Category Archives: DIY

Way Back Craft: Gryffindor “Canopy”

Elena's "canopy"

Elena’s Gryffindor Canopy, approximately 2002

Well, we’re way past due for a Way Back Craft!

So, you want a Harry Potter bedroom?  The very first thing I think of when I think of Harry’s dormitory, is the four poster bed with house-colored hangings.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

It definitely would be.

Unfortunately, not all of us have the means or the space for a four poster bed.

This is the problem I encountered when designing a Harry Potter room for my daughter.  Her room has a ceiling fan and the room is just too small for a four poster bed.  The Gryffindor canopy was on her Must Have list when the room decoration was being planned.   I have the great fortune to have two very DIY parents and the first thing that popped in my head was mounting something lightweight on to the wall.

How about a faux canopy that gives the feeling of those hangings without the actual expense or space requirements of a real four poster?

Then I started thinking price.  Cheap would be good.  Very good.  PVC.  PERFECT!

A fun aside on this project – when I was buying the fabric, the woman at the cutting table at the fabric store asked if I was making a dress.  When I told her I was making a Gryffindor canopy for a Harry Potter bedroom, she stared with her mouth open.  It was the first of many stunned looks directed at my fandom crafting!

Supplies

  • 3 lengths of 1 to 1 1/2” PVC pipe cut into 18” (45.7 cm) pieces (use a hacksaw or have it done at your DIY store)

Note: PVC under 1” is not recommended because it’s too flexible. Make sure the threaded plug & metal flange will work with the pipe you chose. They’re easy to test at the DIY store.

  • 3 threaded plugs
  • 3 metal floor flanges
  • 3 flat PVC caps
  • 3 decorative wood rosette with a flat back
  • Epoxy, Liquid Nails or other cement-like glue
  • Primer spray paint
  • Gold spray paint (Use silver for Slytherin, bronze or silver for Ravenclaw and black for Hufflepuff)
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)
  • Screws with anchors
  • 5 1/2 yards (5 meters) of red satiny fabric  (Use green for Slytherin, blue for Ravenclaw or yellow for Huffelpuff)
  • matching thread
  • sewing machine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prewash fabric then hem on both ends, set aside.
  2. Following manufacturer’s directions, use epoxy to glue the threaded plugs to one end of each of the PVC pipes. On opposite ends of pipes, use epoxy to attach the PVC caps. Epoxy the wooden rosette onto the cap. Allow epoxy to dry. Screw pipe into metal flange. Stand up on it’s end in a well covered, well ventilated area.
  3. Paint with primer. Allow to dry according to manufacturer’s directions. Paint gold. Allow to dry overnight.
  4. Find the center of your bed, mark a light line on the wall. Depending on the width of your bed and where you want the fabric to reach on the sides, you will need to attach the flanges lower or higher.  If you have someone helping you, it’s a good idea to hold the center pipe in place with the fabric, centered, on the pipe. You can then determine how high the center pipe should be and where to place your two side pipes. They can be low or high, depending on your preference.  Use measuring tape to assure the three pipes will be symmetrical.
  5. Attach the metal flanges to the wall using screws and anchors, using the drill for pilot holes if necessary.
  6. Screw pipes into each flange. Arrange canopy fabric.

Makes a great window treatment, too!

Also for your Harry Potter room:  HP Bookcase Mural

p.s. I made the afghan, too.  😉

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

also available on The Leaky Cauldron- Crafts

Deco-“paged” Hobbit Wall

Thror's Map, close up

When I was in high school, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the very first time.

Tolkien’s world wrapped me up and captured me.  I fantasized (and still do!) of taking off for middle earth, walking the road with Bilbo and visiting the elves.

Once a fandom girl, always a fandom girl.

The Hobbit x 16

Part of my Hobbit collection

When my hubby and I bought our home ten years ago, I had already been stockpiling paperback copies of the The Hobbit.   I’ve been collecting interesting Tolkien covers for years and have a lovely collection.  More than one sad, falling-apart copy of The Hobbit came home with me, just to have for that special project I knew I’d be doing some day.

It’s been a good seven or eight years ago that the “The Reading Room” came in to existence.    I still remember the wicked happiness I had knowing that I was permanently attaching words from one of my very favorite stories onto a wall in my house.  Part of it was the joy of Tolkien, and part of it was rebellion at years in rental places with cream colored walls!

When we have new visitors for the first time, and they ask to use our restroom, it’s always with a bit of glee that I direct them to the proper door.  Most people hold on to their calm until they’ve exited the room, but we get the occasional guest that will shout out through the door after they’ve entered.  It’s incredibly striking to stand face to face with a wall that is book pages top to bottom!

And hey, we’ve always got something to read in the bathroom!

Hobbit Decopauge Wall

Decoupaged Wall with pages from two copies of The Hobbit

Note: This is a permanent application. Do not use this technique unless you are absolutely sure you want a permanent change.

Supplies

● books (something you’re willing to recycle  paper back books, maps, picture or comics, newspapers or letters) – amount will vary depending on the size of the wall and the materials used to cover it

Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish or other clear protective finish

● High Quality Paintbrush (check finish container for suggested brush)

● parchment paper

● large piece of cardboard

● masking tape

● newspaper or drop cloth

● latex gloves

● mineral oil

● rags

Instructions

  1. Protect floor, baseboards, etc, with newspaper or drop cloth and masking tape.
  2. Gently remove the book cover (I framed mine and hung them in the same room as the deco wall).
  3. Peel apart the individual pages (this works best with paperback books).
  4. Tape a large piece of parchment paper to the cardboard.
  5. Wearing the latex gloves, put place several book pages on the parchment paper.
  6. Using the paintbrush, cover each with Polycrylic.
  7. Start applying pages to the wall. For a neat effect, line pages up side by side, or overlap and vary (as shown) for a more staggered effect.
  8. “Cut in” by placing pages side by side or slightly overlapping to frame your wall then working your way in.
  9. Use the brush to smooth out any air bubbles. You only have a minute or so to work with each page, so make sure you’re happy with it before moving on.
  10. Allow pages to dry and then apply another coat of Polycrylic over the wall.
  11. Use mineral oil and rags for clean up. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Thror's Map

Thror’s Map, a reproduction that hangs in “The Reading Room”
drawn by Jennifer Ofenstein, 2003
black inck on tea stained paper

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked, share it with the Sewhooked flickr group for a chance to see it posted right here on sewhooked.com!

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Way Back Craft: Harry Potter Bookcase Mural

HP Closet Mural

It’s hard to believe I’ve never blogged about this project!

Years ago, I had a website called Jen’s Crochet and Crafts.   It eventually morphed into sewhooked.   The Harry Potter Bookcase Mural was originally posted there, along with the story of how it came to be.

When my almost-14-year-old-daughter was about to turn 8, she asked for a Harry Potter-themed room for her birthday.   Being a big HP fan myself, I was as excited as she was to take on the project.  Among her requests were castle walls, an enchanted ceiling, The Fat Lady on her door, red and gold hangings for her bed and a magical bookcase.   I managed all of those things, but the bookcase remains my absolute favorite part of the project.

The original bookcase was drawn freehand with chalk.  I’ve since made a map for use on an overhead projector, or, if you have a steady hand and feel up to it, to use as a free-hand guide.

Supplies:

You need a clean dry surface to start with.  If painting on an older surface, you may want to paint with primer first.

Print the template on clear acetate and project the image onto the selected area.   Position the bookcase where you’d like for it to appear. Use masking tape to outline the area that will become your bookcase.

Use semi-gloss paint and the paint roller to paint the taped-off area.

Paint a second coat if necessary. Allow to dry overnight.

Using a pencil or chalk, trace the bookcase (not the contents), adding a border if needed or desired.  A ruler or yardstick comes in really handy for this step.

Paint bookcase shelves and allow to dry.

Starting with the top shelf, trace contents.

Bottom left - close up
bottom left, close up

After tracing, paint contents using a variety of colors.  An egg carton works great to have multiple colors available at once.

Repeat for all shelves, allow to dry overnight.

Using a variety of permanent markers, add book names using this list of books provided.

vBottom right - close up
bottom right, close up

Randomly place books where you like, except for The Standard Book of Spells. Look for these on the second shelf from the top, on the right side.  The seven books are more or less together, each with a line across the top of the binding (only 6 books are listed in the HP series, but I’m assuming there would have been a seventh if Harry had returned for his final year of school).

Top left - close up
top left, close up

Add embellishments; names on potions bottles, cat whiskers, etc. with permanent markers.

Stand back and admire your work!

More photos from the Harry Potter bedroom with instructions on sewhooked

If you make this or any sewhooked crafts, I’d love to see a photo!  Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy Crafting!

Also posted on The Leaky Cauldron and cut out + keep

DIY Outside: Tire Swing

DIY Outside - Make a Tire Swing!

From the first moment we saw our house, the biggest selling point were the trees. Huge, full-grown Live Oaks and an Elm that shade the back and side yards. Having kids, my first though was tire swing! My kids were too small at the time and then it took me ages to find a tire. I finally found a local thrift store that sells old tires for $5 each. I picked the best tire in their stock and our tire swing was born at last!

Recycle an Old Tire…Into a Tire Swing!
You’ll need:

  • old tire
  • 3 large eye bolts with nuts
  • 6 large washers (big enough for the bolt to go through)
  • 4 Quick Links (rated for enough weight to hold the tire swing + kids)
  • 3 pieces of chain, approximately 3′ long (rated for enough weight for a tire swing + kids)
  • chain to attach tire swing to tree (*see note below)
  • chalk
  • drill with large (3/4″ – 1″) bit
  • safety glasses
Tire Swing, in progress

Mark three spots on the tire with chalk, equal distance apart. Wearing the safety goggles, drill holes in each spot.

On the opposite side of the tire, drill 3 or more holes. These are for drainage, so they don’t need to be as evenly spaced.

Tire Swing, in progress Tire Swing, in progress

Insert one eye bolt in each of the first three holes. Screw the nut in place.
Tire Swing, in progress

Add the Quick Link to one end of a 3′ piece of chain. Attach to the eye bolt. Repeat for each eye bolt.

Tire Swing, in progress
Gather the other three ends of the chains and attach to another Quick Link.

Tire Swing

Attach the quick link to a chain* hanging from the tree of your choice.

*Please note: The length and size of the chain will depend on the height of your tree. My swing is hanging from about 8′ of chain attached to the tree with a plastic coated heavy-duty chain and a Quick Link.

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Way Back Craft: Marble Backsplash


Once upon a time, we were renters. Every place we lived in belonged to someone else. The color and interest we had were from fabrics and furniture. I could not wait until we had our own place so we could add and change color whenever we pleased!

One of the first projects for my kitchen when we moved in nine years ago was a backsplash. There was originally nothing behind the sink except wall. The paint was peeling and just kind of nasty. I had been collecting different colors of florist marbles and the two came together one night in a stroke of inspiration. It’s been about eight years now and the backsplash still looks as good as it did then!

D-I-Why? Well, because it’s my house and I can!

Marble Backsplash
© Jennifer Ofenstein
http://www.sewhooked.org

● Clean, dry scrub brush
● Florist marbles (flat on one side), washed and dried
● Tile Adhesive in a tube
● Pre-mixed grout
● Sponge
● Grout Sealant
● Latex Gloves (optional)

1. Scrub off loose paint with a dry brush.

2. Using tile adhesive and marbles of your color choice (the amount depends on the size of your space), apply in a pattern or design pleasing to you, leaving a small (about 1/4″) gap between marbles.

3. Allow to dry according to label instructions.

4. Using fingertips (with latex gloves if you like), apply premixed grout. It only takes a small amount. This and the adhesive can be found in the flooring department of your local home improvement store.

5. Smooth grout until it fills all the gaps.

6. Following manufacturer’s instruction, use a damp sponge to wipe grout from marbles.

7. After proper drying time, apply a grout sealer, following manufacturer’s instructions. It’ll make your grout last longer and help it stay cleaner.

Additional information: The window surround is not grouted. The windowsill was contoured using Plaster of Paris to make it look more like stone. This was painted over with the same color as the wall paint.

The beautiful stained glass was made by my mother-in-law, Carol Ofenstein.

This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series’; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of the blog.

also published on cut out + keep