Spin the Bottle (or Jar, or Vase)

Flowers are everywhere this time of year and I can’t help but pick up a bunch while at the farmers’ market or even after just passing by a colorful corner display. I have quite a few vases at home to help show off these beautiful blooms, but every once in a while I want to arrange the stems in a unique way. A few weeks ago I got a little crafty and made the display below. All I needed was an old bottle, some jute twine, ribbon and a bit of glue. Not bad for a simple afternoon project!

Jute-Wrapped Vase by somethingwewhippedup.com

Jute-Wrapped Vase by somethingwewhippedup.com

Jute-Wrapped Vase

  • bottle (a jar, vase or other glass object would work well too)
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • clear-drying glue (like Gem-Tac)
  • small brush
  • jute twine

1. Wash and dry the bottle you wish to use. Measure and cut two pieces of ribbon that are each about 6 inches longer than the side of your vase. Use the glue to affix them to the bottom of the vase so they’ll be secure (see slideshow below). I chose to weave one ribbon up each side, with the front and rear ribbons being slightly off-center. You can place as many ribbons as you like, in whichever position you like.

2. Once your ribbon is secured, use the brush to coat the bottom inch of all sides of the bottle with a thin, even coat of glue. Starting at the very bottom of one side, begin to slowly wrap the jute twine around the bottle, covering the ribbon and making sure to keep each line very straight and very close to the previous line (see slideshow below). Once you have a few lines of twine wrapped, extend your ribbon out so it is away from the bottle, then add more glue and continue to wrap the twine. After adding a few lines, return the ribbon to the side of the vase, add more glue, and wrap the twine on top of it again. This will create a weave design. Continue up the entire bottle, weaving the ribbon in and out as you see fit.

3. Once you near the top of your bottle, trim the ribbons and glue the ends down so they stays secure (see slideshow below). Continue wrapping the twine up the entire bottle to cover the ribbon ends and finish off the look. Let dry for 24 hours before using as a vase.

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SWWU Tip 1: Don’t worry about buying a new bottle for this project. The vase above was created with an empty Knob Creek bottle.

SWWU Tip 2: I rested my bottle on a pair of chopsticks placed 3 inches apart while working on this project. They helped keep the bottle elevated above the work surface so excess glue dripping down didn’t cause my project to get stuck to the table I was working on.

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A Place for Everything

I’ve amassed a lot of jewelry over the years, but despite my impressive collection, I always seem to wear the seem ten or so pieces over and over again. Not anymore! My new display keeps once-forgotten rings and necklaces right out in the open so they can get the attention they deserve.

Antique Letterpress Tray Jewelry Storage by somethingwewhippedup.com

Antique Letterpress Tray Jewelry Storage by somethingwewhippedup.com

I found this antique letterpress tray at a local flea market. After a through cleaning by a good friend (thanks, BG) I had 196 cubbies to keep all of my jewelry neatly organized. I try to keep silver pieces in one side and gold on the other, but even if it all gets a bit jumbled, it’s easier than sorting through a traditional jewelry box.

Though the tray would work just as well resting on a dresser, mine is secured onto an iron base I picked up at a salvage yard. I have no idea what its original intention was, but I’m quite happy with how we’re using it.

SWWU Tip 1: You can find vintage letterpress trays all over the place: garage sales, salvage yards, antique stores and on websites like Etsy and eBay

SWWU Tip 2: It’s best to keep only everyday jewelry organized out in the open like this. I still keep my special pieces locked up in a safe place. 

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A Polished Look

Brian and I came across some adorable insect-shaped hooks while wandering from store to store one weekend and thought they would be a cute way to display aprons on the back of our kitchen door. They’re made of iron and have a nice distressed look. Unfortunately, the shop we purchased them from didn’t have screws to match. Instead of stressing, I headed straight to my nail polish collection. A quick coat of brown polish helped an ordinary silver screw blend in perfectly. Nailed it!

SWWU Tip 1: Apply the polish after you’ve screwed your object to the wall so you can avoid chipping the paint.

SWWU Tip 2: We used Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Lacquer (in Delicate Brown), but that’s just because we had it on hand. Most drug stores have inexpensive picks for as little as $1 a bottle and you don’t need anything fancier than that for this task.

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Got Time To Make A Clock?

Brian and I have been on the hunt for a colorful kitchen clock for quite some time. Nothing we found was quite right though. They either had visible power cords, made too much noise or just didn’t fit in aesthetically. Finally we decided to stop looking for the perfect clock and just make our own!

Dessert Pan Clock by somethingwewhippedup.com

Dessert Pan Clock by somethingwewhippedup.com

Once we had all the pieces in place the clock came together a lot easier than we expected. It’s made from an old Duncan Hines dessert pan that I picked up at an antique store for only $2. A quick coat of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch paint (in Sun Yellow) transformed the tattered pan into a bright, cheerful piece. A Clock Movement Kit provided the working parts we needed. The arms got a coat of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch paint (in Deep Blue) to provide some contrast. We drilled a hold in the center of the pan and followed the instructions that came with the clock kit to assemble everything. We’re both quite pleased with the finished product and can’t wait to find something else to turn into a clock in another room. After all, it doesn’t take that much time.

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SWWU Tip: Like the dessert pan we used? I just did a quick search on Etsy and eBay and found a few, ranging from $6 to $20 each. Try searching for the term “Ekco Bakers Secret Duncan Hines,” and see what you can find.

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That Looks Familiar: DIY West Elm Industrial Pipe Rods

We both love the simple yet sturdy look of the Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods from West Elm, but not the price. Just one would have set us back $99, and we needed two.

Inspiration for DIY Industrial Pip Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

Inspiration for DIY Industrial Pip Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

A quick trip to the hardware store helped us create an almost identical look for a fraction of the price. In fact, a set of two rods cost around $45, a savings of more than 75 percent!

DIY Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

DIY Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

DIY Industrial Pipe Curtains Rods

Makes 1 rod

1. Make sure the pipe you have selected is the length you want to use. The pipes don’t come in too many sizes, but they can be cut to your specifications and rethreaded at most larger hardware stores—just ask! Once you have all of your pieces, connect them to form your rod. Connect an elbow to each end of the pipe, making sure you create two 90-degree arms facing in the same direction (so your rod will be flat against the wall). Next, connect a flange to each elbow.

2. Put your tarp or drop cloth down in a well ventilated area (preferably outside) and apply spray paint in an even coat and let dry.

3. Install your rods making sure to use anchors that are well suited to your type of wall.

SWWU Tip 1: Since the rod won’t be spring-loaded, you’ll need to think about how you want to hang your curtains before you put up your rod. If you want to thread the rod through your curtains you’ll need to do this BEFORE you attach the last flange and attach the rod to the wall. If you’d like your look to be more flexible (like we did) choose curtains with grommets and hang with hooks. We used the IKEA Grundtal Hooks.

SWWU Tip 2: Pipes come in various finishes including copper, black and gray. We chose to paint ours so the look was consistent, but you can leave yours plain for a more natural look.

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