Sunday, June 27, 2010

DIY Wine Glasses

For a long time I have lusted over those glasses that are made from old wine bottles. They are so cool. I mean really- a wine glass made from a wine bottle? Love it! I know you can buy those wine bottle cutters but I've heard its a lot of work and very time consuming. So after thinking some more about it I wondered it I could use my Dremel tool to do some of the heavy lifting.

I did some research and there is lots of info online on using a Dremel to cut glass (even though the company that makes Dremel says that is not one of the intended uses.) I thought it was worth a try though~

So I gathered my materials:

2 wine bottles (these were easy to get a hold of!)
Dremel Tool with Diamond Cutting Bit (or one the Bottle Cutters you can buy if you don't have a Dremel)
Masking Tape
Safety Goggles and Mask
Sand Paper 

First I started out by giving the bottles a nice warm bath to take the labels off.

See? Nice and clean!


I used a glass I already had to measure the height I wanted to cut. Then I put the masking tape around the bottle. 


The purpose of the masking tape is to help keep the glass shards from flying everywhere.


I again used my glass as a guide to draw the exact line I wanted to cut.

I again want to stress safety gear here. You should always wear goggle when cutting anything. The mask is important to- you don't want to breath in glass shards!


After I had my bottles all measured it was time to take it outside. I brought plenty of water because in my reading it was stressed that keeping the Dremel cool by dipping it in water was important. And to spray the glass with water periodically so it wouldn't overheat and crack. (Notice the baby monitor in the background?)


For the first few cuts I kept the tape on. Don't put to much pressure on the glass with the Dremel; let the tool do the work. To much pressure can cause the glass to break. I dipped the Dremel in the water every 10 - 20 seconds. And after each full pass around the bottle I sprayed it with water.


After a few full passes around the bottle I took the tape off. I found that holding the bottle with the open end towards you helped keep any breakage on the part of the bottle I wasn't going to be using.


And just when I thought it may not work- it did! The bottle broke cleanly in half.


I read that to smooth the glass down use sand paper in a tub of water. Start with a heavy grit and work your way down to a fine. Well that was taking for ever....


So I cheated and used the grinding bit on my Dremel. It worked really well!

Then I used the polishing bit to polish the edges smooth.


Now all done! They are pretty cool and I'm really happy with them. I love that they are a recycled product and the materials are easy (and fun) to come by. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Doggie Bookcase How to


A few people asked for more information about the Doggie Bookcase I made for Con-Man. I uploaded the templates I drew so you can print them out. Just click on the images to download them:
Template 1

There are 2 templates to print; one for the front half of the dog and the other is for the back half. They will each print on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Just cut each end out and tape the two sheets of paper together.

Once you download them and cut them out follow the instructions from the previous post (see link below). Good luck!

Doggie Bookcase

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welding Month Part 2

So as part of welding month I was going to fix up this chair. I found it on the side of the road and thought it was so cool.


I'm not sure how it got into the state it's in now but I was planning on using my "girl power" to straighten it out. 

I thought I could weld some patches to fix these rusted out parts then repaint the whole chair. No luck. I can't get the metal to bend back the way it was. I'm not ready to give up though; might have to enlist the help of the husband and his "man power"... Stay tuned, I may have a new patio chair eventually!

Anyone else have projects they start but don't go according to plan?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Curtain Rods!!

Finally! Finally I used my new welder- yay! I had been thinking about the Fleur De Lis Fence Rails I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been carting around for the last 2 years. I decided it was finally time to use them or lose them. A little back story about the fencing rails and why I love them so much. Besides the fact that they are Fleur De Lis' they have a really cool rusty patina that I love. They came from a fence that surrounded the parking lot of my old job. I would walk by everyday and gaze at them.  

One morning as I walked to work I noticed someone had pulled two of them off. And one other one had been tampered with as well. Hmmm, what's a girl to do? Well I did nothing about it for over a week. And they were still there- calling my name. Confession time: one day after work I decided to go for it. I drove up, threw the 2 on the ground into the car and pulled (yanked..) the third off the fence! Was this wrong? Maybe, hindsight is 20 x 20. The fence overall is still fine, I'm not the one who pulled them off to begin with. So really I was just picking up litter of the street. And now I had some iron rails to do something cool with!

But what? I've been thinking about replacing the curtain rods in our living room for a while now. I've had them since college and they're not bad looking but nothing fancy. And they're all bent up from the many apartment moves in college. So I decided it was time for replacing.

I have 2 windows in my living room, one large and one small. I thought I could weld 2 of the rails together with the Fleur De Lis at the ends as finials and the third I might be able to find a matching Fleur De Lis to weld onto it for the smaller window.

I had to cut the rails to size to fit the windows. So I brought out my trusty Dremel Tool. I LOVE my Dremel. I was able to cut the rails cleanly easily.

Next I used my Dremel to grind to rust off of the edges. This way I'll be able to make better welds on clean steel.


See? Shiny and new!


Here's a shot of the bar once I cut the unwanted portion off.


Once I had all my rails cut to size it was time for the welding! I hadn't used this welder before so I wasn't sure how it would work. Plus I hadn't welded in a long time anyway- so I was pretty rusty. I had some trouble at first, the welder didn't seem to be working and I couldn't figure out why. After a while I realized it was having trouble sending the electric current through the metal because of the rust. It took awhile to warm up but once it got going it worked great.


Here's a shot of the 2 rails welded together to make one long one for the large window.

I was able to find a matching finial, it was only $1.50. Score!


If you happen to be a professional welder you might say the weld above is pretty ugly. And you would be right. This party gave me some trouble for whatever reason, but I was able to grind it down and smooth it out.


I needed some paint to match my new finial to my rusty old ones. This is the best Home Depot had to offer; if anyone has any other sources I'd like to know because I wasn't completely satisfied with the end result.

I also bought some new hangers for the curtain and painted those as well. I probably should have put some paper down but oh well- the rain will wash it away. 

Side Note: If you are going to spray Spray Paint into a styrofoam cup; say so you can use it to paint the hooks that are already screwed into the wall- DON'T. Use a real plastic holder or something! Because the paint will eat through the cup and drip all over the floor. Then you will have to run to the kitchen with paint dripping everywhere, then run back and quickly clean up the paint before it dries and ruins your floor. I'm just sayin....


And viola! Finished custom curtain rods! 


I really like how they came out, the brown complements the curtains and paint much better than the black ones I had before.

Can you tell which is the bar I "helped" off the fence? 


I always try to use found objects in my projects but this could easily be done with new materials. The steel shop I bought the finial from sells the bars for $6.50 for a 24' long piece. That's so cheap! I may be redoing all my curtain rods!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beach Bag

I know I said that June is welding month, but technically I made this over Labor Day weekend and have just gotten around to posting it. I saw this tutorial on the blog Living With Punks. Check it out here:

This bag is made from pillow covers that were on clearance from Target. I love Target and I love clearance sales even more! So I thought this would be a fun project since we were going to the pool over the weekend.

These were the only pillow covers our Target had on clearance. The were only $3 each and I needed 3 to complete the bag. 1 for the strap, 1 for the lining, and 1 for the bag itself. The cool about this sewing project is that the zipper is already sewn in for you since it was a pillow case.

I cut them into 4" strips like the directions said. They are super easy to follow so don't be intimidated if your not an expert sewer (I'm not!)

Ironing my fabric. My mom always said this is an important step- always listen to your mom she's usually right.

Sewing the straps together.Finished strap ready to be turned inside out.

Putting some detail stitching on the straps.

About to sew the straps on-

Adding some pockets to the inside lining.

Just sewed the lining in

All finished! I took this to the pool and it was great. It fit my towel, sunscreen and some other pool essentials.