With the summer dates on the calendar filling in almost quicker than I can write them down, I’ve had to kick my garage clearing project into a higher gear. A tag sale is being planned at my home toward the end of May so there’s going to be a lot of crazy going on here for the next 2 ½ weeks. Fun crazy!
But first, I wanted to put up a quick post on a newly finished display tray created from a vintage springform baking pan, a brown ceramic insulator, metal lamp ring, wooden finial, and a zinc Ball canning lid stacked on a short length of ⅜” threaded rod. It may seem like an odd assortment of pieces, but the different materials melded together beautifully.
Before starting, a ⅜” hole was drilled in the center of the zinc lid, and a 11/32” hole was drilled in the bottom center of the wooden finial. The hole in the finial is slightly smaller so the threaded rod will fit snugly. An assortment of washers and nuts were found to fit the threaded rod.
As with previous projects, all pieces were cleaned well and waxed before laying them out to be assembled.
The finial was constructed first.
The biggest challenge I had with this piece was to find an item that would fit perfectly inside the pan center from the bottom and not slip through. The zinc lid was the solution for me.
Would love to know your thoughts. Please feel free to comment and share. Until next time …
I’m back with my first tiered tray. As mentioned in my previous post, I’m working to clear out old before bringing in new. I would like to use as many of my gathered pieces as possible, so you may be seeing several small projects over the next two months and occasional tag sales at my home to help achieve my goal.
To get started, a collection of three worn enamelware pans were taken to the drill press and 5/16″ holes drilled through their centers. The enamel coating will chip away during drilling. I applied a coat of clear fingernail polish around the drilled holes and any chipped edges of the enamel to prevent any further chipping. A clear sealer could be used for this step too. After the fingernail polish was dry, the enamelware was waxed and buffed.
I chose two decorative spindles to use as spacers between the pans. I thought their design worked well, they already had center holes in one end, and one already had a finial; perfect. After cutting them to the lengths desired, they went to the drill press and a hole was drilled through the length of them using the original hole as a guide. They were sanded, painted, and sealed.
A piece of 5/16″ threaded rod was cut to the length needed and a washer and nut found to fit it.
The pieces were slipped on the rod, working from the top down and secured with the washer and nut.
I thought it was finished at this point, but after looking at for a week, I had to add one more detail; a wire ring at the top.
With bolt cutters, a circle was cut from a steel bedspring; sanded, painted, sealed. The tray was taken apart and the finial drilled through at the drill press. The steel ring was almost unbudgeable. I had to hold the finial while my husband stretched the ring enough to get it the holes; its a tight fit.
The tray was reassembled and done! I have my first item for a future tag sale!
Please like, comment, and share as you wish. Keep recycling, repurposing, and upcycling, each small step helps.
Spring break gave me the time needed to complete my latest project.
I’m pretty excited about this piece. Not only do I get something for my bathroom wall, I discovered a nifty new way to make a basket that may come in handy in the future.
I started with a chunky, long, oval wooden frame purchased at a vintage fair a few years back. It needed a little work to get squared up and made sturdy before a cardboard template could be drawn for the opening.
Tracing the template, I cut and shaped a piece of mirror, a piece of clear glass, and a piece of old chicken wire. The mirror was cut from an unwanted, inexpensive, thin, full length mirror I had in the garage, and luckily I found a large enough piece of clear glass in an old window pane. Another option for this planter would be to use chicken wire alone.
I removed the back of the mirror with a spray stripper, and used a wide plastic putty knife to gently remove it. Spray stripper is pretty awesome; much better than using a brush for this step. Once it was stripped and washed clean, I used bleach to sponge the back lightly in a few places and speckle with a toothbrush splatter. Always protect your eyes and wear gloves when doing something like this. I let the bleach sit for about an hour. After washing off the bleach, you can add black speckling, metallic powders or paint, or vintage papers to show through the mirror, but I left mine plain.
After a few layers of stain, paint, and sanding, the frame was sealed with a coat of clear, satin, water based sealer. After the sealer dried, the cut pieces were inserted in the frame opening, sandwiching the chicken wire between the clear glass and the mirror. Secured with glazier points.
I cut a 10” hanging wire basket in half and laid it on the front of the frame to see what it would look like and figure out where I would need to trim it to fit well. I left extra length on each end of the top rim wire so L shaped corners could be bent. (I had to find a pair of stronger hands to help with bending.) I ended up with two loose side wires and glued them in place to get the shape I wanted. When dry, the glued areas were touched up with a little brown paint.
I found some very simple hardware to hang the basket onto the frame. One is just a cut eye hook, but I’m not sure what the other pieces are. I found them among some of my stained glass hangers so they may have come from a glass supply source; I don’t know. If anyone has a clue what they are, please chime in and let readers know. I wouldn’t mind having a few more myself. 🙂
I attached the two brass hangers to the frame first, then hung the basket to mark where the small hook would go under the basket and before drilling a hole. I removed the basket, screwed in the hook, then painted the hardware to match the frame. When the paint was dry, I replaced the basket and hung the frame on the wall to fill.
A fiber planter liner was cut and fitted inside the basket, along with an old deflated ball for a pliable, leak-proof planter. The ball was turned wrong side out before placing it inside the liner and adding succulents.
I’m pretty happy with my new planter. It has kind of an Old World charm and looks right at home hanging above our tiled tub surround. It hangs almost directly across from a large East window, so I’m hoping with the benefit of the mirror it will get plenty of light.
I hope you found something interesting or picked up a few useful tips from my project. Thank You for visiting my blog. Please, let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers, fellow up-cyclers and re-purposers.
Well, here I am, four days out from Christmas, and writing a blog on the easy Christmas sewing project I mentioned in my last post. Guess that pretty much tells you things didn’t go as quickly as I thought they would.
There’s been an old, soft, wool army blanket floating around here since forever. It’s actually two pieces of wool blankets sewn together. It’s been used under our tree many times and has been packed away with the Christmas stuff for the last 30+ years. One Christmas, when my kids were young, I said I was going to make a real tree skirt out of it someday, and it’s kind of been a running joke every year when we pull it out. Well, this is the year, I did it!
I love fabric and textures, but sewing has never really been my thing, I don’t know why. Not having a concrete plan for this project, I decided to approach it like I did most others, use what I have on hand, and visualize as I go.
I was able to fold and cut a 60” circle out of the darkest end of the blanket. There’s all kinds of easy instructions for folding fabric to cut large circles on the internet.
I traced the corner of a cup to cut a small hole in the center of the circle.
My first idea was to cut small holly pieces from the leftover end of the blanket and stitch them along the outer edge of the circle. But then, with such a big circle, I thought a larger pattern would look much better.
I drew a large holly leaf pattern about 20”L and 12”W, then cut eight holly pieces out of newspaper to arrange on the circle and give them a look. Sorry, the picture is a little fuzzy, but I liked the design.
Then, there was a hitch. I laid the holly pattern every which way and there was not enough leftover blanket to get the eight pieces out of. I could have made the pattern smaller, but I liked the big holly.
Just playing around, I cut the holly pattern in half lengthwise. Using two colors on the holly could add more interest. Half of the leaf could be cut from the leftover blanket, and something else could be used for the other half.
After two days of trying to find something to use, it finally dawned on me that I had the perfect thing all along, a faded pair of green army fatigues. As a saver of buttons, I always have a bag of old clothes waiting to have their buttons removed before they’re tossed, and that’s where I found them. The legs alone offered enough material and I could use the buttons too.
I didn’t have interfacing for the green cotton material. With plenty of the dark wool left, I cut eight pieces of that and adhered it to the back of the green cotton with a spray adhesive. I trimmed a few edges where they didn’t match neatly.
The design was laid out on the floor again and the pieces arranged where I wanted them. A slit opening was cut up through the center of one of the holly pieces. The pieces were adhered to the circle with spray adhesive. After the adhesive was dry, each piece of holly was surrounded with a six strand, dark brown blanket stitch. This step took me over a week to complete, there’s a lot of stitches. I’m sure my lack of experience in this area and only working evenings, slowed the process too.
More was needed, so I chose yo-yos. I cut eight 4” circles from the scrap green cotton material. After stitching them closed, they were painted with red fabric paint, giving them a deep rich red color. The buttons from the fatigues were sewn in the center of each yo-yo, then the yo-yos were sewn to the circle between the holly. I love the little yo-yos.
A zig-zag stitch was run around the outer edge of the skirt, and a strip of wool cut to fold over the raw edge of the small inner circle. My daughter, she’s a quilter, peeked in on me as I was pinning the wool strip into place, and offered me her binding clips to use. They’re the neatest little things. I stitched some knots to attach the strip, then ran a blanket stitch along the edge of it on both sides.
I found some tie strips in a craft drawer. I don’t know what they were off of, and they didn’t match, but that’s okay. They were stitched into place on the backside of the circle, along the edge of the slit opening.
And, finally, done. After all this time it feels pretty good to have this one particular project completed. I’m very happy with it.
I moved presents from under the tree to get a picture, then replaced them, covering my new creation. It’s a little wrinkly now, but it can make it’s grand debut Christmas morning after everyone has opened their gifts and Santa’s surprises.
Merry Christmas everyone, and many wishes for a bright, shiny New Year!
I knew I’d be making suet feeders someday after buying our curious grand kids a coconut to sample over a year ago.
I’d never made a coconut feeder, but thought it would be a lot of fun to play around with some scraps from my salvage stash and make something quirky to hang in our front yard tree.
The shells were already dried and had holes, so once I gathered some old springs and wire pieces they went together pretty quick.
I had planned on shaping wire into hangers, but found two wire pieces that had been cut from the top of old lamp shades and popped them into the holes instead.
Wanting to provide some sort of a perch, I cut the small end off a bed spring, and wired it in with the wire arms of the hanger.
For suet, I melted a pound of lard (use lard/shortening or fat that will stay solid at room temp) in a saucepan over low heat. After the lard was melted, I removed it from the heat and stirred in 2 C birdseed, a handful of raisins, ½ C breadcrumbs, and ½ C unsalted peanuts. Let it cool.
To ready the shells for suet, the outside hole openings were covered with tape, and for a little added measure, the inside holes were plugged with peanut butter.
Wadded newspaper was used to keep the shell halves level in a shallow pan.
Fill the shells with cooled suet and let them sit until the suet solidifies.
A super easy hanger was made by attaching a 2” metal ring to a 5” spring, and some bling on a jump ring to catch a little bird’s eye.
This rusty, country style wreath may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it looks right at home in my rural garden, so I’m sharing it just for fun!
While going through old garden magazines last year, I caught just a glimpse of the side of a tin can wreath hanging in the picture of a garden, so of course I felt the need to make one. I threw a bunch of dog food cans in a tub of water to soak outside for a few weeks and start the rusting process.
After dumping the cans to dry, I creased them in the center with the side of my foot, and drilled a ½” hole through them.
I used twenty eight, 22 oz. cans for my wreath, and a 5 ft. length of heavy fencing wire. Cans are heavy, my wreath still sagged a bit, but the fencing wire helped it hold a circular shape.
A small loop was bent in one end of the wire to hold the cans as they were threaded on. I did a pattern of three as I threaded .. two with the crease one way, them flipped the third, but they can be put on any way you want.
After all the cans were threaded on, the wire was cut close to the end, a hook was shaped to go into the loop, and squeezed tight.
That’s it, easy peasy.
My wreath has been hanging in the garage for the last year, out of sight, out of mind, until now. An awesome find of a big bird nest, dislodged from one of our pines during a recent thunderstorm, prompted me to adorn my wreath with Mother Nature and hang it in the garden. A step out to the gravel road provided a few stones for makeshift eggs; a little surprise for my four year old granddaughter when she sneaks a peek … she’ll be delighted!
I love the look of rustic art in the garden, don’t you? Being a collector of lots of glass things, wire scraps, rusty junk, and all kinds of tidbits, I’m excited when I can gather some of my pieces that all work together, and make something eye pleasing for mine.
With salvaged art, there’s no rules, right or wrong, that’s the fun of it. Just do what works best for you.
Duplicating the items I used is not feasible, I know, but, I wanted to share some tips and tricks I used in hopes of spurring inspiration for fellow creatives.
I asked my husband to save a pile of heavy springs when they showed up as salvage last fall. I’ve walked past them 100’s of times and always had the same thought; I’m gonna make a wreath out of one of those someday. I knew there was a metal flower collecting dust in the garage that would look great on one, I just never got going on it.
Recently, I was breaking down some bottles for other projects when the idea of glass leaves popped into my head… that was it, now it was time to make a wreath.
Tackling the heavy spring was the first step. It was about 30 inches long and wouldn’t hold a circular shape on it’s own. A length of heavy fencing wire was shaped into a circle and inserted inside the spring for support. The ends of the fencing wire were hooked together and squeezed tight to secure.
The funky ends were cut off of the spring. With the help of a screwdriver, a scrap piece of wire was wedged into the first end rings of the spring so they could be held open for wiring the ends together flush.
The barbed wire stem was cut from the flower, For added interest, a short, chunky spring was wired into the center of the flower. A long wire was used for this step so it could go through the flower and be used to wire the flower on later.
Pieces of a Captain Morgan bottle were used for leaves. I smoothed the edges of the glass with a glass grinder, but a piece of emery cloth, or a Dremel tool with a diamond grinding bit will work too.
Arrange the leaves and flower on the wreath, covering the wired spring ends. After deciding placement, wire the leaves on first with a thin pliable wire, then the flower, covering the wired ends of the leaves.
Take advantage of any small curves in the glass leaves to help hold the wrapped wires tightly. As an added precaution I glued chunks of glass, or washers, near my wires to prevent any slipping. Washers can also be glued between the spring and flower/leaf arrangement to tighten or brace an area.
The ends of my heavy wire leaf shapes were difficult to bend. I opted to attach a thin wire on one end of them, then thread it through under the flower and between other wires. Secure the wire to the other end of the leaf shape. Arrange and tighten until snug.
Before finishing up, I decided to add another glass leaf, used E6000 to add a couple interesting rusty bits, and tuck in one of my salvaged art blooms.
I do believe, this is just what that little corner of my garden needed!
I’m sure I’m not the only one using tomato cages, or garden fencing, to protect plants and new sprouts in the garden and yard. Rather they’re protecting from animals, grand kids, or an inattentive mower, they can sometimes stay put most of the summer. That’s what made me think of a large garden cloche; if you’re going to look at it for months, why not make it more attractive? And, no one else will have one like it … that’s always a bonus, right?
My garden cloche design got a jump start when I stumbled upon a pair of wire planter baskets at a local thrift shop for a dollar. The wire spacing on them was similar to a discarded air conditioner guard I had tucked away at home.
I quickly realized I could not bend and shape the steel AC guard to match the 14″dia. of the planter basket with just my hands. After searching around, I finally found an old milk can of that size to roll, wrap, and shape it around. I used bolt cutters to cut the length of guard needed, then connected the ends together by wrapping the entire length of the seam with thin wire, crisscrossing the wire at the intersections, for a smooth seam and firm connection. Cut the wires from bottom ring, leaving prongs to push into the ground.
Cut and remove the crossbars from the bottom of the basket. Once I cut them in the center, they just snapped off.
Spray both of the wire pieces black with an exterior paint recommended for metal. Let dry completely.
I gathered some odd lamp pieces and a short piece of threaded rod to stack and build a large finial to adorn the top of the upturned basket. One lamp piece (the base piece) will need to fit nicely inside the basket below where the crossbars were.
Spray paint the base lamp pieces black, let dry.
Beginning with the painted base pieces on the threaded rod, stack and build the lamp pieces. Leaving room for a small finial, use tape to mark where the threaded rod will need to be cut. Remove the rod to cut, restack the pieces, add a dab of E6000 to the tip of the rod, and twist the small finial on to tighten your pieces together firmly.
Cut back all but 6 or 7 of the wires on the top ring of the AC guard, these will be used to bend over the wire ring of the basket and hold it in place. Touch up the cut wires with black spray paint. Attach the basket to the top and its ready for the garden.
Kind of gives the garden a little majestic touch, don’t you think?
Aluminum screen guards – look at all those pretty scrolls! You may want to keep your eyes open for these my repurposing friends, they’re a treasure, and have so many possibilities, used whole or cut into smaller pieces. I’ve had a small pile of them hoarded in my garage for sometime now and recently pulled them out when I was making for the market event last month.
My first thought was to cut them into separate scroll pieces and make brackets by trimming them with thin wood pieces as in the finishing step of my last post. I haven’t found time to follow through on that yet, but did get them used in a couple other ways.
For pieces, we used a hack saw to cut the guard in half before grinding off the head of the rivets with a cutting wheel on a die grinder. Thank goodness my husband is much handier with a cutting wheel than I am. He got the job done smoothly and didn’t leave hardly any marks on the aluminum. After grinding, tap the rivet out with a punch if needed.
Scroll pieces were attached with small wood screws, in the holes already provided, to quickly dress up old boards for indoor/outdoor decor. If more holes are needed, I would suggest using a drill press. The one with the hooks is my favorite. The top board can be hung with the scrolls up or down, away or against the wall. The scroll piece on the bottom board is from an old mailbox; wouldn’t it be fun to personalize?
Two guards, with their side ends cut off, fit nicely into a couple empty window panes to make a flower box and decorative wall panel. To achieve an iron finish, one guard was first spray painted with Rust-oleum gray hammered paint, let dry, brushed with a black glaze, then burnished with #1 steel wool. The aluminum guard pieces each ran a different direction on these two projects. With no rule of thumb to follow on how to secure them, I did what was easiest for me. E6000 was used to glue short lengths of 1/4″ wood into the notch of the flower box guard, held tightly in place with tape until completely dry, then painted.
A notch was cut from a very thin piece of wood to fit over the painted guard on the wall panel, glued and nailed in place with a brad nailer, then touched up with paint.
Anyone eager to go scroll hunting yet? I know I’ll be toting home more if I come across them while out gathering this summer. Don’t limit your search to door guards, give those old picnic tables and awning legs a good look over too!
I’ll be back with an update on those brackets ……..