Thursday, March 26, 2015

Medicine Cabinet Makeover

My bathroom cabinet was rusty and in dire need of some sprucing up. After some sanding and a few coats of enamel paint, it was looking much better.
I added a piece of clear Contact paper to the bottom shelf to protect it. I also used chalkboard style Contact paper on the inside of the door so we can write notes.

Can you tell I love Contact paper? If you live in an apartment and don't want to make a permanent change to your cabinet, try patterned Contact paper for the back and bottom of the cabinet. If you have solid shelves instead of glass, cover those in Contact paper, too!

To corral my necessaries, I used a variety of items I thrifted or had on hand. Shot glasses are perfect for mouth wash, and a family heirloom monogrammed silver cup holds cotton swabs. Other cups and holders are from discount stores. Don't forget a piece of chalk.
Things I'd do differently next time:
Sand the existing paint more thoroughly to remove rust or use a primer coat of Killz. A few rust spots bled through three coats of paint.
Thanks for stopping by and keep living the qute life!
~Susie Qute
The very ugly before... the adorable after!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Typewriter Key Ring DIY

I love buying vintage typewriters and ripping their guts out. There, I said it. I knew I had a problem when I'd destroyed three typewriters and only had one ring to show for it. I forbade myself from buying any more typewriters until I used up the ones I'd already wrecked.
So of course I had a bag of keys and innards in my miscellaneous crafts box for roughly five years. But no more! Today I unearthed them so they can live anew. If you don't have a shameful stash like me, you can purchase keys online or keep an eye out for your own typewriter to destroy! Bwah-ha-ha! upcyle.

Nitty Gritty
  • Optional-clamp to hold keys while you cut them down. Mine is wooden. Any kind will work, but one with a flat edge makes a nice cutting guide. You may not need this if your keys are already thin and flat.
  • Typewriter keys
  • Ring blanks (available online, I like Rings & Things for a wide range of jewelry making supplies).
  • Fine file or sandpaper
  • Coping saw with a fine blade
  • Super glue or epoxy
Directions for Cutting Down a Plastic Typewriter Key (if you're using flat metal keys, buttons, etc. skip to step 9)
  1. As always, protect your work surface.
  2. Prepare your coping saw. If you haven't used one, I'll be adding a page soon with some basic craft techniques so check back later!
  3. Clamp the key as shown at right so a little over 1/8" is protruding.
  4. Use a thick book or similar item to elevate your clamp. Otherwise it's hard to saw down to the bottom.
  5. Brace the clamp with one hand and applying gentle pressure saw through the key. It will look like the picture below on the left.
  6. Your key will probably have some rough edges. Use your file and sandpaper to smooth them down.
  7. Before gluing things together, you should rough up the surface a bit to improve adherence. Use your file to lightly abrade the back of the key and the top of the ring blank.
  8. Clean out any plastic dust.
  9. Decide how you want to position the key on the ring blank. Once you glue it there's no going back.
  10. Turn the key face down. Apply several drops of super glue, epoxy, or glue of your choice. Press the ring blank gently into place. You only have a couple of seconds before the glue sets, so work fast!
  11. Use firm pressure to hold the key and ring together for 20 seconds while the glue sets. Set aside and allow to cure for a couple of hours before wearing.
  12. Enjoy and don't forget to post pics for us to ooh and aah over!

You can use these as charms, pendants, barrettes...the sky's the limit! The quickest way to make a charm is drill a small hole and add a jump ring, but you can buy other types of backings and bails online. You can glue almost anything to a ring blank, for example vintage buttons, vintage clip on earrings (remove the clip and glue on), things you create with shrink film (Shrinky Dinks are made of this), old gears or watches, etc. Have fun finding things to turn into fabulous jewelry.

Thanks for stopping by and keep living the Qute life!

~Susie Qute