Upcycled Tutorials - making something amazing out of something else

This is another easy-peasy reuse tutorial. We always have a leftover tile or two when we do tile work

(you can also purchase individual tiles super cheap at tile shops or home improvement stores)

and since I know from writing on them with chalk when we are laying them out that they make great chalkboards I thought why not make some tile/chalkboards for little places that you would like to leave a little note or message.

You can also use large tiles and tile edging as your chalk holder (see step by step pictures for a picture of this)

what you need -

ceramic tile (test chalk on it first - it must have a matte finish), epoxy, hangers, rubber stamp or ceramic edge tile

1. If using a rubber stamp for your chalk ledge - peel off rubber (you can glue this on some scrap wood so you don't lose your stamp!) 2. Sand off any leftover glue 3. glue the 'ledge' near the bottom of your tile 4. Add your hangers (there are probably better hangers for this project, but I already had these - they are supposed to attach to the wall, but since they are fabric and flexible they worked very well on the ridged back of the tile)- I needed some hoops to hang them, but I had something handy for that, too 5. Write something!

There is almost no limit to the amazing things you can do with an old window!

If you don't have one in your garage you should be able to pick one up for just a couple bucks when the garage sale / flea market season starts up in a few weeks.

You can even make a huge industrial size corkboard!

You will need:

an old window
cork (I used cork underlay for flooring- you can also buy cork rolls at the craft store and cut foamcore sheets to fit underneath the thin cork and support your pushpins)
glazier points
flathead screwdriver

You can make your old window like new first with a fresh coat of paint

(you might want to use a lead test strip first if you do not know the age of the window and the kind of paint used)

I like things to look a little aged so I am just going to leave this one alone.

Measure your openings and cut your cork to fit (1), using a flathead screwdriver and some glazier points attach your cork to the window frame (2), that's it (3) - easy peasy

This is a cool way to add a layer of words and whatnots to your framed pictures - looks especially amazing with black and white photos and is uber-easy to make.

I used to sell these at craft shows and people ate them up.

(no, I mean, they actually ate them up ... and it wasn't pretty .. in fact I am feeling a little light headed from the memories ... but I have been advised they tasted like chicken)

Anyhoo, the idea here is that you use a transparency (overhead projector paper available at Staples works perfectly) to add a layer of pure awesomeness under the glass of any framed print.

what you need:

a transparency
a computer
a picture to be framed, mat and frame

Using your computer lay out some fun and funky wording, imagery, boxes, etc that you would like to use to create your 'floating layer' - measure the inside of your matting and print it out on regular paper to make sure it will fit with your mat and picture.

To print on the acetate use the 'transfer' style paper setting (as if you were making a t-shirt transfer) and print on the rough side of the acetate on a regular setting (I used to find the 'best' setting would sometimes leave too much ink and smear) - allow a little drying time

Tape the acetate to the backboard of your matting and add your picture underneath the acetate. I like the picture to be slightly off-angled, but do what pleases your eye with it. Frame it- easy peasy.

Here are a couple mini ones I threw together to get you started and your creativity flowing:

Enjoy! xo =^..^=

This is another easy-peasy tutorial

(my favorite kind)

that gives you something to do with that old keyboard you have in the bottom of your closet.

A computer geek will love to get and wear this one.

You will need:

a computer key (just pop it off with a flat head screwdriver)
a washer (not the kind with the tiny center hole)
a slip ring or jump ring
hand drill
1. drill a hole in your washer (this is actually super easy- be firm and fearless) 2. add slip ring
3. super glue your computer key to the washer (check in with your hole placement so your letter is upright and readable)
4. add chain

I shred everything for packing material

(I have been known to mistakenly shred unpaid telephone bills and insurance cards - oops)

I keep them in plastic bags hanging in my studio and visitors often think it is some kind of modern wall art.

(of course I nod in agreement at my genius)

On Tabitha's Salon Takeover last week (the episode with the crazy salon owner with the gazillion rules) - when the salon was renovated at the end of the episode they had shredded the gazillion rules and framed them in huge hobby frames. They were uber cool looking.

So, I decided to grab some of my shreddings and frame them. I think a cluster of framed pieces like this - you could use misc color shredded (as shown), solid white or all the same color - could make an amazing wall display.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone - stay warm - more snow expected for us!
*see other tutorials (some more tutorial-like than others) here

Sometimes when crafting, the thing you end up with is not exactly the picture you had in your head when you started.

(and this is the beauty of handmade and I really truly believe this, even when things go ... well, kind of bad -

maybe not life in prison with no chance of parole kind of bad, but more like a couple weeks in county with a roommate named Ginger who really, really likes your hair -

not that this has happened to me)

So although this project has some problems with it I decided to post it anyway because - 1. perfection is highly overrated and 2. many of my mistakes you can avoid

Although I am giving you a step by step of what I did I will add a little instruction for the way I would do it if I was to do it again

(which I never, ever will, trust me on this)

You will need: rubberbands (now, maybe there is a reason stringart is done with actual string, but I had a bag of rubberbands in my kitchen drawer that were just screaming Valentine's Day at me - use your own judgement on this), nails, cork, a back board (I used a second piece of cork flooring under the first tile which proved to not be strong enough for the rubberbands which wanted to pull everything inward so I would recommend the wood backboard the pattern suggests - ugh), a hammer (I started out with my trusty mallet, but soon had to switch to the slimmer hammer head), the pattern, a calculator and lots of patience

1. Lay out your pattern and hammer in 80 little nails, yes I said 80
2. Tear out the pattern center (the instructions say to remove the entire pattern at this point, but I don't see how this project is possible to do without the numbers, so leave the numbers)
3. Follow pattern section 1 (this one is easy peasy)
4. Follow pattern section 2 (good luck with this one, maybe remove small children from your immediate vicinity because your language is going to be rough - also pour yourself a drink)
5. Pull out the little pieces of paper with tweezers
6. I cut my cork to fit in an embroidery hoop, but this would look just as cool on a clipboard or something simple

<----Now, I admit I did not end up with anything nearly as amazing as this and you may have to squint a little bit to see my heart, but as I tell my family sometimes when I am accused of heartlessness, it's in there, trust me.

Also my pattern went wayward when I tracked on the right side and I didn't quite manage the gorgeous circular fold with my heart - not sure if this is a result of the rubberbands or my own placement mistakes - and my nails, without the solid backboard and because of the rubberband pressure, have gone a little wonky - but I will just keep everyone 5-10 feet away from it and don't think anyone will notice the flaws.

(I find this is good advice for most things)

If you are a crafty mama, you have probably rubber stamped a scrapbook page or two or rubber stamped something or other and now have a bunch of stamps gathering dust in a drawer somewhere.

(or maybe things in drawers don't actually gather dust, but you get the idea)

I recently made this little bat necklace for a vampire freak - although I do know that today's vampires do not actually turn into bats (the vampire freak loved it anyway) and that the bat thing is just an old vampire myth that real vampires, like my girl Sookie (and yes, again I realize that Sookie is not really a vampire ... yet) are busy dispelling.

Anyhoo, this is a very quick and easy jewelry gift idea for those rubber stamps that you would like to use in a new way!

This would also make a great keychain with a keychain ring in place of the neck chain!

You will need:

1. an old rubber stamp
2. permanent markers (easiest) or paint, chalk, sealer
3. washers and eyehooks
4. drill for starter holes
5. some sort of chain, cording or ribbon, some beads and baubles

1. you can either permanent marker the stamp 'picture' or paint or chalk it (if painting or chalking you will need to seal it with a clear sealer) - you may also decide the back of the stamp is where the really amazing picture is and use it backwards
2. drill a starter hole
3. screw in your eyehook and washer
4. add beads and baubles
5. add chain or cording

I saw this tutorial in a book a couple years back and thought it was quite a clever and quick upcycle for those potholders that you get as gifts that do not really work for you -

(and by work for you I mean they are too ugly for your kitchen, but not too ugly for someone to stuff in their glovebox)

I seem to get alot of these.

(maybe because I know alot of people who do their shopping at Walgreens on Christmas Eve ... hello, yes, I've been there, too)

So anyhoo turning a potholder, some plastic sandwich bags and a cute button into a little travel first aid kit or some other little kit is easy, peasy -

just remember if you intend to turn a potholder and little baggies into an actual pot-holder (if you know what I mean) that this would be illegal (although quite clever) and not recommended, but just about any other little doodad holder would probably work -

(and not get you a 6 month suspended sentence and 30 days community service - not that this has ever happened to me)

Now I know you are all very clever and do not really need a step by step with this one, but I couldn't really call it a tutorial without a step by step so bear with me.

1. Sew your little baggies (the sealed end) into the center of your potholder
2. Add bandaids, wipes, etc
3. Sew on an appropriate size button
4. Add or sew on some kind of first aid symbol or add a hangtag

(and now that I think of it you could probably get everything you need for this project at 5:45 on Christmas Eve at Walgreens if you had to)

If you are going to make this project and would like a couple of these little first aid pins to add to your little pouch - just email me through the LET'S CHAT link on the right and I will pop a couple in the mail for you, for free, that's just how I am, plus it's the season of giving and all that jazz .... and I made too many.

For week 3 of this year's recycled holiday gift countdown let's make some easy, peasy jewelry!

If you are like me you probably have a drawer full of buttons and another drawer filled with those hard non-recyclable (until now) plastic bottle caps.

With some black cording from the craft store and a few metal pipe clamps from the hardware store (my favorite place) you can create some amazing interchangeable (that doing more with less thing again) necklaces you will be proud to give and your friends will be happy to get!

what you need:

some buttons of various sizes
a couple plastic bottle caps
power drill
metal hose clamps
thin black cording or chain

1. drill hole in center of bottle cap 2. thread stack of buttons backward from smallest to largest 3. push both ends of cording into bottle cap and tie off 4. cut off any loose ends (good life lesson here) 5. loosen clamp with screwdriver, insert bottle cap and tighten 6. add cording or thin chain to slot on back of clamp

See more of my recycled tutorials here

If there is a special pooch in your life and you have collected a few wine corks for yourself

(and if you haven't maybe you should get working on that one)

you can easily make an adorable leash that special pooch will be proud to walk the neighborhood with!

Now, I should add that this is probably not a good leash for your rottie or any pup that needs more than a small amount of control

(although this is surprisingly strong and I cannot pull it apart - your rottie is probably stronger than I am though)

Someone incredibly wonderful sent me these corks not realizing they were not made from actual cork, but I knew I would eventually find a great use for them (these are synthetic corks, but your wood corks will work equally well).

You will need:

some corks
slip rings
eyehook and washers
spring hook
key fob for the hand grip
(these were puchased on Etsy from loveyduds)
super glue

Easy peasy instructions - Make a starter hole in the center of the cork with your eyehook, remove hook, add a couple drops of super glue to the hole, screw in eyehook and a small washer, add slipring, repeat, add a fabric key fob handle to one end and a latch hook to the other which will attach to your pup's collar.

Just be prepared to deal with a big-headed pooch from all the attention she/he will receive - Olive has become impossible to live with and is even demanding breakfast in bed ...

There are also lots of amazing doggie goodies on Etsy for your holiday shopping like these amazing finds here:

1. leashes from hollywoofstyles
2. leather dog collar from thecoolpuppy
3. mosaic dog leash holder by Raquel Stanack
4. Molly collar and leash from murphyandgert
5. turquoise dog collar by ChloesCollars
6. love to fart dog tag by hugapug studios
7. striped dog sweater by beantownhandmade

This week kicks off my 2nd annual holiday recycled handmade gift tutorial countdown to Christmas!

(say that two times fast, will ya)

A favorite easy peasy gift I like to make for people are magnetboards created from their favorite old t-shirts!

You can use any size frame for this - you can even make sets of framed magnetboards from the same t-shirt.

You will need:

1 t-shirt
1 piece of sheetmetal from the hardware/home improvement store- the thinner the better
1 frame
staple gun, scissors, marker, sheetmetal cutters (heavy duty scissors can be used, too)

1. mark sheetmetal using the paper template inside your frame
2. cut sheetmetal to size
3. cut t-shirt about 1" larger than template on each size
3. place the corrugated cardboard that came with your frame behind the sheetmetal and stretch the tshirt over top
4. staple the tshirt to the cardboard (the sheetmetal should be directly under the t-shirt)
5. slip it into your frame

You will just need to add some favorite magnets (and if you follow my blog and need up to 3 magnet lids - you will just have to glue a magnet to each - just email me through the contact link at right with your address and what you would like on them - here I have used some favorite Dylan lyrics - I will pop them in the mail to you for free).

More recycled tutorials here including last year's gift countdown!

And if you want to hold onto your own t's- it is hard for me to part with mine- you can find some amazing recycled t's for sale on Etsy:

1. recycled rug by talking squid
2. recycled flowers by marang97
3. recycled bracelet by AnnDoraCraft
4. recycled necklace by kewpiedolly
5. zjayne's amazing recycled wristlets

I have a bit of a clock and time obsession and have always wanted a string of clocks on my wall to tell me the time in different places around the world.

A few years ago I bought some black plastic clocks from the end cap sale bins at Target, but the loud tick-tocks drove me bonkers and I eventually gave them away.

The clock kits you can buy at craft stores are alot quieter and the cork helps muffles the sound. I've had these cork plant trivet/coasters that have been itching for another use - so time to make some clocks!

For this little project you will need:

a drill
3 cork plant trivets (Ikea)
3 metal house numbers
thumb tacks
3 sets of clock hardware

1. Measure for the middle of your cork circles and mark your holes
2. Drill holes
3. Add clock hardware (easy peasy, but this stuff is very delicate so be gentle)
4. Thumbtack on your numbers and names

Or you can buy something really cool on Etsy like one of these amazing clocks by:

1. andfurthermore 2. decoylab 3. tecoart 4. imotime 5. oryxandcrakedesign 6. giftedpapers

By now I am sure you are thinking that I am obsessed with drilling into books, but I really do love my books and hate to put holes in them ....

(maybe I need a 12 step)

Here an old book easily makes a great little bookrack that you are going to love!

This also allows you to stand up some books on a shelf that may be a bit too narrow for them.

what you need:

a hard cover book that you have already read
2 hardware handles (not sure what these are called, I got them in the hardware store near the drawer pulls and hinges)
4 bolts
drill, drill bit that is larger than your handle hardware

1. measure your hardware and mark your drilling holes
2. drill slowly and firmly
3. drop in your handle hardware
4. bolt underneath and on top
5. add some books

And some amazing Etsy finds for you bibliophiles:

1. Leather Journal by Julie Boyles
2. Great Rules of Writing Wood Notepad by Quotes and Notes
3. Unblocked Tee by Citrus Tree
4. Keep Calm and Read On by KeepCalm Shop
5. Eco-friendly Chalkboard by HalfpintSalvage

I have been wanting to add a towel bar or two to my kitchen butcher block counter (which was originally a potting shed cabinet) for a long time.

I recently picked up a couple vintage rolling pins at a flea market and knew they would be just perfect!

I had some hardware left over from this bottle project last Christmas, but you can easily pick some up in the electrical or plumbing department of your local hardware store.

Plus it spins when you pull the towel - how cool is that!

you will need:

a rolling pin
2 galvanized split ring hangers (bring rolling pin to store for sizing)
2 3/8" galvanized ceiling flange (plumbing or electrical department),
3/8 threaded pipe cut to size (store will cut),
(4) #12X1" screws
measuring tape, screwdriver and drill

1. measure for placement
2. measure twice!
3. mark and drill screw holes
4. screw in ceiling flange and then add threaded pipe
5. add split ring hanger with rolling pin

Now head over to Etsy and get yourself an amazing handtowel:

1. the heated advice by theheated
2. pistol bar towel from branchhandmade
3. mr. darcy proposal hand towels by brookish
4. kitchen bits tea towel by wonderthunder
5. organic summer pennant tea towel by katherinejlee
6. essential herbs kitchen towels by nestahome
7. mussel organic linen tea towel by madderroot

This is another easy-peasy summer project for an old metal vent.

Why not turn it into an awesome little mail holder?

The plastic diffuser (magnetic) can be picked up at a hardware store for under $5.00.

I attached mine to the side of a desk and love it so much I am going to add a few more!

you will need:

1. metal vent
2. magnetic plastic air diffuser (hardware store about $5.00)
3. spray paint for metal
4. screws and screwdriver
5. drill (camera shy)

1. Clean your vent and spray paint it
2. Measure for placement on the wall, side of desk, etc
3. Mark holes, drill for screws
4. Screw in your vent
5. Add your magnetic plastic cover (note I switched mine to some stronger magnets since I wanted it to hold quite a bit of papers)

When I was a kid we were told that something incredibly toxic

(yes, even more toxic than the gazillions of toxins we faced all the time)

and incredibly yucky was at the center of a golf ball.

My sister and I had peeled one or two (dozen) open and gotten to the gigantic rubber band inside the hard outer shell, but never ventured into the "poisonous" golf ball center.

Recently I wanted to make a few golf ball keychains for a neighbor who has a business making golf club grips - just little giveaways he could pass on to some of his customers.

When I mentioned my plan to drill into a golf ball, hubby reminded me to check and see just what is in the center of one of these things.

(I didn't want to cause some kind of nuclear meltdown or chemical explosion with my drill, after all)

Well, it turns out the liquid center of most golf balls today is a not-so-liquid solid core, but the old liquid center balls are still around and preferred by the pros because they give better control and feel.

So, what is that mysteriously hazardous liquid anyway?

Salt water and corn syrup. Just another of those doomsday scenarios created by parents intent on getting us to not destroy our their stuff (it never worked).

what you need:
1. a golf ball
2. a drill
3. keychain slip rings (1 tiny, 1 large - sorry this is about as specific as I will be able to get since I have long ago tossed the packages)
4. eyehook & washer

1. mark your hole - check for front placement of insignia
2. drill your starter hole
3. screw in your eyehook and washer
4. add your slip rings

Totally easy peasy, but could make a great little gift for your favorite golfer!

Note - if anyone wants to make one, but doesn't want to go out and purchase the individual pieces - contact me through the mail link on the right of this blog or through convo and for $5.00 (includes shipping) I will send you a little kit you can assemble. I'll even pre-drill (while supplies last, I have a few left).

I have always wanted a lazy susan -

(without actually nicknaming myself Susan, of course)

I think because my mother had one,

(and I have lots of fond memories of spinning salt and pepper shakers around the table)

but since my dining room table is kind of large and most lazy susans are kind of small, I could never find just the right one.

Recently at a local flea market my daughter spotted this whiskey barrel lid that we knew would be perfect.

I had to google lazy susan to see how you make one of these things spin, but it turns out there is a gizmo called - yup - lazy susan hardware, which is available at - yup - your local hardware store.

what you need:

1. something for your lazy susan top (ex. barrel lid)
2. lazy susan spinner hardware
3. screws and washers
4. the base for your lazy susan- here I have used an old book (I am not sure I am recommending this since I see some challenges ahead with it, but I have alot of old cookbooks)

First I had to make some adjustments to the back of my barrel lid including removing some hardware that had recently held legs- so I guess my barrel lid had been a table, too. Then I needed to cut some pieces of wood the right size to attach the lazy susan gizmo. If your lazy susan top is flat on the bottom you won't need to do these things

(just make sure the top is deep enough that your hardware is not going to show through)

1. Mark and drill holes in your lazy susan base (in this case the book)
2. Screw the lazy susan gizmo into your base
3. Flip you base over and mark, drill and screw your lazy susan gizmo into your top

There are some tricks to making sure the base is the correct size so that you can work around it when attaching your top - when you buy your little gizmo you will see what I mean. I had intended to use a larger book and ended up needing a smaller book.

Can't wait until the next family get together so I can "spin" the condiments at everyone - just like mom used to do!

And some lazy susans and other susans you can buy now:

1. black eyed Susan eco felt earrings by akaCINDERS
2. black eyed Susan organic cotton t-shirt by threadhead99
3. always loves me flower necklace by taylorseclectic
4. curly maple lazy Susan by appcraftsmen
5. changing of the seasons lazy Susan by backwoodgalleries
6. orange slice lazy Susan by JaneSuzanne
7. black eyed Susan by TheDoomGirls

A couple weeks ago, we had to cut down 5 trees - it was a hard day for us me.

George was very certain these trees were going to crash down on our heads and we have had enough trees fall over the years, including one that hit our neighbor's garage, to take our tree problem seriously.

You can see from the holes in these poor trees that they had seen better days, but it was very hard for me to make the decision to cut them down.

This decision was not so hard for hubby who longs for any reason to use his mostly idle chainsaw.

(for a man who likes to makes things, he really likes to "unmake" them, too)

I have a few projects planned for some of this wood and the rest is being picked up by some friends with fireplaces. I saw these log stools in a magazine and knew I would be making one for us and a couple for other people.

You will need:

1. a log that has been cut to be level
2. your handy drill
3. 4 swivel casters

(if you are going to sit on this log you may want bigger casters than these and longer screws)

4. screws, screwdriver and marking pen

1. Lay out your swivel casters fairly close to the edge of your log
2. Mark your drill holes

(I actually skipped this step and just drilled through the caster holes, but this could be a good step if you are a litle less lazy than I am)

3. Drill your screw holes
4. Screw on your casters
5. Flip your table
6. Voila- and this is a heck of alot easier to move around than the heavy log is!

Using a round template paint a chalkboard onto a slice of wood- add a little welcome message!

And for some amazing Etsy creations you can buy now- check out:

1. Log #20 original water color painting by Gollybard
2. Personalized carved initials necklace by Lisa Hopkins
3. Tiny wee hoot owl by Buttercupbloom
4. Tagua nuts eco-friendly earrings from Decorate the Diva
5. Custom tree heart pillow by Cozyblue
6. Pileated woodpecker by StudioLyon

Now, Martha likes to keep those little bowls of salt and pepper handy for adding pinches while she is cooking

(and she is the queen of all things crafty after all)

and it is a great idea!

So, this is my version of Martha's pinch bowls.

You will love having open spices to add to your favorite soups and sauces as you cook!

And this is an easy, peasy upcycled project.

You will need:

1. a hardback used cookbook
(make sure you copy any recipes you like first)
2. old spoons (use ladles or you will have to bend them, which is easy actually- just bend slowly)
3. a large sawtooth hanger
4. 4 screws, washers and bolts
(the screws need to be just a wee bit longer than the depth of your book)
5. 2 copper pipe hangers (bring your spoons to the store when you buy them)
6. a drill and hammer (camera shy)

1. measure and hammer in your sawtooth hanger
2. line up your spoons and copper pipe hangers and mark your hanger holes (I wanted my copper pipe hangers to be in different places so bent one spoon slightly)
3. drill your starter holes and drill holes slowly

(remember this is how you started a fire when you were a girl scout, so drill SLOWLY)

4. screw in your hangers and add bolts on back
5. add your spices and you are all set

Here is another recycled book post you might like Baby Got Book.

And some amazing creations you can buy now on Etsy:

1. Gorgeous and clever recycled spoon necklace from Under Glass.
2. The Black Spot Books stunning handmade leather library
3. Beautiful spoon garden marker by Monkeys Always Look
4. Amazing book safe by Pommesfrites
5. Adorable mini wooden library book by Elloh

In New Jersey if you do not turn in your old license plates you face huge fines and can even lose your driver's license,

(so, don't ask me where I got this one - I actually have about 10 in a backyard shed which I am hoping the police don't stumble upon, if one of my neighbors - jealous of my crafty nature - turn me in)

but if you live in a state that is not quite so greedy about getting these back and happen to have one that you are not using why not turn it into a handy little dustpan!

You will need:

1. a license plate

(please do not steal this from your neighbor or mother-in-law)

2. an old handle- I removed this one from an old frying pan that I ditched due to teflon and have been trying to recycle
3. 11 1/4" of weatherstripping
4. new bolts for your handle- complete with washers and nuts
5. a drill, some clamps and a marking pen

1. determine the size of the 'fold' for your plate based on your handle and clamp your plate to the edge of your work table upside down
2. gently and firmly bend your plate - working your way a little bit at a time across the plate- slight bends; you will probably need to bend across the plate 3 or 4 passes - if you have a rubber mallet - it could come in handy here

(note - I have a rubber mallet and spent more time looking for it than making this dustpan and of course, it only turned up the next day when I didn't need it anymore)

3. measure and mark your handle holes
4. if you are using large bolts- drill a starter hole with a small drill bit and then drill your larger hole with the correct size bit
5. remove your clamps and bolt on your handle

6. cut your weatherstripping to size
7. peel off the sticky paper from the one side of the stripping and press the edge of your license plate on top of it
8. make any final adjustments to your license plate fold and you are done!

And for some amazing recycled license plate creations you can buy now check out this total gorgeousness on Etsy:

1. Journey license plate word block by Recycled Art Company
2. Recycled license plate monogram necklace by Wearwolf
3. Quebec license plate photo album by Tagliatela
4. Say What? license plate belt buckle by Vintage In Retrospect
5. New England Girl license plate bracelet by Etcetrix
6. License plate frame by RandiTan

Recently I picked up a couple racquets at a local flea market.

I had seen some tennis racquet mirrors on Apartment Therapy some time ago and I loved them, but knew working with mirrored glass would definitely be seven years bad luck for me, so thought I would try a similar kind of thing with cork.

So here is an easy, peasy tutorial to turn your old racquet into a cork board message center.

You can make them with or without a fabric covering - I am making these two as a gift and this fabric is perfect for the tennis nut I am thinking about.

You will need:

1. racquet(s)
2. cork
3. fabric
4. cardboard
5. paper
6. staplegun
7. scissors
8. screwdriver
9. glazier points

1. Create a paper template by making dots along the inside edge of the racquet
2. Adjust your template until it fits perfectly inside the racquet
3. Use the template to cut the cork and a piece of cardboard
4. Iron your fabric and using a staple gun wrap the fabric around the cork and cardboard; secure tightly
5. Using glazier points (used in framing) and a screwdriver secure the corkboard into the racquet

Note- those framed prints in my livingroom (top photo) are by the amazing f2images!

1. Vintage tennis racquets at BrightWallVintage
2. Art for Dogs by StrayDogArts
3. Short white skirt by LaBronz
4. Tennis ball cufflinks by QA Create
5. Tennis ball bath bomb by Layla
6. Cats Playing Badminton Brooch by Bramble and Bear

My plan is for a weekly post on some recycled and repurposed Christmas gift ideas- things that are easy enough to make fairly quickly, but still look like you put the proper time and thought into them.

Now I know we shouldn't be eating this stuff, but some of us do have a collection of these cereal boxes from overnight guests


and I especially love the little mini assortment packs.

1. Glue the top flaps open. For stability you want to leave them on rather than rip them off- a glue stick would probably work just fine for this.

2. Using a razor knife or scissors cut a larger package (carnation instant breakfast packaging show here) open and glue the flaps back

3/4. Add little scrapbook doodads to the sides of your boxes- there are tons of variations here, so just use things that you have when possible.

These cereal boxes could also be made into little books and albums in this same way. Large cereal boxes also fit nicely into those plastic crates in your kids' rooms.

Mini Cereal Box Storage Unit (especially great gift when paired with one of the amazing Etsy finds below)

1. Hawaiian Coconut Bowl by Glazed Over
2. Favorite Plaid Shirt Print by LittleBranches
3. Coffee in Color Notecards by ThingsThatAreMade
4. Rice Cereal Upcycled Journal by IvyLaneDesigns.
5. Vintage Recycled Quilt Coasters by RikRak
6. ID Bracelet by Spoonerz
7. Fork Shirt by Xenotees