Tag Archives: Simple

UPcycled Buttons

September 2, 2014

This past month, Family Fun magazine invited readers to take part in their “Top This” Challenge. The goal is to “top” the craft developed by the magazine using some common, household item. For the August challenge, the item was buttons.

The kids and I mulled over what to do when it occurred to me that the button itself could be the craft! I have been saving my bottle caps and thought, “What if we could MAKE buttons out of these?!”. Heaven knows we don’t need another excuse to produce millions of tiny plastic fragments sold for absurd prices. SO, here’s what we came up with…

Step 1: Gather supplies: Bottle caps, hammer, nail, surface to hammer on, paint and other decor (optional).


Step 2: Flatten front and backside of cap with hammer. Try to tuck in and flatten out sharp ridges on backside.


DSC09347 Step 3: Make button holes using nail and hammer.



Step 4: Paint over with acrylics, glue on googly eyes, or leave as is and attach to something. If submitting to a family-oriented magazine, I recommend painting over the bottle caps if they came from beer bottles.


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Step 5: Once paint is dry, use some Mod Podge or Krylon sealant spray to affix the paint.


Step 6: After sealant is dry, you can really do whatever you want. In fact, beginning way back at Step 1 you could really do whatever you wanted. Make magnets, a wind chime, have another bottle of beer to add one more cap to the collection- the choice is yours! My boy decided to draw Fire Nation symbols because he loves the old Nickelodeon Avatar shows and is convinced he’s a member of the Fire Nation.

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OK, so there you go! Take pride in the creation of your very own personalized buttons using things you already had around the house. Encourage yourself to take a moment to think about what you have and the great many uses for those things rather than dashing off to a super mega store to buy more for some silly challenge. The real challenge is about your resourcefulness and willingness to rethink uses of the many items around you.

Thank you for stopping by today! I appreciate YOU!


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Simple pyrography for beautiful, handcrafted gifts! Part 2

August 26, 2014

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of this tutorial where I introduced stamping an image onto wood as a quick and seamless means of design transfer. A technique great for the novice and expert alike! In the second part of this tutorial, I would like to demonstrate this technique on cork. Unlike wood or gourds, a woodburner on cork is like ink on paper, the cork burns quickly and the tip glides along the surface. It is a GREAT medium! 

Follow along to create simple, beautiful gifts for others or to add to your own home!

Step 1: Gather supplies: Brown ink, stamps, burnable surface (in this case, cork).


Step 2: Stamp image on the surface.


Step 3: Burn as you wish and admire your beautiful work! No kidding, that’s it! The coasters used in this tutorial are available for less than $1 each (look in the gardening/planter section of store). This project takes 30-45 minutes to create a set of 4 lovely coasters. 


Thanks again for stopping by! Please continue to visit- many more tutorials to come.

Have a terrific day, even if someone is rude to you or you spilled coffee on your new blouse and had to walk around with a huge brown stain on your top- know that life is a BIG and beautiful thing, and you are loved!  Focusing on the big picture helps get through the small stuff- and it’s (pretty much) all small stuff. 


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Simple pyrography for beautiful, handcrafted gifts! Part 1

August 25, 2014

Hi! If you love to burn or are interested in trying your hand at it, here is a simple and fool-proof technique that works wonderfully!

In an attempt to reduce the amount of time it was taking to transfer images onto wood, cork, gourd, whatever, I thought, “What would happen if I just stamped an image with brown ink, then burned over it?” Well, what happened was complete success! Of course, this only works for images that you have in a stamp form, but it turns out there are plenty of great stamps out there with designs that are 100% suitable for burning! Think of borders, accents, etc. The sky is the limit! This technique will work on gourds and other curved objects, but works best on flat surfaces like wood and cork.

Simple Pyro Project, Part 1: Pocket/purse token

Step 1: Gather supplies: brown ink, stamp of choice, and burnable surface (wood in this case).

Step 2: Stamp image onto surface. Ta-da! Your image is transferred! No tracing, no smudging, just perfect text and image transfer.


Step 3: After you’ve transferred your image, burn right over the top. If you are new to this, a general rule is to start lightly and build up in weight as you go. There’s no lightening the line once it’s done!


Step 4: After you have burned over the image, you are potentially done depending on the goal of your project. I decided to add a bit of shine and sheen to my little token, so I mixed up some Perfect Pearls powder with Adirondack alcohol ink and covered the token in a beautiful gold coat. You may want to wear gloves.



Step 5: Allow this to dry completely. Because it is alcohol ink, this will be only a few short minutes. The gold ink will reduce the visibility of your design, so burn over the burned image again.


Now, put this in your pocket or purse or hand it off to another that may need a little reminder every now and again that the quality of one’s life belongs entirely to them and they are encouraged to make the most of that.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to leave comments (preferably nice ones) and check back soon for more tutorials!


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