File This Under Y

For Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

Pretty much ever since Dragon graced our doorstep, the blinds in the living room have been trashed.  He’s a pretty headstrong cat, and if he wants to see the squirrels and birds and bunnies, he’s going to see the squirrels and birds and bunnies.  From the safety of the indoors.  Because he’s kind of afraid of going outside.

As a result, the blinds started looking a little like this:

Something in my head said, “Hey, I wonder if I can make these crappy blinds into roman shades.”  So I went to the Google.  And it turns out, I can.  Little Green Notebook has great easy to follow instructions. I was a little nervous cutting into the blinds, but really, they were so far gone that if I screwed them up more, who cares?  Armed with the knowledge that I could just buy new ones if I botched these, I pulled out the scissors and went to work.

Strings cut and most slats removed.

I used E-6000 instead of fabric glue, because that’s what I could find in my sewing room.  I also serged and hemmed the edges of the panels instead of just gluing them down.  I couldn’t reuse the plugs that kept the strings to the bottom bar, so I just tied the strings around the bar before gluing it down.  The end result:

The blinds themselves never worked well–or I just really suck at operating blinds… this is entirely possible–but the fabric hasn’t affected the operation of the strings in any way.  Well, I take that back… the strings are behind the fabric, which makes it a little inconvenient.  There’s really no other way for that to happen with this, so if you like to raise and lower repeatedly, this may not be the project for you.

For us?  We never move them, and they’re strictly for privacy.  And, more importantly, the cat can’t really screw them up.  He might snag the fabric, but that’s it.  Great way to repurpose, I say.

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Iron Craft Challenge 1

In an effort to jump start my promise to be more crafty this year, I joined up with the Iron Craft peeps.  52 craft challenges with one week to finish them.  The first challenge was to make something to light up the dreary winter bluckies.  Technical term.

I made up some wine bottle torches, and took a few “in progress” photos to show you how it’s done.

First up, the supplies:

  • Wine Bottles–or any bottle with approx 1″ opening (free from your own lushiness or from friends/family)
  • 1/2″ x 3/8″ copper couplers (found in plumbing section of your local do-it-yourself store for about $0.75)
  • 1/2″ caps (same, about $0.25)
  • Teflon Tape (same, about $0.99 for a roll that will last you forever.  Or your SO might have some in the junk drawer that you find after you already made a bunch of these)
  • Tiki replacement wicks (seasonally found at said DIY store, unseasonally found online for a couple bucks plus terribly high shipping costs)
  • Not pictured, torch fuel ONLY for tiki torches (ditto what I said about wicks).

Easy-peasy instructions:

Wrap teflon tape around the 1/2″ end of your coupler until it fits snugly into the wine bottle.  I don’t bother to cut the tape, I just pull until it snaps apart and smooth down the edges.

Fill bottle with fuel using a funnel.  If you don’t use a funnel, the teflon tape will slip and slide around on the fuel in the opening.  Stick wick in coupler, and insert wick/coupler set into the bottle.  If you find the wick slides in once it’s coated in fuel, you can use a pin stuck in at the top of the coupler to keep it in place–moving it as necessary (once the fire is out, of course).

When not in use, throw some caps on the wicks to keep them safe and dry.