The Shirt That Didn’t Fit: Clothing Repurpose

I was up late shopping one night when I came across a lovely shirt on Ebay.  I usually don’t purchase clothes unless I can try them on first, but I had recently ordered something and it worked out perfectly, so I was feeling braver than usual.

I received the item, and to my dismay it did not fit.  The seller had a no refund policy, so I attempted to relist the item for sale. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck reselling the item,  so I decided to utilize the shirt in a different way.  I loved the pattern and material, so I decided to re-purpose the item and use the fabric for decoupage.

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I carefully cut out the gold star pattern, and used a little Mod Podge to apply these to my kitchen back splash.  This added a much needed “pop” of color, and matched the kitchen decor perfectly.

Before:

DIY Kitchen Back Splash

After:

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I had some fabric left over, so I decided to use it to make an accent lamp for my office.  I had an empty spaghetti jar which would work perfectly for this project.  I applied Mod Podge to the exterior of the jar and used some twine to add a decorative quality to the base. I applied the twine with hot glue.

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For more details on how to create a decoupage jar lamp, check out some previous On The Upcycle decorative lighting projects…

Spaghetti Jar Lamp

Pickle Jar Lamp

 

What’s Old Is New Again: Decoupage TV Trays Are Back!!!

The wooden TV tray.  A functional piece of furniture.  Although I think we can all agree these tables are useful, but they lack the design qualities seen in other pieces of furniture.

TV Tray before

Way back in 2013, I came up with an idea to turn these boring tables into something fun.  My first tutorial Decoupage Team Sports Trays explored the option of decoupaging these trays with Mod Podge.  It was a huge success and since then, It remains one of my most requested items.

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They also make wonderful gifts for the sports fan in your life! Recently I made two new tables. Both were gifts, one for a friend’s birthday, and the other was presented as a Christmas present.   Nothing new here, but thought I would share the new additions so you know what I have been up too!

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Philadelphia Flyers TV Tray

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New York Giants TV Tray

Want to See more?  Check out these past blog entries on Decoupage TV Trays!

Have a special someone on your gift list that is a sports fan?  Then this is the table for you…

Sports Trays…Revisited!

Yankees Decoupage Sports TV Tray

Washington Redskins Decoupage TV Tray

Want to show off your school pride?  TV trays are great for doing homework too!

Smells Like Team Spirit! 

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Not a sports fan? No school spirit?  No Problem!  There are many other themes you can use to create a personalized tray table.  LP liner notes make great decoupage and are unique!

Rescued Vinyl TV Tray Decoupage

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Take These Broken Wings: Fairy In A Jar Kids Craft

My dutiful husband was mowing our front lawn the other day, and accidentally broke one of our plastic solar lights.  The top of the light still continued to function, and when day turned into night, it glowed as if to say “don’t throw me away, I am not done yet!”

I often struggle to find new ideas for projects, but I have come to realize the best ideas come to me without even trying. I began to think about a way I could re-purpose the light.  Then, my mind wandered off as it often does, and I also pondered a separate incident that occurred during a trip to Joann Fabric earlier in the week.  My daughter picked up a small ceramic yard fairy. She wanted to carry it around the store.  It was small enough, so I allowed it.  She accidentally dropped the fairy and it broke in two. Exercising the “break it and you bought it moral policy”, I paid for the item hoping I could glue it back together when we got home. Then both memories collided and an idea to merge these broken items together was born. I would make a “lighted fairy in a jar” A paradise for a convalescing fairy with a broken wing.  I didn’t have a jar handy, so I used a glass vase I had lying around.  I also had some decorative marbles and sprinkled them on the bottom of the vase.

I then began to create a suitable home for our little fairy.  I used artificial flowers, trimmed and glued them inside the vase to create a suitable habitat for our little broken friend.

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I carefully placed the fairy inside the glass vase.  Before dropping her in, I used hot glue to cover the bottom of the statue to properly set her in place.  I intentionally applied random droplets of glue to give the appearance of condensation thus providing a drink for our little “pet”

Now that the scene was set inside the glass, I  began to come up with a way to use the solar light to illuminate the vase,  I had a plastic lid handy, and decided to use the hot glue gun to adhere the plastic light to it.  I traced the light with a black sharpie onto the lid and cut a hole in the top to expose the solar panel. I glued the modified light and lid to the top of the vase, allowing the solar light to drop in place and illuminate the jar.  I added some additional blue marbles around the top rim of the jar for decoration.

It all came together something like this:

fairy in a jar

I would recommend this project is done under strict adult supervision due to the hot glue involved.  I actually dread using the high heat gun, because I always manage to burn myself with it at least once no matter how careful I am!

When I showed my daughter her fairy jar gift she loved it and decided to give it a kiss.  My heart just melted!  What little girl wouldn’t love her own “pet garden fairy”

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As the night turned into day her fascination only grew as the jar began to glow.  Then it occurred to me all the possibilities and jar themes you could come up with.  Let your imagination run wild and create a wonderful garden keepsake.. and remember broken things are beautiful!!!!

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Materials needed:

Jar or Vase

Plastic Lid

Solar Light (top)

High Heat Hot Glue Gun/Glue Sticks

Decorative items for your Jar:

Child’s toys figurines

Rocks, Plants, Marbles:

Create any scene you wish!

Sultans of Swap: Flea Market Fun In The Sun

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in my first ever Flea Market.  The sale of spaces benefited my daughter’s school, so of course I jumped at the chance to get involved.  I was a bit nervous.  It was the first time I have attempted to sell my projects.  I also had some additional spring cleaning items to sell as well and anything I can do to create additional space in my overloaded craft room is a definite plus.

Let me start off by saying, I have been to a lot of swap meets, yard sales and flea markets as a buyer, but never as a seller.  It is hard work preparing, pricing and hauling your goods to the sale location.  I have a new respect for those who can make a living at it and participate in sales on a regular basis.

I am in no way an expert at this, but I thought I would share with you all what I learned from this experience.

So, How did the modern flea market get its name?

The first flea markets were in Paris and they were called marché aux puces which translates to ‘market with fleas’. Flea market first appeared in English in 1922 as a translation of the French market’s name.

When Preparing, Take Care of as much as you can the night before

Since most flea markets start bright and early, and I am a night owl by nature,  I loaded the car and any other items needed for my sale the previous night.  This allowed me to get a good night sleep and wake up and leave the next day without scrambling at the last-minute.

Show up on time or early for set up

This was the fun part.  Setting it all up so it is pleasing to the eye.  Leave yourself enough time so as to not feel rushed.

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Mark all prices clearly and have a backup plan

I devised a color coding system.  Also when marking your prices, keep a mental note of how low you are willing to go with price.  I marked my prices a little higher so that I had some “wiggle” room.

Plan for a long day in the hot sun

If you have a canopy or beach umbrella, it is a good idea to bring it.  Make sure to bring plenty of sun block, dress accordingly (avoid dark colors that attract the sun) Wear a hat and sunglasses and bring plenty of fluids and a snack.

Bring tables or other items to properly display your merchandise

I found that items more visible, and that didn’t require a lot of effort to look through sold better.  A clothes rack, table or even a sheet or mat placed on the ground is essential when displaying your items.  If people have too put a lot of effort in they will move on quickly to a competitor’s table.

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Don’t Just Sit There… Get up and Sell!!

I found I gained more interest in my items when I talked to people and said “Hi”  Sitting their idle watching people come and go doesn’t sell stuff, but being a social butterfly DOES even when the turn out is low.

Talk about what you do and PROMOTE

I created plenty of business cards, and even sign explaining what Upcycling is.  People’s curiosity would get the better of them and they would stop to read the sign.  It was a great conversation starter!

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Bring Singles and 5 dollar bills to make change and wear a fanny pack!

I brought about $40 dollars in cash.  I used 25 singles and four 5 dollar bills and found this to be enough to make change.  It is better to wear a fanny pack or apron to keep change, pens and tape in.  Leaving money unsupervised in a box even for a minute, creates a potential for theft.

Make Friends and Connections!

Even though the turn out was less than spectacular, I still managed to socialize with other vendors and make personal connections.  I met a really nice woman who runs a local consignment shop, and my flea market neighbor and I helped each other when the other had to take a bathroom break.  The nice lady next to me even helped complete a sale while I walked away for a moment!

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Oh and Don’t Forget to take a Flea Market Selfie!

What are you doing to prepare for this Flea Market Season? Do you have any tips for sellers not mentioned here?  Do you have willpower when it comes to buying things at a flea market when you are there to sell?

An Accident Waiting To Happen: Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp

              Decorative Decoupage Pringles Lamp

This project idea started out as a 99 cent purchase at Goodwill.  An adorable miniature ceramic lamp with a round base that would require a minor  fabric decoupage makeover to make the perfect table top night-light for our bedroom.   However; thanks to the toddler apprentice’s rather curious hands it was simply not to be.  She climbed up on the ottoman, reached out her arms, and knocked it off the shelf. It broke the ceramic base into a million pieces. More importantly, she was not hurt in the accident, just a bit startled and remorseful   Although I was initially upset,  my cross demeanor faded quickly as I thought of ways to reuse the unbroken pieces of the lamp and shade.  I searched the craft room for some recycled items I was saving for a crafting rainy day.   I searched and looked for what I thought would make great lamp bases. It then occurred to me…I had a fever for a Pringles can lamp!

Minimalist Pringles Lamp Upcycle

An Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp For The Minimalist

The Pringles can was a great choice because it didn’t require a glass cutter to feed the wire through like a glass bottle or jar would.  I used a box cutter knife to VERY carefully cut a cross through the plastic lid.  I popped the light in and it fit nicely.   Before I placed the lid back on the can I filled the bottom with a few decorative marbles I had lying around. This added some weight and stability to the lamp.  I cut a hole at the base of the can using the UPC on the can as a guide, so I could properly feed the wire through the bottom.  For those of you who are practical, and love Pringles, you may want to stop right here.  I call this the minimalist version.

How to Create An Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp That’s A Little More Decorative

Decorative Upcycled Pringles Lamp

For those who want to create a more decorative piece, You can use a little fabric decoupage to decorate the Pringles can and lamp shade.  I used some scrap Peacock inspired fabric I had lying around the craft room.  I used Mod Podge to apply the measured fabric to the can and cut out designs to place on either side of the lamp shade to add some symmetry.  Once dry, I applied more Mod Podge over the fabric to properly seal the lamp base.  I placed it in front of our fan to dry.   Now it was ready to be plugged in and illuminated.  The possibilities here are endless.  If you don’t have fabric handy you can also use scrapbook paper.  You can create seasonal cans and interchange them with the light and lid to transform the look of the lamp.

Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp

A lesson in life and living on the Upcycle, the greatest mistakes can have the greatest rewards!  That is how I feel about this project. If it wasn’t for my overly curious toddler, I would have never known the fun of this Pringles can craft.  Thank heaven for overly curious little girls!

Have you had any crafting disasters that turned into triumphs?  What was your favorite craft mishap?

Materials Used:

Broken miniature lamp

Pringles can with lid

Box Cutter Knife

Handful of marbles

Fabric or Scrapbook Paper Of Choice

Foam brush or Paint Brush

Scissors

Mod Podge

On The Upcycle Restyle

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This weekend I decided to give “On The Upcycle” a much-needed reboot.  I felt the old blog layout was getting a bit stale. Last night I experienced an evening of insomnia, and decided it was the perfect time to explore new ideas. I hope you all like the new look!  Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!

 

Car Part Art: Turning Scrap Into Sculpture

I am always intrigued when I  find art in unlikely places.   This past weekend I made an appointment to have front brakes installed on my car.  I planned my day accordingly and woke up bright and early. Meineke is currently having a sale on brakes, and although I had never gone there before for repairs, the allure of saving $50.00 compared to a previous quote I had received was too good to pass up.

When I arrived at the shop I was greeted unexpectedly by a piece of upcycled art.  Of course I had to snap a picture of this pleasant little door greeter and his loyal pup.  This little man and his dog were made from recycled car parts, mufflers, brake parts and the like.  Of course I fell in love with them instantly.

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It seems that one or more of the mechanics has a creative side! Apparently, this is not a new concept as upcycling car parts into works of art is more common than one might think.  Roadside America an online guide to offbeat tourist attractions has a great article featuring some of these so-called “muffler men” who populate the auto shops and roadsides of America.  You may have already seen some of these sculptures on your travels already!

There are also some truly amazing upcycle artists in the world and they take this art form to a whole new level!  One such artist is Australia’s James Corbett.   He has been creating sculptures from spare auto parts and junk since 1999.  Below is an example of his work.  Look at all those spark plugs!

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Below is James, pictured with one of his many creations.  The eyes are made of headlights…genius!

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To see more of his work visit the Crimson Reason Blog.  They feature several of Jame’s intricate creations.

Another talented scrap artist is Frenchman  Edouard Martinet.  As a young student he became somewhat “obsessed” with insects.  Later, he chose to incorporate his love of insects and other animals in sculpture.  The detail and artistry here is off the charts!

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Check out this interview with Edouard Martinet below.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
― Edgar Degas