Follow link above to find out how.
- Upcycle~ Holder
- Upcycled Idea~Chair
- Key Holder~Upcycled Idea
- DIY~ Outdoor Smoker
- Upcycle Ideas for Camping
- DIY~ Father’s Day Idea
- DIY~ With Kool=Aid
- DIY~ Hooks For Kids
- Upcycle Idea~Book shelves
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Want a little insight into what my husband signed up for when he
With no change in sight, I decided to curb my hoarding habits and do something with my secret stash of shirts before a family of squirrels decided to make a home in my closet. Enter my new DIY project…daddy inspired throw pillows for the duckling’s room.
Supplies for Shirts
– clean, ironed
– pillow forms or old pillows you want to cover
– sewing machine or handheld stitcher (I used a handheld stitcher)
– fabric pen (optional)
The links above and in the supplies list for the felt accessories link to our Amazon page where you can purchase the craft supplies we use in this and other projects. We offer this so that you can “one stop shop” for your supplies, and there’s no additional charge to you. All of these items are also readily available at your local craft store.
Instructions for Shirts
As a disclaimer, I’m not a seamstress, so I just “winged” it with a handheld stitcher. Real sewing
1. Start with a clean, ironed shirt. If you hate ironing like me, you can skip the sleeves because you’re just going to cut them off
3. Turn your shirt inside out (this is important hence the bold + italics for all you skimmers/photo instructions only people) and place your pillow form/insert inside your shirt. Finagle the pillow until you have it in the position you want. If you’ll be using the pockets, like I did, be sure they are positioned in a place that makes you happy on the pillow.
Time for our pins!
4. Pull together the bottoms of the shirt tight and pin into place beginning at the center (where the buttons are) and working your way out. The good thing about using patterned shirts is that you can use the pattern as a rough guide as you pin.
5. Trim the excess fabric leaving at least an inch margin from your pins.
6. (Before we start stitching…if you are indeed using a sewing machine, now would probably be the time to repeat steps 4 and 5 on the other three sides and remove the pillow. Sew away!) For the handi-stitcher folk out there, this is where the “not an exact science” part comes into play. Keeping everything as is, I just started running the stitcher as close as possible to the pins, removing the pins as I went along. Once you get to the end, follow your stitcher’s directions on how to secure the seam so it doesn’t unravel.
7. Once you finish the first side, pick up your shirt and give the pillow a little shake, encouraging it to nestle down against your new seam before moving to the opposite side to begin pinning.
Like my striped pajama pants?
8. Repeat steps 4 through 6 on the other three sides, starting with the opposite side (the collar), then moving to the sides under the arms.
Also, I probably should’ve mentioned this earlier, but I also made a variation that includes the collar. It’s not as cute, but my thought was that as the duckling gets older, this would be more of a “play pillow”, encouraging him to button and unbutton, add a bow tie or even pop the collar as he sees fit. Here’s a picture for reference if you’re interested in making a similar one.
9. Back to our collarless pillows – now that you’ve done all four sides, trim any excess fabric.
10. Unbutton your shirt. The one on the table, that is.
11. Remove the pillow insert and turn your shirt right-side out.
12. Put the shirt back on the pillow and button.
You’re done (unless you’re adding felt pocket accessories like mine, in which case the instructions and a few more pictures are below) !
Here are a hefty bunch of pictures of the finished project.
You will need:
Small Glass Jars
You should get around a dozen small glass jars. I found my leftover (5 oz) glass yogurt jars worked well. You can also buy new jars in a variety of fun shapes and sizes off Amazon.
5lb Soy Wax
Soy wax is a cheap and easy to work with natural wax. I find a 5lb bag yields roughly 20 – 24 candles.
Getting pre-made wicks will make your life much easier in the long run.
Box of Non-Toxic Crayons
Non-toxic crayons make a great coloring agent because they come in a multitude of colors that can be mixed and matched. They are also already wax-based, so you can melt it directly into the wax without having to worry about diluting it.
You can optionally add essential oil to your candle to give it a nice scent. I ordered a sample-sized scent pack from Nurielights. This is a cool little company that sources traditionally made oils from all over the world. Each sample only makes a few candles, so if you want to scent all of them the same, you should consider a larger size.
These are for holding the wicks while the wax sets.
Glass Measuring Cup
You will want to get a new glass measuring cup specifically for candle making. Wax is hard to clean off.
3 Quart Sauce Pan
While you can use the one you have, I highly recommend buying one specifically for candle making. Once the wax gets in there (and it will), you will have a heckuva time washing it out. Life will simply be easier to get a new pan.
The last thing you will need is a candy thermometer that goes up to at least 200 degrees.
First things first, you will want to prepare all of the jars for later. You will not want to be fussing with this when dealing with the wax.
Center the wicks upright in the center of the jars using clothespins and then set them aside.
Pick out the color crayons you like and cut small bits off of them to be used as coloring.
A little bit goes a long way. That said, reds, oranges, and purples tend to require a little bit less coloring than blues, greens
Melting the wax directly in the pot will make the wax too hot, ruin it, and make a giant mess.
You will want to improvise a double boiler by filling the pot 2/3 of the way with water, and then hooking the handle of the measuring cup on the side of the pan. The cup should float and the water should be about an inch lower than the side of the pan.
If at any point it looks like the water is going to boil over the edge of the pan, or get into the cup of of wax, remove some water.
Insert the thermometer into the empty cup, and when it gets near 170 degrees, pour in some wax until the cup is half full.
Stir the wax to aid in melting.
Continue adding wax little by little until there
Let the wax sit until the thermometer reaches 170 degrees
When your wax is at temperature, drop in the crayon coloring bricks and stir until they are firmly melted.
Keep in mind the color will change change as it cools. Make the color more vibrant than you think it should be as it will be less vibrant once settled. Also, don’t get to worried if it seems to change color a little. It will sort itself out as the wax cools.
The coloring process takes some trial and error to get a hang of.
If you want to make scented candles, you can try adding about 10 drops of essential oil to the mix.
Again, this is going to take some trial and error to get right. Some oils are stronger or weaker than others and may require more or less oil.
However, keep in mind that if you add too much oil, the wax will not set properly. Don’t go overboard.
Pour the wax into the jars.
If the wicks have moved off-center after you have filled the jar, gently re-position them.
Trim the wicks to be about 1/2″ long.
Wipe away any wax that got splashed around the outside of the glass jar.
Enjoy your new candles.
This cat tent is super easy to make – you really just need a t-shirt, some wire hangers and a piece of cardboard. As a bonus, it really only takes five minutes, so if your cat ignores it you didn’t put too much effort in. 😉
Cut off both squiggly ends. I untwisted mine and then cut, but that’s not really necessary.
Shape the hangers so they look like the above – try to make them smooth and pretty uniform. You want two graceful curves that will go from corner to corner of your piece of cardboard.
I also took this time to tape on a couple supports to the cardboard and tape all around the edges for a little more stability. This is really only necessary if you’re using a piece of cardboard with a crease in it.
You should be able to use the end of the hanger to do this!
Make sure it’s at least a half inch in from each edge and not too large.
Cross the two hangers in the middle and make sure all the ends touch the surface you’re working on. Tape them together really well so they don’t shift.
Push the ends through the holes you just made in the corners.
Bend at least an inch on the bottom of each hanger so it sits against the bottom of the cardboard. Tape the ends down flat against the cardboard – make sure you tape it well so it’s nice and smooth and won’t snag the shirt when you pull it over!
Pull the shirt over the tent frame and position it so the neck hole is in the front middle and the bottom of the shirt is trailing behind the tent frame.
Flip the whole thing up so the bottom is facing you and the hole is pointing upwards.
Fold up the excess from the bottom of the shirt and tighten it up so the neck hole is taut and safety pin the bottom in place. Then pull the sleeves tight and safety pin them in place too.
As you can see in the last image, it should be pretty tight over the frame. Keep tucking and safety pinning until it’s ready!
As you can see in the last image, it should be pretty tight over the frame. Keep tucking and safety pinning until it’s ready!
(Yes, I know it would make sense to cut it, but I decided to leave it whole and safety pin it instead so it would be easy to remove and wash. :D)
I put a paper bag inside as a floor since it’s been pretty hot here and a blanket would be waaaaay too warm. I also put a little catnip inside as a bonus.
They’re ever so simple to make. I’ve made these with the leather scraps I have on hand (I have a giant overflowing bin full!), but these could easily be made with felt, fabric fused to paper with Heat ‘n Bond. Let’s make one together!
Read more to learn how to assembly this easy easy book!
If you want dot gridded paper, lined paper or blank paper with punch guides, download the free printable here. Cut your paper in half so it measures 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. You will make 2 signatures with 8 sheets.
Fold your paper in half, creasing in the middle with your finger, then creasing outward from the middle with the bone folder.
Fold both signatures, now you’re ready for punching holes!
You can use a regular hole punch, but if you’re looking for an awesome punch and rivet/eyelet/snap setter all in one, you’ll want this one (c/o WRM, and I LOVE IT!!!). Use code LOVE at checkout for 20% off.
You’ll want to measure 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch in from each end and punch a hole along the fold. Download printable dot grid, lined and blank sheets with these hole guidelines here.
No accurate measuring required, though. Just take the center page of your first punched signature and nest it into the second. Use those holes as a guideline for punching the second set of holes.
Now you’re ready to prep the cover!
Cut out a piece of leather, felt or reinforced fabric to 5.5 inches x 11 inches. Line up the edge of the signatures and the edge of the leather up and wrap leather around. You should have some extra on the bottom.
Pick up the pieces and feel for an indent of your paper holes.
Mark that indent with your pencil or marker and punch. Most hole punches will go through leather no sweat. Punch those holes.
On the end that sticks out a little extra, cut two slits about 1/2 an inch long and 1/4 an inch apart in the middle of that section. (see pattern for slits) Be sure to use a protective mat as you cut!
Cut a length of cording about 18 – 24 inches long. Thread from the outside of the leather to the inside of one of your signatures. Leave a 3-4 inch tail on the outside.
Thread through the bottom hole back to the outside cover.
Pull cording tight.
Thread the cording back through the first hole, but into the middle of the second signature.
Thread back to the bottom and the outside cover.
Pull cording towards the top and bottom of the book to make sure it’s all tight.
tie a square knot and trim the ends to about 1/4-1/2 inch long.
Cut a strip of leather 16+ inches by 1/2 inch. Alternatively, you could use a structured velvet or grosgrain ribbon.
Thread the leather through the slits, leaving a 1/2 inch tail on the inside of the cover. Glue down. I used Barge’s leather cement, but PVA or e6000 will work, too.
Wrap around your book and trim the ends as needed.
Download the printable insert pages here:
Download the printable cover template (to go with the above pages) here:
They do too much damage to our house, tree house and swing set each year for me to be on good terms with them. I’ve read article after article that says they only go after non-treated, rotting wood, but that hasn’t been my experience at all.
See those holes? They were made by carpenter bees. That’s pressure treated lumber, and they started boring holes in it as soon as we finished building our tree house. They continue to bore new holes in it every spring.
When we built a new roof overhang over the basement a couple years ago, they bored holes through the new cedar supports, before we had a chance to finish them, and they continued to bore holes through them even after we stained them. They’re destructive creatures, I tell you.
So, several years back, my husband and I decided to build some carpenter bee traps to combat the problem. After a ton of research, we came up with our own design, and when we tested them, we couldn’t believe how well they worked.
Circular saw (or a hand saw)
1/2″ wood bit
7/8″ wood bit
1/2″ metal bit
4×4 post (A scrap of one is fine. You just need seven inches.)
(1)Mason jar (half pint or a regular mouth pint)
Step 1: Measure seven inches up from the end of your 4×4. Then, draw a 45-degree angle that radiates down from this point.
Step 2: Use a circular saw or a hand saw to cut the angle that you just marked.
This will leave you with a block of wood that is seven-inches tall in the back and four-inches tall in the front.
Step 3: Flip your 4×4 piece over, so that the flat bottom is facing up, and mark its center. Then, drill a 7/8-inch hole at the center point that is approximately 4-inches deep. Take care to keep your hole straight.
Step 4: Now, mark the location of your entry holes on the four sides of your block. Each hole should be two inches from the bottom and one and three-quarter inches from each side. Use your 1/2-inch wood bit to make your holes at an upward 45-degree angle. Continue drilling until your hole connects with the hole that you drilled from the bottom. Then, repeat with the remaining holes.
Here’s what your block should look like at this point.
Step 5: Unscrew the lid from your jar, and lay it on a piece of scrap lumber or a heavy metal plate. Find the center of your lid and mark it. Then, divide the distance between the center hole and the lip to find and mark the spots that you’ll use to screw the jar to the trap. Use a punch to make your holes.
Step 6: Use a 1/2-inch metal bit to make the center hole larger. Leave the other holes as is.
Step 7: Stick the lid back inside its ring, and screw the lid onto the bottom of your trap, taking care to make sure the 1/2-inch hole on your lid lines up with the 7/8-inch hole at the base of your trap.
Step 8: Add a screw eye to the top of your trap and hang.
Carpenter bees discover one of the outer holes and crawl inside it to lay eggs. Once inside, the 45-degree tunnel casts their entry point in the shadows. They see light coming up from the hole at the base of the trap, and move towards it, assuming it’s the exit. Instead of finding their way out, they find themselves in the jar, and can’t figure out how to get back out. Victory!
We hang our traps where we’re seeing carpenter bee activity. Then, we treat the holes they’ve bored with Spectracide Termite Killing Foam (it’s formulated for carpenter bees, too). Afterwards, we fill the holes in with caulk or wooden dowels. If we’re short on time, we just cram a stick up the holes until we have time to make a more permanent fix. But it’s definitely important to block the holes right away because it forces the bees, who weren’t in their nests when you sprayed, to go in search of new nesting sites, and it also kills the larvae they’ve laid, so you don’t have more bees hatching out next year. Carpenter bees will build their nests in existing holes, if they can find them, so if you have a trap full of carpenter bee-sized holes hanging near by, they’re likely to crawl inside to check it out, and when they do, you’ll have them trapped.
Note: Spectracide now also sells Carpenter Bee and Ground Nesting Yellow Jacket Killer Foam. It has the same active ingredients as the termite foam, so use whichever one you’re able to find.