How To Recycle Old Coffee Mugs #DIY #Project

It’s SPRING!

What a great time to freshen up the yard with a totally 100% free project using items we already had. re_up cycleDon’t throw away those cracked cups with broken handles!

We all know I’m a collector of things, whether it’s empty boxes (‘cos you never know when you might need one) or bathrobes ( I have about fifty of them) or seashells (of course!) — and all the rest: shoes, jewelry, books…

I’m also a breaker of things — like coffee mugs and wine glasses.

At any given time, I have half dozen injured/wounded/disabled cups that’re in various stages of rehab on tugboat man’s repair table.

He’s the BEST fixer.

I might wield a mean glue gun, but he has the patience and fine motor skill to join together broken pieces of china, another of his great qualities, I might add.

Most of the repaired cups and mugs aren’t really usable for holding hot liquid, but I’ve held onto them because I love them and they’re special to me…Hello Kitty, Yale Mom, and the ones with seashell motifs — I mean, how can I just toss these guys in the trash?

One fine Sunday afternoon, I felt the itch to start another DIY project but nothing specific came to mind — just thought I’d wander around until something sparked interest — then I discovered an old boat ramp behind our greenhouse (not sure what boat it came from). I’d seen this ramp for YEARS and overlooked it a dozen times. This time, however, I had an epiphany.

It’d make an awesome shabby chic plant stand for the coffee cups!

Now I needed to find something to lean it up against, and chose a Brazilian Pepper Tree that we never really liked ‘cos it’s invasive, but it’s been here since the house was built, and the birds like it — because of that, so far it’s been spared. You can’t really grow anything under it (that’s only one of its problems) and the roots protrude and are gnarly.

Think Oklahoma dust bowl. Think Grapes of Wrath. That’s exactly what that neglected little area brings to mind. It was time to render a little aid and LOVE.

I filled the mugs with succulents that I already had growing in the garden.

View from the deck: A perfect location to turn into a bohemian hippie focal point.

coffeecuplanter3jupitersbeardI planted a square of Jupiter’s Beard from seedlings I propagated; it’s a drought tolerant plant with lush pink flowers — really easy to grow, and it’ll fill in an otherwise kind of ugly and barren spot.

I took a bird bath from the front yard and an assortment of other planters gathered from the garden and clustered them all together to create visual interest.  The worn and broken tiles add to the shabby chic feel.coffeecupplanters

Bonus upcycle DIY: Turn an old hat into a planter by cutting off the frayed brim and attaching twine. So simple to set inside a pot of colorful flowers; hang and enjoy!
coffeemugplanter1

You can never have too much aloha spirit!

Share your best up/recycle #DIY project.

DIY Craft Project: Jazzed Up Animal Print Wedges

What could be better than marrying my love for shoe shopping with a little craftiness?

I found these cute Toms wedges on sale at Nordstrom Rack.tom1

The FIRST thing I did was to remove the Toms label from the heel area of the shoe.

Unless it says Chanel or Dior or Versace or even Kate Spade, I’m not doing any free advertising for anyone.

Plus, to me, TOMS label/logo is ugly. A whole lotta negative valence happening, if you understand those types of dynamics. (I’m aware he does good things with the One for One giving back campaign.)

I studied the shoes for a while, pondering the shape and colors and textures and found them to be a bit lacking in style.

Hmmm, what could I do to jazz ’em up a bit?

Pearls didn’t seem right, nor did seashells, but then I remembered I had a container of wooden beads — natural, organic, and elemental.

Almost everything can be improved upon, right?

PERFECT!Toms2

It was so easy, you MUST try this! My tugboat man thought I bought them this way.

All I did was string three beads and relace the wedges.embellishshoe2Why three beads? Because that’s how many fit the space. Two wasn’t enough, and four was too much. Three beads were just right.
embellishshoe1

Love!tomshoes2

Too easy, right? And that simple embellishment totally transformed rather bland shoes into fashion-forward and UNIQUE animal print wedges. They’ll totally rock with skinny jeans and a flowy, gauzy top, don’t you agree?

Toms3See?

PERFECTION!

Right now, I’m going to go crazy with my other lace up shoes and garnish them with jewels, pearls, and beads. I get all obsessed that way…

I’m a happy girl.

 

A Fashionista Rejuvenation

Try this simple embellishment for any new or old sweater.

This is the easiest-in-the-world DIY project. Trust me.

I bought a plain white sweater at Target but I needed to jazz it up a bit Princess Rosebud-style ‘cos it was just a tad too dull and ordinary for a Princess, ya know?

I stripped off (and saved) the plain buttons
AND just noticed the uneven ribbing on the bottom.
Ya get what ya pay for, right?

sewing button

…and replaced them with inexpensive sparkly rhinestone ones.
I added a special bead button at the bottom for a little extra texture and shine.

sewing button1

Some of the button holes were a bit larger than the new buttons;
all it took was a few stitches to make it fit nice and snug.
sewing button2

The finished product, although not a very good pic.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph white?
Quite the challenge for a non-pro to capture the sparkle, too…

sweaterbuttons

 

sweaterbuttons2Now I have a sweater worthy of fashionista royalty.
I hope you can find a tired old sweater in your closet and bring it back to life, too!

DIY Part Two: Outdoor Swing Canopy Sewing Project

closeupcushionDo-it-yourself…This is the second part of the project — I recovered the torn cushion — click HERE for that DIY post.

After that refurbishment, it was clear that I needed to find a way to create a matching canopy. There was no way I could be satisfied with two different patterns and color schemes.

There are tons of online tutorials, but I decided to freestyle it — I took a bunch of measurements and went back to JoAnn‘s Fabrics.

For the top of the canopy, my tugboat man suggested a solid color — lime green — that would coordinate with the stripes, which I thought was a surprisingly good idea because, well, because he’s a man and is marginally color blind, or at least color apathetic.

First I cut and pinned the striped material to the top; then I hemmed all the raw edges; repinned, and sewed it all together. It was sooo difficult to work with that much canvas material, especially the way it bunched up on the sewing machine, but I persevered because I’m stubborn that way.

It feels good to try new things, but I’ll definitely NOT take on this project again!

The corners were tricky…but from far away it looks fine!
swingcanopycloseup

Under the shade of a non-fruiting mulberry tree…with an orange orchid photobombing the picture.

swing canopy

It looks great if you don’t get too close…matching up the stripes is always a challenge; one side’s perfect — the other not so much. Oh well…

swingcanopy2

What do you think? Have you ever tackled a job or a project even though it’s incredibly difficult? Were you proud of yourself for meeting the challenge or did you give up before it was completed?

#1 Thing NOT to do with your husband if you want to stay married

I’m talking about taking him to Michael’s Crafts. After going to the gym this morning, I needed wanted to go to Michael’s to look at picture frames (that’s just what I told him, I really wanted to look at everything, and I do mean everything) for a print he brought back from Puerto Rico of an antique map of all the islands. I had the pic with me (as my prop) and he decided he didn’t want to just sit in the car because for some reason or another he believed that I spoke the truth when I said that I just wanted to look AT ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY. He actually thought that I planned to walk in a craft store and aim for the frames, get the proper size, and depart. Is he living on another planet? Hasn’t being married to me for almost twenty years taught him anything?

First I said,

“Oh, I’m not sure exactly where the picture frames are.”

(Lie)

“How about we look down here?” “That’s obviously not it, but aren’t those Hello Kitty playing cards totes adorbs?”

“Hmm, maybe we should try over there, that looks like it might be…wow, Chirstmas decorations already?”

Shiny objects tend to have an almost hypnotic effect on me.

“What were we in here for again?”

“Right, picture frames…here we go.”

“Oops, sorry, we seem to be in the scrapbooking area, let’s try that other aisle.”

“Oops again, now we’re stuck in the bead area.

OMG, look at that turquoise. Look at the rhinestones.”

“Hey, where d’ja go?”

“No, I had no idea the frames were on the opposite side of the store.”

“What did you say?”

“Do I plan to go up and down every single damn blank blank aisle in this blank blank store?”

“Welllll…to be perfectly honest, YES!!! You can’t really expect me not to; it’s intoxicating in here.”

“I. Am. Not. Your. Girlfriend.”

“I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD EITHER GET A PICTURE FRAME OR WALK OUT OF THE STORE. NOW!”

“Geez, don’t have a cow.”

I quickly (and by that I mean leisurely) looked up and down each frame aisle, TWICE, and did not find the one that made me happy, so we left.

Hee hee.