Beer bottle upcycle

bottle b+a

What a better excuse for a cold one! As spring is officially here (in my part of the world at least) I find myself drawn to flowers and everything green. However, as I have repeatedly proven that I cannot keep anything alive (I managed to kill a cactus. Twice.) I opt for fake flowers instead. This easy upcycle puts a cozy spin on an old beer bottle.

bottle before
Beer Bottle: Granville Island Honey Lager. Pretty soon our local brewery, Steel and Oak is going to have bottled version of their beer, so I look forward to using those too! (If you are in New Westminster you must try their Royal City Ale- my favorite!)
Alternatively, you can use a glass jar, a tea tin, or other similarly shaped container that could work as a vase.

Yarn:  I used leftover cream colored acrylic yarn from my wintertime knitting phase, but you can also use twine, string, or anything else really.

How to: Use your choice of glue to attach the yarn to the bottle, wrapping tightly as you go. A few extra dots of glue may be needed in curvy areas of the bottle to make it more secure.

bottle after 2If needed, you can go around the whole thing a second time to fill in any gaps or bare areas. My yarn was pretty flimsy, So I went over the bottle twice, starting from the top working my way down. You can be as neat or as messy with this as you prefer, I tried to keep it generally lined up but didn’t get too finicky about it.

Total time: 15 minutes!
Total cost: FREE!

I hope you give this DIY a try, it works great as a bud vase enough for just one flower, or you can cram a few thinner ones in there. For a more rustic look you could also use dry branches, anything really!

❤ Shay

Stop pinning, Start making!

PINNING PIC

For most creative people, inspiration is everywhere! There is nothing bad about seeing a project and getting that spark to make it. Where it gets bad though, is when you have 1,000 pins on your “Crafts” board on Pinterest, and none of those have actually been made. The whole point of inspiration is to give you that ‘ZING’ moment where you go “this is awesome! Such a good idea! I should totally make this!”. What often happens though, is we get so carried away with so many amazing inspiring ideas, that we never get the chance to let our own creativity emerge by actually making something. It’s like “pinning paralysis”, where the more creative ideas we are exposed to, the less likely we are to feel confident about actually making anything. So the next time you run across that awesome candy buffet, or that great gift idea for a close friend, or a gorgeous decor project, keep the following in mind:

Supplies: do I already have what it takes to make this? How much would it cost for tools and ingredients? Is this a material I have never worked with before?

Time: How long would this take to make? Am I likely to finish it all in one go? Or will I start it and then forget abut it for a few months? Is now a good time for me to commit to a more serious project?

Necessity: Do I need this in my life? Am I going to thank myself later for making this? Or is this just going to add to the clutter in my life? If I am making this for someone else, will they appreciate it enough for it to be worth making? (more about craft-worthiness in a future post)

I know it seems harsh or limiting to think so critically about your sources of inspiration. The point of this is not to restrict creativity, but to make sure it is directed at the right things. Think about it: if you find a source of inspiration, then soon you act upon it and make something wonderful, you will feel even more motivated and excited about continuing your creativity. If, however, you continue to endlessly pin incredible ideas that linger and never come to fruition, you may end up feeling your creativity is stilted and blocked. (more on how to overcome that in a future post)

So go ahead, take on a project that has been sitting in one of your boards for a while, and make it your own! Take pride in fulfilling that original spark of inspiration and expressing your creativity.

Got an inspiring Pinterest project to share? Leave a link in the comments, and I might just feel inspired and make it!

Re-cycle, Re-use, Re-purpose: why buy new?

3 r's

One of the biggest issues I have faced as a crafter and maker is the constant temptation of buying new things. New supplies, new tools, new materials, anything that is new and shiny catches my eye like a magpie. Have you ever been to a craft store and felt like you could spend HOURS just browsing the aisles, touching everything, dreaming up all the wonderful projects you could accomplish if only you had that one thing…

I feel you. This is a challenge for me from a few aspects:

1) Budget– I simply cannot afford to splurge and go all out on craft supplies.
2) Space– I live in a small space so cannot afford the extra square footage to store all the STUFF.

So how do I satisfy that craft craving without breaking the bank and qualifying as a clinical hoarder?
I try to re-use, re-cycle, and re-purpose things I already have at home in new ways, spicing them up with a bit of imagination, and shuffle things around in an unexpected way. Here are a few examples:

Tea tins. I love tea and my family and friends know it so they always gift me tea, which usually comes in sturdy tins. A normal person might throw these out after their original purpose has been served, but I try and find ways to put this perfectly usable container to good use.

Gift wrap. Yes, I am THAT person that tries to open their gifts carefully so that the beautiful paper it came wrapped in can be used another time. Same goes for ribbon, bows, tissue paper, and gift bags. I don’t usually re-use the paper to wrap a present though, but more to create paper-crafts or decorate other items around the house.

Jars. This is an obvious one, as that is a pretty common item to re-use. Depending on the size, I use old food jars to store pens, hair accessories, homemade dry shampoo, and q-tips. These also make the perfect container / shaker for homemade salad dressing!

In some cases, it is not enough to just use the things you have, and a little something extra is needed. For budget reasons, I try to purchase most of my additional project materials and supplies from either the dollar store, or a thrift store. You will be pleasantly surprised at the stuff you’ll find!

You will notice that the majority of the projects and DIY ideas features on this site are either re-used, re-cycled, or re-purposed in some way. That is because those types of projects inspire me the most: the challenge of creating something beautiful out of something ordinary. I hope my projects inspire you to re-think your space and the items within it, and make something awesome!