Hello, everyone! I hope you all are doing well and are ready for another Weekly Wednesday! This week--well, we are delving into what to do on a rainy, gloomy day when you're stuck in the house and can't go out--besides binge watching Netflix. I'm not a huge fan of gloomy rainy days. I love cloudless, sunny days when I can do stuff outside, but we all inevitably will have those days where we can't go outside. So, for this week's edition, I've decided to do a roundup featuring DIY kits I found on Etsy that you can get into instead of the aforementioned Netflix binge (I'm guilty. I'll admit it.) They've got some really awesome stuff, and I've picked a few of my favorites for you. Let's hop on in!
Item #1 is from PiccolaPianta
I saw this little terrarium and thought it was pretty darn cute (especially with the little bicycle). The kit includes: a 5-inch glass orb, a green airplant, a mini-bike with basket, 2 pieces of moss, a bag of pebbles, a bag of soil, a stick to poke around and arrange with, and a set of instructions and care sheet. I think pretty much anyone could handle this project and keep it alive--even us cactus killers (that's another story, and I'm pretty sure I'm not 100% responsible for the death of the cactus). After you follow the instructions and get everything inside, you can hand it with twine in front of a window that gets a nice amount of sun. It doesn't require a tremendous amount of care, which is ideal in our busy lives.
Item #2 is from ThomasHouhaDesigns
This is seriously neat. It reminds me of those Moravian Star Lights (which are also really neat). This is a star-shaped dodecahedron inside a dodecahedron. Dodecahedrons have 12 flat faces, and the stellated version is a take on the flat faces (also a 12). I remember when I was in high school and my chemistry teacher had us make crystals out of a paper template. It probably doesn't sound hard, but we had to have a design on all of them (I think it was 8 total), plus we had a bonus unidentified crystal. It was smooth sailing until you got to the higher numbers and the bonus, but I'll have to say they did look pretty cool after all was said and done. This DIY kit is made from laser-cut mat board and poster board. The total size is about 6 inches across when finished and is quite sturdy. All parts and instructions are included, but make sure you have some Elmer's glue or something similar to glue this together!
Item #3 is from Elixour
I personally have never made any lotion by hand. Surprise! I bet you thought otherwise when I mentioned that I liked making a little bit of everything! I do want to learn, though. This kit includes: organic shea butter, organic virgin coconut oil, organic flaxseed and sesame oil, organic arrowroot powder, organic essential oil of your choice, jar to package your lotion, and detailed instructions. It makes a net weight of 8 ounces (16 fl. oz by volume), so you do get a nice amount. I really love that it doesn't have all the additives that are in a lot of the products we use on a daily basis, so it's a healthier approach--no preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or other chemical additives. It's also a vegan product (no animal ingredients). The formula has been perfected to alleviate the symptoms of dry, and itchy skin--something a lot of DIYers have.
Item #4 is from GiantKnitting
Item #5 is from CuchiOrganics
I really love that kits are being made for the chunky blankets that have been so trendy this year! This kit is a little bit expensive, but you have to understand what you're getting. You're getting hand spun pure Merino wool in the kit. It's very fluffy and airy and ideal for summer (breathable) or winter (insulating). The wool is high quality, which is something you would want in a blanket. Also included are the huge needles that you get to pick the color of. It says that the kit will yield one 32 inch x 56 inch throw--a nice size. This will definitely keep you occupied in creating something instead of staring out at the dreary weather.
Anyone else like to cook? I'd have to say that I enjoy baking the most, but I do cook foods besides breads and sweets. If it's nasty and rainy outside, I'm guessing you probably feel the same way (I do anyway), so what a better comfort food than chocolate chip cookies! Sometimes it's not so fun to get up and have to measure out all of the ingredients and then clean up the mess you made in the process. This kit takes the measuring out of the process (aside from honey and an egg). A great thing about these cookies is that they are gluten-free and grain-free, so even those with gluten allergies can have them. If you are allergic to tree nuts, these are NOT for you! The flour replacement is almond meal, so it's a definite no for those with tree nut allergies. Along with the almond meal, you get organic coconut oil, organic 70% bittersweet chocolate chips, and vanilla extract (with extra vanilla left over). This kit makes a total of 12 smaller sized, soft cookies. Another huge plus with this kit the that it's eco-friendly. You even can use the box to bake the cookies on! No pan to wash :) The bag containing the meal is also compostable as is the plastic (100% cellulose fiber) bag containing the chips. Definitely worth a try!
I sure hope you've enjoyed this DIY edition of Weekly Wednesday! I thought it would be something a little bit different from the norm, and I know there are a lot of DIYers out there that would really enjoy these products. I feel like we should never get out of the DIY world completely because it's something that is fun, keeps your brain working, and is something you can do with a friend or family member. It might spark a creative note in you that you never knew you had!
Make sure to head over to your favorite handmade site and show some artists some love and pick up a DIY kit while you're there! If you do, comment below and show me what you chose! Feel free to share this post especially if you are or know DIYers who might appreciate this!
Until next time,
I'm sure you've all been on Pinterest browsing through the multitude of crafts on there and thought, "I can do that!" Am I right? I thought so...haha. We've all done it and probably more than once. I'll admit it---I do it all the time. Now, the next part....how many of you haven't had the tools to complete the project your heart is set on? *raises hand* I'm not talking about the handheld pieces....I'm talking about the BIG stuff...the power tools. I was lucky when I was younger that my dad and grandfather had tools, and I could ask about what I could use in a specific project. I've since moved, and my grandfather passed away, so I don't readily have someone to ask about tools for my projects. My boyfriend has a few tools, but I keep finding stuff I need, so we've accumulated some essentials that I'm going to share with you today in case you've ever been in the same tool situation I was.
#1 Random Orbit Sander
The first essential power tool I'm going to suggest is a Random Orbit Sander. **The one I have below is a Black & Decker 5 inch Random Orbit Sander**It's called this because the rotation and angle of the head and disc are, well, ......random. This specific sander combines the best part of a belt sander (speed and aggressiveness) with a finer finish than an orbital sander. The disc spins and is moved in small elipses so the sandpaper or other abrasive doesn't move in the same path twice in one rotation or leave swirls. You can really feel this if you hold the sander in your hand and turn it on, but don't put it on the surface you're wanting to work on. There's not a really good way to explai. The feeling of these, but you know it when you turn it on for the first time.
One word of caution with this tool: MAKE SURE YOU USE THE PROPER GRIT DISCS FOR YOUR PROJECT!! The project I bought this sander for was turning an old (115 years old) door into a headboard. Now, since there were 10+ layers of paint on it, I knew I needed to go with a low grit to get it off. When I got down to only small bits of paint left, I used the same grit to get in some angles. Don't do that because if you've been having to press harder for a while, you're used to that and will do it in this area, and you'll get.....you guessed it...swirls. Of course this is a quick fix as you need to use a finishing paper to do a last sanding. Not everything is a quick fix, so hence the warning.
#2 The Everday Drill
We've all seen these and know exactly what they are. It's probably the most basic power tool in my opinion. These are great for pretty much anything (just make sure you've got the proper bits and other pieces). I just finished painting my kitchen cabinets--a project that started with "that wallpaper is peeling, I'll take it off and paint the paneling" to " now the trim doesn't match" to " now the cabinets need painting." I had to take the hardware off and give it s good scrubbing (they were nasty) since they'd been there for several decades prior. The drill was my best friend except for when it slipped and slammed into my finger. No one ever said projects weren't without their downsides ;). My drill usage hasn't been limited to this one project. I've done a lot of other projects around the house in my own during the day because I could and I want to do them. I didn't have to wait for help -- except for the one time I was too short to reach. If you were to get only one tool on here, I would definitely say the drill is the first thing you need. We ended up going with the Black & Decker 20-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Matrix Cordless Drill. You understand the reason when you read a little further.
#3 Staple Gun
A staple gun is something I've had to use multiple times in projects I've done. It's easier and less messy than glue. I'm sure we all can agree on that---especially if like me you have a cat that seems to like your work table more than other spots or if you've got children that like to touch stuff even after you've said no. What's great about it is that it works on wood, plastic, or masonry and can be used on various thicknesses if you change out the size of the staple. I think I ended up buying an assortment of sizes because of all the stuff I've gotten into. One thing I will tell you--the first time you use it, you'll jump because you aren't expecting the noise, but some are louder than others. The one I have (that I can't find, imagine that) is a quieter one.
#5 Heat Gun
I'm sure you're all wondering why I have an embossing tool on here. Well, it can actually be used as a heat gun! If you aren't familiar with embossing, I'll make a quick explanation--in scrapbooking, there are embossing powders that melt when heat is applied and look like raised areas on your work. The reason I say all crafters need this is a direct result of that headboard project (which is being mounted this weekend!!!!!!). Now, I started out sanding because I thought that would be the best option due to the number of paint layers on there. I'd told my dad about what I was doing and he suggested paint stripper, which did work but took multiple applications. Fast forward a couple weeks to when my boyfriend and I were visiting my parents. I was talking about how long it was taking to strip the door, and my dad goes, "You can use a heat gun." I wish he'd told me sooner, but now I know and am using it to strip another door that is to be painted like the T.A.R.D.I.S.
Alrighty. This is why we purchased the drill on this list. Take a look at the jigsaw below...no, your eyes aren't fooling you. That's the drill with a jigsaw attachment (don't have the blade in). We got the drill because it could be used with multiple attachments instead of us buying separate tools. You don't have to buy the drill and attachments at the same time, but you can if you need to. You do need to make sure your project is supported because as you cut through, the jigsaw is only going to be supported on one side after the other falls off. It's still easier for me to handle than the sawzall.
In the image below, I'm holding a sawzall--so called because it saws through most everything. I don't have the blade in it (it adds about 8 more inches), but I wanted to show you how big the thing was in comparison to me and why I didn't feel comfortable using it on small projects (I was paranoid that the blade was going to shoot out, and there's no real way to support it at all without steadying the piece you're cutting by laying one arm on it and maneuvering the tool with one hand.) It's mainly used in demolition and construction, but at the time I was needing to cut through a larger piece of wood and didn't have the jigsaw yet ;)
This little dude has been a life-saver. I got it (Dremel 3000) specifically because I work with smaller pieces. You can control the speed, and you have a variety of attachments that go with it (carving and engraving, cutting, polishing and cleaning, grinding and sharpening, and routing). I've used it quite a bit and have been pleased every time. Plus, you don't have to drag out the big boys for your projects.
I hope this has helped give you all some ideas about where to start in purchasing power tools for your projects. Since a majority of crafters are female, I feel like some guidance needed to be offered. It's perfectly ok to be single and have your own power tools; it's also ok for all the married/taken gals to have their own tools separate from their husbands/boyfriends/fiances. Just because we're female doesn't mean that we can't use a power tool. It's always fun to look at people's faces when you go in somewhere to get a tool and they find out it's for you and not a husband/significant other.
Now, go get yourself a tool or tools, roll your sleeves up, and get working!
Until next time,
Hi! I’m Meagan, designer for The Prickly Pear. I’ve created this blog to not only showcase my work and other crafty information, but also to give you an inside look into my life.