Recycling pine board into coat rack

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's another one of my better ideas (well, I think so!!). From the same dumpster that I found the wood for my folding screen, I pulled out a lovely pine board that I simply could not leave behind and created this cute coat rack for my hallway. 

Anyway, here's what I did with it. To spiff it up a bit I added framed pressed leaves (the leaves were leftover from another project) and repurposed a couple of hooks.

Here's how to do it. 

First, for the leaf prints, I gathered up some maple leaves from the tree in front of our building, flattened them with an iron (set at very low) and glued them to copies of old letters. I already had the frames (Ikea but purchased for pennies at a church bazaar) and inserted the leaf prints. I sanded the pine board and just screwed in each frame and added the hooks. I added picture hanging wire on the back and hung the whole thing on the wall.

Et voila, fini!

I have to say that the concierge in my building is giving me funny looks these days. Today, I came home lugging a couple of old wooden crates that I found in an alley beside our building and all she did was roll her eyes and shake her head. I'll have to make her something nice.

Tutorial: Repurpose a picture frame into a footstool

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (5)

Who doesn't love footstools? They make great seating for the little ones, provide a resting place for tired feet, and give a nice decorative touch to any room. They're easy to make and very affordable if you do what I've done and simply use an old wood picture frame, an unused foam pillow insert, wood curtain finials, and a piece of fabric remnant. No sewing required - just a heavy duty staple (or a hammer and some upholstery tacks - get them at your hardware store) to attach the fabric to the frame.

As you can see from the above, it's very easy to do. You can pick up sturdy wooden frames at flea markets, garage sales, or charity shops. 

Tutorial: Recycling Magazines into Cupcake Toppers

Posted on September 17, 2011 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (2)

Here's the way to make your own cupcake toppers (or cake) and, best of all, no printing or photocopying required. I'm showing floral toppers here but you can choose any smallish illustration or picture you like. For example, my little friend, Sam, made a whole bunch with car pictures - you know where his heart is!! With Halloween coming you'll find lots of great illustrations and pictures you can use for any treats you'll be making (or, like me, buying!!). Enjoy!!

What you will need

  • Magazines, junk mail, old calendars, etc
  • Cereal or other food cardboard boxes (flattened)
  • Wooden toothpicks, skewers, popsicle sticks or short, thin twigs (clean ones, of course)
  • Glue stick or craft glue
  • Clear sticky tape
  • Scissors

How to do it

1. Cut out your pictures, cutting off as much of the background as possible.

2. Glue picture to the printed side of the cardboard with the glue stick.

3. Smooth out any bubbles with your fingers and then cut it out as shown in the photo. 

4. Attach a wooden toothpick or skewer to the back of the cut-out with sticky tape.

5. Use to decorate your cupcakes or cakes.

Tutorial: Upcycled Paper Bowl for Dad

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (3)

A perfect gift for Dad. This fabulous paper bowl is made entirely of recycled cardstock paper - no glue, no staples. It's so elegant you may want to make several. Dad can use it to hold paper clips or other small office supplies; at home, he can toss in his keys and/or his extra coins or just display it proudly on his study desk.

NOTE: Use cardstock that is between 11 to 13 inches. Any bigger than that it becomes too wobbly. Have fun and let me know how yours has turned out.


Step 1 Here's what you will need to make the bowl: cardstock paper (I used some old office supplies), ruler, pencil, one bamboo wood skewer, scissors or Xacto knife, hole punch. That's it!


Step 2 Cut out 5 lengths, each one 1 inch by 11 (or whatever length you have). Cut out two separate pieces about 1-1/2 inches by 2 inches (these are the "anchors" for holding the bowl together).

Step 3 Use the hole punch to make holes at either end of each of the long lengths of paper. Set aside for now.

Step 4 Take one of the smaller pieces you cut out and roll it tightly around the wood skewer. Remove and repeat with the other smaller piece. If your cardstock is thick, you probably won't need the whole piece. Just cut off any surplus.


Step 5 Stack all of the long pieces of cardstock together, ensuring that the holes you punched line up, and then carefully insert one of the rolled anchor pieces you made through the hole. Repeat at the other end. The rolled piece will expand to fill the hole.

Step 6 Carefully fan out the joined pieces from the centre to create the bowl. You're done!

UPDATE: I've created more versions using different paper (e.g., magazine cover, scrap book paper) here.