New Projects: DIY Wall Art and Wine Bottle Vase with Paper Flowers

I got on a bit of a crafting kick this weekend and decided to finally do something with the cardboard I have lying around in my room. I have a bunch of moving boxes from when we moved in that I’m storing under my bed, but they’re kind of overflowing, so I decided to take one of the less sturdy ones and turn it into something interesting.

After installing my TV Saturday morning, I realized that there was a big blank space on the wall that was nicely framed by the nearly-heightdentical bookshelf and tower lamp. I considered buying some kind of art piece, and then I remembered that I’m totally broke and decided to make my own.

Inspired by this post on Moccasin Telegraph, I decided to chop up some of my own cardboard into triangles, decorate them with cardstock, and hang them on the wall in an abstract pattern. I’m still a little tentative on the pattern, hence the reason they’re still being held up by pushpins, but I’m pretty sure this is what’s going to stick. I wanted to make it look like it was one large piece that’s shattering to the right, and I think I got it. That or it looks like a large game of shabby chic Asteroids. Whatever. If I dream about playing Asteroids tonight, I’ll know it’s because I was looking at this before I fell asleep.

I really don’t think this project photographs very well, as it doesn’t look very impressive in pictures. But it makes a pretty big statement in my room and I really enjoy looking at it all the time.

Secondly, I used an old wine bottle to make a super hipster vase for these flowers I made out of jewelry wire and pages from an old NYC guidebook I got when I moved. Since I don’t care about saving my wine labels–I buy cheap wine because I’m poor, so the labels are nothing to me–I used the famous “soak the bottle in water and scrub off the soggy labels” technique (ps, did you know canola oil will get stickiness off of a surface like it ain’t no thang? it’s true.). I used Kitty’s super fantastically easy tutorial on making the flowers, but basically I just strung a whole lot of  strips of paper onto the wire and somehow it winds up looking like a really fantastic flower.

I think I used a lot more paper for my flowers than she did, so mine are a bit fuller and a little less controlled looking. Hers were for a wedding reception and mine are for my living room, so perfection wasn’t as important to me–plus, uniqueness and all that, right? But I used some leftover gold wire that I have (since I don’t often get orders for gold wired things), and hot glued a little button from my button bowl (you’ll see that in a later post, I’m sure) onto each one. I made seven and arranged them so it looks like a pretty little set of flowers, but you can do whatever you want, obviously.

Had I thought it through beforehand, I probably would have tea-stained the paper to give it more of a vintage look, but I’m sure as time goes on they’ll look more worn. Also, I cut a little strip of fabric from a pocket square I have just hanging around and hot glued it to itself and then glued a button on top, and suddenly the wine bottle looked like an actual vase.

I’m all about crafting for free, guys. I did every single thing today with things that I already had lying around. I know that you may not have all of this, but for a cost rundown, I think a hot glue gun costs about five bucks, cardstock can be cheap if you buy a pack on clearance at a craft store (or you can buy individual sheets!), most convenience stores will just give you their leftover cardboard if you ask, you can use literally whatever you want as stems, and…is that it? Oh, I recommend having a book on hand that you can tear pages from – you can get those for, like, a quarter at your local thrift. Seriously. The only thing I may have paid more than $5 for in this set of craft stuff is the wine bottle and that’s because I bought it with wine in it.

My next project is to try to cut myself a custom stamp for my Etsy out of a wine cork, which…well, we’ll see how that goes. I’m fairly confident that I can figure it out, though, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

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