Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Suitcase Cat Beds

So let me start off by saying that I'm seriously addicted to Pintrest.  I mean 12 step program addicted.  I can't stop.  I spend hours pinning.  There are just so many good ideas!  

On that note, I found a fantastic pin of pet beds made out of old suitcases.  Seeing as how I have the 4 most spoiled cats in the world I had to make them.  

I went to my home town over the 4th of July.  My mom lives across the street from a fantastic little thrift store.  I found these gems for a dollar each.  I decided to only make beds out of the smallest 2.  The big one was definitely too big.


The original pin on Pintrest used the big, chunky furniture feet that screw on.  Being the thrifty crafter that I am, I didn't want to pay a minimum of $3 a piece for them.  I also thought the cats might take exception to getting stabbed in the butt by those long screws.  So, I found these 3.5" wooden game pieces at Amazon.  I got 10 of them for under $20.  I decided to leave them unfinished because they were actually a nice color and really smooth to start with.

Here's what it looked like after I added the feet.  They worked pretty well.  They're a wee bit rickety, but I think they'll hold up.  I did learn one valuable lesson, when you screw the legs on put a washer under the head of the screw.  I had one go all the way through the suitcase...

I decided that I should add an L bracket so that the lid wouldn't fall down and crush the kitties.  I have a couple black and white terrors that would make sure it did.

My lovely assistant, Sprocket, was kind enough to test the first one to make sure it was sturdy.

I made a simple pillow out of some fabric with old cars on it that I already had around.  This is wear I learned another valuable lesson.  I only made the pillow slightly larger than the measurements of the bottom of the suitcase.  It was way too small.  This is my second attempt.  I cut it 5" larger than the bottom.

This is directly before I learned my 3rd very important lesson.  Suitcases are top heavy and will tip over.  I recommend leaning it against a wall or maybe fashioning some sort of support on the back.

Here's the finished product.  They don't look half bad if I say so myself.

And here is a happy customer.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Afternoon of Spray Paint, Part 2.

Yesterday during my spray painting frenzy I also painted an old milk can to go in my kitchen.  I got it for $10 at a garage sale.  I did actually prime this one to cover up where it said charcoal.  It looked pretty grungy when I got it.

I used the same Cherry Red from the chairs. I had a bit left over.  I was probably more impatient than I should have been here.  The primer could have been more dry, and maybe I could have done a better job getting the paint on there even but hey, I think it looks just fine.  I already said that I was a bit of a half-assed crafter.  Now if I can just keep my cat from crawling in and getting stuck...

I learned a couple more things about spray painting after my last post.

1.  You should probably always ware a mask or bandana over your mouth and nose.  I discovered this later when I blew my nose.  Needless to say I had some lovely Cherry Red snot which you probably didn't care to know.

2.  Even if the painted item is dry, if you bring it in the house on the first day your house will smell very much like spray paint.  Perhaps even for days to come.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

An afternoon of spray paint. Part 1.

I'm a novice when it comes to spray paint.  I've only used it a few times and never with very good results.  However, I'm really lazy when it comes to my projects.  I like them to be quick and easy.  Hence the appeal of spray paint.  My Aunt & Uncle gave me some old wood chairs that came with the house they just bought.  They were pretty ancient and discusting but nice and sturdy, which is more than I can say for the Kmart chairs I have currently.

Many of the items in my kitchen are red.  I decided that would be a great color for these chairs especially to go with my black table.  As luck would have it I found 5 cans of Cherry Red, glossy, Krylon spray paint on clearance for under $2 a can.  I bought every can they had.  Being the lazy crafter that I am I decided I didn't need to prime.  I cleaned them up and sanded anything that needed it. Then I went for the glory.  It took me 3 coats of paint...

You can still see some of the wood grain but I think I actually like that.  It shows that the chairs are old and made of real wood.  They're also darker than I thought they'd be but I think they look pretty darn good, especially with the black table.  Only 3 fit around my table in my tiny kitchen or you can't walk past the island!

I'm going to be honest, they aren't perfect.  I'm sure I didn't get some places evenly coated and there are some drips.  I learned a couple valuable lessons here that I should have already known.

1.  Prime!  You will use a lot less paint and have a more even finish.
2.  Don't get impatient like I did and try to get it all in one coat.
3.  Keep the 6-8" away that the can tells you.  You don't want the ugly drips.
4.  Wear gloves.  I think my hands will be painty for days...
5.  It doesn't matter if you put down drop cloths, if it's windy there will still be paint everywhere.  I'm pretty sure I painted all the dust in my garage red.

This is an afternoon of spray paint part 1.  I painted until I had a rattle can blister.  I'll post some of my other projects later.
So I've never blogged before.  I just had the thought that I craft, and can and garden and such and other people might like to see what I'm doing.  Embroidery and knitting are probably my two favorite crafts, though I dabble with just about anything.  Here's a few things I've made in the past:

iPod case

Lately I've been making knitted hats.  Now I'm working on two t shirt quilts and cat beds made out of old suitcases.  Hopefully this blog won't be too boring and I can post some good projects!