Gift Ideas

DIY: Jewelry Tree

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I love branches, especially as accents and I once saw a designer spray paint gigantic branches in a hot coral color, and place them in an urn on top of a piano in a very grand living room, it was stunning.  While this look is a bit over the top for some, I have always wanted to spray paint branches to make them sculptural.  So I was pruning my wild oak tree last weekend.  It should be no surprise that I decided to use one of the Charlie Brown branches to make a jewelry holder.

Here’s a peek:

 

 

I was inspired by these versions available online by Urban Outfitters.

I really am a Pollyanna.  I like to hang sparkly things in front of windows and watch the light reflect throughout the room.  So I decided to make my own version of a jewelry tree with a few supplies I had in my garage.

Step One:  Find the right branch.  Nothing too flimsy, nothing too heavy.  Find a branch that has both interest and balance.  You have to be Goldilocks and find one that’s just right.  Pluck off all the leaves and allow it to dry out for a few days.

Here’s my wild oak branch Before:

Step Two:  Build your base.  I asked my mister to create a base by cutting some scrap alder wood.

Step Three:  Screw the wood together on the bottom, then drill a hole into the top of the base with a drill bit.   Use spackle or wood filler to fill in any seams or gaps in your wood.

Step Four:  Fill your hole with wood glue, stick your branch in the hole, and let it dry for 24 hours.  Give your base a light sanding.  If want a rustic quality, then consider painting only the base.  But if you want color, then give your branches a coat of primer.

Primer helps to seal the wood.  Allow it to dry.  Use whatever spray paint you wish to give your jewelry tree the color you desire.  One tip:  Get up really close to the branches when you spray so that it almost drips.  Don’t spray from far away – it’s pointless and you’ll waste a lot of paint.

To give my base more staying power, I anchored it to an old square mirror with some silicone rubber sealant.  Lighter earrings hang on the more delicate branches, while the bigger branches support your heavier necklaces or bracelets.  It’s a bit of a balancing game, but it’s fun nonetheless.

 

I love its sculptural qualities, its wintery whiteness, and its organic genesis.  And I also love the fact that it cost me nothing.  Now I hope you’ll be looking at tree branches in your yard or neighborhood with new interest.

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DIY: Recycled Frame Jewelry Holder

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I had an old wooden frame that was in good condition, but the glass had broken years ago, and I wasn’t crazy about the gold finish.  Rather than replacing the glass, I used it to make a jewelry holder.  You’ve seen these done before, put together with an old frame and some screen or chicken wire.  I spied a pretty one at an Antique Fair last month so I was inspired to make one of my own, but I wanted it to be backed by pretty fabric.

 

How to Make a Recycled Frame Jewelry Holder:

Supplies:

  1. Recycled picture frame
  2. Fabric of choice
  3. Spray paint
  4. Screen, chicken wire, or ‘hardware fabric’ from your local home improvement store
  5. Wire cutters
  6. Box cutters or craft knife
  7. Foam board
  8. Hot glue gun
  9. Staple gun
  10. Hooks (optional) for screwing into wood frame

Trim your wire mesh with wire cutters to fit inside your recycled frame.

Trim your foam to the exact internal measurements of your frame.  You can use the cardboard that often comes with a frame, but since I didn’t have any, I used foam board, available at any craft store.

If you don’t like the color of your frame, then spray paint your frame in the color of your choice.  I chose a Rosewood tint by Rustoleum.  You can also spray paint your wire mesh for a cohesive look, if you don’t like the rustic quality of the metal.   I also spray painted the little hooks I used to screw into my frame for additional jewelry display so it would all be the same color.

 

While your spray paint dries, staple your fabric to your foam.

 

Once your paint is dry, use your hot glue to secure your wire mesh to the inside of your frame.  Then use more hot glue to secure your fabric covered foam to the backside of your picture frame.

 (optional):  If you’re using a wooden frame, you can screw your hooks into the frame for added display.

Display your jewelry holder anywhere you please.

 

 

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DIY: Paint Can Planters

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I came up with a great idea for a garden planter the other day as I was browsing the paint aisle of all places.  I spied a stack of plain paint cans and thought, those would make amazing planters so I brought a few home and with a little painter’s tape and spray paint created these:

I had a bare patch of fence in my rear yard that was in need of attention.  I really didn’t feel like painting it again, which is what it needed (ha!), so I thought I’d distract everyone with some whimsical decor.  And this was such an easy and inexpensive way to do it.

How To Make a Paint Can Planter:

Supplies:

  1. Paint cans, recycled or new.  Plain metal paint cans are available at most home improvement stores.
  2. Outdoor spray paint
  3. Painter’s tape and/or stickers for lettering
  4. Hammer and nail
  5. Hooks for fence (if you will be hanging your planters)

Step One:  If your cans are recycled, clean off the labels and scrape off any drips from the sides.  Spray paint your cans with your first color of spray paint.  Allow to dry thoroughly, usually at least 5 to 6 hours.

Spray paint your hooks and screws to complement.

Step Two:  Apply painter’s tape in your design of choice.  In my case, I wanted striped cans so I used the painter’s tape to allow for green stripes underneath.  Apply your second color of spray paint and allow to dry thoroughly.  When dry, gently remove your painter’s tape.

Step Three (optional):  Add your word of choice with simple stickers.  In my case, I spelled out the word “BLOOM” for my third paint can.   I also applied more painter’s tape to my striped cans so I would end up with a third white stripe, and then spray painted them with a third shade of white.  When dry, gently remove your painter’s tape and/or stickers.

 

Step Four:  Use your hammer and a nail to puncture drainage holes in the bottom of your paint can.  Use a soft cloth or towel underneath your can so you don’t cause any damage to your paint.

Step Five:  Add gravel to the bottom of your planter, then some potting soil and your favorite blooms. In my case, I chose Iceland poppies for their color, and I know they will tolerate heat and full sun.  Using outdoor spray paint will allow your cans to withstand the seasons, and the sun’s rays.

These painted cans will brighten any fence, deck or balcony.  They would also make an extra special housewarming gift – imagine them with a monogram, or the homeowner’s new street address !

 

 

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