Cute Upcycled Furniture Project! DIY Upholstery!

Hi friends! I’m back with a couple more gifts I made, or should I say refinished!

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These storage benches were rescued from the basement after one of my girls asked for a pretty gold bench with a white fur seat for her room. The request was mentioned a couple of days before Christmas and after my shopping was complete but then I remembered the old benches they used to have when they were little for holding dress-up play clothes. I decided I would refinish both of them, one for each of my girls for a last-minute gift. They loved them and I have a bit less clutter in my basement now! watch the video to see how to do it and how I made the custom cushioned seat. You could use that technique to turn any storage trunk or toy box you might have in your basement into a storage bench. Imagine the treasures you can make! Why buy new when you can renew?

Supply list: Keep in mind you probably have everything you need in your stash and substituting is totally fine. Everyone’s furniture will be unique and that is part of the fun! I have provided a supply list with links for your convenience and affiliate links may be used if available.

  • Old wooden bench, trunk, toy box or other furniture you want to refinish
  • Paint: I used chalk paint but you can use acrylic paint or leftover latex house paint (you can tint the house paint with acrylics if it is not the color you want.) My recommendation for this project is chalk paint because often old furniture can be a bit beat up and chalk paint hides the flaws and is quick to apply.
  • Plywood: If you are not upholstering directly to a seat you will need to cut a piece of plywood to match the size of the seat. Often if you buy the wood at a home improvement store they will cut it for you.
  • Foam cushion to match size of area to be upholstered
  • Heavy duty stapler: I have an Arrow Power Shot but this one made for furniture upholstery is half the price.
  • Fabric or a blanket cut 4″ larger on each side than your foam.
  • Stencil (the paris sign one)
  • Acrylic paint pens (I added doodle over the thick stencil lines on the gold bench with Jane Davenport paint over pens because I though the thick black lines looked dated)
  • Hot glue
  • Assorted paint brushes

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Directions:
1. Clean the furniture inside and out with a rag damp with warm soapy water and let dry. *Note: if you are using regular acrylic or glossy house paint I suggest you prime the furniture. No need to prime if using chalk paint.

2. Paint the furniture including the inside of the bench for a fresh and clean surface. You will probably want 2 coats.

3. Stencil over the dry paint if desired.

4. Make the cushion. Cut plywood and 2″ foam cushion the same size as the bench and then cut fabric 4″ larger on all sides. Center the foam and plywood over the fabric and wrap it around stapling the fabric to the back of the plywood.

5. Glue the seat to the bench with hot glue.

My husband and I have refinished many pieces of furniture in out home and so have the kids. I think getting in the habit of looking at something you have and thinking “How can I make this work better” is a wonderful skill. It makes your home personalized and keeps things out of the landfill and from cluttering your basement.  I love knowing that something is one of a kind and there is a special satisfaction in doing something yourself especially when you give new life to something at would otherwise go unused. I hope you are enjoying the last weekend of 2018 and til next time happy crafting!

Ask a Watercolorist LIVE! 12:30pm ET

Hi friends! Do you have any burning watercolor questions? Bring those questions to YouTube at 12:30 and you can ask me and my guest April from A Little Creative. April has a watercolor shop and is an avid painter as well and you know my background so it will be fun to have a couple of different perspectives!

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Make sure you watch on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time if you want to chat live and ask questions. Sarah will be there (as well as out other moderators) to relay your questions to me. We will get as many answered as we can in an hour. The replay will also be available in the player below!

So if you have questions on brushes, paints, storage, palettes, technique or anything else watercolor related we want to hear from you live at 12:30pm ET on YouTube!

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On a fun side note I was interviewed for the Wall Street Journal on an article on Eco-Crafting. They were interested in my DIY Paper Straw recipe video I posted back in 2014. I must admit I was a bit disappointed that the article mostly focused on “what can go wrong” when crafting instead of encouraging readers to seriously try some of these projects. For instance they profiled a woman who made waxed fabric food wraps and it talks about her ruining her countertops and eventually the carpet in her office where she makes them to sell instead of showing a very simple, non messy, easy and frugal method of making them like I did in this video.  I guess for readers it’s probably more fun to read an article about craft fails than one where you actually learn how to craft sustainable products. I’m sure the former sells more papers than the latter and at least I’m told the article is on the front page of the print edition, so that’s cool. I hope it brings some new folks into The Frugal Crafter Family where they can learn it is possible to craft sustainably without an awful counter-ruining mess and have fun in the process.

See you at 12:30 for the live Q&A and til then happy crafting!

DIY Waxed Fabric Wraps // Eco Craft {food storage}

Hi friends! Today I have a simple project from our grandparents generation that will save you time, money and most importantly keep a bit of trash out of the landfill. Reusable food wraps! I think these would beexcellent craft fair and gift ideas too!

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I have been unhappy with the amount of disposable packaging in my home recently. When my town stopped the recycling program I realized that I wanted to change my habits so less ended up in the trash. Plus I am too frugal to buy something I am just going to throw away! Here are some of the steps I have taken so far:

  • Buying products in glass jars (then washing and saving the glass jars so I can use them as food storage)
  • If I must buy in plastic I go for larger tubs (like the kids yogurt) which can be washed and used for craft storage or donated to the school’s art room. *My mom is the queen of reusing plastic containers, she saves meat trays for paint palettes and plastic containers to send leftovers home with friends. My brother-in-law gives her a hard time about it but I think it’s great!
  • I purchased some silicone suction lids which work great for leftovers and you can reheat items with them on! They are easier than foil or plastic wrap because you just lay them over the bowl and they cling. I also got some silicone stretch lids which I don’t like as much as they kinda want to pop off unless the bowl has a lip on it. They worked pretty well on plates tho. If I have a rounded over full bowl of food these work better because than the suction lids where the bowl can’t be filled over the rim.
  • And now I am trying waxed fabric wraps! I saw them on Amazon to buy but couldn’t justify the $18 price tag so today I’ll show you how to make them!

Look how little space they take up!

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The video contains real-time instructions. Each set only takes a few minutes to make. The instructions are in real time so you can see how long it takes to melt the wax and how the fabric should look.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

*I placed a teflon mat on my craft table to protect it but you might want a cookie sheet under your parchment paper to contain any wax that might seep out especially if you are working on an ironing board. If you are working on a table I’d also place a folded towel under the cookie sheet so the heat won’t damage your table.

Directions:
1. Wash and dry your fabric, press if desired.
2. Cut fabric to desired sizes with pinking shears. A fat quarter cut in quarters will give you four 9″x11″ pieces minus a bit of offcut when you trim off the frayed edges after washing. You can make these in whatever size meets your needs (and fits your bowls and dishes!)
3. Place a piece of fabric on parchment paper. (see note about using a cookie sheet above) and sprinkle with wax pellets. Cover with another piece of fabric ideally the same size. Cover that with parchment paper and press with a hot iron to melt the wax.
4. Look at the fabric for any “dry spots” and add more wax if needed or reposition the fabric so it will sop up extra wax. Replace the parchment paper and repress.
5. Separate the fabric pieces and set aside on a piece of parchment paper to cool. Repeat for the remainder of your fabric using the same parchment papers.

Wait! Don’t toss that used parchment paper!
You can use it to protect your work table after your next messy craft project or use pieces of it to help start your next campfire. Or, since parchment paper is biodegradable and compostable you can mix it in with your compost as any leftover beeswax is compostable too.

Remember after about 150 washes your fabric wraps may be used up, when that happens cut them into smaller pieces and compost them! I really enjoyed making this project and using the wraps in my kitchen. I got a few more “thumbs down” on this video on YouTube than usual (I always get a few no matter what the video is about) and made me a bit confused but Oh well, you can’t please everyone. I wish people had to give a reason why they hit the dislike button, for instance:

  • I don’t like this type of project.
  • I don’t like Lindsay (I only subscribe so I can dislike a video as soon as it’s posted.) *Sadly, I think the few dislikes that appear on my videos seconds after they are posted are because of this because the video couldn’t even have been watched yet. LOL!
  • I tried it and didn’t like it.
  • I sell these and now people can just make them for cheap.

I hope you like this project but if you don’t you can let me know why or wait patently for tomorrow for something different:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Make Jewely from Old Paintings!

Hi friends! I had a stack of half painted pictures (aka step outs from filming my Craftsy class) but I couldn’t bear to toss them. I figured I could swatch paint on the back or gesso over them and paint with acrylics on top but then it hit me! I could die cut them with tiny dies and turn them into unique light weight earrings! You could also use lightweight cardboard (cereal box weight) to make these if you don’t have old watercolor paper hanging around.

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Watch the video to see how easy it is to make these. Use the small dies you have and make something truly unique!

Video!

Supplies:

*note if you don’t have embossing powder and clear ink you can use clear nail polish or any other clear sealer that is non toxic.
**Affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp used, thank you for your support!

If you want to see what the painting in the project came from check out my Craftsy Class at 50% off

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Trash to Treasure Foil Embellishments!

Hey friends! Just a quick tip for you tonight! Have you noticed when trends come into fashion they affect everything around us even our product packaging?

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Why not die cut cute embellishments from pretty foiled packages like I did from the pink/gold foil box my make-up came in. Watch the video to see how!

You can find beautiful foiled cardboard on everything from tea, skin cream and other consumer goods, heck, I even consider the pretty packaging when I am shopping and I am a bit embarrassed to admit I have bough things because the packaging was cute. If we think about how we can use the packaging as well as the stuff we are buying there will be less trash in the landfill and more treasure for us to craft with! Happy crafting!

Warning: You might think this craft is gross!

Hi Friends! When I spied this empty feed bag in the garage I knew I wanted to try to make a reusable grocery shopping bag with it!

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It is a strong tarp like woven material that will be better as a bag than rotting in a landfill and best of all you can make it in 15 minutes, no sewing required! All you need is grain bag and duct tape for this project!

Video!

Now, you might get some funny looks when you go shopping with your chicken bag but you can hold you head high knowing that you are saving a few trees…on the other hand, if you are the type of person who raises backyard chickens and turns their feed-bags into shopping bags you are probably shopping at the health food store and there is no judgment there. I’m letting my freak flag fly, how about you? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

I’m Back! A Winner & A DIY Hummingbird Feeder!

Hi friends! I am back from a wonderful week at the pond with my family, it was so nice and relaxing and I will share my vacation artwork (don’t get too excited…I spent a lot of time reading and relaxing, hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have packed the corkscrew LOL!) in a day or two. Tonight I wanted to hop on the internet real quick and announce the winner of a jar of Plasti-Craft from last weeks Vintage Treasure Box post and it is…Marina! Please check your email for your prize info. If you did not win, don’t fret, you can still use the coupon code: TKTMI48N to get 10% off.

And now that my vacation is over and I have a couple empty wine bottles kicking around let’s make a bird feeder!

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Video!

This was a segment I did for Home and Garden for Mere Mortals. Please visit their website for step by step photos and directions! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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