Craft Projects

DIY Yarn Tassels and Branch Art

I’ve needed a craft project in my life. I’ve spent a bunch of time cleaning up my craft room (which quickly becomes our crap room), and noticed that my work bench needed a little something. After perusing Pinterest and taking stock of my supplies, I decided to try my hand at making yarn tassels.

Tassels are super easy to make– the perfect, mindless craft to do while watching a movie or a preseason football game. Yes, I just finished this as we watch the Ravens preseason game, which started a few minutes ago. Can you believe it’s football season already? Me neither.

Anyway, here’s how I made the tassels. First, I took my yarn and grabbed the end in my hand. Then, I wrapped the yarn from my hand to my elbow, back and forth in circles, until I’d circled my arm 15 times. This created a good length of tassel for what I was looking to create.

Yarn1

Next, I took the yarn off my arm and cut at the top and again at the bottom. Now I had about 30 (if I counted correctly as I wrapped… and let’s be real, I’m easily distracted) strings of yarn about the same length as each other.

Yarn2

After this step, I cut a piece of yarn and wrapped it around the cut bunch of yarn, knotting it securely at the midpoint of the group of yarn. I also knotted it at the top.

Yarn3

At this point, I had an unruly yarn octopus. Time to tassel. I cut another piece of yarn and knotted it around the yarn, which at this point has folded in half over the hanger I just made.

Yarn4

I left a little tail of yarn, then started wrapping the long yarn around the yarn until it was at its end. Then, I knotted the end of that string with the tail I’d left earlier. I trimmed the leftover yarn and tucked the knot under the freshly wrapped yarn.

Yarn5

That’s it, folks. Each tassel takes a minute or so to make. They go really quick!

I had light pink, coral, teal, white and gray yarn, so I made tassels for a few days as we vegged on the couch. Then, when I had more than I needed, I grabbed a birch branch that I brought back from Maine last year and strung the tassel along the branch. You can easily go in and shorten the length of your tassels if they are too long by tying a knew knot and trimming the excess yarn.

When I had the branch filled to a capacity I was happy with and in a pattern I liked, I wrapped gray yarn around both ends and created a hanger for this new tassel art. Then, I hammered a nail into the wall above my craft room workbench and hung up my masterpiece!

DIY-Branch-Tassel-Art

How cute did that turn out!? It’s just the pop of color and texture my craft room needed. That teal wall had been empty for too long!

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Home Improvement

Renovation Station

So we randomly started a major renovation of our house. It is sort of how we work. I dream and plot and dream some more about what I want to do in our house, then we start one small project and BAM, it explodes into an entire renovation. It’s how we started our basement reno and our bathroom reno. And it’s how we started our current reno.

I just wanted to open a wall a teensy bit. Eventually we’d redo our hardwood floors, paint our cabinets, get a new stove and do a tiled backsplash. But right now, I just wanted to open the wall. You see, my step dad is SUPER handy and is moving soon. So I wanted to cash in on his handy man skills while he wasn’t crazy busy pimping out his new house. So a few weekends ago we took this:

Wall_Before_K

And this:

Wall_Before

… and destroyed it!

Wall_During

Knocking down walls = SO MUCH FUN and so cathartic. Have a bad day at work? Punch a hammer through a wall and tell me it doesn’t make you feel better.

For this project we needed to remove drywall, cut out studs, relocate cable, redo trim, repair drywall and patch giant holes in the wall. We also smoothed out part of our ceiling that had gotten a little wonky.

Here’s a semi-finished shot of the space:

Wall_After_k

It’s really nice to be able to see into our dining room. It took us quite a while to get used to it. I think we were both silently worried we might have made a mistake, but it is wonderful!

We have so much more space to walk around our table, which means instead of squishing in four people at a dinner, we can comfortably have six people in that space.

Here’s another almost-finished shot from the other side.

Wall_After.jpg

You can see the whole kitchen from here now! It makes the space feel GIANT.

I don’t want to spoil some of the other progress we’ve made in the house in the past month with the more complete version of the wall project, but trust me…. it’s looking sharp.

I will share one sneak peak of what else this mini reno inspired:

Wood-Steps.jpg

Check out those hardwoods, baby! You can pretty much guess what that means we are doing with the rest of the house… but I’ll save more photos until next time.

Huge shout out to my step dad John — we couldn’t have done all of the drywalling and mudding without you. Thanks for all of the help!

Craft Projects, Furniture

Crate table… finally

Remember this crate I bought 50,000 years ago? OK, it was really only 2.5 years ago. But that seems long enough to finish a project, amiright?

{A Smith of All Trades} Sweet wooden crate from Super Flea

I knew I wanted to do something awesome with this crate I found at a flea market in upstate New York, so I bought some hairpin legs and got to work. But my project stalled for, well, 2.5 years — I couldn’t figure out a top for the darn thing! I thought of glass. I tried a cabinet door and a tray. Nothing seemed right.

We were using the crate table as an end table for a while with the cabinet door sitting on top when my sister moved and offered us her end table. Hers was finished, mine was not. It was a no brainer. So I moved my crate table, cabinet door and all, into our basement bathroom. It had an awkward space that needed something, and I was hoping this could be it.

I really liked the way it looked, minus the door, so when we started getting snowed in last weekend and an idea popped into my head I jumped on it.

Here was the plan: I would create brackets within the crate and set a table top inside of it! Brilliant!

So, I screwed cabinet shelf spacers/brackets into the crate so I could slip a table top inside.

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Cabinet-Holder

They aren’t really supposed to go that way — you are supposed to drill holes into the cabinets then screw the brackets into each shelf — but it worked for this project so who cares!

Next up, I took scrap wood and started crafting the table top.

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Scrap-Wood

Before, I was hellbent on having a top that extended over the edges. As an end table, it made a lot of sense. I need a place for coasters and cups, remotes, phones, books — really any crap I need to set on the table while we watch TV and live in our faily room. But in the bathroom, I just needed something pretty with a little storage.

So I started to make a top that would rest inside the crate on the brackets. I measured three pieces of scrap wood, then trimmed them down to fit inside the crate. Once I got everything squared up, I used a nail gun the nail each board onto a board underneath.

Here’s the top:

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Unfinished-Top

And the support underneath:

ASOAT_Crate-Table_TopBottom

The crate is old. Old old old. So I wanted to ding up the top a bit to match. Then, I aded droplets of black stain, and even drew black blotches with my calligraphy pen to date the top a bit more.

Then, I stained the top using a mixture of ebony and walnut Minwax stain. I have no idea what type of wood this is since I purchased it so long ago, but dang — that grain is prettyyyyy!

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Stained-Top

Once the top was dry, I dropped it in to see how it looked.

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Top-CloseUp

… and it looks great! The crate is super cool and it looks awesome in my bathroom.

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Finished

The top easily lifts off by sticking your hands through the handles of the crate, so it is the perfect little storage piece.

ASOAT_Crate-Table_Finished2

Also, can we talk about the hairpin legs? I started this project so long ago I can’t find the pictures of the installation, but it was very easy. Simply screw it into the base of the crate, and voila! I didn’t seal them either, so they look worn, just like the metal on the crate.

On the whole, I love this project. It might have taken me wayyyy too long to finish it, but I am mighty happy with how it turned out.

If you find an old crate — or heck, even a new crate from Michaels — this is a great way to make a storage piece for your home.