So one of my hobbies is exploring old and abandoned places. Occasionally I collect trinkets on these visits, this pressure gauge being one of them. It very conveniently screws on and off any threaded pipe of the correct size. Once I got it home, I decided that I was particularly fond of the metered gauge face, and I decided to convert it into a clock. The front clear cover easily popped off, and the metal face comes off with the removal of some tiny screws. The heavy construction, or should I say deconstruction, came with taking out the insides of the pressure gauge. This is to make room for the clock parts that would be added later. This part of the process is dependent on sheer brute strength. Once you pull, twist, and bend the metal insides enough, they just sort of break off. I bought hands of the clock from Michaels. They run about $5, depending on the size. Make sure you purchase hands that will fit the diameter of your pressure gauge. There’s already a hole in the pressure gauge face, and by following simple directions on the packaging, you can attach the clock parts. The face simply reattached with the screws, securing it and the new clock in place, and finally you can reapply the front cover. The design of the base is completely flexible. I just bought a few different metal pipe pieces from Lowe’s, and played around until I got a look that I liked. These pieces aren’t too expensive, but obviously the more pipe, the higher the cost. Drill two holes in an old wooden board, add some stain I had lying around, and you have yourself a base.
The only part of this project that proves cumbersome is changing the clock battery. The cover has to be removed, screws unscrewed, and face plate removed to change the batteries.
So this is probably the easiest project out there. Buy any terracotta pot from a garden supply or home improvement store. These are usually pretty cheap, and prices will vary depending on size. You will also need some chalkboard paint. You can buy small bottles of this in any craft store, but I just go to Walmart. It will be in the craft paint section and usually runs less than $2.00. If you are painting a very large pot, I would buy a couple bottles or the bulk bottle of paint.
You can obviously write on terracotta pots with chalk as they are originally. However, I have found that the chalk is sometimes hard to clean off of terracotta, plus the black (or any color) chalkboard paint gives it a more finished look. You could use any color chalkboard paint to match the outside decor of your home.
Next, you just paint the outside and inside lip of the pot with the chalkboard paint. Make sure you paint far enough down on the inside so that where you stop will be covered by the soil. Don’t worry about painting the entire inside of the pot, since no one will see this and that would only waste paint. I do about two coats just to get a good thick layer of paint on.
Once this is dry, you can fill with dirt and plants of your choosing. I planted some cilantro. You can label these pots with your address if going on the front porch, a cute message, or even label the types of plants you have growing. You could even write important reminders, like maybe, “WATER ME!!” haha.
*Note – chalk does wash off in water .. So be careful when watering and try to keep the pot under some sort of porch or awning. Although you can always rewrite the message if it washes off.
So I was perusing an antique store a while back, and I came across these really awesome burlap sacks that were once used for coffee beans. These sacks are giant, and the resulting pillow seen to the left is from about half of a sack. Even so, it still turned out to be a very large pillow. I’m sure at the antique store the prices for something like an old burlap sack is well above its actual worth. If you’d like to say a good bit of money, I would check you local coffee shops, since many of them still receive coffee beans in this way. Since seeing the sack in the antique shop, I have come across numerous people who just seem to have these large sacks and were giving them away for FREE!
Anyway, the idea is fairly simple. You can wash the burlap sack first if you’d like. I would recommend it. Then pick up some cheap pillow stuffing, which you can get at almost all fabric stores and even most Walmarts. With making a pillow of this size, the price of stuffing it can add up. If you have some old outdated pillows, I would recommend using the stuffing from them, or purchasing a large pillow from goodwill and using the stuffing from it! This should cut down on the price, plus I’m all for re-using what I can.
All you need to do after that is to hand sew the top! Pretty easy eh? If you have a larger needle and some sort of thin rope, that would work best. However, a regular needle and thread will also do, but you may need to sew across multiple times to ensure the thread does not break and your pillow pop open.
Note* – Most of these burlap coffee sacks have interesting and unique writing on them. However, if you happen to find a plain one, stenciling on your own words and images in bright colors would be a great way to add a little something extra for not a lot of money!
This project requires some sewing skill and a sewing machine, but is still fairly easy. Babies in bow-ties are just about the most adorable thing ever, and I think this projects makes a wonderful baby shower gift. You will need a onesie, whatever color you prefer, which you can pick up from Walmart for about $2.00 or something close to that.
What makes this gift so great is the versatility. I made nine different bow-ties in varying fabrics. You can choose fabrics that reflect the personality of the parents. In this instance, the parents are Clemson fans and also enjoy hunting, hence the Clemson and camouflage fabrics. You barely need any fabric at all to make these little bow ties. You will really only need about a 10in by 10in piece of fabric to make each bowtie, which doesn’t amount to a very big cost as far as fabric goes.
To make the bow-ties, you sew each piece of fabric into a small rectangle. Size can vary based on the size of the onesie. You sew these rectangles the same way you would sew a pillow. You don’t even need to hand sew the rectangle closed if you leave the opening in the middle, since this will be covered up by the middle piece of the bow-tie. Next you will need the small strip of fabric that will cinch the bow-tie together, it will ultimately look like a ring. I just used a small dab of fabric glue to secure the fabric into a loop. Slip this onto the rectangle.
Once you have have completed the bow-ties, you can use snaps to secure them to the onesie. Snaps will allow the parent to easy change between the different bow-ties and also allows them to be removed when the onesie needs to be washed. Hand sew the back side a snap to the onesie. Hand sew the front side of the snaps to all of the bow-ties you have made. Voila’! You’re finished.
Looking for a fun way to jazz up a kitchen space or play room? Chalkboard paint is a very inexpensive way to do this. It’s great for entertaining kids of all ages. You can buy chalkboard paint at any place that sells paint, Lowe’s, Home Improvement, even Walmart. Just tape off an area of wall, any size and shape you want. You could even change it up and do a couple circles low to the ground for kids to draw things on. At our house, we just have a large rectangle section of chalkboard in our eating area.
If you like art but don’t feel like buying it, draw your own. You can change up the style from week to week and even change the design for holidays and big events like birthdays, anniversaries, and going away parties. If you are into the more practical side of things, kids can use it for homework, or make a small one in the kitchen to keep grocery lists!
Unfortunately, I am not teaching anyone how to knit with this blog post. I’m not very good at explaining it, but there are a lot of sites online that go into great depth about knitting how-to’s. You can do many different patterns and use different types of yarn. Once you learn the basics however, this poof hat is extremely easy to make. You basically knit a rectangle, which you fold in half to make something that looks like a square. The long sides of the rectangle fold in half, becoming the sides seams of the hat once you sew them up. The short sides of the rectangle become the open sides of your hat. The two short side length should total the circumference of the baby’s head. If you measure from the baby’s forehead to the base of the back of the head, that should be the length of the long side of your rectangle. After you fold the rectangle in half and sew up the sides, you will have two points at the top of the hat. You can make poof balls out of the same yarn (you can google how to do this, it is very easy) and sew these onto the points of the hat. Knitting a matching blanket it quite easy. You can make it any size, shape, or pattern you’d like.
A while back I published a blog about glass etching. All the “how-to’s” of that process can be found in that post. It really is a very easy process, using some sort of stencil and some glass etching paste. You can create stencils yourself using painters tape, or you can purchase the adhesive screen printing stencils from any craft store. These are great if you aren’t doing something too personalized; however, a lot of times they will make you buy an entire kit along with the stencils. I tend to make my own with painters tape and a print off of my design, since I’m not made of money (again specific how-to’s of this process can be found in the last post about glass etching).
I think beer mugs (or root beer mugs for the younger crowd) make a great manly present. I made some for my brother, dad, and my guy friends as well. You can put their initials, sport’s team name, and sport’s team logo on the mug. If you are doing these for a younger group of boys, perhaps for a themed birthday, you could etch the letter of the child’s first name, along with an image related to the party theme, maybe a cowboy, lasso, or some sort of cinema image if it’s for a movie night sleepover party! There’s really no limit to what you could put on them. I bought these mugs at WALMART for about 97 cents each! They come in a large and small size. They also sell mason jar glasses with handles, which would also be fun to etch as a present. The etching cream I always tend to have stocked in my craft box.