DIY wire hanging hooks

An observant reader noticed these cute hooks Wayne made for me. He made them to go on driftwood sticks and I’d use them when I went to markets, for hanging my windchimes.
They really are quite sweet, and they’re easy to make. I know cause I’ve made them myself. Only I make them with thinner wire than Wayne does.

All you’ll need is:
1. Wire thick enough to hold the weight of what you plan to hang. And as thick as you feel comfortable working with – ie you have to be able to bend it and cut it. If you’re anything like me (a weakling) you’ll want to stick to a not too hard wire…
2. Needle nose pliers and wire cutters. In case you don’t know what they are, here is a visual aid:
And here are the instructions. 

So, if you followed that, and if I didn’t do a bad job with the instructions, you should have something like this at the end of it.

Have fun! 🙂
z

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an old bookcase gets a new look

 
I’ve been itching to get stuck into this particular project for a while now. Ever since I made up a space in the living room for Wayne’s office. When I did that I moved this bookcase into the space under the window into the kitchen (a perfect fit!) so Wayne could hide away his bits and pieces…. which he never does… but that’s beside the point.
The point is that it started out like this: an op shop find, a little worse for wear. It obviously had had glass in it at some stage, possibly a kitchen cupboard, maybe a bookcase…
 
First I gave it a fresh coat of paint, no distressing in those days. Then I put flyscreen in it to use as a towel cupboard in my bathroom.
That worked well for a while, then I  moved it to the spare room where Bonnard (one of my standard poodles) destroyed it by digging at the flyscreen. He only destroyed the top part of both doors so I just cut the screen and left it like that for a few years.
I mean, it still worked. And it was easier to access things on the top shelf without a screen there!
So, when the office area was created the bookcase lived there without the top screen for a few months. I’d planned to replace the screens with burlap, just hadn’t got around to it till today.
Here is a photo after removing one of the doors.
When I’d put in the flyscreen I’d used narrow quad to hold it in place. I had to remove that and managed to do it on both doors without breaking it. Great accomplishment!
 
I had planned to use some grain sacks I’d found at an antique shop but they were too short. So I got out my stencils and some sharpies and went to work.
All went well till I realised that I’d put the burlap in the first door upside down. Darn. I DID check you know… but somehow still managed to get it wrong.
I had to remove the quad and of course broke every single piece of it that time. Something to do with using slightly bigger flathead nails instead of tiny bullet head ones… d’oh!
Oh well. Live and learn. I had to put the burlap back in right way up using tacks and glue and folding it over to prevent it from fraying. Didn’t look too bad actually.
Lastly I had to find a handle. The one I had on there had been gnawed on by Bonnard plus it no longer suited. It was fine for the bathroom as it matched the vanity, but not for the new look. I found an old brass handle I liked in my box of knobs and handles and added it.
 
So here it is! A little more battered than before, a little more lived in, and way better for hiding all the junk I’d like to keep out of sight when visitors come over!
Ok. The words aren’t entirely straight. Pulling on burlap to stretch it has that effect. But I’m pleased with it.
Now… onto the next project! 
z

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The Girl Creative

live laugh love in 8 easy steps


I really love signs on timber. After reading links on Pinterest on how to transfer letters or images to timber, and experimenting with a few suggested methods, this is what I found:

The best and easiest way to make signs is to use a method which I learned in grade school.

Tracing!

So, here’s the Zefi sign-making method.

1. Print out the words you want on plain printer paper. I used different fonts for each word. (Ok, this bit I didn’t do in grade school!)

2. Then, using charcoal, cover the entire back of the printed image. If you’re transferring onto a dark background you can use chalk or light coloured soft pastels.

 

 3. Lay the paper onto the timber, charcoal side down. At this point its handy if you made sure the words/image are the right size for the timber you’re using.

I used weathered timber I’d prepared earlier, using a dry brush technique to create an aged sign look.

4. Using a pen, ‘colour in’ the letters, pressing the charcoal onto the timber surface. If you want to make sure the image doesn’t move, use some masking tape to tape down both paper and timber.

I’m extremely lazy confident so I didn’t tape it down.

5. Remove masking tape (if you used it), lift up paper, and voila! This is what you have if you’ve done it right.

If, unlike me, you’re not ‘confident’ and taped everything down, you can check your transferred image before you commit yourself by removing the paper.

6. Using a fine brush and paint, you then fill in the letters. I used watered down artists acrylic paint cause I wanted a softer look. By watering the paint down I achieved an uneven saturation of colour which is what I wanted.

If you plan to sand and distress the timber sign after you paint the letters, you can use undiluted paint at this step.

7. When I had the pieces all painted, I added screw eyes and asked Wayne to make some S hooks to joining them together.

That step took 5 weeks.

8. Technically, the sign is finished at step 7, but I added some jute flowers to my sign cause I like adding these little touches.


So there you have it. Something I learned in grade school has come in real handy.

I’m still waiting to see if algebra will come in handy.

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z

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Knick of Time