DIY Pumpkin Candles

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:00 am on Monday, October 8, 2012

For some elegant fall decorating, try turning a small pumpkin or gourd into a candle. You scoop out the inside of the pumpkin and fill it with melted wax and a wick.

These will look great as seasonal decoration or as part of a centerpiece on a table. (Thanksgiving is coming up, you know.) Use a dried-out gourd, and they might make great Christmas gifts. You can even re-use wax from an old candle to save some money, too. [Craft]

Carve Rocks With A Dremel

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:00 am on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Here’s a tutorial on how to carve rocks with a dremel. You can turn rocks into jewelry, paper weights, even decoration for the garden.

Great Christmas gift potential, too.

Now I know what to do with some of the cool rocks I’ve been collecting. [Craft]

Adam Savage’s Toolbox

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:46 am on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I really like the TV show Mythbusters, but I gained true affection for Adam Savage when I saw this talk about his obsession with building a replica of the Maltese Falcon. (See below.) It made me want to make something! And so does this post on Adam Savage’s toolbox. He goes over how he organizes it and tells how he made the toolbox itself:

I wanted to make an impression at my new job, so I spent an entire weekend remaking the bags out of aluminum. My supervisor suggested scissor lifts to keep them even with me when I was seated. He might have been joking, but I added them. The finished boxes housed everything I needed, but I repeatedly rebuilt the insides until finally no tool had to be moved out of the way to get to another.

There’s also a comprehensive list of all the tools in the toolbox.

The best thing about making things yourself is you can have them exactly how you imagine them, which is a lot of what Savage stands for. Here is the talk about making a model of a dodo bird and the Maltese Falcon:

Turning A Shed Into An Office Part 1

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:08 am on Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Mr. Savvy has been working from home more and more, so we decided to invest in an outdoor office. In our state, you’re allowed to build an 120 sf dwelling without a permit on private property, which is the perfect size for a personal office. And the easiest way to do that was to convert a standard shed into an office.

After some debate, we decided to put the office in the side yard, which has not been used for anything and had been taken over by the neighbor’s Afghanistan ivy. Here’s a picture of the side yard after we cut the ivy back and cleared out the space. The fence still needs replacing, but that’s another project for another time.

Next, the shed. We looked into building one from scratch but decided to purchase from Sonic Sheds instead. We opted for a slightly smaller 8X10 shed with a nicer door, larger window, and lapped siding. The owner of the company came and installed it himself with his son. They were done by mid-afternoon. Here it is:

I think it’s pretty cute!

Of course, there’s still a bit of work to do before this is a usable office. We’re going to paint the outside, wire for electricity, sheetrock the walls, and build a stair. Stay tuned for an update.


Craft Wars

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:53 am on Monday, August 13, 2012

What do you think of Craft Wars, the TLC reality show competition around crafts? Three people are challenged to make a craft out of specific material and three judges pick the best one. The winner gets $10,000. For some reason, Tori Spelling from 90210 is the host of the show.

I recently watched the first two episodes and thought the show was a missed opportunity. There are so many amazing craft people out there, and the show doesn’t seem interested in showcasing them. Instead, it is promoting the kitchy side of craft, the kind of thing where people make bags out of sports equipment:

Or bird houses with playing cards glued to the top:

The New Yorker has a review of Craft Wars. The writer didn’t like the show, and I can’t help thinking she makes some good points. I also like that she went into what the word “craft” used to mean:

Craft used to mean something, and it would never have been made with Mod Podge. You can buy a tea towel with the William Morris quotation, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (It is a hundred per cent linen, so it is both.) What Morris, a designer, entrepreneur, futurist, and leader of the late nineteenth century Arts and Crafts Movement, proposed was a return to the medieval craft tradition, in which objects were made by hand by skilled workmen, and priced accordingly. Rather than three sets of elaborately decorated transferware china, you would have one set of handmade and glazed plates. Rather than rooms full of elaborate Victorian furniture, you would own a few chairs, hand hewn and joined with wood, not industrial glue.

I love that quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This is my ideal and a standard I am always trying to move closer to in my own home. (And here I thought I made the concept up!)

By the way, PBS had an excellent series called Craft In America that goes over the more serious, less kitchy side of craft. And you can watch the whole thing online for free!

Book iPhone Dock

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little Lovelies turned a pile of books into an iPhone dock for her bedside table. It’s not too hard, either–you cut the shape of the USB cable out of the book like so:

Then you plug in the phone at night to charge it. Looks great. [Lifehacker]

How To Stencil A Pillow

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:07 am on Friday, July 13, 2012

Here’s a tutorial that goes over How To Stencil A Quote On A Pillow. Rather than spend $159 for a throw pillow with a quote already one it, Wit & Whistle got a blank pillow cover, a fabric marker, and some letter stencils and set to work.

Great way to get the look that you want without having to shell out all that cash.

Make A Google Maps Throw Pillow

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 10:10 am on Monday, July 2, 2012

Spoonflower has a tutorial on how to Make A Google Maps Throw Pillow. You make a graphic from whatever Google map you choose, have it printed on fabric, and sew it up. The result is an original and geeky throw pillow for your couch. [Craft]

Wood-Grain Laptop Wrap

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:24 am on Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Wood-Grain Laptop Wrap from Fine + Feathered looks great. It’s just wood-grain contact paper that has been wrapped around a laptop.

It really looks like it is made of wood:

I especially love that the contact paper comes from the dollar store.

DIY Felt Dahlia Flower Brooch

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:44 am on Monday, June 25, 2012

Holidash has a tutorial on how to make this fabulous Dahlia Flower Brooch out of felt. Looks like it is a matter of gluing the “petals” on the base, like so:

The brooch is supposed to be for Mother’s Day, but I don’t see why you can’t make it any time of the year.

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