Category Archives: Handmade

9000things DIY Decoupage Bottle Tutorial

This DIY upcycle project is a perfect way to use up those empty glass bottles you’ve got around the house! (Because, let’s face it: wine.)

DIY-Wine-Bottle-Upcycle-Tutorial---9000things

1 DIY Decoupage Bottle Kit from 9000 things includes the following materials:

1 recycled bottle (de-labeled and ready to go!)
1 brush
1 jar of decoupage glue/varnish
1 sheet of French decoupage paper
*We get our paper from a fancy French company that specializes in this stuff. These papers are thin, flexible and incredibly strong, they are deep dyed and glazed so they won’t run, break apart or tear while you are working with them, and they don’t fade.

DIY Decoupage Bottle Kit - 9000things

Instructions:

1. Paper prep: Start by tearing a strip of paper off the large sheet, make a few strips. (If you like the pattern of the paper this will allow you to keep some of the design on the bottle). Laying the strips next to each other in order. From one strip tear into smaller pieces.

DIY Decoupage Tutorial - 9000things DIY Upcycle Project - 9000things DIY Upcycled Bottle Kit - 9000things

2. Now that you have a collection of torn pieces of paper, it’s time to glue!
Working quickly, brush on a thin layer of glue onto a section of the bottle . Glue should be evenly spread and just enough to see a little white color, you do not want to have any pools or drips of glue. Too much glue will cause creases and bubbling.

DIY Upcycled Home Decor - 9000things DIY Project For Empty Wine Bottles - 9000things

3. Use the same paint brush to pick up a piece of torn paper – to save you getting any glue on your hands. You can tear up all your paper beforehand, or use scissors if preferred!

4. Place the paper onto glue section of glass, and smooth out the creases by applying another layer of glue over the top and gently pushing. Sometimes I use my finger to smooth a stubborn piece into place.

PRO TIP! If you have trouble with creases or bubbles, don’t paint over the paper until the glue on the back has dried. This will minimize bubbling and wrinkling.

DIY Wine Bottle Upcycle Project - 9000things DIY Tutorial Decoupage Bottle - 9000things DIY Recycled Wine Bottle Tutorial - 9000things

5. Continue adding your paper cut-outs until the bottle is completely covered. Overlapping pieces slightly. Fill in any small gaps with scraps.

6. Then leave it to dry for 1-2 hours. You can apply a second thin layer of glue on top to add a protective coat, the glue dries clear.

TA-DA! Your finished bottle is ready! Will it be proudly displayed on your mantle, hold freshly cut wildflowers on a window sill or will you wrap it up with a pretty bow for a lovely handmade gift?

DIY-Empty-Wine-Bottle-Upcycle-Project---9000things

Posted in DIY, Handmade, Party Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skylines Now Available in the Shop

Skylines are now available here!

As always, if you’re looking for a specific color or design, contact me because I have significant back stock that comes to shows with me and isn’t online.

But check it out!

<3 A

Boston Skyline Art - Upcycled Wallpaper - by 9000things

Posted in Art, Design, Handmade | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Every Part of the Animal

I have nothing against leather, but I don’t know if I would buy new leather for myself or as supplies for 9000things.

However, if it isn’t clear by now, I like incorporating salvaged materials into new designs. I saw a lot of potential in the beautifully dyed leather scraps leftover from other handmade artists.

I call this project: Every Part of the Animal, based on the Native American principles of reducing one’s impact on the earth and minimizing waste by reusing parts that might normally be discarded.

I get the leather scrap from other crafters in Boston. The larger pieces are cut into 8″ strips (1/4″ – 2″ wide), then punched and set with snaps to make colorful leather cuffs.

Salvaged Scrap Leather Cuffs - 9000 things

Now there are medium sized pieces left which are sliced into 3/4″ strips and cut repeatedly to make leather fringe. The fringe is layered and clamped and strung on coated steel for awesome necklaces.

Salvaged Scrap Leather Fringe Necklaces - 9000 things

The small skinny scraps that are left over are the perfect size for long fringe earrings.

 

Salvaged Scrap Leather Fringe Earrings - 9000 things

There’s almost nothing left as waste!

Shout out to sacAmain and Edie & Fin for making beautiful things and for saving their leather scraps for me!

Currently, these are one of a kind and only available in person at handmade shows. However, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to purchase a cuff, necklace or earrings.

Posted in Design, Handmade, Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fringe Necklaces Photo Shoot

I’m ramping up production on my vegan suede Fringe Necklaces that were really popular this summer. And I’m adding a bunch of new color combinations!

Anyway, I realized I reallllly need to reshoot them with my fancy-schmancy camera and brand new glorified cardboard box DIY light box.

Rather than just shoot them on white, I pinned up these colored papers to make the photos more interesting and I love how they came out:

Fringe Necklace Styling Lookbook - 9000things

 

Click HERE to go to the 9000things shop!

Posted in Design, Handmade | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obsessed with Wallpaper Pattern Design

I’ve been collecting all kinds of wallpaper for years now. I’m completely obsessed with the printing processes, designs and patterning and even though I put the salvaged wallpaper samples to good use, I have to fight the urge to just hoard all of the pretty for myself and never share!

I just sent a huge pile of wallpaper out to the laser cutter and in a week I’ll get back a few hundred Boston skylines in crazy colors and patterns. Here’s what happens when I get them back:

More on that subject here.

Posted in Handmade, Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dia de los Muertos Costume DIY

Geez, it’s been an embarrassing amount of time since my last blog post. This fall was BUSY. Updates to come, but let’s get going with a last minute Day of the Dead costume!

It’s all about the flowers and the makeup. A little strapless dress with flashy tights is all you need for a base. But the accessories make the outfit.

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY tutorial - by 9000things

The wig is optional, but just an all-around good idea. The number of strangers who will take your photo is directly proportional to the height of your beehive. Fake eyelashes, on the other hand, are obligatory.

All that and the makeup aside… Here’s how I made the really simple accessories:

First, go buy a ton of fake flowers from the dollar store.

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

For this project you’ll want the flowers with plastic coated wire stems so you can bend them around the belt.

Supply list:
bendy stem fake flowers
belt with lots of holes (or punch the holes yourself!)
textured plastic headband (textured for hot glue to grab onto)
scissors (probably)
hot glue gun
hot glue sticks
wire cutters

Optional:
dollar store skeletons and twine
cheap plastic skull rings
sharpies

Separate the stems and clip them off close to the base.

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

Having way too much fun with fake flowers…

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

I totally scored when I found this slotted belt at Marshall’s for 10 bucks. I was planning on doing a whole lot of wire wrapping and hot gluing, but I recommend trying to find a belt with holes, or buying a thin leather belt and punching the holes yourself. So. Much. Easier.

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

This part is as simple as threading the stems through the slots and wrapping the wire around the belt a few times to hold it in place!

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

Keep wrapping more and more flowers! Where the stems are threaded close together, the flower belt will get thicker (do this towards the middle). To taper off the ends, leave more open holes between flower stems.

Optional: I found this hanging skeleton garland, cut them apart and loosely tied them over the flowers on my belt!

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

Next! A matching crown of flowers! I opted for asymmetry though it’s customary to go the whole way around with huge multi-colored blooms. The key here is the headband with some texture so the hot glue has something to grab onto. Otherwise you’ll find the flowers falling off everywhere…

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000thingsDia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

Use a generous amount of hot glue. Just pour it all on there.

And for a little bonus, I found these cheap plastic skull rings at the dollar store – 50 for a buck! – and with a little sharpie magic, made some Dia de los Muertos knuckle rings:

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

Ta da! Dia de los Muertos accessories for the best Halloween ever!

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costume DIY - by 9000things

Posted in DIY, Handmade, Party Ideas, Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston Skyline Wall Art

I started making these recycled wallpaper skylines of Boston about 6 years ago and after a long hiatus, I’ve decided to start making them again because they’re so much fun!

I have a huge collection of wallpaper samples that I’ve collected from outdated sample books. Some of the papers are so beautiful; brightly printed florals with caked on ink, classic victorian damasks and monotone french toiles… (swoon!)

I send the raw paper out to a laser cutter (don’t do this at home – vinyl is toxic when burned) with a vector drawing of the skyline that I compiled from a bunch of photos I took from the north side of the Charles. When I get them back, I collage the skyline with a contrasting background wallpaper and mount it on wood and clear coat the face.

I’m totally obsessed with wallpaper. And if you love Bob Vila as much as I do, check out this video of that one time when he went to a wallpaper factory and it blew my mind.

Posted in Art, Design, Handmade | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

MY [rusty, fixer-upper] BIKE WAGON!!!

I have a bike wagon. I am extremely excited about my bike wagon.

I got this amazing, well built wagon from a guy in Southern Mass (right near the RI border) – an engineer who knows how to weld and likes to build things. He made it himself and years ago he used to throw a lawn chair in the back and ride around with his kids, and then his grandkids towed behind his bike. Best back story ever? Yeah.

This man was kind enough to pass the wagon off to me, and I have grand dreams of transforming this well loved hunk of metal into a sparkly new mobile art shop.

Here are the before pictures, and I’ll continue to update as I make progress!

Imma DIY This Rusty Bike Wagon So Hard - by 9000things Imma DIY This Rusty Bike Wagon So Hard - by 9000things Imma DIY This Rusty Bike Wagon So Hard - by 9000things Imma DIY This Rusty Bike Wagon So Hard - by 9000things Imma DIY This Rusty Bike Wagon So Hard - by 9000things

Check out that rust! The rims need some love, the tires need to be replaced, the whole body needs to be cleaned, scrubbed, prepped, primed and repainted. BRING IT.

Posted in Design, DIY, Handmade, Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Handmade Bohemian Necklaces – Summer 2013

These new boho summer necklaces are handmade in small batches with vintage beads and salvaged gold chains. The collection was inspired by the bright sunny colors of retro jewelry, some found wooden beads and a gorgeous old strand of natural seed beads. The beads come from the Lagrima de San Pedro plant from the rainforests of Equador and are a beautiful teardrop shape.

Because all of these necklaces share a few common elements, they are made to be mixed and matched and layered, or worn separately! Here are a few combinations that we put together:

Boho Chic Necklace | 'Fawn' | by 9000 things Bohemian Layered Necklace | 'Fawn' | by 9000 things Boho Chic Necklace | 'Flora' | by 9000 things Bohemian Layered Necklace | 'Flora' | by 9000 things Boho Chic Necklace | 'Wood Nymph' | by 9000 things Bohemian Layered Necklace | 'Wood Nymph' | by 9000 things Boho Chic Necklace | 'River' | by 9000 things Bohemian Layered Necklace | 'River' | by 9000 things Boho Chic Necklace | 'Raven' | by 9000 things Bohemian Layered Necklace | 'Raven' | by 9000 things

 

Check them out, and mix and match your own sweet summer necklace at the 9000things shop!

Posted in Handmade | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shop Handmade, Shop Local

Hanging out at a show in Boston on a really hot day, I made this hand lettered sign to encourage everyone everywhere to support local, handmade small businesses rather than large (probably evil) corporations.

Feel free to share :)

Shop Handmade | hand lettered signage | 9000 things

Posted in Graphic Design, Handmade, Soap Box | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment