My So Called Crafty Life

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DIY Upcycled Vintage Tin Lamp

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04-DSC_0085 (4)Over the past couple of years I have gotten really into making upcycled lamps! I have several in my home, and a whole list of more lamps and shades I’d like to craft. One of the lamps I have been wanting to make for a while now was a vintage tin lamp. I have been searching for a tin that was vintage but still in decent shape without too much rust. I found this wonderful soft green cookie tin recently and knew it would be perfect for the lamp I wanted to make for my sewing room. 

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Tin

*Lamp Kit

*Extra Couplers(I used 3)

*Drill and drill bits

*Screwdriver

*Small piece of PVC tubing

*Glue (e6000 or super glue)

Instructions:

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Gather your supplies and take everything out of the package. Measure your threaded rod from your kit and grab a drill bit the same size as the rod.

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You can start by making the hole in the lid of your tin. Mark the center of your tin. Take your drill bit that is the same size as your rod and drill a hole where you marked in the lid with your drill.

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Now you need to add your couplers to the threaded rod. They just screw on. Screw each one on snugly and tightly next to the previous.

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Now you are ready to add your fixture to your lid. Slide the gold plate onto the bottom of the rod so it meets your couplers. Then slide on the lid, then a washer, then the nut. Tighten the nut down snugly to make the fixture nice and firm and straight.

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Now you need to make the hole in the back of your tin for the wire cord. Mark where you want the cord to come out. Drill a hole slightly larger than the cord.

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Next, slide a small piece of pvc tubing onto the cord. Then push it into the hole in the back of the tin half way and glue it in with some e6000 or super glue.

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Now, slide the cording in the inside of the tin and up through the threaded rod and through the lid up through the socket.

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Follow the instructions for wiring on the lamp kit package. Basically you take the twisted ends of the wires and wrap the corresponding wire around the screws on the socket then tighten the screws down.

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To finish off you coil the wires into the bottom of the socket and push the top into the bottom socket piece. Now you are ready to add a lampshade and light it up.

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03-DSC_0088 (5)I absolutely adore my lamp! It was so easy and fun to make. Daryl and I did it together in about twenty minutes. It is a great size for the small suitcase table in my sewing room and gives me a nice amount of extra light when I’m working. So, next time you guys come across a wonderful old tin, snatch it up. They make wonderful lamps, and a great conversation piece for your favorite space! I hope some of you will give it a try sometime! Lamp making is so fun! I’ll be back Thursday with a diy for the lamp shade. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Mid Century Modern Inspired Wood Floor Lamp

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10-DSC_0079 (5)I have been a fan of mid-century modern style since I was little! I love the furniture and styling! Last year I made a fun mid-century inspired lamp shade with Martha Stewart decoupage materials. You can see that post Here. I have had it sitting on an old floor lamp in our living room. This floor lamp was an old cheapie we bought when we had our first apartment over ten years ago. Needless to say, it was in need of a makeover. I had seen a spiral wooden lamp in an antique mall years ago. So, we thought we would give it a try. It took up our saturday, but it was totally worth the time! We had a great time making it together as well!

Here’s What You Need:

*One old floor lamp

*Wood-Poplar (We used 3/4″ x4″x11′)

*PVC Pipe (We used a 3′ piece)

*Paint

*Stain

*Paint Brushes

*Sandpaper

*Drill with a bit, or a drill press

*Wire Cutter

*Bottle Stopper Piece from a Bottle Lamp Kit

*Nuts

*Tablesaw

*Mitre Saw

Instructions:

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First you need to figure out how much wood you need and pvc pipe. Decide how long you want your wood pieces. We made our pieces to be roughly 3.5″x3.5″. Measure your lamp height(area you are covering). Ours measured about 54″ tall. Take the measurement of what you are covering and divide that by the thickness of your wood (in our case 3/4″) and then divide that by two and that’s how many pieces of each material you need(in our case 54″ tall divided by .75″ would be 72 pieces all together divide that by two and that will give you 36 pieces of wood and 36 pieces of pvc pipe.) To decide how much wood you need take your desired size which is 3.5″x3.5″ and add the kerf of the saw blade (in our case 1/8″) multiply that number (3.625) by how many pieces you’ve calculated (36×3.625=130.5″ =10’10.5″, so an 11 foot piece worked for us.) For the pipe take the kerf of your blade plus the thickness of your pvc pieces( in our case 3/4″) and multiply that by the number of pieces you calculated( 36) to get the length of pipe you need. You will also need to disassemble the top wiring of your lamp. Mark which wire is on each screw so you can keep track of it.

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Once you have all your materials, you are ready to cut your pieces. Start with your wood. Make sure to add for the kerf (width of the blade) when you mark your cuts. Carefully cut all of your wood pieces on your table saw. I had 36 3.5×3.5 squares once cut.

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Lightly sand each block with a light 220 and 320 grit.

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Now you are ready to cut your holes. Measure the circumference of the metal pipe that is the shaft of your floor lamp. Find a drill bit slightly larger than that width. Mark the centers of each block with a ruler or center finder and pencil. Drill each block and set aside.

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Lightly sand any rough areas where the holes were drilled.

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Now you are ready to cut your pipe. Use a blade on your mitre saw that is a veneer/plywood/plastic blade, or a really fine tooth blade.

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Making sure you mark your pipe pieces for the width of the blade cut your pipe pieces on your mitre saw. You can see in the photo, my husband clamped a block the exact width out from the blade we needed our pieces so he didn’t have to measure and mark after each cut.

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Once you have all your pipe pieces cut you are ready to paint them. I painted mine a creamy white.

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Also paint your base the same color as your pipe pieces.

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Stain all your pieces with a soft cloth, rubbing the stain with the grain of the wood. Set aside to dry.

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Now you are ready to assemble your lamp. Slide a wood piece onto your lamp pole and scoot it all the way to the bottom. Then slide on a pvc piece.

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Then repeat all the way to the top alternating wood and pvc pieces.

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Now you need something to hold down everything tight. We used a bottle stopper insert from a bottle lamp kit.

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Squish the bottle stopper coupler into the top wood piece.

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Then screw the top wood piece onto the threaded rod at the top of the lamp.

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Next, slide on another pvc piece, a large washer and a nut. Screw it all on tight to the threaded rod.

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Next add your harp if you have one and your bottom socket holder base.

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Trim the wires and strip the ends with your wire cutters and strippers.

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Take your marked wires and twist them around each screw that they coordinate with. Assemble the rest of the light socket. Add your light bulb and your harp if you have one and finish off with a fun lamp shade.

 

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06-DSC_0081I just love how my lamp turned out! It really looks so much better in my living room than that old shabby metal! As much as I love my handmade lampshade, I would eventually like to get a vintage fiberglass stitched lampshade. But we shall see. So, i you have an old shabby floor lamp sitting around, give this diy a try. It’s a lot of fun! I’ll be back next week with another project. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Easy DIY Vintage Fabric Covered Letter Block Art

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A few weeks ago I was sifting through the dollar section at Michael’s and I found some cute wooden blocks that had thin wooden letters on them that were stained in bright colors. I was going to get one or two but the letters that I needed were a funky shade of purple that I didn’t really care for. After looking through more of the dollar bins, I came across these thin wood veneer letters. I loved the size of them and the simple font. So, I decided to make my own block letter using a cute letter “P.” This project is great for a weeknight and you can use scraps if you have them.

Here’s What You Need:

*Thin Wooden Letter from Michael’s (dollar section)

*Scrap Piece of wood cut to 5×5″ (You can usually find scrap pieces of wood at Home Depot in the scrap bin)

*Vintage Fabric or Scrap Fabric

*Paint

*Sand Paper

*Spray Adhesive

*E6000

*Circular Saw or Hand Saw

Instructions:

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The first thing you need to do is cut your wood piece. Cut the piece to be five inches by five inches. Sand the block a little. Paint your block and set it aside to dry. Sand areas of your block to distress it after the paint dries if you want to add a little distressing.

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You may need to prime your letter with white paint if your fabric is thin and you don’t want the darkness of the wood to show through. Lay your fabric out on the table face down. Lay your letter face down on your fabric. Trace 1/2 inch outside the outline of your letter onto your fabric. Trace the exact inside of your letter areas if there are holes in your letter.

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Cut out your letter. Snip the holes in your letter from the middle all the way to the marked line for the hole.

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Next, spray the backside of the fabric and the front side of the letter with spray adhesive. (I was out of spray adhesive, so I used basting spray as a substitute as you can see in the photo.) Lay your fabric letter over the wood letter lining it up before letting the two touch. Smooth the fabric over the wood. Fold the excess fabric over to the back side of the letter and smooth down. The adhesive should hold it, but if it does not add a little glue to hold it.

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Apply some e6000 to the back side of your letter. Now, glue the letter to the block centering it on the face of your block. Lay the block flat on the table to dry.

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I love how my block letter turned out! I love how easy this diy was to whip up, and fun too! You can really customize the look of it just by the fabric and paints you use. You can do a single letter like I did for the initial of my last name. Or you can make several and spell out a word or a name, whatever strikes your fancy. This would be great for a weeknight craft or a party. You can make one from start to finish in under an hour. So give it a try, you’ll have a blast! I’ll be back next week with another fun project. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Valentine’s DIY Round Up

Valentine’s Day is less than ten days away and I am so excited to start my valentine crafting! There are so many amazing valentine and love themed diy projects out there on the web. Pinterest is a never ending source and inspiration. You can find a bunch of projects on my Pinterest board, Be My Valentine, Here. I thought I would share a few of my favorite lovey-dovey DIY’s with you all this week. Check em’ out:

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Wooden Spool Heart from All People Quilt

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Altered : Bobby Pin Valentines from Basic Grey

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DIY String Art from Vintage Revivals

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Easy Art : DIY Cross Stitched Heart Print from Henry Happened

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Valentine Fortune Freebie from Design..Wash..Rinse..Repeat

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DIY // Date Idea Arrows from Sugar & Cloth

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DIY: Sparkly Cake Toppers from Say Yes

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DIY Project: Valentine Lightbulb from Design Sponge

Aren’t they all so cool! I am hoping to make a few of these this year myself. I hope you guys will give them a try too! I’ll be back next week with more fun DIY projects. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Vintage Recipe Box Scrappy Journal

As some of you all know by now, I am a big fan of Instagram! I love taking pictures with my phone and tablet, and Instagram makes it easy for me to add artsy filters and easily share them with everyone! Last year I discovered Printstagram, and fell in love with their products! I have been instagramming every day this year with the end goal of creating a 2014 Printstagram calendar for next year. I have bought a few items from the company in the past, including the mini stickers, minibook, and miniprints. I love the feel of the paper and quality of the printing, and the miniprints are so lovely! They even have space for you to write on them! When I bought my miniprints, I wanted to do something fun with them and make some sort of scrapbook. I discovered that they actually are a perfect size for a vintage tin recipe box. So, with a bright floral mod tin recipe box, my miniprints, and some scrapping supplies I made this fun scrapbox journal!

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Tin Recipe Box

*Printstagram Miniprints (Here)

*Double Stick Tape

*Acid Free Pen

*Scrapbook Mini Pockets

*Scrapbook Journaling Pages

*Mini Scrapbook Papers (I used a set I found at Michaels that I can no longer find, but it is very similar to project life)

*Paper Die Cuts or Labels

*Large Paperclips

Instructions:

I am sure there are many ways to lay out a scrappy box, but here is how I did mine. I started off by organizing my miniprints. I wrote little notes on them with dates, names, or little memories. Certain pictures were just cute photos of my animals or family, and some were pictures from trips or events. I wrote up some journaling pages to go with the pictures of things I wanted to remember like the day we brought home Beaureguard, Hannah’s trip to DC, or even the little everyday things like when Beau stole the cat’s toy and got blue feathers stuck all in his mouth. Once I had my pages written, I paper clipped them to the corresponding picture or group of pictures. I taped some of my pictures to scrapbook papers, and I added some little sets to the mini pockets I had. Then I organized my collection into sections separated by the mini pockets. I made a section for Beau and Sadie, a section for the cats and the chickens, a section for family, and a section for me and the hubby. I added in a few decorative pages that had quotes on them in the bunch. I then arranged everything in order inside the recipe box. To finish off my box, I added a fun die cut to the top of the box for a little decoration.

I LOVE my scrappy box! It is stuffed full of cuteness and memories! It holds my photos and pages perfectly. I have never really been into scrapbooking and creating super embellished pages, which is surprising for me since I tend to have an “everything but the kitchen sink” style when designing and decorating. The great thing about this project is that you can make it as fancy or as simple as you like. I have also discovered that you can fit two rows of the miniprints side by side in the box nicely. So, if you are more of a minimalist, a sweet vintage recipe box still makes for a perfect place to store your miniprints. I hope some of you guys will give this one a try! Go get yourself some fantastic miniprints from Printstagram, and a vintage recipe box, and create a one of a kind journal to store your favorite photos and memories in! I’ll be back next week with more fun diy projects. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

 

The Wonderful World of Pinterest- June 2013

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I am happy to be sharing this month’s favorite pins from my pinterest boards! It has been a little bit of a crazy start to the summer around here lately, but I have been able to squeeze in a little time for Pinterest here and there. It remains to be one of my favorite things to do! There is so much inspiration from all kinds of subjects to be found. I could spend days going through all the amazing categories. If only there were extra hours in the day, right! Here are some of my favorite pins from the past month:

From my board DIY Ideas I Love:

This looks like such a fantastic bag for summer!

Dr. Who sneakers? Yes, please!

From my board Party Ideas:

I love the polkadot tablecloth!

From my board Vintage Trailer Love:

From my board Tattoos:

These are absolutely adorable!

I absolutely love this one too!

and From my board Pet’s and Animals:

This reminds me so much of my dog! I have to pull him out of bed in the morning.

This one cracks me up!

Aren’t they all just fantastic! I have to say I probably pin animals and diy projects the most. I guess that shows where my heart lies. I hope you all enjoyed these awesome images. To see these pins and more from all my boards, visit me on Pinterest Here. I hope you all have a beautiful day!

Happy Pinning!

DIY Vintage Wooden Fishing Lure Keychain for Dad

Hi guys! Gosh, today went by so fast! I am really excited to share this project with you all tonight, vintage fishing lure key chains! These are so adorable, and they are so easy to make! You can make these fun key chains in about ten minutes. Not bad eh? There are so many awesome wooden lures out there. I bought mine on Ebay, which has a nice selection. I have also seen quite a few on Etsy recently as well. They are not only simple to create, they are fun too!

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Wooden Fishing Lure

*Jewelry Pliers

*Beads

*Eye pins and head pins or wire

*Key Rings

Instructions:

These are so incredibly simple to make! If you have ever tried your hand at jewelry crafts, this will be a breeze. The first thing you need to do is open up the eye loops and remove any hooks that are on the lure. Next, assemble your beads. I used tiny beads for the accent hooks, and larger beads for the main wire that will attach the lure to the key chain. Use the head pins for the accent loops and loop the wire around the eye. Use the eye pin for the main wire. Attach the eye of the eye pin to the eye loop on the top or bottom of your lure. Load up your beads onto the eye pin. Loop the wire around and loop it through the clip that is attached to your key ring. Now you are ready to load up your keys on your new key chain. Enjoy!

Aren’t they so fun! These are sooo darn easy to craft, and if you aren’t as attached to vintage as I am you can find replica lures pretty cheap. These would be a great little gift for any guy, and would be perfect for Father’s Day! I hope I have inspired some of you to give this simple project a try. You’ll love it! I’ll be back Thursday with another fun project for Father’s Day! Until then….

Happy Crafting!

12 Days of Handmade Gifts- Vintage Button Rings and Cufflinks

Hi Everybody! Welcome to day eleven of my 12 Days of Handmade Gifts. Today I have a couple fun diy’s for you that are inexpensive and easy, to make great stocking stuffers. I am going to show you how to make rings and cufflinks out of vintage buttons.  Fun right!

Here’s what you need:

*Ring Blanks(Find some Here)

*Cufflink Blanks (Find some Here)

*Vintage Buttons

*Embroidery Floss

*E-6000

Instructions:

The first thing you want to do is thread your buttons. Either with a needle or with your fingers thread the floss through the button a few times and clip the excess threads short in the back of the button. Now place a big dab of glue on your button back and glue onto your cufflink and ring blanks. I placed the cufflinks and rings to dry straight on my thread spools. Let them dry overnight and they are good to go.

These little gifts could totally stand on their own, but they also do make an impressive and inexpensive addition to your holiday stockings! I have several of the rings and I wear them all the time! They are a lot of fun, and with adjustable ring blanks you can always be sure they will fit who you are gifting them to. All the men I know love the cufflinks. I hope some of you will try out these fun and easy little projects! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for my final gift diy of my 12 Days of Handmade Gifts! Until then….

Happy Crafting!

DIY Holiday String Art

 

 

everybody! Today I have a super fun craft for you all! I have been in love with string art for quite some time now! I have been so inspired by the beautiful and fun pieces on pinterest, so I decided to try my hand at it. The basic idea behind it all is that you take a picture, or a word and nail around the outlines onto a piece of wood, tear the paper off, and commence with the long, but fun, process of stringing. You can find some wonderful tutorials for different types of string art from The Harpster Home, Que Linda, Green Wedding Shoes, and Creative in Chicago. Here is my version:

What You Need:

*Nice Plywood

*A jigsaw

*Sandpaper

*Paint

*A box of nails- I used #18 3/4″ nails

*Hammer

*Fun Christmas font printed word on paper to fit your board

*Yarn, twine, string

*Scissors

 Step 1: Make your board- Draw your funky shape onto your plywood. Have fun with it, it can be any shape you like. I went for a fancy frame like shape. Once you have it drawn out to your liking, carefully cut around the outline with a jigsaw. Then, sand the edges all around your shape until it’s nice and smooth. Paint your board in your desired color. I used a fun holiday green.

Step 2: Nail- To get your letters the right size measure your board and divide the width into the number of letters adding extra space for spacing. Set your word to be the size you need in your photo editing program and print. Lay out your paper on your board centering it to where you need it. You can tape it down if you choose to. Now you are ready to nail. Starting at the edge of your first letter nail in a nail on the outline of the letter and into your board leaving about 1/2 inch or so sticking out of the board. Grab another nail and nail into the board about 3/8 inch away from the first nail and sticking out of the board the same height. Continue nailing around the outline of your letters spacing about 3/8 apart until you have outlined your whole word. Next, carefully tear off the paper from the board. Mine came off pretty easily. Starting at one corner and tearing at an angle seemed to help me.

Step 3: String- I used divine twine for my string, but you could use embroidery floss or thin yarn, whatever you like best. Tie a knot around your starting nail on your first letter, snip excess thread. Now you can start stringing. Start stringing back and forth around your letter, then go the opposite way, and then go willy nilly around how you like until you are satisfied with the pattern of the string and your letter looks full and clear. I made sure to close the gaps on the outside of my letters here and there while stringing so my letters would have a sharper outline. When you are happy with the design snip a tail of twine and tie off the end of your twine around a nail and snip of excess twine tail. Repeat with your other letters. This part does take a while but it is easy and kinda therapeutic at the same time. Once you tie off your final letter you are finished. You can add a sawtooth hanger to the back or just sit it on a shelf or table.

I had a really fun time making this “Believe” string art sign for Christmas! I think I will definitely do more in the future. These fun little signs can spell out anything you wish. You could make one for every season, or to say something special. They would also make fantastic gifts for loved ones. And it is a pretty inexpensive DIY too. I bought my plywood in the scrap section at Home Depot for $4.00 and although divine twine is pricey, I only used a bit of it. Embroidery floss would definitely be a more economical choice. To see more string art ideas check out my links above, and check out my DIY Pinterest Board. I hope I have inspired some of you to try one of these yourself. They are so fun! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more Holiday fun!

Happy Crafting!

DIY Vintage Ornament Mobile

Today I have a super easy holiday DIY project for you, a vintage ornament mobile. This craft is a great way to showcase some of your favorite ornaments! I have so many ornaments sometimes things get a little lost in my tree. One of my favorite sets is my vintage plastic ornaments I picked up at the flea market last year! They are so kitschy and cute, I just love them! This is so easy to do as well, and all you need is your ornaments, some twine or string, and an embroidery hoop.

The first thing you need to do is paint your embroidery hoop. Next, cut various lengths of string for your ornaments to hang down on, and cut four equal lengths of string to hang your mobile. Tie your ornaments onto one end of ornament string. Then you want to tie the other end to your inside hoop of your embroidery hoop at equal distances. I had five ornaments so I tied four of them onto the hoop and I left one to tie in the middle. Next, tie your 4 equal length strings to your hoop an equal distance apart. Gather up the four strings to meet in the middle of the hoop. You can add a middle string ornament to the four strings at this point if you wish. Tie a knot at the top of your strings for hanging. Clip any excess thread above the knot and hang. Easy right!

 I really love how this little mobile turned out! I love how it adds a fun element to my holiday decorating! You can hang it wherever you like. I think it would be really cute over a bed, or maybe my favorite chair. We’ll see. You can really change the look with these too by using different color paints for your hoop and different ornaments. There are so many possibilities! I hope you all enjoy this super simple DIY! I’ll be back next week with more holiday fun! Be sure to tune in later today for a fun craft round up!

Happy Crafting!

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