Archive | February, 2012

Tangle Free Headphones

28 Feb
That majorly addicting site, Pinterest, strikes again! I saw a pair of headphones with embroidery floss wrapped around them and knew I had to try it out for myself. 
Embroidery floss – and tons of it!
Here we go! This project instantly brought me back to elementary school days and making friendship bracelets. Lucky for me my embroidery floss collection was pretty extensive.

Begin by making just a simple knot around the end. I cut the string to three times the length of the cord I was covering and it wasn’t enough – I will show you later how to fix that issue. 

Using the ball-up-the-ends method to keep things less tangled. 

To cover the cord, I just did a simple chinese staircase style knot. To start, separate the colors and pick the one you want to show up first. I chose yellow. Then I tucked the yellow underneath both the cord and other strings, leaving a bit of a loop on the other side. 

Then I put the yellow back through the loop and pulled tight. Continue doing this until you want to switch colors.

Starting to look substantial! The added thickness and softer texture help combat those annoying tangles in the cord.

So here is where I needed to add some length to my strings. I just did a simple knot, and then to ensure it didn’t slip out, I dabbed a little bit of clear nail polish on the knot. I snipped the ends and was good as new!

Once you’ve reached the splitter part, just knot the end.

Now for the headphone ends. For these I cut the string to five times the length of the cord and that worked out just about perfectly. So even though it may seem like a lot, you’ll go through it quickly.

Finally finished! And to put them to the test I tried my hardest to tangle them and they passed with flying colors.

My phone is looking nice and snuggly with its revamped set of headphones! This project took a long time, so consider making this a day-long project or spread it out over a couple days – I was able to watch multiple movies while working on this. A perfect way to make a lazy day seem not so lazy!

Chalkboard Paint

26 Feb

I’ve seen the fad of chalkboard paint floating around the internet now for the past few months. I took a trip to Home Depot and found a tiny bucket of Chalkboard paint for $24.  We can do better then that, so here is my own recipe for Chalkboard paint.  (I found a few different versions on the web, but when I experimented a few times, this concoction was easiest and had the best results)

Latex Paint, any color (matte or semi-gloss)
Dry, Non-sanded Grout
Paint Roller
I decided this desk was my Guinea pig for my chalk adventure.
The area for my chalkboard paint would be the two side panels. BUT, before I took on that endeavor,  I painted the desk and added some scrapbook paper to the “hard to paint” areas on top. Incase anyone wanted to try this as well:
All you need is a little Mod Podge, measuring tape, scissors, and a paintbrush…
And you can do this!
Ok, back to the Chalkboard paint.
I used 1/2 cup of Latex Paint
And 1 Tbsp of White, Dry, non-sanded grout. Just wanted to add, this was the smallest size I could find, you will have ALOT left over.
This was enough for 2 coats of Paint on the sides of my desk.  If you are doing a larger area like a part of a wall, just double/triple the recipe however you see fit. (ex- 4 cups of paint = 8 Tbsp of grout)
Now mix your grouty-paint together and try to get all the clumps out.  I just used a paintbrush but a paint stirrer would have been helpful.
Using a roller or a sponge brush, paint your surface.  You’ll notice the paint is much thicker and the white grout dulls the color a little bit.  So if you want your color very bright and vibrant, I would recommend getting a shade brighter then you want in the end and the grout will bring it down once mixed.
After 2 coats, condition your chalkboard surface by taking your chalk and gently scribbling all over the surface. Then wipe all of that off…and here are the results:
Such an easy, fun way to add a conversation piece to anything in your home.  Think: kitchen recipe/menu cupboard, a calendar wall in your office, a table in your children’s playroom.
Much better, maybe this will help me stay a little more organized too!
You can walk the walk…but can you chalk the chalk?  🙂
–Emily Jo

Interior Ideas

24 Feb
For my second Interior Ideas post, I moved from the bathroom  to the bedroom.
I found this wonderful window laying by someone’s curb a few months ago. 
And you know what they say…

…one man’s trash is another man’s… headboard.

This post is dedicated to all my post-graduate friends. I feel like we some how all lose our headboards in college. This is such an easy way to create the illusion of a headboard by just attaching the found object to the wall. I’ve also seen this done with wooden pallets and it looks just as shabby chic! 
-Emily Jo

Oil Face Cleanser

23 Feb
Ever since high school, my complexion has not been spectacular – not awful, but not the best. I get breakouts which I then pick at and immediately regret, yet I can’t stop myself. So, needless to say I have tried many of the face wash fads – ProActiv, ProActiv rip-offs, antibiotics, creams, washes etc. Still not pleased with the results, I came across some articles on oil based face washes. Advertising has always told me that oil free is the way to be, but logic kicked in when it was pointed out to me that oil removes oil. Duh! I knew this already because I work at a pizza place and we use oil to clean our grill, so why should my face be any different(okay, so maybe this is a stretch, but it made sense to me)?
Travel size container
Castor Oil
Olive Oil
Essential Oil – optional
 This cleanser is seriously cheap on top of the fact that there are no chemicals, no dyes or perfumes, and it’s easy to customize to your skin type.
We didn’t have a funnel, so I made a makeshift one with some tin foil. I then measured out three parts olive oil to two parts castor oil. The dryer your skin is, the more olive oil you want. The oilier your skin is, the more castor oil you want. Adjust accordingly, I sort of just went for the middle ground.
 I had also heard of the benefits of tea tree oil on acne so I added a few drops to the mixture, which also gave it a nice refreshing scent.
Shake it up and test it out! To use, apply a quarter size amount to your face – do not wet your skin before – and rub into your skin for about one minute. Then using a hot towel, steam your face for about a minute then wipe off. It’s that simple! And as an added bonus, you don’t need to moisturize afterwards. I’ve only been using this for two days and can already see an improvement in my skin, so definitely give this a try if you’re like me and have had trouble finding a solution to your skin woes.

Screen Print Style Stamping

22 Feb

I’ve been looking at a lot of graphic design work lately and loving the re-emergence of the vintage, true screen print style lettering and graphic work.  I decided to give this style a try on a much smaller level with a trip to my local dollar store to start.

Foam Sheets
Acrylic Paint
Something small with some weight (keep reading, I’ll explain this one)
The foam sheets I bought from the dollar store were a great find and just what I was looking for.
Cut your foam into the shape you desire, I decided to go simple- basic shape and primary colors.
Now you need to create your stamp. This is where you will need to find something around your home that is small (but bigger then your shape) with some weight.
I chose some cat food cans I had. Other great options would be cedar blocks, glass tops to candles, large perfume bottles…just start looking around, you’ll find something.
Glue your shape to the object of choice and get ready to stamp.
I found the best outcome happened when I painted the paint onto the foam stamp instead of literally stamping it into the paint.
Oh hi, screen print style stamp…
And then I couldn’t get enough and just kept stamping.
This project would be fun to do on T-shirts with fabric paint, or even on a bedroom wall (if you have the patience).
The thinner you paint the backs of the stamps, the less messy the edge will be. As you can see towards the end of the paper (my blue triangles) I finally found the right amount for the stamp.
I like the “anyone can do this” type project, and this is definitely one of those.  I’m already planning a lesson for my students using this method while also thinking about a chevron boarder I could do with this method on a desk.  So many options and possibilities! Happy Stamping!
–Emily Jo

Shoe Hangers

21 Feb
If you hadn’t noticed yet, I have a tendency to pick projects that organize my stuff more efficiently. I’m living at home and have about 100 square feet to work with in my room, so I need to be thrifty with both my space and funds. I came across a fun way to hang up shoes using old wire hangers and decided to give it a try. 
Wire hangers
Wire cutters
As you can see, this girl likes her shoes. And this is after I got rid of at least 10 pair during my closet deep cleaning… 

With the words of Stacy and Clinton from “What Not To Wear” running through my head about how awful wire hangers are for your clothes, I felt no remorse in gathering all of the wire hangers in my house and cutting them up. 

To start, I cut a big chunk of the bottom off. 

Then I bent the top part down where it sort of looks like shoulders.

And straightened out the ends.

Then I bent the wires about two inches down from the shoulders – honestly you could bend and shape this however you want, but these are the basic beginning steps I used for all of them. 

Then I made a little curly cue on the ends. This was the first one and definitely turned out rougher than any of the others. 

And here you can sort of see how there are endless ways to shape the ends depending on your aesthetic. Sorry for the poor picture quality, these babies were hard to photograph. If you click on the image it will enlarge and you may be able to see the details a bit better. 

My shoes are much happier to have their own space and not be stacked all on top of each other. This project took some time and a bit of patience in getting the wire to do what you want, but it was well worth it to have just the tiniest bit more space in my closet.

Pixelated Painted by Taylor Gibson

20 Feb
So it looks like the craftiness is spreading! Our friend Taylor, a graphic designer and all-around artsy girl, decided to create her own version of a pixelated painting.
I’m really loving the composition, and the color palette is very much her style – watery and cool with some warmth thrown in. I can also really appreciate the crisp edges of the pixels because I did not have the patience for that in mine.
We get so excited to see all of your projects, so keep sending them our way!
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