The Studio 5 Challenge: Everyday Items Get a Makeover

Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Idea Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares new ways to use five basic, everyday items.

Ceramic Pitcher = Decoupaged Planter

Decoupage paper or fabric onto a glass or ceramic pitcher. Creative items that can be used include: wrapping paper, paper napkins, photos, printed quotes, sheet music, brochures, sewing patters, maps, fabric, etc. Use items that would reflect the personality of the recipient or the party if used as a centerpiece. Fill with potting soil and place a plant inside.

Other ideas:

• Use a pitcher as an anchor for a balloon bouquet. Fill with tissue and tie balloons to a heavy item and place inside the pitcher. You could also have people sign the pitcher with Sharpie markers for a birthday or get well gift along with the balloons.

• Create a lamp out of the pitcher. Use lamp hardware found at home improvement type stores.

• Break the pitcher with a hammer into medium sized pieces. Use the pieces to create a tile mosaic for garden stepping stones or garden art. Use ceramic pitchers with colorful or interesting designs.

• Turn the pitcher into a unique birdhouse.

Water Bottles =Individual Treat or Cupcake Holders

Cut the middle slender part out of a plastic water bottle. Remove the cap and discard. Using a glue that will bond plastic (and will dry clear) or dimensional scrapbook glaze, adhere the top of the bottle (the pour spout with the screw threads) onto the bottom of the bottom piece of the bottle. Let dry. Turn over so the bottom piece of the bottle is on top. Decorate with paint, trims or glass color spray as desired. Wrap center with ribbon and tie a large bow. Use as a cupcake holder, candy or favor holder. Fill with paper shred or faux grass if desired.

Other ideas:

• Use a bottle as a mailing container. Simply fill with shred, small items and a message and place labels and postage on outside of bottle.

• Fill with dry beans or jingle bells to make a musical instrument. Add a dowel handle and spray paint entire item. Let your child decorate it.

• Use bottles to make piggy banks, lava lamps, shaker bottles, ant hills, bird feeders, etc. There are a lot of ideas for crafts especially for children. Google “crafts using water bottles” and you will find hundreds of great links.

• A fun link to cool room décor using recycled bottles:

• A link showing water bottles used to create a cool chandelier:

Tennis Balls = Decorative Home Décor Balls

Insert a wood skewer into each tennis ball to serve as a handle. Coat each tennis ball with modeling paste, making swirls or using a texture or icing comb to make random lines. Another option would be to press pieces of netting or other material into paste to leave an impression in the texture medium. Let dry completely. When dry, brush with acrylic paint and let dry. Brush with a thin stain or walnut ink and rub off excess with a paper towel leaving the ball with an antique look. (Note: texture medium can be mixed with acrylic paint before applying if desired.)Remove wood skewer. Use this technique on all types of sized balls to make unique home décor items. Place balls on a tray, in a jar or place around your home as desired.

Other ideas:

• Drill a hole in opposite sides of a bunch of tennis balls. Paint balls using bright colors. Thread a wire or strong fishing line through the balls spacing them between 8″-12″ apart. Add a tiny bit of glue to keep balls from sliding if needed. Hang across a room or outside above a patio with strands of tiny lights to create a fun ceiling for a party. A fun idea would be to paint them with glo-in-the-dark paint for a cool look after dark.

• Paint balls with black paint or black modeling paste. Let dry. Paint eyes on them with white or glo-in-the-dark paint. Fill a jar with the eye “balls”. This is perfect for Halloween décor.

• Cover balls with strips of fabric or colorful yarns and make a hanging mobile for a child’s room.

• Tennis balls can be slit easily and items placed inside. A fun option for gifts, notes, treasure hunt clues, valuables, etc.

• Cut tennis balls in half and glue halves to cover the back rest of a wood bench. This would create a fun piece for a game room.

Screwdrivers = Rack for a Workshop or Garage

Use a piece of pine approximately 3′ x 4″ (or whatever size you wish). Paint, stain or distress piece as desired. Choose a variety of screwdrivers (approximately 5 for this size of board) you wish to use. The handles of the screwdrivers will be used as pegs on the board. Measure and space where each screwdriver will be on the board and mark. Drill a hole at each marking the size of the shaft on each screwdriver. Place screwdrivers in holes and mark the shaft of the driver where it exits the back of the board. Use a hacksaw to saw off the screwdriver shafts at markings. Insert each prepared screwdriver through the board and glue using a strong adhesive that will bond metal and wood. Mount to wall.

Other ideas:

• Create garden plant markers using screwdrivers. Paint screwdrivers bright colors. Paint decorative designs and write on handles of screwdrivers using a permanent pen. Coat with an outdoor varnish.

• Use screwdrivers as shelf holders. Place under shelves (you still will need brackets) and paint to match shelf. Place handles forward.

• Use screwdrivers as legs for a display stand. Place screwdrivers (3 or 4) through a piece of thin wood or heavy cardboard down to handle. Place another piece on top of shaft. Adhere well with a strong glue and let dry. Spray paint and varnish entire piece. Decorate rims of wood or cardboard with trim. Use as a display stand.

Buttons = Whimsical Lampshade

Cover lampshade with buttons using fabric glue or sew on by hand. Be creative when mixing and matching buttons. Themes could be bright colors, vintage, retro, etc. Buttons also make a nice edge along the bottom of a lampshade over some fun trim.

Other ideas:

• Make bracelets/jewelry using buttons,

• Use buttons to create fun napkin rings.

• Sew buttons along the hem of a tablecloth, placemats, pillowcase, fabric napkins, an apron, a fabric purse, etc.

• Glue buttons on a picture frame or the edges of a mirror.

• Sew buttons on backpack straps.

• Adhere buttons all over a small end or decorative table. Using vintage look buttons can make a fun shabby chic piece that would be very unique.

• Use buttons on journal covers, scrapbook pages or paper crafted cards.

• Sew buttons on a wide ribbon and use as a belt or a headband.

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