Archive of ‘DIY’ category

DIY Wall Hanging Thing

diy wall hanging

I do this thing where I see something either in person or online and think “I can totally make that”. Truth is, I usually can’t. But I have this false sense of thinking I can make anything! Twenty giant birdcages hanging from the ceiling elegantly in Extraordinary Desserts? Suuuure! An abstract painting someone would actually want to hang in their house? Of course I can! This time though, I thought I could possibly do it. The only skill I would need is to know how to wrap a piece of yarn around a stick. I think I can do that!

I rummaged through my old jewelry making stuff to find extra embroidery thread (I used to make bags for the jewelry to go in) and that brass bar. Knowing my track record of thinking I could do this, I decided not to spend money on high-quality supplies, and just use what I had. You know…practice. If it turned out well, then I can buy the good stuff.

Here’s what you’ll need:
diy wall hanging

I bought the brass bars at Lowe’s, and I’m pretty sure you all know where to get embroidery thread (Michael’s. You get it at Michael’s.). I laid my colors out in the order I wanted them to be on the bar, to make sure I like how it looked. Totally not necessary to work with it like that though, especially since I started in the middle and tied one string on each side to make sure everything was equal.

Okay so…you figure out how long you want your center to be, then cut! I think having the first three being roughly the same length is probably a good idea. Then figure out how much shorter you want the next, cut two equal, and alternate putting them on the sides. Here’s how you “tie” it on the bar:

diy wall hanging

You get it, right? How do you explain that in words? Double the yarn evenly, put the loop end over the bar, bring the cut end under the bar and through the loop, then pull (I guess that’s how you say it). Then you just keep going. I quickly realized it was very helpful to have the bar on something, so I grabbed the nearest candle holder (unlit, of course. duh).

diy wall hanging

This project takes only one happy hour to complete. One to two drinks and you’re done! Oh, you must play your favorite spotify playlist and sing real loud while you do it, otherwise it won’t turn out as good.

After you put all them all on (make it as wide or narrow as you want it!) then tie a longer string on both sides so you can hang it. I think a ribbon would be nice, too. Hang it up somewhere and trim any of them you want. Or leave it haphazard. Follow your heart!

Here’s my finished product:

diy wall hanging
diy wall hanging

My cats were really into it, as you can see.

Here’s the front up close:
diy wall hanging

And here’s the back:
diy wall hanging

I like the little knot-things in back, you can make that the front if you want.

Here’s what I would do differently…

  • Better quality yarn! I think a silky, heavier yarn would be gorgeous. Or even a super thin one. Quality is the key here, folks (which is true for everything in life, I’ve decided). Here were two of my inspirations: Nike Schroeder String Art and Glitter and Grain
  • I cut too heavily. I wanted it to have more of a gradual slope up to the outer edges. Next time I won’t be so heavy handed on the string cutting (this didn’t happen in the trimming part, it happened when I initially cut the string pieces).
  • I kept the tails short when I tied the piece that allows the whole thing to hang. I think if it’s as long as the other ones, maybe it will disappear.

And that’s it! Easiest thing to make ever, instant gratification. Now I’m dying to buy high quality yarn/thread in really cool colors and do this thing right. Maybe I’ll stick with a smooth brass bar, maybe I’ll use the driftwood I smuggled in from Costa Rica. I don’t know, maybe invite all your crafty friends over and do a craft/happy hour soiree. BYOMaterials!

// Art print in top photo by Leigh Viner

DIY – Cat Scratching & Climbing Plank

What do you do when your cat insists on scaling every vertical object in your house with only her claws? You make her a really tall vertical plank with sisal, that’s what!

cat scratching plank

I first noticed her climbing/clawing obsession when I was moving. I put my mattresses up against the wall and she immediately got that wild look in her eyes and raced up the side of the mattress to the tippy top. Over and over again. She got the taste for it then, and still does that to my mattress. Instead of jumping up on the bed like a normal cat, she claws her way up. Just for fun. And possibly to annoy me and ruin my mattress. She is a cat, after all. So to save my furniture, but mostly to make sure my baby girls have enough to keep them happy in the house while I’m at work all day, I made them a vertical scratching post/climber thing. Because I’m a crazy cat lady like that.

If you’re not into this at all, don’t bother reading. But you must scroll down to see the pictures of the crazy wild cat in her natural habitat!

Okay, here’s what you need:

cat scratching plank

  • A cat – Otherwise you’re kinda stupid for doing this project. (Yeah…I just called you stupid.)
  • Wood Plank – Any size you want. I used 76″ x 8″ because I wanted it to reach the top of the bookcase.
  • Sisal Rope - I got mine on Amazon. I used 3/8″ and it took almost 200′ to wrap this board.
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Gloves – That sisal hurts!

https://www.amazon.com/T-W-Evans-Cordage-23-410-100-Feet/dp/B00DKA3OGO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1405007549&sr=8-4&keywords=sisal+rope

Oh, and wine. You’ll probably need wine.

The concept is pretty simple…you just wrap the sisal around the board. 3/8″ is pretty thick, so it was tough to bend it around the edges of the board. At first I thought I made a mistake by getting a larger one (as opposed to 1/4″), but it went much faster, I didn’t have to buy as much, and I think it’s easier for the cats to have leverage climbing up. Feel free to use whatever width you want, though.

Start off the first few rows by putting a good amount of hot glue on, to make sure it stays. They also use it as a full on scratching post, I wanted to make sure it didn’t come apart.

https://www.amazon.com/T-W-Evans-Cordage-23-410-100-Feet/dp/B00DKA3OGO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1405007549&sr=8-4&keywords=sisal+rope

After that, just keep wrapping, putting a small band of hot glue on the board before laying down the sisal. Hold it there for a few seconds to make sure it starts adhering before flipping the board over to do the other side. When you’re out of rope, just glue down the end the best you can and start with the new roll of rope.

cat scratching plank
cat scratching plank
cat scratching plank

Don’t be like me and cut the rope so it stops at the end. It’s best to stop in the middle of a long edge. I didn’t think that through very well, and it’s tough to start the new rope on the short edge of the board. Do that for the very end of your board, though.

I put a couple of brackets on the top to hook the board onto the top of my bookcase, so the weight and craziness of the kitties wouldn’t knock the board over and smash into my sliding glass door.

cat scratching plank

Then you’re done! The whole project took just under 3 hours. Not bad! Wanna see the frenzied cat in action?

cat scratching plank
cat scratching plank
cat scratching plank

You don’t want to see this creature out in the wild, do you? Yikes. I swear, she’s never been happier in her entire little life. The second I put the board in place, they both went for it. Scratching it, leaping halfway up then scampering the rest of the way onto the bookcase. They love climbing on the back of it, between the board and the bookcase. It’s kept her off the screen door, too. Gotta feed the wild kitty in them!