The weather is getting nicer and everyone is heading outside, but that is no excuse for not doing some spring cleaning and decorating. While I am all for seasonal or holiday-based décor, I do like things that look nice whatever time of year it is.
So I sought out some seasonally appropriate crafts that would not only make your place look rad, but also offer some twists on storage solutions. After all, no one should spend the last bit of the semester in a boring pigsty.
The first craft is a dyed mason jar. The process makes an ordinary mason jar look like antique if you opt to dye it a blue-green, but you can dye it any color you want. Keep in mind that once dyed, you cannot eat or drink out of the jar and it also cannot hold water.
The glue that binds the dye to the jar will dissolve, and probably turn into a gross goo. And while I used Matte Mod Podge, I would recommend gloss for the best effect. I personally use this jar to hold quarters for laundry, but it can be used for anything your heart desires – minus food and drink. I figured I should reiterate that so no one gets poisoned.
Dyed Mason Jar
– Food coloring
– 1 teaspoon Mod Podge
– 1 teaspoon water
– Mason jar
– Wax paper
– Baking sheet
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Mix Mod Podge and water with fives drops of your choice of food coloring in a bowl. Stir well so the color is evenly distributed and there are no clumps of Mod Podge.
3. Pour colored solution into a clean mason jar.
4. Swirl around until the entire inside of the jar is coated, then empty excess into bowl.
5. Place jar upside down on wax paper on a baking sheet, let the excess colored solution drain for 10 minutes.
6. After draining, move the mason jar to a clean piece of wax paper and bake for approximately 10 minutes.
7. Using oven mitts, remove the tray and mason jar from the oven. Set the mason jar upright and continue to bake until the glue has dried and there are no streaks on the jar.
Use the finished product to store whatever you like, or hold silk flowers.
The second craft is also an organization-based decorative craft. It is a simple way to decorate the charging cable for your cell phone or iPod, and it is supposed to prevent the cable from becoming tangled.
While it requires only three supplies, it is surprisingly time consuming. And frankly, I probably would not do this again. I wound up with a sore and swollen finger, which may or may not result in a blister. But I can tell you one thing, it is making it difficult to type.
Ipod Cable Case
– Charging cable
– Four colors of embroidery floss
1. Cut four colors of embroidery floss approximately four times the length of the cable you plan to wrap.
2. Starting at one end of the cable, knot the four lengths of embroidery floss to secure.
3. Begin wrapping the floss around the cable, securing the extra length from the knot under the wrapping. Try to keep the wrap as flat as possible. Make sure you are wrapping the embroidery floss tight or it will start to come unraveled.
4. Continue wrapping for the length of the cable. And seriously, keep the embroidery floss as taut as possible for the entire length of the cable. It may make your fingers sore, but if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right.
5. Once you have reached the other end of the cable, knot the rest of the embroidery floss twice to secure. Braid a section of the excess floss so you can secure the cable in a coil.
6. Enjoy the fact that your cable probably will not get tangled anymore and consider icing your finger. And if you do this and your fingers did not get sore, consider telling me your secret.
The final craft is purely decorative, but perfect for the warmer weather or for any fancy parties you may be having. I made coffee filter pom-poms for a friend’s engagement party just as a little something that would be pretty and interesting to look at. They’re great because they do not take that long to make and when made with a friend or two, you can whip up a bunch of them in a short time.
Coffee Filter Pom-poms
– Coffee filters – a lot of them
– Stiff paper or cardboard –
I used index cards but something a bit thicker would be preferable
– Hole puncher
– Yarn, thread or ribbon
1. Fold as many coffee filters as you can into quarters.
2. Staple each filter to secure, somewhere around the center of the flat part that would be the bottom part if it were holding coffee.
3. Make a few 2-inch diameter circles on your cardboard and cut out.
4. Punch a hole toward the outside of each circle.
5. String yarn or ribbon through the hole so you can hang your pom-pom later.
6. Starting on one side of the circle of cardboard, attach the folded coffee filters with the point facing the center of the circle.
7. Continue attaching coffee filters while working your way toward the center. Eventually they will start poofing out.
8. Wait approximately 30 minutes for the glue to set.
9. Flip the pom-pom over and repeat the process on the opposite side. Be delicate here, you do not want to smush all of the hard work you just did on the first side.
10. Wait at least 30 minutes for the glue to dry before hanging – or, wait as long as you can for the glue to dry. The drier the glue, the less of the risk of the pom-poms falling apart.
11. Fluff if necessary and hang.
Meghan White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.