to do something fun and frivolous for my craft room. It started when we changed a light bulb in my overhead light and this was sitting on my work top.

Hmmm, I don't want to just hang this back up there. I wonder if hot glue will hold string on glass?

This curvy red chandelier is going up there eventually, once The Welding Man checks if it needs rewired and makes sure it is safe. $7 at a thrift store, baby! It will be perfect when it's done.

With all the book page recycling I've used in my craft studio, I decided to make a temporary chandelier using a circle punch. I knew I'd need at least 450 circles, so I made 500. I could do 5 pages at a time and get 7 circles from each set of pages, so this did not take long at all.

I also used this gorgeous butterfly punch and made about 50 of them out of heavier paper, since they have so many open spaces, the book pages are too fragile to use the way I planned.

I sewed 12 circles and 1 butterfly together for each 18" long string.

A dot of hot glue holds the lightweight strings perfectly. If I ever want to return the glass shade to it's original condition, the glue pops off with a little help from my heat gun.

The book pages I used were very delicate, so this happened early on. I just used a glue stick on another circle and put it over the top, covering the tear and the thread.

The repair does not even show once all the strings are glued on. I sewed about a dozen strings and had to do alot of repairs. There had to be a better way.

So I changed tactics and laid out the circles and butterflies then stretched some crochet thread across them, securing them with dots of hot glue. A dot of hot glue on the string holds it down on the table and makes it easier to lay across the hot glue on the circles. This was just as fast and easy as sewing them together! Before lifting the string of circles up get rid of glue wisps with a heat gun.

Here are a sewn string and several glued strings side by side. I prefer the cleaner look of the glued strings.

And here is the chandelier put back in place over the light fixture. I like it. I like it alot!

I LOVE the random placement of the butterflies!
It diffuses the bright overhead light nicely without making the room feel dark or shadowy. I will try to get some shots in the daylight and see if it still makes me happy. I have a hunch it will! So that was fun, throwing away my "to do" list and creating something on a whim. Sometimes you just have to go for it!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Craft Studio Tour-Bottles and Boxes and Jars, Oh My!

We've been in our new digs 10 months now and it was high time I organized my studio. I'm doing very well after all my breast cancer treatments and so I took this last month and just did it. This is not just a hobby room but a working production space where I make my dolls, pillows, wreaths, jewelry, paintings and Etsy items. I also make dozens of birthday and Christmas gifts in here.

To start, I chose these necklace colors for my craft studio makeover...shades of blue in turquoise, teal, sky blue and contrasts of cream, silver, red and touches of black and white.

My three studios before this have all been functional but not very pretty, and I wanted a place that was creatively inspiring and fun to work in. I also knew I didn't want to spend alot of money!

So I started with this bookcase The Welding Man built for me and painted it with Apple Barrel acrylic paint in Turquoise. Gorgeous color! And what could be cheaper than Mod Podged book pages on the back and jars and bottles I already had? Plus, a Facebook shout out brought many more jars from my kids.

The book page theme would be THE answer to stylish, pretty storage for all my stuff. I have ALOT of supplies and I use them all. We found the countertop at the local Restore for $5, and all the shelving for less than $20. The frame underneath is from The Welding Man's old shop. Score! And yes, my work table usually looks like this with multiple projects going on at once. Underneath I store bolts of bleached, unbleached and tea dyed muslin, plus quilts and vintage chenille for my Santas.

Here's the tool end of my work table and another little shelf built by The Welding Man attached to one end. I've added the yard sale $3 turntable unit to hold brushes, pens, pencils and more. The jars on the other lazy susan hold erasers, razor knives, glue sticks and misc. tools I use all the time. I already blogged about the blue tool holder and little red shelf which I use for more tools and scissors. I've had both for so long I don't remember their cost, but I love repurposing what I've got in a practical way. Just peeking at the edge is my hot glue gun station. Ok, it's an icky crusty ironstone dish, lol!

I LOVE my book paged storage boxes! I've recycled old packaging from the post office, banker's boxes, Christmas gifts, shoe boxes and any container that is sturdy and fits my space. I also covered a few in black and white for some visual interest. The polka dots and the damask are both tissue paper from Walmart for less than $2 a pack. The black floral on white is contact paper from the Dollar Store. I've used 2 rolls for this room. I also made some of my labels from chalkboard contact paper which I had on hand.

The whitewashed ladder in the awkward corner holds the yarn for my Santas and other projects. Red yarns are for Raggedy Anns. The $1 yard sale bread box will soon be redone with book pages and paint. The gauzy curtain fabric was $2 at a church sale. I added my ruffled muslin garland just for fun. I blogged about redoing the cubby shelves and adding lots of little jars for storage. Love those!

Ooh aah, the BIG wall! This is not a large room so I knew we'd have to go high with alot of my storage and I love how it's turned out. The counter is too convenient sometimes for stacking, but I'm getting better about it. LOTS and LOTS of book paged boxes and jars and bottles and another painted shelf and a few bits of whimsy. Wooden yardsticks edge the bottom shelf to keep my paints in place.

If a jar had a stubborn label or sticky residue I used book pages, laces and trims to cover it up so that they became pretty AND useful. I was not about to go and buy matching storage for my craft room, that's not the way I think. But making something pretty and functional from what I have? That IS the way I think.

I've stored my paints in these Dollar Store baskets for years, and in just such a way. So convenient and visually appealing. I also love to have my laces and ribbons in jars so I can see just what I have to work with. I used what I already had so I didn't spend any money on this section. Wait, the shelf brackets were $3 a set but luckily we had some on hand. I figure about $30 on shelf brackets for this room.

Here is the far back corner and just a glimpse of my HUGE stash of fabric. I have 4 bookshelves full in here and more in storage. It's ridiculous the amount of fabric I have but I "shop" it all the time and rarely have to buy fabric for a project. And when I buy at thrift stores and garage sales I have a project in mind so I don't just "buy to have." Up top are more Mod Podged storage boxes with a few trimmed in pretty scrapbook paper at the corners. Sure wish I could find more of that red and turquoise flowered paper, it is perfect for this room. I didn't spend any money on this part of the room. I made the small shelf unit from a recycled drawer!

Turning the corner, this is on the right side of my room. More dolled up bottles and jars line up on this bookcase, with more storage boxes and baskets stacked up, too. Oh look, more fabric, lol!

A close up of those pretty jars and bottles. LOVE the way they came out!

The right corner viewed from my work table. Everything is in sight and easily accessible. Love the black and white houndstooth paper on that box, but that's all I had. I'll keep my eyes open for more, for sure. The Welding Man built the awesome shelving unit to exactly fit bankers' boxes with lids. It holds 7 of those puppies in a small space and they are easy to slide in and out. This was a birthday present a couple of years back. Yay Welding Man, you rock!
And another view of that awesome storage tower. The red foil wreath base was on clearance at the Dollar Store for 25 cents. I bought 12 foil wreaths of various colors at that price! Love clearance sales.

Behind the door are these narrow shelves that are just perfect for an array of smaller jars and bottles. These boards were $1 each at the Restore. All the metal brackets were $6 at a yard sale. I painted the wall hook turquoise and hung it up next to the shelves for this hot pink feather boa. It is too bright and pretty to stick in a box.

And here's an area that still needs work. My vintage steel tank desk with the metal shelf that The Welding Man made me. We stacked the mirrored unit from our old bedroom dresser on top. It is perfect for dozens of small jars and bottles, plus my big floofy coffee filter wreath looks great up there. I'll be painting the desk and chair soon, probably turquoise, and adding some small shelves to the left of my screen for convenience. Cost of this area? Um, I already had everything here but it did take $3 to make that wreath around Christmastime. More storage boxes are on top. And on the left is a glimpse of the blue bookcase that started this all.

I figure over the last ten months I've spent about $85 to set up, organize and fancify my craft studio. This includes 8 bottles of school glue for the book page projects and $6 for a jar of matte Mod Podge for a sturdy top coat. I know $85 would NOT buy dozens of brand new matching storage boxes much less the shelving I needed. So for less than $10 a month, I have the studio I envisioned. And I love the mixed eclectic vibe in my studio now, with a place for everything and everything in it's place. It's a little shabby chic, a little vintage style and alot of practical recycling. I know it is not a super elegant and simple space, but it absolute works for me!

Have a question about something you see in the photos? Just ask and I'll tell you all about it.

I'll be linking up to the blog parties in my sidebar. Come join the fun and see what creativity abounds out in blogland!

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