It is a nice, cool idea for Halloween or anyone who loves cats. You don’t have to do a black one, you could change the colors to any you wish.MwsR
Click the link provided under the picture!
It is a nice, cool idea for Halloween or anyone who loves cats. You don’t have to do a black one, you could change the colors to any you wish.MwsR
Click the link provided under the picture!
Select treated lumber so your sofa bench can stay in the outdoors year round. Pre-cut all your boards, or have them cut for you at the hardware store to save time. It is important to consider whether you have a saw that can handle 2″x 6″ and 2″ x 8″ boards…if not you will want to have them cut at the hardware store. The armrest and backrest is built solely from 2″x4″ wood, while the seat is framed out with 2″x6″ wood but I will reference the actual rather than nominal sizes moving forward.Save
After making all your initial cuts, start by framing out your seat base. Using a Kreg Jig place pocket holes in either side of two 1 1/2″ x 6″ x 22.5″ seat frame pieces, and attach to inside of the 1 1/2″ x 6″ x 72″ seat frame pieces. Use a little wood glue when attaching all pieces moving forward, and a carpenter square to ensure all joining pieces are square.Save
Add pocket holes on either side of three of your 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 22.5″ boards. Attach them within the frame, spaced evenly apart. Attach each one flush with the top of the frame. This is your seat base where the slats will lay across later.Save
Place pocket holes at both ends of four 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 22.5″ boards. Screw one 22.5″ armrest boards between the two 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 32″ armrest boards, flush to the top. Mark 12″ from the bottom of either arm/leg piece, then attach the second 22.5″ board flipped on it’s side, with the top at that 12″ mark. Follow these steps again to create the second armrest.Save
Put pocket holes in either end of the 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 72″ backrest board. Then position the seat frame, armrest frames, and backrest to prepare for assembly. Place pieces so the sofa is oriented on it’s side for easier assembly.Save
Attach the armrests to the seat frame while on it’s side. Screw directly through the armrest frame into the seat frame, and do the same from the seat frame side into the armrest. Stagger where you place your screws. Set your seat upright.Save
Optionally nail evenly spaced 3/4″ x 8″ x 25.5″ decorative slats to the outside armrest, and the single 3/4″ x 8″ x 79″ slat across the inside back. These are not necessary for support, but give a modern appeal to the bench. Sand the entire bench well, and stain!
Long strips of fabric – anything will work: I used knits, both cotton and acrylic. The pink neon was dirt cheap yardage in a bargain bin and the grey strips are Zpagetti yarn. You can use fabric scraps, old T-shirts or thrift sheets and tablecloths.
Cord – the neon orange is ‘Brickie’s Line’ from the hardware store ($5 for 100 metres) – or you can use more fabric or yarn like I did on the pink bowls. This is what you’ll need the most of. I used about 8 – 10 metres ( roughly 8.5 – 11 yards) for the grey bowl and it’s about 14cm (5.5 inches) wide x 8cm (3.5 inches) tall. The quantity in the photo below isn’t a true indication!
A large yarn needle with a big eye.
If you are cutting up fabric (T shirts, sheets, fabric yardage, etc) the thicker you cut it the chunkier and quicker your bowl will be. A good size for small bowls is roughly 3.5cm (1.5 inches) wide. The diagram below illustrates how to cut a piece of fabric into a continuous strip. When you’ve cut the fabric into stretch it in small sections at a time and the fabric will curl into a nice round tube of ‘yarn’.
The instructional photos are for the grey bowl with neon orange stitching, so I’ll refer to those colours from now on. Let’s begin…
Cut a length of orange cord as long as you can manage it without it getting tangled, and thread the needle with it. Mine was about 2 metres (just under 2 yards).
I used three pieces of grey fabric yarn together to get a good thickness. I cut it to roughly 1.4 metres (4.5 ft) long. If you are using one thickness of your yarn there is no need to cut it, it can remain on the ball/spool. The length of your yarn will depend on whether you want to change colours. It’s all fairly free form though – you can’t make mistakes!
Overlap the ends of the orange cord and the grey yarn. Wrap the cord around the yarn 4 or 5 times.
Fold the end of the grey yarn over to form a loop. Keep the hole in the center as small as you can – it should be just big enough to fit the needle through as it will get bigger as you stitch around the yarn. Wrap the cord around the base of the yarn loop, leaving a short tail sticking out, and tie a knot. (as in the left hand image below). Hold the yarn as shown with the short tail on top and the long piece of yarn on the bottom. Take the needle around to the back of the loop and pass it through the hole towards you (right hand image).
Don’t pull the cord tight – leave a loop at the top (as in the image below). Then pass the needle through the loop. Just like blanket stitch.
Repeat this stitch all the way around the loop. Needle into the hole from the back to the front. Leave a loop and insert the needle through it. Pull the stitch closed. The stitch needs to be firm but not tight. Keep your stitches close together and work your way around (as in the right hand image below).
Fold over the starting tail of the orange cord and the short tail of the grey yarn with the long grey yarn on top (left hand image below). Your next stitch will go through the top of your very first blanket stitch, instead of through the hole. Take the needle over to the back and bring it through the top of the first blanket stitch. Your next stitch will go through the top of the second blanket stitch. Scroll down to the next photo for a better look at where the needle passes through.
You’ve done a lot of stitches and will probably run out of cord soon. The photo below on the right shows how to add a new length of cord. Knot the two pieces together so the knot is on the outside of the coil.
Run the tails along the grey yarn and tuck them and the knot in as you continue to stitch (see image below left). As my coil grew I occasionally added an extra stitch when I thought they were getting too far apart. Remember not to pull the stitches too tight, or the base of the bowl won’t stay flat.
When you run out of yarn or want to change colours all you have to do is overlap the old and the new. As I was using three strands of yarn I cut each one a different length and inserted the new ones into the middle of them, so there wouldn’t be bulk all in one place.
As the fabric yarn tends to curl up I opened each piece up and inserted the new one into it. Then just continue on stitching.
When you’re happy with the size of the base you can start building up the sides. Make your stitches a little firmer while holding the yarn above the previous coil, instead of next to it. Continue like this until you have reached the desired height.
Finishing off. If you’re using more than one strand of yarn cut them at staggered lengths to lessen the bulk. Continue stitching around until you have just one strand left. Leave a tail of about 10 cm (4 inches) so you have enough to work with.
Weave the tail into one of the vertical stitches in the row below (on the inside of the bowl). Then weave in through a few more stitches in that row and cut the yarn off so the tail isn’t sticking out (image on the left below). To finish off the cord do one more stitch to complete the top edge of the bowl then tie a small knot and weave the cord down into the centre of the bowl. Cut the cord and tuck the end in.
And you’re done! I find this very addictive and I’ve made quite a few bowls and baskets of varying sizes now. It’s really quite easy once you get started. And it’s a great way to upcycle fabric.
If you’d like to link to this tutorial that would be lovely – I’m always happy and grateful for that and I’m all about sharing. But first please take a look at the FAQ page about using my content. Thanks!
You will use a cotton woven fabric that should be prewashed, thread and elastic for this. If you have the string type of elastic that will be better.
Not let’s make the seam: place the 2 pcs of 2″ X 5.5″ strip of fabric underneath the mask, roll them so both ends come in front of the mask, up and down, and then stitch them to the mask. Roll the edges from left and right to come to the center of the mask and stitch them in order to create a casing.
Cut 2 pcs of 8″ elastic. Insert each piece of elastic on the casing using a small safety pin and stitch both ends of the elastic together. If you are using elastic thread you can just tie it up. You can pull the stitch ends of the elastic to hide them inside the casing.
A gas mask is that thing that has the potential to save your life by filtering toxins from the air when SHTF in one of the following situations:
You get the picture: basically, a gas mask will help you keep your lungs clear and your nose, mouth, eyes and mucous membranes protected from harmful substances. Having a gas mask ready or knowing how to improvise an effective DIY one on the fly is crucial both for your long term survival and your physical comfort in an emergency SHTF situation.
There are lots of disaster scenarios where a gas mask will help you mitigate the contamination in the air regardless of whether it’s smoke, particulates, infectious agents, airborne diseases, chemicals or whatnot. Fortunately, in this day and time, decent gas masks and respirators are commercially available everywhere, both online and offline.
You can buy a military-grade gas mask from the internet, in hardware stores, in Army surplus outlets etc, but there’s a flip side to that coin too: the coin itself, meaning that they are pretty expensive to buy and to maintain.
While they perform excellently, standard gas masks/respirators require regular maintenance, as infrequent changing of the filter cartridges, proper storage and so on and so forth. All these come with a hefty price tag, especially when times are tight.
Also, and, most importantly, you can’t carry a gas mask around with you 24/7/365. That would be pretty weird and uncomfortable because gas masks are bulky and heavy. It would be very peculiar to carry around a gas mask with you at work, don’t you think? People will label you as a terrorist or a nutcase.
Also, keep in mind that standard gas masks don’t function well if you have facial hair; any type/length of facial hair will negatively affect the crucial tight seal a gas mask has against your face.
However, you should know that there are alternatives to buying a regular gas mask. Yes, you can build yourself one using readily available materials (stuff you already have in your house) which are also dirt cheap even if you don’t already have them.
There’s a downside to a DIY respirator though: you can’t trust it with your life, especially in cases of a biological or chemical attack, because it’s not anywhere near as effective as the real thing so using one in a life-threatening situation is a desperate measure, the last resort..
Fair warning: A DIY gas mask/respirator is primitive when compared to a standard/military-grade one and offers very limited protection especially in a chemical/biological attack; you should be aware of the fact that tear gas (for example) is no joke; it can seriously injure your respiratory system and lead to death in certain situations especially if you suffer from chronic lung disease or asthma. To put it bluntly, a homemade gas mask should be Plan B because it can never compete (efficiency-wise) with a military-grade mask that features special filters, fibers, vents and valves and whatnot.
The idea of a DIY gas mask is nothing new. It started back in the ’40s during WW2. The citizenry was instructed on the how to’s regarding DIY gas masks and the concept continued with Occupy Wall Street protesters along with many others Arab spring: Syrian, Egyptian, Maidan in Ukraine, Occupy in Hong Kong, etc.) as people were trying to protect themselves against the chemical weapons used by the regime police and military forces.
Now, let’s take a look at the most popular DIY methods for masks, shall we?
2. The most basic DIY gas mask that can save your respiratory system (and implicitly your life) in the case of an event such as a volcanic eruption or a fire where ash and smoke fill the air. If these don’t sound probable to you, think about Pompeii and Mount St. Helens and 9/11.
In these cases, a fairly effective gas mask can be improvised under exigent circumstances from a simple cotton T-Shirt. Yes, it’s that “your T-Shirt can save your life” kind of a deal, when your ripped T-shirt will work as an efficient anti-dust/ash mask.
All you have to do is tear the T-shirt apart and use strips of fabric to cover your nostrils and your mouth (tied at the back of your neck) and voila, this is the simplest DIY gas mask project. For best results, you should get the cloth damp before using it, if possible.
3. One of the most dangerous things that can happen to you in an SHTF situation when you get gassed/trapped in a fire is the loss of vision. Swim goggles will save your life if you’re caught in a stampeding mob “sprayed” with tear gas and running for their lives, soaked in panic. To stay alive in such a situation, you’ll be required to see properly if you want to make it to safety. A quality pair of swim goggles is a must-have item to keep around in your “tactical” bag.
Cider vinegar can be used to protect you from the inhalation of tear gas, remember that folks. You can use a bandana soaked in cider vinegar put around your nose and mouth until you get to safety.
4. The soda bottle gas mask is my favorite DIY project because it offers a reasonable amount of protection from various contaminants, it’s very simple to manufacture and it doesn’t require huge skills or exotic materials to build it. It’s also pretty effective for a home-made gas mask and it can be built in 15 minutes tops if you have the necessary materials and a little bit of (prior) training.
For your soda bottle gas mask project, you’ll require a sharp cutting tool (razor blade, Exacto knife, sharp scissors), a permanent marker, glue, a 2-liter soda bottle, rubberized foam insulation strip (at least 1” wide) and an N95 particulate mask. Total cost: maybe $5.
You’ll have to clean the 2-liter plastic bottle and remove the labels. After that, draw a U-shaped area using the marker, big enough to fit your face and yet not too big. You should start with a smaller cut and work your way up from there because you can always trim more but you can’t put it back. You’ll need a fit snug against your face for an efficient seal.
The bottom of the bottle must be cut away, along with the U-shaped section (using the template lines drawn with the marker to fit your face).
You’ll end up with a basic shape that can be further adjusted for an optimal fit until you get it right. Keep in mind that the mask should fit your face tight yet not be uncomfortable.
Next, you’ll use the rubberized foam insulation as a seal for the edges of the bottle until you end up with a secure, complete seal and you’ll also make a circle of foam insulation inside the bottle that will serve as a resting place for the filtering element (the N95 mask) 2 inches up from the spout.
The elastic bands from the N95 mask will be removed for later use, along with the metal bridge. The N95 mask’s edging must be carefully cut. Just leave enough to keep the edges sealed. After that, the N95 mask must be placed inside the neck of the bottle, with the filter pointing out and down towards the spout. The elastic bands from the N95 mask will be used to secure the gas mask firmly on your face.
That’s about it, just remember to keep the soda bottle gas mask stored in a well-sealed plastic bag, removing as much air as possible from it, thus preventing the N95 mask (the filtering element) from getting contaminated
I recently had a customer ask me if I could make a shamrock to go on her daughters skirt instead of the usual flower. My answer was, “Sure, I don’t know how I’ll do it, but it will be fun to figure it out!” And sure enough…. it was fun figuring it out. Now that it’s “figured out”, I might as well share and let you have some fun with it too.
You will need:
thread and needle
Clover yoyo maker is optional
(Clover is the brand, not the shape. They do have a shamrock shaped yoyo maker but I thought it looked more like a flower than a shamrock. I think the heart shaped one works better.)
Make 3 heart shaped yoyo’s
If you’re using the yoyo maker just follow the instructions.
When you take it off of the yoyo maker it looks like this, so I’m thinking you could just stitch around the edge of a heart shaped piece of fabric if you didn’t want to get the yoyo maker.
At this point you’ll want to just pull on the thread to gather the heart into….
…a smaller, rufflier version of itself!
Lay 2 of the hearts (RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER) and hand stitch them together. Begin about 1/3 of the way down and go all the way to the point at the bottom.
This is why I wrote RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER in all caps!OOPS….just keepin’ it real. Time out while I unpick and try again.
There we go, much better. Do the same thing with the 3rd heart.
You’re almost done.
For the stem you will want a rectangle approximately 2.5 x 2 inches big.
Fold it in half so that the shorter ends are meeting.
Fold the two ends in a little bit. That way you only have one raw edge and that will eventually be beneath a little circle of felt.
Starting at one end, roll the piece of fabric into a stem.
Hand stitch all the way down the back of the stem.Then stitch the stem onto the back of the shamrock.
And there you go…. a polka dot shamrock!
To finish it off just add a circle of felt to the back. I added a pin, since they were going on skirts, but you could do so many different things with these. You could make a giant one for your door, put a bunch on a wreath, decorate napkin holders with them…just all kinds of things!
This project was a bit time consuming, but it wasn’t hard at all. You can get your kids involved and make it a fun family project.
1. Measure and cut your 3 yards of fabric into 1.5” x 7” strips of fabric.
2. Tie on strips of fabric on your wire wreath in a pattern (green polka dot, shamrock, lime green) one at a time starting on the outer edge and working your way in.
3. Keep tiring your fabric strips on in a pattern once section at a time.
4. When your wreath is full cut a piece of fabric that is 34” x 7” from your 1/4” yard green polka dot fabric.
5. Fold the vertical sides in and iron in place making the fabric look like a strip of 3” wide ribbon.
6. Place your strip of fabric through the center of the wreath and tie the ends into a knot. Pull the knot behind the wreath and your wreath is ready to hang.
Wash and dry the pear, or whatever you decide to cast. Since I’ll be filling the mold with concrete once it’s dry, I stuck a pen lid into the bottom of the pear. It helps keep the pear upright while the mold sets and will leave a hole that’s the right size for pouring in the concrete mix later.
See what I mean about the cute pear butt 😉 I stuck the pen lid into a bit of polystyrene before mixing up the mold. It’s a trick I learned when painting polystyrene balls 😉
Put your gloves on and throw some cornstarch into a container. Cut the tip off of the silicone tube and put it inside the caulking gun. Squeeze some silicone into the cornstarch. Roughly the same amount. Then add some more cornstarch on top of the silicone and stir using the plastic knife. It’s probably best to do this outside. Silicone has an incredibly strong vinegary smell. When it looks like it’s almost mixed, start kneading the mixture until it forms a stiff paste that resembles bread dough.
If the mixture is too tacky or sticky, add some more cornstarch. If it’s too dry and flaky, like in the piccy above, add more silicone. Once it’s ready, flatten it out a bit and wrap it around the shape you want to cast. About 7 to 10 mm thick is perfect. That’s about 1/4” to 3/8”. Make sure you squish it into all the nooks and crannies.
Sit back and wait for it to dry, probably about ½ hour depending on the silicone you used. Use a sharp knife to cut the mold and remove your form. The two ingredient mold is very pliable so you can just peel it off. If you’re molding a pear, please don’t eat it. Rather wash it off again and add it to the compost heap.
Use super glue and carefully glue the two halves back together again, and it’s ready for casting.
You can either use concrete or plaster of Paris. I didn’t have to add any kind of release agent, I simply mixed up some concrete and poured it inside the mold. Just make sure you shake it around a little to get rid of any air bubbles. Once the concrete sets, carefully cut along the seam lines and remove your form.
The two ingredient mold can be reused over and over again, just wash it off, and you’re good to go.
To finish the pear off, I used some copper paint to create that 5-star restaurant look and added a bent, rusty nail as a stalk. The leaf was cut from a piece of metal that’s been lying outside in the rain for a few months.
A little bit of rust always works for me.
The easy two ingredient mold works really well and can be reused over and over again. And I do so love that combination of concrete, copper, and rust.
Just a word of warning. Once you make your first mold, everything looks moldable 😀 We’ve turned an old broken doll into a garden ornament and even created our own Egyptian cartouche using the two-ingredient mold.