Friday, August 21, 2009

Twisted Material

So my new obsession is rolling magazine paper.

There are many reasons for this:
First: it's recycling in the best sense!
Second: Magazine pages are full of so many colors
Third: the materials are dirt cheap (often free) and glue sticks are on sale everywhere this time of year.
Fourth: The final result is really neat!
Fifth (and final): It's a feel good project because of all of the above!

So I saw a tutorial on making a basket from magazine pages and loved the idea. It was from that fabulous book: Big Ass book of crafts. I loved the idea, had to it do and so set about rolling magazine pages.

First step was to cut the magazine pages into 2-3" strips. I'd recomend using a paper slicer for this, otherwise you might just give up in the first 15 min. This is a time consuming project but it's so very worth it!

Then starting at the corner you roll the page, I used a small knitting needle to roll the paper. When you're almost done rolling you apply glue liberally (glue sticks are ideal) and finish off. Now you have a rod with points on each end.

Now you can use the rods as they are for crafts such as this picture frame.

I mounted the rods onto one of those simple pine framed mirrors from IKEA which I had painted black.

Or if you're gunning for the really labor intensive stuff keep going. Take the rod and flatten it. Using the knitting needle (or what ever you used before) roll the rod into a spiral being sure to glue the last 2 or 3 inches. Hold the spiral in place for at least 30 sec if not more (the stiffer your paper the longer you should hold it)

Ta Da! You have a spiral! Now make about 200 of these and you can begin constructing your basket. :P

The base of the basket is just one giant spiral made by adding rods and rolling it all into one big spiral. It helps if you slip the rods into one another to help secure them. You can decide how big you want the base to be, but keep in mind that the bigger it is the more sturdy it will be as well.

However if the idea of spending hours and hours rolling paper (while watching movies of course) does not sound like your cup of tea, try something smaller, like this necklace.

This necklace can be seen in greater detail in my etsy store.

Whatever you decide to do with your spirals, the next step will require every crafters favorite weapon... the GLUE GUN!
Nothing else seems to do the trick.
The glue needs to dry quickly and hold fast.

Now the book where I got the idea recommended you use a stainless steel container like a wastepaper basket or something as a mold. I didn't have one and just went at it with reckless abandon... a method that seems to have served me well for some time now.

So armed with this new information perhaps you'll face your junk mail catalogs with a whole new attitude!


Saturday, August 8, 2009


Just a shout out to Yeetown! A fantastic new store in Williamston, MI where you can find beautiful handmade cards, jewelry, purses and more, all from Michigan artists!
Yeetown also carries ReLoved items which cannot be found online.

Visit Yeetown's online store, or their etsy store, or in person in Keller's Plaza at the corner of Putnam and East Grand River. Off of I-96, head to Williamston and see the YEETOWN sign in the window of the red building on the right at the corner with the first light you'll see.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I came across this fantastic book at the library, and after renewing it for the third time I decided I just needed to own it. It was filled with unique, unusal and all around brilliant ideas. The book is called The Big Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano (the host of while you were out and 10 years younger). Don't be put off by the title, it lives up to it's name in a big bad way.

In this book (pg. 210-212) was an idea to make coasters out of old tiles. He had black and white images cut out and stuck on black painted tiles. My brain went to work and soon I was inventing all sorts of coaster ideas. I made Monopoly Card coasters, Playing Card coasters, even coasters with old Michigan city maps.

I started out with just these first three sets. I was geeked about them, and thought people would love them when I took them to a craft show in Williamston. Not a single set sold, and I brought them all home a little discouraged. Perhaps people aren't as excited about awesome coasters made from recycled tile as I'd hoped they'd be.
That was until I posted them on etsy. Well I've sold two of the three sets so far, and the remaining set is by far the most viewed item in my store, and is 'hearted' the most.
I can make more Michigan map coasters, I have more maps.

So I've set out to make some more. Unfortunately my old monopoly set doesn't offer me any more sets of 4 properties (it seems the railroad is the only 'quadropoly'... I just made that word up, and am rather proud of it). But there are plenty of ideas bopping about in my brain. I've almost finished a set of four fantastic solar flair images on black coasters, and a set of four that are a fun collage of old book pages and magazine pictures.

Upon discovering the success of my ReLoved bathroom tile coasters, my father loving dropped off a box of over 100 (which weighs a TON) and it now sits happily on my carpet in a Michelob box.

I'm more than willing to take custom orders, and thought that coasters with personal pictures would look really cool. I'm also considering hand painting some, but that will probably make them a little more costly. Oh the thoughts in my brain, Oh the ideas, oh it's such fun!