Friday, August 05, 2011

Dept. of Home Economics: Trash to "Treasure"

I've been working this week on some things I like to call "swamp yankee crafts," and it has occurred to me that my grandma would be proud since I am taking trash and reusing it. She liked anything that was gussied up for little to no money and was famous at the church Christmas bazaar for her crocheted toilet paper covers.

My first craft is a hillbilly basket. It was designed to go with a John Deere themed room at the Army Dude's house, so that's what dictated the materials and color scheme. I measured the length and width of the areas I wanted to weave fabric through, and cut the denim strips (from an old pair of jeans) about an inch longer. Then I trimmed the ends as necessary once I had them stitched in place.

I glued a piece of cardboard (cut out of a Triscuits box) to the fabric for the bottom to give it some support. I left the cardboard visible because, well, it's a hillbilly basket. If I ever do this again, I think I'll try using strips of thick paper (like magazine covers) and glue. Stitching inside a box was a pain.

My next swamp yankee craft was cat food can tea light holders. I got the idea of recycling cans by wrapping them with something new from Alyssa Watters, who was selling cans covered in prints of her original art at a caft fair earlier this summer (the Army Dude bought several). I don't know how I made the mental leap from that to tealight holders made from cat food cans, but as I'm sure you've realized by now, gentle readers, my mind is a strange and mysterious place.

I stripped the labels off the cans and cleaned them really well. I saved one of the labels as a template because I'm not smart with math and calculating circumferences due to the fact that the math area of my brain has been crowded out by show tune lyrics.

Next, I cut strips from magazine pages with pretty images and glued them onto the cans using a glue stick. Then I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge with a brush to create a lightly textured effect and let it dry.

I worked on these while watching a marathon of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It seemed like the right thing to do.

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