I think that Spring has finally arrived to stay in Colorado. We are not expecting anymore snow storms just a few rainy days here and there. So I anticipate working on some garden projects in the near future but this weeks project comes from the craft cave last week when I was still dreaming of spring.
I like to think that I am a fairly organized person but lately I seem to keep forgetting to pay my bills until the day they are due. They often seem to disappear into the void that I call my desk. I am not proud of the fact that there are time when the afore mentioned desk does take on some of the attributes of a black hole but there, I have admitted it anyway.
Now most sensible folks might just resolve to keep their desks a bit more tidy but having lived with myself for close to 50 years now I have come to accept that I am not the tidiest housekeeper. So my solution to my bill problem is to stop putting the bills on my desk at all.
I had the top of an old metal TV Tray. Are you old enough to know what I am talking about? They were popular back when TV channels went off the air and switched the the test pattern at 10:00 pm. I would be giving away my age if I hadn't already told you how old I am.
After a couple of coats of chalkboard paint it looked like this.
I used a wire hanger, pliers and some elbow grease to make the somewhat acceptable hanger shape.
And then used E6000 Glue to attach it to the clips on the back of the TV tray.
In honer of spring, that I was sure would show up at some point even during last weeks snow storm, I made some flower magnets. I still have quite a few scraps of t-shirts from my 20 T-shirt Challenge so I used some of the scraps to make the flowers.
Then I decorated some Altoid tins to hold the chalk and erasers.
So now I just have to see if this resolves my bill paying tardiness.
I know you are thinking I should just clean my desk.
(or day or night depending on when you are reading this.) It is currently still morning here and quite bright and sunny I am taking an extra moment to appreciate this lovely weather as I have just heard that we are expecting snow here tonight and blizzard conditions tomorrow with 5 to 8 inches of snow. It is April right? Oh well it is supposed to be almost 70 again by next weekend.
That's is Springtime in Colorado for you. :-)
Did you know that I am a planner and a list maker. Well I am and I have to admit that I am a little OCD about it. Really. It is a little embarrassing. It's almost like I can't do something unless I write it down in my day planner. Sometimes I cheat and go back and write it down after I did it as if to confirm that it was important enough to do in the first place.
Sometimes I plan things well in advance which means that in some cases I loose interest long before then and I never even get the "thing" what ever it was done. This is why I make all of my plans in pencil so I can erase them and not have to be reminded of the stuff I said I was going to do but didn't.
Told you I was OCD right?
Anyway, one of my current long term plans is to have a big birthday party this year. I am going to be 50 and rather than freaking out about it I am trying to, well I don't know, age as gracefully as I can I guess. My birthday isn't until August so it remains to be seen whether or not I will chicken out and just decide to wear black all day and hide in the closet. :-)
Are you wondering what all of this has to do with crafting and upcycling yet. I am starting to.
Oh yes...... I remember know.
I have been thinking about decorating and making things for the party and as there may be some children or others (mostly me) trying to embrace their youthfulness, I thought that some activities would be nice. So without dragging you through anymore of my personal issues here is this weeks project.
Giant Bubble Blowers
I used a wire hanger bent into shape and secured with additional wire.
Then I got smarter and figured that duct tape would be much easier and work just as well.
If you have been following my posts for a while you know that I have been working on using up 20 t-shirts in as many upcycled projects as I can come up with. You probably also know that my progress is snail like. But I am happy to report that I have actually finished another project this week. You can follow my progress on my pintrest board here.
To date I have completed 10 projects including this crazy padded hanger.
It took a while to tie all the pieces on to the hanger but it felt kind of therapeutic to have such a mindless activity. I had intended to make a color blocked tank top but in evaluating the pieces of t-shirts that I have left I have discovered that there are not too many large pieces left. I may still attempt the tank top project but apparently it was a litle too mentally taxing for me this week.
Anyway this hanger project was a great way to use up all the long skinny strips of t-shirts that I had left over from cutting out bigger pieces.
Now I wouldn't recommend making a whole closet full of these babies as you would surely be inviting the early onset of some form of carpel tunnel. But I am pretty sure that all of us have a least one pesky item that slips off of every hanger we put it on.
And let me just tell you....this crazy hanger has some grip!
I don't know about you but I have had spring fever since the middle of February. Our grass is finally green the poppies are starting to grow. I am itching to plant some flowers in our flower pots. The lilac bush is in full bloom and my little mint patch is starting to grow, which brings us to today's upcycled project.
I love the smell of mint and the bees that it attracts to our yard. Maybe this year I will even use some of it to make a mojito or some mint tea. Anyway, for the first part of the summer it grows nicely in its little designated corner of our yard but somewhere along the way it get a bit too tall for it's own good and flops over onto the flagstone in a pitiful little mess. Last summer I was determined to get some wire fencing to reign it in but I never got around to it.
A few days ago I decided to try to upcycle something to manage my mid-summer mint monster.
Here is what I came up with.
Upcycled Garden Edging from Wire Hangers
For this upcycling project you will need.
7 wire hangers per section (I needed 3 sections for this project)
Some low gauge wire (I used florist wire)
Needle nose pliers
Tin can lids, bottle caps, Hot glue and or E-6000 Glue (optional)
Step 1 - Basic shape - Link the hanger hooks through each other to hold the two hangers together.
Step 2 - Lay a duplicate hanger pair next to first pair.
Step 3 - Lay two more hangers on top and bottom of shape.
Step 4 - Use twist ties to hold corners and center section together. Don't worry about securing tightly or lining up corners and edges with the twist ties. Starting with the corners secure with low gauge wire lining up corners and edges as you go.
Step 5 - Then secure the center pieces to the top and bottom hangers. At this point you may need to pull on the corners to get the hangers into a more square shape. Once the hanger shape is fairly square you may want to secure some additional points with more wire.
Step 6 - Use needle nose pliers to crimp the hanger hooks into a tighter c shape.
Step 7 - I needed my edging to be curved so I used the needle nose pliers to bend the top and bottom piece of my fencing. This is the first section that I completed.
Some of my hangers were different sizes so I had to improvise a little bit and my center section ended up a little taller than the two side sections.
Step 8 - Cut the bottoms off of hangers using wire cutters to make the spikes. (I only used three on mine) Use the needle nosed pliers to bend a hook shape at the top.
Step 9 - Hook the spike to the middle (top to bottom) of the fencing where two of the sections meet.
Step 10 - The spike piece should be at least 3-4 inches longer then the fencing. Use wire to attach the spike to the fencing and to hook the sections of the fencing together. Repeat until all sections are attached together and have spikes to secure them into the ground.
Step 11 - You could stop at this point but in the spirit of upcycling I decided to see what else I could use on my project. I decided on bottle caps and tin can lids. I used my hot glue gun to secure the wires to the backs and then wired the items on to my fencing.
One note on the glue. In some cases as I was wiring the items onto the frame, the hot glue didn't hold up so I used E-6000 glue to repair the glue job. I am not sure how well either of these will hold up in the great outdoors but time will tell :-)