DIY: Making Your Own Jewelry Box Part I – Painting

This is one of my all-time favorite crafts!  It is simple, inexpensive and yet so much fun; there is so much versatility – the options for creativity are endless!  Here is one I made recently.
Let me take you through it step by step so that you can make your own!
What you will need:

Part I
–     –  Wooden jewelry box (I got this one for less than $5 at Walmart)
–     –  Paintbrushes (a variety of sizes is best, and it is good to have at least one medium sized            brush with a slanted edge)
–     –  Paint (I used FolkArt Multi-Purpose Paint that I bought at Walmart for around $1 ea., but      you can also use acrylic paint or paint specifically for wood if you prefer)
–     –  Masking Tape
–     –  Newspaper and Paper towels
–     –  Water Cup
–     –  Palette or paper plate
–     –  Pencil

     Part II
–     –  Jewelry Box Hinges – These were perfect for what I was looking for: Brass Hinges
–     –  Jewelry Box Feet – Dlawless LINK
–     –  Jewelry Box Corners – I used these lovely engraved corners: Brass Box Corner
–     –  Jewelry Box Clasp – I used this one: Mini Draw Catch
  1. Set Up Your Station.  Get the newspaper laid down over your work surface, get your water cup ready and your paper towels handy.
  2. Wipe Down the Jewelry Box.  Dap a small piece of paper towel in the water and rub the surfaces of the jewelry box to make sure and get any dirt off of it.  Let it dry for a few minutes.

  3.  First Coat of Paint for Main Color.  Once you have decided your color scheme and any designs you can begin to paint.  I usually begin with the main color first; in this case I started with the black.  For the first coat it is not necessary to be extra careful.   As you can see I did not exactly st
    ay perfectly within the lines. 
     However, I do try to be somewhat precise.  Also, make sure not to leave any blobs of paint – those will just keep building up and will definitely be noticeable on the finished product.  Before moving on to a different part of the box, double check and make sure the paint is level and even throughout.

    A Good Trick For Straight Edges: using a angled brush, hold the edge up to the line you want to paint and with a steady hand simply slide it across.
      The trick is not to force it – gently but firmly move the brush along in a smooth continuous motion.

  4. Let the First Coat Dry.  One of the great things about this wood painting is that it soaks up the paint and dries rather quickly.  It took about an hour and a half for mine to dry.  You can tell by looking at the paint closely and touching it lightly with your fingers.  If there are still wet areas it will look shinier and darker in that spot.  Smudges are not the end of the world, so don’t worry if you pick it up and it wasn’t dry yet!  Just correct lightly with a little more paint over the area and blend in.

  5. Second Coat of Paint for Main Color.  This time before you begin to paint, put masking tape on the edges against which you will be using other colors.  Apply the second coat; this one will take slightly longer to dry.

  6. Apply Two Coats for Detail Colors.  Remove the tape and now put tape around the edges of the first color and paint the first and second coats.
  7. Touch Up.  Remove the tape and touch up all the edges and make them look even.

    The first part of making your own jewelry box is complete.  Now your jewelry box is ready for the hardware and details that will really give it an elegant look!

How to Make Your Own Hula Hoop!

Hula Hoops have been around for quite some time – I remember playing with them all the time as a kid.  Who would have thought that as an adult I would return to that pastime with an equal or greater sense of enjoyment?  In the past decade or so Hula Hoops have been making a tremendous come back…they are a great form of exercise and there are many challenging tricks that you can learn.

Making your own hoop is a wonderful craft and much simpler than you might think!  

What you will need: 
  • PVC Pipe and Connector
  • Pot with 3/4 Water
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Hoop Tape
  • Mini Saw
  • Sand Paper

  1. Choosing the PVC Pipe.  There are various different sizes of pipe to choose from, and the weight and thickness determines how light the hoop is and how fast it will spin.  The usual size options are determined by skill level:

    1″ Pipe – Beginner level.  This is the heaviest and therefore will move the slowest.  It is great for work outs and learning the basics.
    3/4″ Pipe – Intermediate level.  This moves a bit faster and is great for learning tricks.
    1/2″ Pipe – Expert level.  This pipe size is very light, and the hoop will move rather quickly.  It is great for cardio work outs and advanced tricks.

  2. Choosing the Size of the Hoop.  The size of the hoop is also determined mostly by skill level.  Usually it is best to start with a larger diameter and as you advance move to smaller hoops.  For a beginner, you usually want to start with a hoop with a diameter from the floor to your belly button or just below.

    The size does not have to be exact; merely hold the PVC tubing up to your body and eye the size you want.  Make a mark with a pencil.

  3. Saw the Pipe.  Hold the hoop firmly and carefully cut the pipe at the mark.  This is what it should look like once it’s been sawed.

  4. Bring the Water in the Pot to a Boil.
  5. Connecting the Hoop Ends.  Hold one end of the pipe in the boiling water and count for 60 seconds.  Pull it out of the water and insert the connector, leaving half of it sticking out.
    Now hold the other end of the pipe in the water for 60 seconds and then slide it over the rest of the connector; squeeze and hold them together tightly.  Place the connected part under running cold water for a few seconds to help the plastic cool.  Once you are done it should look like this:

    Notice that the connection isn’t perfect – that’s okay, we will fix that and you won’t even be able to tell.  Also, it is a bit hard to notice in the picture but there are little plastic “frays” where the pipe was cut – this is okay as well and we will take care of it in the next step.

  6. Clean and Smooth the Pipe.  With a damp paper towel, wipe down the hoop and remove any dirt.  Using the sand paper, rub over the connection and smooth out the little plastic frays.  (You may also use a nail file for this step.)

  7. Seal the Connection.  Grab the duct tape and cut about a 3″ piece, then cut that down the middle.  Going right over where the pipes are connected, wrap the duct tape around the hoop.  Do it softly as you place it on the pipe and then squeeze once you’ve gone around to make sure you don’t get any ridges.  Reinforce the connection in the same way on each side and really make the connection strong.  I usually put 2 – 3 layers of duct tape.
  8. Pick Out Tape.  There are three main types of tape used:
    – Shiny/Glitter Tape
    – Electrical Tape
    – Gaffer Tape

    There are various places to purchase tape from, I usually buy mine from Iden
    – they have a HUGE variety of colors, styles, and sizes.

    I usually have a pattern of one or two glitter tapes, one electrical tape and one gaffer tape.  The electrical tape helps keep the glitter tape down, the gaffer tape helps give traction to keep the hoop from sliding off your body.  The glitter/ shiny tape easily slides off your skin, especially once you are sweating so this is something to keep in mind.

  9. Applying the Tape.  You will be wrapping the hoop with the tape at an angle – which is determined by how many different tapes you are using.  The more tape, the greater the angle.  Hold the hoop tapes you have chosen together and put them up against the hoop to get an idea of how much room you need and what angle.  Remember, that there will be some overlap, so you want to undershoot the width.
  10. First apply the glitter tape, keep in mind the angle.  This will take the most time.  Unlike the other types of tape, this kind is not very forgiving.  Work slowly and be patient, if you mess up and have a crease, unwrap the tape and re-apply.  It can be somewhat tricky to keep it smooth and even, but just slide your hand over it as you go along and don’t try to make it PERFECT or you will drive yourself crazy.  Remember that there will be other layers you will be adding and in the finished product small mistakes are not noticeable (especially once the hoop is moving around you!)


    For this particular hoop that I am making I used two different glitter tapes. I apply both glitter tapes first.

    As you can see, the spacing is not perfect, but that is alright because once the other tapes are added, it will look even.

  11. Next apply the electrical tape.  Overlap part of the electrical tape with the glitter tape to help hold the glitter tape to the PVC pipe.  This tape is MUCH easier to work with and it is stretchy so it is very easy to apply and great for fixing mistakes.

  12. Finally apply the gaffer tape.  This tape is also pretty stretchy and forgiving, so simply apply, also providing some overlap.  
    And now you are ready for some hooping! 
Happy Hooping Everyone!