Posts tagged ‘upcycling’

2012, October 3

Upcycling – Whimsical Planters (2)

I don’t know about you, but sadly it’s not within my budget to buy a planter, a plant pot cover for all my plants. I have some left over from previous years, some I received as gifts this year, and some I bought while on hiatus this summer.

Back in June, I gave you guys an idea on upcycling your unused mugs as plant pot covers. Some of those little plants outgrew their pots and needed to be relocated. But the pots I have are used and abused, either plastic or terracotta pots and plain; I just don’t like them anymore. I also have actual plants I wish I had some pot covers for to hide their current “brown plastic look”.

What was my solution for making my plant pots look whimsical and unique without spending any money on them? Read along ;)


 basket plant covers

First off, I looked around the house and found more items I didn’t use. That’s how the Saintpaulia and Kalanchoe plants each got baskets to look all pretty.

 painted pots

Then, I gathered my terracotta pots, sanded them, primed, then painted in vivid colors. My baby Kalanchoe and baby Hibiscus look very happy in their new pots.


french country pottery

A few days ago, I noticed Rukmini Roy’s blog post about her Indian Clay Pots upcycled to French Country Pots. Needless to say I fell instantly in love with the idea! I quickly gathered a few more of my Hungarian terracotta pots, and with two coats of white+silvery paint, sanding and some pretty, French looking motifs modge podged to their sides — I now have lovely French Country Pottery to display my Fittonia and the baby Avocado in.

 fabric covered pots

fabric decor

And for last, I did a little digging on Google, and found this great idea: fabric covered flower pots!

The pots I wanted to cover already contained most of my Saintpaulias, so I only covered them up to the rim. On the other hand, given the saucers are attached to the bottom and with the fabric not covering the rim, they’ll stay nice and dry when I’m watering the plants.

All the fabric I had laying around the house. As you can see, I went with denim decorated with lace for one of the pots. Colorful flower motif fabric decorated by tied sisal rope on the second. And since I used cut off shirt sleeves to cover the third plant pot, I decorated the sides with the left over cuffs. My Saintpaulia window garden is so much more fun than it was before!

2012, August 1

Old Window Frame for an Inspiration Board

I absolutely LOVE the idea to use old window frames to decorate. We had to change all our windows last year, and as a result, ended up with a dozen windows no one needed (I still have several stashed away) ;)

This blog post right here got its title after I played around with one of the old window frames last year. Because I was pretty much broke. Yet I wanted and inspiration board in the kitchen as well (which tend to cost money, don’t they?)

So today, I’m sharing how I managed to make myself an inspiration board with a little wit and supplies I had around the house :)

page window frame inspiration board

page window frame ib

Old Window Frame Inspiration Board

I staple gunned chicken wire to the back and added a (hidden) wire picture hanger.

(Yes, I had this around the house. We used to have chicken when I was little. My grandparents never throw anything away.)

Roughed the frame up with sandpaper to give it a weathered look.

I hung it going with the “crooked look” – I think it just adds more flare to it.

Then I painted a bunch of clothes pins with different patters and colors and pinned them to the wire on my frame. For changing it up a little, I also hung some colorful paper clips on there.

I hung a pin cushion on it, and the window knob was perfect to hang the scissors from.

The frame works great for notes, inspirational quotes, pictures, to-do lists, cards, invites, reminders – the possibilities are endless!


And lastly, here’s my inspiration, some of my favorite blog posts on the subject.

Using old window frames to decorate

DIY Craft Projects using Old Vintage Windows and Doors

DIY: Jewelry Holder

How to make an awesome gift with items you find at an antique market

2012, July 18

Unique (Tropical) Travelogue – not only for travel writers

You know I’m a travel writer, right? (If not, you need to fix that immediately! Go read my travel articles. I’ll wait.) ;)

Well, as any self-respecting writer, I always have pen and paper with me. As any self-respecting travel writer, I also always have a notebook with me whenever I travel. And, as any self-respecting perfectionist, I wanted something pretty!

The notebook I chose to take with me on the first trips is kind of big. And has all sorts of writing in it, not only travel related. Over this summer I won’t be able to travel much and will mostly go on one-day road trips. I’ll be traveling light, with a small backpack. So I wanted a smaller notebook. And I found the perfect one. Spiral bound, half the size of my old notebook and quite thick for me to use for jotting down thoughts, names of places, ideas, etc. for many years to come.

Yet… I wasn’t thrilled about the cover. It was… plain. It didn’t look like something I’d call a travelogue.

Then, I remembered a tutorial I saw several weeks ago: Ways with Vintage Maps – Woven Notebook Tutorial. (I have an old Atlas from the sixties, which belonged to my uncle and couldn’t wait to see the light of day again.) It was perfect!

I turned my dull notebook into a unique travelogue which I absolutely love!

Here’s the tutorial. It can turn any old notebook into something very pretty, in no time :)

page woven map notebook cover page Unique Tropical Travelogue

Unique (Tropical) Travelogue

You’ll need two pieces of a Map/Atlas etc. that have a mix of watery and land mass areas to give a mix of colors. (I chose one piece with mostly land, Europe, and the other piece was mostly water, Black Sea).

Mark up strips on the opposite side you want to use to avoid ugly black marks. So that you can read the name places you’ll want one map piece to have horizontal strips and one to have vertical strips. (My strips measure 1,5 cm wide and long enough to wrap around my notebook (covers)).

Weigh the bottom of the Vertical pieces down with some cans and start weaving.

When you’ve woven enough to cover the book front and back, add some tape to the bottom of the woven pieces leaving enough of the tape to be able to fold over and seal the ends together.

Repeat for the top and sides.

When you’ve taped each side and folded the edge of the tape over to the back, you should be left with a piece of woven Atlas ‘fabric’ you can now use this to cover your Composition book.

Layer Double sided tape to completely cover the front and back, making sure the spine has tape adhered to it also.

Then lay the back of the book on the woven Atlas ‘fabric’ and take the woven piece and wrap it around the book pressing down to make sure it sticks.

Trim around the edges. After trimming you will have some loose pieces that stick up, glue them down then put notebook under a pile of books to make sure all the pieces properly stuck to the cover.

Trim off the excess and enjoy your recycled Atlas/Map notebook.

(Since I have a notebook with spiral binding, I only stuck my woven map to the covers, both outside and on the inside. I also decorated with a few graphics I recently purchased from a new store in town which sells Graphic 45 products.
I’ll be taking my new travelogue with me on all my upcoming travels and trips, so I also ran a clear scotch tape over the woven map cover – just to make sure it’ll stay clean and not absorb moisture in case I happen to drop it in a puddle or something.)


* Original tutorial by Ways with Vintage Maps – Woven Notebook Tutorial

Happy crafting ;)

2012, July 4

Vintage Looking Jar Vases

I noticed an old yogurt jar in my grandmother’s kitchen the other day. It reminded me of my childhood. It reminded her of my mother’s childhood. I asked her if she had any she didn’t use anymore. She did, of course.

Taking two, I wondered what to do with them. Then I remembered how we never seem to have enough vases. Especially smaller ones. So, I decided to try my luck at turning them into just that – vintage looking vases.

page jar vases

Vintage Looking Jar Vases

(40-50 years) old jars
nail polish
ribbon (optional)

Unless you have a really steady hand, I’d advise starting to decorate your jars by drawing the wished design/pattern, on them with a sharpie first.

(As soon as I drew the first line, I knew all perfectionism was to be set aside.)

After you’re done with your design, trace it over with nail polish. Let it dry very well.

Decorate further with a bow if you want to.

I’d say the whole thing took 30 minutes tops; the drying took the longest, seeing as you wouldn’t want to mess up the design.

Oh, and, keep in mind to do this outdoors, or near an open window. The nail polish smell is terrible (and will cause dizziness – I found that out first hand!) if you have a small kitchen or room that you’re crafting in.

Happy crafting!

2012, June 20

Upcycling – Cute Planters (1)

Let’s throw some ideas around.

Say you have some mugs you hardly ever use anymore. Ones you don’t like anymore. Or say you have cups which have slight beauty issues (the rim is chipped, paint rubbed off, hairline cracks, etc.).

You could throw them out.

BUT you could also find another use for them!

Like popping a potted plant in them. Chances are, you’ll never be able to tell they’re chipped, or “unwanted”. You won’t have to worry about adding too much water which could spill out from their plant saucers.

If they have a hairline crack, then just add the cup’s saucer too. That will look even cuter!

Place them on a window sill, a shelf, on the kitchen counter or dining room table.




See? Easy peasy ;)

2011, October 26

Upcycling to Fridge magnet

We had this older wooden spoon we hardly ever used any more. It looked dreadful and my mom was about to throw it away before I stopped her.

I knew exactly how I could turn it into something pretty and decorative!


Wooden spoon up cycled to fridge magnet

wooden spoon
glue napkins or transfer paper

First paint your wooden spoon with a base color of your choice

Then use the decoupage technique to add some kitchen (or which ever desired) motifs

Finish it off by gluing a magnet to its back and optionally add a ribbon

Place on refrigerator, microwave oven, etc.

2011, October 5

Wine glass candle holder

Last time, I talked about creating Vintage looking candle holders. Now, let’s try that with wine glasses.

Do you have sets of wine glasses that are missing a piece? Get the numbers even again by using the extra glass for a project.

Here’s how you can make a candle holder out of it.


Wine glass candle holder

wine glass
decorations of your own choice

Cut a round piece of cardstock that’s about half a centimeter bigger than the circumference around the rim of the glass. Place the glass upside down in the middle of your cardstock and draw around that circumference with a pencil.

Glue your choice of decoration onto the cardstock inside the line. You can use so many different decorations like artificial flowers and leafs, seashells, pebbles, pine cones, ribbons, small toys, etc. (I LOVE the variety this provides!)

Glue the glass onto the cardstock making sure all the decorations are within the interior of the glass.

Place a candle on top of the glass’ foot and you’re all done :)

*if you use different sizes and shapes of glasses, the effect is even more interesting when you use them all together as centerpieces*

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