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

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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!

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

DIY Solar Eclipse Pinhole Projector

Hi everyone! As you probably already know, a solar eclipse will be visible in North America tomorrow! To prepare for this exciting event, I’ve created a pinhole projector from a repurposed cardboard box. Obviously, it’s very important not to look directly at the sun with the naked eye—and since authentic solar viewers are difficult to obtain at this time, viewing the eclipse indirectly with a pinhole projector is an easy and safe alternative. I had so much fun with this DIY and hope you do, too!

Materials

  • Cardboard box (mine was about 8″ tall with flaps up, 13.5″ wide and 9.75″ deep)
  • Cardstock paper (preferably a dark color, to avoid glare)
  • Push pin
  • Tape
  • Binder clips

Steps

Create the viewing window by cutting off one of the longer sides of the box together with the flap. Tape the remaining 3 flaps up to create the walls of the projector.

Cut a large rectangle out of the flap of the now loose side of the box to create a frame with a 1-2″ border on three sides. Tape the frame to the top of the box so that it opens in the direction of the viewing window.

Cut the remaining rectangular cutout in half and fold each piece in half. Tape these pieces to each side of the box so that they complete the rest of the frame. (The frame will be used to support the sheet of cardstock paper with the pinhole pattern.)

Make pinholes in a sheet of cardstock paper with a push pin (you can widen them with a toothpick if needed). To make the letters as accurately as possible, I printed out a template on a sheet of 8.5″ by 11″ printing paper using the Codystar font as a guide.

Lay the sheet of cardstock paper with the pinhole pattern over the frame at the top of the projector and secure the bottom corners to the frame with binder clips. Slip a dark-colored sheet of paper onto the bottom of the projector to serve as a screen. Angle the pinhole pattern toward the sun so that the sunlight streams through the pinholes onto the screen below. Enjoy!

I know some of the directions might be a bit vague, but hopefully the photos help. Let me know how it goes!

P.S. Each spot of light should show an image of the sun. The above photos were taken of the uneclipsed sun; therefore, each spot of light is a circle. During the eclipse, the projector should display a pattern of crescent-shaped dots while the sun is partially blocked.

How to Gesso Your Own Painting Surface

After taking a brief, two-week class at Otis College of Art and Design, I learned a bit about priming a Masonite board with gesso. Gesso is thinner than acrylic paint, and helps prepare the surface by making it more textured. Although gessoing your own painting surfaces may sound inconvenient, it costs less than pre-gessoed boards and it is actually quite fun! So, in case you aren’t familiar with the process, I thought I’d share what I learned with you.

Materials

  • Masonite board/paper
  • Gesso
  • Wide brush
  • Roller (optional)
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Atomizer/spray bottle
  • Hairdryer (optional)
  • Paper towels

Steps

  1. Put a small amount of gesso into a cup (approximately 4 tbsp. for a 1′ by 2′ surface) and add water if necessary. You can also use an atomizer/spray bottle to mist the gesso.
  2. If you’re using a Masonite board, sand the edges and the surface of the board with the coarse sandpaper to make sure it’s smooth.
  3. Mist the surface of the board/paper with water and wipe off the dust from sanding with paper towels (otherwise, your gesso might have a brownish tint).
  4. Mist the surface again to make it easier to apply the gesso.
  5. Use a wide brush (or a roller) to paint on your first coat of gesso. Make large strokes horizontally and vertically. Don’t make the gesso too thick; you’ll do 3 coats in total! If gesso gets on the sides of the board, you can knock it off with the brush.
  6. Wait for the gesso to dry (or use a hairdryer to speed up the process).
  7. Sand the newly gessoed surface with fine sandpaper.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 two more times. However, after your final coat of gesso, you don’t need to sand the surface.

Now that you’ve gessoed your surface, it’s time to start painting. Good luck!

Photo credit: Tookapic on Pexels.

DIY Bookmark

Hi everyone! Guess what? This weekend, I finally found the time to go through and reorganize my craft boxes! In the process, I discovered some long-forgotten materials, with which I created a little bookmark for my journal. So, here it is! A fun and easy DIY bookmark to assist your summer reading. Enjoy!

Materials

  • Cardstock paper
  • String
  • Beads
  • Magazine

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape/glue
  • Hole punch

Steps

Cut out the base for your bookmark. I found that 6″ by 2″ dimensions work pretty well, but it is totally up to you to decide how big or small you want it.

Choose a few pages from an old magazine or newspaper, and cut some strips. (You probably won’t need many; it depends on the size of your bookmark.) Use double-sided tape or glue to layer them on! Personally, I love double-sided tape—you can always count on it to be effective without being gooey.

Punch a hole near the top of your bookmark for a tassel. To create a simple “tassel,” use approximately 3.5″ of white friendship bracelet thread to tie a lanyard hitch. You can also tie beads on the ends to add a personal touch to the bookmark.

Finally, cut out two squares the width of your bookmark and write an inspirational quote or phrase on each square. Tape or glue the squares on either side of your bookmark!

I love this DIY because it is so simple and quick. Let me know how it goes!

Mother’s Day Sketches

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful, hard-working women out there! For this special day, I created leaf sketches and mounted them on black chipboard. I chose fern leaves, maple leaves and green leaves for more variety. The drawings are 9″ by 9″, and the chipboard squares are 9.5″ by 9.5″. They are simple and easy to make, and could work for any holiday. Thank you for everything, Mom!

Quotedown to World Art Day

Well, here’s a random idea! April 15th is World Art Day, which was established by the International Association of Art in honor of the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci. So, to celebrate the advent of this holiday, I decided to create a DIY “quotedown” to keep track of the remaining 6 days. And you can do it too—for any holiday you’d like!

Materials

  • 2.25″ by 3.5″ coin envelopes
  • Hole puncher
  • String, twine, or cord
  • Paper
  • Quotes
  • Marker

Steps

  1. Punch 2 holes near the bottom of each coin envelope. Try your best to make sure they’re in the same spot every time; I lined the envelopes up to see where I’d placed holes previously. After laying the coin envelopes in a pile, slip the string through the holes and tie a knot.
  2. Cut out six 2″ by 2.75″ pieces of paper. Write one quote on each slip of paper (I gathered up my favorite Leonardo da Vinci quotes, of course!) and insert the quotes into the coin envelopes.
  3. Finally, write the date of opening on the flap of every coin envelope, and to make it more festive, decorate the front!

My quotes for the occasion:

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

Leonardo da Vinci

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Leonardo da Vinci

Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.

Leonardo da Vinci

All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.

Leonardo da Vinci

Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.

Leonardo da Vinci

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

Leonardo da Vinci

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!