Showing posts with label plastic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plastic. Show all posts

DIY Cork Board Jewelry Organizer

DIY Inspiration: How to make a cork board jewelry organizerMy name is Ellen and I like shiny things. The problem is storing my shiny things. I am not a jewelry box person. I just don't have a lot of space and when it comes to jewelry it's out of sight, out my mind. If I don't see it, I won't wear it. So, I've been struggling with a jewelry organization solution for longer than I care to admit.

I have a bare wall next to my bathroom sink that looked like it could be transformed into a vertical space for storing my jewelry making everything easily accessible as I am getting ready in the morning.

My first thought was to install some sort of  box or medicine cabinet type fixture. However I really wanted something with a simpler, cleaner design. Then, I toyed with the idea of hanging everything on a cork board but I was afraid it would be boring. Luckily I have the perfect tool for personalizing things to make them pretty, my Silhouette Cameo.




I'm not going to give specific measurements for this project because it will all depend how large you want to make your organizer. Instead, I'll just show you my process.

I started by laying out my jewelry to see how it could be arranged and to get an idea of what size cork board I  would need.

I ended up with a fairly large 22 x 35 inch board.
When I was shopping for the perfect cork board, I looked for one with a nice flat, wide frame that I could personalize.

Initially I was going to create my own stencil and paint a border. Eventually, I decided it would be easier to use my Cameo to cut a simple vine design out of vinyl and stick it onto the frame.
Of course I had already purchased a couple sheets of stencil plastic. I still found a purpose for them and used my Cameo again to cut out a set of earring cards to hold my smaller studs.

(I set the cut settings on my Cameo to blade depth 8, speed 1, thickness 33 for cutting the plastic sheets.)
Free Silhouette Studio Cut File: Tags to display 5 pairs of stud earrings I think this is a pretty slick solution for compact storage of my post earrings.

My dangly hook earrings are going to be stored across three wooden dowels, painted black to match the cork board frame.
My biggest dilemma was what I would use to hang my necklaces and bracelets. Plain push pins or thumb tacks just seemed... well, tacky. And then I stumbled across hooked tacks. Why it has taken so long for someone to invent this is beyond me because they are so handy. They come in a bunch of different colors, but I bought the clear ones so they would be less noticeable.

Since I am a "measure twice and cut once" kind of girl, I used painters tape to mark where I would put the hooks and dowels on my corkboard.

I used a ruler and pen to mark the tape before I placed the hooks.
After I was satisfied with the spacing of everything, I stuck in all the pins and removed the tape.

Then it was time to mount the board on the wall.
Finally it was time to organize my bling!

DIY Inspiration: How to make a cork board jewelry organizer

Now my counter tops are free of all the jewelry box clutter and I am ready to accessorize!

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Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Shamrocks

Kid's Craft Tutorial: Add some luck to your garden with DIY recycled plastic water bottle shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day or any day.Happy St. Patricks Day! A couple years ago I wrote a tutorial about making plastic bottle flowers and it is one of my most popular posts. Even though I do not do a lot of holiday themed crafting, I thought it would be fun to put a little twist on the design and show you how to make lucky four-leaf clovers with plastic water bottles.

This is a fun project to do with your little leprechauns, but you may need to help the wee ones with the cutting part.



Start by removing the labels from your water bottle. You can leave the cap on.
Use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut around the top ring of the bottle.
You only need the top section of the bottle. Recycle or repurpose the bottle bottom.
Next, make four, evenly spaced cuts from the cut edge to as close to the spout as possible. You can use the seams of the bottle as a guide for where to start cutting.

If you don't need as much luck in your garden, go ahead and make a traditional three leafed shamrock by making three cuts instead of four.
Fold the leaves back, almost like you are folding the bottle inside out.
Use a scissors to round out the edges of each leaf.
I'm leaving the cap on for the painting part, but you can remove it if you like. If there is still a thin safety ring on your bottle that held the cap in place, now is the perfect time to remove it.

Pro Tip: If there is any printing on the bottle, like a freshness date, it can be removed with a cotton ball and a little nail polish remover.
Place the shamrock on your work surface so that the bottle cap is facing up. You will be painting what used to be the outside of the bottle.

Use a light green or even white paint to paint some rounded triangles on the tip of each leaf.
See how it almost gives each leaf a heart shape?

Let the paint dry. Apply one or two more coats of paint over the same area letting it dry completely between coats.

If you want to get fancy, add a line of dots down the center of each leaf from the point of the triangle to the bottle cap.
Add a 2-3 coats of dark green paint to each leaf. It is fine to paint over your light triangles. You'll be able to see them through the plastic on the  other side of the shamrock.
Make sure to let the paint dry completely between coats.

If your shamrocks are going to be outside, I recommend adding 1-2 coats of Mod Podge to seal the paint and protect it from chipping and cracking.
Once everything is nice and dry, wrap a piece of floral wire around the gap where the safety seal used to be to form the stem.
Place your lucky four-leaf clovers in the garden or in pots on your patio and keep an eye out for leprechauns!

Kid's Craft Tutorial: Add some luck to your garden with DIY recycled plastic water bottle shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day or any day.

Happy crafting!

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Sewing Tutorial: Fused Plastic Bag Tote

Sewing Tutorial: How to make a utility tote with fused plastic shopping bags.In my last post, I shared a video showing how to fuse plastic bags together. Now that you are familiar with the fusing process, you may be looking for a project you can make with fused plastic.

I love using fused plastic bags for sewing projects because it is very sturdy and surprisingly simple to cut and machine stitch. Brown fused bags almost look like leather, but you can use just about any color of plastic you can find for this project.


  • 28 plastic shopping bags
  • iron
  • cutting and measuring tools
  • basic sewing tools
  • 2 - 30-inch long pieces of 1-inch wide strapping with finished edges so they don't fray.
  • paper clips (optional)


Before you begin, you may want to wash your plastic bags, especially if any food or liquid spilled in them. Believe it or not, you can wash your bags in your washing machine with cold water on a gentle setting. Then, just hang them outside to air dry. DO NOT put them in the dryer!

Make 14 pieces of fused plastic. Here's the how-to video.
Cut 8 squares that are 7 x 7-inches.

Cut 6 rectangles that are 5 x 7-inches.

There's no real right or wrong sides to your plastic. It all depends on what you want to be seen on the outside of your bag.
Next you are going to stitch two squares, right sides together, along one side using all-purpose thread with 1/2-inch seam allowances. Use a moderately long stitch length or you will perforate the plastic. Repeat for the remaining pairs of squares.

Pair the rectangles and stitch one of the short sides of each pair together.
Finger press the seams open.

Stitch all of the seams open, 1/4-inch from the seam.
Next, place two sets of the stitched squares, right sides together. Since you can't pin the plastic without creating small holes, it's handy to use paperclips to hold the pieces together so they don't slide.

Just be careful to remove the clips before you stitch over them so you don't damage your sewing machine.
Again, finger press the seams open and stitch them down 1/4-inch from the seams.
Finger press one edge of each of the square pieces down 1/2 inch and stitch 1/4-inch from the fold.

Repeat along the short edge of two of the rectangle pieces.

The folded down edges will be the opening of your tote.
Position your straps so they are 6 inches apart and centered on the top edge of each of the square pieces.

You can hold down the straps with paper clips, again being careful not to sew over the paper clips.
Stitch the straps in place.
Lay out the pieces of your tote as shown.

Stitch all four sides to the bottom piece, right sides together.

You can finger press the seams open and stitch them 1/4-inch from the seams as before if you choose.
Finally, stitch the sides of the bag together. I chose to stitch the sides right sides together and then turn the bag right-side out and it was a little tricky.

So, I actually recommend stitching the bag sides wrong sides together. It should be a little easier and will still give you a neat finished look. Don't worry about pressing the side seams open.

Enjoy your sturdy new tote for carrying groceries or whatever you choose and smile because you just saved 28 plastic shopping bags from a trip to the landfill!

Sewing Tutorial: How to make a utility tote with fused plastic shopping bags.

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Video Tutorial: Fused Plastic Bags

Video Tutorial: How to fuse shopping bags into a plastic material for crafting and sewingI love crafting with recycled materials. I think it's a creative way to take advantage of often overlooked supplies that are readily available around us.

That's one reason I was so excited when I discovered that you can fuse plastic shopping bags with your iron to create a durable material that is ideal for making embellishments and can even be used for sewing projects.


  • plastic shopping bags
  • Reynolds parchment paper
  • scissors
  • iron


I used my fused plastic to create a bag.

Video Tutorial: How to fuse shopping bags into a plastic material for crafting and sewing

What will you make with fused plastic?

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Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Scoop

Learn how to recycle a plastic bottle into a handy garden scoop.Spring has sprung in Tucson and I hope you are starting to enjoy some warmer weather wherever you are, too! Because of our climate, I do much of my gardening in the winter, but this is a nice time of year to get out in the yard, too.

One thing I always like to have handy when I am planting is a plastic bottle scoop. They are a little larger than a typical hand shovel. I use mine for digging planting holes as well as scooping buckets full of compost to supplement my potting soil.

This project is a quick and easy way to recycle large plastic bottles.


  • Empty plastic bottle with a handle
  • X-Acto knife or scissors
  • ruler (optional)
  • Sharpie (optional)


I made my scoop with an empty 2 qt vinegar bottle. You may also be able to use a laundry soap or bleach bottle or maybe even a small milk jug. See what's in your recycle bin.
Wash out your bottle and remove the label. Don't throw away the cap. You should keep that on your bottle.
Use an X-Acto knife or scissors to carefully cut off the bottom of the bottle.
If you want to make sure your scoop is perfectly symmetrical, mark vertical lines equidistant on either side of the handle.

Then mark an angled line that's about an inch and a half wider at the bottom of the bottle.
Do the same on the other side of the bottle.
Carefully cut up one angled line, around the bottle (under the handle), then down the other angled line.
Your scoop should look something like this.

That's it! You are ready to head out to the garden.
You get the joy of being green by repurposing a plastic bottle and saving it from the landfill and the satisfaction of planting some fresh new life.

Learn how to recycle a plastic bottle into a handy garden scoop.

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