Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Soda crates are a flea market favorite and have dozens of uses. When we found this weathered 7-Up crate, we thought it would make a charming shadowbox. Then we took that idea a step further by turning it into a shadowbox table. The crate only cost $3, but the table looks like a million bucks!

Flea market soda pop crate
Glass tabletop, 1/4" thick, cut to fit inside crate
4 wooden legs, 22" with mounting plates
Basswood stick, ½"x½"x24" (in the dowel aisle)
4 black self-adhesive rubber feet, ½"x½"
Foam core board, ¼" thick, enough to fit inside crate
Dark green velvet, enough to cover foam core board
Plaid Folk Art acrylic paint, Napthol Crimson, 2 oz.
Amazing Goop all-purpose contact adhesive
Foam paintbrush
Electric screwdriver
X-Acto craft knife
Masking tape
Metal yardstick
Straight pins

1. Mask the brass foot of each leg with the masking tape. Paint the wooden legs Napthol Crimson red and let dry.

2. Measure the inside of the crate. Using the metal yardstick and the X-Acto craft knife, cut the foam core board to fit inside the crate. Watch your fingers! Cover the foam core board with the velvet. Secure the velvet to the back by sliding straight pins through the fabric and into the foam core board at an angle. Cut off any excess fabric. Place the velvet-covered foam core board in the bottom the crate.

3. To make a support for the glass top, stick the piece of basswood inside the crate at the corner. Mark it with the pencil ¼" from the top of the crate. Cut the basswood with the handsaw, then use that piece to measure and cut 3 more identical pieces. Glue the 4 pieces of basswood into the corners of the crate using the Goop adhesive. Attach a self-adhesive rubber foot onto the top of each piece of basswood. 

4. When the glue is dry, flip the crate over onto a stack of books, so the foam core insert is resting on the books. Attach the mounting plates to each corner of the crate with the screwdriver. Screw in the red legs. Flip the crate table over onto its new legs.

5. Arrange a collection of items inside the shadowbox. Place the glass tabletop inside the top of the crate so it rests on the 4 rubber feet.

Shopping Tip: Getting a piece of glass cut is cheaper than you think, even for odd sizes. Our 9 5/8"x14 3/8" glass with polished edges cost less than $10!

The Art of Display
To create your shadowbox showcase, start with a theme such as travel, wedding, or holiday. Arrange flat items like vintage postcards and photos in the bottom of the crate to create a colorful background. Then overlap the images with a few meaningful objects. To remember a wedding, you might include the bride’s garter and dried flowers from the bouquet. For a holiday theme like autumn, choose a glass pumpkin paperweight and ears of Indian corn. Don't worry about making the perfect display—this shadowbox is easy to open, and museums change their exhibits regularly, so why can't you?!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crystal Pie Server

Embellish a silver pie server with sparkling crystal beads and fancy monogram charm.

Materials & Embellishments
Sterling silver or plated pie server.
Copper wire, 20 gauge, 48" long.
2 crystal bicone beads, 10mm, pink.
3 round faceted crystal beads, 8mm, red.
4 round faceted crystal beads, 5mm, clear.
12 crystal faceted rondells, 4mm, red.
2 crystal faceted rondells, 5mm, peach.
1 crystal faceted rondells, 5mm, red.
2 faceted crystal oval beads, 4mm, orange.
Large rose-shaped glass bead, 15 mm.
Metal letter charm.
Copper jumpring, 5mm.

Tools & Supplies
Needle-nose pliers.
Wire snips.

1. Twist a swirl into one end of the copper wire using the needle-nose pliers. Press the swirl flat onto the handle of the pie server at the triangular serving end.

2. Feed an orange oval bead onto the wire at the base of the swirl, then wrap the copper wire tightly around the handle. Feed an 8mm red crystal bead onto the wire so it rests on top of the handle and wrap the wire around the handle again.

3. Continue feeding beads onto the wire and wrapping the wire around the handle. For the smaller beads, feed two or three on the wire at a time to match the width of the larger beads. Alternate the beads so the colors are distributed evenly down the handle. Stop one inch from the end of the handle.

4. Finish the end by feeding the red rose bead onto the wire followed by an orange oval bead. Bend the wire 90° above the rose bead so the wire runs vertically to the end of the handle. Twist a swirl into the end of the wire at the base of the orange oval bead and trim the end with the wire snips.

5. To personalize it, attach the metal letter charm to the swirl using the copper jumpring.

Easy As Pie: Want to give the hostess something more personal than a bottle of wine? Give her this beaded pie server along with your family recipe for apple pie.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Smashing Glass Tray

Make crime pay with a cool dresser valet made of recycled car window glass.

Give an ordinary wooden tray an edge with shattered green glass from a broken car window. Simple high-gloss resin lets you embed the glass safely while creating an ultra-modern mosaic.

Wooden or bamboo tray, 6"x6"x2"
Shattered glass from a car window, 2 cups
EnviroTex Lite Pour-On High Gloss Finish, 8-ounce kit
Disposable cups, 2
Wooden chopsticks, 2
White Con-Tact paper
Household silicone sealant, clear
Medium-sized cardboard box

Step One
Measure the inside bottom of the wooden tray and cut a piece of contact paper to fit. Stick the Con-Tact paper to the bottom inside of the tray. Seal the inside corners and bottom edges of the tray with the silicone sealant and let cure for 45 minutes. Pour the shattered glass into the tray and shake the tray until the glass creates an even layer. The glass should be about three-quarters of an inch deep.

Step Two
Following the directions on the EnviroTex Lite box, pour the entire contents of the resin and hardener into one cup. Mix thoroughly with a chopstick for one minute. Then pour the mixture into a second cup and mix with a new chopstick for one minute.

Step Three
Immediately pour the resin mixture evenly over the layer of shattered glass until it is completely covered. Place the tray on a completely level surface and cover with a dust-free box. Let the tray cure undisturbed for 48 hours. 

Tiny Bubbles: Don't worry if you whip bubbles into the resin as you stir it. Once you have poured the resin, most of the bubbles will de-gas on their own within five minutes. If any bubbles remain, gently exhale over the surface and the bubbles will rise and pop.

Don't Get Busted: Be a law-abiding crafter and put away the hammer! Instead, call an auto shop that specializes in window repair and ask them to save you some glass.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Light Up Your Life Candlestick Lamp

You don't need to be a professional electrician to make your own candlestick lamp. With a bottle adapter lamp kit from the hardware store, all that's left for you to do is find the perfect flea market candlestick and follow these simple instructions. In minutes, you'll have a working candlestick lamp. To embellish the lampshade for your boudoir, choose an ornate rubber stamp, a paint color that complements your candlestick, and glitzy beaded fringe. With the flick of a switch, you'll be reading by "candle light."

To make the lamp, you will need:
candlestick, 8 inches tall (made for a taper candle with a 5/8-inch to one-inch diameter)
bottle adapter "Make-a-Lamp" kit
light bulb
rubber bands

To embellish the lampshade, you will need:
white clip lampshade (clip attaches to the bulb), 7 inches tall, 9-inch diameter at bottom
metallic silver acrylic paint, 2 fl. oz.
squeeze bottle of iridescent glitter paint, 2 fl. oz.
rubberstamp, 4 inches across
crystal beaded fringe, 29 inches long
hot glue gun
hot glue

How To Assemble The Lamp:
Step 1
Select the rubber adapter from the bottle adapter "Make-a-Lamp" kit that fits the candlestick opening. Slide the adapter all the way onto one end of the threaded pipe.

Step 2
Screw the socket bottom onto the threaded pipe.

Step 3
Tighten the side screw with a screwdriver.

Step 4
Feed the loose-wire end of the electrical cord through the hole in the side of the socket bottom. 

Step 5
Pull the cord apart to create some slack, then tie the ends in a knot. This will keep the cord from pulling out of the socket cap.

Step 6
Connect the neutral wire to the silver screw (the rubber insulation on the neutral wire is ribbed) and tighten with a screwdriver. 

Step 7
Connect the other wire to the brass screw and tighten with a screwdriver. Make sure the brass tips of the wires are secured under the screw heads.

Step 8
Slide the brass shell with the paper liner over the lamp socket. Snap the brass shell onto the socket bottom and rock it into place until it clicks.

Tight Light: If the rubber adapter feels a little loose in the candlestick, make a tighter fit by wrapping the adapter with a rubber band or two.

How To Embellish The Lampshade:
Step 1
Using the rubber stamp and the silver acrylic paint, stamp the image four times around the bottom edge of the lampshade. (For even spacing, stamp on one side, then turn the shade 180 degrees, and stamp again opposite the first image. Then repeat between the two stamped images.) Turn the rubber stamp upside-down and stamp around the top edge of the lampshade four times between the bottom stamped images.

Step 2
When the paint is dry, trace the edges of each stamped image with the squeeze bottle of iridescent glitter paint.

Step 3
When the glitter paint is dry, hot glue the beaded fringe around the bottom edge of the lampshade. To finish off your lamp, insert the lamp fixture into the candlestick, screw in a light bulb and attach the lampshade to the bulb. Then light up the night!

Keep It Clean: For a cleaner stamped image, dab the paint directly onto the rubber stamp. Try a few test stamps on a scrap piece of paper until you get the hang of it.

Perfect Pair
For twice the fun, buy a pair of candlesticks and turn them into matching lamps for your bedside tables.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Altered Crates

Turn a wooden crate into a cool footstool complete with classic casters.

To make this stylish storage ottoman, first you'll need to find a great crate. Check out your local flea market for wooden boxes that once carried whiskey, wine, or soda bottles. They should cost between $5 and $20. More-in-demand ammo and dynamite crates can be found on eBay for $20 to $50, and their amusing text makes them worth it. For example, a Trojan Powder crate stamped "High Explosives Dangerous" would make a killer footstool.

For this project, look for a medium-sized crate, at least twelve inches tall, with no splits or stains (and it wouldn't hurt to give it the old sniff-test, too). Once you get your perfect crate home, it's a few simple steps to ottoman. Just cut a lid out of plywood and cover it with batting and fabric. Then add big industrial casters and wheel it into the living room to store your magazines (or whiskey, or ammo). Slide it next to your reading chair or let it house your current craft project and take it into any room of the house.

wooden storage crate

4 casters
screws for casters
plywood rectangle for lid, 1" thick (cut to fit crate)
fabric (enough to wrap around top of lid)
polyfill batting (enough to wrap around top of lid)
staple gun & staples

Step 1
To pad the lid, place the plywood on top of the batting. Measure and cut the batting so there are two extra inches all the way around the lid. Wrap the batting around the edges of the lid and staple.

Step 2
To cover the top, place the padded lid (batting-side down) on the fabric (wrong-side up). Measure and cut the fabric so there are three extra inches all the way around the lid. To "hem" the fabric, fold the rough edges over about half an inch and iron. Wrap the fabric around the edges of the lid and staple neatly.

Step 3
To attach the casters, turn the crate over and screw the plates to the bottom four corners. (Make sure the screws are short enough not to poke through the bottom.) Now flip your crate back over, set the lovely lid on top, and put your feet up!

Above & Beyond: If you're feeling inspired, don't stop now. Try lining the inside of your storage ottoman with felt or velvet. You can also hinge the lid and even add ball fringe around the top edge. For an upholstered look, make a tufted lid with decorative furniture tacks. Now that's one fancy footstool!

Wrapper's Delight: To create tidy corners while covering your lid, just pretend you're wrapping a present. Simply fold the corners in, then up and over.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Art Supplies Chest

Turn a boring chest of drawers into a celebration of arts and crafts!

Materials & Embellishments:
Flea market chest of drawers.
Well-worn pencils.
Shabby old paintbrushes.
Dinged-up rulers & yardsticks.

Tools & Supplies:
Wooden knobs with screws.
Drop cloth.
Sandpaper, fine-grit.
Semi-gloss latex enamel, Brick Red.
Pencil sharpener.
Liquid Nails glue.
Dremel rotary tool with cutting wheel.
Safety glasses.

1. Place the chest on a drop cloth and remove all the drawers and hardware. Lay out the wooden knobs. Lightly sand the surface of the chest, the drawer fronts, and the knobs. Then clean with a damp cloth.

2. Apply 2 coats of primer to all the surfaces. Let dry, then paint the chest, drawer fronts, and knobs Brick Red. When the paint is dry, attach the new red knobs to the drawers.

3. Arrange the pencils on one of the drawer fronts so the ends line up straight along the edges. If any need a little resizing, just sharpen them. Glue the pencils onto the drawer front with the Liquid Nails.

4. Position the paintbrushes on one of the drawer fronts so they overlap the edges. Mark the overlap and saw the paintbrushes to fit with the Dremel tool. (Don't forget to don your safety glasses!) Glue the paintbrushes onto the drawer front with the Liquid Nails.

5. Lay out the rulers and yardsticks on one of the drawer fronts and mark where to cut them into pieces. Use the Dremel tool to saw the rulers into segments, then glue them to the drawer front with Liquid Nails.

6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 to cover any remaining drawer fronts. For variety, consider using buttons, erasers, and squeezed out watercolor tubes.

Buy In Bulk: Don't get nickeled-and-dimed buying one old pencil at a time. Look for boxes filled with junk drawer dregs and offer a flat price for the whole thing. You might even discover a hidden treasure!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back To School Storage

Lunchboxes are a playful and portable way to keep the little things in your life organized. Think outside the box and use these clever containers in the car, kitchen and bathroom.

A lunchbox is the perfect size for note cards, postcards and envelopes, and it can hold your address book too. Look for a funky vintage lunchbox that suits your personality, whether you're Wonder Woman, Blondie or The Six Million Dollar Man. (Blondie © 1969 KING FEATURES SYNDICATE. Blondie created by Murat B. "Chic" Young.)

Today's recipes come in all shapes and sizes, from computer printouts to index cards. Update the old recipe box with modern silver lunchboxes. Use magnetic labels to separate the main dishes from the desserts, then stash your favorite recipes inside. That's a recipe for success!

If technology is supposed to make our lives simpler, why does it come with so many cords, cables and accessories? Get a handle on high-tech hodgepodge with classic printed lunchboxes. Use one for each gadget, and you'll never forget where your memory card is again.

Make houseguests feel at home with a charming display of travel amenities. Fill a sleek silver lunchbox with sample-size shampoos, lotions and soaps. Welcome your visitors with a note that says "Enjoy your stay." So cute, your friends might want it as a souvenir!

Keep idle hands busy in waiting rooms, on road trips and when you're stuck in traffic by packing a fun-to-go box for each member of the family. Think crayons for the kiddo, a Game Boy for the tween and Sudoku puzzles for Mom. Just grab the boxes as you head out the door, and turn cranky time into fun time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tin Can Critter Drink Markers

Sip someone else's margarita? No way, Jose! Your margarita glasses need drink markers, but for this Fiesta del Crafto they need a little cha cha cha. Your margaritas need Tin Can Critter Drink Markers! Have your guests make their own, then hang them off the margarita glasses (don't worry, they won't drink much!). Your amigos will go loco for these tin can creatures!

12 oz can of Mexican beer
3 10" strands of 18 gauge silver wire
8" strand of 18 gauge silver wire
2 googly eyes

needlenose pliers
dry erase marker
hot glue gun & glue sticks

1. Open a beer can and empty out contents (down the hatch!).
2. Rinse can and shake out excess water.
3. Using scissors, carefully cut the top and bottom off, and slit the cylinder down the middle. Flatten the rectangle of tin, then trim off any jagged edges so you don't cut yourself (no craftastrophes allowed!).
4. Using The Tin Can Critter Template and a dry erase marker, draw the outline of the bug top and bottom onto the blank side of your tin.

5. Cut out the bug shapes and place them back-to-back, aligning the narrow bug torso. Make sure the printed sides of the tin are facing out. Pinch the top piece of the torso so it fits around the bottom piece.

6. Using one 10" piece of wire and the pliers, bend one back leg and wrap the wire around the narrow torso of the bug tightly three times. Then bend the leftover wire into the other leg.

7. Repeat to make another set of legs. For the front legs, make sure they curve down like a praying mantis (that's how he'll hang off the glass!).

8. With the last piece of wire, bend his antennae into shape.

9. Hot glue googly eyes onto his head and you've got a Tin Can Critter that's muy loco!

Alternacraft: Don't feel limited to making a praying mantis. Why not try a classic cucaracha or a giant mosquito? Then hang a bunch together with fishing line for a mobile that's a swarm of fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Novel Keepsake Box

Turn a vintage book into a beautiful memory box perfect for your tiny treasures.

Materials & Embellishments:
Vintage book, at least 1½" thick.
Black velvet, approximately the size of the book's cover.
Gold leaf sheets.
Upholstery tacks, four.
Black craft paper.
Gold photo corners, four.
Heirloom photograph.
Satin ribbon, 1½" wide, 4 feet long.
Embellishments, such as decorative papers, old maps, postage stamps, antique watch faces, skeleton keys, foreign coins, broken jewelry, and old buttons.

Tools & Supplies:
Mod Podge decoupage medium.
Small paintbrush.
Large binder clips, three.
Craft knife.
White chalk.
Double-stick tape.
Gold leaf liquid adhesive.
Gold leaf seal.
Rubber cement.
Hot glue gun and sticks.
Decorative edge scissors.
Adhesive foam squares.

1. To glue all the pages of the book together, open the front cover and press down on the book's pages, creating a tight stack. Paint a coat of Mod Podge on the outside edge of the stack of pages. Clamp the stack of pages to the back of the book with binder clips and let dry.

2. To create a niche inside the book, use the ruler and pencil to draw a rectangle on the first page of the book, 1" from the sides. Using the craft knife and ruler, cut through several pages of the book along the guidelines. Remove the cutouts, then cut through the next layer of pages. Repeat until you reach the back of the book.

3. Coat the insides of the niche with Mod Podge and let dry. Press the velvet into the niche face-side-down and mark where to trim it using white chalk. Cut the velvet along the chalk lines. To make the velvet fit neatly into the corners, cut a square the depth of the niche off each corner. Use double-stick tape to line the inside of the niche with the velvet.

4. Remove the binder clips and close the book's cover. To gold leaf the edges of the block of pages, coat with gold leaf adhesive (be careful not to get the adhesive on the book's back or front covers). Let the adhesive dry until it is tacky (about 60 minutes), then tear off a piece of gold leaf and lay it on the page edges. Use a dry paintbrush to push the gold leaf onto the adhesive. Continue until all the edges are covered in gold leaf. Seal with gold leaf sealer.

5. To add feet to the bottom of the box, turn the book face-down and place one upholstery tack at each corner, ½" from the edge. Hammer into place.

6. Embellish the inside by cutting decorative papers to cover the first page around the niche. Adhere with rubber cement. Use hot glue and ribbon to hide the rough edges. To add a featured photograph to the inside of the lid, attach the photo to black craft paper with gold photo corners. Trim the black paper with decorative edge scissors, leaving ½" around the photo. Glue it to the center of the lid with rubber cement.

7. To embellish the outside of the book, cut out a piece of a map ½" smaller than the book cover, and attach it to the center of the book cover with rubber cement. Cover the edge with silk ribbon using hot glue. Add a smaller piece of decorative paper, such as an old postcard or pretty wrapping paper, to the center of the map with rubber cement. Continue adding embellishments such as postage stamps, foreign coins, broken jewelry, and old buttons. Find the center of the wide satin ribbon and glue it to the back of the book with hot glue. Finally, place your precious mementoes inside and tie your Novel Keepsake Box closed with the ribbon.

*For just a few dollars on eBay, you can buy interesting postage stamps ranging from Guinea's lovely orchids to Tanzania's colorful butterflies.
*For decorative papers and metal embellishments, check out your local scrapbooking store.
*The flea market is a great place to find old books, watch faces, and skeleton keys. And, if you don't have an old family photo for the lid, the flea market has those too, by the hundreds. Meet your new Aunt Gertrude!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Flair For Chairs!

Chairs are super fun and super easy to makeover. You just need to start with a good makeover candidate. 

1. Check for Rust
A little rust is okay, but unless you're a big fan of sanding, skip a chair that is completely corroded. Look for a chair with only minor rust spots—no bigger than a quarter.

2. Check the Seat
Recovering a seat is a cinch, but only if it's easy to remove and reattach. Don't worry if it's decayed; the wood, the foam, and the fabric are all replaceable. Plus you can drive the price down by pointing out every flaw.

3. Check for Damage
Inspect the frame for serious damage. Watch out for broken legs, weak joints, or shoddy fixes (like duct tape!). Some repairs aren't worth the effort unless you like welding!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Give Your Bath The Spa Treatment

Turn your bathroom into a retreat with simple, chic accessories.
A spa bathroom lets you pamper yourself with little indulgences for a fraction of what you'd spend at the spa. To create your own spa bathroom, just think "relaxing" with calming candlelight, soothing scents, and big, fluffy towels. Then just add a few personal touches to create your own retreat in the middle of a bustling household.

Decorating Scents
The spa experience always starts with the aroma—when you walk through the doors, the calming scents help you transition from traffic to tranquility. Get the same effect in your own home with personal aromatherapy blends. Add aromatic essential oils to drugstore Epsom salts for a professional mineral bath that is a treat for the senses. To refresh and revitalize, try scents like tea tree and eucalyptus. Ylang ylang and neroli are perfect before bedtime. For a relaxing mini-facial for puffy eyes, use Victorian Trading Company’s Eyes Tea, filled with fennel, chamomile, and rose petals.

Lighten The Mood
A spa should make you feel good and look good! So do like the spas do and lower your lighting. Turn off the overhead and place small jar candles on the counter and candle tins around the tub. Candlelight flatters every skin tone. And in this room you see a lot of your own skin, so why not make it look its best!? Don't be afraid to mix large and small pillars with votives and tea lights, just choose a single scent to keep the aromas from clashing. Specialty candles, like Victorian Trading Company's Soybean Beauty Candle, melt into a smoothing emollient you can massage into your skin to make it velvety. Talk about soft lighting.

Keep It Simple To get a refined spa look, clear your counters by stashing less attractive products in linen-lined baskets. Then dress your counter with elegant glass jars like The Container Store's Vibe Canisters. Fill them with lovely bath products like Organic Bath Company's flower-shaped Bath Petals. They not only please the eye, the lavender vanilla scent soothes the soul. Personalize the containers with scrapbooking tags tied with twine. Then add a glass vase of blooming lavender to your countertop, nature’s own aromatherapy!

Sound Effects
When it comes to setting a spa mood, don't forget the acoustic music and soothing nature sounds. Spa music is designed to transport you to a tranquil place of inner peace, and you can have all of that for the price of a few CDs! Get a small CD player and store a selection of CDs in a tidy wooden box. Then with just the touch of a button, you can close your eyes and listen your way to inner calm.

Put Yourself On a Pedestal
The finest spas have a serene space where guests can relax while they leave the stresses of the day behind them. Create your own relaxation zone with a sleek Teak Stool from Smith & Hawken—the perfect perch for a foot soak. To make an authentic footbath, fill a large bowl with warm water and your own aromatherapy salts. Now you can give your feet a pampering pedicure without teetering on the side of the tub!

Wrap Yourself in Luxury
Nothing says "ooh la la spa" like fluffy cotton towels. When it comes to these bathroom necessities, a little splurge can make a big splash. Instead of regular bath towels, go for oversized bath sheets, like 100% Turkish Cotton LuxeSPA Allure Towels from Bed Bath & Beyond. At 40 inches by 70 inches, these ultra-soft towels are so big they'll warm you from head to toe--literally. To complete the spa effect, hang a natural cotton shower curtain from simple chrome hooks. Then add a matching bath rug, the plushest you can find. Your tootsies will thank you.

Tray Chic
What's the best reason to have a spa bathroom at home? You can soak in the tub to your heart's content whenever you want. With a wooden tub tray from IKEA, your bath essentials will always be at your fingertips. Fill your tub caddy with exfoliating oatmeal soap, a pumice stone, and a natural loofah sponge. An organized space is a relaxing space, and that's what a spa bath is all about.

Now that your bathroom has been transformed into a spa retreat, celebrate by easing yourself into a bubbling whirlpool. You don’t have to replace your standard tub with a Jacuzzi to have the ultimate in relaxation. Conair's Dual-Jet Spa Bath fits over the side of the tub and whips your water into hydrotherapy whirlpools. HoMedics Massaging Bubble Mat fills the water with thousands of bubbles. So put on that mud mask, close your eyes, and let your new spa bathroom give you the spa treatment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Uncaged Melody Lamp

Let your creativity take flight by turning a vintage birdcage into a lamp any songbird would love.

Flea Market Finds:
Medium-sized wooden birdcage* 

Vintage sheet music (have color laser copies made)
Vintage buttons, 8 large and 8 small
Lamp finial

Craft bird
White or cream lampshade
Westinghouse Make-A-Lamp Kit, 18 gauge cord
Westinghouse All-Thread Lamp Pipe Kit, 1/8-IP pipe, 12" length
Westinghouse Brass Lamp Harp, to fit lampshade
Glitz scrapbook paper, Vintage Love Velvet, 12" square, 2 sheets
K&Company scrapbook paper, Mira Chocolate Rose, 12" square, 2 sheets
Grosgrain ribbon, Olive Drab, 5/8" wide, 18 feet
Drill and 3/8" drill bit
Phillips-head screwdriver
Hacksaw (if needed)
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre decoupage medium
Hot glue gun and glue
Water spritzer
Foam paintbrush

*Cage Gauge: Before you buy a birdcage, make sure it is made of wood. Also check the top and bottom to make sure the surfaces are sturdy enough to drill through.

1. If your birdcage has a finial on top, carefully remove it. Using the drill and 3/8-inch drill bit, create a hole in the top center of the birdcage. Flip the birdcage over and find the center of the bottom and mark with chalk. Then drill a hole in the bottom of the birdcage.

2. Measure the height of your birdcage. Your lamp pipe needs to be the height of your birdcage plus ½". You may need to cut a second piece of lamp pipe using a hacksaw and connect it to the first 12" piece using the brass coupler that comes in the Make-A-Lamp Kit. The lamp pipe should stick ¼" out of the top and the bottom of your birdcage. Secure each end of the pipe with a washer and a locknut.

3. Feed the loose end of the electrical cord up through the pipe in the birdcage, then through the hole in the bottom of the lamp harp. Next slide the socket cap from the lamp kit onto the cord and screw the end onto the lamp pipe. Pull the ends of the cord apart and tie them in an underwriter's knot to keep the cord in place. (See detail photo or follow directions on the Make-A-Lamp Kit.)

4. Feel the ends of the cord to determine which one is ribbed. Connect the wire from the ribbed cord to the silver screw on the socket from the lamp kit. Connect the other wire to the brass screw on the socket. Tighten with a screwdriver. Cover the socket with the shell from the lamp kit, then snap the shell onto the cap by rocking it back and forth.

5. To cover the lampshade, have color laser copies made of the sheet music. (It'd be fun to use the actual sheet music, but if it is two-sided, the back side will show through when the lamp is on.) Cut the sheet music copies to fit onto the lampshade. Decoupage the sheet music paper to the lampshade using the Mod Podge and a foam paintbrush.

6. To cover the vertical ribs of the lampshade or hide the seams where the sheet music meets, cut strips of ribbon a few inches longer than needed. Hot glue the ribbon onto the shade and tie the ends of the ribbon in knots. Hot glue a piece of ribbon around the top and bottom of the shade over the vertical trim.

7. To make the rosettes, cut a sheet of Vintage Love scrapbook paper into fourths. Cut the corners off to make the squares into circles. Dampen a circle with the water spritzer and crumple to soften. Accordion pleat the circle to make the back of the flower. Cut a sheet of Mira Chocolate Rose scrapbook paper into fourths. Dampen a piece with the water spritzer and crumple to soften. Shape into a rose and hot glue to the pleated back of the flower. Hot glue a large button in the center of the flower, then glue a smaller button on top of the first. Repeat to make a total of 8 rosettes. Decorate the lampshade by hot gluing the rosettes around the center.

8. Screw a light bulb into the socket and plug in the lamp. Attach the lampshade to the harp. Top it off with the original finial from the birdcage if it fits or one you found at the flea market. Finish your beautiful lamp with an uncaged craft bird. Just hot glue the little guy to the top edge of the lampshade. Tweet tweet!

Tippy Tip: If the bottom of your birdcage is flat, the cord might make your lamp tip a little. Either raise the lamp up by adding cork feet or carve a notch in the base to fit the cord.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Glitzy Cake Stand

There's nothing like a glamorous cake stand to make a party perfect. Just start with a fancy china plate from the flea market. Add a few chandelier prisms and a crystal candlestick, and you'll have a glitzy plate stand that takes the cake!

Step 1. Cut a piece of wire 1½ inches long. Use round-nose pliers to bend the wire into a "U" shape. Feed the wire through the buttonholes of a small, white shirt button. Use round-nose pliers to twist the two ends of the wire into loops. Repeat to make 12 wired buttons.

Step 2. Mark the back of a china dinner plate one-half inch from the edge with a dry erase marker, creating 12 evenly spaced dots (like the numbers on a clock). Use clear silicone adhesive to glue the flat side of each wired button to one of the marks on the back of the plate.

Step 3. Apply clear silicone adhesive to the top of a short crystal candlestick. Press the glued end of the candlestick to the center of the back of the plate.

Step 4. Hook one chandelier crystal through each of the wire loops on the back of the plate. Ta-da! A pretty plate perfect for any party.
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