Turn ordinary object and thift store finds into prized possessions.
With these home decorating craft ideas turning ordinary objects into prized possessions is easy.
Old Cable Spool To New Library Table
Step 1: To build this brilliant “bookmobile” – crafted by Halligan Norris Smith and featured in Grace Bonney’s Design Sponge at Home ( search a commercial salvage yard or sites like eBay for a wooden cable spool . You’ll also need about 12 three-quarter-inch-thick wooden dowels that measure at least as tall as the spool when it’s lying flat on either wheel.
Step 2: Lay the spool on one of its wheels, then use a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the top wheel to the top of the bottom wheel. Use a handsaw to cut the dowels to this size, then sand the spool and dowels.
Step 3: Measure the distance from one wheel’s outer edge to the spool’s core. Divide that number in half.
Step 4: Beginning at the outer edge of the top of the top wheel, measure in the distance computed in Step Three. Mark with a pencil. Repeat around the spool’s circumference, spacing marks an equal distance apart.
Step 5: At each mark, drill all the way through the top wheel, using a three-quarter-inch spade bit. Then, with a hammer, drive a dowel into each hole, until the dowel’s bottom is secured against the bottom wheel. Paint spool and dowels, if desired; let dry.
Step 6: Evenly space three casters in a triangle pattern atop the top wheel, placing each caster about an inch in from the edge, and drill into place. Flip the spool over and you’re ready to roll.
Give the ubiquitous thrift store find a makeover with a colorful, stitched design.
Step 1: Use a pattern to trace a design onto the chair in pencil.
Step 2: Use a back stitch to thread chunky yarn (available at craft stores) through each opening.
TIP: To maneuver yarn more easily, wrap the ends with tape.
STEP ONE: Measure the circumference of a glass vase to determine how many paint chips you will need to line it. (Our vase had a circumference of 20 inches and required 12.) Place paint chips face-down with the long edges overlapping slightly. Create one wide panel using clear tape to secure.
STEP TWO: Line the interior of the vase with the colorful side of the panel facing out. Secure as needed with clear tape.
STEP THREE: Place a second, smaller vase inside the paint chip-lined vessel. Fill this vase with water and arrange sim-ilarly colored flowers as desired.
Embroidered Table Runner
Butcher illustrations in an 1897 cookbook inspired librarian Jessica Pigza to make this topper, featured in BiblioCraft ($27.50; STC Craft). To follow her lead, you’ll need two 12″W x 73″L pieces of beige linen and two sets of the cow, sheep, and pig templates
Step 1: Wash, dry, and iron both pieces of linen; set one aside. Place the other piece on a flat surface, right side down. Beginning eight inches from the left end and working toward the center, place one set of cow, sheep, and pig templates right side down, atop the linen, spacing them 2½ inches apart. Secure the templates with double-sided tape. Create the mirror image on the opposite end with the remaining templates. Then, flip the linen piece right side up.
Step 2: Use masking tape to temporarily affix the linen piece, templates side down, against a sunny window—the light shining through will illuminate the designs. Trace each design onto the front side of the linen using an erasable fabric marker . When finished, detach from the window; remove all templates and tape.
Step 3: Using an embroidery hoop and blue embroidery floss, backstitch along the solid lines of the designs, and use a running stitch for the dotted lines . Erase any stray marks.
Step 4: Place the linen pieces together, right sides facing, and pin around all four edges. Machine-stitch along the edges, leaving a ½-inch seam allowance and an eight-inch opening at the center of the bottom seam. Trim the corners. Turn the runner right side out, and hand-stitch the opening closed. Place the runner facedown and iron the seams flat.
Step 5: With red embroidery thread, hand-sew a line of running stitches ½ inch from all four edges of the runner.
Making over plain cotton upholstery fabric requires nothing more than a household disinfectant and water. Working outside, and wearing protective eyewear and gloves, lay the desired yardage for your project flat on a sheet of plastic. In a measuring cup, mix together ½ cup bleach and ½ cup water. Use a plastic spoon to drib-ble the liquid all over the fabric. When you’re satisfied with the pattern, let dry, then run the fabric through a regular cycle in your washer and dryer. Take it to a local upholsterer or use it however you’d like.