DIY Recycled Water Bottle Cases

Hello everyone! I’ve been swamped these past few months, and am excited to be updating the blog again! A couple of weeks ago, I came across a project on Make It & Love It through Pinterest, and decided to create a variation of the zipper case. I absolutely love these DIY recycled water bottle cases because they are sustainable and useful for organization, not to mention adorable!

Materials

  • Plastic water bottle of your choice (If you happen to drink Evian water, I found that the Evian 500 mL bottles work wonderfully. The labels come off easily without leaving residue on the bottle, the plastic is sturdy, and the bottle opening is large enough to fit a quarter if you were to use the final product as a piggy bank!)
  • Zipper as long as the circumference of your bottle (For the Evian bottles, an 8″ long zipper was perfect.)
  • 1/4″ wide double-sided tape (After experimenting with various brands of double-sided tape, I found that Scor-Tape by Scor-Pal works particularly well.)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Pen or fine point marker

IMG_4473

Steps

Start off by drawing a line around the bottle with a pen or fine point marker at the height at which your zipper will be. Cut along the line with a craft knife (or scissors) to separate the bottle into a bottom part and a top part. (Using a craft knife to cut through the plastic tends to leave a smoother edge than using scissors.) Be careful of the cut edges; they are very sharp. If you need to dry off the inside of the bottle, you can use chopsticks to hold the tissue.

Peel the labels off the bottle. I love that the labels of the Evian bottles don’t leave residue! Wrap the double-sided tape around both cut edges of the top and bottom parts of the bottle. Cut off the extra zipper fabric extending beyond the bottom stop.

Peel off the backing of the double-sided tape and wrap one side of the zipper around the cut edge of the bottle, starting from the bottom stop of the zipper. Then, unzip the zipper.

Wrap the other side of the zipper around the cut edge of the remaining part of the bottle, starting from the bottom stop of the zipper.

Use double-sided tape to secure the extra fabric extending beyond the top zipper stop to overlap the end of the zipper with the bottom stop.

Store your chosen supplies in your newly-crafted recycled zipper case! These versatile containers can store anything from colored pencils to coins. I had a wonderful time making these and hope you do, too!

IMG_4498

Feel free to mix it up and use two bottom parts (or two top parts). Have a lovely day!

Pottery Update

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.

Dorothy Parker

Back in April, I had the incredible opportunity to try my hand at throwing pottery. I’ve been meaning to give you an update on this for a while now, so here are some photos of how the pieces turned out! I really love the effect of the glaze; it adds quite a bit of shine to the clay. Now that the cups are fired, you can see thin rings around both of them from subtleties in the clay—although they do sort of add a touch of personality, don’t you think? You know, I was thinking they might be cool as mini flower vases. Any suggestions?

Throwing Pottery

I do pottery. I love it. It’s very relaxing; it takes me to another planet.

Eva Herzigova

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to create pottery for the first time, and I’ve seen ceramics differently ever since! We started out simple, with bowls and cups (or cylindrical tubes, in my case). It was an extraordinary experience, and by the end I felt that my pottery had improved considerably. Shaping the clay was harder than I’d thought—especially at the beginning. I am grateful to have had a chance to try out a beautiful new form of art!

The cups have not yet been fired, but I will keep you posted. Are you a seasoned potter? I would love to hear any tips!

Mini Spring Wreath

Here is a sweet little DIY to embellish your door throughout the season. I know I haven’t posted any DIY projects for over two months, but I thought I’d post this one—it goes right along with spring, and is an easy project I especially enjoyed making.

Materials

  • Paper plate
  • Scissors and/or craft knife
  • Patterned paper (or scrapbooking paper)
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Liquid glue
  • Ribbon

Steps

  1. Cut out the center of the paper plate. The plate I used had an outlined center, which provided a really convenient guideline. If you happen to have a craft knife, it definitely makes things easier.
  2. Prepare the paper! I used scrapbooking paper, but any type of paper should work. Measure and cut strips approx. 5″ long and 0.5″ wide. With a 7″ diameter paper plate, you’ll need about 30 strips.
  3. Wrap and tape (or glue) each strip to the back of the plate to make ovals around the paper plate frame. Try to keep the oval diameters as consistent as possible.
  4. Now for the bow. First, wrap a short piece of ribbon around the bottom of the wreath and hold it in place with glue on the back. I used a 7/8″ wide ribbon, which worked out quite well. Slip another piece of ribbon (maybe a foot long) underneath the first, and tie a bow. Ta-da!

Bottle Cap Bike

Recently, my brother and I ordered apple juice with our meals from Chipotle (who doesn’t love Chipotle!?) and for some reason I decided to save the bottle caps. Eventually I realized I could incorporate them into a mini wire bike I was planning to make anyway. What a win-win; a cool project you can do with recycled materials!

Materials

  • 2 bottle caps
  • Wire
  • Pliers (optional)

I won’t list out steps because there are infinite ways to do this! The aluminum bottle caps from Nantucket Nectars worked really well because they were stiff and flat around the edges. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much wire I used, but since the structure of the bike is pretty small, I’m guessing I used about a foot and a half (at the most).

I started by looping one length of wire around the front wheel. Any starting point would probably work, but I did this so I could hide the end of the wire behind the cap. Then I twisted the wire to create the handle and extended it out toward the body. The crankset is a simple circle. With a second length of wire, I extended the structure from the crankset and created the seat (similar to the handle) and the pedal (coil the wire around itself several times). To create the rest of the frame, I folded the wire back towards the front and then twisted the end around the base of the seat.

The final step is to attach the frame to the caps. I used hot glue (which is very effective!), but liquid glue and tape also work well if your wires happen to be coated with plastic.

Hope you try this one out! I will try to publish more rambling posts on crafts and doodles as soon as possible!

Top left photo credit: Suzanne Chapman on Flickr.

Lightbox

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while. Here is a short 3D design project I thought you might like.

Materials

  • 0.25″ plywood
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Laser cutter
  • MakerCase
  • Candle (or tealight)

First, I designed the box dimensions. MakerCase provides many different options on how to put together your box; for the lightbox I used the finger option. Don’t forget to change the material thickness to however thick your plywood is! Next, download the model into Adobe Illustrator. (You can also use Inkscape to design and decorate the box, but it does not work directly with the laser cutter.) I played around with holes and text; feel free to get creative. The laser cutter is always fascinating to watch. I put the sides together (excluding the lid) with wood glue. (Tip: Use masking tape to help hold the wood in place while doing this.) Finally, place the candle inside the box. To be safe and colorful, I used a flameless color-changing tealight. You can get color-changing tealights here.

Have fun with this project! Don’t forget to write some inspirational messages!

Donut Stand

Recently I found a project I made over the summer, the “donut stand.” It requires Tinkercad, an online 3D design software. All you need is access to a 3D printer.

First, I created a torus with a diameter of 4″. Then, with the hole tool, I made a rectangular hole through the center of the donut approximately 0.75″ deep and 0.5″ wide. (You can adjust these measurements depending on how far back you want your phone to lean.) I went on to designing the donut, inserting letters and hearts. Make sure to download your final design into a 3D printing software (in this case, I used Cura). After printing, the stand was sturdy and held my phone pretty well. You can access the design I created here.

Happy making!

P.S. You can also use the hole in the donut as a place to slip thorugh the charging cord.

Living Hinge Notebook

Materials

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • 3″ by 5″ notepad
  • Elastic
  • 1/4″ plywood (or thinner)
  • Laser cutter

This is my first post involving a 3D design project! I made these notebooks for my family as holiday gifts, and so far these are my favorite projects I’ve created with a laser cutter. The spine involves a living hinge, a flexible “hinge” that is made from repeatedly cutting the wood to allow it to bend.

Steps

  1. Design a living hinge. For this project, I used parallel lines. The hinge is about 1 inch wide, and the approximate space between the cuts is about 1/16 of an inch.
  2. Get the size right. With a 3″ by 5″ notepad, I made the front and back covers each 3.5″ by 5.5″, the whole cover being 3.5″ by 8.5″. After the wood is cut, it should be flexible.
  3. Attach your notepad. I ordered a set of notepads with 50 sheets by Perfect Impressions, and fixed it to the back cover with only double stick tape so it would be removable in case the paper ran out.
  4. Use elastic to hold it together. This step is optional, but for a while, the notebook cover will spring open on its own. You want it to be slightly stretched, but not too stretched so that it’s strained. I used hot glue to stick the elastic to the back cover. And voila! Behold the living hinge notebook.