Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: upcycled craft tutorial

Day 364: Bottlecap Alphabet Magnets


“We find that between the past and the future there is an extremely thin line—something that cannot really withstand analysis.”

-The Dalai Lama

It just means that we live our lives very close to the past and the future. But the truth is, we live in the now. Or at least, we should. Life is short on this earth. While we walk the earth, we should keep in mind, how close we really are to the past and future. We are close to it, but not there. Don’t live your life focused too much on one or the other. Bitterness comes from living in the past too much, and worry comes from living in the future too much. That’s my thought, anyway.

Today, I made something really cool!

I saved some bottlecaps from my daughters apple juice containers, and little jars of “NAKED” juice that I buy sometimes, and made a magnet set that spells out her name!

It’s easy.

Make sure you clean them, first.

Then, if you want, you can paint them. I used Apple Barrel Brand Paint by Plaid Crafts (in blue).

Then, get some pretty scrapbook paper. Trace and cut circles, then glue it with a glue stick.

Then, in coordinating paper, stamp out your child’s name. I used the Typewriter alphabet by All Night Media, by Plaid Crafts.

After that, go over it inside, with some Dimensional Magic, by Mod Podge.

Then, let it dry, and apply the magnet backs with Art Institute Glue.

That’s it! It’s easy peasy and so cool looking.

Day 151: Paper Doll Inspiration Journal


“Material comforts are not sufficient to satisfy us. We need something deeper—human affection.”

Materialism is everywhere. Everywhere you look in the egotistical world, there is materialism. Materialism makes sure that you buy certain brands, wear certain types of clothing, etc.

Materialism. It’s in Trader joes, it’s in Kmart. It’s in Micheals, Joannes, and Dick Blick. It’s everywhere. Living a simple lifestyle ensures that we keep ourselves in check, and that we have what we need.

We have to make sure that realize that although having two types of paper cutting machines, designer papers, and over 50 sets of stamps are nice, it is also nice to remember that the most famous artists didn’t have half of the fancy tools we have today. You know what I mean? Simplicity is nice sometimes.

Today I made a collaged paper doll dream journal. Now, here’s the story with this thing: I had bought this album like, last year, and embellished the cover. But I wasn’t too crazy about it at all. So today, needing something to embellish, I ripped off the previous embellishments, and made this.

I just got a whole bunch of stamps that I ordered from Catherine Moore, and so I went to work, embellishing the cover.  I decided that this is going to be my inspiration journal. I have one I started last year, and collaged some pages on it.

But I feel like this year, I’ve changed, and my inspiration sources have changed. So I made a new one.

I really, really, like this album a lot. I really do. She has butterflies and a bird around her, because I think she’s a little like me. I am always surrounded by spirit birds and butterflies. This book is why I love to hoard things. The ribbon is from a kit I got a long time ago. The lace ribbon is from a swap. The butterflies are from Studio 112. The background is also from a swap. It’s fun to save little things like these, and then put them all together.

I think I must have about 5 journals all going at the same time. My poor daughter will read them one day, and not know what order to put them in.

Like it?

The Craftaholic

Check out my handmade Journals!

I hope you like it also.

Day 136: Make Another Paper Flower


“If the mind is dominated by hatred, the best part of the brain which is used to judge right and wrong, does not function properly.”

The Buddha said that whatever we think, is what we get in life. Our mind is such a powerful thing. It can be a weapon against the negative things in our life, or it can be our worst enemy.

The worst thing we can do in life, is allow our mind to seep in hatred and fear. These feelings are so cancerous, that they spread to the world around you. When you feel these emotions, you start to see that your children get fussy, your spouse argues with you, your boss becomes a jerk…and you begin to think that the world is against you. But it’s not so. It is your own mind that is against you. YOU are against you.

Art is amazing and healing thing. As artists, crafters, and knitters, we know this. We know that we can heal ourselves through our art. But then there are times when perhaps we do not want to heal. We want to punish ourselves for whatever mistakes we have made. We want to feel anger towards the person who hurt us. In this way, we feel that we are punishing them, don’t we? We think, they don’t deserve my forgiveness. But you’ve got it wrong. YOU are the one who suffers. Not the other person. Life goes on and the person who hurt you will move on. They will marry, have children, grandchildren…and you will sit there still feeling these things that happened to you perhaps a long time ago.

So it’s best to move on. It’s best to put it in your mind, that yes. I am going to heal myself through poring my feeling upon my art, and I’m going to let go. I’m going to knit like a mad woman on a rampage, and let go with every stitch. Let go with every stroke of painting. Let go. Heal your life.

Today’s crafty endeavor, is another paper flower. I was so inspired by Donna Salazar’s paper flowers. They are so pretty! My problem is that I have this pretty vintage dictionary paper that is quite fragile. The pages break easily. So I made my own version of these pretty paper flowers.

You’ll need some scallop circles, big ones and small ones.

The first thing is to layer the paper-dictionary paper, and tissue paper.

Then, cut the scallops to emulate petals. Remember to leave the center uncut, so this will be your flower bud.

Then, add the smaller (uncut) scallop circles, and a matching brad. I used a pretty glittered one.

Then, just crinkle it lightly with your hand.

You’re done!

Here’s a book I bound and embellished with the pretty flowers:

Cute, right? It’s a 100 page hand bound book made by yours truly. It’s for sale in my boutique.

The Craftaholic

Visit my handmade boutique!

Day 135: Make an Envelope Keepsake Book


“Feelings of anger, bitterness, and hate are negative. If I kept them inside me they would spoil my body and health. They are of no use.”

The truth is, as I’ve said: we all go through stuff. Right? The thing is, the point is, not to let it swallow you up. Why do we allow these negative things to seep into our soul?

I know a person who carries bitterness from her childhood, and she is now 50 years old. This woman, never forgives, never forgets. Is she married? No. Is she happy? I don’t think a person who carries so much negativity could be. How? How could you be happy when you are carrying bitterness?

I went through stuff in my childhood and teen years. I made some mistakes. And for a while, I did carry around a lot of anger, bitterness and hatred. Eventually, all the things I held against my parents and old boyfriends ended up turning to myself. I ended up hating myself, and hating the world around me. That’s not a good place to be. Not at all. In this state, why would an employer want to keep you? Why would a man want to date a woman like this? Why would anyone want to be around a person so filled with negativity, that they seep it and spread it?

I got to a point in my life where I was just sick of it. I started reading the Dalai Lama’s teachings, and it really spoke to me. I decided that I wanted to surround myself with love. If not for myself, for my daughter who I was pregnant with.

So I allowed myself to let go of all the crap I had inside. I wrote poems about letting go. I collaged about letting go. I made “let go” my mantra. And in my time, I did.

Looking back, I feel that I was a totally different person from who I am now. Let go of the anger. Turn all of those feelings to your art. Instead of allowing the negativity in your heart, let go of it in your art. Take that fury and that energy and harness it. Let it inspire you to create, as you let go. Create art, and let go. Then you’ll find that you’ve become more of an artist then when you began your journey.

Today’s crafty endeavor, is a handmade book. This is another recycling project. You’re going to need some card envelopes. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got scores of them. I happened to have this pretty handmade paper that I bought at Dick Blick, when they were on clearance. So I’m using handmade paper envelopes. But you could even make your own envelopes out of construction paper, to get a similar look to mine.

The first thing you are going to do, is fold the flap as pictured:

So then, you’re going to add glue to the tip of the envelope flap.

And glue it down.

After that, you should open it, and glue the insides together. Remember how you folded the flap into two? You just glued the tip, now you’ve got to glue the inside part of the flap:

Now you can start embellishing! This book is great because it uses envelopes; that means, you can not only put pictures, but you can keep little ticket stubs, tags and all sorts of little memories.

Here it is before I embellished it.

And after:

This is the front. Nice, eh? The birds are Valentine Die cuts from K & Co.

This is a page to post a picture in. Cute, right?

Another picture page.


Last page.

I hope you like this quick project! It’s so easy, and it’s fun. You can recycle those envelopes you don’t use, and make a unique looking memory book. This can even be a baby book, or a wedding book!

The Craftaholic

Visit my Handmade Boutique

Day 123: Make an Upcycled Jewelry Box


“In this century we have made remarkable material progress, but basically we are the same as we were thousands of years ago.”

We are the same creatures that bleed, that are borne from a woman, that are fed milk, and then introduced to solid foods.

We take this for granted. We think that somehow we are different people simply because of our technological advancements. We think about our ipods, our psychiatrists, our electronic cars; but we are the same people who need love and spirituality. In that sense, we are no different from one another. But we choose to only identify ourselves by our differences, instead of seeking the common ground within each other.

Today’s crafty endeavor is so easy and quick.

This year for christmas, I asked my husband to buy me some perfume. I collect pretty perfume bottles. So he bought me a nice set of Mariah Carey’s new perfume.

Anyway, I saved the box, and just covered it with paper, to make a cool jewelry box. It’s so easy.

Just cover the the box with pretty papers (I used a stack by Me & My Big Ideas). For glue, I used a glue stick. It’s easy peasy.

I didn’t totally cover the inside, because I rather like some of the pink, in contrast with the pretty paper. I covered the outside with simple stripes, because I have alot going on, on my dresser.

Day 121: Make Upcycled Puzzle Piece Jewelry


“We must all live harmoniously with our neighbors.” Why must we insist on picking on each other? Seriously, we humans are great at excluding others. Why, though? Living in harmony means we don’t have to separate ourselves with labels and classes. It means we can look beyond the external, and look within the person. Don’t judge a person by the clothing she wears, or the fact that she’s a scrap booker and you’re a painter. Who cares, really? I mean…creativity has no labels, or limits.

Today’s creative endeavor, comes from my daughter’s toy dump. Being a mom, I have many little lost puzzle pieces lying around. So I decided that I wanted to do something really cool with it. I made a set of altered art puzzle piece pins. You’ll notice I make pins quite a bit. This is because I don’t really wear many necklaces. I love necklaces, but I choose to wear very few of the ones I have. I more collect jewelry than anything else. But I love to make pins. They are fun. This is an easy project. I say that about all the things I post. But it’s true.
Get yourself some oversized puzzle pieces. It would be nice if they all fit in together, but if you kid is anything like mine, you’ll salvage one piece under the bed, the other in her toy chest, the other in your sock drawer…. I made a set of four.
The first step is to glue and apply some pretty paper to the picture side of the puzzle piece. I chose various scraps that I had. That’s a good idea for this project, use your scraps.
The next thing is to cut it. Don’t be too cautious with it, because the edges are going to be glittered. I mean, don’t rip it savagely, but still. No need to seek perfection here.
Stamp it with any stamp that has typewriter font. I used a set by Stampin up (a retired set).
Then, you’ll add some spray glimmer mist. I made my own, of course.
After that, you’ll just add whatever words or pictures you fancy. I clipped some from an old vogue magazine. I highly recommend high fashion magazines for altered art.
Glue your little finishing touches, then go over it with Mod Podge Dimensional Glaze.
Wait for it to dry, and then add the pin back. You’re done! Now, your shopping list for tomorrow, is to buy some epoxy, and a snapple bottle cap. That’s all kids.
The Craftaholic

Day 118: Make a Simple Shadow Box


“…If you can really laugh with full abandonment, it’s very good for your health.”

Do you remember the last time you laughed? I mean, the last time you laughed from your belly, where it almost brought tears to your eyes?

I live in New York City, as some of you may know. It’s a hustle and bustle kind of place, where people (myself included) tend to take themselves a bit too seriously. It’s because we are are striving so hard to be taken seriously as artists, musicians and writers…like we have a fear of being laughed at.

But sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves. I mean, must we take our art so seriously? We don’t want to laugh at ourselves, for fear of diminishing our art and our life. But a joke is just a joke. Really. It’s not that serious.

One of my favorite crafters is Kathy Kano-Murillo (aka “The Crafty Chica). I love her because her tweets and her facebook updates are so cheery! It’s that cheerfulness that I take into my life. Her and I are both Sagitarians, and in general we are a happy-go-lucky bunch. Eternal optimists. But me with my unique way of being, I tend to take myself more seriously than most Sags. Maybe it’s my moon being in Taurus. Tauruses are always taking life too seriously. This is also why I hate labels. But it’s these labels that we put on ourselves that makes us take ourselves a little too seriously.

Anyway, my point is laugh at yourself sometimes. It’s okay to fuck up and just laugh about it. Really laugh. We all make “craft fails” sometimes. I think about my daughter. She’s two. You know, at that age, anything makes you just crack up laughing. So let’s bring a little of that into our lives. Laugh a little, every day.

Today’s crafty endeavor is a beautiful and simple shadow box. It’s really easy peasy.

You’ll need a glue stick, some pretty scrapbook paper, a children’s shoe box, and the word hope carved in wood. I got mine from the dollar spot at Micheal’s. You could also just use some scrapbook letters, or cut letters out in your cricuit.

The first step is to place the small shoe box in the center of the paper, with the design side face down. Trace the box onto the paper.

Then you’ll have to cut the sides, so that it will be easier to wrap the box. The edges will look cleaner. You’ll need to do the same for the inside.

After that, just glue it up, and stick it on.

Next, you’ll take your wooden “HOPE” word, and paint it over with gold acrylic paint (unless yours is already gold, which in case, nevermind). You need to paint it, because you’re going to apply gold glass glitter, and so this is a nessesary step. Glass glitter is a bit see through.

After that dries, apply some glue, and glitter it up with gold German Glass Glitter.

After that has dried, get yourself a small little trinket. I chose these little metal buddhas. You can use a cross, a star of David, or one of those cool darwin fishies (whatever suits you). If you don’t want anything religious, just use a simple star or heart, or flower. Just use what you have, and what makes you feel hopeful. Choose a small item that reminds you of having hope. I collect buddhas. I love them, for how cool they look when used in assemblage art. Plus I grew up pentecostal, and I’m a little bit of a rebel.

Anyway, glue all the pieces inside.

I put the box face down, and then glued them with Scotch Quick Dry glue. I love that stuff. I put a candle there, that I happened to have. You can buy a pretty candle at the dollar store, or even just use a tea candle. I like the candle, because it to me, represents hope. The candle always burning…you know?

That’s it. It’s a simple box, for the new year, to represent new hope for a new year. I hope you like it.

Day 116: Make a Sewing/Knitting Notion Holder


“But without inner peace how can we make real peace? World peace through hatred and force is impossible.”
I’ve said before that whatever we want in life and in the world around us, we must first have within ourselves.
So this is true.
Today is New Year’s eve, and it’s normal for folks to drink themselves to a stupor. I don’t really make a set of real resolutions every year, I just sort of set some ideas of where I want to go in life. I guess it’s the same thing, but I don’t call them resolutions, and I don’t pin all my hopes on them coming true.
Today’s crafty endeavor, is a fun little notion tin.
I hold all my knitting and sewing notions in a little tin I made some time ago. I made another one for myself today.
It holds my darning needles, thread, embroidery needles, stitch markers and a stitch counter.
It’s easy to make.
Just get yourself a blank tin. You can get these from Oriental trading company.
Too bad that Altoids mint people decided to change their tins, because it’d be nice to just recycle.
Anyway, get some pretty papers, glue stick, Aleen’s craft glue, and matching glitter.
Glue and cut each side with pretty paper (both front and back).
Trace the back side, and make a template to cut out for the inside paper, and glue that.
Then, close your tin.
Carefully and with your fingers, add the craft glue to the side, and then the glitter. I do this for the back first, then the front.
Let it dry, and then add a pretty flower or embellishment to the cover, and voila! You’re finished.
Like it?
The Craftaholic
Ps. Happy New Year!
Let’s all make a resolution to coexsist and keep creating art!

Day 107: Make an Altered Birdhouse


“For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide to dispel the misery of the world.”

The Dalai Lama, as I daily quote, has such an immeasurable amount of wisdom. Of course, we can too decide to rid the world of misery. How do we do this? We start within ourselves. When you find peace within yourself, you find peace in the world around you. With peace, comes less misery. That’s the goal, isn’t it?
So today’s creative endeavor, is an altered bird house. I bought a bunch at Oriental Trading Company. So cheap! A pack of 12 for less than $20!
So this is the first of many.
For this project, you’ll need a plain or unwanted birdhouse. You can even try to find one at the dollar store.
You’ll also need some pretty papers, elmer’s glue, scotch brand quick drying glue, glitter, and various embellishments.
Remember, as with shadow boxes-altered art, as a general rule, should have a collective theme. Each embellishment and item you choose to dress your bird house with, should sort of go together and define one idea.
My idea was “fantasy”. Not fairy, but just…butterflies and birds and whimsy.
The first step, is to select your papers, and get your birdhouse. In my case, I had to get all the wooden pieces together, since my birdhouse came unassembled.
I used K& Company’s “Berry Sweet” paper stack.
To glue the papers, looking back, I should have just used spray adhesive. But I used Scotch brand quick dry glue. But use what you have, and use what works.
If you’re using a bird house kit that needs to be assembled, then you’ll have to apply the paper to the wood and separately cut out the excess paper away.
Then, when the glue has dried thoroughly, assemble your birdhouse.
Now, it’s time for the embellishing.
For my embellishments, I chose a little bird sticker from the “Apple of my Eye” collection at Oriental Trading Co.
I also chose some paper butterflies that I had cut out from the “Garden Collection” paper stack.
Glitter trimming is by Martha Stewart, in the color of Toumaline.
The “Smile” sticker coordinates with the Berry Sweet paper stack.

Just put things together, and see what happens! This is a fun and easy project. The next one will be an Indian decor themed birdhouse.

Like it? I hope you do!

The Craftaholic

Day 106: Make Your Own Upcycled/Repurposed Necklace


“The right attitude toward others can be developed on the clear realization of the oneness of all human beings.”

The right attitude, the Dalai Lama says. We can develop the a positive attitude, if we don’t have one. Have the RIGHT attitude towards a person, or towards mankind.
I think a lot of the times our expectations get in the way of how we deal with a person.
We can choose to exclude others from our ideals, or we can choose to accept that everyone has a different way of approaching life.

So today’s creative endeavor is a necklace from a necklace! Yes.
It’s so easy.
All you need is a necklace that you normally do not wear, some extra beads and a nice pendant. I chose a pendant by Blue Moon beads, who’s beadwork I happen to love.
I happened to have these pretty leaf beads, so I used those, instead of the silver beads, as they were a little to “Santa Fe” looking for me.
So just string them along! That’s all.
Find a nice pattern for the beads. It’s easy, because since you are upcycling, you can use the original bead pattern, and just alternate with other beads from home. It’s easy and fun.
And it’s a quick and cheap way to make a beautiful gift for someone for Christmas, or Kwanzaa.
Here’s the finished work.
Like it? I do.
The Craftaholic
Check out my etsy shop here AND here!