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    With three people living in our apartment space is an issue. Scratch that. I am the issue. I am an organized clutter minimalist, if that even makes sense. Sure I may own a lot of things, but not really. Our apartment seems cluttered even though it looks rather empty. Don’t get me wrong I love the gifts my friends gave me, the art we have collected and a homey feel but it needs to be put away somewhere.  I don’t like things left laying on the coffee table, not even remotes. Which baffles my boyfriend as to what I think it’s supposed to be used for then. Well now I just sound like a weirdo. I truly believe that a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. I like the bright and spacious look of a clean and empty-ish looking apartment. So while space is a problem for storing our stuff it is also equally important how it is stored.

    We only have one closet for three people’s plethora of towels, bed linens and dining linens. Yes, we own dining linens. Also, I am so cheap, I want it free. Yes, I also said free. I decided to take this storage issue to the basement. Insert creaking stairs and eerie noises here. I found some seriously old, rusty cans of paint and a little bit of leftover shelf liner paper. I snagged some old shipping boxes, a Miller High Life, threw on some Law & Order Season 1 and went to town.  After painting the boxes white to cover up the USPS red and blue motif I added dots. I traced mugs, cups and shot glasses onto the shelf liner paper. I felt so fancy sipping my champagne of beers while cutting tedious circles. Oh Jack McCoy, your court banter is so witty. I could listen to you object all day. An episode and a half later and I was done. I threw sheets, pillowcases and tablecloths into the boxes, in an organized fashion of course and tied them closed with black ribbon. TADA!

    Of couse I had the perfect place to put them out of the way in our circus tent of a diningroom. So you can spend twenty bucks on a storage bin from the store or spend zero dollars and make them yourself.  The Miller High Life was even free. I found it in the back of the fridge. SCORE!

    Full Shot 2

    Full Shot 1        Close Up Materials    Boxes Step 1

    Boxes Final    Close Up 2    Boxes Final Close Up    Full Shot 2


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Crafts, Crafty Beavers Chicago

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    Ok I admit it, I am an adult. These days I give my friends and family practical gifts. I care about leaving rings on coffee tables at parties and sometimes even in my own home. Shocker!  Still, practicality doesn’t have to be hideous. Make your own coasters that are fashionable as well as functional.  My girlfriend Bridget came over to do a practice run for the November Crafty Beavers event. We cracked open a bottle of wine, cranked up the Diana Ross, turned on the hilarious fireplace t.v. and crafted under the influence. For added cheekiness I took photos of our crafting on our ringed coffee table.

    Warning: GLITTER GETS EVERYWHERE! In fact, I left the glitter out on the table and my cats got into it and tracked it all over my house while we were sleeping. Eight hours of kitty glitter mischief is near impossible to clean up.


     Supplies you will need: 4 inch white tile, Mod Podge, foam brush, paint dish, scissors, sheet of black felt, glitter, Polyurethane (spray or liquid version) and a 2-3 inch deep container. You could also use scrapbook paper (see above leopard print scrapbook paper), old photographs or thin fabric.


    First you need to felt the backside of each tile. You want to protect your furniture not to mention hide the ugly back. Cut the felt down so it is a bit smaller than your tile. It should not be sticking out beyond the sides. Pour Mod Podge on a paint tray or plate. Use the foam brush to apply M.P. to the back of the tile. Place the felt onto the back and firmly press it down into the grooves. You are doing this first so you don’t mess up your glitter job putting felt on the back.


    Pour an ample amount of glitter into your container. Flip over your tile and brush Mod Podge onto the front and sides. Place your tile face down into the dish of glitter. Use your fingers to push glitter onto the sides. Remove the tile and let it dry for an hour. You may need to reapply a layer of Mod Podge and repeat the glitter application to fill in holes.

    (If you prefer to use an old photo, scrapbook paper or thin fabric apply it to the front of the tile instead of the glitter)

    Once you have the desired amount of glitter on your dried tile apply one more layer of M.P. You want to secure the top layer of glitter. If you wish to have a glossier, smoother surface you can swipe on a top coat of Polyurethane.  You can get the poly at your local hardware store. I have also heard that Mod Podge makes an “outdoor’ version which is water proof. This would work as well and probably easier than the poly. Let dry and enjoy your new, fabulous coasters!













    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Crafts

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    There are few things worse than a cabbie honking his horn threatening to leave if you don’t put a hustle on it. This is the story of my life because I can never remember where the hell I put my keys. I decided it was time to rectify the situation and make myself a key dish.  I hopped on my bike and headed over to Joann Fabrics.  I came upon a company called Sculpey which takes all the pain and search suffering out of clay crafts. Right there in one little section they had clay in several different sizes in over 20 colors, clay rollers, sealants and fun stamps. I tried to stick to the basics and avoided purchasing stamps. Honestly it’s because I’m cheap and was sure there were things lying around my house I could use instead.

    Things you will need:  2oz. oven bake clay (I used one 2oz. package per dish),  rolling pin or clay roller,  stamps, small oven safe bowl,  baking pan, 200 grit sandpaper or nail file (optional: acrylic paints and sealer)




    Preheat the oven to 275°F (130°C). You should knead the clay first between your fingers. This makes it easier to work with. Use your rolling pin or clay roller to roll out the clay. It should be 1/4″ thick. Roll it out on wax paper. If you want to have a patterned bottom of your dish use a texture plate. You can purchase them at your local craft store for rather inexpensively. I painted the bottom of mine so I did not use a plate.



    Oddly, I had brass knuckles that I purchased at a flea market so I used them. Push the stamp into the clay deep enough to leave an imprinted image. Don’t push too deep or you will punch through the clay.





    Peal your clay up off the wax paper. Place in the bottom of a small oven safe bowl. The bowl needs to be small enough so the clay takes the bowls shape and edges are rounded.  Put the bowl in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the bowl.



    Ta Da! Remove the clay and you have your very own bowl.  If you want softer edges use a nail file or 200 grit sandpaper and smooth them out. You can stop here or paint your new bowl. If you paint it make sure you use a sealer afterward. You don’t want your new key /jewelry dish getting scratched.