LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

Wooden Crate Shelves

I can’t remember how, when, or why it started, but we have amassed a small collection of wooden crates. One came from a thrift store. Another from an estate sale. We had been using them for storage throughout the house when we had a need for more shelves in our living room.

LulaBelle aka Kiko is the type of cat that Jackson Galaxy of My Cat from Hell fame would deem an up-dweller. She’s happiest when she can climb to the highest point around. If she’s outside, you can often find Kiko up the tallest tree. She would love to be an outside cat, but for a variety of reasons she is not. We have to find ways to entertain/placate her inside the house. Our best tactic has been adding cat perches to a couple of windows and shelves around others.

When we found Kiko trying to scale our entertainment center (which is really just an old, revamped dining room hutch), we knew we had to figure something out for our living room. Otherwise the electronics were going to wind up broken on the floor. This is when Chad had the epiphany to mount some of our wooden crates to the wall next to the entertainment center. To attach the crates to the wall, Chad used plastic, expansion anchors and screws.

Wooden Crate Shelves

He placed them on the wall in a way that resembles steps, so the cats can jump from one to the other until they reach the top of the entertainment center. It’s not uncommon to find a kitty napping up there now.

Wooden Crate Shelves

I recognize this might not be everyone’s cup of tea – encouraging the cats to climb the furniture, but the concept of repurposing items into shelving should appeal to many of you. It’s a great way for us to display the wooden crates and make them a focal feature in our house. They are certainly more interesting than the generic shelving you’ll find at the hardware store. If you aren’t able to quickly come across old, wooden crates, you could certainly buy new ones and paint or customize them to your liking. Happy repurposing crafting!

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Upcycled Record Bowls

Lately I’ve been really into repurposing and upcycling items. I blame Pinterest! Over the past few months, I’ve been collecting old vinyl because there are so many things I want to make out of records. Fear not. I’m not intending to destroy any useable vinyl. That is on par with cutting up a perfectly good book just to make a craft. Instead I’m giving new uses to scratched records that would otherwise end up in a dumpster somewhere.

While cleaning house this morning, I realized how many records I’ve amassed and put into a pile in the corner. I decided it was time to peruse my Record Craftiness board on Pinterest and start making things with all these records. Years ago I coveted bowls made out of records in an Uncommon Goods catalog. Luckily I have a pin from Stars for Streetlights that details how to make them yourself. She was inspired by one of my favorites, Mark Montano. It was a total no-brainer that I had to try these bowls.

My first attempt was with a standard 12 in. record. Well, maybe not so standard – it was a rap single. We are who we are. I learned with it not to walk away from the oven. Vinyl warps quickly at 350 degrees. Keep a close eye on it because it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 mins.

Upcycled Record Bowl

Confident in the technique, I moved onto brightly colored records that I rescued from the trash a couple of months ago. Working at a music store has its perks! Bowls were exactly what I had in mind when I found them. I haven’t seen many crafts made out of colorful records, presumably because they are harder to find. If you do come across some, make sure to snag them.

Colorful Record Bowls

These bowls were so quick and easy to make that I can’t believe I waited so long to try them. I can see myself making many more of these to gift at Christmastime. Happy upcycled crafting!

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Bottle Cap Earrings

A few years ago at one of my favorite local festivals, I happened upon earrings made out of bottle caps. I had my hand on my wallet when Chad offered up one of his most used lines: “We can make those.” He tells me this all the time. While I don’t doubt our collective abilities, I know that finding the time to make all these things can be tricky. Nonetheless I listened to him that day and added bottle cap earrings to the ever-growing list of “things we can make.”

Fast forward to last year when our local brewing company Ghost River started bottling its delicious Golden Ale. Their bottle caps feature their haunting and beautiful logo – a spooky silver tree on a black background. I scored some at a concert and so moved bottle cap earrings to the top of the “we are making these” list.

For my earrings, Chad breaks out the power tools and drills a small hole in the top of each bottle cap. If you don’t have access to a drill or a Chad that does, check out this tutorial at a Beautiful Mess. They used an awl and hammer to make their holes. I then clean out the bottle caps with a cotton swab and alcohol before attaching jump rings and ear wires.

I’m lucky to have an in at Ghost River brewing. The head brewer is an old friend, so I made him a deal. If he could get me unused bottle caps, I promised to make his lady a pair of earrings. He came through big time, and my friends are now all sporting Ghost River earrings.

Once you start making these earrings, you might choose which beer to drink based solely off of its bottle cap! I know I do. Happy drinking, I mean jewelry making!!!

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