Category Archives: Containers

Message Board

A lot of people make message boards and I have ALWAYS wanted to make/buy/own one!  Unfortunately, I just don’t have the extra funds for something like this.  I also haven’t had an extra canvas lying around.  What I do have is cardboard!  For some reason I always seem to have plenty of it!  The nice thing about using cardboard for the backbone of this project is that it is highly customizable.  You can make it any size or shape you want!  I chose a decent sized, long, vertical board.  The original plan was going to have a contrasting frame in that fun polka dot fabric, but I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work.  I still wanted to use the fabric though, so I opted for pockets!

Materials needed:

  • Two or three pieces of cardboard cut to the same size (I used two)
  • Two or three layers of batting depending on how plush you want your board (I used two layers of thin batting)
  • Two contrasting pieces of fabric (one must be large enough to cover the cardboard)
  • Ribbon (mine is about 1/4″ wide)
  • Buttons
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread


  1. Use hot glue to attach your pieces of cardboard to each other.  Doubling or tripling the boards will give them more strength.
  2. Cut the batting to the same size as the board.  I used glue to attach the corners of the batting to the board, but this is up to you.
  3. Cut the main fabric to be about 2″ wider than the board on all sides.
  4. Cut any pockets as wide as the main fabric, but as tall as you want the pocket.  Make sure you leave enough fabric to have 2″ extra at the bottom of the board and about 1″ extra to fold over the top edge of the pocket (like a hem).
  5. Lay the board face down on the back side of the main fabric (the batting should be sandwiched in the middle).  Pull the edges up and glue them to the back of the board.  Make sure the fabric is taut.  Fold the corners under at an angle to make sure no loose edges will show from the front of the frame.
  6. For the pockets, fold the top edge in to prevent any loose edges from showing.  Glue them to the board just like the main fabric.  I have two pockets (one in the same pattern as the main fabric), but you can have as many as you want!
  7. Time for the ribbons!  Cross the ribbons over the front of the fabric and glue the ends to the back of the board.  These ribbons need to be tight or they won’t be able to hold anything.  The number of crosses you can fit depends on the size of your board.
  8. Sew a button onto each cross.  Make sure you go through all layers of the board with the needle to fasten it securely.  Don’t worry, it is surprisingly easy to sew through cardboard!
  9. Attach a ribbon to hang it and that board is finished!The two close up pictures above are of my husband and my older sister (Carter’s mom)…the pictures are goofy, but they’re some of my absolute favorites!

Linking up here:

monogram Keeping It Simple


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Filed under Cardboard, Containers, Decorations, Fabric

License Plate Key Hanger

Here is the last of our license plate stash!  I showed you how to use license plates to create a wine rack, but a motorcycle plate is a little too small for something like that.  Since moving in, we have been throwing our keys in a basket by the door.  This works, but when you’re in a hurry, it is kind of a pain to have to dig through the basket to find the right keys.  That’s how I came up with this idea for a key hanger by the door!  Husband achieved a lifelong dream last spring when he purchased his first Harley, so he is thrilled to have this motorcycle plate displayed in our home.

I apologize for the less-than-stellar photos of the license plate.  It is hard to get a picture of something that reflective!

Materials needed:

  • License plate (any size will work)
  • Thin piece of wood the size of the plate (Must be thick enough to handle the screws, but not too thick that it sticks out from the wall too far)
  • 2 screws
  • Screw in hooks (as many as you want)
  • Power drill
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Hanging kit
  • Metal snips (optional)


  1. Just like with the wine rack, you need to clean that filthy license plate!
  2. Use the screws to mount the plate to the wood using the two holes that already exist in the top of the plate. 
  3. Use the ruler and marker to draw small dots along the bottom edge of the plate equal distance from each other.
  4. Drill a hole an appropriate size for your hooks through each of the dots.  This is mostly just to get through the metal.  Be careful not to drill too far into the wood because the thread pattern on the hooks probably doesn’t match the thread pattern of the drill and you want your hooks to get a good grip in there!
  5. Screw the hooks into the holes.
  6. We chose to clip the ends off of the hooks to fit our key rings better, but this is entirely up to you.
  7. Attach the hanging kit as per the manufacturers instructions and hang it up!

Just for fun, here is a picture of our pooch enjoying the new (1975) bike!

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Filed under Containers, Metal, Other, Wood

Tea Canister

My sister recently found a really cool tea and spice shop in our local downtown called PA Dutch Tea & Spice Company.  I was so excited about all the impending loose tea I was going to buy, that I had to find some place to store it all!  I had just finished the tea in this box, so it was the perfect solution!  Yes, it was a tea box to begin with, but a very specific tea box and I was looking for something a little more general.  On a side note…my mom made my tea basket (in the picture) before I was even born.  Isn’t it fantabulous???

We finally visited the tea shop today (I painted the box about a week ago in anticipation!) and I loved it!  One whole wall of any spice you can possibly imagine and another whole wall of loose teas!  Flavors I’ve never heard of like Rootbeer Chai and Chocolate Rooibos.  I opted for Rose Rooibos and Mango Green Tea….heavenly!  They smelled so yummy, I’m surprised we didn’t buy them all!

Materials needed:

  • Canister (mine is metal, but plastic could be used)
  • Paint (I used dark blue, light blue, and white)
  • Paint brushes
  • Corks
  • Knife to make stamps
  • Mod Podge
  • Stencil for lettering (optional)


  1. Make sure you start with a clean canister.  This is what mine used to look like!  Not bad, but like I said, not the tea I planned on storing in there!
  2. Coat the entire outside with a few layers of your base paint.  I think it took three coats for mine to cover completely.
  3. You can make the stamps while you wait for the can to dry!  Use a knife to carefully carve shapes into the top of a cork.  I chose a straight line and a petal sort of shape.  I like the cork because it adds some texture to the print, but you can certainly use a rubber stamp!
  4. Once the canister is dry, use your stamps to create a pattern.
  5. Next is the lettering.  I free handed, but you can use a stencil or stamp or whatever else you prefer.
  6. Touch-ups may be necessary at this point.  You should do these before sealing your project in the next step.
  7. Time to coat with Mod Podge!  Make sure your canister is completely dry and then get to coating!  I chose two layers for durability.
  8. Add the tea!  Voila!

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Filed under Containers, Metal, Paint

Jewelry Hanger

I saw this awesome jewelry hanger on Just Thought I’d Share about a week ago.  This made me think about my poor jewelry hanging out in one giant ball in the top drawer of my dresser.  Most of the time I am too lazy or crunched for time to bother pulling them apart to actually wear something!  I’ve been thinking for a long time that I needed some sort of jewelry box, but I just hadn’t bought/found/made one.

Then I saw this fantastic idea!  A frame that displays all of your jewelry on hooks!  Like art!  Something to sort my jewelry and decorate my walls at the same time?  Fabulous!  I had to make one right away!

I immediately headed for my icky-looking frame collection and found a large metal frame that used to hold my sorority composites while I was in college.  The edge was starting to rust, so it needed some sort of refinishing. This is where I ran into trouble.  I really didn’t want to purchase anything specifically for this project so that ruled out spray paint or some sort of primer.  My first attempts at just painting over the frame with a silver acrylic were a definite fail.  Then I attempted some sort of refinish like my fabric covered frame from a few weeks ago.  Another fail.  Nothing wanted to stick to this ugly frame!  Eventually I settled on a layer of tacky glue and then fabric clamped down (with about 100 paper clips) overnight until it dried into position.  It still didn’t want to stick, but when the backing was added to the frame, it stayed in place nicely!

After my experiences, I would highly recommend a different frame (this was a pretty ugly frame to begin with) or a purchase of primer as the original instructions described!

I settled on old jeans to cover the frame and a scrap of a suiting fabric my cousin gave me a while ago.  This was a relatively easy project except for my whole frame fiasco!  I am very pleased with the results and wear my jewelry a lot more frequently!  I highly recommend it!

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Filed under Containers, Decorations, Fabric, Other, Other

Coffee Can for Coasters

My mom made me these fantastic map coasters out of a Martha Stewart magazine.  I absolutely love them!  Quickly, I found I needed a place to contain them to keep them from getting lost.  I have cats and these are the exact sort of things they like to hide places.  I found this old coffee can in my grandparents’ basement (the same basement I rescued Tiki Man from!) and thought it would be perfect!  It was relatively easy to make as long as you have the right tools.  It has become one of my nephew’s favorite toys as well!  It can be a drum…holds things…makes a pretty cool noise when dropped on the ground…all the things that are important to an 11 month old!  Basically, I have found it to be quite resilient!  I made this project a while ago, so I apologize for not having all the pictures.

Materials needed:

  • Clean metal coffee can large enough to fit your coasters (I’m sure you can use a plastic one, but I think the metal ones look cooler)
  • Permanent marker (optional)
  • Saw able to cut metal (and all the safety precautions that are used with metal working)
  • Metal file (optional)
  • Electric tape in fun complimentary colors


  1. Decide how tall you want the final container to be.  My container is about 2-1/2″ tall.  There just happened to be a ridge at this height, so that’s where we cut it.  You may choose to draw a line around the container to make sure you cut a straight line.
  2. Clamp the container down and start sawing!  My husband actually used a band saw for this part.  Electric toys are not my friends.  I have cut through a few too many extension cords.
  3. You may want to use a file to get rid of any particularly rough edges.  I skipped this step and went straight for the electric tape as it covers up the rough edges nicely!
  4. Wrap the top edge of the can with electric tape.  I chose black and green to compliment the rest of the can.  Thin strips of duct tape would probably work for this step as well, but I used what I had on hand.
  5. Your coaster container is complete!

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Filed under Containers, Metal

License Plate Wine Rack

Husband and I have moved quite a few times since we first met five years ago.  After our most recent move out of state, we were inundated with license plates.  With all that good metal, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, but what to do with them…?  We love wine and are quickly running out of storage for our favorite aging wines.  Brilliant idea!  A new wine rack!  It also showcases the personalized plate from the mustang my husband drove that first brought us together.  And no, I’m not that materialistic…I actually thought he was a chump when he told me to watch him “burn out of the parking lot”.  Ahh…first impressions…  Anyhow, let me tell you how I made it!  This project took a LOT of trial and error, but I have it all figured out for you!

Materials needed:

  • 6 license plates
  • Gorilla glue and clamps (this is optional, but I will explain more later)
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Electric drill
  • Short rivets
  • 6 pieces of felt the size of the license plates (I chose black, but you can use any color you happen to have)
  • Hot glue gun


  1. Wash the plates.  Roads are dirty…cars are dirty…your plates are probably filthy!
  2. Curve the plates so the short ends meet.  I used the railing on my balcony for a smoother curve, but you can bend them by hand if you prefer.
  3. Apply a thin line of Gorilla glue to one short edge and clamp the other edge on top.  Follow manufacturers instructions.  This should take a few hours to dry.  If you choose not to use the Gorilla glue, drill two small holes along the edges of each side and use a small rivet to hold the sides together.  Make sure the holes will line up before drilling.
  4. Once all of the plates are dry, lay them out in a pyramid.  Make sure the seam of each plate will be facing the bottom of the wine rack (unless for some reason you want the seam to show).
  5. Use a permanent marker to mark the edges of the plates at each intersection of the pyramid.  Draw a small mark on both plates at the intersection.  I have placed at star on each intersection in the picture below.
  6. Turn the plates on their sides and draw a small dot 1″ from the each end of the plate in line with the marks you drew in the last step.  It is important that you are precise with this step, so the drill holes line up later on.
  7. Drill a hole the appropriate size for your rivets at each dot from step 6.
  8. Line the plates back up in the pyramid.  Make sure all of the holes line up.  Use a rivet gun to attach the plates together at the intersections.
  9. If you chose to use Gorilla glue, you may want to reinforce the two plates in each bottom corner of the pyramid with rivets.  The rest will be fine because of the structure of the pyramid.  Drill two small holes on opposite ends of the seam through both layers of license plate and use small rivets to reinforce the seam.
  10. Roll the felt up like the plates.  Insert a piece of felt into each plate.  Use the hot glue gun to draw a small line of glue around the inside edge of the plates and press the felt into the glue.  Make sure you glue both ends of the plates.
  11. Load up your favorite wines and you’re all set!

A Crafty Soiree
Catch a Glimpse Button


Filed under Containers, Metal, Other

Book Cover

As a student, substitute teacher, and tutor, my schedule is all over the place and regularly getting worse.  After forgetting about a reading for a class, I finally decided I needed a day planner.  The selection I found at the store was really less than desirable – tiny spaces to write in, too much extra stuff (I really have no need to carry around an address book with me), or super boring covers.  Then I found this one…for $1.38!!!  Boring cover aside, it has everything I require (without any extras)!  So, I decided to make my own cover!  I bought this fabric a while ago and have been looking for the perfect project for it.  Yes, it is void of color, but it has a lot of character and I love it!

Materials needed:

  • A book in need of a cover
  • Fabric
  • Embellishments (ribbons, buttons, sequins…use your imagination!)
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine


  1. The first thing you need to do is test the flexibility of your book’s spine.  The measurements for the inside flaps will depend on this flexibility.  Open the front and back cover as far as they will go (be careful not to hurt the spine).  If the covers come close to touching in the back, you can cover the entire inside of your covers.  If not, you probably only want to cover half of the inside to allow you to get the finished cover on the book.  My book is spiral bound (a lot of flexibility) so I chose to cover the entire inside.
  2. Next, you need to measure the book to determine the amount of fabric you need.  Measure from top edge to the bottom edge of the front cover to get your height.  Measure the inside of the cover to the point you want the fabric cover to stop.  Multiply this measurement by two (for the front and back covers).  Close the book and measure from the side edge of the front cover around the spine and to the side edge of the back cover.  Add this measurement to the measurement for the inside of the front and back covers and you get your width.  Add 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ to both the height and the width measurements.  If your book has relatively thick covers, you probably want to lean towards the 2-1/2″ side.
  3. Use these measurements to cut out your fabric.
  4. Fold 1″ down on each side with right sides out and press.  Repeat with the top and bottom.  Fold the sides over to your measurement for the front and back inside covers and press.
  5. Now that you have an idea of what the outside of the cover is going to look like, its time to embellish!  I will continue my directions to include a ribbon as shown in my top picture.  This ribbon actually starts on one inside cover and continues around the book to the other inside cover, but you may choose to only decorate the front of your book if you want.
  6. Unfold all pressed edges.  Pin the ribbon halfway between the top and bottom of the cover.  Sew down both sides of the ribbon as close as you can get to the edge.
  7. Once you are finished embellishing, refold the side edges in along the 1″ line.  Fold the inside covers over the outside covers with right sides together (this will go against the ironing you did earlier, but it is only temporary).  Pin together along the top and bottom ironed creases.
  8. Sew along the top and bottom creases.
  9. Turn the cover sleeves right side out.  Open the front and back covers just like you did in step #1 and slide the cover onto your book.
  10. You’re all done!

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Filed under Containers, Fabric, Other