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Friday 3 October 2014

DIY - Metallic candle holders

What to do: 
Step One: Mix plaster according to the directions on the package. Only prepare an amount of plaster that you can use within 10 minutes of mixing, or it will harden before you can use it all.

Step Two: Spray the inside of the cups with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure the widest diameter of the cup is larger than the diameter of the candle you plan to use.

Step Three: Fill the insides of each cup you are using with the plaster. Fill each cup in sections, tapping the bottom of the cup on the table periodically to remove any trapped air that will create bubbles- unless you like the look of bubbles, that is. Try to keep the top of the plaster smooth, which is easier to do with plaster that has been freshly mixed and hasn't begun to set up yet.

Step Four: After the plaster has set up (wait about 20 minutes, but follow the directions on the plaster package), slice open the side of the cup with an X-acto blade and peel it off of the plaster form.

Step Five: If the top of the cup is not perfectly level and smooth, then use a serrated knife to scrape it into a nice level surface. Moved the knife in a radial motion.

Step Six: Mix up a small batch of plaster and use it as glue to connect the two pieces together at their smallest end. Use your finger to glob and smooth plaster over the sides to cover the grooves left by the cup, to disguise where the two pieces were connected, and to hide air bubbles and give the sides a little extra texture.

Step Seven: Before the skim coat of plaster has set up, use a wet sponge to smooth it out as nicely as you can get it. You have to work quickly in steps six and seven because the plaster is drying as you work.

Step Eight: After the plaster has completely dried, use a sanding screen or sand paper to smooth it out. Fine grit sandpaper will not work for this, because the plaster will clog it up immediately and render it useless. A sanding screen is probably best.

Step Nine: Follow the instructions on the plaster package for how long you should wait until the plaster has completely set up, and then do a final sanding and wiping down of the candle stand. Then, in a well ventilated area while wearing an air filtration mask, cover the candle stands with a few very light coats of primer and then a few light coats of the paint you have chosen. Do not try to get too much coverage out of each coat of paint, or it will leave drip marks. Patience is key.

(Optional) Step Ten: Once the paint has dried. Paint the candle stand with a light coat of black craft paint, and rub it off with a paper towel. It will leave paint in the textured areas and give the candle holder a nice patina, if that's a look that you enjoy.

The beauty of using disposable cups as a mold is that depending on what kind of cups you use, you can create all kinds of shapes and sizes to mix and match your candle arrangement. You can make them into dramatic votive stands too by inserting a small votive holder into the top before the plaster dries.  

What you need:
- 2 plastic cups with bottoms the same size
nonstick spray
- plaster of paris
- water
- small sponge
- sand paper and/or sanding screen
- mixing bowl
- spatula
- X-acto blade
- serrated knife
- primer + paint

Estimated time needed: 1 hour 30 minutes plus drying


DIY - Make your own leather magazine holder

What to do:  
1. First you’ll want to cut (or have the lumber store cut) your dowel rods and your wood sides to the appropriate sizes. 

2. Take your small bowl and trace half the bowl at the bottom of the wood side piece. Trace the entire bowl 4" above the top of your bottom half circle and draw a straight line from the sides of the circle to the top of the wood piece. 

3. Use a jigsaw to cut the shapes from your side piece. Make sure that your board is secure so it doesn’t move at all while cutting.

4. Once your shapes are cut, trace the finished side piece onto your uncut second side piece and cut those shapes out as well. 
5. Then make holes for the dowel rods. Using a pencil, make a mark in each corner 1.5” from the top or bottom of the boards. Place a scrap piece of wood underneath and use a 5/8" paddle bit to drill a hole at each of those marks. Just drill until the point of the bit pokes through to the other side and then flip the board and finish drilling that hole from the other side (this will give you a cleaner edge).

6. Once your shapes are cut and your dowel holes drilled, sand off any rough edges and apply your stain evenly on all your wood pieces with a cotton cloth. Allow the stain to fully dry and add another coat if desired. 

7. While the stain is drying, use a rotary cutter (or an X-Acto knife or fabric scissors) to cut your leather to the appropriate size. 

8. Once the size is cut, make a paper template that is 6” x 8” and center it 2” from the end of each of your sides. Cut around this template with an X-Acto knife (you can use masking tape to keep it in place while you cut). 

9. Place some fabric glue on the inside of the leather about 1” from the outside edges. Fold each side inward, lining up the cutouts, and allow the glue to dry (the glue helps keep the leather in place while you sew across the leather.) 

10. Using a leather needle on your machine, finish your open pocket sides by sewing ½” from the inside edge of your folded piece. Now you have an open pocket on both sides of your leather that you can put your dowel rod through to hang the leather piece on your wooden frame. 

11. Once you put your dowel rods through the leather pockets, continue to assemble the magazine holder by putting the dowels into the corresponding holes at each corner (with the dowels holding the leather at the top corners.) Pull each dowel slightly out of its hole and add a small amount of wood glue all the way around the dowel and put the dowel back into the hole to dry. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp rag and allow the glue to set. 

What you need:
- 4 16” long wooden dowel rods (5/8” thick)
- 2 wooden boards 8” x 18”
- wood glue
- medium sandpaper
- wood stain
- small bowl about 5.5" wide
- leather (real or faux) 13.5” x 42”
- fabric glue
- jigsaw
- 5/8" paddle bit
- leather needle for sewing machine

Estimated time needed: 1 hour 30 minutes plus drying


DIY - Make a flower trivet

Felt trivet. No sewing or gluing required. Connect as many pieces as you like to make bigger projects, too placemats, a runner, or sew two pieces together for a pillow cover. Download the pattern here.

What to do:
1. Download the pattern.

2. Then print out as many sheets as you need and pin them to a piece of felt.

3. Use a rotary cutter or X-acto knife to cut the slits in each shape. (Press hard to make sure you cut through both the paper pattern and the felt.) 

4. Then cut apart the shapes, adding the notches around the edges. 

5. Begin locking pieces together by pulling the arrow-shaped tabs through the slots from the back through to the front side. 

6. Connect as many pieces as you like. To finish the trivet, trim off the excess felt around the edges and nip the points off the triangular tabs. 

7. Make a straight cut, or round them for a different look.

What you need:
- rotary cutter
- X-acto knife
- scissors

Estimated time needed: 1 hour