Charging Station

In my house, we charge all of the devises between the couches. The chords are unsightly! So I had to do something about it. Here I make a charging station that fits in with my decor!

 

  1. Buy a box with  lid that will close and stay closed when sat upright. I found a bread box at target with a magnetic lid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure to try out your box to ensure that it works. Leave open on a flat surface. If you return and find a cat in it, then it’s a good box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Measure the box. The lid will be the front. Choose which way you want the door to open and mark the top and bottom (short ends).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Measure the plug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. On the center of the bottom mark a spot to drill the hole for the chord. I have an 1 1/4-inch long-edge of my plug, so the hole was 1 1/2-inch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Mark four evenly spaced (or however many chords can charge at once) ticks on the front lid.

 

 

 

 

 

6. On the back of the box (opposite side of the door), mark two evenly spaced spots along the center. This is to affix the box to the wall.

 

 

 

 

7. DRILL HOLES! Or have your husband do it. It’s his tools, so I just give good instructions. Let’s be clear, I know how to use all of his tools, and am perfectly capable of using power tools. However, I stick to my tools and he sticks to his. . . .and the ones he has absorbed from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Use screws to affix the box to the wall. Use a level to ensure the box is not uneven.

 

 

 

 

 

The finished product in use. Note that our chord has a hub that is plugged into it. There are two standard ports and two USB ports.

Fabric Coasters

I’ve been wanting to make coasters for some time now since the wooden coasters I got in Ecuador are falling apart.  You may think: “Can’t you just sew two pieces of fabric together and call it a day?” Well, no because then you still have condensation seepage through the fabric or heat transfer from a hot cup. I can do better than that.

DSCF5146

First I started with some 4 by 4 squares I had left over from various quilts or other projects. I had a few other small scraps of fabric that I cut into 4 by 4 squares. The fabric color choice was to have a set of multi colored coasters to use while gaming; each person in our group has their own game colors they use everytime. The colors are typically red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, and black depending on the game. I didn’t have any black scraps ready so I used dark blue. My typical color is blue which is prevalent in every game, Kyle is always orange but will settle for yellow. The coasters will prevent our game pieces or cards from getting wet when we have drinks while we game! The owls are just cute extra fabric I wanted to use up.

DSCF5129

Next I needed some insulation. I used left over fabric batting. Remember – Never throw anything out! These were small and oddly shaped pieces that I was able to cut into 4 by 4 squares.

DSCF5130

Batting still doesn’t account for the condensation issue. I need plastic! I’ve made these before with painters plastic and I prefer to use that. However my stash was out and right now I’m not buying new supplies unless needed. Instead I can upcycle some plastic bags!

DSCF5134

I tried my rotary cutter first and it worked! Shown below are the bags cut into 4 by 4 inch squares.

DSCF5135                    DSCF5136

Time to make sandwiches! Put the two fabric squares right sides together. Then lay a plastic square, insulation square, then plastic square on top and pin.

DSCF5137                   DSCF5138

Next sew the square around leaving a gap along one edge for flipping. Then cut off the extra trimmings and thread.

DSCF5139                   DSCF5140

Next flip your squares so that the fabric is on the outside.

DSCF5141

Pin the mouth shut.

DSCF5143

Sew around the outside edge. (For a wedding present I made some for a friend and I added a 2-inch square seam and it really popped. I’ve also done some with a spiral square seam pattern and that also looks really good. I imagine you can do all sorts of seam patterns to add extra zest to the coasters and to make them lie flatter.)

DSCF5146

Finally a finished product! The coasters work on hot and cold beverages.

DSCF5152

Note: Since there is plastic inside, do not use these as mini oven mitts. They are machine washable, but I’d let them air dry.

Upcycle Grocery Bags into a Macramé Potted Plant Holder

This is a recycle, upcycle, and craft DIY for all of those bags you have in your cupboard. Lets not lie, we all have a time or three where we forget to bring our cloth bags to the grocery store. Then the bagger tells you they’re out of paper bags so you cave and get plastic.  Next you are left with a multitude of plastic bags.

Aside from using them to pick up dog poo and to line your bathroom waste bin, there are a few craft options for you. My favorite is to make rope from the bags. In addition a lot of images of macramé potted plant holders have been floating around the internet which gave me the idea to make this item.  If you follow my instructions you will be able to upcycle 36 plastic bags. I do not provide macramé instructions in this post, your macramé will need to match the pot you want to use.

DSCF4958

Step 1. Lay the bag flat as shown below. Cut the bag in half.

DSCF4932           DSCF4934

Step 2.  Align the bag-half on it’s side as shown below. Cut down from the handle to the seam at the base, but do not cut all the way through. The desired result is a circle. To make thicker rope, skip step one and lay the bag shown in the right image below and cut down from both handles at the same time until you get to the seam at the bottom.

DSCF4936           DSCF4937

Step 3. Count them! I have 18 loops cut from 9 bags, you want a number divisible by 3 so you can braid evenly.

DSCF4938

Step 4. Knot the bags together. You need three strands that are two bags long to start. Add additional bags as you go, do not tie all the bags together to start, it is HARDER that way.

This is one way to tie the bags. Lay them end to end and grab as I’ve shown in the 3rd and 4th images below. Pull with both hands. (I had to hold the camera with the other hand, so bare with me)

DSCF4940           DSCF4941

DSCF4942           DSCF4944

Pull until the knot is tight, but do not pull so hard you stretch the plastic. You may have to work the bags a bit with your hands. Mine usually get stuck at the point below and I have to work the knot tighter; this is because the plastic bags have friction!

DSCF4945

The other way to do the knot, and the way I do all subsequent knots after the first, is shown below. Grab and pull. Once again work the knot when you get near the end so that it is tight. The desired knot is shown in the right image below.

DSCF4946           DSCF4947

Step 5. Tie three of the strands in a knot and begin to braid. DO NOT attach all the bags together first and then begin to braid. Only attach two bags for each strand in the braid, when you get to the end, attach the next bag to each strand. I’ve done this before where I’ve had huge lines of bags tied together, braiding that is a nightmare.

DSCF4948           DSCF4949

Once the braid is long enough I highly recommend tying it to a nearby post/table/chair so that the braiding becomes easier.  The second image below shows what the knots look like in the braid: there is a slight budge but it is really not noticeable. Usually the knots will be at different points along each strand so that you will never have a point where all three knots come together at once.

DSCF4951           DSCF4953

Step 6. Macramé time. After you have all of your strands then it is time to macramé them together to form your potted plant holder. I used 4 strands made up of 9 bags each. The second image below shows the somewhat finished product. I hadn’t noticed that the knot was off center until much later, so that has been adjusted since this image was taken.

DSCF4957            DSCF4961

This is what it looks like in my garden.

DSCF4958

Lessons: I need to macramé better and next time I may try to color coordinate the bags. Other than that I’ve made rope before from bags and each time I get better. This time I had much thinner rope because I cut the bags in half first. A thicker rope will look like the image below from last year. The rope was intended as a dog deterrent and it worked!

DSCF4232