Category Archives: DIY

Bring kids drawings to life

Many years ago my daughters and I made a fun DIY project. My daughters like to draw and are keen on their drawings, which are on display on our fridge. At the time they also liked dolls so we had the idea to make dolls out of their own drawings. Younger daughter had 3 years and older about 7.

We took two pieces of paper and crayons. The only instruction I gave them was to make a large enough picture, so that it would be possible for me to sew the doll.

The younger drew a humanoid, which seems more like a banana, but I can guarantee you that it is actually a very beautiful princess with long hair and blue eyes. My older daughter drew her own princess, with many more details and colours.

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Next, I drew over the lines and transferred the picture onto a cloth. I put two pieces of cloth and some stuffing in between and sewed main lines of the picture with zig-zag seam on my sewing machine. Finally, we coloured the dolls with crayons and I embroidered details: eyes, mouth, crown…

My kids were so proud to have dolls made out of their own design. They played a lot with these dolls and are still keeping them as memorabilia.

Happy crafting!

 

 

 

Beach stone earrings

I wanted to upgrade my beach stone jewellery with some silver plated wire. It looks so easy when others do it, but I had quite an experience with different sorts of wires. Some were too thin, others just didn’t go into shape I wanted them to. Not to talk about working with cutters and round nose pliers (yes, I had to buy those first)… But here are some final results I would like to share.

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Not exactly round, but I like them anyway…

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I even tried inlaying a smaller stone into the larger one. To make the smaller white stone pop out, I glued a piece of gold leaf in the recess prior to putting the smaller stone in.

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I guess I have some more practice to do, but first products aren’t that bad either.

Happy crafting to you all!

 

 

DIY Vases with test tubes

Vases made from driftwood

Pieces of branches that have been washed by the sea, treated by the winds and bleached by hot sun have a unique colour and are very light and soft. We found driftwood pieces at the local beach. After washing it thoroughly (you do not want to have any marine bacteria at your home) we simply drew holes and attached the piece to aluminium stand. Finally the wood was treated with wood oil and wax – it gives it a velvety touch and smells divinely. The pieces are quite narrow so we put in the hole glass test tubes. It can become a vase or a candle holder, even pencils or brushes can find a new home. For larger pieces a glass vase or jar could be used instead of test tubes.

Simple vases from plywood

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Two pieces of plywood were cut to shape so they can be put together – one is inserted into another – and in the middle goes the test tube.

Upgrade plywood vases

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For this vase we glued several layers of plywood, cut it into “O” shape and drilled the hole at the top, so the test tube can be inserted into the wooden piece. The piece is put onto aluminium stand and secured with a screw. Finally we put two coatings of lacquer for shiny finish.

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Aluminium piece vase

This is a bit more complex piece. A spare aluminium piece was cut into shape and sanded. Than my husband drilled recesses and holes with his homemade CNC machine. This time it is the stand that is made out of wood – it is an old piece of wood board that was lying around.

 

DIY charging station

We always searched the right charger for the device that was approaching battery death all over the house, so the first step was to label the chargers with device name and kept all chargers in one place. However, more than one device was often charging, so cluttery scenes were often seen near electrical outlets. The chargers basket was no better: a mess of unmistakably entangled electrical wires. Now we have a DIY all-in-one charging station that solves it all.

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Our charging station has two main parts: a crate that contains chargers and wires and the upper part that holds up our devices – two tablets and four mobiles. Every device has its permanent place with the name put on it.

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I bought a small wooden crate and three book holders for few euros at local store. Then I  disassemble them all, saw off excess parts and drilled holes for wires and assembled the parts together. The rest is paint and embellishments.

And here is all the mess that is put safely out of sight.

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We usually keep our chargers in the charging stations. For emergency charging when we are out of home we have a power bank and spare USB cables. Also, the charging station is a storage space for devices when they are not in use, so we do not have them lying all around the house anymore.

Handmade wall clocks

Handmade DIY wall clocks made out of natural or recycled materials.

The wooden farmhouse clock is Pinterest inspired. I found out it was originally designed by AveryStDesignCo – a small business that makes furniture and clocks out of reclaimed wood. I liked it so much that I tried to do one for myself. I used reclaimed wood, cut and sand it and aged it with steel wool and vinegar solution. I painted the outer circle with white chalk paint and finally draw the numbers with black acrylic paint.

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Back side of the clock was treated with vinegar solution as well. My husband cut the recess to hold the clock mechanism.

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This clock is made out of beach stones, that were painted with acrylic paint – green and grey ones. Some stones were covered with gold leaf that was glued on their surface.

Finally I simply hot-glued stones and clock mechanism to the wall, since we do not plan to remove this clock in near future and wanted them to really stick tight. I am not sure if hot-glue will leave any residue to the wall though.

I had an old stack of number stickers that I used to indicate hours. This clock is in the kids room so to make it more playful I used different fonts.

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A really old project. The central part of the clock is made out of an old piece of aluminium. My husband drilled holes in it so the wooden sticks and spheres could be fixed in. On the back side there is a recess for clock mechanism. I painted the wooden parts and pointers on the clock with high gloss paint in different colours.

With some imagination a lot of different natural or recycled materials can be used, making the projects friendly to environment and our pockets.

DIY Beach stone jewellery

Simple beach stones turned to jewellery.

Nice small beach stones, mainly from the local beach called “white rocks”, have been used for this project. The beach is situated under steep cliff and exposed to strong winter winds, so the limestone stones are pretty rounded and smooth. It is quite easy to find the right sized and shaped stones, but they are not rock-solid, so due care is needed during processing, especially when drilling holes.

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I made holes with Dremel, using diamond drills and drilling under water. Stones are connected with silver plated wire (6 mm) and swarovski stones have been put to add some glimmery touch. The texture of stones is smooth, so no surface grinding or warnishing is neccessary.

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The right earring is made out of sea glass. Shape of both earrings is similar, but different material has been used to make the set more interesting. To match them together the swarovski stone is added to the stone earring.

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Stones can be used to make pendants and rings as well. For pendants I used larger stones, so combination with various materials is possible: I inserted smaller stones, pieces of wood and even metal.

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And here is my treasure hunting site, the “white rocks” beach.

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Painting stones – kids games

A simple one afternoon project to do for kids.

During the summer we collected interesting small beach stones and brought them home. It is such an interesting material to work with. For this project I chose flat stones with smooth surface. Painting stones is pretty simple: you will need small brushes and plain acrylic paint. I used the Rayher Decoart paints. They come in various colours but will easily mix together to create different shades.

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This time I created two-in-one kids games.

  • Story telling game. On one side of the stones there are pictures of fairy tales characters or fantasy drawings. Players pick stones randomly and tell the story including the character or object from the picture. The story might go on like this: Once upon a time there was a martian living on a lonely planet. One day a space craft landed on his planet. Out it came a very strange astronaut, from far far away planet…

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  • Tic-tac-toe game. The other side of the stones is coloured. One playing set consists of 4 stones in one colour and 5 stones in another, so tic-tac-toe game can be played.

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Games are designed for young children, so the drawings are pretty simple and mostly basic colours were chosen. Here are the sketches and doodling versions of the drawings, that were used on singular stone according to its shape: smaller stones are fit for simple small pictures and larger stones for larger ones: a house, a castle, a cave (each story should have it, right?).

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One set is composed of 9 stones (number needed for tic-tac-toe game), but for storytelling game the sets can be merged or mixed, so the stories can become even more interesting. Each set has a theme.

Ocean life

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Medieval story

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Space journey

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To ensure durability of pictures the surface was warnished with high resistant warnish, so the stones can even be washed with water and so far no bruises appeared.

And here is my ever-present crafting assistant.

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