Monday, 4 November 2013

Glitter Phone Case

After nearly four years with my old iPhone 3GS, it was time to move on. I think my old iPhone was making that clear by deleting all my contacts about every month. 

Getting a new phone also gave me the opportunity for a new craft. How terrible would it be to get a pretty new phone and put it into a boring, ugly case?!

If you haven't gathered so far from the items on the blog, I am a fan of glitter and sparkle. Here is a quick, cheap and easy way to make a custom glitter phone case. 

Items you will need:
  • Glitter - I used some fine purple glitter. I was able to find a pack of 4 colors at the dollar store. 
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge brush
  • Phone case - I like the soft or gel ones, as they seem to absorb shock a little better when I drop my phone (which happens more than I care to admit.) I bought this one on eBay for about $1. I would recommend a clear one, mine was slightly tinted, but a colored one could work as well.  
 1. Cover the phone case in an even layer of Mod Podge using your sponge brush, don't forget the sides.
 2. Cover the Mod Podge in glitter, spread it around in an even layer. Then let dry. Feel free to repeat this step if you have some bare patches or want a thicker glitter coat. I only used one layer.

 Note: some methods on the internet recommend first making a mixture of the Mod Podge and glitter and then painting that on the phone case. I had no issues with my method, just posting this as an alternative. 

3. When the  first layer of Mod Podge and glitter is dry, coat the phone with an even and generous layer of Mod Podge, and let dry thoroughly.
I would recommend turning your phone over and also doing the lip on the other side. I did two layers of the final Mod Podge layer just to ensure that everything was locked in tight. 

I am loving my new phone case, and it was so much cheaper than any case you could buy in store here. Mobile stores here sell basic cases for $15 and even more for pretty ones. $1 for the case, $1 for 4 colors of glitter, and Mod Podge and sponge brush that I had on hand. Would be a great gift for a friend as well. Christmas is coming...
Back view
Front view

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Refurbished Shelf

I had been looking for a little wall shelf to store some of my nail care and beauty supplies. I was going to place this beside my glitter top desk/vanity (link to that post HERE)

Let me tell you, finding a small wall shelf was surprisingly difficult! Kijiji - no. Ikea - none. Urban barn - nope. Umbra - nuh-uh. I was talking to my parents about it, and guess what they had in their basement?! 

This shelf was originally white, but with a couple coats of the same black paint left over from my desk, I finally had a place to put all that nail polish.

And the total incremental cost of this project - free!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Monday Inspiration - Lemons

My city has been having a rough time lately. We have had historic levels of flooding. 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes, including me. The damage is estimated in the billions of dollars. It has been 5 days, and I have still not made it back home, as there is no power. The downtown core is closed and most offices are shut. All this, and people are still hopeful. In that spirit, I wanted to send out a little inspiration, from something I saw on a pole in my neighborhood.

"If life hands you lemons, you paint that sh!t gold"

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Custom Coasters

This is a gift I made for a friend, and this project is perfect for a gift or just for your home as it is totally customizable. 

Below are the items I used: 
  • Cork sheet or cork tiles - I got mine at the dollar store
  • Decorative top for the coaster - I used this thick sparkle paper also from the dollar store
  • Glue - I used Gorilla Glue
  • Exacto knife
  • Ruler
  • Pen or sharpie marker 
  • Spray sealant
1. Glue the cover sheet to the cork tile
 2. Measure out the coasters. In North America, the typical coaster size is 3.5"x3.5" or 4"x4". I used the larger size. 

 3. Carefully cut out your coasters with your exacto knife. If you have any rough edges, you can clean them up with a pair of scissors.
4. Ensure that all of the edges are securely glued down. I let these rest under a heavy book for the night to ensure that they dried securely. 
5. Spray the completed coasters with a layer or two of spray sealant. This will keep your coasters looking perfect, even after having drinks on them. 

You can get as creative as you want with these - use photos, wall paper, wrapping paper, or make a collage to customize. A personal gift that only costs a few dollars to make. If you are giving these as a gift, they are so beautiful they don't even need any wrapping paper, just a nice bow.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Spring Cleaning

Not sure if it is just me, but spring does feel like the time to clean. Spent a couple hours on the weekend cleaning my condo, much more thoroughly than I have done in a while. I am also going through my clothes to see which ones no longer fit or I don't wear to get rid of or donate. Something about the warmer weather and longer days makes me want to get out of hibernation mode and get everything in order!
Under bed storage
I keep my seasonal or travel clothes in large boxes under the bed. My set up isn't quite as fancy or mechanically advanced as this one, but it still works! If you are needing space, get yourself some large underbed rubbermaid-style boxes, or any box will do. One that I use is a Prada box a pair of boots came in!

I love buying cheap glasses. I get them online, and they can be anywhere as low as $7 a pair. Up until this month, I did not have contact lenses either, so it was always glasses. It was getting a little overwhelming to store them all in their cases. Also then you had to search through the cases to find the pair you were looking for.

Got this product at Ikea for $10. More than I would usually pay for something like this, but I feel it gets the job done and I hadn't found any other suitable alternatives elsewhere. 

Lots of places are selling these type of jewellery storage hangers, but I wasn't willing to pay $20 or $25 for one. I found this one on eBay and bought it (including shipping) for <$5. I still need to come up with a storage solution for my earrings, but this is a step in the right direction.

Looking at the internet can be dangerous for my wallet. Here are a couple of thing that I stumbled across that I want! 
Hidden charging station

 Happy spring cleaning everyone!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Monday Inspiration - Saving Space

While on the internet, I came across this fantastic concept. I would call it a couch/coffee table/ottoman combo. This has the unique feature of being able to fit together like the ultimate tetris to maximize your space. 

Some of the parts of this couch also even look like tetris blocks! 

While I don't think I would be able to find this set up on my usual kijiji or craigslist, I do think it is a fantastic concept. Perhaps something even worth splurging and paying full price for (the horror!). 

I, of course, would need to do the sit test to see how comfortable this couch would be. Some back and throw pillows may be in order to make it a little more livable, even if that throws off the modern clean lines. 

This is something I have talked about before in my Form and Function post. It is really about making the most of your space, however much space you have. When you live in a small place like me, it is those items that do double (or even triple) duty that are really worthwhile. 

Super smart piece. High five to the designer, whoever that may be!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Glitter Top Desk / Vanity

I used to have a small vanity table with a stool in my bedroom, that I painted and reupholstered of course. It had no storage, so I kept all my makeup and hair stuff under my sink in the bathroom. This was not very practical, so I decided I needed to upgrade.
I wanted a vanity for my bedroom, but something with enough room for all of my makeup, hair products, nail polish, etc. (And ladies, I am sure you know that can be a lot of stuff!) Researching vanities, most didn’t have the ample storage that I needed. I figure, why not use a desk and make it into/use it as a vanity.
I had been browsing my favourite spot to pick up furniture – kijiji, but wasn’t able to find anything that I was in love with. Was chatting about this with my parents, and they mentioned they had an old desk of my grandfathers that needed a home. And when I checked it out, it was perfect! (And the price even more so – FREE!)
Before picture
This desk was bought I believe in the 1930’s by my maternal great-grandmother for my grandfather. She thought if he had a nice desk, it would encourage him to study more. Wrong! (Sorry great-grandma!) But now this desk has been passed along to me, with a great story behind it.
Got the desk into my workroom (aka the kitchen/livingroom of my condo) , it has some water damage to the desk surface and a couple chips taken out of it. As with any furniture redo, start by deconstructing as much as possible. For this one, there was a rail on the back I could remove, pull out all the drawers and remove the hardware. Then, I filled in all the chips with wood putty before sanding the whole thing down.
Water damage on the top
Chip on the side
For my credenza project  (HERE), I had borrowed a friends mouse sander. I decided it was time to invest in one of my own, and for $30, it will save you a lot of time if you are sanding large flat surfaces.
Chips filled in
After I sanded down and cleaned off all the dust, I taped off the surfaces. I had a couple special ideas for this project. I wanted to paint the desk black, but have the inside of the drawers another colour, as a fun surprise pop. I had leftover wall paint from my bedroom in an Oscar de la Renta type pink that would be perfect!
After I painted all the insides of the drawers, then had to retape to paint the outside of the desk black. 
For the top, I also wanted something a little different. I have been envisioning a sparkly table top for a while, so I thought I would try it out. It would also work well for this project to disguise the water damage to the top of the table, some of which was still visible after sanding and painting black as it went pretty deep into the wood.
Rubbing glitter into the top (first method)
The glitter I bought at Michael's. If you are ever shopping there, use a coupon, they always have them. You can even go online and use it from your smartphone. Often they have coupons for 50% off an item of 40% off your entire purchase. Why would you not go online for 2 minutes to save that much?!
Now, I am not going to lie,  the process of creating my sparkly table top was not an entirely smooth one. There was some trial and error, but you guys can learn from my mistakes.
First method of application was to basically paint glue to the top of the table and then rub the sparkles onto it with my fingers. The glue I was using (Gorilla glue) did not enjoy being watered down, so I was using it straight up, so to say. This application technique worked pretty well, but gets the fingers quite messy.
Second application method, I tried mixing the glitter into Mod Podge and painting that onto the surface of the desk with a foam brush. I did not like the result of this, as the Mod Podge took away some of the lustre and effect of the glitter.
View of the top
Third, I was conceiving ways to cover the glitter, or to create a coating over top. Here I tried some epoxy – fail. This stuff was expensive, was not easy to apply, smelled horrendous and was messy (perhaps I am partially to blame there.) The worst part of the epoxy was that it created a glass-like finish over the glitter that removed all of the glitter/sparkly element from it. This I then scrapped off of the desk.
I returned to a technique similar to my first one to cover the desk completely. Or sometimes brushing on glue and sprinkling the glitter in a certain area that needed some spot coverage. I think brushed off the loose-ish glitter by hand.
To seal it all in, I used multiple coats of spray varnish. While this doesn’t give a completely smooth surface like the epoxy would, it lets the glitter retain its sparkle!
To finish off my fabulous desk, I needed some fabulous hardware! These were the most expensive piece of the project, about $6 per knob at the Home Depot. I love them though, they look like little diamonds, and really finish off the piece and add glamour.
Diamond shaped knobs
If you are thinking about doing a glitter or sparkle top desk, feel free to ask me any questions. I love the final result, and can’t wait to get my new makeup battlestation set up! Here are some pictures of the result: 

After picture - drawers closed
After picture - drawers open
Closer view