DIY Quilling Tool

When you’re home & garden DIY’ers that repurpose and upcycle as much as we do – whether it’s a reno or craft project –  it only makes sense that we would endeavour to do the same when it comes to our tools!

While I’m overseeing an accessible bathroom renovation at my Mom’s house, I have some time to spare. Hubs bought me a package of construction paper to take with me so I could try my hand at something I’ve been wanting to learn: quilling. But after I arrived one morning and cut some strips, it struck me that I don’t have an actual quilling tool to get some practice in!

Why wait to buy a quilling tool when you can make one in under 5 minutes with a few everyday items?

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Gift Basket and Dog Toy Organizer

With x-mas fast approaching, we’re resurrecting this gift basket and dog toy organizer. It’s a cool project for the furry friends in your life!

Make this dog bone basket for yourself to organize your dog toys in or make it for any dog lover on your gift list; it makes a great gift basket around the holidays or any time of year!

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How to Get Milk Paint to Stick to Anything!

I always avoid indoor paint projects because of the fumes. Even with low VOC paint, I don’t want to pollute what precious indoor air quality I have in my basement craft studio – especially in the winter months when I can’t even crack a window open. Did you know that there are no VOCs in milk paint? Because it’s truly non-toxic, I get to keep every brain cell so I can keep dreaming up new projects!

When I found out that you could add a bonding agent to make milk paint stick to challenging things like glass, metal and varnished items, that was the icing on the cake.  Homestead House was kind enough to send us some milk paint and bonding agent to experiment with when I expressed an interest so when I spied this cute little varnished adirondack chair at Value Village, I knew I had my first test subject to try out!

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Computer Hard Drive Clock

[This post was previously posted by my husband on another website; I’m excited to share his project here with you today on Birdz of a Feather – Sara]

My wife’s first computer was a PC with a whopping 40 MB hard drive (I’m a Mac guy myself). I have to laugh at that now because these days storage devices can hold many thousands of times more memory – and we can easily fill a 3GB hard drive in just over a year with all our blog photos! If you’ve ever scratched your head and wondered what you can do with old computer parts, this is the tutorial for you! We took her old computer apart and upcycled the hard drive into a one-of-a-kind clock.

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Roadside Rescue Waterfall Dresser

If you follow Birdz of a Feather, you’ll know that my husband and I are big on saving things from landfill and have a penchant for curbside finds. Last summer hubs was out on errands and drove by a series of garage sale signs scattered across a few blocks. As he passed them one-by-one, he noticed that the signs were all taped onto various drawers.

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Duct Tape Pop Art Portrait

This duct tape pop art portrait will help you get your craft mojo on! I thought it would be fun to open with one of our YouTube videos because the music is so awesome and it will put you in the mood for some Craft Rehab! It’s not hard to guess whose picture is appearing before your very eyes; the music should be a dead give-away! It’s only a minute and a half long, so enjoy:

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Tuna Can Swing Out Storage Tower

Whenever I look at the recycle pile, I see untapped potential. Little did I know that when I had an epiphany about the tuna can one day while making lunch, creating tuna can swing outs would be so addictive! I had never seen it done anywhere before, so it was quite an interesting challenge to figure out the mechanics of it.

You may have seen the two I did previously to corral hot drink supplies and to store costume jewelry. I’ve since created two new ones: for office supplies, like push pins and paper clips, and even one for a little friend to house his collection of hot wheels!

My husband and I have always been compelled to create using garbage finds and unexpected materials, so it was a natural progression to expand our blog to include crafts. We called our new craft section ‘Craft Rehab’ because our goal is to encourage others to try sustainable crafting. It’s all about the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.

All good intentions aside, as much as we love to do our small part to divert waste, we’re also mindful that a project has to be easy to do and that the materials have to be readily available – or who’s going to want to replicate it? But it also doesn’t hurt to work in some ‘wow factor’. I think we accomplished those goals with this unique upcycle.

Along with the tuna cans, we’ve used recycled scrap paper for the labels, smoothie straws we had in the pantry, a plastic straw from a broken insulated cup, the end of a dried-up pen and leftover black iron pipe from another project. The Tuna Can Swing Out is both sustainable and practical: each can opens fully to reveal its contents then closes right up again for dust-free storage! You can use it for anything small: you’re only limited by your imagination.

We hope you use this tutorial to inspire your own sustainable craft project because, as our motto points out, good planets are hard to find! Continue reading

Fire Pit Upcycle

Last summer, I made it my mission to create and craft using nothing but items I found on garbage day within a few block perimeter of my house. Unfortunately my mission was prematurely cut short after my craft studio sprang a leak and I no longer had a place to work and store my finds 🙁 I did however, score a few great things before becoming water logged and having to put my projects on hold!

It’s amazing what you can find kicked to the curb every week. It breaks my heart to see the abundance of waste that goes to landfill when there’s much that can be done to breathe a second life in it! As I walked down the street on this particular day, I spotting something in the distance.

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Stained Glass Wall Art for the Bedroom

When you think of wall art for the bedroom, stained glass probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but I think incorporating a piece of stained glass can make a stunning addition to any bedroom decor!

I’ve always had a fascination with stained glass and longed to own a piece, but the time and expertise that goes into creating these beautiful works of art unfortunately priced it right out of my budget when I young. After purchasing my first house, I was house rich but cash poor so when I discovered a beginner’s stained glass course at my local community centre, I jumped at the chance to learn the art. Several years later I continued taking courses at a stained glass studio, when I moved to a new neighbourhood, where I dabbled with glass mosaic:

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Hanukkah Menorah: Innovative Wicks for Oil Burning Candles!

My family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. In this post, I’m showing you how to make my newest and most innovative creation to date! I’m making wicks for oil burning candles that are re-usable, cheap, readily available and burn safely.

In my previous post, I showed you how to transform these shot glasses into festive oil burning candles. Here’s how they started out; notice the logo:

At the end of the post you’ll see how pretty they turned out in the final display! Continue reading