Tagged: diy

Tiny Lemon Art

framed tissue tiny art - lemons

I framed a tissue, so now it’s art.

My boyfriend bought me this pack of tiny lemon-printed tissues in Japan, and there are few things I love more than tiny lemons. I wish it were a fabric print… the life of a tissue is far too fleeting for this cuteness! So I matted one and framed it for some tiny art.

framed tissue tiny art - lemons


DIY herringbone patterned tee: inkodye-d!

diy: herringbone inkodye tee

Today I’m going to share with you an awesome (and easy!) herringbone-patterned shirt I made with Lumi’s Inkodye.

What is Inkodye? It is photo-cured dye, a dye that develops in sunlight. This means you can use large negatives to develop awesome printed pictures, or you can make shadow prints using opaque objects. The biggest advantage of Inkodye to me, though, is the fact that, until it is hit by sunlight, it can be washed off. That means you can make a mistake, and if you haven’t exposed the dye yet, your piece isn’t ruined. Try that with a standard dye!

It can be used to dye natural materials: cotton, linen, or silk. For this project, I chose a standard Target longsleeve tee, 60% cotton/40% polyester. I washed and dried the shirt in order to preshrink it… then I just had to wait for Cleveland to give me a sunny day.

The color used in this tutorial is Yellow Green. Lumi no longer sells Yellow Green, but they now sell Inkodye in Blue, Orange, and Red. The orange looks amazing.

inkodye 1: masking tape herringbone pattern

For my negative, I wanted to use something that wouldn’t blow away on a sunny but windy day. So I chose to make a herringbone pattern out of masking tape!

inkodye 2: masking tape herringbone pattern

I did not measure, but placed the tape as evenly as I could. I wanted the finished pattern to have a not-quite-perfect, hand-painted look.

masking tape herringbone detail

inkodye applied

Once I was done taping, I slid a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box) inside the shirt to add stiffness and prevent the dye from bleeding through. Then I moved to a room with only one window, closed the blinds, and applied the Inkodye using a paintbrush. It is slightly goopy, not at all runny like many dyes can be. This quality makes it easy to apply with a paintbrush, a foam brush, or possibly even a squeegee for a screenprinting attempt.

inkodye - developing in sunlight

Having applied the Inkodye, I carefully carried the shirt outside into the sun, and set my timer for 10 minutes!

inkodye - developed in sunlight

I watched the color slowly deepen, and when the timer was up, I could definitely see a change in the dye’s shade. So I carried my shirt inside.

inkodye - rinse in sink

I returned to the dark room and carefully removed the tape from the shirt. I then handwashed the shirt in my sink, using standard laundry detergent (free & clear).

After handwashing, and pretty sure I had removed most of the excess dye goo, I stuck the shirt in the washing machine by itself, again with regular detergent.

inkodye - washed and set

The shirt lightened considerably after its real washing, most likely due to the polyester in my shirt fabric. I quite like the subtlety of the pattern, so I wasn’t disappointed, but it is something to keep in mind for future projects. After wearing it for a full day in the sun and washing it normally, it now has the aqua color shown in my awkward modeled shots.

I’m guessing the change in dye color upon first wearing is due to the polyester content of my chosen fabric, but it should be noted that the dye may be slightly unpredictable (as many dyes are). Perhaps the uncertainty of the mixture is what caused Lumi to stick to their base colors of Red, Orange, and Blue. But also worth noting is the fact that it hasn’t changed color further after that first wear – I’ve worn and washed this shirt plenty of times now and it’s still the same aqua-green.

Regardless, this is one of the easiest dyes I’ve worked with, and I feel it has lots of potential.

Hurray, Inkodye, for a quick and easy little project, and a very cute shirt!

diy: herringbone inkodye tee

And finally, to answer the most important question: yes, my necklace is a pretzel clown.

pretzel clown necklace

My Mama gave it to me recently. It was hers when she was younger, and when she gave it to me she said, “I’m giving this to you because I think you will actually wear it.” Actually wear it?! It’s the greatest pretzel clown ever! I wear it all the time.

(Lumi provided me with the Inkodye for this project at no cost. I was not further compensated for this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own – I really do think it’s super cool stuff.)

a $4 table DIY: my foray into woodworking & Ikea hacks

yellow $4 table : ikea find plus scavenged, repurposed legs

Every once in awhile, I enter a personal “Ikea phase”. When I’m in this phase, I adore walking around Ikea and playing with all the random items, sliding the drawers in and out, and sitting on the couches to watch Charlotte’s Web*. When I’m in this phase, I wander and therefore don’t mind getting completely lost.

When I’m not in this phase, I walk in and get instantly overwhelmed and become very annoyed when I’m lost. In fact, I don’t believe it’s possible to be any less than lost after stepping through the doors of an Ikea.

But I’ve been trying to cure myself of my Ikea phases for two reasons: because I have a terrible habit of accumulating furniture for no present purpose, and because I think I can make better (and more “me”) furniture than that which comes in those heavy flat boxes.

So it should be no surprise that my favorite spot in all of Ikea is “As-Is” land. The rejects and stray pieces, all clamoring to be part of my next DIY, eager for a better life than they were intended. It was from the “As-Is” land that I rescued the two halves of a large, yellow tabletop, marked $1.99 apiece.

dumpster-scavenged table legs: before

A month later, some friends and I were exploring the school quad when we saw a large open dumpster full of tossed furniture. Among the recently disposed treasures were four solid wood table legs.

“How convenient,” I said. “I have a tabletop waiting at home.”

dumpster-scavenged table legs: before

And so it began. The legs came to me as you see them above: scuffed and coated in an orange-ish semi-opaque stain. In my opinion, no woodworking crime is worse than the application of opaque stain. Why do that? Why cover up the grain? I just don’t understand.

dumpster-scavenged table legs: after sanding

First I saved the legs from the dumpster, then I freed them from their miserable solid-stained state. I could’ve gone at them with a scraper and some stain stripper, but I chose the fast track and used my Christmas present: my Milwaukee Orbit Sander. I turned it to a low speed setting, and gently worked my way up and down each leg. Since it was set to a low speed, the legs remained cylindrical without any funny flat spots. I can’t praise the sander enough – it’s a remarkable and very robust piece of machinery and I can’t wait to use it on more projects!

Also, it has a cute red dust collector bag.

I stained the legs with my favorite shade, American Chestnut, then gave them a few coats of protective, but not glossy, polycoat. I’ve learned that I love staining wood because it is fun and so easy! You brush it on, and it goes on all smooth, and then if anything’s gone wrong you just wipe it with a rag and it’s fine. So much easier than painting!

yellow $4 table : ikea find plus scavenged, repurposed legs

Above is a picture of the leg after: so much better, no? I can feel how happy it is to be out from under the opaque stain!

The legs were the easy part, but putting the table together wasn’t too bad either! I also had good help.

To make the halves stay together, we drilled holes down the unfinished center of each half and inserted four dowel pins. To keep the center from sagging, we attached an “apron”, a 3″x1/2″ hardwood frame, to the base of the table on all four sides. As you can see in the picture, it is unfinished at the moment, but I will probably stain it to match the legs.

The legs were already attached to steel plates with mounting holes when I found them, so that was easy. I screwed threaded inserts into the tabletop MDF so that the legs can be removed and reattached whenever necessary.

So with the two halves together, the apron attached, and the legs screwed on… the table could stand on its own! Project accomplished.

And I think I can say it looks better than Ikea – and far better than $4!

Products Used**:

*Charlotte’s Web (the animated one of course!) was one of my brother and I’s favorite movies when we were little, and eventually our VHS copy could only play in green squiggles with wobbly sound. So sitting in Ikea, watching Fern take care of Wilbur in full color (not green), is a nostalgic experience.

**I tell you which products I use in case that will help you with your own DIY. I was very happy with how this project turned out, which is the only reason I lightly recommend the products. The Amazon link is a referral link, but the others are just there for your reference.

And yes, this project used supplies (dowel pins, threaded inserts, and hardwood framing) that would have cost more than $4 if I hadn’t had them laying around. But isn’t that what a stash is for?