I was struck by an idea this evening for a simple way to display the necklaces I’ve made for my shop rather then just having them all stuffed into a drawer. My solution? It cost me $5 and about 15 minutes.

Remember my bench rebuilding project? I had a piece of wood left over from that that was 34″ long- which was only 2″ shorter than I initially planned on, and sawing wood down to smaller pieces with a hand saw sucks, so I went with it like it was instead of cutting a larger piece down.

Then I popped over to Lowe’s, bought a package of screws (I only needed 2) to mount the board to the wall, and spent another $3.58 on a package of 40 7/8″ rounded, semi-circular screw hooks. I drilled a hole near each end for the mounting screws, and one hold down the middle every 1.5″ to screw a hook into. Remember when drilling your pilot holes to make them a size smaller in the wood then the actual screw is.

Then I screwed it into the wall and hung up all the necklaces! Easy, and fast! You could of course paint or stain the wood (I might spray it white later on) but I just put it up as is.

I know, do I need a new ukulele when technically I can’t play the one I have yet? Probably not, but when I saw this DIY kit I had to order it. Its not full on build it yourself- the uke body is already together and really you just pin/glue/screw a few pieces in place and bob’s yer uncle. It took about 30 minutes to assemble and another twn minutes to string and tune, once I realized I had done some of the assembly wrong.

Anyway, I started out with a nice plain paint job and it quickly turned into this.

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It’s loud, but honestly it doesn’t sound as nice as my tenor does. There’s a big difference in price though between them, and quality. But it was still a super fun little project and I’d say worth the $40! Looks like I’ll have to build a new ukulele stand too!

My boyfriend and I have this old wood and iron bench in the backyard, that after about 11 years, has all but rotted away. I decided to replace the wood in the old bench so people can safely sit on it again- and the timing was great because we are hosting a BBQ in a few weeks.

I went to Lowe’s and purchased 4 pieces of wood which I had them cut down to size for $7 and change total. I also spent about $2.50 on two packages of screws, which I used about 2/3s of.

IMG_20160504_193400I did have to cut the two smallest pieces of wood vertically with a handsaw after I got them home but that was simple enough.

The first step to rebuilding the bench was to take it apart. I don’t have access to a jigsaw, so I had to reuse the top piece of wood from the bench but that piece doesn’t get a lot of stress compared to say the seat.

IMG_20160505_103231 After staining the wood I bought, bolting and screwing things back into place was pretty simple, and we have a bench that can safely be sat on by us or our guests at our upcoming BBQ.

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So back about 6 months ago, I was super excited to purchase and hopefully learn to play the ukulele. I bought one, 32cef64cloved it, but wasn’t so great about practicing. Then a few weeks back, I joined Ukulele Underground and I found this.

Plans to build your own ukulele stand, this one already sized perfectly for a tenor uke, which is what I have.

All I needed was a piece of wood for the base, a 1″ thick wooden dowel at least 22″ long, some felt, some screws, and some metal hooks sold at Walmart to act as the brackets.

I was super tight on money but really wanted to do this, so I improvised a bit. The wooden plaque I bought from Michael’s, with a 50% off coupon for $1.90. The felt I already had on hand, thanks to getting sent the wrong item when I ordered fabric ages ago. Wood stain and E6000 I had on hand. The dowel was the most expensive piece at about $4.50 for a 48″ length, and the screws were about a dollar for a package of 8. The hooks/brackets I made myself out of polymer clay, then cast them in resin which I dyed a deep red color with some mica powder.

Not counting the cost of materials I already had on hand, I spent about $8 building this.

I just added this little guy to my shop, and oh how I love him!

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Raleigh the Racehorse stands about 3″ tall on his wooden base, and the plaque is 4″ wide. He’s made out of reddish brown polymer clay (Sculpey III and Premo!) to give him a rich bay coat. He’s relaxing on a bed of straw, with his lucky horseshoe and a big bucket of water nearby.

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He would make a great display piece in a horse lover’s home, and he’s absolutely one of a kind! He is not for playing with- he could be broken- so not for young children.

Each individual piece has been bonded with E6000 clear glue and the wood is finished with a pecan stain.

Keep an eye out for other cute minis in the future!

I know I haven’t posted in almost a month (wow! That long already?) but I have some new makes to share, and some updated older makes. A few days ago I decided to make mini sculptures of the dogs after buying some wooden plaques I saw at Michael’s. The dogs aren’t fancy- I joked as I was making them that they were milk dud dogs- but I think they turned out super cute. The color is more true in the back view photo- the front view got kind of washed out with the flash.

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Then I decided to give the same mounting treatment to the polymer clay fish I made about a year ago. They looked pretty good on the plaque but I decided to add some “coral” in different colors to the plaque as well.

fishies

I made the coral the same way I made the kibble in the dogs’ bowl. I roll out a small portion of clay, then sliced into tiny cubes. Then I mixed the pieces with some liquid Sculpey, stirred it up just enough to coat it all, and gentle formed it into shape with light pressure. I’m not sure these pieces will be especially tough, but for looks only, they look great!

I also finally mounted my skull I made a few weeks ago onto its own plaque. I really with I had a glass dome to go over it though.

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These plaques are really inexpensive- I got the round ones for a dollar, and the larger 5″ x 7″ rectangular one was only a little more. All I had to do was lightly sand the edges and apply a few coats of wood stain to them.

Anyway, I’m really happy with these pieces and looking forward to my next project!

Okay, maybe not. But there will be a treasure chest!

When our renter moved out, he left a few things behind, most of which we threw out. But this I rescued from the garbage and knew I had to clean it up and save it.

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Its a wooden chest, without a lot of distinguishing marks that you can buy at any craft store. I have a much larger one that I use for storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks in that I keep next to my chair in the living room. This one is smaller, with the internal space measuring about 10″ wide and about 5.5″ across. Its not very big.

It was covered in grease, and was badly painted this awful black all over. Don’t get me wrong. I wear a ton of black, but it just looks bad on this poor little wooden box.

The first step was to sand it down a bit and help its new primer and paint stick and to scrub off those grease spots, so I loaded up a sponge with dish soap and gave it a good once over then hosed it off and left it to dry in the sun. Then I got the sanding block we had purchased to use for some home repairs we still haven’t gotten to, and I gently sanded it all over.

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I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. I want to look good when I’m done but I want this to be a fun project too and not one that I rip my hair out over. The wood is uneven in spots, which you can see because of how th paint sanded off completely in some areas but not others.

Then I hit it with some primer. My good friend Nikki gave me primer, paint, all sorts of stuff along with the larger chest I have and I was supposed to give it this treatment but I never did.

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I let the primer dry for about an hour, and then while dinner was cooking, I gave it a quick spray with the bright metallic gold paint. I initially missed a spot on the inside but got it later in when I was doing the lining.

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I sprayed the inside and the outside, making sure everything was shining and bright! The paper underneath the chest is just white kraft paper I bought off of Amazon for using in pattern making but so far its been used for everything else. Its not overly expensive and comes in really handy!

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I let that dry for a good hour and then measured the inside to get an idea of how large a piece of fabric I needed for the inside. Unfortunately I did something really, really wrong and ended up with a piece about twice the size of what I needed.I ended up trimming it and gluing one side down into the box, then moving to the the next side, trimming it to fit and gluing it, and working my way all the way around. I used E6000 to glue it in place. I love that stuff, but make sure you use it in a well ventilated area- preferably outside!

I was going to call it good at that point but after Tracy brought up doing the inside of the lid with fabric, I couldn’t resist, so I carefully cut pieces and glued them in place as well. That went a lot smoother than doing the bottom did.

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The next step was making this into a real treasure chest and covering the top in jewels! I busted out my Amazing Clear Cast Resin, my colored mica powders, and I started mixing and pouring. Finally, after working on them for a few days and gluing them in place in small groupings, I had this.

The resin is super easy to work with. Just mix it at a ratio of 1:1 and mix very thoroughly- the package recommends mixing for 3 minutes and I’ve found that to be about right. If its not fully mixed, it won’t set up properly and you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands. Mica powders can be added in small amounts to color the resin or you can brush it onto the molds before you pour- I mixed mine in.

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I used 6 different colors of gems, some of which were single colors of the mica powders and some that I mixed to suit. Pink, yellow, green-gold, blue, purple, and a deep amber color. I used a mold I bought that had tons of shapes in it that were perfect for this, letting me mix it up with lots of options. One of my gems slipped a bit before the glue set and I didn’t catch it in time to re-position it, but otherwise it turned out just like I envisioned it! I’m so happy with it!

And that my friend is how you get your very own treasure chest! Now I just have to decide what to put in it. 🙂