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Bottle Cap Magnet/Message Center Craft June 12, 2013

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We had many requests for a craft class regarding a recycled bottle cap craft. The class was held this past January and we crafted up a storm. We incorporated a message board created from the backside of a cookie sheet.

You’ll find many uses for the bottle cap craft – a surprise birthday greeting to send through the mail, a quick and easy ‘Thank You’ to craft up , holiday themed magnets, necklaces, etc. This is a great craft for kiddos too.

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You will need:

  • Bottle caps
  • Scrapbook papers
  • Scrapbook embellishments (glitter, buttons, stickers, brads, glitter glue, rhinestones, pearls, themed confetti, plastic letters, etc)
  • Magazines, discarded books, cards
  • Ribbon
  • Mod Podge
  • 1” circle hole punch or a circle template
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting board
  • Ruler
  • Tapes (optional – regular and double sided sticky tape)
  • Cookie sheet
  • 2 part epoxy
  • Button magnets
  • Hot glue gun and/or heavy duty adhesive (our favorite is E-6000)
  • Drill

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Directions For Bottle Cap:

  1. With your 1” circle punch (or circle template) cut out paper for the background of your design. Adhere paper onto the inside of the bottle cap with either Mod Podge or double sided sticky tape. Helpful Tip: Don’t worry too much about taking out the little plastic disc that’s on the inside of the bottle cap. You CAN get it out using a knife, pliers or the heat of a hair dryer. We found that the end product really didn’t change much with the disc in or taken out – but you can give yourself a pretty bad wound trying to get that outta there. So, leave it in.
  2. Decorate the inside. Get creative – use words from magazines, pictures from children’s books, special notes and sentiments, a scrap of fabric that brings back a memory. They’re actually quite fun to decorate. Results are quick. It’s like a miniature canvas, a diorama. That’s probably why kids enjoy creating these.
  3. Coat the decorated inside with a layer of Mod Podge. Let dry over night.
  4. To apply the 2-part epoxy check out our post ‘A Spoon Full Of Sweet Sentiments’ dated July 19, 2012: http://craftredo.com/2012/07/19/a-spoon-full-of-sweet-sentiments/ You’ll find step-by-step instructions plus a supply list.
  5. After epoxy has fully dried, attach button magnet onto the back of the bottle cap with hot glue or E-6000.

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Directions For Message Board:

  1. Drill 2 holes on the rim of the cookie sheet. We used 1/4” bit. Be sure to take a nail and make an indent before you start drilling. This is called a ‘tap’, it will help your drill not go so ‘squirrely’ when you’re drilling. Remove sharp edges with a file, wire brush attachment on your drill, or grinder.
  2. Determine your design for your board. We used scrap book paper in various colors/patterns. The sky’s the limit. You may want a simple single color pallet, or go crazy with multiple colors and patterns. Decide if you want a ribbon to help make the transition between paper pieces and choose that if applicable. You may just want to transition with fancy pattern scissors or even cut a scallop pattern freehand.
  3. Once you have chosen your materials for your board it is time to cut the paper to fit your cookie sheet. We experimented with many methods of cutting the paper. We found using a cutting mat, straight edge, and exacto blade to be the easiest way for us, but scissors worked fine as well. If you are using multiple pieces, let them overlap a bit. You can hide the transition with a ribbon and it is easier than trying to get them to line up exactly.
  4. After your pieces are cut to size you may want to hold them together with a bit of tape on the back side. Then you are ready to adhere the paper to your cookie sheet.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to your cookie sheet. Place your paper on your sheet and make sure it is lined up the way you want it. Rub gently with your hands to remove any bubbles. If you get a stubborn bubble, just let it be. It may settle after the Mod Podge dries. Adhere any ribbon you are using with Mod Podge. Next, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of the paper and ribbon. We applied with brushes, but we suggest using your hands to smooth it out if you want to try and avoid brush strokes.
  5. Allow your Message Board to dry, then add desired ribbon through the drilled holes for hanging. We added small containers to some of our projects for an added bonus. Check your recycle bin. A tomato paste can works well for holding pencils or markers. A discarded juice packet box (the little packets that you add to bottled water to make it flavored) makes a great box to hold ‘chore slips’. Simply cover your container with your favorite paper and Mod Podge. Allow to dry and add magnets. Have fun with your new Message Board!

Helpful Tip: We live in Michigan, which tends to be quite humid, and we found that the gloss Mod Podge can have a tendency to be sticky even after it has fully dried. For the final protective coat over the scrapbook paper (on the message center) – we recommend using the matte Mod Podge, referencing the Mod Podge label for manufactures recommendation, or not to use anything for the top coat.

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Other gift ideas for this craft.

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‘How To’ and craft class photos.

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Capturing Winter – Framed Ice Skates January 5, 2013

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Frames are a great, inexpensive way to showcase just about any item. Any time we are shopping at a resale shop, Goodwill®/Salvation Army® or garage sale our sights are always on the look out for unique picture frames. We prefer frames with bold details and solid construction. So when you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled for picture frames. Now, grab a can of paint and let’s get going.

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You will need:

  • Frame
  • Set of ice skates (check garage sales, resale shops, Goodwill/Salvation Army, your own basement or garage)
  • Ribbon – a wider ribbon (for main bow) and a coordinating smaller width ribbon (small enough to go through eyelets of skates, this ribbon will replace the shoestrings from the skates)
  • Spray paint
  • Drill
  • Screw and a washer
  • Drop cloth
  • Wood block scraps (optional)
  • Screw eyes and wire (for hanging)
  • Wiping cloth (discarded washcloth, T-shirt, sock, etc)

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Directions:

  1. Take shoestrings out of skates, save shoestrings for later.
  2. Remove glass and backing materials from frame. Lightly sand frame. Wipe down frame and skates with a cloth, making sure dirt and dust have been removed.
  3. Lay down drop cloth. At this point, lay down wooden blocks (optional). We use wooden blocks to prop up items when spray painting. Doing so, makes it a bit easier to get full coverage of the items you’re painting.
  4. Spray paint frame and skates (both sides). Allow to fully dry. Apply another coat. Allow to fully dry.
  5. Lace up skates with the smaller ribbon. Use the original shoestrings to measure the length of the ribbon you’ll need. Twist ribbon so the front design of the ribbon shows. If you’re having trouble with the ribbon fitting through the eyelets, wrap the ends of the ribbon with tape.
  6. Attach skates onto the back of the frame by screwing a screw (and a washer) through both sets of ribbon. Puncture a pilot hole through the ribbon first (use a utility knife or nail). With the drill, carefully screw the screw through the ribbon first and then onto the back of the frame. You’ll need a partner to help hold the ribbon while the other person screws the screw through the ribbon. Go very slow with the drill. (Here’s the placement of items: Washer first, put the screw through the hole of the washer, screw the ribbon on, then attach entire group onto the back of the frame)
  7. To hang the piece, we attached screw eyes onto the back of the frame. Attach screw eyes on each side of the back of the frame, about 1/4 of the way from the top. String wire through a screw eye, wrap wire around itself to attach to screw eye. Pull wire through other screw eye, holding up piece to see if more or less wire is needed, wrap wire around itself, trim excess wire. You will be able to hang the piece from this wire with a sturdy wreath hanger.
  8. Attach bow with wire (or hot glue or your favorite adhesive). Wrap the wire around the frame, twisting the wire together at the back of the frame for a secure hold.

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How to make a bow:
Our friend Tammy showed us how to make the beautiful bow. We used a spool of ribbon that was 9 feet long and it was just enough.

  1. Unroll ribbon. Leave a ‘tail’ that’s about 14 inches long, this will be the ribbon end that hangs down.
  2. Fold ribbon back and forth onto itself, making a figure eight shape (check out the pictures, you’ll get a better idea of what’s going on here). Do this four times so you’ll have 4 soon-to-be bows on each side. Our bows measured roughly 8 inches across the entire figure eight shape.
  3. Hold ribbon together temporarily with a paper clip.
  4. With floral wire, wrap wire around the center of the ribbon and twist to secure. Remove paper clip when wire is securely attached.
  5. For the center of the bow, do one loop to one of the sides and attach it to the main ribbon with the wire. Our center measured roughly about 2 inches across.
  6. Twist wire on the back of the bow so it’s all secure.
  7. Spread out the bows. You may need to turn some of the bows right-side-out.
  8. Trim ends of the ribbon at an angle.

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Get bold and unique with your color choices.

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Crafter’s Note: We recommend placing the framed skates in an area that will not have a lot of movement. A door that doesn’t get opened, a wall, etc. Definitely do NOT hang them over a window. The skates are quite heavy. We also recommend to keep the piece in an area that may be protected by the elements. Rain, snow and extreme cold may cause the paint on the skates to peel or crack. The skates are usually made out of leather and the leather may expand/contract due to the temperature change. My skates are hanging inside the house, in our foyer over a closet door (with a very heavy wreath hook). Also, do not hang the piece over an area where children play. Again, the skates are extremely heavy and there always is a possibility of the piece falling. Use thoughtful judgment when hanging your skates.

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Keep Your Lid On January 3, 2013

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Have you ever traveled over the river and through the woods with a crock pot between your feet, only to arrive at your destination with whatever was in the crock pot all over your shoes? I have, many ‘o times.

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I was in my normal frantic rush to get everyone and all the food I had made, out of the house and in the car (hoping to make Christmas dinner on time this year). I sadly looked down at my lovely Christmas shoes knowing soon they would be covered in sweet creamed corn and I came up with an idea. I quickly ran to my desk draw and pulled out 2 ‘Silly Bandz’ (Silly Bandz are rubber bands formed into shapes. If you have a child 8 or below you have a boat load of them crammed in a drawer. Regular rubber bands will work too). I looped the first band over one handle, then up and over the top handle of the crock pot lid. Did the same with the other side.

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My shoes made it to Christmas dinner without creamed corn all over them, Christmas was saved. Well . . . not really, but my shoes were 🙂

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Fix A Short-Stemmed Flower November 14, 2012

We have fantastic dahlias and hydrangeas in our gardens. When it comes time to harvest these beauties for bouquets, I’m not always guaranteed a nice long stem. Using a straw to compensate for a short stem, allows for better flower arranging (the flower won’t tip out of the vase) and the flower appears to get water. I’m sure there’s something scientific going on.

All you need is a straw. Clear straws look best. Fit the straw over the stem. Arrange bouquet.

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