DIY Fall Tin Can Lantern

Fall tin can lantern

Do you know what’s strange? I don’t love decorations. I’ve always taken a realistic/pragmatic approach to holidays and I can’t find a reason to buy festive decorations just to keep them in a closet for the majority of the year. BUT I do love crafting and upcycling. If I can do them both at the same time, then I’m all over it.

The plus side is that if I make something festive, friends know that it’s out of character for me. Sometimes, they will ask if they can have the festive thing I just made. I’m more than happy to give it to them. 🙂

I digress… this lantern was such a fun project. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was sick a few weeks back and ate a lot of soup, so I have a number of tin cans just waiting to be upcycled!

This is an easy one because you probably have all of the supplies in your house already, except maybe the spray paint. It’s perfect for sitting outside as the sun goes down to provide some extra light and keep the bugs away. You could even make an adorable fall centerpiece out of these if you made a few.

Want to make your own? Grab the supplies listed below and keep reading!

Quick tip: if you want the avoid the hammered look, fill your can with water and put it in the freezer for a few hours before you get started. The ice will help the can keep it’s shape.

tin can fall lantern supplies

Upcycled lantern supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 


Leaf art on tin can

Step 1: tape leaf clip art to the can

Tape your leaf printout to your tin can.

hammered tin can fall lantern

Step 2: create a leaf outline

Pick a point on your leaf and hammer the nail through that point the can.

Continue this process around the outline of the leaf.

gold spray painted upcycled tin can

Step 3: paint the can

I used white spray paint to put a base layer on the tin can.

After it dried, I added a second splotchy layer of gold to make it unique and give it some flair.

Step 4: hammer out the imperfections (optional)

Now you can hammer the inside of the can to even out the surface if you’d like.

I chose not to do this step. Fall is all about change and imperfection. Here, in lovely Pennsylvania, fall is cold and everything begins to die. But somehow, its incredibly beautiful. I wanted to capture beauty with the colors and imperfection with the hammered look.

That’s it! Throw a flameless tealight or small candle (may I recommend apple cinnamon, orange spice, or pumpkin) in there and you’ll have yourself a fancy new fall candle holder.

I’d love to get your thoughts! Leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting! 🍁

DIY Planter from Upcycled Tin Cans

diy planter from upcycled tin cans

I have been sick for about a week now, which means I’ve been eating a lot of store-bought soup. Which also means I have a lot of tin cans.

Since I’m getting to the end of my sickness, I don’t have a lot of energy but still wanted to make a craft to lift my spirits. Creating something always makes me happy 🙂

What better to craft with than my new stockpile of cans, right? I like upcycling, why not? I’ve had a parsley and mint plant that’s needed a new home for a while, so I decided to go with planters this week.

I love this craft because most people have cans laying around and a lot of people like plants. Clearly, I’m not the blossoming flower type of girl based on my choice this week, but I do enjoy herbs. Whatever your preference, your plants can have a brand new recycled home.

diy tin can planter supplies

Recycled planter supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

tin cans with wooden feet

Step 1: add feet to your tin cans

Glue your wooden feet onto the bottom of the tin cans.

You can use any strong adhesive for this. I’d recommend super glue that is durable and waterproof. I love Gorilla Glue, but you can pick whatever you like.

Let it dry.

spray painted tin cans

Step 2: spray paint your tin cans

Spray your Rustoleum paint onto the cans.

In the link in the supply list above, I’ve sent you to a Pure Gold color, which I originally wanted but couldn’t find when purchasing. Instead, I got Gilded Brass which I like a lot. Your pick! Remember to choose an outdoor, or water-resistant spray paint.

Let it dry.

homemade planters from old tin cans

Step 3: repot your plants

If you’ve decided not to add holes to your tins for drainage, it’s a good idea to add the marbles people typically used in vases. It lets the water drain so your plants’ roots don’t stay too wet.

Now you can move your plants from their starter pots to their homemade planters!

Beautiful, and made with love! You can keep these for yourself or give them as a gift. Mine are going on my kitchen windowsill to soak up the sun. Maybe later I’ll make one for my office.

I’m also planning to make some hangers for them, so come back for that in a few weeks if you want to learn to make those, too!

I’d love to get your thoughts! Please leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting!

How to Remove Rust From Dumbbells and Weight Plates

rusty olympic weight plates

When my husband and I decided to buy a house, one of his only requirements was that it had room for a gym. Fortunately, we found a home with space. When we started buying weights, we learned that, to get a good deal, you sometimes have to settle for rusty weight plates and dumbbells.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to remove the rust. So, If you’re trying to get a discount on weights, don’t let the rusty ones deter you from buying them. It’s a smelly process, but totally worth it.

Follow the instructions below to try it yourself.

UPDATE 8/10/2019: we’ve been using our revamped weights and dumbells for over a year now and they still look as good as new! There hasn’t been any chipping of spray paint or re-rusting. I highly recommend this process.

Supplies needed to remove rust from weights

 My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

When we got the weights they looked like this. Not totally covered in rust, but they were not in the best shape.

steel brush the weights

Step 1: brush off the rust

Using a stainless steel bristle brush, scrape off as much of the excess rust and chipping paint as  possible.

Step 2: Soak the weights in vinegar and water

Pay attention to the recommended dilution ratio on the vinegar you buy. Use that ratio of water and vinegar and soak the weights for about 3 days.

I recommend keeping them somewhere you don’t have to spend much time because it smells bad. We did it in our garage.

Also, when you finished and ready to dump out your solution, make sure you pour it down a large drain and not in your yard. The vinegar will kill your grass.

Note: We used 4 bottles (64 fl oz) of vinegar. We also took some of the less rusty weights out earlier and got similar results. If your weights have a lot of rust, they will need more time in the solution.

weight plate after rust removal

Step 3: Dry the weights

Take the weights out of the vinegar solution and dry them really well. If they’re exposed to moisture, they’ll begin to rust again.

The olympic plate in the image above is the same plate pictured in step 1. It looks much better now. It has not been spray painted yet either! I was shocked to see the difference!

spray painted weight plates

Step 4 (optional): spray paint the weights

While not necessary, I recommend taking some extra time to spray paint the weights. We used Rust-oleum 2x Paint + Primer. It’s desgined to cover rust and it’s worked well for us.

For comparison, in the image above, the first weight plate on the right has been spray painted with Rust-oleum. The one on the left was just removed from the vinegar solution and dried. It makes a big difference.

When you’re done, you’ll have some fancy, seemingly new weights. And they look so nice! You can hardly even tell a differnce in the texture anymore.

weights soaking in vinegar/water solution

Look how rusty those round iron dumbbells were. Pretty bad, right?

spray painted York dumbbells

These are the same ones. I’m not kidding!

So, if you’re considering buying weights or dumbells for your home gym, don’t avoid the rusty ones. And if you’re considering getting rid of your weights because they’re rusty, don’t do it! Use this process to fix them up instead.

Hope you enjoyed this one.

Happy crafting!

DIY Tiki Torch Bottles

My husband and I just built a patio and I’ve been so excited to spend time out there! Unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of lighting and there are a lot of bugs, which doesn’t create the best experience after dark.

We talked about buying tiki torches, but being the crafter that I am, I save a lot of bottles and jars so I decided to use what we had to make some for our outdoor table.

It took less than 10 minutes to make them and they work wonderfully! If you’d like to make your own, follow the steps below.

Tiki Torch Supplies

Note: Pick a bottle that has a twist-off cap. The couplings won’t fit just any bottle so choose wisely.

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

Step 1: fill the bottles with torch fuel

If you’re using weights in the bottles, now is the time to add them (before the fuel).

Be careful with this step. The fuel is flammable and can easily catch fire if it’s near an open flame so be sure to keep it off your hands and clothes and clean up afterward.

Take your bottles outside or to the sink and fill them with tiki torch fuel through the funnel. (I used one as well but forgot to add it to the pictures.) This is the easiest way to make sure the fluid is contained at all times.

Step 2: Add the couplings to the wicks

There are two important things to remember when setting up your coupling and wick.

  1. When you twist on the coupling, make sure the side with the black rubber pieces are facing the bottom of the wick. These pieces keep the coupling from moving around inside the bottle top.
  2. Keep the wick less than an inch above the coupling. That flame can get big, so keep the wick short.

Step 3: put the wick in the bottle

Push the wick and coupling into the bottle and you’re done!

Now you can take them to your table, light them, and enjoy!

Tiki Torch Safety

I’m probably telling you something you already know, but bear with me because I want you to be safe while you enjoy your new tiki torches. Please keep the following in mind while in use:

  • Tiki torch fuel is flammable. Be careful with the bottles around an open flame.
  • In addition, the bottles you’re using are glass. Please be careful around the bottles whether they are lit or not. If they get knocked over, that liquid will spill everywhere and the bottle could potentially break. Consider purchasing a tin bottle holder or bucket to keep bottles from tipping over.
  • Don’t overfill your bottle with torch fuel. As long as the wick is submerged, the wick will light. It doesn’t need to be filled to the rim to get a flame.
  • Don’t leave your torches unattended! We’re talking about fire here.
  • When you’re finished, extinguish your tiki torches. You want to make sure the flame is completely smothered before you go back inside.
  • Don’t use your tiki toches indoors.

Goodwill Lantern Upcycle

Goodwill lantern upcycle

I love Goodwill. It’s like a goldmine with all its discarded goodies. Among these goods was this roughed up lantern. Look at the chipped paint and ugly flowers. Ugh. That has to go.

Goodwill lantern purchase

It’s definitely in rough shape but I knew I could save it, so i bough it… for $2.99! I immediately went to buy spray paint and headed home to beautify it.

lantern improvement supplies

Lantern improvement supplies

  • paper (optional)
  • pencil (optional)
  • scissors (optional)
  • razor blade (optional)
  • spray paint
  • old lantern

If you can remove the glass, the first four supplies aren’t necessary.

cover lantern glass with paper

Step 1: remove or cover the glass

If you’re lucky enough to find a lantern with removable glass, then celebrate and remove it because this project just became a lot easier. I spray painted the outside before I realized I could take the glass out. Duh!

If you can’t remove it, measure it, cut paper to that size and tape it on. You’ll have to repeat this on the inside as well.

 

spray paint the lantern

Step 2: spray paint the frame

Spray paint your lantern and let it dry.

Flip it and repeat until the whole lantern is covered.

 

Use a razor to clean lantern glass

Step 3: remove spray paint from glass

If you get spray paint on the glass, don’t worry! It comes off. Get yourself a razor blade, hold it at a 45 degree angle and, with light pressure, scrape away the paint. Be careful not to scratch it.

You might want to clean the glass before decorating it.

Goodwill lantern upcycle

Since it’s fall, I added some craft pinecones and turned on my flameless tea light. It’s beautiful!

lantern decor

Don’t pass up the “junk” in thrift stores. There’s a lot of value in the old and unfinished. Sometimes you have to rummage for them, but they’re there.

Happy crafting, and upcycling!

DIY Upcycled Halloween Candy Bowl

diy upcycled halloween candy bowl

Every year, the kids in my apartment complex get to participate in Trick or Treating. Unfortunately, we’re not home very often and Halloween is no exception. So, I always put a big bowl of candy outside the door and let the kids take what they want.

This year, I decided to upgrade my candy bowl by decorating a old dish washer pod container. Originally, I wanted to make a pumpkin out of it, but I couldn’t find orange Duck Tape anywhere. So, obviously, that didn’t work out. I had to settle with my witch hat decorated box.

If you’d like to make your own, follow the steps below.

 

diy duck tape candy bowl supplies

Duck Tape candy bowl supplies

  • scissors
  • witch hat outline
  • Dish washer pod container
  • Duck Tape (purple, black and green)

 

witch-hat-template

Step 1: download the witch hat

Right click on the image above and open the image in a new tab. Then click print.

You can choose to scale the image if you need a smaller or larger version.

 

black duck tape base

Step 2: layer on the black Duck Tape

Wrap the container with black Duck Tape.

 

Step 3: cover the witch hat with Duck Tape

place your hat on a flat surface and cover it with purple Duck Tape.

Then, peal it off and flip it over.

Begin cutting around the hat.

 

duck tape witch hat

Step 3: decorate the hat

Wrap a thin strip of green Duck Tape around the hat.

 

diy upcycled halloween candy bowl

Step 4: tape the hat to the container

Create tape rolls and use them to adhere the hat to the container.

You’re finished! Set your candy bowl out on the table out outside the door if you’re in an apartment complex and wait for the Trick or Treaters to come.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting!

DIY Bottle Cap Wreath

diy bottle cap wreath

As we sit here, me writing, you reading, I’m drinking beer. Most of the time, that beer comes in a bottle and I refuse to throw away those bottle caps. I figured I could use them for something. Lo and behold I found a purpose… I made a bottle cap wreath!

beer bottle caps

I have no idea how many it took to cover the form, but I do know it took about 1.75 pasta jars filled with caps. I counted the first row I glued on and there were 23. There are 5 rows, so I’ll guestimate around 115. However, I only covered the front half.

So, save your bottle caps and make something fun!

bottle cap wreath supplies

Bottle cap wreath supplies

  • sponge brush
  • bottle caps
  • black paint
  • wreath form
  • black ribbon
  • hot glue and gun

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

wreath painted black

Step 1: paint the wreath

Use the black paint to cover the wreath, front and back.

Let it dry.

Step 2: Glue on the first bottle cap layer

For the first layer, cover the front of the wreath by gluing on the bottle caps side by side. Make sure each is touching the one beside it.

Step 3: layer the bottle caps

Add a layer above and below your base row.

Then, add two more layers over top, covering up the space where you can see the black paint between each layer.

diy bottle cap wreath

Add a pretty bow and hang it up! You’re finished.

Grab a jar and upcycle those bottle caps so you can make fun craft projects like this one.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments!

The Craft Challenge

This tutorial is part of The Craft Challenge 2017. The ladies listed below are all contributors and have their own unique tutorial to share with you! Take some time and check out their September craft projects.

Links will be updated to their tutorials when their posts are available.

Emily from A Pop of Red: Burlap Flower Decor

DIY Gum Container Upcycle for Button Storage

As most of you know, I’m a big fan of upcycling. I’ve written many tutorials on how to recycle everything from 6 pack carriers and soda cans to mint tins. I try to reuse everything.

Today, I’m upcycling an old gum container. You know, the plastic ones that fit in the cup holder of your car? I have a few of them and I’ve found that they’re super useful for storing small things like buttons and bobby pins. They’re also really great for transporting snacks.

With that in mind, I’d encourage you to save all of your gum holders and use them for storage when you finish with them. This is just one of the many ways to reuse them.

 

Supplies needed to recycle old gum container

  • twine
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • gum container
  • scrapbook paper
  • hot melt glue and gun

 

gum holder upcycle project

Step 1: remove the labels from the gum container

Cut or peel off the labels.

Tip: if you have trouble getting the paper labels off, try using Goo Gone. The stuff is amazing.

 

Step 2: decorate the gum lid

Place a piece of scrapbook paper over the lid and press your finger around the embossed section to define the shape. Then flip the scrapbook paper over and cut it out. It’s usually easier to see the lines on the non-decorated side.

Glue the scrapbook circle to the lid.

 

twine wrapped gum holder

Step 3: wrap the gum container with twine

Start at the bottom and hot glue the end of your twine rope to the container. continue to wrap the twine and glue it every inch or so as you make your way up.

 

button storage gum container

That’s it! Now all you have to do is stuff it with buttons, or whatever small items you want to store.

How have you decorated your gum holders? Let me know in comments.

Happy crafting!

 

 

DIY Fall Candle Holders from Recycled Jars

DIY candle holders from recycled jars

It’s starting to get cold here in PA, and when that happens I get out my candles. They keep my apartment a little bit warmer and make the atmosphere more relaxing. Every Fall I do a few candle tutorials and this is the first one of the season. I know we’re not quite into autumn yet, but its about 64 degrees here, so it’s close enough for me.

I always save my jars because they can be used for something, whether it be craft and food storage or, in this case, candle holders.

If you have the jars already, that’s great! You will just need to make a craft store run for the following items.

fall candle holder craft supplies

Candle holder craft supplies

  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • recycled jars
  • white ribbon
  • lace ribbon
  • burlap ribbon (wide)
  • rope and burlap flowers

 

burlap ribbon

Step 1: wrap the jar with burlap ribbon

The burlap ribbon will be the base for the decorative wrap. Use your glue gun to adhere the ribbon to the jar.

candle holder crafts

Step 2: wrap the jars with white and lace ribbon

Glue the white ribbon around the center of two of the jars, preferably the smaller two.

Glue the lace ribbon around the larger jar.

Make sure your ribbons meet in the back where the burlap ribbon was glued together.

 

upcycled jar crafts

Step 3: decorate your jars with fall flowers

Glue on the rope and burlap flowers for the final touch of the fall-inspired candle holders.

 

DIY candle holders from recycled jars

Add the candles and you’re finished! Use them as a table centerpiece or set them on your windowsill.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Happy crafting!

 

 

If you’re looking for more craft ideas, check these out:

DIY Autumn-Inspired Mason Jar Vase

This fall-inspired mason jar decor is perfect for upcycling old jars and getting into the autumn spirit! Grab some jars, acrylic paint, burlap, white ribbon and flowers to get started.

autumn-inspired mason jar vase

Autumn Craft: DIY Leaf Relief Painting

Not into the jar crafts? Try a relief painting with leaves! This is just a fun project. In fact, it’s one my favorite crafts on this blog. Follow the tutorial to make your own.

DIY leaf relief painting

DIY Halloween Craft: Pumpkin Decor

You can’t get into the fall months without seeing pumpkins. If you’re a fan, try this cute craft. All you’ll need is some scented pinecones, a craft pumpkin (or a real one, whichever you prefer), a candle and a carving knife.

DIY fall pumkin decor with scented pinecones

DIY Sewing Box from a Cigar Box

diy sewing box made from a cigar box

My current excuse for a sewing box is a mini mason jar and it’s overflowing. I’m definitely in need of a bigger one so I was on the lookout for a way to make one.

My husband occasionally smokes cigars and has accumulated a few cigar boxes over the years. I won’t let him throw them away because I know I can upcycle them when I think of the right project. These boxes are perfect for sewing boxes because they’re spacious and sturdy (since they’re usually made of wood).

Grab the materials below and we’ll get started!

supplies for making diy sewing box

Supplies to make your own sewing box

  • nails
  • scissors
  • cigar box
  • Mod Podge
  • super glue
  • sponge brush

 

scrapbook paper cutouts

Step 1: measure and cut scrapbook paper to decorate the cigar box

Measure your box, or trace the edges, onto the scrapbook paper and cut out the pieces.

 

cigar box upcycled craft

Step 2: glue the scrapbook paper to the cigar box

Using the Mod Podge, glue the scrapbook paper to your cigar box.

Let it dry.

To protect the paper, add another layer of Mod Podge on top (after the glue dries).

 

sewing box craft Step 3: glue in the nails

Using the super glue, adhere the flat top of the nail to the bottom of the cigar box.  Make sure you space them out appropriately for your thread.  I tend to buy mini sewing kits so I left space for some big spools and some small ones.

Let it dry.

Slide your thread spools over the nails.

diy sewing box made from a cigar box

When you’re done, you’ll have a nicely organized thread box! Now I have to figure out what to do with the needles. As you can see, they’re just strewn about. Any ideas?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Happy crafting!