Father’s Day is this Sunday — are you armed with a gift for dad? No? Well then, we’ve got you covered — from his favorite recipes (hot beer cheese and homemade pretzels — yum!) to fun, free printables and handmade gift ideas like this easier-than-it-looks dresser-top leather valet; whip up a surprise for your dad just in time for Father’s Day celebrations.
Ready to make your own? Get the complete step-by-step instructions>>
Not only is this monogrammed leather valet easy to craft, you probably have most of the materials on hand like an old frame, some batting or foam and a spare bit of leather – this is a great project for upcycling a past-its-prime jacket or purse. The steps are simple, just disassemble the frame then use the backing as a template to cut out a small piece of leather and batting. Place the leather, suede side up, on top of the batting and secure it in the frame with strong tape.
I used an old trick from college printmaking classes to create removable registration marks on painter’s tape that would help me find the tray’s center before placing the adhesive stencils (these things are awesome, btw, you can find them with the glass-etching supplies at your local craft store). Fill in the stencils with a permanent marker and voila — a handy catch-all for dad to keep his keys, change, watch and anything else he needs to grab on his way out the door.
Crafting this handy DIY gift for dad is easy — but be sure to check out my complete step-by-step instructions for a materials list and lots of helpful tips first>>
When I say “budget beach cottage,” I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie. Upcycling is far from the latest trend in my family — if we can find a way to repurpose or reuse something, we will. Check out our beachy kitchen, living room, candles and built-in bookcase transformations to see what I mean.
Enter a plain-Jane, oak-framed mirror my sister and I bought at an estate sale intending it to serve as a vanity mirror for the hall bath. The rounded shape of the frame reminded us of a ship’s port hole and at just $5, the price was right. Sadly, the wood-framed mirror was too small for the bathroom — but it was just the right size for a narrow wall in the master bedroom. We hung it but the stained oak frame just wasn’t doing it for us. Luckily, my 18-year-old nephew found an old boat cleat at a yard sale for just 50 cents (clearly he’s been well instructed in the ways of the bargain-hunting force) and that was the inspiration we needed to wrap the frame in rope and “tie it off” to the cleat.
And … voila! Here’s our once plain-Jane mirror after its nautical makeover: Ready to make your own? Get the complete step-by-step instructions>>
Covering the frame is easy; the key is to start on the inside of the frame and really secure the first few rows with a super-strong epoxy (like Gorilla Glue) to prevent the remaining rows from shifting. Once you have a solid start, you can switch over to just tacking the rope with brads every few inches.
And … inevitably when you’re taking photos in a small beach house with 5 nosy little dogs around (2 are mine and 3 are my sister’s) you end up with quite a few shots featuring a cute pup in the pic. Everyone, meet my sister’s furry little shadow, her 6-lb rescued Yorkie, Gracie:
Giving a blah mirror a coastal makeover is easy — but be sure to check out my complete step-by-step instructions for a materials list and lots of helpful tips first>>
*Three years later, the beach house is still a work in progress, keep checking back for more thrifty transformations.
MORE BEACH HOUSE MAKEOVERS:
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Built-In Bookcase
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Kitchen
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Living Room
Adventures in Antiquing: Easy Beachy Candle Update
Today’s crazy craft material was a suggestion from commenter DBB, who asked: “Can you show us some crafts with refurbishing old picture frames?” Well, DBB, it’s taken me a bit of time to work my way through my list to get to your request, but I think my finds were worth the wait. (Hopefully you will, too!)
MORE FUN IDEAS FOR EMPTY FRAMES
Belts, like shoes, can make or break an outfit. In the right context, worn leather belts can look rugged and cool. And in the wrong context? Downright shabby. But did you know you can turn shabby old belts into something shabby chic for your home? Take a peek at these leather belt crafts, then get ready to buckle down and make a few for yourself.
SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH LEATHER BELTS
Happy May Day everyone! I can’t believe it’s already the first day of May, crazy. The tradition of hanging May Day baskets on neighbors’ doors has faded in America, but I’m hoping to revive it with inspiration from sosorosey’s upcycled baskets. She uses fabric from old sheets and shirts to create these vibrant baskets and other goodies.
I may have to hang one of these on Channing Tatum’s door. Maybe he’ll chase me for a kiss…maybe.