DIY Presents: Step-by-Step

October 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm , by

Painted Botanical Mugs

Dahlia Step 1

Picture 1 of 9

1. Wash and dry your mugs thoroughly.

2. These are very easy patterns to freehand, but it doesn’t hurt to practice them a bit beforehand. Sketch the designs on tracing paper or printer paper, then cut around the shapes and tape onto mugs to eye the placement and composition.

3. Shake the paint pen and pump the tip onto a piece of scrap paper to start the flow of paint.

4. Begin drawing the design onto the first mug. If the paint pen begins to lose flow, simply pump a few more times on the scrap paper to renew the ink. If you make a mistake, you can either wipe off with a wet paper towel immediately, or wait 15 minutes for the paint to dry and scrape off with a straight razor blade or paint scraper. You may have to pause halfway and allow one mug to dry while you begin working on another mug, so that you don’t smudge your design. Note: Once this paint is set in the oven, it becomes safe to touch food or liquid, so if your design goes onto the rim or into the interior of the mug, that’s fine.

5. Once you have drawn all your designs on the mugs, let them sit for 24 hours to dry. Even after this point, you can scrap and wash a design off entirely an start again.

6. Once the mugs have sat for 24 hours, place them in a cold oven and set the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow the mugs to cool completely before removing. The paint is now set and is dishwasher safe.

Cat Scratchpad


Picture 10 of 10

1. Use your exacto knife and ruler to cut two sheets of your cardboard into 4″ wide strips.

2. Once you have all of your 4″ strips, begin the body of the fish by taking a strip and bending it along each of its corrugated ridges. You’ll see the strip start to curl as you soften each corrugated ridge. If you’re using the corrugated roll, you can skip this step.

3. Make a long oval/eye shape that is as small as possible and begin to wrap the cardboard tightly around the shape again and again. Apply a dab of hot glue between layers every few rounds to secure the shape and keep it tightly rolled. Also apply hot glue whenever you start or end a strip to keep the shape uniform. Once you have an oval that is about 16″ in diameter, stop wrapping and glue the outermost strip down to secure.

4. To make the fish tail shape, take a firm strip of cardboard and bend the strip three times near its end to create the smallest triangle possible. Then begin folding the strip around the inner triangle, only bending the cardboard each time it reaches the end points of the triangle. This will help maintain a clean shape. Periodically add a dab of glue between layers to keep the shape tightly formed. Stop when your triangle is about 10″ on each side and glue the outermost strip down to secure.

5. Now take the triangle shape and use your exacto to measure and cut 3″ off of each layer at one tip of the triangle. Once you’ve successfully cut the tip entirely off, re-glue the ends of the loose strips together to firm up the shape.

6. Run several lines of glue over the edge that you just cut and press the tail firmly onto the end of oval to attach the tail to the body of the fish.

7. Once you have the oval shape completed, cut three lengths of cardboard: 16″, 12″, and 8″. Fold each one in half and make a crease, then place at the front of your oval, pushed outward a but to create the shape of the fish’s mouth. Glue the edges of the three pieces in place and glue to the oval. Cut and fold smaller pieces of cardboard and place within the opening to fill in the mouth area.

8. Take several long strips of cardboard and glue them along the entire outside of the fish shape. Repeat again so that you have two layers of cardboard running around the body and the tail of the fish.

9. Place the fish on an uncut sheet of cardboard and trace the shape. Cut out the shape and glue to the underside of the fish shape. This adds stability to the form and will catch any loose catnip if you choose to sprinkle some on the pad (cats love this).

10. Measure the new height of your pad (should be around 4 1/8″ with the added base) and cut several strips of this width from your decorative paper.

11. Spray the backside of the decorative paper strips with spray adhesive, then carefully run the paper along the outside of the pad, covering the outermost layer of cardboard.

E-Reader Cover

Step 1

Picture 1 of 10

1. Remove the pages from your book by running your exacto knife along the outer edged where the book meets the cover.

2. Measure the dimensions of the interior of the book cover, and make sure it’s larger than the dimensions of your tablet by at least 1/4″ inch on all sides.

3. Measure and cut two rectangles out the mat board that are smaller than the dimensions of your book cover by 1/8″ on all sides.

4. Measure and cut rectangles out of your fabric that are 1/4″ larger on all sides than the mat board rectangles. Also cut a 3″ strip of fabric that is the same length as your boards.

5. Spread a thin even layer of archival glue on the backside of the 3″ strip of fabric and press down into the inside spine of your book cover. Clean off excess glue with a paper towel and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles. Allow to dry completely.

6. Center your mat board on the backside of the fabric rectangle and cut out the corners of the fabric that extend beyond the mat board with your exacto knife.

7. Pick up the mat board and spread a thin layer of archival glue on one side. Place the glue side back down onto the backside of the fabric, making sure the board is centered and the corner cut-outs line up the corner of the board.

8. Run a thin line of archival glue along the edges of the fabric that overhang and pull them over the edges of the board to the back of the board. Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles from the front of the board and tape the edges of the fabric down to the backside of the board with masking tape. Clean off excess glue with a paper towel. Repeat with the second board and allow both to dry completely.

9. Cut four 4″ lengths of elastic. Take your tablet—or, if you worry about dirtying your device, you can make a mock up with identical dimensions out of scrap cardboard or foam board— and center on top of one of the fabric covered boards. Place all four elastic strips around the corners of your device and tape to the backside of the board. Adjust the straps so they are symmetrical and snug against your device—they should have just a little bit of tension so that your device doesn’t wiggle around. Make sure they are all firmly taped in place on the back, and remove your device (if you’re using a mockup device you can leave it in).

10. Working on one elastic at a time, carefully lift the tape (while not allowing the elastic to move from its position) place a few dabs of superglue on the underside of the edge of the elastic, and press back down into place. Replace the tape firmly over the piece and press down to set. Repeat seven more times with each edge of the other elastic strips until all strips are glued and taped down. Allow glue to set for 30 minutes to an hour.

11. Remove the tape from your elastic strips and check that they are securely adhered. Flip both fabric covered boards over and spread a uniform layer of archival glue over the entire back of both boards. Take the board without the elastic and flip it over, carefully center it over the left interior side of the book cover, and press firmly down to adhere it. Repeat with the other board on the right side, centering it onto the right interior side of the book cover and pressing down. Clean off any excess glue and place the open book on a flat surface. Place a stack of heavy book over both sides of the book to apply pressure while the glue sets. Allow to dry completely.

12. Once the glue has dried, remove the books and inspect your new tablet case. If any of the edges of the boards seem loose, you can apply a tiny dab of superglue between the board and the book cover and place back under the heavy books to dry.

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